BP and I got to Anaheim around 2 and were able to spend much of the afternoon with Grandmere Mimi. Before the Integrity Eucharist, we caught up with Prior Aelred, and then Margaret found us and we had a nice visit. There was a brief hello with Elizabeth Kaeton, and a photo opportunity with Susan Russell, both of whom were on their way to rehearsal. Then we found Fr Jake, in his trademark black hat (though we know he's one of the good guys). we also connected with some of our new friends from San Diego.
Before the Eucharist BP and I were able to say hello to a rushing Bp Gene Robinson, and Bp Barbara Harris and I got entangled when her coathanger caught my sweater. My, it was a crowd! They did a great job in a big hotel ballroom, with terrific music (much of it African). During a procession around the church with holy water (which Bp Robinson, who was presiding, flung with great spirit--that man has such a joyful smile!) there was a spirited African drummer. They called up several groups for particular blessing including married/partnered folks and GLBT clergy. BP, who is rather shy, didn't want to go but Terry gave her a gentle nudge so up we went. All the people so summoned linked arms warmly. The service was long, but really well done, with big red streamer-banners and candles in "hurricane lamp" holders, and varied, lovely music. Bp Barbara Harris gave the sermon--a passionate, fiery social justice sermon. If she runs for senator or president, I'm voting for her. Memorable quote:
"If you don't want GLBT folks as bishops, don't ordain them as deacons, better yet, be honest and say 'we don't want you, you don't belong here' and don't bestow on them the sacrament of baptism to begin with," said Harris to applause. "How can you initiate someone and treat them like they are half-assed baptized."More Here.
After the service we collected folks outside for the walk to the meetup site. We had a brief hello with Tobias Haller, but unfortunately he and many others had conflicts and couldn't come to the meetup proper. We also met commenter Dr Val, who was unable to come along with us but gave a hello and thanks to Fr Jake's community for the support to San Joaquin. By the time we were all assembled at the restaurant there were perhaps 25 of us; other familiar blog friends included Ann F (my co-blogger here), Paul (A), and Allie. There were also a number of people I didn't get a chance to meet. And there wasn't enough time, for sure, for all the conversations we wanted to have and hugs we wanted to trade.
I didn't take pictures, but I can give you some impressions. Fr Jake speaks in a soft voice that draws you in close, and his eyes are huge and dark. Mimi's voice is deep, and rich with the slow cadences of the gulf. Prior Aelred has a wicked sense of humor, and isn't quite as introverted as he claims, I think...! Paul (A) is very dapper. Allie has a very wry sense of humor. Margaret is really tall! and so warm. Ann was wearing one of the Integrity t-shirts, red suits her. Elizabeth swirled elegantly in a flowing scarf. Susan was obviously swamped, but vivid in a tourquoise jacket. Tobias is talkative and ruddy with energy. I'll let them tell you what I'm like. :-)
Funny comments heard:
- "I had no idea Fr Jake was an Episcopalian!"
- (from a table of "suits"): "Oh, there go those blogger people!"
- "Who is Fr Jake?"
- "I don't know who he is but if these are his friends, can I join in?"
Pictures? If you have pictures to share, or if you have requests about maintaining privacy as photos get published, please visit Friends-in-Anaheim for directions!