Showing posts from September, 2020

Wednesday (St Jerome)

 Big rocks: Wrote my homily for the synod Mass on Friday, Drafted a sermon for Proper 23 (a week from this Sunday, in West Frankfort). Smaller rocks: Phone conversation with Canon Evans. Pastoral check-in by phone with one of our clergy.

St Michael & All Angels

My productive time today was pretty much consumed by this weekends 143rd annual synod of the diocese--in the morning by preparations for the Mass, the afternoon by writing my address. Also a bit of email traffic on the same general subject. 

The Lord's Day (XVII Pentecost)

Presided and preached at the 0730 and 1000 liturgies at St Matthew's, Bloomington. Between services, met with the Senior Warden and chair of the Search Committee. I believe we are all on the same page and look forward to what God has in store for this fine group of disciples. Coffee hour isn't much a of thing these days (thank-you, COVID), so I was on the road a little past 1130 and home at 2:10. Dealt with a few ministry-related emails, but otherwise tended to domestic concerns, including a long walk with Brenda.

Sermon for Proper 21

  St Matthew’s, Bloomington -- Philippians 2:1-13                                                                           In the late Stephen Covey’s classic book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People , Habit #2 is “Begin with the end in mind.” In other words, know where you want to go before you set out to go there. Make sure that what you’re doing is consistent with the goal of getting you to that destination. I think most of us would agree, that’s pretty sound advice. So, how might we apply that advice to our lives as Christians in this world and in this life? What is the “end” for a Christian? What is the goal and purpose of our lives of faith and religious practice? Well, to put it succinctly, the “end” of the Christian life—that is, the goal and purpose of religious faith and practice—is perfect union with Christ, being perfectly conformed to the image of Christ, having what we do or say be instinctively, unself-consciously, what Jesus would do or say under the same circ

Saturday (Lancelot Andrewes)

Indulged in a "slow" morning. Then did the finish work on my homily for tomorrow at St Matthew's, Bloomington. Read an responded to an Ember Day letter. Corresponded with someone who is knocking on the door of the ordination process. Performed some routine personal organization maintenance. Packed for an overnight and hit the road southbound at 4:45. Camping out at the Doubletree in Bloomington ahead of tomorrow's visitation to St Matthew's.

Friday (St Sergius)

Spent the morning building out my sermon outline for Proper 22 (a week from Sunday, in Harrisburg) into a rough draft. The major accomplishment of the afternoon was creating a pretty full draft, which will need only minor refining, of a liturgy sheet for the synod Mass a week from tonight. There will be only a skeleton crew in person, but it will be live-streamed. Also attended to a couple of pastoral issues by email, spoke by phone with one of our priests, took a substantial walk, and prayed the Luminous Mysteries of the rosary.

Thursday (Our Lady of Walsingham)

The morning and the first part of the afternoon were devoted to reading and responding to a slew of Ember Day letters from our postulants and candidates. What a great crop we have! There was also a good bit of email give-and-take about synod, and the fact that we're trying to pull it off virtually, and anticipate all potential snags, but the unknown is always ... unknown. Ran a personal errand and took a walk to round out the afternoon.


  Handled some clergy deployment-related issues. Spoke by phone with Canon Evans, a priest of the diocese, and a senior warden of the diocese. Attended the regular Province V bishops meeting. Arrived at a homiletical message statement for Proper 24 (October 18 at All Saints, Morton). Took the YFNBmobile to the Mazda dealer to get new tires, leveraging the waiting time by walking about four miles. Laid out the broad strokes of my address to synod (October 3).


 The big stuff: Wrestled a homiletical message statement from my exegetical notes on the readings for Proper 23 (October 11 in West Frankfort). Wrote my regular article for the next issue of the Springfield Current . Some smaller stuff: Had a substantive phone conversation with Canon Evans. Cleared out some pressing pastoral matters that had been accumulating as email. Kept up with an onslaught of incoming email.

The Lord's Day (XVI Pentecost)

There being no visitation on my calendar today (I had saved the date for a conference that, of course, ended up getting canceled), Brenda and I pew-sat at St Paul's in Riverside  (the parish that gave us the Dallman family some years ago). Mostly attended to domestic concerns after that, save for some routine weekly and monthly personal organization chores.

Saturday (St Theodore of Tarsus)

  Let a two-hour Zoom seminar, with about a dozen participants--part three of a four-part series--on Pastoral Liturgy, this session focusing on the Eucharist. Took my sermon-prep process for Proper 24 through the exegetical stage. Conceived and hatched my homily for the Synod Mass on October 2. Attended via multiple emails to a pastoral situation in one of our Eucharistic Communities that may not be quite "hot," but is definitely quite warm. Caught up on some Covenant blog reading.

Friday (E.B. Pusey)

Prepped for tomorrow's liturgy seminar ... open a sermon file on Proper 24 (October 18 at All Saints, Morton) ... long phone conversation with Canon Evans ... long phone conversation with a priest of the diocese ... shorter phone conversation with a colleague bishop ... routine periodic cleanup of my computer desktop ... Lectio Divina on tomorrow's daily office Old Testament reading.

Thursday (Hildegard of Bingen)

  Usual weekday AM routine. Plowed through some more fairly quick email-generated tasks. Spent time with commentaries on the readings for Proper 23 (October 11 in West Frankfort). Lunch from the Chinese joint around the corner. Bowflex workout. Back to Proper 23, this time to articulate a homiletical message statement. Wrote a brief message to the parish clergy of the diocese, authorizing the resumption of baptisms, under appropriate conditions. Another telemedicine appointment with Brenda. Took a long walk on the sunny fall afternoon. Did a chunk of reading. Evening Prayer with Brenda. After dinner: Zoom interview with a potential postulant. Green-lighted a discernment group in his parish.

Wednesday (St Ninian)

The big chunk of the day (10-2:30) was dedicated to a tele-meeting of the House of Bishops, both in plenary and in "table groups." (I'm with the bishops of Spokane, South Dakota, and Southwestern Virginia, along with the retired bishops of Rhode Island and Arizona). The subject was how to respond, both personally and as pastors, to systemic racism. This was followed by a fairly brief telemedicine appointment, after which I *really* needed a walk. Before Evening Prayer and dinner, there was time to do some cosmetic surgery on a vintage sermon text for Proper 21, repurposing it for use at St Matthew's, Bloomington on the 27th. 

Tuesday (St Cyprian)

The morning and early afternoon were devoted to burning through a *long* queue of email-generated tasks that had piled up to do my appropriate neglect of my diocesan email account during my vacation. Many of these were very short; others were more substantial. With that all cleared, I'm ready to attack an equally impressive collection of beefier items that need attention. Mid-to-late afternoon was dedicated to running the errands (haircut, groceries) that I couldn't get to yesterday because the events surrounding the ordination.

Holy Cross Day

 ,,, aaaaannd we're back. Vacation did what it needed to do, and I'm very grateful. Spent most of the morning taming my diocesan email inbox, to which I have not been paying close attention for the last month or so. Most of them were converted into tasks, so my to-do list is bulging. Set off at 11am southward, hitting the Diocesan Center a little past 2:30. Caught up on various things with Canon Evans, gave him a tutorial on playing with hot wax to seal certificates, refined and printed my homily for tonight's ordination, and then headed back north to Trinity, Lincoln. At 5:30, we began the liturgy for the ordination of Dr Christopher Ben Simpson to the priesthood, as well is instituting him as rector of Trinity Church. It was a joyous, well-subscribed, and dutifully masked occasion. After mingling for a bit at the outdoor reception, I arrived back in my Chicago abode at 10:50.