"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Two Things To Note (moved)

I recall when the diocese, not so much as a full year ago, was exploring its options. The option presented by those who are against realignment was that we would all stay in the Episcopal Church and "build a firewall" around our parishes and diocese to shield it from the goings on at 815. Of course, the reason that argument didn't fly then was that we had been doing that for quite some time and it wasn't a long term solution. But more and more, post realignment, I am saddened to see that the very people who then encouraged a "firewall" are consulting with 815, praising the words and actions of those who would have destroyed firewalls, and conspiring with the ones who would readily sue those of us who have loved these folks and still do.

My second observation comes on a more cheerful note, though. We had our first post-realignment clergy gathering today and it all felt so very unfettered! Thanks be to God for laughter, friendship, future, and encouragement. We also got a brief and welcomed visit from Bishop Iker, who it was my delight to meet for the first time. Please pray for their convention in November as the diocese of Fort Worth considers similar measures to what Pittsburgh has adopted.

Of course the link between these to observations is the link of fellowship. Who do you support wholly? Who is on your team? Who is part of the body? And how do you celebrate and uphold those people. Sometimes who we love comes dangerously close to defining us. How we carry out that love, quite often rightly reveals what is at our core.

I am reading some remarkable stuff in Simon Chan's book Liturgical Theology about the nature of the church as the body of Christ and the nature of the Eucharist. In short, Chan quotes the addage "you are what you eat." This of course made me chuckle, but his point is well taken; we are the body of Christ because the sacrament of the Eucharist is a means of grace by which we are transformed into active participants in the Incarnational ministry of the Church, of Christ himself. I was reflecting on the garden of Eden, when he snake tells Eve that "you will be like God" and he's right. Eve was already like God, of course, made in God's image. That won't change, though the image comes to be deeply marred, after the fall, so on that level the snake does not lie, he only neglects to point out where she is like God already. And yet, through Christ's sacrifice we are again restored to that which Eve lost, and we are made like God, incarnational, knowing good (despite knowing evil also) and able to take part in all that is good and holy and eternal. Man was not made for evil and sin, sickness and death, but in Christ we are redeemed from that and once again made like God, able to commune with God and take part in his plan of divine grace in the world. That's pretty amazing stuff.

I guess this is where the anti-communions of so many modern hip re-imaging liturgies is most spiritually dangerous. For if you are what you eat, if a sacrament transforms us in real and tangible ways, then a false sacrament, a mockery, a self-serving liturgy must also transform us. Hmm... food for thought. (dreadful pun inteneded)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sometimes its good to hear someone else say it. (moved)

Since this book (Inside American Education) was published in 1993, I will clearly have to credit the author, Thomas Sowell, for being ahead of his time. But he said it. What needed to be said. What still needs to be said, but unfortunately will never really be heard by the people who need most to hear it. Well, let me just give you the quote, then we can talk about it:

"If you have no right to disapprove, then your approval means nothing. It may indeed be distressing to someone to have you express your opinion that his lifestyle is disgusting and his art, music, or writing is crude, shallow, or repugnant, but unless you are free to reach such conclusions, any praise you bestow is hollow and suspect. To say that A has a right to B's approval is to say that B has no right to his own opinion."

Or another quote I saw somewhere and will paraphrase, and I'm sorry I can't recall the attribution: equality is permanently at odds with liberty. In other words, in a free society, you can't guarantee that everyone will be treated equally. All men are indeed created equal, but they won't have equal pay, equal housing, equal education. All men are equal, but all lives will never be. And where society forces all lives to be equal, we have seen that all freedom is lost and humanity becomes yet another interchangeable part in the great system.

Equality is actually pretty unfair, too. Imagine that I should treat each of my children equally. My mother tried to do this and I was often held back from a freedom until my little brother was old enough to handle it, too. My own boys are so spread apart in age that such a scheme would be doomed to failure, and there are many tantrums as my youngest seeks equality with the eldest, which in fairness he cannot have as it would endanger his safety.

Life isn't equal. Freedom means the right to disapprove. Will my favor mean anything to you if it is forced? Would you want me as a friend if you knew my loyalty was not genuine? Would you rather be equal or would you rather be free?

I had a friend in college who got a lot of flack (to the extent that there was major public forum to address the issue) and outright hatred because he dared stand up against "affirmative action" and as an aside he also owned a Confederate flag. He knew the flag stood for states' rights, freedom... but so few in our culture think it stands for anything good and consider it a racist emblem. People hated him because he dared speak out as Sowell (who by the way is black) spoke in his book. My friend did not have the right to his opinion because it was on the censored list.

But there are others who will demand our approval anyway. These are the ones who lightly use the term racist for anyone not voting for Obama (give me a break! I would gladly have voted for Alan Keys!), who accuse women like me who question feminism of betraying womankind, who throw around words like heterosexist, homophobic, anti-choice, and intolerant as if they were candy at a Macy's parade.

I don't want my youngest to ever wonder whether he got admitted to a college because he's a "student of color." (What the heck does that mean anyway?) I recall wondering if I had been accepted to my own undergraduate school to help balance out the geographic distribution (there were few students from my home state, and being a woman, I surely got the extra nudge at my liberal college.) I want all my kids to earn their merits. I don't want my non-minority sons to resent others for maybe getting a little extra preference any more than a minority parent should want their children to think they needed the extra preference.

I can't deny that the equal rights movement has given us a lot of wonderful benefits. Thanks to the work of our forebears, a woman like me can receive as good an education as a man. My Korean born son will never have to be told "we don't serve your kind here" or called "yellow" (cringe!). I don't have to choose my neighborhood by race, my social circles can be ethnically mixed, I can enjoy a variety of ethnic foods and cultural opportunities right here in my hometown, and we do acknowledge indeed that all men are created equal.

We can enjoy all of that, but unless we sacrifice our freedom, we cannot enforce it. (And should we enforce it, we will no longer enjoy it, I can assure you.) I read a while back that in Britain, parents were flagged for possible child abusing racists if their kids said "Yuck" when forced to try ethnic foods. Well in a free society, my kids (who regularly eat Asian, Indian, Mexican, and all manner of European cuisine) have a right to say yuck... except when I cook it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Treat (moved)

It's rare, even for someone like me who spends a lot of time in churches, to visit a church and think "that was a treat." Well I did today. I found a little church where I was older than the average person in the congregation. I'm serious, the average age was clearly under thirty. And yet the service wasn't the typical "seeker sensitive" watered down claptrap that people think draws in the "younger" generations. It was Evening Prayer, done right, no frills (and you all know I do love frills) but full of tradition, theology, liturgy, wonder, and a sense of genuine peacefulness.

And the sermon was, of all things, about adoption and how God adopts us as sons and heirs. I could almost anticipate the preacher's next sentence so many times. He clearly just gets it; when it comes to the faith, our place, our calling, our tradition... some people get it. And can articulate it. And when that happens the funniest quirks come out. Like when he said he didn't care for the second verse in Away In The Manger... a throw-away comment, I guess... except that I don't care for it either. And for the same reason. (The idea that baby Jesus, "no crying he makes, " is anti-incarnational, now don't you think? And a bit silly, for anyone who has ever known any babies.) You get in a groove with people like that, they become like old friends very early in the relationship.

And he didn't just get it with Christianity, God, Scripture and Tradition... he got it with adoption too. Even though the priest isn't an adoptive parent, he got it. Groovy.

The only thing I didn't like was the commute, so I guess it'll be a while before I get back there. Bummer. But it reminded me of something. It really doesn't matter if you have smells and bells (though I still like them, crave them)... what matters it that you worship with integrity, the kind of worship that comes from really understanding, really getting it.

For the curious... the church can be found at http://graceanglicanonline.com/

Friday, October 17, 2008

I found this while cleaning out some archives. Don't forget to sing along... tastefully. (moved)

To give correct attribution: This was apparently posted (originally or at least some time ages ago) on Kendall Harmon's blog, TitusOneNine.


A Tribute to Anglo-Catholics
(tune: Aurelia: The Church's One Foundation)

Our church is mighty spikey with smells and bells and chants,
And Palestrina masses that vex the Protestants.
O happy ones and holy who fall upon their knees
For solemn Benediction and mid-week Rosaries.

Though with a scornful wonder men see our clergy, dressed
In rich brocaded vestments as slowly they process;
Yet saints their watch are keeping lest souls be set alight
Not by the Holy Spirit, but incense taking flight.

Now we on earth have union with Lambeth, not with Rome,
Although the wags and cynics may question our true home;
But folk masses and bingo can't possibly depose
The works of Byrd and Tallis, or Cranmer's stately prose.

(Here shall the organist modulate)

So let the organ thunder, sound fanfares "en chamade";
Rejoice, for we are treading where many saints have trod;
Let peals ring from the spire, sing descants to high C,
Just don't let your elation disrupt the liturgy.

Avignon Standing Committees (moved)

The current nonsense in which the Diocese of Pittsburgh removes one member from the Standing Committee (after all, he's expressed his intent to withdraw from the diocese and rejoin the American Province of the Episcopal Church) who then declares himself the only true member of the standing committee and appoints two more to join him, really reminds me of the competing papacies in the middle ages. Remember that from your history classes? There were, at one point, as many as three Popes who had all excommunicated one another and everyone that followed the other popes. But nobody cared because each considered their own pope to be the only legitimate one. This seems to be how things are going now in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. The rump diocese thinks its the only one... and you can tell which diocese of Pittsburgh I see as the only legitimate one. There is not even a way of talking about one another without declaring where one stands, without declaring one or the other illegitimate. There can only be one Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.

In the end the excommunications, or at least the depositions, will come. Of course the words are empty, they won't effect anyone's ministry. For me, to be deposed by 815 is about the same to me as being deposed by the Mormons... so what. Perhaps if we can remember that it is mostly institutions that throw those empty words, and they're thrown to cover institutional rear ends... but aside from a few individuals who have chosen to make institutional rear ends of themselves, most of the people who are caught up in all this on both sides are just people, living out their convictions (or at worst their strategies), and in no way are these folks now different from when they were just the priests in the next town over with whom we enjoyed passing a pleasant hour of socal conversation.

In the end, the Avignon popes faded out... and everyone who excommunicated one another had to learn to live in the same body again. In the end, the Roman Catholic Church got things back in right order. Perhaps that is hopeful news for us.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Cool! (moved)

In grocery news, (why am I so on about groceries (or as my youngest pronounces them: gwofies?) the Japanese win the award for drowning the mundane with cleverness. These, my friends, are bar codes!

Yup, functioning, kind of cute, definitely clever, bar codes. So are these:


With whimsy like that... forget it all, I'm moving to Japan. Just as soon as I learn to read Japanese.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Not sure what to title this (I've changed it several times) (moved)

Searching on the web for something entirely different, I happened to stumble across my own little article entitled "A Case for Leaving the Episcopal Church." As the search turned up my own name, it drew my eye, obviously. I found a few things interesting:

First, that that little bit of mental meandering has circulated so far outside of the diocese of Pittsburgh as to be picked up by Anglicans United and some blog out of the diocese of Central New York, both of which republished it without my knowledge, though with proper credit (or blame, depending on the reader's perspective). The Central New York version is what popped up in my search, though someone had pointed me to Anglicans United a while ago and I was aware of that one.

Second, I found it interesting that someone at least read the thing and commented on the Central New York site. But what was most intriguing of all was the content of some of those comments. I was accused, presumably because I find my own call to holy orders to be less important than the good of the Church, of "internalized misogeny" wherein supposedly I hate myself for being a woman because somewhere along the lines some man must have told me to. More interesting, of course, was that the writer, whose condescending tones were impossible to miss, was a male. The debate, between two men I have never met, went on for a bit as they tried to argue with one another about how they seemed to assume I felt.

Have we truly fallen so far? Gentlemen (and ladies, wherever you may be) I do not need your psychologizing. I have chosen not to be a priest and cling lightly to my diaconal calling not because I think my feminity anything less. I do so because the so called brave pioneers of women's priesting were acting in ungodly rebellion with no regard to the good of the body which as priests they should be bound to protect. Every woman priest who is ordained in the Episcopal Church (and believe me I know several good ones) unwittingly participates in that act of rebellion. I cannot, in good faith, be part of that. That's not the only reason I remain a deacon, but it is perhaps one of the most immovable. I would welcome a re-evaluation of the nature of women's orders because I really do believe it is allowable (and therefore women in orders have nothing to fear from re-evaluating) and I also believe that to separate so dramatically from the rebellious beginning is the only way to remove the stain of those actions from women's ministry. In other words, women in orders have nothing to lose and everything to gain in so doing.

In the end, women's ordination remains an issue. Once the dust settles on the current divide, we will find ourselves in communion with folks who by and large cannot accept our ordained women, priests and (to a lesser extent) deacons. How we respond to those folks, who in the case of the Southern Cone-- I've said it before and I'll say it again-- really have gone above and beyond the call of duty in accepting Pittsburgh, girls and all. (Gracias, beloved Archbishop!), really will define the future of the Anglican Communion.

Where am I going with this? I don't know. Perhaps it is just a way of responding to the murmur I seem to have sparked. Perhaps it is a way of expressing my mild disgust with it all. Mostly I guess it's just food for thought.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

An Observation (moved)

This summer, as I walked out of the ladies' room at the library at Nashotah House, I couldn't help but notice a sign on the door of the men's room that said something like "please do not take library books beyond this point." It made me wonder if there had been issues with students taking books into the bathroom where they could of course be damaged by water, until I turned around and looked back at the ladies' room door and found no such sign. I had to chuckle; I guess women aren't as notorious for bathroom reading.

That was a little silly amusement, until tonight. I split my research between Nashotah's library and Trinity School for Ministry's library... and tonight at Trinity's library, on my way to the ladies' room I passed a door wih a sign on it that said "No library materials beyond this point." On second look I noticed that yes, the door was for the men's room. And no, there was no equivalent sign on the ladies' room.



So guys, particularly those of you at Anglican seminaries... you seem to be getting a reputation.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

(moved)

What on God's dirtly little planet is with this:
""If you're the kind of person who types tipsy and regrets it in the morning, Google's "Mail Goggles," a new test-phase feature in the free Gmail service, might save you some angst.
The Goggles can kick in late at night on weekends. The feature requires you to solve a few easy math problems in short order before hitting 'send.'" (http://kdka.com/watercooler/google.mail.goggles.2.834759.html)

AND this:
"So you think junior is a little too lead-footed when he drives the family car? Starting next year, Ford Motor Co. will give you the power to do something about it.
The company will roll out a new feature on many 2010 models that can limit teen drivers to 80 mph, using a computer chip in the key.
Parents also have the option of programming the teen's key to limit the audio system's volume, and to sound continuous alerts if the driver doesn't wear a seat belt." (http://kdka.com/consumer/ford.computer.cars.2.833552.html)

Have we finally become a culture of people who are totally incapable of self regulating? We now need our email to tell us when we're too tippled to type and our cars to tell us how to drive them? Ford goes on about "our message to parents is..." blah blah... what about your message to kids? I'm sorry but if my kid can't self regulate, he can't drive. Someday he has to leave my home and figure out how to set his own limits and I want him to learn that skill while he is growing up, not get thrown out in the world to figure it out.

What next, a pillow that tells me when to got to bed? an oven that tells me when to eat? a telephone that tells me when to stop running my mouth? A blog account that shuts off when my entries are lous

Monday, October 6, 2008

(moved)

Saturday has been described as a sad and glorious day. But perhaps, not so glorious. In reflection, it seems to me that what we have done, in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, is admitted that we are failures, we have admitted defeat. For thirty years (less for some of us, more for others) we have struggled to to reform the church, to call it to Christ, to return the bride to her Lord. We have failed. We are now dead to them, we can never undo our failure.

On Sunday my parish voted that they would remain in the Episcopal Church, USA. On a personal level, they have voted that I, too, am a failure. It is all lost. Sure the mission was impossible. Sure the time was short. Sure the tools were few. That does not negate the failure. Failure has no excuse to redeem it. It simply is.

There is wisdom in failure. When do we admit defeat, when do we choose to fight again. In Pittsburgh this weekend we admit defeat. This is a sad day, not at all glorious.

For ourselves, we are hopeful. For the Southern Cone we are thankful. I have no doubt in my mind that we did the right thing on Saturday. But in what we set out to do, we are failures.

The Gospel is that the Church is for failures. Every day we set our feet on the path to holiness. Every day we fail. Every new day we arise to fight again, for we cannot admit defeat when Christ has promised to make us victorious. But we must accept his terms, not doing so is the sin of the church we've failed. So Jesus save us, perfect us, for you have brought us very low indeed.

To my brothers and sisters who have not yet admitted defeat: May God bless you in the fight.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Final Sermon (moved)

Note: This sermon was given this morning to a congregation determined to rush headlong into a world of cultural psuedo-christianity which will eventually be the end of their existence as a congregation. They know this. There is a marked final attempt at innoculation going on here, along with some exegesis, an undertone which admits to my own failure there and a sentimental farewell.

*************************************************************

There were a number of different groups in the early church who claimed to have the true teaching of the Christian faith. Every group claimed to be Christian, and sometimes they sounded pretty good. Paul wrote the majority of his letters either because there were disagreements within a believing church or because one or more of these groups was luring a local church towards a false gospel. Paul gets the short end of the stick in modern liberal scholarship. They accuse him of inventing his own religion, hating women, hating homosexuals, being hard-hearted and basically a jerk. I know a lot of people who won’t read Paul or try to argue that Jesus said one thing and Paul said another.

But if you take the time to get to know Paul, you’ll meet a man who tried to do nothing more than follow Jesus and love him and make him known far and wide. Paul is driven by his own sense of sinfulness. He knows what damage he did to the church when he was a Jew, how he persecuted the Christians. He knows he’s unworthy of any favor from God, but that God redeemed him anyway, through no merit of Paul’s. He knows that he has been blessed with a responsibility to share the good news of Christ Jesus, and he moves mountains to do just that. For the sake of the Church, he leaves his home, goes on three long and dangerous voyages, is beaten, shipwrecked three times, arrested, tried, run out of town, accused, lashed with whips. Eventually he’s even executed.

And even in today’s short reading, we see something of this Paul. He’s not a hard hearted man, though he must often be firm with those he instructs. He never fails to send them warm greetings, he tells the churches he misses them and that he will come to see them as soon as he is able. In today’s reading he tells the Philippians about some of those false teachers who are trying to sway the church away, but he does not do so with arrogance, rather he tells them with tears. He is not afraid to admit that he is shedding tears over the souls of those who would lead the church astray. Perhaps he is recalling God’s word that those who presume to teach will be judged more harshly, and those who lead the little ones astray may as well have a millstone around their necks and be thrown into the sea. Paul grieves over the fate of the enemies of the Gospel. This is no hard man.

Paul is warning the Philippians about a group whose heresy is what we now call antinomianism. It’s a large word, but if you take it apart it make sense. Anti, you can probably guess, means agaisnt. The rest of the word is rooted in the Greek word nomos which means "law". In other words, antinomianism believes there is no law, no rules, your behavior doesn’t matter in the least. Jesus saves you, but you don’t have any duty to amend you life. It takes the idea that we’re saved through no merit of our own, a right and good belief, and doubles it back in an unhealthy way. It is, what the apostle James calls faith without works, and that, he says is "dead."

Christians throughout time have fallen prey to antinomianism. False teachers arise telling people, as the gnotsics of the early church said, that the physical world is worthless so it doesn’t matter what you do with your body. Do whatever you want. Others have said that since Jesus fufilled the law, it is now totally irrelevant, and they pick and choose sections of Paul’s writing (while ignoring the whole meaning of those passages, tossing out the importance of reading his words in context, which we discussed last week) to try to prove their wrong-headed point. But Paul himself says that though we are not saved by our merit, indeed we are saved by God’s gracious work alone, "should we then sin more so that grace may abound? By no means!" Instead we are instructed to work out our faith with fear and trembling.

Paul’s letter to the Philippians offers us an image of what those who do not try to amend their lives to please God will come to be like. He says their god is their belly. Their own appetites are what they worship. They believe that if they want something, even if it’s bad for them or against God’s will, they should go get it. Things that are shameful, behaviors that should considered to be repugnant and mortifying become their pride and joy. Parade your sins and fallen nature in the streets! Be proud! Though God should be their only glory, they glorify in their shame and sin. But Paul says of these people, their end is their own destruction. Their mind is on earthly things, things which will pass away. There is nothing eternal or good or healthy awaiting those who put their stock in this fallen world. Self-esteem may be the modern necessity, we think it is vital that we feel good about ourselves at all costs. The cult of the self-esteem god is just another disguise for antinomianism.

But we are to be different. We are not to put our stock in things that are passing away… our citizenship is in heaven. We know that we need to be saved from this sinful world, not revel in it. And our savior is coming to us from the kingdom we are destined to inherit, the kingdom of heaven. And he is the one who has the power to bring everything, our sin and shame, our temptation and suffering, the world and all that is in it, under his control. Our lowly sinful bodies will be restored, free from temptation, sin, degradation and rot. Our lowly sinful bodies will be victorious and made like him, glorious and holy.

Modern antinomianism can sound appealing. I’m okay and you’re okay. Live and let live. But the Gospel says I’m not okay and neither are you. As nice and friendly as it may sometimes sound, all this modern heresy will get you is, well, to quote a song from the 1990’s… the band They Might Be Giants (a secular group, if you’re curious) is spot on when they sang "we were once so close to heaven, Peter came out and gave us medals, declaring us the nicest of the damned."

Those who follow the antinomians make the life of the Christian sound onerous. To them we are the people who don’t do what they see as good and fun. And it is true that we don’t glory in their shameful glory. But the task is not an onerous one. The famous Christian theologian, Deitrich Bonhoeffer, said it this way: Only the man who follows the command of Jesus single-mindedly, and unresistingly lets his yoke rest upon him, finds his burden easy, and under its gentle pressure receives the power to persevere in the right way. The command of Jesus is hard, unutterably hard, for those who try to resist it. But for those who willingly submit, the yoke is easy, and the burden is light.

And so we come, as A.A.Milne said in his Winnie the Pooh books, to the end, and it’s time to say goodbye. If you recall those lovely stories, Pooh Bear asks can’t we just go back to the beginning and start over? Would that we could. I hope, in all these months, I have left you with something good, a better sense of our God, a little growth in the right direction. I told Maxine last week that I had wanted oh so much more for this little church. My heart is heavy to say goodbye. This week a dear friend posted this poem on her blog. She felt it appropriate to the current issues in the Episcopal Church… I shall close by sharing it with you, for here also it is fitting.

If Everything is Lost, by Dom Julian

If everything is lost, thanks be to God
If I must see it go, watch it go,
Watch it fade away, die
Thanks be to God that He is all I have.
And if I have Him not, I have nothing at all.
Nothing at all, only a farewell to the wind
Farewell to the grey sky
Goodbye, God be with you, evening October sky.
If all is lost, thanks be to God,
For He is He, and I, I am only I.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

(moved)

Words from a friend outside of the Pittsburgh diocese..."watching the brave but dignified way this played out in Pgh"... Made me smile, and I thought all of you on both sides of the issue should hear that comment.

Top Ten Moments at Pittsburgh's Convention (as I experienced it) (moved)

10. Fr. JG's reminder that wherever you go you'll always be my friend.
9. Excitement at lunch over Dcn. RS's call to support the sanctity of life.
8. Fr. AK's warm greeting (and other reunions with far flung friends who are still canonically resident in da Burgh.)
7. Fr. JM's grace under constant fire.
6. Bp. RD (okay, we all know who he is!) beaming as we applauded him and then reminding us by joyful hand jestures (over the applause) to give the glory to God.
5. Fr. BR, a friend "Across the Aisle" asking me for a "He's still my bishop" button, and assuring me that our friendship won't change after the vote (as if I had doubts).
4. DP at the organ for opening Eucharist.
3. The tension and then respectful quiet as the results of the realignment vote were announced.
2. Receiving my license from the Southern Cone. (And hugs and greetings of 'buenos dias' among realigned friends afterwards!)
1. Cn. MH.... "Pittsburgh Babe", breaking the tension just when it most needed to be broken. :)


Okay, receiving my license was actually number one, but David Letterman would not be pleased if I didn't save the Pittsburgh Babe zinger for number one. M may have been a bit embarrassed but she handled it well and the laughter was a total gift from God.

And to misuse a quote from Lewis Grizzard, I'll end by saying, "I'm American by birth and Southern (Cone) by the grace of God!"

Buenos Dias (moved)

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, along with this somewhat pitiful tired deacon, have taken our leave of the Episcopal Church and have realigned to the Province of the Southern Cone. It was a very bittersweet time. A lot of people asked me if I was okay during the convention. I guess I looked like heck. 2.5 hours of sleep will do that. I admit, I'm an insomniac and had it bad the night before. I think I was a little doom cloud through the first half of convention, at least until the break.

After the resolution passed, some deputations got up and walked out. But on the whole the mood was hopeful. Now that I'm home, it feels like I'm somehow older and a bit worn down. Maybe that also is the after effects of the insomnia.

At any rate, I am now part of a province I can at least pronounce if I have the words in front of me but can't remember on my own in its proper language. The extent of my pathetic Spanish is camping happily in the subject line. I expect, with differing opinions on women priests, this will be a learning curve for all involved. But the work is no doubt worth it, the tired feeling is a small price to pay.

I look forward to being able to pray regularly "For Greg, our Archbishop" among the prayers of the people. And to the clergy and people of the Southern Cone, who have so graciously accepted us as their northern-most outpost... Gracias.