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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.... - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly....
Good should always go first.

Rick Jeanerret is a local treasure. The long-standing play-by-play voice of the Buffalo Sabres, almost since the beginning and now on both TV and radio, he's overcome throat cancer and age and, with some well-timed vacations coinciding with long Sabre road trips, he sounds as good as ever.  He's already in the Hockey Hall of Fame and has committed to at least one more season after this one.

Yet I'd never seen RJ call a game-winning goal until this morning.

It was his reaction to Jack Eichel's overtime game winner with one second left. There are a ton of sites making it viral, but none youtubing or otherwise letting me embed it, so go watch it: Top shelf where mama hides the clickies.

And if you want to see the goal itself, I did at least find that embedded with Rick's call of it.


This afternoon then brought news that pretty much ends a 20-plus-year journey of faith for me, one that's already ended for Eleanor:

Our church's minister for the past six years, and its only one for the past several, will be leaving when our denomination does its annual game of Musical Pews on July 1st.

My troubles with this congregation's direction (mostly rudderless) and results (failing and fading) never had anything to do with Rich. He heard a later-in-life call to ministry after years in the publishing industry, endured the end of a marriage that was largely a matter of a spouse discovering her own sexuality, and for years he specialized in "transition ministry" for the United Methodist Church- a "fixer" in the Hail Caesar! Coen brothers film tradition. Now, it appears, he'll be doing that again.

Rich was always a strong supporter of Reconciling Ministries within the UMC- the movement to recognize members and clergy of any, all or no sexuality to be fully eligible for everything- from participation to marriage to ordination.  His was not the source of the slowness in the process I tried to begin- that came from the non-clergy leadership that's been virtually unchanged in the now almost 22 years we've been there. They overthink everything, and can't get out of their own way without using surveys and analytics and tired old methods to try to bring in new blood. The place has been leaking money for years as older and richer members move away, get peeyoed over things or just die- and their solution is to cut "apportionments," what is turned in from the offering plate to support the denomination and its hands-on ministries around the word. Three paid staff positions have sat vacant for months to years at a time. Only the choir is sacrosanct- and one of its leaders has been struggling with health issues for some time. I haven't been there in weeks, and have seen and heard nothing, even before this news, to suggest anything I can do for that ministry, much less anything it can do for me. I may return, of record, to the church we were married in- at least they support RMN and have many more connections to things we care about.

I am no longer involved with the committee in this church that is now tasked with meeting with Rich's potential successors and offering input on who will be arriving in July. (They can request, or recommend, but they cannot insist or refuse.) That non-involvement, if God is listening, is one thing I am very thankful for right now. Rich, meanwhile, is destined to serve, again in a "fixer" role, in a small rural church between and north of Rochester and Syracuse. From some of the dog-whistle words on their website, I do not expect he will find much support there for flying a Rainbow flag there any time soon.

Eleanor and I agree. He was a good man in a bad place- and he doesn't deserve anything that's not better.


As for the ugly:

The Trump Train appears headed for a spectacular wreck. Violence is escalating against those who dissent- even silent protesters are being physically attacked- and he's promising to pay the legal fees of anyone arrested for the dustups. At least one journalist (for a right-wing-nutjob site, even) was roughed up by supporters. Herr Drumpf is encouraging loyalty oaths- to him, not the party or country- and photos of Hitler salutes are becoming common. None of this is acknowledged, most of it outright denied ("She was raising a hand to ask a question!" Yeah, I always point my arm at a 45-degree angle when I want Mr. Kotter to see me).

Plenty of dog-whistling going on there, too. The poor, the handicapped, the different looking of all kinds are being demonized. Even some evangelical ministers are having second thoughts. I hope their fire insurance is paid up.

Maybe this will be the week when it finally turns- that some states come to their senses.  But one of them is Florida, and they're not exactly known for that.
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