Saturday, December 05, 2009

Moral authority squandered

I have written extensively about genocide in the past years because for me it is personal. I grew up among survivors of the Armenian genocide during WWI. I lived among survivors of the Holocaust. I pastored Cambodians who survived Pol Pot. I cannot be silent about the threat of a new law in Uganda that would execute LGBT people and cast in prison those who do not denounce them. Rowan Williams thinks it is his duty to remain silent about this, at least in public. It is strange how quickly he jumps in to threaten some folks and remains silent about others.

Public silence on impending genocidal legislation in Uganda where human lives are at stake and not only silence but pressure for others to remain silent. Immediate public response to the election of a bishop suffragan in Los Angeles. +Rowan Cantuar has interesting priorities and they seem to be institutional.

I like Lois Keen's comment:
"...if our bonds of affection are to hold."

I must speak out. I can stand it no longer. Affection is not affection at all if it is conditional on anything. Affection has no prerequisites. It is not qualified.

Most of all, affection carries no thinly veiled threats of breaking affection.

Rowan has no affection for TEC, except we throw our LGBT brothers and sisters under the bus. Others in the Anglican Communion, for whom we still have affection, have no affection for us except we declare our LGBT brothers and sisters intransigent, disordered, unhealthy sinners. Subsequently, there is no bond of affection in the Anglican Communion.

But worst of all, to base communion on "bonds of affection" is a fallacy, if not a category mistake.

Communion is in and through Christ Jesus, and him alone. In him and through him our paltry, meager affections toward one another are unnecessary. We can never feel our way to loving one another. We can only do our way to loving one another, and that's hard work, because it holds up to judgment our refusals to work with another because in our judgment the other has "broken the bonds of affection".
Thank you, Lois. No human bond is sufficient; the Spirit's bond transcends our brokenness and, yes, our hatred (as you wrote elsewhere).

Jim Naughton added:
Lambeth Palace says it would be counterproducrive to speak out against a law that legalizes the murder of gays people and the imprisonment of their confidants, but thinks that inserting itself into the middle of the consent process of a duly elected Episcopal bishop is a good use of the Archbishop's moral authority. Do the clergy and people of the Church of England feel comfortable with this?
Look with pity, O heavenly Father, upon the people in every land who live with injustice, terror, disease and death as their constant companions. Have mercy upon us. Help us to eliminate our cruelty to these our neighbors. Strengthen those who spend their lives establishing equal protection of the law and equal opportunities for all. And grant that every one of us may enjoy a fair portion of the riches of this world, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

--the BB

Friday, December 04, 2009

And for the diocese in which I was confirmed - Updated: Bruce and Glasspool elected

Pray for the Episcopal
Diocese of Los Angeles

From Associated Press:
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles elected the first female bishop in its 114-year history Friday but ended voting for the day with one of two openly gay candidates still vying for the second bishop's position.

Rev. Diane M. Jardine Bruce, rector of St. Clement's-By-The-Sea Episcopal Church in San Clemente, was elected Friday at the diocese's annual convention to replace one of two retiring assistant bishops.
You may track it all here.

A prayer from Susan Russell's blog:
Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose new bishops for this Diocese,that we may receive faithful pastors, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
It was in the Diocese of Los Angeles that I first attended an Episcopal Church - Holy Trinity, Covina - in fall 1971 and I have been a communicant of the Episcopal Church ever since. (Yes, I was in Baptist seminary at the time.) During my time at UCLA I attended St Alban's, Westwood, and through that parish I was confirmed by the Rt Rev Cedric Mills, Virgin Islands (ret'd), in a service at All Saints, Beverly Hills. I was called to the Cathedral Church of St Paul, the old one downtown, to lead adult formation. I have a great fondness for that diocese where my early Anglican formation took place.

May God grant them truly wonderful new suffragan bishops.

UPDATE from The Lead:
In a seven ballot election The Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool has been elected a suffragan bishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles pending the required consents. The second woman elected bishop bishop in the diocese in as many days, she is also a partnered lesbian.

The Diocese of Los Angeles elected the Rev. Canon Diane Jardine Bruce suffragan bishop of the diocese in the first of two elections taking place in that diocese this weekend. Bruce is the first woman elected a bishop in the Diocese of Los Angeles pending the required consents.

Today's election was long and close with The Rev. Irineo Martir Vasquez (Martir) drawing considerable support from clergy and lay.

--the BB

This is not just for Mimi - updated: Thompson elected

Pray for the Episcopal
Diocese of Louisiana

UPDATE (from the diocesan website):
The Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana elected The Very Rev. Morris Thompson, as the 11th Bishop of Louisiana today at Christ Church Cathedral, New Orleans. Thompson was one of six final candidates voted on by clergy and lay representatives from every congregation in the diocese. Thompson succeeds the Rt. Rev. Charles E. Jenkins who has served since 1997 and announced his retirement effective January 2010.

Thompson said, "I am honored and humbled to serve you as the 11th Bishop of Louisiana. Your rich tradition, your attention to the survival of your diocese, and the possibilities are what attracted me when I first read your profile. Under God's grace and with our shared ministry, I look forward to being among you as your pastor."

From Mimi's blog:
The Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana will hold its Electing Convention tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 5). Please pray that the Holy Spirit may fill the minds and hearts of the delegates as they gather at Christ Church Cathedral to choose our next bishop.

From the diocesan website:
Mission Statement

The Diocese of Louisiana is, by grace, a vital community, reborn in the wake of tragedy, forging a new and prophetic environment of healing, trust and empowerment as servants of Jesus Christ

Vision Statement

The Diocese of Louisiana is one church, faithful to our Lord Jesus, united in mission, reaching out through service and proclamation to all for whom Christ died. We live in joyous expectation of God's transforming power, compassion, and mercy in our lives

A Prayer for the Diocese

We give you thanks, Gracious God, for your goodness in bestowing upon this Church the gift of the episcopate, and its heritage in this Diocese. Grant that in our search for the Eleventh Bishop of Louisiana we may be open to your will, receptive of your guidance, and ready in obedience. By your abundant grace may we lay aside any shallow self-interest so that in seeking to elect your servant we may serve you, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the Unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Amen and amen.

May the Holy Spirit guide the hearts of the electors, and may those who cast votes listen to the Spirit, for the good of the people, the glory of God, and the life of the world.

--the BB

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Saturday is the funeral for Joseph Montoya who worked in the same department I do. He was on another floor and I did not know him but he was only in his 20s. His father works in the same section as Joseph. They were best friends and shared a love of working on cars. It was an unfortunate accident. I ask your prayers for the repose of Joseph and for his parents and all who love him.

Mimi has numerous prayer requests listed, as does MadPriest.

Prayers offered for all.

--the BB

Fanfares are in order - updated with photo

Good news for Juan today. Margaret writes:
Family Court postponed their asylum decision until September --which means even if Deportation Court decides to deport (we'll know that on Monday) he doesn't have to leave until Family Court finishes... which might change the Deportation.... round and round! Worse case scenario --September --which give the miracle gift of time!

I am a mom --for at least ten months --to the most beautiful and unexpected young man, who is laughing more tonight than he has in a month!

I wrote: "Cue the Hallelujah Chorus!"

It is a gift of time and a blessed one. Let us continue to pray for Juan and for Joel and Margaret.

And while we rejoice:
Robert Whalley is a Deacon!

Rob and I were in CPE together back in 1989. He's waited a long time. Many blessings upon his continuing ministry, now in a new role as a transitional deacon in Australia.

--the BB

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

54% of Americans Support Torture

SuperBowlXX reports on a new Pew Research Center poll:
54% of Americans believe that torture is either often (19%) or sometimes (35%) justified to gain information from terrorism suspects, compared to 41% who say it's rarely (16%) or never (25%) justified.

I am appalled.

You can read the whole thing here.

--the BB

That had not been the case when her mother committed her to the keeping of foreign prisoners....

The nineteen steps were engraved in R. and N's memory and this night they took them slowly, blindly, alert to any noise. They made it to the landing and paused until all were assembled with weapons at the ready.

Slow progress today, yet a few more paragraphs. The tale advances.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

O Lord, open our eyes and ears

...when the chief priests and the scribes saw the amazing things that he did, and heard the children crying out in the temple, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David’, they became angry....
Are we not all chief priests and scribes, upset by what troubles our settled world, distressed when we see God working in ways we had not anticipated, planned for, approved?

O God, help us to hear your praise when it is proclaimed, even in the most unlikely places. And, attentive to your praise, turn our hearts to you.

--the BB

Heart thread - 12/01/2009

Let us begin with World AIDS Day, recalling all those who have died, those who live with HIV/AIDS, those who love them, those who toil to prevent and cure this disease, and the eradication of stigma.

A new site has been launched at and you are encouraged to check it out.

For Ozzie's family.

For Lindy in China.

For Eileen's mother having a second hip replacement done.

Jacque Sue's cat Dexter who has gone missing.

For Rob Whalley at his pre-ordination retreat.

For the four slain Washington State police officers and their loved ones. For all those who put their lives in danger to protect others.

For Fran's reflections at Evening Prayer tonight.

For Dan, Sandra, and Mark and all who are going through extended healing periods.

For Mimi who asks:
For a good outcome and healing for surgical procedures on Tuesday...

...for my niece, Donna, who will have a hysterectomy

...for Ann's friend, Kay Rohde, who will have spinal surgery
For Frank and Carol, Jim and Ruthie, Myron and others dealing with major health problems.

For John and his mother.

For myself and those who take counsel for mission and ministry.

For Kirstin who has returned to blogging and for Jane R who has been busy beyond belief and also returned to blogging after a hectic few months.

For the LGBT citizens of Uganda.

For Juan and his hearing on Thursday and for Margaret and Joel who have taken him into their home.

We conclude with Margaret's prayer this morning:
Hey, God --it's margaret here --I pray that when I think I see disaster looming, I may have the strength to stand and lift up my head with joy and without shame --my Advent discipline.... I pray that when I think I see judgment, I remember judgment has already happened, and the gates of hell have been shattered and strewn about --just like the tables in your Temple... and I don't much like figs anyway, so there... you blew it with too many little seeds. Just sayin' --and God, thank you. Thank you. For all of it. Amen.

--the BB

Monday, November 30, 2009

Snippet from the Office

The Prophet Amos
from Wikipedia Commons
they sell the righteous for silver,
and the needy for a pair of sandals
--Amos 2:6b

Pikers. They could take lessons from the investment bankers.

--the BB

Good advice from a sister

Thanks, dear heart. What I needed to hear when I need to hear it.

--the BB

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Heart thread - 11/29/2009

Susankay asks our prayers for John, her co-convenor at Integrity of the Four Corners, and his mother. He just wrote:
I'm in California with a fractured sternum--mom is in ICU in San Jose with multiple thoracic injuries, two broken legs,a fractured vertebra, dislocated hip, and had a heart attack during the accident. Her prognosis isn't great. Would you please pass this along to Integrity and church and anyone else. Medicated, I'm mainly only communicating on Facebook. But my phone and computer will be back on line tomorrow when I get the cords out of the car.

On 152 near the top of Hecker pass, between Watsonville and Gilroy, during the return trip to the airport in Merced, a van crossed into our lane on a hairpin turn and hit us head on.
Heavenly Father, giver of life and health: Comfort and relieve your sick servants John and his mother, and give your power of healing to those who minister to their needs, that they may be strengthened in their weakness and have confidence in your loving care; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.