Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Third Sunday After Pentecost

Abraham takes a test [although I suspect Isaac was a little more concerned with the final grade], Paul delivers some slaves, and Jesus is making me thirsty. All this and Buck's "daddy wig."

The lections may found here.

Friday, June 24, 2011

"At Rincon, They're Walkin' The Nose...."

Surf's buttercup! Cow paddles alongside bemused swimmers after plunging into the Atlantic

This article alternately describes the creature as a bull, bullock, and cow.  Local farmers can tell you that those are two different genders and one "altered" state, so who knows?  Still, it's always nice to welcome a new surfer.

Another Portion Of Youth Washes Away From The Main

Gene Colan, comic book legend, dies at at 84

I Remember That Day Well. I Think It Was The Last Time The Sun Came Out

It's our anniversary again?  I thought we just had one last year.

I miss that suit.  Not so much those glasses.  Or were they goggles? 

Spending the day with my bride as we attempt trans-species communication with a couple of Belugas.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Surfing Madonna Needs A Savior

I seem a little preoccupied with watersports today; I'm guessing that it has something to do with the beginning of summer.  However, this is an interesting story about the nature of art vs. graffiti.

Unauthorized work has created problems, but it could become a cultural landmark for Encinitas

I Guessing The Members Of The King Co. Council Don't Know How To Swim

King Co. requires life vests for swimmers, floaters

Really, swimmers are to wear flotation devices?  Ever try to swim in a life jacket?  Try surfing in one, too.

As a former life guard, I have to note that it's not the water.  The water can always be dangerous.  It's the swimmer/floater/boater and their sense of surroundings and ability that keeps them safe or plunges them into danger.  Teaching people how really to swim, and requiring education to use a boat or JetSki, will do more to save lives than will writing new, and mostly unenforceable, laws.  In the ocean, the only people who ever got into difficutly were those who did not know how to swim or were only experienced with splashing around in calm inland lakes and ponds.

Which reminds me of something written some time ago:

When I read of "good swimmers" drowning in the ocean, I’m not all that surprised. Even people who know how to swim have usually learned in a swimming pool. Pools have no tides, no rips. Pools have no undertow, no current, and no swells. Pools don’t have waves.

The ocean makes everyone who doesn’t respect it into a novice. The ocean pulls, tugs, throws, rolls, and beats. Swimming in the ocean is as complete a physical activity as one may encounter. The ocean is alive with uncontrollable force, it is nature at its most raw; and it can make anyone who doesn’t respect it into another sad victim.

Some people should not be allowed anywhere near it.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Aw, Nuts

Clarence Clemons died last night, and if his name means nothing to you, he served as the historical connection between early rock 'n roll, with its use of the saxaphone as the primary instrument, and the post-modern sound of the 1970's made popular by Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. He currently can be heard on Lady Gaga's newest recording, thus completing a very long arc in American popular music.

As this seems to be video day, click below to see the E Street Band in mid-concert. Clemons makes his entrance at the 2:30 mark and is clearly a crowd favorite.

If you're wondering why this is on a "religious" weblog, then you didn't hear today's sermon. Our spirituality is drawn from many sources, not all of them sacred.

Footnotes For Today's Sermon

Click on the video below to hear the Nelson Riddle arrangement of "I've Got You Under My Skin", as sung by Sinatra and recorded that fateful day in 1956.  Also with bonus glamour shots of Ava Gardner.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Trinity Sunday

This week we look at how it's the rendition and composition together that provide the fourth aspect of faith; after scripture, reason, and tradition comes....

Well, we'll talk about that tomorrow. The lections may be found here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

An Office Note

For those who were not in church on Sunday, or who were day-dreaming during announcements, the parish office computer was damaged by static electricity during Thursday's storm and apparent tornado.  [Although an F1 tornado hardly deserves the name.  In Ohio, we used to ride F1s to school.]

So, if you're expecting a response to your recent e-mail or a statement from the parish treasurer, you're going to have to wait awhile until the computer is repaired.  I know, I know.  Life is hard.

[Above is Margaret Hamilton in her most famous role.  She was an Episcopalian by the way, and spent her later years in Salisbury.  For those interested, there is a venerable Episcopal Actors' Guild in NYC that is still active.  Their website may be found here.]

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Day Of Pentecost

This Sunday the disciples have their languages un-tangled, the Corinthians learn of the dissemination of gifts, and Jesus issues the mighty invitation.  All this plus the problems with English and wells.

The lections may be found hereAnd remember to wear something red.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Feast Of Ephrem

From Keifer's Hagiographies:

Ephrem of Edessa was a teacher, poet, orator, and defender of the Faith....Edessa (now Urfa), a city in modern Turkey about 100 kilometers from Antioch (now Antakya), was a an early center for the spread of Christian teaching in the East. It is said that in 325 he accompanied his bishop, James of Nisibis, to the Council of Nicea. Certainly his writings are an eloquent defense of the Nicene faith in the Deity of Jesus Christ. He countered the Gnostics' practice of spreading their message through popular songs by composing Christian songs and hymns of his own, with great effect. He is known to the Syrian church as "the harp of the Holy Spirit."

Ephrem retired to a cave outside Edessa, where he lived in great simplicity and devoted himself to writing. He frequently went into the city to preach. During a famine in 372-3 he worked distributing food to the hungry, and organizing a sort of ambulance service for the sick. He worked long hours at this, and became exhausted and sick, and so died.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Feast Of Columba

One of the ironies in Christian history, or at least in its common understanding, is that St. Patrick, the evangelist of Ireland, was a Scot from The Borders and that today's feast day honoree, Columba, the evangelist of Scotland, was Irish.  For most this is no matter, as many people cannot recognize the difference between the Scots and the Irish any more than they can between the Slovenians and the Slovakians.  Suffice it to say, Columba's holy witness not only brought to the Gospel the people of the northern kingdom, but also provided a monastery system which enabled and protected education during the 6th century.

Of course, the most lasting of his contributions was the monastery on Iona, an isle off the Scottish coast that is still a site of Christian pilgrimage and tourism.  More on Columba may be found here.

O God, who by the preaching of your blessed servant Columba 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.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"Sliding a wave removes our brains out of the ordinary and slips us into the extra ordinary of being there now. No more worries about mortgages or strife of being poor or rich. When you enter the domain of an ocean cylinder, that moment, those split seconds belong to the Zen part of just being. Period."
- Bill Hamilton

Monday, June 6, 2011

"Folly is a more dangerous enemy to the good than evil. One can protest against evil; it can be unmasked and, if need be, prevented by force. Evil always carries the seeds of its own destruction, as it makes people, at the least, uncomfortable. Against folly we have no defence. Neither protests nor force can touch it; reasoning is no use; facts that contradict personal prejudices can simply be disbelieved — indeed, the fool can counter by criticizing them, and if they are undeniable, they can just be pushed aside as trivial exceptions. So the fool, as distinct from the scoundrel, is completely self-satisfied;..." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I Wonder What Constitutes Bad News In Gainesville

Good News van driver charged after wreck

And You Thought Beatification Was An Honor

John Paul officially named Michigan men's lacrosse coach

Not Exactly A News Flash, But Well Worth Reading

Missing faith: Getting religion in the newsroom

Besides, it's a lot more interesting than incessant coverage of yet another politician's bizarre social habits or the latest attempts to correct a sorta, kinda presidential candidate.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Babylon 1, Jerusalem 0

Three arrested, accused of illegally feeding homeless
“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” - Helen Keller

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Seventh Sunday Of Easter

This week the disciples get a glimpse of sole [yes, that's spelled correctly], Peter fights fire, and Jesus preaches one-ness.  All this plus the BOAC ramp at JFK.

The lections may be found here.

There Are No Diocesan Celebrations Planned, But Still....

In one form or another, it has been with us for a very long time. Nearly five centuries ago, it was a declaration of independence from Rome. It was also a key demonstration as to how important the English language was to become to the world.

During the American Revolution, it kept a church without indigenous bishops together long enough to forge an identity and provide a manner of consecrating our own bishops. One hundred years later, when other Protestant denominations were tearing themselves asunder during the Civil War, it kept us together in worshipful wholeness.

It has withstood the clumsy hands of committees that seek to "improve" it, those who believe that the best way to educate parishioners is to reduce its liminal linguistic beauty, and the mercenary attentions of those who would mar it so that they might become footnotes in ecclesial history. It is even too strong and pure of intention to be replaced by photocopied nonsense and mind-numbing church "bulletins".

It remains what it was intended to be: a tool for those who quest for some intangible shrine where the Holy Spirit may be discerned, the redemptive act made known, and Almighty love received.

This is its week, a feast set aside for The Book of Common Prayer.

Almighty and everliving God, whose servant Thomas Cranmer, with others, restored the language of the people in the prayers of your Church: Make us always thankful for this heritage; and help us so to pray in the Spirit and with the understanding, that we may worthily magnify your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

When People Don't Believe In God, Anything May Be A Religion [Part Two]

Jill Abramson, a former investigative reporter and Washington bureau chief for The New York Times, will become the paper’s executive editor....“In my house growing up, The Times substituted for religion,” she said. “If The Times said it, it was the absolute truth.”

Update:  Oh-oh, this quote has now been removed from the Times article with no explanation.  I wonder why?  Apparently, "absolute truth" is mutable.

Update update:  Thank you, Google cache, for proving that my eyes did not deceive me.