Unlikely collaborators


When Fran­cis real­ized that Theo’s board game based on our home town didn’t include gas sta­tions, he added them in. Fran­cis also moved the incor­rect­ly locat­ed bicy­cle shop. Theo was briefly mad when he saw these unau­tho­rized changes but when he real­ized the cor­rec­tions were improve­ments he made Fran­cis his offi­cial fact check­er.

Introducing Gregory Kelley Heiland

Bothering babies to make them make cute faces is fun!

On Tues­day, Dec 28 my love­ly wife Julie gave birth to our third son. After some dither­ing back and forth (we’re method­i­cal about baby names) we picked Gre­go­ry. Every­one is hap­py and healthy. Vital stats: 20 inch­es, 7 pounds 9 oz. The broth­ers are adjust­ing well, though Theo’s first response to my phone call telling him it was a boy was “oh no, anoth­er one of those.”

Francis is now also a big brother! Proud brother

That’s 5yo Fran­cis (aka “lit­tle big broth­er”) and 7yo Theo (“big big broth­er”) meet­ing their new sib­ling at the hos­pi­tal. More pics in the Gre­go­ry! and Gre­go­ry in the Hos­pi­tal sets on Flickr.

As you can see, we’ve basi­cal­ly bred triplets spaced over three years apart. As fur­ther evi­dence, here’s Theo and Fran­cis in their first pics (links to their announce­ment posts):
Brotherly love

As I men­tioned, we’re method­i­cal about names. When we were faced with Baby #2 I put togeth­er the “Fall­en Baby Names Chart” – clas­sic names that had fall­en out of trendy use. It’s based on the cur­rent rank­ing of the top names of 1900. “Gre­go­ry” doesn’t appear on our chart because it was almost unused until a sud­den appear­ance in the mid-1940s (see chart, right). Yes, that would be the time when a hand­some young actor named Gre­go­ry Peck became famous. It peaked in 1962, the year of Peck’s Acad­e­my Award for To Kill a Mock­ing­bird and has been drop­ping rapid­ly ever since. Last year less than one in a thou­sand new­born boys were Gregory’s. While we rec­og­nize Peck’s influ­ence in the name’s Twen­ti­eth Cen­tu­ry pop­u­lar­i­ty, Julie is think­ing more of Gre­go­ry of Nys­sa [edit­ed, I orig­i­nal­ly linked to anoth­er ear­ly Gre­go­ry]. Peck’s par­ents were Catholic (pater­nal rel­a­tives helped lead the Irish East­er Ris­ing) and were pre­sum­ably think­ing of the Catholic saint when they gave him Gre­go­ry for a mid­dle name (he dropped his first name Eldred for the movies).

More coming in from this weekend’s workshop

Both of my work­shop co-leaders Wess and Robin have now checked in with pre­lim­i­nary reports. More mate­r­i­al is being col­lect­ed on the Quak­erQuak­er event page.

Wess and I have both been upload­ing lots of pho­tos to Flickr using the “quakerreclaiming2009″ tag. I’ve been upload­ing my video inter­views both on Youtube and Quak­erQuak­er. You can see them at the reclaiming2009 tag (I have the feel­ing we’ve just dou­bled the Quak­er con­tent on Youtube but it’s not that extreme). Any­one present with more pho­tos can either upload them to Flickr with the “quakerreclaiming2009” tag or send them direct­ly up to Quak­erQuak­er. Same with videos.

First thoughts about convergent weekend

Hey all, the Reclaim­ing Prim­i­tive Quak­erism work­shop at California’s Ben Lomond Cen­ter wrapped up a few hours ago (I’m post­ing from the San Jose air­port). I think it went well. There were about thir­ty par­tic­i­pants. The make­up was very inter­gen­er­a­tional and God and Christ were being named all over the place! 

Group shot

I myself felt stripped through­out the first half, a sense of vague but deep unease – not at how the work­shop was going, but about who I am and where I am. Christ was hard at work point­ing out the lay­ers of pride that I’ve used to pro­tect myself over the last few years. This morning’s agen­da was most­ly extend­ed wor­ship, begun with “Bible Read­ing in the Man­ner of Con­ser­v­a­tive Friends” (video below) and it real­ly lift­ed the veil for me – I think God even joked around with me a bit.


As always, many of the high points came unex­pect­ed­ly in small con­ver­sa­tions, both planned and ran­dom. One piece that I’ll be return­ing to again and again is that we need to focus on the small acts and not build any sort of move­ment piece by piece and not wor­ry about the Big Con­fer­ence or the Big Web­site that will change every­thing that we know. That’s not how the Spir­it works and our push­ing it to work this way almost invari­ably leads to fail­ure and wast­ed effort.

Anoth­er piece is that we need to start focus­ing on real­ly build­ing up the kind of habits that will work out our spir­i­tu­al mus­cles. Chad of 27Wishes had a great anal­o­gy that had to do with the neo-traditionalist jazz musi­cians and I hoped to get an inter­view with him on that but time ran out. I’ll try to get a remote inter­view (an ear­li­er inter­view with him is here, thanks Chad for being the first inter­view of the week­end!)

Wess and Martin computeringI con­duct­ed a bunch of video inter­views that I’ll start upload­ing to my Youtube account and on the “reclaiming2009” tag on Quak­erQuak­er. When you watch them, be char­i­ta­ble. I’m still learn­ing through my style. But it was excit­ing start­ing to do them and it con­firmed my sense that we real­ly need to be burn­ing up Youtube with Quak­er stuff.

I need to find my board­ing gate but I do want to say that the oth­er piece is putting togeth­er col­lec­tions of prac­tices that Friends can try in their loca­tion Friends com­mu­ni­ty. Gath­er­ing in Light Wess led a real­ly well-received ses­sion that took the Lord’s Prayer and turned it into an inter­ac­tive small group even. We took pho­tos and a bit of video and we’ll be putting it togeth­er as a how-to some­where or oth­er.

Pic­tures going up on Flickr, I’ll orga­nize them soon. Also check out Con​ver​gent​Friends​.org and the Reclaim­ing Prim­i­tive Quak­erism work­shop page on Quak­erQuak­er.