Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Right Reverend David Rice - Provisional Bishop San Joaquin Diocese

Here is some additional information on our newest bishop - David Rice.  As you may recall, while Bishop David Rice is clearly a well qualified candidate there were some process issues I had some difficulty.  The Standing Committee did not create, with the various parishes in the diocese, a profile of the needs of the diocese, as should be the case.  The Standing Committee took only one recommendation from the Presiding Bishop. Under normal circumstances Several clergy would apply for the position and the Standing Committee would act as the search committee and review and process the candidates.  As a bonus, for both Bishop Talton and Bishop Lamb, each toured the diocese and visited with most , if not all, parishes before the election process took place. Bishop David was brought into the diocese as an Assisting Bishop even though he had not taken the vows of an Episcopal Bishop, and before a vote had been taken for Bishop Rice to assume the position of Bishop of  the diocese of San Joaquin.  And the appearance of even one Anglican (because he had not taken the vows ascribed to a Bishop in the Episcopal diocese creates interesting grist for the Stand Firm crowd's mill.

This type of process looks very much like the process for clergy in the San Joaquin Diocese when John David Schofield.  No transparency, no openness, no easy going anything.  Gives the impression that new names, same game. 

Here is the link to a newspaper article as the Bishop was in transition.

here is the link to Bishop David Rice.,d.aWc

In reinforcing one point I do not know Bishop David Rice and his resume is indeed impressive and with lay persons who have talked with him he is friendly, outgoing, and very spiritual. 

What is not the case is one of process.  Process is currently in vogue since JDS stacked the proverbial deck with his "yes men".  We asked for transparency, open dialogue, and to see the checks and balances work for the diocese.  

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Saint Barrack Obama

Wow! We need to get in front of this one.  We may have beat even Fox news  on this one.
President Barrack Obama, in a private audience with Pope Francis was canonized by the new pope.  The Pope said the quickest way to sainthood is right thru the Islamist Socialist ideologies.  And by crackers, President Obama meets all those critera.  At one point the pope was asked why he did not take into consideration the fact that President Obama was not left out because of his birth certificate coming from Kenya.  The Pope said that he was in meditation just yesterday and had a meeting with Jomo Kenyatta and President Kenyatta said, "I once knew some Obamas but they were from Zaire."

President/Saint Obama said that he has received renewed energy to bring back to the United States, part 2 of his great socialist plan.  Saint Obama said that when he and the pope were in private they meditated and St. Obama had a vision of Mary who told him to make sure that everyone in the United States has broccoli at least one time a weak.  She also said that not to worry about gun control because if criminals are the only one with guns then we can just stab anyone who gets out of line. 

Saint Obama said that after such a long meditation that it was time to come down off the mountain (not the ones in Kenya) and try to find his way back home.  He also said that Mary had told him to place a bet on the Stanford Cardinal for her.  She said that she will be back in touch with him about the time he goes to the Grotto of St. Bernadette.

St. Obama is due back in the US on Saturday and everyone at that time will see that the entire hair on his head has turned sparkly silver.

We will report more on this as the Saint returns from England.

(Hope everyone knows I have my tongue planted firmly in my cheek! :-)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Giddy-up Giddy-up 409

I have decided to write on something completely different than the Episcopal/Anglican/Catholic/whatever else.  I guess this is going to be a point of personal privilege.

I am sure most of those that read this blog would be aghast to know that yours truly was raised in Southern California.  I grew up with skateboards, surfing, body surfing, belly boarding and great suntans and beautiful blonds on the beaches (I actually married one).  For a period of time I managed to get to the beach every single day. Skateboards were still made from 2x4s and a stolen skate from your sister.  For me, the entire coast from Long Beach to the Trestles (and yes I body surfed the Wedge) and back again were my playgrounds.

Now you are probably thinking to yourselves, hum, how did he get around so much?  All of that not withstanding, Southern Californians have a special relationship with the automobile.  We talk in hours and not miles.  We talk 409s, 327, 283, 350, 351, Carter carburetors, 4 speeds, doughnuts, and breaking rubber, and street races.  We cruised up and down Whittier Blvd to pick up "chicks" and to pick up a street race.  I believe that Modesto had nothing on what we did with cars.  If you didn't have a car you had a friend with a car.  The nirvana of Southern California was the driver's license quickly followed with the sound of car keys falling into your hand.  We listened to the Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, the Ventures, Dick Dale and the Deltones, KRLA, KHJ and KFWB. 

This idea of automobiles as the primary source of transportation was something Southern Californians are born with.  If you have never seen a baby born let me tell you that most boys are born with their hands in a formation that is identical to the ten and two driving position.  Tickets were a badge of honor in your circle of friends and anathema to you via your parents.  We would scrape and take bottles back to stores for recycling just to get enough money to pay for insurance.  It is safe to say that the only reason one got a Book of Common Prayer is to tell your parents "I need to drive to church".

For over 46 years I have enjoyed the great privilege of owning and driving a host of cars.  My favorites through the years include a 1965 Valiant with a Carter 4 bbl, Hurtz 4 speed and a real ability to fool a whole lot of other folks. This Valiant was one of 6 made that year.  I once owned a 1956 Jaguar with a drop head coupe, great car.  I also loved my 1978 Fiat Spyder.  On a couple of occasions I was able to discover that the Fiat can indeed go 140+ miles per hour right through the 57 and 60 freeways on my way to work.  We had Novas and Suburbans and Oldsmobiles and my best friend would bug me nearly every day about "be a man, get a Ford."  Sadly Jerry moved on to that big Ford Dealership in the sky. 

Now, I am faced with giving up my license and my driving privileges.  Certainly not because I want to but because a host of specialists tell me I must.  No more smelling burning rubber, no more immediate personal freedom to go wherever, whenever and return with that same cavalier approach.  I say to myself, this is not Chicago or New York, or Seattle.  This is California, how can someone who has not had an accident  in over 40 years and who does not have a host of tickets, (well, okay some but its not like I got a ticket every week.  More like every month or two.) not drive.  Removing my driver's license is like amputating a hand or foot or leg.  I will have for years those feint feelings of my drivers license in my wallet.  I will have to have someone drive us all, all the time.  I have not ridden in the backseat of a van/car/truck in a really long time. I am a control freak of major proportions.  As I had one counselor say to me, you will go through the grieving process just like you lost a friend.  I told him I don't due funerals, and I don't do graveside services.  I will not start at this point in my life and so I have no real idea how this is going to work itself out.  American Graffiti this is not.  The worst of it is that every day of my life I will look out the window at all the people who are driving cars around the block, the town, the state and the nation and will say, "Thanks Uncle Ho. I thought you tried but were not able to get  me on Mutter's Ridge, or so I thought.  "It's one, two, three what are we fightin' for. . ."

I have a column I have written and re-written over several days/weeks.  I want to provide a realistic evaluation of where the San Joaquin Diocese is as we welcome in our "newest non-Anglican, Anglican bishop. Stay Tuned.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Hi! Have You Heard This One?

  Is It Me? Again??

I am a w(h)ine drinker and so I think it is time to share some "sour grapes" and let the readers decide for themselves what is or has transpired in the diocese of San Joaquin.  I hold no special knowledge in any real sense.  I see what I see nowadays from the way way back pew and compare it to the promise resurrected in March of 2008. Then and at St. John's Lodi we came together and we came alive.
This is the second time I have risen as if a phoenix from the ashes.  That is, by far and away, the best  analogy for what has transpired over the last 6 years in the Diocese of San Joaquin.  Has Bishop Lamb and Bishop Talton done what they came to do?  Yes, they have.  What have they done?  Well they have fulfilled the dictates of the National Church fairly nicely.  The two bishops managed to keep all the doors (depending on who was where and at what time) open.  The two bishops were healers and did a lot of that also.  But the fact is that it has been 6 years and not only is all the legal work not been completed but no one has yet to figure out what it is we, the Episcopalians, are going to do with old buildings that we have not yet been able to fill.  If there is a strategic plan for rebuilding the Diocese of San Joaquin no one has yet shared it with the diocese of San Joaquin.  Is there a strategic plan to rebuild the parishes - some where, any where? It appears that what we did is ask the National Church to help us and after letting our diocese dangle for weeks it finally came up with the plan of taking back every single piece of property the other side had stolen. We were wildly excited.  We jumped in with both feet.  Six years later we are still in with both feet but some how are shoes have turned into concrete supplied by the National Church.  
See if you readers remember this one:  The Standing Committee begins looking for a provisional bishop.  No surveys, no questionnaire, no visitations to the local parishes.  Everything is very quiet for sometime.  Suddenly the Standing Committee announces they have found a qualified candidate in New Zealand.  The candidate does not visit as Jerry Lamb did, the Standing Committee does not vet the search process.  The "new" bishop appears one day, is approved to be an assistant bishop to Bishop Talton ("approved by a convention") and now a special convention is set up to "formally accept" the new bishop on March 29, 2014.  The presiding Bishop has her calendar set up to provide the necessary vows to the Episcopal Church. Years ago, the train left the station without many of us on board but it did eventually return in that glorious year of 2008.  Once again, the train has left the station and many of us are still on the platform wondering why there were two trains and no one seems to want us along for the ride.  How does a bishop in New Zealand get the presiding Bishop to set a calendar for her to come and administer the vows of the Episcopal Church when no one has yet voted on it?  Lets take a straw poll - who is not in favor of voting for the bishop who has moved his family, his household to the United States from New Zealand and has been the diocesan assistant bishop for four months?  That is what I thought.  I keep missing the train.
Transparency?  No, there is not detailed listing on the diocesan website of who is on the standing committee.  There is no detailed listing of who is on the Diocesan Council.  Who is on the Discernment Committee??  Who is who?  Well, the diocese of San Joaquin is on the cutting edge of recovery of the property that was "stolen" from us over 6 years ago.  Our diocese has been sufficiently distracted from what we are supposed to do and been caught up in wins and losses.  And, as far as I can see, the main interest is in how many wins can we rack up over the years.  What is the toll?  Attend a service at any of the Episcopal Churches in and around this neck of the woods and look into the parishioners eyes and if you cannot see it then look at the finances and that will tell you the plain hard facts.  Most of us in the Diocese of San Joaquin will be buried out of some Episcopal church that has just been recovered from the non-Anglican almost Anglican Anglicans.  There is just not one thing better to attract families to the Episcopal Church than this long, protracted war. 
I will be very honest with my readers, I have no idea how to get out of this predicament we find ourselves in.  And yes, it is to a large degree our responsibility for where we are.  But as with the most recent anointed bishop, we as laity had no real input into the process of recovery; not just ourselves and our spirituality but our property, our hearts, and our parishes, and our belief that this is the way to go.
This is some of what I see.  Those who went with the various John Davids of our church went thinking that it was for spiritual reasons.  No, it was not, it was so clergy who thought they ought to be higher ranking in the church than they were now got to be ordained, promoted, canonized, acclaimed in all sorts of diocese such as Kenya and Nigeria and Uganda.  But what wasn't quite so clear at that time is this was a mere changing of the guard.  We have fallen back into our old ways except we have new faces that are ecstatic about their rising stock.  All got some and some got all.
I will close with this (which may very well infuriate a bunch or folks) old saw - The road to hell is paved with good intentions and while we are really not yet in hell, we sure can see it from here.

And, before I get all sorts of nasty e-grams most of us in our  diocese will forever be in debt to all those in the laity and clergy in other dioceses who supported us spiritually and practically.  That is forever etched in our minds.