Mon 1

It was good to see Rick & Linda again – both looking well & happy. Bakersfield is typical small-town America. Getting off the plane, it looked like the scene from North by Northwest, where Carey Grant gets chased by a cropduster. Sure enough, that scene was filmed near here! In the 19th cent Basque settlers from France came here to look after the cattle. So in this quiet town there are some Basque restaurants. Rick & Linda took me to one for dinner. We joined 15 people at a long table, & were served course after course of wonderful food & wine. 24 hours later I am still full!

Today Rick drove me to Allensworth. This is 35 miles north of Bakersfield, & is a little town settled by freed slaves 100 years ago. Rick had never heard of it, & I have yet to meet anyone who has. It takes an Aussie to find these things! It is now a national park. Returning to Bakersfield, we went to Dewar’s home-made icecream parlor – an institution that is 100 years old. I had the most incredible sundae. We finished the day at an excellent outdoor museum. I flew back at 5pm, having had a v interesting day & knowing a lot more about Bakersfield.

Thurs 4

Life is back to normal, & my holiday in Australia a nice memory! The June magazine has been produced & will be posted tomorrow – that means it is almost summer. This week has been usual work in the office, visiting in the a/noons & quiet nights. Except last night I went to see Dame Edna Everidge with Don & Karl. It was the old shows revamped, but as funny as ever, & well tuned into SD. I could not stop laughing 🙂 

Sat 6

A beautiful sunny SD day today. Today Terry took the acolytes on an outing to Belmont Park at Mission Beach. This is a smaller version of Coney Island in NY & Luna Park in Melb. I couldn’t wait to go on the roller-coaster! Everyone had fun & we had a nice lunch at the MB Yacht Club. 

Sun 7 – Trinity Sunday

Another beautiful day today. I have a new digi-recorder for my sermon, & this took some getting used to. So I taped the 8 am first & was successful. Preaching about the Trinity is always a challenge, & I focussed on the gospel. There was a full church at 10 am, & all 20 acolytes robed for the procession – an impressive sight. After the sermon I admitted 5 new servers & all re-dediated themselves. The anthem was the Sanctus by Gounoud – magnificent.

At 5 pm we had the Choir’s marvellous presentation of sacred music, accompanied by organ, harp & violin. It was an impressive & exciting program, incl works by Faure, Palestrina, Haydn & Rutter. We began & ended with a hymn, & concluded with Benediction. Over 100 people attended, & afterwards we had a lovely reception 🙂 

Mon 8

Tonight I took the choir out for dinner. I try to do this after Easter as a “thank you” for all their hard work. It was a very enjoyable night, with toasts & laughter aplenty!

Tues 9

Tonight I went out for dinner with 3 parishioners. We 4 have a real interest in the Titanic: Stephen Cox (who wrote an excellent book on it), Judy Borchert (whose grandfather helped the survivors in Halifax), Sheila Hilliard & myself. My interest goes back to High School & a book about it in the school library, & also the movie “A Night to Remember”. I have just realised we are 4 different nationalities!

Thurs 11 – St Barnabas’ day

Today is the 55th anniversary of Fr Edwards’ ordination. He usually celebrates the 7 am Mass, so I attended. The morning was interesting, in that I went to the dentist to have a crown put back – it came out whilst flossing last night!

Fri 12

Usual things this morning. In the a/noon I had a graveside funeral. Afterwards there was a reception at the SD Yacht Club – very nice.

Sat 13 – St Anthony of Padua

Societies of Mary today: 11 am Rosary & 11.30 Mass followed by potluck lunch. 21 attended &, as usual a lovely lunch & fellowship.

Sun 14 – Corpus Christi

One of our gr8 festivals. High Mass concluded with Procession of the Sacrament & Benediction. It was all very beautiful. Terry had organised 6 flower-girls to walk in the procession.

Tues 16

It rained yesterday –  today it is hot! Now that the round of festivals is complete the pace gets back to normal. I hope to  catch up with newer parishioners over the next few weeks, inviting some couples to dinner at my place.

Wed 17

Our guest book has gone missing! This is very frustrating as I can not contact recent visitors – esp new people, whom I try to follow-up within the week. Why would anyone take it?

Thurs 18
The guest book was found in a nearby lane!! An interesting day today. At 1 pm I visited 5 ladies at a nursing home for HC. I do this every month. Today when I arrived the chef was conducting “Food for Thought” – a session in which the residents are invited to make suggestions & criticisms of the menu. A brave man is he! 3 of the women were there, having forgotten about HC. As soon as they realised I was here they came rushing down with their frames to join us – what a sight 🙂

At 2 pm I had coffee with a new parishioner. it is always fascinating to hear people’s life story & how they came to All SS. The 6 pm Mass was a Requiem for the father of a parishioner. All the family were there, & I realised that my ministry with them has included baptism, marriage & confirmation. After Mass I had 3 newer parishioners for dinner. One brought his own brand of wine. A fun evening as well got to know each other.

Fri 19 – Feast of the Sacred Heart

The usual Friday things: Mass, bible study & sermon prep. At 7 pm I went to a farewell dinner for Fr Ned Kelly.

Sat 20

Today we have the annual Vestry consultation. I started this in 2005, when we closed the school. It gives the Vestry time together to discuss where we are as a parish, future plans & raise any ideas, etc. It’s important to get away from the parish, so we go to other churches – always an interesting experience. We started with the 9 am Mass at All SS (of the Holy Spirit) & then on to Holy Trinity, Ocean Beach. Unfortunately it was a dull day – so no sun & surfing! It was a very good day. Robert MacLeod came & presented a plan for the organ, to coincide with our centenary in 2012.

Sun 21 – Fathers Day

Today we are into the green season! Interesting readings to start off this non-season. Nothing suitable for fathers day – but we honored the dads present with flowers & sang “Faith of our Fathers”! 

Tues 23

I have posted Sunday’s sermon in “recent sermons”- a reflection on the dilemma of when it seems God doesn’t care. A full morning in the office & some visiting in the a/noon. I continue to watch with concern the situation in Iraq.

Thurs 25

Yesterday & today were “normal” days…..busy mornings in the office & in the a/noons visiting the sick with HC & meeting up with new parishioners. Mass at 6 pm tonight, then I entertained 4 younger parishioners for dinner. News that Michael Jackson has died……guess there will be endless tributes & public grief. No doubt he will be placed in ECUSA’s calendar at General Convention!

Fri 26

There was banter at the bible study this morning because of my ref last week to “the usual Friday things”!! The readings were taken more seriously – a strange mix. When I started on my sermon in the a/noon l was not quite sure what the message would be. In the end it was a continuation of last week – focussing on the “why?” of pain & sickness. Another serious subject with as many questions as answers. It was a beautiful a/noon – gloriously sunny & the usual gentle breeze blowing thru my windows.

Sat 27 – St Cyril of Alexandria

One of my favourite saints….for his defence of the title of “Mary, Mother of God”. A beautiful sunny day – again! I spent most of it at home as Michael came to sort out my computer problems. Also got ready for the last week of my annual leave. Tomorrow evening I fly to Munich. I have 4 days there – incl going by train to Berchtesgaden in the Bavarain moubntains – then to Stockholm for 4 days. This trip is doubly nice because the flights & hotels are all free using miles/points :-)))

Sun 28 – Pentecost 4

Another warm sunny day. Attendances not bad – 60 at 8 am & 95 at 10 am. It was the last Sunday for the choir & they sang “There is a Balm in Gilead” beautifully. A funny thing happened before 10 am. I introduced myself to a visitor, who said she was from a very liberal parish in LA. I commented that we were fairly traditional & gave her the booklet which explains High Mass. She said she hoped we weren’t “very traditional” – to which I said that, indeed, we were. By the time Mass started she had fled. Which shows that liberals are not all that inclusive, nor open to new things!! Of course if she had stayed she would have experienced something new…..decent liturgy & a sermon which was pastoral not political 🙂