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Showing posts from 2008

Just Thoughts

nice to be back in blog :)

First, while I find it a nice idea to write four posts on the issues dividing TEC as I suggest belwow, all I can offer when I do get to those is my own opinion. It is a real goal in my life to get an actual graduate theological education, but in the meantime, I can do nothing but offer personal thought processes. Even then, it may take me a year to write the posts, and this blog has always been more about the private than the public (I couldn't even find it in google today). Maybe writing those posts will serve more to orient me than to reach anyone else. Who knows.

Second, reading at Sandalstraps again has been wonderful. What a heart that man has. I find discernment, right now, to be emotionally taxing. Maybe it shouldn't be or doesn't have to be, but when I felt the desire/call to begin work in the Episcopal community at this convention, I hadn't even been in a great spiritual place before that weekend. I was letting my doubt side do…

Handel and Reaching Out

Using my napster subscription to listen to Handel's Messiah, a yearly Advent ritual. What glorious music; what outstanding poetry put to music. The words of Luke, Isaiah, Micah..."and he shall purify the sons of Levi..." According to our faith, he has, with the righteousness of another, Jesus. We, all Christians, we are the purified sons of Levi. What a cosmic honor beyond belief.

I have been thinking, and reading online (often to dismay) about/within the split in the The Episcopal Church. It's big news, maybe bigger headlines in the secular press than it needs to be: four diocese and some parishes have realigned themselves as Anglican, renounced membership in TEC. Why? Well, the installation in 2003 of Gene Robinson, the gay N.H. Bishop, seems to be the most common thread. But also, ordination of women comes up, views on the Bible, and views of the Atonement. There are disagreements among those who have split on these issues (the ordination of women, for sur…

Advent 3 (the satan)

It is snowing. It has been cold, below freezing, for a few days and lightly snowing most of that time. Not much has accumulated, less than a foot, but winter wonderland is back. I am typing on our sectional, with a big window looking out into our front yard behind me, and a big shelf of snow just fell off the roof; it took about twenty seconds. For that time I was looking through nothing but that wispy white sheet. For twenty seconds, I was inside an avalanche. It is all very, very lovely.

Reading (interminably) N.T. Wright again last night. I find I like to take him a section at a time. While I finished NTPG, I have been reading JVG for a couple of years, in pieces. I think it's because he is explicating the gospels and each section is like a sermon or homily. I find I need time to reflect. Also, of course, his take on apocalyptic is different from all I was taught as a young person and that kind of realignment takes time.

Last night I read the section on "the satan…

Advent 2

I think this is the week of Advent 2; last Sunday was Advent 2....just what kind of Episcopalian am I?

Tomorrow is my second meeting with my priest, and my real job has kept me so busy I haven't had much time for spiritual reflection or introspection; I even missed my last walk. Several things are on my mind, and as this blog, even though I think it needs to consider audience more when I express theological opinions....this blog is still about me. Weblog. Etc.

Going into my second meeting I haven't lost my interest in ministry, but questions about money remain. Again, not big money, but financial security. And paying for seminary, hah, when my wife just finished grad school with a small to middle sized stack of loans. Also, my doubt issues surface a bit, as always; not a crises of faith, but the thoughts of the modern person.

I heard a very good interview on NPR this morning with Frank Schaeffer, son of the famous Francis. I think of the role of apologetics in the evange…

Advent 1

I had the fortune of going to two services for this Sunday, the first in Advent. One, last night at the cathedral some distance from my house (wife and I were out of town for a play) and then this morning, at my own little parish. Both were nice.

There is no doubt entering discernment has raised my anxiety level. Not to painful or pathological levels, but the uncertainty is always with me. I am finding one of my very oldest tools still works: exercise. As my back/tendon injury still heals according to geologic time, I find walking both helps and can do nothing to strain it. So, considering the beauty of where I live I don't know why I haven't done it more....I am walking a few times a week. Walking and talking to, of all people, God. Also sorting out my own anxieties and concerns with myself.

Fact is, while discernment sounds like and should be a positive process no matter what the outcome; while my "call" the final day of convention felt as real as my (re)conve…

First Step and the Consiliari

Wife and son have the bug and went out late to the midnight after thanksgiving sales...best of luck. I am far too old for that madness.

I had my first meeting with my priest and formally announced my intention to enter discernment. Or, in the lingo, "articulated my call." I really don't like the "call" term. I mean, St. Paul, blinded for three days in Luke's account; now that's a call. Surely, Peter, fishing when Jesus shows up and says follow me; that's a call. My own complex process of discernment? Not sure if the term fits.

I said a long time ago, right here on this blog, that I'd only enter ministry if 1) I had the desire 2) others had the desire for me and 3) circumstances permitted. I actually think number 2 has been the case, quietly the case, around me at my parish for some time; I'm sure I'll get the chance to explore that more deeply. Right now number 1 is pretty much still the case for me. I am trying to be very carefu…

Anonymity....

It hasn't taken me long to realize it will be very hard to remove all traces of my former quasi-anonymous self; even the url of this blog, which I cannot change, is a dead give away to anyone local. I will think on this.....

In Fear and Trembling

I don't have the time to discuss the reasons why, but I have made my wish known to enter formal discernment for ordination into the priesthood of the Episcopal Church. This blog is one of the very first people I have told besides my priest.

It's a long and even grueling process, culminating in a three year and very expensive seminary degree. I know I have ten years in my school retirement, a good income (finally) but it is just something I feel I need to explore. Right now, I feel it is the work I should be doing, a work much more vital than this work. I will have a chance to learn much more as I go along.

I am taking my first name off this blog and making it as absolutely anonymous as I possibly can so that I can describe my discernment process here, truly anonymously. I would like to start another, public blog, and will link it to my facebook when I do. For now, love to all and hope for prayers.

Boo

okay, late for Halloween, but I haven't posted here in so long...right now I do feel the need.

I joined facebook as many of you who read here know. Not sure what to make of it so far but I am using it; as KMJ put it: it's blogging in reverse, all the comments and no posts. I, of course, want to do actual posts, but as the field of friends has grown dramatically fast, some people I know very well some I hardly knew when I knew them twenty years ago, I'm not so soure what I'll do with facebook. If you read here or used to and want to be added, just send me an email; I don't mind.

A lot is on my mind, more than I have time or energy to blog about. I live depression free and (almost) obsession free and have for some time. Oh, I have my issues, but then so does every living person I know. No, the things that occupy me right now are different things.

I am happy Obama won. I don't know how well he'll do, but as a teacher who works in a state funded community …

Home Alone, Too

One thing I'll note about my post below, about sailing the SF Bay. It is indeed technical sailing; there is the risk of collision above all, with other boats or land, but the adage: if you can sail SF Bay you can sail anywhere is simply not true. Sea swell is usually easy to manage, but the thing I do not want to ever have to do is ride out a storm at sea. Boats, even relatively small sail boats, can do that, and experts vary on which of the handful of methods of riding out a gale or storm is best...but it is the waves, not the wind, that can flip a keelboat over. Specifically, breaking waves, steep waves that the boat loses control of going down (or up) the face...any boat can capsize in bad enough wave activity. The bigger ones are just safer because of size (paraphrasing Nigel Calder in his monumental book).

The thing about ocean sailing is that, unless one is in a storm or some bad swell, the waves and swell are generally easy to manage (though seasickness is an issue for…

Sailing Bay and the Sea-Father

More than twenty years ago, I sat in a small bleacher in one of the gymnasiums at CSULB, first day orientation for a sailing class; just curiosity. The instructor, maybe in his fifties, went into his spiel: "All the stuff you see and hear and read about the myth of sailing boats...the blue blazer and white trousers, the captain's hat, the ascot, dinners at the yacht club...the skipper quietly smoking a pipe while staring out to see...the first thing we have to do is clear all that up; I want you to know that all that stuff is totally and completely true."

We all laughed. It was quite a few years later before my first time on a small sailboat, a very funny story I wrote about here a couple years back. But I did not really sail or learn to sail until about four years ago when my wife said a group was going from her work, mostly nurses, that one of the ICU nurses was a skipper, and that we could sail on San Francisco Bay for the day for about sixty or seventy bucks a pie…

Another Rare Check In

Last night I had bad dreams. I don't have a therapist anymore (and am generally doing okay with that) but need a place to process the feelings. So, here I am.

Estella was in the dreams. I still have to write the final chapter or two of her story, and mean to. I am finally emotionally strong enough to do it. But she was in the dream, as was R, the therapist who pulled her from me, even if our marriage sucked, we had a real friendship, and usurped her for himself.

There are only two things I remember from the dreams though the emotions were so, so strong. One: I have been watering the vinca on our "lawn" (and I don't know any real lawns at our altitude)...trying to get the vinca, which is supposed to choke out anything and take over as ground cover (and is not that name related to "conquer" in Latin). Anyway, as the vinca fights with some hella tough clover, every weed known to man, and oregano I think, it surely needs water. So I ran the sprinkler i…

My Sincere Thanks

to those who commented below, and others whom I am sure read who did not comment, but stood alongside me, and even stand alongside me, during this time. I'll take this time to update...

I saw my therapist, Sharon, for the last time Tuesday morning. She had been off Monday for the holiday and it was her last week in practice after many years of seeing clients. I know she had a long stack of people, some she had not seen in years, waiting to get in to say goodbye. My heart goes out to her, actually, during this week.

And the parting was wonderful. It really was. I can look back on six years and say that she acted in my best interest at every turn; that she never lied to me or acted in an insidious manner. In short, she did her job as a therapist and a human being. May God, in whatever form she understands God, walk with her the rest of her life. I was lucky to know her. The sad thing is that she was only a therapist, of course, not a family member, can I even say a parent. …

The Heavys

Hello to all who read here. This is a personal post, a support post; I am reaching out, even in the blogsphere here where I rarely journal anymore. There are a few things I need to say and I have a prayer request or two. Considering I rarely ask, I figure this is okay :)

One.

I have talked about my therapist retiring at the end of the month. That is a fact I have to accept. My winter and spring have been good, good enough that I would have cut down on my visit frequency, I think, if she were not retiring. My time with S has been very, very helpful, though it was me who brought in Foa's awesome book on OCD two years into my therapy! My therapist had heard of those tools, but I take credit for bringing them exposure work into that relationship. S was very good with seeing the interpersonal, emotional fuel that feeds the OCD fire, my struggles with intimacy and fear or anger and criticism; it has been a good six years.

Yeah, six freaking years.

Today I got up the courage to call …