Thursday, March 20, 2008

Every day miracles from a servant's perspective...

No one can say that our Presiding Bishop shies away from being a servant of God. She's in the Holy land this Holy Week. It has already been Maundy Thursday there, where like her predecessors back to Christ himself, washed the feet of the disciples with a servant's heart and mind.It is time to come out of the attic as Lisa Fox so aptly put it after reading a Daily eMo from Barbara Cawthorne Crafton+. A month ago yesterday I lost my best friend, a furry feedbag named Dragon, the least fierce dog on the planet. It wasn't ok then, and its still not ok but he is healed and that is all I care about. I will always miss him but God has reminded me that there are more shelter dogs out there, and that when the time is right, I will find another little friend to share my life with. Until then I count my blessings and the carefree bunnies that visit my yard and bask in the sun there, and frolic in the rain.

Speaking of rabbits, discourage your friends and neighbors from buying rabbits or baby chicks as an Easter novelty. Rabbit, and chicks, are delicate creatures and very sensitive. Often they die of neglect after the excitement dies down and reality sets in about the responsibility of caring for these or any other pet or animal. Rabbits can die of shock or fright if you are not careful, and chicks, well, they grow up and become chickens, people. If you know of someone who is getting tired of their furry or feathered friend, the county shelter will NOT take them in. Instead consider giving them away via free posted ad at your local farm store or an ad in the animal section of the newspaper, where someone in the country will have a place for them and will care for them properly. If you want to give a rabbit or chick as an Easter gift, do so through Best Friends Animal Rescue in Utah. They have a unique sponsorship program that allows you to financially sponsor and consequently, take care of, a real live critter. I have sponsored a mini-Lop-ear rabbit called Tumbleweed [see adorable picture]. Trust me, its the next best thing to the real thing.

A lot has been happening in the Episcopal Church of late. Much could be said and commented upon regarding each new bit of news or issue, but illness and death can really put a clear perspective on life, that all the "spin" in the world can not change. In my own diocese of Oregon, the CFO and his wife--executive assistant to my soon departing bishop--have both resigned, and today I learned that our Canon to the Ordinary has resigned his post as well. Cleaning house before one leaves is always a fine courtesy for the new folks "moving in" eventually. It's always better when you know you should clean house as it makes those leaving less uncomfortable as opposed to if the new bishop would have to do it his or herself. Makes things neat and smoother for all concerned.

Two renegade bishops have been deposed from the House of Bishops. More house cleaning but necessary to preserve the true church Episcopal. After all it was their choice to rebel and hurt others in the process. Granted it is a sad result however now, at least for the new Diocese of San Joaquin, women can be ordained and serve as priests, congregations will be inclusive to include all of the baptized, and my former priest, +Jerry Lamb, will be their new bishop.

The seat of the diocese will no longer be in Fresno, but will set up shop in Stockton.A new HQ for a new diocese. On March 29th, this new diocese will meet in their first convention to carry out the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church USA. ++Katharine will preside and Bonnie Anderson, President of the House of Deputies will also participate as will all the new delegates who will help chart the course for a new future full of possibilities and Christ's mercy.

There is difficulty brewing in our sister church in Canada. Three parishes in the Diocese of Niagara have decided to secede from the Anglican Church of Canada and align themselves with the Southern Cone. Sound familiar? Yeah. You can read the story at The Morningstar Chronicles. Please keep them in prayer as lawsuits are being filed by the rebel churches to seize property and cause the usual heartache...

However, New Zealand will get a new bishop, and a woman no less: The Right Reverend Victoria Matthews. I encourage you to read the story about her and what this new era will bring to the Church in Kiwi Land.

Well, that is a variety of newsy bits and pieces. May you all have a special Holy Week and a glorious and comforting Easter. I know mine will be special...its all about resurrection and eternal life, and every day miracles. God bless you all as you experience our risen Lord moment by moment.


Sunday, March 02, 2008

Good Intentions...and Progress

I was going to try to write something profound about the newest developments in the Diocese of Oregon but suffice it to say that we are back on course, the Standing Committee being the ultimate crew on this vessel of change. +Johncy will abide by the agreement reached with all the benefits thereof after Easter. All is calm and may it stay that way, God willing.

Among other good news...

More parishes are choosing to stay in the Diocese of San Joaquin. They will hold a special convention in the new and improved diocese on March 29th with ++Katharine presiding as they elect a new Standing Committee and interim bishop, as well as taking of care of business and uniting into a closer-knit family. To be liberated from the oppression and downright bossiness of John-David Schofield and cronies has GOT to be a relief. Unfortunately at the cost of division and much heartache. But the remaining true Episcopalians are drawing together, healing and rebuilding the diocese from the foundations up. Women will be ordained and they will be able to preach and lead congregations into a newer and brighter future. What a beautiful thing...

And now I will go quiet for a little while longer as I deal with my loss but I will return soon. We all do. We must keep on going. Some will say "It was just a dog. You'll get over it. Just go get another one." These are the people who need to learn empathy, compassion, suffering and loss. And there is no easy way to do it. The road is always painful and difficult but it can be traveled and we reach our destination, wiser, kinder, more comprehending of the suffering of others.

At least Dragon is home again, and that means more than words can say...