Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Aquafina Fuss

I don't understand all of the fuss about Aquafina and it's being tap water instead of from some mountain stream or idyllic spring.
Yes, it's tap water, but it's not like turning on your facet at home and getting a glass of water. Most bottled water which comes from the tap goes through a purifying process which makes it taste a heck of alot better than many municipal water companies provide. The water in West Palm Beach is just plain nasty tasting and Aquafina is a big improvement.
But when it comes to a cut above purified bottled water, my favorite is Poland Spring which comes from Poland Springs and other springs in Maine. It's a few pennies more than Aquafina, but no matter which one you prefer, if you find yourself visiting West Palm Beach, you might want to consider getting some bottled water.

A Hard Truth, From Stand Firm in Faith

This isn't one of my favorite sources of information, but I thought that this article from Stand Firm in Faith would be worth sharing.
Matt Kennedy
A Hard Truth
If we were to take a straw poll of the primates of the Anglican Communion on the question of human sexuality, we would, no doubt, find that somewhat more than 20 agree with Lambeth Resolution 1.10. Were we, however, to ask which primates would be prepared to stand against or, if need be, apart from Canterbury if push came to shove, the number would be reduced to somewhere near 6 or, if we want to be optimistic, 8. The fact is that while the vast majority of the Anglican primates hold fast to the orthodox position on human sexuality, only a small minority are willing to do much about it apart from issuing statements or voting “yes” on various orthodox resolutions. It seems, unfortunately for us, that Canterbury knows this too. He tested the strength of the Global South coalition in Tanzania and found, in the end, that only a small number of primates were prepared to walk if need be. The bold intransigence of these few courageous primates saved the day in Dar. But the damage was done. The strength of the orthodox primates and the orthodox position within the primates meeting once lay in the potential loss of up to 20 provinces. At Dar, the Archbishop of Canterbury put this potential to the test. He lost his gambit to push through the Sub-Group Report, but he gained a much greater strategic victory: knowledge. Now he knows the real rather than the supposed strength of the orthodox primates. And this knowledge has added a certain measure of steel to his spine. Why carry forward with the process articulated at Dar? Why heed calls from communion conservatives to appoint a provincial council? Why call a primates meeting after September 30th? Politically speaking, there is no reason to do any of these things and every reason not to do them. Knowledge of the real political weakness of the orthodox coalition is why we’ve seen, since Tanzania, such a noticeable and aggressive shift in Canterbury’s public position and posture beginning with his issuance of Lambeth Conference invitations. The worst case scenario for Archbishop Rowan Williams, supposing he refuses to act in accordance with the Tanzania Communique’s Pastoral Scheme and/or refuses to discipline the Episcopal Church, would be the loss of some populous but politically isolated provinces in the Global South and the loss of several primates--primates who, frankly, threaten the power and position of the see of Canterbury and that of the Church of England. Canterbury has nothing to lose. This is a hard truth. I’ve written about it before. I do so again because I think it is something with which we must come to terms if we are to think clearly about the Network, Common Cause, the upcoming House of Bishops meeting, Lambeth, and the Communion as a whole. And the most profound question is this: Is Canterbury essential to Anglicanism? My own answer, as you might have guessed, is “no”. What is yours? The way various parties, far more powerful and influential, answer that fundamental question will determine the ultimate shape of the Communion.

....and from across the pond

My thoughts on Collier's Article:
Bishop Robinson exposed the hypocrisy of the Church of England. The COE exported English homophobia worldwide. Therefore it shares a big chunk of responsibility for the state in which the Anglican Communion now finds itself. Canterbury is reaping what it once sowed. This article unveils the hypocrisy of the COE and the Archbishops of Canterbury past and present. I'm happy that Collier exposed it. An open wound can be treated and dressed. That's when the healing begins.
The Scotsman
Saturday July 28, 2007
Millions believe this man is the Antichrist
FORTY years after the decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales, American The Rt Rev V Gene Robinson, the world's first openly gay bishop, explains to ANDREW COLLIER in an exclusive interview what it's like to be many Christians' number one enemy.
THE Devil has arranged to meet me in the lobby of a London tourist hotel. It's an odd choice of venue: Westminster Cathedral, the great temple of Roman Catholicism in England, is close by; and a glimpse of the fire and colour of Hell would have been more interesting.Nor does he look like Satan. No horns, no tail, no pitchfork, no smoke and sulphur. He's of medium height, thinning hair, wearing a smart shirt and tie. He's immediately warm, friendly, open and assured. I like him.
Yet millions of Christians the world over are convinced - absolutely assured - that this man is the Antichrist. They believe he is the Devil, sent to destroy the church from within. Welcome to the fan club of the Rt Rev V Gene Robinson, Primate of the American diocese of New Hampshire and the world's first openly gay bishop.
This week may mark the 40th anniversary of the legalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales, but attitudes in many ways still lag behind legislation. Even on this side of the Atlantic, Robinson's public homosexuality has made him the most controversial figure in worldwide Anglicanism since Henry VIII split with Rome in 1538 and created the church.
His ordination as bishop four years ago sparked a global outrage. Here was a cleric not only living in a sexual relationship with another man, but proud of it. Fellow Anglicans around the world erupted in fury. Some of the insults from other bishops in the 77 million strong worldwide Anglican Communion have been poisonous.
It is yet possible - some would say probable - that Robinson's election will very soon unleash a chain of events blowing the global church apart.'Did I think my ordination would be controversial? Of course,' he says. 'We took seriously the voices that were coming our way and we knew this would be a shock in many quarters. But did I have any idea that the furore over my consecration would be as broad or as deep as it was? Absolutely not.'
Robinson has been a controversial figure from the moment he came into the world. Born in 1947 in the Bible Belt in Lexington, Kentucky, he was not expected to survive the delivery, so his sharecropper parents were asked to give names for both the birth and death certificates. Expecting a girl, they opted for Vicky Imogene. He has never changed it.Religion was important to the young Gene Robinson. He grew up in the evangelical tradition - 'quite conservative, bordering on fundamentalist' - and went to church every Sunday.
By the age of 11, he was sensing that his sexual urges were different from those of his schoolmates.'It was not something easily admitted to oneself, let alone the world', he recalls. 'Friends of mine got hold of a Playboy magazine and I realised they were very much more interested in those pictures than I was.'Given what the church had taught me and what scripture seemed to be saying about this, being aware of my attraction to other boys seemed a despicable possibility. I was ashamed of it and fearful about it. I grew up in middle, southern America - a place where that sort of thing was not remotely tolerated. You just pray it's a phase you're going through; something you'll outgrow.'At the same time, he was feeling a calling towards God, rejecting his conservative church upbringing in favour of what he saw as the more tolerant, open, enquiring and honest nature of the Episcopal Church of the US, part of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
He went to seminary in New York, only three months after the Stonewall riots which heralded the beginning of the modern gay liberation movement. He found himself in a relationship with another man. 'It felt very positive to be falling in love with someone, to have them falling in love with me and to experience this kind of bond, and at the same time it was horrifically awful because I thought, 'Oh my goodness, maybe this isn't a passing phase. Maybe I am this way. Oh my God, what am I going to do?''Robinson knew his sexuality could destroy his chances of ordination. He had also always loved children and yearned for a family. So he went into therapy. 'It didn't work and almost never does, though I guess I thought it had. It didn't make the same-sex feelings go away, but I certainly felt emotionally, spiritually and physically ready for a relationship with a woman.'
When he met his wife, Boo, he was determined to maintain his honesty and integrity. 'Within a month of meeting her, I shared that all of my primary relationships had been with men, but that I had been in therapy to make a heterosexual relationship possible. She seemed to fully understand that. She said we loved each other very much and that if something happened we would deal with it together.'But his feelings did not go away.
After about ten years of marriage, and following the births of his two daughters, the doubts began to overwhelm him. 'We began to talk about it more and more, and sought counselling, trying to discern what was the right thing for us to do.' The couple finally decided to divorce. 'Almost everyone we knew were devastated. We had the marriage everyone hoped for. We tried to do the dissolution in a very holy way. We took a priest with us to the judge's chambers for the decree and went back to his church. In the context of the holy Eucharist we released each other from the vows we had taken, asked each other's forgiveness for ways in which we might have hurt one another, pledged ourselves to the joint raising of our children and gave our rings back as a symbol of the vows we no longer held each other to. It was one of the most healing moments of my whole life.'
ROBINSON DID NOT meet his life partner, Mark Andrew, until three years after the divorce, and by then his wife had remarried. 'The thing that has hurt me most in the press - and there have been some awful things said - is the charge that I abandoned my wife and children to move in with another man. There wasn't another man. And I never abandoned my responsibilities.'
He remains close to his ex-wife, and he says that his now grown-up children adore his partner. 'He's just wonderful with them. I would say I've been blessed. I've had the best of both worlds. I had a wonderful relationship with my wife and I have had a wonderful relationship now of almost 20 years with my partner.'
As he progressed through the church, it became clear that he was an exceptional pastor, capable of engaging with clergy and people in a compelling and spiritual way. He was also an effective and forceful administrator. As it became clear that he might be a candidate for bishop, so the voices against him became louder. His detractors have always found him difficult to target, he says, because he doesn't fit stereotypes. 'I have a wonderful family and had a wonderful marriage. I wasn't duplicitous. And I'm not a misogynist; I don't hate women. I have wonderful relationships with women.'
When he was elected bishop in 2003, it was by a clear two-thirds majority among the laity, the clergy and the American bishops. It was a massive validation, but it sparked a fireball. The death threats, many of them from fundamentalist Christians, flooded in.NEW HAMPSHIRE DOES not have any great cathedrals, and the most suitable venue which could be found for the ceremony was a local ice rink.
The event sparked worldwide interest and condemnation, and Robinson started to realise the scale of the price he would have to pay.'We had to spend $100,000 on security. I wore a bulletproof vest under my vestments. We did have a contingency plan that if shots were fired or a bomb went off and I was still alive, I was to be taken to a separate location. Three bishops - it takes three bishops to lay hands on you and ordain you - would be there with a photographer, so if I was still alive the consecration would not be thwarted.'The personal attacks on him have been venomous. The Baptist preacher Fred Phelps called him 'a disgusting, detestable, loathsome, filthy abomination - the great whoremonger'. Internet sites commonly refer to him as Satan or Beelzebub's Boy.
When Robinson recently went into rehab to deal with an alcohol problem, you could almost hear their whoops of joy. More serious is the response of other parts of the Anglican Communion. The Church of England has tried to maintain a lofty silence, though the Archbishop of Canterbury has asked him not to preach or celebrate Mass within his jurisdiction.
Churches such as those in Nigeria, which has 17 million Anglicans, have been more venomous, seeking to have the American church expelled from the communion. They have described gay people as 'beasts' with whom they will not share a room, and the Nigerian bishops said the Americans were a 'cancerous lump' which should be 'excised'.The whole issue is likely to come to a head at the Lambeth Conference next year. This gathering, held every ten years, brings together all the Communion's bishops for prayer and discussion at Canterbury. Robinson says he is the only bishop in the world who has so far not been invited.It could well turn into a firestorm. If the Americans and the Nigerians cannot share a room, let alone communion, it could well spell the end of Anglicanism as we know it. There will be plenty willing to blame Robinson for its demise.
HE TAKES COMFORT from a statement from the Scottish Episcopal Church, whose bishops said publicly two years ago that being homosexual is not a bar to ministry. 'It was supportive and I was grateful for it. As you can imagine, statements like that are few and far between at the moment in the Anglican Communion. It was a refusal to draw a line in the sand.'Robinson warns, though, that the price of support could see the Scottish church, as well as the American one, being forced out of the Communion. 'If the Episcopal Church in America is to bear some sort of punishment, it would not seem unlikely that all those who have stood with us might be so punished.'As a Christian, can he forgive his enemies? 'You know, I can. And here's why. They only believe what the church has taught them to believe, and I believed those same things myself for a very long time. That is what a gay person has to contend with. We've been taught the same things everyone else has. The church has taught us all to condemn homosexual behaviour. I would argue it has taught that mistakenly, but I can certainly understand why people feel this way, so no, I don't have any trouble forgiving.'
IT WAS FORTY YEARS AGO TODAY...THE Sexual Offences Act, which partially decriminalised homosexual acts in private between two men, both of whom had to be over 21, was given Royal Assent 40 years ago today, on 28 July 1967, after a night of heated debate in the Commons. It applied only to England and Wales: Scotland would have to wait until 1980 for such liberalisation, while the Armed Forces remained exempt until 2000.The Sexual Offences Act was significantly influenced by the Wolfenden Report of 1957, which recommended the decriminalisation of certain homosexual acts between consenting adults in the privacy of their homes, and established a certain legitimacy for same-sex relationships which hitherto had been mired in discrimination, repression and very necessary secrecy.
The gay community had hitherto existed as a shady and persecuted subculture, perpetually fearful of discovery which might destroy lives and reputations. One of the bill's sponsors, Lord Arran, commented: 'Perhaps a million human beings will be able to live in greater peace. I find this an awesome and marvellous thing.' He quoted from a letter Oscar Wilde, left, wrote after his release from Reading gaol: 'Yes, we shall win in the end; but the road will be long and red with monstrous martyrdoms.'The act set the age of consent between men at 21, and raised the penalties for certain 'acts of gross indecency'.
North of the Border, where sexual activity between males, consenting or otherwise, remained punishable by heavy prison sentences, the Scottish Minorities Group, later to become the Scottish Homosexual Rights Group and then Outright Scotland, was established in 1969, its campaigning playing a significant part in prompting the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act of 1980.
The first International Gay Rights Conference was held in Edinburgh in 1974.In the Eighties, while openly gay pop stars such as Boy George, Jimmy Sommerville and Frankie Goes to Hollywood gave a certain popular voice to the gay community, the continuing harassment and even murder of gay men prompted the formation of Outrage!
And despite the advent of 'gay pride' (the UK's first Gay Pride march was held in London in 1972; Glasgay was founded in 1993), prejudice hardly evaporated overnight - witness the 'gay plague' witchhunts during the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s.
In February 1994, the age of consent for sex between men was reduced by parliament to 18 and, after two attempted blocks by the House of Lords, in 2000 the age of consent for gay men was lowered to 16, on a par with heterosexuals. A further step on the road to normalisation was taken on 18 November, 2004, with the Civil Partnerships Act. More than 15,500 gay and lesbian couples put a seal on their relationships between December 2005, when the first registrations took place, and December 2006.
Just this week, a small but telling victory was chalked up when the reggae star Buju Banton, whose 1990 hit Boom Bye Bye, which advocated the shooting of gay men, pledged to desist from singing homophobic lyrics.

Sermon by Bishop Gene Robinson

A sermon preached by Bishop Gene Robinson at
All Saints Episcopal Church, Pasadena, CA
15 July, 2007

It's important to remember that, though this is called The Good Samaritan, no word like "good" appears in this parable. It's our tendency to rush to judgement about something. It reminds me of the cartoon where the dog is lying on his therapist's couch, and the dog is saying, "It's always 'good dog' or 'bad dog'! Why can't it just be judgement free?"So I think we rush to label things good and bad. And part--maybe even most--of what this story is about is that this is actually about three good people.

The priest and the Levite, who come off looking pretty awful, are actually *very* good people. They are religious people, they are upstanding, they take their religion seriously, they know all the right answers to things, they can recite the creeds--they do all of that exactly right. They "get it" intellectually and theoretically. Even, perhaps, theologically. And it seems that Jesus tells this story in order to show us that it is not 'right belief", it is not "right thinking" that gets us to the heart of God, but actually doing the will of God. That's what actually gets us to know the heart of God.The priest and the Levite actually had very good reasons not to take care of this fellow on the side of the road. First of all, this road, which still exists--it's the road from Jericho to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is at about 2500 feet above sea level, and Jericho is at 800 feet below sea level, near the Dead Sea. And it was a very crooked road, it was a very dangerous place. There were robbers all along it, and to slow down for anything was thought to be terribly dangerous. And indeed, this could well have been a trap. It was not unknown that people would fake being hurt, and the unsuspecting traveler would stop and try to do something, and in doing so would be robbed and mugged, and perhaps killed. Not only that, but the priest would have been expected to go to Jerusalem as every priest did, and serve for two weeks in the temple. And he know, being a student of the law, that if he touched a dead body, he would be ritually unclean, and it would take quite a lot of purification rites to make him capable of performing the service that he was due to give. And so, why would he risk touching this comatose traveler, only to discover that he was dead, and in doing so, defile himself, and delay his service in the temple? These were good people. These were good people. And then, of course, along comes the Samaritan. And Luke, as you know, is the outsider writing a Gospel for people on the outside. And Luke understands that this Gospel of Jesus Christ turned the whole world on its ear. Turned the world upside-down. And so, sure enough, as in so many of Luke's stories, it's the Samaritan who actually does the will of God. It's the priest and the Levite who know the will of God, but seem unable to do it.It's almost as if, when the lawyer asks the question "What must we do to gain eternal life?", and then he gives the right answer. His head knows the right answer--it's to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself. And Jesus says, "A+, very good!" And then he pushes the point and asks about the neighbor, and Jesus tells this story, I think, to show what love of God looks like detached from love of neighbor. They got the "love of God" part. They understand that. But the priest and the Levite didn't connect that to the love of neighbor, which is really the heart of the Gospel.
You know, more and more, I am convinced that the Christian life is not about life after death--it's about life before death. What God does for us after death, God will take care of. But what we do with life before death is up to you and me. That's the real reward of Christianity, isn't it? Not so much life after death, but life before death. It's not an accident that in our confession now, and in the absolution which follows, we don't say "and may God *bring* you to everlasting life", but keep you in everlasting life. It gets to start now...if we are awake. If we understand that in the doing of God's will, we already participate in everlasting life.
So, it is right action, not right belief, not right thinking, that gets us to the heart of God.A little while ago, in the only time that the Archbishop of Canterbury ever deigned to see me, we were having a little "chat", and at one point in our conversation, he was explaining to me that, actually what the Episcopal church should have done prior to electing and consecrating me, was that we should have figured all this out theologically and intellectually... We should have come to a common mind, and then passed canons and and then done this thing. And I said to him with as much respect as I could, "Your Grace, it seems to me that all of the great steps that has taken, have been as a result of our doing the right thing, and only then, "thinking" our way to what we did. It's not the other way around. I mean, if we had waited for instance in this country for everyone to have been on the same page about civil rights, there would still be separate drinking fountains, wouldn't there? And if we had waited until women were valued as equal and full members of society and the human race for goodness sakes, all of that discrimination would still exist.And, does anyone think that if those 11 women hadn't been "irregularly" ordained in Philadelphia, that we would be ordaining women yet? I'm not sure we would! And it seems that all the great steps forward we have made have been a result of our doing the right thing, and then thinking our way theologically to how that was the right thing. He didn't have a really good response. (Laughter) So, this lawyer (no lawyer jokes!) this lawyer then pushes the point and says, "So then, what must I do?" And Jesus' answer in this story seems to be "love that costs". Love that actually costs us something--costs us time, costs us money, costs us focus, costs us convenience, love that actually costs us something. There was a young seminarian who one summer worked with an old priest at a homeless shelter, and they had a feeding program at noontime. A lot of people, and on this particular day, there just seemed to be an unusual amount of people who came. And they were *just* exhausted, and it was nearly 3:00 before the last person left. The old priest asked the seminarian to go and close up the front door and shut down for the day, and just as this young seminarian got to the front door, thinking that this long and difficult day was about to be over, saw yet one more homeless man making his way up the front walk. And in his exhausted state, and thinking he had nothing left to give, he said, "Jesus Christ!" And the old priest said, "It just might be. "Love that costs, even when we think we're depleted, I'm always reminded--you know how when you throw away an old tube of toothpaste that's done, and then you go to the closet, and you've forgotten to buy another one? And so you reach into the trash can and you haul out the thing? Every time you can make one more toothbrush full of toothpaste--yeah? But isn't that the way God is--just when we think there's nothing left to give, if we make but the simplest effort, God provides. God provides manna in the desert--and maybe just enough for that day--but it's enough. God gives us what we need to respond in the way the Good Samaritan responded. That's the real miracle of life in God.And this is really important: we must do the work of ministry--not just give a nod to it. Louie Crew, who I think was here not to long ago, was the one, I believe, who discovered this mistake in our prayer book. It's in the catechism--it's the only real mistake that I know of in the prayer book, and it's in the section on the Hebrew covenant. And it says "What must we do to please God?" And the answer, in the prayer book, which means to be a quote from Micah, the prophet. It sayw that we must love justice, do mercy, and walk humbly with our God. Well, that would all be very nice, except that's not what Micah said. Micah said we must do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. And it strikes me, maybe you're like me, we just looove to love justice, don't we? And even an astounding witness to justice, like All Saints Pasadena can so love to love justice, and sit around, and form committees, and talk about it all day, that we forget that what Micah said is that we must do justice and walk humbly with our God. I think that what Jesus is teaching in this story about the Good Samaritan is that it's not enough to be good. It's not enough to know the creeds and say you believe all the things that you're supposed to believe.Remember that our baptismal covenant, which is as close to a purpose statement as we have in the Episcopal church, are all action verbs. Right? They're all action verbs. It's not about which doctrines you ascribe to, but will you love and serve one another, will you respect the dignity of every human being, if you make mistakes, will you repent and come back to God? It's all about doing. It's not about ascribing to the right tenets and the right doctrines. That stuff is dry. It's important, but it's not the most important. Because what we see in the story of the Good Samaritan, is the danger of loving God separate from doing the work of loving our neighbor. So it seems to me, that the real question, the challenge, really, of this story for you and me, is whether or not we want to be admirers of Jesus, or disciples. It's easy to admire Jesus--to think he was a nifty guy with really wonderful ideas. Following Jesus is a whole lot harder. Doing the work of ministry and doing justice--getting into some "Gospel trouble" is what we are meant to do.You know, this Lent, I realized for the first time that this symbol, this cross, is such a political symbol. Now, let's be clear: the Jews did not kill Jesus. That's a bunch of anti-semitic stuff that runs throughout some of the Gospels, especially John, and it is not true. The Romans killed Jesus. Now, the Romans killed lots of people, but they saved crucifixion for a very specific kind of criminal. And it was the one who challenged the Powers That Be. Who took on the government, who threatened the Pax Romana with their notions of turning the world upside-down like Jesus did. And they didn't put them all high and lifted up like Cecil B. DeMille--I realize that criticizing Cecil B. DeMille in Los Angeles is...(laughter). But, crosses were actually quite low to the ground, so that as people died and began to rot away, the dogs could eat their flesh, and there would be almost nothing left to bury. They wanted to make a real example of anyone who challenged the Powers That Be. And it is an indictment of you and me that we can wear this symbol around, and it doesn't threaten anybody. When we wear a cross, it ought to scare people to death! And the more powerful they are, the more it ought to scare them. We should be being followed around by the F.B.I.--I know you're being followed by the I.R.S. (laughter). You've got a good start on this one! But really, really--shame on us that this doesn't threaten anybody! When we put this on, when we put on the cross of Christ, we are saying that it's not just religion that we are about. We are about changing the world, as Jesus changed it. We are about loving the people that Jesus loved--those in the margins. And it doesn't mean sitting in a committee room somewhere talking about loving those people, but actually loving them, and doing the hard work of justice.Are you and I going to be admirers of Jesus only, or are we going to be disciples? You know how an innoculation works, right? You don't want to get chicken pox, so you go to the doctor, and they give you just enough chicken pox to make your body form antibodies to it, so you never get a full-blown case of chicken pox. God help us if we come here on Sunday mornings just to get enough religion to keep us from having a full-blown case. It is so easy, isn't it, to come here, isn't it? It feels so good, and you see people you know, and the music's great, and the preaching is good. It just all works! But if we leave here, and it causes us to not do anything any differently, then this is nothing but a religious theme park. Really! We have to be out there doing the work that God has given us to do, or else it is all ultimately just self-serving. And it'll be hard work! When Jesus says "Take up your cross and follow me", he means it's going to be tough. It's going to be very hard--it means taking risks, it means loving that costs. But the miracle, the miracle is that when we do that, and we face that trouble, we come to know the very God who is at the center of all that is. It's the only way we get to know him--we don't get to know him by memorizing the creed. We get to know him by doing the work that he did. So, you and I can do that--especially if we do it with him, that he can work in and through us, to do the work that he has given us to do. So the question for you and me today is, do we just come here for an innoculation? Or do we come here for a full blown infection of God's love? Because it's only when you are fully infected yourself with the love that simply know no bounds, can you go out there and love the world, and God's children, in God's name. And this God promises to be with you and me from now on! There is no better news than that, on this, or any Sunday. Amen.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Congratulations to Rev. Jeannie Martz

St. Mark's Episcopal's former priest-in-charge, Rev. Jeannie Martz is moving to California. She will be the rector at Trinity Episcopal Church in Orange, CA in the diocese of Los Angeles.

Here is a picture of me and Pastor Martz at her farewell party a few months ago.

Best wishes to pastor Martz on her new ministerial journey.

Rest In Peace Tammy Faye

It was hard watching Tammy Faye on Larry King Live Thursday night. She weighted 65 Lbs. But in spite of her emaciation, she was all made up in true Tammy Faye fashion with a bright red dress on.
But listening to her story about her faith and love was an inspiration.
Tammy Faye was as one of the few evangelical Christians (heck, I think the only one I ever heard of ) who had the support of the gay community. She was one of the first televangelists to reach out to those with AIDS when it was a little-known and much-feared disease. She had an MCC pastor on PTL...probably much to the horror of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. On Larry King Live Thursday night a gay man called in and asked Tammy Faye why she cared for the gay community so much and she replied,
"When I went -- when we lost everything, it was the gay people that came to my rescue, and I will always love them for that."
Tammy Faye passed away the next morning. She is at peace and now, healed from the cancer that took her life.