Saturday, July 05, 2008

4th of July on the Palm Beach Princess

It rained like crazy starting at about 11AM on the 4th of July and continued all afternoon.
We had plans to meets our friends Bruce and Jack at their condo in North Palm Beach at 5PM to go out on the Palm Beach Princess, our casino ship in West Palm Beach. But the rained stopped at about 5.
We had a great time. They feed you alot. The barbecue dinner was fitting for the 4th of July and was really good.  Larry and I watched the show in the theater and took pictures while Jack and Bruce were playing the slot machines. Then they fed as breakfast at about 11. We had a great time.
The Pictures:
1: The view of North Palm Beach from Bruce and Jack's condo patio
2. A view of Singer Island from the ship
3. Bruce and Jack at breakfast
4. Gordon
5. Larry
6. The Palm Beach Princess

Friday, July 04, 2008

America's Birthday at St. Andrew's Episcopal

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Lake Worth, FL celebrated a wonderful civic 4th of July service last night. The choir was wonderful, especially on The Battlehymn of the Republic.
Lake Worth historian Helen Green did a great dramatic presentation of the history of the Statue of Liberty.
The reception was beautiful.  
Pictures above:
1) Refreshment table
2) Father Paul Rasmus in his really cool Florida patriotic shirt with flags and hibiscus
3) Your's truly
4) Larry getting some food
Tonight it's off to the ocean on the Palm Beach Princess where we hope it doesn't rain and where we should get some awesome pictures of the fireworks being shot off from barges on the intracoastal waterway along West Palm Beach

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Anglican Communion Rift

Anglican head warns against conservative challenge

Published: 6/30/08, 5:06 PM EDT By MEERA SELVA

LONDON (AP) - The spiritual leader of the world's Anglicans raised questions Monday about the legitimacy of plans to create a global network of conservative Anglicans that would challenge his authority and the teachings of liberal North American churches.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said the proposal to form a separate global council of conservative bishops who will train priests and interpret Scripture would create more problems than it solves.

A council "which consists of only a self-selected group ... will not pass the test of legitimacy for all in the Communion," he said.

The plan emerged from a weeklong meeting in Jerusalem of conservative Anglican bishops, clergy and lay people from Africa and some north American and British churches. In a declaration Sunday, they announced plans for the fellowship as a "church within a church," stopping short of a complete break with the communion.

Conference participants expressed outrage at what they consider a "false gospel" that has led churches in the U.S., Canada and elsewhere to accept gay relationships. Long-standing divisions over how Anglicans should interpret the Bible erupted in 2003 when the U.S. Episcopal Church, the Anglican body in the U.S., consecrated the first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.

On Monday, Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, said that "much of the Anglican world must be lamenting the latest emission" from the Jerusalem conference.

"Anglicanism has always been broader than some find comfortable," she said. "This statement does not represent the end of Anglicanism, merely another chapter in a centuries-old struggle for dominance by those who consider themselves the only true believers."

In recent years, overseas conservatives have taken leadership of the more than 60 Episcopal parishes that have split from the denomination. The Episcopal Church includes more than 7,000 parishes.

As part of their new fellowship, the conservatives said they would continue to take in breakaway churches.

Williams warned that the conservatives' plans to intervene when congregations or priests around the world complain about the teachings of their local bishops would lead to the church being used to settle personal scores.

"How is a bishop or primate in another continent able to discriminate effectively between a genuine crisis of pastoral relationship and theological integrity, and a situation where are underlying non-theological motivations at work?" he said.

In their official statement from the conference, the conservative groups said they "do not accept that Anglican identity is determined necessarily through recognition by the archbishop of Canterbury." They also called the current setup for the communion, with the archbishop of Canterbury at its center, "a colonial structure."

The Anglican Communion is a 77 million-member family of churches that trace their roots to the Church of England. It is the third-largest grouping of churches in the world, behind Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians, and has always held together different views.

The Jerusalem meeting was held just ahead of a once-a-decade gathering of all Anglican bishops, called the Lambeth Conference. Some of the more than 200 bishops in Jerusalem plan to boycott Lambeth, which begins July 16 in England.


AP Religion Writer Rachel Zoll in New York contributed to this report.

Celebrating Inclusion and a Great Englishman

After the 6PM service at St. Andrew's Episcopal Saturday night, we celebrated Herb's (pictured )91st birthday. He loved the surprise.
Margo Emery  (pictured) gave a wonderful message about inclusion and the St. Andrew's became an inclusive church.  It's a great read and I've posted it below. Thank you, Margo!



If I asked you to describe the personality of Jesus what would you say? What adjectives would you use to describe his temperament? Most people would say that he’s gentle, loving, kind, and compassionate. Then what do we do with Jesus as he appears in tonight’s lesson? The Jesus who says:


“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth, I did not come to bring peace but a sword.”


Whatever happened to The Prince of Peace? What in the world is Jesus getting at?


Some Christians believe that Jesus was approving the use of violence. For them the sword is literally a weapon and a justification for violence, war, and capital punishment.


Other Christians see the sword as a symbol of conflict. I personally don’t think that Jesus was advocating violence – but he was warning us that we might encounter violence or conflict when we follow his teaching.


Standing up for our beliefs is sometimes painful. When I first came to St. Andrews’ several years ago, things were changing. There was a small group of people who had a vision of what St. Andrews’ might become. They wanted to start a chapter of Integrity – the Episcopal Church ministry for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered people and their friends and families. They had a vision of St. Andrew’s as a radically inclusive, loving church where ALL would be truly welcome. They proposed to our rector at the time, Fr. Bill Hamilton, to found a Palm Beach County Chapter of Integrity. Some of those founding members were Canon Nolan, Bob Pingpank, John Lacy, Vance Oden, and Herb Steer. Not only did this group have a wonderful vision – they were also fortunate that Fr. Bill is a man who understands something about the inclusive love of Jesus – not only did he understand, but he also had the courage of his convictions. So Integrity Palm Beach was founded! What a wonderful innovative addition to the life of St. Andrew’s! What a great new ministry!


But guess what. It wasn’t all wonderful. There were some in the congregation who felt that Integrity had no place here. Felt it so strongly that they left the church.  I was new here at the time, so I didn’t know all the people involved, but I did know one: a man that I became acquainted with in my short time at St. Andrew’s – someone who truly loved the Episcopal Church and truly loved St. Andrew’s. But under the circumstances he felt that he couldn’t stay. He believed that the mission of Integrity was wrong. Now this was not some ultra conservative crank just making noise. He was a thoughtful man who served St. Andrew’s in many ways. He was valuable to the church for any number of reasons. I couldn’t understand his position but that was how he felt. So he left. And it really was a loss. I suppose some of the others who couldn’t agree with the concept of Integrity left a terrible void as well.


Just as Jesus told us in tonight’s lesson:


“One’s foes will be members of one’s own household.”


But as time went by things got better. Many of those who remained came to embrace the new ministry. Because of Integrity, we began to attract new members – and I don’t just mean the gay community – I mean all kinds of people who are simply attracted to the idea of a radically inclusive church. One of the new people who came to St. Andrew’s told me that she’d seen a flyer about Integrity in an ice cream parlor and as she put it – “ I decided that that was the kind of church I really wanted to belong to.”


It can’t have been easy for Fr. Bill in those difficult days, and it can’t have been easy for those who were on the vestry at the time. But following this moral struggle St. Andrew’s has come to embrace Integrity and there’s now a tremendous inner peace that we feel with this unique ministry. It was the right thing to do! Because the Kingdom of God is a divine place whose hallmark is radical inclusivity. None of us has a right to say who gets in and who doesn’t: not the congregation of St. Andrew’s Church, nor any Bishop, nor, may I add, the Lambeth Conference.


But just because we’re home to Integrity doesn’t mean that we’re the perfect church. We have far to go in some ways. We need to think about the millennium goals of the Episcopal Church and what we can do about them. We need to look for new ways to be in relationship with our home, planet Earth, and with other children of God.  We need to find ways to welcome in the Kingdomof Heaven even if it doesn’t make us popular. Jesus is asking a lot of us, but that’s the life of a disciple. Don’t we come here every week to renew our discipleship?


Whatever happened to the Prince of Peace? He’s still here, and he’s still loving and compassionate. But sometimes he asks us to take up the sword of conflict. As we’ve seen right here at St. Andrew’s, conflict can lead to tolerance, tolerance can lead to transformation,  

and transformation can lead to peace.


Margot Emery

for the Core Ensemble



Does Senator Reid Have Alzheimer's?

John Lott is reporting over on his blog that Senate majority leader, Harry Reid will be stepping down from his position as majority leader due to having Alzheimer's disase.
Let's hope it's not true. I love receing  his "Give em Hell" emails.
He's a great guy.

My Recent Alzheimer's Setback

I couldn't go to work yesterday. I woke up feeling weak, lightheaded and dizzy. Later, I started feeling extremely nauseated. I had a similar event about two weeks ago. It lasted for 6-8 hours and then I was fine.
This time, Larry called my neurologist and left a message. The doctor called back in about 10 minutes and told me to stop the Exelon patch for and make an appointment to see him in two weeks.
Since I have to be on my alzheimer's medication for 3 months in order to be considered for a clinical trial, I am disappointed. I don't know if the doctor will change the dosage, change the medication or what. I just hope it doesn't affect my ability to get into the research program.
Heck, for all I know it might not even be the Exelon that is causing the problem.