Showing posts from August, 2020

St Mary the Virgin

 Presided over the regular August meeting of the Diocesan Council. Took care of a few dangling odds and ends. I am now in Vacationland. So I'll be going dark in this location until September 14. See you then.

Friday (Jonathan Daniels / Maximillian Kolbe)

  Plowed through another (shorter than yesterday) stack of items needing a response from me--some short, some more substantial. Opened a sermon file (pray, paste readings into a document, read slowly and reflectively, make initial notes) on Proper 23 (October 11 in West Frankfort). Conceived and hatched my next-due post for the Covenant blog. Something on the process of sermon preparation. I'd say it's about 60% written. Did an Ignatian meditation on the daily office gospel reading. Caught up on some deferred reading. Save for tomorrow's Diocesan Council meeting, I am sufficiently caught up to be able to head into Vacationland right on schedule.

Thursday (Jeremy Taylor)

 In a pre-vacation radar-clearing effort, the main focus today was on burning through a hefty list of items that call for a response from me, most of them relatively short. Substantive phone check-in with Canon Evans. The biggest single accomplishment was the production of a developed outline from my homiletical message statement for Proper 22, preparing to preach at St Stephen's, Harrisburg on October 4. 


 Big rocks: Took some notes I made last week and turned them into a draft sermon text for an ordination that is scheduled for my first day back from vacation, September 14, which, for all practical purposes, is "next week." Made significant progress planning the details of the synod Mass, which will take place in the cathedral in the evening of October 2, not open to the public, but live-streamed. Lesser rocks: Substantive phone conversation with a staff member of another diocese regarding a priest who has expressed an interest in coming to Springfield. Substantive phone conversation with the senior warden of one of our Eucharistic Communities concerning an emerging pastoral issue. Substantive phone conversation with a representative of the Church Pension Group, which is, I suppose, the first practical step in the process of retiring. All the usual late-arriving emails and texts.

Tuesday (St Clare)

  Created a Zoom meeting for Diocesan Council on Saturday and sent out the link. Responded to an email from the senior warden of one of our Eucharistic Communities. Dealt with an emergent administrative issue, hopefully in a dispositive way. Did the first bit of planning for the synod Mass (which will be closed and live-streamed from the cathedral). We will be observing the (unofficial for Episcopalians) feast of the Holy Guardian Angels on October 2. Made a pastoral check-in by phone with one of our priests. Substantive phone conversation with Canon Evans. Wrote and sent an Ad Clerum ( letter to the clergy, this time only those is active parochial ministry), wherein I devolved the question of congregation singing to the local level, with certain restrictions.

The Lord's Day (X Pentecost)

Up and out just past 0600 for a day trip to Pekin, arriving around 45 minutes ahead of a joint Tazewell County Parish liturgy at 10am (St Paul's, Pekin plus All Saints, Morton). Presided, preached, and confirmed two adults and one teen. Enjoyed al fresco grilled burgers with Fr Dallman and his family (and their egg-producing brood of chickens roaming freely). Then met with Deacon Chris Simpson from Trinity, Lincoln for some liturgical practicum ("Mass class") ahead of his ordination to the priesthood next month. Started out for home around 1:50, arriving about 3.5 hours later (more traffic coming into Chicago than there was leaving it in the morning). Our children had arranged for some sushi (for them) and Thai (for me) carry=out for dinner, which we enjoyed together. Then Brenda and I participated in a Zoom meeting of around half of the Class of 2011 bishops, and several spouses. What a tonic that was.

Sermon for Proper 14

Tazewell Parish -- Matthew 14:22-33 , Jonah 2:1-9, Psalm 29 When I was a mere youth, and trying to master the art of throwing a baseball or playing ping-pong, I was taught that I could spin the ball different ways so as to make it behave unpredictably, and confuse my opponent. In my adulthood, of course, that notion of “spin control” has become a metaphor for the management of information so as to create a particular desired impression. With politicians and business leaders, spin control becomes second nature, as they seek to put raw, objective facts in the most favorable frame they can. But we all do it. In a way, the discipline of “Christian apologetics”—the task of justifying the ways of God to people, explaining God’s often mysterious behavior in ways that make some sense to rational human beings—the discipline of Christian apologetics could be said to be a form of theological spin control. Christianity claims that Jesus makes God present to us. Christianity claims that, in Christ,

Saturday (St Dominic)

Attended the scheduled 75-minute webinar for clergy and laity of the diocese on how to think about mission in the current environment. Did the finish work on my homily for tomorrow. Dealt with a handful of late-arriving texts and emails. Otherwise, attended to domestic concerns.

Friday (John Mason Neale)

The big accomplishments today consisted of getting the YFNBmobile serviced and getting a haircut, both of which were, of course, inordinately time-consuming. Around those items, I attended to the usual flurry of emails, texts, and phone calls. Also prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary, and completed the work of assembling a task force to do a sort of audit on the influence of systemic racism in the life of the diocese. 


The big rocks: Attended a meeting of the diocesan Department of Finance, to work through some outstanding issues related to the draft 2021 operating budget that will be proposed to Council on the 15th. Prayed over, conceived, and hatched a homily for the ordination of Chris Simpson to the priesthood, set for September 14, the very day I get back into the saddle after vacation. Reached out to two potential guest presenters at what will be the virtual surrogate for the usual fall clergy conference. (I've already heard back from one of them--affirmatively). Less big: Attended to the usual running stream of emails, texts, and phone calls.

Wednesday (St Oswald)

More miscellany, from tending to vacancy and ordination process issues to an emerging clergy discipline issue (never fun), and some administrative process concerns. The "big rock" involved sitting with my exegetical notes on the readings for Proper 22 until they birthed a homiletical message statement. 

Tuesday (St John Vianney)

As the Tuesday routine has developed of late, the demands of the day consisted not of one or two large projects, but a whole slew of smaller ones, all of which have begun life as an incoming email over the last few days., covering a wide array of topics. Not much more to say than that. 

The Lord's Day (IX Pentecost)

Up and out of my accommodations in Litchfield in time to preside and preach for the 8am liturgy at St Andrew's, Edwardsville. This was a "public" service, and there were about a dozen people in attendance. The 10am celebration is "closed to the public," and there were only four people physically present (and distanced) in the room (YFNB, the Rector, a lector/server, and the organist), but it was live-streamed and reached around forty people. The fun part was that, as it was not a public service, and we were well-spaced, we could sing. It's been awhile, and it was balm to my soul. Still on the lookout for data and studies that would support loosening those bonds.

Sermon for Proper 13

St Andrew’s, Edwardsville -- Matthew 14:13–21, Isaiah 55:1–5, Psalm 145: 8-9, 15-22                                                                             Not enough jobs, so we look for the economy to keep producing more. Not enough Personal Protective Equipment for healthcare personnel, so governors scheme covertly to raid the supplies of other countries before the neighboring state gets to them first. Not enough COVID-19 tests, so public officials talk about rationing and triage. For multiple reasons, as members of the larger context of secular society, our default mentality is one of scarcity. Resources are always finite, and possession of them is always a zero-sum game. At the international level, wars get fought over access to finite energy resources. I’ve lived the majority of my adult life on the west coast, so I’m more than familiar with anxiety over the supply of water, and conflict over how the available water gets allocated. And, of course, human societies have fough

Saturday (St Joseph of Arimathea)

Taught a two-hour seminar in pastoral liturgy (the second of four) to about a dozen people. Packed for an overnight and headed south around 2pm. Arrived at the Diocesan Center about 3:45. Did the finish work on tomorrow's homily. Prayed the evening office in the cathedral. Took an aggressive 60-minute walk: south to South Grand, west to Walnut. north to Washington, back to Second and on down. Drove down to Litchfield, where I am encamped for the night at the Hampton Inn. Edwardsville in the morning.