Monday, September 28, 2009


Liz and I have just returned from the annual gathering of the North American Academy of Ecumenists, held this year at the Washington Theological Union in Washington, DC. The thene was The Ethical Horizon from and Ecumenical Perspective. As readers of this blog and those I link to and follow are already aware, the ethical question that dominates today relates to human sexuality.

There were five major papers presented at the conference. They will be published, perhaps by next fall, in the Journal of Ecumenical Studies. One, by Dr. Timothy Sedgewick of Virginia Theological Seminary, dealy directly with human sexuality. The others ranged from a survey of those ecumenical discussions which had touched on matters of ethics to relflections on the Roman Catholic - Mennonite dialogue which in 2004 produced a report entitled Called to be Peacemakers.

As is often the case at conferences, informal conversations were as interesting and informative as the formal presentations. I was especially interested in conversations I had with Alyson Barnett-Cowan and Christopher Agnew.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Down Days

This past Tuesday I drove home from our cottage to our partment in New York, in the full expectation or going to the dental school for another Wednesday appointment and then returning Wednesday afternoon and watching Obama's address to congress with Liz. The plan was that while I was at the dentist, my car would be at the garage.

The plan fell apart in several ways. First, shortly after I got home there was a call from the dentist that the work hadn't come back from the lab, so I didn't go to the dentist ater all. Then the work on the car took all day instead of half a day so I didn't drive back until very early Thursday morning.

I did watch Obama' speech, alone. It was a great speech. But it didn't excite me. My friend Christina sent Liz a link to an interview with Dennis Kucinich about the speech and I passed the link on to who posted the video.

As for me, I'm in the process of discernment about how I want to spend my time -- when I have time. I may turn back to genealogy for a while -- or I may go back to The Dunciad. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to try to blog assiduously about things Episcopal (or Anglican) or political. But who knows?

To review this week:
Sunday -- we had a family gathering here at the lake
Monday -- we were here but I don't remember doing anything in particular
Tuesday -- in the afternoon I drove to New York
Wednesday -- I mostly read all day while the car was being worked on
Thursday -- I drove back early in the morning, then lazed out for most of the day
Friday -- I've mostly puttered all day
Saturday -- tomorrow, we drive to New York. Sunday will be our first day back at St. Mary's in many weeks. We'll return here on Thursday.

Our time in the country is winding down. My commitments at Morningside Gardens are heating up.

Finally, I have begun reading The Church-Idea by William Reed Huntington, first published in 1870. I'll report on it as I get into it.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Chairs and a Canoe

On Labor Day Sunday, September 6, we had what is becoming an annual family gathering at Heart Lake. The picture above shows my cousin Jenny, my nice Michelle and her husband Dan, Liz (my wife,) my Uncle Chuck and my cousin David. Chuck and David are sitting in spring steel lawn chairs that have been on that lawn for more than fifty years.
Here's a picture of the chairs by themselves.It's easy to see that they are in need of paint. Here they are from the back.None of us have ever seen anything like these spring steel chairs anywhere else. Here they asre from the side. In the background are two metal chairs with solid seats and backs, which are more common -- in fact you can find contemporary versions made of much thinner gauge steel. By the way, the reason the grass is so thin or eve nmissing is that the lawn was dug up several times last fall and this summer in the course of installing a new sewer system.

On the same day Uncle Allen took Caitlin and Aidan out in the canoe.
Thanks to my niece Tina for the pictures with people in them.