Monday, December 03, 2007
Now I know what you're thinking: "Ohh boy, just another parochial yinzer who's never crossed the rivers and never been out of town. Obviously, this clown hasn't seen what the rest of the country has to offer." As my old Navy company commander used to say when one of the misguided yutes under his charge said or did something astoundingly stupid, (which occurred with alarmingly regularity in the early weeks of boot camp...) :"Wrong F&^%)(G Answer, recruit!!!" I have ventured beyond the land of the Rivers Three and have seen and lived in such respectable cities as: San Francisco, and the Bay Area in general; San Diego; Chicago; Seattle; and the Tidewater region of Southeast Virginia. And in my overseas travels at taxpayer expense, I have enjoyed such great places as: Monaco; Perth, Australia; Hong Kong; Honolulu; Vancouver, BC; Japan, South Korea and the Phillipines (as we all know what goes on in the PI stays in the PI, if you get my drift.)
And those places have their virtues and are very nice places to live. But no sight, and I mean, no sight in America gets this Burgh Boy's heart thumping more than coming out of the Fort Pitt Tunnel and having the Pittsburgh skyline hit me square in the face. That is a sight that has been known to induce orgasm in some ladies of the opposite sex, I'm told. I love the neighborhoods, the topography, the access to world-class educational and health care institutions. There is so much that this town has to offer.
Now does Pittsburgh has its faults? Damn skippy it does. Like any city, there are things wrong with it. And Pittsburgh has its share of warts. But like any relationship between two people, or in this case, a person and his hometown, you find a way to love it in spite of its deficiencies and try to point them out in a an effort to improve them. Like, it irritates me to no end how the overwhelming majority of voters in this town continue to vote Democrat even when the city has slid down so far under the Dem's watch. Every election, just like clockwork, the Democrats roll out the same tired bunch of hacks, cronies and losers and the voters keep putting them back into office. All because we're told from the time we pop out of the womb, Democrats, good...Republicans bad. We vote Democrat, because our parents and their parents and their parents and so on, and so on ad infinitum had it drilled into their heads that you didn't sell out by voting Republican. Keep voting that straight party ticket and you'll never go wrong. If that's the case, then why is this city is such dire financial straits?
Talk all you want about a third of the city's taxable land being taken off the tax rolls by non-profits like UPMC and Pitt, Duquesne, CMU, RMU and so on. Talk about the exodus of young people leaving to find job opportunities elsewhere, leaving a city where the average age of the residents is "deceased." Talk about the demise of the steel industry which plunged this region into the toilet, all of those are viable and proper reasons for the problems Pittsburgh is having. But despite all this, what have our political leaders done? We hear their interminable speeches and promises. They promise the moon, and deliver...nothing, or nothing worth noting.
We recently voted to re-elect our 27 yr old mayor, Luke Ravenstahl to finish out the term of previous mayor, Bob O'Connor who tragically passed away seven months after taking office. We thought that Luke would bring a young person's perspective to solving the city's problems, yet our boy Luke decided to have some fun wielding the power of the mayor's office taking advantage of the trappings, but eschewing the responsibilities. He's crashed golf tournament meet and greets, he's used official Homeland Security vehicles as party vans to go to concerts, he's blown off meetings with aggrieved women's and black citizens groups. But despite showing compelling evidence that he lacks the maturity to run a city, the residents of Pittsburgh, come election day, like lemmings marching off a cliff, gave into their innate Democratic brainwashing, and voted Ravenstahl back into office by a 2/3 margin. And remember those black folks I told you about whom Mr. Ravenstahl blew off?? They re-elected him by a 90%-10% margin. Sigh. Now that we're stuck with Loopy Luke for the foreseeable future, he's got a little over a year to convince us that he's worth re-election to his own full term. He has a lot to overcome before I'll consider voting for him. Pittsburghers need to start taking off the Donkey-shaped glasses and realize that if this city and this region are to survive much longer into the 21st century, it must do so with a bi-partisan government, allow both parties and even serious third parties the chance to add their input to the way this town needs to function. One-party rule whether Democrat or Republican is a sure recipe for disaster, and at least two of Pittsburgh's 32 wards figured that out by voting for Mr. Ravenstahl's opponent, Republican Mark deSantis. The time of the same as usual politics in Pittsburgh has to come to an end.
Another one of Pittsburgh's charms which can also be one of its detriments is the perception that Pittsburgh is "behind the times." We are a town that embraces its tendency to be anti-hip. In some ways, us Pittsburghers enjoy being 10-20 years behind the times. We don't do change well here. Example: What are the most popular music stations in Pittsburgh? Answer: it ain't the alternative music stations, although they have their following. Pittsburghers tend to like their music old. We still cling to the music of the '50s and '60s and the leading rock station in this town has to play at least one song a day from the Stones, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Lynrd Skynrd, or Aerosmith, or all the yinzers driving the beat-up Firebird Trans-Ams with their tube-top wearing, gum snapping, teased hair girlfriends will "come dahn 'ere and kick some ass 'an at." I admit my musical tastes tend not to follow music made after the mid '90s. To me a lot of what is called alternative, or new rock sounds like what happens when you throw 10 lbs of nuts and bolts and 5 cats into a clothes dryer and let it run for about an hour.
There are folk who like that audio assault and they are welcome to it. As was indicated above, I'm not totally against change and the occasional airing out and bringing in fresh new ideas. Hell, the moment we stop changing, is the moment we start dying.
But some advantages in being a town that is behind the times are that we don't nearly the issue with crime that larger more hip cities have. We have real live neighborhoods with local bars and hangouts owned by real Pittsburgh people. Not every corner has a national chain store on it, although recent development in such places as Lawrenceville and East Liberty are bringing in the mega retailers.
Some of those neighborhoods are in better shape than others. Where I live, Homewood, is struggling with black on black crime and drugs, teenage pregnancy, a lack of viable businesses and subpar schools. The residents have tried to get help from the City, but ultimately it takes the majority of effort coming from within to effect turnaround. I sometimes wonder if we can ever be serious about turning the community around. It seems like the community goes through this constant cycle. A wave of crime hits the community, the local politicians, ministers, and government types hold a town meeting, anti-violence summit, " Save Our Kids" rally, and everybody gets there and there's a lot of speechifying, teachifying, preachifying by the usual suspects from the NAACP, the Urban League and various grassroots groups, everybody bitches and complains, and blames the cops, the city government, and everybody else about why the neighborhood has gone to seed. There's a lot of venting, and emotion and other drama. The crowd gets geeked up to effect change, they all go home and...nothing happens until the next wave of crime or senseless shooting occurs when the cycle repeats all over again. To me, true change doesn't happen when people scream and holler, but when they quietly roll up their sleeves, get to work, and direct their energy into solving the problems instead of the old saying"Smoke and Fury...signifying Nothing."
Despite its problems, Pittsburgh is a city that has the potential of doing great things for the future. New construction on the North Side, the Pen's new arenain the Hill/Uptown, the development of South Side Works, herald the opening of a new chapter in Pittsburgh's history, but even with all the sexy, glittery new projects going up, the government needs to concentrate on upgrading a century old water and sewage system. The seven hundred bridges that are within this region need to be maintained, streets need to be paved, trees need to be trimmed. The stuff that tourists don't see mean just as much as the public face Pittsburgh presents to the world. The City and the county need to consolidate services to eliminate redundancies, and much of that is going on. There's a unified 911 system and the confusing and archaic row offices are being phased out. And there are other areas where city and county services are neing merged. There is talk about the consolidation of the City and County like in Philadelphia. But the folks in the suburbs are against that idea because they don't want to be saddled with the city's problems. They say that the City should take care of its own house before thinking about consolidation. But with an aging and declining population, more and more vacant lots and properties not producing tax revenues, and almost a third of the land area off the tax rolls because it's own by major non-profits, can the City get its act together?? Not without some help from Harrisburg. And those in the suburbs should not be so quick to look down on the city, because left unchecked, those problems that beset the city will eventually affect the suburbs. A region with an unhealthy core, will not last long. The city and its suburbs need to work together for their mutual benefit and survival.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
But I'm thankful I have a wallet.
My house is old, in need of repair, in a crime-ridden neighborhood. I can barely afford to keep it up.
But I'm thankful I have a house.
Last week, a few of the neighborhood kids, with nothing better to do, kicked in my door,
But I'm thankful they didn't take anything.
My job is chimp work. The pay stinks, the benefits are a joke, I work on holidays and I hate what I do.
But I'm thankful to have a job.
I received an invitation by a good friend to have Thanksgiving at her place, I couldn't go because I had to work.
But I'm thankful that she thought highly enough of me to invite me.
My church is poor, the building is not in good shape, we're losing parishioners every year.
But I'm thankful that while we are poor in finances, we are rich in spirit.
My sole remaining brother is not well, he could go at anytime.
But I'm thankful he's still around for now.
I have made bad decisions all my life, They are my own and I blame no one for them. My life could be much better had I made better choices,
But I'm thankful that thus far, I'm still alive, I have had the chance to make any decisions at all, and have the guts to admit when I've screwed up.
I don't have a lot of friends, no girlfriend or lover.
But I'm thankful for the friends I have.
There are times I think that I'm the biggest failure.
But I'm thankful those times made me appreciate the successes I've had.
I have failed God more than a few times.
But I'm thankful that he has not failed me.
I didn't want to go to church this morning. Last thing I wanted to do was to give thanks about anything.
But I'm thankful I did, otherwise, this post would have never been written.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Will this listing drive thousands of fellow bloggers and their followers to my little outpost on the ass end of the blogosphere to check out the nuggets of wisdom just waiting to be explored? Most likely not. But it can't hurt.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
This Thursday on the scruffy, muddy turf of Heinz Field, one school's streak of futility will be broken while the other will have to wait for at least one more year for satisfaction. To the majority of the football fans in Western PA, the Pittsburgh City League Championship football game is just a district championship. One of ten that are being settled in November. But to the fans of the nine schools that make up the City League, this game is the culmination of a season's sacrifice of blood,sweat, and tears starting in training camp in August continuing through the regular season and playoff matchups at the George on Thursdays, Fridays, ahd Saturdays, and culminating on the field where most of the players watch their hometown heroes do battle on Sunday afternoons. The winner earns the greatest honor in Pittsburgh high school sports...City Champion.
Coming out of Beechview in Pittsburgh's South Hills, the undefeated John A. Brashear Bulls are the heavy favorite to win their first City Championship in football since 1988. The Bulls have a load of talent at the skill positions. They can throw and run the ball equally well. They have speed and quickness. While they are not the most disciplined team that has come out of the City League, they have been able to overcome that shortfall with sheer D1 level talent. They have not been tested in the City League all season. They have outscored their league opponents 342-47. The Bulls have 5 mercy rule victories and 3 shutouts. The closest any City team has come to challenging them was 13 points. They enter this game as a result of a 62-14 beating of the upstart Carrick Raiders. Jermaine Robinson passed the ball for 195 yds and 2 passes for touchdowns. They scored off three Carrick turnovers. The Bulls were up on Carrick 47-6 at halftime.
The Taylor Allderdice Dragons hail from the neighborhood of Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh's East End. They own the longest streak without a City Championship in football at 40 years. They do not have the speed of Brashear. They can run the ball, but passing is a different story. They are undersized. But what this team lacks in physical attributes, they more than make up in heart and guts. This team is built around of a core of seniors who started as soon as they came to Allderdice as freshmen and have started every game since. They have improved every year in the last four years, their coach Don Schmidt came in at the same time as these freshmen and molded this team into a unit that has more heart and fire than any previous Dragon team that the Advocate has seen. They have bought into Schmidt's philosophy of total team effort. This Dragon team is completely unselfish. They don't care who gets the credit as long as they win. The aren't afraid to hit people and can play smashmouth football with anyone. The Dragons have put up impressive number of their own. They have scored 40 or more points in three of their last five games and have put up 40 or more points 4 times this season. They are second in the City League in offense and defense scoring only 23 points less than Brashear against league opponents (276-253) They have three running backs that have over 400 yds rushing each. Joe Short has rushed for 444 yds in the last three games and scored 13 touchdowns over that span, and has rushed for over 1,000 yds for the second consecutive season. He may only be 5' 7", and 170 lbs but he's not afraid to pound the ball up the middle. He is the fastest back in the City League and is almost impossible to catch in the open field. The 'Dice will rely on Short heavily in this game. Allderdice beat #2 ranked Schenley 16-15 on a Short touchdown with five minutes left in the game and a superb defensive effort to earn this title shot.
The Advocate's Keys to the Game:
To win, Brashear must:
1. Take advantage of their speed and height advantage and throw over the Dragons pass defense.
2. Not expect to run well against the Dragon run D which is the best in the City.
3. Stack up 7-8 men in the box to run against Short.
1. Take advantage of their 6' 6" tight end Will Clark to supplement the passing game.
2. Try and run Short to the outside more often where his speed can be a factor.
3. Not be dazzled by playing at Heinz Field or for playing for the City Championship. Play with reckless abandon.
Another factor will be the turf at Heinz Field. The middle of the field is pretty chewed up, Neither team has much experience on grass this season. Brashear played all of its games including the non league games at the George, which is artificial turf. Allderdice played one non-league game on grass at Brooke, and the other on the turf at West Mifflin. but at the same time, both teams practice on grass. However, because Brashear has played five title games at Heinz during the '00s they will have the small advantage such knowledge can afford. The weather forecast for Thursday evening calls for 30% chance of rain, and a high in the low 40's, and a low in the low 30's. The middle of the field could slow down both team's running games, but will especially affect Allderdice because of their reliance on toting the pig.
Your City League Advocate went 2-0 last week and is now 47-8 for the season.
Thursday November 15
Allderdice(7-4) vs Brashear(11-0)
All the pressure is on Brashear. They were the league favorites at the beginning of the season predicted to go to Heinz Field by all the pundits, Your City League Advocate included. They have won every game, most convincingly. For them to lose ther title for a sixth time in seven years would mark them as the ultimate chokers. Allderdice has absolutely nothing to lose. They were expected to make the playoffs, but not get to Heinz Field. No one except the 40 guys in the green helmets and white jersies expects the Dragons to win. The last time these two teams played, Brashear beat the 'Dice 32-6. The Advocate, while a proud Allderdice alum who has watched this team in person six times this season, knows that the Dragons are the prohibitive underdogs. He predicts that Brashear will be hoisting the hardware at about 10 pm Thursday night, but he hopes to hell that he's wrong. Allderdice will have to play the game of their lives and hope that Brashear has a complete meltdown. Either way, the Advocate tips his hat to the 2007 Dragons win or lose. They are a helluva team, and they will get that elusive City Title if not this year, very, very soon. Brashear by 10
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Last Saturday, they and the Allderdice Dragons played probably one of the more entertaining games in the City League this season. The two teams combined for 75 points and numerous lead changes before Allderdice defender Jay Myers fell on a fumbled Carrick punt snap that rolled into the end zone late in the 4th quarter to seal the win for the Dragons 41-34 and guarantee them third place. Joe Short scored 4 touchdowns and rushed for 203 yds on 31 carries. In the last two games, Short scored 10 touchdowns ( 6 against Westinghouse, 4 against Carrick) and rushed for 366 yds. Carrick twice rallied back from deficits to tie the game at 34 until the fumbled punt did them in.
The win sets up a return engagement with the #2 Schenley Spartans, who by their 20-14 win over Perry sent the One Stars back to the North Side and out of the playoffs for the first time since 1984. Brashear finished the season with a 48-0 win over the winless Langley Mustangs to finish the season with a perfect 10-0 record.
Your City League Advocate went 4-0 last week for a 45-8 record this season.
Thursday November 8th
#2 Schenley vs #3 Allderdice: The last game between these two was played on a hot, muggy afternoon that caused multiple players to suffer heat exhaustion including the defensive lynchpin David Yancy who missed the entire second half, hurting the 'Dice defense. The Green Hats went up 18-6 in the first half and seemed ready to cruise, but Schenley woke up in the second half and scored 14 unanswered points including a touchdown in the last minute of the game to snatch away the win from Allderdice. On paper, Allderdice is favored. They've outscored Schenley 253-170 but Schenley has outdefended the 'Dice 118-138. Both teams can run the ball, but the Advocate still has not heard whether Robere King and Anthony Irvin will be back to share the running duties with Short, if they are back, they'll be a big handful for the Spartans to contain. 6'6" Will Clarke can be a factor at TE if the coaches will throw to him. Schenley has Jeremy Hawkins, who Allderdice was able to stuff, but they also have a better QB in Deandre King and taller receivers. Allderdice's defense will be at full strength and will have to play extra hard to contain the Schenley passing game. Short has been on fire and has run the ball like a madman, and will need to do so tonight. Allderdice can put up the points, they've scored 40 or more points 4 times this season, and they came off an emotional win against Carrick. This will be a character builder for this Dragons team and these seniors want to go out with some respect. If the running game's on and Allderdice can cut the penalties and finish their drives they can win this game and go to the City Championship game for the first time since 2000. Allderdice by 3
#1 Brashear vs. #4 Carrick: The last time these two met, Brashear took the measure of the Carrick Raiders 40-0. The Advocate doesn't think the result of this game will be as bad, but Brashear clearly has the weapons to win. Only two teams have been able to come within three touchdowns of the Bulls this season. They score an average of 34.5 points a game. They give up an average of 6 points a game. But Carrick has some weapons too. They have a very good QB and receivers to match. They have the character to compete, as shown in their two rallies against Allderdice. They'll have a lot of emotion coming into this game. But emotion only goes but so far. As good as it is to see fresh blood in the City League playoffs, Brashear has just too strong for the Raiders. Brashear by 14.
Monday, November 05, 2007
"The Church in the Diocese of Pittsburgh is a constituent member of the Anglican Communion, a Fellowship within the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of those duly constituted Dioceses, Provinces and regional churches in communion with the See of Canterbury, upholding and propagating the historic Faith and Order as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer. "
Notice that there's no mention of the phrase "Episcopal Church(TEC) " in that sentence. You won't see the words Episcopal Church anywhere in that document until you get to the very bottom. Because Diocesan Convention voted to strike any mention of TEC from its Constitution and Canons. By doing this, the Convention has stated a clear intent to separate from the Bonds of the Episcopal Church and either align with another theologically conservative Province of the Anglican Communion or join with other like-minded dioceses and creating an alternative Anglican Province in the US and having the Anglican Communion recognize them as the legitimate Anglican presence in the United States. The Convention of the Diocese of Pittsburgh is voting to establish itself as an autonomous entity separate from the Episcopal Church, which cannot be legally done because the Article 5 Sec.1 of the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church states:
Sec. 1. A new Diocese may be formed, with the consent of the General
Convention and under such conditions as the General Convention shall
prescribe by General Canon or Canons, (1) by the division of an existing
Diocese; (2) by the junction of two or more Dioceses or of parts of two or
more Dioceses; or (3) by the erection into a Diocese of an unorganized
area evangelized as provided in Article VI. The proceedings shall originate
in a Convocation of the Clergy and Laity of the unorganized area called by
the Bishop for that purpose; or, with the approval of the Bishop, in the
Convention of the Diocese to be divided; or (when it is proposed to form
a new Diocese by the junction of two or more existing Dioceses or of parts
of two or more Dioceses) by mutual agreement of the Conventions of the
Dioceses concerned, with the approval of the Bishop of each Diocese. In
case the Episcopate of a Diocese be vacant, no proceedings toward its
division shall be taken until the vacancy is filled. After consent of the General Convention, when a certified copy of the duly adopted Constitution of
the new Diocese, including an unqualified accession to the Constitution
and Canons of this Church, shall have been filed with the Secretary of the
General Convention and approved by the Executive Council of this
Church, such new Diocese shall thereupon be in union with the General
A diocese can only exist as an act of General Convention. Dioceses are NOT autonomous entities that can vote to move themselves from one Province to another, vote themselves into or out of existence, or merge themselves with another diocese. By continuing on this path, Bishop Duncan is setting himself up for a potential presentment and inhibition which basically means that he can be brought up on charges in an ecclesiastical court of abandoning the Communion. The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Bp. Katharine Jefferts Schori, recently wrote a letter to Bishop Duncan prior to convention, of the consequences of continuing in this action. The letter states:
Letter from the Presiding Bishop to Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan
The Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan
Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh
There have been numerous public references in recent weeks regarding resolutions to be introduced at your forthcoming diocesan convention. Those resolutions, if adopted, would amend several of your diocesan canons and begin the process of amending one or more provisions of your diocesan Constitution. I have reviewed a number of these proposed resolutions, and it is evident to me that they would violate the Constitutional requirement that the Diocese conform to the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church. It is apparent from your pre-convention report that you endorse these proposed changes. I am also aware of other of your statements and actions in recent months that demonstrate an intention to lead your diocese into a position that would purportedly permit it to depart from The Episcopal Church. All these efforts, in my view, display a fundamental misunderstanding of the relationship between The Episcopal Church and its dioceses. Our Constitution explicitly provides that a diocese must accede to the Constitution and Canons of the Church.
I call upon you to recede from this direction and to lead your diocese on a new course that recognizes the interdependent and hierarchical relationship between the national Church and its dioceses and parishes. That relationship is at the heart of our mission, as expressed in our polity. Specifically, I sincerely hope that you will change your position and urge your diocese at its forthcoming convention not to adopt the resolutions that you have until now supported.
If your course does not change, I shall regrettably be compelled to see that appropriate canonical steps are promptly taken to consider whether you have abandoned the Communion of this Church -- by actions and substantive statements, however they may be phrased -- and whether you have committed canonical offences that warrant disciplinary action.
It grieves me that any bishop of this Church would seek to lead any of its members out of it. I would remind you of my open offer of an Episcopal Visitor if you wish to receive pastoral care from another bishop. I continue to pray for reconciliation of this situation, and I remain
Your servant in Christ,
Katharine Jefferts Schori
Now she said it a way that may not have been strong enough to satisfy the extreme progressives in the Church, but it's clear that she has stated that there will be consequences for these actions. Bishop Duncan's response:
"Here I stand. I can do no other. I will neither compromise the Faith once delivered to the saints, nor will I abandon the sheep who elected me to protect them."
He basically just told the Presiding Bishop "come and get me."
Now, because the resolution in question covers the changing of the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese, it has to be passed in a second vote at next year's convention, which barring a miracle and considering the overwhelming support the Bishop has in this diocese, is almost as political pundit John McLaughlin would say: "A metaphysical certitude". But in Bp. Schori's letter to Bp. Duncan, there is no mention of waiting until the second vote on Resolution One to assess her options. She could come down on him anytime between now and next year. But I think Bp. Duncan wants to be presented. He would use it to make himself into a martyr and show his supporters how much TEC is persecuting those orthodox who no longer accept TEC's teachings. And Bp. Schori as the chief pastor of the Church responsible for seeing that the canons of the church are being adhered to would have no choice but to bring him up on charges.
The one question that I and many TEC loyal folks in this diocese want answered is: what about those in this diocese who don't want to go along with the Bishop into this uncertain future. There are about a dozen parishes and any number of individuals in Network parishes who do not agree with the direction Bp. Duncan is taking the Diocese, liberals and conservatives alike. What about them? Will they have to be dragged along kicking and screaming into whatever Province the Diocese lands in, pariahs surrounded on all sides by people who don't really want them there because they don't step to the Bishop's tune? How accommodating will the Bishop be to those who disagree with him, now that he no longer has to answer to the Episcopal Church? Or will the Diocese basically tell them: "OK we're leaving without you, you're on your own. "
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Your City League Advocate will now blow the dust off his crystal ball, put on his Karnak turban and suss out the scenarios for the five teams in playoff contention. First, light a candle for ambiance. Second, wave a dead chicken over my computer to get the juju, the gris-gris and the mojo working. Eenie-meenee-jelly-beanie, the spirits are about to speak!!!!
Brashear--plays Langley this week, beat DuBois 49-13 last week. Clinched first place and #1 seed in the playoffs.
Schenley--plays Perry this week, lost in 2 OTs to Carrick 26-24 last week. If they beat Perry, they will knock the Commodores out of the playoff chase, and need Allderdice to beat Carrick in order to stay in 2nd place. Carrick owns the head to head tiebreaker over Schenley.
Allderdice--plays Carrick this week, beat Westinghouse 42-12 last week. Clinched a playoff spot no matter what they do against Carrick or what Schenley does against Perry because if they beat the Raiders, they'll hold onto third place. If they lose to Carrick, they'll drop into fourth place, and even if Perry beats Schenley and ties the 'Dice for 4th, the Dragons have the head-to head tiebreaker against the Commodores based on their 29-6 win over Perry back in week 4. The 'Dice can move into 2nd place if they win and Schenley loses.
Carrick--plays the 'Dice this week, beat Schenley 26-24 last week. They have to beat Allderdice and hope that Perry loses to Schenley. Perry owns the head to head over Carrick and would go into the playoffs ahead of the Raiders if Carrick lost to Allderdice.
Perry--plays Schenley this week, beat Langley 22-12 last week. They must beat Schenley and hope Allderdice loses to Carrick.
Your City League Advocate went 3-2 last week and is 41-8 for the season.
Thursday, November 1st
Schenley at Perry: A couple of weeks ago, The Advocate would have predicted that the high-flying Spartans would take the One Stars out behind the woodshed for a sound thrashing, but Perry has won two in a row and has a little of their swagger back. Schenley endured an emotional double overtime loss to the playoff starved Carrick Raiders and this will be a test of how well they can bounce back. The Advocate will take Schenley but he thinks that Perry will put a post-Halloween scare into the Greeks. Schenley by 7
Friday, November 2nd
Brashear vs Langley: Da Bulls can put Langley out of their misery for good tonight. Look for them to rest a lot of their starters and let the bench do the honors. Brashear by 30
Oliver vs Westinghouse: Oliver by 14.
Saturday November 3rd
Allderdice vs Carrick: This is a game that if Allderdice is not careful, they could very much lose. Carrick has the best QB in the City this season, they'll be very confident after their win over Schenley. Look for them to test the Dragons pass defense. The status of Robere King and Anthony Irvin for Saturday is unknown to the Advocate. Joe Short will get a lot of work, but if either King or Irvin are available, they'll be a load for the Raider defense to stop. This is a HARD game to pick. Carrick has the emotion, but Allderdice's defense has been tough all season. Allderdice by 3.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Brashear rolled over the Allderdice Dragons 32-6 to stay undefeated in the City League at 7-0. Despite 11 penalties and 5 turnovers, DaBulls were able to all but shut down the 'Dice's triple threat running game because of mysterious ankle and tendon injuries to both Anthony Irvin and Robere King five minutes into the game. The fact that both running backs are the leading rushers in the 'Dice's running game as well as the 3rd and 1st ranked rushers in the City respectively, and that both injuries occurred in the same general area (ankle) and that both injuries occurred in the first minutes of the game leads the Advocate to believe that Brashear was engaged in a headhunting mission to take out both players in an effort to negatively affect Allderdice's offensive capabilities. The Advocate has no other proof that this was done intentionally or with malice, but there are waaaay too many coincidences here to think that this is nothing more than a couple of freak injuries. The Advocate hopes that he is not the only person who's thinking along the same lines and that the proper authorities have been contacted.
Anyway, the loss of Irvin and King left the offense in the capable hands of Joe Short, who was able to rush for 90 yds on 21 carries. The rest of the offense was limited to -16 rushing yds. The Dragons only had three first downs and the passing game while effective at times wasn't enough to break the speedy Brashear defense. The Herd outgained Allderdice 387-142 while getting touchdowns from Eric Hemmingway, Bruce Patterson and Jermaine Robinson. The bright spots for the 'Dice were that Taj Robinson scored the only Allderdice TD on a 30 yd pass play, and Javon Williams had two picks. Brashear will host Du Bois High School in a non-league game at the George Saturday afternoon at 3:30pm. Allderdice, who has lost three of its last four hopes to right the ship against the Westinghouse Bulldogs tonight at 7:00pm. With this win, Brashear has clinched the City League regular season title and the first place seed for the playoffs.
Schenley won its sixth in a row last Thursday in a 26-8 rout of Oliver, and has further solidified its hold on second place. The only way the Greeks can fall out of second is if they lose their last two games against Carrick and Perry, They can't take over first because of their loss to Brashear earlier this season. They do own the head to head tiebreaker over Allderdice. The Spartans will play the surprising Carrick Raiders on Saturday afternoon at 12pm. If they win this game, they are assured of second place in the City and the season ender against Perry is irrelevant. A win over Carrick is not the sure thing it used to be in days past. The Raiders have the league leading quarterback in the City in Mike Szoszorek who has thrown over 1,000 yds and added three TDs to his stats in a 41-6 beatdown of Westinghouse. The Tribe also has a credible running game in the person of Ray Seskey, and a deep threat in James Jett. The Raiders have two very tough games coming up against Schenley and Allderdice. Wins against both teams would catapult Carrick into second place and a playoff spot. Going 1-1 could put them in the playoffs depending on which team they beat and whatever Perry does. The playoff hopes of at least two teams rest on what happens to Carrick.
Perry snapped their four game losing streak and sent Peabody out of the playoff chase with a 43-20 spanking of the Highlanders, the second straight time that a team has hung 40+ points on the Kilties this season. Perry got two touchdown passes from Erron Farrow to John Richardson and Richard Lowry respectively, and Lowry ran the ball for 127 yds on 13 carries. Peabody got two scores from Ryan Bailey 1 rushing and 1 passing. Perry needs to win out and hope for help in they want to make the playoffs.
Your City League Advocate went 4-1 last week to go 38-6 on the season.
Thursday October 25
Allderdice vs Westinghouse: The Advocate does not know the status of Robere King or Anthony Irvin for tonights game against the Bulldogs, but giving the ball to Short should be more than enough to win. The Green Hats can use this game to tune up for the very important matchup against Carrick. Allderdice by 18
Friday October 26
Peabody at Oliver: Both teams have lost two out of their last three, but Peabody's riding a two game losing streak. Neither team's going to the playoffs, and unless Peabody picks up a week 10 game like they did last year, this marks the end of a disappointing season for the Highlanders. They'll want to go out with some pride, but Oliver won't let them. Oliver by 10
Perry at Langley: If getting crushed by Warren JFK 55-0 was bad enough, the Mustangs now have to face a Perry team desperate to make the playoffs and the most dominant team in the League in their last two games. Neither game will be pretty and only those who love trainwrecks will appreciate the carnage. Perry by 25
Saturday October 27
Schenley vs Carrick: The Advocate's Game of the Week. If Schenley is not careful, Carrick could bite them in the butt. The Advocate saw the Spartans in action against the 'Dice and that night, they were getting by on just raw talent. They had no discipline and had at least twenty penalties called against them. Carrick has the weapons to keep Schenley off balance. But Schenley has a pretty good defense against the pass. The Advocate sees Schenley winning this game, but it will be close. Schenley by 7
The Du Bois Beavers out of District 9 travel 103 miles down Rt 28 to the George to take on the Brashear Bulls. The Beavers are 2-6 this season. But two weeks ago they lost to a very good Selinsgrove team 7-0 on the road. Last year, the Beavers beat Brashear 23-14 at home, but this year, Brashear has speed and athleticism that Du Bois hasn't seen this season. Brashear's riding high, they've clinched the top seed, they're ripe for a loss, and they make take things a little easy. DaBulls did not look good against the 'Dice in terms of discipline and penalties, but they have enough raw talent to overcome a lot of penalties if playing against teams that can't matchup to them. Looking at their roster, DuBois doesn't have a big line on either side of the ball and on the D9 website, the predictions lean heavily towards Brashear But The Advocate thinks that Brashear will win this game, but I don't think it will be as easy. Brashear by 10.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Well now, enough with the monologue, let's talk a little football City League style shall we? Things are getting interesting in D8 land these days. Brashear continues is march towards the playoffs dispatching the Westinghouse Bulldogs 41-0 to extend theri record to 7-0 overall and 6-0 in the City. DaBulls are ranked in the top 10 in the state in defense allowing a paltry average of only 5 points per game, and only once have they had more than 10 points scored on them. And no team in the City League has scored more than 8 points on the Herd this season. The Quamane and Jermaine Show will be taking on a game Allderdice Dragon squad on Friday afternoon.
The Advocate's Green Hats (4-1,4-3) put on a rushing clinic at the George last Friday afternoon at the expense of the Peabody Highlanders rolling to a wild and wooly 47-20 win over the Kilties. Both teams generated 823 yards of total offense. Allderdice got 438 of its 456 yds on the ground as Joe Short and Robere King became the first two backs from one school to rush for 200 yds in 15 years. The Advocate is guessing that's a City League record, but if that includes the WPIAL as well, he would be doubly impressed. The incredible thing is that both players rushed for a total of 412 yards on only 21 carries!!! Do the Math boys and girls!! That's 19.6 yds per carry. Both players scored three touchdowns each, and both had long TD runs of 73 and 74 yds respectively. The 'Dice scored on its first two possessions in drives of 5 and 2 plays respectively. The Peabody defense had no answer for the triple threat of King, Irwin and Short.
The Dragon passing game took the day off as all scoring came by rushing, a field goal and the third safety in two games by the 'Dice defense. The defense had a momentary lapse as the Highlanders took advantage of the small defensive secondary of the Dragons and scored on two consectutive possessions to take the lead 14-13 by the end of the first quarter, but any hope the Highlanders had of pulling this game out were dashed when the Dragon offense kicked it into high gear and scored 34 unanswered points. The Allderdice D was successful in shutting down the Peabody running game, but were repeatedly burned on 20 and 30 yd passes that were thrown over the d-backs into the waiting arms of Kiltie receivers, but when the Highlanders got into the 20 yd line, the 'Dice D-line and linebacking corp put plenty of pressure on the Peabody QB sacking him multiple times and keeping the Kilties off the board until a late score in the 4th quarter. There was no sign of the flat and uninspired play that plagued the 'Dice in the loss to Schenley. This Dragon squad was breathing fire from the opening kickoff. They're going to have to maintain that fire when they take on the league leading Brashear Bulls. The 'Dice doesn't need to win this game to make the playoffs, but an upset would be a huge dose of self-confidence for this veteran Dragon squad. With winnable games against Westinghouse and Carrick to round out the schedule, the 'Dice can afford to lose to Brashear as long as they beat those last two teams.
The Schenley Spartans(4-1,5-2), who have come on like a house on fire lately, further staked their claim to a second place tie w/ the 'Dice with a 40-7 win over Langley. The Spartans have won five games in a row and are the second hottest team in the City League after Brashear. And compared to the 'Dice they have an easier road to the playoffs in that they've already played Brashear, and have only Oliver, Carrick and Perry on their remaining schedule.
But as interesting as the rise of Schenley, is the even more improbable performance of the Carrick Raiders. Wha, Mr. Advocate??? Did I hear you right? The Carrick Raiders?? Yes young Padawan, your ears are working properly. The Raiders (3-2,3-4) have climbed out of the City League dungeon from which they have been captive since 1987, and are presently holding on to fourth place in the standings one game ahead of the Oliver Bears and they have the head to head advantage over Oliver to boot. The resurgence of Carrick can be attributed to the quarterbacking prowess of one Mike Szoszorek, receiver James Jett and halfback Ray Seskey. Though the Tribe's road to the playoffs will be rough with games against both Schenley and Allderdice, there is a real possibility that they can sneak up on a napping team and score an upset. Last week, the Raiders traveled to New Ken to take on the Valley Vikings out of the WPIAL. The Raiders withstood a 389 yd rushing assault by Valley's Tracy Booker, but only lost to the Vikes by a score of 20-8. According to the Trib-Review account of the game, in the first half, Valley ran 55 offensive plays to Carrick's 15, Valley had 284 yds of offense to Carrick's 39 and more than doubled Carrick's time of possession 16:22 to 7:38, but the first half score was 8-6 CARRICK!!! The Advocate gets the distinct feeling that he's no longer amongst the normal folk and has descended into Bizarro World.
Even the Oliver Bears have an outside chance to make the playoffs if they win out the rest of their games, DaBears put the final nail into the coffin of this season's biggest disappointment, the Perry Commodores by beating the One Stars 14-13 in the Battle of the North Side.
Your City League Advocate went 4-1 last week and is now 34-5 on the season.
Thursday October 18
Schenley vs Oliver: DaBears have 2 of their last 3, but against bad teams, Schenley wants to make it six in a row, and they will. Schenley by 14.
Friday October 19
Brashear vs Allderdice: The Advocate's Game of the Week: he will be there. Brashear hasn't seen a rushing attack like the 'Dice this season, but Allderdice has had trouble defending the pass. You can sure that Brashear has seen tape of the Peabody and Schenley games and will be keying on the quick, yet small d-backs. Brashear has a ton of weapons, and even if the 'Dice defense can stop their running game, they'll have their hands full containing the Bulls pass attack. Brashear by 14
Perry vs Peabody: Stick a fork in the Commodores, they're done. The Kilties will be looking to take out their frustration at being scorched by the 'Dice and the One Stars are in their sghts. Peabody by 10
Langley at Warren (OH) John F. Kennedy: JFK destroyed the Clairton Bears of the WPIAL's Eastern Conference 44-18. Let's put this in perspective. Clairton is undefeated in one of the toughest conferences in the WPIAL regardless of class. The Bears have had three straight shutouts and have not had a team score in double digits in six of their seven games. Clairton is a heavy favorite to win the WPIAL Class A title. If JFK can hang 44 points on a top-drawer team like Clairton, The Advocate shudders to ponder what kind of a beatdown they would put on a winless Langley team that has scored less points all season than Allderdice scored against Peabody(42-47) last week. The Advocate gives the Mustangs credit for playing this game, but it'll be over by the first quarter. JFK by 40.
Saturday October 20
Westinghouse at Carrick: The Raiders last two games will be a death march, but they can get ready for them by taking out the Bulldogs. Carrick by 17
Friday, October 12, 2007
We are up to week 7 in the Pittsburgh City League and while Brashear is still rolling along as the only undefeated team in the League, the other playoff spots are being strongly contested by a quartet of teams.
1. Brashear 5-0, 6-0
2. Schenley 3-1, 4-2
2. Allderdice 3-1, 3-3
4. Carrick 3-2, 3-3
5. Perry 2-2. 2-4
6. Peabody 2-3, 2-3
7. Oliver 1-3, 1-5
7. Westinghouse 1-3, 1-5
9. Langley 0-5, 0-6
Brashear had bit of a scare thrown into them by the Oliver Bears last Thursday but were able to prevail 19-6 to remain undefeated on the season. After giving up 14 points in their first game, DaBulls have only given up 21 points in their last five games including 2 shutouts and no City team thus far has been able to score more than 8 points on The Herd this season. Their next victim, er, uh opponent will be the Westinghouse Bulldogs who have lost two in a row and were dropped by Peabody in the 93nd annual Battle of the East End 22-8. Peabody has won the last five games in this series, but the 'House still holds a commanding lead 58-29-5.
The Advocate's Game of the Week was touted as a must see game by The Advocate. A pivotal game between two up and coming teams that haven't made a impact in the City League in years. The surprising Allderdice Dragons who were on a three game City winning streak and were winning games with speedy backs and hard-nosed defense against the Schenley Spartans who were on a trifecta of their own with the leading running back in the City, one Jeremy Hawkins. The Advocate was hoping that the game would not come down to who would be better at passing the ball, well, that's what it came down to.
In an ugly, sloppy, game that had double digit penalties on both sides, the Schenley Spartans were able to overcome two first half safeties, numerous players being treated for heat exhaustion and other injuries, at least 15 penalties and a depleted 'Dice defense to score 14 unanswered points in the second half including a 3 yd TD run by Jeremy Hawkins with 1:17 left to play to defeat the Allderdice Dragons 20-18 to lift them into a second place tie with the 'Dice and more importantly, the head-to head playoff tiebreaker. That means that if Schenley and the 'Dice are tied for second place come playoff time, The Spartans would get the second seed and the 'Dice would get the third seed, which would guarantee that they would meet in the playoffs for the right to challenge Breashear for the title. Allderdice will have to beat Peabody, Westinghouse and Carrick, take the expected loss to Brashear, and hope that Schenley loses another game along the way. But looking at Schenley's schedule, every game from here on is verrrry winnable. Langley, Oliver, Carrick, and Perry round out the final four weeks of the schedule and Perry may be on the only team that could give the Spartans trouble.
Back to the game analysis. Neither team was able to run the ball that well, although Hawkins had 94 yds on 16 carries and the 'Dice's Joe Short showed little effect from his early season suspension with a 113 yd performance off 16 carries. Due to large amount of penalties, both teams played from bad field position all game long. There was a lot of 3rd and 15 and 3rd and 20 plays all afternoon. Going into the locker room up 18-6 at half time, Allderdice looked flat and had showed little enthusiasm until late in the second half when Schenley started to get their passing game together and drove down the field. The 'Dice defense was hurt by the loss of senior lineman David Yancy who was pulled out for the second half for heat exhaustion and dehydration. The loss of Yancy hurt the D-line in that they weren't able to put the kind of pressure on QB Deandre Kane in the second half that they were able to do in the first half, and that turned the game around for Schenley. The next game for the Green Hats will be against Peabody while the Spartans will entertain winless Langley.
The Carrick Raiders continue to impress moving into 4th place in the League with a 36-7 smackdown of Langley. Mike Szoszorek threw for 208 yds and 2 TDs and Ray Seskey had three TDs including receptions of 55 and 24 yds. The 3-2 Raiders have a couple tough games down the road in Schenley and Allderdice, but the possibility that they could catch one of those teams napping is very real. The Tribe will be hosting the Valley Vikings out of the WPIAL on Saturday afternoon.
Perry lost to Cumberland Valley 42-6 to drop their third game in a row to go to 2-4 overall, but they are still in the hunt for a playoff spot at 2-2 in City League play.
Your City League Advocate went 4-1 last week to up his record to 30-4 for the season.
Thursday October 11
Langley vs Schenley: The Spartans should have no trouble against the Mustangs. Schenley by 14
Friday October 12
Allderdice vs Peabody: The 'Dice cannot afford another loss if they want to stay in third place. Last week, they were flat. Coach Schmidt will not allow that to happen this week. Allderdice by 7
Oliver vs Perry: The East End has Peabody-Westinghouse, the North Side has Perry-Oliver. Both teams are down, but this game is still important to those folks on the North Side. Perry by 10
Saturday October 13
Brashear vs Westinghouse: Yet another tune-up for the Raging Bulls Brashear by 21
Valley at Carrick: Last year, the Vikings beat up the Raiders in New Kensington 34-6. Valley will win this one, but the Advocate expects a tighter result. Valley by 14
Friday, October 05, 2007
1.Brashear 4-0, 5-0
2.Allderdice 3-0, 3-2
3. Schenley 2-1, 3-2
4. Carrick 2-2, 2-3
4 Perry 2-2, 2-3
6. Oliver 1-2, 1-4
6. Westinghouse 1-2, 1-4
8. Peabody 1-3, 1-3
9. Langley 0-4, 0-5
See anything wrong with this picture? When was the last time that Allderdice was in second place? Even stranger, when was the last time that CARRICK was in the running for a playoff spot??? What is the stuff they're smoking up in Carrick, and better yet, can Your City League Advocate get a little some-some?. The Advocate was a little slack-jawed when he saw that The Raiders had given Perry all they wanted and then some in a 12-8 loss in week 2. But in their two wins over Oliver and Peabody, they've scored 64 points. And Peabody was expected to contend for a playoff spot by the Advocate in his pre-season preview. But clearly this is not a typical Carrick Raider squad, These injuns are on the warpath and the second half
of their schedule offers more than a few scalps to collect. Note to the 'Dice and Schenley: Don't take the Raiders for granted, they could sneak up on some one. The Raiders beat Peabody 37-6 off 207 yds passing by QB Mike Szoszorek to drop the Highlanders to 1-3 in the League. The Kilties have a chance to get back into the playoff race in the second half of the season with games against Westinghouse, Perry, and Oliver, and a tough matchup against the Advocate's Dragons.
Speaking of the Dragons, Allderdice hit the road last week heading down to West by-gawd Vriginia to take on a very strong Brooke Bruins squad. Despite a Brooke 21-0 lead in the second quarter, the Green Hats came back and scored 20 unanswered points off TD runs by Anthony Irvin, Joe Short, and Don Fickley, but could not convert the final extra point to lose 21-20, which to the Advocate ws a strong effort on the road. The loss drops the Dragons to 3-2 overall, but they will face a big test this week against the up and coming Schenley Spartans who put a hurting on the Westinghouse Bulldogs 26-6 behind a stellar rushing effort by league-leading running back Jeremy Hawkins who rushed 27 times for 185 yds and scored three TDs. The Greeks have won three in a row, and will be taking on a 'Dice team that has some pretty good runners of its own in Robere King, Joe Short, Anthony Irvin and Don Fickley. If you look at the Ciy League rushing stats, at least 3 of the top five rushers in the league will be playing against each other Friday afternoon. The Advocate looks forward to checking out this game in person. The 'Dice has been shutting down the run well lately. But they haven't seen a back like Hawkins yet this season. Then again, Schenley hasn't seen the multi-talented backfield the 'Dice has been sporting so far. The Spartans second half schedule is pretty favorable with winnable games against Langley, Carrick, Oliver and Perry. But they'll have to get past the 'Dice first, and the Advocate chooses this gane to be his Game of the Week. After this week, the 'Dice will have Peabody, Brashear, Westinghouse and Carrick, and if they can win out, except for Brashear, they should end up in 2nd place.
The Perry Commodores woes continue. The One Stars were smacked around by Brashear 28-7. Quamane Bryant ran for two TDs aand Jermaine Robinson rushed for 118 yds to keep the Bulls undefeated. Perry now will travel east 194 miles to Mechanicsburg to take on the perennial playoff contender Cumberland Valley. (Note to DR: Don't waste your money on this game it'll be over by the second quarter). However despite the ugly first half the Commodores suffered, they could still pile up a few wins and mike life miserable for Schenley in their season ender.
Oliver got one in the win column beating up the only team worse than them, the Langley Mustangs. 32-6.
Your City League Advocate went 4-1 last week to up his record to 26-3 thus far.
Thursday October 4th
Brashear vs Oliver: This season's Wall Street Game won't have nearly the amount of buzz and fireworks that last season's Championship final between these two teams generated. Brashear by 30
Friday October 5th
Schenley vs Allderdice: This is the 'Dice's homecoming game, and also The Advocate's Game of the Week. Schenley brings the top rated runner in the City League. The 'Dice brings four stud rushers of their own and a stiff run defense. The Advocate has not seen Schenley's QB in action so he does not know how good the Greek passing game is. He has seen the 'Dice's QB in action and prays that the game doesn't come down to who can put the ball in the air better. Serious tie-breaker implications in this game. The Advocate will go with the 'Dice partially out of bias, but also because they can run the ball so many different ways. 'Dice by 7
Langley vs Carrick: The Advocate is going to call the City League AD and offer him anything short of a certain sex act to switch this game with the 'Dice-Schenley game. It is a crime that a game like this will be played on the Main Stage during prime time high school football hours while the best game of the week gets slotted into the 3:30pm slot where five people and a German Shepherd will be watching it. Carrick by 20
Perry at Cumberland Valley: The Advocate has always given Perry credit for scheduling big non-League games. The One Stars got crushed by Erie Cathedral Prep in week one, and it gone down hill since. Now riding a two game losing streak, they'll have a 4 hour bus ride into the wilds of Pennsylbamatucky to take on Cumberland Valley. Can you say "three game losing streak" boys and girls?? I knew you could. Cumberland Valley by 25
Saturday October 6th
Peabody vs Westinghouse: Once this game meant something. Up thru the '70's, people would come from all over Western PA to watch the Highlanders and the Bulldogs strap it on. In Homewood and East Liberty, the Peabody-Westinghouse game guaranteed that the streets would be empty, everybody who was anybody came to see the 'House and the 'Body. The game still matters in those two communities, but the rest of the region won't even know nor care. Peabody needs this game to get back into the hunt. The 'House wants the win for respect. Peabody by 10
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church
New Orleans, Louisiana
September 25, 2007
A Response to Questions and Concerns Raised by our Anglican Communion Partners
In accordance with Our Lord's high priestly prayer that we be one, and in the spirit of Resolution A159 of the 75th General Convention, and in obedience to his Great Commission to go into the world and make disciples, and in gratitude for the gift of the Anglican Communion as a sign of the Holy Spirit's ongoing work of reconciliation throughout the world, we offer the following to the Episcopal Church, the Primates, the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC), and the larger Communion, with the hope of "mending the tear in the fabric" of our common life in Christ.
"I do it all for the sake of the Gospel so that I might share in its blessings." 1 Corinthians 9:23
The House of Bishops expresses sincere and heartfelt thanks to the Archbishop of Canterbury and members of the Joint Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates for accepting our invitation to join us in New Orleans. By their presence they have both honored us and assisted us in our discernment. Their presence was a living reminder of the unity that is Christ's promised gift in teh power of the Holy Spirit.
Much of our meeting time was spent in continuing discernment of our relationships within the Anglican Communion. We engaged in careful listening and straightforward dialogue with our guests. We expressed our passionate desire to remain in communion. It is our conviction that The Episcopal Church needs the Anglican Communion, and we heard from our guests that the Anglican Communion needs The Episcopal Church.
The House of Bishops offers the following responses to our Anglican Communion partners. We believe they provide clarity and point toward next steps in an ongoing process of dialogue. Within The Episcopal Church the common discernment of God's call is a lively partnership among laypersons, bishops, priests, and deacons, and therefore necessarily includes the Presiding Bishop, the Executive Council, and the General Convention.
We deplore incursions into our jurisdictions by uninvited bishops and call for them to end.
Resolution B033 of the 2006 General Convention
The House of Bishops concurs with Resolution EC011 of the Executive Council. This Resolution commends the Report of the Communion Sub-Group of the Joint Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates of the Anglican Communion as an accurate evaluation of Resolution B033 of the 2006 General Convention, calling upon bishops with jurisdiction and Standing Committees "to exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion." The House acknowledges that non-celibate gay and lesbian persons are included among those to whom B033 pertains.
Blessing of Same-Sex Unions
We, the members of the House of Bishops, pledge not to authorize for use in our dioceses any public rites of blessing of same-sex unions until a broader consensus emerges in the Communion, or until General Convention takes further action. In the near future we hope to be able to draw upon the benefits of the Communion-wide listening process. In the meantime, it is important to note that no rite of blessing for persons living in same-sex unions has been adopted or approved by our General Convention. In addition to not having authorized liturgies the majority of bishops do not make allowance for the blessing of same-sex unions. We do note that in May 2003 the Primates said we have a pastoral duty "to respond with love and understanding to people of all sexual orientations." They further stated, "...[I]t is necessary to maintain a breadth of private response to situations of individual pastoral care."
We affirm the Presiding Bishop's plan to appoint episcopal visitors for dioceses that request alternative oversight. Such oversight would be provided by bishops who are a part of and subject to the communal life of this province. We believe this plan is consistent with and analogous to Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight (DEPO) as affirmed by the Windsor Report (paragraph 152). We thank those bishops who have generously offered themselves for this ministry. We hope that dioceses will make use of this plan and that the Presiding Bishop will continue conversation with those dioceses that may feel the need for such ministries. We appreciate and need to hear all voices in The Episcopal Church.
Incursions by Uninvited Bishops
We call for an immediate end to diocesan incursions by uninvited bishops in accordance with the Windsor Report and consistent with the statements of past Lambeth Conferences and the Ecumenical Councils of the Church. Such incursions imperil common prayer and long-established ecclesial principles of our Communion. These principles include respect for local jurisdiction and recognition of the geographical boundaries of dioceses and provinces. As we continue to commit ourselves to honor both the spirit and the content of the Windsor Report, we call upon those provinces and bishops engaging in such insurvions likewise to honor the Windsor Report by ending them. We offer assurance that delegated episcopal pastoral care is being provided for those who seek it.
In their communique of February 2007, the Primates proposed a "pastoral scheme." At our meeting in March 2007, we expressed our deep concern that this scheme would compromise the authority of our own primate and place the autonomy of The Episcopal Church at risk. The Executive Council reiterate our concerns and declined to participate. Nevertheless we recognize a useful role for communion-wide consultation with respect to the pastoral needs of those seeking alternative oversight, as well as the pastoral needs of gay and lesbian persons in this and other provinces. We encourage our Presiding Bishop to continue to explore such consultation in a manner that is in accord with our Constitution and Canons.
The Listening Process
The 1998 Lambeth Conference called all the provinces of the Anglican Communion to engage in a "listening process" designed to bring gay and lesbian Anglicans fully into the church's conversation about sexuality. We look forward to receiving initial reports about this process at the 2008 Lambeth Conference, and to participating with others in this crucial enterprise. We are aware that in some cultural contexts, conversation concerning homosexuality is difficult. We see an important role for the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) in this listening process, since it represents both the lay and ordained members of our constituent churches and so is well placed to engage every part of the body in this conversation. We encourage the ACC to identify the variety of resources needed to accomplish these conversations.
The Lambeth Conference
Invitations to the Lambeth Conference are extended by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Those among us who have received an invitation to attend the 2008 Lambeth Conference look forward to that gathering with hope and expectation. Many of us are engaged in mission partnerships with bishops and dioceses around the world and cherish these relationships. Lambeth offers a wonderful opportunity to build on such partnerships.
We are mindful that the Bishop of New Hampshire has not yet received an invitation to the conference. We also note that the Archbishop of Canterbury has expressed a desire to explore a way for him to participate. We share the Archbishop's desire and encourage our Presiding Bishop to offer our assistance as bishops in this endeavor. It is our fervent hope that a way can be found for his full participation.
Justice and Dignity for Gay and Lesbian Persons
It is of fundamental importance that, as we continue to seek consensus in matters of human sexuality, we also be clear and outspoken in our shared commitment to establish and protect the civil rights of gay and lesbian persons, and to name and oppose at every turn any action or policy that does violence to them, encourages violence towards them, or violates their dignity as children of God. We call all our partners in the Anglican Communion to recommit to this effort. As we stated at the conclusion of our meeting in March 2007: "We proclaim the Gospel of what God has done and is doing in Christ, of the dignity of every human being, and of justice, compassion and peace. We proclaim the Gospel that in Christ there is no Jew or Greek, no male or female, no slave or free. We proclaim the Gospel that in Christ all God's children, including women, are full and equal participants in the life of Christ's Church. We proclaim the Gospel that in Christ all God's children including gay and lesbian persons, are full and equal participants in the life of Christ's Church. We proclaim the Gospel that stands against any violence, including violence done to women and children as well as those who are persecutive because of their differences, often in the name of God."
The above text was made available to us by epiScope. Many thanks to the Rev. Jan Nunley.
In short, the House of Bishops didn't really give anybody what they really wanted. The hard left wanted the Bishops to back up their claims about gays and lesbians being full members of the Church by allowing those who are in committed long-term relationships to be consecrated as bishops and the full authorization of public rites of same-sex blessings. The hard right merely got a pledge that the Bishops won't authorize same-sex blessings and that they would "exercise restraint" in consecrating a person as bishop who's "manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and would lead to further strains on the Communion." instead of the outright denunciation and ban they had been looking for. the people in the big fat middle are lining up for and against the statement with no major consensus either way. In short, it was a classic TEC compromise. What has cheesed a lot of the GLBT crowd off is the explicit mention of non-celibate gays in the "exercise restraint" clause. There are a bunch of other folks whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church. Pedophiles, serial divorcees, why especially single out the gays and lesbians, other than they are the major focus of contention. Some GLBT activists accuse the Bishops of hypocrisy stating that on one hand, they acknowledge the full inclusion of GLBT folk into the life of the church and on the other, won't give them the right to have their unions blessed or fully endorse consecration of openly gay bishops. The Bishops also endorsed the PB's plan of providing Episcopal visitors to minister to those dioceses who do not support the authority of the current Presiding Bishop as well as recognizing the need for communion-wide consultation in matters of the pastoral needs of those requesting alternative oversight as well as the needs of the GLBT faction of the church. The Bishops also condemned the recent practice of incursion into the territory of TEC by Primates of the so called "Global South" for the purpose of setting up "safe harbors" for those parishes who have proclaimed themselves out of fellowship in the Episcopal Church. These incursions violate the rules of the Communion that state that each Communion member church is automonous and no other church in the AC can tell another how to conduct their business.
I guess that this statement is about the best that can be had because the things that the Communion really wanted in terms of a response are not in the House of Bishops' power to give.
You'll remember in my blog post: "Is We Is or Is We Ain't in the Communion?" back in February that the sole authority for change in the Episcopal Church is General Convention. This is the body that has the power to make and pass legislation affecting TEC, and that body only meets once every three years and isn't scheduled to meet again until 2009. Only they can call for outright binding endorsement or banning of same-sex blessings and the consecration of gay bishops. And the delegates of the Convention have already spoken when they passed the "exercise restraint" resolution b033 back in 2006. The Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church gave that level of authority to General Convention alone for a reason. In order to wield a big club that has the potential to hurt a lot of people, there has to be a damn good reason to do it and all possible avenues of discussion and debate have to exercised by the widest selection of people representing all sides of the debate. The House of Bishops does not have the authority to make statements that anyone HAS to follow. They were charged to come up with a response to the requests of the Primates at the Tanzania meeting and they have done so. They pissed a lot of people off in the process. But when dealing with folks at the extreme ends of the political spectrum, more often than not, they aren't going to be satisfied with anything less than total capitulation one way or the other. The liberals will blast the bishops for not having enough guts to totally go their way, and the conservatives have already dismissed the statement has not having gone far enough to meet their standards for reconciliation.
And the people in the middle are left scratching their heads and figuring out what the next move is. In the conservative Diocese of Pittsburgh, where I am a member of a minority progressive parish, the Bishop has already stated that the upcoming Diocesan Convention will entertain legislation regarding removal of the accession clause in the diocesan constitution that requires that the diocese acknowledges its membership to, and defers to the authority of, the Episcopal Church. The resolution is pretty much expected to pass, because in this diocese, if the Bishop declared that 2+2=5, everybody would be storming the doors of the textbook manufacturers with pitchforks and torches demanding change in their kiddies math textbooks. That would pretty much open the door for him to take the Diocese out of TEC. Never mind the fact that a diocese is a creation of General Convention and only that body can create and dissolve dioceses. Bishop Duncan is convinced that he can wave his magic crozier and totally subvert canon law. He does not acknowledge the authority of the Presiding Bishop, won't let her visit the diocese, or any church therein. There are about a dozen churches in this diocese, mine included, that drew up vestry resolutions affirming their membership and support to TEC. What would happen to them? Right now, the only reason +Duncan even comes to Holy Cross is because he is still under the authority of TEC and is required to conduct visitation to every parish in his cure. Other than his visit to HC two weeks ago, he hasn't darkened our threshold since the installation of our rector and that was two years ago.
It's safe to say that the ball is now in the court of the conservatives. They've been crowing about TEC "walking apart" from the rest of the communion, and they've been increasingly cozying up to the Global South primates who don't have to rely on such devices as General Conventions to impose their will on their parishioners and clergy. Their legislative bodies are paper tigers existing only to rubber stamp whatever the Primate wants. The Global South types envision an Anglican version of the Roman Catholic Church where edicts and pronouncements from on high are binding to all faithful and questioning and debate are at best tolerated and at worst outright disregarded. The messy business of discussion and debate and letting legislative bodies have all the power is distasteful to them. It's much easier and more orderly to tell the people what to believe and what would happen to them if they didn't. The next few years including Lambeth 2008 and General Convention 2009 may or may not make the muddy waters of Anglicanism in the US and the world any clearer, and a lot of people are tired of all the fighting and just want to move on. But one thing has been made clear: all this is about power. who has it, who wants it, and the price for getting and holding it. God isn't in any of this.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
One does not generally hear the words: high scoring; first place tie; defeating Perry; and Allderdice football in the same sentence. This is just not something that normal, rational people can understand, but who ever accused the Advocate of being normal much less rational? These are heady times at 2409 Shady Ave and with good reason. For the first time since 1982, The Dragons beat the Perry Commodores 29-6 last Friday night to share first place with Brashear in the City League. The Advocate knows that in this region where the WPIAL is considered the kings, the City is equivalent to the court jester, but to those of us who sport the Green and White, this was a very big ugly monkey that had to be pried off the back of this football team.
64-0, 49-0, 78-6. These were past scores by which Perry had humliated the 'Dice. The last time the 'Dice beat Perry, The Advocate was in crackerjacks in Nawfulk, VA on the USS Carl Vinson prepping for our first world cruise. A lot has happened in that time. But last week, The 'Dice got a bit of redemption. The Advocate had the privilege to see the game in person, and let's just say, I have never seen an Allderdice team that focused, that confident, and that in command. The Dragons jumped out to a 21-0 lead off of TD runs by Robere King who rushed for 127 yds off 12 carries. All three of the Dragons first half scores were set up by huge plays. The first came from a fumble recovery off Perry's opening drive by the 'Dice followed by a 25 yd pass from Robert Travis to Taj Robinson to set up the 2 yd TD by King. The second score came from an 8yd scamper by Anthony Irvin set up by a tremendous 69 yd run by King to put the 'Dice up 14-0. The third score came off a blocked Perry Punt recovered by the 'Dice on the Perry 27, A 25 yd pass from Travis to King, followed by a 5 yd offside penalty against the Commodores set up the 3 yd TD run by Travis calling his own number. Perry got their lone score on the first drive of the second half when a Commodore defender picked up a 'Dice fumble and ran 29 yds for the TD. But the 'Dice got that score back with a 3 yd TD run by King to close out the scoring. Perry could not stop the Dragon running attack at all. Even the passing game which admittedly is a weak spot for Allderdice was having some success, but it was the Dragon defense that was showing its teeth, shutting down Perry's running game completely. And while the One Stars were having early success with short passes over the middle, the 'Dice's d-backs were committed to stopping the long ball, totally covering Perry's receivers like a blanket. Perry has always prided itself on having a complete passing game, but it wasn't happening this week.
The Advocate has seen Perry play many times, and he's used to seeing the Commodores destroy opponents with a confidence bordering on arrogance. This bunch was not the usual One Stars. They coughed up the ball three times to Allderdice, two of which lead to scores. By the fourth quarter, this team was dejected, frustrated and uncharacterstically undisicplined. On the other side, Allderdice was a team possessed. They sensed they had Perry on the ropes and would not let up. The 'Dice seniors finally got it. They now know what it is to lead. This was a big win for the Dragons not only because of the end of the 25 year jinx, but in a league where head-to-head results are the main tie breaker, if Allderdice can run the table except for their expected loss to Brashear, they can finish no lower than second place for the playoffs. This can be a huge thing for the 'Dice because this can provide a slightly easier road to Heinz Field. And given the state of the League thus far in the season, It's very possible that the 'Dice could end up 7-1 in the City. This week, Dragons finish their non conference schedule traveling 46 miles west to Wellsburg, West-by-gawd-Virginia to take on the Brooke Bruins. Perry jumps from the frying pan into the fire when they take on the other first place team in the City, the Brashear Bulls.
Oh, the Advocate almost forgot that there were other games in the City League this week, but frankly none of them could hold a candle to 'Dice-Perry. The Brashear Bulls extended their record to 3-0 in the City and 4-0 overall with a 40-0 smackdown of Carrick. Quamane Bryant scored four touchdowns on runs of 15, 6, and 47yds and a 38 yd reception for TD. He rushed for 122 yds on 11 carries. Jermaine Robinson went 9 of 12 for 202 yds in passing and two TD passes to Eric Hemmingway and Ed Tinker for 38 and 22 yds respectively. DaBulls just keep on rolling, and the thought that this may finally be their year is becoming more of a reality every week. The Carrick Raiders will to win their second in their last three when they host Peabody.
Speaking of the Pride of East Liberty/Highland Park, the Highlanders lost an important game to the Schenley Spartans 14-6 to drop to 1-2 in the City. The Kilties scored first, but Schenley (2-2) came back on a 21 yd TD pass from Greg Blair to Deandre Kane, and finished Peabody off with a 2 yd TD run in the fourth quarter run by Jeremy Hawkins. Peabody will look to snap their two game losing streak with a win against the Carrick Raiders, while Schenley trys to solidify their playoff hopes against Westinghouse.
Da Big Bad Bulldogs broke out of the City League dungeon with a 27-3 beatdown of the Langley Mustangs, and the Oliver Bears continued to go winless losing to Sharon of District 10 36-22.
Your City League Advocate went 4-1 last week to extend his record to 22-2 after 4 weeks.
Thursday September 27
Brashear vs Perry: Oh how the mighty have fallen. Once, Perry dominated teams like Allderdice and Brashear with stunning regularity, but what goes around comes around and this time it's the Commodores that are on the receiving end of blowouts. Perry was manhandled by the 'Dice and this week will be further hammered by the high-flying Brashear Bulls who have only given up 8 points against City League opponents in '07. Brashear has been licking their chops for years to humiliate the One Stars and DABulls should be sending the 'Dice a present for hadning them a disheveled and discouraged Commodore squad. Brashear by 20
Friday September 28
Schenley vs Westinghouse: The Spartans can go 3-1 on the season and jump into 3rd place with a win over the 'Dawgs and a Perry loss. Schenley by 10
Oliver vs Langley: Someone has to win this game, And actually games like this are just as hard to pick as a game between two unbeaten teams because both teams have such bad records, but Oliver has not stunk as badly as Langley has, so they get the nod here. Oliver by 10
Allderdice vs Brooke (WV): According to the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference website, Brooke is 4-1 and in a four way tie for second place in the AAAA race in the OVAC. Last year they were 7-3 and went to the state playoffs. Last year, the Bruins edged the 'Dice 17-14. I checked out their roster, not a lot of size, 18 seniors. Both teams are improved. This game will be a good test for the 'Dice. The most important thing is that the Dragons don't get any costly injuries and can maintain the momentum they've built up. Not having a lot of info about Brooke beyond what I was able to find and considering the 'Dice's past history with teams from WV, IThe Advocate will give Brooke the nod here. Brooke by 7
Friday September 29
Peabody vs Carrick. Peabody needs this win to get back into the playoff race. This is an improved Raider team, but not enough to overcome a hungry Peabody team that hasn't won sinc week one. Peaboy by 10
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
On to this week in the Pgh City League. Here are the standings after week 3
1. Brashear 2-0, 3-0
2. Allderdice 2-0, 2-1
3. Perry 2-0, 2-1
4. Peabody 1-1, 1-1
5. Carrick 1-1, 1-2
6. Schenley 0-1, 1-2
7. Westinghouse 0-1, 0-3
8. Oliver 0-2, 0-3
9. Langley 0-2, 0-3
The Brashear Bulls put the Quamane and Jermaine Show up against Peabody, and except for a few miscues on special teams and an early interception, DaBulls dominance over the Kilties was never in doubt. Peabody hung with the league leaders for a quarter, but then Brashear woke up and took over. Quamane Bryant carried the ball nine times for 102 yds, and TD's of 6 and 25 yds. Bruce Patterson carried for 80 yds on 13 carries. The Herd rolled up 283 yds total offense and their defense held Peabody to 18 yds rushing and sacked the QB a devestating 10 times. Jermaine Robonson completed 8 of 13 passes for 62 yds. The Highlanders got their lone score when Brashear muffed the opening kickoff, and Stewart Townsend scored on a 29 yd TD run. The next test for the Bulls will be against the Carrick Raiders, while the Highlanders will play the Schenley Spartans.
The Advocates' Allderdice Dragons were hitting on all cylinders against the Langley Mustangs sending the Ponies out to the glue factory 48-0. It's rare for an Allderdice team to mercy rule an opponent, so to see this massacre in person was a treat. Despite not having their feature back Joe Short, the Green Hats got 271 yds rushing from Anthony Irvin, (10 for 149 yds, 3 td) and Robere King( 11 for 122 yds, 3 td). The 'Dice got a strong defensive effort from the senior laden defense holding Langley to -9 yds of total offense. This was the first game in the City League this season that two running backs rushed for over 100 yds each. The next game for the undefeated Dragons will be the Advocate's Game of the Week against the also undefeated Perry Commodores. Langley will limp into next week's game against the Westinghouse Bulldogs who are also still looking for their first win.
The Oliver Bears were still reeling from their first two losses, and so the Advocate thought that the lowly Carrick Raiders would be the medicine to cure DaBears ills, right. As The Advocate's old Company Commander from his boot camp days put it so eloquently: " Wrong F'g Answer, Recruit!!!!" Carrick exacted revenge for years of beatdowns by the Bruins with a convincing 27-6 win. Ray Seskey toted the pig for 122 yds on 21 carries and scored 3 TDs. QB Mike Szoszorek feasted on the Bears defense passing 12 of 24 for 140 yds. Carrick's Rayshawn Banks rushed for a 34 yd TD. Oliver got their only score from a 20 yd pass from deVaughn Copeland to Dante Jeter. Oliver will go off the reservation for the second time this season, venturing 70 miles up to Sharon PA to take on the Tigers. Carrick will play Brashear.
The Perry Commodores defeated the Westinghouse Bulldogs 34-14 on the strength of a 2 scores by John Henderson, a 13 yd reception from QB Erron Farrow and a fumble recovery in the end zone.
The Schenley Spartans became the second team to win a non conference game in the City League this season defeating Leechburg 28-8. Jeremy Hawkins provided all the scoring for the Greeks, gaining 167 yds on 26 carries and sscoring on runs of 4, 35, and 12 yds, as well as returning the opening kickoff 82 yds for a touchdown. Schenley will next take on the Peabody Highlanders.
Your City League Advocate went 4-1 last week, only stumbling on the Carrick game to go 18-1 for the season.
Thursday September 20th
Westinghouse vs Langley. The Big Bad Bulldogs have a golden opportunity to get out of the cellar with a win against the Mustangs. The Dawgs are scoring points, they just need to put it all together and the Advocate thinks they will in this game. 'House by 14
Friday September 21st
Brashear vs. Carrick. If you like beatdowns you'll love this one. DaBulls can use this game as a tune-up for their showdown against Perry, who has denied DaBulls so many times on Championship Saturday. Brashear by 21
Allderdice vs Perry. This is the Advocate's Game of the Week. Both teams are undefeated in the City League, winning against opponents in the bottom half of the table. This is the first legit City League test these teams have had this season. The 'Dice has gotten strong rushing performances from Robere King to make up for the lack of Short, who will return to action for this game. Despite not having the top drawer talent in past years, Perry is still a very dangerous team. If Allderdice can get a good rushing attack from King and Short with also help from Irvin, they could hand the Commodores a loss which would leave the 'Dice and Brashear all alone at the top of the City League. The Commodores will try and stop the rush making Allderdice rely on the throwing the ball which has been an adventure with 'Dice QB's this season. This is an important game with playoff implications for both teams, but especially for Allderdice. The Advocate thinks the 'Dice can win this one, and he'll be in the crowd watching, but it's never wise to bet against Perry. Head versus heart, the Advocate will have to go with Perry by 7
Oliver at Sharon. Last year Oliver lost to Sharon by 9 points on their way to their first City Championship in 64 years. This year, with nothing on the line, This game will get ugly. Sharon by 20
Saturday September 22nd
Schenley vs Peabody. This is the beginning of a stretch of favorable games for the Peabody Highlanders as they attempt to get back into the City League playoff scene. If they can shake off the blowout against Brashear, they could win this game, they have the talent to beat the Spartans and they should. Peabody by 10