Showing posts from August, 2013

Saturday (St Aidan)

Mostly a personal day. I did deal with a few emails and have a couple of phone conversations with a potential candidate for one of our clergy vacancies. 

Friday (Charles Chapman Grafton)

I had three substantive telephone appointments on my calendar today (two related to deployment and one related to Anglican Communion matters), so I had fairly low expectations of general productivity, given that talking on the phone taxes my introversion at pretty much the same rate as an in-person encounter. I did make a little progress wrapping my mind around the preaching responsibilities I will have on a planned visit to our companion Diocese of Tabora, Tanzania in November. Also prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary, entered the schedule for next month's House of Bishops meeting in my calendar (one of the sessions is actually entitled "Moving Diagonally," but I have nothing to do with it!), kept on top of an unusually steady stream of incoming emails, and prayed the morning and evening offices in the cathedral. 


Customary Thursday morning workout: weights and treadmill. Morning Prayer in the cathedral. Brief attention to some administrative details relating to mission strategy and deployment. Finished drafting a sermon for my September 8 visit to St George's, Belleville. Scheduled hour-long (plus) phone visit with Bishop Gregory Kerr-Wilson of Calgary, a classmate from seminary. He and I have a covenant to intentionally stay in contact and support one another in our ministries. Lunch from McD's, eaten at home. Processed a small batch of emails. More attention to some mission strategy practicalities. Worked on some Nashotah House board business, in preparation for a major conference call next week. Filled out an online college application reference form for a former parishioner. Devotions in the cathedral; Evening Prayer in the office.

Wednesday (St Augustine)

Began processing emails at home over breakfast. Morning Prayer in the cathedral. Continued email processing, which generated tasks that consumed the rest of the morning, including writing a "From the Bishop" column for the next issue of the  Current . Lunch from the Asian place next to TG, eaten at home. (Inexplicably, China 1 was closed.) Responded affirmatively to the Diocese of Western Michigan that I will attend the consecration of their next bishop on 28 September. Made concomitant travel and lodging arrangements. Reviewed an Association of Theological Schools document on board governance. This is a subject I am currently "going to school" on. Worked on the diocesan website, adding a bunch of content  here . Hand-wrote greetings to clergy and spouses with September birthdays and anniversaries. Evening Prayer in the cathedral.


Task planning at home; Morning Prayer in the cathedral. Talked with the Archdeacon and the Administrator over an emerging administrative and pastoral concern. Produced a working script of my homily for this Sunday at St Christopher's, Rantoul. Two care of two relatively small chores related to the annual diocesan synod. Lunch from TG, eaten at home. Took a scheduled phone call from an individual who is in the ordination process. Devoted the rest of my afternoon to a somewhat urgent project aimed at helping Nashotah House retain its accreditation from the Association of Theological Schools. Evening Prayer in the cathedral.  Out to dinner with Brenda in the evening to celebrate our 41st wedding anniversary.

The Lord's Day--XIV Pentecost

Since I was already in Mattoon, and their Sunday liturgy is not until 10am, I got to sleep in and feel a bit self-indulgent. It was, as always, a joy to preside and preach for the good people of Trinity Church. There is certainly a critical mass among them for seriously engaging the emerging mission strategy paradigm of the diocese. After the coffee hour, I accompanied Fr Truelove in bringing Holy Communion to a homebound parishioner. I then headed up I-57 to Champaign, where I had a meeting with a priest of the diocese over some administrative and pastoral concerns. It was nearly 5pm before I got home. As I settled into my recliner with a plate of homemade tacos on my lap, I stumbled on the beginning of the film  Forrest Gump . I saw it when it first came out in 1994, but it was fun to reconnect. What a fancifully sweet and compelling story.

Sermon for Proper 15

Trinity, Mattoon -- Luke 13:10-17 I served for 13 years in the Diocese of San Joaquin, from 1994 until 2007. During that time—and I’m not quite sure how this happened—I acquired a reputation as the font of all knowledge for anything liturgical. Some may even have thought of me as a bit of a “liturgy geek,” and I know that the term “rubrical fundamentalist” was applied to me at various times. (Rubrics are the “fine print” in the Prayer Book that give various instructions about how things are to be done.) But if I’m a liturgy geek and a rubrical fundamentalist, then I have a fairly mild case of the disease, because there are those with full-blown symptoms much more impressive than mine. I have a book on my shelf that offers detailed ceremonial prescriptions for every conceivable contingency—how to celebrate the Eucharist when the Bishop is not present, when the Bishop  is  present, when the Bishop is present in the room but not at the altar, when a bishop other than the diocesan bis


Slow morning ... processed a ton of emails ... Bowflex and treadmill ... packed ... wolfed down leftover chili for lunch ... met with a seminarian in my office ... hit the road to Mattoon for a 5pm dinner date with the Bishop's Committee of Trinity Church.


Only a day after a transatlantic flight and crossing five time zones, I had to hit the ground running. Morning Prayer and a good bit of email processing at home. Prepared for, presided, and preached the Eucharist (Votive Mass for the Mission of the Church) ahead of the regular August meeting of the Diocesan Council. Presided at the meeting. Met with Fr Swan briefly afterward, first in his capacity as EfM coordinator for the diocese, then in his capacity as rector of the parish hosting Synod. Then met with Don Monty, senior warden at St Andrew's, Carbondale regarding some issues related to their search process. Lunch from LaBamba, eaten at home. Afternoon: Deployment issues, sermon finalization for this Sunday in Mattoon, phone calls, more email processing, Lectio Divina, Evening Prayer in the office, and finally dealing with a plumbing emergency when I was the only one on the building! (All is well.)  Now ... as for my trip ... this was in response to an invitation from the Ar


Really wonky internet connection in London hotel, so this via iPhone on 3G. Flying home Thursday. Met with ABC Justin along with 5 CP bishop colleagues yesterday. One meeting in London and two in Cambridge today. More when I get home.


Writing on what is mid-morning central time, but mid-afternoon where I am, which is London. Took the red-eye from Chicago yesterday afternoon, landing at Heathrow around dawn. I am joined by some of my Communion Partners bishop colleagues. We have an important meeting on Monday, about which I hope to share more later, and I have a couple of "lesser" meetings into the week. I fly home on Thursday. Internet connectivity here is awkward on many levels, so dispatches may be sparse.

St Mary the Virgin

Customary Thursday early morning weight and treadmill routine. On the phone to a hotel and an airline about an upcoming trip while I chow down on my breakfast bacon (dismaying the dog by not thinking to share any with her). Morning Prayer (memorized short form) in the car driving to the office. Processed a batch of emails. Scanned and otherwise disposed of the hard copy items in my physical inbox. Kept a phone date with my co-trustee for the Putnam Trust, along with the trust's investment advisor. This was a routine regular review of investment strategy. The Putnam Trust generates significant income for two of our parishes. Began developing a draft for my sermon at Trinity, Mattoon on August 25. Attended Mass in the cathedral chapel for today's feast day--a sung liturgy, no less, celebrated by Fr Gus Franklin. Lunch from McD's, eaten at home. Completed the above-referenced work on homily for Proper 16. Worked on the agenda for the annual Synod in October. Began

Wednesday (Jonathan Myrick Daniels)

Reconvened the "expanded" Executive Committee of the Nashotah House trustees by sharing in the regular 9am Eucharist at St Vincent's Cathedral in Bedford, TX. Then we worked until around 12:30--very productively, I would say--then headed to various airports and various destinations. Because I was traveling "in uniform" I was able to meet Bishop Kevin Vann of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, formerly of Fort Worth, and also formerly pastor of Blessed Sacrament parish in Springfield. He was traveling "home" for a visit with his father, who lives here. I got home just before 5:30.


Out the door in time to catch a 7am flight from Springfield to Dallas-Fort Worth. Happily, I can make it from my driveway to the departure lounge, having cleared security, in about twenty minutes. The Executive Committee of the Nashotah House board of trustees is meeting from midday today until midday tomorrow with a consultant who is helping us get ready for an Association of Theological Schools accredication visit in October. It is a valuable meeting.

The Lord's Day (Proper 14)

Awoke in our O'Fallon hotel room and hit the road eastbound on I-64 a few minutes before 8am. This put in in Mt Carmel in plenty of time to visit with Fr Brant Hazlett, who was waiting for us, and get ready in a leisurely fashion for the regular 10:30 celebration of the Holy Eucharist. There were 34 in attendance, which is pretty good for St John the Baptist. And three of them were babies. What more encouraging sign can there be than to see babies in church?! Well ... one candidate might be adults publicly committing themselves to Christian discipleship, so we rejoice in the adult whom we confirmed as part of the celebration. We were on the road to Springfield just past 1, and pulling into our driveway at 4:45, having been delayed by a spur-of-the-moment decision to shop on a Mexican food market we noticed while driving through Effingham. Strangely, Springfield is devoid of such stores.

Sermon for Year C, Proper 14

St John the Baptist, Mt Carmel  --  Luke 12:32-40 ,  Genesis 15:1-6, Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16 When Brenda and I lived in northern Indiana, we discovered a restaurant in Fort Wayne called Flat Top Grill. When we came to Illinois, we were happy to discover that there’s a Flat Top Grill in Bloomington, and if the timing is right and we’re in the area, that’s where we eat. Here’s the deal at Flat Top Grill: It’s kind of a do-it-yourself Asian place. They give you a bowl and you go through a line where there are all sorts of ingredients—rice, vegetables, spices, and meats. So you put what you want in the bowl, pass it to the cooks at the grill and go back to your table. A few minutes later, they bring you your meal. If you like it, you have only yourself to thank. If you hate it, you have only yourself to blame. The freedom of choice is wonderful, and great fun. But without some self-control, it’s easy to add too many flavors and the resulting hodge-podge is not always a winner. As I go th

Saturday (St Laurence)

Morning devoted to relaxing and getting some exercise. Early afternoon devoted to processing emails. Then we headed south to St Louis, where we met our friends Deacon Marion and Deb Carpenter from Indiana, with whom we had a date to watch the ball game at Busch Stadium. It was a great game, and the right team won! (Not that there's anything wrong with the other team.) Spending the night in O'Fallon and heading to Mt Carmel in the morning. 


Substantive phone conversation while still at home with the vice-chair of the Nashotah House board. Morning Prayer in the cathedral. Processed about a half dozen email messages ... which generated work that consumed the rest of my morning. Lunch at home ... leftovers. Substantive phone conversation with a consultant to the Nashotah House board of trustees. Attended to some planning details in connection to a November visit to our companion diocese of Tabora (Tanzania). Attended to a small matter related to our annual diocesan Synod in October. Put the final touches on an  Ad Clerum  letter that will be electronically delivered on Monday. Mentally reviewed where we stand with respect to the general mission strategy of the diocese. May some notes. Created some tasks. Planned some meetings. Sent some emails. I'm excited about where we are. At any given moment, it probably seems that our progress is slow. But it's solid. We are doing the right things. Evening Prayer in th

Thursday (St Dominic)

Bowflex and treadmill workout, hence ... a late morning in. Morning Prayer at home. Met with Fr Roderick at the cathedral over a range of matters. All good. Dealt with some emails. Worked a lead on a conductor for the next clergy pre-Lenten retreat. Met with the Standing Committee for their regular meeting. Lunch with the Archdeacon and the President of the Standing Committee. Spoke by phone with a lay leader in one of our parishes-in-transition. Various bits of administrivia. Left the office at 3:00 to get gas, stop by home to change clothes and retrieve Brenda, and head toward St Louis for a dinner engagement at the home of Bishop Ed and Louise Salmon (along with an assortment of other scintillating guests, human and otherwise). Hope at 11.

Wednesday (John Mason Neale)

Morning Prayer fell through the cracks today, as I was immediately engulfed upon arrival at the office by a chain of phone calls, both incoming and outgoing, that lasted until nearly 11:30. All were with either clergy or wardens in the diocese, pertaining to various emerging issues in various parishes. Refined and printed the working notes of my sermon for this Sunday (St John the Baptist, Mt Carmel). Lunch from China 1, eaten at home. Plotted a course toward being prepared for my guest preaching gig in the Diocese of Tennessee on September 22, when the House of Bishops will be meeting in Nashville. Took care of various bits of administrivia (for example, printing and signing forms giving consent for bishops in other dioceses to retire--yes, my life is that exciting!). Wrote out birthday and anniversary greetings to clergy and spouses for the rest of August .  Scanned and otherwise processed the pile of hard copy detritus that was in my physical inbox.  Evening Prayer (memorize


First day back in the saddle after a good vacation. Morning Prayer at home. Debriefed over a range a matters with the Archdeacon and the Administrator. Began processing the accumulated "snail mail" that I found waiting for me on my desk. Met with members of the diocesan Finance Department to take a first crack at the 2014 operating budget. Continued to work on processing mail. Presided and preached for the regular Tuesday Mass in the cathedral chapel, observing the day's feast--Transfiguration. This was a joy. Picked up an Italian beef sandwich (Chicago style) and took it home to eat. Finished hard-copy mail processing and turned my attention to a stack of 25 emails that needed my attention. They consumed the rest of my afternoon, and a good portion of my evening at home. But I now have effective "inbox zero." Evening Prayer in the office.

Sermon for Proper 13

St Mary's, Robinson -- Luke 12:13-21 , Ecclesiastes 1:12-14; 2:18-23 A few months ago, the Power Ball lottery jackpot got up to such a ridiculous amount that it was getting a good bit of publicity. So Brenda and I were driving home from some event one evening, and we spontaneously decided to pull into a convenience store and buy a ticket. We were about a minute too late, and, as it turned out, the winning ticket was sold not too far away, in Redbud, Illinois. Do you ever find yourself playing the mental game, "What if I won the lottery"?  I certainly do. Sometimes we even find ourselves bargaining with God.  "Lord, if you'll just let me win, I promise—cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye—I promise I'll be responsible. I'll tithe, a full ten percent, before taxes, even.  I'll be very generous to all sorts of good causes— just think of the good I'd be able to do—if you'll just let me win the big one!" Most of u