30 September 2010

RIP Tony Curtis

RIP Tony Curtis!

A great clip from one of my favorite movies, "Some Like it Hot"

St. Jerome, "seldom pleasant"

Lesser Feasts and Fasts on St. Jerome:

"A militant champion of orthodoxy, an indefatigable worker, and a stylist of great gifts, Jerome was seldom pleasant, but at least he was never dull." 

23 September 2010

Live dangerously

"To be a Christian is to live dangerously, honestly, freely - to step in the name of love as if you may land on nothing, yet to keep on stepping because the something that sustains you no empire can give you and no empire can take away." 

~Cornel West

20 September 2010

Men's Bible Study - Tuesday - 21Sept10

Men’s Bible Study
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia

Fall 2010 Dates

September 21
October 12
October 26
November 9
November 30
December 14

8:30-9:30 am
in the Parish Hall

We meet in the Parish Hall from 8:30-9:30 about every other Tuesday to study, discuss, reflect upon, and dialogue about key stories of the Bible.  In 2009-2010, we hopped from Genesis through the beginning of the stories of Samuel and King David.  We welcome you to join us.  Here are the dates, readings, for our upcoming Fall 2010 sessions. 
We’d love to see you with us!!
September 21
Reading: 1 Samuel 17
Focus: David and Goliath  Are there deeper truths / puzzles than we normally see in this often-told tale? Whatever did Saul do to God to be so cursed?  Decline of Saul, Rise of David
October 12
Reading: 2 Samuel 11
Focus: David & Bathsheba  Why does God stick with this guy?  Why does David keep returning to God?  David as flawed, yet model believer and king 
October 26
Reading: 1 Kings 17
Focus: Elijah and the Widow Why does Elijah help the foreign widow? What is Elijah (and God?) saying with this living parable? God’s call to care for the “other”
 November 9
Reading: Book of Esther
Focus: Esther as (reluctant) liberator?  Power and Resistance
What moves Esther to finally stick up for her people?  Is it satisfying that the bad  guy gets it in the end?  Irony and dark humor in the Old Testament 
November 30
Reading: Book of Job
Focus: Job, God, and his friends ~ Was Job patient or not?  Were his friends friends?~“Patience of Job”
 December 14
Reading: Selections from Psalms & Proverbs & Ecclesiastes
Focus: Psalms/Proverbs vs. Ecclesiastes
Wisdom literature seems to be all over the place with its theology!?  Does God reward the good?  Are the evil punished, or is it all vanity?

18 September 2010

19 September 2010 Sermon wordle image

Luke 16: 1-10

Here's an image of my sermon for tomorrow on this tricky passage...courtesy of wordle.net...

~The Rev. Peter M. Carey

Meetings...follow up...

From Harvard Business Review...

Far too many meetings perish from a lack of follow up. What's the use of getting everyone together and discussing important issues if nothing is done afterward? End every meeting by creating an action plan. The plan should include key decisions made, next steps, who is responsible for each step, and due dates. Keep it short -- no longer than a page. Send it out to all participants as soon after the meeting as possible so you don't lose momentum. Follow up with people as deadlines approach to be sure they are on track. The more your reputation as an effective meeting facilitator grows, the more likely people will help make your meetings -- and the follow ups -- a success.

The bully-victim cycle

from Seth Godin's blog

A bully acts up in a meeting or in an online forum. He gets called on it and chastised for his behavior.

The bully then calls out the person who cited their behavior in the first place. He twists their words, casts blame and becomes an aggrieved victim.

Often, members of the tribe then respond by backing off, by making amends, by giving the bully another chance.
And soon the cycle continues.

Brands do this, bosses do it and so do passers-by. Being a bully is a choice, and falling for this cycle, permitting it to continue, is a mistake.

17 September 2010

Enjoy me

Enjoy Me
St. Teresa of Avila

Just these two words He spoke
changed my life:
“Enjoy Me.” 
What a burden I thought I was to carry--
a crucifix, as did He.
Love once said to me, "I know a song,
Would you like to hear it?
And laughter came from every brick in the street
And from every pore
in the sky.
After a night of prayer, he
changed my life when
He sang,
"Enjoy Me."

Love Poems From God edited by Daniel Ladinsky
hat tip to "Inward/Outward" blog

16 September 2010

Free and genuine

Do all you can in the way of good works, but do so solely for the
praise of God. Live as if you did not exist. Expect and ask nothing in
return. Then the merchant inside you will be driven out of the temple
God has made. Then God alone dwells there. This is how the temple
is c
leared: when a person honors God alone. Only
such a person is free and genuine.

~Meister Eckhart

14 September 2010

Hauerwas says we're congregationalists

Some interesting thought and such, and even discussion between Methodists and Episcopalians on the "Episcopal Cafe" sparked by a recent interview with "Methodist" but worshipping as an Episcopalian, Stanley Hauerwas...


12 September 2010

Revised "Coffee" Lectionary meets at the Mudhouse in Crozet, tomorrow

We'll be meeting at the Mudhouse Coffeeshop in Crozet, VA at 10:30 tomorrow to look at the readings for next Sunday's service.  Please join us!!

Click HERE to download the readings for all of our fall sessions.

Below are the readings for tomorrow morning,

See you there!

Readings for our 13 September 2010 Mudhouse Meeting:

Readings for the Sunday closest to 21 September 2010
Proper 20

Year C


Amos 8:4-7

The Collect
Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Jeremiah 8:18-9:1
My joy is gone, grief is upon me,
my heart is sick.
Hark, the cry of my poor people
from far and wide in the land:
"Is the LORD not in Zion?
Is her King not in her?"
("Why have they provoked me to anger with their images,
with their foreign idols?")
"The harvest is past, the summer is ended,
and we are not saved."
For the hurt of my poor people I am hurt,
I mourn, and dismay has taken hold of me.
Is there no balm in Gilead?
Is there no physician there?
Why then has the health of my poor people
not been restored?
O that my head were a spring of water,
and my eyes a fountain of tears,
so that I might weep day and night
for the slain of my poor people!

Psalm 79:1-9 Page 701, BCP

Deus, venerunt
O God, the heathen have come into your inheritance;
they have profaned your holy temple; *
they have made Jerusalem a heap of rubble.
They have given the bodies of your servants as food for the birds of the air, *
and the flesh of your faithful ones to the beasts of the field.
They have shed their blood like water on every side of Jerusalem, *
and there was no one to bury them.
We have become a reproach to our neighbors, *
an object of scorn and derision to those around us.
How long will you be angry, O LORD?*
will your fury blaze like fire for ever?
Pour out your wrath upon the heathen who have not known you *
and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon your Name.
For they have devoured Jacob *
and made his dwelling a ruin.
Remember not our past sins;
let your compassion be swift to meet us; *
for we have been brought very low.
Help us, O God our Savior, for the glory of your Name; *
deliver us and forgive us our sins, for your Name's sake.

Amos 8:4-7
Hear this, you that trample on the needy,
and bring to ruin the poor of the land,
saying, "When will the new moon be over
so that we may sell grain;
and the sabbath,
so that we may offer wheat for sale?
We will make the ephah small and the shekel great,
and practice deceit with false balances,
buying the poor for silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals,
and selling the sweepings of the wheat."
The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.

Psalm 113 Page 756, BCP
Laudate, pueri

Give praise, you servants of the LORD; *
praise the Name of the LORD.
Let the Name of the LORD be blessed, *
from this time forth for evermore.
From the rising of the sun to its going down *
let the Name of the LORD be praised.
The LORD is high above all nations, *
and his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the LORD our God, who sits enthroned on high *
but stoops to behold the heavens and the earth?
He takes up the weak out of the dust *
and lifts up the poor from the ashes.
He sets them with the princes, *
with the princes of his people.
He makes the woman of a childless house *
to be a joyful mother of children.
1 Timothy 2:1-7
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human,
who gave himself a ransom for all -- this was attested at the right time. For this I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

Luke 16:1-13
Jesus said to the disciples, "There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, `What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.' Then the manager said to himself, `What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.' So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he asked the first, `How much do you owe my master?' He answered, `A hundred jugs of olive oil.' He said to him, `Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.' Then he asked another, `And how much do you owe?' He replied, `A hundred containers of wheat.' He said to him, `Take your bill and make it eighty.' And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.
"Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth."

12 September 2010 Sermon

The Rev. Peter M. Carey
12 September 2010 – Sermon
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
Greenwood, Virginia
In the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
Proper 19 – Luke 15:1-10

Today, we dip into Luke’s narrative and learn, once again, that Jesus is disobeying cultural norms, and is violating the Miss Manners guidelines of his time.  Jesus is keeping company with “tax collectors and sinners,” those who were despised and avoided by the apparently “godly” people of his time.  The “godly” people of his time, the “professional” godly people – leaders in the religious community, those who regularly prayed, attended church, and abided by the Law.  The “Pharisees and scribes” would be people who were the pillars of the community. 
The question behind their observation in verse 2 is, “is anyone beyond God’s mercy?”  And so, Jesus tells three stories which may point to an answer.  Tax collectors were known for their unethical behavior, and while they were Jewish, they were in league with the Romans – and most often extorted money from their fellow Jews. The Roman authorities contracted out collection of taxes, and so it was up to a tax collector how he got the money.  Fraud and excessive profits were common.  
Jesus defends associating with these people, using parables. Jesus asks if you had many and lost one, wouldn’t you search until you found it? 

The sheep and coin that are lost, are sought after, and are found.  God is symbolized by he male shepherd and the female housewife.  Pharisees would have been outraged by God being symbolized by a woman – and first-century shepherds were considered lawless, dishonest and unclean. The sheep and the coin cannot find their owner on their own.  They need the help of the shepherd or the housewife to help.  God tenaciously loves even those who are unable to find him, and seeks them, and finds them, and brings them home.  Is anyone beyond God’s mercy?  Would a shepherd in the 1st century really care about one sheep?  God is that kind of shepherd.  When the lost is found there is great rejoicing.

Well, you might say, this is interesting – perhaps, but is there anything of tangible value from this passage to take with me into my week?  Perhaps.  Here is one way of looking at a piece of scripture:  1)  What does this scripture say about God?  2)  How does this scripture move us to see things in a new way?  3)  What does this scripture move us to do?

1)    God is described by Jesus and symbolized as a shepherd, who is a figure who is known to be dishonest and even unclean. However, this shepherd is willing to leave everything aside in order to chase after that one lost sheep.  This shepherd loves all the sheep, but works diligently to bring back the one who is lost, the one who needs God’s help, God’s grace, to re-enter the fold.  God is also symbolized by Jesus as a housewife who also seeks out and finds the lost coin.  God is symbolized as a 1st century woman who would have very little social standing, few rights of her own, and who was largely the subject of her father and her husband.  God the marginalized and despised shepherd who is righteous, and God the oppressed woman.  God as shepherd, and God as housewife celebrates the finding of the sheep and the ring.  There is great rejoicing – God is ecstatically happy that one who is lost is found, one who is blind can see.  Is anyone beyond God’s mercy?

2)    This scripture may point out to us something of an answer to the question, “Is anyone beyond God’s mercy? … but we probably need to read the rest of the 15th  chapter of Luke to get the rest of the sermon.  And so, we learn about the radical and challenging love of God, going beyond the imagination of 1st century people – to reach out beyond the polite society of “Pharisees and scribes” and out to those who were despised tax collectors, and those who were sinners, those who were unclean, those who were not regarded as “godly” actually were Godly, and not only that, the beloved of God.  And so, who is beyond the pale today, who are the unloved, who are the ones who live on the margins, who are the ones to whom God’s love is extended?  How might this scripture help us to look beyond our own “Pharisaical and scribal lenses”? "Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God . . . God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them." (1 John 4:1, 16b)

3)    This scripture may appeal to us when we are lost – and we know that God is chasing us down, especially when we don’t think we can find God – God is finding us.  So, how might we live more fully, more deeply, more abundant lives if we truly know that God not only loves us, but has imbedded a GPS device in our hearts, and we will be chased down by God when we are lost.

This scripture may also inspire us to get busy, for we are the Body of Christ, and this means that we are to embody God’s love in the world.  Christ does not want us to be narrow “Pharisees and scribes,” debating about who is in and who is out, about the minutia and “small stuff.”  Christ wants us to get busy – seeking out the lost with dispatch, and rejoicing when the lost are found, when the blind can see.  God’s Amazing Grace is poured out on us, but then we need to get busy proclaiming and living the Good News.  “Is anyone beyond God’s mercy?”

Man in Black

Up front there oughta be a man in black...

There is a lot here, a LOT!

11 September 2010

No courage?

"What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?"

 ~ Van Gogh


Luke 15:1-10 Sermon image - Proper 19

image courtesy of www.wordle.net

Luke 15:1-10 ... sermon prep

Luke 15:1-10 is full of lost and found images.  The sheep who is lost, is sought after, and is found.  The coin that is lost, is sought after, and is found.  The shepherd is a male image, and the one who loses the coin is a female image.  Each of these parables prepare the way for the parable of the "lost" son story which follows after Luke 15:10...the story we know (too) well and we call the parable of the "prodigal" son.  What is lost, is sought after with great effort in the first two stories, and when the lost is found there is great rejoicing.  Are we the lost, or are we the found?  Are we to do as the shepherd/woman does and search diligently for those who are lost?  Or, are we to just be more hospitable and loving to those who we might deem as "lost"...?  Hmmm.  Lots to play with here...but first, how about a few versions of "Amazing Grace" via youtube....?

~The Rev. Peter M. Carey

Elvis Presley

Mahalia Jackson

Willie Nelson

Commemorating 9/11

Here is the reflection I wrote in 2007, commemorating September 11, 2001, and below is the wonderful prayer, "Life is short."

Life is short,
And we do not have much time
To gladden the hearts of those
Who travel the way with us.
So be swift to be kind,
And as we go,
May the blessing, the love,
the joy, and the peace
Of the Holy One
Who is in the midst of us
Be among you and remain with you

(adapted from the French Poet Henri Amiel)

Commemorating September 11, 2001

God the compassionate one, whose loving care extends to all the world, we remember this day your children of many nations and many faiths whose lives were cut short by the fierce flames of anger and hatred. Console those who continue to suffer and grieve, and give them comfort and hope as they look to the future. Out of what we have endured, give us the grace to examine our relationships with those who perceive us as the enemy, and show our leaders the way to use our power to serve the good of all for the healing of the nations. This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord who, in reconciling love, was lifted up from the earth that he might draw all things to himself. Amen.

~ Prepared by The Most Reverend Frank T. Griswold, Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church, USA, for September 11 anniversary observances.

10 September 2010

Advice from Gandhi...

from Gandhi:

"I will give you a talisman.

Whenever you are in doubt or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test.

Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whom you may have seen, and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him.

Will he gain anything by it?

Will it restore him to a control over his own life and destiny?

In other words, will it lead to swaraj for the hungry and spiritually starving millions?

Then you will find your doubts and yourself melting away."
Mahatma Gandhi, 1947

a guide from beyond...

The Guest House 

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is love

"This is love:
to fly toward a secret sky,
to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment.
First to let go of life,
Finally, to take a step without feed."

I should be suspicious

Who Makes These Changes

Who makes these changes?
I shoot an arrow right.
It lands left.
I ride after a deer and find myself
chased by a hog.
I plot to get what I want
and end up in prison
I dig pits to trap others
and fall in.

I should be suspicious
of what I want.

~Jelaluddin Rumi

09 September 2010

Put this design on your carpet

I can't stop pointing
to the beauty.
Every moment and place says,
"Put this design in your carpet!"

08 September 2010

Before enlightenment

“Before Enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After Enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”

Revised "Coffee" Lectionary - Fall 2010 Dates ...

Revised Coffee Lectionary
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
Greenwood, Virginia
in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia

Fall 2010 Dates

September 13
September 27
October 18
November 1
November 15
December 6
December 20

 10:30-11:30 am
at the Mudhouse Coffee Shop in Crozet

We meet at 10:30 am about every other Monday at the Mudhouse Coffee Shop in Crozet.   We look at upcoming Sunday lectionary readings, study them, reflect on them, and consider the ways that they inform our lives, and the ways our lives inform the readings

September 13
Reading: Proper 20,
17th Pentecost

September 27
Reading: Proper 22,
19th Pentecost

October 18
Reading: Proper 25,
22nd Pentecost

November 1
Reading: All Saints

November 15
Thanksgiving Readings &
Advent 1

December 6
Reading: Advent 3

December 20
Reading: 1 Christmas