Category Archives: Uncategorized

12 Days of Christmas: Day 3

My brother & sister-in-law are here from Hotlanta for the New Year, so things are gonna be quite busy in my universe these next few days. Best Dude has to work this morning, so I’m hanging out with mi familia.

This morning my Dad, brother & I went to the gym. It was really nice to ork out with my family & I wish my brother et al lived closer t us so e could enjoy more such mornings. I worked my arms & shoulders today & I know I shall feel the fruits of my laboring in the gym this evening when I try to relax & settle in .

Best Dude & I will watch the second part of the Christiane Amanpour special_Back to the Beginning_ on ABC this evening. We are very much looking forward to this show.

The weather here on the Gulf Coast has surely been ” wintry”. We woke to a thin layer of frost on Best Dude’s truck.

Merry Christmas, every one!

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Feed My Sheep

Anyone who knows me knows how much I dislike our never-ending hot summers here in Florida.

Best Dude & I are watching my parents’ Labrador Retriever, Casey this week while Parental Units are in Pittsburgh this week. Brother & his wife arrive tomorrow afternoon , so after church I’ll need to clean The Homestead in preparation for their summer visit. I am hoping that the weather gets better in time for their visit—it has been rainy, humid and YUCKY here since the Parental Units left for their annual Burgh Visit.

But the long summer we have here has its perks, and one of those perks is Pensacola’s monthly ” Gallery Night”.

Last evening Best Dude & I met some friends downtown for the monthly Pensacola block party known as ” Gallery Night” Our priest is a bass player in a band,and the band was featured as part of the festivities last evening. I must admit that pizza & mixed alcoholic drinks are NOT part of my healthy-eating plan ut I’ve learned that it is fine to deviate from healthy eating on occasion. :O)

Anyhow, I FINALLY got to meet a Facebook friend of mine whose work I greatly admire. Father Nathan Monk is an Orthodox priest in town who has started and maintained a ministry to feed homeless other very poor people in the city. Fr Monk has received several sanctions from the City government–but nothing stops this young man of God from doing exactly what Jesus would want His followers to do. Father Monk was at Gallery night with his now-famous ” FEED THE POOR ” sign and was selling handmade rosaries to help further his mission work with Pensacola’s most needy. I’ve wanted to meet Fr Monk since I first read about him & his ministry in the local newsrag & was delighted to meet him in person and shake his hand.

In the aftermath of my own branch of the Church’s general Convention, meeting Fr Monk reminded me again that we are , above all else, supposed to serve others . This world is full of hurting & needy people{ and many right near where we make our comfortable homes} who are truly poverty-stricken. Fr Monk’s sig ” FEED THE POOR” was a stark reminder to me that the Church isn’t about polity & politics.

The wake of some of the actions voted upon at The Episcopal Church’s 77th triennial General Convention has caused a media blitz that is causing many Church members sorrow. While I recognize their deeply felt pain, at the same time our Church{ and any church in Christendom} is first and foremost about following Jesus & doing what he would do. If I had my wish, I’d remove ALL social politics from the life of the institutional Church so that we and our leaders can focus more on what Our Lord wans us to do regarding loving Him and loving our neighbors as ourselves.

Why don’t we discuss more about how to feed hungry ” sheep” rather than build socioidealogical barriers between our fellow & sister Christians?

Stop the Fighting. Lets Work on UNITING!

Amen.

Day 10:It is finished{ General Convention 77 , that is..}

General Convention #77 is over.

I saw a Facebook post from my friend “Spankey , who served as a clergy deputy to this GC{ and to whom I owe a debt of gratitude for keeping we Episco-geeks in the know of the GC happenings.THANK YOU!} The deputies & bishops are all returning to their own dioceses tonight or tomorrow. although I only experienced GC77 vicariously via the Internet, it was also a life-changing step in my personal faith journey. I’ve met several fine ” tweeps” from GC { as well as using my Twitter account more than I’ve ever used it since I reluctantly signed up}

I’ve prayed a lot–mostly I’ve prayed { and will continue to pray} for our Church universal. This General Convention made some historic { and I believe important} inroads to be truly inclusive & for that I applaud our GC. But some of these resolutions that passed both houses in GC are & will continue to be controversial for our Church. Mostly I’ve prayed for unity & a continued discussion of these controvesial resolutions. Only time will tell.

Yesterday I saw that the local newsrag ran a very short, generic Associated Press piece on one of the resolutions passed. The newsrag failed to contact our Bishop for an accurate explanation on how this decision will affect parishes in this Diocese. The national & International news media were no better–if not worse in their slanted & inaccurate misinformation regarding this particular resolution.

I am PROUD of our Deputation & Bishop for representing us this triennium. From what my FB friends & tweeps who were there reported daily, GC is a grueling fe days of meetings, presentations and { of course} worship. We are blessed to be par of a Church who allows for persons of all orders{ laity, deacon, priest & bishop} to participate in the democratic decision making

Day 6 and 7: About Primates

No, I am not discussing monkeys & other furry bipeds here. The bishop in charge of a particular church within the Anglican Communion is called a primate . {Prime= first}

In today’s Episcopal News Service report from GC77, it said that the deputies passed a resolution allowing for future Presiding Bishops to also maintain his or her position of diocesan bishop during the nine-year term as Presiding Bishop.

I cannot understand why this was passed nor the logic associated with wanting to adopt this practice. But since this resolution will never affect MY life n the Church, I do not have much to say on this topic.

General Convention worshipped together yesterday with a Mass led & celebrated by our current Presiding Bishop, ++Katharine Jefferts-Schori. I heard from a deputy from my diocese that the Mass was wonderful. ++ Katharine’s homily appeared online on the official GC77 website & I read it yesterday afternoon.

Also, the Episcopal Camps & Conference Centers presented ++Katharine & her husband, Richard a ” Hero of CAmping” award . One of the reasons why I adore ++ Katharine is the fact of her committment to a healthy lifestyle full o exercise . I read somewhere that she runs an insane amount of miles EVERY DAY! Wow! Although I am not much of a camping enthusiast, I do love spending days in the Creation that is the outdoors.

In other official convention business, our own Vince C was re-elected to the Church Pension Fund.

My Twitter feed pretty much is *all* about GC77 lately & I’m LOVING being part of this triennial conversation ” from the pews”.

Shalom, y’all.

My pre General Convention thoughts…

Today my bishop sent out 1 email messege to all on the mailing list concerning certain initiatives to be voted upin at General Convention 2012. ( Gee, guess which ones? ) All I can say at this point is that I am proud to be an Episcopalian and stand 100 percent behind my bishop.

I am really not at liberty to discuss General Convention 2012, as I am not a delegate nor do I know anything other than what my bishop stated in his email blurb.

One of the wisest priests I know said that we Anglicans need to remember that we can often find God’s Presence whilst “living in tension”. Maybe its due in part to my ethnic heritage ( my mother is Jewish) but I seeno problem coexisting peacefully with those who are different than myself.

But at the same time, we need to be careful not to become so embattled in fighting “those —– liberals or “the —- conservatives” that we forget to be Christ’s hands &feet here and now.

and it rained…..

I’m stuck inside this evening, with nothing worth watching on TV, so I might as well update my readers on what has been happening to me.

I don’t want to watch netflix, ither. Until my new eyeglasses arrive, I need to carefully monitor how much time I spend staring at screens.

Let me preface this by saying how much I HATE STORMS! back in 2004 Northwest Florida suffered through Hurricane Ivan, one of the most devastating natural disasters I’ve experienced in my 30-something years. less than 12 months later Hurricane Dennis visited us & my township took a direct hit.

I know that the national media blows each & every tropical disturbance out-of-proportion.

Yeah. I hate storms.

Gentiles are Welcome here….

{ Mark 24-37}

We read a lot in the Gospels about the relationship between Jews & Gentiles. Apparently the two groups did not like each other much.

Today’s Gospel, once again, has Jesus working against the ” norm” . He is Jewish, yet when the Gentile woman came to Him for healing of her daughter, he looked beyond the cultural difference between ” His” people ” those” Gentiles.

American politics is messed up, in my opinion, because too many people only want to advance the agenda of “their” people Rather than work together to try to accomplish what is best for our great nation as a whole, politics as it is now focuses of divisions & not what unites.

This is an election year, so the media are throwing politics into my face. I am sick of it. Inasmuch as I am a CNN junkie, dring election years I keep the TV news off as much as possible. I. Hate. Politics!

Each election cycle wearies me of bickering between Republicans & Democrats. Even if I did claim an affinity with one of the two major political parties{thanks be to God, I do not!} all the ” us versus them” mentality of American politics is tiresome.

In the time in which Jesus lived, Gentiles & Jews shared nothing in common but the land where they lived. But He taught unity in a diided cultre &we can gleam much from that lesson now.

Amen.

Who will stop the rain?

“And I wonder/still I wonder/ Who will stop the rain?” ~ CCR

Seriously though, today’s Gospel lesson has Jesus & His disciples in the middle of a storm at sea.

Ever since I’ve lived in Northwest Florida, I’ve been acutely aware of the power of moving water. Unless one has been through at least one hurricane, one really has no clue how destructive this otherwise life-giving chemical compound that we know as * water* can become.

I bet those disciples were scared during that storm. They were in an open sailing vessel in the middle of the sea. Wind & rain were everywhere & those waves were huge! And to make matters worse,their rabbi is SLEEPING through this storm.

Pay careful attention to what Jesus says to His disciples after he calms the stormy sea.

He says: “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”

All of us face occasional ” storms” of some sort in life. It is never always”smooth-sailing ” . But we, like the first followers of Our Lord Jesus Christ, ned to remind ourselves that JESUS is the One on Whom we can count on to steer or lives safely through metaphorical and literal stormy weather.

Thanks be to God.

You with ears–LISTEN!

Today’s Gospel lesson is the beginning of the series of parables that Our Lord teaches.

Parables are not meant to be taken literally, and I am often amazed at how many of our sister & other Christians interpret these stories

After all, in today’s Gospel, Jesus tells His disciples: “Let anyone with ears listen.” We are supposed to glean something from within the parables, bot necessarily * just* by looking at these passages at face-value.

Listen. What do these parables say to YOU.

Amen.

Family affair

Today’s Gospel lesson has me thinking about ” family”..

I am fortunate to have the best family-of-origin in addition to an excellent extended family. But like all families, sometimes we quarrel.  We are all individuals & none of us are perfect. But since we share DNA, it is expected that we get along & { yes} even love each other.

The same is true for the Christian ” family”. We are ALL part of the Family of God & need to get better at treating each other as such.  No matter what branch { denomination} of Christ’s family we claim, we are ALL siblings-in-Christ.

It makes me sad to see Christians of different denominations fighting amongst ourselves & it totally breaks my heart to see inter-denominational bickering. Some of the wost{at least in my opinion} of such inter-denominatioal bickering  deals with who may receive Holy Communion at Mass.

It is my very firm opinion that the Holy Sacrament should * not* be denied any baptized Christian who comes to the Table seeking it.  Holy Communion is not & should not be used as a spiritual ploy to force the faithful to submit to theauthority of one such person or branch of Christianity.

 The word “catholic”= ” universal’.

Amen.