December 23, 2008
Dear family and friends,

It's been my tradition throughout my adult life to recap the year for all, and for the record, each Christmas, so here are the highlights for the Kennedy family of San Jose in 2008.

The Gold Watch

My hope, announced here last year, to cut back one or two days a week at my technical writing job to ease into retirement over the next several years was not accepted by the company, so I decided to quit the job entirely on August 15, after accumulating a few months of Social Security checks. My supervisors and team mates feted me to a lavish retirement luncheon party complete with "gold watch" and speeches of commendation, which I greatly enjoyed and appreciated.

I've been loving being retired, but the very next month I volunteered to return to the Stanford University campus (where I spent the best years, 1972-83, of my ministry career) as a part-time lay chaplain with the Orthodox Christian Fellowship. The OCF organizer there appointed me "Director of the Orthodox Christian Resource Center at Stanford." That has been my main focus this fall and has been rewarding. It had been 25 years since I left fulltime ministry there and the growth and changes on the campus are almost unbelievable.

My book, The Everything Guide to C.S. Lewis and Narnia, was released in March and has yet to be reviewed in any published medium, so far as I know (though I do know of two reviews that authors have promised to deliver). But it has had some strong oral endorsements by readers I've heard from, and I've been seeking opportunities to get the word about it out. One such opportunity has been book tabling at Stanford as part of my ministry time there, and I gave a talk/led a discussion on it in an OCF meeting on the campus earlier this month. I'm also scheduled to do the same at the Archangel Bookstore in San Francisco on January 7.

As the "ends" regarding that book are still somewhat loose, my progress on the next book has been slow. I've plowed through all 3000-plus pages of Lewis letters earlier this year and some of 2007 and have read additional books about him, including Michael Ward's excellent Planet Narnia. I had the pleasure of meeting him at the premiere showing of the Prince Caspian movie in San Francisco in May. I have finished an introduction and Chapter One of the new book (on Lewis's sanctification), and am at the midpoint in Chapter Two.

In other personal news, I've returned to blogging ("Jonals" that discuss a wide range of interests) regularly on the Nanty Glo Home Page, and have made major strides in publishing short movies and clips on the site, adding our "GloTube" to the mix of other multi-media web enterprises so popular now.

In family news this year, son Mike and daughter-in-law Tracy were finally able to get a home of their own, just a few miles away from us here in San Jose. Mike and Kevin both keep busy with their jobs with no major changes, and Chris has been finding work representing retail companies that have merchandise and displays in stores ranging from Walmart to groceries and even movie theaters and flea markets. Brandi began college this fall at San Jose City College. My brother Bob (with whom I traveled to Pennsylvania and Indiana again in September) and his wife Katie continue also much as last year. The same with grandson Antony, who turns 13 in two months.

Christmas blessings and best wishes for many good things in 2009.

If you could have done it on your own,
what would have been the need for
the coming of the Lord? - St. Macarius

411 Lewis Rd. #342, San Jose, CA 95111 | 408-472-3082 |

Nanty Glo, Pa., pictures by Judy Rose; video animation by Jon Kennedy.
Christmas music from "Somewhere in My Memory" (Home Alone) by John Williams