Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Izzie is teaching Buttercup very bad habits. My daughter and I went out to look for a red dress (they're going to a wedding in Colombia at the end of the month and was told everyone was to wear red). We found some possibilities, but she's very tiny and the one she liked the best didn't come small enough. I wish I had that problem. Anyway her hubby stayed home and when he came into the house, both Izzie and Buttercup were snoozing on the couch. He took a picture which I will post as soon as he gives me a copy. Izzie also has Buttercup hovering around the table hoping for food. My bad. It will take them weeks to recover from our visit.
This morning she and hubby are going to the garment district to look there for the dress. Buttercup is going to doggie day care (so Izzie doesn't teach her anything else new while they're away). I'm going over to REI since I have a small rebate from last year and need some socks.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
People who come to church only on Christmas and Easter don't want to be disturbed by the reality of a world where the stones cry out against violence, injustice and stony hearts, they want messages of peace and goodwill. Those are not bad things in and of themselves and I do believe in preaching the good news, only I don't think it should be sugar coated. I can, however, imagine the words of this poem making a pretty good Advent sermon though and a really good one for Palm Sunday. A barn harboring heaven and the stones on which the palm branches are strewn remind us of the kingdom that boy-child was to usher in. It hints at the Magnificat with "the low is lifted high" and that at the end, the worlds will be reconciled.
A stable lamp is lightedA very joyous Christmas to all.
Whose glow shall wake the sky
The stars shall bend their voices
And every stone shall cry
And straw like gold will shine
A barn shall harbor heaven
A stall become a shrine
This child through David’s city
Will ride in triumph by
The palm shall strew its branches
And every stone shall cry
And every stone shall cry
Though heavy, dull and dumb
And lie within the roadway
To pave the Kingdom come.
Yet He shall be forsaken
And yielded up to die
The sky shall groan and darken
And every stone shall cry
And every stone shall cry
For stony hearts of men
God’s blood upon the spearhead
God’s love refused again.
But now as at the ending
The low is lifted high
The stars shall bend their voices
And every stone shall cry
And every stone shall cry
In praises of the child
By whose descent among us
The worlds are reconciled.
Monday, December 21, 2009
This is a very sparsely populated area. I did pass one mine, either coal or uranium, I don't know which and a number of empty ore-carriers. The state road was really good and the speed limit was 65. The Navaho road (N-9) was pretty good too. I'll have to do some research into the area later. The last time I was near there was in the 1970s when I visited both the Hopis and Navahos to talk about coal gasification.
When we finally got back on I-40 there was very little traffic. I decided to drive past Flagstaff to Williams. Stayed in a Days Inn there a couple of years ago. They are a very dog friendly chain. In Amarillo the fourth floor seemed to be the doggie floor. We met a Newfie and a Golden there. Izzie wasn't interested. Right now she's sound asleep.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I think we were very fortunate in the 1980s. Of course the stakes weren't so high and the issue was hardly as global. When I was going to meetings in London to amend The Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by the Dumping of Waste and other Matter based on the International Atomic Energy Agency's work to revise criteria for the disposal of radioactive waste into the oceans, Greenpeace organized active protests in front of the building where we met. One morning I was greeted with 55-gallon drums with the words "dump the IAEA" on it. I thought it pretty clever wording, but it had little effect, I still continued to serve as the IAEA representative.
The protesters in Copenhagen want to dump the official delegates and do the work themselves. It's an interesting concept and has some things of merit, but not likely to work very well. The reason international agreements are so difficult is that so many interests are at stake. Our Bishop has a book discussion going on-line with the book Everything Must Change: Jesus, Global Crises, and a Revolution of Hope by Brian D. McLaren. I rather like McLaren's somewhat simplistic Three Subsystems in Society that help to form a "suicide machine": the prosperity system, the security system and the equity system. When these systems are not functioning in an interactive way with each system checking the others, bad things happen. He goes on to point out that there are of course other factors, our environment, for example. We take in heat from the sun and we generate heat from other sources. The heat needs to go somewhere. We pollute in lots of other ways, too. I do wish I had more time to write about this, but it will have to wait at least until I get going on my trip west.
In the article quoted at the start of this post i was taken with the following statement: "Much of the uncertainty in the Copenhagen talks stems from how slowly the first U.S. legislation to cap carbon dioxide emissions is moving through Congress. Passage of a U.S. climate change bill is expected no earlier than next spring -- and many other nations are unwilling to make their final commitments until the U.S. does."
Monday, December 14, 2009
Imagine you're a well-to-do person attending a dinner of your peers. The food is top-rate and there's plenty of it. Course after course is laid upon the table.
A group of less-advantaged people has been watching from the sidelines. When the dinner is done, you invite them to join you at the table. After the restaurant staff has served coffee, the bill comes. You and your rich peers insist that everyone now at the table must share in paying the entire bill.
Every U.S. president since [1965 when President Johnson's science advisors told him] (words in brackets mine) has known of the risks of climate change. Every president and Congress since has failed to adequately mitigate or manage that risk. Although then Vice President Al Gore signed the Kyoto Protocol on behalf of the United States in 1998, the U.S. Senate made clear it would not vote in favor of ratification. As a result, President Clinton didn't bother to try.
The climate change negotiations are about money, but they're also about responsibility. The US and other nations need to step up to the plate. I personally don't care if the money used is called a reparation payment or not.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
They still refuse to say where the money came from to support Question 1. In the most recent court filing that included the sample campaign materials, the National Organization for Marriage argues that requiring disclosure of all donors to a political action committee “will deter donations to NOM from those who otherwise would donate.”
Dr Johnson may have said that Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, but I think secrecy might be just apt in our day. After all Sydney can appoint bishops that way and they can enable the Jensens to stay in office that way. Just see Nobel Wolf's post today.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Andrew Revkin and James Kanter have an article in today's NY Times "Climate Conference Begins to Feel Pressure of the Clock." Having been a "sherpa"/ observer on international agreements on marine pollution, I feel a great deal of sympathy for those people who are working so hard to come up with an agreement that the politicians can sign. National interests, both economic and political are always there and especially in the case of climate change the question of who pays is always there. The authors say:
The main points of contention remain as they have been for years, with a gulf to be bridged particularly on four points:
And, as expected, the Republican right is leading the charge denying that there is such a thing as global warming citing some questions on data from a British center. It's just a red herring. The article goes on to say:
- How much and how fast rich countries should cut their emissions or pledge to limit the rise in planetary temperature.
- How much emerging economic powers like China and India should rein in the growth of their emissions, and how they should prove they have diverted from “business as usual.”
- How much rich countries should compensate poor ones to limit vulnerability to climate extremes that are expected to worsen in many regions near the Equator as greenhouse gases build in the atmosphere and seas continue rising.
- How those money flows can be guaranteed, given that past commitments under earlier climate pacts have largely gone unpaid, and which bloc gets to manage and administer the money.
Senator James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, has led that charge, proclaiming over the weekend that the climate proposals of China and other large industrialized countries were a smokescreen for what was really an economic battle. Over the weekend, his official blog quoted him as saying, “China, India, Mexico, they’re all champing at the bit for America to ration our energy, because they know they’ll get our manufacturing jobs.”Of course this battle has an economic component. However, study after study seems to show that saving energy saves money in the long run. Both the World Meteorological Organization and our NOAA say that the decade we are now in is warmer than the 1990s. But it looks like economics will triumph. I only hope that whatever the proposals are they do take scientific data seriously. Trying to redress all the ills of the world by tying it to this one issue will not work.
Controlling marine pollution is a piece of cake compared to climate change. But even then, we worked till the wee hours to get a final draft done. It took four years and five-10 day meetings to come up with a regional agreement, so I can just imagine the background work it has taken on this issue which is global.
Rich countries, like the U.S., really will have to belly up to the bar. Denying that we've not contributed to a problem that is far more likely to affect the poorer countries of the world so flies in the face of the message that Jesus brought. Pray for all who are working to bring about an international agreement and pray that this time the U.S. will sign on in spite of Inhofe and his ilk.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Some years ago, in the mid 1980s, while I was working for the International Atomic Energy Agency, I was asked to attend the first meeting on global warming held in Geneva as an observer from the IAEA. It was the only meeting on that particular subject that I attended, but it really opened my eyes to the particularly myopic view of the United States on global warming. Finally that vision seems to be sharpening and I do hope that the meetings in Copenhagen are fruitful.
Some years before that I worked for Gordon J. F. MacDonald, then at the MITRE Corporation, and he was so concerned about global warming that he posed for a picture on the cover of People Magazine where he stood on the steps of the US Capital building showing where water could rise to if global warming did become a reality. Even though Gordon was first and foremost a scientist and believed that scientific literature was the place to publish data, he thought the issue serious enough to use a popular magazine to try to promote his point of view. He was somewhat embarrassed by this. [People Magazine only goes back to 1990 on line, so I can’t find a copy of the photo]
After my years in Vienna he became the head of IIASA (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis). Global warming was still a concern of his. If he were still alive, I’m sure he would still be pushing for people to pay attention. The National Academy of Sciences published a review of his scientific work which may be found at: http://ulmo.ucmerced.edu/~westerling/pdffiles/gmacdonald.pdf
Gordon was a holdout against the theory of plate techtonics for many years, but the evidence eventually convinced him, albeit grudgingly. If only those who do not accept that we humans are responsible for global warming would keep open minds to the data. So few people take the time to look at the data for themselves and the number of people who have taken sufficient science and math courses seems to have dwindled.
While I worked at the IAEA on the control of deep sea disposal of radioactive waste, one particular issue bugged me (and some other scientists as well). That was whether the long-held assumption that if humans are protected against the negative effects of ionizing radiation, so would other [read lesser] organisms in the environment. Some of us asked if this really was true for radioactive materials placed into the deep sea (deep meaning 4000+ meters). We know so little about the interchange of deep sea organisms with those we harvest for food, and most of the calculations and criteria involve protecting our food supply. So we made some simple assumptions and used a fairly simple model and concentrated on what might be the impacts on organisms that might live at such depths. What the modeling showed was that the assumption was likely false. If we want to protect future generations the same way we protect our own, we need to pay attention to the potential of negative effects.
Global warming has gone beyond the realm of potentiality for me. I believe it is a real threat and that future generations will suffer or benefit from what we are doing now. Do I think that Copenhagen will come up with a workable plan. I hope so. I pray so. I am also realistic. It is very complicated and countries don’t act against their perceived economic self-interest. So I am both optimistic and pessimistic. God created a wonderful world for us and gave us stewardship over it. God also gave us brains to figure out and create solutions. I sometimes wonder if God wonders if we are worth it, and then remember that God’s son came to show us we are.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Pay Attention (words and music by D.G. Bly)
Are we almost there!
How much longer till I'm safe in bed at home!
How much money do I owe for what I own!
How much left to pay!
This is it, more or less
Who would ever guess
This is the best of times
This is the worst of times
And it's passing
Is it over yet!
How much longer does the hidden road go on!
How much farther till I cross the Rubicon!
How much toll to pay! [Chorus]
This isn't where I thought I'd be—
I ignored my own design
But if you're here, if you're with me
I like it fine. I like it fine...
Someone tells a joke
Someone marries, someone else is giving birth
Someone's praying, someone's buried in the earth
All of us will pay—[Chorus]
We tend to just go through life, not paying attention and life just goes on, so Pay Attention, notice, think, act, serve. We're waiting for the baby Jesus to come, but not really paying attention that he already has come and is here with us.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Instead of going to church, I'm going to go get her, even though I love the First Sunday of Advent. I finished Morning Prayer an hour ago, so that will have to do.
UPDATE: Sunday evening. Well she's home. I had to wait a bit to pick her up. I have no idea what they were doing. The vet tech told me they had separated Izzie out from the other dogs and that she was quite a character. She just needs to be around people. I was shown how to do physical therapy with her. We tried it out at the hospital and Izzie was less than cooperative. Mainly it's massaging her back and back legs and working her legs four times a day. She has two medicines she has to take. One is prednisone and the other an antibiotic. You should see her. She has a rectangular bald patch on her back with seven staples in the middle. I just took this picture of her battle scar. You will have to click on it to see it in its full g(l)ory.
We took a little nap after we got home and now she's resting after a bit of food. She won't let me out of her sight. Her activities are supposed to be restricted, but mine are too. She's worth it. Right now she's resting on the floor at my feet.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
She will be on IV painkillers until this evening at 6. They'll then give her pain meds orally. I told them that she really doesn't complain unless it really hurts. The only sign that I've noticed is that when she's in pain, she pants. The harder the panting the more the pain. The doctor said she'd write that in Izzie's chart for the night vet. They told me I can call at any time to find out how she's doing even in the middle of the night (I'm not going to do that—I've done too many 24-hour on-calls in the hospital to call in the middle of the night just for information). They will call again tomorrow morning.
Friday, November 27, 2009
This morning I drove Izzie down to Scarborough for her surgery. The vet called me later to say she thought Izzie came through it quite well. She also said there was a lot of material that had oozed out of the damaged disc that she had to clean out. Izzie will be there until Monday. It takes approximately four week for recovery. In the mean time she needs to walk on level surfaces (no stairs). Go outside only on a leash and if she is not supervised, she needs to be confined.
Izzie is a VERY stubborn dog. She doesn't take to pampering very well (except for food). This is going to be a tiring time and I do hope it's worth it. I asked if she would be able to travel after a few weeks and the answer was yes. So, at least right now, I plan on driving the two of us to California for Christmas. Of course, the next two weeks will tell.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Today Izzie was rebelling against my picking her up to get on and off the couch. If I say "mommy help" she runs away from me as fast as she can go. She has also decided to sit on the back cushions of the sofa. Something she hasn't done in years. Her back leg still doesn't function well though.
My friend David, from California, suggested that I give her Vitamin D-3 and for the last two days, I've given her some. It can only help. David's friend, who is developing Alzheimer's, accidently took 5 x 5000 IU of D-3 a few weeks ago and her ability to do complex tasks improved dramatically and quickly. She normally takes 5 x 400 IU a day. This led us to doing some research on the web as to the safety of such a large dose. 25,000 IU is still well within the safe amount, if not taken at that level every day. Anyway, it's good for bones and muscles so David and I decided that Izzie should start taking 5000 IU to see if it would improve her back since we didn't think surgery would be an option. I will continue her on it until she goes in on Friday morning.
Again, thank you all for your prayers for both of us.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Poem for Monday
We don’t have to have a past today
Could simply follow the sun like certain plants
Face the light, turn to what is bright and warming; or, conversely,
Like a more delicate potted plant, move into the softer shade for the filtered light
Humankind cannot bear very much reality, nor should many other growing things.
Find the place that suits for this morning,
the ecology that supports enough growth,
(the life of significant soil), between reseeding (receding) and bloom.
But not being caught, rooted too deeply, in either of those beds.
Instead, stretch into the present like cats do, relaxing and
Letting the spine of the moment open like a shy smile,
An intake of breath, an increased delight, a touch of dancing
While you silently stay exactly where you are.
And all that carried history and expectation,
Heavy potential and the weight of undone deeds
Unfinished stories and long-dead parents and people
We never liked all that much; make it compost, treat it like dung.
To be left behind, discarded in a pile to decay, mulch,
To ripen into something that can feed new
Unthinkable, unspeakable growth that may
Bloom into possibilities in another spring
photo from Wikipedia.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Yesterday she saw her vet again. The vet thinks that a disk in her back is causing the problem. She had an x-ray taken of her spine while we were still in Rangeley, and although at the time it wasn't really obvious, the vet here said she saw that one of the disks was not like the others. She warned me that Izzie could get paralyzed if it broke. Our vet thinks it's early enough to do something about it and give Izzie a few more good years. Izzie is now off her NSAID and on pain killers (she will probably need diagnostic procedures like an angiogram) and has an appointment this morning with a specialist.
Please pray for her and for me. Izzie has been my partner in ministry. She breaks the ice in a new parish and keeps vestries from taking themselves too seriously. If people go on and on, she lets out a VERY loud snore which always gets a laugh. She has also been known to snore in the middle of my sermons. Which keeps me from taking myself too seriously.
I will update the blog when we (I) return from Scarborough. When I posted this, the ad on the side was for "herniated discs." Weird!
UPDATE: 2 pm (Thursday, 19 November) I just returned from the vet and the news is not good. Even though the disk is quite repairable and Izzie would likely come through that just fine, they discovered a tumor behind her tongue. The vet said it looked like squamous cell carcinoma, although a biopsy is needed to be sure. The vet said she would hate to do surgery on a dog that might live just 6 months or so and I agree. I will pick her up in the morning and she will get medication for pain for her spine and other meds and I will just wait and watch. I'm devastated and need to rest a bit.
UPDATE: 4 pm (Friday November 20) Izzie is snoozing on the couch. She's on pretty strong pain meds. I am not to let her jump on furniture or go up and down stairs for the next four or five days and she has to be confined when I'm not around. The only procedure she had was the injection of contrast media to look at her spine and a biopsy of the tumor. They found the tumor when they were prepping her for surgery. She seems to be her stoic, cheerful self, although very sleepy. She shared my lunch (bits of turkey and ham from a chef's salad and ate a few treats when we got home. She'll be on soft food for a while (a bit cheer from Izzie, since she detests kibble anyway). I've decided to pamper her (even more) for as long as I can. When she gets to the point where she can't eat properly or her back legs really go, then I'll have her put down. I pray that is months off.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
- Te Deum
- Nunc dimittis
- O Lord, make Thy servant Elizabeth
- O God, the proud are risen
- Sing joyfully unto God
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Christian Charity Raising Money To Feed Non-Gay Famine Victims
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
When Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho with a big crowd, they encountered Bartimaeus, son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the side of the road. Bartimaeus shouted out to Jesus quite loudly asking for mercy. Now a lot of people in the crowd didn’t like this dirty beggar disturbing the order of things, but that didn’t stop Bartimaeus from shouting until Jesus took notice nor did his blindness didn’t keep him from running over to Jesus as fast as he could go.
When Jesus asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?" Bartimaeus answered "My teacher, let me see again." Jesus told him it was his faith that made him regain his sight and followed him on the way. This following Jesus on the way is church. Bartimaeus joined the group of followers . Not only did he see again, he saw the path opened for him. He obviously wasn’t born blind because he said to Jesus “My teacher, let me see again.” And after his healing we hear that “he regained his sight and followed Jesus [him] on the way. The shouting until he was heard and the following were both adaptive changes. It was pretty dramatic stuff.
I don’t know if a song from the Iona Community in Scotland is familiar to you. It’s starts: “Will you come and follow me if I but call your name? One tune is found in Wonder, Love and Praise, the supplement to our hymnal, but most people know it with this melody.
1. Will you come and follow me if I but call your name. Will you go where you don't know and never be the same? Will you let my love be shown? Will you let my name be known, will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?
Jesus does call us by name, but often we seem reluctant to listen. Naming is important. Naming a new baby. Maybe choosing a new name as an adult, or choosing to use our middle name instead of our first, or when a woman chooses to use her husband’s name after marriage or when a couple decides to hyphenate both surnames. In some cultures real names are kept secret, because knowing someone’s name gives you power over them. Names are important. We don’t know the names of all the people Jesus healed, the gospels don’t always tell us, but we do of know the name of the blind beggar, Bartimaeus because he became one of Jesus’ followers.
2. Will you leave yourself behind if I but call your name? Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same? Will you risk the hostile stare should your life attract or scare? Will you let me answer prayer in you and you in me?
The God who created us both individually and collectively as church wants us to follow his Son. When we do that, we can see there is a way that is different from the way of the world. We, who are so often blind, see. One of the things we can see clearly is this world we live in that is so often marked by cruelty, vengeance, deceit, injustice; a world where so often people and governments alike lie about what is really going on in order to hide the truth of unfair dealings, exploitative relationships, and oppressive policies. When we follow the way and let God answer prayer in us we become like Bartimaeus unafraid to speak out. Because of God’s faithfulness that never lets go of us, we are set free to be the people we are called to be. This is the God who never turns away from us, even though we really never stop being sinners as long as we live in this world. Jesus sets us free to look at our lives and our communities with the point of view of the kingdom of God, where love is primary. Where love requires us to put everything on the line, to love those who are difficult to love just like we love those who are easily lovable, and to answer our unique call. We are called to adaptive change.
3. Will you let the blinded see if I but call your name? Will you set the prisoners free and never be the same? Will you kiss the leper clean and do such as this unseen, and admit to what I mean in you and you in me?
I’ve often wondered what letting the blind see really means. Does it mean we are called to remove barriers to others seeing what God’s kingdom is about? What does that mean in a small church like this? It’s scary to admit to what Jesus means to us. If we admit to what he means we might have to go out and follow like Bartimaeus did. In discipleship, Jesus leads us down many paths of service in life, many activities, occupations, and roles, but the disciple is always playing as serious game of “follow the leader.” Our leader provides not only direction but the power and grace to persevere.
4. Will you love the "you" you hide if I but call your name? Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same? Will you use the faith you've found to reshape the world around, through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?
How do we stop the fear we feel when we’re called to reshape the world around us? We’re all so much more comfortable with things when they don’t change, yet they change in spite of ourselves. Our prayers in community, our breaking bread together, our listening to God’s world will help us not to hide. Every time we take communion together, remember it is first and foremost, God’s hospitality to us present in the person of Jesus. All the inhospitality in the world is looked at straight in the face in the awesome mystery that Christ gave himself for us. It signals that in God’s kingdom there is room for everyone, even blind beggars.
5. Lord your summons echoes true when you but call my name. Let me turn and follow you and never be the same. In Your company I'll go where Your love and footsteps show. Thus I'll move and live and grow in you and you in me.
Jesus calls us ordinary people to follow him and leave their old selves behind just because he called them by name. Jesus calls us to serve him no matter what our work is, whether we’ve retired, or if we’ve just started out. I know that there are events in our lives that make everything else seem trivial, at least for a time. These events can be negative such as the loss of a job, or the death of a loved one, or a huge natural disaster, or a major economic crisis like we’re now in. They could be positive too, like a chance at a new opportunity or getting ready for marriage or welcoming a new baby into the family. When we think about how these events take over our lives, our minds, our feelings, we can appreciate how important being in community is. Facing these things alone is daunting, but we’re not alone. To be in community with each other, with our families and with others in this dioceses will help us live in anticipation of Christ’s coming is to live in faith and hope. It will take all of you to find out what God is calling you to become, so you can live and move and grow in Jesus as he lives and moves and grows in each of you.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
The air was was cold, and there wasn't much sun, but the woods were quite lovely. Grandson is supposed to go on a nature walk and collect things to share at school, so we found some birch bark, acorns, pine cones, rocks and red and yellow maple leaves. We will iron the leaves between pieces of wax paper to preserve them. He can take a copy of this picture along too. We can't take living things with us out of the woods, but pictures are a great way to keep memories alive. Izzie loves hiking and had a great time being off leash. I'm glad we found this place. I saw it while driving down the road to pick up a pottery chalice and paten for Rangeley's new deacon.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I Was So Wrong
Even people who oppose regulation and don't mind manufacturing hamburger contaminated by E. coli deserve healthcare
It's good satire in typical Keillor fashion that takes Republicans to task. I particularly like the bit where he says "Republicans have the same right to quality healthcare as anyone else, and you can quote me on that. Even people who are crazed stark raving berserk by the thought of a president with three vowels in his last name deserve to be treated with kindness and dignity, and shot with tranquilizer darts by game wardens and wrapped in quilts and taken to refuge."
Friday, October 2, 2009
It is my belief that the right to marry is a crucial civil right, establishing both protections and obligations that safeguard gay and lesbian couples and their families.
It is core to our Christian belief that we are all children of God, created in God’s image, and, in baptism, we are all full members of the church. In the Episcopal Church, we have also determined that sexual orientation, in and of itself, is no bar to holding any office or ministry in the church, as long as the particular requirements of that office or ministry are met. In many of our congregations, both here in Maine and around the country, faithful same-gender couples and their families are sharing in their local church’s life and ministry and in service to their communities. As full members of our churches and contributing citizens of Maine, these families are as entitled to the rights and responsibilities of civil marriage as any couple.He ends by reminding us that "Our tagline of many years, The Episcopal Church Welcomes You, has never seemed more important."
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
The religion of hope is beautifully embodied in the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and is concisely expressed in his conviction that “beneath the harsh appearances of the world there is a benign power”—that is, a transcendent benevolence that cares about the good and supports those who work for justice. A key feature of the religion of hope is that, because the root of creation is good, no existing thing is essentially bad or evil. Most significantly, this means that every person is a product of a benevolent creator and so not only has inherent value and dignity, but has the capacity within them for moral goodness.
No one is irredeemably evil. No one is so far gone that they have been rendered incapable of compassion; even if, as may be the case, this capacity has been buried beneath layers of prejudice and fear. Because all of us are products of the same divine benevolence, and because our divine creator is a real power moving within all of us to nurture what is good, we can enter conflicts in the hope that we can reach and connect with our opponents’ best selves, that fundamental part of who they are that is responsive to the needs of others.
This is not to say that evil systems and forces aren’t real, and that people do not become deeply entangled with them; nor that injustices can be overcome without struggle, or that there will never be a need to apprehend and incapacitate dangerous people; nor that our duties to protect those in our care will never call us to harm an aggressor in their defense.
But it does mean that even our most dangerous opponents will be seen as fellow human beings with a capacity to care about the good. Those who live by the religion of hope are therefore more inclined to pursue reconciliation even when there are risks, and more likely to forgive even when a past wrong is truly grave.
And when and where the religion of hope prevails, it is difficult to foster an attitude of paranoid hysteria. Even when threats and injustices are real, those who live by the religion of hope look for ways to overcome those threats and injustices by building and recognizing connections of common humanity. They are not easily convinced by those who fabricate dangers out of thin air, and they are not likely to view an occasion for staking out common ground and shared values as itself a danger from which our children must be shielded.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
If you think not, think Martin Luther or Ulrich Zwingli or John Calvin or Mary Ward or Mary MacKillop or John Cardinal Henry Newman or Teilard de Chardin or Hans Kung. Think of any number of others without whom we would still be selling relics or teaching merit theology or refusing to allow women religious on the streets or rejecting the concept of the sensus fidelium or refusing to attend the weddings of our children in Protestant churches or disdaining to deny science, scientists, the movement of the sun and evolution.
The continued suppression of thinkers who call for the discussion and study of the role of women in church and society is not suppressing anything. In fact, more and more men and women are beginning to speak out about it. Which is where Sr. Louise and Archbishop Pilarczyk come in: Like the English, he has the power of the past on his side; like Gandhi, she has the power of the present and the promise of the future on hers.
What a clearly articulated reason that in the long run, suppression fails.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
There have been a lot of good TV spots on marriage equality as a run up to the November referendum here in Maine. This is one of them and my favorite so far.
Our clergy day discussion will be about how to respond pastorally to same sex blessings in our churches.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
I know that many men and even women are afraid and angry when women do speak, because in this barbaric society, when women speak truly they speak subversively—they can't help it: if you're underneath, if you're kept down, you break out, you subvert. We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experiences as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains.That what I want—to hear you erupting. You young Mount St. Helenses who don't know the power in you—I want to hear you. I want to listen to you talking to each other and to us all: whether you're writing an article or poem or letter or teaching a class or talking with friends or reading a novel or making a speech or proposing a law or giving a judgment or singing the baby to sleep or discussing the fate of the nations, I want to hear you. Speak with a woman's tongue. Come out and tell us what time of night it is! Don't let us sink back into silence. If we don't tell our truth, who will? Who'll speak for my children, and yours?
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I have given up trying to get Izzie to eat dog food. I have two books on cooking for your dog and since she just loves whatever I eat, I think her last years should not involve nightly fights (which she usually wins) over what she eats. Tonight she had roasted chicken, brown rice and some bing cherries (one of the few fruits she likes). This week we've had ground lamb patties, sweet potato, Swiss chard, pork tenderloin, sweet corn, summer squash (you get the idea) She doesn't like eggplant, though. I've been sprinkling vitamins on her meat and have seen a definite improvement in her ability to do stairs and jumping on furniture this past week. We had a good long walk today and she managed it without balking. So her dried food is just there for snacking, should she choose to want some.
- Top that with 1/2 the pasta
- Spread half the cottage cheese and then half the cheddar on top of the pasta.
- Add another third of the spaghetti sauce.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
What in human terms we would call generosity and love shown by Suryia the orangutan to this dog is heart-warming and that the dog would have no fear is amazing.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
- To pray daily for the aims of the Society and for its members.
- To remember the Society and its members regularly at public worship. (when appropriate)
- To endeavor to attend the annual gathering and retreat of the Society.
- To offer to God in our ordained role the work of science and technology in the exploration and stewardship of creation.
- To express both the commitment of the Church to the scientific and technological enterprise and our concern for its impact on the world.
- To develop a fellowship of prayer for ordained scientists by the following of a common rule.
- To support each other in our vocation.
- To serve the Church in its relation to science and technology.
It's very strange to be across the ocean during General Convention, although I must admit, I seem to schedule vacations around that time. The last time I went away, +Gene Robinson was approved and it was interesting to listen to Wyoming radio on my drive back from backpacking in the Big Horns. This time, at least I'm in touch, via the internet.