Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Day Of Pentecost

This week, as is traditional, we witness the procession of the early Christian phone book, appropriately groan in labor pains with the early church, and learn of the Advocate, who is to be our perpetual guide through all things temporal. All this plus what I witnessed at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in 1972 [or was it '71?].

The lections may be found

Remember: It is customary to wear the color red on the Day of Pentecost.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Great Happiness!

I just had occasion to meet our newest parishioner. Seven pounds even and healthy as all get out. I think she's the most beautiful newborn I've ever seen. Her parents assure me that she will be named sometime today.

If you ask me what the greatest form of evangelism is, there you go.

Update: Her name is Genevieve, to be known as "Genna" It means "woman of the tribe". St. Genevieve is the patron saint of Paris, by the way.

Wave Bowl

Thanks for the photo, Carole.

A Combination Of Dwindling County Tax Revenue And Post-Christian Sensibilities

County Trying To Stop Home Bible Studies

The Final Sentence Explains Everything

Boat flies out of Square Pond, lands in trees

Today In History

May 29, 1546: In retaliation for the execution of Reformation preacher George Wishart, Scottish Protestants murder Cardinal David Beaton in St. Andrews. John Knox, who was not part of the assassination plot, went on to lead the Scottish Reformation.

May 29, 1660: England's King Charles II triumphantly enters London, marking the full restoration of the monarchy. Though he promised religious liberty, he cracked down on Dissenters (including John Bunyan) following a 1661 attempt by religous fanatics to overthrow him.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Black Sand

More Great Moments In American Education

Student With Eyebrow Trimmer Suspended

You have to watch out for those kids who serve as "youth ushers" and Girl Scouts.

Today In History

May 28, 1533: English reformer Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, declares King Henry VIII's marriage to Anne Boleyn valid, having earlier approved the king's divorce of Catherine of Aragon.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Today In History

May 25, 735: Bede ("The Venerable"), father of English history, dies. In addition to his Ecclesiastical History of the English People (731), biographies of abbots, and Scripture commentaries, he wrote our primary source for the story of how Celtic and Roman Christianity clashed at the Synod of Whitby in 664.

Memorial Day

The following is compiled from a variety of sources, not all of which have had their veracity double-checked. However, the history of this day is compelling and such eruptions of spontaneous community action often create a rich and varied mythos.

Following the end of the Civil War, many communities set aside a day to mark the end of the war or as a memorial to those who had died. Some of the places creating an early memorial day include Sharpsburg, Maryland, located near Antietam Battlefield; Charleston, South Carolina; Boalsburg, Pennsylvania; Petersburg, Virginia; Carbondale, Illinois; Columbus, Mississippi; many communities in Vermont; and some two dozen other cities and towns. These observances coalesced around Decoration Day, honoring the Union dead, and the several Confederate Memorial Days.

According to Professor David Blight of the Yale University History Department, the first memorial day was observed in 1865 by liberated slaves at the historic Washington Race Course (today the location of Hampton Park) in Charleston. The site was a former Confederate prison camp as well as a mass grave for Union soldiers who died in captivity.

The freed slaves disinterred the dead Union soldiers from the mass grave to be inhumed properly reposed with individual graves, built a fence around the graveyard with an entry arch, declaring it a Union graveyard. A daring action for freed slaves to take such in the South just shortly after the Union's victory. On May 30, 1868, the freed slaves returned to the graveyard with flowers they had picked from the countryside and decorated the individual gravesites, thereby creating the first Decoration Day. Thousands of freed blacks and Union soldiers paraded from the area, followed by much patriotic singing and a picnic.

The official birthplace of Memorial Day is Waterloo, New York. The village was credited with being the place of origin because it observed the day on May 5, 1866, and each year thereafter. The friendship between General John Murray, a distinguished citizen of Waterloo, and General John A. Logan, who helped bring attention to the event nationwide, likely was a factor in the holiday's growth.

Logan had been the principal speaker in a citywide memorial observation on April 29, 1866, at a cemetery in Carbondale, Illinois, an event that likely gave him the idea to make it a national holiday. On May 5, 1868, in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, a veterans' organization, Logan issued a proclamation that "Decoration Day" be observed nationwide. It was observed for the first time on May 30 of the same year; the date was chosen because it was not the anniversary of a battle. The tombs of fallen Union soldiers were decorated in remembrance.

Many of the states of the U.S. South refused to celebrate Decoration Day, due to lingering hostility towards the Union Army and also because there were relatively few veterans of the Union Army who were buried in the South. A notable exception was Columbus, Mississippi, which on April 25, 1866 at its Decoration Day commemorated both the Union and Confederate casualties buried in its cemetery.

Troops at the Washington, D.C. Memorial Day parade, 1942.The alternative name of "Memorial Day" was first used in 1882. It did not become more common until after World War II, and was not declared the official name by Federal law until 1967. On June 28, 1968, the United States Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill, which moved three holidays from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order to create a convenient three-day weekend. The holidays included Washington's Birthday, now celebrated as Presidents' Day; Veterans Day, and Memorial Day. The change moved Memorial Day from its traditional May 30 date to the last Monday in May. The law took effect at the federal level in 1971.

After some initial confusion and unwillingness to comply, all fifty states adopted the measure within a few years. Veterans Day was eventually changed back to its traditional date. Ironically, most corporate businesses no longer close on Veterans Day, Columbus Day, or President's Day, with the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and/or New Year's Eve often substituted as more convenient "holidays" for their employees. Memorial Day endures as a holiday which most businesses observe because it marks the beginning of the "summer vacation season." This role is filled in neighboring Canada by Victoria Day, which occurs either on May 24 or the last Monday before that date, placing it exactly one week before Memorial Day.

Waterloo's designation as the birthplace took place just in time for the village's centennial observance. The U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate unanimously passed House Concurrent Resolution 587 on May 17 and May 19, 1966 respectively, which reads in part as follows: "Resolved that the Congress of the United States, in recognition of the patriotic tradition set in motion one hundred years ago in the Village of Waterloo, NY, does hereby officially recognize Waterloo, New York as the birthplace of Memorial Day..."

On May 26, 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a Presidential Proclamation recognizing Waterloo as the Birthplace of Memorial Day.

[I'm too old to say "oo-rah" without sounding absurd, but maybe "Whatever it takes" is alright. Here's to the 1/4.]

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Oops! Change Of Schedule

I've been asked to sub for a colleague who cannot recite the invocation and benediction at a Memorial Weekend event tomorrow, so I will be taking off as soon as possible after coffee hour. We will postpone the Adult Education program for one week. Thanks for your accommodation.

The Seventh Sunday Of Easter: Ascension Sunday

This week the remaining disciples have a meeting, John the Epistler writes something that I'm still trying to understand, and Jesus offers his final prayer and benediction with his peeps. All this plus why I can't stop giggling whenever I hear Esperanto spoken.

The lections may be found here.

Today In History

May 23, 1533: Thomas Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury, declares null King Henry VIII's marriage to Catherine of Aragon.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I Hope They Were Wearing Gloves

New Haven Officials Probe Rotting Fish, Chicken

My New Physician

Someone sent me this via an e-mail, so I don't know its original source but I've been laughing about it all morning. Please enjoy or feel outrage, whichever makes you happier.

Q: Doctor, I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain...Good!
Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?
A: YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!!! ...... Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy? HELLO Cocoa beans ! Another vegetable!!! It's the best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! 'Round' is a shape!

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.
For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat
and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat
and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine
and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine
and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans..

5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.


Eat and drink what you like.
Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

'Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO HOO, What a Ride'

Tag Sale!

Oodles of old favorites and new things for perusal and sale. Baked goods, knick-knacks, sundries, musical instrumentation, and what-nots.

The sale runs from 10 to 2 on Saturday. Then we will have a parish cook-out at 6, featuring Al's famous marinade [y'know, with food, too].

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Today In History

May 21, 1738: Charles Wesley, who would cofound Methodism with his brother, converts to Christianity while sick with pleurisy. "In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, arise and believe, and thou shalt be healed of thy infirmities," a mysterious voice told him in his sickbed. "I believe, I believe," he replied. One year later on this date, he wrote "O for a Thousand Tongues" to commemorate the event.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ascension Day Evensong

Evensong, an office of prayer particular to our tradition in Christianity, will be offered tomorrow at 6pm.

Today In History

May 20, 1277: Pope John XXI dies when his castle ceiling collapses on him.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Race Weekend At Lime Rock Park!

Ah, the pleasant muffled tones of tuned engines and the sporting gentlemen who operate them. Yes, it's the opening of the summer racing season at our neighbors' place.

This weekend it's the Koni Grand Am Challenge. Golly, I can hardly breathe. It features cars such as the Ford Mustang, Honda Civic, and 300 series BMWs modified for racing.

The schedule is here.

Makin Thunderbirds - Bob Seger And The Silver Bullet Band

Now With More Jesus

Cheesy Jesus appears in snack

Today In History

May 19, 804: Alcuin of York, an English scholar who became an adviser to Charlemagne and the most prominent figure in the Carolingian Renaissance (the rebirth of classical learning under Charlemagne), dies. He also devised a handwriting system using both small and capital letters for easier reading.

Gaelic Blessing

Be ye our angel unawares
If after Kirk ye bide a wee,
There's some would like to speak to ye,
If after Kirk ye rise and flee
We' all seem cauld and still to ye.
The one that's in the seat with ye
Is stranger here than ye, maybe.
All here have got their fears and cares,
Add ye your soul unto our prayers,
Be ye our angel unawares.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Sixth Sunday Of Easter

This week Peter proclaims the relationship between the Holy Spirit and Baptism, John the Epistler identifies the remarkable lack of burden in God's commandment, and John the Evangelist educates us as to the hierarchy of love. All this plus what one learns about living in the moment as opposed to dreading the future when your name is the last one out of the hat.

The lections may be found here.

Today In History

May 16, 583 (traditional date): Brendan the Navigator, founder of a Celtic monastery in Clonfert, Ireland, dies. Some Irish scholars have asserted that Brendan was among the first Europeans to reach America, nine centuries before Columbus

Friday, May 15, 2009

Another Big Day In My Home State

Garbage can choices offered


Cuts to LCT routes may or may not happen

Calling All Cars

APB issued for SpongeBob

Today In History

May 15, 1265: Poet and politician Dante Alighieri, author of "The Divine Comedy," is born in Florence, Italy. Dante finished the epic poem just before his death, and it was quickly recognized as brilliant. His epitaph begins: "Dante the theologian, skilled in every branch of knowledge that philosophy may cherish in her illustrious bosom"

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Nouveau Celtic

Another Contribution From Surf Culture

Surfer saves drowning kangaroo

More News From The Post-Christian World

Outrage as crematorium replaces organist with karaoke machine

I Wonder If They're Versace?

'Jesus in jeans' sculpture unveiled

The Perfect Food

Nero Wolfe, in one of the many novels and short stories in which he served as protagonist, once described chili as the perfect indigenous American food. This was not only due to its ingredients, which represented the various crops and cultures of the nation, but also because all of the tastes were designed, like a symphony, to work together in an appeal to the senses. I only wish I could remember in which story Wolfe says this.

It appears that chili has other uses, too.

Claiborne woman fights off home invaders with chili

Today In History

May 14, 1759: Anglican evangelical John Berridge preaches his first outdoor sermon. Outdoor preaching became a prominent feature of his ministry, as it did for George Whitefield, John Wesley, and the early Methodist movement as a whole.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Celtic Rune

Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the infinite peace to you.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Clements Strat-Style Surfsider

Quotation Of The Week

It is not that I want merely to be called a Christian, but actually to be one. Yes, if I prove to be one, then I can have the name.

—Ignatius of Antioch (35-120)

Friday, May 8, 2009

There's Gonna Be A Tragedy


This story reminds me of something that I used to play on the radio back in my disk jockey days in the mid-1970's. Please listen to the whole thing. [No Prize given to anyone who identifies the voice of "The Idiot".]

In Our House They're Called "Mr. and Mrs. Vicar"

"Everyone should have a chief of staff and a set of personal assistants"

This Is Why I Didn't Become A Professional Bassist

Well, I also don't practice. Anyway, they seem to have a shorter life-span than most.

Donald Evans of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Dies at 48

Celtic Ilumination

Today In History

May 8, 1373: English mystic Julian of Norwich receives 15 revelations in which she saw, among other things, the Trinity and the sufferings of Christ. She recorded her visions and her meditations on them 20 years later in her book The Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love.

May 8, 1559: The Act of Uniformity receives Queen Elizabeth I's royal assent, reinstating the forms of worship Henry VIII had ordered and mandating the use of the Book of Common Prayer.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Celtic Prayer

May Christ and His Saints stand between you and harm.
Mary and her Son.
Patrick with his staff.
Martin with his mantle.
Brigid with her veil.
Michael with his shield.
And God over all with His strong right hand.

Mayan Calendar

Archaeological News

Iraqi Christian and Jewish sites being restored

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Remember That Film Crew That Took Over The Parish Hall Last Year?

You know, the ones who changed the name of the shooting script from "The House of the Devil" to simply "The House" so they wouldn't alarm our superstitious small-town sensibilities? [Not realizing, of course, that everyone in the parish has an Internet connection and the ability to access] Then they got freaked out because lighting struck near the cemetery and they wondered if it had something to do with the nature of the movie. Yep, those wacky kids.

Well, their film is finally being shown. Here's one review that I found.

An Interesting Story Wildly Ignored By Most Of The Media

Seeing Thew Forrester for the trees

Orange Bolt


"Finally, it is my most fervent prayer to that Almighty Being before whom I now stand, and who has kept us in His hands from the infancy of our Republic to the present day, that He will so overrule all my intentions and actions and inspire the hearts of my fellow-citizens that we may be preserved from dangers of all kinds and continue forever a united and happy people."

—Andrew Jackson, 1833 Inaugural Address

Monday, May 4, 2009

Green Shark

Celtic Prayer

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.

Slow News Day

Police report nothing significant at biker rally

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Today In History

May 3, 1675: A Massachusetts law goes into effect requiring church doors to be locked during services. Officials enacted the law because too many people were leaving before sermons were over.

May 3, 1861: The Southern Congress approves a bill installing chaplains in Confederate armies. The American military did not normally employ chaplains, but they became a permanent fixture during and after the Civil War. Between 100,000 and 200,000 Union soldiers and approximately 150,000 Confederate troops converted to christianity during wartime revivals

Archaeological News

Christian artifacts found in Iraq

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Fourth Sunday Of Easter

This week we learn of what Peter is filled with, how love was defined in John's epistle, and how Jesus is like the shepherd he never was. All this plus The Shepherd of Hermas.

The lections may be found here.

Today In History

May 2, 373: Athanasius, "the father of Orthodoxy," dies. He attended the Council of Nicea, and after becoming bishop of Alexandria, he fought Arianism and won. He was also the first to list the New Testament canonical books as we know them today.