Thursday, September 30, 2010

Events For October

Saturday, October 2nd:
     Church School Parents' Meeting, Parish House at 10am

Sunday, October 3rd:
     Roxbury Tractor Parade at Noon [Christ Church donated the t-shirts, which are adorned with the name of our beloved parish on the back, so please buy a few].

Tuesday, October 5th:
     Clergy Day in Seymour [This is just for me, but I'll tell you how it goes].

Thursday, October 7th:
     Adult Forum in the Parish House beginning at 7:30pm [or "a.j.", for "after Jeopardy].  We will begin our look at the politics, drama, and comedy involved in the translation of the King James Version with "God's Secretary, Part One".

Saturday, October 9th:
     The Blessing of the Animals will be held on the front steps of Christ Church at Noon.  No animal is too large or too small; all are welcome.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

...Or About Two Pounds Of Seeds

Someone deposited the world's largest pumpkin on my porch, something that made the porch list a little, I think.

The Bishops Went To Arizona Last Week, And All We Got Was A Letter [What, no Route 66 t-shirt?]

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

The bishops of The Episcopal Church (about 150 or so*) gather twice a year in various parts of the country to pray, study the bible, worship, and take counsel together for the sake of the Church's participation in God's Mission. We write to you as your bishops in the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut upon our return from the Fall House of Bishops' meeting, which was held in Phoenix, Arizona, from September 16 to 21, 2010.

This year's meeting was planned to be in Phoenix well before the passage of the controversial Arizona legislation SB1070 that allows for police officers to question suspected undocumented people for proof of residence without cause. The fact that we bishops were going to Arizona in the wake of passage of SB1070 propelled migration and immigration concerns to be a central concern of our meeting.

Before our meeting in Phoenix began there was an opportunity for some bishops and spouses to travel to the United States/Mexican border in Arizona to learn first hand about border realities. Bishops Douglas and Curry were blessed to participate in the border experience, while Bishop Ahrens represented the diocese at a bishops' meeting on theological education at that time.

The time that bishops and spouses spent on both sides of the huge steel wall that now separates our two countries was incredibly enlightening, difficult, challenging, and spiritually transformative. Those who gathered on the border were blessed to meet and have conversation with migrant families and individuals newly returned to Mexico, with border patrol agents, with ranchers, with health care workers, with town officials and police officers from both sides of the border, and with pastors, priests, missionaries and lay-workers who were ministering to border communities and migrant families. We learned that border issues are incredibly complex and not easily resolved through sound bite political posturing. Above all, we learned that enlightened immigration reform that is humane, just, and economically fair to all on both sides of the border is needed.

The Rt. Rev. Kirk Smith, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona, reminded us in his closing sermon at the House of Bishops meeting that "immigration reform is one of the great human rights issues of today." We agree.

The Pastoral Letter and Theological Resource (links below) are the result of our experience, expert testimony, theological reflection, and prayerful deliberation as the House of Bishops. By canon, Pastoral Letters from the House of Bishops are to be read, or made available, in all congregations of The Episcopal Church. We ask that as the clergy of the diocese you read this Pastoral Letter in your congregations on or before Sunday, October 10. We also commend to you for study in your congregation, the accompanying theological resource on migration and immigration, entitled, "The Nation and the Common Good: Reflections on Immigration Reform."

God bless you in this important work.

The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas
The Rt. Rev. James E. Curry
The Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens

[*or approximately $16.5 million annually]

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost

This week Jeremiah, once again, uses a participatory economy to teach a lesson of God, righteousness is defined in the Epistle, and Jesus speaks of Lazarus [the poor one, not the dead one] in trying to aid his disciples in the process of "de-learning".  All this plus what happens when G.I. Joe winds up in the ficus.

The lections may be found here.

P.S.  Many thanks to all those who served on the auction committee and did such a wonderful job of organization, presentation and, in particular, Christian witness.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Don't Forget

Treasure Trove Auction


September 25, 2010


Broadway tickets, trips, amazing one-of-a-kind antiques, beautiful crystal items,

dinner parties, cooking classes, theme baskets,

and so much more have been gathered for this event.

Preview Party


September 24, 2010


Bring Your Friends And Neighbors
[Or people who aren't your friends and may be strangers; just bring them, okay?]

An Obituary Of Note: Rock Music's Most Famous Gym Teacher

Leonard Skinner Dies

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Naturally, It Was An Episcopal Church

From the White House Press Office's Sunday pool report:

Sent: Sun Sep 19 09:01:22 2010
Subject: Sunday pool report 1

The first family left the White House on foot this morning for the 9am choral holy eucharist service and sermon at St John's Church Lafayette Square.

The Obamas walked out of the residence at 8.49am and crossed the park to the nearby Episcopal church.

The president was wearing a dark suit and held Sasha Obama's hand. She was wearing a blue dress and cream cardigan. Michelle and Malia Obama were wearing cream-colored dresses. (Check photos for accuracy of descriptions. It's sunny and pool was at a distance.)

The service sheet doesn't indicate what the sermon is on but the gospel is Luke 16:1-13, which ends 'You cannot serve God and wealth.'

Lafayette Park and Pennsylvania Avenue in front of White House were closed to the public.

The Secular World's Interpretation Of The Sacrament Of Holy Matrimony Just Keeps Getting Better And Better

Will you take this bride, in sickness and with surgery?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecost

This week Jeremiah speaks a classic lamentation ["Is there no balm in Gilead?"], Paul reminds his correspondents that prayer is meant for all, even the mighty, and Jesus teaches an interesting lesson in economy.

The lections may be found here.

An Exciting Moment In Archaeology

Pardon me while I sit down before I pass out.

Last Bishop’s Palace dig uncovers rare bottle seal

Friday, September 17, 2010

Princeton Football Begins This Weekend

I know you probably don't care, but I'm hosting a birthday party for a Yalie and I just have to greet him with this flag.  Actually, the porch looks a little better this year.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What The...? A Pool Party?!

This morning, while I was casually composing Sunday's program and readying for my academic year premier at Rumsey Hall, a great commotion shook the Rectory [not to mention set to rocking the Chief Wahoo bobblehead]. 

It turns out my neighbors are building a pool.  Next to the parking lot.  And the Rectory.  With earth-moving equipment parked in our lot.  [Really, folks, you should ask to park here, as one never knows when a funeral or some other such event will take place during the week.  I'm a friendly guy, so I'm told.  Churches aren't just open on Sundays, you know. Well, maybe you don't know, but still....] 

Anyway, to salute my neighbors' bold new plan for their property, and for turning the Rectory's tap water brown, I offer these two articles:

Chemicals in indoor swimming pools could be harmful, three studies show


The Home Swimming Pool. Full Of Empty Promise?

An Anniversary

Reagan was president, the "Just Say 'No'" campaign was fresh and new, "L.A. Law" premiered, Tutu was named an archbishop, Metalica's bassist was run over and killed by his own tour bus, the Public Health Service named this week "Infection Control Week", the Cleveland Indians shut out the Twins, Ivan Lendl was on the cover of Sports Illustrated, some new guy named Michael Jordan was drawing attention in the NBA, and "Platoon" was playing at the local theater.

And I got ordained a priest on this day, the transferred Feast of the Holy Cross [transferred to Monday because Holy Cross Day fell on a Sunday that year, and Sundays are always feast days dedicated to our Lord].

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Obligatory Vacation Photos

Didn't really think I'd go away and not force you to view vacation photos upon my return, did you?  All photos may be enlarged by clicking upon them. 
Below is a typical day at the beach, despite the fact that the waves are a little on the anemic side:

This is more like it, as we see some storm surge waves from "Hurricane" Earl:

A quiet sunset at the Music Pier, the day after the "hurricane":

My favorite anachronism is this mural, found in a beachside parking lot on a building that houses a fudge factory [I think], that features Duke Kahanamoku, the father of surfing.  That a Hawaiian swimming/surfing champ, who started the life guard service in southern California in the 1920's, could be easily integrated into common scenes from Ocean City, New Jersey is testimony to the ubiquity of the great waterman who still serves as an inspiration even to East Coast surfers.

Jenni's favorite boardwalk site is the giant parrot on the pirate ship that decorates a video arcade.  His head actually moves in a mildly creepy manner.  In my day, this was a pinball arcade with no parrot, just a scary looking guy to whom one went for change to play the machines.  Come to think of it, his head didn't move.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Yes, I'm Back

Just a little swamped with unanswered mail and e-mail, not to mention catching up on the developing pastoral needs of the parish.  Two Eucharists today, at the usual times, and a vestry meeting [in the church today, not the rectory]. 

Vacation photos to follow.  The lections may be found here.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Thank You, Hurricane Earl

To paraphrase the Water Rat in The Wind in the Willows, "...there is NOTHING--absolute nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in [tropical storm surge waves].

Really, they're like the ones in Southern California, except better.  That's because I can smell caramel corn from the beach.