22 May 2010

"By the light of burning martrys"

By the light of burning martyrs,
Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track,
Toiling up new Calv’ries ever
with the cross that turns not back;
New occasions teach new duties,
time makes ancient good uncouth,
They must upward still and onward,
who would keep abreast of truth.

Though the cause of evil prosper,
yet the truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scaffold,
and upon the throne be wrong;
Yet that scaffold sways the future,
and behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow,
keeping watch above His own.

Happy birthday, Harvey Milk
Your work continues.

20 May 2010

The Second Sunday after Pentecost

The Second Sunday after Pentecost
The First Sunday after Trinity
Proper 4

1 Kings 17:8-16 (17-24) and Psalm 146; Galatians 1:11-24; Luke 7:11-17
    Introit: The Lord became my protector, and He brought me forth into a large place: He saved me, because He was well pleased with me. -- (Ps. 17. 2, 3). I will love Thee, O Lord my strength: the Lord is my firmament, and my refuge, and my deliverer.

    Collect: O God, your never-failing providence sets in order all things both in heaven and earth: Put away from us, we entreat you, all hurtful things, and give us those things which are profitable for us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.Amen.
One of the most remarkable features of the First Book of Kings is the collection of stories featuring the prophet Elijah. The first of these comes after the rather generalized anecdotes about the royal house of kings following the death of Solomon. Without exception these monarchs “did what was displeasing to the Lord,” and then suddenly the narration changes subject. In Chapter 16, which precedes our reading for today, King Ahab is introduced and then suddenly Chapter 17 begins with Elijah the Tishbite, “inhabitant of Gilead” confronting Ahab with the observation that the God of Israel has said there is about to be a drought that no amount of royal power can prevent or stop. Rain will come only when the God of Israel says so

The picture of Elijah being both confrontational and cryptic with King Ahab is actually emblematic of the whole collection of prophetic literature. Prophets are the ones God calls to speak God’s truth to power – to speak and to live as example and warning of God’s alternate reality while the powers that be in monarchical or temple leadership pursue other goals, and achieve their ends by ungodly means.

Prophets function in Biblical texts as the vehicles of God’s word: when they speak God’s judgment on those who perpetrate injustice, they are announcing God’s own critique of social, political, and economic injustices that bring about death, despair, and hopelessness. When they offer alternate pictures of life as God intends it, prophets bring hope to the hopeless, life to those shadowed by death and disaster. In short, prophets bring God’s good news into bad times.

Elijah in today’s reading offers us just such a picture of hope in contrast to the world Ahab and his predecessors have made. In the midst of the drought affecting King Ahab’s world and people, God interrupts Elijah’s life and sends him outside Ahab’s jurisdiction.

First Elijah is sent to the Transjordan, where he is protected and sustained by ravens, but as the drought spreads, he is sent northward up the coast to Zarephath in Sidon. Here, as God said, he finds a certain widow who will feed him. The word of God calls the prophet to go way beyond all the normal support systems of his life. As death, in the form of the drought, spreads, Elijah stays on the move until he comes to the widow. She is, by definition, lacking all the life-giving resources of ordinary patriarchal societies in the ancient world. It is noteworthy also that God sends Elijah without any resources himself: he brings neither bread nor oil to the widow, nor does he bring well water. He has nothing to give away, it seems.

Yet the whole point of the Elijah stories is, precisely, that having nothing at all in the worldview of King Ahab, Queen Jezebel, and all the priests of the pagan gods who are turning the lives of God’s people into a desert, the prophet brings unimagined and unimaginable hope into the parched lands because he brings the life-giving word of God.

Through Elijah’s faithful obedience, God’s life-giving word assures the daily bread for the widow. And more than that; when the widow’s son dies, and her hope for any sort of normal, ordinary future dies with him, the life-giving word of God renews the boy’s life, and therefore hers too. There is holy power at work in Elijah, as in all the prophets, the power of God’s life-giving word to break through the death-dealing ways of nature and culture alike.

Before moving to Jesus, we must pause to meditate. You and I have been assured of holy power at work in our own lives: the power of the Holy Spirit allows us to live transformed and transformative lives. Hold that thought.

Now we can move into the gospel and watch Jesus, the living word of God, who is bringing life into another socioeconomic situation like that in the First Book of Kings. Here is Jesus with a widow whose only son is dead.

Our reading from the Gospel of Luke says: “When the Lord saw her, he had compassion for her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’”

While Luke has undoubtedly structured the scene based on the story of Elijah, there is a significant difference: Jesus’ compassion. To have compassion, and to be moved by compassion, is to take the suffering of other persons into oneself. Elijah the prophet was so identified with the God of the life-bearing word that his own actions brought life in the midst of death. Luke’s Jesus embraces the suffering of people at the edge of the social fabric, on the margins of the power structures, and thus he identifies with the hopelessness of the widow. With Elijah and Jesus alike, however, the hope that blazes forth from the Biblical texts is God’s life-bringing and life-bearing presence, which transforms death-dealing situations into visions and experiences of life as God intends.

Life on the margins is brutal, nasty, and often much shorter than “three score years and ten.” The best-contrived social safety nets develop holes, and it does not take the eruptions of nature or the recessions of the human economy before people fall through them. These pictures of Elijah and Jesus can illuminate our own death-dealing times, and prod us to live as Pentecost people called to embrace and bear life as God intends it. We have been empowered by the Spirit to live transformative lives, bearing compassion in deed as well as word, carrying the life of Christ, moved by the power of the Spirit amid the ways of our world – at work, at play, as daughters or widows, soldiers or secretaries, as citizens who care enough to vote.

Christmas and Easter are behind us now, but as the angels said at the nativity and at the empty tomb: “Do not be afraid.”

Let us go forth into the world rejoicing in the power of the Spirit.

-- The Reverend Angela V. Askew is priest-in-charge of St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn, New York.

19 May 2010

The Rt Rev'd Mary Gray-Reeves responds

The Rt. Rev'd Mary Gray-Reeves has sent me a copy of the letter she wrote to Louis Crew. She has given me permission to post it.
    Dear Friends,

    Louie asked me to write something sharing my perspective on Bishop Michael Perham's comments regarding Mary Glasspool's ordination to the episcopate.

    By way of background, The Diocese of El Camino Real of which I am bishop began a triad partnership with Gloucester and the Diocese of Western Tanganyika in Advent, 2008. We, bishops, Michael, Gerard and I, met at Lambeth and began to consider what it would be like to see if a partnership could form across huge differences of opinion on human sexuality and other matters before the Anglican Communion. We, who might ordinarily remain on opposite sides of the room, not connecting, have managed a lot of diversity and conversation around the issues that divide the Anglican Communion. There are, for example, no ordained women in Western Tanganyika, and of course no women bishops in Gloucester. My presence has been welcomed in the conversation that is ongoing in the Communion and has contributed to increased understanding of the presence of women in all orders of ministry. On team visits to each of our three dioceses we have listened and spoken about the issues before us. We have listened to the strains our decisions cause in everyday life in Africa for Anglicans. They have listened to the stories of gay and lesbian couples. While +Gerard represents conservative Anglicism, and depending on who is ticking the boxes, I represent liberal Anglicanism, +Michael is devoted to the holding together of the Anglican Communion. Nonetheless, he is one of the leading proponents of the ordination of women to the episcopate in the Church of England. We have had many honest, difficult and yet graceful exchanges that have been exemplary of Anglican breadth, diversity and patience.

    Our partnership is significant in each of our dioceses. In El Camino Real this relationship has taught us so much about reconciliation and been of great value to our healing as a diocese. It has encouraged us in our own efforts towards rebirth. The people of El Camino Real, a diocese that has been described in years past as "failed" and "broken" knows first-hand something of the work of reconciliation. It is one thing to talk about it, it is another to do it. This diocese began gut-wrenching work of reaching across divides before I arrived in 2007 and we continue living into our call as the reconciling body of Christ sharing the good news of God's kingdom.

    While Bishop Michael's comments refer to the partnership directly, it is important to remember that decisions about matters as deep as human sexuality will naturally be systemic. One thing affects another. Bishops, charged with oversight and care of large systems, must not think only of their personal opinion, but must consider the greater good of the people and context they serve. In the case of our diocese, respectful listening and acting, building trust, and giving voice to everyone have been crucial components of our healing. I have consistently said that God has set a broad and gracious table in El Camino Real for all people - including the ones that do not agree with me.

    I am aware that historically in El Camino Real GLBT folks have not always felt heard; and that our conservative members have also felt silenced and pushed back from the feast. Layer this on a diocese that has struggled with being reconciled one to another for all sorts of other reasons, and a trend appears. And I am quite sure it is not unique to El Camino Real. It happens everywhere: that before we know it, our appropriation of grace, that unlimited commodity of God, starts fissuring with all sorts of boundaries and limits as to who is in and who is out - and then we are stuck not talking about how far from God's grace we have actually gotten ourselves. The successful ministry of El Camino Real depends on us talking, remaining in a graceful conversation that is transformational. The future of the Communion relies on that same dynamic. An emergent church leader in Seattle I met recently, Eliacin Rosario said in a conversation I had with him in February, "Reconciliation requires something of you." That it does. And the big picture of the work may require different things of different people.

    For myself personally, I rejoiced at Mary and Diane's election. I would have been happy to get just one more woman bishop in California - but two! It was like Christmas! I knew though that many did not share this joy, and that included people in our partnership and in my diocese. After weeks of prayer and conversation I realized I had an opportunity to make no one particularly happy, but importantly to act in a way where the integrity of everyone's deeply held beliefs - and their very beings - could be honored so we might remain at the table. In our system, it is consents that allow a bishop to be ordained. I consented to Mary's election without hesitation. The laying on of hands makes a bishop, and in other provinces where there is no consent process like ours, this is a very key symbol. It took awhile, and as +Michael said, I did not come easily to the decision of not attending on Saturday. But the truth is, Mary and Diane had plenty of bishops to get the job done, and my hands were not needed there on May 15th. They were needed to reach other places and so I did.

    As people have emailed me or blogged their anger and concern it seems that people think I was pressured by my partner bishops. Indeed, they made a request - as did many in the Anglican Communion of our entire church - for us not to consent or consecrate Mary. While listening is an important part of our partnership, we respect one another's autonomy. Hopefully we the body of Christ all make prayerful decisions with one another in mind. You may not like the decision I made, but let me be clear, it was mine to make, not +Michael's or +Gerard's.

    My gesture of not attending on Saturday was received graciously by both partner bishops, and we will just have to see what the future holds for our unusual and extraordinary relationship. We give thanks for every day we are blessed with this fellowship and agree to forgive one another when we fail, including if that means we can't walk together. Likewise, my diocese understands my decision well because of our context. El Camino Real has lived through and beyond brokenness to reconciliation. There has been support for my decision across the diversity of opinion around human sexuality and Mary's ordination, liberal to conservative and vice versa. We are functioning like a graceful body should, forgiving each other when we let each other down.

    Mary Glasspool and I are friends, having now enjoyed one another's presence immensely at the last House of Bishops meeting. What a beautiful human being she is! She knows all about my decision making process. She is my sister bishop - as is Diane - with whom I also shared what I planned to do (their elections and consecrations go hand in hand as a matter of circumstance and my not being at one meant I couldn't be at the other). Mary and Diane are graceful women, and we look forward to years of serving together as bishops, crossing our border at least occasionally for lunch!

    I do want to say that while the temptation to run with the anxiety in the Anglican Communion right now is high, please resist that. Take care not to impose +Michael's words on our context and ours on his. In his context, his speech represents much prayerful consideration and a stepping out from the traditional "holding the line" of their House of Bishops. We do not have this same expectation in our system and don't understand it very well. Furthermore, the people of Gloucester are not, of course, uniform in their opinions on GLBT and women in all orders of ministry. In fact +Michael is giving voice to a broad center in this speech that may facilitate some movement on issues of inclusion in that system. As one who believes all orders of ministry should be open to all people regardless of gender or orientation I encourage and support that voice - in that context.

    Finally, I pray and hope the Anglican Communion ultimately makes it. I am not always very confident about that. Michael, Gerard and I, and our dioceses, concur that our partnership provides an excellent model for the development of valuable relationships across the Anglican Communion, but we are realistic that for some the division will just be too great to remain. The sooner we acknowledge that, the sooner we can recognize our deep need for the redemptive work of Christ, and own our call as the church to do the work of reconciliation. It is a very big mission field out there.

    +Mary Gray-Reeves
    El Camino Real

    [Emphasis added]
This is an excellent letter. It shows the deep spirituality of our bishop and also her deep concern for all the people of ECR. And, in the long run, her actions are of concern only to those of us in her diocese whose bishop she is. And, whether she was or was not attending is a moot point in light of the surgery.

I do not understand why +Gray-Reeves' absence at the consecrations is such a big deal. Other bishops were not present and there is no hue and cry. I stand by +Mary's decision (which I have known for some time) made after much prayer, conversation with ECR leaders, and reflection.

I admire my bishop and commend her for making the decision she made. Her decision and the letter above only deepen my admiration for her as a Holy Person.

Now, go watch the video of the consecrations, and rejoice! God is still supremely on the throne. Alleluia, Christ is Risen!

Why didn't the Bishop of El Camino Real attend the recent consecrations?

There is much speculation as to the reason the the Rt. Rev'd Mary Gray Reeves did not attend the recent consecration of +Mary and +Diane as bishops coadjutor for the Diocese of Los Angeles.

It is reported that the Rt. Rev'd Michael Perham, bishop of Gloucester has stated that the reason +Gray-Revees did not attend the consecrations was because he had asked her not to attend. The Diocese of El Camino Real and Gloucester are companion dioceses and +Mary is quite serious about this partnership.

I do not know if he made such a request, but this I know for a fact: On 15 May 2010, the Rt. Rev'd Mary Gray-Reeves was at home in bed recovering from a serious surgery.

Many of us were privy to the surgery before it happened, and I can say it was not a surgery that could be postponed to a more convenient time.

Additionally, at the diocesan music workshop in Salinas on 14 May, we were told that +Mary sent her regrets for not being with us, but she was not strong enough to make the ten-mile journey. This was a long planned and official diocesan event. As Ordinary, Gray-Reeves first responsibility was to the Diocese of El Camino Real.

If she could not drive the ten or so miles to Salinas, she could not have made a 600-mile round trip journey to Los Angeles, sat though the long consecration, and returned to ECR for a n offical Visitation the next day.

I feel that as a bishop, +Mary could be more progressive and vocal in support of the GLBT community as a whole and the diocese itself. I know that her personal feelings do not match the conservative via media public stance she has taken.

As Ordinary, +Gray-Reeves is very supportive of the gay and lesbian clergy in this diocese, and they will not hesitate to confirm that fact.

17 May 2010

Bruce Garner reflects on the Los Angeles consecrations

The following observation is from Executive Council member, Bruce Garner. Bruce is a past president of Integrity. He served on the Standing Commission on Human Affairs, 1991-1997, and serves now on Executive Council's Commission on AIDS/HIV+. This letter appears with his permission. When I began this little endeavor, Bruce graciously gave me blanket permission to reproduce his writings past, present and future.
    It was a privilege and a blessing to be in Los Angeles last Saturday. The Long Beach Arena was filled with the church in all its glorious and rich diversity. It wasn't just the diversity of sexual orientation, despite the fact that a sharp spotlight was focused on that issue. It was the complete diversity of race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, differing ability, age, economic status, sexual orientation and pretty much any other aspect of the spectrum of diversity found in the human family. The Holy Spirit moved in that place.

    There was a note of sadness that crept into the service. A man began shouting protests shortly after the service began. He was advised that there was a time for his protest later in the service but he persisted in shouting and disrupting the service and had to be escorted out.

    As he was leaving a young boy - about 8 to 10 years old - began to shout protests. Apparently he was the man's son. He was also advised of the proper point in the service to offer his protests. He finally had to be escorted out as well.

    But the Holy Spirit still managed to break in to that sadness when a woman shouted to the boy that we would be praying for him. Hearing that we would be praying for him apparently took the child by surprise.

    As an aside, this young boy did not come up with the hateful things he was saying on his own. He had to be taught them. Such teachings and the manipulative use of a child in the way he was used by his father during this service amounts to a form of child abuse. Our common prayer should be that this child will not be further abused in this way.

    The joy of the service would not be dimmed for long. The music and the liturgy and the presence of God didn't leave room for anything but celebration.

    Bishop Bruno summed up the common mission we all have by noting that we needed to see the face of Christ on all we encounter.

    The ancient pageantry of the church was put on display for all to see. Mitered and coped bishops were in abundance. A camera placed above the altar platform provided all a spectacular view of hands being laid on the hands of two women to make them bishops in the church of God. Cameras also capture everything...including the humor of bishops trying to help each other get hands on the correct head! Each bishop-elect had the words of consecration said over her individually, so hands had to maneuver from one head to the other. I could not help but giggle when a couple of hands were literally picked up and moved from one head to the other!

    The liturgy was letter-perfect right out of the Book of Common Prayer. Rubrics were all followed. I don't think there was even a typo in the entire service booklet....a minor miracle in itself. Despite what some might have thought, the diversity of those involved in the service, the varying ethnic traditions all seemed to mesh perfectly with the words of the BCP.

    Some remain unhappy with Saturday's consecrations. Some can't accept the issues of sexual orientation while others still can't accept the issues of gender that Saturday presented. Yet I think God has and will always prevail in the end.

    Pray for the new bishops. Pray for those to whom they will minister. Pray for grace and patience for those who remain in disagreement. And pray for the safety and the spiritual development of a child who has not yet been allowed to see the enormous breadth and depth of a truly personal relationship with Jesus Christ...a relationship not marred by ancient prejudices and rigidity that leave no room for the Holy Spirit to break in and touch a hurting heart.

    Bruce Garner
    Exec Council

On a related note, please look at the headline in the Telegraph. Okay, I'll tell you what it says: "First lesbian bishop to be consecrated by the Anglican church in America." There is no mention of a certain deposed name is not mentioned, driving home, once again, the fact that a certain American schismatic organization is neither Anglican nor the representative of Anglicanism in the Americas. Thank you, Telegraph.

In what I can only call a God-planned coincidence, Forward Day by Day printed something written fifty-years ago.
The Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel." Eph 3:6

What dynamite this verse contained for the early church. For Judaism, the Gentile was the outsider. The Christian church, says Paul, is for everyone who needs it and wants it.

How is the church necessary as a way of making Christ known? Why can't we demonstrate the trans-forming power of Christ in human relations within our families, our communities, our nation? Because in the church Christ demonstrates the radical inclusiveness of his purpose. He wants all people to come into fellowship through him. A family is tied together by blood, a community by common responsibilities and interests, a nation by similar political outlooks and physical territory. What holds the church together? Only Christ. We open the doors of the church and anyone can come in who wants to--no entrance tests, no subscription fee, no claim to superior morality or spirituality. In just such a strange and motley group of people Christ proves his real power to create fellowship. That is why the church is his Body as no other society can be. (1959)
Please note the emphasis is original.

16 May 2010

Easter VII - Sunday after Ascension

Easter VII - Sunday after Ascension
Exaude Domini

Acts 16:16-34; Psalm 97; Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21; John 17:20-26

Hear, O Lord, my voice with which I have cried to Thee, alleluia; my heart hath said to Thee, I have sought Thy face, Thy face, O Lord, I will seek: turn not away Thy face from me, alleluia, alleluia. -- (Ps. 26. 1). The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear?

Collect: O God, the King of glory, you have exalted thine only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to thy kingdom in heaven: We beseech thee, leave us not comfortless, but send us thine Holy Ghost to comfort us, and exalt us to the same place where our Savior Christ is gone before; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.


There is a story or parable, variously ascribed to the wisdom traditions of Arab, Chinese, or rabbinic literature, which illustrates well “the changes and chances of this mortal life,” as the Book of Common Prayer describes the vicissitudes, the ups and downs, of this world.

According to most versions, the story – no doubt apocryphal – goes like this: A farmer had a fine stallion that one day escaped and ran off. The farmer’s neighbors commiserated with him. “What bad luck you have,” they said sadly. But the farmer responded, “Who really knows? It could be bad. But it could also be good.”

Sure enough, the very next day, the stallion returned followed by twelve wild and healthy young steeds. “How fortunate you are!” exclaimed the neighbors. “Who knows,” countered the farmer to his neighbors’ surprise, “if it is good fortune or not?”

Not long after, the farmer’s strapping son attempted to break one of the wild horses when he tumbled and shattered his leg. “How unlucky you are!” exclaimed the neighbors. The farmer shrugged his shoulders and asked again, “Who knows if it is bad luck or good?”

Later, the king’s soldiers arrived, recruiting young men for battle and war in far-off lands, but they quickly passed over the farmer’s son with the bad leg. “How very lucky you are,” said the amazed neighbors as the old man muttered once again, “Who knows? Maybe it is good, maybe it is bad.”

Good or bad? Who can say? Sometimes it depends on your perspective and your faith. Consider our first reading today from the Acts of the Apostles.

Coming across a slave girl with “a spirit of divination,” Paul frees her from her bondage “in the name of Jesus Christ.” But what is no doubt good fortune for the young girl is a financial disaster for her wily and rapacious owners, who have suddenly lost “their hope of making money” from her soothsaying. They see to it that Paul, along with his companion Silas, is thrown forthwith into prison – an unexpected and unfortunate turn of events for these intrepid disciples of the Lord, who now find themselves sequestered in “the innermost cell” of the prison with “their feet in stocks.”

An earthquake – then as now a terrible and unpredictable calamity – becomes the disciples’ unlikely means of escape and the return of their good fortune. But their impending flight from captivity, and that of the others imprisoned with them, brings their duteous jailor to the point of despair and suicide, until Paul swiftly intervenes and introduces him and his household to faith in “the Lord Jesus.” The warden “and his entire household” are then “baptized without delay,” and all rejoice in their newfound faith and the blessings it represents.

All in a day’s work, we might say, for Paul and Silas – disciples of profound faith and determination. What seems misfortune and adversity one minute is the very next minute revealed by the grace of God to be the means of deliverance and salvation not only for Paul and Silas but for those whom they encounter as well.

In some ways things have probably not changed that much in two thousand years for people of faith. Just as in the time of the Apostles, the vicissitudes of everyday life today are such that none of us can count on lasting good fortune – or thankfully, bad. Sometimes in the middle of things, we cannot even tell which is which. Our heads spin at the pace of change in our world, in our lives, and in our church. Who can say from one moment to the next what is good and what is bad? What is the Lord’s doing, and what is not?

Many folks, for instance, who just two or three short years ago were productively employed and enjoying the fruits of their labors, now find themselves unemployed and looking for work – in some cases even homeless – victims of forces beyond their easy control. Still, we know from experience that times of adversity are often also periods of great energy and creativity – for society as a whole and for us as individuals.

Most of us can probably tell of instances in our own lives when apparent hardship or tragedy brought in its wake opportunity and prospects we might never have otherwise experienced had it not been for what we at first mistook for unmitigated misfortune. Who can tell, really, what blessings may ensue from today’s hardships and perils?

Perhaps there is wisdom after all in the attitude of resignation of the old farmer in the tale. Who can ever say for sure what is good luck or bad? Sometimes the wheel of fortune is more than just a game show on television. Yet Christians have more than quiet resignation to blind fate or destiny to fall back on. For, while acceptance of divine predestination has been an important element of some Christian traditions for centuries, it has never kept genuine people of faith from prayer, hope-filled trust in the Lord, and acts of mercy.

The words of the Book of Revelation – arguably one of the more weighty works of the New Testament – are as profound and rich today as they were the day they were written. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” proclaims the Christ of the ages in our second reading today, “the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Good fortune and bad may be part of our human vocabulary and experience, but they say little about the Lord’s all-encompassing and unending love and compassion, which forever transcend our limited human realm of change and chance.

There is nothing under the sun that is not part of God’s plan for us, God’s people. There is nothing that can keep us from God’s love. To know this brings more than abject resignation to fate, more even than quiet reassurance amid the “changes and chances of this mortal life.” To know Christ is beyond fortune or destiny. It is the Good News proclaimed by our Lord throughout the gospels. It is the fulfillment of his ardent prayer today in the Gospel of John, that we all “may become completely one” in him and the Father.

To know Christ and the Father’s love is life itself.


-- The Rev. Dr. Frank Hegedus is interim minister at “The Episcopal Church in Almaden” (www.eca-sj.org), in San Jose, California.