Happy New Year 2018
|Feb.24, 2018. February is nearly over and I'm just now getting to this new page of Happy New Year 2018. I get later
and later with this site, but I'm slower and slower at everything nowadays.
On February 1st Carol and I moved to Cincinnati together in a good sized apartment with my sister, Carol, living
across the street. I still haven't unpacked all my boxes and it's colder than a witches behind riding a broom in Siberia.
So much to talk about, but nothing to say; I leave with my first picture. My sister and I on Valentine's day:
|Aren't we cute? I'm glad to be with both Carols here in
Cincinnati, but February is not my favorite month here. It's
rained almost every day since we came and my dog does
not realize she has to poop outside yet.
I'll have more pictures of family, etc. soon. But, just so you
know that I'm still alive and well even though frozen.
3_09_18. I just received a picture on Facebook of my first
great grand-daughter, Carmella, and I have to make it the
first of my family's pictures. She is absolutely beautiful,
kind, and loveable; a perfect great grandchild! I miss her
terribly as all my family I left behind in Florida and those so
far away in Houston, and other parts.
|So, here she is, Ms. Theater herself, Carmella, best little
actress on the Emerald Coast. Tell her what to play and
she can make it come alive!
Nobody can resist her and she's got so much going for
her that her leadership in any venue is guaranteed!
She is my first great grandchild; what a thrill when she
was born...children are magical; grandchildren are so
much fun, but great grandchildren are like one's legacy
to the world. They are my and my husband's gift to the
planet and we sit back and glow in the pride of whatever
they are saying and doing and we have the time to do
so. Here is what we were, are, and will be; our blessings
and reason for being.
|THREE MORE AMAZING GREATS!
|4/10/18: Isaiah, Bella, and Elias belong to my Grandson,
Joseph and his wife, Angel. They are great parents and
we all in the family love these l'il guys and gal so much!
| Party at Carol and Joe's
From left: Joe, Emily, Elias, Cassie,
JJ, Bruce, Brian, Isaiah, Amanda,
Isabella, Angel, Joey, & Carol.
|Sat 6/16/18. Last Tuesday I went over to Kentucky for a lunch with my high school graduation class; all 14 out of 43
of us. It was so good to see them, but I forgot to take a picture: grrrrrrrrrr! We have our annual picnic coming up on
the 24th so I'll be sure to get some then. I sat between Millie and Peggy and across from Jeannine; all three my
bestest friends in the class.
By the way, John Hibbs' calendar picture this month is Momma Duck with gazillion babies; it's so darn cute!
I once said that I wouldn't bash Donald Trump on my site anymore; however I couldn't (in good
conscience) pass this one off...
Dismayed on the Fourth of July: A Ministerial Journey with Donald Trump
by Rev. Dr. R. Scott Colgazier on June 27, 2018
Growing up in a small town in southern Indiana, the Fourth of July meant friends coming to the house for a cookout,
sitting on the front porch, devouring large chunks of sweet and juicy watermelon, and watching an Independence
Day parade moving slowly down North Main Street. An American flag gently swayed in the afternoon breeze. The
Fourth of July was about celebrating our country. It wasn’t about nationalism. It wasn’t about proclaiming that the
United States was better than the rest of the world. Perhaps most notably, it was not a politicized holiday. It was a
simple day, naïve to be sure, but a simple day of enjoying one another and remembering the founding of our nation.
I share these memories because I’m painfully aware of how differently the Fourth of July feels to me this year under
the presidency of Donald J. Trump. I’m guessing it feels differently for many Americans this year. I’m also thinking
about it because a few weeks ago I received an email criticizing me over how I have been mixing religion and politics
in my sermons, Facebook posts, and in a few of my Take a Breath blogs. But the one word that caught my attention
in his long vituperative email was dismayed. He stated that he was “dismayed” that I would make a negative
comment about “our” president, President Trump.
No minister likes to receive this kind of email on a Monday morning, especially after preaching a sermon the day
before, followed by the Coffee Fellowship hour (and fielding a variety of complaints about the anthem and altar
flowers), and then a few committee meetings held later in the afternoon. Like most clergy, I prefer everyone to think
that my sermons are brilliantly written and eloquently delivered. While I know a few clergy who thrive on stirring the
pot week after week, I’m not one of them. I love the people in my congregation, and I also like it when they love me
in return. (There. I said it.)
Yet my skin has been crawling the past few weeks because of that word “dismayed” and the upcoming holiday of
the Fourth of July. The word dismayed literally means the negation of something that is true. Or at least potentially
true. Yet it’s more than that. It suggests that I had crossed a social, ecclesiastical or theological line. It’s a word that
carries with it overtones of disappointment and shame. He wasn’t merely saying that he disagreed with me; he was
saying I should be ashamed of what I was saying regarding faith and the political realities of our world. To be
dismayed doesn’t mean a difference of opinion; it suggests anguish, hurt and pain.
I’m too much of a curmudgeon these days for a scathing email to derail me. But it did throw me into a state of self-
reflection over what it means to be a minister of the Christian faith during the Trump presidency. It has been a cloud,
to be sure, or more like a fog, that touches everything about how I approach my work as a clergyperson.
I don’t want a church where everyone agrees with me. I have repeatedly urged my congregation, First
Congregational Church of Los Angeles, to be a “journey” church and not an “answer” church. I love the diversity of
thought and feeling in our congregation. As for myself, all I can do on a Sunday morning is preach the best message
I know how to preach at any given moment of my life. I’ve changed my mind through the years. I’ve made mistakes
through the years. But in the end, when the bells chime at 11:00 AM, it’s my job to say something about God and
what is happening in the world. Or as Paul Tillich used to remind his students, my job is to help the gospel make
contact with the world.
Knowing he was dismayed caused me to re-check my capacity for empathy. I don’t mean to suggest that I’m right
and he’s wrong, or that I feel sorry for him because he hasn’t evolved to my point of view. I honestly want to
understand what he thinks and believes. When people say they don’t want “politics in the church,” they may be
acknowledging how stressful political discourse has become in our society, and that when they come to a worship
service, they want to find something inspiring to help them make it through another week. I understand that. My view
of faith is a little broader, because I happen to think Jesus was political. Faith should always be about interacting
with our real world. I also think there’s a way to find refreshing spiritual renewal, while at the same time caring
passionately about what is happening in our nation.
That said, after receiving his email, a new sense of clarity began taking shape inside my consciousness. I realized
that I, too, am “dismayed.” Deeply, passionately, and theologically dismayed. I’m dismayed because of the
presidency of Donald J. Trump. I’m anguished over what I see happening to our nation. In fact, I’m dismayed that
more church members aren’t dismayed along with me, feeling a sense of outrage over issues of injustice and
indignity that happen regularly in the political circus that is the Trump presidency.
I’m only now realizing that my feeling of being dismayed has shaped everything about who I am as a clergyperson
for the past two years, including my sermons, posts and blogs. I’ve tried to restrain my feelings. I have had to talk
myself off the ledge numerous times after writing vitriolic posts or deleting whole paragraphs, and in some cases,
entire sermons on a Saturday night. But at a certain point, even a minister has to be honest about his or her real
experience. I believe churches deserve our honesty.
My real experience is that I am dismayed . . .
I am dismayed because, at least according to the Washington Post, this president has lied to the American people
over 3000 times, and that it is now to the point that no one knows what is true and what is false, what is spin and
what is fact. The White House cannot be trusted. This is a fundamental loss in our country. The idea of not bearing
“false witness” is essential to the Jewish and Christian faiths, and in fact, it is an essential dimension of morality
found in all the great religions of the world.
I am dismayed that this president has created foreign policy chaos, including breaking alliances with longtime allies
and friends and making our world a more dangerous and unpredictable place. As a clergyperson, I believe we live in
a global village, and now more than ever the complexity of the world must be approached with wisdom, insight and
intellectual rigor. The survival of the planet now depends upon the moral reasoning of our global leaders, and this is
a special burden of responsibility that the President of the United States of America must carry. Even his handshake
diplomacy with North Korea feels nervously shaky and unclear.
I am dismayed that this president, during a real-time climate disaster, has withdrawn the United States from the
Paris Climate Accord, not to mention leading an administration that continues to roll back important regulations and
environmental protections. My faith moves me to understand the earth as the body of God, and how we treat the
earth is how we are treating the great Spirit of love that is in all things, through all things, and above all things.
Furthermore, it has been proven again and again that those who suffer most from a collapsing environment are the
poorest of the world’s poor. This is not a political issue; climate change is a moral issue.
I am dismayed that this president regularly diminishes the American justice system, including the work of men and
women in the Department of Justice, CIA and FBI, and that he has continued to use the Attorney General as his
personal piñata. Many of these people kept our nation safe after 9/11. We are a nation of laws, and these laws have
their roots in a democratic vision established in the original founding of our nation. While I believe in the separation
of church and state, and I have never publicly endorsed a political candidate, I know enough about American history
to note that religious faith fundamentally shaped our democracy that is based upon law and not personality.
I am dismayed that this president continues to undercut the work of the special prosecutor, Robert Mueller, and is
now arguing that, as president, he is above the law, immune to indictment and empowered with the authority, not
only to pardon his friends, such as Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort, but is able to pardon himself. I am old enough
to remember the crisis of Richard Nixon and Watergate. I had come to believe that our nation understood that no
one is above the law, including the president. As a clergyperson, I understand that the misuse of power is one of the
great moral issues of our time, and that all power, whether political, ecclesiastical or corporate, must be used
judiciously and with unblinking self-honesty.
I am dismayed that this president regularly diminishes women, and for that matter, almost anyone different from
himself. Evidently he as bought the silence of many women in order to protect his reputation. My faith embraces an
egalitarian view of women, believing that they have every right to make contributions to the church and world, and
when this president diminishes one woman, he is diminishing all women. Moreover, his vulgarization of women
provides a cultural permission slip for other men to do the same, something that is regressive and reprehensible,
especially given the realities of the “Me-Too Movement” at the beginning of the 21st century.
I am dismayed that this president has offered no humane, compassionate, constructive solution to the challenge of
immigration in our country. Building a wall is not a solution; it is only a clichéd campaign slogan. Again, my faith
encourages me to love my neighbor as myself, especially caring for the stranger and those who are most vulnerable
in life. Even as I write, parents and children are being separated at the southern border of America, all in the name
of American justice. If this is American justice, then it is an America I clearly do not recognize. This strategy betrays
everything good and true thing about Jesus, who said centuries ago, “Let the little children come unto me.”
I am dismayed that this president has not exhibited the moral capacity to understand the anguish of African
Americans in our country, especially when he argues that there are “good” neo-Nazis and white supremacists, not
to mention publicly shaming black athletes protesting police violence by peacefully kneeling during the national
anthem. Of course, his personal endorsement of disgraced actress Roseanne Barr, who was recently fired because
of abhorrent racist tweets, is deplorable enough. But when given an opportunity to respond to her incendiary
remarks, the president turned it into a narcissistic complaint about his own sense of injustice. My faith teaches me
that all people are children of God and that every human being deserves respect and dignity.
A few months ago I was watching the television show “Morning Joe,” and they were lamenting the troubles of the
day as they do most mornings, but that day the conversation turned to religion. The panel went back and forth until
someone asked: “Where are the ministers now? Are any of them speaking up?” These are important questions. Jim
Wallis? Of course he’s speaking up. Al Sharpton? Yes, he always speaks up. William Barber? Yes, he’s leading the
Poor People’s Campaign. But when you’re in a parish, seeing the same people week after week, it’s not easy to
speak up. We love our people and our people love us. People want all kinds of things from their church, including
spiritual renewal for their challenging lives. And yes, I’m guessing that a few people in my church voted for Donald
Yet people also want some truth. From time to time I think people need (and deserve) to know what their minister
really thinks and feels. It’s risky, to be sure. And it’s challenging. Maybe it can’t be done every Sunday. I don’t know.
The full spectrum of life has to be honored in a parish context. But every now and then I’m convinced it’s good for
the church and good for the minister to just say it, to stand up and say what he or she is really thinking and feeling
and believing. As for me, on the birthday of our nation, July 4th, 2018, it seems like a good day for me to say what I
am feeling – I am dismayed. I am dismayed on the Fourth of July.
Scott Colglazier is Senior Minister of First Congregational Church of Los Angeles and the author of the popular
online blog – “Take a Breath” (www.rscolglazier.com). His work as a religious leader has been featured in The
New York Times, the CBS Morning Show and CNN.