Showing posts from February 3, 2008

The shame of our Church. (by Giles Fraser)

“Gene Robinson has not been invited to the Lambeth Conference. It is proving extremely difficult to see under what heading he might be invited to be around,” said the Archbishop of Canterbury at the preview press conference for Lambeth 2008 (News, 25 January).

How can it be difficult to know “under what heading” the Bishop of New Hampshire, the Rt Revd Gene Robinson, ought to be invited? The heading is simple: diocesan bishop — duly elected, consented to, and all the rest if it.

At the moment, much attention is being directed towards the noisy Evangelicals who will not come to Lambeth. This gives the impression that the conference is going to be full of dangerous gay-friendly liberalism. How ridiculous: this Lambeth Conference will be remembered for only one thing — the formal institutionalisation of Anglican homophobia. This is the point where all that guff about welcoming gay people will be exposed for the lie that it is.

Some years ago, the Rt Revd Walter Makhulu — the retired Archbis…

Classic insults

Thanks to my friend Pam Bradshaw for these.


The exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor: She said, "If you were my husband I'd give you poison," and he said, "If you were my wife, I'd drink it."

A member of Parliament to Disraeli: "Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease."
"That depends, Sir," said Disraeli, "on whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."

"He had delusions of adequacy." - Walter Kerr

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." - Winston Churchill

"A modest little person, with much to be modest about." - Winston Churchill

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure."
Clarence Darrow

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." - William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).

"Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emo…

It's been quite a day

The Diocese of South West Florida, (in which I am licenced to minister) had a “Clergy and Bishop Day” today at nearby St. Boniface Church.

As a retired Priest I was under no obligation to attend, but decided to scope it out and get a free lunch.

There was a time of black comedy as the Bishop arrived two and a half hours late. There had been a nasty accident on Interstate 75 (which is in some ways the “spine” of the Diocese), and as he related it, he was making friends on an Interstate parking lot for two and a half hours.

So we began the Eucharist without him, and he preached his “O.K” sermon when he arrived, half way through the service.

That was all very fine as I was chatting with the nine Priests whom I’ve already gotten to know, and the whole gang was nicely relaxed in lovely warm weather.

The (good) free lunch was served and I sat at table with three women including Pat Powers (a good friend of my Cambridge parishioner Mary Caulfield), and Andi Taylor, formerly a colleague in Mas…

Ash Wednesday 2008

I offered ashes to my friends at Resurrection House. Twenty or so people were glad to receive them.

Now, you do not “do” an elaborate Roman Catholic or Episcopalian liturgy at a shelter for homeless people. You simply respond to needs.

So we said no more than the Lord’s Prayer before I “imposed ashes” , marking each person with the sign of the cross.

Most of those who received ashes were Roman Catholics who were so happy to participate in this ancient ritual which they remembered from their youth.

Others were Protestants, who were intrigued with the whole idea of receiving ashes.

To them I explained that the ashes are a sign of our mortality, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”.

And, I added, we make the sign of the cross when we impose ashes on the forehead, to remind us of the eternal and all-embracing love of God: signalled most closely in the cross of Jesus.


We are, Ash Wednesday asserts:

(1) dusty creatures, e…

On being grumpy

I was in a crummy mood all day yesterday (February 4th). I needed to draw deep from my wells of bonhomie as I served at Resurrection House, and came up dry a couple of times.

It all started on Sunday morning. I imagined that I had been slighted by some friends. I was like the whining little boy in the play-ground - “they don’t want to play with me anymore”. I wanted to ream them out.

I nursed my resentment all day long instead of shrugging off what was no more than a m misunderstanding. And it stayed with me through most of Monday.

And, on Sunday night the New England Patriots did not win the Super Bowl. On the grand scale of things that matters not a whit. But even though I do not understand American Football, and never watch it on T.V. I wanted my “home team” to win and their unexpected loss increased my feelings of “grumptitude”.

Monday afternoon I stopped into see Ben Morse since his late partner Bruce Wirtz’s son Andrew, and Andrew’s wife Myra were visiting. It was a nice vi…

Good for Cambridge, MA

Since being elected mayor of Cambridge by her city council peers, Denise Simmons has fielded a few questions from the three grandchildren she is raising: Can they enjoy watching the Super Bowl on the flat screen TV that hangs in the mayor’s office? Does this mean extra tickets to the high school graduation? Will they get an allowance now?

Simmons responds by reminding them that, "I’m not here to make your life different; I’m here because I worked to get here. Now let’s talk about the process." Her historic election as the country’s first African American, out lesbian mayor was the result of working her way up the ranks from ward committee member to school committee member to city councilor, which ultimately positioned her for her new post, she tells them.

"It’s an opportunity also to tell them it’s all about grit and determination that makes it happen for you," adds Simmons during a recent interview in her new office. "And grit and determination of an African A…

A very good boss

I did not blog yesterday. I wanted to see if you missed me! Strange isn’t it, that the new created noun “ blog” has also become a verb. That’s very American.

Having had my front porch tiled, I saw that it also needed repainting. It had white stuccoed walls and my friends and I decided that it needed some colour. So it is now a sunny lemony-yellow colour. Painting on stucco ain’t fun!

That’s what I was up-to yesterday morning. In the afternoon, Ben Morse and I went to the Circus Sarasota - a true old fashioned circus. It was great.

A local couple, Pedro Reis and Dolly Reis Jacobs are trying to restore Sarasota’s circus tradition. (We were the home to the Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey circus for many years - in fact my home is built on the old circus winter quarters grounds.)

Dolly is the daughter of famed American clown Lou Jacobs. She and Pedro are true professionals, and they love circus as an art and theatre genre.

But I get to the point of my heading.

I patronis…