Tuesday, June 09, 2009

And now for a non-church related post!


I am still stunned, shocked, speechless and beyond thrilled that the Southern Miss Golden Eagles are headed to the College World Series in Omaha! The only regional #3 seed to make it to a super regional, the Eagles swept the #8 national seed Florida Gators on the Gator's home field to advance to the CWS for the first time ever!
Congrats to the team, and especially their coach, my friend Corky Palmer, who announced his retirement a few weeks ago, after which the team caught fire and made their historic run through the post season. Way to go Corky!
I've been a Southern Miss sports fan since I was 10 years old (ok - do the math - but it's a LONG time). This has to be one of the finest hours we've ever had. We will be huge underdogs in Omaha (we open vs. Texas, number 1 in the nation), but regardless this team will fight hard and they never give up. Trust me - they never give up.
I am proud to be a fan of this courageous bunch - go Eagles!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Hail Thee FESTIVAL Day!

"When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, then we were like those who dream. Our mouths were filled with laughter and our tongues with shouts of joy."
WOW! What an amazing day. Sunday, May 31, Pentecost Sunday, our first service in our new home. After 45 months in exile, working and hoping and praying, with God's help and the help of thousands of people across this country, the amazing people of St. Patrick's arrived in their new home.
Sunday was tremendous, an overflow crowd, incredible music (our choir has never been better, our congregation sang with gusto), special prayers for the occasion, and many tears of joy, all marked a day we will never forget. Truly it was a mountaintop experience for our church family.
I opened the service reading from Ephesians 2:19-22. As the words began to form, somehow they got stuck in my throat! All the emotions, all the smiling faces, the beauty and wonder of how great everything and everyone looked, it was all too much for me. I wondered in the back of my mind if I would make it through the service, or end up on the floor, blubbering like a baby.
I believe it was my most favorite Sunday as a Priest.
And what a week! With the help of Camp Coast Care volunteers from Indiana and Florida, and a huge group of our folks, on Memorial Day we moved every thing we own from CCC - altar stuff, altar furnishings, all the office furniture, books, files, Christian Ed supplies, nursery - everything we have used to "do church" all this time, we relocated (in the pouring rain) to our new building. Then all week was spent unpacking, cleaning, setting up all of the above. And on Sunday, it looked absolutely incredible - special and holy and ...... home!
There is so much more I could say and share with you, but perhaps the images from the day and the audio of my sermon can say it better. Click here for more pictures of the day (photos by Joe Gurneck). You can also go to our website, here, to listen to my sermons from our last Sunday at Camp Coast Care, and our first in our new home.
A special shout out to my wife's family - almost 20 strong showed up to support us on this special day, and to celebrate her mom's 80th birthday. It meant a lot to me that they took time out of their own celebration to be part of our big day.
God bless you all for your help and support - and please, come see us!