Friday, October 31, 2008

Damned if you don't and damned if you do

Looking straight at the camera, Senator Dianne Feinstein says: "Proposition 8 would be a terrible mistake for California. It's about discrimination and we must always say NO to that." Senator Feinstein joins the chorus of leaders across California who are calling on voters to reject this unfair initiative. Hers is one of the most effective ads I have yet seen. It speaks from the heart - or at least seems to, to me.

Several different sources have been critical of Senator Feinstein this week so not doing more. It seems to me like a case of damned if you don't and damned if you do. The former San Francisco mayor has done a lot for lgbt people, but we seem to always forget that. She did one thing that I will never forget. She didn't out Michael Huffington who was running against her in 1994. The conservative Huffington would surely have lost if his fan base knew he was gay. (He lost anyway, but only by a slight margin). A Feinstein staffer wanted to leak the information of his sexuality, but the Senator said no. She doesn't play dirty.

Anyway, I'm glad she did the No on 8 tv spot and I'm glad she is supportive, even if some think that isn't enough. (By the way, speaking of enough, where are the gay celebs and their funds)?

Remember, on Tuesday Vote No On Proposition 8! Find out more at

oh yeah and Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Dick!

Today is the birthday of America's Oldest Teenager, Dick Clark. (He was often called that until he suffered a stroke late in 2004). I remember fondly American Bandstand and Where the Action Is and his later game shows and entertainment specials. A true American icon! We love Dick!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sun Sets on the Election

I really can hardly wait for the sun to set on this year's election. Of all the races though, the one I am watching the most closely, is the hate proposition - the one that would eliminate rights for a whole group of people. The fight over California's Proposition 8 has become one of the most expensive campaigns in the country, by the way and it is second only to the presidential race!

Groups on both sides of the issue have thrown millions into the race. Supporters include Focus on the Family, the Knights of Columbus and members of the Mormon church. Opponents include Hollywood celebrity donors like Brad Pitt, Stephen Spielberg and Ellen DeGeneres. At least one prominent evangelical has been quoted as saying that the Proposition 8 campaign is more important than the presidential race. Indeed that may be true, but not for the reason he is probably thinking.

Many Christians believe that Scripture prohibits homosexuality (it does not). If gay marriage is allowed to stand, some evangelicals suggest, it would force churches to marry gays, force schools to teach gay marriage, settling off a snowball effect and opening the door to pedophilia and bestiality. Is this some kind of dream world they are in? What does one have to do with the other? pedophilia and bestiality are more likely to be committed by heterosexuals! There are statistics to back this up.

The important thing here though is what does Prop 8 do? The answer is that it does one thing only - it takes away the right of Californianas to marry others of the same sex. It does nothing else! Do you really think an entire group of people should have a right taken away?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hit me up online

Hey you already read my blog (or at least you are reading it right now), so why not let me know you are out there? Post a comment here or better yet, request to be my friend on facebook. You're not on facebook? WHAT???? Where have you been?

Of course you can just keep on lurking here and never let me know. Or, you can email me or post a comment or do the facebook thing - or otherwise stalk me. YIKES! Just what am I inviting?

Oh well! Say hi if you want.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Visit to a very warm church

Yesterday I had the pleasant opportunity to visit a very warm and friendly church where a friend of mine went to preach. Her sermon was very nice, but that was no surprise. I already knew she preaches well. The really nice thing was seeing how alive this parish is. (By the way, the stained glass window to the left here is over their high altar).

They have daily services - Morning Prayer each weekday morning and Evening Prayer every weekday night. They have two Sunday eucharists and an additional one midweek. Worship is not all they do though. I was delight to see they are busy disbursing donated food, holding blood drives, contributing funds, undertaking a thirty-hour famine, sewing or knitting clothing for overseas missions, holding fundraisers like their upcoming bazear, and providing opportunities for youth to sing, to learn and to participate in their church and their community. They have tons of organizations within the parish.

I enjoyed the service and I really liked the friendliness at coffee hour afterward. If it was closer, I would even consider making it my regular parish. (That folks is a really big compliment).

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Different Churches

If you live in Northern California, you have no doubt heard of Glide Memorial Church here in San Francisco. They do some many wonderful things there! This Saturday they will play host to an interfaith service that I will be attending. It's “Standing on the Side of Love: An Interfaith No On 8 Celebration" It is so very important that as people of faith we stand together in support of marriage equality. Join us for this interfaith service next Saturday, All Saints’ Day and together let us pray for justice and for the defeat of Proposition 8. Music, speeches, prayers, and readings from Scripture will be part of this celebration. A reception will follow. All are invited! It's coming up on Saturday, November 1st at 11am at Glide Memorial United Methodist Church which is at 330 Ellis Street here in San Francisco.

Glide is one of the many different churches that are doing so many marvelous things. Today I won't be at my own church, but rather I will be heading off to Lodi in just a few minutes to hear a dear friend preach and another dear friend celebrate mass at a church there. I am really looking forward to today!

Tonight, another church and another kind of service. Back here in San Francisco I will see two men get married in the church where they service, in the presence of God of of their congregation. Praise God from whom all blessing flow!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Scary Things

It's just a few days until Halloween - not a big holiday for me. This year I will be working until 10pm and since it is a Friday, I will want to head right home, so no celebrating. There are scarier things that are occupying my time (like the possibility of Prop 8 passing - get out and help me defeat it)!

And speaking of scary, have you seen some of the candidates? How do we get some of these people running for public office? Yikes! Anyway, as scary as some of them are, it is still important that we all get out and VOTE!

Tomorrow I will go where I have never gone before - to Lodi, California. I'm not saying that is scary, but it should be an adeventure!

Friday, October 24, 2008

NO ON 8 - help in the fight to save same-sex marriage and end the hate

Yesterday, a San Diego business leader against Proposition 8 announced he received a letter from the Proposition 8 Executive Committee requesting funding and revoking his endorsement of the NO on Prop 8 campaign.

Also yesterday, the NO on Prop 8 campaign released a tough new television ad featuring California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell, who voiced his strong opposition to Prop 8 and the lies about the public education system. The anti-same-sex marriage folks are not just trying to pass Prop 8 - they are spreading lies.

How can you help? VOTE! Tell your friends! Volunteer to work a phone bank or send out mailings. Donate money! Pray. There are tons of things we all can do. It is important that we ALL get involved though and that we not give in to the hate of Prop 8.

VOTE NO ON 8 and give fairness a chance!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lance and Prop 8

Lance Bass, a former member 'N Sync, is one of the breakout stars in the current season of Dancing With the Stars, and I have certainly mentioned him here several times. Last night he was kept in the running once again (and by the way folks, VOTE FOR HIM! he's good!). Anyway, in an interview in today's San Francisco Chronicle, he is asked if he has been campaigning against Proposition 8 (which I have also mentioned here several times. Here is his answer:

Yes, I have. It's a major step in our lives. I think it's so important to get the word out and vote no on Proposition 8. I have been hosting local barbecues for the community and that kind of stuff, putting up the signs and talking about it online. If that gets overturned it's going to be the start of something really bad.

You can do your part too! Help Lance and help me and help all who want fairness and justice. VOTE NO ON 8 - and spread the word!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The innocense of children!

One Sunday morning, the rector noticed little Donny standing in the narthex of the church staring up at a large plaque. It was covered with names and small American flags mounted on either side of it.The seven-year old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the rector walked up, stood beside the little boy.. and said quietly, “Good morning Donny.” “Good morning Father” he replied, still focused intently on the plaque. “Father, what is this?” The rector said, “Well Donny, it's a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service.”Soberly, they just stood together, staring at the large plaque. Finally, little Donny's voice, barely audible and trembling with fear asked,
“Which service, the 9am or the 11?”

Ah! The innocense of children!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Grace Before Meals

Since I started this week by endorsing another website yesterday, I would like to continue the trend by telling you about Grace Before Meals, an incredible online presence founded by Father Leo Patalinghug (pictured to the left) back in 2003.

Grace Before Meals is an online source for families looking to strengthen their relationships through shared mealtime experiences. You can find it by clicking HERE. The website is chock full of recipes, conversation starters, prayers (including some in Latin), and web cooking episodes. Watching Father Leo cook, is worth going to the website!

You can can even signup for a weekly email from Father Leo, and I look forward to those each time. The family that eats together, prays together, but there is more! Go check out Grace Before Meals for yourself and see what I mean!

Monday, October 20, 2008

All Things Anglican

I have a few links here on my blog, and occasionally I mention a website that caught my eye. Today I want to devote everything I write to someone else’s site: Rev. Rebecca's Explanation & Guide to All Things Anglican. (The picture at the right by the way I stole from her too).

I just wrote something for my parish newsletter, and wish I had found this site before I began writing! It’s great! If you are a newcomer to church it answers a lot of questions. If you are an old pro, it will still probably teach you a thing or two! Click HERE to experience her site.

Here are some of the topics discussed: the Altar, The use of Anointing Oil, The use of Bells, The Act of Blessing People and Objects, The Use of the Creeds, The Use of Holy Water, The Use of Images, and Membership: Confirmation & Reception. Also The Use of Incense, Ordination, The Passing of the Peace , Processions, Saints, and Making the Sign of the Cross.

It is very interesting! Again, that’s

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Wedding Banquet

Last Sunday we read the Parable of the Wedding Banquet, during our church services. Last night it was a different kind of wedding banquet - a most wonderful kind! My dear friends William and Ricardo came together in a packed church to be joined together. It was a wonderful service! Later there was a lovely garden party, and still later, a formal reception with dinner. All of it was so splendid and a wonderful start for their new life together.

My dear readers: this is another reason why Proposition 8 must NOT pass! Folks like William and Ricardo must have the right to marry. Anything else would just not be fair.

Blessing to William and Ricardo!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Busy Day!

Today is the start of a busy weekend. I will join hundreds of others in just a little while for the 159th Convention of the Diocese of California (at Grace Cathedral). This year I will not be able to stay until the end though. At three in the afternoon, two dear friends of mine are getting married on the other side of town. Following the wedding and a short reception in the garden, I will head across town again for the dinner reception for the newlyweds and we will no doubt be there through the evening. I know it will be lovely though and I am really looking forward to this great day!

Friday, October 17, 2008

A day without blogging is like a day without sunshine

Just a quick mention of the guy to the left, Bertie Pearson. He's a dj as you might tell from the larger image. From the inset where you can see his face better, you still might not guess that he is also a transitional deacon in the Episcopal Church. Bertie is a great guy and I'm sorry I will miss the Episc-O-Party event he is working so hard on tonight. Keep his ministry in your prayers.

Today is going to be a very long day - the perfect start for a very long weekend! I'll keep this entry fairly short. I almost didn't write anything but realized that a day without blogging is like a day without sunshine, so now at least you know about Bertie!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pictures, I've Got Pictures!

These are pictures that I meant to post earlier in the week (from last Saturday's Episcopal Charities Walk-a-thon). To the left is my bishop (who's blog link is on this page) and to the right is Fr. Will Scott who is

also linked from here. The picture at the right is of a lay person, a deacon, and a priest. Guess which is which.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Remembering Jackie Robinson

Today is October 15th and on this day back in 1972, Jackie Robinson threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the second game of the World Series commemorating the twentyfifth anniversary of his becoming the first African-American to play in modern Major League Baseball. I actually remember watching that! His Major League career began way back on April 15th of 1947, when played in his first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers. (And no, I don't remember that - wasn't born yet thank you very much)!

But since I am mentioning Robinson (a favorite of my mom), let me ask if any of you know what he did after baseball. Well, among other things, he spent eight years as vice president for personnel at Chock Full O' Nuts. He was also active with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

He did a lot of personal appearances too and, as mentioned above, even in retirement, he stayed connected to baseball (like trowing out the first pitch 36 years ago).

God bless Jackie Robinson.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Setting the Record Straight (so to speak)

Yes, I know I have spoken about California's Proposition 8 before (and you will no doubt hear me speak about it again). There are now commercials running on television urging people to vote yes. DON'T LISTEN TO THEM! VOTE NO!

One of the commercials says that is Prop 8 does not pass, people can be sued over personal beliefs. Huh? That's ridiculous! California's laws already prohibit discrimination against anyone based on race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. This has nothing to do with marriage. It also has nothing to do with marriage! The commercial further states that with same-sex marriage, churches could lose their tax-exemption status. Again: huh? Nothing in Prop 8 would force churches to do anything. In fact, the court decision regarding marriage specifically says "no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs."

At the end of the commercial it says that same-sex marriage would be taught in public schools. (First, if this were true, I would say "So what?" It's about time people were taught that there are different kind of people. We are not all alike and that's okay, but here is the fact about school: Not one word in Prop 8 mentions education, and no child can be forced, against the will of their parents, to be taught anything about health and family issues at school. California law prohibits it. A Sacramento Superior Court judge has already ruled that this claim by the proponents of Prop 8 is "false and misleading." In fact, the "case" that is cited in the ad is from Massachusetts . . .the proponents knew what California law said, so they used another state, again to mislead voters.

Oh yes and early in the commercial there is something said about "Four Activist Judges in San Francisco." Folks, Proposition 8 is not about courts and judges, it's about eliminating a fundamental right. Proponents of Prop 8 use an outdated and stale argument that we've already voted on this, that judges should not protect rights and freedoms, and that somehow what happened in the past should be the guide to our future. This campaign is not about what happened nearly nine years ago. This campaign is about whether Californians, right now, in 2008 are willing to eliminate a fundamental right for one group of citizens.

DO NOT LET FEAR OR LIES SWAY YOU! Read the text of the porposition and you will see that what I say is true. Vote NO on Proposition 8.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet

Yesterday I wrote here about the wonderful reading in church yesterday from Blessed Paul the Apostle. It was not the only reading however. We read together the wonderful 23rd Psalm and later, we heard the Parable of the Wedding Banquet (Matthew 22:1-14).

When I was much younger, I was part of a group that led worship with contemporary music. The Medical Mission Sisters Songbook called "Joy Is Like the Rain" was one of our music sources. Yesterday I borrowed the Wedding Banquet song from there when we went to celebrate eucharist in a homeless shelter. The song is pretty faithful to the words of the gospel lesson and help (especially those who are good at listening to long readings) to sort out what is being said.

Here is another of Jesus' parables that I particularly like. It shows that God is an inviting God. Come to the banquet! he says. Many refuse. Isn't that just like life? Our Lord is there for us each and every day. All we have to do is come! All we have to do is answer his invitation!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hear the Word of God

Those who know me will also know of my love of the Blessed Apostle Paul and all he has done for Christianity. When I open my Bible, it is likely that I will first go to one of Saint Paul's letters. The epistle appointed for today in the Revised Common Lectionary is a particular favorite of mine: Philippians 4:1-9. (I'm pretty sure the choir at my church is also singing the wonderful anthem based on this text also).

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. WOW! How wonderful these words!

Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. How can this not make us feel good?

Then Saint Paul writes And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. To which I will simply say Amen!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

It's about love and it's about time!

Joanne Mock and Beth Kerrigan (pictured to the right) were among eight couples who sued the state of Connecticut over gay marriage rights. Yesterday they won! Yesterday we ALL won! To God be thanks and glory!

ALL people should have the same rights. Finally three US states agree. It's about love and it's about time!

As I go on the walk-a-thon in just minutes (see yesterday’s blog entry) I can’t help thinking about how happy I am, while at the same time I am very concerned that some are trying to take away our rights at the ballot box. Friends, support same-sex marriage! Love should always win over hate!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Here we come a walking!

Actually the walking will be done tomorrow, stopping at seven locations along an eight-mile route: Episcopal Community Services, Sojourn Chaplaincy, Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, St. Luke's Hospital, St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church, Church of Advent of Christ the King, and Trinity Episcopal Church. We begin and end at Grace Cathedral in this 30th annual Episcopal Charities Walk-a-thon. The picture above is from last year's walk. I'm mentioning it one more time today, just in case some of you readers want to help out.

To find out more go here.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Make Us Instruments of Your Peace

My Franciscan brothers know the following prayer very well:

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
I'm thinking today that we might teach this to others. Originally I was going to write about how upset I am because I was once again rejected romantically (and very rudely too I might add), but it was just one of numerous mean encounters I have been subjected to this week. Writing the Prayer of Saint Francis above though has brought a stillness to my heart, and although there is still hurt, it is not as severe.

Live goes on. In my despair I now have hope again.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

DWTS Update

You were probably all wondering if I was going to say something about Lance Bass. After all it has been a few days! Well here ya go - he is safe! He will be back next week once again on Dancing With The Stars. Actually they will ALL be returning!

Cloris Leachman had the lowest score from the judges, but the viewers must like her because she keeps coming back. She is a hoot! No denying that!

Oh yes and Misty May-Treanor is gone, not because she was voted off, but because she injured herself during rehearsal and could not go on. Her departure is why they decided not to remove the low score couple this week.

And yes, I suppose I am too obcessed with DWTS. I have plans next Tuesday night so don't know how I will get on without seeing the results show!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Memories from my youth

I was thinking last night about times long ago, when I was a teen. (Yes, I do mean long ago)! Anyway, for a while we lived in the village of Cooperstown, NY and while there I spent time on Otsego Lake, sang in the choir and served at the altar at Christ Church, was a boy scout (I was still in the closet, so it was okay), and spent summers at Beaver-Cross, a church camp on the lake, near this site pictured here. This is Kingfisher Tower on Otsego Lake. I never knew why it existed, but it had a sort of regal beauty about it. Anyway, I was thinking about my youth, and I thought I would share a few memories.

Just about everything I can think of in those days is a positive memory for me now. I do remember when I first realized that I was gay. In that small town there were not a lot of role models and in those days most gay people were closeted, so that was hard. As time went on it became more and more difficult and I got tired of being the odd one. Thank God more people are coming out these days. Teen years can be hard enough without thinking you are a freak and that y0u are unloved!

Now don't get me wrong, my youth was good. As I said, I have pleasant memories. It just got more and more difficult though.

Monday, October 06, 2008

150 Years of Advent

Church of the Advent of Christ the King is a 150 year old parish of the Episcopal Church in the Anglo Catholic tradition. It is the parish I am a part of and I have mentioned it here several times. I am also the editor (together with another gentleman) of the parish newspaper. We did a special edition celebrating our 150th Anniversary and you can view it HERE. Take a peek. There is some interesting history. There is also a very interesting present and you are welcome to check out our entire website to see what we are up to these days. Go to our online home HERE to find out more (including monthly issues of our paper).

The celebrating will continue and I will no doubt make more mentions, just wanted to let you who don't know me, know a little bit more.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Remembering The Beatles

Did you ever wake up with a tune in your head? I did today and it was and old Beatles song, Yesterday. A little while later I heard on the radio that on this date in 1962, The Beatles' single Love Me Do with P.S. I Love You on the flip side, was released in Britain. (It wasn't a hit in here the US until two years later!

Okay so I know that talking about John, Paul, George, and RIngo really dates me, but so what? I guess this is Beatles day for me! I'm going to the Castro Street Fair later today with several music stages set up there and probably not a single Beatles tune!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Blessing of the Animals

As October arrives, people in various parts of the world may notice something odd. A procession of animals, everything from dogs and cats to hamsters and even horses, is led to churches for a special ceremony called the Blessing of Pets. This custom is conducted in remembrance of Saint Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures. Blessed Francis, whose feast day is today, is also the patron saint of the city I live in. At my parish church, in just a few hours, we will be blessing animals (actually two Franciscan brothers will be).

My sister's dog Arizona, ran off a couple of months ago and was never found. My mom sent me a picture of her and this morning we will pray for her too as well as for animals that we know have died.

PAWS (Pets Are WOnderful Support) is an organization that helps the pets of people living with AIDS and HIV. The organization is quite right that pets can indeed be great support for the lonely, the elderly, children, just about anyone.

And so on this day, whereever you are, I ask your prayers for all of God's creatures, especially those whom we share our homes with.

Friday, October 03, 2008

A whole sack full of "stuff"

Today I have a lot of things to say, mostly unrelated so let's right to all this "stuff."

First of all, does anyone have a clue where this stained glass window (to the right) can be found? This isn't a quiz - I don't know the answer. I like the window though and it looks rather large. Someday it would be nice to see it up close.

Tomorrow is Saint Francis Day and there will be animal blessings at my church. If you know me, you probably also know where the church is, so come if you can.

Next Sunday is the Episcopal Charities Walk-a-thon in which I am participating. So far despite many efforts, I have only two sponsors (one of them, my mom), so could really use your help. This is a really good cause folks and if you can make a donation, just click HERE. You can also find out more about Episcopal Charities by clicking HERE. Thanks!

Summer appears to be over. Sprinkles came our way last night and actual rain is forecast for tonight and into tomorrow morning, possibly even raining on the animals being blessed (see above).

The classic Hitchcock film Vertigo will be shown tomorrow night at Union Square here in San Francisco beginning at dust (8ish). If you saw the Jennifer Lopez movie The Wedding Planner, you caught a few glimpses of the San Francisco tradition of showing great films outside on the side of buildings and in parks. What a way to see a film!

Finally I want to know why so many people have become "me" centered. We are all important! Look out for your neighbors and for the stranger you meet on the street. Life isn't just about us as individuals! If is for us all!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Why don't you go google yourself?

Why don’t you google yourself? (Actually should I capitalize the word google?) You all know what google is don’t you? If it isn’t the most used search engine on the internet, it should be. Anyway, if you have a second, type in your name and see what happens.

I just typed Results "michael fullam" using the quotation marks and got 661 hits. If I remove the quotation marks, the result is enormous – 67,100! I tried an image search too. There were lots of pictures but none of me, although a few of them related to me. Most of the references I found were to other Michael Fullams, but it was fun to learn that there are apparently several of us. There were also several mentions of things I have been involved with. I googled my mom too. There were four hits. Three of them were for another women entirely. One was something that I had written about my mom! WOW!

Try googling your friends or relatives too. It’s amazing what you might find. Remember though that there may be multiple people with the same name. Don’t jump to conclusions! I also use google to search the Bible when I am writing sermons or to search for Biblical images if I want to illustrate bulletins.

Whatever did we do without google?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Slow news day

Lance Bass Kisses A Girl On "Dancing With The Stars" was an actual headline in a Hartford, CT paper yesterday morning. (The picture at the left is from Monday night's show which the "news" item referred to). Must have been a slow news day! Oh and just in case you are interested, I was really surprised to see Kim Kardashian voted off last night, but really glad it wasn't Lance! The judges are not being very easy on him so he really need our votes!

Speaking of slow, I was going to close shop here and stop posting, but I just might stick around. Thanks Eddy for the encouragement!

We'll see what tomorrow brings!