God, Stephen and I

Grace, powerful.

Who would have thought that spending an afternoon inside on such a beautiful November day would yield such results the following morning.

Putting my house in order.  Dusting, yuck.  Rearranging furniture, placing it so that I can work and see the outside and enjoy a fire at the same time.  Stacking books in cases, adding more to that which will be sold or given away.  Plants coming inside for the winter.

Readying for winter?

Came across Bishop Steven  Charleston's book Hope As Old As Fire.  An amazing man, God has loaned us, as the Bishop would say.

Today's reading for November 11 (12th is not included).  The reason for Grace.

When I was a child I thought of God as an old man, seated on a throne, making marks by my name.  When I was in my twenties, God was a comrade in the struggle, calling us into the streets to demand an end to war.  In my thirties God began to morph into Spirit, a mystic force of truth.  In my forties God matured, a houseolder of  heaven. Through my fifties God was Grandmother, ancient shource of wisdom, constant source of healing.  Now crossing over sixty, I just smile.

I have changed.  God has not.  

We see the God we are.

Such is the journey for me.

In my youth, I could not bear to think of God as a man, looking like my father, so God had no face.  But the mark maker was always around.

In my twenties, God was struggling along side of me, trying to be all that I should be.  Daughter,wife, woman, independent.  Feeling the pull to the left surrounded by right.

God was Sybill.

I was a late bloomer with God as spirit.  Though wanting to participate in Contemplative Prayer my mind could never quiet down, the result of being bi-polar. 

I became inspired by the Celts. Nature is my nurture and God was always around me. 

Transforming!   The power of creating from blank canvas, the empty back yard.  Sixty years later and I still get a buzz from the seasons.

So, as you re-read Steven's message, who is God for you, now in this time, in this place?

In this heart?


Day 1 5:40 PM

Kathryn just texted that her power is out.  "let the fun begin."

I am luckier at this time.

So to make the time pass more quickly, I am watching Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter".

However, as I write the movie disappeared and CBS is showing Gov. Christie talking about all the power outages in NJ.

This bodes badly that that Comcast and the internet might disappear.

The trees are really boring and the winds are howling.

Be back later.

I hope.

Progressive Christianity

For the past decade, at least, I have realized that my take on being a Christian has not been the same as others.  On Friday night, I was given the reason why.

I am a Progressive Christian.

I do not have the same view of being Christian as my mother did at the height of Main Line Christianity in 1954.

As a Progressive Christian, I am not concerned about what happens after death, but rather how to live a transformative life now.  Intentionally living a spiritual life whose purpose is to be transformed now.

As a Progressive Christian, Jesus has more authority over my life than the Bible.  The Bible which I interpret as historical and metaphorical.  It is not the literal word of God and it is not valued over and above Jesus and what he taught.

As a Progressive Christian, there is no tension between Science and Christianity.  Come on>  Intelligent Design?  The earth only 5,000 years old?

As a Progressive Christian I do not merely tolerate other religious traditions but embrace them not limiting God to only one tradition world wide.

As a Progressive Christian, I socially embrace inclusiveness.

As a Progressive Christian, I am not "belief-centered" nor "heaven-and-hell" centered.

So, now all of you that are family and friends, you now know why I went to Sudan, why I would go back, why I am involved in AFRECS and in Reach Academy for Girls.

Jesus said to help the homeless, hungry and those in prison.  To do to the least of these, you have done it to him.

Very, very simple.

Day 1 2:30 PM

Well, I have just initiated a little test. 

At the Diocese of Delaware we have recently decided to utilize ACS in the Clouds or ACS On Demand.  ACS, Automated Church Systems, has been utilized for accounting since April 1994.

After some of the major hurricanes that affected all along the Gulf Coast, our insurance company, Church Insurance, suggested that disaster plans be put into effect.  The first part of that was the accounting system.

About a week ago, we lost power in the offer until around 1:30 PM.  The thought of moving over to Trinity Parish to log in utilizing their WIFI was not met with smiles.  However, it was determined that we should go over during a non-crisis to try out the system.

Well, we did not have enough time for that.  So, I decided I would try it today.

It was widely thought that we would just need the internet access to log on.


Today, I found ACS on Demand and quickly discovered that it was not so.  I needed to download a program onto my laptop.

I have successfully downloaded and then access the system.

And, personally, I went into the clouds in August so that everything is saved up there.

I am grateful to have been pointed into the clouds.

Now, back to the weather channel.

Stay safe all my friends along the shore and into the Marsh Lands in Delaware.

Stay safe, Kathryn and Nick and family.

I love you.

Day 1 of Sandy at 1 PM

Well, this reminds me a lot of the possibility of no electricity while in Sudan and to rely on the blog to keep people knowing that I am safe and hanging in there.

It has been raining all day.  I went out driving in Tweety around 8:30 AM scouting an open Starbucks to hang out and read within community.  No such luck.  However, Dunkin Donuts was open so I sat with iced coffee and did some reading.  I headed home around 9:45 AM and have been home since then.

It is now steadily blowing and gusting to around 45 mph.  Since our power lines are underground in my neighborhood, any falling trees will not impact that.  However, this is true for only new neighborhoods.  The older established neighborhoods in and around wilmington, that is not true.

My bedroom front windows face north so the blowing will be coming from that direction until the early morning when it will switch to SSE.

I will keep everyone posted.

Stay safe friends.


Prayers of the People 9/23/12

We gather in prayer, offering our thanks to God whoe trnsforming love sets our herts on the pth to everlasting joy.

In thanksgiving for the peacemakers, especially Barack our President, who sow seeds of reconciliation throughout the world, and who waits with faithful patience for the harvest to appear.

We pray that we may embrace our children with God's unconditional love, and receive tfrom them the freshness of word and spirit that enlivens the community of faith.

That our seminaries may prosper as they begin a new year of forming priests, religious educators, missionaries, and evangelists.

That a spirit of simplicity may prevail throughout our culture, leading to changes in our use of financial resources, the purchase of goods and services, and a responsible use of natural resources.

That we may put aside actions that speak of evny and self ambition and embrace virtues that honor the presence of God in every person.

That the eternal Christ will welcome into the arms of his mercy all who have died unloved and un-mourned, without family and friends.

For this we pray.

Hear us, O Spirit of Truth.


Where Have I Been?

When you are working on the communication budget for the diocese and your blog is linked and you see that the last time I wrote was in June - where have I been?

Well, some of the time I have been ignoring my laptop at home.  I hate the keyboard and so I stopped writing.

I did not stop noticing phrases, or songs, or sermons, or people.  I wrote them down with the greatest intentions about being faithful.

However, I really hate that keyboard.

More times than not, I would have written a great deal, hit the enter key and my pinkie really hit the back arrow key. 

Argh! as Linus used to say.

Imagine my surprise as I was gripping that I could actually buy another key board and use it with my lap top.


Where has my mind been not to have thought of that myself?

Well, it has been involved with my daughter living in New Jersey, and dating a wonderful young man by the name of Nick.  

I have been working with the Reach Academy for Girls plant expansion.

I have been working with Sts. Andrew and Matthew on welcoming some folks from The Cathedral Church of St. John.

I have been gardening, and more gardening.

I have been relaxing in the pool.

I have been reading.

I have attended the wedding of my dear friends Lloyd and DL.

I have been hanging around work a lot.

So no more excuses.  It is August.

I better find the time between visiting my daughter, the pool, the garden, work, Reach and work to communicate a little bit better.


I knew that

This morning was not what had been planned.  Get up somewhat early, clean the pool, go to church and then pick up Cynde's monitor at Best Buy.  However, last evening after the performance of Opus One Jazz ensemble benefit for Friendship House at Trinity Parish, my engine warning light came on.  Well that was what changed my plans for Sunday morning.

A little before 9 AM I packed up a book, iced coffee and headed to Pep Boys.  Optimistically I had dressed for church from the waist up and threw the skirt into my bag.  However, it took and hour and 15 minutes which meant I missed church.

Next stop, home to drop off the skirt, and head to the mall, to replace my wonderful Walking Store Sudan sandals.  Back home, cut the grass, sit in the pool and to inside.  Way too cool today for the pool.

Yankees started playing at 1:30 pm.  However, I am a fickled game watching.  I have to have something else to watch.  Today that was the movie What the Bleep Do We Know!? (also written What tнē #$*! D̄ө ωΣ (k)πow!? and What the #$*! Do We Know!?) starring Marlee Maitlin.  A 2004 film that combines documentary-style interviews, computer-animated graphics, and a narrative that posits a spiritual connection between quantum physics and consciousness. The plot follows the story of a photographer as she encounters emotional and existential obstacles in her life and begins to consider the idea that individual and group consciousness can influence the material world. Her experiences are offered by the filmmakers to illustrate the movie's thesis about quantum physics and consciousness.

To say that this is weird is an understatement, except that there was a part that spoke about all the wonderful things that God puts before us that if we notice leads to a wonderful growing of our soul.

After watching the Yankees win, listen Philly they are doing the best to help you by beating the Nationals, I decided to go get something to eat.  Whatever place I picked would provide me with lunch tomorrow.

Met Eric, a 45 year-old with 5 girls.  He was waiting at the bar for their reservation and they were shopping until called.  What great conversation.  And, because I was talking I had lots of food left for tomorrow.  Sitting there sharing conversation and laughs I realized how blessed I am with the gift of gab.  I am so my mother's daughter and my grandmother's grand-daughter.  And, I smiled when I realized my daughter is the same.

Walking to the a car that makes me smile each time I look at it, holding an Olive Garden bag with the leftovers, in my new sandals and a pant suit that has not fit for two years, the blessings rippled over me.

So it was the blessings that had me handing over these leftovers to a homeless man at the light.  Why did this make me want to weep?  And why is this becoming habit with me.

A habit I was not aware of until tonight.

I did not know that.


Memorial Day 2012

New Adventures of Queen VictoriaAt 7 AM on my way to Dunkin Donuts and then to Shop Rite, I was listening to NPR interview a mother from Cherry Hill, NJ about the loss of her eldest son, a 19 year-old Marine, in combat in Afganistan.

Crier that I am, by the end of the interview, I am sitting in my car sobbing for her and the rest of us as she recounts her story, his story.  I think about my Uncle John, an ex-Marine, and Andrea and their son Jeffrey, another Marine.

The next story was about President Obama laying a wreath at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to mark the 50th Anniversary of the United States entry in what we call the Vietnam War.  I was 11.  That war shaped who I am today as much as anything else. 

It has formed my aversion to combat as a solution, of political expediency, right or wrong, expediency that shifts over time.

That memory takes me to the Rev. James Lewis, another ex-Marine, who is never on the side of war.  A man who puts what he believes in out there for all to see, cheer or jeer.  And the wonderful woman, Judy, that is by his side always.

The year 2025 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War.

I think today, and am thankful for, all the men and women who have answered the call of their governments.  Thankful for those that have returned, and those that have not.

I am saddened to think and visualize all the Flander's Fields there are around the globe.

May we all be spurred to action to support those that return.

And, by the Mercy of God may those that have not rest in Peace.


Why I do and You should Work for the Episcopal Church

My friend recently returned from the B+E+S+T conference in upstate New York.  B+E+S+T stands for Bishop's Executive Secretaries Together and it is 25 Years Young this year.  She passed along to a few of us the homily that Bishop Wolfe, Vice-President of the House of Bishops, gave. 

After reading it, I decided that it was G+R+E+A+T and that the section of why someone should work for the Episcopal Church was so spot on that I am sharing it with you.

"Now let me begin by saying at the outset that there are many other wonderful traditions within
Christianity, and I’m well aware of the many imperfections that exist within our own branch of
the Christian church. I know not all of you here are members of the Episcopal Church, and the
Episcopal Church has richly benefited from a variety of people who come from different
religious traditions (and sometimes no religious tradition.). But a lot has been said and written in
recent years about our denomination, and I thought I might try to set the record straight.

• You should work for The Episcopal Church if you believe men and women are
fundamentally equal in the sight of God, and that women as well as men should be able to
serve in every office in the Church. In the Episcopal Church there are women who are
acolytes, women vestry members, women senior and junior wardens, women deacons,
woman priests, woman bishops and even a woman Presiding Bishop! I am a man who
believes this is not only a very good thing, but I believe it is a genuine glimpse into the
Kingdom of God, where men and women have equal access to the glory and the love of

• You should work for The Episcopal Church if you believe age, race, sexual orientation or
disability shouldn’t keep anyone from having an equal place in the House of God. This
policy of inclusion has created tensions in our fellowship, and those tensions will not
evaporate any time soon, but I believe the positions we have taken in these matters will,with the benefit of history, make us look as though we were guided by the Holy Spirit in
our time.

• You should work for The Episcopal Church if you believe in the power of both the Word
of God preached and in the Presence of God as revealed through the sacraments. If you
find solace and strength in hearing God’s word preached with power and in receiving the
Body and Blood of Christ on a regular basis, you’ve come to the right place.

• You should work for The Episcopal Church if you believe that the glory of God can be
revealed through beautiful architecture, beautiful music, beautiful liturgy, beautiful art
and beautiful literature. Episcopalians believe God is fully revealed in the midst of such
beauty, and we seek to support and value the aesthetic in all of life.

• You should work for The Episcopal Church if you think churches should be built around
the worship of God and not around the charisma of any one clergy person. Robert
Schuller was an incredibly gifted orator, but his great Crystal Cathedral is now on its way
to becoming home to a Roman Catholic diocese looking for bargain real estate in
southern California. Our ecclesiology makes it difficult, though as we know all too well
not impossible, for charismatic clergy to lead parishes into unhealthy relationships with
them. In The Episcopal Church it is always God, and not the clergy, who remains the
center of our focus.

• You should work for the Episcopal Church if you believe frightening imperfect
Christians with the fiery flames of hell or with crushing, unrelenting guilt is not only
unbiblical, but unchristian. This is a church where the grace of God trumps the wrath of
God, and this is a church where God’s love has the power to redeem any and every one.
A God who can forgive your deepest and most haunting sins may be a God who is loving
and powerful enough to forgive mine. The Episcopal Church attempts to posit itself midway
between “an acrid orthodoxy and an arid liberalism,” and we try to maintain this “via
media,” this “middle road,” in almost everything we do."

Thanks be to God.

Amen and Amen.


Couldn't you have told me that before

Saturday, a beautiful morning as I head down to St. Paul's in Georgetown for the Celebration of New Ministry for the people of St. Paul's.  The Rev. Joe Rushton has joined them.  Wonderful service and I met Evan, Joe's dog, who truly has the run of the place all the time.

Connected with friends and family as I traveled.  I used to talk all the time with Amy, my friend who passed away in June 2008.

At the reception, I spoke with folks from Primeros Pasos and The Way Home.  Re-acquainted myself with friends I had not seen in a while.  And, I met one of the newest priests to the Diocese, Donna Jeanne, who started at St. Peter's in Smyrna.

Leaving St. Paul's the weather was still beautiful, the promised rain not arrived.  Fastening my seat belt I pulled away from the curb and instantly recognized the sound of a flat.  On the right front, the same right front I had hit the curb with when I arrived.  Argh.

That goodness for AAA.  I am well passed the age of feeling that I had to prove that I too could change my tire.  Nope,rather I put on the flashers, turned on the radio, rolled down the windows and waited. 

Thirty minutes later I was on the road with my donut on the front and a speed limit of 55 mph.  Yikes that hurts worse that traveling with a donut tire.

Though Georgetown is sizable, a Pep Boys is not around.  So on the way home I dropped into the Dover Pep Boys.  Not much to do in this all male habitation.  Wandered around, found a tweety-bird key chain, then went to the waiting room to read.  Not much there either.  Men's Health Magazine.  Great stuff.  Learned a lot about how men view women, etc.  However, in an article that talked about weight loss, one of the biggest mistakes a person can make is to announce to his friends and family that they are embarking on a new weight loss program.

Now they tell me. 

To do so fills someone with a sense of accomplishment towards weight loss when nothing has occurred.

So, the universe had to provide me with a flat tire so send me to Pep Boy's to read a Man's magazine to learn I had made a mistake.

What, couldn't there have been an easier way to learn this?


Color Coordinated Eating

Well I have kept my promise to keep moving.  Yesterday I worked outside on the front gardens for an hour until almost dark. 
Now that work has ended and I am waiting to attend a 7 PM service, I have switched clothes and will pull out the bands around 5:30.

And, I am eating by colors. Eat as many colors during the day as possible.  Therefore, having three bean salad with corn for dinner followed by fruit is a no brainer.  And, let's not forget pumpkin soup with brown rice from LeShio in the Fairfax Shopping Center.

Today, I brought Kale to work.  Judy, my co-worker, taught me how to cook it.  Three of us ate a bowl and it was good and easy.  However, it is a lot of fun slicing and dicing with someone else around.  So I have had green, red, brown (?peanut butter), brown (raisins), peach and I am well on my way.  This is how people should be taught to eat.  Notice no white anywhere.

I am still grappling with the question about buying a scale.  Taking measurements was no big deal.  However, the number at my feet still makes me cringe.

And, I have to admit I have discovered that biting into a Gala apple each day at 4:30 is a delight.  Whether stuck in traffic or at the desk, the sound of my the biting is wonderful.  So does my delight come from the taste moving towards my brain or the fact that it feels good to eat right?


A good start

OK, it is day one for you but day eight for me.

Yesterday, Sunday, was a day of working in the house something, washing and ironing,things I so enjoy doing.  :)  However, it produced a sweat that I was thankful for.

This morning, I have completed the five minute workout by 5:50 AM.  Two of the cats sitting in various places in the bedroom watching me pull the bands.  The third was striking at the other band that was moving and striking the door.

Then downstairs to feed the cats and make breakfast.  Yogurt, strawberries and granola.  I try to get protein each time.

So, I feel good and ready for the first day of Holy Week.

It is called Fear

It’s only fear.

Two weeks ago I attended the Well to Serve, Well to Lead conference run by The Medical Trust/Church Pension Group and held at the Kanuga Conference Center in Harrisonville, NC, just outside of Asheville.  That conference has the potential to change my life, provided I push aside the fear and make it known.

I need to tell you that when the dress code for the conference was revealed, workout clothes, T-shirts, jeans, I was dubious.  What?  I had been to conferences run by The Medical Trust in NYC, and business professional was the dress code.  So, of course I took other clothes, thinking that my good friends were trying to “trick”.  Well, they were not.

The entire conference was dedicated to wellness, lots of lay and clergy employees who dedicate their lives to providing care for all our church employees.  And here were people that wanted to take care of me!  Yoga, walking, meditation, good food.

It has been quite a while since anyone wanted to take care of me.  At 60, I have been living essentially alone for about 6 years.  Self-sufficient.    And, to be honest, I do not like to accept or ask for help.  However, that is changing now.

At the conference, there were amazing speakers and information.  However, the person who stood out for me was Peter K.    Peter K and Peter K Fitness has been working with The Church Pension Fund for years.  However, I had not had the opportunity to see him in person.

So, I have started Peter’s 5 Minutes to Fitness Program and Nutrition Program.  It involves the use of “bands” to start with a five minute routine to build up muscle and therefore to lose weight quicker. 

My goal is to “move” more and more each day, rotating some type of physical exercise with the bands or in addition to the bands.

My fear was to admit to others that I was attempting this.  So, for two weeks I told only a few close friends.  Not family.  That is the biggest fear.  Letting family and friends and myself down.

So, I plan to write about this journey, as I did Sudan, asking for encouragement and accountability. 

From all of you.


I Can't Get There From Here

Well this trip is off a really, really bad start at Philadelphia airport.  And, it has nothing to do with the clocks moving ahead one hour.
My travel voucher gave me a United Flight Number.   So arriving at the airport I pull into garage D, quickly found a parking space and move into the very short security check-in line.   When I get to the FSA  person, I am told that I do not have a boarding pass.  I need to leave the line and go to US Airways.   US Airways  is the carrier operating the United Airlines flight.  And they are Terminal C.

Lord help me.

So, I dutifully leave terminal D by exiting and walking over in the brisk air into Terminal C.  I check in and discover that I will have to go to Terminal A for the actual flight.  Gate 22 to be precise.  And, the woman behind the counter tells me to utilize one of the moving vehicles the rest of the way.  It is almost at the end of the airport, where the international flights leave from.

So, let me repeat.

I am parked in Terminal D parking and am leaving from Terminal A.

Now you might think that this means maybe I should have had someone drive me to the airport.  It  would not have mattered.  I still would have headed upstairs to the Terminal D United check in and been in the same situation.  The walk across the concourse was the easiest and fastest part of the morning.

Now, I am sitting and writing this while waiting for takeoff .  There is no one else in my row, so I am spreading out.

OH, I forgot.  I usually travel Southwest.  You k now, no baggage charge (US Airways is $25) and you seat by number and pick your seat.

So trainable am I that I utilize the first open compartment space near an aisle seat and sit down.  Did I forget to mention that there are assigned seats?  So up I go and find my seat 6 rows back. 

So spoiled am I that I now am cringing about my return trip via Piedmont and Continental.  What nightmares will I have about marching around between terminals.

So Gary, you asked me to come back rejuvenated and inspired.

My inspiration is to drive or take the train.
Kathryn, I know that you are laughing at your Mother.

Oh, now they charge for any snacks.  You gotta love flying US Airways.  Thank goodness for my granola bar.


Sometimes Time Marches Too Quickly

This is the first time that I have gone to my blog to write in a long time.  So, I am now encountering new changes that Google has made to Blogger.  I probably will be spending time understanding what they are and how it will affect habits formed since 2008.

And, the new "simple" privacy policy? 

The past couple of months life has been hectic but rewarding.  Lots of things going on around me.  In February, the Diocese of Delaware held it's 227th Convention in Dover.  This event, the auditors and other pressing work had left me brain dead, figuratively and literally.  So, I followed that event with 10 days of visiting family and friends in Florida, staying on both coasts and enjoying great weather.  I am determined to make this an annual two week trip for the next couple of years.

Prior to leaving on vacation, The Rev. Canon Simon Mein passed away from complications from injuries received in a car accident returning home after convention.  Simon was a friend, colleague and mentor for the 17+ years that I knew him.  He and his wife Nan shared many conversations, though not as many as I now wish.  In fact, it is Simon's blog Simon Surmises that has a place on the Source of the River. Sooner or later, I will have to remove this link, but I am not in a hurry to do so.  Simon's Memorial Service was held in the chapel at St. Andrew's School while I was away.  Headmaster Tad Roach's memorial can be found under the chapel tab.

While I was away, the Rev. Jeanne Linderman  passed away.  Another friend and colleague that I have also known for as long as I have worked in the Bishop's office.  Her obituary in the Wilmington News Journal and the eulogy by The Rev. Canon Lloyd Casson are recommended reading.  Jeanne's work as the first female priest ordained in Delaware, her social justice work as a lay woman at St. Andrew's, the major role she played as a bridge in the coming together of the folks from St. Matthew's and St. Andrew's and the mother of six are just a few of the major accomplishments of this woman.  I was lucky to have known her.
I also attended the Memorial Service of my former boss, friend and colleague Chuck Elter.  The years I spent at McBride, Shopa and Co as a CPA were made the better by knowing Chuck and I will miss him.  It was bitter sweet to come together with old friends and reminisce about those days.

A week ago, I attended the Order for the Burial of the Dead for Anne Eldredge Harris, the mother of The Rev. Canon Mark Harris.  Mark, for those of you following my journey the past several years, was one of my three wise men who persuaded me that I should go to Sudan and work for The Episcopal Church of Sudan.  I never met Anne, a former practicing doctor, though Mark spoke of her often, of her art work and her poetry.  Her service was wonderful.  What I learned about Anne's computer generated artwork can be found at her website The Computer Generated Artwork of Anne Eldredge Harris.  Please visit  because you can not fully understand without going on line.  What is more, is it began after Anne came to like at Cokesbury Village over 25 years ago.  Both her professions of doctor and artist were well known at the Baylor College of Medicine.  Imagine a life where re-incarnation is possible while still living!

So, with all of that I am looking forward to a mini-working retreat at The Kanuga Conference center in Hendersonville, NC outside of Asheville, NC.