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honey, I'm home!

I'm glad to say that we made it to Cambridge, and I'm writing now from the dining room of our new digs there, using the wireless network I established this afternoon. And I didn't have to drive the truck! Karen's brother owns a box truck from his former business, so he moved us with the assistance of two-person crews hired on each end of the move. Not everything fit in the truck, so we'll have to rent a van or something and visit the town we moved from within the next couple of weeks or so to pick up the rest of our stuff, which is staying with some friends.

Our new home is still very much Box Central, though Karen's brother has been kind enough to stay with us to reassemble our furniture, install air conditioners, and generally do the handyman stuff that neither Karen nor I is very good at. And I'm confident that we have not lapsed into Beige Living. We've got useful decorating tips to add color as needed, but there's plenty around already -- our apartment has lots of windows throughout, and the world outdoors is pretty colorful, plus we've got some touches like the HUGE (about 5.5' square) painting that a dear friend of ours -- a fine arts professor at the university where Karen was teaching -- gave to us. I may post a picture of it once we've hung it -- it's something to see!

And yes, that was a past tense with respect to Karen's job. When I first started writing about my upcoming move, the plan was that Karen was going to stay behind, and we were going to have to cope with seeing each other only on long weekends and academic breaks. But some astute readers have noticed that fairly recently the pronoun for the move shifted from "I" to "we." I couldn't say anything about it until all the arrangements were made, but now I'm at liberty to talk, and can say that the university was kind enough to give Karen an extended research leave of absence, and she has made the move with me to stay. Our house goes on the market this week, and with my bishop's blessing, we're both free to move wherever God calls us after I've completed residency at EDS. Karen's coming with me has changed the move from an "if I have to do this, I'll make the best of it" to a "woo hoo -- what a lovely adventure!" change that we're both really excited about.

So here I am in Cambridge, seeing tons of potential in the home we're making and the year (or so -- it all depends on where we're going next) and feeling joyful and at peace. We're living out of a suitcase at present, but we're home!

July 31, 2006 in Life and Whatnot | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack

moving day approaches/preaching in Michigan

Moving day is set: it's Saturday, July 29. We're renting a 26' truck that I'll drive, and we've got crews that will help us load and unload it. I'm a little nervous about driving the truck -- especially with the streets at acute angles and such close to our new digs -- but it's saving us oodles of money (renting the truck was only about $700) and also that way we don't have to wonder when our stuff will show up (in my experience, movers invariably take days to weeks longer than they said they would), and I'm also pleased that the guys helping us load the truck at our current digs are locals whom we know -- in other words, not surly, unreliable people who would trash our stuff.

But gad -- that means we actually have to have everything ready to go in two weeks! And I won't be home for the whole time either -- I'm preaching at (how cool is this?) a jazz mass for the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene on Saturday, July 22 at the Episcopal chaplaincy of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. I'm really looking forward to it, though -- it's a very cool occasion, and I get to hang out with the chaplain, whom I met when keynoting the Province V young adults' retreat this spring and found to be a very, very cool guy, and the music director, who also seems very cool indeed as well as extraordinarily talented (and without attitude!).

Moving is stressful, and I'm not looking forward to getting all our stuff together. I am really looking forward to settling in at EDS, though -- we love our new apartment and neighborhood, and we're looking forward to meeting folks in the community.

Ch-ch-ch-changes ... !

July 14, 2006 in Churchiness, Life and Whatnot, Personal News, Where's Dylan? | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack

a manner of life that poses a challenge to the wider church

Simon Sarmiento of Thinking Anglicans points to this article from the Church Times. Talk about a bishop whose "manner of life poses a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion" (GC2006 Resolution B033):

Dr Williams has already indicated that he believes Archbishop Malango -- who is due to retire at some time in the next year -- should suspend Bishop Kunonga. In a statement to The Sunday Times last month, he said: "In the context of a prolonged and political crisis, the diocese of Harare faces intolerable strain in the form of the very grave and unresolved accusations against Bishop Kunonga. In other jurisdictions, a priest or bishop facing such serious charges would be suspended without prejudice until the case had been closed. It is therefore very difficult for Bishop Kunonga to be regarded as capable of functioning as a bishop elsewhere in the Communion."

A lot of people don't realize that all this stuff we're talking about cuts in all directions.

The Church Times reports that the 38 serious charges against Bishop Kunonga include incitement to murder. Archbishop Malango endorsed the charges in 2003, but the trial was aborted nearly as soon as it began, and ++Malango hasn't responded to requests to revive proceedings:

He was quoted in press reports in Pravda and The [Zimbabwe] Herald on 23 December 2005 as having decided not to appoint another judge to try the Bishop, but to try the matter himself, based on a report from his own officials. He had also, according to Pravda, stated: "The matter is closed and cannot be revived." Reports say that this letter, supposedly sent to all the bishops of Central Africa, warned "all persons interested in bringing charges of this nature against any bishop of the province to ensure that they do not raise purely administrative issues masked as canonical offences".

And ++Malango has shrugged off any further suggestions that he's violating canons as well as ethics in refusing to discipline +Kunonga, saying, "We must work together as Christians. Who is not a sinner in this world?"

Appeals have been made to the Archbishop of Canterbury -- it'll be interesting, to say the least, to see what happens.

July 14, 2006 in Churchiness, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"Anglican Church Opposes Women's Ordination"

That's what the headline from this Nigerian Tribune article says. The (Anglican) Church of Nigeria has taken to calling itself just "The Anglican Church" or "The Anglican Communion," and the Nigerian media has followed suit. The name shift may have something to do with Nigerian Primate Peter Akinola's suggestion that he may call a gathering of "all Anglican bishops" -- presumably meaning "all bishops whom I accept as being REALLY Anglican," and excluding bishops like +Gene Robinson of New Hampshire and +Katharine Jefferts Schori, our Presiding Bishop-elect, in 2008 as an alternative to Lambeth if the Archbishop of Canterbury doesn't treat the Episcopal Church and others +Akinola calls "the apostles of ‘revisionist agenda.’"

And so the headline from the Tribune just said "Anglican Church Opposes Women's Ordination." The article says that "82 percent of the church population voted against the ordination of women as ministers in the church," though it doesn't say where or how the vote was taken and who got to vote. Apparently they'll be establishing a permanent "deaconate" that will be open to both women and men. And Bishop George Latunji Lasebikan of the Diocese of Ondo "enjoined wives of the public office holders to act as controls to the excesses of their husbands, said the women should play the role of counsellors and ensure their spouses were not reckless."

I wonder whether the Primate of All Nigeria is married, and if so, whether his wife has counseled him regarding his proposal to "roll your own Lambeth."

July 9, 2006 in Churchiness, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

I told you so!

My co-workers have sometimes chuckled at my keeping the newsprint from old classes and meetings and whatnot. "You'll never use them!" they laughed.

Well, I sure showed them!

I just spent an hour using my visual aids for a class on sin and reconciliation. (The class session uses racism as a test case through which we can understand what sin is and how God is effecting reconciliation, and I'm quite proud of it -- it's part of the 'Commit' course in the three-part adult formation curriculum I developed with John de Beer called Klesis: Call to Full Humanity. And by the way, we're releasing the curriculum as an open-source project, so it's absolutely free for parishes and student groups and such to use -- you can get more info and download stuff here.) I recorded what was on the newsprint, of course, and then I used it as packing paper for my books.

It felt kind of funny stuffing 'SIN' in big letters around books on St. Paul.

July 4, 2006 in Life and Whatnot | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

decorating hints wanted!

So, I might be moving into my new digs at EDS as soon as August 1.

I'm excited about it -- almost entirely. I'm also a little sad. Among other things, I'm leaving the first house I've ever owned, and the first place I've ever really nested. We decided to buy this place when every pore of every wall and ceiling smelled like the residue from cooking meth (coincidence? nope.) and the rooms were piled with lovely sights like stacks of well-worn pornographic magazines, Confederate flags, rotting food, and plastic cups filled with mold floating atop leftover beer. We redid the place from top to bottom and made it our own, and it's home.

But I'll be in a new home, and I want to make it as homey as possible.

Alas, painting the new place is strictly verboten, and as far as I can tell, the Buildings & grounds authorities believe in decorating solely in a color I often call "institutional dinge."

I want color. And sure, we'll have art and whatnot -- but I'd really like color on the walls if possible.

Does anyone out there have any innovative decorating tips for such a circumstance?

I wondered even whether it might be worth trying something like dyeing sheets of fabric and stretching them across a wall or two for an accent color. On the other hand, I have never seen such a thing tried, and have little idea how it would actually work.

Any ideas out there? Please don't let me lapse into Beige Living.

July 2, 2006 in Life and Whatnot | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack

the fiftieth time someone says it in print it's a "fact"

Jonathan Wynne-Jones says in the Telegraph that this whole "two-tiered Communion" plan enshrined in the proposed Anglican Covenant is going to backfire on the conservatives who backed it. He reports that progressive English clergy and bishops will ask for DEPO (Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight, in which a rector asks to be overseen by a bishop more congenial to her/his views) or ALPO (as Fr. Jake has so wonderfully dubbed it -- that would be "Alternative Primatial Oversight," whatever the heck that is; it isn't all all clear in our context at least, as the Presiding Bishop doesn't provide oversight to dioceses) from Americans rather than submit to +Cantuar.

There are two teen-insy hiccups that prevents me from swallowing what this article says whole:

  1. There is no 'proposed Anglican Covenant' at this point -- only a draft proposal for a process that, if everything goes as not-exactly-planned, might lead to such a covenant in six to eight years or so; and
  2. I'm not convinced that +Cantuar is advocating a "two-tiered approach." I wouldn't say it's crystal-clear that the speculation about "constituent" and "associated" elements forming around such a covenant in the Archbishop of Canterbury's most recent letter is anything approaching a "plan," or even seen as a desirable outcome, given both the archbishop's ecclesiology (he takes catholicity very seriously, and I doubt he would want to go down in history as someone who first suggested that we all reenact the split between the Wesleys and the Church of England -- the very thing to which he compared such a development) and the May 22 letter of Canon Gregory Cameron, the Anglican Communion's Deputy Secretary-General, in the same newspaper that printed Wynne-Jones' report. I'm reproducing that letter to the Telegraph below:

No two-tier approach

Sir - Your report ("Archbishop backs two-track Church to heal divisions", May 19) appears to suggest that there is a planned strategy to divide the Anglican Communion in this way to achieve this end. That is not the case.

A paper exploring how a covenant might be drawn up for the provinces of the Anglican Communion has been adopted for discussion and reflection in the Communion by the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates and the Anglican Consultative Council.

The potential for a covenant arrangement to entail a difference between those who might wish to sign and those who might not is recognised as a complication, and consideration of this challenge will have to form part of that exploration.

That is a long way indeed from saying that the Communion is preparing for a two-tier approach and further still from saying that the Archbishop of Canterbury backs it.

Canon Gregory Cameron, Deputy Secretary General The
Anglican Communion, London W11

July 1, 2006 in Churchiness, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack