Friday, December 21, 2012

"The End is Near"

Frank Sinatra's song, "My Way" contain these lyrics for the first verse;
"And now, the end is here
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I'll say it clear
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain
I've lived a life that's full
I traveled each and ev'ry highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way"

For us we would gladly watch the curtain close on this year's end.  And what a year this has been for us as we both fought a bout of the flu in the past week.  Thank goodness we have our christmas shopping done; now it's trying to put together a Christmas dinner for the family.  Being able to bring the family back together and celebrate at the same table is a huge Christmas gift for Kay and I.  This is an answer to prayers long said and hoped for; but never thinking it possible. 

I was washing clothes last night and as I went to put them in the dryer, if found a lot of water on the floor; not a good sign but I though there was a backup to the discharge hose.  After checking the drain  and hose I began to fill the tub for the next load and immediate saw water running from under the machine.  So we now get to replace at least the washer if not both as they are quite old.

This year was most certainly done 'Our Way', what with being a delegate at our Diocesan Convention,  sitting at the GLBT table at the National Convention in Indianapolis, In, join a choir for a concert in the National Cathedral in Washington DC, joining the chorus for my University's production of "Candide" as a alumni.

On the sad side, Kay and I were with my family, as we sat with our Mother bedside when she passed away from us in April, only to watch an old friend and choir director pass away in June as we sat beside him with his dear wife and close church friends to say their goodbye's.

I would only infer that as we close the curtain on this year and finally put it on the shelf of our memories, that I have traveled many different highways and had to do it "my way", as each of us who is thinking, or has transitioned has figured things out in their own way.  As far as transitions go we are given the hub and the rim, it is up to us to construct our own spokes; as it were. We are given the square logs and we must cut and shape them as we find our own way.

I worked through my own transition years ago without any real outside influence almost drowning as frequently as I walked on the waters, breaking doors down and new ground with the government and medical institutions as I pushed my transition forward.  I am sure there will be other fights in the future but I am better prepared to fight them as I come to them.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year.......

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Family Thanksgiving

Well, all the beer is gone, the food has been put in smaller containers and put away in the fridge and the kitchen is clean.  The Turkey bones and juice are in the pot for soup or stock for another day and we are 'bone' tired; but very happy.

We did eat a little late and since there was 16 of us we set up everything outside, which allowed the boys and Trinny to play as loud as they wanted and we could enjoy eating sort of together.  Family eating together, that's what this day is about, and for Kay and I this is a most WONDERFUL day indeed.  A day that I thought could or would never happen; but has, in a big way.  A day of sharing with my Son and his girlfriend, and my Daughter and her boyfriend and their mother.  I am truly thankful that they came and ate a little something after they had a meal with their other 'family'.  I know how difficult that can be for some; to eat two holiday dinners.  We did that for so many years; not wanting to ignore one's family.  I am thankful for Reed, who took the last two pictures of me. As someone who always is taking the pictures, I am not in very many of my own pictures.

It was a wonderful day of ruckus laughter and noise and of stories told on each other; a time to meet Kay's adoptive family with the 3 happy and loud kids.  Their laughter and love with stay with us for a long time in our home.  Hopefully, the next time we can get together there will be 4 more who will meet everyone and reconnect with this family of love.

Thank you ever so much my Children for a truly wonderful Early Christmas Gift EVER!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Prayers Answered

It has been so long since I posted anything here that the operator almost forgot how to recall this blog.

Over a year and a half ago, my daughter's wish was to get most, or all of the family back together for a holiday meal.  Kay and I have sent many a prayer for that same thing.  Over time we have learned that it's not the best policy to ask for such specific detailed wished, but just throw a couple general prayers His way and you could get better resulted than if you spelled it out.

SOOOO, this Thanksgiving it's happening; the family will spend Thanksgiving together again under one roof plus a few more.  My son and his girlfriend, my daughter and her boyfriend, their mother; Kay's 'adopted' family and 3 kids and the couple who have been living with us for a few month's.  That just until they can save enough to rent something of their own.  Anyway should be about 14 people filling our little house with laughter, lots of fun and joy; some yelling and screaming, if we know the kids. But I am not complaining; NOT One Iota!! No Ma'am!!!  We Got our Early Christmas Presents.

Happy Thanksgiving to All!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Returning to the Stage, musically and in life!

 The combined departments of dance and Opera put on a wonderful production of the Operetta Candide, the music department had invited the Music Alumni to return and join the chorus in the fun.  We were given an abbreviated score with all the choral parts and with a good run through with orchestra and cast on Friday before the show.  On Saturday, there was a rehearsal with the chorus before the first performance that evening.  The graduates who were able to return, were treated to a wonderful luncheon paid for by the Alumni Assoc., giving us a chance to reconnect and chat with old friends.  I actually met 2 classmates, one was my accompanist for several of my student recitals performances the other was 2 years behind me and sang with me in Concert Choir.  My accompanist  recognized and remembered me from so many years ago which gave us a chance to chat and catch up, also we helped each other rehearse some of the more challenging pieces.

Quite a fun weekend after so much of having to deal 'other' stuff with family as we had gathered the weekend before to sort through my Mother's things.  5 adult sorting through 7 areas and 4 bedrooms of almost 48 years of accumulated treasures and gifts and STUFF.  We ran out of time before we even got to the laundry room which has one of my father's military footlockers which holds some of his technical books and the storage shed which we never set foot in.

We started the sorting process around noon on Saturday and we pick and sorted for 10 hours on Saturday and almost 12 hours Sunday.  My brother left early afternoon on Monday to catch a plane, I had to leave my sisters in the kitchen by 6 pm that Monday evening.  I brought home several boxes of items home with me, most were pictures, small items and boardgames for my children.  I asked for a small table with a marble top and one of mother's curio cabinets.  I was able to put a 6 foot curio in our Kia Soul; really!  I laid the back of the front seat and both back seats down to get it to fit, which mean that I had to ride sitting on top of the back seat and hold onto the cabinet.

Both of us made it home in one piece, although I had to stoop as I was riding in the backseat, or on the backseat as it were.  The Cabinet found it's place both of us agreed to and is now filled with the small mementos and treasures I chose from our's and Mother's travels.

If you have never had to sort through a house crammed full of collected stuff, you will find a need to downsize around your own house, to do some house sorting of your own. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

Backyard gardens

 I'm not sure just how many of you have experienced the aroma and sweet fragrance of the Night Blooming Jasmine.  I planted this one at the end of last summer and the frost and freeze killed all but one branch of the bush.  So I was just not expecting the sort of continued blooms that this plant produces; all summer long.  With each new branch, I get hundreds of small trumpet-like blooms that will only open at night and give off it's sweet aroma.  Each and every evening the air is saturated, if I leave the back door open, the whole house is filled with the jasmine perfume.  It does make for a lovely outdoor party and I will sit outside at the garden table to breath in it's nectar.  I will probable put up a trellis next year and hopefully keep it trained and controlled.

 In the back ground, you can see my two Mango's tree; I started with three and one died.  These are about 3 years old.  Since we do have frost I bring them in during the winter and they grow in spurts.
On the opposite fence I planted 2 small Loofa plants.  As you can see the vines have taken over the back fence, the small building and my garden.  They also give off a faint sweet small as this plant is in the gourd family.  So far I have 4 large tubers that I am hoping to clean and use for bathing.  Will see just how much trouble it's going to be to clean them up.  I will NOT be planting any more loofa's next year.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Nothing is by chance

For the past week, I have described our purpose for visiting Washington DC; all of which mean that for us when we are away from home we hardly watch any TV.  Coming back to one's hotel room at the end of a long day is the time we settle in, clear our head, check messages and read other people's postings.  So we missed the last days of the Republican stuff and all of the Democratic Convention and their speakers.  We have to read the messages later.  The chance that my concert at the National Cathedral coincided with most of the majority of Important people being absent from DC probable made the traffic seem easier to navigate around the city.  DC is a large city with lots of things one should see in one's life time; but as one of our bus driver Mr. Map said; it would take more then 40 years to see all of the museums both free and private.

Note; it would be important to recharge the battery of one's camera every night to make sure you don't miss any photo opportunities.  My camera's batteries died when we got the the Lincoln Memorial on the night tour, as you can see in this photo of the Washington Monument.

On this night tour, our driver worked as an Urban Planner before he took this job of a Bus Tour driver. Our first stop was the Navy's Memorial, with 3 fountains that contained the saltwater from each of the Oceans our Navy sailed surrounding the large map of the world and it's oceans; and if you splashed your loved one with the water, you will have good luck.  As he watched us give each other a bath he said that we must be very good friends.
But the tour had to make rather quick stops as there was a time limit so we had to pick and choose.  One of our stops at the Tidal Basin was at the FDR, Dr. King's, Memorial and the second stop had the Korean, Vietnam and Lincoln Memorials; a lot to see and take in, in such a relative short time.

FDR's and the Vietnam Memorials were the two that affected me the most; visiting the four 'room's' of FDR's memorial and reading his quote's made me angry.  Angry, that our representatives that we have sent to Washington have failed to take note and learn the lessons our Nations learned as we struggled to overcome the many years of the Depression. Neglected to take to heart the reasons our Government failed the people.  Our Republican lead Congress failed to learn their history lessons.  And it makes me angry.

My experience standing at the Vietnam memorial, a man made scar on the grounds of the Washington Mall grounds, with it's  marble slabs with the names of our young men who gave their lives engraved on the polished marble face, elicits tears and sobbing.  It manifests a deep pulling connections to be one with the Wall.  Actually touching the Wall open so many memories, feelings, smells that completely emersion one's self into that lifetime so many years ago.  The Wall re-awakes memories forgotten; on purpose, or of times too far into one's past life.  My war experiences were very different from those who walked the rice paddy landscape, broken by bombs, or by chemicals and physically fighting for  their lives in their small private wars.  I think about the combat soldiers I saw; not knowing who lived or who died, and I remember!

On our last day after walking all over washington, we returned to Lincoln's Memorial.  Only I forgot to bring my camera so I have no pictures of that night.  But it was humbling to stand in front of Lincoln's statue placed in that huge chamber upon which are the Gettysburg Address and his Second Inaugural Speech in engrave in the wall for as long as it stands.  As our tour driver, Mr Map said; there is a reason as to why each and every monument is placed and to what and where it faces.  Nothing is haphazardly built in Washington DC.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Clouds on the Skyline Drive

 These pictures were taken on Skyline Drive of the Blue ridge mountains.  There was a very low ceiling that morning with a low clouds.  As we drove down the ridge we had our windows open and no radio playing; we could actually feel the moisture within the car.  Once in a while we stopped at the lookout and would be in sunshine.

FDR's Memorial Quotes

Kay and I have taken a few days to visit some sights, as in buildings, monuments and museums.  Without exception visiting our Nation’s White House and Capitol buildings are a must for anyone who plans to visit our Nation’s Capital.  It is difficult to put into words to describe the Nation’s, National Cathedral; but to stand before the twin towers and the main entrance with the sculpture of the creation is breath taking and humbling. 
For me as a musician and fellow Episcopalian, to have the opportunity to sing in this Gothic style building with its massive Nave and high celling was a once in a lifetime chance and I wasn't going to let this one go by or get away from me.

We visited the Women’s Suffragette Museum describing the struggles of all women to gain the right to vote by passing the 19th Amendment.  It was most enlightening to see a map showing the states that ratified women’s right to vote, which only highlighted the failure of the Southern states to accept women’s constitutional rights as they continued to discriminate against the former slaves; who were now under the landowners boot, existing as sharecroppers. This struggle to organize and demonstrate with marches under threat of arrest did not deter these women.  Women who came together under one flag of unity; from all walks of life; democrat and republican, rich, poor, white, black, mothers and those working in the factories.

Of all the monuments and museums that we could have visited; as the the many different collections of the Smithsonian I popped in and took a few pictures in the Aviation Museum.  But it was only after we had spend a few hours in the American Indian building; which is designed to represent the mountains in Monument Valley.  Our understanding of the horrible conditions that was forced upon them was filled in from our visits to other American Indian Museums in Oklahoma and Texas. The story of being forced to leave their Ancestral homes and lands; herded and corralled to areas the leaders in Washington didn’t think was valuable.  Until oil was discovered on their lands.

These were some of the quote that are carved in the walls of the FDR Memorial depicting his 4 terms of office; quotes that all of our elected official should put to memory once again.  These words are never truer than in today's world of chaos among our government officials.  People who can't remember for who they are representing.

"Men and nature must work hand in hand. The throwing out of balance of the resources of nature throws out 
of balance also the lives of men." 
[from a Message to Congress on the Use of Our Natural Resources, Washington, D.C., January 24, 1935.]

"In these days of difficulty, we Americans everywhere must and shall choose the path of social justice, 
the path of faith, the path of hope and the path of love toward our fellow men." 
[from a campaign address, Detroit, Michigan, October 2, 1932.]
"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those of those who have much; it is 
whether we provide enough for those who have too little."

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

 I had the very fortunate opportunity to join an adult choir in a grand concert at the National Cathedral this past sunday.  The rehearsals were held in the National City Christian Church, which was the original seat and house of the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church until the early part of the 1900 century when the first section of the Cathedral was finished.  The space was marvelous to sing in, but nothing compared to the Cathedral.  I am standing at the back of the Capital Building looking toward the Washington Monument.
 During our stay, we just had to experience the metro; thankfully, a very helpful gentleman recognized our confusion , and he was a great help in purchasing our tickets to Union Station, Washington.  These escalators were quite lengthy and as we were going up an older gentleman thanked us for blocking his view and all of us were able to keep our composure enough to get to the top.
 This gentleman, so very much so was one of the conductors for the concert, and is the Director of Choirs at Valdosta State University, the Dr. Paul Neal, his sister and his mother.  He really is a wonderful teacher, mentor, and choral conductor with extensive experience conducting a symphonic orchestra.  It was a joy and a thrill to sing with him in such a wonderful space for choral sound.

   The choir was composed of 140 singer from 8 states who paid their own way to came together to perform a variety of great choral music; luckily, I was not the only woman singing the tenor part. There were just 3 rehearsal, one with the orchestra but no percussion.  I was amazed that the choir was able to adopt to a completely change of seating arrangements as to how we rehearsed and with percussion.
     This is my first time to visit Washington and be at the National Cathedral; as a member of a choir that sang this mix of very powerful choral music is something I will never forget. To hear the ending chords ring and echo to the high chambers in the Nave of this church is a musician's thrill.  As an Episcopalian, it is an overpowering Cathedral.  I have visited some of Europe's great Cathedral and grand Churches and Our's is Magnificent.

  As this was my first time visiting the Cathedral, Kay and I took this morning to spend the day touring this marvelous treasure.  The building committee is guessing that it will take another $20 million dollars, all donations and at least 20 years to repair the damage the earthquake caused last year.  The next two photo were taken from the observatory looking down at the Gothic Structure from the East and West side of the church.

  I took a great many picture of the inside and it grandness.  Due to the earthquake they have had to string a series of netting between the lower and upper levels inside the church to catch an occasional falling objects.  I was quite surprised to discover that in this next picture, of the Sacred Spirit Chapel it hold a Tryptic painting done by the American Painter N. C. Wyeth of Chadd's Ford, Pa.  You can find a great many of his painting done by him and his children at the Brandywine Museum, which is also very close to his home and wonderful studio.  Kay and I were lucky enough to discover this wonderful place and had a wonderful tour of his home.  N. C. Wyeth made it a habit to pain the real objects in his paintings.  There is a story that he wanted a paint a picture with an authentic Indian birch bark canoe; so he took the train to New England to find one and had it shipped back to Chadd's Ford by train.  It was used in only one picture, but it still hangs in his studio to this day; along with his copious collection of antique firearms.  The 6 smaller pictures of Doves do represent peace and the hope we as a country can come to our senses.
 Despite the great damage to the church upper structures, spires and other ornaments; not a single stain glass window sustained any damage; and there are a LOT of windows.  But this is a projected reflection of one of those windows on the polished floor.
Tonight, Kay and I took a night tour of the Monuments around the city and they are a sight to see at night; but note to myself, Make sure to charge the camera batteries first; mine battery died half way into the tour.  The most impressive for me was the Vietnam Memorial, and it brought me to tears, enough that I had to step away.  The Korean Memorial should be seen at night, when you can really see the reflections of the solders in the polished black granite wall that is filled with etchings of thousand of soldiers faces.  But the most impressive Memorial is the FDR tribute from a grateful nation.  His words taken from his many resounding speeches that have been captured in the 4 'rooms' of the monument, is so very true to us, now in our time of moral decay and loss of history.  I wish I could take each of our Representatives by the scuff of the neck and make them stand in each 'room' for a day, to read and digest the power of FDR's words and vision.  Our member's of Congress have forgotten the lessons of their father's generation's struggle to overcome the chaos of struggles of survival; as a Nation of the Great Depression.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Thoughts after Integrity's Eucharist

It has taken some time for processing the bountiful gifts we received as we volunteered at the Integrity Booth from those who visited and shared their stories of pain and joy. So even though it is late these are my thoughts.
As it is early Tuesday morning, and for whatever reason I can't sleep; I am trying to put together some thoughts about what happened yesterday evening at the Integrity Eucharist.
Maybe it's the beer I had consumed at a late snack with people who have become wonderful friends, maybe it's the excitement of our Church passing the Same Gender Blessings.  Or maybe it's just that I can't settle down because I am so excited and wound up by the evenings events.  It's like I am inside a whirlpool of spiritual waters and wind being tumbled and tossed reaching for the coat tails of those who have gone before us and climbed higher in this cleansing wash.
I feel like I am in one of Rod Sterlings "Twilight" episodes of which I was so enthralled as a youngster.  One of those surreal, yet powerful spiritual happenings.  As Torch Bearers, Kay and I walked on each side of Bishop Mary Glasspool, following Bishop Gene Robinson; escorting them through the lines of Trans people and leading them to the Altar.  At the time for the Gospel reading, we again walked with Deacon Carolyn Woodall giving light and escort for the Gospel Book, followed by Bishop Glasspool sprinkling holy water as we snaked around the overflowing Sagamore ballroom; allowing the people to touch the Book, and again onto the Alter platform to stand behind Deacon Carolyn as she read the Gospel.
All my senses are jangled from being immersed in the Holy Spirit.  Maybe it was just sitting with all the other special VIP who were trans and their  partners in our reserved section.  The group of trans people who were acknowledged by Bishop Gene Robinson at the beginning of his ‘teaching’ sermon.  Maybe it was being asked to serve with the Rev.  Elizabeth Keaton as an Eucharist Minister during communion and being allowed to feed the Blood of Christ to members of the trans community. 
Kay and I continued to feed the Spirit of the Lord to so many who came to the Integrity Table during those 10 day of General Convention; talking and listening and offering hugs and prayers to so many hurting people.  We received more blessing than we gave away and that is not a bad thing.  But it is at the end of the ‘day’ and we must return home to continue to feed the masses who will come to the table.  

Importance of being a transitional Spork

When I was growing up and dealing with my gender differences, I knew where I belonged.  I was accepted and recognized as just on of the guys, when I went to the restroom; when I was out in public I was satisfied to know that I could fit in the male gender 'box'; and everything was 'right' in the world for me.  I took quite a lot of granted; my privileges as a male growing in a society of the White Patriarchal 'ruling' class.  In my life I openly lived is society, I had it pretty good.  Except there was one problem; I knew about my gender identification problems, but refused to confront them.

Why did I not confront my gender question?  I had taken the path of least resistance, to conform and let others tell me what and how I should live my life.  Phew!  The longer one lets something sit and fester, the harder it is to deal with the messes.

Once I started my struggle to climb up the path of transition, I found myself questioning the rules, breaking the rules and becoming more like the confused "Spork" in this picture.  A person having the parts of both and not being comfortable using either facilities.  I would search for single use bathrooms as I was not sure about by 'passing' skills during those early days of transition.  My earlier day would find me flip-floping back and forth during the day; uncomfortable and withdrawn as 'John' and outgoing and a social butterfly as Sarah.  I eventually worn away my 'fork' tines and as those points faded away, I grew into my outgoing butterfly self.

In some way or another, we all find ourselves changing and morphing from one character and person into another; sometimes keeping short points to poke at others and ourselves at the time we needed poking.  There was a time in my life and transition that being a 'spork' worked as a bridge between one world or gender and the other. But now even my 'spork' has had its point worn down so it's just a spoon.  I look like a spoon and am recognized as a spoon which is all I really wanted.  And it fit's; it's who I am.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Opportunities to Listen

The times we spent at Integrity's information booth at convention was a great opportunity to hear amazing stories.  Stories of parental acceptance, of children and adults coming out, being shunned and thrown out of one's home church.  Of sad stories where some people didn't want to know their gay clergy; or church members, and believe they should leave their church.  Stories of wonderful work being done in the pews and in the parks by gay clergy, and trans members.  I quickly realized that each and every one these days at the booth would be very long days for all of us. Beginning our days at 0930 with morning service was one of my favorite morning time of re awakening and gather as a community to worship together.  The day would follow with our assigned times at the booth, where some of us stayed longer than we should just to 'get the work done', and them returning at 10pm that evening for sort of after-action-report of what went well, how to implement changes as they happen. And then walking back to our rooms where to fall into bed and read until we fell asleep, exhausted.

After morning service, I was rearing to get to the booth when the exhibit hall opened, to set up and be 'open for business'. Each day of the exhibit's opening I felt the Holy Spirit fill the hall, giving each of us their task of the day.  One proud mother gladly 'outed' her young son, once her daughter; and described the pain the felt of her child's changing life.  But recognizing the joy and happiness of her son once he transitioned.  Hearing our straight allies beg for material to start Integrity Chapters, to begin the process to become a 'Believe Out Loud' parish to wear that mantra of being a 'gay' church on their signs.

Hearing personal stories of one's brother or sister transitioning and not knowing how to help them feel welcomed and loved by the family; that was our joy.  To be able to share our story and give them web sites places to go and gather information and stories and support that was our joy for being present at the booth.

The TransEpiscopal booth was just behind and adjacent to the Integrity booth, and so while they were working with Deputies on the House floor, I (as a trans woman) was able to greet a lot of supporters and those with questions, searching for answers for most of the early days with the exhibiters.  While they were meeting and telling their stories, I was doing the same as a volunteer with Integrity putting a fact to the issue being debated.

For all trans persons to be recognized and thanked by Bishop Robinson in his address during the Integrity Eucharist; that was the Holy Spirit working in each and everyone of us here in this huge Convention center. That was my gift from convention, a gift I returned without strings attached.

+Gene Robinson 'Teaching'

If you haven't seen or heard the 'teaching' presented by Bishop Gene Robinson at the Integrity's Eucharist, he take the opportunity to give gay's and straight's homework to think about and act on in the years before the next General Convention

Yesterday's News

This convention, our first General Convention gave Kay and I a wonderful opportunity to meet some of the movers and shakers of the Episcopal Church.  On our first few day we had the great privilege to meet and talk with Bishop Christopher from Uganda who was to speak to the United Nations about the crisis in his country.  And then only a few hours later Bishop Barbara Harris came by the Integrity Booth to chat.  Bishop Harris was a part of the Chicago Seven; the first group of women who were ordained as priests in the Episcopal Church.            
                                                              As it is early Tuesday morning after the Integrity's colorful and wonderful Eucharist, and for whatever reason I can't sleep; I am trying to put together some thoughts about what happened yesterday evening at the Integrity Eucharist.

Maybe it's the beer I had consumed at a late snack with people who have become wonderful friends, maybe it's the excitement of our Church passing the Same Gender Blessings.  Or maybe it's just can't settle down because I am so excited and wound up by the evenings events.  It's like I am inside a whirlpool of spiritual waters and wind being tumbled and tossed reaching for the coat tails of those who have climbed higher in this cleansing wash.

I feel like I am in one of Rod Sterlings "Twilight" episodes of which was so enthralled watching when I was younger.  One of those surreal happenings.  As Torch Bearers, Kay and I accompanied Bishop Mary Glasspool, Bishop Gene Robinson and the group of identifying trans people escorting them to the Alter and table.  At the time for the Gospel reading, we again walked with Deacon Carolyn Woodall giving light and escort for the Gospel Book, followed by Bishop Glasspool sprinkling holy water and giving us a generous sprinkling as we snaked around the overflowing hall, allowing the people to touch the Book, as we sang joyously to an African song with drum accompaniment.

This was the Integrity's Eucharist, but the emphasis was on the trans community and their partners. This service was for us, to finally welcome the "T" members of the Church membership; the celebration that was 25 years in the making.
During the closing few day, a stanch group for very conservatives churches walked off the convention floor in the House of the Deputies as they felt the Church had gone too far to the right by approving the same gender blessings; some even resigned.  If you refuse to come to the table, your voice will not be heard and your vote will not be counted when the roll is taken.

The Voice of the GLBT members are here; in strength, in force to be heard and recognized; but now the real work begins.  Now we can go back to our home churches and make real changes, for as Bishop Harris has said; "Just remember, the spirit behind you is larger and greater than the force in front of you."

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Church and Crazy Christians.

I was able to catch a quick photo with Bishop Curry, before he was whisked back to the House to vote on the Same Gender Blessings.
A very powerful sermon preached at this mornings Eucharist at General Convention.  Bishop Curry had even the candles rockin'.  What a message for all of us in this Body of Christ; but it was a difficult decision this morning as the Rev Keaton was doing a Baptism in the fountain in the park across the hotel.  A difficult choice, but the music of St. Augustine's Episcopal Church's Steel Band Orchestra of Brooklyn was a very moving experience.  Tomorrows Eucharist should be powerful indeed.  And then there is the Integrity's Eucharist, Monday night which should be powerful in light of bills for Same Gender Blessings passed from the House of Bishops this afternoon.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Attitude of a New Convention

As the Convention gets officially underway, there has been no protesters outside; too hot for one.  Have been humbled by the intense voicing of the young people in favor of all inclusions.  Delighted to watch older couples take the buttons so quickly and clipping them on their name cards.  Have been tired today so I rested some and reflected on past events of the last few months; and am still dealing with the personal losses, but am lifted by the positive attitudes I have heard and seen by members of the delegates.
#gc77 What an amazing time it is for us (Kay and Sarah) here at General Convention; here we are standing with +Gene Robinson a short time after we view "Out of the Box," and His film, "Live Free or Die" both are very powerful videos that everyone must see.  We are a little bit 'wilted' as it was after 10pm and a full day for us at the Booth.  To see the movie for trans inclusion was a powerful testament of these courageous people forging their own path to acceptance and being stars shining bright on a hill top for all to see; a great example of courage and truth.  Bishop Christopher of Uganda was there and gave a powerful message of his work.  Wonderful person of God with a kind heart and wonderful sense of humor.

However strong that video is and the strength of each one of those personal examples are for the trans church; there is a greater number of trans people who have been, and still are; doing the work of telling our stories, of being 'out' and proud of who we are; who's light of truth shines from the hill top for our own communities and in out part of our church's reach.  We have accepted the role of being the face for trans community in our own way; some bad and a lot of good.  Everyone in the Diocese of Georgia has been exposed to us, be to by meeting with ECW, Integrity, our local Diocesan convention and trainings. Our involvement of one in any fashion will get to meet and interact with the other; as where one is invited they get a "twofer one' experience.  Mainly because we only have chosen to have one car.  And if we do 'a little traveling by wandering the country' we both go.

Our presence at the Integrity Booth has been nothing but humbling; exciting, encouraging and somewhat life changing for some who come to chat and take our buttons and get our free "hugs"; Gladly given and Gladly received.  I have seen our Bishop Benshase, Rev. Tar "d', Rev. Lonnie Lacy, Rev. Frank Lougue, and Molly Stevenson to name a few.  But I have also been in the shadow of Greatness of Bishop Barbara Harris, and Bishop Christopher of Uganda and have met face to face some wonderful facebook people we follow with their blogs.

Every evening we get together and do afteraction report of the day's activities which help greatly keeping us up to date.  Kay will set me up with a 'twitter account' tomorrow' which might help keep us up to date.

The first discussion concerning the Inclusions of Trans' will take place this afternoon at 2 pm, and I plan to take my video camera for some discussions that will take place.

That's all the news for today from the floor and booth of the General Convention 77. Peace y'all and good night!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Visible Participants for Integrity!

Bishop Gene Robinson's Place

A few years ago, Kay and I took a trip to New England and we found ourselves at Bishop Gene Robinson's office; although we knocked on his door, he wasn't 'in' so to speak so we had to satisfy ourselves with these pictures to prove we were there in New Hampshire.

Now, four years later we will have a chance to meet Bishop Robinson.  As I have said in my last post, Kay and I will be going to General Convention in Indiana.  I was selected to answer questions and greet visitors at the Integrity Booth as part of the Core of Integrity members that was selected from across the Nation.

This morning I received an e-mail that told us, Kay and I, that we were chosen to serve at Integrity's Celebratory Service on July 8th.  Bishop Mary Glasspool will preside and Bishop Gene Robinson will preach; we have been tagged to serve as Torch Bearers.

This is quite an honor for both Kay and I to have been given a place in this very visible celebration.  I was only hoping that we could find a place to stand together in the back of the room as we participate with the Integrity's Celebration with a Collective Congregation in the thousands.  I never even dreaming that we will be walking down the center isle with Bishops Robinson and Glasspool as minor participants of Torch Bearers, until this morning.  We are both on Cloud Twelve.

Indiana here we come!!!!