Wednesday, June 21, 2006

21 June, 2006 The Episcopal Church General Conference is Over

General Conference of The Episcopal Church (TEC), formerly commonly known as Episcopal Church (ECUSA) has finally ended and weary clergy, deputies and convention goers wind their way home grumpily to get to bed and get some much needed rest. They're grumpy only because they're tired. I want to express my appreciation to the great leaders of Integrity and those involved in social justice and helping to support TEC on it's path to being embracing, loving and respecting all Episcopalian Christians, not just the ones like them. Five attempts were made to post pictures of my hero's in The Episcopal Church: The Rev. Elizabeth Kaeton, The Rev. Susan Russell, Our Beloved Bishop Gene Robinson and Louie Crew. But alas, Blogspot is so overwhelmed the pictures never would upload. Much was accomplished during this convention. The legislation to be tackled was the one our Presiding Bishop called a Joint Session for this morning. It was designed to appease the Anglican Communion and with a purpose to of keeping TEC from getting thrown out of the Anglican Communion by promising not to consecrate any gay or lesbian bishops. But....this is funny....they ended with some cow pucky as follows: "Resolved, that this Convention therefore call upon Standing Committees and bishops with jurisdiction to exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion." I'm not sure if this piece of baloney is saying alcoholics, divorced folks, left handed people or those outrageously straight religious conservative types with a girlfriend on both coasts and a hooker in Chicago are eligible or not eligible for consecration as a bishop. Or maybe they are only referring to those clergy under investigation in the Jack Abramoff trial. Reading it one has to scratch his head to decide which sins the Anglican Communion find especially repulsive. Due to the fact that so many American clergy present a challenge to the wider church due to a challenging manner of life it could mean anything. But it looks like gay folk are off the hook for now. Praise Jesus! Everybody's excited about our Presiding Bishop Elect. She's A Girl! Seriously, I am happy to have a lady Presiding Bishop. I wonder if the men of the Anglican Communion will be nice. I doubt it. They're already judging her, throwing temper tantrums and acting like a bunch of bigots. The proper thing to do would be give Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori a chance; to talk to her and get to know her before passing judgment. The conservative male clergy of TEC and those in the Anglican Communion are being extremely harsh and prejudicial. Their blogs are totally disgusting, full of sarcasm and unchristian comments(I refer my readers to StandFirm,Titusonline, Virtueonline). Please remember these men in your prayers. I think they have serious penile size and vagina issues. Signing off for now, Gordon

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Episcopal Church U.S.A. Elects New Presiding Bishop

The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori I'm proud of my church and quite happy and proud to have a woman Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church U.S.A. Bright, talented, loving and caring. Those are the words I've read to describe her. I'm praying hard that our church will stay united. But if the conservatives walk, they walk. Yes, it will hurt, but then again the Episcopal Church will never be a huge denomination where thousands gather in a church on Sunday mornings. I'd rather belong to a smaller denomination where we're not required to check our brains in at the door! In Christ, Gordon

Impressions of Alzheimer's Conference West Palm Beach FL, June 8 & 9, 2006

Malcolm Leissring, Ph.D Lead Alzheimer's Researcher Scripps Florida This Morning's IPOD Playlist: Music from Grace Cathedral, San Francisco and Westminster Abbey, London I went away from the first day of the conference feeling nervous and unsettled. I began to get choked up and cry listening to the panel of caregivers and patients on the stage. There were six families. For privacy reasons I want to change the name of the gentleman and his family who my heart. I'll call him Lawrence. When the moderator of the panel introduced Lawrence and his family she included in Lawrence's autobiographical information that Lawrence was born in 1951. Hmm, I thought to myself. Lawrence is the first person I've met in the four months since being diagnosed with this disease who is the same age as me: 54. Lawrence's wife and two teenage sons were on the stage with Lawrence. His wife told the crowd of 500-600 people that Lawrence's memory had become worse in the past year since the last conference. His son's spoke of their love for their dad and their sadness that Lawrence's memory continues to fade and that he will not be able to rejoice with them in their graduations, their marriages or the births of their children. They take their dad to the beach and enjoy doing things with them. They taught their friends that their dad is important to them and in spite of his illness, he is their dad and a part of the package of friendship. Lawrence cried on and off during the panel discussion and shared how much he loves his family. Lawrence no longer can drive and he shared with me afterward that the medications were ineffective. We shook hands and he introduced me to his wife. When I got in my car I was shaking and cried for 10 minutes. I cried for Lawrence, his family and all the human suffering this terrible disease has caused. And I cried because the path that the disease has taken in Lawrence is similar to mine. I wondered if I would still be driving and going to work everyday a year from now. Will I be in a nursing home? Will I remember Larry? My brothers? My pastor? My friends? Will I remember my travels to England? Will I remember anything I accomplished in this life? Will I remember the hours I spent on street corners or walking the halls of congress trying to help make this world a better place for working families, the poor, the disenfranchised, for union members, for gay and lesbian American Citizens? Will I remember any of these things? I took some deep breaths. I prayed and took deeper breaths. Jesus is with me, I said to myself. I kept reminding myself over and over what I told myself when I looked at the PET Scan results that day in February and knew what the neurologist was going to tell me: Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease. What I told myself is that this disease is a spiritual journey. I have things to do and a life to live and I'm going to keep on being positive and enjoy my walk with Jesus and learn all I can from this experience. During Friday's session, I took the Hurricane Preparedness/Special Needs course in the breakaway session. Another class I took was Creating a Legacy, learning how to record my values and beliefs of life to leave when I'm gone. But the greatest part of the conference was the Alzheimer's Research Update with Dr. Malcolm Leissring, lead Alzheimer's scientist for Scripps Research Institute Florida. The presentation of the robot system shows the high tech capabilities of research which wasn't available just a few years ago. Dr. Malcolm also explained how the new experimental Alzheimer's vaccine works on the plaques around the cells in the brain. Hopefully this will be a successful study. By the way, I am being considered for this study and my app't with the the doctor is in a week or two. You can learn more about Dr. Leissring and his research at I met a real neat lady. Her name is Patty. She sat next to me during Dr. Leissring's presentation. Her dad passed away in January. Please see Patty's web site which has some pictures of her dad and beautiful family. It is also a way to contribute directly to Alzheimer's Research Scripps Florida: Meanwhile, I'm going to keep on going to work every day, working my crosswords and downloading my pictures and music to my Ipod. In fact, I read last night that Bishop Robinson's message at the Integrity Eucharist at the Episcopal Church General Convention. Love ya, Gordon