Saturday, July 19, 2008

Episcipal Elections

Wow, what a day.

Saturday morning at 1:00 A.M. Elaine Stanovsky from the PNW was elected bishop on the 25th ballot.

As predicted things got pretty interesting after one election. At one time Janet and Elaine were essentially tied, then support again shifted to Elaine. Both were good candidates and Janet would have served the denomination well also.

The delegation is proud for Elaine and our work with her but now we are faced with the reality of losing her leadership and we do not know yet who our new Bishop will be.

Peace Y'all,


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Between Generations

It really sucks to be a Gen X clergy.

The boomers are in control and the Millennials are on the rise. Squeezed in the middle are us poor suckers with the misfortune to be born after JFK was shot and before the Challenger space shuttle blew up. One Episcopal candidate here at Jurisdictional totally disregarded my generation in talking about the generations of the church. I have been informed that I am too old to meet with the younger people to caucus with them. (I crashed one gathering anyway.) Among my clergy colleagues I am seen as one of the young ones, among the young adults I am one of the old clergy.

I really sucks to be 39.

In other news the voting for Bishops has come to a standstill.

After 5 ballots there has been little movement among the top 5 contenders. As of the 5th ballot this is how things stand.

Grant 42
Elaine 21
Renae 19
Youngsook 14
Janet 13

Two of those are likely to be elected unless some great surprise happens tomorrow. It all depends on the fallout of the caucus groups and as the others withdraw. There are still 40 votes being used on candidates with little chance to make a sudden rise. Distributing those 40 among these five will determine a lot of the future. Presently I am voting for two women. I am convinced Grant will make a good Bishop but presently I wish to support some women to see how this sorts out.

I am hopeful that the PNW will be assigned a women as Bishop but there is a lot to happen between now and Saturday.

Peace Y'all,

Thursday, July 10, 2008


One of the tools I have re familiarized myself with in coming to my new appointment has been "The thin book of Appreciative Inquiry." It is a great little resource and I am going to need it as we approach the inevitable changes at Mill Plain.

I have joked with the congregation that while I am not trying to change anything right away, the truth is as the new person I will accidentally change something and not even know what I was doing was a change. One recent non church event has reminded me how hard change can be.

In 1980 my family was taking my aunt to the airport who was flying home to San Diego, while waiting with her at the gate (remember when family could do that?) my dad and I notice that DENNIS JOHNSON was also going to be on my aunt's flight. Finally after much encouragement from my father I took a pen and paper from my mother and approached the star of the world champion Seattle Supersonics. I very shyly approached this tall man sitting alone and I said, "Mr. Johnson can I have your autograph?" He took my paper and signed it. I don't recall if he said a word to me but it was SO AWESOME, I got DJ's autograph, just wait until the guys at school hear about this! Of course instantly DJ became my favorite of all the Sonics. Previously my favorite was Gus Williams, the "short" guy on the team.

I remember where I was the previous year when the Sonics won the Championship. Sitting in the living room watching on a little TV with a snowy picture that was the best our antenna could do with the signal 90 miles away in Seattle. It was a great moment in my childhood.

Now the Sonics are gone. Stolen by a thief from Oklahoma City and the commissioner of the NBA. In my worst moments I want some disaster to befall the pair of them. In my best moments I realize that I haven't watched a Sonics game since 1993. (That is great story for another time, but I will say this FRONT ROW TICKETS BABY!)

Change is hard. While my childhood really hasn't been taken away yet, it hurts to have the Seattle Supersonics suddenly disappear in a whirlwind of dust.

I am trying to remember that as the church changes. AI says, "People have more confidence and comfort to journey to the future (the unknown) when they carry forward parts of the past (the known). AND. If we carry parts of the past forward they should be what is best about the past.

So when we talk about changing worship or some committee or something else about the way things have "always" been done I will try to remember the need each of us has to have roots while we grow.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A new day

Today I begin my appointment as the pastor of Mill Plain UMC!

I am excited and nervous about this opportunity. I think the church pretty much feels the same way. The matchmaker has made his match, now the bride and groom get to figure out if they can make it work.

Today I am meeting with the staff and begining to learn what life is like at MPUMC.

I will also be continuing to unpack the boxes of books and begin settling into my new office.