Friday, June 26, 2009


Alright folks, I'm off. Today begins my mission trip experience with St. Mark's in the Navajoland. They land at 12:30 in Albuquerque and we go from there.

And farewell to my sister, brother-in-law, and parents. Have a great time in the Bahamas!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

who are you praying to?

On November 13, 1969, one hundred and seventy eight Episcopalians and Catholics held a "Mass for Peace" in the public concourse of the Pentagon. The service progressed as far as the sermon when guards arrested the entire congregation (including the wife of a Senator) and clergy for making a "loud and unusual noise."

But what I find incredibly interesting is the aftermath; the interviews and articles given by the clergy who were arrested. Bishop Corrigan, acting dean of Bexley Hall seminary said that “We went to prayer where we could be heard. There was no sense of going off into a corner."

Who did they want to hear these prayers? Man, not God. In fact, I believe this is part of the sickness in the Church today. Are we to be a spineless, godless group of people fighting for our own ideologies in the name of religion?

Matthew 6:5-6

‘And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

fruits of my labors

It's kind of funny reading about the social reaction to the Vietnam War while also hearing daily talk about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And strangely enough, both sides of the debate are using the same rhetoric they used during Vietnam.

On one side, people say that the war is for "protection of American values and freedom" and that we must fight "for democracy's sake" (these are caricatures, of course).

On the other side, people say that the wars are "immoral and unjust" and that the government is meddling in the affairs of far-flung and war weary places (caricatures again).

So what's the deal? Are we still having the same arguments? When is somebody going to come up with a new perspective?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I was on NPR!!!

No joke, a reporter from NPR interviewed me today at the Archives. And yeah, for reals, you can hear my voice on All Things Considered.

Who said that doing research was boring?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I don't make this stuff up

Last night Maggie and I attended a very nice wedding on a winery in Stonewall, Texas. Some of our old college friends were also in attendance. And, as we were on a winery, the "fruit of the vine" was in great abundance.

One of our college friends asked me, "Jimmy, are you allowed to drink?"

I suspected that she had religion on her mind, but then again, I am a diabetic and sometimes people ask me about alcohol and diabetes. So I asked a clarifying question, "What do you mean?"

"Since you are a seminarian, can you drink?"

Oh the Bible Belt. How funny you are. I responded, "Of course we can drink. In fact, the seminary often buys us alcohol. And when it's a nice night like tonight, who wouldn't want to sit back with some friends and drink some beers?"

I wish I could describe the look on her face. Like I said, I don't make this stuff up. I think the best part about it was that we were at a wedding, the same event where Jesus himself turned water into wine.