Thursday, May 31, 2007

Feast of the Visitation

Father in heaven, by your grace the virgin mother of your incarnate Son was blessed in bearing him, but still more
blessed in keeping your word: Grant us who honor the exaltation of her lowliness to follow the example of her devotion to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Now go read what Grandmère Mimi wrote.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Very Busy Pentecost Sunday

Boy, we were very busy Sunday. We had our two Eucharists on Sunday morning, with two baptisms at the 10:30 am Misa. It was Hyacinth Wilson's 90th birthday, so we had a little birthday party across the street on the patio of Instituto Episcopal San Cristóbal. It was a very nice gathering but I don't have any photos of that event.

In the afternoon we were at Balboa Union Church for the Panama Canal International Alumni Association's 15th Ecumenical Commemorative service. A dear member of the parish, Profesora Emily Butcher, received the Meritorious Educational Award from the PCIAA. St. Christopher's Choir and three members of el Gran Combo de San Cristóbal provided the music for the event.

Then we zipped across town to the Paradise Banquet Hall for the Seventh Annual Etnica Negra Festival (Black Ethnicity Festival). In the U.S. Black History Month is the shortest month of the year, but here in Panamá the entire month of May is dedicated to honoring the contributions of the Afro-Panameños. This event was put on by Martha Productions Panamá. Martha and Ronaldo Olton are members of our parish and work constantly to educate our youth about and build pride in their African heritage. A group of students from Instituto Episcopal San Cristóbal performed a play based on a novela written by one of their teachers. It was really quite a production! I also have photos of a dance group who performed; the members of the group are all retired women, and they are really something. I love the Etnica Negra festival, especially seeing so many people in African inspired fashions. We had a wonderful time!

1. Profesora Emily Butcher processing with the past president of PCIAA
2. El Coro de Parroquia San Cristóbal con el Gran Combo
3. Profesora Emily Butcher and her award.
4. African clothing
5. More African clothing
6. Kenya Douglas, member of St. Christopher's
7. Martha Olton
8. Aldolfo with his mother Roxanna Olton, and Alda Allen, members of St. Christopher's.
9. The Buffet line
10. Roxanna and Aldas' dresses
11. Congo dance with Denzel Arthur, member of St. Christopher's (in black and white costume).
12. Another scene from the play
13. Dancers!
14. Another shot of the dancers
15. Festival Etnica Negra sign


Well, the telephone went out again on Saturday, and we haven't had any telephone or internet access since then. Sunday was a VERY BUSY DAY and I'll post fótos of all that went on later today.
I tried to post a photo of Anne and little Evannie, but it didn't take.
What a wonderful day, everything is going so well!

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy
Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the
earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Tonight, on a Very Special Friday Red Mr. Peanut Bank and Gallito Mescalito Blogging...

Featuring: Bunrab! The Filthiest Toy In the House!!

1. Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House: Ya know, I think I'll throw a party. It would be fun to have all the Dance Party Toys over for drinks and games and finger-foods!

2. Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Kitty Toy: I heah ya tinkin' of havin' a pahty
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House: Yes! I hope you'll be coming!
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Kitty Toy: You gonna 'vite dat Tiny-winky fella?
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House: Of course! He lives here in the barriada.
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Kitty Toy: Hmmmm. See ya later.

3. Red Mr. Peanut Bank: Hello, Bunrab!
Gallito Mescalito: ¡Shriek!
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House: Hello Boys! How are things?
Gallito Mescalito: ¡Shriek! ¡Shriek!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank: Quite good, actually. And how are things with you?
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House: Muy bién, gracias a Dios. Say, I'm thinking of having a party. If I send you two invitations, will you attend?
Gallito Mescalito: ¿Shriek? ¡Shriek! ¡Shriek!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank: Well of course! We wouldn't miss it for the world.
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House: Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Kitty Toy was asking whether Tinky-winky was going to be invited. Why would he care?
Gallito Mescalito: ¡Shriiieeekk!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank: Don't worry about him. He's just a big grump. We've got to go.
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House: Okay boys; see ya around!

4. Egyptian Hippo of Love: Hey Bunrab!
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House: Ooo! Hi, Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love! How are you?
Egyptian Hippo of Love: I'm fine, but I gotta tell you something. It's about that party you're planning. Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Kitty Toy says he's not coming if you invite Tinky-winky.
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House: Why would he say such a thing?
Egyptian Hippo of Love: He says that Tinky-winky's manner of life is a scandal and destroying the moral fiber of this barriada.
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House: His manner of life?
Egyptian Hippo of Love: You know, he wears purple, has a triangle on the top of his head, and has that obsession with that stupid red purse.
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House: I don't see how that is a threat to the moral fiber of the barriada.
Egyptian Hippo of Love: I'm just tellin' ya what people are saying. You may want to reconsider your invitation list.

5. Gallito Mescalito: Shriek, shriek shriek shriek. ¡¡Shriieeeeeekk!
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House: What? What are you trying to say? Timmy's fallen down the well and we need to get help?
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House: I'm sorry, but I can't understand a word you're shrieking.

6. Red Mr. Peanut Bank: Hello, Bunrab! You've certainly upset Gallito Mescalito!
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House: I'm sorry, but I have some trouble understanding that guy.
Red Mr. Peanut Bank: Most folks do. He was upset because people have been spreading nasty rumours about Tinky-winky. He said that if you are going to exclude anyone, it should be that Diablito Sucio. You know how he chases everyone in the barriada with his clackity-clackity. Plus he threatens to drag everyone to hell who disagrees with him on anything. He is a bit of a pain!
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House: Sheesh, I just want to have a nice party! sigh.
Red Mr. Peanut Bank: Well, it's your party. You invite who you want to, but just remember that Diablito Sucio tends to put folks off.

7. Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House: Sheesh, what should I do? Tiny-winky gives some folks the heebie-jeebies, and Diablito Sucio has alienated half the barriada with his clacky-clacking and threats.

8. Angelbell, the Sweetest (and Least-clothed) Person in the Barriada: Maybe you should invite everyone and let the chips fall where they may! But then again, you do want a nice party without controversy!

9. The Apocalyptic Angel from Guatemala announces that the invitations have been sent out!

10. Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House: Hello everybody! I want everyone to come to my party, where we will have fun and not vote on anything! But since I want to have a wonderful party, I have decided not to invite Mr. Tinky-winky or Mr. Diablito Sucio since they are such sources of discord, although I personally like both of them.

11. Some Folks: If Diablito Sucio isn't invited, we aren't coming either! It's a slap in the face to the moral inhabitants of the barriada.

12. Other Folks: If Tinky-winky isn't invited, we aren't coming either. It's a slap in the face to the right-thinking inhabitants of the barriada!

13. The Tick Great party!! Where is everyone?
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House: Sigh.

Friday Random 10 (or maybe 11?)

1. Big Green Country Neil Young and Pearl Jam
2. Roses Outkast
3. I Want To Be With You Bonzo Dog Dodah Band
4. What Keeps Mankind Alive? (Kurt Weill) William S. Burroughs
5. Senses Working Overtime XTC
6. India Psychedelic Furs
7. I Should Be Allowed To Think They Might Be Giants
8. Pulling Mussels (From A Shell) Squeeze
9. Helpless Dancer The Who
10. Ave Maria Virgo Serena (Jean Mouton) Theatre of Voices

And Bonus #11. Mosaico A La Sandoval Samy y Sandra Sandoval

This reminds me that I really need to get something by the Who other than Quadrophenia!

Feast of the Venerable Bede, Priest and Monk of Jarrow

Our beloved Grandmère Mimi has a great painting of the Venerable Bede at her blog. Padre says, "Check it out!"

Heavenly Father, you called your servant Bede, while still a child, to devote his life to your service in the disciplines of religion and scholarship: Grant that as he labored in the Spirit to bring the riches of your truth to his generation, so we, in our various vocations, may strive to make you known in all the world; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever
and ever. Amen.

Bede, or Baeda, was probably born in the year 673, the year of the Council of Hertford, the council in which the Bishops of England agreed to respect each others' diocesan boundaries and the date for Easter was settled. He was born on lands which were given to Benedict Biscop's new monastery, St. Peter's of Wearmouth. At the age of seven years, his parents placed him in the care of Abbot Benedict for his education and upbringing. The next year he was tranferred to the monastery in Jarrow, under the care of Abbot Ceolfrid, and he remained there for the rest of his life. Abbot Ceolfrid was a holy man and a a scholar, and young Bede was greatly influenced by his love of learning. Years later, Bede wrote a biography of Ceolfrid, which contains an incident which probably refers to Bede's boyhood. It tells of how, in the year 686, the plague attacked Ceolfrid's monastery, killinig all the choir monks capable of maintaining the regular services of the Church, with the exception Bede writes, of the Abbot himself and one boy reared and educated by him, who is now a priest of the same monastery and commends the Abbot's admirable doings both verbally and in writing to all who desire to learn them. Greatly distressed by this catastrophe, the Abbot decided to discontinue their usual practice, and to recite and sing all the psalms without antiphons except at Vespers and Matins. But when they had done this for a week with great sorrow and regret, he could bear it no longer and directed that the psalms and their antiphons were to be restored in their appointed course. So with the help of all survivors, he and the aforesaid boy carried his decision with no little trouble until such time as he could either train or procure from elsewhere sufficient numbers to assist at the Divine Office.

Ceolfrid's training and encouragement of the young Bede filled him with a love for the Divine Hours and the Church's services, and it was said that he believed that the angels attended all the Daily Offices and would not miss a service because "the angels would ask 'Were is Bede? Why does he not attend the appointed devotions with his brethren?'" Bede was ordained a deacon at the age of nineteen, which is really something since canon law set the normal age for ordination to the deaconate at age twenty-five. His scholarship and devotion must have been recognized as exceptional for him to be ordained so young. He was ordained a priest eleven years later, and he spent the next fifty-nine years writing commentaries on the scriptures and writing histories. He is called the Father of English History because of his classic work A History of the English Church and People which covers the years from 597 to 731, the period in which Anglo-Saxon culture developed and Christianity became the religion of the British Isles. His History is considered a prime source for historians studying early English history because of the care he took collecting information from those most likely to know, his meticulous listing of his authorities and his separation of historical fact from hearsay and tradition. His descriptions are very vivid and bring the story alive to the reader, which is another element of good historical writing in our own era, too. His biblical commentaries were highly appreciated by his contemporaries, because he would use the Vulgate Bible, old Latin texts, and the Greek texts in his studies, and would use the writings of St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Jerome, St. Ambrose, and St. Gregory combined with his own insights. He wrote some twenty-four commentaries, several histories, a book of Hymns, a book of Epigrams, a Martyrology, a book on the Art of Poetry, a book on Tropes and Figures, and a book entitled On the Nature of Things. There was no printing press, so these books were all handwritten and then copied by others, so the production of so many books is really quite amazing!

What made Bede so prolific? Why did he write so much? He was a monk, a very dedicated monk, and a scholar. Bede experienced God through the use of his mind, through study and research and contemplation and writing. He ended his History of the English Church and People with this little prayer: I prayer you, noble Jesu, that as You have graciously granted me joyfully to imbibe the words of Your knowledge, so You will also of Your bounty grant me to come at length to Yourself, the Fount of all wisdom, and to dwell in Your presence for ever.

Bede was a scholar right up to the end, dying after dictating an English-language translation of the Gospel of John. He died on May 25, the Eve of the Ascension, in the year 735. One of his scholars, Cuthbert, who later became the Abbot of Jarrow, wrote an account of Bede's death, telling how he continued to work for several days even though he was short of breath. On Tuesday before the Feast of the Ascension, he was dictating and teaching but was having a difficult time breathing. He said to his students, "Learn quickly! I do knot know how ling I can continue, for my Lord may call me in a short while." That night, instead of sleeping, he spent the night giving thanks to God. That morning he continued to dictate the last chapter of his work on John's gospel. At three o'clock that afternoon, he said to Cuthbert "I have a few valuables in my chest, some pepper, and napkins, and some incense. Run quickly and fetch the priests of our monastery, so that I may share among them these little presents God has given me." Cuthbert fetched the priests, and Bede spoke with each one and gave him a present. They were all crying, and Bede said, "If it so pleases my Maker, the time has come for me to be released from this body, and to return to the One who formed me out of nothing. I have lived a long time, and the righteous Judge has provided for me well throughout my life. The time for my departure is near, and I long to be dissolved and be with Christ. My soul longs to see Christ my King in all his beauty." Cuthbert says that Bede spent the rest of the day in gladness until the evening. Wilberht, the boy who was taking dictation, said, "Dear master, there is still one sentence that we have not yet written down." Bede said, "Then write it down quickly. " When the boy was finished, he said, "There! It is written!" Bede said, "Good! It is finished; you have spoken the truth. Hold my head in your hands. I would please me much if I could sit opposite the holy place where I used to pray, so that I may call upon my Father sitting up." Bede sat on the floor of his cell, his head held by Wilberht. He said the Gloria Patri and breathed his last. He was buried in the chapel of the monastery of Jarrow, but his remains were moved to Durham and placed in the nave of the Lady Chapel of the Galilee Cathedral, in the year 1020. He received the title "Venerable" about a hundred years after his death. There is a legend which says that the monk carving the inscription on Bede's tomb was at a loss for a word to fill out the couplet Hac sunt in fossa Bedae -blank- ossa (This grave contains the -blank- Bede's remains). That night an angel came and filled in the blank with the word Venerabilis.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Interesting Traffic Signs of Panamá

A break from the Anglican Communion Stuff

I really like the traffic signs here in Panama; some are quite different than those we have in California. Panama is the only country where I have seen any of these; we didn't see them in Costa Rica or Mexico, and I don't know if they have the same signs in Guatemala or Brasil (I'm counting on our Correspondents in Guatemala and Brasil to let us know), but I thought I'd share a few of them with you.

Click on photo if you want the really-big, super-groovy, fill-up-your-screen view. If you don't want that, FOR GOD'S SAKE, DON'T CLICK ON THE PHOTO!!

2. A closer view of this important sign
3. PROUD PEDESTRIAN XING Look at the butt on that pedestrian!
4. DON'T HIT STRANGE TROPICAL FOREST CREATURES This sign is on the road to Gamboa.
6. MILITARY-STYLE HATS ARE OKAY! If there was a red line across the circle, this would be the International Traffic Sign for NO MILITARY-STYLE HATS Actually, this is in front of the Police Station in Gamboa, and I've never seen this sign anywhere else.
7. CRASH HERE! My nephew Richie asked me about this sign on his first visit to Panama, and being the Brutally Truthful Person that I am, I told him that if one has an accident in an area with the CRASH HERE sign, no one is held responsible and one's insurance company must pay without raising one's rates. Of course, he doesn't believe anything I tell him anyway, so no trauma ensued. Actually, the sign warns one that many accidents have taken place in this area, so be careful, and, of course, no one ever is.
8. A closer view of this important and often ignored sign. I love those impact lines!

Should He Stay Or Should He Go?

Yes, I know, that's one of the worst Clash songs ever recorded, right after "Rock the Casbah", and I'm sorry that it's playing in your head now

The conversation concerning the Invitations to Lambeth continues throughout the Episcopal/Anglican Blogosphere. We'll probably be discussing the subject for a while since the dang Tea Party doesn't even take place until next year. The folks over at those Other Sites are sure that TEC is gonna get kicked out of the Anglican Communion in October and that +Duncan and the Boys from AMiA and CANA will be proclaimed the One True Expression of the Anglican Faith in the United States of America™ (these people, in their spiritual arrogance, refuse to acknowledge the Real Live Orthodox Episcopal Anglican Protestant Catholic Pentecostal Evangelical Fundamentalist Christian Church of All the Americas and Actually the Entire Globe; Yeah, that's Right, We Include the Global South, the Global North AND the Global Center, So Where Else Ya Gonna Go? also known as the RLOEAPCPEFCCAAAEGYRWIGSGNAGCSWEYGG or The True, Really, I Mean It, Church™). Since Bishop Robinson (The Bishop of New Hampshire Bishop Robinson, not the OTHER Bishop Robinson of the Fake Diocese of Recife) has been invited as a guest of +++Williams, he should go and be a star! Everybody will want to talk to him and have their photo taken with him. This will call ++Ankinola's bluff (and maybe ++Venable's, también). The Nigerian contingent may decide to stay home, and not many would really notice if El Cono Sur didn't show, but I doubt if the entire Global South-so called would stay home.

Who knows, maybe the ABC will have a change of heart and invite everyone and let the chips fall where they may! Of course, I'm not going to hold my breath.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Government By The Memory-Impaired

So, is there something in the water, is there something in the food in the Department of Justice cafeteria, exactly why do these people have such terrible problems with their memories? These people can't remember anything!! "I don't remember." "I don't recall." “Testifying is, as I’m finding out right now, a difficult thing,” said Ms. Goodling. “I’m sure there will be things that I don’t remember.”

Perhaps they need some ginko biloba supplements. Or perhaps they are possessed by demons (I believe that this would be the only Bush Administration-approved reason, as they know in their hearts that no neo-con shill would ever lie).

This is the kinda stuff which makes traveling estadoünidense claim to be Canadians.

Goodling Photo: AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Who Will Be Going To The Lambeth Tea Party?

So, the invitations to Lambeth are in the mail, and we already know that Some Folks are not invited! I'd heard rumours that +++Williams was going to invite everyone, but, as happens every now and then, the Rumour Mill was incorrect!

I'm sorry to hear that Bishop Robinson is not invited, however, according to an article in the Washington Post, the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, stated that Bishop Robinson may be invited as a "guest" of the ABC.

The Episcopal Blogosphere is a buzz and it's hard to keep up with all the talk.
Personally, I'm against the idea of a boycott; I think that everyone who was invited should appear. However, IF the HOB of TEC decides not to attend, I hope that other Churches will decline their invitations, too (I'm looking at you, IARCA! You too, IEAB! Actually, I'm giving the entire Global Center "The Look!").

I await the response of the Most Blessed Primates of the Global South, especially that of Archbishop Akinola, since the Golden Boy of CANA has not been invited. Archbishop Venables may get in a snit if The Other Bishop Robinson (as we call him here) is not invited.

Here is the list as I understand it right now:

No Need To Check The Mailbox:
The Rt. Rev. V.G. Robinson (New Hampshire);
The Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns (CANA);
The Rt. Rev. C.H. Murphy (AMiA);
The Rt. Rev. J.H. Rodgers (AMiA);
The Rt. Rev. T.R. Barnum (AMiA);
The Rt. Rev. A. M. Greene (AMiA);
The Rt. Rev. T.W. Johnston, Jr. (AMiA);

Good Chance Nothing Will Appear In Their Mailbox:
The Rt. Rev. Nolbert Kunonga (Diocese of Harare);
The Rt. Rev. Robinson Cavalcanti (fake Diocese of Recife)

Please add any other names in the comments.

UPDATE: According to this article at the Episcopal Café, The Rt. Rev. Robinson Cavalcanti (fake Diocese of Recife), known at the Dance Party as "The OTHER Bishop Robinson" must move his name from the Good Chance Nothing Will Appear In Their Mailbox: list to the No Need To Check The Mailbox: list.
Still no official word no the status of Kunonga of Harare. We'll keep ya posted!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Separated At Birth?

The Lovely Mona returned with several DVDs, stuff that didn't appear in cineplexes here or stuff that we missed, and stuff that won't show up at the local Blockbuster. Last night we watched Good Night, and Good Luck, which we enjoyed. While reveling in the heart-warming antics of Senator Joseph McCarthy, this idea popped into my head. I realize that it may have already been done. Still.... they certainly have similar attitudes.

Just Who Are You Calling Irrelevant?!?

Saturday President Jimmy Carter said "I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history." Now, most readers of the Dance Party most probably recognise this statement as "la verdad." Tomy Fratto, a deputy White House spokesperson, responded by calling Jimmy Carter ”increasingly irrelevant”. I'm thinking, how many people on this planet respect Jimmy Carter and how many respect George W. Bush and his administration? How many people on this planet care about what Jimmy Carter has to say as opposed to what George W. Bush has to say? Most people in Panama with whom I am in contact like Jimmy Carter but do not like Prez'nit Bush.

If we were to take a poll of people around the planet, whom do you think they would find increasingly irrelevant?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Photos from Last Sunday's Event

Yahoo! The DSL at home is working today!
Ms. Sadie Taylor helped me take photos at the Mother's Day Concert last week. There is one which is a great shot of the entire band from the organ at which her father, Reynaldo, is playing. Then she got arty with the angles! There is also a photo of Tania and Luis Gabriel Cole. They were moving fast so it's a little blurry.
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