31 May 2012

I have accepted a new call...Announcement from "Fiat Lux" Blog

I have accepted the call to be the Senior Associate Rector at St. Paul's Memorial Church in Charlottesville, VA. I am sad about leaving Emmanuel, but profoundly excited about the possibilities for ministry, mission, and fellowship at St. Paul's "on the Corner" near UVA...I have been blessed to serve alongside such wonderful people at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Greenwood, VA, over the last three years, and for this time I will be eternally grateful.

I am so thrilled about the following announcement and about the possibilities for ministry, mission, and fellowship at St. Paul's Memorial!

From "Fiat Lux" Blog written by the Very Rev. James Richardson:

Dear friends of St. Paul's,

I am delighted to announce that I am calling the Rev. Peter M. Carey as our new Senior Associate Rector.

Peter comes to us with broad parish and teaching experience. He is currently the Associate Rector at Emmanuel Church, Greenwood. Peter and his wife, Lisa Plog, and their three children - Zachary (age 9), Sam (age 6), and Lily (age 4) - will be with us for their first Sunday on July 8. They will also join us for our Shrine Mont parish retreat weekend July 13-15.

Peter and Lisa have long-standing ties to Charlottesville and St. Paul’s. They were married at St. Paul’s and their son Zachary was baptized here. Lisa grew up in Charlottesville and graduated from the University of Virginia. Her parents still live in the area and her father is on the faculty at UVA. Lisa currently teaches history at St. Anne’s-Belfield School.

Peter is a graduate of Bates College in Maine. He holds a master’s degree in education from George Washington University and is a graduate of the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria. Prior to serving at Emmanuel church, he was the head chaplain at St. Catherine’s Episcopal School in Richmond. He is also well known in the wider Church as a writer for Episcopal CafĂ©.

After the departure of Ann Willms, I spent a good deal of time talking with parish leaders about how we have managed and shared our clergy responsibilities. I concluded that St. Paul's would benefit from having a more senior associate rector with significant prior parish experience and a broader scope of responsibility. I asked Paula Kettlewell to form a committee to draft a position description which reflected the manner in which she and David Poist so successfully shared their ministry.

After I identified Peter as a candidate, I asked several groups of parish leaders, representing a broad cross section of the St. Paul's community, to meet with Peter and give me their advice about how Peter would fit in our community. After meeting with these groups, Peter then met with the Vestry. I received extremely positive feedback from the members of these groups, and with the consent of the Vestry, I offered this call to Peter as our next Senior Associate Rector and Peter enthusiastically accepted.

You will discover, as I have, that Peter has tremendous energy and fresh ideas for ministry. He will participate broadly in every aspect of parish life with us, including working with families, children, adults, and in pastoral care, education and the use of social media. Peter is extremely friendly and outgoing with a magnetic personality. He will make a great addition to our clergy staff.

In explaining why he has decided to join us, Peter wrote this:

“There is great hope and passion for St. Paul's, and many, many folks I met with are so excited about not only St. Paul's past, but also the present and future of this wonderful church. The energy and excitement of the folks I’ve met with is contagious and I am so excited to join you! 
“There are a plethora of opportunities for new programs, for new approaches, and for new ideas at St. Paul's, of course, some choices will need to be made about what direction this wonderful church should go, and the Long-Range Planning process will help in this area. I am excited about the energy for the future of St. Paul's, and grateful that God has moved me to find you at this time.  
“We are huge Wahoo fans in our family, especially my 9 year old son and myself, the opportunities for engagement with the UVA community are wide and deep and I am psyched to see what we can do together.” 
I am thrilled to have Peter join our clergy team. Please join me in welcoming Peter and his wonderful family (see picture below) to our parish.

Peace to all,

The Rev. James Richardson, Rector & Chaplain

You are God: we praise you

Canticle 21 You are God
Te Deum laudamus

You are God: we praise you;
You are the Lord; we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father:
All creation worships you.
To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you.
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.
Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you;
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all worship,
and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory,
the eternal Son of the Father.
When you became man to set us free
you did not shun the Virgin's womb.
You overcame the sting of death
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
You are seated at God's right hand in glory.
We believe that you will come and be our judge.
Come then, Lord, and help your people,
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints
to glory everlasting.

Some views of St. Paul's Memorial

28 May 2012

For heroic service

O Judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy. Grant that we may not rest until all the people of this land share the benefits of true freedom and gladly accept its disciplines. This we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

18 May 2012

Our deepest fear

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

~Marianne Williamson

15 May 2012

Step back and take a long view

It helps now and then to step back and take a long view. 
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a small fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work. 
Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of saying that 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 the seeds that will one day 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  far 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 well. 
It may be incomplete but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’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 Oscar Arnulfo Romero of El Salvador (1917–1980)

09 May 2012

Great run up North Mtn at Shrine Mont

While at the Bishops' Conference at Shrine Mont, the Diocese of Virginia's Conference Center in Orkney Springs I had a great run up North Mountain in the drizzly rain.  Such fun, such joy...!

121   Levavi oculos
1       I lift up my eyes to the hills; *
     from where is my help to come?
2       My help comes from the Lord, *
     the maker of heaven and earth.
3       He will not let your foot be moved *
     and he who watches over you will not fall asleep.
4       Behold, he who keeps watch over Israel *
     shall neither slumber nor sleep;
5       The Lord himself watches over you; *
     the Lord is your shade at your right hand,
6       So that the sun shall not strike you by day, *
     nor the moon by night.
7       The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; *
     it is he who shall keep you safe.
8       The Lord shall watch over your going out and
your coming in, *
     from this time forth for evermore.

06 May 2012

Easter 5 Sermon - The Rev. Peter M. Carey - 6 May 2012

The Rev. Peter M. Carey
Easter 5 Sermon
6 May 2012
Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Greenwood, VA

Where do you live?  It’s a simple enough question on the surface, and we’ve all probably asked or been asked the question hundreds or thousands of times.  Where do you live?  Is perhaps a polite way to be curious about someone, to have them share a bit about themselves.  Also, it can of course be a signal for one’s social class, neighborhoods can connote wealth or poverty, especially in cities and urban areas.  Living in Harlem signals a different style of life, perhaps, than living in Greenwich, Connecticut.  Living in Keswick signals a different style of life, perhaps, than living in Belmont.  Of course knowing where someone lives does not immediately give a fulsome understanding of who they are, but it can be a signpost toward greater understanding.

I realize that most of us ask the question out of courtesy, or perhaps out of our awkwardness to know what to ask when we meet someone.  It can be confusing, however, when you move to a new area and you don’t know the various towns, neighborhoods and areas.  When we were living just outside Philadelphia I was constantly confused.  For example, we lived in “Conshohocken” which is about 15 miles up river from Philadelphia and whose name means “pleasant valley” but Conshy, as it is known is not much of a valley anymore, it was a multiethnic working class community of 1 mile square.  While we were there, some major high-end housing and retail development was going in along the river and it was becoming one of the “the places” to be.  So what was this cool and quirky town once known for its “stills and hills” and in earlier centuries was a “pleasant valley” was now becoming a hip place for people in their 20s to live after college.

Where do you live? Is a question that must have been around for centuries and even millennia, whether it was merely courtesy, or if it was a way to get a polite snapshot of who the person might be.  Even in Jesus’ time, the question was asked of him in the beginning of the Gospel of John, “where do you live” or…as John recounts, “where do you abide?”  And here, this question based in courtesy or curiosity gets transformed into something far deeper and more eternal.

You see, for Jesus, it is not where he is staying the night, it is rather where he abides.  For Jesus, it is not where we may be laying our heads, but where we lay our hearts.  For Jesus, it is not whether we live on the 9th green or behind bars on our windows in the ‘hood or whether our town is full of “stills and hills” or organic food stores.  For Jesus, it is where we abide that matters.  For Jesus, it is where he abides that matters.  And where does Jesus abide?  He abides in us.  And where do we abide, we abide in him.
“God is love.  God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him.”  “By thi we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.”  “God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.”

When we turn our minds to God, when we place our hearts in God, then we abide fully in his love.  Whether we live here or there is neither here nor there, what matters is where we place our hearts and minds.  What matters is where we abide.  And when we abide in Him, he abides in us.  And in abiding in God, we are abiding in God’s love, and we have the urge to share this love with others.  “We love because he first loved us.  Those who say, ‘I love God,’ and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen…those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.”

So, where do you live?  Where do you abide?  Can we see that the door is open?  Can we see that our hearts have already been grafted onto God’s abundant vine?  Can we feel the ways that we are already joined one to another and to God in God’s love?  We abide in God and God abides in us.  Whether we live in Keswick or Greenwich or Belmont or Harlem or Conshohocken, God abides in us, and we in Him.  When we allow our hearts to abide in God, we also turn our hearts outward, and we do God’s work in the world.  Jesus said, “I am the true vine…Abide in me as I abide in you.  Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.  I am the vine, you are the branches.  Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.”

Wherever you live, you have been given the deed to God’s home.  Wherever you live, God wants you to abide in him.  Wherever you live, God wants you to abide in love, for those who abide in love abide in God and God abides in them.  Where do you abide?  

03 May 2012

Remembering Yeardley Love ~ #YL1 #OneLove #UVA #Lacrosse #Love

Two years ago, May 3rd, 2010.  Remembering Yeardley Love

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)

Prayer by Thomas merton

My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

- Thomas Merton, "Thoughts in Solitude”

02 May 2012

We were made "in the likeness of God."

From St. Athanasius of Alexandria - Feast Day today, May 2nd:

We were made "in the likeness of God." But in course of time that image has become obscured, like a face on a very old portrait, dimmed with dust and dirt.

When a portrait is spoiled, the only way to renew it is for the subject to come back to the studio and sit for the artist all over again. That is why Christ came--to make it possible for the divine image in man to be recreated. We were made in God's likeness; we are remade in the likeness of his Son.

To bring about this re-creation, Christ still comes to men and lives among them. In a special way he comes to his Church, his "body", to show us what the "image of God" is really like.
What a responsibility the Church has, to be Christ's "body," showing him to those who are unwilling or unable to see him in providence, or in creation! Through the Word of God lived out in the Body of Christ they can come to the Father, and themselves be made again "in the likeness of God."

Sermon work - 5 Easter

Some good food for thought for this Sunday's sermon....lots to wonder about, lots to consider, ... especially the sense of where we "abide" rather than merely where we "live".

Here's a bit of my sermon (in process)....

"You see, for Jesus, it is not where he is staying the night, it is rather where he abides.  For Jesus, it is not where we may be laying our heads, but where we lay our hearts.  For Jesus, it is not whether we live on the 9th green or behind bars on our windows in the ‘hood or whether our town is full of “stills and hills” or organic food stores.  For Jesus, it is where we abide that matters.  For Jesus, it is where he abides that matters.  And where does Jesus abide?  He abides in us. "

...and here's a word-cloud - courtesy of wordle.net - of the draft