Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dear Alzheimer's Association Leadership

A good letter to the National Alzheimer's Association Leadership. Many of us share these concerns.
Dear Alzheimer's Association Leadership

59 Year Old Living with Affects of Alzheimer's -- Treat Me Right

We went out to dinner last night with our neighbor, Carmen. She told me about this lady from seeing it on TV. And then today I found it on Alzheimer's Reading Room.
I am the same age.
59 Year Old Living with Affects of Alzheimer's -- Treat Me Right

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Caregiver crime growing trend  |

Caregiver crime growing trend |
"I wasn’t a tenant anymore,” Hill testified recently. “I’d become a hostage.”Hill, 59, said he was trapped in a windowless basement room in a DeKalb County home for almost six months ending in March 2010, sharing the room with a mentally disabled stranger. For breakfast, they got Ramen noodles in Country Crock margarine containers; for dinner, two bologna sandwiches. They used 5-gallon paint buckets for toilets."

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Peter Falk Dies, He had Alzheimer's Disease

I loved "Columbo". Never missed an episode. I love it when Peter Falk would start to walk away from a suspect he was interviewing and then walk back to
the person and say, One more question." Along with millions of others I hope that a cure can be found for this horrible disease. And it's SO important that
folks diagnosed with Alzheimer's get into a clinical trial because that is where the cure will come from. And without people stepping up to the plate to get into
a clinical trial there will never be a cure.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Glen Campbell: I Have Alzheimer's

Keep Glen Campbell and his family in your prayers. I felt sad when I heard the news today. I loved his music and always thought he was a nice person.
I wish him well on his farewell tour and hope he comes to South Florida so I can see him perform.
Today,after putting it off I went to the Human Resources Department at work and requested the papers for Medical Disability. Retiring makes me nervous,
but I can't keep on working. Everything is so overwhelming and I can't keep track of things like I used to.
Country Singer Glen Campbell: I Have Alzheimer's

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mystery Ingredient in Coffee Boosts Protection Against Alzheimer's Disease

We are not saying that daily moderate coffee consumption will completely protect people from getting Alzheimer's disease,"
Dr. Cao said. "However, we do believe that moderate coffee consumption can appreciably reduce your risk of this dreaded
disease or delay its onset"
Mystery Ingredient in Coffee Boosts Protection Against Alzheimer's Disease

Infusion Treatment #1

After being in the Wyeth clinical trial of Bapineuzumab, today was my first day in the final part of the trial. I'm getting the real vaccine and even checked to make sure the IV bag had
Bapineuzumab written on it. It made for a long day-six and a half hours. But I had my laptop and Larry had his and we had a TV in the treatment room so it wasn't so bad. I always have
brain scans halfway between the infusions to make sure my brain is not swelling which used
to be a problem with Bapineuzumab but is not anymore after decreasing the amount of the
I wish everybody would get into a clinical trial. Without people enrolling in the trials, research and finding a cure slows down.

This is exciting. A blood test to diagnose Alzheimer's Disease is coming soon!
Today I go for my Bap vaccine infusion at Brain Matters.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Difficulties in Diagnosing Dementia by Type

"It is true that we know of around 70 different types of dementia, but these findings are shocking. We believed more patients were diagnosed correctly when we began the study".
Difficulties in Diagnosing Dementia by Type

Monday, May 30, 2011

Retire Now or Wait?

For the past week I've been torn between going out on a medical retirement and waiting until the
end of December when I can go out on a full retirement. I'm extremely anxious at work and having increased problems with being organized at work and forgetting things. What to do? I will
discuss it with one of the social workers at the Alzheimer's Association.

Living with Alzhiemers': Alzheimer's Disease: Treatment - Risk Factors - Pr...

Living with Alzhiemers': Alzheimer's Disease: Treatment - Risk Factors - Pr...: "Alzheimer's Disease: Treatment - Risk Factors - Prevention - Symptoms - Caregiving - Resources - Questions and Answers - Publications - News..."

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Rare diseases on the Planet: A Colombian Family Could be The Key to Curing Alzh...

Rare diseases on the Planet: A Colombian Family Could be The Key to Curing Alzh...: "A family in Colombia, who has early Alzheimer's, hereditary, participates in a trial of new drugs that doctors hope could lead to a cure f..."

Alz News: fast and faster

I wanted to post this because I have some things in common with Jeff. #1 I lived in Houston for 17 1/2 years before moving to West Palm Beach. I loved Houston and miss it. #2 I have a problem with spelling. My B.A. is in English. I never used to have a problem with spelling. #3 I can't do math. Even simple tasks are difficult and I often have to get help.
This is what Jeff had to say on his blog:
Alz News: fast and faster: "It was world Alz day and letters were being sent to members of congress pleading for more help with Alzheimers suffering from this horable d..."

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Possible Vaccine for Alzheimer’s (Bapineuzumab)

This is the study I have been in for the past 18 months. In 4 weeks I will begin being being infused with the actual bapineuzumap vaccine.
It was reported a few dags ago, in both the U.K.’s Telegraph asnd in India’Indian Express, that there could possibly be a vaccine for Alzheimer’s within the next two years. This vaccine is being shown effective in stopping the progress of Alzheimer’s and even in reversing brain damage.
A Possible Vaccine for Alzheimer’s (Bapineuzumab)
A touching story from Coastal Visions Magazine: NEW PURPOSE
Recently, Coastal Visions Magazine suffered the loss of our photographer and photo editor Cynthia Fitzgerald, my wife of 35 years. March 22, 2011 she passed away from complications associated with Alzheimer's disease. She was 56. When she was diagnosed with AD in 2007, I made the difficult decision to care for her through the most difficult time of her life.
Read More:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sobering Statistics about Alzheimer's Disease

Sobering Statistics about Alzheimer's Disease
Thanks to Bob DeMarco at Alzheimer's Reading Room which should be considered important reading for those diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease and
their caregivers.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Climbing Mt. Everest for Alzheimer's

Alan's mom has Alzheimer's. He is climbing Mount Everest to raise a million dollars for research.
Learn more about Alan:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

'Penny Wise, Pound Foolish'

'Penny Wise, Pound Foolish'
"Out of each dollar appropriated to the National Institute of Health (NIH), only 3.6 cents goes toward supporting the work of the National Institute on Aging (NIA), one of the 27 institutes and centers of the NIH and the lead institute on Alzheimer's disease research..."
Thanks to Bob over at Alzheimer's Reading Room for keeping us all informed so we can help spread the word about Alzheimer's Disease and the multitude of it's impact on our country.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Freshman GOP Rep Loudly Booed As She Laughably Compares Ryan's Medicare Plan to Coverage Congressional Members Receive | Crooks and Liars

Freshman GOP Rep Loudly Booed As She Laughably Compares Ryan's Medicare Plan to Coverage Congressional Members Receive | Crooks and Liars
Alzheimer's patients, their family members and caregivers need to find out where their elected officials stand on gutting or cutting Medicare and Social Security. Medicare and Social Security are not entitlements. We pay for them over the course of many years and thousands of dollars in payroll deductions. Only support elected officials who take a stand to not mess with our Medicare and Social Security.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Chip Gerber

I found myself thinking about Chip Gerber on and off throughout the day today. But I couldn't remember that his name was Chip. I remembered how I loved to read his blog, especially about
how he looked forward to his trips to Mexico. But I couldn't remember his name to find his blog.
This afternoon when I did a google search I found Chip's blog. But it only went through part of 2007. Further searching took me to the Alzheimer's Discussion Board where I found he had passed away in 2009. I will miss Chip. He was a nice guy and a fighter for Alzheimer's and Lewy
Body Disease. He was an activist and a neat person. I feel sad right now.

Test For Alzheimer's Helps Diagnose Earlier

(Medical Xpress) -- A new study has revealed the possibility of using a simple test for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease, enabling the condition to be identified before significant and irreversible decline takes place.

Will Newt’s Hopeful Message on Alzheimer’s Get Overshadowed? - By James P. Pinkerton - The Corner - National Review Online

Will Newt’s Hopeful Message on Alzheimer’s Get Overshadowed? - By James P. Pinkerton - The Corner - National Review Online
Excellent article!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Paul Ryan Watch: A modest proposal to fix Ryan's plan

This won't go over well with American seniors. Besides that, it's a horrible idea.
The Paul Ryan Watch: A modest proposal to fix Ryan's plan: "Marc Pascal, writing for a blog ironically called The Moderate Voice, says Paul Ryan is loopy for proposing a Medicare voucher plan (a term..."

Saturday, May 07, 2011

THe Friend's Club

Bob over at Alzheimer's Reading Room posted a link to the Friend's Club. It's a group of men who
gather 4 days a week to learn, share, socialize and have important intellectual stimulation. I got all excited when I first went to the website, then learned that it's in Bethesda, MD. Anyway it's a neat site and a wonderful resource for men with early and moderate stage Alzheimer's disease.

Palm Beach Educational Conference

The conference was great. I learned a lot. A lot of information was provided about what is coming
down the pike in Alzheimer's research. I was disappointed that I didn't get to meet anybody else
with Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

It's Been A Long Time

I thought I try to make an effort to blog again after a long hiatus.
My condition has not deteriorated at all. In fact, I'm doing quite well except for feeling fatiged a lot at work and had to make a change in techniques of remembering things at work due to the fact that I no longer have a private office. And I have a problem with anxiety for which I take 4 different meds to help me get through the day at work. I don't think I will be working much longer.
For that last 18 months I have been receiving infusions as a part of study for people with early stage who are positive for the APOE 4 gene. I'm still on the Exelon patch.
That's all for today.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lambeth Bishop March to End Poverty

Here is a picture of Larry and myself taken with Bishop Frade in Miami last November.
Although marching to end poverty, sexuality issues were addrssed through sings of some of the marchers. I am so proud of my Bishop, Bishop Leo Frade. Here is the last sentence of this report:

The sexuality controversy roiling the Anglican world was not absent, with one protestor, the Rev. David Braid, holding a sign "Jesus never ordained sodomites. Neither should the church. Hitler was a sodomite."

Bishop Leo Frade of Southeast Florida had wrapped a rainbow flag around his sign because, he said, "when we talk about justice and mercy, we need to remember that gay and lesbian persons are discriminated against by the church and the government."

[Episcopal News Service, London] Anglican bishops and their spouses demonstrated on July 24 in support of poverty reduction worldwide, walking in purple cassocks and native dress past symbols of British power such as the Houses of Parliament and the prime minister's residence at Downing Street.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and other Christian and interfaith leaders were at the head of the march, walking behind a banner reading "Keep the Promise/ Halve Poverty by 2015," references to one of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals for global progress.

The one-hour march, which created a river of violet down Whitehall Road, ended at Williams' residence, Lambeth Palace, across the River Thames from the seat of Great Britain's government.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown, speaking to the bishops at Lambeth, called the march "one of the greatest demonstrations of faith this great city has ever seen."

Brown said wealthier nations are not moving fast enough to meet the development goals. "At our current rates of progress," they will not be met by 2015 deadline set in the MDGs. Some, he said, will not be met for 100 years if the rate of progress is not increased.

"I say to you that the poor of the world have been patient but 100 years is too long for people to wait for justice and that is why we must act now. We know that with the technology we have, the medicine we have, the science we have, it is the will to act that must be found," he said.

Williams noted that "unless we address this great gulf between human beings, we cannot expect a future of stability or welfare. As the world grows smaller, the truth is that the suffering and the needs of anyone in our global community is going to be the suffering and needs of everyone in our global community. This is not and should not be a surprise to those of us who hold the Christian faith and who have believed for 2,000 years that when one part of the body suffers, all suffer."

Flanked by Christian and other faith leaders including Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks and Sir Iqbal Sacranie, representing Islam, Williams said that the goal must be "to give to each person what they deserve in the eyes of God, not what they deserve because of their prosperity but what they deserve because they are made in God's image and demand our respect, our love and our service without qualification -- that is justice."

Referring to an emergency session of the UN General Assembly on the global food and fuel crises, set for Sept. 25 in New York, Brown told the rally "we need a march not just to Lambeth, we need a march also to New York."

"I ask you to go back to your countries and I ask you to ask your governments and I ask you to ask all of civil society to tell people that on September 25 we have got to make good the promises that have been made, redeem the pledges that have been promised, make good the Millennium Development Goals that are not being met," he said.

Brown asked the crowd to join him in asking their governments to commit to three goals. The first is that by 2010, 40 million more children would be in school "on the road to every child being in schooling by 2015."

The second pledge would be to train medical workers and provide them with the equipment "to eradicate polio, tuberculosis, malaria and diphtheria, then go on to eliminate HIV/AIDS in our generation."

The third is to allocate $20 billion in food aid "and not for only food aid but to give people the means -- free of the old agricultural protectionism -- to grow food themselves with help from our countries to develop a green revolution in Africa."

Speaking after Brown, Hellen Wangusa, the Anglican Observer at the UN, said that she would bring word of the Walk of Witness to the UN meeting.

The march was organized in partnership with Christian social justice advocacy group Micah Challenge UK. Board member Paul Cook said the organization hopes to see "a roadmap" and a "global action plan" for getting back on track with the development goals' timeline.

With a slight breeze blowing off the Thames, the demonstrators enjoyed a perfect sunny summer day. Many of the bishops’ wives wore dresses and hats or such native costumes as saris, ready for a garden party scheduled to take place in the afternoon at Buckingham Palace. Occasionally, there was a burst of hymn singing, with "We are marching in the light of God" being one selection.

Some bishops had customized the backs of their signs: one read "Derby 4 justice" and another, "British Columbia 4 justice and peace." The march passed statues of British military leaders: Field Marshal Earl Haig, Field Marshal the Viscount Slim and one monument simply for "The Women of World War II." As they passed the statue of Oliver Cromwell outside Parliament, the deep tones of Big Ben began to toll the hour at eleven o'clock.

The one-hour march stopped traffic on one of London's busiest streets, with tourists gazing from the top of double-decker sightseeing buses and passersby snapping photos.

As the 600 bishops and their spouses assembled before the walk on a side street of government offices, workers hung out of the windows, taking pictures.

Bishop Henry Parsley of Alabama, who took advantage of several pedicabs hired for the marchers who found walking difficult, noted that his diocese contributes to Millennium Development Goal work. The march, he said, "is an opportunity to make a visual statement of support for the goals." Although the United States is generous in the area of foreign aid, its environmental record is poor, he said, adding that he hoped the march "gets translated back to (President) George Bush's office so he sees the bishops of the world care a great deal (about such issues)."

Bishop John Gladstone, Moderator of the Church of South India in S. Kerala, an ecumenical partner, said that in his area, "there are four million people who are very economically disadvantaged. The local church and diocese generate employment, attempt to attend to health care and to alleviate poverty through different ways."

Kallistos of Diokleia from the Orthodox Church  Patriarchate in Constantinople, dressed in black robes and headdress and wearing gold icons around his neck, stressed the universality of poverty. "Anglican problems are our problems," he said. "We are here today to bear witness against worldwide poverty so many people who are pleading for a fair distribution of wealth between the rich and poor can be heard."

The Rev. Dr. Michael Battle from Los Angeles, a chaplain at the Lambeth Conference, referred to Queen Elizabeth’s garden party later in the day and said the march “will show bishops can be relevant for the whole world. This is the first time they (the Lambeth Conference bishops) have done this. Usually it’s [just] high tea with the Queen.”

Bishop George Councell of New Jersey noted the so-called "Walk of Witness" was especially important since "later in the afternoon we have this privileged access to Buckingham Palace. I pray that we'll carry the hunger of the world and our own hunger for justice with us."

Bishop Ezekiel Malaandit of the Diocese of Bor in Sudan, whose primate earlier in the conference criticized the U.S. church's inclusive stance on homosexuality, said that "We are here to help people, to be supportive, to show we are one communion. Changing minds, sharing ideas and experiences, talking and working together like this we benefit from one another."

Bishop David Beetge of the Diocese of Highveld in South Africa said the development goals have a high profile in his area. "On HIV/AIDS, we've got 73 projects going: orphans and vulnerable children, early developmental childhood centers, reflecting on gender issues. We are trying to embrace the MDGs although there are eight different ones in a very holistic way to bring about a humanity and compassionate society which reflects the very heart of Christ."

Among the passersby watching the march, Thomas Pope said he traveled from his farm in Dorset to see the parade and applauded the bishops as they passed. "They have tremendous courage to stand out and walk down Whitehall in such a dignified way. I heard the archbishop (of Canterbury) speak on the wireless (radio) this morning and thought I would come and see it."

Another spectator, Jane Nelson, said she had come "to be in solidarity with the Episcopal Church of the USA. They have set a courageous example and I think it is sad that one of their duly elected bishops was not invited to Lambeth."

The sexuality controversy roiling the Anglican world was not absent, with one protestor, the Rev. David Braid, holding a sign "Jesus never ordained sodomites. Neither should the church. Hitler was a sodomite."

Bishop Leo Frade of Southeast Florida had wrapped a rainbow flag around his sign because, he said, "when we talk about justice and mercy, we need to remember that gay and lesbian persons are discriminated against by the church and the government."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

American Pastor Addresses Anglican's Lambeth Conference

This Lambeth update report came from the Walking with Integrity Lambeth update.
After reading the update I wanted to learn more about Dr. McClaren
so googled him and after the article, I have posted his biographical information obtained from his website,
by Louise Brooks, Integrity's Lambeth Press Officer . “Three or four years ago, I spied a book with an interesting title in a bookstore”, explained the Archbishop of Canterbury, as he introduced Dr. Brain McLaren, a nondenominational Maryland pastor and elder statesman of a movement called the “Emerging Church”. That book was titled, A GENEROUS ORTHODOXY “It had the longest subtitle I’ve ever seen,” he continued. (Why I Am a Missional, Evangelical, Post/Protestant, Liberal/Conservative, Mystical/Poetic, Biblical, Charismatic/Contemplative, Fundamentalist/Calvinist, Anabaptist/Anglican, Methodist, Catholic, Green, Incarnational, Depressed-yet-Hopeful, Emergent, Unfinished CHRISTIAN.) “After I finished his book, I knew he was someone I wanted to speak to us here tonight.” . The title for McLaren’s talk this particular evening was somewhat shorter but still provocative: CHANGING CONTEXTS: BREAKING OPEN OUR MODELS OF EVANGELISM. His targets for this new model of evangelism are “those who never show up in churches; those who are created in the image of God but have never known the spirit of God.” . To a nearly SRO audience in the “big blue tent”, McLaren announced to the crowd, “We are called to create a new understanding and a new evangelism. Are we making disciples of reconciliation and transformation on earth.? Or, are we just selling tickets to heaven?” McLaren proposed that the Gospels gave us information on how to get to heaven but little information on how to live on earth. “On earth”, he pointed out, “is what The Lord’s Prayer talks about.” . McLaren defines evangelism as an outward mission and believes it is the only hope of saving the church from irrelevance. He urges the bishops and their spouses to be part of a paradigm shift where they preach a gospel of reconciliation and transformation by Jesus, rather than a gospel of “evacuation” which only includes some. When asked a question about how young Christians are affected by the decision to exclude Bishop Gene Robinson, McLaren said it is important to see how Christians love each other when they disagree. He also suggested that the issue of homosexuality be dealt with as missiological concern rather than a theological concern. McLaren’s greatest hope is that Christianity will become a movement rather than a religion. “What would happen if we rediscovered and reprioritized our mission to be the hands and feet and eyes and ears of Jesus in the world? What would happen if every Christian was a beacon of light and hope, not judgment? What would happen if we transformed the world with the message and teachings of Jesus Christ?” What would happen? Can our bishops make that happen? Only time will tell.

Brian D. McLaren

Brian D. McLaren is an author, speaker, pastor, and networker among innovative Christian leaders, thinkers, and activists.

He is a frequent guest on television, radio, and news media programs. He has appeared on many broadcasts including Larry King Live, Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, and Nightline. His work has also been covered in Time (where he was listed as one of American's 25 most influential evangelicals), Christianity Today, Christian Century, the Washington Post, and many other print media.

Born in 1956, he graduated from University of Maryland with degrees in English (BA, summa cum laude, 1978, and MA, in 1981). His academic interests included Medieval drama, Romantic poets, modern philosophical literature, and the novels of Dr. Walker Percy. In 2004, he was awarded a Doctor of Divinity Degree (honoris causa) from Carey Theological Seminary in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

From 1978 to 1986, McLaren taught college English, and in 1982, he helped form Cedar Ridge Community Church, an innovative, nondenominational church in the Baltimore-Washington region ( He left higher education in 1986 to serve as the church's founding pastor and served in that capacity until 2006. During that time, Cedar Ridge earned a reputation as a leader among emerging missional congregations.

Brian has been active in networking and mentoring church planters and pastors since the mid 1980's, and has assisted in the development of several new churches. He is a popular conference speaker and a frequent guest lecturer at seminaries and denominational gatherings, nationally and internationally. His public speaking covers a broad range of topics including postmodern thought and culture, Biblical studies, evangelism, leadership, global mission, spiritual formation, worship, pastoral survival and burnout, inter-religious dialogue, ecology, and social justice.

McLaren's first book, The Church on the Other Side: Doing Ministry in the Postmodern Matrix, (Zondervan, 1998, rev. ed. 2000) has been recognized as a primary portal into the current conversation about postmodern ministry. His second book, Finding Faith (Zondervan, 1999), is a contemporary apologetic, written for thoughtful seekers and skeptics. His third book, A New Kind of Christian (Jossey-Bass/Leadership Network, 2001) further explores issues of Christian faith and postmodernity, and won Christianity Today's "Award of Merit" in 2002. His fourth, More Ready Than You Realize: Evangelism as Dance in the Postmodern Matrix (2002) presents a refreshing approach to spiritual friendship. A is for Abductive (coauthored with Dr. Leonard Sweet, Zondervan, 2002) and Adventures in Missing the Point (coauthored with Dr. Anthony Campolo, Emergent/YS, 2003) explore theological reform in a postmodern context, and a sequel to A New Kind of Christian, entitled The Story We Find Ourselves In (Jossey-Bass, 2003), seeks to tell the Biblical story in a new context. He is one of five co-authors of Church in the Emerging Culture (Emergent/YS, 2003).

His 2004 release, "A Generous Orthodoxy" (Emergent/YS/Zondervan), is a personal confession and has been called a "manifesto" of the emerging church conversation. The conclusion to the A New Kind of Christian trilogy was released in 2005, entitled "The Last Word and the Word After That" (Jossey-Bass).

"The Secret Message of Jesus" (W, April 2006), explores the theme of the kingdom of God in the teachings of Jesus. "This book was written for a broad audience," he explains, "from the spiritual-but-not-religious to Christian pastors and leaders. Everything I've written to this point has been a preparation for this book."

His books have been or are being translated into many languages, including Korean, Chinese, French, Swedish, Norwegian, and Spanish. He has written for or contributed interviews to many periodicals, including Leadership, Sojourners, Worship Leader, and Conversations. Many of his articles are available at He is also a musician and songwriter.

He is on the international steering team and board of directors for emergent, a growing generative friendship among missional Christian leaders (, He is also active in global networking among emerging leaders (

He serves as a board chair for Sojourners/Call to Renewal (, and is a founding member of Red Letter Christians, a group of communicators seeking to broaden and deepen the dialogue about faith and public life. He is also a board member for "Orientacion Cristiana," and formerly served on the boards of International Teams ( in Chicago, Mars Hill Graduate School in Seattle (, and Off The Map ( He has taught or lectured at several seminaries in the U.S. and abroad.

Brian is married to Grace, and they have four young adult children. He has traveled extensively in Europe, Latin America, and Africa, and his personal interests include ecology, fishing, hiking, music, art, and literature.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Estelle Getty Passes On

Estelle Getty passed away today. She suffered from Lewy Body dementia.
Millions of Americans loved watching her on the Golden Girls. 
On December 31, 1984, a friend and I flew from Houston where I was living at the time and saw Estelle Getty in a play starring her and Harvey Firestein. I can't remember the name of the play but she was SO funny.
She will be missed.

Press Release: the Rev. Susan Russell Pres. of Integrity

As the majority of bishops attending the Lambeth Conference settled into daily Bible Study, Indaba groups and conversations across differences it was made clear that at least a percentage of the purple shirts on the Canterbury campus are focused on conflict rather than collegiality. Having issued statements on the ongoing genocide in Sudan and the ongoing discussions on human sexuality in the Anglican Communion, it was not genocide but sexuality that was the focus of the Sudanese primate's briefing to the media. In the press conference on Tuesday afternoon, the Primate of the Sudan (the Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Deng Bul) called for the resignation of the Bishop of New Hampshire, declaring in the statement released ahead of the press conference that he had come to the Lambeth Conference “to take the necessary steps to safeguard the precious unity of the Church.” When asked about ministering to the gays and lesbians in his province, the archbishop declared that he did not think there were any homosexuals in the Sudan as “none had come forward.” And when queried about his position on the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate said he “believed in women priests and bishops because they were human” – leaving listeners to wonder if the inference was that homosexuals were not. The fact that there are those within the communion who think the Bishop of New Hampshire should resign is not news. Indeed, there have been calls for his resignation since the day he was elected. What is news is that the Archbishop of the Sudan helped make the case on Tuesday that the schism facing the Anglican Communion is the direct result of hard-line reactionaries who will stop of nothing short of compliance with their narrow, exclusionist agenda as their criterion for being in communion. What is news is that a bishop in the Church of God would deny the existence of gay and lesbian member of his province despite the call for listening to the experience of homosexual people throughout the communion. On Wednesday evening, Integrity USA will present a preview screening of the documentary Voices of Witness: Africaas one of the Lambeth Conference Fringe Events. Everyone is welcome – most particularly Archbishop Deng Bul. We would love to share with him the witness of gay and lesbian Africans who are not only fully human but fully loved by the God who created them in love.  -- Posted By SUSAN RUSSELL to Walking With Integrity at 7/22/2008 01:55:00 PM

Anglican Chaos at Lambeth

Ruth Gledhill, religious writer for the London Times wrote this entry in her blog today.
Ruth tends to be rather dramatic with her stories, so I am awaiting word from other press releases to determine if Ms. Gledhill's reporting is indeed accurate.
Lambeth Diary: Into the 'Miry Pit' of Chaos.

It's about a hundred degrees and getting hotter in the Big Top at Lambeth but the £1 million black hole in the budget at the Lambeth Conference means they can't afford air conditioning. Expect fainting bishops to be ferried out by ambulances any moment now, if they don't start shooting each other first. The press conference this morning was a farce. Excommunications officers declined to comment on who is here for reasons of 'security' but declined to say what the 'security' issues were. Apparently there are some Nigerian bishops at the conference but we are not allowed to know who they are. Even the totally harmless and innocuous Church Press here are  being denied access to the evening Eucharists. As for me, I was told yesterday that it was worth applying to attend the afternoon indaba groups. Today there is one called 'Never say No to Media',  led by Rev Dr Joshva Raha, tutor at the Centre for Mission Studies at Queen's, Birmingham. I applied and they said no.

The conference is falling apart and it is only day two of official business. The Sudanese bishops, who were, astonishingly, stationed as Salisbury with the US Presiding Bishop and her team before the conference, have almost derailed the whole thing by virtually calling for Gene Robinson's resignation. One of their two statements today is here.

The funding crisis is more severe than we realised. A senior source has told me that the conference is up to £2 million in debt, and they are at a loss of how to meet this. 'We can't pay for it,' he told me, looking desperate. The prospect of the bailiffs turning up at Lambeth Palace to requisition some of those lovely old paintings of previous Archbishops is to unbearable for words. The Church Commissioners cannot help out because their trust deeds restrict financial aid to the English church only.

An emergency meeting has been called for the Commissioners and the Archbishop's Council immediately after the conference. Will TEC be handed the begging bowl? A bit embarrassing, isn't it, if on the one hand the conference organisers say, your legally elected bishop cannot come. And then on the other, they say: 'Help! Save us from our debt!'

This is why, I understand, we are all sweating like the proverbials. The big blue top where the bishops have their plenaries is, literally, hotter than hell itself. The prospect of air conditioning was explored, but when the estimate came in it was turned down. They just couldn't afford it.

And of course think of all that accommodation that has been booked. More than 230 rooms, presumably paid for, and lying empty. What a shame.

Poor Rowan Williams is trying his best, as we report. The retreat went well, the Archbishop seemed even to be beginning to enjoy himself. There are some genuinely good ideas for covenant and canon being worked out here. The trouble is, too many of the bishops don't want to know. It really is increasingly difficult to see how the Archbishop is going to resolve this mess. As he said yesterday, it will take nothing short of a miracle, and none knows how many Anglican bishops still believe in those.

Anglican Archbishop of Sudan Wants BP Gene to Resign

Archbishop of the Sudan, the Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Deng Bul wants Bishop Robinson to resign...
so what's new about that? Most of the global south wants that to happen.
My words to Bishop Robinson would be, "hang in there Bishop Robinson. A lot of us are holding you up in our prayers and think you're doing a great job."

Lambeth Report #6 Tuesday afternoon, July 22, 2008

Cherie Wetzel reporting from Canterbury, England

We have just had a briefing with the Archbishop of the Sudan, the Most Reverend Dr. Daniel Deng Bul.  He informed the press room this morning that he would come and speak with us, since the Anglican Communion News Bureau running this conference, would not schedule a time for him to address the press. 

The archbishop is young – I would guess that he is in his 40’s.  He is very articulate and has an earned Ph.D.  By his own admission, he has been an Anglican since he was a very small child.

His words are responses to questions asked.  I think the questions are self-evident.

“Gene Robinson should resign for the sake of the Church and the entire Anglican Communion.  We are pleading with them (the others at this conference) for the Anglican World, to not throw that away.

“We do not want to throw any people away, either.  But we are here to determine how to remain united.  That begins with forgiving one another for errors made.  Gene Robinson is an error.  The American church has not admitted they are wrong and we cannot forgive them until they do.

“I do not see a way out of these problems with the Indaba groups.  The main issues have not been touched.

“300 bishops are not here because of Gene Robinson.  Can he not resign to allow them to come?  Why has he not done that? 

“He is a human being and we are not throwing him away but the norms of the Anglican Communion have been violated.  The question is not if Gene Robinson comes but what are we being challenged to do by GAFCON?”

“Let the Anglican world be united and be a normal, respected Christian body.” 

“We have not punished the American church yet.  We are asking them to repent.  I am talking about the institutional church in America, no specific bishops.  I am here to speak within the House.  I cannot be silent on this issue; I must speak to the House for the reality I know with my people.  I should not hesitate to be here since I have been an Anglican since I was a child. 

When asked what would happen to the Communion if Robinson did not resign, the archbishop continued, “I cannot predict what will happen if he will not resign.”

Ruth Gledhill of the Times of London asked the archbishop who would pay for this conference, reportedly 2.6 million pounds in debt at this minute, and not able to pay for this by the parishes in the Church of England, if the American church was not invited.  He replied very gently, “Issues of faith cannot be mixed with materialism.”

I do hope he means that, because you can bet the province of the Sudan has seen its last American dollar.  It is rumored that liberal elements in the American church paid all or a significant part of the cost for the Sudanese to attend.

The archbishop, known as an expert in the field of reconciliation said, “I am here talking to my brothers and sisters in America.  We have experienced offense by their actions.  I am not trying to offend them in return but tell them that I love them.  We have had a painful experience and they must ask for forgiveness so we can go on together.

“If there is a cultural problem in America, it should be kept in America and not allowed to come into the Anglican world.  I am not saying the Americans should all be excluded, but keep Gene Robinson away and we will find a way to help them.  (Imagine the  American Episcopal Church actually acknowledging that they need the help of the Sudan!)

“This issue of homosexuality in the Anglican Communion has a very serious effect in my country.  We are called ‘infidels’ by the Moslems.  That means that they will do whatever they can against us to keep us from damaging the people of our country.  They challenge our people to convert to Islam and leave the infidel Anglican Church.  When our people refuse, sometimes they are killed.  These people are very evil and mutilate and harm our people.  I am begging the Communion on this issue so no more of my people will be killed.

“My people have been suffering for 21 years of war.  Their only hope is in the Church.  It is the center of life of my people.  No matter what problem we have, no material goods, no health supplies or medicine; no jobs or income; no availability of food.  The inflation rate makes our money almost worthless and we have done this for 21 years.  The Church is the center of our life together. 

“The culture does not change the Bible; the Bible changes the culture. Cultures that do not approve of the Bible are left out of the Church’s life; people who do not believe in the Bible are left out of our churches.  The American church is saying that God made a mistake.  He made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Adam. 

“We will not talk to Gene Robinson or listen to him or his testimony.  He has to confess, receive forgiveness and leave.  Then we will talk.  You cannot bring the listening to gay people to our Communion.  People who do not believe in the Bible are left out of our churches, not invited in to tell us why they don’t believe.

“I have just come from a meeting of the African and Global South bishops who are here.  There were almost 200 bishops there.  They support the statement my Church made yesterday.  That’s 17 provinces. 

“The Authority of the Bible is always the same.  You cannot pull a line out or add a line to it.  That brings you a curse.  We are saying no.  You are wrong.

Archbishop Deng Bul then talked about the humiliation his country faces with the indictment of their president by the International Court.  He feels it reflects badly on the whole country and will make more people in Darfur die.  He spoke of a recent attack in Sudan by the Lord’s Resistance Army from the Congo and Uganda.  They came across the border and slaughtered a whole town of people.

When asked if he knows any gay people in the Sudan he replied, “They have not come to the surface.  We do not have them.”  The press from TEC that were in the room did not laugh out loud at this statement, but nearly.

He concluded by saying that he felt the purpose of the Lambeth Conference is for the bishops to act as counselors to Rowan and the Primates.  They will take these matters under discussion and decide on a way forward.  The Archbishop of Canterbury will then act on the counsel he receives from the bishops.  We will help him determine what is good for the Communion. 

The final question was about the women and ordination, an issue that is still a smoking topic in the Church of England.  “Yes,” he said.  “Women are human beings that have ministered with the Lord Jesus Christ and to the Lord Jesus Christ.”  He does believe in the ordination of women.

Archbishop Deng Bul was accompanied by his Canon, the Rev. Francis Loyo. 

As they left the pressroom, the Rev. Dr. Charles Robertson, Canon to the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, said he had a short statement.  He clarified that the Episcopal Church has had a positive relationship with the Sudan for many years and has been there with the intention of making a difference.  They have succeeded in doing that.  The Episcopal Church expects to continue that relationship and continue to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to the people of the Sudan, finding a way to move forward from yesterday’s statement.  Canon Robertson declined to answer questions.

People ran to their laptops to get the message out on the Web.  I had a chance to personally thank Canon Loyo for their statement and told him that it would cheer and encourage many faithful Episcopalians in the United States.  I hope YOU have been encouraged by this.  No matter how it might feel.  We are not alone!

Cherie Wetzel

Naming Sewage Plant for Bush Goes to Voters

I think our president looks like a miserable, angry man in this picture.
Is Mr. Grumpy having another bad day?
Voters to decide on naming sewage plant for Bush

SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) 

A measure seeking to commemorate President Bush's years in office by slapping his name on a San Francisco sewage plant has qualified for the November ballot.

The measure certified Thursday would rename the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant the George W. Bush Sewage Plant.

Supporters say the idea is to commemorate the mess they claim Bush has left behind by actions such as the war in Iraq. Local Republicans say the plan stinks and they will oppose it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Getting to Know the Obama Family

Ever wonder how Barack and Michelle made it through college? Ever wonder what jobs they held? Did you presume that they were rich?  This article was an eye opener to me.

The Obama we don't know: deli man

SUN-TIMES EXCLUSIVE | Behind the stump speech: summer jobs, college debt

July 20, 2008

Recommend (19)


BY LYNN SWEET Sun-Times Columnist

As part of their stump speeches, Sen. Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, rely often on their life stories, how they came from modest means, rarely adding new details about their early years even after months of campaigning.  Read on, because for the first time, the Obamas have decided to share how they paid for their Ivy League educations and the jobs they held while in school.

On the campaign trail, I've heard them both often lament about how, back in the day, money was tight and their loans for their undergraduate years and Harvard Law School were never paid off until after Obama signed a $1.9 million book deal in 2004.

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., speaks on his Iraq policy during a news conference in Fargo, N.D., Thursday, July 3, 2008. (AP) And recently, Obama came out with a spot where a narrator talks about how "he worked his way through college and Harvard Law," a claim that reminded me how much there is to know about Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, since he never talks about jobs he held as a student and didn't write about them in his memoir.

So what's the record?  As a high school student, Obama's first job was at a Baskin-Robbins ice cream store.  He also has mentioned he worked construction.  And we know about the famous summer job between his second and third years of law school at Sidley Austin in Chicago, where he met Michelle, who was already at the firm.  The summer before, Obama worked at Hopkins & Sutter, a law firm in Chicago.

Here's what we know for the first time, with information passed on from the Obama campaign in response to my inquiries: As a college student at Occidental in Southern California, Obama returned home to Hawaii the summer after freshman year to sell island trinkets in a gift shop.  Obama also had a summertime job at a deli counter in Hawaii -- making sandwiches.

Once in New York to attend Columbia, one summer Obama worked for a private company holding a contract to process health records of either police or firefighters; I'm not sure exactly what he did.

During one school year at Columbia, Obama was a telemarketer in midtown Manhattan selling New York Times subscriptions over the phone, wearing a headset. He did not like the job because "he worried that some of the people he called couldn't really afford the subscription."

Michelle Robinson Obama worked at what was known then as Bob Goldman's Book Bindery in 1980-1981 while a Whitney Young High School student in Chicago.

Once at Princeton, she worked for all four undergraduate years at the Third World Center o n campus, part of a paid work-study program where she started a child care program.

During the summers of 1982, 1983 and 1985, she was employed at the Chicago-based American Medical Association as an assistant to the executive director.  She was a typist and helped prepare materials for the big AMA fall meeting.

But the summer of 1984 brought a new experience for Michelle: She was a camp counselor at the Fresh Air Fund (Camp ABC) in New York state, working with campers from the city.

After her first year at Harvard Law, she was a summer associate at the old Chadwell & Keiser law firm in Chicago. The next year, she was a summer associate at Sidley, splitting the summer between the Chicago and Washington offices.

The Obamas complain about their college debt, but they did attend expensive schools.  Obama took out $42,753 in loans to pay for Harvard tuition.  Michelle signed notes for $40,762 in loans for her Harvard years.

Obama had a full scholarship for his freshman year at Occidental, taking out loans -- the best I could get was "tens of thousands" to pay for the rest of his undergraduate school, with some help from his grandparents.  At Princeton, as mentioned, Michelle had the work-study grant, got some help from her folks and took out "tens of thousands" of loans to pay tuition.

Anglican Bishops Meet in Canterbury

From the New York Times

July 21, 2008

Anglican Bishops Meet in Canterbury


CANTERBURY, England — As he passed through the heavy wooden doors of this city’s ancient cathedral behind a procession of 650 other Anglican bishops and archbishops on Sunday, the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, appeared taut and ill at ease. It was as if keeping a church with an estimated 80 million followers around the world from breaking apart over the issue of gay priests and bishops was proving almost too heavy a burden.

Read more here:

Anglican Bishops Meet in Canterbury -

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Anglican Communion Bigotry Continues

Katie Sherrod wrote the following on the Walking With Integrity blog today. It's a great post. But it's upsetting that many of the Bishops in the Anglican Communion believe it is entirely appropriate to practice bigotry. They've banned Bishop Robinson from next Tuesday evening's purple hat meeting.
by Katie Sherrod
For one brief tiny second, I think there was a rainbow over the green field where the Integrity/Changing Attitude Eucharist took place this afternoon before a crowd of 160 people, including 33 bishops, mostly from the US. The Canterbury Cathedral loomed dramatically over the trees beyond the altar.

It was a cool blustery mostly sunny afternoon interrupted occasionally by brief light showers of rain. As the second shower was passing, the sun came out, creating a rainbow just as I glanced up. I grabbed my photographer’s arm, but it was gone before I could get words out.

Did I imagine it? Was it wishful thinking?

It seemed much too apt to be true, that tiny glimpse of color, so I’m assuming I imagined it. One often feels that way in the Anglican Communion – thinking one has glimpsed some hope only to find it was an illusion.

But this afternoon, there was one genuine icon of hope for LGBT folks, and that was Bishop Gene Robinson, striding across the road from St. Stephens encircled by a small group of American bishops come to stand in solidarity with him at the service.

The irony is that at the very moment Bishop Robinson wasn’t feeling very hopeful himself. He had just learned that the house of bishops of the 38 “national” provinces are supposed to meet Tuesday evening and that “they” – the Lambeth Conference organizers – had decreed that Bp. Robinson was not to be allowed to attend the meeting of the US House of Bishops. It might make it appear that he is a participant in the conference, something “they” apparently want to avoid at all costs, lest it offend – who? The people who are boycotting Lambeth?

It was the very thing he had pleaded with his brothers and sisters not to allow to happen – that they not allow the “powers that be” to separate them.

So Bp. Robinson was grateful for the Eucharist, because, as he said, “Eucharist always helps.”

Integrity and Changing Attitude had joined forces to put on the service for the purpose of praying for the bishops at the Lambeth Conference. It was a startling sight – the groups that had been the most wounded by the actions of Lambeth 1998 were here praying for the success of the Lambeth Conference, while those who had most celebrated the outcome of the 1998 conference were boycotting it.

The service, presided over by Colin Coward of Changing Attitude, seemed to lighten the spirits of those present. While a Eucharist like this is fairly common at, say, a General Convention or even a diocesan convention in the U.S., it’s almost unheard of in England, where the leadership of the Church of England tries to pretend there are no such folk in their pews, and certainly not in their pulpits, behind their altars, or under their miters. The mind boggles, doesn’t it?

So the LGBT folk from England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland who were present were mildly amazed to see an openly gay priest at the altar and hear a lesbian preach.

Susan Russell was at her best, preaching a sermon of God’s inclusive love that clearly touched the hearts of many of those sitting or standing on the grass in front of her.

She started out by talking about that ubiquitous warning of the British rail system, “Mind the Gap,’ the warning to passengers to be aware of the distance between the train and the platform.

“I can’t help but wonder if minding the gap isn’t one of the ways an island people cope with the challenges of gaps that don’t have anything to do with trains! It is a mindset that says `gaps happen and we mind them and keep moving along’ that is part of the DNA of not only the English people but of the English Church.

“It is the essence of an Anglican comprehensiveness that has – up until now – been able to hold together a world-wide communion in spite of the gaps between theologies and polities and languages and liturgies.

“As this Lambeth Conference begins, I’m wondering if `minding the gap’ might not be one of the most important things those of us who love, care about and pray for this Anglican Communion can do,” she said.

She reminded the listeners that Jesus promised that “the truth will set you free.”

“To mind the gap is to commit ourselves to tell the truth about the very real gaps that exist between the experiences, worldviews, and theologies of many members of the Anglican Communion. It is equally to speak the truth that the Gospel we share is stronger than the differences we acknowledge,” she said.

“Gaps do not have to become chasms and differences do not have to become divisions – in spite of what you might have read in the Sunday papers this morning from the Gospel According to Durham,” she said, a reference to N.T. Wright, the bishop of Durham, who compared the ordination of a gay bishop to the invasion of Iraq in the Sunday Times today.

She said the church at its best has “not only the potential but the vocation to bridge not only the gaps that separate us from each other within the communion but the gaps that separate the church from the world it has been created to serve as the Body of Christ … as Jesus’ hands and feet at work in the world.

“The truth that will set us free is that Jesus spent a WHOLE lot less time talking about who was going to get to heaven than he did talking about bringing heaven to earth. `Thy kingdom come, thy will be done ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN’ are arguably among the most familiar words in all of Christian faith – the words our Lord Jesus `taught us to pray.’

“So my wondering today – and we’ve happily got a great lot of bishops here who should be theologically trained enough to give us an answer -- is this: When did the litmus test for going to heaven become correctly guessing who else God has on the invitation list? “

“Jesus didn’t have a single word to say about guessing the guest list … or about doctrines or dogmas or creeds -- or even about Lambeth Conferences! In the gospel from Matthew we heard this morning he quite clearly tells us that it is not our job to fuss about the weeds – or what even to decide which ones are the weeds! Jesus will deal with that at harvest time, he assures us. And it is high time the church took him at his word and -- leaving what he’s asked us to leave to him to him – to get on with the work he has given US to do.

She pointed out that Jesus was VERY clear about what that work looks like -- “inasmuch as you did it unto the least of these.”

“The question Jesus asked was, `did you bring water to the thirsty, food to the hungry, clothing to the naked?’ … not `did you agree on liturgical practice, come to consensus on a biblical hermeneutic, unravel the mystery of human sexuality?’

“Paul’s letter to the Romans tells us that the creation waits with eager longing “In hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage …” and that is as true in 21st century Canterbury as it was in 1st century Corinth. The whole creation. Not just one part or parcel – one race or gender or orientation or identity. The WHOLE creation-- free of poverty, free of violence, free of exploitation, free of oppression, free of sexism, free of racism, free of homophobia. And what will set the creation free is the truth.

She told her listeners that “our job is to tell the truth about the God who loved us enough to become one of us and then called us walk in love with God and with our neighbors. It is THAT truth that is core of the Gospel message of love and hope and inclusion and it is THAT truth that has the power to set the creation free. If we will claim it. If we will proclaim it. If we will get on with the work WE have been given to do.”

She then told Robert Fulgham’s story of the time he had to mind the children while the other grownups were off doing something else. He set the children to sorting themselves into giants, wizards and dwarfs, a game the purpose of which was mostly to run around and make noise.

Then, While the groups huddled in frenzied, whispered consultation, a tug came at my pants leg. A small child stands there looking up, and asks in a small, concerned voice, "Where do the Mermaids stand?"

Where do the Mermaids stand?

A long pause. A very long pause. "Where do the Mermaids stand?" says I.

"Yes. You see, I am a Mermaid."

"There are no such thing as Mermaids."

"Oh, yes, I am one!"

She did not relate to being a Giant, a Wizard, or a Dwarf. She knew her category. Mermaid. And was not about to leave the game and go over and stand against the wall where a loser would stand. She intended to participate, wherever Mermaids fit into the scheme of things. Without giving up dignity or identity. She took it for granted that there was a place for Mermaids and that I would know just where.

Well, where DO the Mermaids stand? All the "Mermaids"--all those who are different, who do not fit the norm and who do not accept the available boxes and pigeonholes?

Answer that question and you can build a school, a nation, or a world on it.

What was my answer at the moment? Every once in a while I say the right thing. "The Mermaid stands right here by the King of the Sea!" says I.

So we stood there hand in hand, reviewing the troops of Wizards and Giants and Dwarfs as they roiled by in wild disarray.

It is not true, by the way, that Mermaids do not exist. I know at least one personally. I have held her hand. 

Russell went on to say, “A question I have answered a hundred times is `why are you going to Lambeth Conference?’

“My answer this afternoon IS this afternoon. It is this extraordinary gathering of wizards and dwarfs and giants and mermaids – standing together as the Body of Christ – receiving together the bread and wine made holy – going out together to proclaim the Good News of God in Christ Jesus to the world.

“It is the church telling the truth that will set it free – the truth that it is not true that faithful gay and lesbian Anglicans do not exist … for we know some personally. We have held their hand.

“And it is the opportunity to witness to that truth that will set this church – this communion – indeed this creation – free of the fear of inclusion and open to the Holy Spirit of God calling it to move forward in faith into God’s future. And may the God who has given us the will to do these things give us the grace and power to accomplish them. Amen.”

The passing of the peace took a long time as the gathered crowd shook hands, hugged, laughed, and wiped tears away. Then they moved into the Great Thanksgiving with a gusto not often seen in an English service, ending with a hymn beginning “We sing a love that sets all people free.”

The sound of the singing blew across the field, over the boys playing soccer, the child toddling carefully over the grass, the woman throwing a ball for her happy dogs, the couple walking hand in hand, drifting past the cathedral and off into a waiting world. 


Posted By Katie Sherrod to Walking With Integrity at 7/20/2008 11:58:00 AM