Sunday, October 31, 2010

Attention Diocesan Standing Committees: Enough Information to decline to grant consent to the election of Father Dan Martins to Bishop of Springfield

In an earlier post, I espoused the position that it was not in the best interests of the Episcopal Church to grant consent to the election of Father Dan Martins as the bishop of the Episcopal diocese of Springfield.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I WAS WRONG! Many of you may have already known that, assumed that, figured that I had been smoking something funny or otherwise was just "off my rocker".

Let me be clear. I was/am not a fan of Father Dan Martins and never have been. See my prior posts on this priest who fled the diocese and let it in a shambles. I just did not see any genuine reason why/how consent could be withheld, given our governance system and the grounds. Well, sufficient information has now been released via the Episcopal diocese of San Joaquin to create enough doubt in the minds of every member of every standing committee in the Episcopal Church that bishop-elect Dan Martins would stay with the Episcopal Church.

The long and the short of the information you are about to read is that Father Martins was knee-deep in the split of the Dioceses of San Joaquin from the Episcopal Church. He helped write the constitutional changes that "made it possible" for the diocese of San Joaquin to "leave". Father Martins speaks disparagingly cunningly discusses the strategy to remove the diocese from the Episcopal Church. The operative word here is "cunning" -- Father Martins is cunning, keep that one word foremost in your mind.

Here are the citations:

Diocesan Council Minutes

Bishop Schofield's Address to Convention identifying Dan Martins as a co-conspirator author of the constitutional amendments

Father Dan Martin's email (cunning??)

Standing Committee minutes in which Fr. Martins participates "fully" in the discussion of the split.

Email from Dan Martins 2006

Lest you think I am alone, here is the letter from the Standing Committee of the EPISCOPAL DIOCESE of San Joaquin on there lack of consent.

Standing Committee letter on withholding consent of the election of Dan Martins to the bishop of Springfield.

I do not do this lightly, this is a very serious matter, but there is no doubt in my mind that much as Fr. Martins' mentor, Father Martins will do what HE feels is best, regardless of who gets hurt or what happens!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Convention Vignettes:Updated

UPDATE: sorry, the vidoes were private but now they are PUBLIC! Please forgive the new guy, he knows not what he does.

And now, I have added a bunch of brief videos from the convention. It was a pretty ordinary convention but the homily from Canon Straub was outstanding. The reading came from Exodus when the Israelites came up against the Re(e)d Sea and saw Pharaoh's chariots coming right at them. They had already witnessed two miracles and were still doubting the power of Yhwh. Canon Straub reminded us of a couple of things. First, we have already witnessed a couple of miracles in our diocese alone and there will be more to come. But what I got out of the homily also was we need to whine less and pray more (working more would also be helpful). We need to pray hard and move out in faith. We started the journey that way and now is no time to stop.

The Issue Is Justice Not Disunity!

We, the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin just finished our 51st Annual Convention on an incredible high. Gregory Straub "filled in" for Bonnie Anderson at the last moment and all I can saw is Wow! For the first time I heard a national officer of the Episcopal Church state clearly and unequivocally our position with regard to full inclusion. And then, today I started to read Leonardo Ricardo's blog, Eruptions At the Foot of The Volcano which is an outstanding piece but it took me to a posting from Father Jake in 2005 which led me to this quote:

To return us to the issue of the Windsor Report, I'll close with a quote from Bishop Spong which Kennedy includes within his essay:

(The Lambeth Commission) decided mistakenly that they were dealing with an issue of disunity, when they were in fact dealing with the evil of prejudice. That was clear when their solution was to invite those churches that have banished their homophobic prejudices to consider apologizing to those parts of the church that were offended by their inclusiveness. That would be like asking those nations that have thrown off the evil of segregation to apologize for hurting the consciences of the segregationists. It was an inconceivable request. Whenever growth occurs there is always conflict and dislocation. The world would still be practicing slavery, child labor, and second class status for women, had not a new consciousness confronted our prejudices in a movement that always destroys the unity of the old consensus.

I bring this up for a couple of reasons. First, it more than adequately describes the level (or multiple levels) upon which our conversation on the Anglican Covenant is based. Second, though it has been said before it bears repeating, repeating and repeating until the conversation comes back to the real issue, that of mellenia of prejudice. Our parish is currently dealing with the Anglican Covenant just as the Presiding Bishop, Executive Council and the General Convention has asked for us to do, but it is so very hard because the Anglican Covenant deals with, has been written in, and is being deciphered and dissected on the basis of Anglican Unity and not prejudice. In each section and at every turn we read about those things that bring the Anglican Communion closer together and what would happen if one does not "walk the line" or "toe the mark" but it leaves not room for real discussion and genuine disagreement when it comes to biblical social justice issues such as prejudice. We are just not communicating.

The primates of the Global South want to have a uniform means and manner of presenting issues that affect the communion, such as full inclusion, and are willing to remove anyone from the "confessing community" when we do not confess our sins against unity. The Archbishop of Canterbury views this as much the same thing, an issue of unity. When we talk about the Anglican Covenant, we talk about the same thing, it seems reasonable. But It IS Not! We have been forced to take up the conversation that those in the global south see as the issue, one of disloyalty to the Anglican Community. WRONGO BUCKEROO!

We need to reshape the discussion to the real issue of prejudice and full inclusion. Dr. Straub's speech on Friday night clearly laid that out. We need to send messengers to all corners of the Anglican Communion to accomplish this task, and we need to do it now! (By the way, while I wish Bonnie a speedy recovery we are/were glad to have had Dr. Straub with use, and thank you to Dr. Straub for coming.

h/t Leonardo Ricardo
h/t Fr. Jake
a big thank you to Dr. Straub!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Final Convention News Update - Conelonialists Do Not Need to Think

Well, I still have pictures and fond memories of our 51st Convention in the diocese of San Joaquin. But, I wish to remind those who may read this blog but are "ANGLICAN" of the Conelonialist persuasion of one huge fact. We went to convention and we voted at convention. We elected delegates to the General Convention for 2012 who met at the end of our convention to discuss issues of the National Convention. When the conelonialists meet, I wonder who gets elected to the General Convention in the Southern Cone? Oh, no one you say? Oh, boy, did ya'll forget about the fact that the Episcopal Church is so unique that there is no other province that is organized like we are? So, you are going to go to your General convention and vote be told what is good for you to believe and what is good for you not to believe and when do you get to vote on your constitution and canons and how you are governed and who governs you. Never, you say? Just one of the fringe benefits of being a conelonialist -- you no longer have to think!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

More Convention News

Here was the agenda :

51st Annual Convention
Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin
Modesto, California
October 15 - 16, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010

12:00 Noon – 3:00 PM Set up

3:00 PM – 7:00 PM Registration Open

5:00 PM – 6:30 PM Workshop #1

6:45 PM Dinner
Speaker, Bonnie Anderson
President of the House of Deputies

Saturday, October 16, 2010

7:30 AM Registration Open
Exhibits Open
Coffee in the Exhibit Area/Parish Hall

8:00 AM - 9:15 AM Workshop #2

9:30 AM Brunch in the Parish Hall

10:45 AM – 2:00 PM Convention Business Meeting

2:00 PM Holy Eucharist

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM Workshop #3

4:00 PM Sandwich & Salad Buffet, Parish Hall

4:45 PM Discussion regarding full inclusion of lesbian,gay, bisexual,and transgender persons in the life of the Diocese of San Joaquin led by Bishop Jerry Lamb.

Here is the sad news that goes with this year's convention news. Bishop Jerry Lamb AND Canon Mark Hall (see a prior posting on Canon Hall) will retire this year. We said farewell for the first time today and there will be more but these are big shoes to fill!

UPDATE: Canon Straub Tells It like It Is

I fugired out the video thing and so I have posted a brief piece from Canon Straub from Friday night. He is a powerful speaker. Bonnie Anderson was supposed to be with us but she became suddenly ill and so sent Canon Straub in her place. Great Choice!

I took some video of Canon Straub as he was making his presentation to the dinner group but it just did not work out -- so much for my movie skills! Canon Straub shared with us the direction we as a church are now sailing and it was pretty clear. Our beloved Episcopal Church WILL be fully inclusive of all! No, ifs, ands, or buts. Those who reject this idea need to think long and hard about who we are and what we do, for there will be no equivocation.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Get 'cher Red Hot News!

From Yosemite to Tracy,CA and from Bakersfield to Lodi the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin begins it's annual convention this evening at around 5 pm. As a delegate I will try to keep everyone informed of the news hot off the presses. Last year was a gala event in which we shared the good news of the continuing Episcopal diocese of San Joaquin with the rest of The Epsicopal Church. We have a bit of heavy lifting with Title IV and all but we should also have some fun, a concept foreign to this convention a mere 3 years ago.

Hi ho hi ho, it's off to cvonvention I go!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

From Bishop to Servant

Let's start by saying that there is indeed a role for bishops, after all, they are the successors of the apostles in the modern church. So, let's begin with a few definitions of bishops:

•a senior member of the Christian clergy having spiritual and administrative authority; appointed in Christian churches to oversee priests or ministers; considered in some churches to be successors of the twelve Apostles of Christ
•port wine mulled with oranges and cloves
•(chess) a piece that can be moved diagonally over unoccupied squares of the same color

•A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. ...

•In the Catholic Church, a bishop is an ordained minister who holds the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders and is responsible for teaching the Catholic faith and ruling the Church.

•Bishop is the highest priesthood office of the Aaronic priesthood in the Latter Day Saint movement. A bishop is usually the leader of a local congregation of church members. ...

•A bishop is a person of authority in a Christian church. In particular, see also: * Bishop (Catholic Church) * Bishop (Latter Day Saints)

Clearly, from day 1, bishops have had a pastoral role in the church. But, for some reason, perhaps good, perhaps not so good, bishops have picked up the function of "administrative/organizational/political arm of the church, especially our church. Over the course of time the position has come to be sought after by many. Let's face it, in American society (at least)we have an "up or out mentality". While this is prevalent in the military it pervades our entire society. It means that if one is not being promoted one is not doing the job correctly. I ask you, what priest in seminary, has not asked/day-dreamed about becoming "The Bishop"? My guess is at least every one of them that carries a mitre and crosier today, plus some that have not yet got it but are in the wings (wink, wink, nod, nod, Fr. Martins). The upshot is that very few priests daydream about being a parish priest, worker priest, chaplain or whatever. Most are looking for the kick in pay and more importantly, the kick in authority. After all, once made a bishop, one gets to join the good old boys club, better known as the House of bishops. One then gets to travel to all parts of the country (and nowadays the world, ask Robert Duncan, John Guernsey, Martyn Minns, etal) and affect the lives of thousands of unsuspecting Anglicans the world over.

One interesting idea promulgated by the current definition of bishop is that of "teacher". In days gone by, like hundreds of years ago, books were in short supply and clergy "had to teach" the laity what the laity needed to know. Well, I think there are enough books and texts and the laity is smart enough now to figure things out, at least as equals. In effect, the need for bishop as teacher is gone, though one will not get many bishops to agree to that! Ask Mr. Akinola, Mr. Orombi and Mr. Venables.

So, what do we need to do? Well, for openers, let's dissolve the House of Bishops and return them to the House of Deputies. Voting by orders is not very productive when the orders are feathering their own nests. Let's mix things up a little more, after all, William White originally saw no need for a House of Bishops. He was pushed into a compromise from the delegates from Connecticut. Time to do away with that.

Next, let's move the authority of the bishop back to pastoral care only. Bishops complain they never have enough time to see everyone. Let's make sure they have enough time to do so. Certainly the Standing Committee and the Diocesan Council can carry the weight of the political/administrative end of the diocese. Bluntly, bishops should be kept home. It ain't no fun, but they were not elected to have fun, they are elected to care for the flock. By flock that means clergy first and laity second.

Next, bishops should be elected to seven year terms. Certainly a bishop, doing a fine job could be re-elected as often as the diocese wants but there should always be an opportunity for the bishop to return to the regular orders. In addition, and as a new twist, with a seven year term, there is no need for approval from the other bishops/standing committees.

So, where would the eccelsiastical authority lie? Well, on most matters, primarily with the Standing Committee and then secondarily with the Diocesan Council. The Bishop becomes a member of those committees and voices his/her opinion on certain matters affecting the pastoral care of all the flock. Standing Committee is a committee of the whole and no one person could do anything (or for that matter is anything without a majority vote. Same would be true of the Diocesan Council. A possible unintended consequence would/could be the rise in authority of the Canons, but that can be dealt with later.

Another consequence of the seven year vote would be that Archbishop Duncan would only be Mr. Duncan not only for us but for the ACNA as well. In effect, had he been re-elected he would certainly be unelected shortly. Same is true of Minns and Guernsey and Anderson and all those who would pretend to the throne.

Clearly, we need to do something and something dramatic and soon. The abuse of the bishops position has grown beyond that which this church can much longer stand. We need to move forward and forget the past. This becomes the springboard for just such a move.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Canon Mark Hall Is FAMOUS

We have a very fine priest, Father Mark Hall, who has truly suffered the "slings and arrows" from the former bishop, now Mr. John David Schofield. Father Mark was the rector of St. Anne's in Stockton and is now the Canon to the Ordinary for our own diocese of San Joaquin and of course our bishop, Jerry Lamb. There are very, very few priests who were able to weather the full force of the maniacal idiocy that seemed to overtake almost every clergy person in our diocese back in early 2000s. I believe that Father Hall was here when John David Schofield arrived and much to his credit and to our great benefit, he was here when John David Schofield left. In between those two bookend events, he rode what could only be euphemistically called a real roller coaster.

As it turns out now, Father Mark enjoys a modicum of peace and quiet as well as a renewed sense of purpose and a renewed sense of pride. He is a great source of strength for our diocese. Now, he enjoys a new notoriety. The following appears on the Institute for Religion and Democracy's home page:

"...We are using the only means in our system, the civil courts, because we need to stand up for the organizational integrity of the Episcopal Church. And possibly ever more importantly, we are also standing up for the Truth of Jesus."

- Canon Mark Hall of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin (CA), explaining to the continuing diocese why it needs to sue the departing Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin and claim ownership of departing church properties.

If you would like to know where David Anderson (CANA, AiMA, ACNA, etc.) gets his money; if you would like to know where much of the vitriol for LGBT community and the funding for the proposition 8 (California style) funding comes from then just visit this site. Incidentally, the president of this august body, Mark Tooley, is a former "analyst" for the Central Intelligence Agency and supposedly his area was Central America and South America. Wonder if he had anything to do with that thingy in Guatemala?

The lead guy on all things Anglican is Jeff Walton. Form his bio on the site:
Jeff worships at Restoration Anglican Church in Arlington, Virginia, a daughter congregation of the Falls Church in Falls Church, VA, where he is active in the young adult and global missions programs. Jeff holds a degree in Political Science and Communications from Seattle Pacific University.

The IRD is the brainchild of Howard Ahmanson -- wealthy conservative who wishes to bring back the ten commandments as the law of the land. Congratulations Father Mark, you are quoted in high places!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It Is Too Late To Save The Communion

In a nutshell, yes. The Anglican Communion has been split. There is no turning back and there is no repairing and there is no fixing or making better or even a reason to pretend, though apparently many in the Episcopal Church would like for us to continue to pretend (Leonardo, what do you think of pretending?)

The Anglican Communion was doomed when Bishop Wantland and Mr. Schofield and Mr. Howe all decided to "steal" the corporate jewels: "The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America", maybe before. The fate of the Communion was sealed when the diocese of San Joaquin quit and went to the Southern Cone. The full program had been developed and put into play way back then. If you haven't noticed, we in the Episcopal Church have been one step behind every twist and evil turn that came from the Primates, ACNA, Robert Duncan and Jack Iker. Ya know what, good riddance to bad rubbish. As Jesus would say, "Let the dead bury the dead." Let's get on with living.

It is time to say goodbye and move forward with our plans. Here is what I suggest:
First, send the Anglican Covenant back to the Archbishop of Canterbury in tiny little shredded pieces.

Second, reconstitute the Episcopal Church in the United States of America to create a unicameral house, the House of Delegates where each member votes and the majority plus one rules. Not all bishops, not all clergy would be members but rather a structure not unlike the house of representatives could be created and then used as a base for all future conventions.
Third, re-write the "job description" of the bishop (of all bishops) to create a truly (and only) pastoral role for this order. The bishops should be first, last and always charged with the care and feeding of the lambs including the clergy. Let's strip the mystique from this order and bring them back to earth to do what they should have been doing all along.
Fourth, title V and the canons that go with it, should be re-written to include anyone with an ecclesiastical role can be presented including lay and clergy -- for the ecclesiastical roles only.
Fifth, kick open the doors and windows and lets get EVERYONE fully included in the life and work of the church. We stand for the love and care of Jesus Christ, the embodiment of the two great commandments, let's make that ring out from sea to shining sea.
Sixth, create a prayerbook that reflects our love and care and concern and still has the prose and beauty of it all.
Seventh, collapse the dioceses and the provinces to sizes that make sense in both numbers and geography as well as finances and outreach.
Eighth, rewrite the procedures for becoming a bishop -- create bishops that are 7 year bishops and then they go back to being just regular clergy. Based on a good job description of bishops lets let everyone (well, okay, most everyone) take a crack at being a bishop.
Summary, lets stop playing like there is something to lose and nothing to gain. We have lost the Communion and we stand to gain our church back. Let's get going -- time's awastin'!

Monday, October 4, 2010

The #@$% Anglican &%$!# Covenant

Over at The Lead Mr. Naughton writes about how Bishop Chris Epting would like to know our thoughts on the issue of the Anglican Covenant, better known in my circles as the "poison pill". This is of course, an offshoot of what the Presiding Bishop and the Executive Council would like for all of us to discuss in our next conventions and leading up to the General Convention of 2012.

My question back to them is, "Why are we taking this so seriously? What makes anyone think that those enemies of the Episcopal Church would for one second allow the Episcopal Church (or the greater Anglican Communion, room to breathe should we all, all of a sudden, decide that the Anglican Covenant is the greatest thing since, oh, say, popcorn?!

Does anyone, for just one holy second, believe that Mr. Duncan and Mr. Schofield and Mr. Iker (along with Mr. Orombi, Mr. Akinola and Mr. Venables) would sudeenly give in and say, "O look, the Episcopal Church has agreed to the Anglican Covenant, we all need to forgive and forget." If anyone on this side of the Atlantic believes that then I want some of what they have either been smoking or drinking 'cause livin' in California gots nothin' on what you got!

Who says that the ACNA, CANA, CAPA, AiMA and all the other alphabet soup even cares whether we approve the Anglican Covenant? And do you think for even a nano-second that the ACI and the Communion Partners and the primates will not immediately exercise Section 4 of the Covenant to remove the Episcopal Church from the Anglican Communion?

So, let's give them something to really worry about -- how about we not only say no! but Heck No! (this is church). And, we develop some alternatives of our own and simply say that if you all want to play the game then this is how it is done! What those alternatives are could be developed right now, in our meetings and brought to General Convention in 2012.

To Bishop Epting, to all the bishops of the Episcopal Church, I ask, why are you even worried about this Covenant thingy? Why are you folks not spending your time voluntarily disbanding the House of Bishops and reconstituting the House of Deputies to include all orders including the bishops. Why are you not spending your time redeveloping your job descriptions to exclude all the political stuff and growing your pastoral duties? Why are you bishops not out at every other bishop/presiding bishop/province talking about rejecting those who would think they can ignore our inhibitions and defrockings? Why are we not standing on the Archbishop of Canterbury's toes asking him to reject those who would serve a poison pill to the Episcopal Church of the United States of America? What are you waiting for? The Chapman memo and the GAFCON Jerusalem Statement have clearly laid out the plans of those who would oversee the demise of our beloved church!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Howard Ahmanson Opps David Anderson Strikes Again

Father Mark Harris writes a marvelous piece on the darling of the religious right, David Anderson and his latest missive about muscular christianity, it is a good read, and Father Mark is his usual polite and gentle soul.

Mr. Anderson ends his long and destructive letter with the following line:

Blessings and Peace in Christ Jesus,

The Rt. Rev. David C. Anderson, Sr.
President and CEO, American Anglican Council

He asks demands that the Primates lose their Christian hospitality in favor of all out war against the Presiding Bishop, Katherine Jefferts Schori, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams and the Episcopal Church in the United States of America and has the audacity to end his letter with blessings and peace in Christ Jesus?

Let's one more time keep in mind where this guy gets his muscular Christianity from. Oh, who is his "best friend"?

But this would take money. After the meeting, Anglican Council vice president Bruce Chapman sent a private memo to the group's board detailing a plan to involve Howard F. Ahmanson Jr., a Southern California millionaire, and his wife, Roberta Green Ahmanson, in the plan. "Fundraising is a critical topic," Chapman wrote. "But that topic itself is going to be affected directly by whether we have a clear, compelling forward strategy. I know that the Ahmansons are only going to be available to us if we have such a strategy and I think it would be wise to involve them directly in settling on it as the options clarify." It was a logical pitch: As a key financier of the Christian right with a penchant for anti-gay campaigns, Ahmanson clearly shared the Anglican Council's interest in subverting the left-leaning church. Moreover, Ahmanson and his wife were close friends and prayer partners of David Anderson, the Anglican Council's chief executive, while Chapman and his political team were already enjoying hefty annual grants from Ahmanson to Chapman's think tank, the Discovery Institute.
Avenging Angel of the Religious Right

That is correct, his best friend just happens to be Howard Ahmanson and perhaps more directly his best friend is Howard Ahmanson's MONEY!

What does Ahmanson want in return (Mrs. Ahmanson explains):

"His goal is -- this is going to sound crazy -- his goal is to do with his money what God wants him to do," she explained.

And why does God want him to give to so many right-wing causes?

"The Christian view of man is that we're not perfect. You don't give to things that base themselves on the optimistic view that human beings are going to be doing it right," Mrs. Ahmanson explained. When I asked if this meant she and her husband would still want to install the supremacy of biblical law, she replied: "I'm not suggesting we have an amendment to the Constitution that says we now follow all 613 of the case laws of the Old Testament ... But if by biblical law you mean the last seven of the 10 Commandments, you know, yeah."

Avenging Angel of the Religious Right

I would call Mr. Anderson's attention to this quote (It is from the Bible in Basic English:
No man is able to be a servant to two masters: for he will have hate for the one and love for the other, or he will keep to one and have no respect for the other. You may not be servants of God and of wealth.

Mr. Anderson and the AAC, CANA, ACNA, et al, find their version of muscluar Christianity rooted in money! It is not the typical build up them abs sort of thing it is by the best equipment money can buy and then SAY we are muscular.

There is an old adage that applies thatgoes something like this: "Money talks and B***S*** walks." Sounds to me like Mr. Anderson has that down tight.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Diocese of San Joaquin Reflection on Current Issues

Canon Mark Hall found this reflection written by the Rev. Don Hill online and wanted to share it with you.

(Blog author Note: Comes from the Friday Reflection from the Dicoese of San Joaquin)

One of the most solemn moments of my ordination in June of 1970 was when the Bishop asked me "Will you be loyal to the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church?" That question was an important one for me. We were embroiled at the time in the vestiges of the controversy over the General Convention Special Program and in the midst of very heated discussions over the ordination of women and prayer book revision. It was a time of highly charged theological and emotional discussion and debate.

The current level of emotion, recrimination and debate in the Anglican Communion reminds me of that time in our history. And that question is always on the back burner of my consciousness.

One of the Examining Chaplains of the Diocese of Western New York, Ken Seitz, had told us to carefully listen to that question. "You are being asked that not just for today or for yesterday but to commit yourself for all the tomorrows of your professional life; to the church's journey of progress in understanding the revelation of Christ as this church has received them."

The church continues to be embroiled in conversation and controversy as we look at issues such as the ordination and leadership of the LGBT community in the life of the Episcopal Church; whether relationship blessing and marriage is limited to heterosexuals or is available to those making same-sex commitments as well; legal and illegal immigration issues; death penalty, peace & justice issues, etc.. And I continue to trust the church to be led (sometimes unwillingly and sometimes in fits and starts) into new understandings where the truth of God continues to set us and others free. I understand I have pledged not only my life but also my loyalty to that quest. Others may choose to give up that trust and question the direction - desiring to end the journey in past or present understandings. But in John Jesus is clear that the disciples cannot take in everything all at once and promised that we would led by the Spirit into a fuller truth.

For me God never calls us into what has been but instead calls us into what shall be. The God is a god of the living, a God of possibilities, a God of transformation; a God who awaits us and calls us into a new future he invited us to help create.


Too bad several other priests from San Joaquin didn't pick up on this.