Sunday, April 13, 2014


I made a decision when I became a bishop that I would "give myself away" to clergy in my geographical area of responsibility to be with them during Holy Week, Easter and Christmas. It isn't a formal visitation, so the open plate stays with them. Especially at Easter and Christmas, this is important, as the open plate is usually a bit higher on those days.

Today, Palm Sunday, I wandered over to St. Andrew's in Fullerton. Over one year ago I took the Rector, the Rev. Dr. Beth Kelly out of her office and walked her over to a vast expanse of lawn -- "Do you know how many people you could feed if you planted this with food plants instead of lawn?"

Well, today was the day that the first tree was planted.

Thanks to the generosity of a landscape architect who grew up in this parish, his firm drew up plans for a beautiful fruit tree orchard and garden. Instead of traditional raised beds, because this is St. ANDREW's (and Andrew was a fisherman), they are using boats. Yes, really. I bought one myself. How Biblical, and how wonderful!

And here I am, looking as those I'm jumping on a pogo stick -- but it's really the shovel. I blessed the land (where they removed the sod), and I was given the great privilege of digging the first hole. I've jumped on top of the shovel to try to "dig deep".

After me many of the parishioners took turns digging. A valencia orange tree was planted -- it is the first of many trees that will be planted there. The design is set to have a table for use while working in the garden, with the boats around it. There will be a water feature out there as well -- I'm thinking outdoor baptisms and celebrations of the Eucharist at that table!

I am so impressed by the design and what the people of St. Andrew's are doing! The head of the food bank that will receive much if not all of the produce from St. Andrew's was there as well, thanking the people for what they are doing. "I live three blocks from here," he shared. "Everytime I drove by I thought to myself, "that's a place that could have an amazing garden. And now you are -- and we are so grateful."

I wonder what I'll name the boat I bought. Thoughts, anyone?