Shape of life

I am in a tough spot right now – not sleeping well, stressing over finding a job, not wanting to do any school work, yadda, yadda, yadda. There is so much going on and the pace is only quickening. With only a few weeks of classes left, end of year stuff is being scheduled right and left, especially for us seniors. (Is it “us” or “we”?)
I’m ready to be out. I’m not ready to leave this “monastic” feel, ethos, what word should go here? The whole idea of a post-modern monastic experience continues to have such a draw for me. This place, this seminary, this Close, has such a feel. We live in intentional community, very close, on top of one another, in a fishbowl. We study together, we minister together, we worship together, say the Daily Offices together, eat together, argue and yell together – we are formed together – men, women, single, married, straight, gay, black, white, brown, younger and older. I am going to truly miss this and if there were a way to maintain it no matter where I am, I would be there. Of course it gets tiring at times, but that is all part of the experience.
Part of the whole saga is simply doing it, truly. Maybe there will be no interest in such a thing in the beginning. Maybe there will be great interest. This isn’t like Jesus People or Sojourners – intentional communities – but an honest monastic form of life, a true rule of life.
Honestly, I would love to be able to have a large building for community and ministry. We live and work and worship together. We have space for visitors for retreats or to just get away. It would be different from traditional monasteries in that we have a very mixed kind of community, yet similar in the pace and shape of life.

Bad Money

This is just profoundly sad. I can understand standing on principle, and sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. In this case, however, the bishop is placing a lot of people in grave danger only because he considers the donation from a U.S. diocese that supported Gene Robinson is bad money.
Bishop Roskam, Suffragan from the Diocese of New York, completely reframed this whole debate when she spoke at General’s panel discussion on the Windsor Report by saying that all her meetings with African women have proven to here that if women were represented in the councils of the church in proportion to their numbers, this whole affair would not exist. The Anglican women she met with in places like Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, etc., all question her as to why the men leaders were so obsessed about this one man in America! These women told Bishop Roskam of the disease, AIDS, poverty, violence, etc, that make up their everyday lives. Why all this time and energy over one man? Very good question!
So, where we have a bishop who would rather his people die and go without needed provision than take tainted money from a diocese that agreed with Gene Robinson’s consecration. I just think this bishops priorities are flat-out screwed-up! The bishop is sure God will provide for his and his people’s needs, because after all his God is the owner of silver and gold.
This reminds me of the story of the man that was forced to the roof of his house during a flood. The people of the town were warned to leave because of the coming floodwaters. This man stayed – he had complete faith that God would provide for him. So, the floodwaters started rising and the man had to move up to his second floor. A rescue person came up to his window in a boat to save him, but the man refused to get into the boat because, “God will provide.” Perplexed, the rescue worker moved on to save other people. Finally, the man was forced to the roof of his house as the swift floodwaters continued to rise. A helicopter came to the man and the pilot yelled that this would be the last chance for the man to be saved, but he refused. God will provide – he had absolute faith in his God. Well, the floodwaters finally overwhelmed the house and the man drowned. When he got to the gates of heaven and stood before God, he asked, “God, why did you let me down. I had complete faith in you that you would provide for me and keep me safe from the floodwaters! Why did you let me down?” God then said, “I provided a warning for you to leave. I provided a boat to rescue you from your house. I provided a helicopter to take you off your roof. What more did you want?”
Here are excerps from the article:

Bishop spurns Aids cash
Stephen Bates | London
30 March 2005
An African bishop has announced that he will not accept more than $350 000 of funding to help Aids victims in his area because it comes from an American diocese that supported the election of a gay bishop two years ago.
Jackson Nzerebende Tembo, the bishop of South Rwenzori in Uganda, has rejected the money from the United States diocese of Central Pennsylvania, saying its clergy and bishop, Michael Creighton, endorsed the election of Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.
In a statement released to an American conservative Episcopalian website but not to the US diocese, Nzerebende announced: “South Rwenzori diocese upholds the Holy Scriptures as true word of God … Of course this will affect some of our programmes. This includes our Aids programme and [the money] they have been sending for … orphans’ education.
“We pray and believe that our God who created and controls silver and gold in the world will provide for the needs of His people. Hallelujah! Amen.’’
The Pennsylvania diocese had been asked to provide $352 941 for the Aids programme and a small amount to assist orphans with education fees. It sends doctors and nurses and helps to support a Christian foundation caring for more than 100 Aids patients.
The church in Uganda, where homosexuality remains a crime punishable by life imprisonment, has taken one of the hardest lines against the gay issue, which threatens to split Anglicanism.
The US Episcopal Church has insisted that it does not attach strings to its donations.
Correspondents on the US website were divided over whether the bishop’s action was in accordance with Christian principles.