The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream

NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Bad News for Mark Jeske -
IRS Does Not Allow a Non-Profit To Be a Den of Thieves
Endless Conflicts of Interest: SynCons Are Thrivent's "Kept Women"

Mark Jeske's deluxe home is not a parsonage.



WND EXCLUSIVE

ENQUIRER: JOEL OSTEEN CAUGHT IN FINANCIAL SCANDAL

Megapastor 'leveraging the church as a money-making vehicle'


Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/12/enquirer-joel-osteen-caught-in-financial-scandal/#bKT9xYAzxvzD7gCs.99

America’s most popular supermarket tabloid claims famous televangelist Joel Osteen “is caught up in a financial scandal,” using his Houston megachurch to sell his books.
The National Enquirer alleges that New York attorney Richard Garbarini – who previously helped two musicians in a lawsuit against Osteen and his Lakewood Church accusing the church of unauthorized use of a song – is charging that Osteen uses his Houston-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit to hawk his bestsellers.

No conflict of interest here -
WELS-ELS-LCMS offer their premises and periodicals to promote one business - Thrivent.
In return, LCMS alone gets 50 to 60 million dollars a year. Source: Matt Harrison.
Jeske is on the Thrivent board.
“He’s leveraging the church as a money-making vehicle! The church pays (to air) his sermons, which are just de facto infomercials to promote his books,” Garbarini purportedly told the Enquirer. “The Lakewood Church is a shell to funnel people to his website so he can sell his books.”
WND called Lakewood Church three times to ask for comment on the allegations, and each time the person answering offered to connect WND to a spokesperson but disconnected the phone call. The woman answering refused to provide any other contact information.

Time of Grace - book and non-profit program. 
The Lakewood Church website sells several of Osteen’s books, including his latest hot seller, “You Can, You Will.” The product listings do not indicate whether the proceeds of the sales go to the church or to Osteen himself. In 2005, Texas Monthly reported that Osteen contributed “a substantial portion of his earnings” from one of his books to the church.
The following is a screenshot of the Lakewood Church website:

Lakewood Church sells Joel Osteen’s books but does not indicate whether the proceeds go to Osteen or the church
The Internal Revenue Service states, “To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual.”
The Enquirer said, “Osteen’s rep called Garbarini’s allegations ‘false and baseless,’ adding: ‘For more than 50 years Lakewood Church has adhered to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.’”
The tabloid magazine also quotes Daniel Borochoff, head of the nonprofit watchdog Charity Watch, who argued that Garbarini may be right to be concerned.
“A non-profit needs to be acting in the public interest and not in the private personal business interests of Joel Osteen,” he explained. “The church should benefit from the royalties of these books when they are shouldering at least some of the cost of promoting them. If it isn’t getting something back, it oughta be. It’s too much a promotional vehicle for him.”
People Magazine reported that Osteen stopped taking his $200,000 salary from the church in 2005. His net worth is estimated at $40 million, and he reportedly lives in a 17,000 square-foot Houston mansion valued at $10.5 million. The home has six bedrooms, six bathrooms, three elevators, five fireplaces, a guest house and pool house.
Osteen home
Osteen home
The New York Times reported Lakewood Church – former home of the Houston Rockets – features a 16,000-seat arena, three enormous television screens, two waterfalls, enough carpeting to cover nine football fields, a cafĂ© with wireless Internet access, 32 video game kiosks and a vault to hold the church offering. In March of this year, burglars reportedly stole at least $600,000 from the church safe, which was a portion of the donation from just one weekend of services.
Lakewood Church
Lakewood Church
According to the National Enquirer, former Illinois deputy attorney general Floyd Perkins said Osteen isn’t violating any laws.
“Typically the person who runs the church writes the rules,” he said. “My experience is that many people who participate have no idea there are no rules at all. It really becomes an ethical question rather than a legal one.”
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Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/12/enquirer-joel-osteen-caught-in-financial-scandal/#bKT9xYAzxvzD7gCs.99


Mark Jeske cries out - "But I am fifth generation WELS."

Mutatis mutandis - WELS, LCMS, ELS, CLC
Following the Same Plunge into Nothingness -
Aping ELCA and the Failed Church Growth Churches

The frozen chosen -
having danced with the Spirit of this Age,
bound to be a widow in the Age to Come.
Mutatis mutandis is (literally) Latin for “with those things having been changed which need to be changed.” However, it is more often translated or understood to mean “the necessary changes having been made”. It essentially indicates that new terms have been substituted or that the reader should note any differences from the original and take them into consideration.

Has the Church of England Finally Kicked the Bucket?
COMMENTARY
By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
December 17, 2014

http://www.virtueonline.org/has-church-england-finally-kicked-bucket

"Is the Church of England busted flush," writes an Anglican priest.
"Of course the Church of England is busted flush and it has been so for decades: from the 1960s when it gave up believing the New Testament, the Resurrection, the Virgin Birth and Our Lord's miracles; through the 1970s and 1980s when it replaced the matchless liturgy of the English Church with trash and doggerel," writes the Rev. Dr. Peter Mullen.

Continuing into the 21st century and Archbishop Rowan Williams' last sermon before he retired wherein he stated, "The Church has a lot of catching up to do with secular mores."

Whatever happened to 'Be ye not conformed to this world...' as St. Paul urges. But of course the Apostle would be deemed homophobic by today's theological and ecclesiastical standards, deemed also hate-filled and more.
According to Mullen's First Law of Ecclesiastical Polity, which states that every succeeding Archbishop of Canterbury is bound to be worse than his predecessor, Justin "Oil" Welby has cancelled the 2018 Lambeth Conference of all the bishops from the Anglican Church worldwide.

Why?

"Because he can't face the prospect of all those wonderful, faithful, orthodox, devout and true bishops from Africa coming to London and telling him that he's got it all wrong about homosexuality and women in the episcopate."
So what will happen?

VOL believes that the Church of England is following the same disastrous trajectory as The Episcopal Church, which having brokered women and sodomy into the Church in all its forms, is now, as a result, shrinking. It will vanish within a generation.

TEC is now little more than a progressive version of a Country Club with a creed held together by a bunch of mainly upwardly mobile rich and very rich folk who keep it afloat by endowing buildings and kneelers unto the next and possibly last generation.

Witness the latest manifestation of its own decline by a group picked to tell us all about where TEC is now and where it might be going. It's an admission of failure but couched in episcobabble.

Members of a Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church (TREC) recently presented a 73-page report, which says that the Church's structures and governance processes have not yet responded to the profound changes occurring across the country and around the world.

INTERPRETATION. We are out of touch with the country and world (and reality), but didn't mention the fact that they are also out of touch with "the faith once for all delivered to the saints." That never arose. No mention of sin and salvation, no mention of Scripture's authority. Nope, none of the above.

Then they made the shocking revelation that a shrinking church no longer requires two bodies to govern it; just one. The HOB and the HOD would become one voice. The fancy word is unicameral.

Then it fessed up that vast numbers of parishes are no longer financially self-sufficient with many disconnected from neighbors housed in expensive buildings. They also confessed that ordinands leaving seminary cannot find fulltime stipended parishes and face a mountain of debt. A church salary will not be enough to pay back loans or to live on, especially if the priest has a wife and a couple of kids.

Then came the Great Admission -- the inclusive church has failed to address what it calls "pressing issues." Really. The high and mighty church of inclusivity, diversity, and sodomy hasn't been able to attract new members! All the hoped for hype about gays mincing and dancing into Episcopal churches has not materialized. Oh, Crew (or is that Clay), wherefore art thou? What hath gone wrong? Speak up. Tell us please what hath sodomy wrought or done to fill empty pews! Oh Gene, Oh Otis, Oh Frank, tell us please.

And the Church of England wants to follow in the footsteps of TEC! What fools! Women priests and women bishops have not led a soul to Christ in TEC and won't in the C of E, either.

Meantime TEC and the Archbishop of Canterbury want to tell the rest of the Anglican Communion how to behave, how to be nicer to gays, and to include them in everything because the culture demands it.

Accommodating to the world is precisely what we as Christians are told not to do,.."Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will." -- Romans 12:2 (NIV)

What, if anything, about the Episcopal Church pleases God and does His will? Not much, if anything.
The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) is now the new reality with over 100,000 members.
As Mullen observes of the CofE...it has now become a shameful, politically-correct, utterly secularized, completely compromised hypocritical, PC soft left, time-serving, contemptible shambles.

The sad truth is he only had to look across the Atlantic 20 years ago to see it coming. It's been staring the CofE in the face all that time. The Episcopal Church -- and now the C. of E. - are frankly apostate -- and proud of it.
END


Funny, Harmless, and Odd Additions to the Soil - From Nope to No Way!
Old Wives' Tales versus Creation Gardening



The people who make and market Epsom Salt have a long list of gardening applications for this highly attractive compound. It is pure white and melts instantly into water. Martha Stewart made a tape on scratching it into the soil (!) - a bit like scratching soap into your skin for a shower. If the soil is "old" it may need a little Epsom, but probably not. The problem is how the individual elements move into the roots rather than moving on down into the water table.

Epsom Salt makes a great foot soak and serves as the base for almost all bath salts (the legal kind). The myth assumes that inorganic compounds are going to add to the soil rather than pass through.



Adding salt to an asparagus bed is an old custom that fills many with wonder. They wonder why. Here are some posts on the topic of salt and asparagus. Salt will kill weeds and may be much better than Round Up for sidewalk cracks harboring weeds, but it is not good for the soil or any creature in the soil.

Pre-emergents (Preem) are a fancy version of salt. When I heard one gardener say he started with Preem, I wondered about the toxicity of his soil. Any pre-emergent will kill germinating seeds, so it is inherently anti-life.

Other dubious weed efforts include vinegar, Dawn detergent, and torching. Vinegar is the least dangerous but probably quite temporary, adding a wee bit of acid. Dawn detergent?! I prefer nuclear detonations to Dawn, which can only serve as an indiscriminate killer. Torching has the advantage of being limited in damage - unless dry plants cause a rapidly spreading fire.

All these are hysterical reactions to weeds. Understand them. Love them. Take one to lunch. When I see goosefoot, I eat the leaves rather than reaching for RoundUp.

Crab grass was brought over to America as a grain crop, so either mulch on top of it or let it grow for the seed-eating birds. Regular mowing will diminish crab grass in the lawn to almost nothing. Killing a big crab grass plant with some kind of poison will leave a big dead zone in the lawn.

Dandelions are herbs, not weeds. Your attitude makes them weeds. They are also diminished by regular mowing. They make a nutritious salad unless you use RoundUp as a dressing.




How many people have solemnly advised me to put egg shells in the soil to build up the calcium? When I objected that they did not break down, each person said, "But I was told it was good for the soil! Why not?" That was long before "I read it somewhere on the Internet."

The assumption is that calcium is good for plants so why not add a calcium source? Why not bones, I wonder?

The answer is too easy - earthworms manufacture usable calcium with their unique calciferous glands.

A shocking number of gardening books in print are full of bosh and baloney. All of the errors center on a misunderstanding of plants growing in soil. The key to plant health is soil health, the complex dependencies of microscopic life. If the soil is teeming with life, all the elements needed by the plants will pass between the soil creatures in a vast swap meet where the benefits add up when the gardener follows the precepts of Creation.

This swap meet depends on movement from earthworms and other taxis of the soil--and strangely--the roots offering carbon to the fungi in exchange for the nutrients and water needed for the plant. This exchange is more complicated than a Walmart Supercenter at rush hour, and continues at full speed without human management, thanks to divine design.

Our helper understands this. He came over to rake a huge pile  of leaves around the dead tree, expanding the mulched area. I had a new pile of newspapers and they needed some leaves to hold them down. He looked at our Three Sisters Garden (corn, beans, pumpkins) and said, "I can imagine all the life beneath that mulch we put down." [GJ - Note the advice in the Three Sisters link. "Turn the compost"! Ha - the soil creatures do that...no extra charge.]

That is all we needed to do, add leaves, wood mulch, and newspapers - not dump calcium or any other chemical on the soil. True, the soil will establish its balance in time, but why challenge Creation to overcome our foolishness?

Dubious uses for used coffee grounds.
The list I found for coffee grounds was full of untested claims, reminding me of Mrs. Ichabod's enthusiastic attempt to use salad dressing as a furniture polish on the kitchen cabinets. They were shiny, but the entire kitchen smelled like a giant salad. That was long ago, so maybe I can bring it up again - just for fun.

Stories like that are useful: counter-battery, as the Army would say. Knock out the shellfire before it has much effect. One memory cancels out the other.

I love the smell of coffee. I used to open the coffee barrel in the bakery basement to inhale the aroma of the Yuban and Maxwell House coffee stored there. I can picture coffee grounds being used to absorb odor. I put my used grounds in the compost, with the old tea bags, simply because non-food organic matter is going to feed the compost creatures, adding moisture and various elements they can break down.

Coffee is not likely to have any long-lasting magical  effects on the soil, but any organic amendment will help in time. Doubtless my neighbors wonder about my regular visits to the compost pile, but the dividends will be evident this summer - when sweet corn fanciers will show up faster than distant relatives after a big lottery win.

One does not simply grow Silver Queen corn.

Gardening has two great rewards. One is the constant production of roses, which is so easy to accomplish only a few enjoy its benefits. The rest are spraying, digging, weeding, and planning to turn the rose bed into an outdoor barbecue.

The other great reward is sweet corn, which retains its sweetness for a short time before turning to starch. Anyone who has eaten old corn on the cob knows the sensation - eating library paste instead of that heavenly combination of solar energy and soil wealth.

Sweet corn is a heavy feeder. The impatient want fast sweet corn, and those varieties are available.There is nothing like Silver Queen, long-growing, tender, white, and sweet. Sweet corn fans have joined me in praising Silver Queen.

Sweet corn is not hard to grow, but its characteristics need to be honored. Few plants demand so much sun, so much water, and so much soil nutrition. Sweet corn is the ultimate heavy feeder, used in experiments by Dow  Chemical to deplete nitrogen from the soil. Sweet corn is also one of the best solar energy converters, its efficiency exceeded by sunflowers.

My ingredients for the Silver Queen Three Sisters Garden are:

  • Jackson Mulch, prepared months in advance and kept in place for the garden.
  • Additional mulch - compost built over the last two years.
  • Pumpkins growing in the rows to deter varmints of all varieties, human and animal.
  • Pole beans growing up the stalks to promote nitrogen in the soil.
  • Clay soil.
  • Uncle Jim's red wigglers.


Should the Hit-and-Run Bishop Do the Time for the Crime?
Virtue Online



MARYLAND: Suffragan Bishop Cook Should Do Time for Her Crime. Bishop Sutton Should Resign
COMMENTARY
By David W. Virtue DD
www.virtueonline.org
December 30, 2014

http://www.virtueonline.org/maryland-suffragan-bishop-cook-should-do-time-her-crime-bishop-sutton-should-resign

It was Saturday, 2:37pm when officers were called to the 5700 block of Roland Avenue for a report of a car accident. When police arrived, avid cyclist, Thomas Palermo, 41, was lying on the side of the road still alive and barely breathing. He was immediately rushed to Sinai Hospital where he later died from his injuries. He leaves behind a wife and two young children.
The motorist, meanwhile, had fled the scene and returned only after she was reportedly chased down by other cyclists. Police described the driver as a 58-year-old woman who had been heading south on Roland Avenue. They said the decision about whether to charge her would be made after consulting with the city state's attorney's office.
The person responsible for this reprehensible act was none other than Maryland Suffragan Bishop Heather Cook. According to newspaper reports, she fled the scene and was chased by a number of cyclists forcing her to return to the scene of her crime. Was she drunk? Police reports do not say.

Moncure Lyon and other bystanders had stopped to help the badly injured cyclist when the Subaru with heavy windshield damage drove by. Lyon wondered: Was this the car that had hit Thomas Palermo and left the scene?
Lyon jumped on his bike and pedaled in pursuit. When he caught up with the car at a stoplight, "I knew it had to be the car," he said. "The extent of the windshield damage was considerable -- it was pushed in, and there was a hole."
He asked the driver if she was OK.

"She said 'Yes,' and before I could see anything, she pulled ahead," Lyon said.

Lyon said the car turned into the gated Elkridge Estates. He said a security guard allowed the vehicle to enter but stopped Lyon.

This is not Bishop Cook's first run-in with Maryland law enforcement. In 2010 she racked up an impressive list of infractions: Police said Heather Elizabeth Cook, 53, of Cabin Creek Road, was charged with marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession, driving while under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving, negligent driving and other traffic offenses. Police refuse to release report on accident, saying it could jeopardize their investigation. However the car in the crash has same vehicle tag number that was recorded in her 2010 DUI arrest.

Police said Cook's car was stopped on state Route 318, near Greenfield Court, where deputies found that the front passenger tire of her car had shredded and fallen off the rim.

Cook performed poorly on field sobriety tests, according to police. Her blood alcohol level registered at .27, more than three times the legal limit in Maryland.

According to Baltimore Police spokesman Det.Jeremy Silbert, a bottle of wine and a bottle of whiskey were found in her car. The whiskey bottle was nearly empty. They also recovered a metal smoking device. The woman was clearly well over the limit.

Maryland Bishop Eugene Sutton has stated that Bishop Cook "did leave the scene initially, but returned after about 20 minutes to take responsibility for her actions." The truth is she only returned when she was reportedly chased down by other cyclists. Leaving aside competing claims from various commenters that Bishop Cook waited 45 minutes, not 20, before returning, and that she was tracked down by cyclists who followed her car, it would appear that Cook left Palermo, who was alive after the impact, to die on the side of the road. Some bishop.

Sutton said that because of the nature of the accident, which could result in criminal charges, he placed Bishop Cook on administrative leave, effective immediately. "I will meet shortly with the Standing Committee to discuss ways we can move forward. Also, I have decided to delay the beginning of my sabbatical to Jan. 24 to be pastorally present in this difficult time."
One hopes that the wife of Mr. Palermo sues the diocese, including Sutton, for everything it has. One canon lawyer told VOL that lawyers could go after Sutton for "failure to supervise" and get big bucks from the diocese.
She is not the first drunken, besotted bishop, of course. During his reign as Bishop of New Hampshire, sodomite Bishop Gene Robinson checked himself into rehab, declaring he was one. Carolyn Tanner Irish Bishop of Utah, was another divorcee and alcoholic. There have been others who have concealed their alcoholism. I briefly worked for the Bishop of Virginia, Robert Bruce Hall, a raging alcoholic who could barely get through a Eucharist service before hitting the bottle. None of them got caught in a hit and run accident as this woman did.

Cook also disclosed that she was being supported in her vocation by her "steady companion, Mark" whom she described as a "passionate Anglican." She said they reconnected after having dated in their twenties but found each other again two years ago. It has been a great blessing, she said. The question is, is she living with him without benefit of marriage in which case would this not constitute sexual sin? The old word is fornication. Did Bishop Sutton know this? Was the Standing Committee informed of her living arrangements? Has she ever denied that she is living with a man who is not her husband?
One piece of good news is that if Sutton ever entertained any hopes he might be the next Presiding Bishop, Cook has taken care of that. It will probably go to Bishop Michael B. Curry of North Carolina, a better choice for PB anyway, presuming that a black man can be Presiding Bishop in the current political climate.

At a deeper level, one has to ask how and why Episcopalians elect bishops from the bottom of the ecclesiastical barrel. Part of it, of course, is political correctness. The laity have been so dumbed down from the pulpit and made to feel their guilt as middle class white folk, that they elect blacks, gays and lesbians, married, divorced or whatever, in the name of a false compassion and a false inclusion. (They elected Jefferts Schori, who revealed she had had minimal theological education, but she did have a Ph.D. in science and was a woman). Whoever said they were the right qualifications? She has since proven that her theological credentials mean nothing with pronouncements about the resurrection and Jesus that are less than orthodox.

Episcopalians have been led down the primrose path of inclusivity and diversity (the Bible be damned) and told to feel the pain of men and women who might otherwise get jobs as subway ticket punchers on the NYC metro, providing, of course, that a machine had not already replaced them.

Recent elections in Central Florida, Pittsburgh and Southwestern Virginia resulted in above average choices, but barely. They were straight white males with better than average theological educations, married to women and presumably don't drink and drive.

Heather Cook should be thrown under the bus...for her own good. No second chances this time. No high-priced lawyers using political correctness and her "role" as a bishop to get a lesser sentence. She needs to do time for killing another human being. The diocese should cough up millions to Palermo's kids to cover their education and a future without a father.
Sutton should step down as an incompetent bishop for not knowing about her past. We now must wonder who else is "in the closet" among his priests that could further embarrass the diocese and The Episcopal Church.
CORRECTION: VOL has since learned that Cook did disclose her past drinking and driving violations.. Here is my correction. Citing the Christian value of forgiveness, officials of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland said that Bishop Heather Cook disclosed her 2010 drunk driving and marijuana arrest, but that they decided it should not disqualify her from consideration to serve as bishop. REALLY. Of all the available options for bishop in TEC they pick a totally unqualified, overweight, single woman, with a boyfriend and a history of serious drinking as Suffragan Bishop of a prestigious diocese who wouldn’t know Jesus if she fell over him drunk. The Standing Committee could have done better had they picked ten random priests faces and stuck them on a dart board!

Abundant Food Brings All the Birds Together in the Winter

The nuthatch is purpose-built to harvest bugs in the bark.
The upside-down bird has an advantage in feeding,
as the Creator shows us all winter.
A cold spell has arrived again in Arkansas. Last winter was snowy and icy - school was canceled more than once.

The birds had suet for food for some time, and sunflower seed in the bird feeder near the window. The squirrel feeder on the tree meant corn was scattered on the ground, and that attracts the ground feeding birds. I decided to dump out the corn ears left in the bag and spread some cracked corn around.

Our yard turned into a convention for birds. We had flock of mourning doves feeding, then a flock of starlings, plus cardinals together on the ground, enjoying corn. I was happy to see a chickadee flit over to the sunflower seeds as I watched out the window. He grabbed a seed and left. In time the birds will adjust to a birdwatcher a few inches from them as they drop by the feeder.

I simply use a plastic dish or ten.


With the window open, their chirping by the feeder comes into the room with the fresh air. In Phoenix we often had birds in the house as well. I was in and out of the house, enjoying the backyard and the pool, and the dogs followed. Invariably the door was open for a time, and cross-bills came inside. They were not happy, and Mrs. Ichabod was even less happy. I had to herd birds outside again, which was not that difficult.

Birds stay away from new feeders, because they do not trust anything new and strange. They become used to feeding in certain areas, and return there in hope. When birds are fed all winter, they return to the same places for bugs, worms, and seeds during the spring and summer. Bushes and trees provide nesting areas, and they look for sources of water for bathing and preening as well.

Winter feeding favors spring nesting.

If we had consistent weather below freezing I would run a bird-bath warmer - don't laugh - so they could bathe and preen in the coldest weather. If the smirking readers could see birds lined up for a winter bath, taking turns, they would be the first to buy a unit in the frozen north. I set that up in Midland, Michigan, and it was fun to watch. I put a gallon of fresh water in the bath each day. The colder the weather, the more the birds wanted to bathe.




Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Day-Lily in the Garage

http://www.dutchgardens.com -
Stella D'Oro Daylily

Dutch Gardens is my favorite catalog for fall bulbs, aka hardy bulbs. Those are the bulbs that need cold to complete their blooming cycle: tulip, daffodil, etc.

DG gave me a plant I forgot to dig in with the fall bulbs. I found it in the garage, and it looked good, so I planted it yesterday. Stella D'Oro is a popular yellow day lily, a category sold with tender (spring planted) bulbs.

It gets confusing. Tender bulbs need to be dug up again, but day lilies just sit there and multiply in clumps. Every so often they are dug up and divided. Day lilies are easy care flowers and bloom often - beautiful for a day, as the official day lily name states.

If you want specific seeds, roses, and plants for the spring, order them now and enjoy the special offers they give to gardening addicts. Some things will not be available later - such as Double Delight and Peace roses, scarlet runner beans (for the hummingbirds), and other favorites.


Amusing Belly-ache on Facebook - About Critical Blogs


Some Lutheran clergy were exercising their right to be sanctimonious, quoting an ex-pastor about those who post so many critical articles.

I am not sure if they meant this blog. They were content to hint about their displeasure without identifying the source or even the content they abhorred. However, almost all "Lutheran" blogs are so irenic in tone--in the world and of the world--that the candidates are few.

If they posted all of the Luther sermons from Lenker, I would not have had that burden - which I enjoyed immensely.

If they objected to the synods working with ELCA, I would not have to mention that from time to time.

If they were honest about Martin Stephan being syphilitic and CFW Walther being his larcenous enabler, I would not have to expose the facts.

If they connected their leadership to the promotion of the emergent church fad from Fuller Seminary, I could just write - "Amen!"




If they would show some spine and reject Thrivent, its crafts and assaults, I would not have so many negative posts about "conservative" denominations working with abortion activists via an insurance business. What is more ludicrous? The Tostidos Bowl or a church bulletin bragging that Thrivent matched the $147.53 made at the recent Junk for Jesus sale in the Fellowship Hall?



Doubtless the apostates fear that clergy and laity
will read this quotation with discernment and balk at synoical leadership.

This Luther quotation post has 100,000 views now. I apologize to everyone offended by it.

This collection of Lutheran quotations has 22,000 views. Sorry. I know Fuller and Mars Hill and the Crystal Cathedral have so much more to offer in a positive, edifying, and spiritual sense. And there is always Rome or the safe harbor of Eastern Orthodoxy. Lutheran bloggers today are true ecumenists - they love every confession of faith except their own.

The top two posts, ever since I started blogging, are quotations from Luther and from famous Lutheran leaders - including CFW Walther and F. Pieper. I would stop quoting Lutherans so much if the overpaid and underworked synodical presidents tried their hand at it from time to time.

The synod presidents could silence me simply

  • by teaching justification by faith, 
  • by emphasizing the efficacy of the Word in the Means of Grace, 
  • by quoting the Confessions, 
  • by insisting on the historic liturgy and the classic Christian hymns. 


They could let their buddies go to prison instead of protecting them. But no - they would rather fill their bellies and give me topics for this little blog.




Recalling a Neuhaus Post from Long Ago.
Denominational Apostasy Foreshadowed America's Decline

LCMS, then AELC, then LCA and ELCA, then Church of Rome -
Richard J. Neuhaus

According to Richard J. Neuhaus, in a Lutheran Forum article from long ago, an insurance study showed the leaders of America were far more to the Left than Americans were. He wondered how long this could continue. So did I, watching the LCA swerve to the Left - the Missouri Synod content to be always a bit miffed at the ALC/LCA but happy to work with them.

That group (LCA-ALC-LCMS) comprised about 95% of the captive Lutherans at the time. But surely the Wisconsin Synod was different! Once I heard Paul Kelm (WELS/Fuller) brag in a tape that he was the Left wing of the Right wing of Lutherdom. He borrowed that quip from the National Review, but he copied everything and criticized others for not being as creative as he was.

At Mequon I saw a post for the Billy Graham School of Evangelism nailed on the seminary president's door, with directions to contact Paul Kelm for more information. That marked the open phase of the WELS' quest for safe sects. The ELS said, "Amen. Amen."

The covetous CLC (sic) was quick to follow, led by James Tiefel's cousin Paul, everyone pretending not to notice.



The New NIV, Fuller, and Rome
Mark Schroeder, figurehead of the Purpose-Driven Jeske Synod, was going to stomp his size eight shoe at the last WELS convention, stopping the New NIV movement in its tracks. But lo, he took a dive and pronounced his blessing on all translations.

What Neuhaus mourned has continued to this day. The big political issues were foreshadowed in various church headquarters, where quotes were silently instituted. One only needs to look at the way in which WELS/ELS/LCMS works with ELCA, with ELCA guiding the agenda - not that anyone minds that.

Loyalty to Luther is forgotten as the clergy ape the Assemblies of God - the opponents of their apostasy joining Rome,. The dramatic papal mass is a far more sophisticated form of entertainment evangelism.

Lutheran pastors can mark and follow the role they favor:

A. I want to dress like Rick Warren, swear like Mark Driscoll, and copy Craig Groeschel's sermonettes.
B. I want to fill the congregation with awe as I blow incense in their faces and sinuflect to Rome.

Dress-for-success Jeff Schone shows that anyone can be an academic leader in WELS.
Ask Lawrence Otto Olson, DMin, Fuller Seminary.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Another Fatal DUI Hit and Run - This Time an Episcopal Bishop.
Time To End the Cash Bar at WELS Events?

Heather Cook is celebrating the Eucharist in this photo.
Presiding Bishop Katie Jefferts-Schori is behind her, on the left.
Drunken ELCA Bishop had to be chased down by other drivers 
after he mowed down a young mother.

Cook was chased down by other bikers - then returned to the scene.


Maryland's first female Episcopal bishop has been identified by the diocese as the driver involved in a fatal bike crash on a Baltimore street.
Heather Cook, currently the second-highest ranking member of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, was driving the Subaru station wagon that struck and killed 41-year-old Thomas Palermo around 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, according to church officials and police. Witnesses said Cook initially fled the scene after the accident, reported NBC affiliate WBAL, but representatives of the church said she later returned.
"Several news agencies have reported this as a 'hit and run.' Bishop Cook did leave the scene initially, but returned after about 20 minutes to take responsibility for her actions," Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton said in an email obtained by NBC News.
The accident, which took place on a street with dedicated bike lanes, left the front windshield of the station wagon severely cracked and Palermo's bike mangled. He was taken to the hospital, where he later died of his injuries.
Cook — elected in May to her role as bishop suffragan, or vice president — has been placed on administrative leave from the diocese, reported The Baltimore Sun. Detectives were interviewing her, but no charges were filed over the weekend. A call to Baltimore's State's Attorney's Office wasn't immediately returned Monday.
"Together with the Diocese of Maryland, I express my deep sorrow over the death of the cyclist and offer my condolences to the victim's family," Sutton wrote.




Image: Rev. Canon Heather Elizabeth CookTHE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF MARYLAND
Rev. Canon Heather Elizabeth Cook

From Virtue Online
http://www.virtueonline.org/maryland-female-episcopal-bishop-kills-cyclist-hit-and-run-accident

MARYLAND: Female Episcopal Bishop Kills Cyclist in "Hit and Run" Accident
Police Say Heather E. Cook was the driver. She had previous charges in 2010
Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton places her on administrative leave
Accident could result in criminal charges, he says

By David W. Virtue DD

www.virtueonline.org
December 29, 2014
The first female Episcopal bishop of the Diocese of Maryland Heather Cook was involved in a hit and run accident which killed a young father and cyclist. The Bishop of the Diocese, Eugene Sutton immediately placed her on administrative leave and delayed his sabbatical to address the crisis.

Police say the 58-year-old motorist smashed into custom bicycle maker Tom Palermo, 41, on Saturday afternoon in Baltimore and then drove away from the scene of mangled metal beside the fatally injured man who was taking his final breaths. Witnesses observed her fleeing, with the diocese later admitting that Bishop Cook fled the scene before returning 20 minutes later.

This is not the first time she has been arrested. The London Daily Mail revealed records showing that Cook was arrested in 2010 after reportedly blowing three times the legal driving limit when police found a bottle of whiskey in her car. Cook received "probation before judgment" for a DUI charge but no charges were filed despite police having found a marijuana pipe in the car. A sub heading in The Daily Mail story ran: WHISKEY, WINE, A MARJUANA PIPE 

AND A FLAT TIRE: BISHOP HEATHER COOK'S PREVIOUS RUN-IN WITH THE LAW.
The Daily Mail reported that in September 2010, nearly four years to the day before she'd become Maryland's first female Episcopal bishop, Cook was pulled over in Caroline County. Police at the time said she blew a BAC of .27, or over three times the legal limit, when given a breathalyzer.

In her car, police said they found a bottle of whiskey, a bottle of wine, and a marijuana pipe reported MyEasternShoreMD.com. Officers also said one of Cook's tires had somehow become shredded.
However, records show that by January 2012 the drug charges were dropped.

According to the law offices of Eldridge and Nachtman, in the state of Maryland this means: You can truthfully answer you have not been convicted of a crime on job applications, your car insurance does not go through the roof (if it's a DUI), and (for certain crimes) you can get the matter expunged after successfully completing probation.
This latest accident killed a beloved father and cyclist. "Tom was a passionate bicycle builder, a father, and a friend to many people who ride bicycles in Baltimore," said friends.

One bystander, a Lora Peters, told The Daily Mail, "He was alive after it happened. She might have been able to help or call for help if she'd stayed on the scene."
One news report described the scene as "gruesome". Palermo, whose Facebook page proudly displays his custom bikes, was rushed to a nearby hospital where he later died of his injuries.
Photos from the scene attest that there was no way Cook could have kept hidden the evidence of her Subaru being involved in the fatal collision.

Witness Jason La Canfora, a CBS reporter who covers the NFL, described to the Baltimore Sun the collision and resulting damages as "a massive impact", Half the vehicle's windshield and hood bear deep, fractured indentions from Palermo's body.

"Bishop Cook did leave the scene initially, but returned after about 20 minutes to take responsibility for her actions," Bishop Eugene Sutton, a black man, wrote Sunday in a letter addressed to the Clergy of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland.

"I am distressed to announce that Bishop Heather E. Cook was involved in a traffic accident Saturday afternoon, Dec. 27 that resulted in the death of a bicyclist, Thomas Palermo, 41. Bishop Cook did not sustain any injuries. Together with the Diocese of Maryland, I express my deep sorrow over the death of the cyclist and offer my condolences to the victim's family. Please pray for Mr. Palermo, his family and Bishop Cook during this most difficult time. Please do not contact Bishop Cook directly, but feel free to send written notes to the Diocesan Center.

"There is an ongoing police investigation into the accident. Several news organizations have reported this as a 'hit and run.' Bishop Cook did leave the scene initially, but returned after about 20 minutes to take responsibility for her actions.

"Because the nature of the accident could result in criminal charges, I have placed Bishop Cook on administrative leave, effective immediately. I will meet shortly with the Standing Committee to discuss ways we can move forward. Also, I have decided to delay the beginning of my sabbatical to Jan. 24 to be pastorally present in this difficult time."
Attorney David Irwin confirmed that he was representing Cook but said it was too soon for him to offer any comment on her behalf. "We're still evaluating," he said.

This begs the question that when her name came up as a candidate for Suffragan Bishop of Maryland last September why this information was not revealed that she had been arrested for drunk driving in a background check and why did she not tell the committee she had been arrested.

This is one more example of political correctness triumphing over common sense and sound theology. This isThe Episcopal Church picking candidates from the bottom of the ecclesiastical barrel on a road to self-destruction just because they are female, black and /or gay.

BACKGROUND
Cook, 58, is the first woman to be ordained a bishop in the Maryland diocese. Born in Syracuse, N.Y., Cook moved to Baltimore as a young child when her father was called to the Maryland diocese and later served as rector of Old St. Paul’s.

She was ordained to the priesthood in 1988. She has served as a boarding school chaplain at Stuart Hall in Staunton, Va.; assistant rector at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Bedford, NY; rector of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in York, Pa.; canon for mission in the Diocese of Central New York, and canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of Easton on the Eastern Shore.

*****

She left the fatal scene, but came back after 20 minutes.
How shameful - just like the ELCA bishop, another DUI hit and run.

MARYLAND: Grief and anger at scene of fatal bike crash
The city's bike community reacts to the loss of a comrade on a road with one of Baltimore's best bike lanes
By Fern Shen
BALTIMORE BREW
https://www.baltimorebrew.com/
December 28, 2014
Leaving bouquets and trading tales of their own crashes and close calls, the city's bicycle community today rolled up in a steady stream to the spot in North Baltimore where 41-year-old Thomas Palermo was struck and killed by a motorist yesterday, many of them puzzling over how the collision could have occurred in such a seemingly bike-friendly spot.

"I always feel so safe when I get there," said Katie Gore, of Joe's Bike Shop in Mount Washington, after laying bunches of flowers at the stone wall that was fast becoming a memorial to Palermo.

The stretch of Roland Avenue where the incident occurred, near the Bellemore Road intersection, is wide -- with two traffic lanes and a bike lane in each direction and a grassy median between them. The road surface is relatively smooth and there is no road reconstruction taking place here, as there is further south on Roland.

But in a way, that's the harsh message of this most recent bicyclist fatality, said Gore's husband Joe Traill: that cyclists' safety depends on something even tougher to fix than laws and bike infrastructure -- motorists' behavior.
From Thomas Palermo's Facebook page.

"If everyone was riding the speed limit, it shouldn't matter the condition of the roadway," Traill said, his face red with emotion.

"If everyone was respecting the three-foot-law, it shouldn't matter the condition of the roadway," he said. "If everyone was following the law about not texting while they drive, it shouldn't matter the condition of the roadway."
"It's the same message we've always had, we just have to say it louder," Traill said.

Gore explained that their shop in Mount Washington is nearby on Falls Road (right down hilly Bellemore) and that the initial report of an unnamed 41-year-old male cyclist struck a particular chill when she heard it yesterday: "that describes a large number of our customers."

Motorist Left the Scene
According to Baltimore Police spokesman Det. Jeremy Silbert, "officers were called to the 5700 block of Roland Avenue for a report of a car accident" that took place at about 2:37 pm Saturday.

When police arrived, Palermo was still alive and was taken to Sinai Hospital, where he died from his injuries.
The motorist, meanwhile, had fled the scene and returned only after she was reportedly chased down by other cyclists. Police described the driver as a 58-year-old woman who had been heading south on Roland Avenue. They said the decision about whether to charge her would be made after consulting with the city state's attorney's office.
Bicyclists Scott McNary, Phil Kennedy, Ethan McNary and Bob Compton of Towson stopped at the scene on their way back from a ride downtown. (Photo by Fern Shen)

(In an odd coincidence, CBS NFL writer Jason LaCanfora, who happened upon the scene and gave an account of it, had his own experience with drivers leaving an accident scene when his wife was injured by a hit-and-run driver while jogging.)

Gore, Traill and other cyclists who saw online photos of the deeply indented and smashed windshield of the Subaru wagon involved in the crash, said it spoke volumes and left them with little sympathy for the motorist who initially fled.
"There's no way you could not know you'd hit somebody," Gore said.

"He was alive after it happened. She might have been able to help or call for help if she'd stayed on the scene," said Lora Peters, who was walking by, looking for the spot where the fatal bike crash occurred.
Hearing about it yesterday had left her deeply disturbed, Peters said.

"I would have been on my bike this morning but I had a kind of panic attack about it," she said, recalling her own collision with a car two-and-a-half years ago. She said she narrowly avoided being struck when the vehicle made a left turn right across her path. Instead she crashed into the side of the car.

Notes and flowers from a candlelight vigil bicyclists held last night near the crash scene. (Photo by Fern Shen)
She noted that the incident occurred not in a congested, busy or poorly designed streetscape but in a quiet nearby residential neighborhood -- "it was just right over there in Homeland."

Yelled at and Worse
Other bicyclists who stopped to pay their respects had their own tales to tell about encounters with impatient and hostile motorists.

"I've been yelled at and egged. Yesterday, I had somebody throw cigarettes at me," said Scott McNary. "Mostly this happens up in the county."

McNary and companions Bob Compton, Phil Kennedy and Ethan McNary made a point of stopping at the crash scene on their way back from a ride to downtown.

With police still investigating Saturday's crash, many who came to pay their respects yesterday noted that Palermo had a business, building bike frames and was an experienced cyclist.

"I'm sure he was minding his own business in the bike lane, right where he was supposed to be" said Howard Simon, of Remington, who said he rides on Roland Avenue frequently.

Others ran through the list of fatal crashes claiming cyclists' lives in recent years (including John R. "Jack" Yates on Maryland Avenue in 2009 and Nathan Krasnopoler on West University Parkway in 2011) and urged prosecutors to hold drivers accountable.

Meanwhile, the bicycle advocacy group, Bikemore released this statement.
"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Tom Palermo, who was killed while riding his bicycle on Roland Avenue. Tom was a passionate bicycle builder, a father, and a friend to many people who ride bicycles in Baltimore.
While details of the crash are still emerging, we know the driver of the car involved initially fled the scene, leaving Tom to die on the street. It is clear that dedicated bicycle lanes were not enough to keep even an experienced bicycle rider safe.

Bikemore urges the justice system to hold the driver who killed Tom accountable for her actions.
Bikemore will continue to advocate for Baltimore to follow the lead of other major cities and build physically-separated bicycle infrastructure to protect the growing number of people who ride bicycles for transportation and recreation.
Roland Park residents and Bikemore asked the city to improve the Roland Avenue bicycle facilities during the resurfacing project that is currently underway. Traffic-separated bicycle lanes could have prevented a crash like this. Unfortunately, these requests were ignored in favor of maintaining vehicular traffic speeds, speeds which likely contributed to Tom's death."

Not everyone who came to pay respects yesterday was a cyclist. A woman walked over from the nearby apartments and held up three small pots of poinsettias.

"Would it be appropriate for me to leave these?" she asked the four bike riders. They told her it was, and thanked her.
"It's just horrible, what happened," she said.

END

---


Maryland's first female Episcopal bishop exposed as hit-and-run driver 'who killed young father' two days after Christmas  

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2889726/Maryland-s-female-Episcopal-bishop-kills-cyclist-gruesome-hit-run.html#ixzz3NLjeuD6T
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook


Maryland's first female Episcopal bishop exposed as hit-and-run driver 'who killed young father' two days after Christmas  

  • Police say a female 58-year-old motorist smashed into custom bicycle maker Tom Palermo, 41, on Saturday afternoon in Baltimore
  • Bishop Heather E. Cook, who was elected to the no. 2 spot in the diocese in September, was named as the driver by the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland
  • Maryland records show Cook was arrested in 2010 after reportedly blowing 3X the legal driving limit when police found a bottle of whiskey in her car
  • Cook received 'probation before judgment' for a DUI charge but no charges were filed despite police having found a marijuana pipe in the car
  • Witnesses observed and an official response from the diocese later admitted that Bishop Cook fled the scene before returning 20 minutes later
  • Palermo, whose Facebook page proudly displays his custom bikes, was rushed to a nearby hospital before succumbing to his injuries
Tragic: Maryland's first female bishop, 58-year-old Heather Cook (center) who was elected just this past September, was involved in a fatal crash in which a cyclist was fatally injured
Tragic: Maryland's first female bishop, 58-year-old Heather Cook (center) who was elected just this past September, was involved in a fatal crash in which a cyclist was fatally injured
Maryland's newly ordained first female Episcopal bishop fatally crashed into and killed a bicyclist before fleeing just two days after the Christmas holiday.
Police on Saturday said a 58-year-old female motorist drove away from a scene of mangled metal beside a fatally injured man taking his final breaths--41-year-old father and custom bike maker Tom Palermo.
A letter from the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland revealed Sunday that it was their No. 2 leader, Bishop Heather Cook, who disappeared from the fatal crash before finally returning to take responsibility.
Meanwhile, photos from the scene can attest there was no way Cook could have kept hidden for long the evidence her Subaru had been in a serious collision.
Witness Jason La Canfora, a CBS reporter who covers the NFL, described to the Baltimore Sun the collision and resulting damages as 'a massive impact.'
Half the vehicle's windshield and hood bear deep, fractured indentions from Palermo's body.
'Bishop Cook did leave the scene initially, but returned after about 20 minutes to take responsibility for her actions,' Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton wrote Sunday in a letter addressed to the Clergy of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland that was obtained by the Baltimore Brew
Scroll down for video 
Too young: The victim was Tom Palermo, 41 - a Baltimore bicycle enthusiast who custom-made bike frames as part of his one-man business
Too young: The victim was Tom Palermo, 41 - a Baltimore bicycle enthusiast who custom-made bike frames as part of his one-man business
Hit and run? Initial reports indicated that Cook, whose badly damaged car is seen here, hit Palermo and fled the scene. It was later revealed she had indeed left the scene but later returned (her car is pictured here after she went back to speak to police who were still at the scene)
Hit and run? Initial reports indicated that Cook, whose badly damaged car is seen here, hit Palermo and fled the scene. It was later revealed she had indeed left the scene but later returned (her car is pictured here after she went back to speak to police who were still at the scene)
Pictured on the sidewalk behind police tape was what remained of Palermo's ride of choice--no doubt one of the custom Palermo Bicycles he fabricated for a living in his one-man shop. 
Reaction to the incident from Baltimore's thriving cyclist community was fast and furious. 
'He was alive after it happened,' Lora Peters told the Brew at the scene of the crash on the 5700 block of the city's Roland Avenue. 'She might have been able to help or call for help if she'd stayed on the scene.' 
Twisted metal: Palermo's wrecked bike is pictured here. He was left dying in the street for a time before a fellow cyclist happened by and called 911
Twisted metal: Palermo's wrecked bike is pictured here. He was left dying in the street for a time before a fellow cyclist happened by and called 911
A community mourns
'Tom was a passionate bicycle builder, a father, and a friend to many people who ride bicycles in Baltimore,' read a statement from the group Bikemore
'Tom was a passionate bicycle builder, a father, and a friend to many people who ride bicycles in Baltimore'While details of the crash are still emerging, we know the driver of the car involved initially fled the scene, leaving Tom to die on the street.'

WHISKEY, WINE, A MARJUANA PIPE AND A FLAT TIRE: BISHOP HEATHER COOK'S PREVIOUS RUN-IN WITH THE LAW

Cook was pulled over by police in 2010 and booked on drunk driving charges after police found a nearly empty bottle of whiskey in her car, on which the tire had nearly fallen off the rim
No details have been released that confirm or deny Cook's sobriety at the time of Saturday's crash and it remained unclear Sunday night whether Cook would face charges of any kind, but state records and a local report from a 2010 arrest indicate the newly ordained bishop has faced drug, alcohol and reckless driving charges once before.
In September 2010, nearly four years to the day before she'd become Maryland's first female Episcopal bishop, Cook was pulled over in Caroline County.
Police at the time said she blew a BAC of .27, or over three times the legal limit, when given a breathalyzer.
In her car, police said they found a bottle of whiskey, a bottle of wine, and a marijuana pipe reported MyEasternShoreMD.com.
Officers also said one of Cook's tires had somehow become shredded.
However, records show that by January 2012 the drug charges were dropped.
Cook received 'probation without judgement' for the DUI charge.
According to the law offices of Eldridge and Nachtman, in the state of Maryland this means:
You can truthfully answer you have not been convicted of a crime on job applications, your car insurance does not go through the roof (if it’s a DUI), and (for certain crimes) you can get the matter expunged after successfully completing probation. 
The local cycling advocacy group Bikemore released a statement on their friend Palermo's death, which read in part:
'Tom was a passionate bicycle builder, a father, and a friend to many people who ride bicycles in Baltimore.
'While details of the crash are still emerging, we know the driver of the car involved initially fled the scene, leaving Tom to die on the street.'
Katie Gore, while placing flowers at a memorial that popped up near the scene, told the Brew after seeing photos of Cook's damaged windshield, 'There’s no way you could not know you’d hit somebody.' 
A community mourns: A mourner places flowers at a makeshift memorial created for Palermo. Baltimore's active cycling community reacted quickly and vocally to the tragedy
A community mourns: A mourner places flowers at a makeshift memorial created for Palermo. Baltimore's active cycling community reacted quickly and vocally to the tragedy
A community bike shop left a touching tribute to Tom at the site of his untimely death
A community bike shop left a touching tribute to Tom at the site of his untimely death
However, Cook isn't claiming she didn't know. Nor had she said anything else about the matter as of Sunday night.
Instead, the diocese was doing the speaking for her and says they have suspended Bishop Cook because she still may face criminal charges.
'There is an ongoing police investigation into the accident,' wrote Right Reverend Sutton. 'I will meet shortly with the Standing Committee to discuss ways we can move forward.'
Sutton went on to say that he'd be postponing an upcoming sabbatical 'to be pastorally present in this difficult time.'

---


“Heather Elizabeth Cook was born in Syracuse, NY, the third of six children in a clergy family. When she was 18 months old, the family moved to Maryland when her father was called to serve on Bishop Harry Lee Doll’s staff in the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland. When he became rector of Old St. Paul’s, Baltimore, they moved downtown into the rectory, a notable witness while Baltimore was undergoing urban renewal. On weekdays, the kids travelled to Brooklandville to attend the St. Paul’s Schools, and her mother taught religious studies at St. Timothy’s School.
The themes of her childhood were this inner city experience, balanced by barefoot summers in the Canadian Thousand Islands, where they had a tiny house; litters of golden retriever puppies; and her father reading the Chronicles of Narnia aloud before bedtime. These shaped her, and remain important to this day.

Cook loved school, and participated in sports and extra-curricular activities enthusiastically. One of the profound learnings of her young life came when she was not elected president of the student council, which she coveted. Instead, she was chosen to edit the yearbook. Looking back, this was part of a consistent life theme: being placed, over and over again, in situations where a dedicated communicator was needed. Whether through public speaking, print, film, or graphic art, opportunities came to convey her passion for deeply held values and beliefs.

Curiosity about the world prompted her to pursue university studies in 1974 at Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada, and later at the University of Exeter, England, and work as an au pair in Spain, on a kibbutz in Israel, and as a grape- picker in France and vegetable-harvester in England.

Back in Baltimore, working as a redactor at Waverly Press, she was re-introduced to faith as a young adult and discerned there was something else calling her. She realized she needed to find her own identity as a young woman, and not wait for it to come through marriage. This, coupled with a spiritual awakening that was encouraged through Education for Ministry classes at Epiphany Church, Timonium, and an introduction to contemplative life through silent retreats, opened the way for her to hear God’s invitation to seminary.

At first she was uncertain about being a priest, having experienced the ups and downs of clergy family life. But she was faithful to this call, and earned a Master of Divinity degree from the General Theological Seminary in New York City in 1987.

On the day she was ordained, at last it felt right. Bishop Theodore Eastman ordained her to the diaconate on June 20, 1987, at the Cathedral Church of the Incarnation, Baltimore, and her father vested her for this office, removing the stole from around his own neck and placing it over hers.

Since ordination to the priesthood on April 30, 1988, she has served as a boarding school chaplain at Stuart Hall in Staunton, Virginia; assistant rector at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Bedford, New York; rector of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, York, Pennsylvania; canon for mission in the Diocese of Central New York; and canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of Easton on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. These varied ministries taught much and broadened and matured her perspective of the fullness of the Church.

On May 2, 2014, Cook was elected as bishop suffragan for the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland. She serves as the first woman bishop in the diocese, succeeding the Right Rev. John L. Rabb who retired in 2010, and the Right Rev. Joe Goodwin Burnett, who served as assistant bishop 2010-2013.

Through the ups and downs of ministry, Cook remains convinced that the Spirit equips Christians with all they need to make the Good News known in our time. “I’m unconvinced by the naysayers who say the day of the Church is over,”Cook said. “I believe a new Church is just beginning, and feel called to help lead in the discovery.”