Sunday, March 30, 2008

Pictures from Diocesan Convention

Here are a few of the photos from the convention on Saturday.

Installation of Bishop Jerry
Our new Bishop Lamb pledges to take care of his flock
Women Priests!
Our new Bishop
The PB

There was a huge collection of vestments and other donated items from parishes across the United States and elsewhere--parishes and missions in need could help themselves. Midway through the day there were still piles left...

Truly a big tent! This is where the coffee and refreshments were served and where we ate lunch.

The inside of the lovely chapel at St. John's, Lodi

The PB signs Fresno Mark's book

An Episcodog named Molly Moo

Molly Moo and Sophie frolic on the lawn at St. John's

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Father Jake told us to go to sleep

So I will post pix from the Convention tomorrow. Thank you all for your prayers. Good night!

Look down, O Lord, from your heavenly throne, and illumine this night with your celestial brightness; that by night as by day your people may glorify your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Visit this place, O Lord, and drive far from it all snare of the enemy; let your holy angels dwell with us to preserve us in peace; and let your blessing be upon us always; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Friday, March 28, 2008

San Joaquin Special Diocesan Convention

San Joaquin Diocesan Convention update

We are now comfortably ensconced in the Best Western I-5 Inn at Lodi, having returned from the Reception, Healing Service, and Q and A Session at St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Stockton (not too far from Lodi...).

We arrived a bit late due to a fire drill that kept us out of our offices on campus (false alarm) and a wrong turn, so we showed up as the reception was winding down—still managed to snag some refreshments. People milled around and greeted each other. I saw the PB from afar. Jan displayed the newly created banner for Grace Episcopal, Bakersfield.

St. Anne’s Church is very lovely! High ceilings, stained glass, my photo is a bit blurry but may give you somewhat of an idea. The placed was starting to fill up and in no time all the pew space was taken. Some nice young lads were bringing in folding chairs and placing them along the outer aisles. I nabbed two for Liam and me. We were pretty far from the front
It was hard to tell numbers but easily 200+: parking overflowed into neighboring streets;

The service was beautiful.
“An Order of Worship for the Evening with Prayers for Healing”:

A short lesson (Matt. 5:14-16)
A prayer for light
The Lucernaria for Easter
Phos Hilaron
Psalm 118 1-18
(these verses seemed especially appropriate:

I called to the LORD in my distress; *
the LORD answered by setting me free.
The LORD is at my side, therefore I will not fear; *
what can anyone do to me?
The LORD is at my side to help me; *
I will triumph over those who hate me.)

Gloria Patri
Luke 24: 1-12
Gloria Patri
Lord’s Prayer
Litany for healing
Prayer attributed to St. Francis.
Then the PB anointed all the priests, and they in turn offered unction to all while hymns were sung.
Then Easter blessings.

Then the Peace.

People just kept on passing the peace for about 5 minutes or so when Father Mark Hall called us back to order. He formally introduced Katharine Jefferts Schori, Bishop Lamb and their spouses, and Bonnie Anderson He made a special presentation of a gift basket of St. Anne’s beers to the PB (“PB Stout”) and to Bonnie Anderson (“Anti-Schism Ale”), quipping that “this church is just a front for a brewery.” He didn’t skip Bishop Lamb however, noting that he will soon get a “key to the sacristy where all the beer is stored.”

Then the Q and A started. The questions were all in the same vein for the most part: what might happen next, what should we do in divided parishes, how should we move forward… for clarification about the HOB vote on the deposition. The PB is a very eloquent speaker. She noted that the vast middle of the Anglican Communion is annoyed that so much time and effort is spend on issues of human sexuality when there are people dying of hunger and disease in our midst.

One person expressed our thanks to the PB, to Bonnie Anderson and to Bishop Lamp for their support. At one point we gave PB a standing ovation.
She later said, “It is you who deserve a standing ovation for your hard work.”

After the Q and A we milled around and talked. I enjoyed a glass of St. Anne’s Porter: a humble little beer, not overly complicated, but smooth and comfortable.

So the big questions whether any of the Standing Committee will show tomorrow. I’ll go out on a limb and say that I think Father Snell and Father Eaton will show up. And I hope they do. We will welcome them back in if they want to be welcomed back in.

In closing, it was an evening marked by optimism, hope, and love. A fitting beginning to the work that continues tomorrow, and a big step toward healing for this battered diocese.

More tomorrow! Pax vobiscum,


Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Now, I know that since it's Monday in Holy Week that Paddy's feast really should be moved, and that some people celebrated his feast day on Saturday, March 15 (a.k.a the Ides of March...)

But I think I will be forgiven if I celebrate today. So I have my Shamrock socks on, and I've decorated my office door with the Wearing of the Green, and we are off in about an hour's time to our local Irish pub to celebrate with our good friends Nora and Bill.

And boy, do we need it! It's been a busy week with the meeting with Bishop Lamb on Friday night (it was so hopeful and joyous and healing--I hope to write about it at greater length, preparations for History Day on campus--we spent all day Saturday with over 500 elementary, junior and senior high school students competing in several categories, and this week of course is no calmer, what with something going on every night.

My Civ students are beginning to panic about Dante papers due on Wednesday (and since many of them didn't even start reading it until now, they are finding it more difficult than they expected). They are starting to feel the full stress of the semester--so lots of activity during my office hours, including several students with personal crises. Pretty exhausting. So, I am looking forward to some downtime!

I wish you and yours a very happy St. Paddy's Day!



Saturday, March 8, 2008

Goodbye, Andy

Yetserday we said goodbye to our dear friend.

Andy was the classic Southern gentleman. He was kind, thoughtful, deliberate, and a man of staunch faith and consummate humility. I was proud to call him my friend.

He had been battling liver cancer for several weeks. When he told Liam and me about the diagnosis, he cautioned us not to tell anyone. He did not even want to have his name on the prayer list, but we were able to persuade him to do so.

His death was utterly unexpected. He had been going through chemotherapy and even though we could tell by the weight loss and by his haggard features that it had taken its toll on him, no one expected his sudden passing. He died in his sleep last Friday.

Yesterday his funeral was held at Holy Family. I was on Altar Guild and ironed the pall that would cover his casket, shedding many a tear as I did so. We have had such wonderful times at their house--I remember especially last Thanksgiving when we brought up a turkey dinner and emptied an astonishing number of bottles of wine as we sat and talked.

Linda Gail, Andy's wife, is an Episcopal priest, although she was not allowed to serve in the Diocese of San Joaquin. She has battled several health issues over the last few years and ironically (and blessedly), as Andy's health deteriorated, Linda Gail's improved. Father Keith, in his graciousness, allowed the former Bishop of San Joaquin to deliver the homily, as he is a close friend of Linda Gail. It was a very comforting homily.

Liam went over to thank Bishop Schofield after the service and they exchanged good wishes. Whatever happens in the future, I will always have a bond with Bishop Schofield--he confirmed me and when I told him I had taken the name of St. Brigit as my confirmation name he approved my choice with several anecdotes of her life. Please pray for Bishop Schofield as he looks to be in very bad health.

Andy, we will miss your gracious presence and comforting ways. Know that you are missed, but we are happy to know your suffering is over. May light perpetual shine upon you, my friend!