Archive Page 2

A Response To Deb Milner – Why Folks Who Stay In TEC Feel Hurt By Those Who Leave

Deb made an interesting observation here:

We chose to walk apart, but in doing so, we lost many “friends” from the diocese who stayed. People we have known and have been to Cursillo and who worked Kairos with for years, have suddenly given us the “cold shoulder”, who when they speak to us at all, do so in a rather ugly fashion. It is as if some of our old friends believe that because we left, we have somehow caused them harm and they will not longer associate with us on any civil level.

While I certainly wouldn’t justify anyone treating anyone else with a lack civility, the only thing I can say is the churches are families, and when someone leaves a family it hurts the rest of the family, even those who bear no fault for the person leaving. This is a sad dynamic that Deb points out, and I bet it is everywhere, even though it isn’t talked about much in the Anglican blogosphere. One thing that is important to remember is that while the theological differences are stark, at one point we all were one family, as dysfunctional as TEC was and is. We do a great job of working the theological differences, but the emotional side of this can’t be ignored.

What I Did Last Saturday

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Winning In Virginia, Losing In New York and California – Battles For Property; Battles for the Soul

I’ve read articles from both sides of the aisle over property belonging to churches that have left the Episcopal Church. TEC continues to operate on the idea that people will stay in TEC simply because of buildings. Bishop Bruno of Los Angeles stated he was going to invite St. James Newport Beach back to the fold. It is as if the institutionalists just don’t get it…at all. The property would be nice to have, but it is not essential to mission and ministry. There are times when I’d like to take a flame thrower to every piece of Episcopal Church property in the United States (or maybe sell it all and give the money to the poor). Perhaps then the battle would become for the soul, rather than property. That is a battle worth fighting.

Look for our glorious Presiding Bishop to ride into Fort Worth on a white horse in the short term to build a rump Diocese. Good sources tell me this will happen sooner rather than later. I also think the Communion Partner bishops might have something to say about this and some other things in the short term.

The +ABC has lost his two clerical right hand men – Canon Cameron will now be a bishop in Wales, and Andrew Norman is now teaching somewhere. I can’t help but think this will mean a change in dynamic at the Communion level. Heck, the mere fact that someone else will be doing Cameron’s duties, well, doesn’t mean it will get better, but it will be different.

We are getting some rumblings here in Western Louisiana of parishes discerning whether to stay or go. This year will be challenging, and GC2009 will be a worse train wreck that 2006. We are already plotting some badges and other accouterments that will say “This is not the Church, this is General Convention” for possible sale and use during GC2009. What will be truly horrible is the aftermath. Things are ugly now, but they will get uglier.

I hate to say it, but since I’ve made partner, I’m likely to focus more on the law practice than the Anglican world. I think it is healthy to focus on what is working in your life and only doing what is necessary to taking care of what doesn’t.

I Am Now A Shareholder In The Law Firm of Gold, Weems, Bruser, Sues & Rundell

Cue the Matchbox 20.

I wonder what its like to be the rainmaker
I wonder what its like to know that I made the rain
Id store it in boxes with little yellow tags on everyone
And you can come and see them when im…done, when Im done

I wonder what its like to be a super hero
I wonder where Id go if I could fly around downtown
From some other planet, I get this funky high on yellow sun
Boy I bet my friends will all be…stunned, theyre stunned
(chorus)
Straight up, what did you hope to learn about here
If I were someone else, would this all fall apart
Strange, where were you, when we started this gig,
I wish the real world, would just stop hassling me

I wonder what its like to be the head honcho
I wonder what Id do if they all did just what I said
Id shout out an order, I think were out of this man get me some
Boy dont make me wanna change my…tone, my tone
(chorus)

Please dont change, please dont break
The only thing that seems to work at all is you
Please dont change, at all from me
To you, and you to me
(chorus)

Why the Bailouts Won’t Work

Here is the best description of why the bail outs won’t work.

Back in 1990, the Government seized the Mustang Ranch brothel in Nevada for tax evasion and, as required by law, tried to run it.

They failed and it closed.

Now, we are trusting the economy of our country and
800+ Billion Dollars to a pack of nit-wits who couldn’t
make money running a whore house and selling booze.

Merry Christmas From Drell’s Descants

Isaiah 9:2-9, from Anglicanism’s greatest contribution to Christianity, the King James Bible:

2: The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
3: Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
4: For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.
5: For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
6: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7: Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Indeed, the Lord of Hosts has performed this, and is performing it, and will perform it. Christ is still coming into the world, even 2000 years later, to establish His Kingdom. May His government and peace increase. Amen. BLD

An Advent/Christmas Message From Bishop MacPherson

Saturday evening, December 20, 2008

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

As we share this weekend in the Fourth Sunday of Advent, my prayer is that this has truly been a season of spiritual preparation for each of you. Hopefully this has not been a time that has been lost in the busy preparation that normally precedes Christmas, and usually found amidst tinsel and crowded shopping centres.

Advent is a time of special preparation, and it should carry for each of us an emphasis on the coming of Christ, and our preparation for that great day when he will come again. In keeping with this are those moments during which we can look at ourselves, our relationship with Jesus, and focus on the gift God has given to each of us — the gift of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

As we enter into these last days before Christmas, may our hearts and minds focus on the unfolding story of this gift, the story that begins with a word from the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, “You shall conceive and bear a son, and you shall give him the name Jesus.” (Luke 1:31) It continues with his birth, his growing up, and his life as an adult — teaching, healing, being rejected, his death, his resurrection.

This story goes on today, and as we gather in our respective places to share20in the celebration of the Christ Mass, we’re doing more than merely rejoicing in the birth of a child. We’re celebrating God’s gift — his love. A love that will never give up on us, a love that reaches out to us, a love that became visible when Jesus was born in Bethlehem. This love never ends. “O come, let us adore him!”

With best wishes and prayers for a blessed Christmas, I remain

Faithfully in anticipation of the Newborn King,

+Bruce MacPherson

The Rt. Rev’d D. Bruce MacPherson
Bishop of Western Louisiana

A Thought Or Two About Christmas And Other Stuff

Sometimes I have a revelatory moment. In the point too late in the season to do much about it, I’ve decided to revamp how I handle Christmas and I’ve decided to take more of a three day weekend (Cursillo, Kairos, etc.) approach to it.

Being supposedly too busy, I’ve abandoned sending Christmas cards, you know, the ones with the cute pictures of the kids on them or the letter you write to all your friends to tell them how you are doing. The office handles those professional cards I need to send. But, next year, I am going to hand write letters to friends and family far away, just simply telling them I am praying for them during the Christmas season.

Next, I’m no longer buying frivolous gift shoppy type presents. Most are pretty cheap and useless. I am now only going to buy stuff that people really need or will find at least very useful, with an aim toward use on a day to day basis, or, in keeping with the three wise men, at least something they will use at some point in their lives. I have already done this for this Christmas, and I feel very good about the gifts I have gotten family and friends. It also seems to me that, during hard economic times, this is probably a good approach for the giver and the receiver of the gifts.

Christmas, it seems to me, is about how Jesus Christ came to earth to redeem the fallen creation of God, and to give people something they really needed – salvation and forgiveness. I am going to try to give things people need this Christmas.

On the downside of things, my usual Saturday before Christmas service project is out the window. For the last twelve years, I’ve delivered food to shut ins from the Shepherd Center here in town. This year, the staff handled the deliveries during working hours. I did take the gifts we bought and the food my parents bought for the family we adopted for Christmas to the Shepherd Center yesterday morning before work, but it just isn’t the same as delivering them in person. I realize that the receivers of these gifts may have been made uncomfortable by the presence of strangers, and that Christmas, to be Christ like, has to be far more about my giving than about me getting warm fuzzies because I gave. However, the deliveries I used to do also gave me a sense of thankfulness and some much needed perspective during the season of buying two tons of crap from Wal-Mart and the mall. I am glad to reflect on this and remember, and I was glad at least my oldest child, Sarah, got to go with me last year. It was indeed eye opening for her.

I had the most insane week last week. I still can’t describe the mayhem of what occurred in my law practice. I’m over it now, I feel okay, but wow. I went to be at 9 p.m. last night and woke up at 8 a.m. I was definitely tired. I do have to go into work today and meet a client to file a Chapter 11 case, the second this month. After Christmas, the Chapter 11 filings will be much worse. The two cases I am filing now would have waited until after the new year, but the lenders forced the issue. I’m still drowning in other work as well.

The Wal-Mart in town sold gas yesterday for $1.19 a gallon. I was happy to fill up for $1.32 (with my Kroger 10 cent discount) on Thursday; it took $21.50 to fill my empty Camry. The Wal-Mart started out at $1.29 a gallon yesterday morning and then dropped another 10 cents in the afternoon. I don’t get it. I don’t know if it was some sort of thank you for spending every last dime you have at Wal-Mart and here is some gas to get home, or what.

As of today, Carrie and I have only two gifts left to get, that being for a dirty Santa deal we’re doing with the folks in our generation of the family. It has to be forty dollars per gift to achieve an ideal of “gifts that don’t suck” per the pre-agreed upon rules. It is nice not to be totally stressed out. The firm gave us our Christmas bonuses on Monday, which made shopping something that happened over the course of a week rather than a one day deal. Much better. Next year, of course, since I’ll be a partner, I won’t get a “bonus” until after Christmas, so 2009 will mean planning ahead and saving for Christmas. It should be interesting.

The blogosphere is in trouble now

As an early Christmas present, I got a Blackjack 2 and installed a browser called Skyfire. Pretty cool, and I can now blog from my cellphone, albiet slowly.

That, and with the quick post feature on the dashboard of wordpress, this little post was pretty easy.

You Won’t Just Save A Life, You’ll Save A Lifestyle