Thursday, June 28, 2007

Live and ......learn

For the multitude of fans of this site, you will notice the blog posted last week has been removed. Here's why:
In that post I was critical of comments posted on a certain website regarding the upcoming House of Bishops meeting in New Orleans. My post was an emotional response to the tone of SOME of the comments that were quite critical and even mean-spirited to the HoB. The emotional response was directly related to my current situation - Rector of a church recovering from Katrina. I am thrilled the Bishops will spend some of their time together helping relief crews and attending worship services on the coast of Mississippi and in New Orleans. This is a good thing - we need them to see and hear what life is like for us, and take that message home with them so volunteers keep coming. writing those thoughts I fell into a trap that I am often very critical of in others. I called the commenters "mean people", and said the "mean people" live at that particular web site. Naturally, those folks took offense - and they should have.
You see, one of the biggest problems in this whole Anglican mess is the way people, on all sides of each "issue", tend to glom people together. We stereotype, we make assumptions about theology and beliefs, we lump people into convenient groups, and we do all this WITHOUT taking the effort to get to KNOW people. I hate that, I hate it when people, and they did this in DROVES on "that site" after my blog post was reported on there, make assumptions about me, my beliefs, my theology, when they really have no clue about me.
And yet, I did the exact same thing. I labeled posters / commenters of "that site" into one convenient category of "mean people". That was wrong, very wrong.
Damage was done. I am sorry for that. In blasting my post, the owner of "that site" made some assumptions of his own that are also unfounded. He has since apologized for his tone as well, but the assumptions he made drove much of the comments on my post. Somehow people took my words to mean I was not understanding, not recognizing, not being grateful for, Katrina relief efforts done by people of all sides of the issues in our church. Nothing could be further from the truth, and I didn't ever say that, although I can sorta see how you could get that impression from my post. That's the main reason I took it down - not just because I spoke wrongly, which I did in my own stereotyping, but also that anyone could misunderstand my point in that way would be terrible.
People have responded on the coast by the tens of thousands, pouring untold hours and millions of dollars into our recovery. I am eternally thankful for each and every one who has done so. As I said in my post, when you are doing this work you don't first ask folks where they stand on any issues, and in that light this recovery effort has been one example of how our divided church can be united.
I am still glad the HoB will be joining us in that effort. And I have learned a valuable lesson. I hope those offended will accept my apology.
OH AND ONE MORE THING - one commenter on "that site" kept abusing me for the "pea green soup" background of my blog. LOL! He was right - it was awful. Hence, the new blue blog!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Geez it's HOT

105 heat index in early June is NOT a good sign for things to come. Please pray the tropics behave like they did last year! PLEASE
We are moving along with our property closing, site master plan, and decisions about our first building. We should close within 30 days! WOOHOO! We will throw a PARTY! You are all invited.
Our site master plan looks good - click here for our church website and you can see some pics and info. We are holding discussion groups for the various components of the multi-purpose building - kitchen, nursery, worship, education, etc. Preliminary estimates have us about one million short to build it. I will be hitting the road for some more fund raising - so if you are in a church that wants to help and can help, let me know, I'd love to visit and share our story.
It looks like we will make Camp Coast Care our home until we are in the new building (probably late 2008). The new building there is much better, air conditioned baby! We are also taking over a classroom trailer that the school no longer needs, and will move our office trailer next to it this summer. So all our St Pats stuff will be in one area - that will be nice. The classroom trailer will serve as a Sunday morning nursery, meeting area, chapel space, etc. It will be real nice to have one thing to call ours! I hate spending money moving the office trailer, but it really needs to be done, plus we need the bathroom in it for the nursery (the trailers will be adjacent).
Church tonight, then speaking to the group from the Beatitudes Society that is spending a week on the Coast. Check them out - it's an amazing group.