I was running late. I thought I'd left plenty of time but hadn't factored the impact of the "one last email" before I headed south on the 110 ... and then three block walk from St. Vincent's parking lot to St. John's Cathedral.
As I walked -- briskly -- down Figueroa St. with Betsy Hooper-Rosebrook (who was my "shepherd" during my ordination process as a member of the Commission on Ministry and a friend for whom I needlepointed the ring bearer's pillow for her wedding to Tom Rosebrook) we trucked past the dome of St. Vincent's Roman Catholic Church (on the OTHER corner of Adams and Fig) ...
... I thought "OMG ... can it REALLY be over ten years since we gathered there to elect Jon Bruno our bishop? How did I get to be someone who says "remember when ..." so fast!!!"
St. John's looks better every time I'm down there. I just love how the space is used as a kind of palette to create genuine liturgical expressions of the people gathered for work and worship.
And I love that the "mission statement" on the back of the service leaflet we were handed read:
St. John's Cathedral
Catholic Worship - Evangelical Preaching - Progressive Social Witness
- Mort -- who trained me to be an L.E.M. when I was still a parish secretary at St. Paul's, Ventura.
- Howard -- who taught me church history in Claremont.
- Shirley -- who showed me what it means to love across differences.
- Warren -- who stood by me when nobody else did.
- Joanna -- who helped keep me sane during CPE, provided an oasis of calm in the chaos more than once and was one of my presenters for ordination to the priesthood
- Art -- whose late wife Fran gave me the "A Woman's Place is in the House of Bishops" tea towel as a souvenier from their trip to Lambeth 1998 and who was a faithful colleague when I was at St. Peter's in San Pedro.
- Lynn -- who has been a sister, a mother, a friend and a fierce protector ... that was, after we got over our first conversation EVER which was a knock-down-drag-out fight over putting a serape on the altar for a regional confirmation service when Fred Borsch was our new bishop.
- Rachel -- who sat on the floor with me at a diocesan-convention-gone-by while we women told stories about putting away the red blazers until after our ordinations were approved ... based on the advice of "the mothers" that red was a power color and we were already scary enough without making it worse. And now she's a rector herself ... and a powerful woman who can and does wear red when she feels like it.
- Larry -- my "litter mate" deacon (we were ordained as transitional deacons together at St. Francis, Simi Valley in June 1996)
- Michael -- who "knew me when" my kids were babies and my brother-in-law was his Senior Warden and when women priests were ... well, not as usual as they are now ... and who was the first of dozens today to say, "How's Jamie? When's he coming home? We have him in our prayers at Ascension ..."
- Lyn -- who was ahead of me in seminary and I remember watching her in liturgy class doing her "eucharist practicum" ... with her toes wiggling nervously in plain sight under the altar in her Birkenstocks
- Keith -- who started Ministry Study Year when I did in 1992 and bought us all scratch off lottery tickets while we waited to find out if the Commission on Ministry was going to make us Postulants for Holy Orders.
- Kelly -- who shares with me the challenge of being a peace-monger Army mom ... and who I remember with her kids in strollers in seminary ... and her anxious mother at her ordination, terrified that if she got ordained in the Diocese of Los Angeles she'd turn into a lesbian. (So far so good. :)
- Oh my, oh my, oh my: I could go on and on ... because as we streamed up the aisle to receive the bread and wine made holy it seemed there was a story I could tell about almost every person who walked past me ...
SO many new faces ... diversity I couldn't even have imagined even those not-really-all-that-many-years-ago I was ordained a priest in that very space -- January 17, 1998. And so many old, dear, familiar ones ... the connectivity of the stories that have united us ... even the differences that have challenged us ... all that makes us what we are: The Diocese of Los Angeles ...