Saturday, 1 December 2012

Advent: Image from Bruce, words from Wes.

Graphic via Bruce Bryant-Scott.




The Revd. Wes Wasdyke was the preacher at St. Boniface Church, Siesta Key, FL on November 17th 2012.

Wes is a good friend and colleague.

One of the texts that Sunday  was Hebrews 10:11-25. Here is part of what Wes Wasdyke said:

“The reading from..... Hebrews urges us to “hold fast to the confession of our faith without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful”.  To “hold fast” means to be faithful, and to be faithful implies being obedient.

Obedience is an unpopular concept in this post-modern age; it’s not a word we use easily.

But an Episcopal monk whom I know speaks of obedience in a way which makes sense to me. He (the monk) explains it in the following way:What God wants from us is the same as what God wants for us. So when God commands, we should listen, because God is not only asking something from us but is also offering something for us”. 

Remember, the gospel means good news. What God asks of us and gives to us is not burdensome; it is life giving”.

BLUE  - Wes Wasdyke's words.

RED -  Wes Wasdyke's quotation from an Episcopal monk.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Dwelling together in unity.


My heading is taken from Psalm 133 verse 1 which reads “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!”


My charitable heart wants to believe that the Psalmist meant “brothers and sisters”.

I've had three days’ worth of good and pleasant conversations in unity.

On Wednesday I had lunch at the ever dependable “Panera Bread” with my brother Wes Wasdyke.

Wes has had a dual career – as a Medical Doctor (Anaesthesiologist), and as an Episcopal Priest.

He and his good wife Cindy have homes in Nashua N.H. and in Lakewood Ranch, FL.

In retirement Wes is one of the “Priest Associates” at St. Boniface Church here in Sarasota.

He is a fine, solid, and thoughtful preacher.

It is always great to break bread with Wes, to talk about our convictions and hopes, and to share our mutual commitment to the God we know and love in Jesus Christ.

On Thursday I lunched with my beloved Andi Taylor at the Lobster Pot on Siesta Key.

 Andi is the Assistant Rector at our parish (St. Boniface on Siesta Key FL).  She has carried a heavy burden (which has not always been appreciated) since the retirement of the St. Boniface Rector in May 2011.

Andi is a fabulous priest. I respect her greatly.

And I also am very fond of her good husband Jonathan, and their sons Noah and Jacob.

Today I dove up to Bradenton Beach, there to have lunch at the Gulf Drive Cafe, with my pals Fred Emrich and Diana Lee.

Fred and I were colleagues in western Massachusetts when he was the Rector at St. James, Greenfield, MA and I was at St. Stephen’s, Pittsfield MA.  We liked and respected each other.

Much later both Fred and I retired.

 Then Fred had the good sense to marry the fabulous Diana Lee, (who was born of British parents in India, educated in England, and ended up in the U.S.A.)  

They bought a winter home in this neck of the woods, thus Fred and I were able to re-connect, and I met the lovely Diana for the first time.

Whoop – de – doo   Diana, Fred and I had a grand old time at lunch today even though the food was merely “fair to middling”

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“How good and how pleasant it is for brothers and sisters to dwell together in unity!”

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Dave Macy - a "hero" of mine in Maine


A few years ago I traveled up to the Island of North Haven ME (in the Penobscot Bay).

(see  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Haven,_Maine)

I was there to preach and to  celebrate the Eucharist at the one and only church on this small and isolated island.

I was a guest of my friends Fred and Diana Emrich who spend half of the year on the island, and the other half on Longboat Key, FL.

It was a lovely weekend.  North Haven ME is a beautiful place.

But I could never live there (or on any small island).

I love the bustle of cities. I am glad to have three supermarkets, two post offices, and four banks within a mile of my home in SRQ.

It’s cool to live a twenty minute drive away from the SRQ airport, and no more than seventy minutes away from a larger airport (TPA in Tampa).

And I am less than a twenty minute drive away from our opera House, our Van Wezel performing arts centre, the fabulous Ringling Museums, and seven theatres.

All of this, and scores of restaurants – many scores!

Here in SRQ we also can listen to the twin public radio stations – WUSF and WSMR.

WUSF is largely talk, with a good supply of news and commentary from the BBC in London, some programming from Canada, and all night jazz.

WSMR is a twenty four hour classical music station.

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‘Tain’t so up on North Haven where there is but one Church, a couple of stores and may two or three restaurants.

The nearest supermarket is on the mainland, and you get there on a 75 minute ferry ride.

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The one Church on North Haven has a fabulous pastor named Dave Macy.  I met Dave and his wife on my visit to the Island.

One of the lifelines on North Haven is the Maine Public Broadcasting Network.  It has offered a rich menu of news, classical music and jazz.

Sadly MPBN has decided to change its format, away from music and towards “talk/prattle/chatter”.

Of this decision Dave Macy wrote:

“MPBN: Replacing the timeless with the ephemeral since 2012”

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Oh dear David, even from my place of privilege in SRQ I am “with you”.

So much of our culture is obsessed with the ephemeral rather than with the timeless

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So I ask my dear readers:

 “what parts of your lives are rooted in the ephemeral? “,

and

“what parts of your lives rejoice in the timeless?” .

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Please post your responses to this blog, or on Facebook

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Walking out

Penne and I walked out again this evening  (we've "done" 4 1/2 miles today).


Here is what we saw.


Evening Sun 1

My favourite Gnarly Tree 1

My favourite Gnarly Tree 2

Penne's favourite flowers - she always stops to sniff them

Penne and my right foot

Evening Sun 2



We were also seen ( and I look as old as I am).


Yes, we were seen by a woman from the neighbourhood who took this photo'. 

The woman "adores Penne" (and the feeling is mutual)..  

She used to walk with a man, but I did not know if it was her brother, her partner, or her spouse.

 Today after she and Penne had engaged in a "love fest" I said "we've seen each other so many times, but I do not know your name".

"Sophie" she replied.

"Is that short for Sophia?" I asked.  "No" she said, "when my parents moved to the U.S.A. from Greece they anglicized my name".

She related that she had been born in Chicago of Greek parents.

I went into a peroration about the name "Sophia", asking her if she knew its meaning.  She did not, so I let her know that "Sophia" is from the Greek language, and that it means "Wisdom".

Then  Sophie  began to get very weepy.  Amidst her tears she told me that her husband (the man who walked with her) had died a month ago.

(I had wondered why I had not seen him in a while, but there are some questions we never ask).

Sophie went on to tell me that her husband (I discovered that his name was Patrick) had also adored Penne, and that when he was very ill she would walk back home and say "I saw Penne today" - which brought him great pleasure.

I promised Sophie that I would pray for her and Patrick each morning.

BUT DAMN  if only I had known how much Patrick liked Penne I would have taken her to see him in his terminal illness.

WE NEVER KNOW


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

When I have time on my hands.....

.....  which is all too often ......

I amuse myself, and please my cats, by sprinkling some cat nip on the rug in my Lanai. 



That being done:

Adelaide eats the cat nip

Ada rolls in it.


Regretfully my camera is not fast enough to show the next move.   But after Adelaide's eating and Ada's rolling - all heck breaks out as Ada asserts her authority and takes off after Adelaide like a bat out of hell! (That's the amusing bit for me.)



Monday, 26 November 2012

Beauty

I saw this lovely photo' when my Facebook friend D.M. who lives in Alaska posted it. (He did not take it).

It's at the Denail National Park and Reserve in Alaska, and was taken on 21st Novr. 2012 at 9:30 a.m.



Sunday, 25 November 2012

Dream, dream, dream ( a reference to the Everly Brothers song)


I sometimes remember my dreams.

Last night (Nov 24th 2012) my dream started near an airport.  I was awaiting a sister, but the exits were the entrances, and the entrances were the exit – so we never connected.

Never mind – my mother appeared on the scene.  She was wearing a woolen coat and a fine hat.  She was carrying an unopened bottle of Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry, with fresh red rose attached to the cork.

Mum told me that Queen Elizabeth II had died, and that she was taking the sherry to Buckingham Palace in case they had run out of wine.

I responded by telling her that the “Special Branch” (British FBI) would not allow her to enter the Palace.

Not to be deterred Mum set out. I followed.  We were in a grand Piazza. The British Army was firing Twenty One gun salutes.  A choir was singing the “Skye Boat Song”.

But the Piazza was flooded. My indomitable Mum found an un-flooded alley way.  I followed.

We came across a little cafe.  Mum pushed her way past the folks who were standing in line so that we could enter cafe before they did.

A waitress handed us a menu which offered various baguette or bagel sandwiches.

Mum insisted on having a grilled pork chop.

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.....   upon waking it all came together.

1. On Thanksgiving I was talking with my English cousin about my sisters.

2. My siblings and I often referred to our stylish Mum as “The Queen Mother”.

3. Queen Elizabeth II visited our home city of Bristol, U.K. on 22nd November 2012.

4. Parts of the city were indeed flooded that day.

5. When I was in Calais (France) with Mum, our stepfather Len, my brother Martyn and his wife Wendy – and their daughter Laura back in 1994 we had dinner at a restaurant near the harbour. Mum, despite our protests, ordered two entrees, rather than a starter and an entree. Ne’er mind. She always had a good appetite.

DREAMS ARE USUALLY ROOTED IN LIFE EXPERIENCES.