Monday, January 30, 2012

STILL Celebrating 20 Years of Blessing!

The dust is still settling from our celebrations marking the 20th Anniversary of the blessing of the Covenant of Mark Benson and Philip Straw -- but here, for a start, are some pictures that capture just SOME of the great moments of a truly extraordinary weekend:

With deep gratitude to all who made it all happen ... and especially in thanksgiving for the courage, the love and the persistence of Mark and Phil in calling All Saints Church to walk its talk and live into its prophetic calling to be a community of radical welcome, blessing and justice.

Just a peek ...

... at what a FABULOUS weekend we had at All Saints in Pasadena!

I've only got a minute this morning as we're off for a two day staff preaching retreat, but here are a few snaps to "whet your appetite" for more photos and reflection to come!

Bishops Robinson and Glasspool just before the Saturday "20 Years of Blessing" Eucharist.

Rector emeritus George Regas with Bishop Mary Glasspool

Bishop Robinson preaching on Sunday morning to a packed, riveted house.

[One great footnote: When +Gene checked his phone just after church, he had a text from from his assistant in New Hampshire saying "loved the sermon -- thanks to All Saints for streaming it!"]

Bishop Glasspool cracking up Ed Bacon in the Rector's Forum.

[Which everybody can see on the All Saints website and shouldn't miss!]

Saturday, January 28, 2012

An Invitation from All Saints Church in Pasadena

Twenty years ago last week, Mark Benson and Philip Straw stood together on the chancel at All Saints Church in Pasadena and promised to love, honor and cherish each other until death did they part. A 1992 editorial in The Living Church wrote of the service : “Undoubtedly similar events have taken place in clandestine circumstances but this is the first known “public” blessing in a prominent parish.”

We mark the anniversary of that “first known public blessing” of a same-sex covenant today with a celebration of not only the Benson/Straw blessing but the ninety-three same-sex blessings held at All Saints since 1992 – along with the ripple effect of those blessings in both the church and civic arenas. George Regas will share his own journey from “I can’t do that” to leading the entire congregation on a year-long discernment process that led to the January 18, 1992 blessing and beyond as we look at the last 20 years together and we’ll see archive video of the service as others tell their own stories of being part of the bending the arc of history toward equality..

You are cordially invited to join us for all or part of today’s event as we’ll be live-streaming the program from 9-12noon and the Festival Eucharist from 4-5pm (Mary Glasspool, preaching; Gene Robinson, celebrating) here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Workshops Set for Pasadena Blessing Conference

Plans are being finalized for the upcoming 20YEARS OF BLESSING weekend event at All Saints Church -- including this fabulous menu of workshops focused on mobilizing for our future as we work to build on our past. The workshops will be offered in two sessions:

Session One: 1:00-2:15 Session Two: 2:30-3:45

Advocacy within the Episcopal Church: What’s next at the National Church level on LGBT inclusion? Get the inside scoop on the ongoing movement toward full inclusion in the Episcopal Church from General Convention Deputy and All Saints leader, Jim White

Activism in the secular arena: Contributions to marriage equality and LGBT rights come from many arenas – secular, faith and grassroots efforts. Come to hear stories about progress from many places. Dr. Paul Clement & Rev. Dr. Neil Thomas will present.

Keeping Kids Safe from Bullying: Resourcing participants to create bully-free zones, this workshop will include a screening of Bill Brummel’s brilliant documentary “Bullied” followed by a facilitated conversation with All Saints youth staffers Jeremy Langill and Isaac Ruelas

A la familia: The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has developed a groundbreaking new curriculum designed to address issues of LGBT inclusion in Latino contexts. Abel Lopez will lead a “test drive” of this exciting new resource.

“But the Bible Says …” The "Christian right" is back (in disguise) and even more committed to denying the civil rights of LGBTQ Americans. The gains we have made are easily lost unless we understand and confront their campaign of fear and loathing based on scientific ignorance and biblical misuse. Mel White will show us how!

Strategic Storytelling: This workshop will is designed to equip LGBT activists and straight allies to tell their stories to effectively change hearts, minds and votes. Led by Integrity Communication Director and media consultant Louise Brooks.

Making Marriage Work For all the pleasures and gratifications of marriage, for most of us it is also a constant challenge to stay close, to feel safe and to create a future that is satisfying for both of us. This workshop is designed to help us make our way together, whether gay or straight, long-term couples or newly-weds. Led by Pasadena therapists Diane Lee and Rick Thyne

For more information contact Linn Vaughan at 626.583.2744. To register click here.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tonight's the Night!

"Love Free or Die" ... Macky Alston's long awaited feature-length documentary on the work and witness of Bishop Gene Robinson ... premieres tonight at the Sundance Film Festival.

It has been my high honor to watch from offstage (mostly) as this work has progressed. From +Gene's consecration in November 2006 [where I was in the press box] to the blessing of Mark & Gene's civil union in June 2008 [where I was in the pulpit] to England and Lambeth Conference in July 2008 [where I was in the congregation when a heckler distrupted the service and reminded us all how risky a business this stepping out for the Gospel can be.]

Here's the segment that aired about the film on PBS in Utah this weekend (which includes the heckling incident from St. Mary's, Putney):

The Hollywood Reporter review is just in and it calls the film "Illuminating" and Engrossing" ... and I cannot WAIT to see it!

More to come on this one, I'm sure ...

Bipartisanship We Can Believe In!

Three Cheers for HOME DEPOT!

Of course I subscribe to email lists from folks from "the other side of the aisle" to keep an eye on what they're up to ... including the so-called "American Family Association" -- who have over the last few weeks had quite the full-court-press campagin out to pressure the Home Depot folks into ending support for LGBT equality.

So I was delighted to open my email from the AFA today to find this statement they received from the Home Depot:
"We have never changed our commitment to diversity and inclusion of all people, and we have no intention of doing so. Nor have we changed our apron policy or the guidelines for our charitable giving."
So Score One for Equality and "Bravo!" Home Depot!

And ... since no good deed goes unpunished by those determined to keep LGBT Americans second class citizens ... here's how the AFA is calling their folks to action:
1. Pray for Home Depot Chairman Frank Blake to make wise decisions regarding his company's direction.
2. If you have not done so, sign the Boycott Pledge at
3. Call your local Home Depot store and ask to speak to the manager. You can find the number to your local store here (click "Store Finder" at top of page) or in your local phone book.
4. Print the paper petition and distribute it at Sunday school and church.
So what we need to do it "go and do 'the opposite.'"
1. Actually, on this one we can "go and do likewise" ... just add to our prayers "continue to make wise decisions regarding his comany's direction and give thanks for the witness to equality Home Depot makes in the public sector."
2. I'm not a fan of pledges, but if somebody wants to start a "Buycott" Pledge to support Home Depot then I'm in.
3 . Call your local Home Depot store and ask to speak to the manager. You can find the number to your local store here (click "Store Finder" at top of page) or in your local phone book. Thank him/her for the company's continued commitment to equality.
4. Don't print it out ... but DO check it out ... if only as a reminder of how far the homophobic fringe will go to continue to trample on the rights of LGBT families in this country.
OK??? Got it? Ready ... Set ... GO!!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

"You don't have to leave your Christianity behind to stand on the right side of history." -- Macky Alston

"Love Free or Die" -- the feature length documentary of the work and witness of Bishop Gene Robinson premieres at the Sundance Film Festival on January 23rd.

Here's a great "preview" from filmmaker Macky Alston -- who I am honored to call a friend and have been privileged to watch from "backstage" while this film was being made over now-these-many-years.

L.A. Times film critic Ken Turan called it "one to keep an eye on" in his Sundance column this week ... and so here's a glimpse of what to keep an eye out for:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012

MLK Day 2012

“Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Comment @EpiscopalNY

The Episcopal Diocese of New York met today for its 235th Diocesan Convention. On the agenda were three resolutions regarding marriage equality -- presented by the LGBT Concerns Committee of the Social Concerns Commission. All three resolutions were adopted. [text available here.]

The fact that the Episcopal Diocese of New York stepped up today on marriage equality is good news not just for gay and lesbian Episcopalians but for everyone tired of having bigotry masquerade as Christianity on issues of LGBT equality.

The three resolutions on marriage equality adopted by today’s diocesan convention urge the 77th General Convention to revise the Canons of The Episcopal Church to provide for the marriage of same-gender couples and to continue the work of collecting and developing liturgical resources for the blessing of same-gender relationships. They also encourage the Bishop of New York to permit (but not require) clergy to sign marriage licenses and officiate at marriages for couples legally eligible for marriage in the State of New York.

As the anti-gay rhetoric escalates in the presidential primary campaigns it is critical that progressive people of faith stand up and speak out in rebuttal to those who presume to speak for "traditional Christian values" which have nothing to do with God's values of love, justice, and compassion and everything to do with homophobia. The Episcopal Diocese of New York stood up and spoke out today by adopting these three important resolutions, making me proud to be an Episcopalian and hopeful that other dioceses will go and do likewise.

What TEC could take from TED

Do you know about the "TED Conference?" Here's the Wikipedia definition:
TED (Technology Entertainment and Design) is a global set of conferences formed to disseminate "ideas worth spreading."
And the TED mission statement begins:
We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we're building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.
The TED website sums it up with this intriguing tagline:
Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world
Which leads me to musing: What if TEC studied what makes TED "work" as we reimagine our structures, reinvent our communications and recommit ourselves to our mission "to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ."

It's something I've been mulling for awhile -- the connection between TED and TEC -- and then today ... doing some websurfing, facebook cruising over a second cup of Saturday morning coffee ... I came across this blog post by marketer Seth Godin:
The TED imperatives

1. Be interested.
2. Be generous.
3. Be interesting.
4. Connect.

In that order. If all you can do is repeat cocktail party banalities about yourself, don't come. If all you're hoping for is to get more than you give, the annual event is not worth your time. If you're not confident enough to share what you're afraid of and what's not working, you're cheating yourself (and us). These aren't just principles for TED, of course. They're valid guidelines for any time you choose to stop hiding and step out into the world.

[TED is a conference that started small, got big and then spawned more than a thousand local versions. Mostly, it's a culture of connecting interesting ideas and the people who have the guts to share them. Sometimes people at TED even follow these imperatives].
"These aren't just principles for TED, of course. They're valid guidelines for any time you choose to stop hiding and step out into the world."

That's where I had what my rector Ed Bacon would call a "glory attack" ... because for each TED imperative I heard a TEC baptismal promise:
Be interested. ["Seek and serve Christ in all persons ..."]
Be generous. ["... loving your neighbor as yourself."]
Be interesting. ["Proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ."]
Connect. ["continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers."]
On Episcopal Cafe this week there's a blog post attracting lots of comments. It's entitled "Why should there be an Episcopal Church?" and asks the question:
What makes us different? What is the place and role of the Episcopal Church in this wider world we call The Church?
Of course I had an response. Mine was:
We are a particular (some would say peculiar) people of God who have the DNA of comprehensiveness coursing through our veins. Our "Mother Church" managed to emerge from the crucible of the reformation in England with the unique ability to hold being both protestant and catholic in tension -- and then the democratization of that Anglican ethos following the American Revolution introduced both the gift and challenge of the tension between the ministry of clergy and laity for the American Episcopal Church.

At our best I believe we are uniquely (please do not read "exclusively") gifted by our history to model unity rather than uniformity as a way of being church in the world -- and in our increasingly multi-cultural, inter-faith, global context we have the capacity offer that model as an alternative to the divisiveness of polarization and exceptionalism that is too often the face of "the Church in the world."
So my question today is this:

If I'm right and the Episcopal Church (TEC) does have something distinctive to offer "the wider world" then how can we equip and empower ourselves to embrace a TED-like culture of connecting those ideas and being a people who have the guts to share them?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"The Gifts of God for the People of God"

One of the gifts of God for the people of God we celebrated on Sunday here at All Saints Church was the gift of sharing with the Reverend Jeff Martinhauk in the celebration of his first Eucharist as a priest in the Church of God.

Ordained on Saturday at St. John's downtown with this great crop of newly minted priests (pictured here with Bishops Bruno, Bruce and Glasspool) ...

... Jeff will return to Austin in the Diocese of Texas where he is currently working as chaplain at a Children's Hospital. He was sponsored for ordination by All Saints, Pasadena and was for a time a member of the Integrity Nat'l Board, serving as our Treasurer before heading off to seminary.

So won't you join us here in Pasadena in rejoicing in this new chapter of ministry for Jeff ... and join with us in praying for the time when the fullness of that ministry will be as celebrated throughout the whole church as joyfully as it was celebrated in the Diocese of Los Angeles last weekend. Because there's still work to be done to make that 1976 resolution about "full and equal claim" a reality ... but the Holy Spirit has a stubborn streak that we're counting on as we keep on working for the full inclusion of all the baptized in all the sacraments.

Let those with ears to hear, listen!

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Bishops Gene Robinson and Mary Glasspool to lead Pasadena Celebration of Equality

January 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the first blessing of a same-sex couple — Mark Benson & Phil Straw — here at All Saints Church. We will celebrate that milestone with a series of events and programs the weekend of January 28/29. Make your plans now to come celebrate the past and mobilize for the future!

Saturday, January 28

Confirmed participants include:

All Saints Rector Ed Bacon - Bishop Mary Glasspool - Rector Emeritus George Regas - Bishop Gene Robinson

Morning program in the Forum will include a multi-media look at the last twenty years; reflections from our “God, Sex & Justice” history makers; remembering Beyond Inclusion's beginnings and the Claiming the Blessing years. There will be opportunities for Q&A and conversation with Bishops Glasspool and Robinson. Come be informed and inspired!

Afternoon workshops will include Faith-based advocacy; Civic Engagement on LGBT issues; Keeping Kids Safe from Bullying (with Bill Brummel’s brilliant documentary “Bullied”); A la familia — a bi-lingual guide to LGBT inclusion from our HRC colleagues; Strategic Storytelling for changing hearts and minds, offered by IntegrityUSA; Reclaiming Scripture as a tool for inclusion with Soulforce founder Mel White ... among others. Come be equipped and empowered!

The afternoon will conclude with a Festive Holy Eucharist: Mary Glasspool, preacher and Gene Robinson, celebrant.

Then Saturday is “Movie Night!”

We are thrilled to be hosting the West Coast “sneak preview” of “Love Free or Die” — the just released documentary on the work and witness of Bishop Gene Robinson ... premiering at the Sundance Film Festival on January 23.

Love Free or Die begins with the story of a man whose two defining passions are in conflict: his love for God and his love for his partner, Mark.

Gene Robinson is the first openly gay bishop in the high church traditions of Christendom. His consecration in 2003, to which he wore a bullet-proof vest, caused an international stir, and he has lived with death threats nearly every day since. Bishop Robinson refuses to leave the church that has taught for centuries it has no place for people like him. And he refuses to leave the man he loves, even though he has been taught it is God's will for him to do so. And of course he is not alone. Bishop Robinson lives in a nation and a world in which many are caught in this ultimate double bind.

Love Free or Die documents the lives of Bishop Robinson and a host of others in the church/state struggle for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality in America. Shot over three years, Love Free or Die reveals from the intimate inside how our culture and our laws change due to the convictions, courage and commitments of specific individuals and communities. Bishop Robinson as he changes hearts and minds on the LGBT equality issue, from working class towns in the northern mountains of New Hampshire to the Lincoln Memorial at Barack Obama's inauguration.

In the Forum at 7pm.

Sunday, January 29

The celebration will continue on Sunday morning at All Saints Church where both Bishop Glasspool and Bishop Robinson will be with us for the 9:00 & 11:15 services. Gene Robinson will preach and Mary Glasspool will celebrate on a morning as we conclude our celebration with a very special Rector’s Forum.

For more information on email All Saints staffer Linn Vaughan or call 626.583.2744.
To register online [beginning January 15] visit the All Saints website.

An All Saints Church Celebration,
with thanks for generous support from HRC (Human Rights Campaign) and Integrity USA

Mazel Tov to a Bumper Crop of Brand New Priests!

A Bumper Crop of Brand New Priests: (from left, first row) John Livingston, Heather Erickson, Hsin-Fen Chang, Elizabeth Thayer, Patricia Ash, (second row) Bishop Mary Glasspool, David Erickson, Mary Crist, Karri Backer, Bishop Diane Jardine Bruce, (third row) Jeffrey Martinhauk, Bishop J. Jon Bruno, Matthew Bollinger -- January 7, 2012, St. John's ProCathedral, Los Angeles. (Episcopal News photo)

I wasn't able to be there today for the celebration, having been felled late yesterday by a close encounter of the bad ham sandwich kind -- from which I am still in recovery. (Oy!)

That said, I was honored to have been asked to be one of Jeff Martinhauk's clergy presenters AND delighted to see the long road to ordination for former-staff colleague David Erickson and his wife Heather culminate in today's celebration.

So Mazel Tov, all. And remember that the power behind you is always greater than the challenge ahead of you as you go in peace to love, serve and challenge in the name of the One who loved us enough to become one of us.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

A 12th Day of Christmas Story

Meet Carrie Ryan. She's a Rhodes Scholar.

She's also a senior at the University of the South in Sewanee. And a native of Pasadena who will pursue a Master’s degree in philosophy at Oxford University, with a focus on social work that improves the lives of seniors. And she's a member of All Saints Church.

This afternoon I was delighted to be among those celebrating Carrie and her accomplishments at a tea in her honor hosted by her proud family here in Pasadena ... and to hear her eloquent words of thanks for their support to those gathered. She concluded by saying that rather than words she was going to put her thanks into action by "living a life committed to leadership and social justice."

And so on this 12th Day of Christmas I want to share the gift of Carrie Ryan. She's a Rhodes Scholar. And she's also a member of All Saints Church in Pasadena. And here's an excerpt from the sermon she preached in the Sewanee Chapel earlier this year:
What are we, as humans, called to do in the world?

This is a question that I have been thinking about intentionally for many years now, but quite in depth in the past few months. As a senior at Sewanee, my mind has been full of questions about my future: where will I go from here? How can I use what I have learned at Sewanee in the world? How can I be of most use?

Of course, I don’t think there is one answer. And my several applications for scholarships, graduate school, and fellowships suggest just that. But I do have a general sense of how I want to go about living in the world. It is a sense that I have been developing my whole life. And it is a sense that has been hugely influenced by my faith. There have been experiences in my life that have taught me things about the world and my place in it. My faith has been shaped, re-shaped, and shaped again by these experiences.

It is only right, and logical, to begin my story of faith at its beginning. When I was thinking about my childhood the other day, I came to realize just how heavy of a presence the Episcopal church had in it. Some of my first memories of my childhood have me standing in my church choir room, in an angel suit with wings on my back, singing “This Little Light of Mine.”

Other memories have me sitting in a desk at my Episcopalian elementary school, drawing pictures of Jesus and the disciples and learning about neighborly love. This foundation, for which I thank my parents, set in me a tradition of religion I have come back to again and again as the years have gone by. But most importantly, this foundation – through my church and my school – began to dramatically shape the way I saw the world: that I was of God and that everyone and everything around me was, too.

My faith is a faith in action; it is social justice. What do I believe we, humans, are called to do in the world? I believe we are supposed to be of service. I believe in what Bill Moyer said: “The best way to live in the world is to imagine a more confident future and then get up every morning and do what you can to help bring it about.” What is the world calling you to do? How are you going to answer its needs?

I close with a beautiful story from the Suffi tradition that my Muslim best friend told me two years ago. It perfectly answers my initial question: what are we, as humans, called to do in the world? Each time I think about it, it stirs up in me a call to seek justice, community, and peace.

On a foggy afternoon, a holy woman sat outside the temple. She watched as tides of people passed, a river of human need. She saw the destitute wandering alone. She saw the wounded limping by. She saw the drunk stumbling and the lame struggling to continue on. And, on the outskirts of the tide were the outcast, trying to connect, but being scoffed by others. In the sight of this human need and despair, she prayed and she cried out to God, ‘how can a loving creator see so much suffering and do nothing to help them.’ And God said, ‘I did do something to help them: I made you.’
Just like God made Carrie Ryan. And all of us.

Merry 12th Day of Christmas! (Epiphany, here we come!)

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Santorum Surge: No wonder Jesus wept

This week I had sad news from two long time friends. One was a clergy colleague who lost his wife of 55 years to a long illness on New Year's Eve. The other was an ECW friend who lost her partner of 23 years on Christmas Day.

Both are now coping with their own grief and loss while planning services to celebrate the lives of their beloveds as they claim the resurrection promise that in death life is changed -- not ended -- and the sure and certain promise that God's love never ends.

And one of them is also having to deal with frozen assets in bank accounts while trying to pay funeral expenses; "proving" her next-of-kin status in order to carry out the last wishes of her beloved; facing the financial challenge of no "standing" in terms of Social Security survivor's benefits.

Meanwhile, in Iowa, the Republican presidential poster child for political homophobia Rick Santorum proclaims: "Ask me what motivates me, it's been the dignity of every human life."

Unless it's a gay or lesbian life. In which case, he argues that gay relationships “destabilize” society, wouldn’t offer any legal protections to gay relationships and has pledged to annul all same-sex marriages if elected president.


I know, I know. Everybody says the "Santorum Surge" is going to be short lived and he won't be able to stand the scrutiny of a front-runner and he's not electable ...and, and, and.

And yet as my friend prepares bury her partner of 23 years, the airwaves are full of Santorum's anti-gay messages that have nothing to do with human dignity and everything to do with homophobic bigotry masquerading as Christian Family Values.

No wonder Jesus wept.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

And on the 10th Day of Christmas ... "Gay is a Gift from God" blog went up on the Huffington Post.

Check it out

Monday, January 02, 2012

LIVE FROM PASADENA: It's Luna & Juno's Annual pre-Rose Parade Parade Down Colorado Boulevard

a cross-post from our "dog blog" ... a little look backstage at yesterday's Rose Parade prep here in Pasadena

[January 1, 2012 ~ Pasadena CA] Another New Year means another trip down Colorado Boulevard for our annual pre-Rose Parade look at the sights, sounds and craziness that makes up the Pasadena tradition of people, flowers and floats. This year our moms' friend Andrea came with us. (This is us ... ready and set to GO!)

First stop: the Foothill/210 underpass where the LaCanada Flintridge float is all dressed up and ready to go.

Then down the arroyo to the Rose Bowl parking lot where there are more floats lining up getting ready for the parade. This one is a tribute to Roy Rodgers and Dale Evans (and their dog and horse!)

Here's one of the Pasadena PD People Protecting the Parade. SMILE! You'e gonna be on our blog!

Another pretty one ... and yes, the sky really IS that blue!

Some more crowd control guys. (They were kind of crabby and telling our mom to "move along" ... until we said "can we take your picture?" and then they lightened up a little. (or one of them did ... SMILE!)

This guy is CLEARLY really important. (You can tell by the white suit and cell phone that he's doing Big Deal Parade Business. Party on!)

From the Rose Bowl parking lot we head down Orange Grove to Colorado Boulevard ... here's the booth where they'll be talking about the parade tomorrow morning when our moms watch it on TV.

(Yep ... I'm doing fine. Just because I can't see doesn't mean I can't smell, listen and enjoy being part of the adventure!)

Heading down Colorado Blvd. there are lots of people doing lots of things to while away the waiting time for the parade to start Monday morning. Here are some Scrabble playing ladies:

A book reading girl:

Some people are shopping:

And others are snacking. (Not sure what "Bacon Dogs" are but they sure smelled good!)

Then there were the folks taking the opportunity to get some exercise for them and for their dogs. (And no, the irony of the empty Dodger chair after the year of an empty Dodger Stadium was not lost on us or on our moms! One of the things we know is on the "wish list" for 2012 is a better Dodger Blue Year!)

Here's one of our favorites: This guy with a bike that looks like a horse. Love it!

And these two were knitting away in the 80 degree day.

This one was kind of blurry but we're putting it up anyway ... Good Dog! Good Stay!

THESE guys had the right idea ... just back-it-up and spread out!

Not sure where these people are but looks like they're ready. (Hope this still feels like at good idea at 3am!)

Most creative seat-saver award goes to this blow up lady saving seats in front of Pasadena City College.

And then there's this real-live seat-saving girl with her faithful seat-saving dog for company. (Yeah, the look kinda bored, don't they? HEY! Over Here! Happy New Year!!)

And no pre-parade parade down Colorado Boulevard would be complete with the "Make Jesus Look Bad" picketers. These guys kind of make our moms nuts. Seriously ... haven't Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann done enough to embarass Jesus this year? Give it a rest, guys!

And here we are ... on the home stretch now with our new BFF Andrea ... who has been a real trooper about sharing the back seat with our wiggly selves!

So it's a wrap ... another pre-parade parade in the books! And from our house to yours, we just want to say ... HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL ...

... and to all a GOOD NIGHT!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

New Year -- New Possibilities!

h/t friend Bob Phibbs: Bill Watterson retired Calvin & Hobbes on New Year's Eve 1995 with this wonderful strip so relevant to New Year's day 2012:

And Boy Howdy, it makes me feel old to realize that was 17 years ago! It was the sermon illustration that Sunday by Barbara Mudge at St. Francis in Simi Valley as she prepared to retire in the New Year!

Happy New Year ... !!!