Monday, February 28, 2011

Rest in Peace, Richard!

My bishop, the Rt. Rev. Richard Lester Shimpfky, D.D., graduated to greater life this morning at 6:00 am. He was the bishop who accepted me into the ordination process and was so supportive during the entire ordeal process. He used to call me while we were in seminary in Berkeley just to check in. Just before my transitional diaconate had reached its fifth month, he said, "Your not doing me any good as a Deacon; let's set the date for your priesting." My ordination as a priest took place six months and one day after my deaconal ordination. When I told him I was considering coming to Panamá, he said "my job as your bishop is to support you where ever God calls you." He was very supportive of our ministry here.

I will miss him very much. Keep Jamel and the children in your prayers.

Deliver your servant, Richard, O Sovereign Lord Christ, from all
evil, and set him free from every bond; that he may rest with
all your saints in the eternal habitations; where with the
Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, one God, for
ever and ever. Amen.

Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your
servant Richard. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of
your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your
own redeeming. Receive him into the arms of your mercy,
into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the
glorious company of the saints in light. Amen.

May his soul and the souls of all the departed, through the
mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Random Top Ten

Actually, my kinda party would have a little more action and some food and drink. . .

Ya pushes "shuffle" and ya takes yer chances. . .

1. Telling Lies David Bowie
2. The Needle And The Damage Done Neil Young
3. Sheila Tommy Roe
4. Take Time To Be Holy Hendersonville Quartet
5. Ten Feet Tall XTC
6. He Can Handle It Kirk Franklin and the Family
7. 5:15 The Who
8. Ain't That So Roxy Music
9. For a Dancer Linda Ronstadt & Emmylou Harris
10. For The Love Of Money The O'Jays

Geez, nothing recorded in this century at all, and I just purchased all three Cienfue albums; you'd think one cut would show up! I dedicate the First and Tenth on the list to a Certain Political Party whose name I won't mention but their initials are the Greedy Old Party. . .

Watchoo listenin' to?

This Morning at St. Christopher's

Mr. Ansel Gold practices the steelpan while awaiting the arrival of his students.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hoy en la Parroquia San Cristóbal

Today is the Feast of St. Polycarp, and I talked about him at our Mass this morning. After the service we celebrated Mr. Albert Barrow's birthday. I feel bad because I didn't ask him how old he is, but I think it's safe to assume that he's past twenty-five.

We had TWO kindsa cake: a sweet-sweet lemon cake with beautiful icing, and pineapple upside-down cake. We also had uvas and empanadas. We knows how to eat at San Cristóbal!

Here are photos of the celebration.

Here we are singing to Mr. Barrow, and he's singing along, as usual. He usually starts the Birthday song on Sundays.

The Long-suffering Mrs. Milray Barrow, Patron Saint of Patience, according to Alberto

We have someone teaching steel-pan in the Parish Hall. Mr. Guld and I are going to get together next week with Ricky Staple and Mr. Guld's sax-playing friend to work out a couple numbers for a Sunday morning. The Lovely Mona snapped some shots of the steel-pan.

Just another Wednesday in Parque Lefevre.

Feast of Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr in Smyrna

O God, the maker of heaven and earth, you gave your venerable servant, the holy and gentle Polycarp, boldness to confess Jesus Christ as King and Savior, and steadfastness to die for his faith: Give us grace, following his example, to share the cup of Christ and rise to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Today is the feast of Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, and martyr. Smyrna was a city in Asia Minor, in the nation we now call Turkey. Born in the year 69, Polycarp was a student of John the Apostle and Evangelist, studying under him during his time in Ephesus, after his exile on Patmos. Polycarp was one of the bishops actually consecrated in the Apostolic succession since he was ordained by an Apostle. He was a well respected bishop; when Ignatius made his journey to Rome for his own martyrdom, he wrote letters to various churches along the way, and one of the letters was addressed to Polycarp. Polycarp wrote an Epistle to the Philippians which was read by many early Christian communities, although it was not included in the canon. In this epistle he reminds the Christians in Philippi of the importance of holding on to the promises of God, of the importance of keeping the faith, and that the clergy must be self-disciplined, righteous, humane, and hard working. He was very clear that clergy must not be "in love with money" and live lives of holiness as examples to the flock. He also wrote that it was important to remember that Jesus had two nature, human and divine, in opposition to the Docetists.

The account of Polycarp's martyrdom may have been written by Irenaeus of Lyons, and it is the earliest account of a martyrdom after the story of the deacon Stephen in the Acts of the Apostles. One in the year 155 or 156, a crowd was at the stadium in Smyrna watching the spectacle of several Christians being thrown to the wild beasts. The Christians stood firm and died noble deaths, but the crowd, upset by the martyrs' heroism, broke into cries of "Down with the infidels!" and "Go find Polycarp!" When the bishop learned that the crowd wanted him, he was all for staying in the city and facing the music, but members of his church took him out of town and to a hiding place in the hills. He spent his entire time there, day and night, praying for those who were being persecuted. One day while praying, he had a vision in which his pillow ignited and burned to ashes. He went down stairs and told his companions, "I seems that I will be burnt alive." They kept moving him from one farm to another with the authorities hot on their heels. Soldiers arrested two servant boys at one location, and, under torture, they told the police where Polycarp was. When the police appeared at the farm, Polycarp surrendered rather than continue on the run. He asked the police for just a little time to pray, and, seeing that he was rather elderly and not much of a threat, they agreed. He prayed so full of God's grace that two whole hours passed before he could stop praying. Several of the police began to feel some remorse for having to arrest such a saintly old man. Polycarp was brought to the Police Commissioner, who took him into his carriage and said, "Come on, what's the harm in offering some incense and saying 'Caesar is Lord?' It will save your life!" Polycarp said, "No, I won't take your advice." Many people tried to convince him to offer incense to the honor of the Emperor but he would not budge. They finally arrived at the stadium, where the crowd was waiting for the day's entertainment and all worked up. When he walked into the stadium, a voice from the heavens said "Be strong, Polycarp, and play the man." Standing in front of the crowd, the police gave him one more chance to recant, saying, "Think of your years. Swear by the luck of the Emperor, or at least say 'Down with the infidels.'" The Governor finally said, "Take an oath and I'll let you go. Revile your Christ." Polycarp said, "I've served Him for 86 years and he had done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme and deny my King and Savior?" They threatened him with wild beasts, and he said, "Bring on the animals, because I will not trade a good way of thinking for a bad one. It might be a good idea for you, however, to switch from the wrong to the right!" Like most men in power, the Police Commissioner didn't appreciate smart-aleck answers, and he hollered "I'll have you burned with fire since you think so lightly of the beasts!" Polycarp responded "The fire you threaten me with won't burn for very long; it will eventually go out, but are you unaware of the eternal flames of judgment and eternal torment that wait for the ungodly? Come on, stop wasting time, do what ever yo are going to do!" The crowd shouted, "Polycarp has admitted to being a Christian!" (Duh! Ever notice how intelligent large crowds in stadiums are?) and started gathering wood to burn Polycarp. When the pile of combustible materials was ready, Polycarp took off his tunic and sandals and stood next to the stake. They fastened his feet with irons and were about to nail him to the stake when he said, "Let me be; He who gives me strength to endure the flames will give me strength not to flinch at the stake without your making sure of it with nails." So they tied him to the stake, instead. Polycarp looked up into heaven and prayed: "Almighty God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, you are the God of angels and power and of the whole creation, and all the generations of the righteous live in your sight. I thank you for granting me this day and hour that I might be numbered amongst the martyrs, to share the cup of your Anointed and to rise into life everlasting. May I be received this day into your presence, a sacrifice rich and acceptable, for you are the God of truth and in you is no falsehood. I praise you, I glorify you, and I bless you, through our eternal high priest in heaven, your believed Son, Jesus, Christ, by whom and with whom be glory to you and the Holy spirit, now and for all ages to come. Amen." As the "amen" soared up and the prayer ended, the men lit the fire and a great sheet of flame blazed out. It enveloped Polycarp like a ship's sail and formed a wall around him, and he was in the center of the fire, like an ingot of gold being refined in the furnace. Then everyone smelled a wonderful fragrance, not the odor of burning flesh, but of fine incense. Finally, when they realized the fire would not destroy him, two tough-guys went up and stabbed him. As they did, a dove flew out of the fire and there was such a rush of blood that the flames were extinguished! And with that, the great Bishop of Smyrna, Polycarp, student of the Beloved Disciple, went to his reward, to a robe of white, standing with a palm branch in front of the throne of the Lamb, saying "Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb."

Tertullian said, "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church." The witness of brave Christians like Polycarp has been an example to Christians for centuries. When I read of Christians in the U.S. claim that they are being persecuted because their children can't pray around a flag pole at school, or those in TEC who claim persecution because gay and lesbian Christians are being ordained, I think of someone like Polycarp, someone who knew real persecution, someone who stood up to the authorities, someone who braved the wild beasts and burning at the stake, and I think, "aren't we blessed that we don't know real persecution?" May Polycarp's witness be a model for us all.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Mezcla rock from Panamá

somos terroristas
nos pusieron en la lista
por tercermundistas
en un mundo capitalista...

somos terroristas
matennos si nos avistan
por ser pacifistas
peligrosos idealistas...

somos terroristas...

somos terroristas
nos pusieron en la lista
por tercermundistas
por no ser materialistas...

sueño americano
se ha vuelto una pesadilla,
estado de ganado
y hamburguesas de franquicia...

somos terroristas...

©cienfue 2009

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Random Top Ten

Chicken for dinner, everbuddy! I luvs dat cleaver; GIBITAME!!!

Ya pushes "shuffle" and ya takes yer chances. . .

1. Strange Little Girl The Stranglers
2. Truth Doesn't Make A Noise The White Stripes
3. Lights Go Down Madder Rose
4. Hero Worship The B-52's
5. O Tu Suavissima Virga (Responsorium) [Hildegard von Bingen]Sequentia
6. Sueña Guitarra Los Plumas Negras
7. Chance Meeting Roxy Music
8. Embryonic Journey Jefferson Airplane
9. No Reservations Hüsker Dü
10. Oh What A Change Took Place In My Heart Megginson Female Quartette

Welcome to another episode of Some Old Guy's iTunes Collection. Only two pieces from this century; I'll let you guess which ones. Too bad I can't get a YouTube video of the Megginson Female Quartette; it's one heckofa song.

Everbuddy needsta listen to Los Plumas Negras every now and then, so I'll post this. It is a very boring video, absolutely no action, but the song is cool.

Watchoo listenin' to?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Today's Super Fun-time!

So, when I got home today I saw THIS going on!

What was the source of all this arboral distruction? A Big Honkin' Storm of Doom?

No, just some guy with a machete

This just in: Papayas are getting bigger!!

Miss Bebé, The World's Most Beautiful Granchile™ Blogging

Hello Kitty Dress!

Monday, February 14, 2011

How I Spent The Past Four Days

I've spent the past four days participating in the 91st Diocesan Convention of la Iglesia Episcopal de Panamá. We started things early Thursday morning with the opening Eucharist of the Annual Meeting of las Damas Episcopales, or The Episcopal Church Women. I attended part of the meeting, and they put on a drama a about planting and harvesting. Children and adults decorated a tree with leaves and fruit. The youth also had their Annual Meeting, too, but the photos aren't interesting; just beautiful young people sitting in a room. The Eucharist was held at St. Luke's Cathedral and the meeting was held at the Bishop Gooden Center at the Diocesan office.

Friday was the day for Workshops. Workshops were held at Instituto Episcopal San Cristóbal, which was great for me as I could go back and forth from the school to the church to do All The Things I Must Do. I'm part of a team which is responsible for all music and worship during the Convention, and I would play guitar and lead singing and hand out materials for the Daily Offices. The Workshops were on Evangelism; Using Modern Technology to spread the Word; and "Marketing" the Church. All the meals took place in our new Parish Hall at San Cristóbal. The Food Committee did an excellent job!

Saturday was the Day of Business. Not terribly exciting but we have a few photos. It took place in the newly-remodled Bishop Clarence Hayes Gymnatorium. It was a long meeting; didn't end until 7:00 pm!

Sunday was the Closing Eucharist at the Cathedral of St. Luke. The Very Reverend Maizee Lennan and I worked long and hard on the music and liturgy, and everything came out quite nicely! We had a choir consisting of members of the churches of Panamá Metro (our region or deanery) and Profesors Abdiel Goddard and Eric Gonzáles as musicians. Bishop Murray introduced our new postulants for Holy Orders: Walter Smith, Eric Gonzáles, Carlos Austin, Jr., Gladys Rodríguez, Camilo Gill, and Christian Gonzáles. Dr. Headly Lennan, husband of Dean Lennan, was honored for all the work he does in the Diocese. The Board of Directors of the Hoga de Ninas de Capital were also honored for their work.

As is usually the case with these Diocesan functions, the service was really long, about 3.5 hours! But, this being Panamá, there was plenty empanadas, pollo, and cake waiting for us after the service.

Here are photos:

Thursday, ECW Annual Meeting

UTO Ingathering

ECW Meeting

The Women of St. Christopher's in the next three photos

Friday, Talleres Workshops

Saturday, Business Meeting

Sunday, Closing Eucharist

New Postulants: Christian and Camilo

Eric, Walter, and Carlos

Birthday and Travel Blessings

Dr. Headly Lennan and The Very Reverend Maizee Lennan

Board of Directors of the Hogar de Niñas

I See You!

Sign by Danasoft - Get Your Free Sign