Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Media Star and Seminary Friends

It's been a very interesting few days. It's Seabury Reunion time at Camp Coast Care. One classmate arrived last Friday and two others came on Monday, a fourth arrives tomorrow. They are all WORKING VERY HARD! I am so proud of them, and so very grateful that they are here. It is interesting, also, to preach in front of them, but mostly it's FUN.
They are so helpful to me. I tell people all the time that I don't have a &^%$* clue what I am doing. Bouncing things off of good friends whose advice I covet and appreciate is helping me with some struggles. Plus, I can let off steam around them and be comforted.
Today I drove two of them around the beach area, with a parishioner of one. I have made that journey countless times since Aug 29, but it is still hard. I am a little numb to the damage, and today I could even see some signs of advanced debris cleanup, but the task is SO huge. Couple that with the unexpected cold snap, and folks around here are deeply struggling. And I confess - I am whipped. I am tired and confused and drained and questioning. The hugs from friends are much needed these days.
As to "media star", my very unflattering picture is on the cover of both the Arizona Episcopalian and the Virginia Episcopalian - and today I was interviewed by the local newspaper. I am SURE I will be misquoted (that's my excuse and I am sticking to it). Anyway, it is very, very WEIRD to be in those papers, and I have received calls already from people and churches in both dioceses wanting to help. So THANKS to my unknown Arizona and Virginia friends!

Thursday, November 10, 2005


I think I've mentioned before how different preaching is these days. Not just from the post-hurricane standpoint, but also because we often have 40 or more guests - volunteers serving at our relief center. They live in the gym where we hold services. They bring energy and enthusiasm to the service, they laugh at my old jokes, and they cry - a LOT.
We are blessed to have them and they influence what I say each week.
Last Sunday's All Saint's sermon included the volunteers in a big way. I will post a link when it gets online (yes, I am audio recording sermons again).

Jane Ellen asked me to post the new congregational prayer. It is glommed from various sources, some to do with new church plants, some with new buildings, etc. We will use it for church services and vestry meetings. I have asked my vestry to keep it in their cars and pray it as they investigate various real estate properties around town as potential church sites. It is posted below.
Meanwhile, please keep praying and coming. The work is so long and hard and overwhelming. I was back at church site today. It is still so hard to go there. The debris and the smell and the absolute RIDICULOUSNESS of how much is destroyed is beyond the senses.
FEMA reported today that Katrina had the highest ever recorded storm surge - over 35 feet in Pass Christian, which is where I live and 5 miles from my church. We never had a chance. The surge was more than 10 feet higher than Camille, the previous monster storm. All the more reason to pray:

O Lord God of Israel, the heavens cannot contain you, yet
you are pleased to dwell in the midst of your people, and
have moved us to set apart a space on which to rebuild a house
of prayer: Send us your Spirit, that we may learn what you would have us do and the words and
witness you would have us offer, Guide us as we continue your work;
show us the field in which to plant that your Kingdom may come and your power be revealed in this community; to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

So many Saints, so little time

Lots of activity on the church rebuild front this week....
The folks who run the Industrial Park very near where we currently meet at the school, have graciously allotted us over 2 acres to use for a temporary location! This is most exciting. We will move the office trailer over there next week, and should be able to occupy it by the end of the week. Next up - finding temporary worship space to put on the same property.
Meanwhile we are awaiting word from gov. officials regarding feasibility of rebuilding on the beach site, and we are also checking out property north of the beach should we so choose. I put together a prayer, glommed from several sources, for our folks to use during this time of discernment over where we should build.
The relief center and medical clinic are actually busier now than ever. Probably because many other such sites have closed recently.
CNN and Time want to interview my LW, who has made this miracle happen at the medical clinic. It is amazing what has gone on and the numbers of people served.
Saints fill our relief center everyday. They come from all over and each is changed by their being here. The gospel gets preached powerfully 24 X 7. I am privileged to get to watch and listen.
More seminary friends are coming soon - YEA! And our new friend, Jen H. left Thursday (booo!). She was the perfect saint - working in the clinic during the day and doing stuff for us around the house at night, laundry, cleaning, etc. What a blessing she is to us! COME BACK SOON!
CNN has been running more stuff on the Miss. recovery, including a video diary by a senior at Long Beach High School (Long Beach is where my church was / is). If you missed it, some of the video is on It will make you cry.
See ya, Saints...