Showing posts from July, 2017

St Mary Magdalene

The highlight of the day, and it truly was that, was the privilege of ordaining Caleb Roberts to the priesthood at Emmanuel, Champaign. Fr Caleb is the new curate there, and the first curate in the Diocese of Springfield almost within living memory. There was a good turnout from among the priests of the diocese and it was a glorious liturgy.   Now moving into vacation mode, where I will be until August 23. So ... I'll catch you back in this part of cyberspace then.


Task planning at home. Morning Prayer in the cathedral. Conferred with the Archdeacon at some length about about an ongoing issue in one of our parishes. Conferred with Paige a bit, making sure she's on track in her work as my vacation begins. Met for nearly an hour with two clergy members of the Standing Committee over the same issue referenced above. Spoke by phone with a priest of the diocese ... over the same issue that has dominated the morning. Refined and formatted the draft Mission Strategy Report form that all Eucharistic Communities are now required to submit annually. Vetted it by email with a select group of rectors to get their input before going live with it. Lunch at home. Leftovers. Wrote out notes to clergy and spouses with August nodal events (birthdays, wedding anniversaries, ordination anniversaries). Met with the Administrator and the Archdeacon over some detritus from yesterday's Finance Department meeting. Friday prayer: Lectio divina on today&


Email processing and task planning at home. Reported at 9:15am to an orthopaedic surgery center for a steroid injection in my tailbone joint. It has been getting progressively more painful to sit for extended periods of time for the last couple of years. X-rays indeed revealed a "displaced coccyx." The only working theory is that it's a delayed response to an accident that I suffered ... wait for it ... 30 years ago! Not implausible, says the doc. The procedure has only a 50% chance of working, I'm told. If it does, it does. If it doesn't, I'll be sitting on donut-shaped objects for the rest of my life. Against medical advice, I went right from the clinic to the office, where I was only a few minutes late for the regular semi-annual meeting of the Finance Department. The work on our plate was the preparation of a 2018 operating budget for presentation to Council next month and to Synod in October. The canonical revisions have thrown a bit of a monkey wrench

Wednesday (St Macrina)

Task planning at home. Morning Prayer in the cathedral. Prepared to preside and preach at the midday Mass. The process, for various reasons, got a little longer and more convoluted than it usually does. Substantial phone conversation with one of our parish clergy over an ongoing pastoral matter. Dealt with some complications in a couple of my own health insurance claims. Took a first prayerful pass at the readings for Proper 23 (October 15 at St Matthew's, Bloomington). Getting what appears to be an egregious head start because of a) my upcoming vacation, b) a House of Bishops meeting in Alaska in September, c) a board meeting in early October, and d) diocesan synod the following weekend. Life is busy. Planning required. Celebrated and preached the Mass for the lesser feast of St Macrina. Lunch from McD's, eaten at home. Sat with the Administrator and Archdeacon for our annual ritual of "elections and appointments." The countdown toward Synod means this is the


Usual weekly/daily task planning at home. Read MP in my recliner while waiting for a repairman (who eventually gave us really bad news about our gas-powered generator that's suppose to cover power outages). Dealt with a pastoral/administrative issue and a Nashotah issue while this was all going on. At the office a little before 10:00. Dealt with another pastoral/administrative issue. Performed radical surgery on the text of a homily form Proper 16 (late August) that I gave several years ago, toward the end of preaching on that occasion next month at St John's, Albion. Logged on to my Western Union account to wire some collected funds that we've been holding for the Diocese of Tabora. This bit should finish putting a roof on a priest's house so he and his family can move in and leave their rented digs. Lunch at home. Leftovers. Stayed there to work ahead of an 3pm dental appointment. Attended to an ongoing Nashotah issue. (It's always something.) Dealt with a

The Lord's Day (VI Pentecost)

Today was a rare Sunday on which I had no scheduled visitation, so Brenda and I attended the Divine Liturgy at  nearby St Anthony's Greek Orthodox parish. I feel like I've taken a bath in wholesome, life-giving, historic devotion and theology. We were warmly welcomed. And even though we could not receive the sacrament, the "bread of hospitality" (antidoron) made that welcome tangible.


It was a joy to spend my morning preparing, celebrating, and preaching the Mass for the diocesan Cursillo Ultreya. I continue to have hopes for the Cursillo movement here as a significant source of renewal and discipleship formation. After a long walk and some email chores in the afternoon, we attended a backyard dinner at the home of a St Luke's parishioner who had recently spent time in Brazil in connection with his work and established some relationships with some Brazilians, who are now visiting the U.S. and were in attendance. It was a chance to keep the small bit of Portuguese that I have alive.


Dedicated the morning to being with Brenda as she underwent some testing. (We're trying to chase down an elusive diagnosis.) Spent the afternoon in the office: pastoral care by email, Nashotah business, scanning accumulated hard copy, time in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament in the fashion of a "holy hour" (only it was less than a full hour), Evening Prayer in the cathedral.


Task planning at home over breakfast. Morning Prayer in the cathedral. Took care of a couple of items of personal business via internet and phone. Drove out to Decatur to meet Chris Gregory, a candidate for ordination to the diaconate, and Executive Director of Dove, a faith-based multi-church-sponsored social service agency. I got a tour of the their main facility and a lesser one, and to say I was "impressed" with the scope of what they do and the way they do it would be wholly inadequate. Headed back to Springfield around 12:15, picking up some lunch from Hardee's and eating it at home. Spent quality time with commentaries on Matthew, getting insights on the gospel reading for Proper 18, in preparation for preaching on September 10 at Trinity, Yazoo City, MS (a parish I look after under DEPO). Took care of a couple fairly substantive administrative chores via email. Evening Prayer in the cathedral.


Still adjusting bodily to time zone whiplash, I was awake early and into the office before 8am. Morning Prayer in the cathedral. Made preparations to preside and preach at the cathedral midday Mass. Dealt by email and text with detritus from yesterday's Nashotah board meeting. The Archdeacon having just returned from six weeks in Sicily, we had a lot to catch up on. Met with the Communications Coordinator over a couple of website and database issues. Left to take Brenda to a dentist's appointment. Talked with Paige a little more about the website and processed more Nashotah-related email. Surveyed the resources available to me for seminarian aid. Made appropriate plans. Wish I had more. Blessed to have some. Celebrated Mass in the cathedral chapel. Picked up some BBQ ribs at HyVee and lunched on them at home. Spoke by phone with the Dean of Nashotah House. Followed up with some emails. Responded to an Ember Day letter from one of our seminarians. Responded pastoral

Tuesday (St Benedict)

Back from our African sojourn. Began organizing tasks over breakfast at home. Kept an 8am appointment with an orthopedist. I suffered an injury 30 years ago that resulted in a "displaced coccyx." and has, only in the last couple of years, begun to manifest as pain when I am seated in anything but a plush chair. So I'm scheduled for a steroid injection next week. Arrived at the office/cathedral complex around 9:15. Took the time to peruse and cull some of the accumulated hard copy items on my desk. Morning Prayer in the cathedral. Finished task organizing. Took a phone call from the diocesan Cursillo Spiritual Director. Responded substantively to an email from one of our rectors regarding an ongoing issue. Exchanged emails with the incoming Priest-in-Charge of St Barnabas', Havana, who will also serve at Mission Strategy Consultant for the three northern deaneries of the diocese.  Completed my registration for the September meeting of the House of Bishops. Sp

Sermon in Tabora Cathedral

St Stephen's Cathedral, Tabora -- Matthew 7:24-27 Ni furaha yangu kubwa kuwa nanyi tena katika Dayosisi la Tabora, katika Kanisa la Anglikana Tanzania. Mimi kuleta salamu na upendo kutoka wanaomwamini Kristo Yesu wa Dayosisi la Springfield. Bwana Yesu asifiwe! Sasa nitaendelea kwa Kiingereza. (It is my great pleasure to be with you again in the Diocese of Tabora, in the Anglican Church of Tanzania. I bring greetings and love from the faithful in Christ Jesus in the Diocese of Springfield.  Praised be the Lord Jesus! Now I will continue in English.) The gospel reading for this liturgy is one of my favorite stories from when I was a child in Sunday School. Our teachers even gave us a song, with hand motions: The foolish man built his house upon the sand. (x3) And the rains came tumbling down. The rains came down and the flood came up. (x3) And the house on the sand went splat. The wise man build his house upon the rock. (x3) And the rains came tumbling down. The