Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bob Dylan and other artists participate in the long-awaited album inspired by the Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams

From here:

A page from Hank Williams' notebook.
BOB DYLAN has long claimed Hank Williams as an influence and an inspiration. In his 2004 memoir, “Chronicles Volume One,” Mr. Dylan recounted his discovery of that country giant’s music in the 1950s. “I became aware that in Hank’s recorded songs were the archetype rules of poetic songwriting,” he wrote. “The architectural forms are like marble pillars.”

Mr. Dylan added that when he got word of Williams’s death at the age of 29 on New Year’s Day, 1953, the news “hit me squarely on the shoulder.”

“Intuitively I knew, though, that his voice would never drop out of sight or fade away,” he continued.

Bob Dylan
With a new project titled “The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams,” Mr. Dylan is doing his part to keep the work of one of America’s greatest songwriters — the author of classics like “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “Cold Cold Heart,” and “Hey Good Lookin’ ” — in the spotlight. The album collects the lyrics for a dozen unrecorded songs by Williams, set to melodies and recorded by an array of rock and country stars, including Jack White, Norah Jones, Merle Haggard and Sheryl Crow. “The Lost Notebooks” is being released on Oct. 4 on Mr. Dylan’s imprint, Egyptian Records, in conjunction with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Columbia Records. (The only previous release on Egyptian was a 1997 group tribute to the country pioneer Jimmie Rodgers.)

Artists who participated in the album, which has been in the works for almost a decade, expressed their sense of honor at being asked to complete the work of such a monumental musician. “There’s a lot of magic still left in these songs,” said Alan Jackson, who opens the album with “You’ve Been Lonesome, Too.” Ms. Jones, who sings the bluesy, melancholy “How Many Times Have You Broken My Heart,” said she found the idea behind the project “really daunting,” but that “the people who were putting it together were doing it with respect and love and creativity, and I had trust in that.”

Read it all here.  Jakob Dylan also contributes to the album.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Rob Bell will leave Mars Hill to tour

From Mars Hill:

September 22, 2011

To our community of attendees, listeners, and supporters:

The infamous quote “change is the only constant” certainly holds true at Mars Hill. We have experienced ongoing changes that have improved and transformed—as well as at times unintentionally created tension or heartache within our community. And now, we have another significant change to hold together.

Rob Bell
Feeling the call from God to pursue a growing number of strategic opportunities, our founding pastor Rob Bell, has decided to leave Mars Hill in order to devote his full energy to sharing the message of God’s love with a broader audience.

It is with deeply mixed emotions that we announce this transition to you. We have always understood, encouraged, and appreciated the variety of avenues in which Rob’s voice and the message of God’s tremendous love has traveled over the past 12 years. And we are happy and hopeful that as Rob and Kristen venture ahead, they will find increasing opportunity to extend the heartbeat of that message to our world in new and creative ways.

Rob and Kristen started Mars Hill and helped create a church that removes the barriers to meeting Jesus. And while we recognize that no one person defines a community, we acknowledge the impact of Rob’s leadership, creativity, and biblical insights on our lives, and face a deep sadness at the loss of their presence in our community.

Rob Bell at Mars Hill.
Rob will be addressing our community in both Gatherings on Sunday, September 25, to describe his journey and call to pursue a new venture. For the remainder of this year, he will be teaching our Acts Series several times with his last teaching being in December.

As we plan for the future, Shane Hipps will continue to teach our community and we will be inviting other familiar voices to teach on Sundays during the spring of 2012.

We continue to be amazed by the grace and trust of the community we serve. Your voice and heart will be important elements of how we move forward together as a community of believers. We invite you to continue on this journey with us and ask that you would join us in prayer while we carefully discern what lies ahead for the Mars Hill community.

Grace and Peace,

The Elder Team,
Ministry Leadership Team,
and staff of Mars Hill

And here is a statement from Rob Bell:

Have I ever told you the story about
the smoke machine at the wedding?
Or the time I hit my head and had
to be told who I was? Or the one about
Eleazar and the elephant?

I didn't think so. Which means it's time
for a tour. Over the next year or so
I'll be out on the Fit to Smash Ice Tour
with the good chance I'll be somewhere
near where you live. As usual it's several
hours of entirely new content I haven't given
before, exploring all the exhilarating ways
we stumble and fumble and fail and bleed
and limp along and just how good and
sacred and thrilling it all is.

I'm hoping to break some new ground
on this tour, going places we haven't
gone before. I want you to be inspired,
provoked, challenged and moved in all
kinds of new ways throughout the
evening so that you leave Fit to Smash

Read more about it here and here and here and here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The new All Saints' Church opens its doors in Woodbridge

From here:

Children pile on to the sign for the new All Saints Church in Woodbridge, VA.
Sunlight streams through the new huge windows down on the large stone cross in the foyer floor.  The large white cross has four smaller crosses at each of its four corners, representing Christ’s commandment to reach the four corners of the world, explains Heidi Reichert, the communications director for All Saints Church.

This “Jerusalem Cross” image reappears over and over throughout All Saints’ Church’s new building on Gideon Drive, next to Hylton Memorial Chapel.

All Saints Church
All Saints moved into their new building this last Sunday and is planning a free community open house celebration—complete with a concert, moonbounce, and car show—on Friday and Saturday October 7 and 8.

This move is just one more step in All Saints’ development. A descendant of the first Anglican church in Prince William County, which dates back to a chapel in Dumfries in 1667, All Saints held its first service in 1970 and has been meeting at a quant brick steeple building on Saratoga Lane.

“We were pretty crammed in the other building.” said Reichert. Offices, children’s ministry and just congregational fellowship were constantly overcrowded. So in 2001, the church purchased 27 acres on Gideon Drive to expand their growing church.

While they were raising funds to begin the work on the new church, however, they came to a standstill in 2003 as a result of the “crisis in The Episcopal Church following the divisive actions of its General Convention,” reads a church pamphlet. After a drawn out process, 99 percent of All Saints’ congregation voted to leave The Episcopal Church in 2006. That same year, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia allowed All Saints to retain ownership of the new property, but return the property on Saratoga Lane by December 2011, meanwhile allowing All Saints to rent the old building for $1 a year.

Inside the new Woodbridge, Virginia Anglican Church.
With the negotiations finalized, All Saints restarted their campaigns to build their new building.
The giant new building has offices for all staff as well as an office area on the third floor for the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic, which is part of the Anglican Church of North America. There are classrooms for all grades for Sunday School and a larger classroom for all the children to meet together during services to receive a sermon of their own. The lowest level is dedicated to the church’s youth program, with classrooms, a rec area, and a mini kitchen of their own.

All Saints is involved in many outreaches in the community and beyond, from ACTS to Care Net Pregnancy Resource Centers, to Good News Jail and Prison Ministry, to taking meals to the Hilda Barg Homeless Prevention Shelter.  “Any place that we provide finances, we try participate as well,” said Reichert.

Also big in their list of outreaches is a community-based Vacation Bible School, where host families invite children in their neighborhood to their homes for crafts and Bible classes rather than the traditional large gatherings at the church building.

The congregation gets settled in the new church.
The church holds three Sunday services, a traditional “contemplative” service with no music followed by two more contemporary services. There is also a prayer room which congregants can access through a security code 24/7. The church's goal is to eventually have someone praying in the prayer chapel around the clock.

Reichert explained that in the next phase of building plans for the church there will be a new and even larger sanctuary and the current one will be turned into a fellowship hall.

“We want our church to be a place where the community can find solace, find healing, and find God,” said Reichert.

Read it all here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Podcast: Archbishop Rowan Williams and funny-man Frank Skinner sit down for a conversation at Canterbury Cathedral

The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and broadcaster, writer and comedian Frank Skinner sit down for an engaging conversation on a variety of topics before a live audience at Canterbury Cathedral.  The podcast is in three-parts, including a time of questions and answers.  Indeed, it's a must-hear - take the time if you can, get yourself a cup of tea and sit back and enjoy listening in on the open conversation between Skinner, a very funny guy who in his late 20s returned to the Roman Catholic Church and a Rowan Williams at ease:

The Archbishop of Canterbury met  broadcaster Frank Skinner 
"In Conversation" at Canterbury Cathedral last Friday evening.




Former Episcopal Diocese of Virginia Bishop Peter James Lee named Interim Dean of the American Cathedral in Paris

Bishop Peter James Lee has been appointed to another prestigious post since his retirement from the Diocese of Virginia in 2009.  He has served as both the interim dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco (2009-2010), and as the interim dean of General Theological Seminary in New York City (2010-current) and has now been appointed as interim dean of the American Cathedral in Paris.  He is slated to take the post in early 2012.

In addition, Bishop Lee will be awarded the 2012 Distinguished Service Award by the First Freedom Awards based in Richmond, VA.  He will receive the award in January 2012.

Bishop Lee served as the 12th bishop of the Diocese of Virginia for 25 years, a time that saw his diocese become the largest Episcopal diocese in the United States.

Bishop Lee worked hard to find a reconciling path during a very difficult period of division in the Diocese of Virginia with the creation of both the Diocese of Virginia Commission on Reconciliation (2004-2005) and his landmark Special Committee (2005-2006) which created the Protocol for Departing Congregations and was chaired by the late Russ Palmore.

Fifteen Episcopal congregations voted to separate from the Episcopal Church following the protocol, however a difficult and costly path of litigation and inhibition was authorized following the elevation of Katharine Jefferts Schori to Presiding Bishop in November 2006. 

Bishop Lee's new position and award may publicly coincide with the long-awaited announcement by the Circuit Court of Fairfax in Virginia regarding the ongoing congregational property litigation.  Judge Randy Bellows will hold one more public hearing in his court some time in late October or early November before issuing his final ruling on the fate of the church properties.

Episcopal House of Bishops hears presentation on restructure including a call for a Constitutional Convention

Former Episcopal Diocese of Lexington's Bishop the Rt. Rev'd Stacy Sauls spoke to the gathering of Episcopal House of Bishops meeting in at the Hilton Colón Hotel in downtown Quito, EcuadorRecently appointed the Chief Operating Officer of 815, Bishop Sauls outlined his proposal to recommend a major restructuring of the Episcopal Church.  It would include reviewing the frequency in which General Convention meets as well as calling for a Constitutional Convention before 2015.  General Conventions are currently scheduled for 2012 and 2015.  The proposed Anglican Covenant should come before General Convention in 2012 (with a possible re-reading in 2015) and a new Presiding Bishop should be elected in 2015.

ENS reports:
Bishop Sauls with Bishop Schori.
Sauls gave his presentation during the Sept. 20 morning session of the Episcopal Church's House of Bishops Sept. 15-20 meeting being held at the Hilton Colón Hotel in downtown Quito.
The model resolution would call for a special commission to be charged with "presenting a plan to the church for reforming its structures, governance, administration, and staff to facilitate this church's faithful engagement in Christ's mission…."

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson would appoint members to the special commission. The resolution would also call for a special meeting of General Convention before the 78th General Convention in 2015.

The resolution, Sauls said, could be distributed at upcoming diocesan conventions or in committees to start the conversation.

"This is a way of engaging the laity and clergy on the ground, not a bishop-centric thing," Sauls told ENS after his presentation. "We are asking the laity and clergy to have this conversation."

Sauls' presentation, he explained, stemmed from conversations and discussions going back to the 2004 formation of the Budgetary Funding Task Force. It began with the question: "Why reform?" From there Sauls used eight separate slides to list the church's 75 commissions, committees, agencies and boards -- those he could readily identify, he said -- and another five slides to list the 46 Episcopal Church Center departments and offices, all of which have multiple reporting structures.
And then, he said, there is General Convention, which has 46 legislative committees of the two houses, which meet together in another 23 cognate committees; nine provinces; and 110 dioceses.

The article goes on to report:

Sauls' next slide showed how the income earned by dioceses has declined in recent years. The Episcopal Church asks dioceses to contribute a percentage of their income to the denomination's budget, and thus revenue it receives from the dioceses has also declined.

That decline is coupled with a decision made at the last meeting of General Convention (2009) to reduce the percentage of the so-called "asking." It was 21 percent in 2010, dropped to 20 percent this year and will decline another percentage point in 2012. In addition, the convention increased from $100,000 to $120,000 the amount that dioceses could exempt from their income before calculating their commitment to the denomination.

As it stands in the current budget process, governance is funded first, Sauls said, and then asked, "What would happen if we reversed that priority, starting with mission?" 

(BB NOTE: It's not clear what constitutes "mission" since litigation expenses also seems to be identified as mission).

In order to get a good rating from the Better Business Bureau, a nonprofit organization should spend no more than 35 percent of its budget on overhead, while the Episcopal Church, he said, spends 47 percent of its budget on such expenses. Ideally he added, the percentage spent on overhead should be closer to 15 to 20 percent.

Based on that, he continued, what if, in creating a hypothetical annual budget of $27 million, $19 million of that budget went toward mission and the remaining $8 million toward overhead? (The current budget is closer to $35 million, he said.)

Such a budget, he continued, could be funded by the church's investment and rental income and by a one-percent contribution of congregational income, based on full participation.

"One percent could fund mission and ministry at the church-wide level and leave more [money] for local mission and ministry," Sauls said.

From there he offered four principles: engaging conversations aimed at reducing overhead; redistributing oversight responsibilities based on strengths; creating a linear rather than a top-down approach to engagement; and emphasizing local participation.

Depending on how you look at it, he said, the fact that General Convention takes 7.6 percent of the church's resources is a major or a minor cost. Sauls went on to explain the estimated "total cost."

General Convention costs the church $8.3 million plus another $353,000 to church center departments and $3.5 million to dioceses to send its deputation and bishops -- a total of $12.2 million every three years, not including the costs to individuals, he said.

Reducing the frequency of General Convention to every four years would save 25 percent and every five years would save 40 percent, Sauls continued, adding that the length and size of the meeting, how business is presented and ongoing work also could be restructured to reduce costs.
Read it all here.

Monday, September 19, 2011

TEC recognizes that churches will close

It's not clear to me why TEC continues to pursue litigation rather than robust settlement for church properties when they are facing the overwhelming necessity to close and sell churches in all parts of the United States. Perhaps cooler heads will prevail as the numbers show a disturbing trend. And by the way, before ACNA or AMiA folks say it won't happen here - oh yes it will. It all ready is happening. Something is happening here, but do we know what it is?

Here Rod Webster, VP and General Manager of the Church Insurance Companies lays it all out for the Episcopal Church Building Fund:

I do pray that this reality might bring those now engaged in litigation back to the negotiating table, if only just to stop and smell the roses.  Certainly the public witness of all the parties working together for a non-litigious solution will be a better way forward for everyone.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Decline of American Liberalism - revisited

Interesting interview of  historian Robert Higgs of the Independent Institute by Reason's Nick Gillespie covering the reissue of The Decline of American Liberalism by historian Arthur Ekirch.  Robert Higgs has written a new introduction to the Ekirch classic.  According to Higgs, Classical Liberalism is markedly different than what we know today as progressive ideology.  Check out the interview:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida Standing Committee nominates seven individuals for Bishop Coadjutor

Bishop John W. Howe, Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida.
UPDATE: You can now read more about the nominees here at the Diocese of Central Florida website.

The Rt. Rev'd John W. Howe has announced he plans to retire next year and called for the election of a Bishop Coadjutor. The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida has now placed before the diocese seven nominees.

via email:

The Rev. Gregory O. Brewer
Rector, Episcopal Parish of Calvary-St. George's
New York, New York

The Very Rev. Anthony P. Clark
Dean, Cathedral Church of St. Luke
Orlando, Florida

The Rev. Jonathan R. Davis
Vicar, Episcopal Church of the Incarnation
Director, Canterbury Retreat and Conference Center
Oviedo, Florida

The Very Rev. Charles L. Holt
Rector, St. Peter's Episcopal Church
Dean, Northeast Deanery
Lake Mary, Florida

The Rev. Timothy C. Nunez
Rector, St. Mary's Episcopal Church
Belleview, Florida

The Rev. Mary A. Rosendahl
Rector, Episcopal Church of the Nativity
Port St. Lucie, Florida

The Rev. James A. Sorvillo, Sr.
Rector, Episcopal Church of the Ascension
Orlando, Florida

The Nominees' biographical information, responses to questions, video greetings and more are being assembled at the Bishop Search website: A Forum is also being prepared where members of the Diocese may post questions to the Nominees. Another notification will be sent as soon as the site is 'live.' We apologize for the delay in the website information, but did not want to further delay publishing the names of the nominees while the finishing touches are being put on the website. We anticipate that this will be completed tomorrow. Another note will be sent out at that time.

The election of the Fourth Bishop of Central Florida will be held at a Special Convention on November 19, 2011 at Trinity Preparatory School, Winter Park, Florida.

The Rev. Timothy Nunez remains a member of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Central Florida, however, he has recused himself from all discussions and decisions relating to the election of our next Bishop, until we have completed the election successfully. He will continue to participate normally in other Standing Committee business.

Read more about the candidates here.

Now Online: Investiture of Diocese of Mid-Atlantic Bishop

Click here to see the investiture service of the bishop of the ACNA Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic at Truro Church last weekend.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Prairie Home Companion takes a Dylan-twist

Bob Dylan
A humorous send-up from the University of Minnesota where you-know-who enrolled for a while before hitching his way east, with a song dedication to boot. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Guess who's idea it was to form the Anglican Commuinon ...

Dr. Robert Prichard is professor of church history at Virginia Theological Seminary. He writes a fascinating overview on how the Anglican Communion was actually created and how the surprising leadership speerheading the birth of the Communion came not from England but, yes, from The Episcopal Church in the United States.

Dr. Prichard writes:
Dr. Bob Prichard
There may be good reasons for opposing the adoption of the proposed Anglican Covenant but an appeal to the perpetual independence of the Episcopal Church and a characterization of the Anglican Communion as an incursion of ambitious archbishops of Canterbury seeking to snare unsuspecting Americans certainly is not one of them. On the contrary, American Episcopalians should look with pride on the role that they have played in the creation of the Anglican Communion. The repeated American initiatives over the middle decades of the 19th century have much to do with the existence of the Anglican Communion. And the idea that Anglican Communion bodies might be appropriate fora in which to discuss matters of common theological concern is hardly a new concept created in order to combat American views on sexuality; it was an idea already present in the thinking of some American Episcopalians well before the first gathering of the Lambeth Conference in 1867.

Please read it all - very much worth the read!!  Read it all here.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11: The Sound of Silence

And here is Paul Simon's emotional tribute this morning at the 9/11 Memorial in Manhattan:

Rowan Williams remembers 9/11 and the power of prayer

The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams was only a block away from the World Trade Center when it was struck on September 11, 2001:

Another short interview is here.

10 Years Ago Today: "I've never seen a jet fall out of the sky ..."

Lots of reflections and memories today, a day that truly will live in infamy. This particular video though I felt captured what it really felt like that day and the remarks of the guy in the truck as it happens is frankly one of the best reflections I have heard, he truly truly captures the day.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

John Guernsey installed as first bishop of the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic in the Anglican Church in North America

UPDATED: With great thanks to Anglican TV, here is the investiture of the new bishop of the ACNA Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic at Truro Church in Fairfax, VA:

Live from the Investiture of the Rt. Rev’d John Guernsey as the first bishop of the ACNA Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic at Truro Church, Fairfax, VA.

Bishop John Guernsey and his wife, the Rev'd Meg Guernsey.
The service began with a joyous celebration of hymns and songs led by a joint choir made up of members of the new diocese. People are not phoning in their singing, any minute now the roof could pop off. This is awesome!

We're here at Truro Church in Fairfax and the church is packed with very joyful people. The new Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) diocese enters the ACNA as the largest diocese. It spans the area of North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

Last May, the Anglican District of Virginia (ADV) Synod elected the Rt. Rev'd John Guernsey as the bishop of the proposed ACNA Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic. In June, the ACNA's Provincial Council affirmed the creation of the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic. Bishop John Guernsey who had been overseeing the congregations that had separated from The Episcopal Church and moved under the jurisdiction of the Anglican Church of Uganda before transitioning directly to the ACNA, was confirmed as the first diocesan bishop by the ACNA College of Bishops in June.

Bishop Guernsey was the rector of All Saints, Dale City, VA. All Saints separated from the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia in the spring of 2006 in an amicable settlement that permitted them to remain in their property until the completion of the building of a new church. The settlement had been meant to be a prototype for the other congregations to follow in the development of the Diocese of Virginia's Protocol for Departing Congregations. The protocol was abruptly abandoned by the Diocese following the installment of Katharine Jefferts Schori as the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, about six months after All Saints left the Episcopal Church.

All Saints will be officially moving into their new church later this month and will also serve as the office for the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic.

John Guernsey at 2003 General Convention.
Prior to his consecration as a bishop in 2007 by Ugandan Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi (who also incidentally consecrated the Rt. Rev'd Sandy Millar, former rector of Holy Trinity Brompton in London) Bishop Guernsey served in leadership posts in the Diocese of Virginia, serving as a Deputy to six General Conventions where he served in different posts including chairman of the Evangelism Committee.

I first met John Guernsey at the 1994 General Convention in Indianapolis, working closely with IRD President Diane Knippers and Pittsburgh General Convention Deputy Jim Simons. I remember at the Philadelphia General Convention in 1997 I testified at the Evangelism Committee that John was chairing on a resolution that was calling for a doctrinal change on the trinity. I read the resolution and recognized that, as a former member of the Christian Science Church, the new doctrine would have been quite at home in Christian Science. In my testimony I pointed out the similarities between the new doctrinal change and Christian Science and wondered why I had gone through all the trouble of "kneeling before my bishop to become an Episcopalian" only to find myself back in Christian Science right in the Episcopal Church!  Why should I have left in the first place?

I also remember going back to my seat when a rather moderate bishop sitting across the aisle from me leaned over and said that he too grew up in Christian Science and appreciated the point. I was still trying to get my heart from stop beating so fiercely, I had been so nervous and close to terrified and the affirmation from an unexpected quarter brought me great relief. I was very grateful to John Guernsey for the opportunity to speak at General Convention.  Of course, I had no idea then that it was only the beginning.

Back to Truro: ACNA Archbishop and Diocese of Pittsburgh Bishop Bob Duncan is the preacher. He is saying from the pulpit that this is a historic moment in this historic place. I will try to type as he speaks:
We all recall that Anglicanism was brought permanently to these shores not so very far from here … in 1607. We also recall that not quite 200 years later … Anglicanism was organized so that it might be prosper and go forward in this land. And 200 years after that it might be reorganized, much of it in this place. …. God is doing something great, behold all things new …”

This is a historic moment for Anglicanism … throughout the globe. We represent not a little of that in our own persons in this place.

This is also an amazing personal moment. The fulfilment of God’s plan for three leaders. John and Martyn and I were candidates for bishop (NOTE: for the Diocese of Colorado) and it was during that time that they formed friendships that continue to this day.

Twenty-one years later I stand here as an Archbishop, Martyn now resides in the U.K. as Executive Secretary for the Global Anglican Future Conference Movement and the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and John here as the first bishop of this diocese.

This diocese represents such a maturing in such a short time of this movement, but as it comes together – it’s the largest diocese in the movement at its birth. That is because of God’s favor and because of the faithfulness of all of you who stood in these days, who stood shoulder to shoulder not just those who are ordained but very much shoulder with the laity in this region.

Bishop John Guernsey becomes the bishop of the new diocese.
It is very moving to look over and see faces of many folks who have walked this long journey for the past five years and for many even more years. It is not clear yet if we will be displaced from our church homes as litigation continues between the churches that voted to separate from the Diocese of Virginia under the Protocol for Departing Congregations and The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia. The second round of briefs are due next week, followed by a third round in October. In November or early December there will be one more opportunity for oral arguments when the Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Randy Bellows will present his questions to the Episcopal and Virginia churches' counsels. Some time after that  that one-day oral Q&A, the judge will release his opinion.

A new day.
Kevin Kallsen from Anglican TV is present and once he has his video of the installation up I will post it here. I ran into old friend now Bishop Neil Lebhar who was serving communion. He is a former Associate Rector of Truro and now bishop for the ACNA's diocese that includes Florida. Years ago when he was still at Truro he was in charge of the Truro Young Adults. I was in my mid 20's back then and I remember asking exactly how did you know if you were a young adult? Neil said "Anyone younger than me."

In fact, it is exciting to look out and see the young church planters and new leadership rising up, all ready building and rebuilding on the foundations not just of recent years - but on the foundation of those Anglicans who sailed to the Virginia shores four hundred years ago.  As those early settlers experienced their own triumphs and great challenges, this new diocese will know such a story as well.   What will this next chapter in our lives together bring?  How will we discern what should change and what should remain?  How will we stand firm for the Gospel of Jesus while making peace with our neighbors?  One way comes to mind, which I think was overflowing today and that is in gratitude.  Whatever happens, may we be grateful.  There is so much to be grateful for, so much.

We may not know what will happen by this time next year, but what comes to mind now is one of the songs we sang at the service today and it becomes a prayer tonight:

Today at the Cafe: New York State of Mind

We kick off the Remembrance Weekend with the Billy Joel classic, New York State of Mind. In this recording, he's joined by Tony Bennett live at Shea Stadium:

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Crane "comes down like thunder" at National Cathedral

From here:
Crane collapsed without warning today at the National Cathedral.
A crane toppled at the National Cathedral this morning, sending its operator to the hospital, damaging two out-buildings and crushing four vehicles that belonged to contractors.

Richard Weinberg, spokesman for the Cathedral, said he understood that the crane operator’s injuries were not serious. He said he was “not at liberty” to name the crane contracting company.

The crane was lifting supplies to the top of the cathedral at 3101 Wisconsin Ave. as part of the ongoing earthquake repair when it collapsed without warning at 10:55 a.m.

“We don’t know why it collapsed,” DC Fire/EMS Battalion Chief John Donnelly said. Wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph were reported in the area at the time of accident.

The operator was inside the crane when it fell. Weinberg could not confirm whether anyone was in the vehicles that were damaged. Twenty people were in the buildings that sustained damage but none were hurt, he said.

The bright yellow crane lay twisted on South Road, which runs along the south side of the cathedral. The road is mostly used by employees and passes by the main office of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, also known as Church House. The tip of the crane lay in front of Church House.

The crane was lifting supplies to the top of the cathedral at 3101 Wisconsin Ave. as part of the ongoing earthquake repair when it collapsed without warning at 10:55 a.m.

“We don’t know why it collapsed,” DC Fire/EMS Battalion Chief John Donnelly said. Wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph were reported in the area at the time of accident.

The operator was inside the crane when it fell. Weinberg could not confirm whether anyone was in the vehicles that were damaged. Twenty people were in the buildings that sustained damage but none were hurt, he said.

The bright yellow crane lay twisted on South Road, which runs along the south side of the cathedral. The road is mostly used by employees and passes by the main office of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, also known as Church House. The tip of the crane lay in front of Church House.

Read it all here.

Watch is a video story of the start of repairs before the crane collapsed here.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Remembering 9/11: In his own words ...

President George W. Bush gives a remarkable interview of what happened on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 to National Geographic. Republican or Democrat or whatever you may be, please consider watching this in its entirety.  It's worth it.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Today at the Cafe: Bono and The Edge

I'm not afraid
Of anything in this world
There's nothing you can throw at me
That I haven't already heard
I'm just trying to find
A decent melody
A song that I can sing
In my own company

I never thought you were a fool
But darling, look at you. Ooh.
You gotta stand up straight, carry your own weight
'Cause tears are going nowhere baby

You've got to get yourself together
You've got stuck in a moment
And now you can't get out of it
Don't say that later will be better
Now you're stuck in a moment
And you can't get out of it

I will not forsake
The colors that you bring
The nights you filled with fireworks
They left you with nothing
I am still enchanted
By the light you brought to me
I listen through your ears
Through your eyes I can see

You are such a fool
To worry like you do.. Oh
I know it's tough
And you can never get enough
Of what you don't really need now
My, oh my

You've got to get yourself together
You've got stuck in a moment
And you can't get out of it
Oh love, look at you now
You've got yourself stuck in a moment
And you can't get out of it
Oh lord look at you now
You've got yourself stuck in a moment
And you cant get out of it

I was unconscious, half asleep
The water is warm 'til you discover how deep
I wasn't jumping, for me it was a fall
It's a long way down to nothing at all

You've got to get yourself together
You've got stuck in a moment
And you can't get out of it
Don't say that later will be better
Now you're stuck in a moment
And you can't get out of it

And if the night runs over
And if the day won't last
And if your way should falter
Along this stony pass

It's just a moment
This time will pass