Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Music - Rutter, Pie Jesu

A lovely performance of the Pie Jesu from John Rutters Requiem. Enjoy - the wonderful Monteverdi Choir Würzburg (Matthias Beckert conducting).

Saturday, March 28, 2009


There is a wonderful prayer at Desert Child  and I most earnestly suggest everyone go and read it.  Capture this prayer and use it our daily prayer cycle until our LGBT brothers and sisters are made whole.  

The prayer is copyrighted but according to Katie can be used in prayer with proper attribution.  Thank you Katie for bringing it to us and thank you Father Harmon, a priest from New Jersey for your wonderful prayer.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Knock, Knock; Whose There?

Orange who?
Orange you glad you came-a-knockin'?

I gotch'ed a million of 'em.  But I think those of us in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin  know who the bulk of the folks returning are going to be, the same bulk of people that left when the buildings and property left.  The great concern by many is "who is going to fill all those empty pews when the buildings and grounds are returned.  Certainly many a good orthodite has asked that question.  People like Robroy and Matt Kennedy and YBIC Phil have all told us that there was this mass exodus and those people will NEVER RETURN!  Guess what guys? They are all poised to come back, for much the same reason that they all left; its the property boys!  Yep, they left because the property went on vacation and now that vacation time is over and so they will return when the property returns.  Much of the growth in the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone has been because the San Joaquin'ers just never left the pews.  The court cases in California have consistently been decided in favor of the Episcopal Diocese of ______________ (fill in the blank with San Joaquin, San Diego, Los Angeles, etc.)  

So, what is there to talk about?  Well, first, were gonna kill us a fatted calf and have a party!  Sure some of us are going to be a tad sore about that but we will get over it, our brothers and sisters are home and we are indeed glad. In fact, we will rejoice and be glad in it!  Our tent is certainly large enough for everyone to get underneath.  In fact we have been missing a section of folks and now they will be home.  Have there been some changes?  Well, yes there have and there will be more yet to come but right now we are just gonna have a party.  I think the menu will be carnitas and tortillas (flour and corn) pico de gallo, refried beans, tossed green salad and plenty of wine and beer (L like Tecate myself but there will probably be Dos Equis and Corona and Carte Blanca and Bohemian).  We will have a Mariachi Band and some good old fashioned California dancing and hoopin' and hollerin'.  

What are we going to look like after the party?  That is for another post but right now we need to welcome everyone home!

Knock Knock!
Who's there?
Tank who?
You're welcome!

Monday, March 23, 2009

The End Game: A Reflection on the Land Of Nod

Lent is an interesting time.  It provides an opportunity for reflection.  The specific reflection I am talking about has to do with a recent court case.  That court case is from California, it involves the California Supreme Court and a parish from San Diego.   The court case is New v. Kroeger.

In a recent ruling the California Supreme Court refused to hear New v. Kroeger and therefore the Supreme Court let stand the finding of the lower (appellate) court.  In essence, they refused to hear the case based on the Episcopal Church Cases (2009) 45 Cal.4th 467.  The Court also republished the opinion of the Court of Appeals which, as we all now understand, makes it a binding precedent.

In that decision the Court held that the former parish board were disqualified from membership because they had resigned from the Episcopal Church.  The court let stand the finding that the former parish corporation board members were disqualified from their board membership by their resignation from the Episcopal Church. These same folks also lacked the authority to reassign the parish to a different general church; the court also deferred to the bishop's conclusion that the remaining loyal members of the Episcopal Church were in fact the true board members but also found that to be true even under the general principles of the law. 

The reason for the reflection is this case, as was discussed elsewhere, The Three Legged Stool for one, is absolutely huge.  There is no place for the conealoneialists to run, no place for them to hide.  As some have said, the deed is done.  The opposition may argue, may drag things out may insist there is room for discussion, but, alas, there is not, at least not here in California.

So now what?  Well, in another blog, Real Anglican, I discussed the issue of the "Big Valley" and the "Big  Tent".  Reality is setting in, the time is now and we here in the San Joaquin must begin to enlarge the tent to bring in our brothers and sisters returning from the land of Nod.  Is this going to be difficult? You bet! Countless numbers of Episcopalians have been hurt emotionally and spiritually.  The good news is the long journey is coming to a conclusion and if we are about big tents and reconciliation and passing the peace  and loving our neighbor then our time is now.  What about the Samaritan?  What about the Conealoneialist?  We must bring them back in a spirit of Christian love.  We must make the big tent work beyond our wildest imagination.  If we cannot then we have failed just as surely as they failed us when they left.   I know many of the people in the San Joaquin Valley and many of those in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.  These are tough people but loving people.  The only thing we want more than justice is mercy.  We know that if we give mercy more will come back.  Getting everyone under the big tent is our ultimate goal and mercy is the what will get us all there.  

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Agnus Dei - Sunday Music

Agnus Dei from Gabriel Fauré's Requiem Op. 48

Performed by the Choir Konzertverein Bernand and the Berne Chamber Orchestra; Agata Mazurkiewicz, conducting.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Prayer - Sunday Music

Chloe Agnew of Celtic Women - and some friends - in a gentle bit of music for a Sunday. Enjoy.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Cathedral To Ring "Imagine"

Over at the Church Times Dave Walker has discussed the ringing of Imagine, the 1971 song by John Lennon, on the Cathedral Bells.  He goes on the ask readers to vote if this should be done, given the lyrics and all.  The last vote I saw was 70% against and 30% in favor.  It seems that many years after John Lennon's death the religious right is still out to crucify John Lennon.  More aptly, there is a large chunk of the population that did not think beyond their pew when John said the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ and now, today, they still cannot.

John railed against the establishment.  The hollow words and vicious action we as a group, as a society, spoke and acted upon.  When he wrote this song he looked at those things that held us back from becoming one group acting in concert.  Religion, more aptly the practice of religion by so many folks was fraudulent.  John believed the practice of Religion did not follow the great teachings of Christ in Matthew 26.  It allowed people to go to church on Sunday and kill people on Monday.  It allowed people to preach "God's word" and perform corporate theft. It allowed the first world to be smugly comfortable and not help those in need.  He feared that if people were either afraid of hell and/or working toward heaven they would not help people in the here and now.  

Imagine no possessions 
I wonder if you can 
No need for greed or hunger 
A brotherhood of man 
Imagine all the people 
Sharing all the world 

You may say that I'm a dreamer 
But I'm not the only one 
I hope someday you'll join us 
And the world will live as one 

If you ask me not much has changed since John wrote Imagine.  We still have a large group of people so caught up in the righteousness of their cause that they refuse to see the crushing needs right now.  The banks, the auto industry, the religious right are all examples of what and why John wrote this song.  I understand that many would vote against ringing this song out on the cathedral bells.  John liked to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.  Apparently the comfortable are even today reaching out to reduce John to an inconsequential musician from Liverpool.  What say, just for a change,  we give John a break.  He has been dead a long time so how about we start to read the lyrics and try to understand what John was trying to say.  John was a great musician and an even better poet.  Let's begin to recognize that fact and think with both heart and head.  

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Orthodox Litigation Strategy 12/28/03

Maybe everyone knows this but in light of the most recent decisions from the various courts in California and in New York I would like to refresh the memories of many of our followers on some of the "issues" surrounding the litigation.

"Judge Bellows upheld the written law, correctly applied the Constitution, and was judicious in his rulings throughout this legal process. We hoped that TEC and the Diocese would recognize this and would have put this legal battle behind us," said Jim Oakes, vice-chairman of ADV. "We are saddened that The Episcopal Church and the Diocese find it necessary to continue with more litigation. An appeal process will cost additional millions of dollars that could be spent on mission and ministry. dated February 3, 2009

Within the walls of North America we have The Episcopal Church and the Church of Canada fighting against the Anglican Resistance, using millions and millions of dollars in legal fees and defrocking anyone who stands in their way, without appearing to have any thought to the long-term damage to their own institutions.
BabyBlue dated March 2, 2009

The important question, though, is why would the leaders of the Episcopal church, the center of love, inclusion, and tolerance, spend millions of dollars to sue parishes that apparently amicably departed four years ago at the discretion of the bishop of Ohio? Well, I may have an idea. I have found that some who throw around the words “diversity,” “inclusion,” and “tolerance” are often some of the most non-diverse, exclusive, and intolerant folks around, especially if you don’t happen to agree with them on their pet issues.

The facts relating to Diocesan withdrawal are well-known to all of you. Similarly, our position in the Calvary litigation has been consistent and straightforward from the very beginning. The 2005 Stipulation and Order does not address Diocesan realignment.
Mr. Robert Duncan's Lenten Pastoral Letter

3. What legal liabilities would you face if you wanted to leave your current diocese? Recent litigation indicates that the local diocesan authorities hold almost all the cards if they want to play "hardball".
But we think that the political realities are such that the American revisionist bishops will be reticent to play "hardball" for a while. They have just handed the gay lobby a stunning victory, but are forced to pay a fearsome price for it. The opposition at home is far greater than they anticipated and the opposition overseas is serious and inflamed. ECUSA will certainly lose members and funds at a high rate over the next few months accelerating their decline. . . .
ECUSA leaders know well how conservatives could quickly become the "victims" in the public mind. They also know that all our AEO (Alternative Episcopal Oversight)
work will eventually find its way across the desk of the Archbishop of Canterbury(ABC). All of this will create pressure for them to cooperate with the ABC/Primate's call for AEO. So we suspect that there will be a window of time before they return to "hardball" tactics.

This last piece is from Geoff Chapman, dated December 28, 2003.

Ladies and gentlemen, They continue to play all of us for all that they (and we) are worth. When next you see the orthodites complain about "litigating is hurting the church" and "suing is so unchristian like" please refer back to this post. And then, send that newspaper, blogger, editorial writer this reference. These antics are christian???