Saturday, March 24, 2007
It appears to me that the Archbishop of Canterbury's flip flopping on issues of human sexuality and his choosing sides in the Anglican conflict may lead to total destruction of the Anglican Communion as we know it. Instead of being a leader and staying in the middle and being fair on both sides, he chose to side with the global south and the ilk of Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria. Archbishop Rowan Williams created this mess and now he is faced with the consequences. The American Church cannot possibly do the things requested by the meeting of the primates in Tanzania. We're a democracy. The House of Bishops, House of Deputies and the Executive Council reaches decisions by voting. And besides, our Annual meeting isn't until 2009. ----------------------------------------- Subject: Archbishop losses favor on all fronts Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2007 15:59:13 -0400 The Daily Telegraph Leader March 23, 2007 Communion no more: The Archbishop of Canterbury's plan to save the Anglican Communion lies in near ruins. The American bishops have rejected Dr Rowan William's scheme - endorsed by Anglican primates in Tanzania last month - to create a traditionalist enclave for conservatives opposed to liberal bishops. And they have set out their opinions in stinging language: not only is the Archbishop accused of promoting a 'spiritually unsound' project, but it is also implied that he is behaving like a British colonialist. The text of the American bishops' statement is damaging. This is a national Church speaking with an (almost) united voice. The casus belli has shifted from the ordination of Gene Robinson, to allegations of bullying by a group of primates led by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Dr Williams now finds himself out of favour with liberals and moderate conservatives in his own Communion. And, harsh though it may sound, he has only himself to blame. In the past couple of years, he has allowed conservative Anglicanism to be hijacked by extremists. Archbishop Peter Akinola, Anglican Primate of Nigeria, is the leader of the Global South provinces opposed to the ordination of actively homosexual clergy. That is fair enough, but he has also defended new Nigerian legislation that makes 'cancerous' (his word) same-sex activity punishable by up to five years' imprisonment. The deeply divisive figure of Archbishop Akinola was central to Dr Williams's Tanzanian compromise; is it any wonder that it has been rejected? The Archbishop's attempts to hold together the Communion have led him to a theological position so convoluted that he now has few natural supporters. He will find himself exposed at next year's Lambeth Conference - if, that is, it can take place at all without the support of the American Church.
Last night I was watching the Senate Committee on Aging, /Alzheimer's Sub Group hearings on C-Span. I learned that the number of Alzheimer's cases has doubled since 1990 and continues to rise.
Elsewhere on my blog I posted about some of the research going on here in Florida. Supporting this research is important. What I like about Senate Bills 897 and 898 is that is the result of research from real life situations and real life research accomplishments. The financial and emotional tolls on families are devastating. Long term care assistance is provided for in this legislation as well as an increase in the funding for research. There are several promising drugs getting closer to market.
Please consider writing to your senators asking that they support Senate Bills 897 and 898.
As far as my own disease process goes, I have periods of zipping along through life just fine, not forgetting words or task needing to be done and other times when I feel perplexed. In Washington, DC last week, I did well until my very last day.
I spent my last day in DC at Washington National Cathedral because I wanted to see the interment site of Helen Keller and Ann Sullivan and to do some shopping in the bookstore.
I had a wonderful afternoon sometimes sitting in one of the chapels, chatting with a tour guide and sitting on a bench and drinking coffee in one of the gardens. To me, there are two Taj Mahals of Anglicanism: Canterbury Cathedral and our National Cathedral. Both always leave me in awe. The deep spirituality of both cathedrals is something I feel when I 'm in those places.
Anyway, it was time to get back to my hotel to claim my luggage and get to the airport. So I headed down Massachusetts Ave and caught a cab to Starbucks near my hotel for a cappuccino. Starbucks is two blocks from my hotel. Never the less, I managed to get totally lost which had not happened before during my stay. I walked and walked and nothing was familiar.
I ended up at DuPont Circle, saw Starbucks and walked in to see if the familiar face of the person who served my coffee would indeed assure me that I was in the Starbucks I had been to earlier. I was lucky. The lady who served me was behind the counter and she pointed to the street along the side of Starbucks. All I had to do was walk the way she pointed down that street.
I thought about this experience while watching Senator Mikulski talking about her dad's Alzheimer's and my own parent's who both had Alzheimer's getting lost on a drive in South Florida.
The whole thing is scary, but I remain positive that a cure or way of managing the disease will come in the not too distant future. And I also hope that my disease takes a similar course of my dad's. He kept his humor, still drove, still enjoyed his ministry of visiting folks in a local nursing home and enjoyed life to the fullest. He passed away in peace from a heart attack with his family with him. My dad had class and dignity to the end. For that I am grateful and only hope I can be so lucky.
Please visit the Alzheimer's Association Website
Senator Mikulski Introduces Comprehensive Alzheimer's Breakthrough Legislation
Senator Mikulski continued her fight for Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers by introducing two critical bills this month – The Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Act of 2007 (S. 898) and The Family Assistance Act of 2007 (S. 897).
The Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Act of 2007 doubles funding for Alzheimer’s research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), giving researchers the resources they need to make breakthroughs that are on the horizon in diagnosis, prevention and intervention.
The Family Assistance Act of 2007 creates a $3,000 tax credit for families caring for a loved one with a chronic condition like Alzheimer’s to help them pay for prescription drugs, home health care and special day care. "I’m on the side of people with Alzheimer’s and the families who love and care for them.
Research that is going on right now is the master key that will one day open doors to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s," said Senator Mikulski. "Ninety-five percent of what we know about Alzheimer’s disease, we’ve learned in the past 15 years. We must stay the course and continue the investment. We need to do more and we need to do better."
As Chairman of the Retirement Security and Aging Subcommittee of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, this month Senator Mikulski also convened the subcommittee's first hearing of the 110th Congress, and examined the need for a continued investment of federal resources in Alzheimer’s research and programs.
For more information, go to: http://mikulski.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=270936.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Well, the New York Times gave a pretty good summary of TEC'S House Of Bishops Meeting at Camp Allen (Navasota, TX, not too far from Houston).
I am very happy about the outcome of their meeting. TEC does not appear to be backing down and if The Episcopal Church gets thrown out of the Anglican communion, so be it. The million dollars a year we spend for membership in that club can certainly be put to good use around the world.
Episcopals Rebuff Demands on Stance on Gays By LAURIE GOODSTEIN Published: March 21, 2007
Responding to an ultimatum from the leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion, bishops of the Episcopal Church have rejected a key demand to create a parallel leadership structure to serve the conservative minority of Episcopalians who oppose their church’s liberal stand on homosexuality. The bishops, meeting at a retreat center outside of Houston, said they were aware that their decision could lead to the exclusion of the Episcopal Church from the Anglican Communion, an international confederation of churches tied to the Church of England.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
South Carolina Friends, Tim and Terry
I found myself at the Episcopal Peace Fellowship brunch sitting with a group of really nice folks. Among them were Tim and Terry. The three of us left together after the brunch to go down to the staging area for the march across the bridge to the Pentagon. It was SO cold and windy. I had my thermal underwear on and wool socks. I'm SO glad I prepared for the weather.En route from the staging area, pro-war supporters were in bleachers on one side of us and lined up on the other side. It was probably meant to intimidate us but it didn't. They yelled obscenities and we gave them the peace symbol in return. We listened to a few of the speakers at the Pentagon Rally. The sound system was excellent. But it was so cold that after about an hour we left, walked back across the bridge and caught a cab to the Luna Diner at Dupont Circle to get something to eat and get warm. We met some Viet Nam veterans sitting at the table next to us. They had attended the rally as well. Above are just a few of the collection of pictures I took at the rally.
Episcopal Peace Fellowship Brunch Saturday, 3/17/07
After doing the four mile candlelight march and White House Peace Vigil the night before many of us were tired and facing more cold weather after our brunch to attend the anti-war march and rally at the Pentagon.
Learn more about The Episcopal Peace Fellowship at http://www.epfnational.org/publish/index.shtmlLisa in Center, Tim and Terry
Peace Singer, Lisa Dudley and me
Episcopal Peace Fellowship: Our Presence at the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq: March 16, 2007, Washington, DC
Training at St. Mark's, Washington, DC
Waiting for the service to begin
Sign I made for the Event
Many denominations were represented Episcopalians from all over the country joined other denominations in Washington, DC for a service at Washington National Cathedral on Friday evening followed by a 4 mile candlelight walk from the cathedral to the White House. More than 2,000 attended the service and march. Among the speakers was a Dominican Nun from Baghdad and Jim Wallis of Sojourners. It was a wonderful service which ended with us receiving our torches and begin our march down Massachusetts Ave to the White House. It was snowing and really cold outside. It was great to see all of the supporters waving from their houses and apartments, giving the peace sign. One family came out into their driveway and offered folks hot chocolate and the use of the bathroom in their home. Training in preparation for the evening event was held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church the morning of the event. St. Mark's is located to the southeast of the Capital Bldg. It's a beautiful old church built in the 1800s. This was an experiential training in nonviolence. The training lasted for two hours and consisted of role playing and ways to express ourselves in non-confrontational ways.
On March 10th 2007, Integrity of the Palm Beaches hosted a Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser for Our Little Roses Ministries. Dr. Diana Frade spoke about this great ministry she started in Honduras in 1988 and Bishop Frade attended as well.
In Honduras where poverty is rampant, abused and neglected children frequently are homeless, starved and oftentimes, ill. For years this is a serious find themselves the plight of abandoned girls ignored.
The wife of the Episcopal Bishop of Southeast Florida, Dr. Diana Frade saw the tremendous need and the ministry of Our Little Roses began in 1988. The ministry started in a small rented house with 26 girls.
In 1990 government officials of the city of San Pedro Sula saw the success and changed lives in the girls at Our Little Roses. They gave some land to the ministry on which two buildings were built and where 76 girls now live.
In Honduras, there is no other facility dedicated to helping abandoned and homeless girls through elementary school through college to break the cycle of poverty and give these girls the opportunity to have a better life. Their education and health care are provided for by the donations of great folks in the U.S., Europe and other countries. This is so important because girls with no skills have little to no opportunities to escape poverty level circumstances.
The Little Roses girls graduating from high school who attend university also hold jobs to help offset some of the expenses of their education. Other ministries housed within the walled campus include Holy Family Bilingual School, chapel and B and B hostel.
There are no governmental social services or funds for Honduran children who become victims of violence, poverty, disease and oppression. The need was desperate in 1988, and it is even more compelling today. Children are often forced onto the streets to fend for themselves when their families cannot or will not care for them. Poverty produces abusive situations for many pre- adolescent girls who are deprived of an education by being kept home to take care of younger siblings, with no adult supervision or oversight.
In 2003, when the Diocese of New Hampshire elected Bishop Gene Robinson as their new Bishop, some Floridians were furious with Bishop Frade for voting in favor of Bishop Robinson. Some donors decided to punish Bishop Frade for his vote by cutting off their pledges to Our Little Roses. But this unchristian act didn’t punish Bishop Frade. It punished the little girls at Our Little Roses.
You can learn more about Our Little Roses at http://www.ourlittleroses.org/