Sunday, 19 August 2001
I have not written in a long time, and part of that is intentional. These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of doctors appointments, telephone and e-mail conversations with people at General Theological Seminary, my Bishop, and family about what is going to happen with me and seminary. Today, I'm bummed out! I should be in NYC at this very moment!

Okay, I saw the bone specialist last Tuesday and he was quite confident that the spot on my Femur is not cancer! While he isn't positive at this point, he said it just doesn't look like cancer. That is a relief, but it's not over quite yet, so I just have to wait for confirmation. I have an appointment for a MRI on Monday the 27th and then a follow-up appointment with the bone specialist to go over the results. The follow-up will be sometime in September. Which means the prospect of me starting school this term is out. I am far more disappointed then I ever thought I will be. He also mentioned that he wants to do follow-up MRI's in three and six months.

Yesterday, Vince, David, Larry, and I went to Pittsburgh for the day. Hum, let's see, Pittsburgh or New York City, which would you chose? I appreciate the guys caming up with the idea of getting out of town for the day. As I lamented and kept track of where we would have been in my adventures in moving all day yesterday, David said he was frankly glad we didn't have a 8 hour drive to NYC and the prospect of unloading everything. That sounded fine, until we got to be around 7:00 or 8:00 pm and I knew all the moving would have been over and we would have been showering and going out for something to eat -- in NYC! :-( I would be there right now! Waking up in a new city -- in THE city. Despite all the above (which is a temporary feeling, I know), I am okay with not starting this term. I just don't want the upcoming year to be a waste and nothing more then a postponement of my eventual life.

I feel funny going back to work. I will tell my Dean tomorrow that I will not be leaving this year. I am very fortunate to work with the people I do -- ones who put a great deal of importance on our individual beings rather then on agendas or expediency. God has been good! I'm telling the few people who know at this point that I'm going to be a real SOB this year so everyone will hate me and leaving next year will be a whole lot easier! Like that is really going to happen.

A good aspect of leaving, or thinking I might leave, is getting invited over to friends' homes for good-bye dinners! Chris and Mark had me over a week ago last Friday. Mark is a caterer/cook. Oh my gosh, can Mark cook. It was wonderful -- the food, the atmosphere, the conversation -- everything was great. We started at 7:30 and I was walking home at 12:15. Amy and Karen also had me over on Monday. I finally got to see their new house! There is nothing like good conversation, and Amy, Karen, and I had a great one. A lot of things came out that must have been roaming around in my brain for some time. Trying to convey to Amy, and Karen especially, that I am at peace with this whole thing revealed a lot of stuff. We talked a lot about the idea of 'being' rather then 'doing.' Our society certainly emphasizes the doing! I think God emphasizes the being! We have a lot to learn. The verses in Philippians that I've always liked but didn't know quite how to implement, I am experiencing -- and it is nothing I am doing other then saying to God that I am open and willing for anything to happen. Here it is: Philippians 4:6-7: "Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." I think a lot more people are worried about me then I am of myself. I am honestly ready for anything -- not denying the fact that some things may be horrendous! I would certainly miss Amy!

I would be in NYC right now! Ugghhhh.......

Finally, an interesting thing happened last Sunday at church. I told Jim Bebe, the Associate Rector, that I'm not leaving this year. As a few moments of conversation passed, Jim mentioned his dissertation proposal -- a post-modern Holy Order. I got chills. I have been thinking of something like this in one form or another since the mid-eighties. I wouldn't have termed it that why then, but over the last few years I have been thinking more and more about the prospects of a new kind of 'monastic' order that focuses on technology and its impact on society and the Church, especially as those changes relate to young people. We have gotten together twice the past week or so. While Jim's ideas for implementation and purpose are a bit different then mine, he has some very keen insight into what shape a new Holy Order would take -- similar to the Third Order Franciscans model. So, I got together with my friend Andy and mentioned to him this idea I have and the conversations I've had with Jim. Andy, a very smart and funny guy who has had formal theological schooling and now works with the Internet with the UCC here in Cleveland. Andy actually came close to becoming a Cowley Brother (an order of monastics within the Episcopal Church). Needless to say, he was quite taken by the idea. I don't know where this might lead, but frankly I'm quite excited about the whole thing!

Right now, there are three areas of work/ministry I've thought a great deal about for a monastic community. The first is Service to the Church in making ourselves available to assist the Church in anyway needed regarding technology. A local parish needs to learn how to use a computer system. A local parish needs a website developed and hosted. A service organization needs to have a network installed and someone trained to manage it. A Diocese needs to have a database created to manage its fill-in-the-blank. Those type of things -- very practical. The second is Service to the Community by providing education and experience to those on the wrong side of the digital divide. Young people who attend schools that don't have the money to provide state-of-the-art computing equipment need to have the opportunity to learn technology so that they don't fall even further behind the rest of society, thus putting their own future in even further jeopardy. Likewise, underprivileged adults who have never had the opportunity to learn how to use and work with technology would be a focus for training. We would provide equipment and structured educational and tutoring situations for people. Finally, we would provide reasoned assessment of new technologies and their effect on society -- academic work on how the technologies might effect learning, concepts of reality, emotional, spiritual, and cognative development, our environments, etc. This information we would provide to the Church so that we might be better apt to understand where society is at any given time and how best the Church can incorporate new technology and change to meet the needs of people, especially young people. The Church has always been very far behind the curve, and we don't need to be! So, those are just some thoughts I've had on the work of a new Holy Order/Monastic community. Of course, the whole concept of 'monastic' can be different. The ancients traditions of monasticism can be updated and adapted to our current situations.

That's it for now.... Did anyone read this far??? lol

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