Sunday, November 30, 2014

High expectations!




"High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation." - Charles F. Kettering

...on Advent

It is the last day of the Christian Year today, and the beginning of the Christian Year begins tomorrow with Advent I, when we begin the season of expectation, of waiting for Christmas - for the coming of Jesus.  The readings of the next four weeks will bring us into the heart of the prophetic vision from the Hebrew Scriptures of awaiting the Messiah and also the stories that preceded Jesus' Birth.

For us, this season of Advent is all to easily eclipsed by the rush to Christmas in the culture all around us.  Where we live, if you don't buy your Christmas tree in the next week or so, there won't be any left, but if you buy it now, the needles may not last until Christmas.  As a child, we would usually buy our Christmas tree just before Christmas, and we spent time in Advent lighting the four candles of the Advent Wreath.  As a child, the waiting was, of course, for the gifts and magic of Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, but the waiting did move us into a mindset of expectation of the "not yet" of waiting for Jesus' coming.

This mindset of expectation is one that we can cultivate as we move into the season of Advent.  Considering the figures of Mary, as she lived in the tangible expectation of a child to be born, and the figure of John the Baptist who lived in tangible expectation for the Messiah who would baptize with fire, not with water.  I wish you a "Happy New Years Eve" tonight and a blessed Advent, may you take the time to consider, ponder, and sit deeply in the mindset of expectation.

Advent Reflections ~ Descriptions

Advent Reflections

Each day of Advent, beginning November 30th, I will post an Advent Reflection based on the appointed lessons in the Daily Office (daily Morning and Evening Prayer) or on the Sunday Eucharistic lectionary (the lessons appointed for Sundays).  Come back and visit!  Consider this an Advent Calendar of Theological Reflections!

In God's Peace,

The Rev. Peter M. Carey
Chaplain
Berkeley Preparatory School
Tampa, Florida

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Thanksgiving Proclamation

Washington, D.C.

October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln
William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

Thank you


If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be suffice.

Thank you


If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.

A Thanksgiving Proclamation

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863
By the President of the United States of America.
A Proclamation.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln
William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Homework, an unnecessary Evil?




Alfie Kohn writes about what a new homework study really says — and what it doesn’t say. He is the author of 12 books about education and human behavior, including “The Schools Our Children Deserve,” “The Homework Myth,” and “Feel-Bad Education… And Other Contrarian Essays on Children & Schooling.” He lives (actually) in the Boston area and (virtually) at www.alfiekohn.org.
By Alfie Kohn
 A brand-new study on the academic effects of homework offers not only some intriguing results but also a lesson on how to read a study — and a reminder of the importance of doing just that:  reading studies (carefully) rather than relying on summaries by journalists or even by the researchers themselves.
 Let’s start by reviewing what we know from earlier investigations.[1]  First, no research has ever found a benefit to assigning homework (of any kind or in any amount) in elementary school.  In fact, there isn’t even a positivecorrelation between, on the one hand, having younger children do some homework (vs. none), or more (vs. less), and, on the other hand, any measure of achievement.  If we’re making 12-year-olds, much less five-year-olds, do homework, it’s either because we’re misinformed about what the evidence says or because we think kids ought to have to do homeworkdespite what the evidence says.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving - "A Litany of Thanksgiving" and "A Good Day with David Steindl-Rast"





A Litany of Thanksgiving


Let us give thanks to God our Father for all his gifts so
freely bestowed upon us.
For the beauty and wonder of your creation, in earth and
sky and sea.
We thank you, Lord.


For all that is gracious in the lives of men and women,
revealing the image of Christ,
We thank you, Lord.


For our daily food and drink, our homes and families, and
our friends,
We thank you, Lord.


For minds to think, and hearts to love, and hands to serve,
We thank you, Lord.


For health and strength to work, and leisure to rest and play,
We thank you, Lord.


For the brave and courageous, who are patient in suffering
and faithful in adversity,
We thank you, Lord.


For all valiant seekers after truth, liberty, and justice,
We thank you, Lord.


For the communion of saints, in all times and places,
We thank you, Lord.


Above all, we give you thanks for the great mercies and
promises given to us in Christ Jesus our Lord;
To him be praise and glory, with you, O Father, and theHoly Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.




David Steindl-Rast "A Good Day"



Happy Thanksgiving! "A Litany of Thanksgiving" and "A Good Day with David Steindl Rast"





A Litany of Thanksgiving


Let us give thanks to God our Father for all his gifts so
freely bestowed upon us.
For the beauty and wonder of your creation, in earth and
sky and sea.
We thank you, Lord.


For all that is gracious in the lives of men and women,
revealing the image of Christ,
We thank you, Lord.


For our daily food and drink, our homes and families, and
our friends,
We thank you, Lord.


For minds to think, and hearts to love, and hands to serve,
We thank you, Lord.


For health and strength to work, and leisure to rest and play,
We thank you, Lord.


For the brave and courageous, who are patient in suffering
and faithful in adversity,
We thank you, Lord.


For all valiant seekers after truth, liberty, and justice,
We thank you, Lord.


For the communion of saints, in all times and places,
We thank you, Lord.


Above all, we give you thanks for the great mercies and
promises given to us in Christ Jesus our Lord;
To him be praise and glory, with you, O Father, and theHoly Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.




David Steindl-Rast "A Good Day"



A blessing for today - Four Fold Franciscan Blessing

Four - Fold Franciscan Blessing

May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers,
half truths, and superficial relationships,

so that we may live deep within our hearts. Amen.

May God bless us with anger at injustice,
oppression, and exploitation of people
so that we may work for justice, freedom and peace. Amen.

May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain,
rejection, starvation and war,
so that we may reach out your hand to comfort them
and to turn their pain into joy. Amen.

May God bless us with enough foolishness
to believe that we can make a difference in this world,
so that we can do what others claim cannot be done. Amen.

A blessing for today - Fourfold Franciscan Blessing



Four - Fold Franciscan Blessing

May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers,
half truths, and superficial relationships,

so that we may live deep within our hearts. Amen.

May God bless us with anger at injustice,
oppression, and exploitation of people
so that we may work for justice, freedom and peace. Amen.

May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain,
rejection, starvation and war,
so that we may reach out your hand to comfort them
and to turn their pain into joy. Amen.

May God bless us with enough foolishness
to believe that we can make a difference in this world,
so that we can do what others claim cannot be done. Amen.

No sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness



Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Mightily spread abroad your Spirit



Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Had a great time in Anaheim with the National Association of Episcopal Schools!

Here are a few pics from this biennial event:

Nice views

There is also a lot to explore at NAES schools!

The Rev. Brooks Hundley presents to New Chaplains (and not so new chaplains)

Our Presiding Bishop, the Most Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori presents to school leaders

Afternoon walk nearby DisneyLand

Visiting with old Virginia Theological Seminary friends

Getting some exercise in the early morning



Grace Episcopal School (Maryland), Head of School Malcolm Lester

St. Andrew's (Louisiana), Head of School Mason Lecky

Many experience educators participated in these discussions


The Rev. Daniel Heischman, DD, Executive Director of the National Association of Episcopal Schools

Enjoyed meeting Tony Jarvis, long-time school head at Roxbury Latin School who wrote the incredible book, "With Love and Prayers"

Our Assistant Headmaster, Mr. Hugh Jebson, teaching teachers, chaplains, and administrators!


Great Turkey Trot Run at Berkeley Preparatory School !



Saturday, November 15, 2014

Joe Harris earns praise from LeBron James

Joe Harris earns praise from LeBron James

In back to back games, former Virginia star, Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Joe Harris has shined when given the opportunity. Along the way, he’s earned praise from teammateLeBron James.
Down 17 points, the Cavaliers charged back to stun the Boston Celtics, 122-121 on Friday night.
Harris scored six in the game's final quarter, including a three that cut the Celtics lead to three late. He also played defense that would make Tony Bennett smile, including drawing the assignment of guarding Rajon Rondo on the game’s final possession.
The rookie's play impressed LeBron James.
"He was huge," James said. "Joe Harris is going to be a big piece for our team.”
Once agin, Harris led the Cavaliers in +/-. In Friday night’s 19 minutes of action, Harris was was +24.
Guard Kyrie Irving was impressed with the rookie's performance as well.
"How big did Joe Harris play? He deserves about eight shots of Gatorade,’’ said Irving.
(Photo: David Richard, USA TODAY Sports)

Joe Harris earns praise from LeBron James

Joe Harris earns praise from LeBron James

In back to back games, former Virginia star, Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Joe Harris has shined when given the opportunity. Along the way, he’s earned praise from teammateLeBron James.
Down 17 points, the Cavaliers charged back to stun the Boston Celtics, 122-121 on Friday night.
Harris scored six in the game's final quarter, including a three that cut the Celtics lead to three late. He also played defense that would make Tony Bennett smile, including drawing the assignment of guarding Rajon Rondo on the game’s final possession.
The rookie's play impressed LeBron James.
"He was huge," James said. "Joe Harris is going to be a big piece for our team.”
Once agin, Harris led the Cavaliers in +/-. In Friday night’s 19 minutes of action, Harris was was +24.
Guard Kyrie Irving was impressed with the rookie's performance as well.
"How big did Joe Harris play? He deserves about eight shots of Gatorade,’’ said Irving.
(Photo: David Richard, USA TODAY Sports)