Thursday, April 30, 2009

Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

Archaeological News

Ancient medicines were alcoholic

Gee, no kidding. Not just ancient. Ever hear of NyQuil?

Wild Weekend - Rockin Rebels, The

I Never Thought To Try This

New Riverside Church pastor says his raise was Lord-approved

$600,000?! Fortunately, his "church committee" chairman disputes that figure and says that it's closer to $450,000. Thank God for that, eh?

I know a fellow, who is an ordained pastor, who also preaches about "promoting condoms to curb AIDS in Africa, immigration reform and gay marriage" and makes $14,000 a year. Maybe his pay isn't "Lord-approved".

Imagine If He Had Been A Clergyman Wearing Vestments

District, dad at odds over soldier photo

Oh, Lord, it just gets worse:

Clown cannot wear giant shoes due to health and safety

The Age Of Mel

Someone sent me this rather old link detailing the deep theology of Mr. Gibson in regards to his wife's [soon-to-be-former wife, I'm told] Episcopal spirituality.

In fact, it looks like Gibson, a conservative Catholic, believes that his Episcopalian wife could be going to hell.

No Swine Flu Among The Coracle Staff

Wow, sure is a cheap and easy way to generate traffic and readership in either print or electronic media, isn't it?

The following comes courtesy of The Wall Street Journal's

"No Swine Flu Cases Reported in State"--headline, Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, April 27
"No Cases of Swine Flu Reported in Alaska"--headline, Associated Press, April 27
"Health Officials: No Swine Flu Reported in Ariz."--headline, Associated Press, April 27
"No Swine Flu in CO"--headline, Denver Daily News, April 27
"No Swine Flu in Florida"--headline, Pensacola News Journal, April 27
"Ga. Hospitals Screen Patients, but No Swine Flu Yet"--headline, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, April 27
"Hawaii Officials Say No Swine Flu Cases Here"--headline, KITV Web site (Honolulu), April 27
"No Swine Flu Cases Reported in Illinois"--headline, Associated Press, April 26
"Epidemiologist: No Swine Flu Reported in Iowa"--headline, Des Moines Register, April 26
"Kentucky Has No Confirmed Cases of Swine Flu"--headline, Associated Press, April 27
"No Swine Flu in La., but Officials on Guard"--headline, Courier (Houma, La.), April 26
"DPH Says No Swine Flu Cases in MA"--headline, WJAR-TV Web site (Providence, R.I.), April 25
"No Swine Flu Found in Minnesota--Yet"--headline, Associated Press, April 27
"No Swine Flu in Mississippi, but It Is Possible"--headline, Sun Herald (Biloxi, Miss.), April 27
"No Swine Flu Cases Reported in Montana"--headline, Great Falls Tribune, April 27
"State Health Officials: No Swine Flu in Nevada"--headline, KRNV-TV Web site (Reno, Nev.), April 27
"No Swine Flu Found in ND Yet"--headline, Associated Press, April 27
"No Reports of Swine Flu in Oklahoma Yet, Says Oklahoma Department of Health"--headline,, April 27
"Officials Confirm No Swine Flu Cases in Oregon"--headline, Salem News, April 26
"Officials Report No Swine Flu Cases So Far in Pa."--headline, Associated Press, April 27
"UPDATE--South Dakota Swine Flu Is a No"--headline, KOTA-AM Web site (Rapid City, S.D.), April 28
"No Confirmed Swine Flu Cases in Tennessee Yet"--headline, Associated Press, April 27
"Vermont Health Department Prepares for Swine Flu; No Cases Reported in Vt. at This Point"--headline, Rutland Herald, April 27
"No Swine Flu Reported Here, but Virginia Declares Public Health Emergency"--headline, Roanoke Times, April 27
"Wash. State Health Officials Find No Swine Flu"--headline, Seattle Times, April 27
"West Virginia Should Not Worry About Swine Flu Yet"--headline, Parthenon (Marshall University), April 28
"No Swine Flu Here"--headline, Wisconsin Radio Network Web site, April 27

Quotation Of The Week

"When you come back to God for pardon and salvation, come with all you have to lay all at his feet. Come with your body, to offer it as a living sacrifice upon His altar. Come with your soul and all its powers, and yield them in willing consecration to your God and Saviour. Come, bring them all along—everything, body, soul, intellect, imagination, acquirements—all, without reserve."

—Charles Finney (1792-1875)

Today In History

April 30, 1822: the Rev. Hannibal Goodwin, rector of the Episcopal House of Prayer in Newark, New Jersey, is born in Taughannock, New York. Though his main passion was making the Bible "come to life" for the children in his church, he dreamed up 24 inventions during his life and received 15 patents. Today we remember him primarily as the father of celluloid film for photography.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Return Of Adult Education

Our Sunday Adult Ed. classes will return in May with the following two sessions in Biblical Archaeology:

May 24th - Biblical Archaeology: The Great Discoveries
A review of the major discoveries of the past two hundred years that have either reconciled or challenged Biblical beliefs.

May 31st - Biblical Archaeology: The Recent Discoveries
A review of the latest events and discoveries, including those not yet made as of the writing of this post.

Adult classes begin at Noon and continue for approximately 45 minutes. We hope to record these offerings and post the video on this weblog in the near future.

Today In History

April 24, 387: On this day, Augustine of Hippo writes in his autobiographical Confessions, "We were baptized and all anxiety for our past life vanished away." The 33-year-old had been a teacher of rhetoric and pagan philosophies at some of the Roman Empire's finest schools, but after great influence by his mother, Monica, and the famous bishop Ambrose, he turned to Christianity. His baptism by Ambrose, on Easter Sunday, marked his entrance into the church.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Celtic Blessing

May the blessing of light be on you - light without and light within. May the blessed sunlight shine on you like a great peat fire, so that stranger and friend may come and warm himself at it. And may light shine out of the two eyes of you, like a candle set in the window of a house, bidding the wanderer come in out of the storm. And may the blessing of the rain be on you, may it beat upon your Spirit and wash it fair and clean, and leave there a shining pool where the blue of Heaven shines, and sometimes a star. And may the blessing of the earth be on you, soft under your feet as you pass along the roads, soft under you as you lie out on it, tired at the end of day; and may it rest easy over you when, at last, you lie out under it. May it rest so lightly over you that your soul may be out from under it quickly; up and off and on its way to God. And now may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly. Amen.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Archaeological News

Archaeologists planning for Iran’s largest rescue excavation

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.

The Road To Hell Is Paved With...You Know The Rest

Having spent a significant portion of my professional life as a chaplain to religiously diverse communities, I know that the last people who want Christians to dilute aspects of their faith are those who are faithful in religions other than Christianity. Unfortunately, there are some who seem to think the best way to promote people of faith is to remove aspects of faith. It never works and is merely an empty gesture.

This article illustrates that paradox rather well.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Today In History

April 21, 1109: Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury and one of the most profound thinkers of the Middle Ages, dies around age 76. He attained fame for his argument that faith is the precondition of knowledge ("credo ut intelligam"), his "satisfaction theory" of the atonement ("No one but one who is God-man can make the satisfaction by which man is saved") and for his ontological argument for God's existence.

I Hope Not Fondly

Satan recalled by Penguins

Monday, April 20, 2009

Four Phases Of Shred

Celtic Prayer

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.

Archaeological News

Rare Magic Inscription on Human Skull

Today In History

April 20, 1718: David Brainerd, missionary to New England's Native Americans, is born in Haddam, Connecticut. Expelled from Yale for attending a revival meeting, Brainerd attained fame after his death (at age 29, from tuberculosis) when Jonathan Edwards published his journal. The diary inspired countless other missionaries, including William Carey, who is called "the father of modern missions".

Another Quotation Of The Week

"Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society."

—George Washington

Desperadoes Apprehended

Inspector Nabs Homemade Desserts At St. Cecilia Church's Lenten Fish Fry

It would seem that they have more pressing problems in Rochester, Pa., but what do I know?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Celtic Prayer

I smoor the fire this night
As the Son of Mary would smoor it;
The compassing of God be on the fire,
The compassing of God on all the household.

Be God's compassing about ourselves,
Be God's compassing about us all,
Be God's compassing upon the flock,
Be God's compassing upon the hearth.

Who keeps watch this night?
Who but the Christ of the poor,
The bright and gentle Brigit of the kine,
The bright and gentle Mary of the ringlets.

Whole be house and herd,
Whole be son and daughter,
Whole be wife and man,
Whole be household all.

Personally, I Think It A Good Thing When Praying Is Regarded As "Disruptive Behavior"

Students disciplined for praying can sue


A Quotation

"The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world? Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament."
- Soren Kiekegaard

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Man, I Love The New Yankee Stadium

Indians 22, Yankees 4.

To be fair, the Indians lost yesterday. By one run.

Meanwhile, guess which team has the best record in the NBA?
[Hint: It's not the Roundheads.]

Second Sunday Of Easter

As is the annual custom on this date, we once again visit the story of Thomas who, while responsibly tending to duties outside of the locked room, expresses his requirements for belief in a manner consistent with the linguistic hyperbole of the First Century [now that was a high-falutin' sentence]. We also contemplate the power of #42.

The lections may be found here.

[If you want to know why he's regarded as "St. Thomas of India", feel free to ask the Vicar.]

Ah, The Country Life

Our own Gretchen's version of "All Creatures Great And Small" may be found here.

Today In History

April 18, 1161: Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury, dies. He repeatedly quarreled with his superiors about church appointments and other political questions, but the influential French abbot Bernard of Clairvaux supported him. Theobald helped strengthen the English church and build the career of Thomas Becket, whom he recommended as chancellor to England's newly crowned King Henry.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Today In History

April 17, 1937: With Mussolini's troops occupying Ethiopia, Sudan Interior Mission missionaries who had started a small church among the previously devil-worshiping Wallamo tribe are forced to leave the country. "We knew God was faithful," one missionary wrote. "But still we wondered—if we ever come back, what will we find?" The missionaries returned in July 1943 to find that, despite severe persecution by Italian soldiers, the Christian community had grown from 48 members to 18,000.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ah, Baseball

The new Yankee Stadium was inaugurated today. It's very nice and is sure to hold fond memories for me because of today's home opener. Why, you may ask? Because of the score, of course. Cleveland Indians 10, the other guys 2.



Georgetown hides 'Jesus' for Obama Speech at White House Request


Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Another Quote For The Week

"Rise heart; thy Lord is risen. Sing his praise
Without delayes,
Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise
With him mayst rise … "

—George Herbert, English poet (1593-1633)

Today In History

April 14, 1759: George Frideric Handel, composer of the oratorio Messiah, dies at age 74 in London.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Sussex vicar puzzled by his protesting alter ego

Today In History

April 13, 1534: Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor of England, refuses to take the oath to the English succession. One year later, Henry VIII indicted him for treason and had him beheaded.

For Easter Sunday, It Was Episcopal Church 1, Everyone Else 0

Washington churches eye a prize — the Obamas

The First Family worshiped at St. John's yesterday, the Episcopal parish near the White House where the former president used to enjoy Sunday Evensong.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday Sermon

Way To Represent The Team, Bish

God 'will not intervene to save us' says Archbishop of Canterbury

Interesing theology they teach at Oxford, isn't it?


Chief Wahoo, that is.

Easter Attendance

For those interested, this was the best attended Easter Sunday in six years. In fact, the entire Holy Week was of greater attendance than in recent history. All it takes is a belief in the Resurrection....

Quotation Of The Week

"O oure father which arte in heve halowed be thy name. Let thy kyngdome come. Thy wyll be fulfilled as well in erth as it ys in heven. Geve vs this daye oure dayly breede. And forgeve vs oure treaspases eve as we forgeve oure trespacers. And leade vs not into teptacion: but delyver vs fro evell. For thyne is ye kyngedome and ye power and ye glorye for ever. Amen."

—The Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), Tyndale translation [the first English translation of the Our Father]

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Holy Week Schedule

Palm Sunday: 8am Holy Eucharist, 10:30am Liturgy of the Palms. At the sermon, we shall hear of "passion". Lections are here.

Maundy Thursday: 7pm Proper Liturgy including the Stripping of the Altar. Lections are here.

Good Friday: Noon and 7pm Proper Liturgy. Lections are here.

Holy Saturday: 7 pm The Great Vigil of Easter. Lections are here.

Easter Sunday: Music, Celebration, and the Festal Eucharist at 8am and 10:30am. Lections are here.

Today In History

April 4, 1687: James II issues a Declaration of Indulgence allowing full liberty of worship in England. The government allowed Nonconformists to meet (though justices of the peace had to be notified), forgave penalties for ecclesiastical offenses and no longer required oaths of supremacy and allegiance for those in royal service.

April 4, 1742: Charles Wesley preaches his famous sermon, "Awake, thou that sleepest," to the University of Oxford. The sermon soon became Methodism's most popular tract.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Office Schedule For Holy Week

For those who often wonder, the date of Easter Sunday is determined, like the tides that so guide our surfing life [oops, almost got lost in a reverie], by the phases of the moon. Thus, Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox.

This is explained on page 880 of the Book of Common Prayer. Future dates for Easter, until the year 2089, begin on page 882.

From the eve of Palm Sunday to the conclusion of Easter Sunday, the office will only be handling liturgical and pastoral responsibilities. There will be no other meetings, administrative activities, or appointments made during those days.

Postings on the weblog will cease for the week and the Holy Week schedule will remain at the top of the page during that time.

[P.S. E-mail will be checked in the early mornings once a day. If you wish to contact me more quickly than that, please use the telephone.]

Quotation Of The Week

"The things we really need come to us only as gifts, and in order to receive them as gifts we have to be open. In order to be open we have to renounce ourselves, in a sense we have to die to our image of ourselves, our autonomy, our fixation upon our self-willed identity."

—Thomas Merton

Today In History

April 3, 1593: George Herbert, an Anglican priest and one of England's notable poets, is born in Montgomery Castle. He will surprise his countrymen by leaving a rewarding political career to become the rector of a rural parish near Salisbury [the one in England].

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Minor Change In Office Hours Today

There will be a rare appearance of the Son Five Blues Band and Celtic Music Revue in the Bronx this evening, thus I will be out of town as of early afternoon. I will be back bright and early on Friday and ready to photocopy endless reams of orders of service for Holy Week. Anyone want to help?

Les Paul[s]

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Stout Cortez

[If you get the title reference, I will award you the coveted No Prize in poetics.]

Update: Geoff Brown wins the No Prize. The reference is from John Keats' "When First Looking Into Chapman's Homer" which reads:

Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne;
Yet never did I breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold.
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez, when with eagle eyes
He star'd at the Pacific - and all his men
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise -
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

In the photo, you see, I'm staring at the Pacific; although not silent upon a peak in Darien but on the beach some yards north of The Wedge.

For more on the original No Prize, please click here.

Today In History

April 1, 1548: Parliament orders the publication of the Book of Common Prayer. Though Thomas Cranmer is rightly credited with the final form of the BCP, he worked with a committee of scholars, including Reformer Martin Bucer, to shape the famous liturgy.

In Response To Episcopal Church Administrative Memo 2009/48-B...

...I will be limiting e-mail and other on-line communications today due to the annual upswing in April 1st-related computer-borne viruses. We will return tomorrow.