Saturday, February 28, 2009

The First Sunday In Lent

[Notice, please, that it's the First Sunday in Lent, not of Lent.]

This week, with the beginning of a new season, we learn of God's covenant as articulated to Noah, hear of Peter's pastoral definition of same, and discover that Jesus receives the Holy Spirit through baptism, and not through "open communion". All this plus my "sinful" global positioning system.

The lections may be found here.

[Above is Jesus' Baptism by DaVinci.]


Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Fascinating Essay; Just In Time For Our Season Of Fasting

Betty thinks food is a matter of taste, whereas sex is governed by universal moral law; and Jennifer thinks exactly the reverse.

San Miguel

Celtic Prayer

Lord and god of power,
Shield and sustain me this night,
Lord, God of power,
This night and every night.

Sain* and deliver me from fault,
Sain and deliver me from sin,
Sain my soul and my body,
Each dark and each light.

Bless to me the land whither I am bound,
Bless to me the thing my eye shall see,
Bless to me the thing my purpose discerns,
God of life, bless my condition.

Bless the journey whereon I go,
Bless the earth that is under my foot,
Bless the matter which I seek,
King of glory, bless my condition.

[*"Sain" means "to bless", but as marked by the physical action of crossing oneself.]

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday Services

The Imposition of the Ashes with Holy Communion will be offered on Ash Wednesday at 12:10pm and 7pm at Trinity Church.

The lections may be found here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

From An Old Broadway Song

The Treasury says the national debt
Is climbing to the sky
And govermnent expenditures
Have never been so high.
It makes a feller get
A gleam of pride within his eye,
To see how our economy expands,
The country's in the very best of hands.

"The Country's In The Very Best Of Hands" by Johnny Mercer and Gene de Paul, from the musical "Li'l Abner".

Monday, February 23, 2009


Click on the photo for a larger version and to see the true beauty of this lizard. In case you're wondering, it was a little over 48 inches long.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Gosh, It's Just Like The Oscars

Our parish and personal friend, Jimmy Lipton, has a fun weblog over on the Wordpress service called Stonecrop. I've linked to it before, so please visit if you don't already.

Anyway, Jimmy has just been nominated for a Creative Blog Award. Kudos, bud. As they say in Hollywood, it's an honor just to be nominated.

[Above is a really neat surfing trophy. I've never competed in a surfing competition, as I think it's akin to a praying competition, but I still appreciate the art.]

I Always Wanted To Be Mike Nelson

Yes, I was playing with the underwater video camera some. Unfortunately, the most spectacular day I enjoyed was the day I forgot the camera. However, I have spliced together some of the footage that was taken in the shallows where I was terrorizing the local fish population by following them around. I regret the color is not as vivid as it is in reality, but it was a cloudy day.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Epiphany Last

This week we encounter the chariots of fire, learn whom we proclaim, and observe Peter liberated to act the faith as well as passively receive it. All this plus my true confession, wherein I surrender my intellectual license.

The lections may be found here.

Also, at noon, we will offer "The Hebrew Roots of Christianity" as our adult education discussion. It will conclude by 12:45pm.

This Coming Week

Epiphany comes to an end on Tuesday at sundown and we will recognize it in our usual manner. That is, through the sung office of Evening Prayer [Evensong] and the "farewell to meat" [carnival] in a feast of pancakes and bacon and various meats designed to boost Pfizer's share prices.

On Tuesday:
Evensong at 6pm
Shrove Tuesday dinner at 6:30pm

On Ash Wednesday:
The proper liturgy for the day, including the imposition of the ashes, at 12:10pm and 7pm.

Also, if folks want to bring their palms from Palm Sunday, we will burn them on Tuesday night to make the ashes for Ash Wednesday. If you threw your palms away, oh dear.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Celtic Prayer

The peace of joys,
The peace of lights,
The peace of consolations.
The peace of souls,
The peace of heaven,
The peace of virgins.

The peace of the fairy bowers,
The peace of peacefulness,
The peace everlasting.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Today It's Kite Surfing

Yes, I found the only real surf shop on the east coast of Mexico. Upon discovery, Jenni said, "Caramba".

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Busy Wreck Dive

And, as it's Jenni's birthday, a trip to the store:

The Sixth Sunday After The Epiphany

The Office of Morning Prayer in all of its Anglican glory will be offered, as well as a musical meditation in lieu of sermon at the 10:30am service.

The lections may be found here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Swimming Companions

I love the smell of neoprene in the morning. It smells like...polychloroprene adjusted with copolymerizing chloroprene with sulfur and/or 2,3 dichloro 1,3-butadiene.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Great Happiness

Our own Emily is the grandmother to a 9 pound, 6 ounce, 21 and one-half inches long granddaughter. The player is to be named later.

Celtic Prayer Of The Day [This Feature Will Return on February 19th]

God with me lying down,
God with me rising up,
God with me in each ray of light,
Nor I a ray of joy without him,
Nor one ray without him.

Christ with me sleeping,
Christ with me waking,
Christ with me watching,
Every day and night,
Each day and night.

God with me protecting,
The Lord with me directing,
The Spirit with me strengthening,
Forever and forevermore,
Ever and evermore, Amen.
Chief of chiefs, Amen.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Celtic Prayer Of The Day

Bless, O God, the dwelling,
And each who rests herein this night;
Bless, O God, my dear ones
In every place wherein they sleep;

In the night that is tonight,
And every single night;
In the day that is today,
And every single day.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

We Got Ours For Free

Last week's snow cost county $60,000

Celtic Prayer Of The Day

O God, listen to my prayer
Let my earnest petition come to you,
for I know that you are hearing me
As surely as though I saw you with mine eyes.

I am placing a lock upon my heart,
I am placing a lock upon my thoughts,
I am placing a lock upon my lips
And double-knitting them.

Aught that is amiss for my soul
In the pulsing of my death,
May you, O God, sweep it from me
And may you shield me in the blood of your love.

Let no thought come to my heart,
Let no sound come to my ear,
Let no temptation come to my eye,
Let no fragrance come to my nose,
Let no fancy come to my mind,
Let no ruffle come to my spirit,
That is hurtful to my poor body this night,
Nor ill for my soul at the hour of my death;

But may you yourself, O God of life,
Be at my breast, be at my back,
You to me as a star, you to me as a guide,
From my life's beginning to my life's closing.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Fifth Sunday After Epiphany

This week, Isaiah establishes the poetic/prophetic language that will dominate sacred literature, Paul continues his law lecture to the Corinthians, and Jesus demonstrates that mothers-in-law have a place in the new covenant. All this and how the Christian way of life promotes small business [really].

The lections may be found here. Celtic Prayer, Part II will be offered at noon in the church.

Celtic Prayer Of The Day

God to enfold me,
God to surround me,
God in my speaking,
God in my thinking.

God in my sleeping,
God in my waking,
God in my watching,
God in my hoping.

God in my life,
God in my lips,
God in my hands,
God in my heart.

God in my sufficing,
God in my slumber
God in mine ever living soul,
God in mine eternity.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Great News

Bill to allow concealed handguns in churches advances

Actually, during the days before the American Revolution, one of our pro-royalty clergy had to constrain the pro-revolutionary members of his congregation by pointing a pistol at them during the sermon. That was in Virginia, I believe. Also, it probably wasn't illegal as the weapon wasn't concealed.

Probably In Late March

February should turn warmer - eventually

Celtic Prayer Of The Day

God's will would I do,
My own will bridle;

God's due would I give,
My own due yield;

God's path would I travel,
My own path refuse;

Christ's death would I ponder,
My own death remember;

Christ's agony would I meditate,
My love to God make warmer;

Christ's cross would I carry,
My own cross forget;

Repentance of sin would I make,
Early repentance choose;

A bridle to my tongue I would put,
A bridle on my thoughts I would keep

God's judgement would I judge,
My own judgement guard;

Christ's redemption would I seize,
My own ransom work;

The love of Christ would I feel,
My own love know.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I Thought They Were Spotted All Over

Leopard spotted in residential area

Celtic Prayer Of The Day

Come I this day to the Father,
Come I this day to the Son,
Come I to the Holy Spirit powerful;
Come I this day with God,
Come I this day with Christ,
Come I with the Spirit of kindly balm.

God, and Spirit, and Jesus,
From the crown of my head
To the soles of my feet;
Come I with my reputation,
Come I with my testimony,
Come I to you, Jesu;
Jesu, shelter me.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Even More Pleasant Not To

Pleasant to consider levy for May 5 ballot

Feast Of Cornelius The Centurion

Today is commemorated one of the most important moments in Christianity, when Peter brings Cornelius, the Roman centurion, and his family into the Christian life. It is notable for many reasons, particularly it illustrates the call for Christians to closely examine what culturally constructed barriers may limit the proclamation of the Gospel.

It also, I think, illustrates a less popular point. Namely, Cornelius was called to Christianity as it existed, not as it needed to be altered to suit his expectations. While God called Peter to initiate Cornelius into the Body of Christ, it appears that Cornelius had already adopted the Way of the Cross as the way of his life. The initiation, while important in encouraging this Christian journeyman in his faithful quest, responded to his sincerity of purpose and intention.

Another issue is realized when one considers how active Peter was in recognizing Cornelius. For example, the contemporary notion of separating the sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion into two distinct chunks, called by some "open Communion", is a passive invitation made by clergy, placed as it is within the liturgy of a Sunday morning. The clergy need do nothing that is active: they are already in the sanctuary, vested in their finery, and in an attitude of liturgical control as they are presiding over the proceedings.

To invite someone to receive Holy Baptism, the affirmation of the Christian way of life [that is to be re-affirmed by reception of the Holy Communion], is a much more active process. It requires, especially in this age, that clergy perform work outside of the sanctuary, outside of Sunday morning liturgies, not cocooned in vestments, and often in a socially ordinary position.

Peter's ministry was always active and, in this moment captured in the Acts of the Apostles, one that led to the Gospel's proclamation to all people, regardless of culture. I hope it can still serve to inspire disciplined laity and clergy who pray and work for an active ministry to pursue even outside of Sunday morning.

Celtic Prayer Of The Day

My soul's Healer,
Keep me at even,
Keep me at morning,
Keep me at noon,
On rough course faring,
Help and safeguard
My means this night.
I am tired, astray, and stumbling,
Shield me from snare and sin.

I Don't Find This Stuff Amusing Any More

Is it just those who aren't politicians who pay their taxes these days?

Nancy Killefer withdrew her nomination Tuesday to become the Obama administration's chief performance officer, citing unspecified problems with District of Columbia unemployment tax.

I appreciate that the tax code is tricky, especially as it considers parish clergy to be "self-employed", but these are the smart people, aren't they? These are our leaders, right?

Seems like the whole notion of stewardship, in both the secular and sacred worlds, is rapidly disintegrating.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Truer Words Were Never Said, Part II

"It's so bad being homeless in winter. They should go somewhere warm like the Caribbean where they can eat fresh fish all day." - Lady Victoria Hervey

Someone recently told me that the world is now too enlightened for "organized" religion. Yes, yes, I see what they mean.

Oops! [Please Read Important Update Below]

I don't know why I'm finding the news from England so amusing today, but I promise this will be the last post for now.

It's been almost twenty years since England has received as much snowfall as they have in the past few days. In the intervening years, it appears that they've forgotten how to drive in the stuff. Click below to see the wonder. Ten more drivers like that and I could destroy the world.

Update and Correction: When I originally viewed this video, it was on British television and I didn't have the sound on. When I listened to it, I realized that the voices weren't British, but American. Subsequent research has revealed that this video was shot in Oregon. Go, USA! It was apparently shown so that the British viewers would not feel so bad about their winter driving ability.

Another Clergyman Embarrassed By His Own Religion

Sandhurst Royal Military Academy is the West Point of the United Kingdom and has been in existence in one form or another since 1741. The institution boasts a diverse and remarkable body of graduates. This group includes Winston Churchill, David Niven, James Blunt [we are all too old to know who he is, but he's a current popular musician], Augustus Pitt Rivers [an archaeologist and, thus, a hero], Prince Harry and, due to the nature of empire, four Saudi princes, a Bahrainian sheik, the Sultan of Brunei, the Crown Prince of Greece, the Sultan of Oman, the King of Tonga, and the current King of Jordan, Abdullah II.

Needless to say, not all of the graduates of Sandhurst have been Christians. However, as it is a "royal" institution, it is understood that the Church of England is the representative religion.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the chaplain of Sandhurst has decided to drop the Creed from the worship services so that non-Christian students won't be...wait for it...offended.

Before one starts to think what a nice gesture this is, despite the fact that non-Christian students have been studying at Sandhurst without issue since the 19th century, according to media accounts I read, the Sandhurst chaplain did not receive any complaints from any of the students and the religious service in question is one that is specifically Anglican at which student attendance is not mandatory.

[The Episcopal Church's Office of Evening Prayer is offered in the university chapel at Princeton and, on a good evening, is attended by three people including the priest. Imagine if that clergyperson announced to the two other worshippers present that the Creed was to be omitted so that non-Christians would not be offended. Yep, pure pretzel logic.]

It's yet another interesting example of a Christian clergyperson being embarrassed by Christianity, but this time it's coupled with something else that is as common. Namely, the need to feel radically relevant. Apparently, the chaplain's nickname among the students is "Right On Rev". I don't know if this is meant to be ironic.

["Right On Rev"? Really? What is this, 1969? Way to be hep, Rev. I think I want to be known as "Groovy Bob".]

Not Just In England

"It’s interesting that nowadays politicians want to talk about moral issues, and bishops want to talk politics." - Sir Humphrey Appleby, the redoubtable civil servant on the BBC's old television comedy, "Yes, Minister".

Update: At today's clergy conference, the new US president was referenced by the keynote speaker 27 times; Jesus once.

Looks Like Bolivia May Be The Next Energy Player [Or Is It "Playa"? I Don't Speak Hip-Hop]

In Bolivia, Untapped Bounty Meets Nationalism

This interests me because Bolivia also has a rapidly growing evangelical Christian base. The shift of energy resources carries the potential for the political polarization of Roman Catholic and Evangelical Christian Bolivians that will be felt throughout the southern cone. This is something that the New York Times wouldn't think about because, you know, religion isn't a factor in global relations.

[According to the Joshua Project, there are no Anglicans in Bolivia.]

Celtic Prayer Of The Day

I will go in the name of God,
In likeness of deer, in likeness of horse,
In likeness of serpent, in likeness of king,
Stronger am I than all persons.

The hand of God keeping me,
The love of Christ in my veins,
The strong Spirit bathing me,
The Three shielding and aiding me,
The Three shielding and aiding me;
The hand of Spirit bathing me,
The Three each step aiding me.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Truer Words Were Never Said

An actress named Alicia Silverstone [no, I don't know who she is, either] concerning a role in some movie she made:

"I think that the film was very deep. I think it was deep in the way that it was very light. I think lightness has to come from a very deep place if it's true lightness."

I think she should get an honorary divinity degree.

My Home State Learns How To Work The New System

Ohioans Seek Slice Of the Stimulus Pie

Since all of this is to be paid by tax money, I want everyone to remember the sage words of Tom Daschle:

“Make no mistake, tax cheaters cheat us all, and the IRS should enforce our laws to the letter. ” - Sen. Tom Daschle, Congressional Record, May 7, 1998, p. S4507.

For some reason, the last verse of The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" is echoing in my head. Must have stayed up too late or something.

Celtic Prayer Of The Day

As it was,
As it is,
As it shall be
O Thou Triune
Of grace!
With the ebb,
With the flow,
O Thou Triune
Of grace!
With the ebb,
With the flow.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Today In Adult Ed...

...we had a brief discussion of clergy vestments, their meaning and history. Naturally, those of us with more than a normal portion of ham in their systems like to have a little flash and pizazz in their Sunday morning presentation. However, nothing quite prepared me for this [ya gotta see it to belief it]:

Priest Fashion Show - video powered by Metacafe

Supra Bowl Tie-In

Naturally, the footballs used in the NFL come from the greatest state in the nation.

And, surprise, they aren't made of pigskin.

Celtic Prayer Of The Day: The Lorica

I bind unto myself this day,
The strong name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in the hearts of all that love me,
Christ in the mouth of friend and stranger.

Hey, Wait A Minute!

In the past decade and one-half, I have attended two clergy conferences, eleven clergy workshops, received at least an annual letter from a bishop or other type of diocesan authority, and been lectured by my peers countless times, all about saving the rain forest and environmental sensitivity and the evils of progress and I don't know what else.

Lo, then I read this. In the New York Times, no less.

These new “secondary” forests are emerging in Latin America, Asia and other tropical regions at such a fast pace that the trend has set off a serious debate about whether saving primeval rain forest — an iconic environmental cause — may be less urgent than once thought.

So, in other words, globalization and economic progress in developing countries is actually doing more for the rain forest than are the feelings and concerns of well-meaning mainstream Protestants, especially as the "secondary" rain forest is better able to sequester atmospheric carbon.

Good Lord, do you know what this means? The politico-environmental ideology of the Church isn't always right! I'm dizzy in this moment of fear and trembling.

Maybe we should let scientists issue edicts about science and we'll take care of the spiritual stuff. After all, we aren't clergy because we're rocket surgeons. Then again, nah. We're not clergy unless we have an opinion about everything.

[Growing up in Cleveland, all I learned about the jungle was from Larry and his wife, Safari Jane, both of whom appeared weekly on the Captain Penny cartoon show. I guess nowadays he'd be called Rain Forest Larry.]