Sunday, October 04, 2015

Be praised, my Lord! ~ Feast of St. Francis

"Be praised, my Lord, through all Your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and You give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor!
Of You, Most High, he bears the likeness..."
~Saint Francis of Assisi!

"Let the little children come to me" ~ Jesus

Mark 2: 13-16

People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, "Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it." And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.

Psalm 8

Psalm 8 Page 592, BCP

Domine, Dominus noster

O LORD our Governor, *
how exalted is your Name in all the world!
Out of the mouths of infants and children *
your majesty is praised above the heavens.
You have set up a stronghold against your adversaries, *
to quell the enemy and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, *
the moon and the stars you have set in their courses,
What is man that you should be mindful of him? *
the son of man that you should seek him out?
You have made him but little lower than the angels; *
you adorn him with glory and honor;
You give him mastery over the works of your hands; *
you put all things under his feet:
All sheep and oxen, *
even the wild beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fish of the sea, *
and whatsoever walks in the paths of the sea.
O LORD our Governor, *
how exalted is your Name in all the world!

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Great article on Declining Student Resilience

Declining Student Resilience: A Serious Problem for Colleges College personnel everywhere are struggling with students' increased neediness. 

Posted Sep 22, 2015

A year ago I received an invitation from the head of Counseling Services at a major university to join faculty and administrators for discussions about how to deal with the decline in resilienc eamong students. At the first meeting, we learned that emergency calls to Counseling had more than doubled over the past five years. Students are increasingly seeking help for, and apparently having emotional crises over, problems of everyday life. Recent examples mentioned included a student who felt traumatized because her roommate had called her a “bitch” and two students who had sought counseling because they had seen a mouse in their off-campus apartment. The latter two also called the police, who kindly arrived and set a mousetrap for them.
Faculty at the meetings noted that students’ emotional fragility has become a serious problem when in comes to grading. Some said they had grown afraid to give low grades for poor performance, because of the subsequent emotional crises they would have to to deal with in their offices. Many students, they said, now view a C, or sometimes even a B, as failure, and they interpret such “failure” as the end of the world. Faculty also noted an increased tendency for students to blame them (the faculty) for low grades—they weren’t explicit enough in telling the students just what the test would cover or just what would distinguish a good paper from a bad one. They described an increased tendency to see a poor grade as reason to complain rather than as reason to study more, or more effectively. Much of the discussions had to do with the amount of handholding faculty should do versus the degree to which the response should be something like, “Buck up, this is college.” Does the first response simply play into and perpetuate students’ neediness and unwillingness to take responsibility? Does the second response create the possibility of serious emotional breakdown, or, who knows, maybe even suicide?
Two weeks ago, that head of Counseling sent us all a follow-up email, announcing a new set of meetings. His email included this sobering paragraph: 

Read it all HERE

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Trusting in the gifts of the present

My reflection "Trusting in the gifts of the present" is up at the NAES Commons Blog,,,

Trusting in the gifts of the present
By The Rev. Peter M. Carey
Posted at the National Associations of Episcopal Schools' "Commons Blog"

“Will this look good on my college resume?” 
“What courses should I take to get into the college of my choice?” 
“What Division One coaches will be at this showcase event?” 
In schools today, there is an increasing focus on the destination of college, and it is not only juniors and seniors. Now, even fifth and sixth graders are talking about college and graduate school. My own seventh graders talk about going to either Columbia or Harvard or Michigan or UNC. In addition, Lower School admissions officers recount stories of prospective parents of pre-kindergarten students who ask about a school’s college profile! The causes of this pressure are legion: anxious parents, competition for college admittance, the Internet, and the high cost of advanced education, to name a few. With so much energy focused on the next chapter, there is a loss in the gifts of the present. We, like our students, often rush toward the future. 
I believe one antidote is for us to help model the spiritual practice of abiding in the present moment. As our former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, wrote “The hardest thing in the world is to be where we are.”*

Click HERE to read it all

Monday, September 28, 2015

The moon!!!

No way to see the moon here in Tampa last night, but saw this photo taken by Sondra Sarra up in Vermont.  Very cool!

~The Rev. Peter M. Carey

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Wonderful resources at NAES

There are some great resources in general at the NAES website, but especially over at the NAES Commons Blog.  Check them out!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Prayers for all those hurt and killed in Mecca on Eid-al-Adha

Mecca stampede: At least 453 killed and hundreds injured in crush during hajj

At least 719 people have been hurt in a stampede outside the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia during the pilgrimage in the deadliest incident in 25 years

Nearly 400 people have been hurt in a stampede outside the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia during the pilgrimage on Eid al-Adha
The stampede took place in Mina, outside of Mecca Photo: AP

• At least 453 pilgrims killed on Eid al-Adha
• At least 719 injured outside the holy city of Mecca
• Two million people perform the Hajj pilgrimage
• Thursday is also the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha
• Iran accuses Saudi Arabia of safety errors after 43 citizens die
At least 453 pilgrims were killed on Thursday in a crush at Mina, outside the Muslim holy city of Mecca, where some two million people are performing the annual hajj pilgrimage, Saudi Arabia's civil defence authority said.
At least 719 others were injured in the crush, which took place on Street 204 of the camp city at Mina, a few miles east of Mecca, where pilgrims stay for several days during the climax of the hajj.
It is the worst incident since 1990 when 1,426 were killed in a stampede inside a pedestrian tunnel leading out from Mecca towards Mina and the Plains of Arafat.
Read it all HERE

Monday, September 21, 2015

Church of Lalibela Ethiopia Africa

Church of Lalibela Ethiopia Africa
Build in the 12 century by Emperor Lalibela. Posted on the 
Speaking Rastafari Facebook page

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Bruce Springsteen - The Rising - A Hymn for September 12th

Come on up for the rising
Come on up, lay your hands in mine
Come on up for the rising
Come on up for the rising tonight

Spirits above and behind me
Faces gone, black eyes burnin' bright
May their precious blood forever bind me
Lord as I stand before your fiery light
I see you Mary in the garden

In the garden of a thousand sighs
There's holy pictures of our children
Dancin' in a sky filled with light
May I feel your arms around me
May I feel your blood mix with mine
A dream of life comes to me
Like a catfish dancin' on the end of the line

Sky of blackness and sorrow ( a dream of life)
Sky of love, sky of tears (a dream of life)
Sky of glory and sadness ( a dream of life)
Sky of mercy, sky of fear ( a dream of life)
Sky of memory and shadow ( a dream of life)
Your burnin' wind fills my arms tonight
Sky of longing and emptiness (a dream of life)
Sky of fullness, sky of blessed life ( a dream of life)

Come on up for the rising
Come on up, lay your hands in mine
Come on up for the rising
Come on up for the rising tonight

Bruce Springsteen 2002

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Let there be spaces

Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow. (Kahlil Gibran)

Monday, September 07, 2015

I lift up my eyes

Psalm 121
I lift up my eyes to the hills—
    from where will my help come?

My help comes from the Lord,

    who made heaven and earth.
 He will not let your foot be moved;
    he who keeps you will not slumber.

He who keeps Israel

    will neither slumber nor sleep.
 The Lord is your keeper;
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
 The sun shall not strike you by day,
    nor the moon by night.
 The Lord will keep you from all evil;
    he will keep your life.
 The Lord will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time on and forevermore.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Kate Sonderegger's new book - on my "Must Read" list!!

VTS Announces Publication of First Publication on Systematic Theology from Professor Katherine Sonderegger

Media Contact: Curtis Prather
Tel: 703-461-1782
Alexandria, Va. – Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) announces the publication of Systematic Theology: The Doctrine of God, Volume 1 (Fortress Press, 2015), written by The Rev. Katherine Sonderegger, Ph.D., the William Meade Chair in Systematic Theology.
"Kate Sonderegger has written a masterpiece," said the Rev. Ian S. Markham, dean and president of Virginia Theological Seminary. “It is breath-taking in scope, beautiful in prose, and insightful in terms of argument. It is a theology born out of love for God; it is quite simply brilliant. We are proud of our William Meade Professor of Theology. This is a substantial contribution to the discipline of Theology."
The mystery of Almighty God is most properly an explication of the oneness of God, tying the faith of the church to the bedrock of Israel's confession of the LORD of the covenant, the LORD of our Lord Jesus Christ. The doctrine of divine attributes, then, is set out as a reflection on Holy Scripture: the One God as omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient, and all these as expressions of the Love who is God. Systematic theology must make bold claims about its knowledge and service of this One LORD: the Invisible God must be seen and known in the visible. In this way, God and God's relation to creation are distinguished—but not separated—from Christology, the doctrine of perfections from redemption. The LORD God will be seen as compatible with creatures, and the divine perfections express formally distinct and unique relations to the world.
This systematic theology, then, begins from the treatise De Deo Uno and develops the dogma of the Trinity as an expression of divine unicity, on which will depend creation, Christology, and ecclesiology. In the end, the transcendent beauty who is God can be known only in worship and praise.
"Astonishing in scope and breadth, beautiful in language, profound in spiritual perception, this is a monumental work, comparable to Rowan Williams and T. F. Torrance at their best,” said George Hunsinger from Princeton Theological Seminary. “I expect it to be a standard point of reference in Christian theology for years to come."
Prior to joining the Virginia Seminary faculty in 2002, Professor Sonderegger served on faculties at Middlebury College and Bangor Theological Seminary. She is the author of That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew: Karl Barth's "Doctrine of Israel" (University Park: Penn State Press, 1992).
Sonderegger is a member of the American Academy of Religion, Kampen-Princeton Barth Consultation, Karl Barth Society of North America; American Theological Society, Society for the Study of Theology, and since 2004 has been the co-chair for the Reformed Theology executive committee. She is the author of That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew: Karl Barth's "Doctrine of Israel" (1992).
Founded in 1823 as a beacon of hope in a country new and finding its way, Virginia Theological Seminary is the flagship Seminary of the Episcopal Church. One of our first benefactors was Francis Scott Key whose poem provides the text for our national anthem. In the 191 years since being established, VTS has led the way in forming leaders of the Episcopal Church, including: the Most Rev. John E. Hines (VTS 1933, D.D. 1946), former presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church; the Rt. Rev. John T. Walker (VTS 1954, D.D. 1978), the first African-American bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington; and theologian, author and lay preacher Ms. Verna J. Dozier (VTS D.D. 1978). Serving the worldwide Anglican Communion, Virginia Theological Seminary educates approximately 25% of those being ordained who received residential theological education. Visit us online at

Gotta love the dean of my seminary, Ian Markham!!

Arriving back at my office late yesterday afternoon, I found a rather large R2D2 sitting in my seat.  With Star Wars 7 being released in December of this year and the trailer being revealed today, it was a rather strange moment.  I wondered for a moment whether VTS was caught up in a massive pre-release promotion (perhaps every President had R2D2 on their office seats).

R2D2 became a feature for the evening.  He(?) sat in the doorway of the Deanery as Faculty and spouses arrived for the start of the academic year dinner.  The Faculty had spent the afternoon together discussing everything from the Consecration to Assessment; we resume our deliberations this morning.

The first Faculty meeting of the academic year is always a moving occasion.  We share our news since the last time we gathered as a Faculty in May.  It is always moving as moments of celebration are shared (for example, the publication of a book) to moments of sadness (the loss of a loved one or the struggle with illness).  God has called us together as the Faculty of Virginia Theological Seminary to serve the mission of this place; and we bring the journeys of all our lives to this service.  For my colleagues, on this day, I am deeply grateful.  

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President

The Guest House, Rumi

The Guest House 

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

 ~ Rumi ~
(The Essential Rumi, version by Coleman Barks)

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

It's not the critic who counts

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

~Theodore Roosevelt

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Blessing of the Gries Center at Berkeley Preparatory School

Blessing of the Gries Center
Berkeley Preparatory School
25 August 2015
The Rev. Peter M. Carey, School Chaplain

God, you show us evidence of your creation through logic and mathematics.  Be with our students and their teachers as they strive to become diligent problem solvers.  Be a source of strength and comfort to those who struggle to solve ever more complicated problems.  May these math classrooms be places of great struggles and great successes.

God gives us the gift of beauty and art in our lives. Be ever-present with our students and teachers who seek through music and visual and performing arts to create and display this gift.  May these art spaces inspire our students engage their creativity in new and incredible ways.

God created the heavens and the earth, the sky, vegetation, and every living creature that moves.  Help our students engage fully in the pursuit of scientific inquiry.  May these science spaces be wonderful laboratories of discovery. 

Visit, O blessed Lord, this place of learning with the gladness of your presence, that this may a be a lively center for sound learning, new discovery, and the pursuit of wisdom; and grant that those who teach and those who learn here may find you to be the source of all truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.