My friend and colleague Zealand Hillsdon-Hutton died in the early hours of this morning.  He’d been assisting at St. George’s for years, and was a real godsend to me.  I will miss him. (more…)

Here’s an interesting excerpt from an Easter sermon on inclusion given by “the sarcastic Lutheran.”

As many of you know, last week Seth and I attended the Rocky Mountain Synod assembly – the legislative body for this region of the Lutheran church.  For more than 10 years my denomination has been talking about human sexuality.  Much like the early church who were convinced that gentiles could only become Christians if they changed into being Jews first (which, for the record, involved a rather unpleasant process), (more…)

On a personal level, I’ve been on vacation, recovering, since Easter.  One way or another, I suspect that’s what most clergy do.  Certainly in the Episcopal Church, Holy Week/Easter is our busiest time of the year.  We need time to lie fallow, and that’s what I’ve had.  I’m starting to feel like I might want to do something again.  I went down to our Community Garden today, which we officially opened and assigned plots for the day before Easter.  I watered the two half rows of corn my wife planted in her plot.  (It’s her plot.  I’m the designated water boy.  She picked the plot nearest my office to “encourage” this.)

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I said goodbye to a friend Saturday, at least in a matter of speaking.  Vin died earlier, but we held his service then.  In many ways, I think we’d been saying goodbye for some time.  He’d been dealing with some kind of dementia.  Dealing well — it wasn’t obvious at first.  And he was an interesting and caring man, even as he faded.  Then his wife, Goldie, his anchor, died.  And he was a bit more adrift.  And he had health problems, which wiped him out physically.  So we watched him fade both mentally and physically.  I think it was hardest on his daughter.  It was an ugly process.  Death, when it came, was a release for all of us, including Vin.

But I find myself wanting to honor his life.  He raised his family.  He served his country.  He traveled the world, sorting out production problems for his company, and meeting and understanding and caring for people.  He understood racism.  He knew it was a festering evil (though I don’t believe he’d ever use those words).  And he shared his experiences and wisdom.  He was solid and unassuming.  As far as I can tell, he was good at all the things he did.  I found him to be a blessing in my life.  It was incredibly sad to see him failing physically and mentally before he died.  It was an honor and a privilege to know him.

I don’t think I’m saying all this very well.  But there was real value in his life.  What he did made a real difference in many people’s lives.  And it would be enough, I think, simply that he had lived.

I happen to believe that he lives a new life, whole and complete again, with the God who loves him.  And I imagine him with his beloved Goldie.  Our burial office takes its meaning from Easter, from Jesus’ death and resurrection.  My sorrow (and even anger) at his death (and how he lost so much before he died) is real.  But I really do take solace from the fact that I believe he is now safely in God’s hands.

Simply, I find myself wanting to say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  Fare well.

I loved Brian Baker’s little Lent/Easter meditation that accompanied Trinity Cathedral’s Easter Appeal:

I do not know if it is exactly accurate for me to say I “enjoy” Lent.  I appreciate and need Lent.  It is an important time for introspection.  Lent invites me to re-focus my time, my priorities – my life.  I feel like we, in the United States, have been experiencing a communal Lent.  Faced with the economic crisis and general anxiety about the state of our world, many of us are stepping away from unconscious shopping and are rethinking our priorities.  There are also many of us who are facing personal financial loss. (more…)