Okay, I've broken down and decided to post some stuff tonight.
The purpose of my quick trip to California was to participate in the Ordination/Consecration, whatever you wanna call it, of the Third Bishop of the Diocese of El Camino Real, the diocese in which I am canonically resident. I thought it might be a good idea to let the new bishop know I exist. Of course, since I have family in California I wanted to see them, too. Balancing the churchy/family stuff is a challenge at anytime, but even more when one tries to pack it all into a week-long trip. I think I have this cold as my resistance was down due to lack of rest. I rose early every morning and often drove long distances and didn't eat the large quantities of fruit and vegetables that I normally consume. Plus, it is much colder in California than Panama, so now I be snifflin'. I arrived Tuesday evening and my sister and nephew and his girlfriend picked me up at the airport. We went to Pacifica to pick up David and Ryan who were surfing. Then we went to a Mexican restaurant, as there is no decent Mexican food in Panama, and, as a Californian, I needed a corn tortilla fix. The next morning my nephew Richie used his Learner's Permit to drive me to the Department of Motor Vehicles. I used to complain about the DMV, but it was a real pleasure after the tortures I have suffered at the hands of the Transito of Panama. I replaced and renewed my California driver's license and was issued a temporary until the real ting be made. My sister will forward it to me here. Richie drove us home and then I drove over three hours to my parent's house in the Sierra Nevada town of Sonora. I had a good time visiting with otosan and okasan plus my aunt Sally came over after dinner. I left at noon to do some banking and then descend into the San Joaquin Valley to Fresno, home of the parents of the Lovely Mona. I got lost as I could not remember the name of the exit we always used even though I drove there several times a year for some twenty-two years.; go figger. However, I found my way to their home and was greeted as was the Prodigal Son, and the Fatted Calf was killed, and gutted, and roasted, and consumed. The parents of my son-in-law, la familia Mobley, also came to dinner and we had a wonderful time. I rose at 5:00am and was out of Fresno by 6:00 am on my way to the Major Metropolis of San José (or, as they say there, Sanna Zey). I arrived at St. Stephen's-in-the-Fields an hour early, but Father Ken is an old friend and we had a wonderful talk. I was there to attend a meeting of the Clergy of the Diocese of El Camino Real with the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, the coolest (and only) Primada on the Planet Earth. I met my new bishop-elect and la Primada. La Primada had us reflect on the words "This is my Beloved, in whom I delight" and then share in groups. Then we shared in the larger group, which, as one would expect, certain people shared more than others. Then she opened the floor to questions and answered them for two hours! I also said a bit about the Global Center during the question thang. It was good to see old friends. Unfortunately, I didn't take any photos as I didn't want to disturb the conversation. I stayed with member of the extended family Stephenie. We left early the next morning, as she was a Marshall at the Ordination/Consecration, whatever you wanna call it. I had a great time seeing even more friends, including Jan and Howard Hill, who spent some time with us in Panama. I also got to see the Rt. Rev. Richard Shimpfky, the bishop who ordained me to the Deaconate and Priesthood, and the Rt. Rev. Silvestre Romero, and old friend and former Bishop of Belize and Acting Bishop of El Camino Real (A couple of years ago he told the Lovely Mona and I that we were now Panamanian). I saw lots of people from St. Francis and St. Philips and St. Mathias, all parishes with which I was connected. The folks as St. Francis sent us off to seminary, and I was a supply priest at St. Mathias in Seaside and Interim Vicar (as a deacon) and Priest in charge of Family Ministries at St. Philips before we left for Panama. I saw so many old friends at the Ordination/Consecration, whatever you wanna call it, including my dear friends la familia LeBeau, Revdo. Hank and his wife Sherry. Sherry smudged the chancel and altar while Hank prayed in Lakota. Tomorrow I will post about the reaction by Certain People at a Certain Website in regards to the Totally Christian and Holy Acts of Hank and Sherry tomorrow. The Ordination/Consecration, whatever you wanna call it was wonderful and I am so happy that I was able to participate, but I was not in the Best Postition for Photographs. The next morning Stephenie and I went to St. Mark's in Berkeley, the parish at which I did my seminary field work and our parish home in Berkeley. It was a wonderful Sunday to be there as the Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus, Bishop of the Diocese of California was there for his Episcopal Visit. It was so good to see all our dear friends at St. Mark's, including Regular Commenter Susan S. Then Stephenie and I went to to Viceroy's Restaurant to meet Tara, Chris, Miss Bebé and Matty Boy. We had a great lunch and conversation, then I went back to St. Mark's to meet with Revda. Robbins and "dish" for about an hour. Then I hiked back to la casa de Tara y Chris and spent a wonderful afternoon with them and Miss Bebé. The next morning I got up early to drive Stephenie to the airport and then proceed back to Emerald Hills (where our own Leonardo Ricardo is at this moment; we missed each other by one day!) to spend time with my sister Melanie and Richie and the Triplets. Then, Tuesday morning, I was at SFO at 4:00am to head back home to Panama. Lemme tell ya, as much fun as it all was, I am SO HAPPY to be home with the Lovely Mona and Señorita Chompita Wiggletail! Here are some photos of the Ordination/Consecration, whatever you wanna call it.
The altar at St. Stephen's
Sherry and Hank LeBeau
Outside of St. Andrew's before the Ordination/Consecration, whatever you wanna call it.
Sherry LeBeau smudging the chancel and altar
Bishop Frade preaching
The Right Reverend Mary Grey-Reeves and family
John McCurry, Verger at Trinity Cathedral, and my friend
The parade out the door
Some members of the Clergy of El Camino Real awaiting their new bishop
Bishop Katharine blessing Sherry LeBeau
The Rt. Rev. Richard Shimpfky, Second Bishop of the Diocese of El Camino Real, and the man you can blame for my ordination
Chancel of St. Mark's, Berkeley, waiting for the Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus, Bishop of the Diocese of California