From Christ Church Cathedral this past weekend:
At Christ Church Cathedral on Sunday.
And the flowers at the altar —
Alleluia! Christ is risen!!
And so am I. The alarm went off at 6 a.m. this morning. Fifteen minutes later, I was making pie crust. Now at 7.30 a.m., the pineapple pie is nearly baked, and will soon emerge from the oven.
The homemade cheesy potatoes are ready for baking too, including a from-scratch sauce. http://realmomkitchen.com/10810/no-cream-of-soup-potato-casserole-aka-funeral-potatoes/
Fresh flowers grace all four downstairs rooms.
The table is set.
A joyous resurrection celebration awaits at Christ Church Cathedral, and then I come home for Easter dinner with seven beloved students. On the menu: steak, cheese grits, cheesy potatoes, asparagus. Pineapple pie. And a wonderful & decadent tuna spread for an appetizer.
I have three consecutive nights at home. This will likely be the last time this occurs before sometime in May.
So Friday night? I made dinner of steak, rice pilaf, and green salad with my homemade creamy Parmesan dressing. Then I watched movies.
Samson was happy.
The steak? Crusted on one side with seasonings, then seared on each side for three minutes in an oiled and moderately hot cast-iron skillet, and then left in the skillet in a 350-degree oven for eight minutes. Perfection!
Today I shall work at home: four voice lessons, audition a new student, do laundry, and this evening wade into the pile of stuff I brought home from the office, but wade whilst in jammies and with my little furry companion beside me.
Christ Church Cathedral holds its annual parish meeting on Sunday. I will attend that and attend Evensong at The Church of St. Michael and St. George. And that will be my Sunday.
My neighborhood is changing. The poor lady who lived two houses north of me is gone. Her house — one that needs massive fixes and updates to roof, HVAC, plumbing, electric, yard, garage, tuck-pointing, and the like — sold for a pittance recently. The new owner has been taking out hundreds of bags of trash (she was a hoarder), tearing out the kitchen, throwing out furniture, and is today selling the last of her possessions at a yard sale.
Meanwhile, a new couple has moved in a few houses away. Will and Shannon’s kids are growing up. Nancy has her youngest daughter at college. Nancy’s parents next door to her are aging. And Boo Radley is gone on yet another jaunt to the Orient.
My friend and pastor The Rev. Mike Kinman, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Saint Louis, posted this to Cathedral congregants earlier today.
The past 48 hours since the shooting death of Michael Brown have been a wrenching time for the St. Louis region. It has revealed wounds that have been deepening for a long time. Those wounds have exploded in anger, and the pictures have been broadcast for the whole nation to see.
The violence both of Michael Brown’s death and of the looting and rioting last night in Ferguson are cause for mourning. But they are also like the shooting pain in our gut that alerts us that something is seriously wrong in our body. They are a call for attention. A call for us not to just treat the symptom and to re-establish a fragile and festering peace, but to address the underlying causes. The causes of the anger cut right to some of the most painful divisions in our region — divisions of race and class, of power and privilege.
The causes and problems are complex and there are no quick fixes. But that is also not code for “there is nothing we can do.” The events of the past two days can be redeemed only if they cause us — ALL of us — to focus sustained attention on the healing that is needed in our body, healing that can only happen as we all confront difficult truths of how far we still have to go toward justice in our society.
Yesterday, we took a first step — in the language of Sunday’s Gospel, we put a toe out of the boat onto the stormy sea. Several of us from the Cathedral gathered with clergy and others in a prayer vigil at the Ferguson Police Department. But for that to be a first step, there has to be a second step and a third … and whether or not you were with us yesterday, you can take those steps, too.
If you are looking at the paper and your TV screen wondering “what can be done?” … here are some ideas:
Pray — Prayer is our first resort and our last resort. Prayer is not passing the buck to God saying “Lord, do something.” Prayer is opening ourselves up to God and saying “Lord, do something through me.” Pray for peace. Pray for your own heart and the heart of our Cathedral community to be moved and guided. Pray for the people of Ferguson and the whole region, for the Brown family, for the police, for Ferguson Mayor James Knowles and for the media who are telling the story. Pray for peace and courage and wisdom. Pray that God will use us as instruments of reconciliation … realizing that we are asking God to put us on a risky road ourselves.
Come Together — At 7 pm Tuesday at Christ the King United Church of Christ (11370 Old Halls Ferry Road), faith leaders from around our region will be holding a strategy meeting to determine our next steps moving forward together. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend. I will be there to listen first and then ask what I can do to help. I hope you can be there, too.
Have an Inquiring and Discerning Heart — That phrase is from our baptismal service. Having an inquiring and discerning heart means not just taking things on face value. It means asking, “why?” and not jumping to our immediate assumptions and prejudices. When you see a picture of someone looting a Quik Trip, ask yourself “Why?” and don’t be satisfied with your first response. When you hear the story of the police officer confronting Michael Brown, ask yourself “Why?” and don’t be satisfied with what immediately comes to mind. The media will usually feed us the story on the simplest terms — but we are not simple people. Don’t be afraid of the complexity that is beneath the surface. Search for it. Demand it. Strive to embrace it.
Above all, do not despair and do not run away. That is not who we are as people of Christ. Pray, listen, talk, ask questions, envision what changes you can make in your life to bring us together across the lines that divide us. Know that as we venture out of the boat onto this stormy sea that Jesus is there already waiting for us to join him.
in Christ’s love,
The Very Rev. Michael Kinman
Dean, Christ Church Cathedral
Writing from the safety of my sofa, trusted Samson at my side……
I tried to go longer today between doses of the pain meds, and I didn’t make it. At 4.5 hours I was crying out for relief.
Later this afternoon, Mother Amy Cortright from Christ Church Cathedral will bring communion and unction. I have yet to have the anointing of the sick for this recent affliction, and I’m past due.
D is making some lunch right now — some sort of stuffed chicken breast and a salad. Casey is going to pop by later, with K expected later this evening for a bit as well.
The visitors to the hospital and to home have been numerous:
- Bob C
- Rich Scharf
- Austen and Lana
- Jeff A
- Seth Warner from a local temple (who just happened to be making rounds that day and I saw I had been admitted)
- four more students yesterday afternoon
- and two more after that
- Ron Bryant
And my orthopedist called this morning to check on me. After the snafu of last week, I’m warming to him and am grateful for his solicitude.
I slept well last evening, with a bit less morning pain upon standing today for the first time. The get-me-up-and-moving routine really does wear me out, though.
My plan is to return to school tomorrow for a few hours and see how it goes. I have some important meetings this week, plus two days of auditions on Friday and Saturday, and need to be ready if possible.
The rest of today = lay low. Enjoy the occasional visitor. And go to bed early.
2014. Day One.
Here we go.
In the last 24 hours, I’ve finished some tasks, worshipped God on this first day of the year, cooked some food, slept a while, and been quiet.
The yard is now free of leaves. That last little task was finished yesterday.
I bought a Persian rug today, and some curtains for the entry room. And with that, the renovation of the main floor of the house is nearly complete. Yet to come is the new art above the mantel, but that’s still two weeks away, give or take.
D joined me for Holy Eucharist at Christ Church Cathedral today, after we had cookies and coffee at his apartment this morning.
We had a quick brunch at Cafe Ventana in Midtown.
Laundry is finished.
So . . . I’m starting 2014 in good shape. I’m doing my best not to look back on the roads not taken during my sabbatical. I did plenty, and will not regret or lament the unfinished tasks. They will wait.
My sister asked me a while ago if i have any major trips planned this year. After the last year, where I spent the better part of 1/4 of the year away from home, I am thinking this year may be a quieter, more Midwestern one. Or maybe not. At this point, though, nothing major is planned. (Unless I win the lottery, in which case all bets are off.)
I’ll finish this first day of 2014 with a quiet homemade dinner with K. I haven’t read the papers yet today, so that pleasure waits for this evening.
All is well. Welcome, this new year. Let’s see what dreams we can make come true.