Showing posts from November, 2013


Morning Prayer in the cathedral. Prepared readings, prayers, and homily for the cathedral chapel midday Mass at which I was scheduled to be the celebrant. Took part in a scheduled conference call with some other board members of the Living Church Foundation. Produced a finished rough draft of my homily for Advent II (8 December at St Thomas', Glen Carbon). Attended to some routine end-of-month personal organization chores. Spoke by phone with my U.S. Trust contact over some Putnam Trust issues. Celebrated and preached the scheduled Mass. Lunch at home--leftovers. Remained at home to work the rest of the day, which was mostly consumed with producing an Advent message for the diocesan website (and, in due course, for the Current). Into the evening, I completed an  illustrated travelogue of our recent visit to Tanzania .


Weekly task planning and organization at home. Consulted with the Treasurer and the Archdeacon on a financial/administrative matter. Morning Prayer in the cathedral. Processed my email inbox. Refined and printed a draft of my homily for this Sunday at All Saints, Morton. Spoke by phone with a representative of U.S. Trust, co-trustee with YFNB of the Putnam Trust, which benefits two of our congregations, over some policy details. Not quite resolved, but getting there. Took care of a small pastoral/administrative matter. Lunch at home, leftovers. Returned a phone call from a retired priest, an old friend who is serving as an interim in another diocese. We had both forgotten what the original purpose of our trying to reach one another by phone was, but we always manage to find something to talk about! Posted musical settings of several Psalms to the website. This now complete the project; they're all up there now, or should be. Attended to some administrative details pertai

Sermon for Christ the King

Emmanuel,  Champaign -- Luke 19:29-38 , Jeremiah 23:1-6, Colossians 1:11-20 One of the frustrations of life in this technological age occurs when something goes obviously wrong with us, or with one of the things we use, but it’s not at all obvious what the problem is. That strange feeling that you get when you turn your neck to the left needs to be diagnosed. That strange sound that your car makes when it’s backing up needs to be diagnosed. But diagnosis is more of an art than a science, and often involves a good deal of plain old trial and error. I know this is completely irrational, but sometimes I feel like we should declare a day when all the auto mechanics report to the clinics and hospitals, and all the physicians report to the garages and repair shops, and we could see whether the diagnostic outcomes are actually any different! But I’m sure the frustrations of these professionals to whom we entrust our bodies and our cars—I’m sure the frustration of these professionals

Saturday (St Clement of Rome)

Arrived at the cathedral/office complex around 9:45. Celebrated the 10am Diocesan Council Mass (observing the day's lesser feast). Presided over the quarterly Diocesan Council meeting. Met briefly with one of our clergy who is experiencing a peculiar amount of personal stress. Met with the Archdeacon and one of our Rural Deans over a deployment situation in that deanery. Met briefly with the Standing Committee regarding a specific piece of business they needed to conduct. Met with the Bishop's Warden of one of our missions, along with the Archdeacon and the Treasurer, regarding an emerging (an unwelcome) financial contingency. Grabbed a quick lunch at Taco Gringo with seminarian Ben Hankinson, now officially approved for the ordination to the transitional diaconate on January 30. Drove to Champaign, through one patch of horizontal snow. Met with the search committee at Emmanuel at 3pm, the Vestry at 4pm, the Deacon and Interim Rector at 5pm, then to the home of a pari


After the better part of three weeks out of the office, there was a good deal of catching up to do with the Archdeacon and the Administrator. Morning Prayer (late) in the cathedral. Began to process a batch of emails that had been accumulating. Time-consuming. Took a phone call from Fr Ralph McMichael, giving me a status update on his interim ministry at St Andrew's, Edwardsville. Lunch from La Bamba, eaten at home. Refined and printed my homily for this Sunday (Emmanuel, Champaign). Made various preparations for tomorrow's Diocesan Council Eucharist. Finished cleaning out my inbox, Friday prayer: Ignatian meditation on today's daily office gospel reading. Evening Prayer in the cathedral.


Preached at the Eucharist that closed the Diocese of Albany priests retreat. Enjoyed a visit to All Saints Cathedral in downtown Albany, the first Episcopal Church building constructed intentionally as a cathedral (1888). Uneventful flights from Albany to Chicago and Chicago to Springfield.

Wednesday (St Edmund)

Still in the Diocese of Albany. It's cold here--never got much above freezing today, though the sun shone brilliantly. I delivered the final two of my five retreat addresses, and joined in worship and meals with the diocesan priests (plus the Bishop of Albany, the retired Bishop of Albany, and the Suffragan Bishop of Peru). Enjoyed a long and vigorous walk in the afternoon. I have been very graciously welcomed here; what a blessing it is to be able to exercise this ministry.

Tuesday (St Elizabeth)

Delivered two retreat meditations, presided at Mass for the feast of St Elizabeth of Hungary, and participated in a healing service in the context of Benediction. On balance, a pretty awesome day at the Diocese of Albany Priests Retreat.

Monday (St Hilda of Whitby)

Up ridiculously early to catch a 6am flight from Springfield to Chicago, then Chicago to Albany, New York. I'm at the Christ the King Spiritual Life Center of the Diocese of Albany, where I am giving the addresses at a retreat for priests of the diocese, on the theme of the "Iconography of the Priesthood." My body still doesn't know what time zone it's in, though this will all sort itself out in due course.

The Lord's Day (XXVI Pentecost)

Woke up in my Effingham hotel room and hied over to St Laurence's Church to preside and preach at the 8am liturgy. It's a very small congregation, but proclaiming the Word and celebrating the Sacrament is an inestimable privilege under any circumstances. Then it was down I-57 to Salem (past more deer roadkill than I think I have ever seen), where the people of St Thomas' Church, along with St John's in Centralia, have been doing a mating dance this weekend with a recently retired priest from outside the diocese who looks like he's a good fit to take pastoral charge of those communities. When the tornado warning siren surrounded around noon, we were already in the basement, which is just where we needed to be. Home around 5:00. In the evening, I had to be about packing, as I have a 6am flight from SPI to O'Hare, and then on to Albany, where I will be leading a retreat this week for the priests of the diocese of the same name.

Sermon for Proper 28

St Laurence, Effingham -- Luke 21:5-19 , Malachi 3:13—4:2a,5-6; II Thessalonians 3:6-13 One of the blessings of our Anglican and Catholic tradition is the church year. It systematically takes us through the mysteries of our faith, and if we pay attention to it, and allow it to spill over into the rest of our lives, it draws us closer to Christ in the fellowship of his Church. If you have been an unusually attentive observer of the subtleties of the liturgical calendar in the past, you may know that we are in that time during the year when our attention is drawn to that article of the Creed in which we profess our belief that the same Christ who came as a vulnerable infant two thousand years ago will come again in glory, this time to judge the living and the dead, and that his kingdom will have no end. When he comes, all wrongs will be put right, all injustices will be corrected, and all tears will be wiped away. Justice, peace, and love will prevail throughout the created order.

Saturday (St Margaret)

Made substantial, but not total, progress on re-entry to my familiar life in the developed world. I rejoice in the blessings that are mine, but will be forever changed as a result of the Tanzanian sojourn I have just been on. Everything is unpacked. Photos and notes are safely in the cloud. My brain is back on central standard time. Not exactly sure where my body is. And I'm spending Saturday night in a hotel room, which, for me, is not that unusual. One day at a time.

Sermon in Tabora Cathedral (Tanzania)

Acts 19:1-7, John 14:15-17 In the Name of the Living God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen. My dear brothers and sisters, I am filled with joy and gratitude at the opportunity to open up the word of God with you here today. My wife, Brenda, is here with me, and my colleague, Father Dave Halt, is here as well. We consider it a privilege to visit your diocese and your cathedral, and to receive the marvelous hospitality of your bishop and everyone else whom we have met. Praised be Jesus Christ! You and I come from different parts of the world—sometimes it feels not just like different parts of the world, but different worlds!—and our experience of life is very different. In North America, we are beginning to experience a changed environment in which Christians no longer enjoy that status and privilege in society that we have long taken for granted. It is more challenging to be a Christian in American culture now than it was when I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s. But

All Saints

Morning Prayer for All Saints Day in the cathedral. Left a voicemail with a colleague bishop on something I'd like to talk with him about, but it will now have to wait a few weeks until my travel schedule settles down. Spent the rest of the morning processing my (physical) inbox. It's been about a month, so it was quite a pile. As usual, this involves a lot of scanning and tossing, but it did generate a couple of emails and phone calls. Lunch from ChiTown (Italian beef), eaten at home. More inbox processing, finally finishing around 3:30. Did some routine personal organization maintenance related to the transition from one calendar month to the next. Did some more personal organization maintenance that just needs to be done from time to time (cleaning out the "Bucket" notebook in my Evernote account). Got into the prayerful spirit of the day by finding some nice rendition of  For all the saints ...  on YouTube. Evening Prayer in the cathedral. Attended, just