31 March 2009

April is Poetry Month - "Faith" is a fine invention, Emily Dickinson

"Faith" is a fine invention...

"Faith" is a fine invention
When Gentleman can see—
But Microscopes are prudent
In an Emergency.

by Emily Dickinson, public domain

April is Poetry Month - Introduction to Poetry by Billy Collins

Introduction to Poetry

by Billy Collins

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

"Introduction to Poetry" by Billy Collins, from The Apple That Astonished Paris. © University of Arkansas Press, 1996.

30 March 2009

The "Other" - Michael Battle and Ubuntu

from the Episcopal Church's website for General Convention, 2009:

Michael Battle

Ubuntu: I am because we are; and because we are, I am

"Michael Battle is Priest in Charge at the Church of Saviour Episcopal Parish and Canon Theologian in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. A well-known writer, speaker and retreat leader, his ministry covers the globe and focuses on Christian non-violence, human spirituality, and African Church studies.

It is obvious to most people outside of the western world that we need a community in which to be human. The African concept of Ubuntu accentuates this worldview even more. Ubuntu is best described through the proverb: I am because we are; and because we are, I am. To know our individual identity is dependent upon community. In short, you cannot know you are intelligent, beautiful, linguistic, etc. without a community to make use of these gifts. Again, for a western person, this worldview is difficult to stomach. Such dependence of the individual upon the community smacks of “co-dependency” or weakness.

To complicate things further, if technology continues down its normal course for western persons, individuals will obtain extraordinary capacities to control personal environments without the reference point of knowing their impact on others. Such extraordinary resources then place us in the peril to either destroy us all or heal us all. We (western people) have not really gotten to know other cultures and people of the global south; after all, (we think to ourselves) they all really want to be in our countries.

This way of thinking prevents mutuality and the great African gift of community that we can learn from other cultures. This great gift is the keen perspective of seeing how self identity forms through a community. The natural question in the western world circles back around: Why is the African concept of community such a great gift?

Ubuntu is a great gift because it deepens our spirituality. Ubuntu (pronounced m-boon-too) is a word from the Bantu language of Africa, which roughly translated means “humanity.” It carries with it the concept that in order to be fully human, one must be in community: “I am because we are.” No one can be human alone. In a Christian worldview—one captured and transformed by the work of Archbishop Desmond Tutu in the face of the evils of apartheid in South Africa—this means that reconciliation is central to the concept because the world on its own tends toward division and individualism.

Unfortunately, persons of faith are also very much complicit in perpetuating division. Ubuntu invites us into a way of seeing how persons with cultural, religious and spiritual sensibilities can heal brokenness rather than make matters worse as an aggregate of individuals, cultures and nations. Ubuntu helps us see how we all (religious and non religious) are inextricably linked together—whether we like it or not. This way of seeing is obvious to African people who have built into their worldview that no one can survive alone. They have learned this through the many obstacles still present on the African continent.

What is not so obvious is how communal ways of knowing are lacking these days in the western world. For an African person, self-identity forms through communal practices and rites of passage. Ubuntu helps us both see this paradox (individuality through community) and inspires us to move toward deeper understandings of humanity (and God) in which we develop better self awareness through friendship and community.

And so, I am deeply grateful to our President of the House of Deputies, Dr. Bonnie Anderson, for facilitating the means for how Ubuntu will be our next theme for General Convention and subsequent years for our Episcopal Church."

The "Other" - we have forgotten that we belong to each other

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other." - Mother Teresa

29 March 2009

5th Sunday of Lent

Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Jeremiah 31:31-34

The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt-- a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, "Know the LORD," for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

John 12:20-33

Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.

"Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say-- `Father, save me from this hour'? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again." The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him." Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.

26 March 2009

A Future Not Our Own, Archbishop Oscar Romero

A Future Not Our Own

It helps, now and then, to step back
And take the long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
It is beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of
The magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete,
Which is another way of saying
The kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about:
We plant seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything
and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for God's grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results,
but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders,
ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.

Archbishop Rowan Williams on "Renewing the Face of the Earth"

Renewing the Face of the Earth: Human Responsibility and the Environment
Wednesday 25 March 2009

The Archbishop gives a lecture at the Ebor Lecture, York Minster, to spell out why respect for the environment is not an optional extra, particularly for Christians. Dr Williams suggests that "we are capable of changing our situation"; in "Christian terms, this needs a radical change of heart, a conversion." The Ebor Lectures are a series of lectures which aim to relate faith to public concerns.


Read the entire lecture HERE

Some modern philosophers have spoken about the human face as the most potent sign of what it is that we can't master or exhaust in the life of a human other – a sign of the claim upon us of the other, the depths we can't sound but must respect. And while it is of course so ancient a metaphor to talk about the 'face' of the earth that we barely notice any longer that it is a metaphor, it does no harm to let some of these associations find their way into our thinking; because such associations resonate so strongly with a fundamental biblical insight into the nature of our relationship with the world we inhabit. 'The earth is the Lord's', says the twenty fourth psalm. In its context, this is primarily an assertion of God's glory and overall sovereignty. And it affirms a relation between God and the world that is independent of what we as human beings think about the world or do to the world. The world is in the hands of another. The earth we inhabit is more than we can get hold of in any one moment or even in the sum total of all the moments we spend with it. Its destiny is not bound only to human destiny, its story is not exhausted by the history of our particular culture or technology, or even by the history of the entire human race. We can't as humans oblige the environment to follow our agenda in all things, however much we can bend certain natural forces to our will; we can't control the weather system or the succession of the seasons. The world turns, and the tides move at the drawing of the moon. Human force is incapable of changing any of this. What is before me is a network of relations and interconnections in which the relation to me, or even to us collectively as human beings, is very far from the whole story. I may ignore this, but only at the cost of disaster. And it would be dangerously illusory to imagine that this material environment will adjust itself at all costs so as to maintain our relationship to it. If it is more than us and our relation with it, it can survive us; we are dispensable. But the earth remains the Lord's.

Read the entire lecture HERE

And, remember his video from New Year's, 2008 "Care for the environment teaches us about God" ... click HERE

25 March 2009

Priest becomes federal judge...watch for the spin

I wonder how the news/blogs/angry whiners might spin this Episcopal News in a negative way...?

They'll probably quote from Matthew:

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment that you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, "Let me take the speck out of your eye," when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. ~Matthew 7:1-5

Seems pretty cool to me!

Read it all HERE

[Episcopal News Service] Emily C. Hewitt, one of the first women ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church, was named March 23 by President Barack Obama to be the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

The court hears cases of monetary claims against the U.S. government. Its highest-profile cases in recent years concerned claims of injury from compulsory childhood vaccinations.

Hewitt was a leader of the effort to open Episcopal Church priestly ordination to women. She was one of the first 11 women ordained to the priesthood on July 29, 1974, before the church's canons allowed women to be priests.

The General Convention, which met two years later, agreed to open the priesthood and episcopate to women as of January 1, 1977. The House of Bishops also agreed at that convention that Hewitt and the other 10 women ordained at Philadelphia, and another four women who had been ordained in 1975 in Washington, could be enrolled in the priesthood by their bishops in completion or conditional ordination services in their dioceses without being re-ordained. Women had been eligible to be deacons since 1970.

More information about the history of women's ordination in the Episcopal Church is available here.

Hewitt, 64, has served on the Court of Federal Claims since her confirmation by the Senate in 1998. Prior to her appointment to the Court of Claims, Hewitt was appointed general counsel to the General Services Administration during the Clinton Administration.

Read the rest HERE.

Seeking approval....Galatians 1:10

Am I now seeking human approval, or God’s approval?

Or am I trying to please people?

If I were still pleasing people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

- Galatians 1:10

March 25th - Feast of the Annunciation

23 March 2009

Lenten Anglican Prayers- Walter Russell Bowie on Poise

Almighty and everlasting God, lord of lords and light of light, who are revealed in the unfathomable heavens and in the quiet of unhurried stars, let our restlessness find rest in thee. May our wills become obedient to thy greater will, so that we may move, as the stars move, in the orbit of eternity; and without confusion and without haste, but with shining steadfastness, go on our appointed ways; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Walter Russell Bowie (1882-1969)
from Give Us Grace: An anthology of Anglican prayers, compiled by Christopher L. Webber

22 March 2009

Lent - Meditation - 4th Sunday of Lent - from "God's Politics" blog by Barbara Born

Bible readings from the Revised Common Lectionary: Numbers 21:4-9; Psalm107; Ephesians 2:1-10; John 3:14-21

As you travel along your Lenten journey of discovery, don’t let the soles of your shoes insulate you from pebbles God places on your path — all the things that nudge you from being complacent in your faith: The invite from a friend to attend a prayer service. Sharing a simple meal of soup and bread with fellow church members. An insightful word of scripture contemplated via lectio divina. In all these ways, let friendship, fellowship, and the unfolding Word illuminate your Lenten path.

read the rest HERE.

20 March 2009

Great "Dean's Commentary" from Ian Markham today...

From the Very Rev. Dr. Ian Markham's "Dean's Commentary" today...

Friday, March 20, 2009

I am pleased to welcome to campus 35 lay and ordained leaders who are participating in VIA training (Viviendo la Identidad Anglicana) or "Living the Christian Life as Anglicans." VIA is an educational program for Spanish-speaking Episcopalians and is sponsored by VTS in conjunction with the Hispanic Missioners of the Dioceses of Washington, Virginia and Maryland. You can learn more about VIA on their website.

As I walked out of Chapel yesterday morning, I walked into Les Ferguson wearing a hat with a little rotor on top and armed with a bubble making wand and vial. His explanation for his attire and the bubbles was that this was his way of coping with this week of examinations. It was a helpful reminder to me of where we are in the semester cycle.

This has been an exceptionally difficult time for the entire community. And the natural examination stress has added to this difficult time. Since arriving, my practice in exam week is to plead for the community to continue to gather in the Chapel. We bring our stress to God: we do not allow our stress to drive ourselves away from God.

Part of the hard work of formation in this place is this discovery: at our moments of greatest stress (and perhaps when we are most angry and unhappy), we need to find ourselves in the presence of the God who seeks to sustain and grant us the ability to cope. When we least want to pray is when we must pray.

The Very Rev Ian Markham

Dean and President

Nothing will separate us, Romans 8:38-39

From this morning's Daily Office

"I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, no principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all the world will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."


19 March 2009

Scott Nearing on setting your whole heart into your work

'Find some form of work - creative energy - into which you can concentrate your being; into which you can go with your whole heart.'

~Scott Nearing, 1927

March 19th - St. Joseph

As a father, I find Joseph to be intriguing and interesting, though we know little about him. All too late in the day today did I realize that it was his feast day.

Hat tip goes (as it often does) to The Episcopal Cafe

~The Rev. Peter M. Carey

Daily Reading for March 19 • St. Joseph

We know little of Joseph. There were dramatic moments in his life, of course: Bethlehem, the flight into Egypt, the temple episode, but my feeling at least is that for the essential Joseph, the body and substance of his life was in the ordinary, simple, working, family life in Nazareth. The child and his mother depended on him for food, a home, love, basic education, a place in the social fabric of their village. He seems to have been a simple man, hidden in his ordinariness, “only” Joseph the carpenter. He did not have any part in Christ’s public life of preaching. It would seem he was dead by then. More profoundly, his contribution to Christ’s work was situated at another level, at the level of his personal relationship with Christ, what he gave of himself to the human person of Jesus. We know how important this is in the development of the personality. Judging by the fruits, he loved much and wisely.

As a Brother, your contribution to the body of Christ which is the Church will have some of the same characteristics. It will be simple yet essential. It will be very much incarnated, yet the fruit of the Spirit. It will be concerned with the material well-being of a small group of Christ’s disciples, yet it will be Jesus whom you will serve in them. Its truth will be plain to see, verifiable in a very concrete obedience, effort, humility and charity, yet it will receive all its energy from within, from a deep, personal love of Christ and a willingness to carry the burdens of his cross as they present themselves in the vicissitudes of real life. Prayer and work will be inextricably interwoven in the silent world of the monastery, not the silence of absence of life, but the harmonious silence of well-ordered activity. Like Mary and Joseph you will follow the way, not of riches or power, but the humble hidden path of Nazareth and so enter, day by day, more deeply into the kingdom of God.

From “Receiving the Habit of a Converse Brother” in The Spirit of the Place by a Carthusian prior, quoted in Wisdom of the Cloister: A Monastic Reader, edited by John Skinner (Image Books, 1999).

Bishops singing - Amazing Grace at Lambeth last summer

Somehow I missed this gem...and quite surprised they haven't shown up on American Idol..

A Must Read: William Stringfellow...

A Must Read: William Stringfellow...check out the Stringfellow Week at Ben Myers' Faith & Theology Blog

Check out all of Ben Myer's postings on Stringfellow HERE

Here is but one excerpt:

Stringfellow on American Leaders

“The … ingenious aggressions of the principalities against human life in society, the victimisation of human beings … by the demonic powers exposes a crucial aspect of the contemporary American social crisis. The American problem is not so simple that it can be attributed to a few – or even many – evil men in high places…. Our men in high places are not exceptionally immoral; they are, on the contrary, quite ordinarily moral. In truth, the conspicuous moral fact about our generals, our industrialists, our scientists, our commercial and political leaders is that they are the most obvious and pathetic prisoners in American society. There is unleashed among the principalities in this society a ruthless, self-proliferating, all-consuming institutional process which assaults … and destroys human life even among, and primarily among, those persons in positions of institutional leadership. They are left with titles but without effectual authority; with the trappings of power, but without control over the institutions they head; in nominal command, but bereft of dominion…. The most poignant victim of the demonic in America today is the so-called leader”

(An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land, pp. 88-89).

18 March 2009

Actually NO! Christianity is NOT compatible with torture

Though Sean Hannity claimed on FoxNews that Christianity and Torture make a fine combination...(can you believe it!?)...

...it is actually a heresy to claim that torture is compatible with Christianity...click the link below for more:


At the "FlyingFarther" blog which you can find HERE

17 March 2009

"There is no I in TEAM" - NYTimes article on Duke Basketball's Greg Paulus

Coaches often say, "There is no I in TEAM," and in this NYTimes article, the concept of "servant leadership" and "putting the team first" take on a new incarnation in Duke Basketball's Greg Paulus:

Pretty interesting...

A Three-Year Starter at Duke Watches and Waits

Published: March 17, 2009

ATLANTA — Against Florida State here Sunday in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game, Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski summoned point guard Greg Paulus from his bench. Paulus jumped up as if he had been sitting on a pile of red ants and was ready to rush into the game. Against Maryland the night before, Paulus could have knocked down a wall hustling to the scorer’s table to check in late in the first half.

read the rest HERE

Lent - Archbishop Rowan Williams' reflections on Lent - 2009

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, reflects on Lent as a time to: "Sweep and clean the room of our own minds and hearts so that the new life really may have room to come in and take over and transform us at Easter".

15 March 2009

"Every 500 years, the church has a rummage sale." - Bishop Mark Dyer

"Every 500 years, the church has a rummage sale."

~Bishop Mark Dyer of the Diocese of Bethlehem (PA)

everything is prone to change, and perhaps we are at one of those times!
from "The Great Emergence" by Phyllis Tickle

Read Bishop Dan Edward's reflections on this topic at his blog HERE.

Here is a bit:
"The metaphor has to do with moving out of an old house and disposing of things we no longer need or that no longer work."
This odd adage is a solid historical observation. About every 500 years, give or take a few, the Church has a dispute, a big split (bigger than the little denominational chippings off that happen all the time), there is a new expression of Christiainity -- actually 2 new expressions because the old group is transformed too. The Church is re-energized and spreads the Gospel more effectively than before. It happened in the time of Gegory I, again in 1,000 when the East and West divided, again in 1522 with the Protestant Reformation --"

Lent Three - from St. John's Cathedral, Los Angeles

Join us this Sunday as we examine how our Time , Talent and Treasure can change the World one person at a time....

14 March 2009

Bishops Blogging...! Oh my, oh my! "House of Bishops 2.0"

Well, who knows who started it, but now we've got Episcopal and Anglican Bishops blogging, video blogging, facebooking, (twittering?), youtube-ing, and the rest. I think it is great, actually, and so glad that some of them are realizing the possible benefits of embracing (with good Anglican intentionality, of course) Web 2.0...

The Dean of the Phoenix Cathedral, Nicholas Knisely made a presentation to the House of Bishops here in the US about the benefits of blogging, so I am waiting to see who else might jump on the bandwagon.

More on the Bishops Blogging over at Episcopal Cafe

Is your bishop blogging?

You'll see a few that I've linked on the left side of the page.

Here's a sample, and there will be more to come, I'm sure.

House of Bishops 2.0

Let me know if you know others who are blogging (or Twittering), there are already a few on Facebook, but I'm
on a Facebook Fast for Lent...

Peace and Blessings,

The Rev. Peter M. Carey

big hat tip to CartoonChurch.com for the two cartoons

A Prayer in Spring, by Robert Frost

A Prayer in Spring, by Robert Frost, 1915

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.

13 March 2009

Christianity Is Not One More Bit Of Good Advice

Here's a quote from C.S. Lewis to chew on a bit!

"If Christianity only means one more bit of good advice, then Christianity is of no importance. There has been no lack of good advice for the last four thousand years. A bit more makes no difference."

C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (1943)

Hat tip to Creedal Christian:
Creedal Christian: Christianity Is Not One More Bit Of Good Advice

12 March 2009

"He has filled the hungry with good things," - Luke 1:46-55

Words we need to hear, pray, and live in tough times!

Canticle 15 The Song of Mary
Magnificat Luke 1:46-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; *
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, *
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel, *
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
The promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Lance Armstrong: Cycling in Cinque Terra, Italy - Doing recon on the Time Trial Route

I must say that I would love to be cycling in the Cinque Terra today!

I must say that I would love to be cycling in the Cinque Terra today!

Morning Prayer: "The only appropriate response is gratefulness," David Steindle-Rast

"A Good Day"

Reflecting on idol worship over at draught-ing theology

Good questions posed over at draught-ing theology this morning!

Bishop Mark Dyer says that every 500 hundred years the Church holds a giant rummage sale.

Phyllis Tickle (among others) says the classified ad space has been purchased, and the sale is ongoing.

The lessons for this Sunday say that it is and will be ok.

The OT lesson, the 10 Commandments, reminded me this morning of how often the Church makes idols of things; the Bible (KJV or otherwise), the Book of Common Prayer, collars, vesteture, narthex(es), altar rails, etc. Because we associate this stuff with the worship of the LORD, it often finds its way into our "sacrosanct" category - the stuff we can't live without.

At some point, however, it becomes hard to discern what we are actually worshiping. Is it stained glass windows, altar rails, and organ music or the LORD? If you try to eliminate any of the first three, you'll quickly find that the last is just an innocent bystander.

Jesus turned over the tables in the Temple because the system had become an idol - they went through the motions to get their card punched, and plenty of people were willing to make some money helping others assuage their guilt.

What would Jesus thrash with a whip of cords in our day and time? What has become an idol? Who are our moneychangers?

What do you think?

draught-ing theology: idol worship

11 March 2009

The "Other"...Ubuntu discussed by Michael Battle

The Rev. Dr. Michael Battle discusses Ubuntu...

Here is a video clip of my thesis advisor and professor from seminary, the Rev. Dr. Michael Battle who gives a very short (1min 29seconds) description of the African theology of Ubuntu, the idea that "a person is a person through other persons." He's a wonderful person and I feel blessed to have had the chance to learn (a bit) of his wisdom over my years in seminary. He is now serving in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.

Check it out, it's pretty good...

Click HERE, to see the video clip, (posted on the Episcopal Cafe blog)...

Centering Prayer introduction by Fr. Thomas Keating

Centering Prayer

An eight minute introduction by Fr. Thomas Keating.

This edited, brief "How To" is designed to encourage further exploration of the ancient mystical prayer practice that can lead to Contemplation

The "Other"...Ubuntu discussed by Desmond Tutu

No, not the operating system (Ubuntu), but the theology...

"a person is a person through other persons"

Desmond Tutu on Craig Ferguson

Desmond Tutu on Craig Ferguson - part 1

Desmond Tutu on Craig Ferguson - part 2

Desmond Tutu on Craig Ferguson - part 3

Good Stuff in TEC (The Episcopal Church) from "Three Rivers Episcopal" blog

There is a terrific Episcopal priest blogger named Jim Simons in Pittsburgh, PA who has a great feature that he runs nearly daily at "Three Rivers Episcopal" (how does he do it so often?!) which he calls, "Good Stuff in TEC." For those of you not up on Episcopal acronyms, TEC is the acronym for "The Episcopal Church." Rev. Dr. Jim Simons posts regularly about a wide variety of items, but his "Good Stuff in TEC" are just great - spanning the spectrum of the entire Episcopal Church, these items highlight the "good stuff" (good news?!)

To see all of his "Good Stuff" postings, click HERE.

His blog can be found HERE. (http://3riversepiscopal.blogspot.com/)

The "Other"...thoughts by Fr. Thomas Keating

Fr. Thomas Keating, O.C.S.O., speaking of three stages in the spiritual journey:

"First, you recognize there is an Other; second, you seek to become the Other; and third, you realize there is no other."

10 March 2009

Doing the impossible, quote from Jean Vanier

When Jesus sent his disciples out on mission, he told them to be poor, to take nothing with them. And he told them to do things that were impossible for them to do all by themselves. So it is for all missions. Communities and their members are called to be poor and to do impossible things, such as to build community and to bring healing, reconciliation, forgiveness and wholeness to people. Mission is to bring the life of God to others, and this can only be done if communities and people are poor and humble, letting the life of God flow through them.

Jean Vanier, in Community and Growth

hat tip to Inward/Outward blog

09 March 2009

Lent - Check out the Society of St. John the Evangelist's Online Lenten Resources

The SSJE, Society of St. John the Evangelist, brothers are offering some fine Lenten resources this year. Each Sunday of Lent they are posting a sermon based on the lectionary. I encourage you to log on and listen to these wise spiritual masters offer their reflections, and offer your comments as well.

~The Rev. Peter M. Carey

Click HERE to listen to these resources.

Lent is the season in which Christians prepare for the Resurrection of the Lord. It is a time to renew our commitment as disciples of Jesus by adopting practices that deepen our relationship to God. Monastic Wisdom for Everyday Living

We invite you to join us, either in person or virtually, for our Lenten preaching series,
Monastic Wisdom for Everyday Living. Each Tuesday in March, the 5.15 Eucharist at the Monastery Chapel will feature a sermon reflecting on a specific practice from the SSJE Rule of Life. After the service there will be a soup supper and further conversation with the evening's preacher.

  • March 3—Br. Kevin Hackett, on Silence
  • March 10—Br. Bruce Neal, on The Graces of Friendship
  • March 17—Br. Robert L'Esperance, on Engaging Poverty
  • March 24—Br. David Vryhof, on Prayer and Life
  • March 31—Br. Geoffrey Tristram, on The Witness and Challenges of Community Life

If you cannot join us in person, check back here for a weekly update, featuring an audio recording of the sermon and suggestions for further reading.
We encourage you to join in the conversation by leaving your own comments here.

07 March 2009

"Don't blame greedy bankers, blame your own pride," Rowan Williams tells Government

from Ruth Gledhill of the London Times, a wonderful introduction to an amazing speech that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams delivered today...

Don't blame greedy bankers - blame your own pride, Rowan tells Government

Rowan Williams - normal size copy#1# Any student of human failings understands that the deadliest of the seven deadly sins is not greed, but pride. It has taken the Archbishop of Canterbury to point this out to the Government in a thunderously excellent speech tonight in a public lecture in Cardiff. See our story here and the full transcript also.

This is the Archbishop at his best, and I recommend to you the three principles with which he concludes:

(i) Our faith depends on the action of a God who is to be trusted; God keeps promises. There could hardly be a more central theme in Jewish and Christian Scripture, and the notion is present in slightly different form in Islam as well. Thus, to live in proper harmony with God, human beings need to be promise-keepers in all areas of their lives, not least in financial dealings.

read it all HERE

06 March 2009

Lent Two - Rediscovering Prayer, from St. John's Cathedral, Los Angeles

Lent Two - Rediscovering Prayer, from St. John's Cathedral, Los Angeles

Join us this Sunday as we together rediscover the Power of Prayer...

music sample - Barber's Agnus Dei

narration - The Very Reverend Canon M. Kowalewski Dean and Rector of St. John's Cathedral

An Episcopal 'Hand on the Plow' production.

Harold Francis Carey - 1917-2009

My grandfather, Harold Francis Carey, died last week in Connecticut and my family gathered to celebrate a life well-lived and a person who loved deeply and who was, and will continue to be, loved deeply as well. It was a long journey from Richmond to Connecticut for us, and I had the honor, privilege and challenge of presiding at the service along with my cousin who is a Methodist minister. My grandfather was a man of many interests, talents, and gifts, and I miss him a great deal. One of his great loves (along with travel, sailing, music, his family, my grandmother....) was food - and I will be making pilgrimage to a donut shop tomorrow along with three of his great-grandchildren to partake in some good eating.

May he rest in peace and rise in glory!

His obituary appeared in the local paper where two of his children live, Addison County, Vermont:

from the Addison County Independent

Harold Francis Carey
NEWTOWN, Conn. — Harold Francis Carey, 91, of Newtown, Conn., died peacefully at home on Feb. 26. He was born September 25, 1917, the son of Wilbur Watson Carey and Bridget (Hughes) Carey.

He attended Danbury Teacher’s College (now Western Connecticut State College) where he met Ann, his wife of 66 years, and left to serve in the Army during World War II. After the war, he sold textbooks in the state of Washington before returning to Connecticut and opening the Carey Insurance Agency, which he ran until his retirement.

Family says he believed in living life to the fullest and shared his great love of nature through photographs, painting and stories. When his children were young, he took the family camping in New England and New York. In 1963 the family camped around the country, visiting national parks and traveling 10,000 miles in the car. In later years, he traveled to Italy, France, Canada and Ecuador. Until he was 75, he hiked in Austria, Switzerland, Scotland and Greece. According to family, he was equally comfortable skiing a mountain, sailing a lake, reading a book or eating good food, and the biggest joy in his life was spending time with his wife, Ann.

Harry is survived by Ann (Titsworth) Carey; his children, Sas Carey of Middlebury, Jason Carey and wife Carolyn of Cornwall, Julia Carey Petro of Briarcliff, N.Y., Joan Elizabeth Carey and her husband Andrew Baron II of La Plume, Penn., and Thomas David Carey and his wife Patricia Honan Carey of Westport, Conn.; and his sister, Marian Marinelli of Ridgefield, Conn. He leaves 11 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren

He was predeceased by his sister, Ruth Carey Favreau, and his brother, Arthur Carey.

A celebration of his life was held in Newtown, Conn., on Feb. 28, with his grandson Peter Carey and granddaughter Sara Baron officiating.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association or charity of your choice.

Here's Grandad obliging me by participating in a "magic show" a few decades ago...

Sounds of Silence on Cape Cod

from the New York Times...writing about one of the holiest places I know - the outer stretches of Cape Cod...

Sounds of Silence on Cape Cod

Erik Jacobs for The New York Times

In winter, Lighthouse Beach in Chatham, Mass., like much of Cape Cod, is filled only with unspoiled vistas.

Published: March 6, 2009

TO enjoy Cape Cod in winter, you must close your eyes and listen.

There is a symphony of cold in sound: A lone seagull dives for an errant fish offshore, a far-off splash echoing across the emptiness of gray and blue. Frozen ice and sand crackle underfoot as a golden retriever bounds along the beach. The gentle whistle of icy breath, the muffled scratch of a coat collar pulled tight around the neck.

But the real allure of a winter day at this warm-weather getaway is what you don’t see when your eyes are open. Absent are the lines of cars snaking through jammed parking lots of summer or the dance of sunburned beachgoers who slap and yell at stinging waves. The Cape in winter is like a carnival park past its prime, empty but approachable because it is so familiar.

And along the shore, there is always the promise of spring, when small waves frozen in sand will retreat with the thaw and slip back to sea, waiting to embrace the crowds when they arrive once again.

That, at least, is what crossed my mind as I stood one crisp afternoon in January on Coast Guard Beach, 15 miles north of Chatham, Mass., the town situated at the Cape’s elbow. I was seeking a tonic for my post-New Year’s blues. As I wound my scarf tighter around my neck to ward off the bitter cold, I noticed a single fishing boat bobbing in the surf near shore. A rugged fisherman onboard waved in my direction, then hauled up a heavy metal cage from the water, hand over gloved fist.

Read it all HERE.

"Putting flowers in his hair?"...Bishop Lee going to Grace Cathedral, San Francisco to serve as Interim Dean...

from The Diocese of Virginia today...

A Letter from Bishop Lee

March 6, 2009

Dear Friends,

When I announced my resignation as bishop at January’s Annual Council, I said I was considering new steps in my ministry. I have now accepted the call of Bishop Andrus of California to serve as interim dean of Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, after I have resigned as Bishop of Virginia on October 1, 2009.

While I will depart Virginia with sadness at leaving so many whom I love, I am excited and challenged by the call to serve at one of the nation’s primary urban cathedral churches.

I began ordained ministry at an urban cathedral, St. John’s in Jacksonville, Florida, and I have spent many years emphasizing the diversity and continuity of our Anglican tradition which are so well expressed in a cathedral’s ministry.

After a year or so of cathedral ministry, Kristy and I expect to retire in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where we were living when I was elected Bishop in Virginia.

I look forward to these next seven months together as we all prepare for the next chapters of our service to the Lord and the church.

Faithfully yours,

Bishop Lee

Peter James Lee

Snow has melted...are you ready for some...Cycling?

I am!

04 March 2009

Lent - Could this be a season to reduce our use of planetary resources? Check out "No Impact Man"

From the "No Impact Man" blog...

I used to wonder: What does it matter if I choose to use planetary resources more carefully? Can I really make a difference?

I might also have asked: What does it matter if I choose to show up at a rally to advocate for clean energy and end to coal burning? I will be one of thousands who may make no difference to the political process, at least that's what the pessimist in me used to want to say.

But then I learned that the first question is not whether or not I can make a difference. The first question is whether I want to be the kind of person who tries. And that's where the power lies: if I don't believe I make a difference then I won't even try and I can't. But I do believe I can. And trying has taught me that we all make a difference.

We all make a difference. This is our world and our life. We just have to live as though that is true to make it true.

That's why, on Monday, I joined thousands of others at the Capitol Climate Action, a protest against a coal-burning planet in the middle of DC. It's a symbol--a coal-burning plant that powers the United States Capitol at a time when we need to move away from coal rapidly.

And it's not just about climate. The local city councilor stood up and told us that 14 percent of the area's children suffer from asthma, thanks partly to the power plant.

So I stood in the freezing cold, in the snow, with leaky shoes, and felt proud of the bunch of other people who had shown up because they wanted to be the type of people who try. When thousands of people care enough to take the time and stand in the cold, doesn't that make a difference to you?

Read more about the action here and here and here.