Thursday, December 31, 2020

Being pro-choice

I am pro-choice.

I don't think the government should decide what women do with their bodies.

It's that simple.

I also regret abortion.

I simply do.

But I will not put my regret on women who make their choice.

I also object to capital punishment.

I don't think the government should decide who dies.

Some would say those two opinions are contradictory.

But to me, they aren't.

I don't want the government to decide who lives or dies.

It's that simple.

(all opinions here are mine and mine alone)


Happy, Happy....

Have the happiest of New Years

2021 can't possibly be as bad as 2020 was.

Biden will be president.

Normal will again be 'normal'.

By the end of the year, Covid will be defeated.

I won't be up to see the ball drop in Times Square.

Bern goes to bed before me, but I'm usually in bed by 10:30 or so. I sleep a lot thee days. I'm on a drug called Leuprolide. I had my prostate gland removed years ago. But my PSA was 10.0 about a year ago so my urologist sent me to an oncologist.

Leuprolide has brought my PSA down to 0.01 and scans have detected no cancer. But a side effect of the drug is needing more sleep.

Which I do, every night.

Bern took the ornaments and lights off our Christmas tree this morning. It is a superstition from either her Hungarian mother or Italian father that the Christmas Tree must be bare before the new year or there will be bad luck.

This year had enough bad luck, so she wanted to make sure the tree wouldn't cause more.

I don't buy the superstition but decided it was a good thing to do.

Be well and stay well, my blog friends.

Have a Happy, Happy One....

(all opinions here are mine and mine only)



Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Epiphany sermon

 (we won't have an Epiphany service, but I wanted to share this sermon from several years ago0

Epiphany (1/5/13)


        “This Great Day I met them on their way,

          three kings from East upon their fine horses riding.

          This Great Day I met them on their way,

           Three kings from East in all their fine array…”


        Their names ring with echoes of mystery and wonder: Baltazar, Melichior and Caspar. Three Kings from East—the Magi, the Wisemen—lost in the mists of time and legend, emerge again to test our imagination with their rich and inappropriate gifts. Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh—fabulous and mythical offerings fit for a king in a lavish palace delivered instead to a toddler, wide-eyed and amazed, in the humble hovel of a carpenter and his young wife.

        This Great Day we meet them on their way: Baltazar, Melichior and Caspar, strange travelers following their star across seemingly endless tracks of sand.

        No one knows who these oriental visitors really were—or, for that matter whether they really existed or not. We call them names born of legend, not facts.  Only Matthew’s gospel mentions them and, once described, they disappear from the stage—journeying home by an alternative route, going back to the mystical land from whence they came, leaving Herod terrified and blood-thirsty.


        Gentile is a word that derives from the Latin word gens, which means “nation”.  The Gentiles were “the people of the nations” as opposed to the people of the covenant, the people of the Promise—the Jews. To the Jews of the first century, the world was divided neatly into clean and unclean, into holy and profane, into Jews and Gentiles.

        Whoever the Magi were, one thing is clear—they were Gentiles. Yet they journeyed ‘cross field and fountain, moor and mountain' to bring gifts to the newborn King of the Jews. One of the ways the Church has described the Feast of the Epiphany is the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles. The long-awaited Messiah of the Jews had come, not to his people alone, but to be the Light to enlighten the nations, the savior of all humankind.

        C. H. Dodd was one of the most important New Testament Scholars of the first half of the 20th century. A phrase that Dodd left us to describe one aspect of the Christian Faith is this: “The Scandal of Particularity”. What Dodd was referring to is the Christian concept that the God of Creation and Time chose to reveal “God-ness” at a particular time, in a particular place, through the life and death and resurrection of a particular historic figure. Many people would prefer a “more general” God—but the God of the Christian Faith and Church was manifest in a Jew born into the Greco-Roman culture of 1st century Israel.

        One of the most important learnings from Epiphany is to recognize in a powerful way that Christianity is an expansive, inclusive religion, not tied to any culture or race or language or nation. The church should be open and accessible to all sorts and conditions of men and women. Not all Christians agree with this Truth. There are those who would make the Church a private club for the select few—a “few” determined by their color or class or sexual orientation or language or the “rightness” of their beliefs. That attitude is the real “scandal of particularity.”

The magi broke the mold; saw through the “particularity” of Jesus to the universality of God.  Although Jesus did live in a particular time and place, God is the God of all time and all places.

    Epiphany warns us Christians not to be exclusive and narrow in our understanding of God. The Jewish religious leaders of the first century thought Gentiles were outside of God’s love. Their understanding of God was too exclusive, too narrow, too particular. We 21st Century Christians must avoid that mistake. Our understanding of God is sometimes too provincial, too sectarian, too small and narrow.


        This Great Day, we meet them on the way….

        There are countless folks all around us who follow their star and seek to find God. Their backgrounds may not be the same as ours and their views may not be “orthodox”; but we must make the doors of the Church open to them. We must invite them in and make them welcome. We must open our hearts and our worship to them. The God they seek seeks them as well. And we are God’s ambassadors, God’s representatives. We must welcome them and accept whatever gifts they have to offer.

        We must be open, expansive, inclusive, flexible and hospitable. God depends on us for that.

        The lives of those around us depend on that.

        Our lives, as well, depend on that.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

The three French hens are late...

 Happy third day of Christmas!

Christmas is a season, not a day.

The twelve days of Christmas take us to the Feast of the Epiphany and the Epiphany season.

Epiphany celebrates the arrival of the Magi with gifts for Jesus. They weren't there on Christmas Day, no matter what your nativity scene tells you.

In fact, Jesus was almost two before the Magi found him because they had been following the star for two years.

This is all lore, not fact.

Actually they didn't get their names--Caspar, Melichior, Balthazar--until centuries later.

And we can't know where exactly they were supposed to have come from.

But it's a great story!

(all opinions here are mine and mine alone)

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Pardon me, boy, is that the President going cockoo?

(all opinions here are mine and mine alone)

In his last days. the lame-duck president is pardoning his cronies--those who lied to keep him out of trouble with Robert Mueller--Jarret Kushner's father (who was locked up by the president's former shoe shine boy, Chris Christie!) and killers for Blackwater, contractors who killed civilians in the Middle East.

Hard to take.

And what's to come?

Most Constitutional scholars think there are flaws in what he's doing, but who can act on that?

There are also thousands of prisoners who have reabilitated or were given overly harsh sentences who have applied for pardons who are ignored as the president pardons friends and relatives of people in the White House.

Look for more of these inexplicable pardons in the days to come.

And will he try to pardon himself? Pardon himself while condemning three more to execution before he leaves office?


Wait and see.



Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry, Merry and Holy to you

 We went to North Branch, NY on the 23rd to take presents to Mimi, Tim and Eleanor.

We came home to get Brigit from the Kennel and for  me to do the Christmas Eve service on zoom.

Today we exchanged gifts and had our friend, John, for and early dinner.

At 2:30 we had zoom with Josh, Cathy, Morgan, Emma and Tegan as well as Mimi, Tim and Eleanor.

Since then I've been watching NBA. Go Lakers!

Not like any other Christmas in memory.

And not for you, either, I'd bet.

But I hope it was Merry and Holy in these strange times.

Be well and stay well, my friends.

Wash your hands, wear a mask, keep social distance.

And celebrate the birth  of Jesus.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Today's talk

(all opinions here are mine and mine only)


I have a Tuesday morning zoom group of truly committed Episcopalians--some ordained, some not.

Today we talked a lot about 'what we believe' and I was reminded of my Credo that sums up my beliefs. I've probably blogged it before, but why not once more.




I believe in the Edges of God.

Truly, that is my limit on the whole question of Creed.


I don't believe in a God storming out of the clouds

and smiting me to smithereens if I am bad.

I don't believe in a God who would wake me up,

pin me to my bed and give me bleeding sores

on my palms and my feet,

much less my side.

(Explain that to your general practitioner!)

I don't believe in a God who would instruct me

to slay infidels or displace peaceful people

so I can have a Motherland.

I don't believe in a God who has nothing better to do

besides visit bedrooms around the globe

uncovering (literally) illicit love.

I don't believe in a god who frets

about who wins the next election.

I don't believe in a God who believes in 'abomination'.


I believe in the edges of God--

the soft parts, the tender pieces--

the feathers and the fur of God.


I do believe in the ears of God,

which stick out—cartoon like—on the edges of God's Being.

I, myself, listen and listen

and then listen some more

for the Still, Small Voice.

I believe in God's nose—prominent and distinctively

Jewish in my belief--

I smell trouble from time to time

and imagine God sniffs it out too.

The toenails and fingernails of God--

there's something I can hold onto,

if only tentatively.


Hair, there's something to believe in as well.

God's hair—full, luxurious, without need of gel or conditioner,

filling up the Temple, heaven, the whole universe!

I can believe in God's hair.


God's edges shine and blink and reflect color.

God's edges are like the little brook,

flowing out the woods just beyond the tire swing,

in what used to be my grandmother's land.

God's edges are like the voices of old friends,

old lovers, people long gone but not forgotten.

God's edges are not sharp or angled.

The edges of God are well worn by practice

and prayer and forgotten possibilities

about to be remembered.

God's edges are like the wrists of someone

you don't quite recall but can't ever remove from your heart.

God's edges are rimmed and circled

with bracelets of paradox and happenstance

and accidents with meaning.


God is edged with sunshine,


over-ripe, fallen apples, crushed beneath your feet

and the bees hovering around them.


God's edges hold storm clouds too--

the Storm of the Century coming fast,

tsunamis and tornadoes, spinning out of control.


Blood from God's hands—now there's an edge of God

to ponder, reach for, then snatch your hand away.

God bleeding is an astonishing thought.

God bleeding can help my unbelief.


And most, most of all,

the edges of God are God's tears.

Tears of frustration, longing, loss, deep pain,

profound joy, wonder and astonishment--

tears that heal and relieve and comfort...

and disturb the Cosmos.


That's what I believe in:

God's tears.





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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.