Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Fourth Sunday After The Epiphany


This week we have Paul's meditation on food, Moses defining the continuing role of prophecy among the Chosen, and Jesus practicing medicine without a license, but certainly "with authority". All this plus lessons learned from "The Moment of Squirm".

The lections may be found here. I understand that Jackie Kuhn shall be serving as our intercessor.

Remember, too, that Celtic Prayer meets at noon.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Header Change

The weather, which is a serious mellow-harsher [especially when I'm nearly late for school because I had to chop the ice away from the garage door with my trusty Boy Scouts of America tomahawk], made me want to look at something other than the photo of Niantic Bay in the early winter that was formerly at the top of the page. Enough already.

So, this is a photo I took slightly above the Palancar Reef a few years ago. Makes me warm just to look at it.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

This Sunday's Adult Education: Celtic Prayer


Come learn of pirates and nuns, slaves and blue-faced warriors, and the prayer and worship tradition that they helped to create. This Sunday and next, following the 10:30 liturgy and lasting a scant 45 minutes, we will offer the following:

February 1st and 8th
Celtic Prayer
This two-Sunday series continues our Epiphany 2007 discussion of Celtic spirituality by examining how the pre-Roman style of prayer informed the Roman Catholicism that would invade the British Isles and continues to influence and direct Anglican prayer in the 21st century. It will include prayers written by and for the various saints and holy men and women of the Celtic church, as well as examine their theological and historical foundation. Of particular concern will be how to restore aspects of Celtic spirituality in our personal and parish prayers and liturgical offerings.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Maybe Someone Needs To Form A Committee

Gay penguins expelled from zoo colony

Happy update here.

Something's Happening Here, What It Is Ain't Exactly Clear


The ordained members of the Episcopal Church, deacons, priests and bishops, are charged with many responsibilities, some mundane, some transcendent. The leitmotif that connects these responsibilities is that we are to find ways to keep the Christian presentation, in all of its history, social responsibility, and potential, as fresh and accessible as is humanly possible. All of this via the appeal to divine guidance and discernment, of course.

So, imagine my surprise at discovering what is becoming an interesting trend in the contemporary church: Episcopal clergy finding spiritual succor in religions other than Christianity. Please understand that I'm not speaking of things like the Roman Catholic monk and hermit, Thomas Merton, finding common contemplative ground with Zen monastics, or the writer and one-time Episcopal priest Alan Watts laying the foundation for continuing American interest in Asian philosophy, religion, and literature. Merton never "joined" another faith and Watts did not pursue such with anything other than academic interest until after his holy orders had been renounced.

What I'm talking about is news such as:

1.] Rectors also serving as Druid priests and publishing "pagan rituals" that were not only allegedly disseminated in their parishes, but, hilariously, also on the official Episcopal Church website. [Supporting my personal opinion that the Church doesn't read its own website.]

2.] An Episcopal priest who has declared that she is also a Muslim.

3.] The only candidate for bishop in a diocesan election who appears to have a cafeterian appreciation of the world's spirituality. In the words of the candidate's former bishop, he " was 'walking the path of Christianity and Zen Buddhism together.'"

I cannot tell you how many ways there are to re-charge and renew one's way of life as a Christian, beyond simply receiving the sacrament of Holy Communion in its true intention for the amendment of life. From long-established contemplative programs to guided and prayerful journeys to places of spiritual importance to new efforts in education and purposeful ministry, clergy of the church have many, many resources from which to draw and, importantly, from which to share with their congregations and/or students.

But when a member of the clergy honestly reaches a point where Christianity no longer sustains their spiritual practice, and where their need is best served by pursuing initiation into another religion, then it may be time to acknowledge that their ability to lead other Episcopalians has concluded and it's time to move on. Clearly, their faith journey has...um...transcended the common bonds that the rest of us find, well, liberating. I would think doing otherwise would simply convince cynics that the bifurcated clergy are just staying in it for the pension fund benefits. Certainly, it would add to the view of some that many Protestant clergy are embarrassed by their own religion.

The rest of us, who still find new surprises and wonders in Christianity and, yes, even Anglicanism, on an almost daily basis will continue, with congregations strongly desirous of the same, to build upon what God continues to grant to those who quest for it. If the clergy aren't finding spiritual fulfillment in the religion into which they have been ordained, it is doubtful that they will ever offer compelling, powerful witness or proclamation.

[By the way, I think I announced to my parents when I was about 9 that I wanted to practice Zen Yogi. I recall it was the spiritual discipline of Gomez Adams on "The Adams Family" TV show and always seemed to make him so happy. It's only feature seemed to be standing on one's head, something I quite enjoyed when I was nine-years-old.]

Confirmation Class

During the season of Lent, I would like to begin Confirmation classes at Trinity Church. Our deanery Confirmation liturgy this year will be on Saturday, May 2nd at 4pm.

If there is a young person who is currently in the 7th grade or its equivalent, or if you are an adult who feels it is time for to make a sacramental commitment to your faith, please be in contact with the Vicar.

Once I see who is interested and we have a chance to compare schedules, I'll know more about the dates and times of the Confirmation classes.

The Vicar may be reached at 435-2627, Ext. 100.

[We need extension numbers because we're such a big operation.]

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Health Report


I knew when I started working at a school again that eventually I would catch something exotic in the way of viruses, especially when 300 international students are locked with me in an auditorium once a week, all of us breathing the same air and touching the same doorknobs.

Anyway, I felt it coming during the annual meeting and it has become a reality. I'm going to do something I haven't done in a long time and actually take a sick day on Wednesday. Appointments will be rescheduled, of course, and messages may be left at my office number or via e-mail at vicar@trinitylimerock.org

I'll be back on Thursday.

[Above is the Royal Order of Nursing Sisters, members of which removed my mother's appendix in an emergency surgery during the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. True story.]

More Things I Didn't Know

10 Extinct Languages of the U.S.

They Should Try Public School

Full-day kindergarten will cost millions

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Third Sunday After Epiphany


This week Jonah, on dry land yet, turns God away from thoughts of calamity, Paul begins his presentation of the "two worlds", and Jesus begins to take classroom attendance. All this plus the reason why books on Buddhism outsell books on Christianity. Plus, the Vicar's Annual Address.

The lections may be found here.

Children's Chapel begins at 10:20am. Jackie Kuhn reads on Sunday.

Friday, January 23, 2009

All Done

The Trinity Church Annual Report for 2008 has been completed. Thank you, everyone, for turning in the individual reports in a timely manner.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

An Obituary Of Note

Another really nice guy who had the best nickname ever, not to mention being a champion in the history of labor negotiations. Look how much the football world has changed since 1956:

"Lavelli...pressed for a pension plan and minimum pay standards, as well as meal money on road trips and uniforms that they did not have to pay for themselves."

In related news, this fellow had a great nickname, too.

Books For And About Celtic Prayer

None of these is mandatory for the class, but if you are interested in any, please consider buying them after clicking on the Amazon.com icon. If you do so, Trinity Church will receive a donation of 4% of the purchase price. [Yes, it used to be 6%, but so few people use this feature that Trinity has been reduced by 2%.]

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Upcoming Adult Education

February 1st and 8th
Celtic Prayer

This two-Sunday series continues our Epiphany 2007 discussion of Celtic spirituality by examining how the pre-Roman style of prayer informed the Roman Catholicism that would invade the British Isles and continues to influence and direct Anglican prayer in the 21st century. It will include prayers written by and for the various saints and holy men and women of the Celtic church, as well as examine their theological and historical foundation. Of particular concern will be how to restore aspects of Celtic spirituality in our personal and parish prayers and liturgical offerings.

February 22nd
The Hebrew and Jewish Roots of Contemporary Christianity

As Jesus was born, raised, educated, lived, died, and was buried as a Jew, this will be an examination of the connection, still present and vibrant, between the two great faith traditions and how that foundation is represented in our scripture, liturgies, prayers, songs, and holy teaching. We will include readings from some post-Christian Jewish theologians as well as look into the very dynamic 1st Century world of Jerusalem and Rome that served as the crucible for early Christianity and the Jewish Reformation.

March 1st and 8th
The Return of Biblical Archaeology

This two-Sunday series continues our overview of the history, techniques, important sites, discoveries, and future expectations in this field. This offering’s particular interest is displaying how continued discoveries are helping to refine our understanding of sacred literature and the earliest Christian Church. We will include in our discussion the leading personalities in this field as well as gauge recent knowledge granted through new developments in genetic and marine archaeology.

All courses will be offered after the 10:30am Eucharist and will be of 45 minutes length.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Day Of Days


You all know by now that I'm kind of old-fashioned in my regard for my country. It may have something to do with my corn-fed Midwestern upbringing, or the fact that I was a Boy Scout, or the son and nephew of real veterans, or my Scottish grandparents' oft-stated delight in finding a home in the United States, or any number of reasons, I guess, as I've never really analyzed it with much interest.

I've noticed it also makes me rather out-of-fashion with some of my ordained colleagues. Quel dommage!

So, you can imagine that today I spent more hours than normal watching television. While I really wish that the media would find religion reporters who knew what they were talking about, I am delighted that St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington D.C. still plays the initiatory role in the events of the inauguration.

While more may be read here, let me help those "religion reporters" from the Washington Post, CNN, CBS, and other outlets understand why FDR chose that particular church. Yes, it is the closest to the White House, but FDR was also an Episcopalian; a devout one who served for many years as the senior warden of St. James, Hyde Park. He just wanted his inaugurations to begin appropriately with prayer from the Book of Common Prayer [Where else?]

In fact, the following presidents have been Episcopalians, most of them life-long:

George Washington
James Madison
James Monroe
William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
Zachary Taylor
Franklin Pierce
Chester Arthur
Franklin Roosevelt
Gerald Ford
George H.W. Bush
George W. Bush [baptized, Confirmed, and a common worshipper at St. John's over the last eight years]

[By the way, the following presidents are Ohio-born:
Ulysses Grant
Rutherford Hayes
James Garfield
Benjamin Harrison
William McKinley
William Taft
Warren Harding
I just thought you'd want to know.]

Monday, January 19, 2009

Every December I Get A Call From A Reporter...

...who will ask me if I, as a pastor, think that Christmas is becoming too commercial. I don't like to say, "I've been asked this question annually for the last quarter century" or "No comment" or something rude like that, since this is a question that is usually tasked to the most junior member of the newsroom, so I just give some ponderous historical answer, complete with footnotes, that ensures I will never be quoted in any American newspaper.

Now, if someone asked me if I thought American politics is becoming too commercial, I could simply refer them to this page.

By the way, anything purchased results in a 4% donation to Trinity Church. Not that we're commercialized or anything.



I think I still have my Jimmy Carter can opener.

Hey, Where's Martin Luther King, Jr.?

Remember, the feast of MLK, Jr. is held on April 4th in the Episcopal Church, in keeping with the tradition of remembering significant Christians on the date of their martyrdom.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Our Father, Who Art Our Father....

Church of England publishes prayer for the redundant

Annual Reports Are Due [Updated]

The vicar requires the following annual reports by Sunday:

Wardens' Reports [received]
Treasurer's Reports
Buildings and Grounds Reports [received]
Music Report [received]
Altar and Flower Guild Reports
Altar Guild Treasurer's Report
ECW Report

EFM Report [received]
Recreation Ministry Report [received]
Art Show Report [received]
New for this year: Website Report [received]

It is best, since I would like the appearance of the collated annual report to be uniform, if reports were submitted via e-mail attachment so that all can be of the same font and type and that the page numbers may be assigned in the correct manner. Or not.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Second Sunday After The Epiphany


This week we hear of visions, lawfulness, parachutes, and Nathanael [or is it Bartholomew?]. The lections may be found here.

An important note: Please do not potentially sacrifice life or limb in attempting to come to church during poor weather. I appreciate that most members of the parish prefer to receive the Holy Communion on at least a weekly basis and, while we are always open and ready with prayer, praise, and music, we also offer "home delivery".

Anyone who wishes to receive the sacrament at home may do so simply by calling the vicar and arranging it. Certainly, if the weather is dangerous on a Sunday morning, this would be a far more pastoral, and historically sound, way in which to disseminate the sacrament.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Do Not Touch The Parish Thermostats This Weekend [Please]


I appreciate that many parishioners are aware of the $576.92 a week we spend to heat Trinity Church and are just trying to help, but "adjustment" of the thermostats in Walker Hall, the Guild Room, and the new wing just makes things a little more expensive.

This is especially true when both our diocese and insurer are encouraging us to set the thermostats a little higher given the extreme cold we are to face this weekend so that damage is not done to the more vulnerable aspects of the building and its sometimes-antique plumbing.

From Big Wafer Central:
"Set your thermostats at higher than normal when buildings are vacant; turn off non-essential and vulnerable water feeds; make sure all storm windows and storm doors are properly sealed and in place; make sure that gutters and leaders are free of ice and snow."

I Wonder What Planet The Current Chief Comes From

Earth Scientist Emerges as Possible Replacement for NASA Chief

Thursday, January 15, 2009

An Obituary Of Note

Just before I dash out the door for school, I have to post this as he was the creator of and lead actor in one of the most enigmatic metaphors for contemporary society ever placed on prime-time television. I would use the opening episode in my philosophy classes when we began the section on Existentialism.

Although it was over twenty years old when I first started to use it in class, my students would invariably think that it was a contemporary teleplay. I guess some themes truly are universal and timeless.



My students at Hoosac School and another school used to refer to the campuses as "The Village", thus endearing me to two different administrations.

Here's more:
"According to his IMDb page, McGoohan was the first choice to play Gandalf in the recent Lord of the Rings trilogy and Dumbledore in the Harry Potter movies, but turned down both roles. He also was considered for the role of James Bond, but reportedly declined it for moral reasons.

McGoohan was married to the same woman for 57 years, and included in the contract for his first TV series, “Danger Man,” three special clauses: 1) no kissing, 2) each fight had to be different, and 3) his character must always try to use his brains before resorting to a gun."

He was married to the same woman for 57 years and turned down a movie role due to moral reasons? In his universe, he must have been seen as a mutant.

Schedule Change

While I'm generally office-bound on Thursdays, I have to make a trip to Wassaic between 12 and 1. I'll be back afterwards.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I Worked For Him And It's All True

15 reasons Mr. Rogers was best neighbor ever

The Return Of Sunday School


This Sunday, beginning at 10:15am, we will once again offer Sunday School on a weekly basis. If you have a chance, thank Gretchen, who looked at our current situation and decided to do something about it. That's more like it, Christians.

Anyway, we will begin with Children's Chapel as led by the vicar and, while the older folks attend church, move into this week's project which will involve gifts, giving, receiving, and all sorts and manners of things relating to Epiphany, the season which we now celebrate. After all, the three wise men offered gifts of specific meaning to the newborn Jesus; it may be interesting for our children to observe what form of gift we offer to the resurrected Christ.

If parents and others are wondering about the concentration for our Sunday School curriculum, it's easy. I think we'll study the stories found in the...wait for it...Holy Bible.

We're nothing if not radical.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

From This Month's Trinity Times


In the early 1960’s my mother and father received their first credit card. Diner’s Club, if I remember correctly. The first big-ticket item that they bought was a new mattress and set of box springs. It was from a local merchant who was also experimenting with this brave new world of credit cards and had just begun to offer telephone sales. The system was not yet perfect, however.

On the day the order was to arrive, at shortly after nine o’clock in the morning, a delivery truck, complete with a friendly, uniformed deliveryman, brought the mattress and box springs into the house. The sale was complete and my parents happy with their purchase. My father went to work and my mother, siblings and I left to visit my grandparents. However, according to the story told by our neighbors, about thirty minutes later, another mattress and box springs arrived with another friendly, uniformed deliveryman who left the items on our back porch. Later still, a third set arrived, this time delivered by the first, and rather puzzled, driver.

By late afternoon, when we returned home, the purchase of a single mattress and box springs set had blossomed into fourteen mattresses and box springs. Our back porch looked like a flophouse. The story was picked up by the daily newspaper [Fourteen Mattresses Delivered: Area Family Baffled] and made us into minor celebrities for a few days. Even with the publicity, it took about two weeks for everything to get straightened out and for the credit card agency to delete the charges for the thirteen extra mattress sets.

Naturally, I enjoyed the entire experience. From having my elementary school classmates stop by the house to see what was rapidly becoming the ninth wonder of, if not the world, at least of the east side of Cleveland, to savoring the endless possibilities for building forts and other obstacles of childhood fun when there are thirteen mattresses stacked up around the house. As far as my parents were concerned, the whole experience was a complete lark.

I am reminded of this endless series of unexpected gifts as we have come to the end of our great expectations for Christmas and are beginning to, once again, settle into our routine practice. The trees and decorations begin to disappear; the presents are settled into drawers, toy chests, or armoire. Even our spiritual selves begin to return to normal, with the high expectations for Christmas replaced with the approaching and altered expectations of Lent.

Between those two seasons rests that of Epiphany. Epiphany is celebrated for a variety of reasons, not the least of which its recognition of how the gift of the Incarnation, presented to us during Christmas, continues to be received with an incrementally increasing bounty. We may have ordered our spiritual “mattress” for Christmas, and received that which we expected, but Epiphany is the season in which the gift, like that seemingly infinite series of mattresses and box springs, begins to develop and deliver. And, as with much that is spiritual, it is delivered whether we are ready or not.

In Epiphany, the Magi will arrive to present to Jesus gifts that reflect his task and its majesty. During this season, Jesus will be named in the Temple in Jerusalem and receive the blessing of the priest Simeon, securing his role for the future. He will be baptized by John in the Jordan River and experiences the Holy Spirit descend upon him. At a wedding in Cana, Jesus will perform his first miracle. Significantly, the miracle will be that of change. While his birth began the liberation of those who were to follow him, it is these events that enrich and refine his developing ministry and aid us in our continuing pilgrimage. While Jesus’ birth is that for which we waited and prepared, it is its unfolding realization that we celebrate in the season of Epiphany.

This, then, becomes the moment of our Epiphany, too, when we notice what has been delivered when we least expected it, often through humble and quiet circumstance. For, as James Joyce wrote, “The moment the focus is reached the object is epiphanised. It is just in this epiphany I find…the supreme quality of beauty.”

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Go Figure


According to Feedjit, this week we were the 7th most popular blog in the West Hartford market. I have no idea why. [Hey, wait a minute. Don't all three bishops live in West Hartford? Hmmm.]

The Galilean Boat



As mentioned in today's Biblical archaeology discussion.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Are We Having Church Tomorrow?


Yes, I've already been asked that question. Has it now become standard practice that we close churches in bad weather? Maybe for some, I guess, but not for Trinity.

Please folks, I'm an old devil dog from northeastern Ohio, where winters were far more severe and long-lived than in Connecticut. Barring an accident or some other form of foul happenstance, I'll be at Trinity by 8am ready to administer the sacraments of Holy Eucharist and, at 10:30, Holy Baptism.

The collection plates will be there, too....

[I actually competed in this in the winter of 1969, along with other members of Troop 163, Boy Scouts of America. The lead dog's name was "Kaiser".]

The First Sunday After The Epiphany


This Sunday we welcome the Three Kings, acknowledge the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, and receive into the community of faith our sister-in-Christ, Isabelle Margaret.

The lections may be found here.

The participants in this week's liturgy are-

Lay Minister: Linda Lloyd
Lector: Arete Warren
Epistler: Bill Warren
Intercessor: Sue Kozlowski
Hospitality: Team Schindler
Altar Guild: Luis Francke and Jane Canfield
Head Usher: Mary Anne Carley
Flowers: Cynthia Conklin

Friday, January 9, 2009

Speaking Of Archaeology


Last week I couldn't remember the arrangement of languages on the Rosetta Stone. I stumbled over the helpful diagram above earlier today.

Remember, Sunday at Noon in the church.

Top Ten Discoveries In Biblical Archaeology


The full article may be read here.

THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS
THE HOUSE OF DAVID INSCRIPTION
AMULET SCROLL
THE GALILEE BOAT
BARUCH BULLA
OSSUARY OF CAIAPHAS
PONTIUS PILATE INSCRIPTION
EKRON INSCRIPTION
MOUNT EBAL ALTAR
UGARIT

Ugarit is the port city I mentioned on Sunday that was discovered in 1928 when a farmer dislodged a stone with some odd writing on it. In fact, note how many of the "top ten" were discovered by accident rather than scientific design. The discovery of the Caiaphas ossuary is a classic example of accidental discovery.

Keep This In Mind When That Collection Plate Passes By

In Hard Times, Houses of God Turn to Chapter 11 in Book of Bankruptcy

Thursday, January 8, 2009

An Obituary Of Note

Richard John Neuhaus, a Roman Catholic priest and theologian with whom Cyril Wismar and I were personally acquainted, died today. Although best known in recent years as a "conservative" Roman Catholic, when I first met him at The General Theological Seminary in New York twenty-seven years ago, he was introduced to me as a "liberal" Lutheran pastor.

As is often the case with true Christian thinkers, he was difficult to put in a secular ideological box. Because of that, too many Christian non-thinkers felt free to express their dislike of him in ways that seemed tangential to Gospel teaching.

Not that it mattered, of course. He knew what he believed and expressed it in a manner that was lucid and elegant. There is little of that in any branch or style of ideology these days and it will not only be missed, but I'm concerned that such lucidity and elegance will never be replaced.

He had written several books, the best-known of which appears in the link below, and was the editor of the last serious periodical dedicated to the nature of the secular and the sacred, First Things. He was only 72 years old.

Here is an example of his work from one of the last pieces he wrote:

"St. Paul writes, 'Be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind' (Rom. 12:2). Worrying about the cultural conformity of Christianity is nothing new. Such worries are a staple in the history of Christian thought, from the third-century Tertullian’s defiant question 'What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?' to Kierkegaard’s withering critique of culturally domesticated discipleship, to Karl Barth’s emphatic Nein! thrown in the face of the Kulturprotestantismus that was the form taken by the 'Christ of culture' model in liberal Protestantism.

And, of course, there are today in America forms of principled nonconformity finding expression among both politically left-wing and politically right-wing Christians who would revive, at least in theological and moral rhetoric, a 'Christ against culture' model—meaning, most specifically, Christ against American culture. There is, for instance, the vibrant home-schooling movement, which often goes far beyond education in forming elective communities of families supporting one another in resistance to the more meretricious elements of popular culture. Such communities—whether Catholic, Protestant, or ecumenical—are frequently charismatic in character. On the left, there are groups such as the Catholic Worker movement and Sojourners, focused on what they define as justice for the poor and, in their more diluted practical politics, supportive of the leftward wing of the Democratic Party. The mix of Christ-and-culture models is a many-splendored thing."

This Week's Adult Education


We will continue with the second part of Biblical Archaeology, noting that we will have to schedule further meetings in the near future as the sheer volume of material and interest is too daunting for only two sessions.

This week we will learn of Sir Leonard Woolley, Max Mallowan, Kathleen Kenyon, and William F. Albright as they take this discipline away from the treasure hunters of "crypto-archaeology" and place it safely in the science developed by the early Egyptologists.

We will also view maps and a list of discoveries of Biblical places, not to mention visit the increasingly technological world of diggers and squints.

We will meet in the church this Sunday as your vicar really, really needs to be able to move and show charts and pictures when he teaches.

What Will David Byrne Do?


Music Industry to Abandon Mass Suits

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Ongoing Archaeological Information


This article from the New York Times, linked to here and in an earlier posting on the original version of The Coracle, speaks of the significance of the latest excavation in the field of Biblical archaeology at the site known as Khirbet Qeiyafa. [It's also mentioned in the last portion of the excavations list below.]

This may give those interested some idea of how important these finds can be in the developing understanding of scripture.

[Pictured above is the partial reconstruction of a Mayan priests' retreat that is located somewhere in the Yucatan. Or maybe it's Knott's Berry Farm. No, it's the Yucatan as that dashing figure next to the mangrove tree is sporting his official Smithsonian Institution Tilley hat. He's also, I think, attempting to be Captain Morgan.]

Yep, The Parish Phone System Is Kerflooey. Again. [UPDATED]

I've dispatched the unpaid parish administrator to attend to this concern. According to the unpaid parish secretary, all should be in order by Wednesday.

Update: Phones are working again. Thank John Lloyd, one of only two persons on Earth who knows how to repair the phone system, for his good work addressing this.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Significant Excavations In Biblical Archaeology


• 1898–1900 Frederick J. Bliss and R.A.S. Macalister excavated 4 major sites in the Shephelah region of Israel:
Tell es-Safi (probably Biblical Gath)
Tell Zakariya (probably Biblical Azekah)
Tell ej-Judeideh (possibly Biblical Moresheth-Gath or Libnah)
Tell Sandahannah (probably Biblical Mareshah)
• 1902–3, 1907–9 R.A.S. Macalister excavated Gezer, where the oldest Hebrew inscription (Gezer Calendar) was found on the surface
• 1902–4 Ernest Sellin excavated Taanach
• 1903–5 Gottlieb Schumacher excavated Megiddo
• 1905–7 Herman Kohl, Ernest Sellin, and Carl Watzinger surveyed ancient synagogues in Galilee
• 1907–9 Ernest Sellin and Carl Watzinger excavated Shechem
• 1908, 1910–1 David G. Lyon, Clarence S. Fisher, and George A. Reisner excavated Samaria
• 1911–3 Duncan Mackenzie excavated Beth Shemesh
• 1921–3, 1925–8, 1930–3 Clarence S. Fisher, Alan Rowe, and Gerald M. Fitzgerald excavated Beth Shean
• 1922–3 William F. Albright excavated Tell el-Ful (probably Biblical Gibeah)
• 1925–39 Clarence S. Fisher, P.L.O. Guy, and Gordon Loud excavated Megiddo
• 1926, 1928, 1930, 1932 William F. Albright excavated Tell Beit Mirsim (possibly Biblical Eglon or Debir–Kirjath Sepher)
• 1926–7, 1929, 1932, 1935 William F. Bade excavated Mizpah
• 1928–33 Elihu Grant excavated Beth Shemesh
• 1930–6 John Garstang excavated Jericho
• 1931–3, 1935 John W. Crowfoot excavated Samaria
• 1932–38 James L. Starkey excavated Lachish (the excavation terminated when he was killed by bandits near Hebron while on his way to the opening ceremonies of the Palestine Archaeological Museum)
• 1936–40 Benjamin Mazar excavated Beit She’arim.
• 1948–50, 1952–5 Jacob Kaplan excavated Jaffa
• 1954, 1959–62 Yohanan Aharoni excavated Ramat Rahel
• 1955–8, 1968 Yigael Yadin excavated Hazor
• 1956–7, 1959–60, 1962 James B. Pritchard excavated Gibeon
• 1961–7 Kathleen Kenyon excavated Jerusalem (City of David)
• 1962–7 Yohanan Aharoni and Ruth Amiran excavated Arad
• 1962–3, 1965–72 Moshe Dothan excavated Ashdod
• 1963–5 Yigael Yadin excavated Masada
• 1964–74 G. Ernest Wright, William G. Dever, and Joe Seger excavated Gezer
o This was the first Palestinian excavation to operate as a school by granting academic/college credit.
• 1968–78 Benjamin Mazar excavated Jerusalem (southwest corner of the Temple Mount)
• 1969–76 Yohanan Aharoni and Ze’ev Herzog excavated Beersheba
• 1969–82 Nahman Avigad excavated Jerusalem (Jewish Quarter)
• 1973–94 David Ussishkin excavated Lachish
• 1975–82 Avraham Biran excavated Aroer
• 1977–9, 1981–9 Amihai Mazar and George L. Kelm excavated Timnah
• 1978–85 Yigal Shiloh excavated Jerusalem (City of David)
• 1979–80 Gabriel Barkay excavated Ketef Hinnom
• 1979, 1981–2, 1984–7, 1990–1, 1993–2000 David Livingston excavated Khirbet Nisya
• 1981–2, 1984–8, 1990, 1992–6 Trude Dothan and Seymour Gitin excavated Ekron
• 1989–96 Amihai Mazar excavated Tel Beit-Shean
2. 21st Century
• 1994–2007 Israel Finkelstein and David Ussishkin excavated Megiddo (ongoing annually)
• 1996–2002, 2004–2008 Aren Maeir excavates at Tell es-Safi (identified as Biblical Gath) of the Philistines
• 1997– Amihai Mazar excavated Tel Rehov
• 1999–2001, 2005 Ron Tappy excavated Tel Zayit (Zeitah)
• 2005 Oded Lipschits excavated Ramat Rahel
• 2005 Amir Gorzalczany and Gerald Finkielsztejn excavated Nahal Tut
• 2007 Yosef Garfinkel and Saar Ganor excavated Khirbet Qeiyafa

Links to the sites listed above will be offered by the end of the week.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Prophetic Dreams! Bandits!! Mummies!!!


Yes, its the wonderful world of Biblical archaeology, which will be tomorrow's adult education offering, the first of two parts.

We will meet around noon to spend forty-five minutes speaking of techniques, theories, histories, and discoveries. It really doesn't get any better than that.

[The photo above was taken on top of the Kukulcan pyramid in the central Yucatan overlooking a Mayan game field. Jenni asked me if I thought I was "Ohio Jones".]

The Second Sunday After Christmas


We have a lot of choices this Sunday, however I am always taken by the role of Joseph and his implicit and faithful trust in dreams. [In our prayers at the monastery he was referred to as Mary's "most chaste spouse", although one day Brother Martin got a little tongue-tied and referred to him as her "most spoused chaste".]

The lections may be found here.

This Week's Participants-
Lay Minister: Jane Canfield
Lector: Alexis Dorf
Epistler: Jacqueline Kuhn
Intercessor: Ginny Dildine
Head Usher: Alexis Dorf
Hospitality: Team Tweed
Altar Guild: Emily DiMartino and Alice Tweed
Flowers: Sue Kozlowski