October 2014

Wednesday, October 31, 2014

Early morning workout.

In the office to work on a sermon and prepare for my visitation at St. Paul’s in Corinth. Afternoon meeting with the Rev. George Woodliff.

Neighborhood Halloween party. The Saints win last night ensures that I will proudly wear my Saints Jersey to the gathering! Who Dat!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Spent time in the morning catching up on my journal and bringing my webpage up to date. I also worked on an article for the Mississippi Episcopalian.

A quiet evening at home.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Early morning workout.

Morning meeting with Bill Cruse, Director of Youth Ministry at St. James, Jackson and soon to be joining the Diocesan staff as our part-time youth coordinator.

Lunch meeting with Andy Young a good friend and parishioner at St. Columb’s.

I spend most of the afternoon working on materials and letter for stewardship.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

First day in the office since clergy conference. Staff meeting first thing followed by meetings with Peggy Jones and Canon Johnson.

Lunch meeting with the Deacons council. This council is great at keeping up the discernment, formation and ministry of our vocation deacons. I’m really glad for their level of commitment and the amount of time they give.

Afternoon meeting with the Very Rev. Billie Abraham regarding my coming visit to St. Albans, Bovina and St. Mary’s, Bolton.

Late afternoon meeting with Chuck Barlow a parishioner at Chapel of the Cross in Madison and one of the leaders of the our Mission trips to Uganda.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Day off.
Morning workout. Lunch with Kyle. Afternoon errands.
Sunday, October 26, 2014

It’s a later morning than normal with Sunday responsibilities at the Cathedral for the 11am service. I drank lots of coffee and watched the NFL today … nice. Katie and Betsy accompanied me to St. Andrew’s for the worship and celebration of their 175th anniversary. It’s a really worshipful service and Bishop Gray preaches a great sermon.

The girls and I grab lunch on the way home. At home I relax watching football and dozing off. The Saints looked great in their evening match up against Green Bay. I hope they can look equally good against Carolina on Thursday night!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

We spent the morning in Birmingham with family. We packed up and started for home after breakfast and goodbyes.

Upon arriving home I did a quick change of clothes in order to attend a gathering and celebration at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in honor of their 175th anniversary. It was a great party! I was glad to see a space for die-hard Ole Miss fans … so sorry about the eventual outcome of the game!

Friday, October 24, 2014

The funeral service for Kyle’s grandmother, Annabeth Dickerson Carter, is this morning at All Saints Church in Birmingham, AL. Kyle will preach and I will officiate. Grandmother Carter is a wonderful person. She was present when I first met Kyle’s family 20 years ago and couldn’t have been more welcoming. I am so thankful that Grandmother passed her love of reading to the generations that followed her including my daughters. The rector and staff at All Saints are wonderful. Everything is in place and ready for us. Kyle preached an outstanding sermon.

After the service we return to the Dice’s home for a reception and gathering with the extended family. In the evening we enjoy supper out and more family time. I’m tired and stuffed with good food!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

It’s the last day of clergy conference. I survived. The closing Eucharist is quite emotional as Bishop Gray celebrates the Eucharist in this intimate gathering for the last time. Before the final blessing the clergy sing “An Irish Blessing” for their Bishop. His ministry has been a tremendous blessing to all of us.

After the service I have a meeting with the Rev. Hunter Isaacs from St. Pierre’s in Gautier. Following the meeting with Hunter I meet with the Rev. Taylor Moore from St. Peter’s, Oxford.

I go home long enough to pack a new bag before heading to Birmingham, AL for the funeral of Kyle’s grandmother. We pick up the girls from school and head to Birmingham.

After arriving we dine at Nabeel’s in Homewood. After supper we head to the home of Kyle’s parents Joe and Patty Dice. I’m exhausted.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

In spite of being at Gray Center I wake early and drive into Jackson for an early morning workout. I feel “off center” when I skip morning workouts with my teammates and fellow swimmers. There’s a guest from Chicago at the workout who like me has roots in Southern California. It’s nice to catch up with somebody who knows some of the same Southern California Swimming locations.
Clergy conference participants have the morning off with some optional activities. I have several meetings with clergy including an annual visit with Peter Gray, rector at Nativity in Greenwood. I additionally have meetings with the Rev. Annie Elliott and a group of clergy who attended General Theological seminary. An extended conflict at General has disturbed the alumni. I sensed a great deal of confusion and disappointment regarding the difficult times at their seminary.

After lunch we begin with more issues Diocesan matters. Hank Holmes, Director of the Depart of Archives and History for the State of Mississippi, shares a presentation about the pending Civil Rights museum which is under construction in Jackson. Our church has made a significant pledge to the museum. Parishes and individuals are being asked to join in raising funds for this incredible project. Gifts will be given to the museum in honor of the ministries of Bishop Gray, Jr. and Bishop Gray, III.

Several other presentations follow. Reggie Sims from the Executive Committee Task Force on Giving spoke about parish stewardship. The discussion was very spirited and important.

Supper was BBQ. It was Awesome! Equally awesome was the evening entertainment provided by various participants. We are a really talented bunch!

The annual gathering for Dead Priest takes place outside Cottage 3. It is a particularly poignant time to remember those men and women who have been integral in our formation. This year I especially remember the Rev. Ray Goodman. Ray was the first priest I worked for after being ordained. I will never forget how he used to slowly and deliberately say, “this is my body” during the Eucharistic prayer. His deliberately slow cadence always left me knowing how important that moment was to him and all of us.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

First full day of Clergy Conference! I’m scared. My morning presentation highlights the obvious thing in our common life … the transition. I’m delighted with the response of the clergy. Following my presentation small groups spend time in discussion before reporting back to the large group. Feeling the healthy spirit in the room eases my anxiety dramatically!

After lunch we hear a presentation from the Kathy Garner, chair of the Mississippi Episcopal Aids Commission. This diocesan committee is an outstanding outreach of our ministry and mission.

The evening program goes well with more discussion about transition and vision. We talk about revising, One Church in mission, Inviting, Transforming and Reconciling. At that time I introduce looking at it as a command to practice our faith as we Gather, Guide, Grow, Give and Go.

The day concludes with worship in the chapel. I’m relieved and thankful for the leaders in this Diocese.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Early workout.

Last minute work on program for Clergy Conference. I head to Lake Caroline for golf with the Bishop’s open. My team doesn’t win but I’m very pleased with our performance!
After golf I head home to say goodbye to the girls before heading up to Gray Center for the Bishop’s banquet and Clergy conference. The banquet was great … awesome food and fellowship! The evening closes with worship and a meditation led by our Spiritual director the Rev. John Fritschner.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Visitation at Church of the Mediator in Meridian. At the service I preach, celebrate and confirm 14. During the liturgy they presented me with a beautiful chasuble made by parishioners. We celebrate the new members of the church and their stewardship drive with a banquet. It was a wonderful morning and afternoon!

Quiet evening at home with Kyle and the girls. I spend a little time at night working on my presentation for Clergy conference.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Drive to Biloxi for the South State High School Swimming championship. Katie competes in 2 individual events and records new personal bests in both events. Our family has really been caught up in my transition over the last few months. I’m really pleased that she has stayed focused on swimming and school. We arrive home late that night.
Friday, October 17, 2014

Early morning workout. In the office working primarily on clergy conference.

Lunch meeting with Barry Howell from St. Columb’s. We spend most of the time talking about baseball and our children (not necessarily in that order).

Back at the office Octoberfest is taking place on the street in front of Allin House. It’s a festive environment!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

I spent the day working at home. The bulk of my time is spent working on my presentations for Clergy conference and the other surrounding details. I also found time to make several phone calls and do laundry.

In the later afternoon I took Katie to swim practice.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Early workout.

In the office I finish a meditation for an Advent publication at the Seminary of the Southwest. In the late morning there is conference call with the finance committee for the Diocese.

Lunch meeting with the Jan Gadow from St. Columb’s.

After lunch I spend time getting ready for an evening presentation at the Cathedral. Late afternoon meeting with the Rev. David Knight. David is a really helpful resource for my teaching at the Cathedral.

In the evening I teach at the Cathedral regarding a report put together by the Task Force on Marriage for the National Church. My segment is about the resources for Same Sex blessings. It’s a good conversation. I appreciate their openness.

Tuesday, October 14

Staff meeting first thing followed by meetings with Canon McCormick and a meeting with both Canons and Bishop Gray. After the round of meetings off to the Marriott for a luncheon with Catholic Charities. It’s a fundraiser lunch highlighting the many ministries of this organization. I’m honored to be seated at the same table as James Meredith.

In the afternoon I meet with the Rev. Gates Elliott for his annual visit. Gates, the priest in charge at Chapel of the Cross, has done an outstanding job. With the new rector coming on board later this month he will resume his duties as the Associate rector. Gates and I have similar stories given that both of us came to the diocese through marriage! It’s good to catch up.

I spend the rest of the afternoon working on various projects including an Advent meditation for the Seminary of the Southwest.

In the evening Kyle and dine at Ruth’s Chris in celebration of our anniversary … 19 awesome years of marriage.

Monday, October 13

I slept a little later and went to a later workout (7:30).

Attended the funeral of Scott Lenoir’s brother James. I golfed with James several times. Great guy. I know his family will miss him but they are thankful for his life. May the faithful departed rest in peace.

Lunch at home and working around the house. I actually caught up on my journal!

Sunday, October 12

Morning meeting with the vestry at St. Paul’s in Columbus. After the vestry meeting I spend some time talking with the 12 confirmands. They tell me they’re “stoked” to be there. I’m still trying to learn all the liturgical stuff that a Bishop needs to know so I’m ever grateful that Deacon Pam Rhea is able to show me around the Nave. It’s a really pretty church. Deacon Pam is really helpful pointing out some of the intricacies of the worship space.

Service goes great. I baptize 1, receive 1 and confirm 11. There’s a real joy in the congregation that I suspect is due all the holy celebrations related to Christian initiation as well as football. Wonderful festive brunch following the service.

I arrive home in time to supper. Over supper Kyle told me about the wonderful “Goat Roast” celebration at St. Philips. It was a good day … and a great weekend!

And the season premier of the Walking Dead is tonight! Yay!

Saturday, October 11

Mental note! Today is Mom’s 84 birthday. Give her a call!

Morning swim meet with Katie and the St. Andrew’s Swim team. I’m really proud of Katie as she swims a couple personal best times. I also had a great time watching the competition and talking with other parents.

My mom calls before I can get a quiet moment to call. I wish her a happy birthday. She tells me that she is speaking to me on her new iPhone. I’m in shock. She had an antique flip phone until this moment. This is the first sign that something amazing is happening.

Home in the afternoon where I watch football and take a short nap. I’m really excited for Mississippi State as they clobber Auburn. Kyle (the Bama girl) appreciates State immensely! I leave for Columbus before the Ole Miss game is over. Way to go Rebs! Two undefeated teams in Mississippi!

I spend the night at the home of the Rev. Anne & Marc Harris. Wonderful hospitality. This great day is made complete when USC holds on to defeat Arizona! My mom gets an iPhone, both Mississippi football teams win and SC wins. Whoa.

Friday, October 10

Early morning workout.

Morning meeting with Tammie Stephens regarding the Storybook project. It sounds like a great ministry where inmates are taped reading a book to their children! They hope to expand this awesome ministry beyond Central Mississippi.

Late morning meeting with Sekila Argrett, a parishioner at St. Mark’s and girl scout leader. She invites me to be judge at a desert contest this spring! It’s the 40th anniversary of the Samoa (girl scout cookie) so all entries will incorporate the cookie. My sweet tooth is already rejoicing.

Afternoon meeting with Whitney Robinson regarding some Christian education ideas.

Annual visit with Deacon Scott Williams.

I left the office early and I don’t feel remotely guilty. It’s been a busy week.

Thursday, October 9

Morning meeting with Stephen Stray, a member of the Cathedral who has served in various diocesan ministries.

Today’s standing committee meeting was cancelled so I am grateful for the time to work on sermon and preparation for my visit to St. Paul’s in Columbus.

Afternoon meeting with an aspirant for Holy Orders. We are blessed to have thoughtful and spiritual individuals willing to discern how God is speaking to them.

Evening at home with Kyle and the girls.

Wednesday, October 8

Early morning workout. The pool is swamped as the high school swim teams from Brandon and St. Joe’s are moving inside. It is kind of nice though as the commotion reminds me of swimming past.

Morning meeting with Grae Dickson. He’s an old friend so it’s good to catch up and to hear more about Gray Center.

I intended to begin working on a presentation for next Wednesday at St. Andrews church but the telephone and email conspired against me!

Afternoon meeting with Carol Spencer it turns out to be a great opportunity for me to learn about Hope Federal Credit Union. After the meeting with Carol there’s a meeting of the Trustees of the Diocese. My head is swimming after hearing all the numbers fly through the air! I am so grateful for and Trustees and our investment counselors!

Tuesday, October 7

Busy morning! Early meeting at the Trustmark building with our Chancellor, Granville Tate, Bishop Gray, Canon Johnson and Canon McCormick. Another helpful opportunity for me to learn more about some of the “administrative intricacies” of my new position.

Back to the office for staff meeting. It’s been a busy couple of days so it’s really good to catch up with everyone. Various meeting continue into the lunch hour. During that time Chuck Barlow and Molly Meeks from the Chapel of the Cross in Madison and Wiliam Ndishibandi of All Saints, Jackson visit with the entire staff sharing stories about the Uganda Mission trip. This is a really interesting new ministry of our church. It is also a mission field that we can learn much from.

I spend the rest of the afternoon planning and preparing for clergy conference.

In the evening Kyle and I attend an awards ceremony put on by Youth Villages. The 2014 award winners are the Revs. Janet and Luther Ott. It’s great to hear about the work of Youth Villages and Janet and Luther!

Monday, October 6

Day off
Enjoyed an afternoon movie with Kyle
Supper with Betsy

Sunday, October 5

Official visit at St. Peters Gulfport. I preach, preside and receive 1 at the 8am service. At the 1030 service I preach and preside while baptizing 1, receiving 3 and confirming 11. It’s an awesome experience to preside at confirmation for the first time with this vibrant congregation. After services there is pot luck lunch and great fellowship. I met with vestry after lunch and discussed the mission of the parish. I am excited to learn that they just started a Saturday night service.

While driving home I am energized by the Saints come from behind win against the Bucs. It wasn’t pretty but I’ll take it.

Arrived home and enjoyed take out supper with Kyle and the girls.

Saturday, October 4

Easy morning at home. I manage to spend a little time catching up on emails and finishing preparations for services tomorrow at St. Peter’s. This will be my first ever confirmations … I think it might be a good idea to look at the rubrics in the BCP.

Afternoon swim meet with Betsy. She did great. I was very pleased. Talked with Katie before she departed for homecoming at St. Andrews. Kyle is trying to balance helping Katie get ready while simultaneously watching the Ole Miss/Bama game.

Supper time is quiet around our house as Kyle mourns the Bama loss. She consoles herself by admitting that at least they lost to a Mississippi team. After supper I head out for Gulfport where I will spend the night. On the drive I have to deal with Southern Cal losing to Arizona State on the last play of the game! Ugh! Thank God the Dodgers managed to beat St. Louis!

Friday, October 3

Started the day with breakfast and getting some work done in my room in DC. I took a moment to catch up by email with an old friend, Chase Ackerman, who is attending General Seminary in New York. The controversy there has left him, rightly so, a little worried but he is enduring and dealing with things “one day at a time.”

I head out to the Uder Halzey Air and Space Museum which is near Dulles Airport. It’s an awesome display of some really great aircraft. I spent several minutes staring at a 707 on display in the commercial aircraft area. My dad flew 707’s for a number of years and I remember him complaining about the nearly non-existent head room in the cockpit! The other highlight for me is the Space Shuttle on display in the space area. What an incredible piece of technology it is.

I left the museum with enough time to catch my flight. After getting to the airport I find that my flight is delayed due a storm in Atlanta. I finally got back to Jackson around 10pm. Nice surprise was running into a good friend, Robert Mahaffey, in the Atlanta airiport.

Thursday, October 2

Drive the girls to school and then set out for Jackson-Evers airport. I’m flying to DC today to attend a meeting at the National Cathedral along with Canons Johnson and McCormick. We will be attending The Reimagining the Episcopal Church (TREC) meeting. My Flights are uneventful and on time.

After supper we attend the meeting where I run into an old Seminary friend. Joining us for the meeting are, Morris Thompson and Will Compton, seminarians from our diocese. The meeting starts on time and was really interesting. This committee assigned from General convention in 2012 has done a great job. The meeting starts with Bp. MIchael Curry leading a short Bible study. He is tremendous and is a remarkably gifted communicator. The various speakers leave me with a great deal to think about.

Wednesday, October 1

Early morning workout. It’s hard to wake up but really nice to workout with the rest of my team. It feels kinda normal.

First day in the office after the ordination … I still feel really strange putting on a purple shirt. During the morning hours I’m busy trying to catch up on emails and phone calls.

At noon I attended the meeting of the Mississippi Episcopal Aids Commission. This committee does great things for men and women living with Aids. They are committed group of Christians that I’m humbled to work with.

After the meeting I head home to scoop up Betsy and get her to swim practice. After dropping her off I head over to Cups for coffee and a place to work. Cups on Lakeland is quickly becoming my second office. I love their dark/bold blend!

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