Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Yahoo! Here Comes Some Bigtime Controversy!

I have been "stewing" about the proposed Primates meetings since the Global South primates decided to not even be in the same room with our Presiding Bishop, Katherine Jefferts Schori.  I could not, in this day and age figure out why these folks, religious God fearing Christians would do such a thing.  It started a while ago when they would not so much as go to the table with her.  (receive communion with our Presiding Bishop).  Can you imagine someone refusing to sit at the Lord's table?

Then, while I am still stewing Archbishop Rowan Williams comes up with this brilliant plan for the Primates to meet in one room with other Primates meeting in other rooms and which he terms "separate but equal".  Well, I am thinking this sure sounds vaguely familiar. 

And now, there comes this nonsense,
"The Rt. Rev. David C. Anderson, Sr. President and CEO, American Anglican Council, had a different perspective . . .saying, "I would strongly advise the orthodox Primates to 1) organize before the Primates' meeting, and 2) attend and remove by force [my emphasis] of numbers the Presiding Bishop of the American Episcopal Church (not physically, but by either voting her off the "island," or recessing to another room and not letting her in [how he determines this is not by force I have no idea]). The meeting is a place to gather and potentially to settle some of the issues that are pulling the Anglican Communion apart, and to begin to restore health to a most wonderful communion.

"In the above case, if Dr. Williams did not go along with Jefferts Schori's exclusion, then I would suggest having the next-door-meeting without him. I just don't believe staying home from the field of battle helps win a war over the truth and nature of Christianity within Anglicanism. The Christian Church needs a spiritually strong and muscular Anglicanism to re-evangelize the West; are we willing to make the sacrifices in order for this to happen?"
Then, as if by providence, a few nights ago I am watching an American masterpiece on John Lennon and Yoko Ono in New York. 

And, still, before I put this up, I wish to remind everyone of this:
Many prominent Black Americans spoke out in defense of the song including stand up comedian Dick Gregory and co-founder and chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Ron Dellums. Dellums issued a statement saying, “If you define 'niggers' as someone whose lifestyle is defined by others, whose opportunities are defined by others, whose role in society are defined by others, then Good News! You don't have to be black to be a 'nigger' in this society. Most of the people in America are 'niggers'.”




The song was co-written by Yoko and John -- Yoko took the lead in writing this.  Do you suppose our Anglican Communion will ever get through this? 
If The Episcopal Church of the United States of America is going to be all inclusive then let us lead with strength and unity and not just in places that happen to be safe, but in all areas of the world.

Monday, November 22, 2010

We are a Non-Christian Government

For the last so many years we keep hearing about the Christian right and their need to gain, hold and wield power in the United States.  I would simply like to point out that while our unique experiment allows for just about anyone coming to power, this is the least likely group.  ?Why?  Because it violates the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States.  I will refer several times to The Church Idea written by William Reed Huntington, an Episcopal Priest and author of the work that became the foundation of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral.  One may go to Real Anglicans to get the "full scoop" on the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral and why we "gots all the covenants we needs".

What needs to be addressed here the idea that the United States is a "Christian" country.  So we begin with one of the baseline quote upon which our governing system is based.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion In this short sentence lies wrapped the secret of our national destiny and on the wisdom or unwisdom of this decision of the fathers hinges the well being of their children's children This is a strong statement some will be disposed to call it a wild one
Our forefathers had the innate farsightedness to realize that there is a crushing need to keep church and state absolutely and totally separate.  Notice, they did not say, you can or cannot be "pick your religion" they simply said the government cannot, never, ever, at any time no how no way.  Reed puts it this way:

Let us not shrink then from facing one of first conditions of the American problem which is this that our Government rests in theory and must eventually rest in practice upon a purely secular basis We are as yet a Christian people and we have a right to say that we live in a Christian land simply because the majority of the population are nominally of the Christian faith But we have no right to say that we live under a Christian government for Christ and His religion are alike unknown to that instrument which alone gives the government its authority the Constitution of the United States.

We need to return to the principle that while some of us are, maybe or could be Christian our government was not set up that way and it is not meant to be that way.  And here is the quote that will send the entire Christian right right over the cliff:

But a Christian government ours certainly is not for there is nothing in its structure to prevent either Infidels Jews or Mohammedans from administering it throughout.
But therein lies the beauty of the great experiment, it is liberating not constraining.  With church-state relationships even like the one in England,a benevolent dictatorship one has t oconstantly be looking over one's shoulder. We are free to practice and do what we please, actually living in accordance with our beliefs.  Do I want even a "Christian" government, absolutely not.  I can wait for the kingdom of God, I trust God, I do not trust Sarah Palin, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson or anyone else human.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hello Coneolonialists!

This column is for all my fellow travellers especially those in the faux diocese of San Joaquin and currently attending services in the buildings grounds and good graces of the real Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.

How are things going for you?  Been seeing the Archbishop of Canterbury lately?  No, well that is too bad since you are not recognized by +Rowan Williams.  Remember Mr. Schofield's promise to get you closer to Canterbury?  Seems to have not worked out quite the way you thought it might?  Come on home, we are waiting for you!

How is that 1662 prayer book working for you?  particularly the part where you pledge fealty to the King or Queen of England?  Pretty hot stuff considering we had a Revolution in 1776 that solved that problem.  And hey, the hymnal you are using is that corresponding to the 1662 prayerbook?  Well, just want you to know we are still using the 1979 prayerbook and guess what?  It is as beautiful as the 1662 but it is written with the American Experience in mind.  Come on home, we are waiting for you!

And how about your provincial Convention?  How many voting delegates did you send down South?  How much in the way of voice and vote did you really have?  And hey, how are they spending your precious resources? Money must be pretty tight right now what with the huge sums being paid to your legal team.  Guesses are upwards of over 1 million dollars?  John David share with you how much money has been paid to the legal team and how much more you are going to spend before you lose it all anyway?  You seeing any of the money in your parishes?  Hey, it is only money right and since you belong to the Southern Cone probably just as well, right?  Why should you not contribute the lion's share of the provincial revenues?  You are after all, taking up the lion's share of the archbishop's time?  And hey, how is that archbishop working out for you?  You paid to get his home fixed all pretty.Suppose he is done?  Hope he doesn't need any more. How about the maintenance on your church buildings (or your homes for that matter) is all that getting done for you?  Come on home, we are waiting for you!

And, speaking of property, I hope you are keeping our property in good shape. We will be there soon and we would like to get the property back in the same condition that you took it.  And while we are on the topic the latest ruling seems to draw us inexorably closer to the the return of the property to the Episcopal diocese of San Joaquin.  When your property returns what do you think is going to happen?  Well I do not know either but let's look at what has happened so far.  The parishes that have returned have been given new life and we, the laity of the diocese, have helped keep the doors open.  See, maybe if you come in soon you can negotiate a similar deal with the Bishop.  Maybe if you wait until the court demands you return the property you are not going to get a good deal at all -- what might that look like?  Well, let's not think about that,  come on home, we are waiting for you!

And have you guys got all that messy "stuff" worked out yet? Make some progress on the issue of LGBT and divorced clergy and heaven forbid -- women priests?  got that all worked out yet?  Mr. Schofield help you through that process did he?  Great -- well, if that hasn't happened yet come on home, we are waiting for you!

In the inimitable words of one of America's great sales persons:  "We'll leave the light on for you!"

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Time For Some Timely Music (Leonard Cohen, who else?)

Here are the Lyrics, you may wish to sing along.  Of course if you are a conelonialist you may want to simply turn the channel.

"Democracy"



It's coming through a hole in the air,
from those nights in Tiananmen Square.
It's coming from the feel
that this ain't exactly real,
or it's real, but it ain't exactly there.
From the wars against disorder,
from the sirens night and day,
from the fires of the homeless,
from the ashes of the gay:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming through a crack in the wall;
on a visionary flood of alcohol;
from the staggering account
of the Sermon on the Mount
which I don't pretend to understand at all.
It's coming from the silence
on the dock of the bay,
from the brave, the bold, the battered
heart of Chevrolet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.


It's coming from the sorrow in the street,
the holy places where the races meet;
from the homicidal bitchin'
that goes down in every kitchen
to determine who will serve and who will eat.
From the wells of disappointment
where the women kneel to pray
for the grace of God in the desert here
and the desert far away:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on
O mighty Ship of State!
To the Shores of Need
Past the Reefs of Greed
Through the Squalls of Hate
Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on.
It's coming to America first,
the cradle of the best and of the worst.
It's here they got the range
and the machinery for change
and it's here they got the spiritual thirst.
It's here the family's broken
and it's here the lonely say
that the heart has got to open
in a fundamental way:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.


It's coming from the women and the men.
O baby, we'll be making love again.
We'll be going down so deep
the river's going to weep,
and the mountain's going to shout Amen!
It's coming like the tidal flood
beneath the lunar sway,
imperial, mysterious,
in amorous array:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on ...
I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean
I love the country but I can't stand the scene.
And I'm neither left or right

I'm just staying home tonight,
getting lost in that hopeless little screen.
But I'm stubborn as those garbage bags
that Time cannot decay,
I'm junk but I'm still holding up
this little wild bouquet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A. 

                                                          ----- Leonard Cohen



This poet really is a gift to us all.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Unintended Consequences of the PROPOSED Anglican Covenant

Let's face it folks, we are knee-deep in a discussion of the proposed Anglican Covenant as we were instructed to by the General Convention.  What does this discussion look like in your parish?  Well in my parish, we are focused on several issues.  For starters, we are rehashing the issues of the last twenty years including the prayer book, women's ordination, issues of inclusiveness, issue of theology including issues raised by James Pike and Shelby Spong.  Then of course we are hashing the issue of the covenant itself.  What is this thing, why is this thing, how is this thing and what will it do and what will it accomplish.  I look around and the conversations are reasonably civil and we all still go to the rail together but there is an interesting issue here.

This covenant thingy is NOT of the Episcopal Church in the United States.  It comes from those outside who have already carved up some of the diocese here in the United States and would like nothing more than to carve up ALL the diocese of the Episcopal Church of the Untied States.  Don't think so, read the Chapman Memo.  Now here is the really tough piece of news, our general ASA folks know little to nothing about the history of the Episcopal Church in the United States and less about the Anglican Communion.  I know that is not going to sit well with many, but it is the sad truth.  Talk with those who have already left for the Southern Cone and parts of Africa and you will find precious little historical/traditional knowledge of our Church and our Communion.  We, as the Episcopal Church in the United States have allowed ourselves, in our haste to grab all the ASA we could get, to fail at teaching who and what we are.  And guess what?  The bad guys have taken advantage of that.  let me share but one piece of knowledge.  Mr. Schofield, prior to his Conelonial days ran with a Mennonite Seminary.  His closest allies were/are pastors of "Church of the Feel Good".  Review his monthly newsletters and you will see the overtaking of his theology (or at least his political theology) by bible thumping sermon led priests and friends who are not in touch with history or tradition and I think less with reason, though that might be speculative on my part.

So, the real issue for the covenant, or the reason for studying the covenant is to once again drive a wedge between those who know and understand the Anglican Communion and those who do not.  See, the folks out there know we still have not improved our education system and are gambling on our need to be obedient and study the Anglican Covenant.  The folks  that do not understand are now given a chance to once again reconsider moving to the southern cone, or at a minimum the discussion is re-opening all those old wounds once again, not directly, not with intent to teach and study but rather as an oblique attempt to foment revolution.  So the folks in ACNA, AMiA, GAFCON/FCA and all the alphabet soup win one way or the other. 

And so my question.  Is this an unintended consequence or is this another phase of the Chapman Memo?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lest We Forget




In Flanders Fields


By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.




Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy Birthday To The Eagle Globe and Anchor!

Today is, you got it, the Marine Corps birthday.  It was on November 10, 1775 at Tuns Tavern that the Marine Corps was founded.  The fact that I know this should tell you a little something about me -- and if you understand the Marine Corps esprit de corps, Semper Fidelis, you know some of my core values.  I enlisted before I was eighteen and yes, my mom signed for me.  She did so on one condition, that I would delay my enlistment until after Christmas.  I acquiesced and on January 1968 I entered the United States Marine Corps.  That made me a mid-Tet replacement in June of 1968 in Vietnam.  I am a tanker and in August of 1969 I left my tank in pretty much the same condition that I found it.  In 1970 I mustered out and I can say with agreat deal of pride, it is my great privilege to be known as a United States Marine.

Here is the first of two things I wish to share on this special day:



Close order drill seems so innocuous until one discovers the big WHY!

Next, is the following:




And finally, I offer this to those who really know me:  "The Marine Corps is the "Men's Department" of the
United States Navy. (;-}

Happy Birthday!

OHHHRAH!

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Damnable Numbers Game

I keep reading in so many various blogs about the numbers game. You all know what I am talking about, the idea that if I have 3 more persons in my Sunday ASA (that's average Sunday attendance) than you do that I am closer, better, more holy, closer to God than you. This is particularly true when it comes to issues surrounding +Gene Robinson, +Mary Glasspool and the inclusion of all LGBTQ persons in our great Episcopal Church. So, I finally went searching for this song and found it. It is probably too obtuse but I offer it anyway.



BTW -- This was a great TV program and I, though clearly giving up my age, will say that I have listened to Johnny Cash since I was old enough to put a record on the turntable (that;'s correct, a turntable.)

Monday, October 11, 2010

We Are A Nation Afraid of Our Own Shadow


Something really, really, terrible happened in September of 2001. Yes, the Twin Towers came crashing down upon over 2800 of our friends, neighbors, acquaintances, and people we did not even know. When given the chance, our president, George W. Bush, took the low road and convinced us that we have everything to fear including fear itself. He could have given the old FDR speech about how we have nothing to fear but fear itself but he chose to scare us into submission. So, in addition to the fact that we collectively were saddened by the deaths of our countrypersons, we breathed a collective sigh of relief that it wasn't us, and then President Bush followed it up immediately with, "yeah, but not only could it have been you, it may still be you!" That is correct, we are scared out of our collective wits. This is not your vanilla afraid of things, this is look under the beds, check out the closets, keep your doors locked every second of every day 'cause the Al-Quaida terrorists will seek you and and kill you scared!
With that fear he was able to accomplish what the terrorists could not -- and in one sense they have won already. Yep, they want us to be afraid, their tactics and their overall goals depend on us being afraid. We have cut civil liberties especially those issues revolving around the first, fourth, fifth, and fourteenth amendments. Our mail is read, our Internet chatter (yep even this) is spied on, your phone calls your right to a speedy trial. And with that has come this huge push of aliens. Not just foreigners but those who do not look or act like us. That's right, the immigrant is taking a huge blow to the head right now because we are afraid that some is going to sneak in and hurt us and so we want everyone to go home! And yet, which of us did not originally come from someplace else (My grandmother enter this country when she was 13, probably illegally) Our economy doesn't help this either. But the lesser known fallout is the LGBT group that is taking a tremendous pummeling right now, because we are afraid-- yep, we do not know these folks and so we are afraid and that fear now drives us to Proposition 8 (in California) and the kinds and types of things that create suicides and deaths of our friends.

So you see, Al-Quiada has won. We have lost our ability to look fear in the eye and not blink. We have adapted our lives to that fear. The terrorists require nothing more than that for they know that when we are afraid we do stupid things and unfortunately we have demonstrated to the entire world that they are right.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

John Lennon: 70?

Just a brief explanation for each of the three videos that follow. First, Yoko Ono and her request for fans on this, what would have been Jon Lennon's 70th birthday.



This clip is the song that changed the music world (maybe all the world) for ever. All those who did not watch Ed Sullivan please raise your hands!



And for today, our time and here and now. This is for those in ACNA, AiMA, CAPA, CANA, the Anglican dioceses of San Joaquin, Forth Worth, Pittsburgh and for those of you in South Carolina think about this before you move on.



There are few "famous people" that when gone, I would say too bad, could have made a difference. John Lennon is one of those who could have and would have made a difference and we (collectively) as the worse off for his death. (Here endth the rant)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Archbishop Rowan Williams and Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori

One of my "favorite" people, no "bishops", has demanded that the Archbishop thow out our Presiding Bishop should she come to the next primates meeting scheduled for, I think January of 2011. Well, through the magic of a time machine and some REALLY good make-up we present the following video. Apparently, this meeting has already happened in the future and we can now report exactly how the confrontation between the Archbishop and the Presiding Bishop "shook out". Clearly, it is someone's "fawlt".

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A wound In the Side of The Church

Our "fearful" leader has declared the LGBT persons are a wound in the side of the church. Let's take a quick look at that and see if we can make some sense of all of the nonsense.

Let me take you back, a way back to a small, closed room. Let see if we can listen to what is going on. . . Rowan, called the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. When the Episcopal Church of the United States said, 'We have seen the Lord', he answered, 'Unless I can see the holes that the nails made in his hands and put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe'. Eight days later the Anglican Communion were in the house again and Rowan was with them. The doors were closed, but Jesus came in and stood among them. 'Peace be with you' he said. Then he spoke to Rowan, 'Put your finger here, this is the wound for those who cannot speak for themselves; and put your finger here, this is the wound for those women who have never been allowed to be priests and bishops; and put your finger here, this is the wound for those who live in poverty and cannot come to your church; and put your finger here, this is trhe wound for the children that are brushed aside each and every Sunday; and give me your hand, and put it into my side, this is the wound for those LGBT who have been beaten, kept from my church and my sacraments and have been killed for thier desire to get close to me.' Doubt no longer but believe.

You believe because you can see me. Happy are those who have not seen me and yet believe. Keep them no longer from my side.



h/t to Susan Russell and the Gospel of John

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I would like for you all to go to Friends of Jake, The Poor are with us more than ever and read the blog and then the comment by JCF and then come on back and listen to this:




When, do you suppose, folks will realize that we all cannot clip coupons? When, do you suppose, folks will realize that without unions what just happened on Wall Street will become common place.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Rome and Canterbury




I need to start off with a disclaimer. I am not much of a thorough-going theologian. I think I have read a fair amount, not everything by any means, but enough to make me dangerous and so I am going to go out on a limb.

The pope came to visit Canterbury a few days ago and apparently put most of the Church of England into a "tizzy". (Tizzy is one of those theological terms, it means holy crap, we ain't ready for this one yet). There has been a great deal of turmoil over the last few years for ARCIC since the "American Church" has scrambled the eggs with ordination of wimmin and full inclusion for LGBT persons. Fortunately for ++Rowan, he was able to keep us locked in the back room for most of the papal visit.

There was some discussion that we (the Anglican Church) have nothing to offer the Roman Church. Well, I beg to differ. On a very practical level we offer Rome what they could call the English Rite, similar to the Coptic Rite which they already recognize. What would this give Rome? Well, for starters it would preserve the Roman Rite for single, male, celibate priesthood. It would simultaneously, provide for both married priests and women priests without "sacrificing" the Church's espoused history and tradition. This in turn would swell the ranks of the Roman church's clergy almost over night and stave the flow of churches currently being closed and consolidated because of a lack of ordained clergy. It would still give the Vatican distance not unlike the Coptic rite which no one talks about anyway.

The thorny issue is not the ordained priesthood, but the pointy hat in Rome -- that would have to be written around very carefully, but I bet Gary Wills would like a crack at that (and he is probably up to the task, along with a couple of others).

So you see, we do have something to offer the Roman Church and if they would take the blinders off, come into the 21st century, reopen some doors and windows, I'll bet we could make some real progress. And, little does ++Williams know that we, The Epsicopal Church in the United States, are his real strength. Our Godly stance is what we as Anglicans, can offer the Roman Church.

Archbishop Williams, can we come out of our room now?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

St. Mark's Chapel versus St. John's Chapel: Separate and Not Equal

From the South Carolina diocesan website:

Almost nine months to the day, on the evening of July 7, 2010, St. John’s Chapel celebrated another milestone when it became an official “mission congregation” of the Episcopal Church. Since St. John’s re-opened last fall, average Sunday attendance has grown to more than 40 worshippers per week.


Here is a quote from the local newspaper on St. Mark's Chapel:


Prior to meeting at the Historic Union Church, about a dozen families met in each other's homes. The group grew too large and moved to meet at the Sea Island Motel in downtown Beaufort and later at the Masonic Lodge. In its six years, the congregation has grown to about 40 families.


St. mark's Chapel is not a recognized mission in the diocese of South Carolina, in fact here is what Bishop Mark Lawrence has to say about St. Mark's

I have met several times with the leaders of St. Mark’s Chapel, Port Royal—a fellowship of mostly disgruntled members of St. Helena’s Beaufort"


What is the beef? where here is the charge from the Episcopal Forum:


Missions are being planted within the Diocese; however, the [bishop] will not recognize or approve the establishment of St. Mark’s Chapel, Port Royal, a congregation of loyal Episcopalians that has doubled its membership over the past year.


So please go to the diocese of South Carolina and read about these two missions on the website of Bishop Mark Lawrence. I do not think you can find St. Mark's but you may be able to. Then you decide if Bishop Lawrence is treating all his missions equally. I think not, what do you think? If you agree please let Mark Harris, the Executive Council and the House of Bishops know.
Well folks, I cannot help but be appalled at all the news this week so I have decided to allow a YouTube song to "let it all hang out."



My grandson, at the ripe old age of 2 became a convert to head-banging to this song, but that is not why I picked it. Review this weeks story lines and you will find the real reason.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Update On St. Mark's Port Royal, South Carolina




Word has come in via an rather unusual process that St. Mark's Chapel, Port Royal, South Carolina may be in trouble. This is a group we have reported on from time to time as Bishop Mark Lawrence "permits" them to exist. They have been growing and apparently working with a group inside the diocese of South Carolina known as the Episcopal Forum. This group is roughly equivalent to the Remain Episcopal group in the diocese of San Joaquin (and I am told in the diocese of Forth Worth, Texas).

Turns out that the Episcopal Forum has asked the Executive Council/House of Bishops to investigate the current ongoing "goofing off" of the current bishop of South Carolina, +Mark Lawrence. Bishop Lawrence responded in a very condescending manner(see Real Anglicans) and has in turned threatened this small and growing community of loyal Episcopalians. What do I mean? Well, here is the excerpt from Bishop Lawrence's letter pertaining directly to St. Mark's Chapel:

e) Missions are being planted within the Diocese; however, the [bishop] will not recognize or approve the establishment of St. Mark’s Chapel, Port Royal, a congregation of loyal Episcopalians that has doubled its membership over the past year.

I have met several times with the leaders of St. Mark’s Chapel, Port Royal—a fellowship of mostly disgruntled members of St. Helena’s Beaufort. St. Helena’s is one of the strongest and fastest growing parishes in the diocese—if not the country. The leaders of St. Mark’s Fellowship are well aware of my concerns. I have allowed them access to retired priests, which as the bishop I licensed to officiate at services. I have even allowed vacationing clergy from other dioceses to preach and celebrate among this fellowship. There are many complex issues to this matter which date back to the time of Bishop Salmon’s episcopacy that I shall not go into here. Frankly, this charge is a disappointing way for this group to repay my kindness to some of their requests.


Read the words carefully for just a moment: "I have EVEN allowed"; met with the disgruntled members; There are many complex issues; well aware of my concerns.

Clearly you can read and hear the deep pastoral concern for this loyal group of Episcopalians. Bishop Lawrence is gracious, kind, long-suffering, and of course deeply moved by their loyalty to the Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

Recognizing that the reach of this blog is pretty limited we do ask each reader to go to the St. Mark's Chapel website and leave them a message of continuing support and then go to the diocese of South Carolina website and then leave Bishop Lawrence a message that you support fully St. Mark's and you are aware of his attempts to kill this mission. Then go the Preludium and leave a message with Fr. Mark for the executive council that you support St. Mark's and you expect the EC to do so as well!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Harvest Moon



Nothing quite like this in 20 plus years. It calls for a celebration! Actually it calls for Neil Young!



Friday, September 17, 2010

Has He Gone Off The Deep End?

Well, melancholy seems apropos for tonight, so I offer you one of the finest Leonard Cohen songs ever recorded. That is correct, I said Leonard Cohen. If you do not know him, listen to the word of this song. He is a good musically but his words really are pure poetry. It is a bit off the beaten path for me but his work is so haunting it cannot be ignored.





Decide to help you out. Here are the lyrics.

"Hallelujah"

Now I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you
To a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I've seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

There was a time you let me know
What's really going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah


by Leonard Cohen

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Is it Tide? No, it's Blue Cheer!

Well, continuing our theme from the last posting. I saw these folks at the Shrine. Lots of bands from San Francisco rolled into the Shrine. It was a great time. Since summertime is about over, give it up for a pretty good band.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Do You Remember?

When I was younger, actually along time ago, I used to go to concerts for about 2 bucks at the Shrine Auditorium. Friday nights were a blast. Got to see folks back then that were Nobody" or at least up and coming. Here was a warm up band. favorites.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Your Anglican Dollars Hard At Work



I looked up the "tariffs" for the Imperial Hotel where this conference was held. The rates are between $300.00 and $1700.00 per night. Bishop Duncan, Williams, Minns,Guernsey and other American bishops made an appearance at this all African Bishops Conference. So let's see if I have this correct?#! They beg money for their lawsuits to continue the fight yet can fly to Entebbe, Uganda and spend at least $300.00 per day of your Anglican dollars to go to an All African Bishops Conference? Seems reasonable me, i am going to send a big fat check RIGHT NOW to Bob Duncan. Crap, maybe it should be to John David Schofield, I sure hope he got to go -- but those Central Valley Anglicans are far too smart to let this light at the end of the tunnel smack them.

By the way, they also call themselves the Anglican presence in the United States. Isn't lying fall somewhere on the stone tablets? The ONLY REAL ANGLICANS in the United States are Episcopalians.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My Mom Was Right!

Years ago my mother and I would engage in some "hellacious" arguments. I was 14 or 15 and wanted to do something that all my friends were doing. Usually that "something" was dangerous or worse. I would go to my mom and ask her for permission to go with Jim and Tran and whoever and do this "thing". I had to ask because in the town I grew up in people knew my family (read that my mom) that I never knew, knew my mom. That relationship got me into big time trouble on more than one occasion. Before I got home my mom would receive a telephone call (we did have phones back then) and I would catch "it" (we all know what IT is) as I walked through the door. Suffice it to say I always asked for permission and rarely for forgiveness. Anyway, I would ask to do this deed or go on this trip and my mom would say, "Just because everyone else is doing it does not make it right! Mom, but everyone is doing it, why can't I? I would whine. Mom would say, "If the whole world was jumping off a cliff 3,000 feet high (not real sure why 3,000 feet but that seemed like a silly question and certainly non-productive at the time) would you jump off that cliff as well?" Well, I am not stupid so I would say, "of course not!" and promptly lose the argument, the request and the trip, case closed.

The argument the Prop 8 backers used in the court case settled yesterday seems to be a lot like that argument, "But judge, everyone wants this and you cannot deny us that opportunity to jump off that 3,000 foot cliff!" Except the judge did -- but unfortunately the case is not closed. We will see this thing fought all the way to mom the Supreme Court. But for the moment, enjoy the victory, you/we have all earned it. We are most happy for several people we know including IT and BP as they are about to celebrate their second anniversary and we here at Off Topic wish them a most happy anniversary! Yes, the struggle is still ahead but take a moment and savor what freedom feels and tastes like you have earned it!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Don't fry my green tomatoes

I've left the wild wilderness of Virginia, and find myself in an urban oasis about five miles from my home church and...home.

This place won't be home for long, because the kitchen is terrible. Well, perhaps not so terrible: I can look out to my sunny balcony, where grows a "kitchen garden." I have put in some wonderful balcony gardens, but this one is special. Three tomato plants, nine herbs, a pot of parsley, and yes - some flowers.

The women in my family have the proverbial green thumb, and I've grown some magnificent shade gardens in the shadow of high-rise buildings. But look: tomatoes! No one thought it made sense to grow full-size tomato plants in pots on a balcony, except my mother. She told me to put in enough plants to supply my brother, sister-in-law and a few nice neighbors. Putting in a garden makes a place home; when you move in late spring, it's probably more important than unpacking boxes. Some might disagree, but my new home will have flowers and tomatoes that can't be purchased with MasterCard. The last of the boxes can be unpacked when the days grow short and the basil has died.

I'm home. In about three weeks, we'll be crackin' jimmies, and eating sweet corn and vine-ripened tomatoes. My home church has grown on its vine, with a larger (and lovely) physical plant, and a diverse congregation that loves the liturgy and serves the least of us.

Perhaps this kitchen isn't too small. Perhaps my life was too small, and the kitchen too large. Let's ripen those tomatoes on the vine. I have the sweet basil, who's bringing the fresh mozz?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Archbishop of Canterbury Will Be elected Inside of A Month: UPDATE UPDATE


Based on ++Rowan Williams utter inability to provide for even the election of a regular bishop this article has reappeared by popular demand. It is odd, but I would have thought that the Archbishop of Canterbury would have a little finesse in he political arena. It my language, "bummer dude!".


The Guardian is reporting that the new Archbishop of Canterbury will be appointed inside of 30 days.

In a stunning turn of events ++Rowan Williams resigned last week from his position as the Archbishop of Canterbury and the titular head of the Anglican Communion, such as it is. It seems that Archbishop Williams was summoned to Windsor Palace to meet with Queen Elizabeth, the Prime Minister and the Head of the House of Commons and the head of the House of Lords. This all occurred after the leading primates of the Southern Cone, recently renamed GAFCON, withdrew from the Anglican Communion and named Archbishop Luke Orombi as the new Archbishop of the Anglican Communion.

In related news it it was learned that about 3 months ago the Episcopal Church of the United States, the Church of Canada and several other provinces within what was the last vestige of the British Empire, the worldwide Anglican Communion, rejected resoundingly the document referred to as the Anglican Covenant. Apparently this rejection by a large minority of the churches making up the Anglican Communion set the wheels in motion for the organization known as GAFCON to invoke the Jerusalem Declaration and elect a new Archbishop of the real Anglican Communion. It took three votes. The first vote rejected Peter Akinola as the new archbishop and the second vote rejected Greg Venables. It was then determined by a small committee made up of lessor bishops that put forth a candidate with little real world experience and Henri Luke Orombi was elected the new Archbishop. We are told that the committee consisted of the likes of mostly American bishops including Robert Duncan, Jack Iker, John David Schofield and John Guernsey. At a press conference the newly consecrated Archbishop Orombi stated, "We told the Archbishop of Canterbury he really wasn't necessary but I guess we had to prove it."

In a related press conference, the press secretary for Queen Elizabeth said the Queen was sorely disappointed in the way that Mr. Rowan Williams had slowly ground the last remnants of the British Empire into dust. The Prime Minister stated that he had not seen such a debacle since Lord Chamberlain "gave the world away in the mid 20th century." The Queen's press secretary stated that a new Archbishop of Canterbury will be appointed and will have much less to worry about than the former Archbishop of Canterbury. There was no comment forthcoming from the Queen on the 14 different alternative oversight bishops that are currently operating inside of England from such far away paces as Uganda, Rwanda, Brazil and Australia. Clearly there was a great deal of dissatisfaction with the method and manner that Rowan Williams has handled this whole sordid mess but none greater than when Greg Venables, agreed to provide alternative oversight to the Westminster Abbey group that, in a stunning move, rejected Rowan Williams as their primary bishop.

A rising star for the appointment to the Archbishop of Canterbury is the most Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin. A known insider commented that while her name is being bandied about in a real sense the Queen has indicated that if she should be forced to appoint a woman to the Archbishop's role the Queen would seek alternative primatial oversight from Archbishop Mounieer Anis.

The retiring Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, said through a spokesman, he was deeply disappointed and distraught that the British Empire could be brought down by a few odd and disaffected people from across the pond.


(just kidding).

Monday, July 5, 2010

Too Many Bishops with Too Much Time On Their Hands

"The Church was to make a formal declaration of its preference for the epsicopacy, and of its intention of obtaining it as soon as possible, but in the meantime White felt that the necessity of the case would fully justify the resort to the presbyterial ordination, and he cited expressions from Cranmer, Hooker, Usher, and other leading divines to support his view."

This was a quote from Mandrake's book on the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. White (despite or in spite of the fact he ultimately was consecrated a bishop) believed we (TEC) could get along just fine without bishops. Of course that is all history. Nowadays, at least in the United States, we believe in the "up or out" theory of work. What I mean by that is best expressed with a military analogy. A member of the military must routinely be promoted otherwise, the member is asked to leave the service all together. This mindset, permeates American culture. We as a work force believe that it is our "God-given right" to a promotion. If one works hard, studies hard and does a good job, we are entitled to a promotion. Few believe, and fewer practice, the idea that there is inherent value in a position, a lifetime work.

This becomes far more complicated in religious field and in the Episcopal Church in particular. Specifically, the priesthood seems to be a mere stepping stone to the episcopate. It would be interesting to run a survey among the various seminaries and see where each seminarian would believe they will be in 15 years. My seat of the pants guess would say that 40 to 60% of those would suggest they will be a bishop somewhere.

Now, before everyone goes ballistic let's think about this for just a moment. How many diocese are there and how many priests do we ordain in one year? Better, more to the point perhaps, how many priests get paid a living wage? How many priests, when faced with a career as a priest can honestly say their salary will be higher (substantially higher?) at the end of their career versus the beginning of their career? So, it is our (the laity) problem, maybe even more so.

So what has happened? Well, we have created a group of clergy that are avaricious, social climbers that are never satisfied with where they are and always seeking the next promotion. My next survey would poll all the priests over 15 years of service and ask them to select three episcopates where they think they would do a better job than the current bishop. None of the above would be a viable answer, one that very few would choose, at least I believe that.

What does all of this have to do with the current state of affairs in the Episcopal Church? If you review all the "current bishops" in the ACNA or similar non-TEC bishops I believe that many who have been bishop for some time would tell us they wanted to be or could do a better job at being the Presiding Bishop and certainly could do a way-better job than some woman! Many of those who went "extra-legal" to be consecrated would say that they have paid their dues, and could be as good if not better than their (used to be) current bishop. I believe all of them would say that this is the next logical rung on the promotion ladder, that they paid their dues and that in their mind, it was time to be promoted.

If this did not lead directly to the current state of affairs in our church it certainly was/is a significant contributing factor. Ask them, if they are honest you will get answers that resemble this post. Of course, honesty is not necessarily these folks long suit. And, history is history and that is that.

What can we do now? We need to change the culture beginning in seminary, if not before. One does not need to be a brilliant theologian to be a good pastor, and after all is that not all we as laity are after? So, seminary needs to begin the process of creating value in and of the position of vicar/rector. We as laity need to begin to value our pastors for the work they do, not the work that they have done. What does that look like? Well, lets start with paying for experience. Let us, as laity, create value in longevity. Rectors/Vicars should be paid for their service to the parish, now. A living wage is all well and good but it does not engender holding on to current priests. Diocese throughout the country need to create pay schedules that reflect real experience. Laity will also have to change our way of thinking in that we need to "not look for the next best thing since sliced bread". We need to continue to challenge our rectors/vicars. We need to provide vacations, sabbaticals, additional work like starting up the regular and routine home visits of parishioners.

We need to de-emphasize the idea that bishops are the end all and be all of clergy. One idea would be to create an administrative position in each diocese that does all the administrative work and relegate a bishop to pastor of the flock. This might very well involve devolution of the House of Bishops. Revolution in the House of Deputies.

What do you all think?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Truth or Fiction?

what is more damaging, truth or fiction? In the Episcopal Church we meet, we discuss, sometimes we yell, sometimes we even act out a bit, but we never fabricate the truth. One may not always like what we as Episcopalians do, but we do it in front of everyone and we generally say what we mean and mean what we say. That seems to be our downfall.

Take for example the members of ACNA, in fact let's talk about the now deposed Bishop of San Joaquin, John David Schofield. For years he was asked, "Are you taking the diocese of San Joaquin out of the Episcopal Church?" For years, he responded with a resounding NO! In fact, there are at least two pastoral letters from Mr. Schofield that clearly stated he had no such intention. Then, like a "bolt from on high, he does just that! Yes, in December of 2007 he pulls the diocese into a half-baked (maybe full baked) province from South America led by a renegade from who knows where. (In a related story, Archbishop Venables is now so broke he cannot pay attention and is need, once again, of the North Americans to come to his financial rescue). Now, Mr. Schofield will vehemently deny he did anything, after all, it was his convention delegates that did all the work, but read his statement to convention of that year, he certainly did not tell the truth.

Now, three years later, the Episcopal Church meets and passes two significant resolutions on inclusion. The Archbishop of Canterbury was there, he spoke. We discussed, debated and then passed the resolution. Then, we simply did what we said we were going to do. Everyone in the worldwide Anglican Communion gets their knickers in a twist and then we, The Episcopal Church, get thrown off committees and bounced from sub-groups. The GAFCON archbishops come together and agree to exercise "gracious restraint" and it turns out that it is neither gracious nor restrained. Nothing happens. The Communion Partners, which Archbishop Williams is particularly enamored with, attends the last GAFCON conference complete with voice at the convention yet they say, "Oh, we just want to be good Episcopalians, we do not want to tear down the Episcopal Church, we want to build it up." Hooey!

So the Episcopal Church says what it means and does what it says and gets blasted. The GAFCON/ACNA/CANA/AMiA folks create fiction, borrow property indefinitely, violate territorial rights, continue to practice holy orders after being duly deposed and generally reek mayhem on the Anglican Communion and they get -- the run of the show! Well, I am glad we got that straightened out!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Will The REAL Chaplain to the Commons Please Stand Up

Well, if we needed further proof that the Church of England has somehow slipped back into the 19th Century, we now get this wonderful donnybrook:

Clash over historic promotion for female cleric

Westminster Abbey is so far out of touch with reality that they are now fighting over an appointment of a woman to the position of Chaplain to the Commons.

The Speaker of the House was apparently tired of old, middle-aged white guys that were predictable in out look.
Speaker John Bercow and wife Sally: Sources say he objected to appointing 'another predictable middle-aged white man'


The Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin primary offense seems to be that she is a woman, followed by the fact she is black, followed by the fact that she is slated to be one of the first consecrated women bishops in the Church of England.

The Dean of Westminster Abbey wants to have 46-year-old Andrew Tremlett, currently a Canon at Bristol Cathedral appointed. Tremlett's current duties are as follows:

The Canon for Development is responsible for the pastoral care and growth of the congregations of the Cathedral; using the historic buildings to serve today's needs; and informing the Chapter's strategic planning, so that the Cathedral becomes an effective centre of Mission.
I translate this into "takes care of the rich folks."

He is, quite typically, Westminster Abbey "material", especially based on the stuff that has been emanating from there of late.

The Reverend Hudson-Wilkin has worked long and hard in areas where diversity is the rule and the need for pastoral care was significant. here is one attendee's comment: "Rev. Rose Hudson-Wilkinson who lead worship with grace, preached well, and was approachable and encouraging." She raised up one congregation from a handful to over 200 attendees on Sundays.

So, what is the knock on the Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin? Well, appears she is "too liberal".
A controversial figure, she led calls for the Church of England to apologise for its role in slavery and has lambasted racism in the clergy. A friend said her views were ‘radical, Left of centre’.


So, the real story beginning to come out on the Church of England is one that is not very pretty. They clearly do not like women, well unless they are barefoot and pregnant. They seem to be building a case against any diversity but especially LGBT members and they are leaning toward a new Archbishop/Pope. Not a pretty picture my friends.

Sidebar: When I was reading the amendment presented to the House of Bishops by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York I thought of the Wilberforce speech during the debate in the House on abolishing slavery.

Once again a HatTip to Simon Sarmiento.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Over at Thinking Anglicans we find this little slice of heaven:

That document includes the following (paragraph 6):
On the Anglican Communion Covenant, the House agreed
(a) to commend it for adoption by the Church of England;
(b) to invite the Business Committee to schedule the beginning of the adoption process for the inaugural Synod in November 2010, with a view to final approval in February 2012;
(c) not to propose special majorities for its adoption; and
(d) to authorise the House’s Standing Committee to oversee the production of necessary material for the Synod.


Of course, this is from the Church of England's House of Bishops,who else?!

Since this "disagreement" began at least 10 years ago and probably more like 20 or thirty years ago, it has been (predominantly) about clergy, and more specifically in and between bishops. While we argue about sex: full inclusion of LGBT and full inclusion of women and prayer books, and who has the greatest God and who has the right Scriptures and who has the lovingest God the real issue has been prestige and power and control. Yep, we have so many priests that want to be bishop and so many bishops that want to be archbishops and so many archbishops that want to be pope that it just ain't funny no more! Way back when William White (see my picture) was writing and organizing for the Protestant Episcopal Church In America there was a strong feeling that we did not need bishops. Then, when Connecticut some how talked the folks into adding bishops they were originally just part of the overall single cameral house. Somehow, some silly person decided to have a bicameral arrangement that then set up the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies. Boy, sure would like to have that one back! John Guernsey and Martyn Minns and Robert Duncan and all the rest just wanted to get to whatever mitre level they could wear. Conversely, they do not want LGBT to be priests and women to be priest or bishops because - - - he**, I am not sure but it must be because they would have equal say in matters and that irks them.

The best I can understand, we the laity, only count for counting purposes. See, ACNA is a real province because it has laity in the thousands. Ya'll don't get any say in anything (check out your Constitution and Canons), ya just get be raw numbers. TEC counters with you don't have as many laity as we got so there! Then, of course Archbishop Akinola has said that they have over 35 million Anglicans in the GAFCON so they are right and we (and everyone else is wrong) because of the numbers. Laity is good for one thing, being counted, understand we don't count for anything except being counted. Don't we all like to be "patted on the head" and told we are "good boys and girls" now go outside and play while the grown-ups (clergy) figure this out.

So why shouldn't the House of Bishops vote in favor of the "Covenant", it gives them more power and prestige.

Maybe we need a shift in paradigm. Maybe we need to eliminate the House of Bishops and make bishops pastoral only. Maybe the "Presiding Bishop" for The Episcopal Church needs to be a presiding layperson. A bishop could be chaplain to the Episcopal Church. Maybe we need to strip bishops and archbishops and wannbe popes to a mere pastoral level and let all the decisions on prayerbooks and rituals and Constitutions and Canons be done by the laity. Maybe we could convince the world wide Anglican Communion to do the same. Certainly worth thinking about.


Hat Tip To Simon Sarmiento

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Message To The Presiding Bishop from Across The Years

No man thinks more highly than I do of the Anglican Communion, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have addressed the The Episcopal Church of late. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope that it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen, if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve.

This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to our church. For my own part I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our beloved Episcopal Church. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my diocese, and of an act of disloyalty towards the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly bishoprics.

Madame Presiding Bishop, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation?

For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth -- to know the worst and to provide for it. I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of scripture. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the Church of England for the last ten years, to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the Episcopal Church?

Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, Madame; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our beloved Presiding Bishop comports with these warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are covenants and punishments necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation -- the last arguments to which tyrants and popes resort. I ask gentlemen, Madame Presiding Bishop, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motives for it? Has the Church of England any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of covenants and compacts?

No, Madame, she has none. They are meant for us; they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the narrow-minded Anglicans have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Madame, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer on the subject? Nothing.

We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, madame, deceive ourselves longer.

Madame, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the Archbishop of Canterbury, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the Southern Cone and the AMiA.

Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the Archbishop. In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope.

If we wish to be free -- if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending -- if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, Madame, that we are weak -- unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally invaded, and when an Anglican Bishop shall be stationed in every Episcopal diocese? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

Madame, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of the means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, Madame, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over our destiny, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us.

The battle, Madame, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, Madame, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable -- and let it come! I repeat it, Madame, let it come!

It is in vain, Madame, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, "Peace! Peace!" -- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!

Patrick Henry - March 23, 1775

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

See Anyone You Know?

As you watch this video I am convinced you will see many a cleric that is currently engaged in the Anglican Communion. I have sorted them out and I hope that you can also. The first five that do will win a free mitre and crosier complements of the AMiA.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Will The Real Archbishop of Canterbury Please Resign

We have now discovered, as if we needed any further enlightenment, what the Archbishop of Canterbury "thinks" of cross border incursions. Not only does he not care, but now is making them a matter of routine. In his (and the other guy's) amendment on women bishops in the Church of England, he promotes alternative oversight so that "wimmen" do not have to be taken seriously.


The issue that has proved most difficult to resolve in securing these two objectives has been that of ‘jurisdiction’. Once women become bishops, it will be possible to maintain something like the present ‘mixed economy’ in the Church of England only if there is provision for someone other than the diocesan bishop to provide episcopal oversight for those who are unable to accept the new situation. The need for such provision is widely accepted. But what is still much debated is what should be the basis in law for the authority exercised by a bishop in this kind of ministry.


The amendment goes on to explain the legality of it all but see, the issue of cross-border incursions is now legalized in the Church of England. What has happened to the leader of the Anglican Communion?

This means if we (TEC) are waiting for sanctions on the Southern Cone of any of the various provinces in Africa the idea of "go pound sand" comes to mind real fast. BTW, see Real Anglicans for a little more on this.

Time for a new paradigm. time for a new Archbishop of Canterbury.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Big Butter Jesus is Melted

This line appeared in the RNS:


A six-story statue of Jesus in Ohio was struck by lightening and burned to the ground.

Before that, there was this:

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

++Rowan Williams Tells Us How He Really Feels

Hey folks, I found the ++ABC commenting on other topics in which he has an interest. I really did not know that the ++Williams looked like Pat Paulsen but remember, +++ABC now has a beard.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Just For Rowan (and John David, Jack Iker, et al)

Do you suppose ++Rowan objects to ++Katherine "havin' a good time"?