Friday, March 24, 2006

Defend O Lord your servant.....

NYC was a blast! The LW and I had one free day (the day we arrived), her 1st trip to the Big Apple. We went to a play on Broadway (Hairspray - it was great and we had GREAT seats thanks to a wonderful volunteer at our relief center who used to work there). We had a wonderful pre-play dinner, then we wandered around Times Square after the show. The weather was perfect and LW was thrilled.
On Wednesday she began her training and orientation for her new (PAYING!!) job. I had a meeting with some church folks, then took the subway up to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. I enjoyed a self directed tour, and am still amazed by the size of that place, world's largest Cathedral it claims. They are still recovering from a tragic fire that damaged a transept a few years ago. That evening I preached, then gave a Lenten talk at St. James on Madison Ave. This wonderful church was the site of my Plunge experience at seminary, a real highlight of my seminary time. I spent 2 weeks there with two classmates and it was way cool.
They welcomed me with open arms and I was able, I think, to tell the story of St. Patrick's and the Coast of Miss. in ways they had not heard before. They are committed to partner with us in the rebuilding of our church and our community.
Thursday I traveled via subway to 815, the national church offices. There I met with reps from the Episcopal CHurch Foundation, to talk about the new fund raising campaign, From Darkness to Day, chaired by my Bishop and the Bishop of Louisiana. Again I was able to tell our story to folks who appreciated the fresh perspective. I think it always helps to have personal connections to these events.
I then met one of my best friends from seminary for lunch. He is planting a brand new church in the Diocese of Deleware. It was great to catchup and to share in his excitement about the church plant. Those that know me know that church planting has a special place in my heart (although God has had other plans for me so far), so I live through his ministry and pray for him and his work constantly. He will do well, he has the right skills and work ethic for this difficult work.
That evening I joined the LW and her new work friends for a wonderful dinner.
The next morning I went to Ground Zero and visited Trinity Wall Street and St. Paul's - a holy place if there ever was one.
Our perfect trip got weird on the way home. Due to a security breach at LaGuardia, we were over 3 hours late leaving (for another time my thoughts on how totally inept Homeland Security and TSA are), and ended up spending the night in Memphis. I made it to the workshop I was helping to host by their lunch break the next day. Fortunately, some good folks were able to step in and everything was fine.
Whew...that's a lot. I will end with this - we had our annual visitation of our Bishop last night. We are the 1st church on the coast to host this occasion. We met in the Methodist church (they've been SO GOOD to us). We had a nice turnout, a great message, a very nice service and an incredible reception. Two baptisms and NINE ADULT confirmations! I am so thrilled over the confirmation class, it really speaks to the hope people have for us.
Lastly, one of the difficult things I have hinted to recently has seen some hope. Reconciliation is taking place, thanks be to God. And thank YOU for your prayers - they are being answered.

Friday, March 03, 2006


I am really, really tired of being tired.

I think fatigue is another storm symptom. It seems like with each passing day, we are getting nowhere. I know it’s not true, but it just FEELS like that, most of the time.

I know that’s the wisdom of the small victories I talked about earlier. The big picture is just too overwhelming. But when you see all this stuff on the six month anniversary, and you know hurricane season is under 100 days away, and the beach area still looks like Hiroshoma, it gets to you. Click on St. Casserole’s blog (a great one to read, by the way) for some recent pics. RECENT is the key word, six months out.

I have been at my church now for two years. Two years ago, I started here right after Lent had begun. Last year I was in Honduras with our medical mission team for Ash Wed. This year, we did the service with the good folks at the Methodist church. They have been so very gracious to us, allowing us to use their facilities for important events. Yet I sensed in my folks such a yearning to have “our” service in “our” space, whatever that may be. We gotta get out of the gym. I just don’t know how to make it happen quickly.

Next week I travel to NYC. The LW is getting oriented on her new job, and I will speak at St. James on Madison Ave. I spent 2 weeks there in seminary, it’s a great church. They want to help. I hope I can tell our story in ways that allows folks to really hear and see and want to help.

But first – I think I want a nap.