Sunday, October 31, 2010

Journey to the marathon -#10-Chariots of Fire-Running in glens

Chariots of Fire - Eric Liddell runs in the glens...awesome!

~The Rev. Peter M. Carey


All Saints Day Readings - Bible Study at Mudhouse in Crozet on November 1

See you with us!


Tomorrow at 10:30 at the Mudhouse Coffee Shop in Crozet, VA!



~The Rev. Peter M. Carey






Readings for our 1 November 2010 Mudhouse Meeting:

The Lessons Appointed for Use on
All Saints' Day
Year C
RCL

Daniel 7:1-3,15-18
Psalm 149
Ephesians 1:11-23
Luke 6:20-31


The Collect
Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body
of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly
living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory
everlasting. Amen.

Daniel 7:1-3,15-18

In the first year of King Belshazzar of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head as he lay in
bed. Then he wrote down the dream: I, Daniel, saw in my vision by night the four winds of heaven
stirring up the great sea, and four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another.

As for me, Daniel, my spirit was troubled within me, and the visions of my head terrified me. I
approached one of the attendants to ask him the truth concerning all this. So he said that he would
disclose to me the interpretation of the matter: "As for these four great beasts, four kings shall arise out
of the earth. But the holy ones of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom for
ever—for ever and ever."

Psalm 149 Page 807, BCP

Hallelujah!
Sing to the LORD a new song; *
sing his praise in the congregation of the faithful.

Let Israel rejoice in his Maker; *
let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.

Let them praise his Name in the dance; *
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.

For the LORD takes pleasure in his people *
and adorns the poor with victory.

Let the faithful rejoice in triumph; *
let them be joyful on their beds.

Let the praises of God be in their throat *
and a two-edged sword in their hand;

To wreak vengeance on the nations *
and punishment on the peoples;

To bind their kings in chains *
and their nobles with links of iron;

To inflict on them the judgment decreed; *
this is glory for all his faithful people.
Hallelujah!

Ephesians 1:11-23

In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him
who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our
hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of
truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised
Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God's own people, to the praise of
his glory.

I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do
not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus
Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so
that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Luke 6:20-31

Jesus looked up at his disciples and said:

"Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
"Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.
"Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
"Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on
account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in
heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
"But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
"Woe to you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
"Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep.
"Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets

"But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse
you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from
anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from
you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you."

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Journey to the Marathon - #9 - "Run without stumbling"

The Collect for tomorrow....run without stumbling!


Yes!


Yes!


YES!!




Almighty and merciful God, it is only by your gift that your faithful people offer you true and laudable service: Grant that we may run without stumbling to obtain your heavenly promises; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


13 Days to go!! Wooo Hooo! (BOO!)

Friday, October 29, 2010

If you are afraid





"If you are afraid of men and a slave to their opinion, go and do something else.... But do not keep on all of your life preaching sermons which shall not say what God sent you to declare."


~Phillips Brooks

Journey to the marathon -#8- Spirit of the Marathon

"Spirit of the Marathon" is a great documentary, following several people in their own journeys to the Chicago Marathon...check out a trailer below.

~The Rev. Peter M. Carey

Thursday, October 28, 2010

And, even more memories of VTS Chapel







More memories of VTS Chapel, purely my own, purely from my own memory...

~The Rev. Peter M. Carey




VTS, class of 2007

I already posted 1-5...




Chapel Memory #1 - The baptism of my son on the Easter Monday in 2006 along with wonderful sermon by the Rev. Michael White (now of Savannah), and celebrant the Rev. Joseph Constant (of VTS), and drumming by yours truly and the Rev. Lester MacKenzie (from South Africa, now in LA), and guitar by the Rev. Joseph Hensley (of Durham, NC)..."marching in the light of God," "I want to walk as a child of the light...'







Chapel Memory #2 - Memorial Service of Alice Hensley











Chapel Memory #3 - Sitting in the balcony next to theological ethicist Stanley Hauerwas (of Duke University) (who knew the Book of Common Prayer Service by heart) who turned to me and said how glad he was that we were singing so many Wesley hymns.

Chapel Memory #4 - Preaching my "Senior Sermon" there - was nervous as all get-out.


Chapel Memory #5 - Memorial Service of Adam Goren, VTS '05
















Chapel Memory #6 - Hearing the Rt. Rev. Michael Curry (of the Diocese of North Carolina) preach, and seeing him shake the pulpit with such force that we thought he was going to get it unhinged.


Chapel Memory #7 - Attending many many community Eucharists with my family in the evening, only to have to bring my young son outside during the service - and playing out there on the circle of grass with him and with the other kids while others prayed and heard the sermon.  Perhaps letting me know just how hard it can be to bring kids to church.  


Chapel Memory #8 - Trying to kneel during the services and never really having enough room to get my feet under the pew that I had been sitting on.  People must have had smaller feet 130 years ago, or they were more flexible, or both.

Chapel Memory #9 - Singing the fraction anthem for the first time, very nervous, but great fun!

Chapel Memory #10 - A particular sermon by the Rev. Dr. Tony Lewis on the Gerasene Demoniac, in which Tony unpacked the story in about 3 1/2 minutes - amazing.

Chapel Memory #11 - Taking Liturgics Practicum from the Rev. Andrew Merrow, learning a bit how to preside over the mysteries at the altar, I think of that space and those lessons often when I am presiding at the Eucharist.

Chapel Memory #12 - The memorial service for Professor Cook's daughter.

Chapel Memory #13 - Witnessing the Most Rev. Desmond Tutu baptize the son of the Rev. Dr. Michael Battle.  Desmond Tutu is a gift.

Chapel Memory #14 - Hearing the Rev. Dr. Katherine Grieb give a sermon in which she referenced the "White Washed Tombs" in Matthew 23:27 and likened them to the white monuments of Washington, DC, calling upon us all to do more than merely remember the poor and oppressed - but get busy!

Chapel Memory #15 - Assisting at the "Table" next to Bishop Marc Dyer at (what was then called) an Experimental Noonday Eucharist and noting his rather unique way of celebrating the Eucharist, influenced I'm sure, by his work with the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Journey to the marathon -#7-Chariots of Fire-Eric Liddell

Why do we run?

How about Eric Liddell's motivation...? Not bad

~The Rev. Peter M. Carey

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bishop Johnston loves Halloween

The Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, the Rt. Rev. Shannon Johnston, wrote a great article back in 2005 about his understanding of, and his support of, Halloween. I am posting the entire article here as it is a wonderful argument for why Christians can support Halloween in good conscience. So dress up, have a great day, and be sure to also go to church!

~ Rev. Peter M. Carey



The Rt. Rev. Shannon Johnston (written before he was consecrated bishop and posted on October 26, 2005)

When I was a child, I loved Halloween. All of my family participated enthusiastically, decorating our house with witches, devils, black cats, and ghosts. It was innocent fun, filled with imagination and creativity. Looking back, what made Halloween so great for this child was its contrast of silliness and fright, the supernatural and the known, the permitted and the forbidden, the secretive and the public. Halloween was unique; no other occasion was anything like it.
As an adult––and as a priest––I still love Halloween. And I do mean HALLOWEENnot a “Fall Festival” or the like. Every year, I carve two pumpkins–one playfully smiling and the other “very scary.” I love seeing the children’s costumes and making a big fuss over them. How sad now that Halloween is being spoiled and even taken away from us by the absolutely outrageous ideas that it is “satanic,” pagan, or of the occult. Such notions are poorly informed, terribly misguided, and absolutely untrue. There are many materials circulating these days, all pretending some sort of scholarly knowledge and/or religious authority, that strive to show that Halloween is “really” celebrating the powers of darkness. In response, I must be absolutely clear: pretenses of authority notwithstanding, these materials are at great odds with centuries of commonly accepted theology, not to mention scholarship with proven accreditation. The so-called “exposure” of Halloween is nothing more than a skewed, self-serving agenda from various churches that make up only a tiny minority of Christianity, indeed a minority within Protestantism.
Of course I am aware that satanists, Wiccans, and other occult groups are indeed active on October 31. It is also true that some pseudo-spiritualists and some plain ole’ nut-cases use Halloween as an excuse to act out. NONE OF THIS CHANGES WHAT HALLOWEEN ACTUALLY IS OR WHAT IT MEANS IN THE CHURCH’S LIFE AND WITNESS. Much of the occult association with the day arose long after the Church’s observances began in the mid 300's. Our answer to those Christians who bristle at the celebration of Halloween is that we will not allow occultists to steal it away from God’s Church. Moreover, several Christian observances have pre-Christian ancestry or pagan parallels (the date of Christmas, for example). Whatever the case, the fact is that the Christian truths proclaimed on such days are not affected.
A big part of the problem here comes from the people who do not understand the Liturgical Year because their churches do not follow it. It’s hard to keep a clear perspective on something so rooted in history and tradition if you belong to a church that has no such roots, or to one that rejects as irrelevant or “suspect” the ancient practices from the earliest Christian centuries.
The bottom line is Halloween’s relationship to All Saints’ Day (Nov. 1), one of the Church’s seven “Principal Feasts.” The celebration of any Principal Feast may begin on the evening before––thus, Christmas Eve, Twelfth Night (before Epiphany), Easter Eve (the Great Vigil), etc. Halloween is simply the eve of All Saints’ Day, which is also a baptismal feastThe great truth behind Halloween’s revels is that which we declare at every baptism: “YOU ARE SEALED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT IN BAPTISM AND ARE MARKED AS CHRIST’S OWN FOREVER.”
The most important thing to remember is this: Halloween is the time when Christians proclaim and celebrate the fact that Satan and the occult have no power over us and cannot disrupt our relationship with our Lord and Redeemer, as long as we live faithfully to Christ. We show this bymaking fun of such pretenders, lampooning them in their face. This is why our costumes and decorations certainly should be witches, devils, and ghosts. In the victory of Christ, Christians are privileged to do this and we must not be timid about it!
Ours is not a fearful faith, cowering from the prospect of falling unawares into Satan’s grasp. In God’s grace and your faithfulness, you ARE Christ’s own forever. Nothing supersedes that fact. Halloween is therefore one of the boldest Christian witnesses, precisely because of its highly public, graphic, and lampooning nature. Personally, I suspect that those who cannot embrace this are living a fear-driven and even insecure faith. If so, they have bigger problems than the highjinks of Halloween.
In Christ,
Shannon+

Journey to the Marathon - #5 - Run Forrest Run

Run Forrest, Run!

A great scene from Forrest Gump!

~The Rev. Peter M. Carey

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Very Rev. Charles A. Perry, Rest in peace and rise in glory

The Very Rev. Charles A. Perry died last Saturday and my friend Jim Richardson wrote the following tribute in his "Fiat Lux" blog:

May Charles rest in peace and rise in glory!

~The Rev. Peter M. Carey


"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness."
2 Timothy 4:6, the epistle for Sunday
Yesterday morning, just before we got started with the 10 am service, I received very sad news: my dear friend and mentor, Charles Perry, had died suddenly the night before. On a trip to North Carolina, he had sat down on his bed and collapsed. He had just finished watching the Giants get into the World Series, and yes, he was a Giants fan.
Charles and his wife Joy had been members of St. Paul's Memorial Church for many years. The announcement of his death was met with gasps at our 10 am service Sunday.
The Very Rev. Charles A. Perry was a giant in the Episcopal Church. He had been the Provost of the National Cathedral and then, after his retirement from that position, became the Dean and President of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, Calif., the seminary from where I graduated.
Charles had been immersed in every major church issue of the last 40 years. He completed the construction of the National Cathedral and put the cathedral on a firm financial footing. At CDSP he had presided over a difficult era of transition into a more inclusive and wider vision for theological education. Some very good priests came through CDSP in his time.

Journey to the marathon -#4-Rocky Runs

Rocky Balboa runs through Philly and up the steps of the Art Museum...awesome. If this doesn't get you want to run, nothing will!

~The Rev. Peter M. Carey


Monday, October 25, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

24 October 2010 sermon "Caring for the gifts"

The Rev. Peter M. Carey
24October 2010 Sermon
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
Greenwood, Virginia
In the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia


Caring for the gifts

Body

We have been given this body – even (as Yoda says) this crude matter –this stuff. How are we taking care of our bodies? Take a moment and do a mental scan of your body – from your toenails to the hairs on your head. Where is there pain? Where is there tightness? Where is there comfort? Where are you relaxed? Shift around on your seats a bit. Where are their scars that still remind you of old injuries? Where are there bruises from bumps and scrapes? How are we taking care of our bodies?

My advisor in seminary, who was deeply spiritual and a wonderful scholar, reminded me often of the body – of the fact that really, in a pretty tangible and nearly complete way, “we are our bodies.” Now we can quibble about this issue, that we are more than our bodies – but, for the most part we are our bodies. When one is hitting a crisis spiritually, or even just a kind of a dry spell, it is often recommended that a spiritual advisor ask the advisee such questions as, “are you getting enough sleep?” “are you drinking too much alcohol?” “are you eating well?” “are you getting some exercise?” even before more “spiritual” questions are asked such as prayer or study of the Scriptures or worship or even our relations with others. Are we taking care of the gift of our body.

What is the scan offering up? It is gift to us. We did not create it, we did not make it tall, or short, we did not give ourselves intelligence, we did not give ourselves our muscles, bones and skin. It is gift. It is all gift. Ah, you say, but we can build up our bodies, or we can change our bodies…we have some agency, of course. However, even THIS is gift. Even our urge to lose a few pounds, or run a faster race, even this, even this is gift! Our bodies are gift to us. How are we caring for the gift?

I lift up mine eyes to the hills and consider, from where does my help come? From where does my life emerge. From what was I born? Job cried out and said, “naked I came into the world,” and naked I stand now. From where does my help come? All that I am and all that I have, was this my doing? When I drive down the road and see the mountains in their glory rising up ahead of me, was this my creation? When I awaken to a new day – 24 brand new hours – was this my doing? Do I “deserve” to receive these gifts? Have I been so worthy, and so good, and so pious and holy that I should receive the orange mountains and the time that has been given? Awakening each morning, we open the gifts of our lives. We open the gift of time. 24 brand new hours. 24 brand new hours with which we might accomplish much, or in which we might take time to reflect with God on all of God’s creation, or hours in which we might provide for our families, when we might visit a friend in need, or accomplish the tasks that have been set before us, hours that we might work to eradicate hunger, hours that we might build a just society.

24 brand new hours – they are a gift, no? Well, maybe not a full 24 you might say – for you need to ferry your kids around to soccer and ballet for 2 of the hours, and then there is the time on hold as you try to get the health insurance to approve your new medication, or there is the time sitting in that meeting just waiting for your supervisor to finally finish their “point of personal privilege” as they tell you all about their trip to Bermuda while you were running the office in their absence.

So, you might say, not really 24 brand new hours – and perhaps you have a valid argument. But no, I say NO! We have been given 24 brand new hours – of course we need time to rest, to eat, to ferry our family from place to place, time to work, time to play, time to watch the World Series – but it is all gift. It is all gift. It is ALL gift. The time is gift to you, it is not payment for a job well done. It is gift to us, it is not something that we have earned. Whether or not we have “prayed correctly” or not, it is gift to us. And the appropriate response is gratitude. Gratitude…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

We have been given a body – we didn’t earn it. We have been given time – we didn’t earn it. And, we have been given talents as well. How are we taking care of our talents?

Talents

Talents are a bit different than our bodies and our time, because our talents can lead us to treasure. Our talents have been given to us – and we make choices about how to use them well or not well. However, they are still gifts. Do you have a deep and resonant voice like James Earl Jones? Well, if you do, did you do anything to have this talent, this quality? Nope. It is gift. Do you have superior powers of analysis, reasoning, music, or compassion? Wonderful. These are gifts as well. They are talents, they are talents which have been given to us by the Creator. As creatures, we can still recognize the wonderful talent and beauty of Pavarotti or Lady Gaga, but they were given their talents.

How are we caring for the talents that we have received? How are we caring for the gifts that God has given us? Are we using them to their utmost? Are we using our talents to give our families, friends and neighbors a better life? And remember who Jesus included in our neighbors…not just Mrs. Smith who lives next door…he said love your enemies…hmmm. Does this mean I need to use my talents to build a better world, even for those who annoy me? Even for those who disagree with me? Even for those I consider my enemies? Here’s where the gospel gets difficult.

Treasure

“All things come of thee, O Lord, and of thine own have we given thee” are the words that are often said in the Rite 1 service of Holy Eucharist just before the Offertory. All things come of thee. All things. All. Things. And so, just as our bodies are gift to us, and the time that we’ve been given is gift to us, and even our talents are gift to us, so also our treasure is gift to us. Our money is gift to us. Now, you may have been following along politely for the discussion of our bodies, our time, and our talent – and you may even have bought the argument that these are all gifts to us. But now the hairs stand up a bit on your back, your heart races a bit, and you ears become twitchy…But, no, you say, money is not gift – it is earned. And I say to you YES, it is earned AND it is also GIFT.

Weren’t we paying attention when we realized that our bodies were not of our creation? Weren’t we paying attention when we realized that time was not of our making? Weren’t we paying attention when we came to the realization that even our talents were not given to us by ourselves – that we are not the creator, but the created. Of course, we develop our talents, and utilize our time, and care for our bodies. Of course. But it is these gifts – our bodies, our time, and our talents that help us to have treasure.

“All things come of thee, O lord, and of thine own have we given thee.” When we give, we give a portion of that which God has already given to us freely. God’s grace pours out upon us as a gift, and the only appropriate response is gratefulness – deep and abiding gratefulness. Gratefulness that moves us to give generously – giving our time, and our talent, and our treasure. God rejoices when we give, and we are gifted again when we give. It is better to give than to receive. God knows this, God gave us everything – and our gratitude leads us to generosity . When we give generously, we are giving as God does, freely, abundantly, lovingly.

We offer up a bit of what we have, in order to recognize all that we have been given, in order to worship the One who has given us everything. And here, here in this holy place, we offer up our selves to the mission of God on earth. Here, especially in this place, this holy place, we practice the holy act of giving. We give our wisdom, we give our joy, we give our humor, we give our compassion, we give our inspiration, we give our time, we give our talent, and we give our treasure. We give because our gifts are needed – yes, Emmanuel needs our wisdom, our time, our talent, our treasure. Emmanuel Church needs us. However, we also need to give. We enact God’s mission in the world when we give. We practice Godliness when we give. We are Christlike when we give. For our transformation, we need to give. For our transformation as a church, we need to give. When we send a mission trip to Haiti we are embodying Christ. When we feed people at Disciples Kitchen, we embody Christ. When we serve at Mountainside Tea Party or the Bread Fund, we embody Christ. When we pledge for the first time, we embody Christ. When we teach Sunday School, we embody Christ. When we reach out to a newcomer, we embody Christ. When we offer our talents on the vestry, we embody Christ. When we offer our musical talent, we embody Christ. When we forgive, we embody Christ. When we worship heartily, we embody Christ. When we offer our selves, our time, our talent, and our treasure, we embody Christ, and we build up the Body of Christ.

More memories of VTS Chapel

More memories of VTS Chapel, purely my own, purely from my own memory...

~The Rev. Peter M. Carey
VTS, class of 2007

I already posted 1-5...


Chapel Memory #1 - The baptism of my son on the Easter Monday in 2006 along with wonderful sermon by the Rev. Michael White (now of Savannah), and celebrant the Rev. Joseph Constant (of VTS), and drumming by yours truly and the Rev. Lester MacKenzie (from South Africa, now in LA), and guitar by the Rev. Joseph Hensley (of Durham, NC)..."marching in the light of God," "I want to walk as a child of the light...'

Chapel Memory #2 - Memorial Service of Alice Hensley

Chapel Memory #3 - Sitting in the balcony next to theological ethicist Stanley Hauerwas (of Duke University) (who knew the Book of Common Prayer Service by heart) who turned to me and said how glad he was that we were singing so many Wesley hymns.

Chapel Memory #4 - Preaching my "Senior Sermon" there - was nervous as all get-out.

Chapel Memory #5 - Memorial Service of Adam Goren, VTS '05



Chapel Memory #6 - Hearing the Rt. Rev. Michael Curry (of the Diocese of North Carolina) preach, and seeing him shake the pulpit with such force that we thought he was going to get it unhinged.

Chapel Memory #7 - Attending many many community Eucharists with my family in the evening, only to have to bring my young son outside during the service - and playing out there on the circle of grass with him and with the other kids while others prayed and heard the sermon.  Perhaps letting me know just how hard it can be to bring kids to church.  

Chapel Memory #8 - Trying to kneel during the services and never really having enough room to get my feet under the pew that I had been sitting on.  People must have had smaller feet 130 years ago, or they were more flexible, or both.

Chapel Memory #9 - Singing the fraction anthem for the first time, very nervous, but great fun!

Chapel Memory #10 - A particular sermon by the Rev. Dr. Tony Lewis on the Gerasene Demoniac, in which Tony unpacked the story in about 3 1/2 minutes - amazing.

Journey to the marathon -#2-Tarahumara

20 Days to the Marathon....



...I had a great time reading "Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen" which examines this amazing group of runners in northern New Mexico, the Tarahumara.  I loved the book, and the main takeaway for me is that we are, "Born to run," that we, as humans are designed to run - perhaps not fast (not me anyway!), but that we are designed to run some pretty long distances.  I ran my longest run ever two days ago, on Friday - 20 miles, and I feel surprisingly good after the run...giving me confidence to really take on this thing in but 20 days. The other main takeaway is that running (as with most things), should really be joyful - should be fun, should be something that gives us pleasure.  The Tarahumara tend to run with smiles on their faces - now I won't say that I am always smiling while running, but trying to cultivate joy, and trying to enjoy each and every step seems so so important...so, with that, I will be going out on a good little run today - and enjoying it!

~The Rev. Peter M. Carey

From the Amazon.com review:
"Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt? In search of an answer, Christopher McDougall sets off to find a tribe of the world’s greatest distance runners and learn their secrets, and in the process shows us that everything we thought we knew about running is wrong.
Isolated by the most savage terrain in North America, the reclusive Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s deadly Copper Canyons are custodians of a lost art. For centuries they have practiced techniques that allow them to run hundreds of miles without rest and chase down anything from a deer to an Olympic marathoner while enjoying every mile of it. Their superhuman talent is matched by uncanny health and serenity, leaving the Tarahumara immune to the diseases and strife that plague modern existence."

Saturday, October 23, 2010

24 October 2010 sermon image

"Caring for the gifts"
Sermon image preview...24 October 2010
~The Rev. Peter M. Carey



Sermon preview courtesy of wordle.net

Message from Ian Markham on the VTS Chapel

A message from the Dean and President of VTS, the Rev. Dr. Ian Markham on the fire at the VTS Chapel:



A Message from our Dean and President

10/22/2010
Dear Alumni/ae and Friends: 
We mourn on this day after the fire which destroyed the Seminary’s beloved chapel. As flames engulfed that sacred site yesterday afternoon, we gathered in Scott Lounge for prayers. I offered the following prayer, and I humbly share it with you: 
Loving God, we give thanks. Our sense of loss is great—so our pain, our worry, our concerns. We give you the thousands of memories that go with our chapel. We trust that in you our memories are captured and saved for our eternal life. We give thanks for the community services that came to help us—firefighters and police. Our community is at prayer, and we give thanks that the fire was contained and that no lives were lost. We give you our concerns and worries. We pray for wisdom and discernment and we offer this moment and ourselves to you. In Jesus’ name we pray. 
Please let me respond to a few questions that must be on your minds: 
How did the fire begin?  
Yesterday at 3:55 p.m., smoke was seen coming from the chapel. Very soon, it was apparent that the chapel was already in flames. We do not know how the fire began and the ATF investigation continues. The ATF investigation is standard for all church fires in the United States. 
What happened immediately? 
9-1-1 was called. Every effort was made to insure that no one was in the chapel. Firefighters appeared within minutes. Aspinwall Hall, Meade Hall (faculty offices) and nearby residences were protected and a massive effort was launched to extinguish the flames that were consuming the chapel. 
What caused the fire? 
We do not know at this time the cause of the fire. As we are able, we will share with you all facts. The Seminary Chapel, which was consecrated in 1881, was largely a wooden structure, so the flames moved quite quickly. 
Is the chapel totally lost? 
The damage is extensive as you will see from the many photographs that have been taken. We can see that some stained glass windows appear to have survived, but we really do not know what state the windows are in or what remains in the chapel interior. 
What’s next? 
We are grieving but we are also thinking about worship without our chapel in the days ahead. There are business and insurance considerations. It is important to connect to our Trustees, the Faculty, the Staff and our current students. And there are countless other concerns, some immediate and others long term. 
I will be in touch with you on a regular basis by way of the Dean’s Commentary and other ways as necessary. Please know that you will be included in our finding a way forward from the sadness of this day on the Holy Hill. For me the Hill has never seemed more holy. 
We will rebuild, but we cannot think about that at this moment. If you wish to make an online donation or a donation by mail, please specify that the donation is for the Seminary Chapel Fund.  Please share your thoughts by letters, phone calls, emails or through theFacebook Tribute Page. We are truly grateful for your prayers and support. 
In your parishes across this great land and around the world, please pray for Virginia Theological Seminary and the future which God will give us. I close with the words of the Seminary Prayer: 
O God, you have committed to your servants the ministry of reconciliation and you have guided our forebears to found the Virginia Theological Seminary: watch over us we pray you in the years to come as you have guided us in the past. Keep our leaders alert to the voice of your Spirit, that we cling only to such things as are good in the past and press forward with courage to the new service of the future. Grant to teachers and students humility to learn, wisdom to plan, courage to follow where your truth may lead, and love to think of others before self. So dwell in our home that we may reflect the Spirit of the Father for whom every family is named. Bind us all into an holy fellowship; make all our worship, work and play witness faithfully to you; so that the Seminary may be a center from which light and life and love shall radiate to the four corners of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen 
With a grateful heart, I am, 
Faithfully yours, in Christ, 
Ian

VTS Chapel memories

Chapel Memory #1 - The baptism of my son on the Easter Monday in 2006 along with wonderful sermon by the Rev. Michael White (now of Savannah), and celebrant the Rev. Joseph Constant (of VTS), and drumming by yours truly and the Rev. Lester MacKenzie (from South Africa, now in LA), and guitar by the Rev. Joseph Hensley (of Durham, NC)..."marching in the light of God," "I want to walk as a child of the light...'

Chapel Memory #2 - Memorial Service of Alice Hensley

Chapel Memory #3 - Sitting in the balcony next to theological ethicist Stanley Hauerwas (of Duke University) (who knew the Book of Common Prayer Service by heart) who turned to me and said how glad he was that we were singing so many Wesley hymns.

Chapel Memory #4 - Preaching my "Senior Sermon" there - was nervous as all get-out.

Chapel Memory #5 - Memorial Service of Adam Goren, VTS '05

...more memories HERE...


Interconnected




Interconnected With the World
N. Gordon Cosby (from Inward/Outward blog)

Potential servant leaders best receive their training set in the midst of the suffering, feeling the hurt and pain of which they are to be the healers. Unless we ourselves are there, we'll not be able to introduce others to the poorest of the poor.
We pray for our neighborhood and also for those servant leaders who, in their own cities and countries, begin to bring in the shalom prophesied by Isaiah and embodied in Jesus. We'll keep on until we are interconnected and intertwined with the whole world. There is a new world coming. It must come because it is in God's mind and God has willed it.
What we do with intensity and focus in our own neighborhood, the one in which God has set our community--your community--will enable us to reach out in affection to the whole globe. To the whole human family. To the whole created order.
The time has come when all limited patriotic boundaries must be transcended. Everything is interconnected. We are related in affection to everything.
Source: Sermon (September 7 1989)

Journey to the marathon -#1-Running Monks of Mt. Hiei

It is just 3 weeks until I am going to run the Richmond Marathon, and my own "Journey to the Marathon" is in need of some cross-cultural, popular culture, and spiritual motivation as I make the journey to the Marathon....

...so, each day I will post a video, song, thought, book, or photo that might assist in this journey to the marathon...

Journey to the Marathon, #1 - 21 days to go! - The Running Monks of Mt. Hiei


The running monks of Mt. Hiei make my own journey to run 26.2 miles look paltry indeed - and I do enjoy the spiritual nature of their (and my own) journey...

Click HERE to see the video on YouTube

~The Rev. Peter M. Carey

Friday, October 22, 2010

My sermon at VTS Chapel - 25 September 2006




Peter Carey  - Sermon – Feast of St. Sergius of Moscow  
25 September 2006
Virginia Theological Seminary Chapel



Experts at fear
We are all experts at fear, and we have been instructed to fear just about everything.   Terrorism, melting ice caps, contaminated spinach, fears for our children, fears that our church may not learn to speak one to another.  These fears can paralyze us and petrify us, and turn our hearts to stone.  We can be buried by these fears.

Hope
We need courageous hope.  Today we pray courageously in the psalm “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me out of all my terror.”  We pray this prayer so it may shape us, so it might give us strength and allow us to recognize the audacious, foolish and miraculous action of being “delivered out of all our terror!”  Setting aside our fears, seeking God, we begin to live the dream that God has for us:  “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me out of all my terror.”

‘Fear’ in text
So we turn to the Gospel, where we hear Jesus tell of the Kingdom of God … here must be the good news, after all …  but we hear a parable from Matthew in which sorting and judgment comes, in which a net is thrown into the sea, and picks up fish of every kind.  Upon the shore, the angels of the Lord sort the good from the evil, and place them into baskets and the bad will weep and gnash their teeth.  On first sight, this parable does not look like good news.  However, it should provoke fear of the Lord which is unlike earthly fears – it is awe of the Lord.  It might provoke a radical call to examine our lives, to see where our wills may be one with God’s will.  When we remember these parables of judgment, we remember that our very lives are dependent upon God.  In remembering God, we remember that all that we have is gift, and we remember that the one who judges us also loves us, and forgives us.

Hope Under Awe and Grace of God
Though our lives are assaulted by fears on every side we proclaim a life lived in Hope.  We live in awe of the Lord, so that we might remember God even in the darkest moments, even as our fears crush in upon us.  We may need to step away from earthly fears, we may need to look to God, and cultivate the awe of the Lord. 

One who lived in awe of the Lord was St. Sergius of Moscow who we remember today.  He also lived in a time of great fear in Russia.  The Tartars occupied Russia and the Russian people had to live under the oppression that any occupying force creates.  Sergius did a most audacious, foolish and miraculous thing of going to the forest.  As a 20 year old, together with his brother Stephen, he settled in the dense forests of Radonege with bears for his companions, suffered from fierce cold in winter, and the harshness of the forest.    There they built a chapel made of wood, where they could live amidst the fir trees, the bears, live in awe of the Lord.  In time, tales of Sergius rivaled stories of St. Francis as he befriended animals and became an icon of Russia.  However he was ever humble.  While he became a counselor to worldly leaders, and assisted in helping motivate the Russians to remove the Tartars, he never sought or accepted ecclesiastical posts.  One contemporary commented that, “he has about him the smell of fir forests.”   His simple chapel has now become the Church of the Holy Trinity, where the oft-depicted Rublev Icon sits.  He lived in Hope, and remained in awe of God.

In our own times of fear and anxiety, when the ways of this world dominate our hearts and our understanding, we turn to God.  We remember that God has already done that audacious, foolish and miraculous thing of becoming human, of delivering us from our terrors.  For God has sent his angels to “encamp around those who fear Him, and he will deliver them.”   The psalmist reminds us that God has besieged us with Grace; that God has stuck to us like flypaper; that God has encamped around us and will not leave.  Instead of terror and worldy fear, instead of weapons of death and destruction, God has sent his angel to surround us and deliver us from these fears that infect our lives   In order to recognize God’s encampment we may need to go to the woods (figuratively or literally), seek sabbath – practice prayer – cultivate courage -  we may need to commune with bears, we may need to go to the fir trees, and seek the Lord, rather than accept the assault of fear upon our very souls.  We may need to approach this table where a most audacious, foolish, and miraculous thing happens – where we have communion with our maker (and live to tell the tale). 

What I pray for you, and for me is to experience that grace that passes human understanding.  “For the things that are impossible with humankind are possible with God.” God has given us Grace to step away from earthly fears and to remember the miraculous, audacious and foolishness of God who will deliver all those who stand in awe.

My heart is heavy - VTS Chapel has burned down

The chapel at my seminary, Virginia Theological Seminary, has burned down - just bricks are left.  My heart is heavy, though I know that the "church" is not a building, but is the body of Christ - the people.  So sad, however, my son was baptized there and many many important events in my seminary journey took place there.

Chapel Memory #1 - The baptism of my son on the Easter Monday in 2006 along with wonderful sermon by the Rev. Michael White (now of Savannah), and celebrant the Rev. Joseph Constant (of VTS), and drumming by yours truly and the Rev. Lester MacKenzie (from South Africa, now in LA), and guitar by the Rev. Joseph Hensley (of Durham, NC)..."marching in the light of God," "I want to walk as a child of the light...'

Chapel Memory #2 - Memorial Service of Alice Hensley

Chapel Memory #3 - Sitting in the balcony next to theological ethicist Stanley Hauerwas (of Duke University) (who knew the Book of Common Prayer Service by heart) who turned to me and said how glad he was that we were singing so many Wesley hymns.

Chapel Memory #4 - Preaching my "Senior Sermon" there - was nervous as all get-out.

Chapel Memory #5 - Memorial Service of Adam Goren, VTS '05

More to come....HERE...and HERE

~The Rev. Peter M. Carey

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Vigil Wednesday to honor the lives of LGBTQ youth

Join us for a vigil on Wednesday Night at 7 pm sponsored by "ACCEPT"

To honor the lives of LGBTQ youth who have died by suicide, who have been victimized or bullied, and to express Charlottesville's commitment to prevent bullying and to promote acceptance in our community and our schools:

Come to the ACCEPT (All Charlottesville Caring for Every Person Together!) Vigil on October 20th at 7:00pm, at UVA's Rotunda (street-side). 


More information HERE at the ACCEPT Facebook page

Reposted from Jim Richardson's "Fiat Lux" blog...

Please let me invite you to join us Wednesday at 7 pm on the north steps of the Rotunda at the University of Virginia where students will be leading a candlelight vigil.

We will gather to remember young people who have recently committed suicide stemming from being bullied for being gay or appearing to be gay. Whatever your theological stance on sexuality issues, I hope you can join us in calling for an end to bullying, to reach out with kindness and love, and to remember our young people whose lives were cut short.

A number of Charlottesville religious leaders, including myself, will be there.

Meanwhile, this statement was released Monday, signed by the national and international leaders of many faith communities, including our own Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. Please take a few moments to read, and join us Wednesday on the steps or in your prayers.
CLERGY AGAINST BULLYING
CALL FOR ACTION AND TIME OF HEALING
IN WAKE OF GAY TEEN SUICIDES AND ANTI-GAY VIOLENCE


For Immediate Release: October 18, 2010

Today, as leaders of Christian communions and national networks, we speak with heavy hearts because of the bullying, suicides and hate crimes that have shocked this country and called all faith communities into accountability for our words or our silence. We speak with hopeful hearts, believing that change and healing are possible, and call on our colleagues in the Church Universal to join us in working to end the violence and hatred against our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters.

In the past seven weeks, six young and promising teenagers took their own lives. Some were just entering high school; one had just enrolled in college. Five were boys; one, a girl becoming a young woman. These are only the deaths for which there has been a public accounting. New reports of other suicides continue to haunt us daily from around the country.

They were of varying faiths and races and came from different regions of the nation.

The one thing these young men and women had in common was that they were perceived to be gay or lesbian.

Each in their own way faced bullying and harassment or struggled with messages of religion and culture that made them fear the consequences of being who they were.

In the past two weeks, cities like New York have seen major escalations in anti-gay violence. Two young men attacked patrons of the Stonewall Inn, legendary birth place of the LGBT rights movement in the United States, locking them in the restroom and beating them while hurling anti-gay epithets. Men on a Chelsea street, saying goodnight after an evening out, were attacked by a group of teens and young adults, again hurling anti-gay slogans and hurting one person badly enough to require emergency treatment. And nine young men in the Bronx went on a two-day rampage beating, burning, torturing and sodomizing two teenage boys and their gay male adult friend for allegedly having a sexual relationship. "It's nothing personal," one of the now arrested said. "You just broke the rules."

What are the "rules" of human engagement and interaction that we, as people of faith, want to teach our congregants, children and adults alike, to live by?

Many have responded from within and beyond the faith community offering comfort and support to the families and friends of Billy Lucas, Seth Walsh, Asher Brown, Tyler Clementi, Raymond Chase and Aiyisha Hasan. Our hearts, too, are broken by the too soon losses of these young and promising lives, and we join our voices to those who have sought to speak words of comfort and healing.

Many others, however, have responded by adding insult to injury, citing social myths and long-held prejudices that only fuel division, hatred and violence – and sometimes even death.

We, as leaders of faith, write today to say we must hold ourselves accountable, and we must hold our colleagues in the ministry, accountable for the times, whether by our silence or our proclamations, our inaction or our action, we have fueled the kinds of beliefs that make it possible for people to justify violence in the name of faith. Condemning and judging people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity can have deadly consequences, both for the victims of hate crimes and those who commit them.

There is no excuse for inspiring or condoning violence against any of our human family. We may not all agree on what the Bible says or doesn't say about sexuality, including homosexuality, but this we do agree on: The Bible says, "God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God and God in them." Abiding in love – together – is the rule we must all preach, teach, and seek to live by.

People of faith must realize that if teens feel they will be judged by their church, rejected by their families and bullied by their peers, they may have nowhere to turn.

Too many things go unspoken in our communities. It's time to talk openly and honestly about the diversity of God's creation and the gift of various sexual orientations and gender identities – and to do that in a way that makes it safe for people to disagree and still abide in love.

It's time to talk openly and honestly about the use and misuse of power and authority by those we entrust with our spiritual well-being. It's time to make it safe for our clergy colleagues who are struggling to live what they preach, to get the help and support we all sometimes need.

The young people who took their lives a few weeks ago died because the voices of people who believe in the love of God for all the people of God were faint and few in the face of those who did the bullying, harassing and condemning. Today we write to say we will never again be silent about the value of each and every life.

To that end, we pledge to urge our churches, our individual parishes or offices, our schools and religious establishments to create safe space for each and every child of God, without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity. And we ask you to join us in that pledge.

Today, we personally pledge to be LGBT and straight people of faith standing together for the shared values of decency and civility, compassion and care in all interactions. We ask you, our colleagues, to join us in this pledge.

We want our children and the children of the communities we serve to grow up knowing that God loves all of us and that without exception, bullying and harassment, making fun of someone for perceived differences, and taunting and harming others is wrong. The Golden Rule is still the rule we want to live by.

We pray today that you will join us in being the faces of a faith that preaches and demonstrates God's universal acceptance and offers to one and all safe space to live, to learn, and to love and be loved.

In faith and solidarity,

HEADS OF COMMUNIONS
The Rev. Michael Kinnamon, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches
The Rev. Geoffrey Black, United Church of Christ General Minister and President
Elder Cynthia J. Bolbach, Moderator, 219th General Assembly, Presbyterian Church (USA)
The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church
The Rev. Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk, 219th General Assembly, Presbyterian Church (USA)
The Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, Moderator, 218th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
The Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, General Secretary, Reformed Church in America
The Rev. Peter Morales, President, Unitarian Universalist Association
Bishop Yvette Flunder, Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship
The Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson, Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches
Bishop Tonyia M. Rawls, Vice President of the National Board and Regional Prelate, Unity Fellowship Church
Archbishop Carl Bean, Founder and Presiding Prelate, Unity Fellowship Church Movement
Carol Blythe, Alliance of Baptists President
Paula Clayton Dempsey, Minister for Partnership Relations, Alliance of Baptists

NATIONAL FAITH STAFF OF LGBT ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS
The Rev. Harry Knox, Director of Religion and Faith Program, Human Rights Campaign Foundation
The Rev. Rebecca Voelkel, Director of Institute for Welcoming Resources, National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
Dr. Sylvia Rhue, Director of Religious Affairs, National Black Justice Coalition
Ann Craig, Director of Religion, Faith and Values, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)

NATIONAL STAFF OF FAITH BASED ORGANIZATIONS
The Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer, Executive Director of UCAN, Inc., United Church of Christ
The Rev. Robert Chase, Founding Director, Intersections International
Macky Alston, Director, Auburn Media, Auburn Theological Seminary
The Rev. Mark Hostetter, Chair of the Board, Auburn Seminary
Sung Park, Program Director, Believe Out Loud
The Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, President of The Interfaith Alliance
The Reverend Debra W. Haffner, Executive Director, Religious Institute
Sister Jeannine Gramick, SL, Executive Coordinator, National Coalition of American Nuns (NCAN)
The Rev. Neal Christie, Assistant General Secretary of the United Methodist Board of Church & Society
The Rev. Cynthia Abrams , Program Director, General Board of Church and Society, United Methodist Church ,
Linda Bales Todd, Director, General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church
The Rev. Dr. Cindi Love, Executive Director, Soulforce, Inc.

NATIONAL STAFF OF LGBT DENONMINATIONAL GROUPS
Emily Eastwood, Executive Director, Lutherans Concerned/North America
Lisa Larges, Minister Coordinator, That All May Freely Serve, Presbyterian
Dr. Michael Adee, Executive Director, More Light Presbyterians
Troy Plummer, Reconciling Ministries Network, United Methodist
Marilyn Paarlberg, National Coordinator, Room for All, Reformed Church in America
Rev. Thomas C. Goodhart, Co-president, Room for All, Reformed Church in America
Phil Attey, Acting Executive Director - Catholics for Equality
George W. Cole, Senior Vice President, Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons
David Melson, President, Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons
Dr. Joseph Palacios, Board Member, Catholics for Equality
Phil Attey, Executive Director, Catholics for Equality
Yolanda Elliott, President, Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International
Pastor Dave Ferguson, Church Relations Director, Adventist Kinship International
Rev. Marvin M. Ellison, Ph.D., Co-Convener, Religious Coalition Against Discrimination, Maine
Anne Underwood, Catholics for Equality
Max Niedzwiecki, Ph.D., Executive Director, Integrity USA

THEOLOGICANS AND ACADEMIC LEADERS
Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University.
Mary E. Hunt & Diana Neu, Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER)