Monday, December 29, 2008

Weekend Update - December 29, last one of the year!

The Weekend That Was - Ah Christmas weekend! We went to the midnight service where for the last 20+ years I've done a narration of the service on one of our local radio stations. Originally the script called for me to talk during every single part of the service EXCEPT the sermon. I've scaled it way back since then. But this year a variety of technical problems knocked us off the air so I got to just be a worshipper mostly. It was very cool. Christmas was wonderful and leisurely. My favorite kind. Yes, I got cool presents. My favorite is probably "Think Like a Chef" by Tom Colicchio. Looks like fun. Then down to Pittsburgh to visit the in-laws (good visit), my lady wife's only brother (and the kid's only cousin on that side of the family)(another good visit) and then go see some of my side of the family (also a good visit). So it was fun. Sunday was a little shopping with Christmas money. I got a history of comics on sale. Should provide many, many hours of enjoyment.

The To Do List - I need to work very hard at not working. My office is closed (as are all our diocesan offices) until the New Year. I need to spend family time, and me time right now.

What Am I Procrastinating About? - Not procrastinating, just not doing things at the moment.

What Am I Watching/Reading/Listening To? Knocked off "American Lightning" by Howard Blum. It's the story of the first "Crime of the Century" of the 20th century, the Los Angeles Times building explosion. It involves Clarence Darrow, D.W.Griffith and William Burns (the "American Sherlock Holmes"). Domestic terrorism, labor unions, and the birth of Hollywood. I thought the Griffith connection was a little bit of a reach but only a little. Well written and fascinating history especially in view of recent politics in this country. The first 20 years of the last century can be extremely educational when it comes to looking at what's been happening in the most recent decade of American life. I'm working on "I Wish I'd Been There, vol 2". Historians are asked what historic event do wish you'd been there to witness. This book focuses on European history so it's been the writing of Magna Carta, the firing of Handel, Hannibal crossing the Alps. Pretty good stuff so far.

Caught a few more Christmas classics. Watched the complete unedited version of "White Christmas" but haven't been around to watch too much more recently.

Next Up New Year's Eve which is a yawn around here. The kid will be away with her friends so it'll just be my lady wife and which is really the way I prefer it. If we get a really interesting invite we might go but it's unlikely. Much more fun, just the two of us! I'm refusing to think about anything beyond that.

How Am I Doing I'm feeling much cheerier. I hope I can carry that through into the new year.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Thoughts on a Christmas Eve

First let me send my wishes for the happiest, merriest, holiest Christmas possible.

Christmas here should be pretty good. The kid is home and there's a lot of laughter in the house. Money is tight for us as for so many others. The reality is that we've never had a lot of money. You don't get rich working in small town radio or for the church. There might be a present or two less under the tree but that's OK. We'll go and visit some relatives. The weather has decided to cooperate which is always nice as well.

Some other thoughts about Christmas have been fussing at me. When I finally unpacked them I realized they weren't worth talking about here. Some folks have problems with Christmas. Some are personal, some are theological. I don't have to enter into their problems.

I love Christmas. I love the emphasis on peace and good will. I wish we took them more seriously and tried to live Christmas every day. I wish the same thing for Easter. For me the story of a family facing all kinds of troubles, struggling to find a roof over their heads and the arrival of a new life into the world always speaks to me. It's perhaps even more poignant this year.

I've always felt a special affection for Joseph, the father of Jesus in this world. I know the emphasis is always on Jesus and Mary and that's fine. But is it really that easy to overlook the man who also heard God's call and answered it. He took up his own burden on faith. Joseph gets forgotten after the Christmas story. Maybe it's just because I too got a surprise baby around this time of year (although certainly Jesus wasn't born this time of year). If you look back at a recent post of mine you'll probably figure out some of my feeling of connection with Joseph.

I can't wait for the midnight service. Even though I'll be "working" rather than comfortable in the pew (in fact only the kid will be in the pew. My lady wife will be the thurifer tonight) I love this service. Of all of it my favorite part is the end. The lights are turned off, the parishioners hold lit candles as we sing "Silent Night" It's a wonderful feeling.

We'll open a present tonight, then have the big opening tomorrow morning. I had never heard of opening presents on Christmas Eve till I moved up here. Apparently it's fairly common around here. Tonight we'll open a small present. Then tomorrow get up a little late (ah, the joy of having a GROWN UP child!), make the Christmas morning special breakfast, open presents with Christmas music playing in the background (TSO and Vince Guaraldi plus more traditional music). It'll be calm and fun as we watch our two little cats exploring through the jungle of shredded paper and pine needles.

I'm looking forward to Christmas. May your Christmas be bright.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Lovely word gobsmacked. If I understand it correctly it means to be greatly surprised, stunned even by a sudden turn of events.

And that's exactly how I feel about the football pool this morning.

It was a wretched week. I only got 9 of 16 games right, I missed on my top two favorites (Tampa Bay losing to San Fran and Houston losing to Oakland) so I knew my point total was going to get hammered.

Well so did everyone else's. With 77 points (which is like 60% of the total available) I was only 20 points behind this week's #1! So instead of FALLING in the standings, I ROSE in the standings! Only 3 people above me overall outscored me this week. Astoundingly I'm now only 90 points out of first place overall. Of course with only 1 week left the chances of me winning approach zero. But my goal was to finish in the top 10 (only 8 points away) and within 10% of the winner's total points (I'll have to finish within 150 points of first so I'm probably in pretty good shape for that one too).

The really funny thing is that I'm totally dumped the statistics analysis routine and just gone with my gut. Watch out for coast to coast games (like that TB/SF one!), watch out for division games, rivalry games and bad team/bad team and good team/good team matches. The problem becomes teams like San Diego who can be very good and very awful. Tough to pick week to week.

So I'm at #14 overall and was #14 for the week as well. Pretty sweet. One last big week and we'll see how we do.

Otherwise a bunch more snow last night. Followed by rain and 40 degrees on Weds, snow and 30 degrees for Christmas, rain and 40s Friday, rain and 50s Saturday then winter returns. Weird. But we can use some snow pile reduction again so I won't complain. And it makes doing some Christmas travelling easier too.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Weekend Update December 22

The Weekend That Was - Well I wanted an "off" weekend and I got it. Weather shut things down on Friday, I had nothing planned for Saturday and then another storm canceled my meeting on Sunday. So I totally goofed off. And it felt GREAT!!!!! The weather has been a bear and the worst is still to come it appears. I'm doing this late on Sunday evening and we may wake up to well over a foot tomorrow. Gotta wait and see. But it's been nice to relax this weekend. We did Britten's Lessons and Carols at church this morning which was pretty cool. Great sermon that sounded like it was aimed right at me. Don't you love those? Excellent work by our associate rector as always. But MAN IT'S COLD OUT THERE!!! Temps are in the single digits and wind chills are around -1. Lovely.

The To Do List - Worked on a few more small projects, worked on some stuff for a Youth Commission retreat next year. Need to follow up with some folks on some other things before Christmas break starts.

What Am I Procrastinating About? - Not too much at the moment. Kinda strange.

What Am I Watching/Reading/Listening To? Ripped through "Tried By War - Abraham Lincoln as Commander-in-Chief". Really enjoyable and I think pretty even handed. Points out where Lincoln made political compromise, made mistakes and got things right. Really recommend it if you're into American history and military history. It was a great break from everything I've been reading recently. The book is shorter than I expected because it has a couple dozen pages of footnotes.

No music but a couple movies. Finally watched "The Truman Show" with Jim Carrey. This was a really fun movie. It's funny that Carrey can do such good quality work when he takes the shot. An interesting concept, well written, acted and directed. I really enjoyed this one. I probably would have seen it sooner except so much of Carrey's work is just stupid. Not this one though.

Plus watched a Christmas movie "It's a Wonderful Life" A classic. I don't care if people think that Capra is naive and not cynical enough. Thank God for that. I forget how much fun it is. And I love the styles. Why did men ever stop wearing great hats like this? And any movie that stars Jimmy Stewart is worth watching.

Next Up Christmas! What more do you need in a week?

How Am I Doing Still trying to find my way. It's great to know that I have friends and support in this struggle. It's a little brighter and that's a pretty good feeling.


Friday, December 19, 2008

R.I.P. Majel Barrett Roddenberry

There's no way I was going to pass this up. Majel Barrett Rodenberry died yesterday at age 76 of leukemia. The "First Lady of Star Trek" was the only actor to appear on every Star Trek version including the movie to be released next year. Any Star Trek fan can tell you she was Number One in the pilot, Christine Chapel (who was in love with Spock. Ironic since the network had demanded Roddenberry get rid of her character and she was replaced by Spock. The network didn't like his character any better but let Roddenberry have his way. Turned out to be a good thing), she was also commonly the voice of the computer on the Enterprise and Voyager, and played Lwaxana Troi. The contrast between the characters of Troi and Chapel was fascinating. Christine was very uptight and repressed while Lwaxana was sexually aggressive.

What I didn't know was that she also had connections with Lucille Ball (hometown girl here in Jamestown). Lucy met her early in Barrett's career, liked her, signed her to a Desilu contract and taught her comedy technique. Barrett appeared in episodes of "I Love Lucy", "Bonanza", "Leave It To Beaver" and "The Untouchables" among others.

She married Roddenberry following the cancellation of the original show. She worked as executive producer on several programs, made a variety of guest appearances and ran the company that oversaw the Star Trek legacy after Gene Roddenberry's death in 1991.

Star Trek fans will get one last chance to hear her iconic voice in the next movie. She had completed the voice over work just days before she died.

Thank you Majel.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A couple quick items

In my family we have a concept called "Threat of treatment".

Examples -

The minute you make an appointment for your mechanic to look at your car that noise goes away.

The minute you make the appointment to see the doctor the cough/fever/whatever goes away.

The laser printer here in the parish house wasn't working. We called the repair guy. It just ran off 12 perfect two sided copies.


One of my favorite Episcopal blogs is "Telling Secrets" by Mother Elizabeth Kaeton. She's smart, she's funny and oh yeah she's got that whole living a life in faith thing down pretty good too. Well she's got a great Christmas gift with a twist post up here. You should definitely check it out. Hard to pick my favorite item but I know how much it annoys my coffee addicted brothers and sisters to have someone take their cup. So how about this:


Lock Cup - Anti-Theft Coffee Cup. Are you tired of others stealing your coffee cup? Well now there's a solution. The Lock - Cup has a hole which prevents most people from using it. Only the owner of the cup can use his/hers shaped key to close the hole.

Check out the banana guard, day clock, toilet seat lifter and more...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Lunch that conquered defeat

When I woke up this morning I knew it wasn't any better.

My lady wife has been asking me for days if something was wrong and I kept telling her no, I was fine. I knew that wasn't true but I couldn't put my finger on what the problem was either. So there was no good answer.

I felt sad. I felt tired. Mentally, physically and especially spiritually. I felt defeated.

Yes, there at last was the word I'd searched for.


Defeated in my life. Defeated in my ministry. Defeated in my marriage (through my failings no one else's). Defeated in my career.

I work hard. I do good work. But it just wasn't enough.

I wasn't living anything close to the dreams I'd had. I wasn't providing what I wanted to provide for my family. I wasn't producing what I thought I should be able to produce in my work and ministry.

Defeated. Not incompetent just not competent enough. Not untalented just not talented enough. Not unintelligent just not intelligent enough.

I stopped by my rector's office to follow up on some work and we chatted. I admitted that I was deeply into a bout of the (pardon the language) "I just don't give a shit anymores". Nice that I can say that to my rector. No other words would quite carry the emotional content as well. I just didn't give a shit anymore.

Why bother? I've been the guy who says "Good enough, isn't". I've been the guy who said "The company has given us all the tools we need. If we can't perform under these circumstances they ought to fire us". I've been that idealistic, eyes shining as they gaze at the glorious future idiot. And what did it get me? Fired from my last job because I wouldn't play those stupid office politics and focused on doing my job.

And my rector said "Can I buy you lunch?"

So we went to lunch. And he never told me that I was wrong. In fact he told me that I had a right to feel that way. Then he told me that I wasn't seeing the whole picture.

We talked about a bunch of stuff and I remembered that I've done a lot of things of which I'm justifiably (I think) proud. I've made tough decisions and put myself second to care for my family. There's not one of those decisions, looking back, that I regret. They were right. Then and now.

There are plenty of folks who would look at my life and see a steady stream of success. I've had jobs where I've made an honest to God difference in people's lives. And yes people like me, they really, really like me. Some of them even respect me and pay attention to what I say.

I've made sacrifices. I've put my career on hold several times to make sure my family was OK. My life isn't perfect but it's still pretty darn good. The bad parts can still be worked on even at my "advanced age" (He really said that to me. Terrible thing to have a rector younger than yourself).

An hour, two chicken fajitas and some refried beans later and I no longer felt defeated. It's at least the second time my rector has gotten me turned around when things seemed pretty dark. There are still things to work on but at least it's not quite so dark in my heart any more

He's pretty sharp, my rector.

That's him right here, Fr. Eric Williams.

You should all be as lucky as I am.


The Biggest Loser!

Michelle won and with an amazing percentage of weight loss.

I must admit that I desperately wanted someone other than Vicki to win. When we saw that her total loss (which to be fair was VERY impressive) wasn't enough to put her in first place a cheer went up in our house. I don't like the way Vicki played the game. Period. She was nasty and manipulative and it offended me. So I reserved the right to root for other people. I hope she and her hubby are very happy and that their family turns their life around.

But I'm glad she lost.

As always the change in some of the contestants was astounding. Shellay and Amy C looked fabulous as did ALL the women. Stacey, Renee, Heba (holy cow girl!), Colleen, Amy P, all of them revealed the healthier beauty within. The guys did very well as well (except for Tom and LT, better but not great) with the standouts being Jerry (the show literally, and I mean LITERALLY, saved his life) and Phil. Phil was just amazing to me out of all the guys.

This show continues to inspire me to push on with the changes I'm making in my life. In my most recent weight loss contest I dropped 11 more pounds in 13 weeks. Compared to the TV show that's pretty puny. But it's a reasonable and sustainable weight loss. I started just before my birthday this year and I hope to be over the 30 pounds lost mark by the anniversary of that date. That would lead me just 15-20 pounds more to lose to be at what my doctor agrees is a healthy weight for me.

I want to take a moment for special thanks to Matthew McNutt, youth minister and contestant on season three of Biggest Loser. He's been a cheerleader all year for youth ministers trying to change our lives. And he's led by example! Matt lost 176 pounds and he did it at home! That's his before and after here on the right. Thank you Matt for what you've done to support us and inspire us. Slowly but surely I'm getting skinny and strong.

Next season on the Biggest Loser looks interesting. They have a 63 year old couple and a 19 year old who is the heaviest person ever (?) on the show. His doctors worry that at his weight he may not live to see 30. Makes me and my 20 pounds to go seem pretty simply in comparison.

Congrats again to Michelle.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Weekend Update December 15

The Weekend That Was - Still running around on weekends! Yeesh. The diocesan staff Christmas party was Friday night at the bishop's house (fun as always) then we stayed the night at a local hotel since we were picking up the kid the next day. Did a little Christmas shopping and then home. Up Sunday to lead our adult forum. We're doing an Advent series based on hymns. My "topic" was the second coming. Not too many land mines there, lol. The discussion went well. Out for lunch then home to watch most of the Bills fiasco and the first half of the Steelers game. My football pool is going to get hammered. I picked lots of winners but the Redskins, Titans and Cardinals just killed my point total. Sigh. Baked some cookies and a small fruitcake (never done a small fruitcake before!). Then watched a movie (see below). I just want a "not doin' nuttin'" kind of weekend!

The To Do List - Bumped off a few small projects (Yay! and there was much rejoicing) I'll be attending a meeting of whatever remnant exists of a congregation that has left TEC. It's our first in WNY, so the bishop and several members of the staff will be there. There might be more of us than them but we'll see. Then some more small projects still in my sights.

What Am I Procrastinating About? - Would it surprise you to discover that this is my LEAST favorite part of this post each week? Procrastination is part of my lifestyle. I actually have some phone I should have made weeks ago that I need to report on come Sunday. So I better get my butt in gear.

What Am I Watching/Reading/Listening To? Finished the Brautigan and moved on to the new Jan Karon book "Home to Holly Springs". I love the Mitford books and this one (which doesn't take place in Mitford at all) is absolutely wonderful. I only have one small grump with it (Fr. Tim runs into one of his old buddies in a rather unlikely way). It's one of the few books I've read recently that I just wanted to keep on reading till it was over. It was fun. I needed that. I think I'm going to work on a book about Lincoln as Commander in Chief. Curiously, given that he spent more time on that aspect of the presidency than any other there are virtually no books written about it. Given my affection for both the president and military history I think I'll like this one.

Not much music again this week. Listened to some music the kid played on the college station. One song really jumped out at me "Girl's Not Grey" by AFI. Really like that cut.

This week's movie was - Minority Report. Sigh. I really wanted to like this movie and it's pretty good. But it makes the mistake so many sci-fi movies do, sacrifice story for special effects. In the last 30-40 minutes they abandon the high visuals and actually dig into the story and the movie gets MUCH better. A really good story idea (well, duh it's a Philip K. Dick story) with a fair to middlin' cast. Cruise is his usual rather brittle 'droid but in the right roles it works. And I think it was fine here. But it could have been so much better.

Next Up The meeting in Tonawanda, Youth Commission and then CHRISTMAS!!!!!!! Oh, which reminds me,need to do some shopping!

How Am I Doing Feeling a little disconnected spiritually right now. Probably a good time to really get into Advent.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

6 Random Facts

I'll jump in on this meme following marko's lead

6 Random facts about myself:

1: My name was my father's nickname which he got from a role in a high school play. I actually have his script from that show.

2: Some of the most reviled foods are among my favorites - Spam, fruitcake, circus peanuts.

3: I still own two childhood toys - my teddy bear and bunny rabbit. They've gone everywhere with me, even to college.

4: I have suffered from panic attacks since I was 2 1/2 years old. I didn't figure out what they were till I was 30. I haven't had a full blown panic attack in 15 years. Tiny things can trigger them. I mean little small objects. I have no idea why.

5: I've held the following jobs: dishwasher (twice), bellhop, parking lot attendant, shuttle bus driver, radio newscaster, Morning drive time DJ (twice), Afternoon drive time DJ (twice), copy writer, radio talk show host, actor, painter, muffin baker, Operations manager, youth minister. So that makes, what, 14 different jobs spread over 17 different opportunities.

6: I've been pulled over by the police 4 times, only got a ticket once, and that was the time I was pulled over while sailing on a lake. True story. The other three were in cars and the cop let me off each time.

Yeah, those are fairly random.



Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Stupidest man in America?

On another note is this the stupidest man in America?

From the Associated Press:

CHICAGO – Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested on Tuesday on charges that he brazenly conspired to sell or trade the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama to the highest bidder.



What you figured no one would notice?

I'm grumpy, you may not want to talk to me

My volleyball was swept out of the playoffs.

I had the worst week of anyone in the top 10 in the football pool and have fallen to #13.

Just got back from my doctor and while most of my blood tests came back with improvement (some quite improved) she's still on about heart attack risk, more drugs and oh yes my personal favorite, the possibility that I might be diabetic or at least headed that way. I find that news extremely unsettling (to say the least). All this despite the fact that I continue to lose weight, exercise and watch my diet. Apparently I need to lose MORE weight, exercise MORE, and watch my diet MORE. All in response to possibilities. She's a good doc which why I continue to listen but I wonder if perhaps she isn't a bit TOO proactive in her style.

I am not a happy camper.

My weigh in this morning did show another pound lost, down to 187.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Going Postal

Ian Robertson is the media guy at Youth Specialties and is doing a personal project called "12 Films in 12 Months" This is Film #10 "Going Postal". Lotsa fun! Especially if you like zombie flicks and twist endings!

Weekend Update December 8

The Weekend That Was - Ok my weekends have gotten way too busy! Looking forward to a nice quiet weekend at home sometime soon. Let's see Friday I wandered down to the Christmas party for our local Arts Council low power FM radio station (WRFA) where I volunteer and record a short media commentary program. We had a Christmas parade in downtown, in the bitter cold. Temps in the mid teens. Chatted with some folks, listened to a few minutes of a short live concert from 10,000 Maniacs (which was very cool)and then went home. Saturday was an organizational meeting with my Lutheran friends then off to college to take the kid out to dinner for her birthday followed by a concert with Trans-Siberian Orchestra. TSO is a major hit with the ladies in the family. I enjoy them. But we didn't get home till about 2 AM after driving through some really nasty snow. So I slept in on Sunday (and yes feel the tiniest bit guilty). Did a lot of snowblowing and a lot of cooking (marinara, red pepper hummus, spicy chicken peanut soup and baked some bread). Watched a little bit of the Bills looking wretched, most of the Steelers looking fairly bad (till the end), watched a movie (see below) then called it a night. Didn't feel like much of a weekend break, really.

The To Do List - No change from last week. Which is bad. "More little projects, dubbing DVDs so they're ready for the January mailing, camp stuff, revitalization team. Oh and attending a meeting for the faithful remnant left after members and clergy of one of our congregations departed TEC. And a doctor's appointment." Sigh. Yet I actually did get some stuff done last week!

What Am I Procrastinating About? - It has become apparent to me that I need to regress to my youth. I need to have "homework time". Time when I'm not allowed to watch TV or do other fun stuff till I get my work done. So I'm going to set aside 7-8 PM every night as homework time. Yeesh.

What Am I Watching/Reading/Listening To? I bumped off two Goldsborough written Nero Wolf books "Death on a Deadline" and "Silver Spire" then jumped into another Richard Brautigan book "Trout Fishing in America". Brautigan was a strange guy but I'm really enjoying his stuff. I know some of his critics hammer him for his naivety but I find it charming and a wonderful change of pace. In case you're wondering this book really isn't about trout fishing. Although trout fishing does occur. My favorite chapter so far was the trout fishing in America terrorism incident in the 6th grade. Just delightful.

Not much music this week. Jammed out to my "radio" mixes on my ipod. Music that spans ZZ Top to AFI. Got some serious work done to it.

Great movie last night - Elizabethtown with Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst, Susan Sarandon and Alec Baldwin among others (oh, gotta mention Bruce McGill (D-Day from Animal House). I just really enjoy seeing him in stuff). A warm, funny romance about small towns and family. I really liked it a lot.

Next Up The to do list is getting LONGER instead of shorter. Argh.

How Am I Doing Feeling a little disconnected spiritually right now. Probably a good time to really get into Advent.


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Gone international

Great googly moogly, I've been noticed in dispatches again!

His grace, Mad Priest, has honored me for the second time by linking to this humble blog. Apparently he has a soft spot for the occasional moment of "Awwwwwwww". He said some nice things about my post on the kid's birthday. Mad Priest

This is a much better notice than last time when he accused me (incorrectly) of being a cow tipper. "I've Been Banned!" In his great wisdom and grace my banning was relatively short lived.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Another Milestone

Today is a very strange day for me.

You see my only child, known here usually simply as "the kid", my daughter turns 21 today.

And that's rather hard for me to grasp.

Isn't this the tiny little premature baby I remember gently stroking through the access port on her incubator? The only slightly larger baby who came home on a monitor that scared the hell out of me because it couldn't here her tiny lungs working so it kept going off? Again, and again and again!

The baby that fell asleep on Daddy's chest, leaving a baby shaped sweat mark on his t-shirt? The one who smiled and smiled and smiled?

Surely this isn't the little pixie of a girl in our favorite Christmas video? The one who was afraid of Santa and who had such fun passing out the presents and unwrapping her own?

The little girl who would hurl herself into my legs when I came home from work with all the force of a mini linebacker? Who picked flowers in the outfield during softball games or who scored that absolutely amazing goal in soccer?

Surely not that little girl in all those calenders that were sent to the grandparents each Christmas?

The little girl who became a lector at church, discovered her singing voice, her acting heart, her joy of writing and music (guitar, piano, clarinet and more).

She's an amazing young woman these days. Still one of the great joys and lights of my life. Still my baby girl though she is patently neither.

And today she is an legal adult.

I'm very proud of her. And every once in a while I still see that little girl too. I hope I always will.

I love you chica. Happy Birthday.


Monday, December 01, 2008

A new project and a milestone

I just realized that my previous post was #500 for this blog. Not an overwhelming production for a blog that is almost 6 years old but not too shabby either I think. I began this simply as a way to stay in touch with anyone who might be interested in what was going on at General Convention 2003. And it's just perked along from there. A neat milestone.

I've been working on a project with my home parish over the last year. It's a 15 minute radio program on Sunday mornings. We're always looking for new ways to reach out into the community and introduce ourselves. I'd been functioning primarily as a behind the scenes producer for the show till this fall when Fr. Eric asked me to share the responsibility for hosting the show. He does half and I do half. My first challenge was to figure out what I was going to do that was different from his shows and still appropriate. What we decided on was an introductory series on what it means to be an Episcopalian. That series now has a name - "Who We Are". By necessity they are brief thumbnail sketches of who we are since I have about 14 minutes (plus intro and outro). The tone is very informal and conversational. So far I've done:

A Walk Around St. Luke's - Our church is an English neo-gothic and folks find it a little intimidating. So I took my recorder and just walked people through the door explaining to them what they can expect.

Structure of the Episcopal Church - This is a look at how we are organized and make decisions.

Myths about the Episcopal Church
- Concerning Henry the VIII, that we're not a "Bible church" and the frozen chosen. This was the FIRST one I suggested.

Liturgical Worship
- An interview with our associate rector Mother Susan about what liturgical worship is, why we do it and it's place in the Episcopal Church.

The links will take you to our audio blog where the streaming audio is available which is pretty cool in an of itself. But this is the really cool part for me - I'm a recording artist! We've been looking for other ways to do some outreach and get our identity out there. So St. Luke's has it's own Cafe Press store which features among other things a CD of my first four programs! Which is just so cool! The stained glass on the various items are all from our church. The four gospel logos was put together by Fr. Eric (they don't occur like this in the church, they're on four separate windows)which I thought turned out really well.

I give the church credit, they are open to trying new ways of communicating. Still waiting to see how effective they may be.