Sunday, July 29, 2007

I am Harry Potter?

"A little reckless and hot-headed at times, but a more brave and courageous friend would be hard to find."

The first part is true, anyway.

Okay, I don't seek them out, but I have a weakness for those "who are you" quizzes when I come across them. Sharecropper had this "Who Are You in the World of Harry Potter" quiz posted.

Here are my results:

You scored as Harry Potter, You can be a little reckless and hot-headed at times, but a more brave and courageous friend would be hard to find.

Harry Potter


Remus Lupin


Sirius Black


Albus Dumbledore


Ginny Weasley


Hermione Granger


Severus Snape


Ron Weasley


Draco Malfoy


Lord Voldemort


Your Harry Potter Alter Ego Is...?
created with

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Just who is orthodox?

I started this as a reply to comments on the last post, but it got kind of long for that, so here it is. My venting.

Thanks to Caminante and Grandmere Mimi.

Caminante asked, "Has your bishop defined what he means by that catch-all word, 'orthodoxy,'" and the answer is no.

"Orthodoxy" is one of those imprecise words that means different things to different people, even different things to the same person at different times.

There's a large element of personal judgment in making calls on another person's orthodoxy.

Who decides what is orthodox? If it's defined as "the way it's always been done," then perhaps our services should be in Latin.

If we're going to be truly Orthodox(TM), we're going to have to run things differently in this diocese.

Anyone who seems a little "funny" or different should be run out of town at the least, or burned at the stake.

There will be no guitars or praise teams (I know, many of you wouldn't miss praise teams!) in church if it is truly orthodox. No prayer ministers ready to lay hands on parishioners after they take Communion. None of that is part of the traditional, orthodox Catholic-Anglican way of running a service. No female deacons or priests - remember that, ye women clergy who cling so desperately to the Orthodox(TM) pretension. A number of your Orthodox(TM) brethren just can't wait to get rid of you.

The Diocese of Central Florida honchos pride themselves on "orthodoxy," yet the charismatic/evangelical/fundamentalist strain of Anglicanism they practice is not orthodox Anglicanism, for all their calls to orthodoxy.

The ironic thing is, Jesus was NOT orthodox. He constantly outraged the Orthodox(TM) religious community of his day. He ministered to the lepers, the tax collectors, the castaway women, the gentiles. He took them as his Apostles and disciples — there's a thought. Jesus let his disciples eat the show bread. He healed on the Sabbath (shocking!).

Jesus said he would send the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, to minister to us after he was gone from the Earth. Yet, some of the "orthodox" would deny the Spirit's work among us, because the Holy Spirit is no more orthodox than Jesus was.

And, as for making judgments about who's a "real" priest or bishop, or Christian, what does the Holy Spirit say to that? What did Jesus say about making those kind of judgments?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Interesting times, part II
the rest of the tapes

This is a continuation of my post from July 11, on the now-infamous May 24 meeting of the standing committee and the diocesan board in the Diocese of Central Florida.

The subject on the minds of these two bodies was how to secede the diocese from the Episcopal Church, and keep the property, too. They were told repeatedly, that because of both canon law and Florida state law, they could do the first, but not with the second. They could leave, but they couldn’t take the property with them.

The members mostly seemed to think the canons were written so the national church could keep parishes or dioceses from straying, (true, I'm sure), but without provision for the dioceses to respond when the national church strays. They believe the national church has gone "off the rails."

There was talk of changing the diocesan preamble wording from describing the diocese as a constituent member of the Episcopal Church to a constituent member of the Anglican Communion. After all, they're the same right now, Curran (?) said. But if TEC won't sign the covenant, then the diocese would automatically be out of TEC, because TEC wouldn't be a member of the Anglican Communion any more. Crafty.

Forgive me, and let me know if I misattributed any quotes. I don’t know their voices, so it isn’t always easy to ID who’s who on a recording.

There’s a new wind blowing

It was noted that under the last presiding bishop, Frank Griswold, the national church didn’t get involved in property disputes.

“Under Katherine Schori, it’s a new day.”

I'm not sure who talking here, but it provides some context:
“Suddenly, for the first time, the national church is joining the Diocese of Virginia in the lawsuit against these 11 parishes, and, it is widely rumored - I can’t verify this - that it was under pressure Peter Lee changed the direction he was moving, because there was this protocol that had been developed over a period of months. My understanding is it was not finally accepted as any official thing but it was en route to finaly becoming officially accepted by the diocese, and then for whatever reasons, a change of mind about that, and a lawsuit, and the national church has joined the lawsuit. So what’s behind all that, I don’t know, that’s new.”

Someone asked, "Were they [the national church] a party to the California lawsuits?" The answer: They intervened in at least one.

Chancellor Wooten commented on the New Covenant Church* case: "The national church was aware how we were handling things and what our understanding of the law was. And ... we’re satisfied with that, that the trust interest would be protected, and that the resources would be redirected. So. If we had not been having that communication, the answer may have been different as to whether we got (inaudible)

Howe: "We didn’t ask anybody's permission, but we kept them apprised."

*[New Covenant was the church that decided to leave the “heretical” Episcopal Church and wanted to take the church property with them. An agreement was reached in 2004, wherein the departing congregation would lease the church property from the continuing church (via the diocese), while providing space for the Episcopal Church of the New Covenant to worship and rebuild. If the diocese decided it would not use the property as a parish or mission, the diocese would sell the property to the new church entity at fair market value, with an interest-free, 30 year loan. Lease payments would be credited. I felt leery of this, that it would be setting a precedent for future moves to take church property. Maybe it was the best way to settle the matter.]

Chancellor Butch Wooten was asked if he’s been pressured by national-church Chancellor David Beers in any way. Wooten said no. He also said, in another part of the discussion, he was feeling uncomfortable with the pressure he was feeling from the committee to find a way around church canon.

Some of the members didn't seem convinced the chancellors had tried hard enough to find precedents for what the committee wanted to do.

Back to finding a way around law and canon:

Curran said, "Then we need to find our solution elsewhere ... It seems to me to me that the straightforward solution is not going to be in the civil courts. That puts us into the ecclesiastical realm to find a viable solution. Now, thus far, we have been fabulously unsuccessful in doing that. But how do we do that, how do we approach that, so that we can create a climate in which, for example, when TEC does not sign onto the covenant, that we can have an amicable divorce, at that point in time? ... What can we do now so that we have an ecclesiastical resolution, and then if the courts are going to default to the ecclesiastical decision of who the members are and who’s in control of the property, then let's create the ecclesiastical reality that's going to move us in the direction. And how do we do that, how do we make those moves?"

Howe: "I don't know the answer to that, but here's a factor that you need to think about: The leadership of the diocesan board and the standing committee are a good deal more conservative and a good deal more exercised about these issues than are an awful lot of people in our pews. And even if the delegates to a convention had a significant majority that wanted to make that separation, they would not represent, uh, let me put this very carefully, there would be at least, at least a sizable minority, if not a majority in the pews that would not want to do that. How do you protect their rights?"

[In my opinion, a little ugly undertone came into this questioning:]

"How do you know that?"

"I know that. I visit every congregation."

"Do you take a poll or a survey?"

"No, I talk to people."

"See, that’s a pretty dramatic statement."

Curran said he had a hard time restraining his people, who don't want to wait any more, and Liebler said his parishioners ask, if they give to the cathedral, will the national church “swoop in” and try to take it.

Howe said, "The answer is no, unless you’re going to try and steal the property."

And someone added, he hears from people in the parishes, when are we going to get back to doing ministry?

There was some usual TEC bashing, for example, citing a sermon supposedly preached in All Saints California that called the atonement “cosmic child abuse.”

I looked this up and saw something from a rector’s forum by the Rev. J. Edwin Bacon at All Saints Church, Pasadena. Read it here.

I really don’t get their hatred of the presiding bishop. Maybe it’s that she is a woman. And a strong one. Then, I don’t get their hatred of the Episcopal Church, either.

It was clear the majority of the Standing Committee, and apparently the diocesan board, too, is ready to jump ship to the Global South, to be with like-minded "conservatives" and "Anglo-Catholics." Now.

There was some dissent to this. Canon Ernie Bennett (?) said he didn’t paint the presiding bishop and the Episcopal Church with the same black paint brush they did. He took vows as an Episcopal, not Anglican priest, and planned to remain Episcopal.

As for the covenant process, Curran said it would have to get through Anaheim 2009, if Lambeth even happens, then a period of discernment. If TEC signed the covenant it would be 2012, and it wouldn’t be worth the paper it’s written on.

They’re ready to go now. They want Howe on board with them. For, either at convention or special convention, it’s the bishop people will listen to, Howe was told. If the bishop tells the diocese something is a bad idea, the people will tend to think it’s a bad idea.

Therefore, the bishop should tell them schism and hooking up with the Global South is a good thing.

Somebody said the people in the pews need to be “educated.”

Howe told them he couldn't play ball with them. He likened the pain of presiding over a disintegrating diocese to that of being crucified.

He objected to their opinion the diocese is going straight to hell in a handbasket.

"Despite all this crap, there is good work being done in this diocese," he said.


Howe's concern about presiding over internecine warfare in the parishes and in the diocese was apparent. That is the future we face, if they persist in pushing schism.

Will they act like mean little kids, who, if they can't take it with them, will destroy the diocese before leaving it?

I do believe the bishop is right (it’s what I’ve been saying, after all) - the majority of parishioners won’t go along with leaving TEC, certainly not with going to the Church of Wherever (Nigeria-CANA or AMiA, as was suggested during the meeting). But the fight would be ugly, hurtful and costly on a number of levels. Little parishes like mine could well be torn apart.

And that will be a shame.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Preventing deadly cow emissions

Like many officials, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is out to help protect the environment by putting the brakes to auto emissions.

According to the BBC television new report I saw the other night, it looks like he's barking up the wrong tree ... er ... or, chewing the wrong cud.

No, the BBC says, methane (in Brit talk, pronounced MEE-thane), coming from emission points at both the front and back ends of bovines, is responsible for an enormous amount of global air pollution/global warming.

Not even cattle can stand the stench.

British scientists are hard at work on a solution to this problem. In hi-tech laboratories, they are sequestering test cows in air-tight quarters, and trying different feeds on them. Then, dressed in hazmat-white suits, technicians go in and measure bovine methane output, to determine which feed produces the lowest emission rate.

What a job to list on a resumé!

I wonder if they have tried dosing the cows with Beano.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Let's spice it up
We're really hip, uh-huh

I'm square. I'm so square, I don't even know what the current vernacular for "square" is.

I'm so square, my blog is rated "G." sigh

I'm so square, I just found out about this blog rating "thang" over at Padre Mickey's. Of course, Padre Mickey is rated a hip NC-17.

Here's my rating:

Free Online Dating

Mingle2 - Free Online Dating

Mingle2 disliked only the word "kill" (2x) and "death" (1x).

Maybe, as the song says, "It's hip to be square."

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Mac who?

I've found in the calendar another female saint I knew nothing about. We will celebrate Macrina's feast day July 19. Note the "experts" thought she couldn't be the "Teacher" and theologian her brother Gregory described, because she was a woman.

I shamelessly cribbed this bio off this Web site.

Gregory's Life of Macrina can be found here.

About St. Macrina

St. Macrina (ca. 330- 380) was the eldest child in a family of saints. Her grandparents (one of whom was also named Macrina, so our patron is more precisely called St. Macrina the Younger) were martyrs. Her parents are also recognized as saints. They saw to it that she was very well educated. Macrina in turn became the teacher of her younger brothers Basil, later bishop of Caesarea, now Kayseri in Turkey, and Gregory, later bishop of the nearby small city of Nyssa. These brothers themselves became two of the greatest teachers in the Universal Church.

There is every reason to believe—based on their own testimony—that if Macrina had not attended to their education, and later, their spiritual growth, we would not know them today.

There is a wonderful little speech in Gregory’s life of his sister in which Macrina rebukes Basil, who has just returned from a brilliant university career in Athens, and warns him not to be so uppity — just the sort of thing it is easy to imagine a big sister saying to a little brother gotten too big for his britches!

She was equally firm in guiding her parents’ spiritual lives, and seems to have been as wise in practical management as she was in spiritual direction. Like another great teacher-saint much nearer our time, St. Therese of Lisieux, Macrina knew what she wanted, or more to the point what God wanted for her, and how to get it.

She was a consecrated widow (though therein lies a tale) and eventually the head of a double monastery of women and men established under St. Basil’s auspices. Although her teaching survives only in the words of her brother Gregory, and indirectly in the influence she had on him and Basil (perhaps also on their friend Gregory of Nazianzus), St. Macrina certainly deserves a place among the Fathers and Mothers of the Church.

An English translation of the charming Life of Macrina by her younger brother St. Gregory of Nyssa, in the form of a letter to a mutual friend, is available online. There is also a translation of the dialogue she had with Gregory on her deathbed On the Soul and Resurrection, described by him in the Life. Macrina is the person titled The Teacher in this dialogue, though many scholars have tried to deny this, on the assumption that no woman could be such a theologian. (If you follow the link to the dialogue, be aware that the “Argument” is the editor’s summary; scroll down to the title to begin the dialogue itself.)

As a teacher of several of the greatest of the Church Fathers; as a pioneer of women's independent religious life; as a loving sister and daughter; as a saint who nurtured others to sanctity; as a clear-minded practical worker for the poor and sick; as a woman whose power, intellectual ability, and sacred calling has sometimes been challenged or even denied altogether; and as a woman unafraid to preach, govern, and act publicly as a model for others, St. Macrina is a fitting patron saint for a congregation in Grinnell.

The feast of St. Macrina is July 19th. This is the troparion (a special short hymn of praise sung in the liturgy) for her feast:

The image of God was faithfully preserved in you, O Mother, for you took up the Cross and followed Christ. By your actions you taught us to look beyond the flesh, for it passes, but rather to be concerned about the soul that is immortal. Therefore, O Holy Macrina, you now rejoice with the angels.

From whence does my help come?

Psalm 121
Song of Ascents
I lift up my eyes to the mountains; where is my help to come from?
My help comes from Yahweh who made heaven and earth. May he save
your foot from stumbling; may he, your guardian, not fall asleep!
You see�he neither sleeps nor slumbers, the guardian of Israel.
Yahweh is your guardian, your shade, Yahweh, at your right hand.
By day the sun will not strike you, nor the moon by night. Yahweh
guards you from all harm Yahweh guards your life, Yahweh guards
your comings and goings, henceforth and for ever.


Where are you? I look to the hills, and find only slate and rubble.

Where are you? I look to the skies; I look for you in the patterns of the clouds. There is nothing but the soughing of the wind.

Where are you? I seek you in the stillness of an empty chapel, tracing stained-glass images with my finger, and find only silence.

Where are you? I look in my heart, and find only a well of loneliness.

Where are you?