Loving the sacred through word and image. The Canonization of John Paul II Sunday April 27…

Christ Church Cathedral

Sunday Sundries … Ordination Day

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Courtesy: Teddy Bear – Sigmaspy on Flickr

It was a festive day today. Hubby and I had appointments at the beauty parlor to get our hair done earlier this afternoon. I have to say that our girl does good hair. Hubby was pleased with my haircut.

I did a bit off odd shopping for the main event today which was the ordination of my mentor and best friend Donald. The years of work, teaching, studying, a stint in the deaconate and today’s final ordination into the Anglican Priesthood.

It was good that I left a little early, because the church was packed by the time I had arrived. But I snagged a seat – in the same – reserved row – where Donald was sitting. It was high church with pomp and circumstance.

As usual the music was heavenly.

We congratulate the following ordinates:

Mr. Alain Brosseau

Mrs. Adrienne Clements

Mr. Lorne Eason

Mr. Nicolas Pang

Mr. Brian Perron

Mr. Robert Callender

and the Reverend Dr. Donald Luc Boisvert

It was a privilege to be part of one of the biggest days in their lives and to share today with a sanctuary full of people was amazing.

The photos came out pretty good seeing I wasn’t seated front and center, but more off to the left hand side of the sanctuary.

It was a good day.

More to come, stay tuned …


Ordination of Donald Luc Boisvert Christ Church Cathedral Montreal September 8, 2013

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Saturday Easter Vigil …

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Yes, that is a McDonald’s across the street from the Cathedral, as the building sits on Ste Catherine’s Street downtown. I took these shots on a vigil some time ago, because there is snow on the ground in the series. Blessedly, there was no snow, but it was chilly outside, and the flame was very big.

It was a glorious night. Many followers attended the service which ran two hours from start to finish. Tonight we hear the five great readings from Scripture from Genesis, a reading from St. John Chrysostom, Exodus, Homily on the Passover by Melito of Sardis, and once again from Exodus, and ending in the Gospel of Mark.

My friend and fellow Deacon Donald was there serving at the mass, he is to be ordained a priest this fall 2013.

From the darkness of the church, the paschal candle is carried into the church where it is proclaimed “Lumen Chrisi” Light of Christ. And we then light our candles one from another and candle light shines as the readings were done, and finally in a flurry of bells and organ and choir sing … Alleluia He is Risen.

A good night was had by all.

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday, and we shall gather at 6:15 for the tradition meeting for the month at St. Leon’s.


Going Here and There …

Courtesy: Sneakerfreakin

The day began with sunshine and I had things to do today. Last night a friend told me that one of our women from my home group was speaking this evening at 5 o’clock shadows. I left the house early because I had to make some stops along the way to the Metro and I needed tickets for my Opus card.

I got to the platform and there was a train in the station, I forgot to look and see which direction the train was traveling, as I got to the bottom of the stairs to the platform the train pulled away. It was then I noticed that I ran down the wrong set of stairs, and almost got on the wrong train. I plotted back up to the mezzanine and got on the right platform for a train going out of downtown.

I arrived at Shadows a bit early – so I hung out in the park across the street, because the neighbors bitch and moan if we gather out front on the sidewalk. This particular church is bordered by residential housing, therefore bystanders are frowned upon.

The gang showed up about a quarter to five, along with our woman who was speaking. Most of our women in our nuclear group all belong to an email notification list and a gratitude list. When one speaks, they email the whole list and the girls all go to that particular meeting to support the speaker.

Our woman got up there and told her story. We were all so proud of her. Sometimes a simple story is all that is needed to get the message across. And she did that. The meeting was full, I noticed that people of the same cloth sit together either on one side of the room or the other. One group of women who seem to travel together and go to the same meetings together were all on one side of the room.

And all of my women that I travel with, sat on my side of the room. Groupies one and all. I was traveling after the meeting to a second function at the Cathedral with started at 7:30. I got lucky that one of our women was going right to the Bay to go shopping, and the Cathedral sits right next door to the Bay.

I had more than an hour to kill before my second event, so I went window shopping in the underground city. In the Downtown Core there are tunnels and food courts below several shopping malls interconnected within the McGill Metro stop and the tunnels also lead back to the Orange line under Place Ville Marie.

I went to Indigo to look at books that I could not afford to buy, at this time. I spent almost an hour looking at books and reading from them. Some of the books were about the late Pontiff John Paul II, and the other book of interest was by Mother Teresa. I am always on the lookout for further writings on the theme of “I Thirst.” The story about Jesus on the cross during his crucifixion and his words to Mary of “I Thirst.” It is a meditation and the tattoo I have on my upper right arm.

On my way out of the underground city, the skies opened up and it poured cats and dogs for a bit. We all got wet.

I arrived at the Cathedral office early and Donald was there but we were locked out of the tower until the priest who was co-chairing the event this evening arrived to open the doors and ready the conference room.

I’m not quite sure why I was there for this reading/discussion event. I shared very little but I did a lot of listening. Most of the discussion was above my head and came from left field. It was lively discussion nonetheless. It was just a couple of hours to spend with my mentor and spiritual director and some new faces from the Cathedral.

We broke around 9:30 and I came home via the Metro.

It was a fruitful day. Good times, good people, good meetings.


The Ordination of Donald Boisvert

The Ordination to the Deaconate
And Priesthood
of the Diocese of Montreal
June 3 2012
Christ Church Cathedral
Montreal

Donald Luc Boisvert
Rev. Robert Camara
Rev. Rhonda Waters

It was a beautiful day for an ordination. Donald Boisvert to the Deaconate, The Rev. Robert Camara to the Priesthood, and Rev. Rhonda Waters, also to the Priesthood. The Cathedral was packed. The choir was heavenly.

And there was controversy, a letter had been submitted to the proceedings calling for Donald and Robert Not to be ordained today because they are both gay and in same sex marriages.

However, our Bishop Barry, having put thoughtful prayer to this petition, decided against it and performed the ordinations to the swelling jubilation of the people inside the cathedral.

It was a beautiful service. My camera phone was very handy. I was like damn, I forgot my camera, and then remembered that my phone had a camera… DOH !!! So here are a few shots.


Exsultet …

Tonight took us to Christ Church Cathedral for the Great Easter Vigil Celebration. The weather cooperated and the sun was shining and the clouds had gone, although it was quite breezy outside, once the fire was lit – it burned furiously and they could not keep the tapers lit in order to light the Paschal Candles.

In the end all the candles were lit and carried into the darkened church for the service to begin.

Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God’s throne!
Jesus Christ, our King, is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!

Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes for ever!

Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory!
The risen Savior shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy,
echoing the mighty song of all God’s people!

My dearest friends,
standing with me in this holy light,
join me in asking God for mercy,

that he may give his unworthy minister
grace to sing his Easter praises.

Deacon: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Deacon: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them up to the Lord.
Deacon: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right to give him thanks and praise.

It is truly right
that with full hearts and minds and voices
we should praise the unseen God, the all-powerful Father,
and his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

For Christ has ransomed us with his blood,
and paid for us the price of Adam’s sin to our eternal Father!

This is our passover feast,
when Christ, the true Lamb, is slain,
whose blood consecrates the homes of all believers.

This is the night
when first you saved our fathers:
you freed the people of Israel from their slavery
and led them dry-shod through the sea.

This is the night
when the pillar of fire destroyed the darkness of sin!

This is the night
when Christians everywhere,
washed clean of sin and freed from all defilement,
are restored to grace and grow together in holiness.

This is the night
when Jesus Christ broke the chains of death
and rose triumphant from the grave.

What good would life have been to us,
had Christ not come as our Redeemer?
Father, how wonderful your care for us!
How boundless your merciful love!
To ransom a slave you gave away your Son.

O happy fault,
O necessary sin of Adam,
which gained for us so great a Redeemer!

Most blessed of all nights,
chosen by God to see Christ rising from the dead!

Of this night scripture says:
“The night will be as clear as day:
it will become my light, my joy.”

The power of this holy night dispels all evil,
washes guilt away, restores lost innocence,
brings mourners joy;
it casts out hatred, brings us peace,
and humbles earthly pride.

Night truly blessed when heaven is wedded to earth
and man is reconciled with God!

Therefore, heavenly Father,
in the joy of this night,
receive our evening sacrifice of praise,
your Church’s solemn offering.

Accept this Easter candle,
a flame divided but undimmed,
a pillar of fire that glows to the honor of God.

(For it is fed by the melting wax,
which the mother bee brought forth
to make this precious candle.)

Let it mingle with the lights of heaven
and continue bravely burning
to dispel the darkness of this night!

May the Morning Star which never sets
find this flame still burning:
Christ, that Morning Star,
who came back from the dead,
and shed his peaceful light on all mankind,
your Son, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Amen.

This is one of the most beautiful pieces of music to begin the Easter Vigil Mass, and here at the Cathedral it is sung in English and French, alternating from one to the other. The entire service was bilingual tonight. And thanks to my French education – this year I was a little more literate and mt reading and singing skills are much better.

There were three baptisms and several confirmations this year it was beautiful. Lot of singing by the choir. I love heavenly music. I was able to join my mentor Donald for the service. He was free tonight for service, tomorrow he has two services to participate in at St. Matthias in Westmount.

A good night was had by all …

Jesus has Risen, He is Risen indeed …


Maundy Thursday

The Triduum has begun. It was a quiet day, hubby was out all evening for class and a get together with friends, which left me home alone for the balance of the night. So I watched a little tv, farted around on Facebook, and got myself ready for church.

Since it is only 3 stops up from home, I made it in time. Little did I know that our celebrant tonight is newly ordained. A young woman who I have seen before the Reverend Karla Holmes. She is a fresh new face to the ministry at Christ Church Cathedral. I quite enjoyed her. The Rev Joyce was there con celebrating and Donald Boisvert, my academic adviser and friend was there as well, and what a treat, he was preaching tonight.

Tonight’s service was interesting. The washing of the feet, which I participated in, I missed this service last year. As always, the music was GLORIOUS. If you’ve never heard our Cathedral Choir, you should come to the Easter Vigil service on Saturday night. It starts at 7:30. It will be glorious.

The choir outdid itself tonight. The music was just amazing. The range and talent in the group is just beautiful. They were seated under the cupola directly behind the altar, which only lends to sonorous music. They have such great harmony, and add to that the singing from the congregation. I quite fancy myself a singer. I hit all the notes tonight in song. I really do love singing. My spirit soars when I sing in church. Tonight’s hymns were beautiful.

  • Jesus Calls Us
  • Ubi Caritas
  • Tantum Ergo

There were a couple others, from the missal that I was looking at. If you are in Montreal and want to join us Saturday night, leave a message here. The Christ Church Cathedral sits above Place Cathedral at the McGill Metro, and the service once again starts at 7:30. Get there early to get good seats. We usually have a good crowd for the Vigil Mass.

It’s after 4 am so I am off to bed.

More to come, stay tuned.


He is Risen …

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John 20:11-18

But Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

“Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ “

Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

Tonight’s service was glorious and wonderful. The choir sang and the music rose to the heavens. It was a most moving service. Everybody was moved to tears listening to the Exsultet… The blessed fire moved throughout the Cathedral from one side to the other. During the service my friend Donald was received into the Anglican Church. His husband and I watching from our pew, I got a little misty eyed – it was just so beautiful. After the service Donald said to me that I would be next. And maybe so ….

And now I am home watching The Ten Commandments. Pharoah’s chariots are being swallowed by the sea, and you know what comes next… wandering the desert and the bestowment of the Ten Commandments to Moses.

Let us pray:

“The God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever; And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with you and remain with you always.”

AMEN…

It has been a day full of holy excitement. I will see you all tomorrow.


Rejoice, Heavenly Powers !

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Found on Fr. Simon’s Blog

Tonight around the world, Christian Churches will be lit with the first fire as the ministers of Christ sing the words of the Exsultet. It is one of the most beautiful pieces of liturgical music that has ever been written. And so tonight as we gather at Christ Church Cathedral we will hear this sung by a most gifted choir, it is the culmination of the last 40 days of Lent and brings with it the hope of the risen Christ, as we celebrate with you this night…

We have travelled through Lent, have Holy Week almost upon us, and now start to face (with some trepidation) the high point of the year for me and for most priests. I believe that it is the culmination of the Church’s year and should be the high point for all Christians – the annual proclamation of the Resurrection in the Exsultet.

Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God’s throne!
Jesus Christ, our King is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!

Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes for ever!

Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory!
The risen Savior shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy,
echoing the mighty song of all God’s people!

My dearest friends,
standing with me in this holy light,
join me in asking God for mercy,
that he may give his unworthy minister
grace to sing his Easter praises.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give him thanks and praise.

It is truly right that with full hearts and minds and voices
we should praise the unseen God, the all-powerful Father,
and his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

For Christ has ransomed us with his blood,
and paid for us the price of Adam’s sin to our eternal Father!

This is our passover feast,
When Christ, the true Lamb, is slain,
whose blood consecrates the homes of all believers.

This is the night,
when first you saved our fathers:
you freed the people of Israel from their slav’ry,
and led them dry-shod through the sea.

This is the night,
when the pillar of fire destroyed the darkness of sin.

This is night,
when Christians ev’rywhere,
washed clean of sin and freed from all defilement,
are restored to grace and grow together in holiness.

This is the night,
when Jesus broke the chains of death
and rose triumphant from the grave.

What good would life have been to us,
had Christ not come as our Redeemer?

Father, how wonderful your care for us!
How boundless your merciful love!
To ransom a slave you gave away your Son.

O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam,
which gained for us so great a Redeemer!

Most blessed of all nights,
chosen by God to see Christ rising from the dead!

Of this night scripture says:
“The night will be as clear as day:
it will become my light, my joy.”

The power of this holy night dispels all evil,
washes guilt away, restores lost innocence,
brings mourners joy;
it casts out hatred, brings us peace,
and humbles earthly pride.

Night truly blessed,
when heaven is wedded to earth
and we are reconciled to God!

Therefore, heavenly Father, in the joy of this night,
receive our evening sacrifice of praise,
your Church’s solemn offering.

Accept this Easter candle,
a flame divided but undimmed,
a pillar of fire that glows to the honor of God.

Let it mingle with the lights of heaven
and continue bravely burning
to dispel the darkness of this night!

May the Morning Star which never sets
find this flame still burning:
Christ, that Morning Star,
who came back from the dead,
and shed his peaceful light on all mankind,
your Son, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Amen.


Preparations …

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Photo Courtesy of Susan Russell at An Inch at a time…

Geesus… I hate when that happens… I got up early today because tonight is the BIG service at the Cathedral and I didn’t have anything to wear, that fit or was nice enough [read: more formal] than what was in my closet. So I set off for the mall. The one thing I really needed to get was a card for Donald.

I went to Zellers to find a nice shirt that [fit] and I found a funky tie to go with it so now I will look somewhat formal with a shirt and tie instead of looking all frumpy and studentish. The shirt is a beautiful burgundy button down with the tie to match. I think it looks good. I broke out the old iron and did my best Susie Homemaker to it.

I stopped in at McDonalds and had me some dinner because it will be a long night tonight, and one doesn’t want the old engine rumbling halfway through the service. I also wanted to get that card which I forgot and only remembered it when I sat here to write… I hate when that happens.

Last night I was all by myself and I watched a lot of National Geographic and their specials on the Bible and the History of Jesus, and one show in particular last night talked about the writers of the Bible. Very interesting. There was one, two hour presentation on Jesus and his life and death, which I found intriguing.

There was a scientist who broke down the crucifixion and he has the only lab in the world that is totally dedicated to research on the crucifixion. He also broke down the weight of the cross and the cross weighed something considerable and his test person could not carry the cross the total 1/4 mile that Jesus dragged his cross. It was said that Jesus didn’t die of asphyxiation but of cardiac arrest. They had studied this type of death in the lab and concluded that the way he was crucified – the nails, the wood and the style lent to a new hypothesis which I found interesting.

We are almost at 6 p.m. and I need to boogie… So enjoy your night, go to church and celebrate the Holiest night of the Christian Calendar…

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This is the First reading of the night – The Creation Story

Genesis 1:1-33

Genesis 1

The Beginning

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.


Christ Church Cathedral Easter Vigil Photography

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The Choir Loft at the Vigil Service

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A darkened Church awaiting the Easter Candle

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Lighting the Holy Fire Outside the Cathedral

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The Altar after the Easter Dressing

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I am posting these photographs for Louise who is in Florida till the end of the month. These photographs are from last years Easter Vigil service.

This year will be exciting because my friend and Academic Adviser Donald will be received into the Anglican Church and he will begin his discernment into Holy Orders. A process, which Rev. Joyce explained to me takes a couple of years and maybe some specialized schooling at Seminary.

The Easter Vigil Service is the Holiest of Holy nights on the Christian Calendar. The choir is just amazing and the cathedral will be packed with all the people coming for the holiday.

It is also the night that Cecile B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments air on television. A four hour extravaganza…


Funk …

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Cue up some music: Sea 89.5 Worldwide.com…

So I have been in a funk for a few days. Kind of feels like a little depression I don’t know if I am working stages once again without knowing it.

It seems that I am suffering from an acute case of Applied Human Sciences student funk. The more one studies the topic of interpersonal relationships the more one changes because of what one is learning in the class. My mind races and all the baggage of the past few months is creeping up on me now. And I don’t have an outlet for all that insanity since I stopped going to meetings. That’s another problem in itself that I will explore further down.

I’ve been feeling the loss of people in my life in an acute way. And it bothers me still, and I am powerless over people, places and things. A few weeks ago one of my friends sucked me into working on our final paper for New Testament studies and it was going really well, we have been busting our asses over sources and writing the paper itself. And after our last jam session my friend started writing a final draft that I was included in working on, choosing our words carefully and writing a solid work. And then he went radio silent when I asked him to email me a copy of the first pages of the paper.

What happened was this: A few days later (last Thursday) he said to me after class that (with his arm around my shoulder) all buddy buddy and so told me that he did not feel right sharing what we had worked on together and to save face I nodded my head in assent not to throw him off because I’ve been cultivating this relationship very closely over the last year … and now he’s come to the point of push me – pull me .

After the fact I was really bent over this. I was a little resentful and angry. I chose not to attend the conference on Friday because I was in response mode and I did not trust my emotions. Yeah so he used me to get to a certain point and then dropped me like a bad habit once again. At least that is how I am processing this event. It is not sitting well with me at all.

I have a rough draft of the paper (on paper) that I was writing out as he was typing into his laptop and I can write the paper by myself – I have the same information that he does so why am I fretting over this like this? Because I am feeling bent over being treated this way. I imgined that once we started that we would take this to the very end together. I guess I was wrong.

Friday morning I got up out of bed and was sitting here checking my mail and hubby was sitting on the sofa and he blurted out that he was going to his parents over Easter and ………. I could have the house to myself (cue the internal conversation – I was not invited to go). It’s not I was expecting him to include me in his plans – but once again I am sitting here like saying what the fuck??? Does nobody care about my feelings? Or is this a big test from God to see just how I am going to react to these goings on. I know that my going to Ottawa would be “touchy” since there is bad blood between me and his brother – but it would have gone over better for me had he asked a question instead of making a blank statement of intent. Am I being too touchy here? He knows that I enjoy having time to myself when he goes to Ottawa, I’ve just got family on the brain right now. And the fact that I have none is rearing its ugly head right now in advance of the upcoming holiday…

This is another example of Applied Human science funk…

So I wrote the good Rev. Canon Joyce the other night looking to see if she was available and she’s been very busy working and now she’s leaving for a pastor’s retreat until Wednesday but she can see me after then. I need to get the parish schedule for the Holy Week events at the Cathedral. Since I will be home alone I don’t have to worry about hubby – because I will be going to church over the weekend. Once again, this year, I will be celebrating Easter alone. I am used to this now, one day someone will notice this little fact and it will change but until then so be it.

Meetings – I have been away from meetings for a month now and it is starting to affect me emotionally. Not having that weekly contact with people is starting to make me a little crazy. I know it is about time for me to start looking for someplace else to go to meetings – but I am weary about putting myself out there once again – I just don’t see the value in investing in another group after all the heartache that I have been through since December. I just don’t know if I can do this right now. But I know I have to because the longer I stay away the more crazy in my head I am going to get.

Not having contact with anyone is making me a lot crazy in the head. All the people I used to talk to on a regular basis are absent from my life and that leaves me sitting in the middle of the room all by myself. I converse with hubby when I need to – but it seems that all of my friends I relied on once are all gone from my life. There has been a dynamic change in my social life and it is starting to make me crazy and bitter. People are going to do what they do whether I like it or not and all of them forget that there are two people in this dynamic and not just once, and it seems that people do not pay attention to the collateral damage they create by doing what they did. And this goes for all the stories listed above.

I am aware of what is going on in my head a bit more because this is the process we are working on in Applied Human Sciences and I understand where I sit in the grand scheme of things. So I am going to talk to my prof on Monday after the class to sort myself out.

I am thinking about the future and what I am going to do after I finish this certificate and I investigated applying to McGill for a Masters of Divinity degree in the Fall and that is going to cost me $100.00 and secondly I am applying to Concordia for my MA in Theology which is another $100.00 in administration and application fees. I know that I can get into the MA program here at Concordia but I am not sure I can get into McGill with the GPA I had at the completion of my BA a few years ago.Everything costs money and there are no guarantees except in staying where I am.

Decisions – Decisions – Decisions…

So that’s where I have been over the last few days…


God does not 'Ordain' illness …

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Tuesday has come and gone. A good day was had by all. I attempted to get Ms. Nikki out for coffee after work and she turned me down … It was not a good day for her. Oh well, her loss…

I started the day with service at the Cathedral and the Eucharist. I went for Louise, I went for Joyce, then I went for me. Our sermon today comes from the Gospel of Matthew in the 13th chapter verses 31-32:

The Parables of the Mustard Seed

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”

You never know when a seed will be planted in the heart of someone you come into contact with. Joyce referenced the youth of the parish, and that they may come with all their stuff to “church” but at least we have planted seeds in them. And once the seeds are sown in the garden, we must take care of that garden so that those seeds one day may sprout.

After service I had class and we talked more about the Apostle Paul and his letters to the Corinthians (1 st and 2nd Corinthians). Did you know that the order of the books do not represent the order the letters were written??? That there are lost letters that do not appear in the canon, and are called the lost letters. but one can infer from the letters here where the order lies.

1st Corinthians was written  in 54 and 55 of the common era.
2nd Corinthians was written after 55 of the common era.

1. Paul’s first visit to Corinth ( 2 Cor 1:19)
2. Paul’s FIRST letter ( 1 Cor 5:9 )
3. The Corinthians wrote a letter to Paul ( 1 Cor 7:1 )
4. Paul’s SECOND letter ( 1 Cor 16:15-17 )

1st Corinthians is the Second Letter – (Paul’s Second Letter)

5. Paul’s SECOND visit to Corinth (2Cor 2:1-4, 2:5-11, 13:2)
6. Arrival of the Super Apostles (2 Cor 11:4-23)
7. Paul’s THIRD letter (Embodied in 2 Cor 10-13)
This is a fragment of the third letter…
8. Paul’s FOURTH letter (Embodied in 2 Cor 1:9)

2nd Corinthians is the FOURTH letter, 1 Cor is the SECOND letter. Second Corinthians is 3 kinds of letters pieced together.

This was a good lecture and sent us all scurrying out of the hall to ponder what we just heard from Prof. Gagne. It was a good time.

I came home for an hour to fart around, after being double layered to get to class I changed out of and back into my clothes over an hours time. UGH!!! I set off for the diner making stops to get cookies and supplies – which left me 40 minutes of down time at the diner to read. I did not get the entire hour today. I was just too busy…

I went to do set up and make coffee and by the time I got the coffee on and the tables set for the business meeting people started coming for the business meeting so it was one thing after another. We had a good meeting. The Topic for today’s meeting was Step Three … and quoting from the 12 and 12:

“The more we become willing to depend on a Higher Power, the more independent we actually are.”

This is where my story really begins

One of the people who came to the meeting tonight spoke early on in the meeting. He said that he didn’t call god – GOD. But He believes that there is something greater than himself. He is having trouble with God right now because the woman he is married to, is dying of Cancer and he is trying to come to terms with her dying, and the fact that there is disease, but where is God amid the sick suffering he is witness to…

Step Three dictates that: (We) Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him. No matter which way you slice it, one way or another, you find God in recovery. HE is there all the time, patiently waiting for us to come around. God is a jealous God and he wants the best for us, and he wants us to be with him. (This thought comes from Henri Nouwen – The Only Necessary Thing ).

God does not push us in any way, shape or form, but gently He speaks to us through spirit, or by way of action of someone close to us. Or maybe through someone we see during our day.

I shared my take on this topic – quick and simple. I drank, I got sick, doctors told me I was gonna die, I got sober, I may not have known it then, but in practice, I turned my will over to the care of God as I understood him. I had to trust that my team was taking care of me and that God, in his wisdom would do his part. He did…

And I lived … 15 years Lived !!!

I may have gone on for 5 minutes talking about the movement of God in our specific meeting space, because God visits us at Tuesday Beginners. You come long enough, and you watch people getting sober, eventually someone has a spiritual experience in a meeting, or an old timer will come to the meeting one week and become the fount of all spiritual wisdom, as happened today.

God moves in mysterious ways… Step three comes, you don’t need to rush it. I enjoy watching people “Get” step three and when it finally hits, it is like a tidal wave of God moving about the room.

Having worked my share of Pastoral Ministry cases in hospice and having worked a fair share of cancer related deaths in my 41 years of life, I had something to say to our friend who was having issues with God.

“GOD DOES NOT ORDAIN ILLNESS”

It rolled off my tongue like wisdom gleaned from the tree of knowledge itself. I just knew this had to be Godly counsel. I was sure of it from the moment the thought came to my mind. We sat and talked about presence. We spoke about the fact that adversity and illness gives us an opportunity to learn something about ourselves. When (another) is sick, or when we get sick,  we have a choice. We can be a victim, or we can be a victor. I had to come to this realization on my own too…

Illness purifies us before God. It is the fire that tempers the steel. Illness asks of us to find the spiritual path. I am 100% convinced that even if the prognosis is bleak, for either party, if you get spirituality, then the road will be easier, even to death.

Sometimes all we can do is be present for someone who is sick. Sometimes we are powerless to stop the ravages of illness. People get sick, some survive, some stay sick, and some die … What ever hand we are dealt, there is a lesson to learn about ourselves. The lesson may be very simple. Maybe to let go. And maybe the lesson comes quick, for many it comes slowly, as we realize that in certain illness cases, illness will go as illness goes. And for many, death is the end of suffering.

It is what WE do between Now and Then

What spiritual fire must we walk through? What is the specific lesson that we are supposed to learn amid the suffering of another human being, or even ourselves? Each lesson is person specific. I may be a seer. I may be an adequate listener. And I am getting better at communicating. I know that in the moment while I sat there with this man, who was clearly shaken, I was just present. He uttered the word “Pity” and I asked him about compassion? I asked him about being present to his wife. There is a lesson in there somewhere for him. I told him he wasn’t alone.

The spiritual path is different for every person in sobriety. Some come to sobriety with their baggage. Some come to sobriety because of prestige, Some come to sobriety because they are facing dire straits, then some come to sobriety out of a sense of desperation. They’ve been given a gift of desperation. Each person comes to the room from a different path, and no two paths are the same. But they lead down the same 12 stairs into the basement of St. Leon’s Church… (yes there are 12 stairs into the basement)

One never knows when God is going to show up. I believed He came for that man tonight, through the ministry of another sober alcoholic with a bent towards Pastoral Ministry. This is how the night was ordained…

We broke the room for the second meeting as Rick was taking his 19 year cake tonight, and once again Ms. Nancy baked another award winning Chocolate Cake. It was festive. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s take a step back.

We heard tonight that Sylvia, a 20 year member of AA in Montreal has passed away. She was a fixture in Montreal sober circles. Her funeral is Saturday at St. Monica’s Church where my spiritual director is Pastor. We will all go to celebrate her life. You wanna see sobriety in action, attend the funeral of a long time sober member of AA. I have seen this kind of emotion once before, when I first got sober. They used my Big Book on the Altar when John Mack died many years ago. That was a blessing for me. but I digress…

Vivian was the speaker tonight. She has been sober for over 20 years. She shared her story. It was part of her story that took me over the edge. Her son, Chris, is a hemophiliac and contracted HIV and Hep C in a blood transfusion. Some years ago. What she said next took my breath away.

She said my doctors name and she shared a story about the day Chris decided to seek treatment for HIV, and he went to the clinic. They had study drugs for him to take and they needed his approval to get him on the meds. He sat with the doctor and he explained the route for him, and he took a few moments, and said yes to the study. but not first pondering the thought, “what would mom do???”

Funny, this AA

You never know when God is going to speak to you directly. Over the last seven years – I have tested every drug that came through that clinic that was eventually given to patients across the board. As a test patient, you never know what kind of work you are doing in testing HIV medication. You never know the depth of investment we make in doing this for the greater good.

I gave the beginners chip out at the meeting. It was then that I spoke to her and I said to her, that my name is Jeremy and I am a test patient at the General and that all the drugs your son now has – went through me before he ever got them. In essence, I helped save a life. It was a God moment.

Chris is alive because men like me tested those medications to make sure that they worked first. I can’t explain the gravity of a moment like this one.

Many other patients are alive at the clinic for the work we have done for them over the last seven years. This was the first time I met a parent of a patient from the clinic that is alive because of something I did right in sobriety.

She sobbed uncontrollably. It was an amazing moment. this is confirmation that my Higher Power works in mysterious ways, and rewards us at specific moments in sobriety to show us that when we turn it over and step aside and let God be God, God will be God and He will do the heavy lifting for us, if we just Let Go and Let God…


7 Years …

aa-copy

Tomorrow is the big day, well, today really… I am writing this before going off to bed. By the Grace of God and the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, I haven’t had a drink in seven years.

We will start the day with mass at the Cathedral and then Louise is taking me out for lunch we are going to RUBEN’S Smoked Meat Bistro Downtown. YAY. For some fantabulous Chicken Caesar Salad YUMM!!

Then it will be off for coffee and set up. Hoping lots of people come for the meeting. I, of course, will be chairing… Stools and Bottles this week…

Service was good. The imagery of the Good Shepherd is always a cool reading from Matthew. If a Shepherd has 100 sheep and one goes missing will he not leave the 99 sheep on the mountain and go off and find the lost one?

We went to Ruben’s for lunch, which was super excellent. I had the French Dip, Louise had chopped chicken liver and a salad. The waiter only got 10% of his tip because he ignored us the entire time we sat at our table.

Although Owen came to visit us, he works there. Good to see new comers.

I got a Willow Creek angel from Louise. Very Kewl…

Almost time to get going… It is snowing like MAD outside. And it’s cold too.


Gratitude…

candles-biga

Last night after I finished my day and all that I had to do, I settled in to read an article on “Empathy” for class this evening. After a long day, the emotional weight of what happened yesterday hit me like a ton of bricks, as you have well read below on the blog.

I spoke to Trish this morning about what I had written and she wrote me a great email so she set me up for my day today. Louise called me as well to check on me. She was going to see Rev Canon Joyce, a little bit before my appointment with her at 3:30. I got myself showered and dressed to make my appointment at the Cathedral Place. It was good to sit down and talk and be listened to. I talked and talked. We are going to embark on a set schedule of spiritual direction over the coming weeks, as I need it so that I have someone to listen to me. Then she asked me what I did for joy? I had no answer for her. She asked me after all I did every day working with people and listening, what did I do for myself? I had no answer for her.

I live by the seat of my pants, usually. I like it, living in the moment, letting what will be come as it will. I know that everything begins and ends with prayer. I KNOW that. Sometimes I want a different answer. I go to school, that is for me. I work with my kids and that is fulfilling. I have my day of recovery and my friends. And that brings me comfort. It is something I do every week, like ritual. It is part of my existence. I write on this blog. I give back to my community here and in this city. I guess that brings me joy.

I live very simply. My marriage rocks. I like my life. I do all this work, and we got a good laugh out of this, I told Joyce that I live by this motto “Find Your Passion – DO IT – Money will follow.” Well, I am still waiting for the money to start following.

After my appointment I set off for Loyola for my evening class, which was great. All of my friends are great people. We had great conversation tonight. One of my classmates, John, is visually impaired and I heard tonight that his eye surgery was bumped up to today, which means he will be out for two to three weeks, so all of you can say a prayer for John and his family.

I also read today that ADAM, has hit a pothole in his recovery from cancer treatment. Go and read his moms latest entry and keep him in your prayers.

It was a good day. Today’s entry is brought to you by the letter “A”!!! I would like to thank all of you who called, emailed and prayed for me today. I am blessed and so are you. Especially Trish and Louise…

That’s all for tonight…


CANADA: Montreal bishop will work out rite for same-sex blessing

[Anglican Journal] Link

After this week’s discussions with bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada, Bishop Barry Clarke of Montreal plans to launch a process to work out a rite for blessing same-sex couples in the diocese who have been married in civil ceremonies.

In an opening statement October 24 to the annual synod of the Diocese of Montreal, the bishop said he believes that in the current debate about same-sex issues some are being called to speak with a prophetic voice, others with a voice of caution.

“For reasons, perhaps known only to God, I believe we, in the Diocese of Montreal, are among those who have been called by God to speak with a prophetic voice,” he said. “It is our voice that is called to affirm that all people are loved, valued and precious before God and the church. It is our voice that is called to affirm that all unions of faithful love and life-long commitment are worthy of God’s blessing and a means of God’s grace. In time our voice will either be affirmed by the body, or stand corrected.”

About a year ago, the 2007 Montreal synod adopted a resolution calling on the bishop to grant permission for clergy, under certain conditions, to bless duly solemnized civil marriages, including same-sex marriages. Clarke, like the bishops of two other dioceses where such motions were passed around the same time, has not yet implemented it by authorizing such blessings.

Speaking at this year’s synod, the bishop described his decision as one that “does constitute an incremental step forward, which is consistent with the wishes of synod, all the while observing the cautious posture voiced and upheld in other parts of the Anglican Communion” and expressed at the Lambeth Conference of the world’s Anglican bishops this summer.

Delegates to this year’s Montreal synod took no further action on the issue except to debate and vote down, by clear although not overwhelming majorities, two resolutions presented by people opposed to same-sex blessings.

One resolution asked the bishop to refrain from implementing same-sex blessings until there had been extensive consultation with the Anglican Communion worldwide, until the diocese had established a process for consulting its members, until the General Synod of Canada changed the marriage canon, and in any event not before the 2010 Montreal synod.

The other resolution asked that, if the bishop did authorize the blessings, a process called shared episcopal ministry be made available to parishes and clergy requesting it. (Basically, this could mean that, with Clarke’s assent, a bishop opposed to the blessings would provide certain services, probably including confirmations, in similarly minded parishes. Last May, Eddie Marsh, retired bishop of Central Newfoundland, carried out a confirmation service for candidates from two parishes in the Montreal suburban area known as the West Island. Clarke authorized this, at least with regard to one of the parishes, and the experiment was considered by some to be a trial run for shared episcopal ministry.)

The two motions were rejected, although their sponsors used conciliatory language in presenting them.

David Johnstone, rector’s warden of the evangelical St. Stephen’s Church in Westmount, said the motion on consultation would not reverse the 2007 decision but would help to preserve Anglican unity in a situation where “the diversity once cherished by Anglicanism has been stretched beyond limits.”

The Rev. Timothy Wiebe of two churches in the Eastern Townships described the motion on shared episcopal ministry as “creative, generous and fully inclusive of all points of view” and “an Anglican solution, a via media.”

In his opening address, Clarke said that, shortly after the meeting of the House of Bishops (October 27-31), he would establish a commission with the responsibility of drafting an appropriate rite for the blessing and guidelines for implementation.

“In this process, I am committed to an open dialogue, and to this end, I will provide opportunities on a formal basis for listening, dialogue and further discernment,” he said. He added that the diocese would work alongside the faith, worship and ministry committee, which had been charged by General Synod, the Anglican Church of Canada’s governing body, to develop a process to engage dioceses and parishes in study of the Christian perspective on human sexuality in light of scripture, reason, tradition and current scientific understanding.

“Let me make it absolutely clear that in this process, no cleric and no congregation will be required to participate in any future blessing of same-sex civil marriages,” said Clarke.

– Harvey Shepherd is editor of The Montreal Anglican, the newspaper of the Diocese of Montreal.


This and That …

Luke 12:35-40
Watchfulness

“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

This was the Gospel reading from today’s service. And we were asked a question. If we were to die today, would we be ready to meet the Lord? Would YOU be ready? Would I be ready???

It is a dark, dreary, rainy, miserable day in the thousand acre wood. The leaves are falling from the trees in a furious fashion. It is cold. They say it might snow in the next couple of days. I an hesitant at putting the plastic on the widows just yet because once I do, they are sealed until at least May… But last night we fired up the heat and the humidifier. Winter is not far off now… It’s all downhill from here on out.

Today I went to the cathedral for mass because of something I read from Rolheiser’s text:
I am reprinting a portion of that text from earlier in the week:

But there is something that we can do. We can touch the hem of Christ’s garment. We can celebrate the Eucharist. In it we are inexplicably given peace and strength because in that ritual God holds us to his heart.

The scriptural story [Mark 5:24-34] of the woman who touched the hem of Christ’s garment provides a paradigm for this. That woman, we are told, had been suffering from internal bleeding for many years. During those years she had tried everything within her power to come to healing. Nothing had worked. All her efforts had served only to worsen her state and leave her fatigued and discouraged. Finally, with her own resources spent and all that was humanly in view exhausted, she decided she would sneak up and touch Christ. As she touched him she felt a power flow into her. She became whole.

Something beyond herself, something from beyond ordinary possibility, now flowed where formerly she hemorrhaged. Her explicit confrontation with Christ would come later.

The Eucharist is meant to function like that. In it we touch the hem of Christ’s garment and are held to his heart. What happens there is something beyond words and understanding, though not beyond love.

Like love, the Eucharist does not need to be understood or explained, it needs only to be touched. In the Eucharist, as in love, the main thing is that we are held.

That is why are we have spent all our words we should celebrate the Eucharist. When our own words, decisions and actions are inadequate to relieve the aching in our hearts we need the embrace of the mother, God. This happens in the Eucharist.

It is a timeless ritual, an embrace. Like love, it is something that we can never fully understand or explain. But we need to understand it. We can let the ritual do its work. Ultimately we go to the Eucharist to let ourselves be held.

We live constantly at the limits of our own capacities, where our words fail us, where our resources are not enough and we feel acutely our dullness, our failure, our moral impotence, our bitterness and our distance from God and others.

We are constantly helpless, helpless to heal and helpless to celebrate. In that fatigue and tension we need to abandon ourselves to the embrace, the Eucharist.

It is not important to understand all that transpires there, nor even that we should go to the Eucharist fully alert and enthusiastic – I doubt whether the apostles were that at the Last Supper. It is only important that we enter the ritual. In it God holds us to her heart.

The Eucharist is an Embrace. Pgs. 175-177, Ron Rolheiser, Forgotten among the lilies…

We need to keep ADAM in our prayers. He is having a rough time and is in the Hospital for a few more days. Follow the link and go to his blog and offer him your support.

The good preacher Randall is on the move from Saskatchewan to Alberta to his new posting at the little church in the field. Here are a couple of shots of his new digs:

We pray for a safe journey and a blessed arrival in their new location.

Almost time to go for coffee with my Tuesday crew and my home group meeting tonight.

Until later… Stay tuned

TTFN…


Lambeth Post-Mortem continues

Dr Williams has made a split inevitable in the Anglican Church


… includes these quotes:

The Rev Susan Russell, of the US gay lobby group Integrity, said that Dr Williams was seeking a false unity based in dishonesty. The latest revelations would encourage liberals in North America to press on with their agenda and protect them against charges of apostasy, she said.“That Archbishop Rowan Williams’s theology is identical to that held by Canadian and American Anglican Churches currently blessing same-sex unions is not news,” Ms Russell said. “What should be news is the rank hypocrisy of Williams’s willingness to lay at the feet of Canadian and American Anglicans the blame for divisions in the communion when the only difference between what’s happening in our Churches and in his is that we’re telling the truth about it.”

The Rev Giles Fraser, Vicar of St Mary’s in Putney, southwest London, which played host to the gay US bishop Gene Robinson on his recent visit to London, said: “I know Dr Williams thinks the Church is important. But this is almost saying the Church is more important than belief. We had a Reformation to change that view.” Just for the record, here’s the whole comment I sent to the Times this morning per their request (I kinda liked the wise man built his house upon the rock part they didn’t use!):

+Williams’ affirmation that a theology supporting the holiness of gay and lesbian partnerships is not only viable but shared by the Archbishop of Canterbury will be received as encouragement by those who continue to press on toward full inclusion. It should give rest, once and for all, to the fiction that our perspective lies outside of the bounds of historic Anglicanism and end the charges of apostasy and heresy from those who disagree with us on the full inclusion of gay and lesbian Anglicans in the work and witness of the church.

The sacrifice that will hold the Anglican Communion together is not the sacrifice of the gay and lesbian baptized but the sacrifice of a false unity based in dishonesty. That +Rowan Williams’ theology is identical to that held by Canadian and American Anglican churches currently blessing same sex unions is not news. What should be news is the rank hypocrisy of Williams’ willingness to lay at the feet of Canadian and American Anglicans the blame for divisions in the Communion when the only difference between what’s happening in our churches and in his is that we’re telling the truth about it.

Scripture tells us what happened to the foolish man who built his house upon the sand. It’s time for the Archbishop of Canterbury to act like the wise man he is and build the future of the Anglican Communion on the solid rock of honest differences reflected in the Lambeth Indaba Report and not on the shifting sands of global Anglican politics. Jesus promised us that “the truth will set you free.” The Communion deserves nothing less than the truth — and so does the Gospel.

Picked up at: The Times Online:

Dr Williams has made a split inevitable in the Anglican Church

The Archbishop of Canterbury faces a fresh furore over the strength of his liberal views on gay relationships

A split in the Anglican Church was inevitable, a leading conservative cleric said last night as he attacked Rowan Williams’s belief that gay relationships could be “comparable to marriage”.

After a successful Lambeth Conference for the Archbishop of Canterbury, where he avoided schism over the issue, Dr Williams faced a fresh furore over the strength of his liberal views.

The Primate of the Southern Cone, Archbishop Gregory Venables, predicted the end of the communion, saying: “This is more evidence of the unravelling of Anglicanism. Without a clearly agreed biblical foundation, all the goodwill in the world cannot stop the inevitable break-up. Unity without truth is disunity.”

Archbishop Venables, who has infuriated North American Anglicans by taking conservative defectors into his South American province, including the entire Diocese of San JoaquÍn in central California, was among the organisers of the recent Global Anglican Future Conference in Jerusalem.

With Archbishop Henry Orombi, of Uganda, and Dr Peter Akinola, of Nigeria, he will be at the meeting of the Global Anglican primates in London this month, where Anglican bishops who boycotted Lambeth will discuss Dr Williams’s views.

A leading Global South primate told The Times that most conservative bishops and archbishops in Africa and Asia had been unaware of Dr Williams’s personal theology on same-sex relations and had never read his 1989 essay The Body’s Grace, where he gave some indication of his views.

The disclosures will add impetus to the Global Anglican Future movement and drive liberals and conservatives in the Anglican Communion even farther apart.

The emergence of Dr Williams’s views, in private correspondence published by The Times yesterday, prompted renewed attacks on his leadership from British conservatives.

The Rev Rod Thomas, of Reform, a network of Anglican evangelicals committed to reforming the Church of England, said: “For many people in the communion, what this reveals calls into question the ability of Dr Williams to lead the communion out of the crisis it is in. Despite his considerable personal qualities, he is so obviously torn. In his very person he is bound to give encouragement to one side of the controversy. This leaves a vacuum of leadership and that is why the Global Anglican Future Conference emerged.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury also came under attack from liberals, particularly in the United States, who accused him of “rank hypocrisy” for blaming them for rifts among Anglicans, while British liberals criticised him for putting unity before belief.

The Rev Susan Russell, of the US gay lobby group Integrity, said that Dr Williams was seeking a false unity based in dishonesty. The latest revelations would encourage liberals in North America to press on with their agenda and protect them against charges of apostasy, she said.

“That Archbishop Rowan Williams’s theology is identical to that held by Canadian and American Anglican Churches currently blessing same-sex unions is not news,” Ms Russell said. “What should be news is the rank hypocrisy of Williams’s willingness to lay at the feet of Canadian and American Anglicans the blame for divisions in the communion when the only difference between what’s happening in our Churches and in his is that we’re telling the truth about it.”

The Rev Giles Fraser, Vicar of St Mary’s in Putney, southwest London, which played host to the gay US bishop Gene Robinson on his recent visit to London, said: “I know Dr Williams thinks the Church is important. But this is almost saying the Church is more important than belief. We had a Reformation to change that view.”

Clergy and laity in the centre ground defended Dr Williams. The Rev Graham Kings, Vicar of St Mary’s, Islington, in North London and founder of the open evangelical group Fulcrum, said the letters “added nothing” to what was known of Dr Williams’s views.

Dr Williams said in a letter to an evangelical churchgoer that, after 20 years of thought, study and prayer, he had concluded that the Bible did not condemn homosexuality.

A Western imposition

Analysis: Tabu Butagira

It is no coincidence that African bishops are among the most prominent voices speaking against same-sex relations.

Africans are largely conservative about issues of sexuality. Homosexual relationships are illegal in most parts of the continent. In Uganda, sodomy attracts a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

The continent now finds itself struggling with an increase in homosexual behaviour, which is seen by many Africans as an alien cultural imposition perpetuated by rich Westerners targeting vulnerable youths. Indigenous African communities often shun and vilify homosexuals.

Opposition to homosexuality has united African political leaders, atheists and clerics determined to defeat what is seen as cultural imperialism. The disagreement within the Anglican Communion looks set only to deepen further.

Tabu Butagira is a senior reporter at the Daily Monitor in Uganda and David Astor Journalism Award Trust Fellow on attachment to The Times


Anglican leader seeks moratorium on gay bishops

By RACHEL ZOLL, AP Religion Writer

NEW YORK – Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, struggling to hold together the troubled world Anglican family, urged church leaders gathered Sunday in England not to consecrate another gay bishop, saying the fellowship will be in “grave peril” without a moratorium.

In his final speech at the once-a-decade Lambeth Conference, Williams said Anglicans need “space for study and free discussion without pressure” about whether to accept changes in traditional biblical understanding of same-sex relationships. He also asked churches to refrain from adopting official prayers for blessing same-gender unions.

“If the North American churches don’t accept the need for moratoria, then to say the least, we are no further forward,” Williams said at a news conference ending the 20-day assembly in Canterbury. “That means as a communion we continue to be in grave peril.”

The 77 million-member Anglican Communion has been splintering since 2003, when the U.S. Episcopal Church consecrated the first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.

Williams barred Robinson and a few other bishops from the meeting, and designed the event without legislation or votes, instead focusing on rebuilding frayed relationships.

Still, more than 200 theologically conservative bishops boycotted the gathering, upset that Williams had invited Episcopal leaders who consecrated Robinson. In June, just before Lambeth began, those same conservative bishops formed a new global network within the communion that challenges Williams’ authority but stops short of a permanent split.

Williams does not have the authority to force an agreement among the conflicted groups. The 38 Anglican national churches, including the U.S. Episcopal Church, are self-governed and loosely connected by shared roots in the missionary work of the Church of England.

But the 650 bishops at Lambeth said Sunday in a statement, which they called their “reflections” on the meeting, that “there is widespread support across the communion” for an extended moratorium on gay bishops and on blessing ceremonies for same-gender couples.

“A fellow Christian may believe they have a profound fresh insight,” Williams said in his final address. “But the Christian with the new insight can’t claim straight away that this is now what the Church of God believes or intends.”

Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori issued a brief statement that did not address the requested bans. She said the communion “is suffering the birth pangs of something new” and urged patience in the church.

Los Angeles Bishop Jon Bruno told Episcopal Cafe, the blog of the Diocese of Washington, D.C., “for people who think that this is going to lead us to disenfranchise any gay or lesbian person, they are sadly mistaken.” Same-sex marriage was legalized in California in June.

The Anglican Church of Canada also has parishes that permit blessings for same-sex couples.

No one expected the Lambeth Conference to definitively heal the rifts among Anglicans. Still, other Christians watched the gathering closely.

The communion is the third-largest religious group in the world, behind Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians. Many Protestant churches are also struggling with how they should interpret what Scripture says about gay relationships and other issues.

Anglican internal problems are also hurting their ties with other Christians.

Catholic Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, spoke at Lambeth, urging the bishops to maintain Christian tradition. What is at stake “is nothing other than our faithfulness to Christ himself,” Kasper said.

Vatican and Anglican officials have been in talks for years about reunifying — an effort complicated by the Church of England‘s recent move to accept female bishops. Anglicans split from Rome when England’s King Henry VIII bolted in 1534 after he was refused a marriage annulment.

The bishops at Lambeth discussed a proposed global covenant that would set some requirements for membership in the communion. Williams said Sunday that he plans a meeting early next year of the 38 Anglican national leaders, or primates, to move ahead with the idea. But it will be years before any agreement is reached.

Williams and the bishops also urged a moratorium on church leaders taking oversight of breakaway parishes in an Anglican territory that is not their own.

Conservative Anglican leaders from Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and elsewhere now have authority over seceding Episcopal parishes. One diocese, San Joaquin, based in Fresno, Calif., has broken away, and two more — Pittsburgh and Fort Worth, Texas — are poised to do the same this fall.

Robinson traveled to Canterbury even though he wasn’t invited, meeting with overseas bishops and serving as what he called a “constant and friendly” reminder of gays in the church. His spokesman did not return a call Sunday seeking comment.


July 31 …

Call us, The boys who lived… Harry Potter celebrates his magical birthday today too.

It was a good day. We got up and prepped for the beauty salon. 4 years of old hair growth is now gone, I sat down in the chair and asked Tanya if she was ready… ready for what, she asked, To cut it all off… She pulled out a couple of books to try and get an idea of what I wanted her to do. We finally agreed on the style I wanted. So now my hair is shaved up on the sides and there is length on the top to pull back with gel, kinda like a mushroom!! Tee Hee …

Then we went to lunch at the Eaton Centre and we did a little shopping for my birthday.

In the Eye of the Storm, by +Rev. Gene Robinson.

I picked it up at the Diocesan Bookseller and I also got the 2 disc set of Celine Dion’s A New Day from Las Vegas. The Reverend Canon is in England as we speak, attending the Lambeth conference, and she assured me that while she was there, she would strenuously work towards getting +Rev. Gene Robinson to come back to Montreal to preach for us once again. I am awaiting word from her.

I went to class because I had a presentation to make to class, it was a class assignment, to prep our critical reading paper with a preliminary presentation of what our papers were going to be on. I am writing on The Cross in Our Context by Douglas John Hall, and his essay, “Religion Kills.” I sat through a number of really good presentation, and I tried to rework my thesis while I sat there. Then a young woman who is a teacher got up and did her presentation on education, religion and secular culture and that presentation went on for almost 30 minutes. I was supposed to follow her, thankfully, another student with a presentation on Wahabi and Islam asked to go next, which was a good omen because his lecture was the perfect prelude to my presentation, since my essay speaks about Islam, War and Christianity and the Cross in our Culture.

I was a flop anyways, it did not go well for me. Hopefully I will pull a 6 page paper out of my ass and redeem myself on paper, because I did a terrible job in my presentation. My Prof was all over my ass with comments and critical speculation about some of my ideas. ho hum…

I got home to gifts and goodies from hubby. Like a new umbrella, both of our brellas are broken. He got me a new water bottle and a new bunch of hankies. And some candies that I like. I got phone calls and lots of emails from friends like Eric and Hunter and on Facebook, it was a veritable virtual birthday party all day long.

So that does it for the day… Now bring on the Holidays…

Thanks to all of you who participated in the day with me from where ever you are. I much appreciate your kind wishes and friendships.


Go, Do, Good Work…

It was a very good day. I was up all night programming two new rooms in my IMVU account, because my friend Hunter gifted me with a few thousand free credits, which was a really nice gift. I got a few hours of sleep and started my day as usual.

I met with my spiritual adviser this afternoon and we talked for over an hour about life and my work in the community and she gave me some sage wisdom and cautioned me as well. So I took her advice to heart and all was well. I come to find out that the Rev. Canon will be traveling to the UK to attend Lambeth because she is on a commission of female clergy that will be making a presentation at Lambeth.

I also encouraged her to extend an invitation to +Rev Gene Robinson to come back to Montreal to preach at the Cathedral again, she told me that she had made an invitation to him by email and was told that his schedule is really busy, but we hope that a face to face meeting with Bishop Robinson will change his mind and maybe he can find some time to come and see us again.

This years Outmass has been put on hold until we can secure Bishop Robinson to come and preach for us, the mass usually falls during Pride which is in 2 weeks here in Montreal. But because of the Bishop’s busy schedule the Cathedral thought that they would hold off on the mass for a better date.

If you had a chance to go and listen to the sermon which I posted last night for you, Bishop Robinson touched on a number of points. In the church, our church, although some would like to think that we are up to some Gay Agenda, or homosexual truth, we are not. Like many of my Gay and Lesbian brothers and sisters, Jesus is what we think about, its what we talk about and it why we do what it is that we do.

The whole squabble over sexual orientation and the elevation of one man to the position to Bishop and his subsequent marriage to his partner is not all that important. Although some in the Anglican Communion would want you to think that way. Some priests and Bishops in the communion so staunchly hold to the seven deadly scriptures to bolster their argument about homosexuality. What is the real issue, that we are gay or that we are Christians? Or that God so loved us too that he sent his only son to be our savior? We were born of the same stardust that you were. God breathed life into us and He is the one who guides our days and nights, speaks the words that need to be spoken.

We should “Be Not Afraid…”

In his final words Bishop Robinson quotes the prophet Jeremiah and his calling by God. From the first chapter of Jeremiah. Jeremiah 1:4-10

The Call of Jeremiah

The word of the LORD came to me, saying,”Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

“Ah, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.”

But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD.

Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”

We are no longer boys and girls. We can no longer afford to hide in the shadows and make excuses for the work that God has asked us to do. To speak the words that need to be said. Bishop Robinson said that each and every one of us knows someone who needs to hear a good word. We all know someone who can benefit from the words only we can speak to them because of our relationship with the people we know best. When we do not have the words to speak, God puts “into our spirits” that which we need.

We should tarry not the work of the Master gardener. So step out there and speak your truth to those who will hear it, share the message of peace and love with those who need it. Go out into the crowd and do good things. Acts 3:1-10

Peter Heals the Crippled Beggar

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

What if what we share with another has the miraculous spark to help someone walk, or to see, or to hear or to feel, what glorious feeling that would be to those of us who work in the field. Be peacemakers. Be Christ like minded people and go out and speak your truth to the world. We are all equals under God. No one is better than the other. We are all just journeymen and women. We follow the same god of our understanding when all is said and done.

As Sisiter Georgette is apt to say to me “Go, DO, Good Works.”


On Being Canadian…

“This year we mark and celebrate the founding of the Canadian state 400 years ago; from Champlain to today.”

From Celebrate Canada Day

It has been over six years since I moved to Montreal, and Canada the larger nation. And I thought that I would write a post about being a Canadian and why that is so important to me. Living in Canada as a gay, hiv positive man has done wonders for my life. I have achieved heights here I would never have been able to in the United States as the situation was in the past. Living hand to mouth, having to choose between bills and food, over medications was a real downer.

Moving from one BIG city to a truly Cosmopolitan BIG Candian city was remarkable. Montreal had a mystique all its own. There was so much to see and there still is so much to see here that I would never think of leaving this great city. I have grown up in this city in ways I never thought possible.

Living in Canada brought with it radical changes in the way I see the world from above the Northern Border. Learning where my loyalties lain was very important seeing that I was here as the Iraq war had begun, taking part in demonstrations against the war was life changing. Not knowing where to stand at one point of this journey, I had to take the time to learn about what I was feeling and where those loyalties laid. That took a while to figure out but when the map finally appeared before me, I was good to go.

Coming from the United States, knowing what I knew changed when the run up to the war took place. Everything I knew came into question. Everything I had grown up to believe was challenged. The very way I lived my  life was on the line. I had one foot in the U.S. and one foot in Canada. And I was at odds with my self because I did not know where I stood on many issues. I had to find my way. That took some time. I eventually chose to place both feet firmly on Canadian soil and make my stand here. And that decision changed my life. I may hold dual citizenship but my soul is firmly a Canadian soul. I sewed Canadian flags on my backpack and I became one of many. My collective here in Canada.

Canada has grown as a country. Montreal has grown as a city. I have grown into the man I am. I have learned about the myriad of religious beliefs that reside here. I have met, studied and befriended many different people from all walks of life. Returning to University was the biggest decision I had made at one point in my journey. And now I hold a B.A. in Religious Studies which has changed the way I see religion today.

When Canada passed legislation on Same Sex marriage, Hubby and I were amongst the first ten couples in Montreal to get a marriage license. We eventually married in November of 2004, with friends and family in attendance. That was a big change in our lives to be recognized as a couple legally. Gay rights IS a big deal no matter where you live. And we have seen what kind of divisivness can come about from the discussion of Gay Marriage in the United States.

Being gay in Canada has changed the way we see the world around us. Because here in Canada we are afforded right according to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We have an entire neighborhood devoted to all things gay. We have a vibrant multicultural gay community, and a vibrant multicultural city, a mosaic of people, ethnicity and faith. Gay Pride is a daily way of life. We don’t have to hide in closets and in dark corners of neighborhoods. With the passage of gay rights and marriage rights here we move more fully into community and that is lacking in the United States. When will the United States realize that there are bigger fish to fry like impeaching the President and taking him the the Hague for War Crimes! When will gay move main stream and the people of an entire nation rise up and do the right thing for a change, instead of being led to slaughter like mindless sheep?

I tell you truly, that if you really want to see the world (The U.S. ) for what it is, then uproot your family, leave your sofas and beer cans and football games and move abroad for One Calendar year. See the United States from someplace else, like Canada, and I assure you that you will never see the U.S. the way you did before and forever after.

I became part of a church, I found my religious roots so to speak. With my religious studies my faith has changed. Everything I knew and loved about Catholicism was changed. Being gay and informed has truly changed the way I see Christianity and the way I practice my faith. I moved away from Holy Mother Church and into the Anglican communion and as a communion community here in Canada we came to agreement on the blessing of same sex couples in the last year. A change that has challenged the greater Anglican and Episcopal community at large.

As we see today that the Anglican community is more fractured than ever just because a Gay, now married man, The V. Rev. Gene Robinson is Bishop in New Hampshire. My views and practice of Christian faith has been tempered by the way other Christians live their lives. It is my belief that I practice an active true faith in Christ. I love my god with all my heart, soul and strength and I love my neighbor as myself. How much easier can Christianity be? My faith is so much richer for the opportunity to study religion in University. That has also changed my life for the better.

Over the years we have seen many things change in Canada. The recognition of the past and apologies made to certain communities of people have changed Canada for the better. The head tax apology to the Chinese community was a big step in Asia Pacific understanding. And more recently the Truth and Reconciliation commission undertaking the huge step in repairing the sins of a Nation against the Native Peoples of Canada. The great apology from the Prime Minister to the native community just a little while ago was a big step in helping Canada and a peoples move forward from one of the darkest periods in Canadian history.

Canada is a great country to live in – Montreal is a wonderful city to be a part of. There is so much more freedom here than in the United States. My life is so much richer for being here. And I am more the man I was meant to be here. I work with my kids, I have great friends, and I have a great life. And I live. I have medical treatment here that is unheard of in the United States. I am in trials for new medications for people with Aids. I work every day to try to help find solutions for the sick and dying. That is my full time job here, to live and to make sure that as these meds come off the production line that they work so that you, out there can use them with the assurance that they really do work.

I am sober now seven years going on eight this Winter. I am committed to my home group and the ministry of AA in my community. I help others get sober and we teach them how to live in the moment and to stay in their days. So much has changed in sobriety. My life is so different from what it had been and I have everything to be grateful for in coming to Canada.

If you can dream it you can live it. Always fight for what you believe in, and if you can’t find it where you are, then come and find it elsewhere. There are always possibilities.

**Edit**

September 25th, 2010

It seems this post has been accessed by someone and I am reading this again tonight, having traveled farther down the journey here in Canada. Since that post was written, I have graduated from University with my BA in Religious studies, I have completed a Certificate in Pastoral Ministry in 2010. I am now studying languages and history at Dawson College here in Montreal. It truly has been a journey of a thousand steps all one day at a time.

I spent a year working on my M.A. in Theology and I found myself wanting more, I was not enjoying myself, and my papers were not what was necessary to keep up a GPA. I left the university with no way to continue my studies there, which sent me to Dawson, because unlike the U.S. you can get financial aide from the government to go to school at all levels of the educational ladder. And since I did not attend CeGep on the way up, I was able to continue my studies at that level. It’s all good.

Hubby has since completed a BA in English lit and a second BA in Sociology. And today he is working on his M.A. in Sociology at Concordia University. We are all so very proud of him, he has come a LONG way from the point that I wrote this first entry some years ago. We have been married now almost 6 years come November. He will have been sober almost eight years as well. We have traveled a thousand miles in our marriage. Life could not be better for either one of us today.

I am still alive, I have been testing HIV medications for the entire time that I have been here in Montreal, having a doctor who has treated patient zero, as my doctor has changed my life. Pills that were never available to the general public were made available because we tested them here in Montreal first. I tested them just for you, because you matter to the rest of us, every one of you. This year I crossed the 16 year mark living with aids. And I am doing very well, with the treatment that I have been on for more than three years now.

This calendar year, 2010 I will celebrate 9 years of sobriety on December the 9th. Sobriety has changed my life. Being in Canada has changed my life in ways I could never have imagined even when I wrote this original entry, I was no so far up the road, but far enough to root myself in Montreal.

I still maintain that if you want to see the world and the place you come from in a different light, you have to leave the comfort of home and move someplace else for at least a calendar year.

That is all for this update on Being Canadian…


Post Lenten Wrap Up…

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 Matt 28:8-15

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

The Guards’ Report

While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.

40 days has come and go, and what can we say about our time in the desert? What have we learned on our journey this year and what have we learned about ourselves? What did God change in us, and what was needing to be changed? And how did your life change over the last 40 days?

There wasn’t much that I needed to give up for Lent. I did spend a good deal of time each day praying and meditating, where ever and whenever. Taking set time out each day to sit and write for you was a kind of meditation. I attended services during this Lenten period. I asserted myself into my community. I became one of many. I worshiped with my community as was requested of me. If you are going to write about us, you need to be part of us so that you can have a fuller experience of Christian community.

I have spent this term reading my bible every day, something that has changed the way I pray every day. My Christian Spirituality class has helped my in ways I may not have mentioned before or even thought about until now.

We live in such an analytical world where we spend so much time decoding the codes, analyzing the situations, and trying to find the hidden meanings of things that we miss the real truth staring us right in the face. We spend too much time talking about what we want to do, what we should do, and how we should do it, that we never really get down to acting on what we speak of.

I worked on my amends list. I set an amends in motion to someone I thought I needed to reconnect with and that person has yet to reply to my letter so I don’t expect anything from it at this time. I am still working in my community as I have for the last seven years, we lost a few people in my home group over these last few weeks, and a loss is a loss no matter the reason. Our long term member ratio is falling.

Have you shared with your fellow on the road? Did you Give Big? Were you stingy with anything that you had when it came to offering assistance to anyone you came in contact with? Did you not speak when you should have? Did you do all that you could have to help fellow pilgrims on the road with you? Did you share your time, talent and treasure with everyone you had to opportunity to do so with? What did you learn about them, and what did you learn about yourself?

And now with Lent behind us, what are you going to do now???


Easter Vigil: Christ Church Cathedral

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