Thursday, October 18, 2007

Integrity of the Palm Beaches Resolution

Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida will meet on Nov 2nd and 3rd at our cathedral in Miami.
I'm looking forward to attending as a delegate and feel honored that St. Mark's elected me as a delegate.
Our leaders of Integrity of the Palm Beaches which meets at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Lake Worth have put together a resolution to be presented at the convention.
The resolution is posted below.
Pictures of St. Mark's Episcopal Church members who are members of Integrity of the Palm Beaches:
Resolution #7 Response to House of Bishops Meeting – September 2007 Whereas, we, the members of Integrity-Palm Beach, appreciate and wholeheartedly concur with the commitment of the House of Bishops in its recent meeting in New Orleans for "increasing the implementation of the listening process" with respect to matters relating to the full inclusion of gays and lesbians into the Anglican Communion, and with their "unequivocal and active commitment to the civil rights, safety, and dignity of gay and lesbian persons." Be it therefore resolved: That the Diocese of Southeast Florida demonstrate its commitment to implement the Bishops’ Statement that they "proclaim the Gospel that in Christ all God’s children, including gay and lesbian persons, are full and equal participants in the life of Christ’s Church" by: Urging the Archbishop of Canterbury to extend to the duly elected and consecrated Bishop of New Hampshire an invitation to full participation in the Lambeth Conference of 2008; Encouraging the Diocesan Deputies to the 2009 General Convention to work within the legislative process of General Convention to ensure the full and equal participation of gay and lesbian persons in all aspects of the Church’s ministry, including ordination as deacons, priests, and bishops; and Pursuing all means possible to create public liturgies to bless same-sex unions and establish the parameters within which such blessings may take place. Note: We thank Bishop Frade for his dedication to the inclusion process and look forward to his persistent support and leadership in seeking an end to the strife afflicting the Anglican Communion by continuing to proclaim loudly the Gospel message that all are equal in Christ. Submitted by Integrity-Palm Beach, the Rev. Paul A. Rasmus, and the Rev. B. Patricia Masterman

Houston Trip: St. Stephen's Episcopal Church

St. Stephen's Episcopal School: The Rev. Lisa Hunt:
While in Houston, I visited at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church. I really liked it. I liked the diversity and warmth of the congregation. The Rev. Lisa Hunt is a wonderful rector.
I stayed for adult forum afterward. The discussion was led by a panel and dealt with how the panel members draw on their faith in their professional lives.
Pastor Hunt also talked about the Accountability Meeting (she is co-chair) with the Houston city council, the mayor and other community leaders that was held later that afternoon. This meeting the religious organizations the opportunity to hold the elected official accontable for their decisions and the resulting impact on the community. It afforded the opportunity to discuss what works, what doesn't work and what services are lacking and need improving.
I think this is a wonderful idea and plan to discuss this with religious organizations here in West Palm Beach and greater Palm Beach county.
When I went to church Sunday morning at St. Stephen's it was cloudy and dreary and I couldn't get good outside pictures of the church. So I returned on Monday afternoon and ran into Pastor Hunt in the parking lot who graciously let me take her picture.

Houston Trip Part 4

Galleria & downtown Houston

Trip to Houston Part 3

Baba Yegas Restaurant has been one of Houston's most popular restaurants for many years; especially amongst Houstons gay, bohemian and artisan communities. I loved going to Baba Yega's when I lived there and went twice during my visit.
La Madeleine is a French restaurant with great breakfasts and homemade pastries. There are several of them around the city. I went to the one in West University area one morning while waiting for British Isles to open.

Trip to Houston Part 2

While in Houston, I went to the British Isles store to pick up a few things.
Here are some pictures of other places Ivisited as well. I had heard about Central Market because Larry had visited the one in Dallas last year. It's the biggest darn grocery store I've ever been in. I was happy that they had Jones Soda which is my favorite. No fructose corn syrup; just natural cane sugar.
My favorite store when I lived in Houston was The Container Store. I took advantage of the opportunity to pick up some things I haven't been able to find in West Palm Beach.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Trip to Houston Part 1

House of Pies and Downtown Houston
I took three weeks Annual Leave and was undecided what to do or where to go. I was going to go to Las Vegas. I'm not a gamber, but I wanted to see the lights and try to get tickets to see Terry Fator, the ventriloquist who won America's Got Talent. This wasn't to be. Las Vegas charges a single supplement for those staying alone in a hotel. Not just a token supplement but several hundred dollars more for a week's stay.
So then I tried to get air/hotel/car rental on Travelocity, Priceline, etc and none of them had rental cars available. In hindsight, I could have made the hotel and air reservations and then booked my car rental separately direct with the car rental. But I didn't think of it at the time and made the decision to drive.
Bad choice.
You see, for several years now, I've developed a fear of heights. I was first aware of it when my dad was still alive and we were going to St. Pete from Punta Gorda. I was driving and got halfway up the Skyway Bridge when I broke out in a cold sweat and became dizzy, disoriented and in a state of total panic. I pulled over immediately, right there on the bridge which of couse has signs everywhere that say, "No Stopping." My dad drove us the rest of the way over the bridge.
Cousin Kev came down to Florida a year or so later and we took him to see Jupiter Lighthouse.
We walked up to the top of it and the same thing happened as on the bridge.
Now I've gone over the Skyway bridge and been to the top of the Jupiter lighthouse countless times prior to these panic attacts.
I don't know if this is related to Alzheimer's or not.
So day number two of my drive to Houston, I go over the Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge without incident. But then, it's a short bridge and not that high.
And then it happened. I continued on my journey on I-10 and there straight in front of me is the Lake Charles, LA bridge. It's huge, it's very high and the climb is steep. Steeper even than Skyway Bridge. There was not an exit before the bridge. So I made one! I was in a total panic, my blood pressure was high, I stated shaking and no amount of slow, deep breathing was helping. I jerked the steering wheel to the right, when up and over the grass alongside the freeway and bounced down onto the perimeter road. Three times I made the attempt and each time I would pull into the park underneath the bridge and beside Lake Charles. I would do my deep breathing, say a prayer and be determined to make it across the bridge on the next attempt.
After attempt number three failed, I drove around and found the Lake Charles Convention and Visitors Bureau open and was provided a map of the 210 Loop around the lake and proceeded on my way without incident.
Going into Houston it was raining very hard. And the traffic was heavy. Our snow bird traffic in south Florida can't compare to Houston traffic.
The cloverleaf freeways, some rather high, looked foreboding and I hoped I wouldn't have to drive on one to get to I-59 to get to my motel at Greenway Plaza. I was very tense and getting more anxious as I drove. My hands were shaking while I'm trying to steer the car and praying that I won't have a wreck.
I got to La Quinta without incident, but was shaking. I was upset that I didn't remember my way as well as I should have having lived in Houston for 17 years.
After doing some deep breathing and calming down, I took a shower and ventured out to go to the House of Pies for dinner. I was a regular at the place when I lived there. I got lost, had trouble reading the map. I stopped at CVS and bought a magnifying glass but the map still didn't make any sense. Making many turns I finally found the place.
I realized that I had made a mistake by attempting to drive to Houston by myself.
The remainder of my stay I drove only on Westheimer, Alabama,Kirby and Richmond.
The next day was Sunday. I was feeling good and knew how to get to St. Stephen's Episcopal Church as I found it the night before.
What a wonderful church! The people were warm and friendly. The pastor, The Reverend Lisa Hunt is really a wonderful person. I went to the adult forum afterward which was great. The discussion was a panel dealing with an accountability meeting Houston area religious leaders were having with the mayor, city council and other leaders. I learned a lot and will share with Father Cook at St. Mark's when I have an opportunity.