Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Random High School flashback

Back in High School I saw a movie called "Electric Dreams". It was about an architect who gets finagled into buying a high tech computer (a relative rarity in 1984)that can do all sorts of things around his house. The long and short is that the architect falls in love with a neighbor musician...and the computer comes to life and ALSO falls in "love" with her and begins a war with the owner for her affection. Okay - a CRAZY premise, but good movies tap into a fear of the new and exploit it...and there were plenty of us who were afraid of computers in the mid 80's. This move is not available on DVD, but there are snippets on youtube. Here is a great duet scene with the musician (Virginia Madsen) and the computer...but she doesn't realized it is the computer.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Rogation Sunday

Here's a view of our 'walk about' yesterday for Rogation Day - processing around the outside of the Church in a symbolic 'beating of the bounds' as we sang the Litany Hymn.
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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Baseball weekend

We had a wonderful weekend of baseball.
Friday night we went to the Tigers game. Even though our Tigers lost (stranded a lot of players on base)it is always fun to be at a game at Comerica. Thank you to Ned Berget, head trainer for the LA Angels of Anaheim, for the tickets. Ned attends St. John's whenever he is in Detroit.

Saturday Andrew had a tournament with his 10 year old travel team. They played in a Fed Ball league, and will for 3 more tournaments in preparation for the 10 year old Little League tournament at the end of June/beginning of July. Feb ball rules are much more agressive, and use 'oversize' barrel bats (not allowed in regular Little League). The team lost the first game and won the second of the day. Andrew did pretty well, getting a single, hit by a pitch, and struck out twice (once in each game). In the field he made some good plays too (Second, Third, and Left/Right field). However he got thrown out stealing second and home (but the one at home was a VERY bad call).

After the tournament game we drove back from Canton and made it back in time for Andrew and Sam's Little League scrimmage. They came back from behind and won.

On Sunday after the 8am service Jennifer took Andrew to the third game of the tournament, and they lost by one run, knocking them out of the tournament. Andrew got a double and a strikeout. Tonight William had a practice.

Thank you to Lynn Jones for the great photos from the tournament.


Friday, April 25, 2008

Laughing so hard my side hurts!

Every once in a while I pop in on www.standfirminfaith.com , a website chronicling the strange and sorry doings of the Episcopal Church. And even stranger are the contributions in the comments sections by various regular posters. One of them is a fellow named Irenaus.

Recently the current Presiding Bishop has been taking advantage of her pulpit to push a 'green' agenda (she is an oceanographer by training). For her official Easter message she decided to talk about global warming and how over production of beef hurts the environment because of Bovine Flatulence (yes, boys and girls - Cow Farts as a part of the easter message!)

Recently she spoke on 'earth day' and recommended the use of "SPORKS" (spoon fork combos) to save the environment. She also recommended public transit (I wonder if she uses it in NYC).

Anyway, the commenters on Stand Firm went crazy over the SPORK and very silly! Ireneaus takes the cake with this diddy

Spork of ages, cleft for me
Let me spear my peas with thee
Let my pasta on thee twirl
Give my latte one more swirl
Yea, I laud thee, double tool
Spoon-and-fork that savest fuel

If you want to see the assorment of comments go to


Another thing we figured out...

After the US News and World Report, and Christianity Today, both published article about the surge in traditional worship among the younger generations, we now see this survey done in reaching the unchurched. Of course, for it to work we need to share our faith and invite our friends/neighbors/co-workers/enemies to our victorian gothic space to experience it..and most importantly experience HIM!

LifeWay Research finds unchurched prefer cathedrals to contemporary church designs
Written by Tobin Perry

NASHVILLE, Tenn.-- People who don’t go to church may be turned off by a recent trend toward more utilitarian church buildings. By a nearly 2-to-1 ratio over any other option, unchurched Americans prefer churches that look more like a medieval cathedral than what most think of as a more contemporary church building.

The findings come from a recent survey conducted by LifeWay Research for the Cornerstone Knowledge Network (CKN), a group of church-focused facilities development firms. The online survey included 1,684 unchurched adults – defined as those who had not attended a church, mosque or synagogue in the past six months except for religious holidays or special events.

"Despite billions being spent on church buildings, there was an overall decline in church attendance in the 1990s," according to Jim Couchenour, director of marketing and ministry services for Cogun, Inc., a founding member of CKN. "This led CKN to ask, ‘As church builders what can we do to help church leaders be more intentional about reaching people who don’t go to church?’"

When given an assortment of four photos of church exteriors and given 100 "preference points" to allocate between them, the unchurched used an average of 47.7 points on the most traditional and Gothic options. The three other options ranged from an average of 18.5 points to 15.9 points.

"We may have been designing buildings based on what we think the unchurched would prefer," Couchenour concluded. "While multi-use space is the most efficient, we need to ask, ‘Are there ways to dress up that big rectangular box in ways that would be more appealing to the unchurched?’"

"Quite honestly, this research surprised us," said Ed Stetzer, director of LifeWay Research and LifeWay Christian Resource’s missiologist in residence. "We expected they’d choose the more contemporary options, but they were clearly more drawn to the aesthetics of the Gothic building than the run-of-the-mill, modern church building."

Stetzer suggested that the unchurched may prefer the more aesthetically pleasing look of the Gothic cathedral because it speaks to a connectedness to the past. Young unchurched people were particularly drawn to the Gothic look. Those between the ages of 25 to 34 used an average of 58.9 of their preference points on the more ornate church exterior. Those over the age of 70 only used an average of 32.9 of their 100 preference points on that particular church exterior.

The Gothic style was preferred by both unchurched Roman Catholics and unchurched Protestants, according to the survey. The average unchurched Roman Catholics gave the design more than 56 of their preference points.

"I don’t like modern churches, they seem cold," said one survey respondent who chose the Gothic design. "I like the smell of candles burning, stained-glass windows, [and] an intimacy that’s transcendent."

More than half of the unchurched indicated the design of a church building would impact their enjoyment of a visit to church. Twenty-two percent said the design of the church would strongly impact their enjoyment of the visit and 32 percent indicated it would have some impact. More than a third said it would have no impact whatsoever on their visit.

The entire article can be found at
Thank you to Titusonenine for this lead!


Thursday, April 24, 2008


From the Rector's Rambling 4/20 and 4/27

Communication is very important for this Church. It is the vehicle for sharing information and for promoting the parish so that all everyone who are members can be up to date as to what is going on in the parish, and to draw more and more people to the parish that they may come to know Jesus and become holy too.
Since 1905 the parish has published The Chronicle, which you have in your hand. Originally a monthly newsletter, it is now our weekly ‘insert’ in the Order of Service given to those attending Sunday worship. Our monthly newsletter, started in the late 1990’s, is The Eagle. This is mailed to all parishioners, friends of the parish/parishioners, and anyone who has signed the guestbook in the past 7 years. This mailing list is approaching 850 addresses. We also publish 3 special editions of The Eagle that gets mailed to houses and apartments neighboring the Church and clergy housing, another 650 addresses.
Electronically, we have our outstanding website, www.stjohnsdetroit.org . Begun in the 1990’s by late parishioner C.A. Hocker, it is now maintained by parishioner Chris Sayers. In addition to The Eagle and The Chronicle published each week on the site, one can find an up-to-date calendar, event listings, organization profiles, sermons, and other information about the parish and its ministries.
We also have an email mailing list which allows for quick dissemination of information, announcements, and prayer requests- stjohnsdetroit@yahoogroups.com. If you are not subscribed to this list drop us an email at officemanager@stjohnsdetroit.org and we will make sure you get the latest information delivered right to your inbox.
Keeping everyone informed is important, especially since our members are spread out far and wide across the Metro Detroit region. Be sure to check these resources regularly so you can participate actively in the life of the parish.
But there is another important aspect of communications, and that is promotion and public relations. Although it sounds crassly secular, we need to be ‘in the marketplace’ to promote St. John’s Church. The world around us is clambering for peoples’ attention. The Church in general and St. John’s in particular, needs to get the message of salvation heard over the cacophony of sound seeking to ignore or contradict The Good News of Jesus Christ.
There are several ways that we seek to do this. The website is a major source of contact to the outside world. Several people have told us that they found St. John’s through a Google search or linked from another church organization. Others heard about St. John’s and used the website to find out more information before visiting. 350 to 500 people a week visit our website and look at, on average, three pages on the site.
Another way we promote the parish is through advertising. We advertise in various local newspapers around major holy days, when those not regular about church attendance are looking for a place to worship. We also advertise special musical events on the classical radio station, and some general advertising on WJR-AM and its webcasts. We also mail to nearby housing notices of events and holy days. And let us not forget our electronic signboard, which is seen by thousands of drivers daily.
But all this advertising does not replace the more important and fruitful approach of individual parishioners inviting people to join them at St. John’s. Advertising may bring “brand recognitions” (as they say in the Ad business), but word of mouth from trusted sources is the best promotion. Be sure to invite people to Church and follow up with prayers for them and offers of rides down here. They may say no at first, but you never know when God is going to use you to bring them into relationship to Himself through this parish!
But there is another important aspect of communications, and that is promotion and public relations. Although it sounds crassly secular, we need to be ‘in the marketplace’ to promote St. John’s Church. The world around us is clambering for peoples’ attention. The Church in general and St. John’s in particular, needs to get the message of salvation heard over the cacophony of sound seeking to ignore or contradict The Good News of Jesus Christ.
There are several ways that we seek to do this. The website is a major source of contact to the outside world. Several people have told us that they found St. John’s through a Google search or linked from another church organization. Others heard about St. John’s and used the website to find out more information before visiting. 350 to 500 people a week visit our website and look at, on average, three pages on the site.
Another way we promote the parish is through advertising. We advertise in various local newspapers around major holy days, when those not regular about church attendance are looking for a place to worship. We also advertise special musical events on the classical radio station, and some general advertising on WJR-AM and its webcasts. We also mail to nearby housing notices of events and holy days. And let us not forget our electronic signboard, which is seen by thousands of drivers daily.
But all this advertising does not replace the more important and fruitful approach of individual parishioners inviting people to join them at St. John’s. Advertising may bring “brand recognitions” (as they say in the Ad business), but word of mouth from trusted sources is the best promotion. Be sure to invite people to Church and follow up with prayers for them and offers of rides down here. They may say no at first, but you never know when God is going to use you to bring them into relationship to Himself through this parish!


Thinking about "Earth Day"

This past Tuesday was "earth day", secular holiday started in the 1970's to 'save the earth'. Of course, with the global warming scare/hoax going on, earth day has reclaimed some popularity.

Earth day this year happened to also be trash day in my neighborhood. I thought of this since it followed a wonderful weather weekend. Because of that, there were LOTS of paper bags and trash cans of yard clippings, sticks, etc. on the curb to be composted. Also next to the cans were the recycling bins with paper (a naturally renewable resource) glass, metals and plastics.

Recycling makes us feel good. And on earth day perhaps even more so.

But what gets lost in all that is the one completely NOT renewable resource, one which impacts national security and causes pollution - Diesel Fuel.
Because we have Trash, Yard Clippings, and Recycling we had SIX truck trips down our block on earth day (6 because the three different trucks do each side of the block separately!!!).

Is wasting 4 (perhaps 5) extra trips of diesel fuel worth recycling much of what is otherwise renewable resources?


Newest Video download

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One of the things I am hoping to do with the video downloads is to introduce people to St. John's and take the 'unknown' factor away from folks who are walking in for the first time. I hope to have highlights of our 3 Sunday Services (8am already being downloaded - see here). I also have downloaded a video of how to drive to St. John's, so it will 'look familiar' to those coming down for the first time.
Then perhaps we can do some 3 minute teaching videos, and special event ones as well.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Window restoration in New York...a visitor to St. John's

A few weeks ago we had a visitor to St. John's, who asked to take some pictures of some of our windows. She was doing a local presentation on "arts and crafts" era stained glass, of which she had read in a book that St. John's has many.

As we were speaking, I realized that her name/face were familiar. She is doing the massive window restoration project at St. Thomas Fifth Avenue in NYC. I listen to their glorious choral services (4 days a week) on the internet, and have known the Rector there since he was in Boston and I worked with him at the St. Michael's Conference in Massachusetts. She was also my wife's parish priest when she lived in Boston (Fr. Andrew Mead).

Anyway - here is an article on the restoration of the window project - $20 Million Dollars!

A Gigantic Job for Window Fixers
After a thousand years artisans are still using muscle, sweat and painstaking craftsmanship to preserve exquisitely painted pieces of colored glass that adorn majestic places of worship.
Now, in the most expensive restoration of stained glass ever undertaken in the United States, conservation is under way on the famous Whitefriars windows of St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. It will require three years and $20 million to renew the splendor of 33 windows, with their 9 million pieces of glass. Nine windows on the north side of the church were removed in January and February and their absence hidden by translucent scrims. Then the workers came in from the cold to toil in nine glass-restoration studios from Massachusetts to California. The largest windows will each require 4,500 worker hours of intricate effort — essentially, the labor of one artisan for two and a half years.
Built in 1914, St. Thomas Church is renowned for its choir school and for recitals on its Ernest M. Skinner pipe organ, as well as for defining events like last year’s funeral for Brooke Astor, who lived to 105.
Yet its painted Gothic Revival windows, which were installed from 1927 to 1974, have never been restored. All but two were made by James Powell & Sons of Whitefriars in London, a revered and now long-shuttered manufacturer that distinctively signed each window with a tiny glass portrait of a white-robed friar.
“It’s a great privilege to be working on this glass,” said Michael W. Padovan, a glass restorer in Frenchtown, N.J. “It may be labor-intensive — but it is a labor of love.”
Five of his artisans are carefully reconstructing the “Goodness Window,” so named for the good deeds done by those depicted on it, including St. Barnabas and Florence Nightingale. It is 32 feet tall by 18 feet wide.
But its goodness seemed decidedly careworn last November when, under a wan sun on a wind-blasted scaffold 50 feet up outside of the church, Phil Seaman took stock of its condition. “This isn’t your everyday construction job,” said Mr. Seaman, a job superintendent for Westerman Construction Company, the site project manager. “These windows are massive. But they are fragile.”
In January workers began removing the windows from the north side of the church, which was designed by the firm of the architect Ralph Adams Cram.
Mr. Seaman’s crews had built nine 30-foot-high plywood construction sheds to provide platforms for the removal and return of the windows. The shed walls were fitted with plexiglass to let light through while keeping heated air within, in the absence of windows.
“As a whole, we have to deal with this as a large construction project,” said Julie L. Sloan, a glass-conservation consultant from North Adams, Mass., who is overseeing the project. “Yet each window is treated as a different artifact — actually, work of art.”
Therefore every window has been digitally documented, and its condition recorded for future restorers and scholars.
Unobstructed glass is basic to the power of an art that relies on the beauty of transmitted light. But the ravages of entropy at St. Thomas and most older churches go well beyond dirt to a systematic failure of the metal holding the glass together. The lead has deteriorated from thermal expansion, corroding in whitish, fuzzy patches that are to lead as rust is to iron. The glass is cracking as well, causing dirty-water leaks that have congealed into a hard crust through the years.
Not to mention sagging: Some windows have bowed out after years of expanding and contracting in the sun.
What is more, in 1982 a protective exterior glazing believed at the time to be useful for energy conservation was installed at St. Thomas, as in hundreds of other churches. But the glazing trapped interior condensation and heat, which accelerated the deterioration of the lead.
The church took care to remain open for services, even as the windows were gradually being removed. In January workers began installing a Potemkin Village of scrims — giant, faux stained-glass window images printed on vinyl. They were hoisted 55 feet above the sanctuary to become translucent replacements for the missing windows.
“We wanted the church to continue to function normally during the entire time of the restoration,” said Max Henderson-Begg, the church’s verger.
Although the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission does not need to approve the restoration since it conserves the existing windows in a landmarked building, the commission does need to approve a transfer of air rights from the church to pay for a host of repairs — including the windows — to the developer of Tower Verre, just down the block at 53 West 53rd Street. The University Club at 1 West 54th Street also seeks to sell its air rights as part of the deal.
The tower, designed by the award-winning French architect Jean Nouvel, has been opposed by neighbors at community board meetings and at a commission hearing for its size and its impact. William H. Wright II, the senior warden, or lay leader, of St. Thomas, said that if the rights transfer were not approved, “we’d have to look at other avenues for funding, including a capital campaign,” adding, “Our windows would literally fall out if we did not do this restoration work.”
However, the windows seemed reluctant to be dislodged in late January. It took three days to release the first one, a 30-footer. The primordial glazing putty was “hard as a rock,” said Ms. Sloan, who has restored windows at West Point and at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. “We had to use chisels to get it out.”
Now, in Mr. Padovan’s workshop, the Jersey Art Stained Glass Studio in Frenchtown, restorers are removing more than 10,000 pieces of glass from their lead frames on the 420-square-foot surface of the “Goodness Window.”
After each piece of glass is photographed to document its condition, artisans make rubbings of all the window panels on acid-free vellum, adding notations about any lead or glass repairs. “With this rubbing,” Mr. Padovan said, “we are speaking to future restorers who will be able to bring the panels back to the condition that was intended by the original artists.”
The colors “are incredibly stable and durable,” Mr. Padovan said of the thick, heavy, lushly hued original glass, known as Norman slab glass.
Not so for “the leads,” the heavy lead channels that hold the pieces of glass in place. They are called cames (rhymes with “games”); new custom-made cames must be hand-bent to fit each piece of glass perfectly.
Research has shown that 20th-century window makers used pure lead that was too soft. More durable lead alloys were used in the Middle Ages. Mr. Padovan’s restoration-quality lead has 2 percent copper, tin and antimony, and is expected to last 100 to 120 years.
Chiseling off the top flange of each of the lead cames — to remove the glass without breaking it — is exacting work. The restorers toil calmly on the third floor of an 1883 red-brick building not far from the Delaware River that was once the meeting hall of a fraternal order, the Society of the Red Men.
Historically, workers were endangered by the toxicity of the lead. These days lead is wetted to prevent lead particles from becoming airborne; exhaust fans remove air from the studio. Mr. Padovan and his crew undergo regular blood tests, “and I’ve been O.K. for 35 years,” said Mr. Padovan, 55, who as a child was an apprentice to his father, Warren.
After the north-side windows are restored and replaced, the workers will attend to the church’s 25-foot rose window to the west, and then to the windows behind the church’s ornately carved 80-foot-high reredos, or decorative screen. Then the scaffolding will be moved to the south, and the windows there will be conserved.
All the glass must be made whole for a day of celebration, on Nov. 21, 2011, the 100th anniversary of the laying of the church’s cornerstone.
“They’re expected to last 100 years,” Mr. Padovan said. “Then it’ll be time for the next restoration.”

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Comparing notes

According to various news estimates....

The Pope's visit - 45,000 people at Mass at Nationals Stadium in DC
60,000 at Mass at Yankee Stadium in NY. 30,000 youths at rally in Yonkers.
Hundred's of thousands line the streets in NYC and Washington to get a glimpse of him.

The Dali Lama in Ann Arbor - 4 sessions of 7,000 each (many of whom attended all 4 sessions). Perhaps if he did Michigan Stadium or Comerica Park? Probably not....

Just struck me as interesting.....


New Rector of parish in Dallas is a canadian Bishop!

I studied in seminary with two men (Fr. Tommy Bye and Fr. Patrick Smith) who were parishioners from the very large Church of the Incarnation in Dallas, Texas (it is one of the 10 largest parishes in the Episcopal Church). www.incarnation.org
Over the years I have known clergy who have served there as well in various offices.

Now comes word that the new Rector is the Bishop of Saskatchewan - Bishop Anthony Burton. I met Bishop Burton when St. John's hosted a meeting of a group of Bishops a few years ago, and knew of his reputation from friends who had ministered under him.
Good for Incarnation, Dallas, and Bishop Burton. And prayers for the Diocese of Saskatchewan as they get ready to have a new bishop. May they get one as faithful and loving as Bishop Burton.

Pastoral letter to be read in the Diocese of Saskatchewan
Sunday April 20, 2008
Dear friends, This is a difficult letter to write but I must let you know that I have submitted my resignation to the Metropolitan of Rupert’s Land effective September 1, 2008. I begin that day a new ministry as Rector of the Church of the Incarnation in Dallas, Texas. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the privilege of serving with you these past 17 years, first as Dean and, since 1993, as Bishop. Our sense of call to Texas is a positive one but at the same time I felt that it would be an opportunity for the Diocese to be overseen with a fresh pair of eyes, and to enjoy the excitement and momentum a change of bishop brings. Archbishop Clarke will soon be in touch with our Executive Committee to start the process to elect a new Bishop. The person you will choose to carry this ministry forward will be greatly blessed. This Diocese is well known for the singular spirit of cooperation, good will, and thoughtfulness you bring to the challenges of the day. I have good hope and every reason to believe that God has another fruitful season in store for you. It was said that St. Paul had a thousand friends and loved each as his own soul, and died a thousand deaths when the time came for him to leave them. I suppose every departing bishop feels something of this sense of loss but I feel it acutely today because of the exceptional generosity and openness of heart with which you have consistently encouraged me. I hope to visit with many of you before we go. Anna, Caroline, Peter and I wish you God’s blessing as you continue steadfast in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers.
Yours in Christ,
Anthony Burton
Bishop of Saskatchewan

Another interesting quote from the Pope's ecumenical speach

Catholic News Service quoted this from the talk given by the Pope for Christian Unity.
Although the Episcopal News Service article mentions the issue of Churches splintering over "so called prophetic actions" of people making it up as they go along, the CNS continues with the positive truth of Christian revealed TRUTH -holding to the faith that Jesus entrusted to His Apostles and which we proclaim at St. John's (by His Grace)!

From CNS - Christians cannot pretend that there is no such a thing as Christian truth, he said. The Christian faith is not a matter of picking and choosing what to believe and what to discard from the Scriptures and Christian tradition. When Christians think they only need to follow their own consciences and find a church that suits their individual tastes, the result is a "continual proliferation of communities which often eschew institutional structures and minimize the importance of doctrinal content for Christian living," he said. Pope Benedict said that when a church, like the Catholic Church, asserts its doctrines, it is not throwing up an obstacle to progress in Christian unity. "A clear, convincing testimony to the salvation wrought for us in Christ Jesus has to be based upon the notion of normative apostolic teaching," he said. Christians must hold the faith that Jesus gave to his apostles. Only by holding on to the sure teaching of the Gospel, he said, will the Christian churches be able to find the basis for unity and for a united witness to a troubled world.

ENS article - http://www.episcopalchurch.org/79901_96543_ENG_HTM.htm
CNS article - http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0802148.htm


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Being in denial...not just a river in Egypt

This was excerpted on Kendall Harmon's Blog www.kendallharmon.net/t19 from the Episcopal News Service's coverage of the Pope's ecumenical gathering in NYC.
Yes, Benedict was speaking about the Episcopal Church, but probably not singled out...he probably means this about mainline protestantism in American in general. The Lutherans (ELCA), Presbyterians (PCUSA) and Methodist all have similar issues we have in TEC. But the splintering is particularly true for us in the Anglican Communion.

Benedict decried the "splintering" of Christian churches over "so-called 'prophetic actions' that are based on a hermeneutic not always consonant with the datum of Scripture and Tradition." Such actions, he said, cause Christian communities to "give up the attempt to act as a unified body, choosing instead to function according to the idea of 'local options,'" thus losing their connections to Christians in other times and places. Some, but not all, interpreted that as a veiled reference to controversy in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.

"I think he did us the honor of giving us a serious address that I think needs to be read and reflected upon," said New York's Bishop Mark Sisk. Asked whether he thought Benedict had singled out the Episcopal Church in his remarks, Sisk responded, "It's possible--but I would be rather surprised. I don't think he was trying to send shots across the bow at particular churches. I think he spoke in a respectful way and I didn't see that as a shot at the Episcopal Church."


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

More tinkering with the new video camera

I downloaded a St. John's Video to Youtube, which supports a much larger video than blogger does.



The latest on Bishop MacBurney

Inhibition Against Bishop MacBurney Lifted Temporarily
Posted on: April 14, 2008 - The Living Church

The inhibition against the Rt. Rev. Edward H. MacBurney, retired Bishop of Quincy, has been temporarily lifted following an announcement on April 14 from the canon to the Presiding Bishop.

“In light of the personal tragedy that Bishop and Mrs. MacBurney are facing, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori wishes to offer the bishop the opportunity to function liturgically in any services for his son if he desires to do so,” said the Rev. Canon Charles Robertson in an e-mail message.

A disciplinary “Review Committee” recently issued a presentment, or ecclesiastical indictment, of Bishop MacBurney, and on April 2 Bishop Jefferts Schori prohibited Bishop MacBurney from sacramental ministry pending his trial. The 80-year-old bishop is accused of performing a service of confirmation in June 2007 at an Anglican church in San Diego. In 2006, the congregation of Holy Trinity voted overwhelmingly to leave The Episcopal Church. It is now affiliated with the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone. Bishop James R. Mathes of San Diego filed the initial complaint against Bishop MacBurney.

Bishop MacBurney’s adopted son, Page Grubb, died of cancer April 4. Bishop MacBurney married Mr. Grubb’s mother, Anne, who had been widowed when her three children were still young. A memorial wake service for Mr. Grubb is scheduled at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Calamus, Iowa, on April 18 with the funeral the following day at St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church in Long Grove.

Bishop MacBurney said the Presiding Bishop telephoned him Sunday night to inform him of her decision, and to apologize for the timing of the inhibition.

Please continue to pray for The Bishop, Anne, and for the Episcopal Church at large

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Monday, April 14, 2008

New toy....

Trying to download video from my new camera


Ugh - two Grand Slams!

by the White Sox! I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't spent a blustery Sunday at home (all the boys practices were cancelled due to the snow, wind, and wet fields) watching the game. Even down 7-0 I thought perhaps they could chip away and come back, but after that second grand slam! UGH.

Come on Tigers!


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Tigers Win...finally!!!

7-2 over Boston

Now that the winless monkey is off their back, they can get down to playing well the next 154 games!

Pudge gets his 2500th hit!
Inge continues to play well.
Clete Thomas - a sacrifice bunt and a nice hit - way to go new guy!

Go Tigers!


Crosses to bear

As the Episcopal Church wallows deeper in the mire of litigiousness (ecclesiastical as well as secular) as a result of its theological decline, we have greater and greater opportunities to carry the cross.

It is a Cross to Bishop MacBurney, to his friends, and the Church at large that he has been inhibited for providing sacramental care for a congregation that left the Episcopal Church and is under the authority of another portion of the Anglican Communion.

Remember that Bishop MacBurney has done confirmations for us at St. John's by Bishop Gibbs' permission, and was here in January to ordain our Curate, Fr. Fraser. He also adopted me in the ordination process when another diocese wouldn't send this young traditionalist, and ordained me a deacon before he retired in 1994. (all priests are deacons for at least 6 months)

Is there any shame among the leadership of the Episcopal Church?

Here is Bishop Keith Ackerman's statement.

I am beside myself with grief over this unnecessary action taken against my predecessor especially at a time when he is mourning the death of his son this past Friday. I am particularly saddened that with the exception of the Bishop who initiated this action those involved in determining this course have never spoken with Bishop MacBurney directly. In the midst of this difficult time for Bishop MacBurney and his family I am really much more concerned about the implications of St Matthew 18:15-17 as it relates to how reconciliation is pursued than I am with Title IV, Canon 1, Section 6 as it relates to disciplining my dear brother. In the meantime we are ministering to the needs of the MacBurney family.

X Keith L Ackerman, SSC
Bishop of Quincy
President, Forward in Faith North America

PRAY, PRAY, PRAY for the Episcopal Church, for its conversion to the Faith handed to us by the Apostles from Jesus Himself!


Sunday, April 06, 2008

Another Martyr enters the Kingdom....

It has been said that the blood of the Martyrs are the seed of the Church. May God use this seed toward the conversion of the the people of Iraq - to the revealed faith of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Kim Gamel / Associated Press
BAGHDAD -- An Assyrian Orthodox priest was shot to death Saturday by gunmen using silencers as the Christian cleric and his wife returned home after a trip to the market in Baghdad.
The latest attack against Iraq's Christian minority drew a new plea from Pope Benedict XVI for Iraqis to "find the way of peace to build a just and tolerant society."
Father Youssef Adel, 47, had tried to escape the sectarian violence, fleeing the predominantly Sunni neighborhood of Dora at a time when insurgents were burning down churches and uprooting Christians from their homes on threat of death.

He moved with his wife, Lamia, to a relatively safe area in the mostly Shiite central district of Karradah and presided over services at the nearby St. Peter and Paul church, according to an assistant who spoke on condition of anonymity because of security concerns.
But in a tragic example of the dangers that continue to face Iraqis despite a sharp drop in violence, Adel was shot to death by gunmen near the gate of his house, another priest in the same church said, also declining to be identified for fear of becoming a target himself.
The gunmen used silencers, and his wife who was with him did not realize what happened until she saw her husband collapse, the priest said.
Neighbors and members of the congregation wept as they flocked to Adel's house to pay their condolences to his wife. The funeral was scheduled for Sunday.
"Everybody is shocked," said Matti Zaki, a fellow priest who was among the mourners. "The sadness is everywhere in the house. I cannot find the suitable words to express the ordeal the family is going through."
Christians have frequently been caught up in the violence or been targeted in this predominantly Muslim country.
The body of Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, one of Iraq's most senior Chaldean Catholic clerics, was found on March 13, about two weeks after he was seized by gunmen in the volatile northwestern city of Mosul.
Adel's assistant said the priest, who was married but had no children, directed a religiously mixed school for Muslims and Christians at the church.
Adel, an engineer who became a priest about six years ago, was described as a compassionate man who preached about love and peace, and was heavily involved in helping orphans and widows and other charities.
"We never expected today's ugly killing because the assassinated priest has no enemies at all," Archbishop Severius Hawa said


Saturday, April 05, 2008

a Glorious Spring Saturday!

What a nice day today.

Jennifer is out of town with Meg at the La Leche League of Michigan Conference and they are on their way back as I type.

Last night the boys participated in their Karate club's demonstration night. Sam helped a black belt with his formal testing, Andrew introduced a section, and William and another boy led a group of little kids in an exercise routine. 4 kids were awarded their black belts last night, and my boys were invited to the afterparty. 11pm is really late for 11, 10 and 7 year olds, even if they are hyped up on sugar!

Today was a gorgeous weather day. The boys had their baseball team photos taken (Sam and Drew in the AM, William in the afternoon). It was nice to see other players and parents from last year, and see who is playing on which team and with whom. Both teams also had practices today, and for first practices things went pretty well. I am helping to coach both Sam and Andrew's Triple A team, and William's Single A team.

In between pictures and practices I re-wired with grounded plugs all the sockets in the basement, and gave the house a thorough weekend cleaning (vacuum, mop, wipe down counters/appliances - I finished the last bathroom about and hour ago). The boys played outside most of the day - catch, wave-board, bikes, etc. I also did the meals and yes, we had vegetables!

The boys put their heads on the pillow at 9:15 and were all asleep by 9:30.

I can tell I am going to need an advil - lots of stretching and bending for both housework and baseball.

But a glorious day all the way around!


Friday, April 04, 2008

Scripture, and its power....

I came across this wonderful quote today from Father Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM, the Pontifical Household preacher, via the Zenit news service.

Reading the Bible without faith is like trying to read a book at night: nothing can be read, or at least one does not read what is essential. Reading Scripture with faith means reading it in reference to Christ, grasping what refers to him on every page, just as he did with the disciples of Emmaus.

Jesus remains with us in two ways: in the Eucharist and in his word. He is present in both: in the Eucharist under the form of food, in the Word under the form of light and truth. The word has a great advantage over the Eucharist. Only those who already believe and are in a state of grace can receive communion; but everyone, believers and nonbelievers, married people and divorced people, can approach the word of God. Indeed, to become a believer, the most normal route is that of listening to God’s word.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Opening Day!

The rain held off and the Tigers had Opening Day yesterday! By 10am the crowds were gathering and tailgating. I wondered over to Hockeytown Cafe at 10:30am and every level, including the outside deck and side yard were packed with people.

I had the good fortune to run into Paula Tutman of WDIV4 news, who is a good friend of a parishioner and a visitor to St. John's, and she interviewed me about Opening Day - so I got to put in a plug for St. John's. I also wandered over to the Opera House, where WJR was broadcasting to say hello to Frank Beckmann. He then invited me on the air between the 10am news and interviewing Chris Ilitch (President of Ilitch Holdings, son of the owner of the Tigers). 2 or 3 minutes of air time on WJR is something we couldn't afford to purchase!

And the highlight of the day was going to the game. Parishioner Steve Elmer's business partner couldn't come, so he invited me to the game. GREAT seats - 4 rows behind the visitor's dugout! Here was the view from our seats!

Unfortunately, the Tigers lost in 11 innings. But it was a wonderful day, and I am looking forward to a Spring, Summer, and Fall of baseball!!!