Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Scottish Prayer

If there is righteousness in the heart,
there will be beauty in the character.
If there is beauty in the character,
there will be harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home,
there will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
there will be peace in the world.
So let it be

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Today In History

June 28, 1491: Henry VIII, the "Defender of the faith" who encouraged the break with the Church of Rome to further several interests, not the least of which was freedom from the excesses of the papacy, is born in Greenwich, England.

I know that the Church of Rome still teaches that the schism was about a divorce [as it is still in Rome's interest to punish us through historical exaggeration for having the audacity to separate], but if you wish to know of the true story and all of the political/religious nuance that occurred "behind the scenes" when Canterbury left Rome, ask your local vicar.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Fourth Sunday After Pentecost

David laments, Paul instructs, Jesus heals. All this plus the doctor in the closet.

The lections may be found here.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sunset, Long Island Sound

Celtic Prayer

Bless to me, O God,
the moon that is above me,
Bless to me, O God,
the earth that is beneath me,

Bless to me, O God,
my wife
and my children
and bless, O God,
who have care of them.

Bless to me
my wife and my children,
and bless, O God,
who have care of them.

Bless, O God, the thing
on which my eye doth rest,
Bless, O God, the thing
on which my hope doth rest,
Bless, O God, my reason
and my purpose,

Bless, O bless Thou them,
God of life;

Bless, O God,
my reason and my purpose,
Bless, O Bless

Thou them,
Thou, God of Life

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Today In History

June 24, 1178: Five Canterbury monks report something exploding on the moon, the only recorded time an asteroid impact has been observed with the naked eye.

June 24, 1813: Henry Ward Beecher, abolitionist and Congregational clergyman, is born in Litchfield, Connecticut. [Wow, when he was born, the house in which I live was already 29 years old. Of course, that explains the maintenance budget.]

June 24, 1989: Jenni and I were married at Trinity Parish in Southport, Ct.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Today In History

June 21, 1607: English settlers found the first Anglican (Episcopal) parish in America at Jamestown, Virginia.

Best Last Words Ever

Please see the end of paragraph one.

For those who don't get the reference, this photo may help:

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Third Sunday After Pentecost

This week David meets Goliath, Paul lists the ways in which tribulation may be confronted, and Jesus and the disciples go yachting. All this plus a sermon from the bishop.

Yep, you heard correctly. Remember that The Rt. Rev. Andrew Smith will be with us tomorrow morning. Not to mention the premier of the Trinity Children's Choir and some music by some fellow named Bach.

The lections may be found here.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Celtic Prayer

You are the peace of all things calm
You are the place to hide from harm
You are the light that shines in dark
You are the heart's eternal spark
You are the door that's open wide
You are the guest who waits inside
You are the stranger at the door
You are the calling of the poor
You are my Lord and with me from ill
You are the light, the truth, the way
You are my Saviour this very day.

My Dream Car

One Demographic In The USA Actually Has Free, Universal Health Care

And look at how wonderful it is:

PROMISES, PROMISES: Indian health care's victims

Today In History

June 19, 1566: James VI of Scotland, who later became King James I of England, is born. He wrote treatises on the divine right of kings, witchcraft, biblical themes, and set into motion a translation of the Bible known as the King James Version

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Updated Safety Note

The bridge that connects Falls Village with Lime Rock, that was supposed to be closed last weekend only, is still closed. It appears that a construction error was made.

Please plan your trip to Trinity Church accordingly.

A New Trend

I mentioned to someone the other day how the latest trend in the American funeral industry is custom-designed caskets. That person didn't believe me but, lo, I have proof not only in the above photo but in these links:

For the Harley-Davidson enthusiast

For firefighters and other civic employees

For the sports enthusiast

My favorite is the one for golfers entitled "Fairway to Heaven". No, really, that's what it's called.

More Religion For The Post Christian Age

While I've noticed that there is a strong tendency among the eco-aware to use religious terminology when presenting their movement and its goals, I have yet to see anything more obvious than what I read on the following site.

Of the ten recommendations for an "eco-friendly" style of life, the writer offers:

3. Observe an eco-sabbath. For one day or afternoon or even hour a week, don't buy anything, don't use any machines, don't switch on anything electric, don't cook, don't answer your phone, and, in general, don't use any resources. In other words, for this regular period, give yourself and the planet a break. Keep your regular eco-sabbath for a month. You'll find that the enforced downtime represents an improvement to your life.

4. Tithe a fixed percentage of your income. Currently, many of our societal health and welfare services, at home and abroad, are tied to consumer spending which, in turn, depends upon planetary resource use. But the idea of buying stuff to help people is crazy, especially when you consider that our consumption is harming the habitat that we depend upon for our health, happiness and security. If you want to help, don't go shopping. Just help. Commit to tithing part of your income to the non-profits of your choice.

What's remarkable is that this is simply an uncredited climatological re-cycling [eco-friendly!] of a Methodist Church stewardship program. Every age needs a God [just ask Newsweek magazine] and a religion, it appears.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Today In History

June 17, 1703: John Wesley, founder of Methodism, is born in Epworth, England, to parents Samuel and Susanna. Though Methodism's emphasis on grace and instantaneous (often emotional) conversion marked a radical departure from high church tradition, Wesley always considered himself an Anglican.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Why Cleveland Is A Great City

And it's not because of the Indians/Browns/Cavs. No, it's really not because of them. Look what one may see in just a day or two of sightseeing [or time killing]:

Cleveland Museum of Art

Crawford Auto Museum

Severance Hall

The Museum of Natural History

The four places above are all in the same neighborhood [which is also the neighborhood of the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals, not to mention a nice, large park] and easy walking distance from one another. In addition, in the same area are found the African American Museum, Cleveland Botanical Gardens, The Health Museum of Cleveland, and The Western Reserve Historical Society Museum and Library.

Of course, about a ten minute drive away, is this place.

One Of The Dangers In Archaeology

And it's not just that Spielberg guy trying to understand Judeo-Christian mythos.

“I never faked any antiquity”

[Note: Blogger's spellcheck caught my misspelling, since corrected, of "Spielberg" but does not recognize the words "Judeo" or "mythos". Ah, this modern age. All of this technology and still the language narrows and ignorance is promoted as grace.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Today In History

June 15, 1215: King John signs the Magna Carta, which begins, "The Church of England shall be free.

Away For A Bit

I have duties in Ohio related to being the eldest child in the family. Some updates are planned but not much until Thursday.

However, please note: We have added Twitter as a weblog feature. Look to the right column.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Today In History

June 14, 1811: Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin and daughter of Congregationalist minister Lyman Beecher, is born in Litchfield, Connecticut.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Second Sunday After Pentecost

This week, David gets, in English, "smeared"; the Corinthians receive a lesson in confidence, and Jesus tries out for House and Garden TV. All this plus the history of oil.

The lections may be found here.

Important Safety Note

Remember that the bridge connecting Falls Village with Lakeville [Lime Rock] is closed this weekend for the installation of some important bits and pieces. Those who ordinarily take Route 7 South to Trinity will have to take the detour of your choice.

Today In History

June 13, 1893: Dorothy Sayers, English mystery writer and apologist, is born in Oxford, England. "Man is never truly himself except when he is actively creating something," she once said.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Feast Of Enmegahbowh

No, that's not a typo and, no, I can't pronounce his name with much confidence. I know it means "He Who Prays Standing". I can declare with confidence that he was the first American Indian [or, as Caucasians prefer, "Native American"] to be ordained in the Episcopal Church. For the sake of accuracy, his tribe was Odawa, yet he worked among the Ojibwa beginning in the 1850's. The parish he founded, St. Columba in White Earth, Minnesota, is still active.

Almighty God, you led your pilgrim people of old with fire and cloud: Grant that the ministers of your Church, following the example of blessed Enmegahbowh, may stand before your holy people, leading them with fiery zeal and gentle humility. This we ask through Jesus, the Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen.

Another Bassist's Obit

Hugh Hopper, Composer and Bassist for Soft Machine

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Jake, Guitar Quality Control Supervisor

I Would Use Steel Instead

Venezuela set to build first oil rig with China

I Actually Find This Annoying...Not To Mention Somewhat Infuriating

Video game giant funds fake Christian protest

I fully accept that contra-Christian sentiment will continue to grow in the United States, but I think if we give this marketing choice by the people at Electronic Arts video games [Motto: Keeping your child indoors and in front of the TV set since 1982] the "Judeo-Muslim" test*, it would appear not so much as aggressive marketing but as something much uglier and, I would think, legally actionable.

[*The Judeo-Muslim Test is when one substitutes Christianity with either Judaism or Islam when examining the issue. So, imagine if EA had hired a bunch of actors to portray phony protesting Jews or Muslims and had them issue scripted material that reinforced negative stereotypes about Jewish or Muslim societal views. Somehow I think that it would be found unacceptable by those who represent conventional wisdom.]

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Orange Crush

"I Saw God Before Me"

In addition to this previous posting, the deification of the US president continues:

People gawked and cameras clicked as the Obamas cut a wide figure through the French capital even while confined to a presidential motorcade. It was more personal for the few kept not so distant — the restaurant owner who "saw God," the chauffeur reveling in a "magnificent mission."

Perhaps he should now be regarded as the Dalai Obama.

Feast Day Of St. Columba

Speaking of the last posting, today is the feast of Columba on the Episcopal Church's calendar. Much about him may be found online or, for the old-fashioned, in a library.

The collect for Columba is as follows:

O God, by the preaching of your blessed servant Columba you caused the light of the Gospel to shine in Scotland: Grant, we pray, that, having his life and labors in remembrance, we may show our thankfulness to you by following the example of his zeal and patience; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Today In History

June 9, 597: Columba, Irish missionary to Scotland and founder of a monastery on the island of Iona, dies at age 76. Though more monk than missionary, he established churches that went on, in time, to evangelize the Picts and the English.

June 9, 1549: England's Act of Uniformity, passed by Parliament in January, takes effect. The act ordered that religious services be consistent throughout the country, using Thomas Cranmer's Book of Common Prayer.

Well-Intended; Wonderfully Naive

The two bishops of Ohio make some news:

Bishops urge state assembly to raise taxes

Of course, as the article notes, "Ohio, like Michigan, its industrial neighbor to the north, has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. The bishops say that now is not the time to cut programs that care for people in need and that the budget is a 'social compact' the state makes with its residents."

One of the reasons that Ohio has such high unemployment, other than the fact that it surrendered it's agriculture-based economy for one based on manufacturing, a sector that has fled overseas in recent decades, is that the tax rate is so high. Currently, Ohio holds the 6th highest tax rate in the nation. While this means some inconvenience for the individual tax payer, it has proved deadly to small businesses [I speak as the former owner of an Ohio-based small business]. Without a viable small business base, an economy loses its effectiveness, resilience, and drive. High unemployment is but one of the problems created in such a circumstance. Lower taxation, and less government waste of tax money, would do much to boost employment within the state.

More to the point, considering that Christianity gained its first hold on the world outside of Jerusalem by serving people's needs in a sort of "social compact", I'm surprised that the bishops didn't seize this as an opportunity to rededicate the human and financial wealth of their respective dioceses in counter-balancing what they perceive will be a loss of government-run social services. After all, Christianity became what it is by serving people in ways that governments cannot. It seems a bit indolent to simply write a theology-free letter that merely promotes the perspective of a secular political ideology.

If, in fact, the church's contemporary role is now to encourage government taxation, perhaps we can surrender the need for stewardship programs. After all, since the Church leaders now feel it is the government's role to fulfill a "social compact" with the people, it would seem to me that the money given to parishes and dioceses would be better utilized both through taxation and voluntary giving to the state. This is especially true since each diocese has been, in recent years, individually counting on approximately 8000 attending worshipers to support an expected plate/pledge income of $16 million annually. Judging from their letter, the state would be better able than the church to utilize that $32 million.

Then again, the bishops could simply willingly surrender the non-tax status of diocesan-owned buildings. Now that would generate some serious income for the state and serve as a true "prophetic" action. Let's see what happens.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Another Sand Wave, Courtesy Of Carole

New From Nabisco

Jesus in Marmite

Celtic Prayer For A Newborn Child

May you always walk in sunshine.
May you never want for more.
May Irish angels rest their wings
beside your nursery door.
And for the proud parents:
May God grant you
a wee bit of heaven
to cradle in your arms -
a sweet bonny baby
to hold close to your heart
A newborn babe
brings light to the house
warmth to the hearth
and joy to the soul
for wealth is family
family is wealth.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Trinity Sunday

And the "birthday" of the parish, too. Does it get any better? Not only do we join in the holy mysteries of the sacrament, but we have the parish picnic immediately after the liturgy. This year, it appears the temperature will be above freezing. Now if it would only stop raining.

This week, we read of the scriptural foundation of the doctrine of the Trinity, not to mention examine the trying profession of the Christian artist, especially when it comes to depicting the Seraphim.

The lections may be found here.

[Above is a scene from the parish picnic at the Church of the Epiphany, Euclid, Ohio, circa 1961. The little fellow in the lower left portion of the photo, the one happily digging away, would wind up having a career in the church. It's safe to say that he's still digging the scene.]

Even In A Post-Christian Age, People Need A God

Either that or at least a prophet.

From Friday's edition of Hardball with Chris Matthews, during an interview with the editor of Newsweek:

Matthews: "Reagan and World War II and the sense of us as the good guys in the world, how are we doing?"

Thomas: ""Well, we were the good guys in 1984, it felt that way. It hasn't felt that way in recent years. So Obama’s had, really, a different task. We're seen too often as the bad guys. And he – he has a very different job from – Reagan was all about America, and you talked about it. Obama is ‘we are above that now.’ We're not just parochial, we're not just chauvinistic, we're not just provincial. I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God."

[Transcript courtesy of MSNBC]

Not to be outdone, Time magazine makes a religious allusion when writing of the president:

Obama in Cairo: The Making of a Prophet?

Wow, this will require an eventual, and expensive, change to the stained glass. In regards to "spiritual psychology", the Romans did this with Augustus.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Today In History

June 5, 754: English monk Boniface, missionary to Germany, dies with 50 other Christians in an attack by angry pagans. The missionary, famous for smashing pagan idols, also established a monastery at Fulda that is still the center of Roman Catholicism in Germany.

June 5, 1191: England's Richard I (the Lion-hearted) of England sets sail for Muslim-controlled Acre in the Third Crusade. After helping Philip II, king of France, capture the city, Richard took Jaffa and negotiated Christian access to Jerusalem, also Muslim-controlled.

June 5, 1661: English mathematician and physicist Isaac Newton is admitted as a student to Trinity College, Cambridge. But the "greatest scientific genius the world has ever known" actually spent less of his life studying science than theology, writing 1.3 million words on biblical subjects.

Important Safety Note

Don't ask the fire department to connect DTV converter box

Musical Obits

Sam Butera, Saxophonist for Louis Prima, Dies at 81

Koko Taylor, Queen of Chicago Blues, Is Dead at 80

Two musicians that I've had the pleasure of seeing in person. Butera not too many years ago at Mohegan Sun and Taylor back in the 1980's at, I think, the Blue Note in Manhattan. Maybe it was The Angry Squier, now long gone.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Molten Wave

Today In History

June 3, 1162: Thomas a Becket is consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury. Nominated by his friend, King Henry II (Becket had previously served as his chancellor), Becket underwent a radical change as archbishop. He became pious and devoted to the church, which Henry found annoying. When knights heard the king grumbling, they killed Becket as he prayed.

June 3, 1647: The Puritan British Parliament bans Christmas and other holidays.

June 3, 1905: Hudson Taylor, English missionary to China and founder of the China Inland Mission, dies. "China is not to be won for Christ by quiet, ease-loving men and women," he once said. "The stamp of men and women we need is such as will put Jesus, China, [and] souls first and foremost in everything and at every time—even life itself must be secondary"

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sand Wave

A tip of the hat to Carole, fellow Ocean City aficionado.

Today In History

June 2, 597: Augustine, missionary to England and first archbishop of Canterbury, baptizes Saxon king Ethelbert, the first Christian English king. The missionary's tomb in Canterbury bears this epitaph: "Here rests Augustine, first archbishop of Canterbury, who being sent hither by Gregory, bishop of Rome, reduced King Ethelbert and his nation from the worship of idols to the faith of Christ".

June 2, 1491: Henry VIII, the English king who went from being called "Defender of the Faith" by the pope (for attacking Martin Luther) to galvanizing the English Reformation, is born in Greenwich.