Thursday, July 29, 2010

Where were you on July 29, 1974?

Elizabeth Keaton asked the question on the HOBD (Bishops and Deputies) list and also at her blog. I decided to answer it before reading any of the responses on the HOBD list or reading her blogpost -- Telling Secrets: Lord, what a time!

I was the senior warden of St. Mary's Church. My partner, Rex, had died in February, 1973 and I went into a sort of tailspin -- the main symptom was that I was drinking far too much. St. Mary's sponsored two of the women who were ordained that day at the Church of the Advocate -- I should have been there, but I wasn't able to mobilize myself to get there. I did have a long telephone conversation the night before with Bishop DeWitt. I was concerned about the effect the participation of our rector, Neale Secor, would have on him and on St. Mary's. I don't remember that conversation in any detail, but I do remember that Bishop DeWitt told Neale he was impressed that I had made the call.

I still wish I had been there.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Small World -- Heart Lake Division

When I came out to my parents in the spring of 1958 -- I was a senior in college -- they told me that I had been conceived when they made love on a lawn around a hundred feet from where I am sitting now. That would have been almost exactly seventy five years ago. It was a strange response to a difficult disclosure. It was also a complete non sequiter. Which is a great lead in to what Liz and I did today.

First we went for a short hike in the State Game Lands on the south side of the Susquehanna River between Hallstead and Susquehanna. It was too hot and we didn't have enough time anyway, but we'll go back when the weather is cooler but hunting season hasn't started.

Then we drove to Christ Church, Susquehanna for a short jazz concert and an an exhibit of early pictures of Susquehanna County, in honor of the 200th anniversary of the establishment of the county. There I met Todd Moffett, senior warden, who it turns out attended St. Michael's Church in the early 1980's and knew Dorothy Cobb, one of the stalwarts of St. Mary's, who at the time was working (in her retirement) at St. Michael's. We invited him to attend St. Mary's if he chances to be in New York on a Sunday -- he in turn invited us to come to Christ Church any Sunday we could draw away from the Heart Lake United Methodist Church. We also met the priest, Randy Webster, who is also priest at St. Mark's in New Milford -- a church I have never been in. Randy's partner Paul Walker is the new rector at St. Paul's in Montrose. We happen to be on the mailing list of St. Paul's -- they have a super newsletter, and Liz and I were struck by the casual way they referred to the partner of their new rector. So now we have met Randy and not Paul -- but we will soon, no doubt.

Before coming to Montrose, Paul and Randy were at Christ Church, Belleville, New Jersey. The Mystery Worshipper reports that Paul wore a biretta there. I wonder if he does in Montrose -- perhaps I'll find out soon.

It was nice to meet an out gay priest today, the same day the Father Christian Troll reports on some of the doings of little Matt Kennedy, who tried to steal a church and succeeded in stealing a congregation about twenty fie miles down river from Christ Church.

I always say more later, but I never deliver. Ciao.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Another summer at Heart Lake

Liz and I have begun in earnest our annual stay at Heart Lake, even as we are both significantly involved in things in New York. As chair of the property committee at St. Mary's, Liz has several important matters to attend to, and I have a full plate as the new treasurer of St. Mary's. This coming weekend, we have both been invited to join the vestry retreat, and so we will have to be in New York for that.

Meanwhile, the long saga of my dental implant and new prosthesis is approaching an end. I have an appointment at the dental school on Wednesday afternoon (tomorrow) and we have decided to drive down in the morning rather than late this afternoon as we originally planned. I am not yet sure whether to aim to get there in time for the Chinese class. To do that, we would have to be on the road by 7 am, 7:30 at the latest, and that might be difficult to manage.

Morningside Gardens still takes a good deal of my attention too. This year I am secretary and chair of the tenant selection (admissions) committee -- I'm not yet sure what other committees I will on. That means I have to be in New York on average at least twice a month for meetings, except possibly a little less in August. Since we try to stay here until at least early October, there's quite a bit of back and forthing.

A few weeks ago, I made a list of the personal projects I want to move forward on -- there were four, to the best of my recollection they are: the Dunciad project, studying Chinese, following and possibly writing about Anglican and Episcopal Church matters, and continuing with the organization of my study at home. After having been here at Heart Lake for a few stints of several days at a time, with a couple of equally long stays in New York, I have added at least one more project to the list -- I want to bring some more order into my genealogy papers.

That list of personal projects does not include reading projects -- Liz and I are reading Joel Kovel's The Enemy of Nature, and I am reading Amos Oz's A Tale of Love and Darkness, and Thomas Cahill's The Gifts of the Jews. I'm also starting again to read Richard Hooker -- right now I'm reading the sermon On the Certainty and Perpetuity of Faith in the Elect, which is printed before the Laws in the Everyman's Library version of Keble' edition. I've set aside Tristram Shandy for the moment.

And then there are the physical tasks associated with this cottage at Heart Lake. There are a number of things Liz and I want to do to improve the place, as well as organize some of the things that fill the cottage (especially the attic), the garage, and the shed.

I could go on, but it's getting towards 9 am and I have to turn to St. Mary's treasurer business.