Sunday, May 31, 2009

Blogger Returns...

Well, this blogger returns. Recently--actually today--one well known blogger, MadPriest from Newcastle-on-Tyne--made the observation that over the past several months--though his readership has been up--more bloggers are turning to Facebook and Twitter to do their ruminating instead of on their own personal blogs. I am guilty as charged as well as the others with whom I share room in the blogosphere. Sure, I have posted newsworthy items regarding my diocese's search for a new bishop, which is important not only to us on a diocesan level but on a national church level as well. I feel it very important to have a "whole" house of bishops, meaning the elected variety. Hat tips to those who are filling in, including our own interim bishop +Sandy Hampton. Also I have posted about the so-called "Communion Partners" who are basically more renegade clergy and bishops who want to destroy the Episcopal Church USA by undermining the Constitution and Canons from their little hideaways here and there. It is important to keep an eye on these people and their aim is to cause further deterioration of the infrastructure of TEC as well as the continual, overt and covert attacks on ++Katharine.

This said, what MadPriest is really getting at is that we bloggers are neglecting what brought us to the blogosphere in the first place: our desire to share with others our thoughts and outlooks on life in general but also on those things that we value and as real Christians [those of us who are], the love of Christ, the teacher, the rabbi, the Son of God, in all of His humility and compassion. Our blogs are places where we can rant, explicate or ask for prayer and understanding. Blogs are our voices asking to be heard in the wilderness of the world, on behalf of others as well as ourselves and those we love and care for in every day life.

To not use the freedom we have to reach out to others and share what we know is on its most basic level an abuse of this freedom of speech. It gives those who read us under cover of secrecy and fear, hope for a better life. Believe it or not, we inspire those in other countries who do not have this freedom and face possible harsh penalties for seeking us out. These people find ways to discover us and read our words, sometimes at great risk under repressive regimes. And yet for some reason known only to these brave people, they take the risk of listening to new ideas and even our everyday mundane experiences give hope to the hopeless. You may not think that writing about your breakfast matters but to someone somewhere, they are saying as they read our description, "Some day I will have fresh eggs and fresh baked bread to eat...yes, I will...that is my goal. Now I just have to think and figure out how to do this!"

We spur people on that we have never met, nor will ever have the chance to know. I know that in my time as a blogger, I read other's blogs and was inspired by the little things. And having read other blogs with interests similar and also dissimilar to my own, I was duly inspired to write my own blog. Partly to have something constructive to do while looking for work after my mom's death, and as a tool to express my deepest feelings about grief and short, blogging was therapy for me, and basically still is. The beauty of this is that, not just one person tells me what he or she thinks about what I have written and said, but several people give me their take and from these diverse views I am able to see things I would not have considered before, or a new perspective from which to view a dilemma or problem. And from some of these views I was able to blend my thoughts and these views into formulating a goal or a answer. In short, I found hope where I felt there wasn't any for that particular thing. This didn't mean I had no faith in my Lord to work things out, but God being who He/She is, uses us as instruments for one anothers' peace.

These past weeks I have had a lot to think about and consider as I recovered from severely spraining my right knee. What it meant was no driving, no running errands, no going to the grocery store, not being able to shower for DAYS, and not seeing people [a necessary ingredient for being fully human, at least for me], and not working. Thanks be to God I had enough PTO [paid time off] and floating holidays to cover until this coming Wednesday when I hope to drive to work for the first time in two weeks with a hinge brace.

I have been trying to read, write in my journal, do some coloring [yes, coloring book of Redoute' flowers and arrangements with Prismicolor pencils and Staedler eraser; very relaxing], word puzzles, calling the City to talk to them about the sidewalk project on the easement in front of my house and the fate of the Little Leaf Linden I planted at the behest of the City about 4 years ago, and of course, watching television, mostly nature documentaries and stuff on the History Channel, as well as Animal Planet [Whale Wars, and Animal Cops] as well as Dogtown on Nat Geo.
All of this and listening to iTunes radio, either solo piano, or acoustic guitar or flamingo music...all restful music.

I have made it outside in the last few days and its not so scary now. I can now catch up on the progress of plants in my front shade garden under the cypress tree. Things that were not up and "at'em", have progressed greatly since my accident and I am only now seeing the full richness of the purple oxalis and the wondrous yet mysterious blooms of the spiderwort. I have been worried about the birds and had my best friend water and fill the birdbath for the feathery ones in this reason hot spell [This same best friend snagged some groceries for me too. I also had the blessing of an RN/LMT friend at my disposal as well as my spiritual director who brought a salad and homemade banana nut bread. Another friend brought dinner on Memorial Day and helped me be brave and get my keester outside for the first time]. But back to the garden and birdbath... It [the birdbath] also serves the transient kittehs well too. One kitteh in particular, a fluffy black and white cat with white tuffs sticking out of its ears, and sporting yellow diamond eyes, likes to come around in the evening and stand up agains the old-fashioned wood screed door and peek in on me and occasionally "mrreow" at me. If I could stand well enough with crutches and hold a camera at the same time, there would be pictures but maybe later, when I am more fully operational.

And so, this is what I am sure MadPriest had in mind in his latest post, along with Grandmere' Mimi, about not losing the art or the will to blog. Actually it felt really good to do this piece. And I will work toward writing more everyday stuff as time permits, which I hope to be often. Right now my leg aches from sitting here and so I will go and either walkabout as best I can or go lay in the recliner and elevate it for a bit and watch a gardening show on HGTV. Until next time, write, play and smile at your neighbor.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bishop of Oregon Search Update: 51?

Bishop Search Update: May 28, 2009

In our Bishop Search process, 51 priests, men and women, from throughout the United States and beyond, submitted applications in response to our diocesan profile. Our diocese is blessed indeed! After a period of intense individual review of each application, as a group the Search Committee recently has undertaken the monumental, prayer-filled task of narrowing down fifty-one applicants to a group of eight semi-finalists.

During June, the Committee will begin interviewing these semi-finalists, with the goal of presenting the names of four finalists to the Standing Committee by early August.

We ask the diocese to continue to pray for the Search Committee, the Transition Committee, the Standing Committee, and for those on the journey with us, as together we seek discernment of God’s will for our diocese.

—The Rev. Sara Fischer


Deirdre Steinberg, Communications Director

Episcopal Diocese of Oregon

11800 SW Military Lane, Portland, Oregon 97219

Direct: 971-204-4108, Mobile: 503-890-1542

Friday, May 08, 2009

Communion Partners push covenant actions

By Mary Frances Schjonberg of Episcopal News Service reports:

The spokesman for a group of Episcopal Church bishops and clergy who released an April 22 statement challenging the polity of the church pledged the group's commitment to remaining in
the Episcopal Church, but said that his diocese would consider signing onto a proposed Anglican Covenant if General Convention did not agree to do so.

Meanwhile, an expert on Episcopal Church polity labeled as "bizarre" the idea that individual bishops or dioceses could take that step, and questioned what meaning it would have in the wider Episcopal Church or Anglican Communion.

Diocese of Western Louisiana Bishop D. Bruce MacPherson told ENS April 28 that "one common thing [the Communion Partners bishops and rectors who signed the statement] have, and this has been shared from the beginning with the Presiding Bishop, [is that] we are committed to remaining a part of the Episcopal Church as opposed to some of the other directions that have been taken by others."

Read the full story at

Letter from Oregon Standing Committee

A letter from the Standing Committee

May 7, 2009

The Standing Committee of the Diocese of Oregon has reviewed reports of the financial health of our congregations during this difficult economic time. These reports clearly point to significant financial stress in many (though not all) congregations. The Standing Committee is well aware of this stress, and has been working with other bodies for creative ways to respond, both practically and pastorally.

However, the people of the diocese should be aware that at this very juncture in our common life new and very promising developments in mission for the long term are arising. These developments include renewal of existing congregations, extensions of ministry to new communities, and looking at the future of our entire mission focus. Both our challenges and our opportunities require a high degree of faithfulness to the basic Gospel imperatives of discipleship, service, and sharing the faith.

Based on these imperatives we are being called to look in very new directions for regional and diocese-wide mission. We encourage Convocations and Clericuses to take up this conversation in a lively and future-oriented manner. In Christ, we can do all things. Of this we are – and must be – certain.

Janice Lusk

Receptionist, Administrative Assistant & Events Registrar

Episcopal Diocese of Oregon

11800 SW Military Ln.

Portland, OR 97219


Fax: 503-636-5616