Friday, May 30, 2008

The Episcopal Church - United Methodist Church

During the past month Del Rosa United Methodist Church and St. John's Episcopal Church, in San Bernardino, CA have been gathering a small community of congregants together to study the possibilities of "Full Communion"

I am excited about our ongoing conversation regarding "Full Communion" and common recognition of each other in autonomous, shared ministry.

We are concluding our time of study with a Eucharistic Service Sunday night at 5:30PM at St. John's Episcopal Church. Please be sure to join us for this event.

If you want to check out the study for yourself, it is online through the Episcopal Church. The study is "Make Us One With Christ".

PS. If anybody can help me figure out how to link a .PDF to this I will share the bulletin to the blog too.


Garage Sale Stuff

As one who is holding a garage sale of sorts today with my sister "touring" my house and laying claim to anything we are exiting from the move this Friday Five seemed apropo.
Welcome to your irregularly scheduled RevGalBlogPals Fifth Friday Five, hosted by will smama and Songbird!
Since will smama is preparing for a joint garage sale with her parents, and Songbird's church had a Yard and Plant Sale last Saturday, we have five enormously important questions we hope you will answer:

1) Are you a garage saler?
Only as I drive by stuff, and see something worth checking out...but these days I am more inclined to see if I can do one myself.

2) If so, are you an immediate buyer or a risk taker who comes back later when prices are lower?
I'm an immediate buyer. If it's what I want at a price I want to pay, it's mine. If not, then I have no hesitation at walking away.

3) Seriously, if you're not a garage saler, you are probably not going to want to play this one.
(That wasn't really #3.)
3) This is the real #3: What's the best treasure you've found at a yard or garage sale?
I have had much better luck with Estate Sales and Thrift Stores. But I have a nice hutch and a very good entertainment cabinet from yardsales.

4)If you've done one yourself, at church or at home, was it worth the effort?
I did one when I was like 8 or 9, and had the intelligence (or enough help from mom) to hold it the same day the girls across the street held their annual "Let's hold a sale to buy our new back to school clothes" yardsale. I think I made $25-30. But let's be real and admit that I didn't have much worthwhile for sale at mine. Otherwise, at church, usually. I'm a big believer in Freecycle, Craig's List, and thrift store donations.

5) Can you bring yourself to haggle?
When it seems appropriate, or when I am not running away with a huge bargain.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Shopping Bag Awesomeness [Links]

A couple of awesome ideas taking shape in real ways about dealing with the plethora of proliferating plastic bags we so often take home from the grocery store.

Thanks Amy Forbus for the reminder to use sturdy bags that we all get from all those conferences (including General Conference)

And this kid in Canada is simply awesome. Bacteria eating plastic bags, and he found a way to isolate them and eat the bags up faster.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Shoveling Downhill

I am constantly thinking about how much stuff we have.

I have two living room sets, four bedroom sets, two dining sets, extra pillows, sheets, and comforters for all the bedroom sets, towels and bath stuff to fill 6 bathrooms.

We have videos, DVDs, and CDs galore.

And good luck figuring out what is what and where it is, as half of it or more is packed up already from trying to consolidate our homes back together.

So I was intrigued when I heard about "The Story of Stuff" and the online resources for stuff.

I waited a long time after hearing about it before going ahead and viewing. To be honest I was scared. Was it about how much stuff we have? Was it about all the environmental and social damage we are causing by having so much stuff? Was it about helping me eliminate stuff in good ways? Would it give me resources to downsize? I didn't know.

I encourage you to go look at the video. 21 minutes of your life (buying into the cycle Annie is trying to deconstruct, with some nice clothing that seems to run counter to her point too - but I digress) that is actually worth checking out.

In the meantime I am going to see what I can do to recycle items, compost waste, limit consumption, and develop a better ethic for a global economy that is closer to fair for all.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

New Appointments

I have a new task July 1.

I have to preach in front of this:

My new home will be Ojai UMC, in Ojai, CA.

I am excited, and ready to work with the Ojai church as we explore and assess their current situation, trying to establish a strategy for moving forward.

In all congregations this is part of how I function in my first year, but it is nice to have everybody on the same page for what we are trying to accomplish at the outset.

More later...but I will say I was very disappointed that the Texas Style BBQ place in Oak View was closed. I was ready for that for lunch.

After years of passing by on the freeway, I finally ate at Ottavio's in Camarillo, and that was a real treat. Good food, and a great weekend.

Friday, May 23, 2008


As I sit in a hotel where I shared with my wife the wonder at fitting comfortably in two rooms, with two baths, a kitchenette, and a nice beach view balcony, I think about the load of clutter and junk and furniture back at my house.

I would love to downsize, still not sure how much, but certainly a few things of late have been awesome idea starters.

First - the website Unclutterer

Second - dual purpose items

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

ht: Glenn Hager

Saturday, May 10, 2008


I am not sure how many have heard of the partnership between the United Methodist Church and The Episcopal Church. I know headlines were made last week when the United Methodist Church made the partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America official.

I encourage you to check out the "Make Us One with Christ" study of shared "Full Communion" between the United Methodists and The Episcopal Church.

I share all of this because Del Rosa United Methodist Church and St. John's Episcopal Church in San Bernardino, CA have started the study, and are working our way through it, concluding in a special Eucharist with a common table, and both denominations will preside over the Communion Service, with permission from their respective Bishops.

In the meantime, I wanted to pass along a little about what is happening at our sister parish at St. John's Episcopal Church, in this YouTube video.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Idea Sharing

Thanks to my sister Debbie for sharing her experience of yesterday and filling people with new learning.

I love it when that happens, and last night was definitely one of those nights for me too.

We were working our way through Matthew 13 last night in Bible Study and we had several parables. As we got to talking I talked about the Parable of the Sower. I referenced some reading I have done lately on blogs about such parable, that maybe the sower was extremely wasteful. I asked the group to consider why someone might think this way.

It was at that point I took us to the parable of the Mustard Seed and of the Yeast in the Flour. I asked the folks to read them and tell me if it made sense. Immediately they responded that of course it did. I then took a page from my mentor, Rev. LLoyd Saatjian, who often taught that every parable has an "explosion" or something that really is just not right in the telling of the story.

I asked the group to go back and see what they found in those two short parables that was really just not right. The group observed two things - the mustard seed becoming a tree, and the yeast leavening 3 measures of flour. But it still made perfect sense to them. We then talked about how big a mustard plant can really become and whether that vision is correct. This is the "explosion" of something that should not happen that does in the Parable of the Mustard Seed. And in the Parable of the Yeast, we considered how much three measures is. They were coming at it from the aspect of three measures as three cups of flour, when three measures is closer to three barrels of flour.

Explosions went off in their heads. And they had fun. We learned. It was great.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

About Town

I thought I would give a shot to some of the ongoing adventure of redefining my blogging.

I went out for lunch today to a local mexican restaurant, at the recommendation of some close friends in the church at Del Rosa UMC. I will be forever indebted to the Fischers for their introduction to this fine establishment.

Las Palmas, just north of Baseline on E street, opposite the San Bernardino Adult School was outstanding. I had a major hankering for some mexican so I overdid it, but it was so worth it.
I had the usual chips and salsa to start the meal. The salsa was some of the best I have ever had, smokey, light and spicy with some real kick. The garlic, onion, peppers and cilantro really came out well. I was so enamored of the salsa I went overboard with the meal and ordered a Shredded Beef Burrito with rice and beans, and a ground beef taco and chicken enchilada to go with it, a water and horchata to wash it down. It was all so good. The shredded beef was absolutely outstanding. The taco was crisp, without being dry, and the salsa was smothered over all of it, per my hand dipping the salsa pot empty to cover the food.


And for my friends in the south. I heard Horchata explained by my southern wife, as California's version of sweet tea. Horchata is a beautiful lightly cinnamon spiced sweet rice milk drink, that soothes the troubled soul and quenches a thirst that only mexican food can produce.


Of late I have been struggling with what I want to be doing with my blog. What I want to make it into, and what is really important to me in how and what I share about my life.

I have contemplated something along the lines of twitter, where I post different places I've been adding in reviews, and comments about the people I have met along the way. This type of set-up is similar to some friends of mine back in Tuscaloosa who have established a web site to say "well that's cool"

Food and movie reviews, with places I've been. I like it.

With a little one on the way, I am mindful of those friends and family who have blogs to share the life of the family, and help keep us up to date on what is happening, sometimes clear across the family.

Pretty good stuff there too.

I also love to engage in theological debate and that has been a real plus for me in the stretch of blogging to date, and to lose that seems like it would be an unfortunate loss for this blog and for me.

More Theology it is.

Maybe the real truth is just to keep it eclectic and moving along. I like the life updates. I want to blog a little more and be regular. I also take to heart the truth of folks who have been saying to maintain an audience it takes regular posting.

Then there is the original purpose I had when starting my blog. I wanted to have a place to journal openly as I took my journey through life, to express my thoughts, my confusions and be in community. That is the crux of it, just that my thoughts seem to have gotten broader.


Sunday, May 04, 2008

May DRUMBEAT Cadence

Dear Del Rosa Family,

Transitions often give us the excitement of moving forward and we mourn what will be lost. I have found that in transition, the challenge is not in what was, or what will be, but the waiting for the transition to actually begin.

You have heard of those transitions in my life. The death of my grandmother was a very real transition. Grandma Camphouse had been a vibrant and loving woman, given to doing her own thing - getting up and deciding to drive to Mammoth from Arcadia just to go stay at the cabin she has leased for years, without telling any of her kids (and it wasn't until about 10 years ago that she got a phone put back in there as it had been inactive for about 20 years previously). She had a stroke in 1999 and was paralyzed on much of her right side. She struggled over the past few years with pnuemonia and Trans Ischemic Attacks (TIA - otherwise known as a mini-stroke). She wanted nothing more than to be at home, though her dementia and alzheimer's made that increasingly difficult, even with an in-home care nurse. This last time she went to the hospital with kidney failure, and we knew it was going to end in death. However, it was the waiting that really got to me. When could we plan the funeral, what about travel plans for family? Was she really going to find a way to get stronger and beat this one too? We had known she was sick, and had beaten a rough case of pnuemonia last fall, when we were certain it would lead to death then. It has not been easy. And when she died, we had the chance to gather as a family, celebrate her life, and our extended family, and remember all that she had done, where she had been in her life, and how she impacted ours. Now we are trying to find the best way to keep on. One of the fun things about that has been the relationship of our family with the care-giver grandma had. Marianne just celebrated her citizenship and my aunts and uncles and parents all threw her a great party. She followed that up with the delivery of a new baby girl just last month. We have found that life goes on, and legacies are made in the relationships we form in the process.

The birth of a new child for Anna and me this coming July will bring all kinds of new transitions. But in the meantime, there is a lot of waiting (I am told that the waiting seems even longer to the mother than to the father-as the mother "gets it" much earlier, and many men take until the birth to finally "get it", at least that is what our doctor said). There is the buildup of waiting before you tell the folks, and yet things have actually begun. This is a precarious time, as one false slip of the tongue can really set a fire going before you are ready to share, and what happens if the baby is lost to a miscarriage. Then there is the anticipation time, with all the people having been told, while the baby is not yet here. I summarize this with an illustration from my niece. Orli was here with my sister for my grandmother's funeral, and had been told that Anna was pregnant. So the first question Orli had for Anna was, "Where's the baby?" Orli was ready to see the new cousin. Anna very kindly told her that the baby was still in her tummy waiting until July to be born. The next morning Orli came out and greeted Anna with, "Where's the baby?" Once again Anna said, "not here yet." Orli responded, "It's still in your tummy?" This continued every day that Orli was with us. And yet, we know that when the great day arrives, this transition is done, and we now have to transition to being "actual parents". From this I realize that there never stops being a time of transition. The question is whether we are willing to greet it with expectation and excitement, or fear and trembling for all the things that could go wrong, or were wrong before that we know will only be amplified in this new adventure. Anna and I are working on making sure that we focus on the joy of a new life in our midst.

Last fall, Anna and I had another transitional moment. We decided to ask for a new appointment for July 2008. We have had long conversations with several District Superintendents over the past few years about what we understand our gifts and graces to be. We discussed whether it was time for a move or not, and this year seemed to be the time. I did tell the SPRC when I made that request, prior to Charge Conference, and that it would be in the hands of the cabinet leading into the new year. Anna and I have been held in suspense during this time, and we have tried to do our best to find our balances for time with each other, particularly as we have experienced the new life in our midst, for the church, and for our own health. I am grateful to the SPRC for their diligent work in trying to determine character traits and qualities they heard from you as the congregation, and they saw within their own discussions for the purposes of finding the best pastor to help Del Rosa UMC move into the next phase in its history. In the course of this process I have made a commitment, regardless of what would happen in July, to settle us into a plan for the future of Del Rosa and to see us move forward on rennovations we committed to several years ago - new roof, new electrical box with wiring, a kitchen remodel and review of handicap facilities, all of which would enable us to examine our mission and ministry more carefully and with more opportunities to connect to the community we are called to serve.


Pastor David