Friday, May 29, 2009

Donald Rumsfeld's Exit Strategy OR Is it Raining?

I am sure everyone remembers Donald Rumsfeld.  Ex-Secretary of War Defense.  Remember the brilliant exit strategy he held for getting out of Iraq?  Well, I am growing convinced that I Mr. Rumsfeld went to work for 815.  He is fast asleep at work in a secret bunker beneath the Cathedral, probably in one of the catacombs. There he is plotting the exit strategy for the Episcopal Church for the diocese of San Joaquin, Quincy, Pittsburgh and Fort Worth.  I was told however that he was captured by Mr. Dick Cheney, currently hired as a consultant interrogator for Pete Akinola and Greg Venables.  He has been water boarded until such time as he (Mr. Rumsfeld) gave up the necessary intelligence to discover the real plan for bringing back those parishes and missions that absconded with the family jewels.  The secret plan developed by the effervescent TEC higher-ups is : 

Lets pee in the ear of the laity and tell them it is raining! The Archbishop of Canterbury was interviewed when this information came to light and was quoted as saying"Brilliant! Just Brilliant".  Of course he was drinking a Guinness at the time.  The Presiding Bishop, standing on the deck of her aircraft cathedral, was quoted as saying, "Mission accomplished!".  

That is correct.  Here is the latest.  The diocese of San Joaquin has decided to bring the first parish back from the dead brink of conealonialism and not only celebrate the return but kill off the local parish that has stood by the Episcopal Church during the dark days when there was no bishop, there was no presence, there was nothing but evil bearing down on this Godly and Christian family.  That bears repeating, this parish is slated for destruction (pick as many as apply) because:

1, It owes money;
2, It is a stones throw from the church coming back and has picked up some "heavy hitters" from St. Paul's that may go back;
3, St. Paul's is a "big church" with a grand location;
4, St. Paul's has a continuing day care;
4, the Bishop has decided to take up "temporary" residence there;
5, the Bishop does not understand nor appreciate the trauma this parish has been through;
6, it is easy to do;
7, it requires no thinking;
8, all the above. 

Well, ladies and gentlemen, it is good to know we won!  Whoop de flippin' do! 

By the way, as part of the prisoner exchange we got Rumsfeld back in exchange for a processional cross and a player from Colorado Springs to be named later.  Rumsfeld has since gone to work for the Catholic Church and was last seen in the catacombs of Rome. 

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What Do You Do With A Klondike Bar Talent

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Episcopal Church, we are out of time. We are dying and it appears that no one, not the Anglican Communion, not The Episcopal Church in the United States, not any diocese including "renovating" diocese such as San Joaquin, Pittsburgh, Quincy or Fort Worth cares. Well, the evidence is mounting that there has not been a creative thought in this church since we decided to go to Scotland to have our bishops consecrated. And I might add it appears Scotland is once again out in front.

We have had 50 years of playing the "peacemaker" with a bunch of ninnies that can't think here way of a wet paper bag but can tie up the entire communion with absolute nonsense. We cannot seem to do what is right; accept LGBT persons as full participants in the life of the Episcopal Church; we do not or cannot accept those who have cultures different than ours participate fully in the life of the Episcopal Church; we cannot even seem to build ramps and access to altar rails to allow handicapped persons to fully participate in the life of the church and so we are dying.

You say, "But look at the court cases, we are winning!" Well if you call winning getting a bunch or property back then yep I guess we are. But where is the strategy to bring these parishes back into the Episcopal fold? No one is thinking very creatively. What we have are parishes residing in the same city in the same neighborhoods and neither group can make it on their own so what do we do? We simply do nothing. That is exactly what we have been doing since all this nonsense began way back when. Our strategy is we fight like hell and then we do nothing. Then we say, but look at us we are winning. We are good enough just the way we are so why change? Why move in any direction when we can stand here and look pretty.

Let me put this in very crass, military terms. We are caught in a withering crossfire. The "conealonialists" along with the Moderator and Big Pete are laying down a series of killing crosses that is destroying the Episcopal Church. What have decided to do? Absolutely NOTHING! We are sitting right where we were caught and have been stunned into doing nothing. Now, I do not know about anyone else but sitting in the middle of this kind of firefight leads to but one thing, certain death. We either move or die. Yep, any move is going to cost us dearly, but not moving is going to cost more. So let's get up and get going.

Let me put it into terms the vast majority of those who wear turned around collars can understand. We have buried our two talents. The Master is coming and I do not know about you but I already understand this sermon and I do not want to be around when the Master comes if all we are going to do is say, "But Master, I knew your were a hard taskmaster and I did not want to risk losing my two talents and your wrath."

So, for today two quick thoughts. First, one does not grow if one does not accept people where they are. Let's make a stand and let everyone know that we are not about kicking people out of the church we are about bringing people into the church. We want everyone to know that everyone is warmly and actively accepted into the Episcopal Church. That means the handicapped, those with different languages and cultures are welcome and those LGBT persons have a warm and abiding home with the Episcopal Church. Second, lets figure out a strategy that will regroup all our parishes so that when the time comes we don't kill those parishes that have stayed with us all along just so we can "welcome back" those who have euphemistically "wandered off". Let's spend the kind of time and money we are putting into litigation to figure out ways to move our church forward.

How about some creative thinking here folks? How about we stop chasing these poor conealoneialist fools and their knaves around and we get back on the track of positive creative thinking that puts our beloved Episcopal Church back into Christ's fold. The Master is indeed coming and I would like to take our two talents and make four. How about 2 and a half?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Bad Guys Discover Some Bad Things

Sarah Hey, a regular at 'sit flappy', has "discovered" a problem with ACNA.  Apparently, she has discovered that laity have no say in the selection of bishops.  In fact it may be that the laity has little to no say in much of any thing.

I have no interest, honestly, in what Nigeria or Uganda do in selecting their bishops, any more than I have an interest in how the COE selects its bishops; otherwise I'd be hoping that the ACNA would also introduce a Queen somewhere in the mix. The one thing that the bishops of TEC have not been able to corral, in fact, is their Rebellious Wicked Laity, despite attempting to do so by enacting some new disciplinary standards at GC 2006. The primary thing that has led to the excellent chaos and resistance in TEC dioceses is groups of laity standing together and saying "no way, Hosea.

Well my fine friends at 'lay floppy', you are only beginning to discover some of the better stuff in store for you.  Ya gots more bishops and archbishops right now than currently reside in all of heaven (and probably the other place) combined. And their "dirty little secret" is they do not want you guys to play.  You are supposed to say, "Yes sir"; "No, sir"; and, "I don't know sir".  They have in store for you a magisterium that the  Vatican could not conceive.  Your prayer book is the 1662 prayerbook -- for you non-history buffs that is PRE- democracy.  Ya'll want to be attached at the hip with the Archbishop of Canterbury but the ACNA/GAFCON crowd has cut him adrift and you, my dear "sit slightly slumpy" crowd are going to be with the "my way or the highway" group.  Want a say in something, you do so at your own peril.  Want to discuss and debate something better do it at in the dark of night.  Ya think Archbishop Williams is your ace in the hole?  He is English and appointed by the Crown.  Let's ask the Queen if she would like help in picking the next one?  Oh, Michael Nazir-Ali already did that and of course he  is gone.

Take a look at the history of the Episcopal Church.  There was a huge debate back in 1760-1790 about whether bishops were even needed in the United States.  The original plan was to do pretty much without bishops.  Now, you have given back the bishops what they believe was their birthright.  

So, get ready for Rome with out a pope -- and if you believe that one Peter Akinola has some swampland in Florida for you.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

We Are The Older Brother

 25"Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing.

 26"And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be.

 27"And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.'

 28"But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him.

 29"But he answered and said to his father, 'Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends;

 30but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.'

 31"And he said to him, 'Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours.

 32'But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.'"

Well, here we sit, those who have faithfully weathered the storm of discontent.  We have hung around and struggled to keep our doors open and our parishes operating.  We have dumped the custodial service and cleaned the restrooms.  We have held bake sales until we thought the cakes and cookies were a main dish.  We have dug deep and come up with as much as we could to keep rectors from jumping ship because of the potential cash shortage and failing budget.  We have talked with each other and buoyed each other when it looked like all was lost and we had no where to go.  We fought heartily for the Episcopal Church when we were being criticized for well you know, "letting them be in church."  We struggled to make ends meet we struggled to retain the Episcopal Church presence when it was swirl ling around the toilet bowl.

Now, here is the brilliant plan.  Let's celebrate the return of one or our fellow churches by NOT holding services at your church while we go over to the other church (the group that had left) and hold services there.  BRILLIANT, just a brilliant plan.   This is really hard to understand.  We are so close in geographic proximity and we have received into our parish many of the disaffected from the parish we are welcoming back that the real fear is that we will now go under in order to return the first parish back to the Episcopal fold.  Is there a committee of some sort studying the return of parishes to the diocese? We are told there is but if this is the best thinking they can come up with I would hazard a guess that there meetings have been held at the H-B saloon.  What are they thinking?  'Member that old saying "Looks like the lights are on but ain't nobody home."

I have railed about a plan for months.  Practically begged for the National Church and the diocese to come together and set up a strategy that would return to the fold these breakaway folks while not dishonoring those who remained Episcopal.  

Looks like the score is now Episcopalians 1 and Conealoneialists 1.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Dollar here, a dollar there, pretty soon it adds up to real money

Someone once asked, "Is there a doctor in the house?"  Usually that line precedes a joke of some sort and maybe this is -- except that this time no one is laughing.  And why is that?  Well, read from the good doctor's journal dated May 9, 2009.  

And while we are speaking of the ACC, it is interesting to see where the bulk of the support money is coming from. The largest donors for 2008 are England at $405,000 GBP, grants and donations (including Trinity Church Wall Street, NY, the largest contributor in this category) at $371,259 GBP, and The Episcopal Church (TEC) at $363,902 GBP. Compass Rose Society was fourth at $164,040 GBP. It is clear that the influence of TEC money, either directly or indirectly, steers the ship. The provinces who gave nothing in 2008 included Central Africa, Central America, Congo, Indian Ocean, Myanmar, Nigeria, Rwanda, Southern Cone, Sudan, Uganda, West Africa, Pakistan, South India and the Spanish Reformed EC.

So given this one simple fact several conclusions can be drawn.  First, at least one primary cause of "murder" in the United States (probably elsewhere as well) is that of money.  The manner in which cross border incursions have set up future provinces, diocese, temporary holding companies, etc it appears that should TEC die the ones that stand to inherit the legacy are Nigeria, Rwanda, Southern Cone, Sudan, Uganda, West Africa.  Everyone understands money and no one understands it better than someone who does not have much.  

Second, in order for much of the world to continue "to feed at the public trough" the funds need to continue at all costs (no pun intended).  In order to assure  Nigeria, Rwanda, Southern Cone, Sudan, Uganda, West Africa of a continuing source of funds to gallivant around the world these provinces require sources.  The only way to assure the source is to take it under one's wing.  Right, Archbishop Venables?  And what is the quid pro quo for all of this?  As archbishop-in-waiting Robert Duncan, I'll just bet he can tell you what the quid pro quo is.  

Thirdly, and finally (at least for now) is the why do these folks travel so much?  Well, in Nigeria ++Akinola must travel because otherwise he may have to work to save those who have been abducted in the oil producing region of Nigeria.  In ++Orombi's case he might have to figure out a solution to the issue of all those children that come into the city of Kampala each night.  In the case of ++Bul he would have to face the fact that his government will not stop the rape and murder in Darfur.  

Now, I am reluctant to come back to this again, but I fell compelled to do so.  People of San Joaquin, were you aware of these facts? How much have you been asked to pay?  What has your bishop, John David Schofield received?  Well, we know he travels to wherever he wants when he wants and sometimes at some very odd times.  We also know that if you read his letters, as you so often are required to do, you are constantly bombarded with negative and mean comments.  Did you go with him to be browbeaten every Sunday or did you go worship God and be Anglican?  Did you go to be pushed around by the Primates of the Global South or did you go with him to be in alignment with the Archbishop of Canterbury?  Were you aware that your hard earned assessments were NOT being used to help with YOUR property fights because the Archbishops you joined spent 304,000 pounds to meet in Jamaica for two weeks and did not find your fight to be of any value? 

Okay, so pick up the phone and call beachwood 45789 209-952-0006.  Thank you and hope to see you soon.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

We All Belong Together (Or, Why ya goin' to Plano?)

Have ya'll seen the agenda for the "upcoming coronation meeting" of the Anglican Church in North America? Let me give the folks in the San Joaquin Valley a little taste of what is in store. The opening address is by the still deposed Mssers. Iker and Duncan. The later has declared himself to be the next Archbishop of the world and the former just plain hates women. (Remember, "I take no direction from Bishop Schori. She never has and never will be my bishop.) Then the truly great speakers come on board. First there is Pastor Rick Warren, then Metropolitan Jonah, and ending with Dr. Todd Hunter. Take a chance, look up the agenda here But folks, there is absolutely nothing there for you, the Anglican Church of the San Joaquin Valley. In fact the culminating event is the coronation of the King Archbishop Duncan. Really, look at the agenda, see anything there for even an Anglican of any stripe, let alone from the Central Valley? How does this group repay your bold first move away from the Episcopal Church? See anybody talking from your diocese about your trials and tribulations. About your victories and your successes? How about the Rev. McAlister or Gandenberger discussing the difficulties of losing court cases? More to the point, how ab out someone offering your diocese support to help offset the thousands and thousands of dollars you continue to pour into the court cases so that they can go be Archbishop?

You folks are farmers and cattle people and dairymen and agri-business folks. You must be willing to wait, because that is the nature of the businesses you are in. But how long? Sheesh, has Duncan been here to see how you are doing? Has the diocese of Pittsburgh kicked in a few bucks for court costs? How about Forth Worth? How about the Province of the Southern Cone? Certainly you are patient, but for how long? And, perhaps, just perhaps, you have been used the point on all the assaults and now you are expendable?

Look, we weren't perfect. We all know that. We have a lot of differences, we all know that. We need to talk a bunch and we all know that. But criminy, we love and care for you. We would not leave you holding the bag. Your diocesan folks are spending tons of dough going here and there and in a losing cause and what do you get out of it? A bigger assessment. More letters from the Bishop saying there is light at the end of the tunnel? Come on home, let's work this out. Bring your friends and neighbors and we will celebrate and then get to work. We have much to do.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Beware the A"rector"nids

Once upon a time I lived in the diocese of Virginia. During our stay in this great state I had an occasion to talk with Bishop David Lewis about the tenure of any given rector in the diocese. Bishop Lewis at that time set me straight. Vestries hire rectors but a bishop can fire a rector. Clearly, a rector serves at the pleasure of the Bishop of the diocese in which the rector serves. That conversation has stuck with me always. Rectors are at the beckon call of the Bishop.

In the diocese of San Joaquin this was never clearer than when the Conealonialists hijacked the diocese. Now, we get this statement from the Communion Partner Rectors:
For those of us who faithfully serve in dioceses that choose to reject or ignore the covenant, we ask our Diocesans not to impede the adoption of the Covenant by parishes in our dioceses. Such grace will allow these parishes and clergy to obey their consciences and calling to be members of the Anglican Communion and the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

The Communion Partner Rectors want desperately to follow their conscience and ignore the Bishop of their diocese in order to follow the bishop of Canterbury. Let's see, I do not like you as my bishop, despite the fact you gave me a job and through you I continue to gain both spiritual and physical sustenance in order to be a "a part of" the communion headed up by the bishop (okay, archbishop) of Canterbury. Does it not stand to reason if one will turn over one bishop in favor of another then that other bishop stands no better chance in the future? I get to be congregational when it serves me and diocesan when it serves me? Wow, what chutzpah?!

Clearly the Communion Partner Bishops are interested in an internal insurrection and now the Communion Partner Rectors are clearly a part of that. For those who may have one or more of these rectors please be very, very careful. They are not mavericks, as they would have us believe, these folks are scorpions waiting for one or more frogs to take them across the river.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Draft: Episcopal Bill of Rights

Given the direction of the Anglican Consultative Council it is important to make sure the following "Episcopal Bill of Rights" gets into the hands of the General Convention and is passed quickly. We have wasted enough time and we have played the game long enough with those who would destroy our beloved Episcopal Church in the United States of America. Here it is again -- if you have seen this elsewhere sorry - I really think it is an idea whose time has come -- well, no, whose time is long overdue.

TITLE: Provisional Acceptance of the Episcopalian Bill of Rights

Preamble: The the Episcopal Church of the United States of America recognizes the revealing nature of our salvation given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ in the two great commandments. Love the Lord your God with all your mind and all your heart and all your soul. And the second, love your neighbor as yourself. Furthermore recognizing that each and every person is a sinner but that we have an Advocate with the Father. Be it therefore,

Resolved, the House of _____________ concurring, that this 76th General Convention of the Episcopal Church make a commitment to revoke, rescind and reject Resolution B033 ; and be it further

Resolved, that the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies fully, completely and sincerely apologize to all those who have been marginalized by the Episcopal Church including but not limited to LGBT persons, those who are handicapped, and those whose culture and person have been ignored and ridiculed; and be it further

Resolved, that in accordance with the two great commandments the Episcopal Church does hereby recognize, support and defend every person's right to fully and completely participate in every aspect of the Episcopal Church both liturgically and politically; and be it further
Resolved, that this proposed Episcopalian Bill of Rights be commended to the various dioceses of this church for study and comment during the coming triennium; and be it further

Resolved, that the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies appoint a Special Task Force to determine what constitutional and/or canonical measures may be necessary in order to make a permanent commitment to the Episcopalian Bill of Rights; and be it further

Resolved, that this Special Task Force prepare a report to the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church that includes draft legislation that could be considered for the convention to institutionalize this Episcopal Bill of Rights.

Help me get this onto the floor of General Convention. What must be done?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Phalze Prophet

Apparently, in a move designed to build support for the hate mongering that has gone on in both the United States and in Canada the Mr. Peter Jensen (this would be little Pete as opposed to Big Pete Akinola) has decided that while the ACC is meeting in Jamaica, second only to Nigeria in the anti-gay movement, to strike out on his own and see if he cannot get other Christians in Ireland to turn the cheek of LGBT persons in Ireland.

In the Church of Ireland Gazette Mr. Jensen  

. . . issued a rallying call to Church of Ireland evangelicals to be vigilant that no "official act which endorses sin" should take place in the Church of Ireland.

Archbishop Jensen, . . .

told his audience that this was a "solemn time" for Anglicans, as the Anglican Communion was facing a crisis over the authority of Scripture. Dr Jensen said that the Anglican Communion was "a very significant body of Christians" in today’s world and that anything that divided it was bad.

Clearly the entire GAFCON crowd has determined that if you are not with me, then you are against me. Shades of John Foster Dulles. That stupidity in foreign policy brought us Viet Nam and lately Iraq.  Now a bunch of old white men would like for us to believe that Christ said "it's my way or the highway".

Jensen then gives us this fine statement,

the 2003 consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson, a practising gay man, had deeply torn the Communion. Bishop Robinson’s consecration, he added, had been the culmination of years of liberal teaching and had taken place despite the guidance of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, the view of which had been "set aside" by the US Episcopal Church.

What really has this old men on their toes is the fact that TEC elected a woman presiding bishop and that has torn their fabric right down their zippers!  The Episcopal Church in the United States elects a woman and Jack Iker, a chief apostle of these culturally dominant boys, says, "She is NOT my bishop, never has been and never will be!" and then they want us to believe that +Robinson is the issue?  As they say down under, "Are you nuts?".  

Now, we get to the only real point that we should be taking seriously, Jensen says,

. . . but a fundamental issue concerned the "locus of authority".
That locus of authority is THEM!  The GAFCONEERS and the Conealoneialists want to be in charge.  They want POWER.  This whole thing is about power.  They could not get their way in any real body of the Anglican Communion so now they just make stuff up so they can have some power.  GAFCON, Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, Common Cause, Anglican Communion in North America -- it is all just so they can have power.  The terrible thing is that we are duplicitous in this.  We (the TEC, ACoC, Anglican Communion) have allowed them to do this -- rather than just saying No.  
Apparently Dr. Jensen, along with all his cronies rejects the Hooker concept of a three legged stool balancing scripture with reason and history.  
Dr Jensen said that among Christians there were differing emphases on the place of reason, magisterium, experience and Scripture in terms of authority, but he went on to assert that in the events in North America "culture has trumped Scripture".
 Clearly, the faith once given is in the Bible and God no longer speaks to us -- and apparently hasn't since a bunch of old men got together in about 325 or so.  
Here is what I refer to as the "gem of Jensen"
An over-emphasis on the individual’s rights had led to an increasing trend towards cohabitation, as people did not want the restrictions of marital commitment.
  We were not given free will and a mind to think and an ability to enter into a loving covenant with God, no free will is bad and Dr. Jensen and Mr. Akinola (and only these guys) can tell you what is good.  It sounds to me like these great thinkers would like to take the Bible away from everyone.  I think that was tried in the middle ages and what did we get for that?  Oh, the inquisition.  And when we tried free will and democracy and the like what did we get?  Oh, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution and not only a great and Godly country but an open, loving and caring church that has moved to full inclusion.  
And now, as if to add emphasis to GAFCON and their anti-Christian behavior,
Archbishop Jensen told his Dollingstown audience that, at the recent meeting of Anglican Communion primates in Alexandria, Egypt, some of the primates would not receive Holy Communion with others and some had not wished even to be photographed with others . . .
Didn't our Lord say something about this?  Yep, he did.  And yet these men call themselves Christian?
Finally, Mr. Jensen tries to "win" (as if this were some game) the Irish to GAFCON and hatred:  However, this was an emergency, Dr Jensen said.
• There was a need to plan ahead and to know what to do if an "official act which endorses sin" were to take place, such vigilance stemming any "drift";
• There should be a strengthening of the Church of Ireland’s biblical identity;
• There was a need to understand the issues and to be able to refute subtle arguments;
• Responsibility should be taken for the Church of Ireland as a denomination and conservative evangelicals, who generally tended to be focused on their congregations, should go forward for membership of boards, committees and synods and should speak with leaders to make their position clear;
• There should be a new commitment to the Gospel in mission, the Church needing "to invade the culture";
• The laity should become more active in taking responsibility in this proactive agenda, because "the Church belongs to the laity, not to some bureaucracy";
• Leaders needed to be supported in putting aside all pride and being ready for sacrifice for the sake of biblical teaching. During a question and answer session, Archbishop Jensen stressed the need for the pastoral care of same sex orientated people. He declined to comment on the fact that all the Irish bishops had attended last year’s Lambeth Conference, which he himself had not attended for "fellowship" reasons. He said that some of his friends had attended, and some had not.

Now, folks, are we not tired of this old nonsense? Isn't it time for something radically different?  How about we here in the Episcopal Church get one step ahead of these folks who aid and abet hatred -- hatred of women, hatred of handicapped, hatred of culturally different peoples and hatred of LGBT persons.  How about we pass a resolution in the upcoming General Convention that allows EVERYONE to participate fully in the life of the Episcopal Church and allows everyone to fully approach their God in a loving and caring relationship.  How about an Episcopalian Bill of Rights.  It is time.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Reflections on The St. Francis Community Forum

Well, well, well, our guest of honor?  Actually Father Terry put this marvelous day together. On this day we were about the Lord's work --- and it was refreshing!  The topic was how to improve the various community services currently available.  By improve, as Terry explained,sometimes it is just knowing what is out there and how to access it.  

Interestingly enough, there is a host of services but it falls far short of meeting he needs.  The needs, especially right now, are incredibly great.  (I see this everyday in the school in which I live.)  It was a day of sharing of information and ideas.  The Turlock, CA community has much to be proud of.  The collection of inquiring minds came from all over the north portion of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.  

Beryl Simkins shared her Aspiranet information.  A group working with fostering and adoption of children.  It also is a crisis center in Turlock but also available in other counties within the state. (I know that it also exists in San Joaquin County).  Its needs include diapers, formula and hard cash.

Sherry Thayer shared some incredibly important information on suicide prevention.  Interesting statistics include more men than women commit suicide especially boys between the ages of 15 and 24. (I also know this as we had a very beloved nephew, our godson, who did commit suicide).  Sherry also said that tiptoeing around the word is not the way to go about this.  When one finds this situation one needs to call it suicide and call for help.  Finally, the highest months for suicide? December?  November? Nope, April, June and July.

Then Esther Rosario from Casa Del Rio in Riverbank, Ca spoke to us.  She shared how one "parking lot" mom grew into a life of service.  By the way, Christ The King and Casa Del Rio are now intertwined with the most popular service being the Food in Faith food giveaway each month. Supported also by St. Francis in Turlock student from Riverbank USD help each 3rd week of the month as 100 to 160 families are feed in Riverbank. (Note: if you recognize the little one as the consultant to the Presiding Bishop you would be correct!)

The two greatest service organizations and a tip of the hat go to the Gospel Mission in Modesto and the Turlock Gospel Mission.  They do just about everything!  The Modesto Gospel Mission says that if one wants to volunteer then come down the second Thursday of the month, they will orient you and then the sky is the limit in terms of volunteering.

The day was filled with the opportunities that only Christ can provide and we must be up to the task!  And, as an added treat we had both the Canon to the Ordinary and the Bishop present for this terrific presentation.  Yahoo buckeroos! It was a great day!

On a personal note:  Here is what community meant to me today -- our daughter had a baby still born a little over a week ago.  Our two families from Christ the King and St. Francis have responded with non-stop cards, letters, telephone calls, meals, and visitations. Clearly the community has come together to help and support her and her husband in this time of hurt. This is a hallmark of both Christ the King in Riverbank and St. Francis in Turlock and I hope and pray of every Episcopal Church in the diocese and in the country.  We are all part of Christ's family and when one is hurt we are all hurt.  Thanks to everyone who has responded.  I know you all do not do it for the recognition but you have demonstrated fully who we are, and I am blessed to call you family!

Saturday, May 2, 2009


It is the 40th Anniversary of the motion picture Easy Rider.  For those of us who lived it it was an absolutely amazing time and the film captured a segment of what was going on, IMHO.  The music, the music is fantastic.  So, in honor of Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson here is a flashback I hope everyone will enjoy. 

And by the way, don't bogart this -- pass it around.

The Communion Partners aka "The Scorpion"

The Communion Partners caused quite a stir around the blogsphere last week.  Of course most saw right through the attempt to throw The Episcopal Church under the bus and said so.  The goodly Bishop from the diocese of Western Louisiana then had this to say:

Diocese of Western Louisiana Bishop D. Bruce MacPherson told ENS April 28 that "one common thing [the Communion Partners bishops and rectors who signed the statement] have, and this has been shared from the beginning with the Presiding Bishop, [is that] we are committed to remaining a part of the Episcopal Church as opposed to some of the other directions that have been taken by others."

Here in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin we heard this wonderfully comforting comment once before.  Do we all remember?  Think back it was about 2002 of maybe 2003.  Then Bishop now Mr. John David Schofield was running around the diocese talking about how awful things were.  At that time I believe the Presiding Bishop was Frank Griswold and Mr. Schofield railed against this "two faced liar".  Finally, some of the people who wished to remain Episcopal wrote a letter to Mr. Schofield and asked, "Are you planning on leaving the Episcopal Church.  It sure sounds like you are planning to do just that."  

Anyone remember the answer? I do. Here is what Mr. Schofield said.  No, I am not planning on leaving the Episcopal Church.  We still hold in front of us the faith once delivered.  We have remained true to the principles of the Episcopal Church.  However, the greater Episcopal Church has moved away from the scriptural and historical basis of the Anglican Communion.  We must remain in good standing with the Anglican Communion.  

Sound familiar?  Bishop MacPherson now repeats that same, tired old saw.  I am hopeful that most TEC members remember the story of the frog and the scorpion.  The noise the Communion Partners are making sounds very much like the scorpion trying to get across the river, except this time I am very hopeful the frog will not help the scorpion out.