Friday, June 30, 2006

Country roads take me home.

Tomorrow I fly from PDX to SMF, and from there my dad's pickup truck will drive from I-80 to Highway 121. On a certain bend in the twisty highway, we will turn off the paved road and bump and bumble over gravel for a mile and a half, until we pull into the driveway of my parent's house. The house my parents live in is 100 yards from the house my grandmother grew up in, and it's 20 minutes to the nearest grocery store (but only 15 minutes from the nearest fine restaurant, and 10 from the nearest winery).

So, hey, not just a fun song lyric, but a true subject line!

And I'm so ready to be far from 'civilization', on retreat with my extensive, extended family. I caught myself this morning thinking how much easier my life would be if I could be one of those 'spiritual, not religious' people. Sleep in on Sunday, read instead of Titus 1:9, care more about what Nick Lachey and Paris Hilton said than what Pope Benedict XVI and Katherine Jefferts Schori said. Heck, this week of vacation could truly be that for me, I could even leave my prayer book and bible in Portland!

And as soon as that thought had crossed my mind, I said to myself, "But then I wouldn't go to Little!Church."

The first Episcopal Church I ever attended was Trinity Cathedral, Sacramento. The first Episcopal Church that welcomed me and invited me to share all of my time, talents and treasure was Little!Church*. I walked into that church, and I was immediately welcomed as a long-lost family member, given a place at both the Eucharistic Table and the brunch table. And the hardest part of moving to Portland was giving up the Little!Church family that had nurtured me through so much in the short years I was there.

I'll be returning to Little!Church exactly 365 days after I left it. And yes, there will probably be some changed faces, but I'm absolutely 100% certain that, no matter what happened at General Convention, no matter what happened in the Diocesan Convention, no matter what happened at the last vestry meeting, no matter what politics have tried to do to the Church I love, there is a seat for me.

*I'd tell you what church it was, but since it really was teeny-tiny and EVERYONE knew me, and I'm still trying to preserve my anonymity, it's Little!Church. If you're in the East Sacramento Metropolitan Area looking for a parish, email me and I'll point you to it.

Monday, June 26, 2006

100th post!

And boy, I wish it was something more deep and meaningful. I am working on a deep and meaningful essay (so what if it's based on a scifi movie, and All Things Seen and Unseen beat me to it?) but my real-world job is in this interesting phase called "End of Fiscal Year", which means I'm just about up to my ears in all the wacky fun I could ever want.

I must add the response at A Certain Church to the General Convention. One of our parishoners was an alternate, but I didn't get to talk to her much because she was caring for the babies and I was on coffee-handing-out duty (these aren't official rostered duties, they're just gigs that people pick up as they see a need). Anyway, before the Prayers of the People, my (female) priest (ordained 22 years this week) said, "Well, this time last week we were praying for the guidance of the Holy Spirit-- hallelujah! Praise Jesus!" and my (female) deacon (ordained 23 years ago last week) led the applause and laughter.

So, now I leave you with a couple of quotes to ponder:

From Hellboy:
Seargeant: Are you a Catholic?
Professor: Yes, among other things.

From Serenity:
Jayne: Shepherd used to tell me, "If you can't do something smart, do something right."

Friday, June 23, 2006


All laud we would render; O help us to see
’Tis only the splendor of light hideth Thee.

Immortal, invisible, God only wise

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I have no words.

Pisco, you've made me speechless!

From ePisco Sours, here:

One last thought about General Convention:

Abraham was praised for offering his son Isaac as a sacrifice simply because God said so. Did anyone think to ask Isaac about it?

At least in the end, God provided a ram to be an acceptable substitute, because human sacrifice is abhorrent to him. And if God is now calling for LGBT people to be bound up as a sacrifice for his glory, shouldn’t we trust in him also to provide a way out, to show us that he really doesn’t want a sacrifice of broken and despairing lives on his altar?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Woah, where'd this beam come from?

So, you can't hardly spit in the Christian blogosphere without finding someone who has an opinion on the election of +Jefferts Schori to the office of Presiding Bishop.

Unless you go over to the Mormon blogs, which I sometimes do. Because I have a fascination with late 19th century religious movements. It keeps me out of trouble and off of drugs, okay?

And something I keep seeing in the comments and blog posts of liberal/progressive/whatever they're calling themselves this week (I got listed somewhere as a progressive, which made me giggle a lot) is referring to conservative's/fundamentalist's 'ingrained prejudices' that are 'a result of their upbringing'.

To paraphrase my great-grandfather (a wise and holy man): "Oh puh-leaze. Like a liberal's poop don't stink."

Seriously, though, everyone take a few minutes right here and have a look-see at their own prejudices. Quickest way is to take whatever side you aren't (so if you're a snarkwor you take nom-nom, and if you're a nom-nom, you take snarkwor) and write it on the top of a piece of paper.

Now, you have thirty seconds to write down everything that comes to mind when you think of that other side.



Okay, now what are you going to do about your own prejudices? 'Cause, I can tell you from experience, it's a lot easier to change your own prejudices than it is to change someone else's.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Anyone read 1Timothy lately?

Okay, follow the bouncing ball: An Inch At A Time pointed to Meditato's post General Convention: Monday, Monday. John+ says,
One 18 year-old deputy saw right through the duplicity of it all. He noted that the last resolve apologizes to gay men and lesbians for the actions of this resolution, and pointed out that if we need to apologize for it, why are we doing it in the first place?

And then Susan+ says:

Quite a contrast to Special Committee member Dan Martins (San Joaquin) whose advice to Convention was to "hold your nose and vote for this."

Let those who have eyeballs comprehend.

In other GC2006 news.... They still haven't consented on the election of Rev. Canon Barry Beisner! *flails*

GET OVER IT, PEOPLE! We don't need the ecclesiastically and politically correct in the top slots right now. We need the best person for the gig. Canon Barry is the best person for the gig.

Do I need to come over there? Seriously, I'll bring my booty-kicking boots.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Bwahahahahahaaaa! *snerk*

I have a well-developed sense of the absurd.

I think, maybe, it's a gift of the Holy Spirit.

Why else would I be pausing every few minutes to have myself a good giggle over the election of Katharine Jefferts Schori as Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America?

I was just saying to myself last night that the election was probably going to go in a direction that no one in the blogosphere would see coming. Heck, *I* didn't see it coming, I thought that the cute little Bishop Francisco Duque-Gomez from Colombia would be elected, and I kinda liked him.

It's just the way that the Holy Spirit, in my experience, likes to operate. The Holy Spirit has this annoying habit of backing the underdog.

God bless +Jefferts Schori as she prepares to lead this wacky, wild, wooly bunch into the world.

Heeeee. Our Presiding Bishop is a GIRL!

Friday, June 16, 2006

What the ever-loving flying monkeys?

Poor Deacon Tim. By the luck of the blogroll, his blog is where I found out that the Joint Legislative Committie on Consecration of Bishops called Bishop-elect Rev. Canon Barry Beisner back up to give testimony. I.E. they're thinking about not giving the go-ahead to the consecration of my buddy Barry.


He's been divorced twice and married three times.

Please see subject line for my reaction.
Please see here for why I'm reacting that way.
Have these complainants ever MET Barry? Sat with him in a room filled with very angry people and watched him defuse the situation with mere words and presence? Seen him change his mind and throw his whole heart behind it, going to bat with the Bishop for your cause?

I have.

If I could, I'd import him up to Oregon so he could be my bishop. Not that I don't like Bishop Itty, he's a nice guy. But Barry's something special, dude.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Jesus walked on water when he should have surfed.

Feast of Corpus Christi
Today's lyric title comes from Ben Harper. I don't remember the song, sorry.

I really want to post a Tacos and Comics Day post, because of the big events in Marvel's Civil War #2, and also to highlight my favorite book right now, Runaways. I want to write a post about the power of names and who Santa Ignora is.

I just can't get the words out. I'm reading the news from ECUSA General Convention the same way I read the news on October 12th, 2000. You probably don't remember that day.

I remember sitting on the couch, watching television, and they cut in with the news that a "US Navy ship had been attacked in the Persian Gulf, more news when we dang well feel like it."

One of the loves of my life was on a US Navy ship in the Persian Gulf at that time. CNN was not giving up the name of the ship, and this was before the Internet had news faster than the televsion. So I sat and jittered for probably an hour and a half, until I discovered it wasn't the ship my loved one was on. It was the USS Cole.

The General Convention news has the same flavor, especially that out there in the blogosphere. I'm only peripheraly connected, as no matter what happens I'm pretty sure my tiny parish will continue to love me, as I love them. But my eyes are constantly glancing towards Ohio, wondering which of my loved ones are going to be injured by the decisions, who is going to come out of this scarred, who is going to survive with the memories weighing heavily on them.

And, just in case you haven't noticed, despite all my working for an understanding of both sides, I do list heavily towards the liberal side. One thing I've noticed, in all the yakkity-yak, is that the liberal side is the one calling for the Holy Spirit to move. Why? Because the conservatives say we've turned our backs on the Holy Spirit. Shucks, I know that's not true, at least in my own life.

But if the Holy Spirit is moving and working through the liberal side of the church, does that mean the Holy Spirit isn't moving and working through the conservative side?
Is the Holy Spirit constrained by linear space-time?
Can we honestly and truly say, "We've got the Spirit, neener neener neener, you can't have any"?

Admitting that the conservatives might just also be following the Holy Spirit makes my liver hurt. And I'm supposed to be standing up as a representative of mediation and listening and cooperation. Well, I guess I'm just an imperfect human being. I know, I know, you're all terribly crushed by this revelation.

So, I've put forth before the theorem that the Church is broken in half.
I now put forth the theorem that the Holy Spirit is still working in and through the two halves.
The next step? Get the two halves TALKING.

And the first person who starts laying blame for who broke the Church has to buy the next round of drinks.

Let me put this in terms that we all will probably understand: Jesus gave us this Church, a fragile and delicate vase. We got to squabbling over it, and it fell down and shattered. Jesus is coming back, and we don't know when, it could be any minute. So, we can either sit around fighting about who broke the Church, or we can run, get some superglue, and start putting the pieces back together.

Where do you want to be when Jesus comes back?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Trinity Sunday and General Convention

I have always found this Lego Trinity set speak to me, as only the best Christian art can. And no, I'm not saying this is the best Christian art, worlds from it (and yes, I understand it's not *really* the Holy Ghost, it's the Holy Spirit). Because you know what this says to me? Don't take yourself and your religion so seriously.

I haven't been around a lot lately. I'm working through some real life crazy business, ingluding wondering what purpose it serves for me to write under a pseudonym here. Yes, I'm having trouble keeping my split personality straight, whodathunk it?

In other news that seems to be the only news that the Episcopal blogosphere can talk about, it's General Convention. I'm so sick of it already. There's this class my parish is offering and I've been taking, on the history and the development of the liturgy. Today we made it up to 313 CE, with Constantine. And in that scant 300 years, there'd been two schisms already, and several heresies floating around.

You know what I'm learning from this? I'm learning that what Fr. Andrew Greely says is true: if God wanted the Church to be perfect, He would have left it in the hands of the angels, not us mere humans.

And another thing that I'm reminded of: The Church will endure.

God our Wisdom, who eternally makes all things new:
encourage by your Holy Spirit
those who prepare for General Convention to labor together
for the building up of your world and your Church;
counsel them when to act and when to wait;
turn their hearts always toward those in greatest need,
and away from their own preoccupations and fears;
help them never forget that love and mercy are your greatest gifts
given us all to offer one another
as we see in them Jesus Christ who alone
is our joy, our way, our truth, and our life. Amen.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Welcome to 3am.

One of the more intersting thigns about having chronic insomnia is the fear of sleep.

Yeah, that's right. I'm afraid of going to sleep when I'm tired. This logic, it is not our Earth logic. It's crazy troll-logic!

It's 7.30pm right now, and I'm afraid that if I fall asleep at this moment (as my body is threatening to do), I'll wake up bright eyed and bushy-tailed at 1am. Which would put me in a bad way by the time the vestry meeting tomorrow rolls around, and we're discussing hot-button issues. Me plus hot-button issues is equal to snakes plus plane: it seems like a good idea to let me loose on them, unless you're the one stuck with me and them in a small space with no exit.

raar. fear my bloodshot eyes!

I love those people who say, "Well, you've got insomnia, you must get a lot of work/writing/reading/praying done when you're awake in the middle of the night and you have no distractions." No, when I'm awake and I can't sleep, I'm curled up in bed with my eyes closed, trying to will myself back to sleep so I'm not slagged in the morning.

The world looks a lot different from 3am than it does from 2pm. Really, at 3am, you don't care who's got valid apostolic succession. As a matter of fact, you would kick each and every bishop in the lower 48 in the head if it would guarantee you a solid night's rest.

And on those nights when you've seen every second from 3am to 3pm, that same sense of dissonance rings in your ears. You're half a step outside of the 'real world', no matter how much coffee you drink. Advertisements are white noise, cars are loud and their petrol stink makes you sick to your stomach, polyester--- oy. Don't even go there. You have to slow down, because otherwise you might fall down. And from this lessened pace, you realise exactly how frenetic this world has become, you can see the stupid, silly, crazy arguments that divide people in a new light.

I wonder what would happen if we all spent a couple of nights sitting up together.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Prodigal Returns from Her Adventures

For this auspicious day, I had a devilishly good Caesar salad. I used romaine hearts and added dandelion greens. Yummers.

I spent the weekend in California, visiting my family. It was a surprise visit; Mtr. Mother didn't know I was coming and Sr. Sister managed to keep it a secret even though she's currently living with the Parent Parents.

It was a good party, 'good party' being defined as I didn't get so drunk I don't remember much of the event, no one got bit by a rattlesnake, and my sunburn faded after a day or so. But being around my family, especially after a long absence, brings forth some ugly things about my personality, things that I thought I'd been working on but went right smack back to doing as soon as I was immersed in that environment. So, if I threaten to kick you or insult you in the next week or so, that's actually a sign of affection.

Yes, I know I'm messed up in the head. And knowing is half the battle.

I also felt rather alone at certain parts of the Adventure, especially when I was alone with Sr. Sister and my cousins. I've always said we had nothing in common, and when they talk for hours about hook ups and "That time I was drunk with ---" I just really have nothing to add to the conversation. I'm not saying I'm a saint, I just don't do that kind of thing. When I woke up in my cousin's leather armchair, in the clothes I'd been wearing for 36 hours straight, my second thought was, "Dude, I'm getting too old for this."

My third thought was, "That's sad, I'm only twenty-six years old."

My first thought was, "Why is Sr. Sister's butt singing 'Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go' at six a.m. in the morning?"

As things usually do when I'm thinking about them, my thoughts turned back to How To Reach This Lost Generation. Maybe we could get Michelle Rodriguez to do some television commercials "Join the Church, Get A Cookie!"

Now, see, here's the problem with being a historian. I know for a fact that getting young people to church is not a new issue. St. Augustine of Hippo, heard of him? He turned out all right, after a lot of prayers from his momma. I really wonder what would happen if we stopped worrying about focus groups and activities and such and started praying by name for those young people who grew up in church and stopped attending, pray by name for our family members whose lives seem out of control and dangerous, pray by name for the neighborhood kids.

It seems like any more, all I can do is wonder and pray.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Meer meer meer.

Where have I been?

Procrastination. Population: Me. Took a side trip through Depression.

To sum up in TeacherWords, my spiritual director gave me back my Rule of Life for revising. Again.

Some parts are too vauge. Some parts are too restrictive. The whole thing's too long.

I'm about to throw it down on the ground, buy a WWJD? bracelet and join the local bastion of the Health and Wealth gospel.

Making my own choices and being disciplined on my own is HARD!

Right now, I'm waiting for my Hippie Don't-Get-Sick Herb Tablets to dissolve in hot water, which takes for-flaming-ever. I've got a cubiclebuddy who's sick, and I'm going to be on airplanes a lot this weekend, so I really don't want to catch anything.

And such is the life of the fake nun. Meer, meer, meer, liek, woah.