24 January 2014

Don't stop the music...Secret to Pete Carroll's Seattle Seahawks?

For the first time in quite some time, I am really rooting for both teams in the Super Bowl.  I realize this is crazy, and silly, but there are some real reasons that I like and dislike each team.  I'm a big fan of Peyton Manning, but I am kinda pissed at the Broncos for the way they treated Tebow.  I really like the energy and spirit of the Seahawks, their head coach, their quarterback, their kicker (who played DIII Soccer, and Football!), their 12th man...but, they seem pretty arrogant - or is it that they are just having fun! 

I loved this article, posted on NFL.com about the role of music for the Seahawks...pretty cool!

May it be a great fun game!

Secret to Pete Carroll's Seattle Seahawks? Don't stop the music

RENTON, Wash. -- The Seattle Seahawks opened their locker room to the media Thursday afternoon, three days before the flight across the country for a week's worth of Super Bowl XLVIII hype, and, as with Sundays at CenturyLink Field, it was all about the noise.
While reporters probed various members of the newly crowned NFC champions for their thoughts, Pro Bowlrunning back Marshawn Lynch stood at his luxuriant locker playing deejay, blasting an eclectic ensemble of hip-hop tunes through his iPhone-programmed portable sound system.
It was Beast Mode meets Beats Mode -- an everyday occurrence at the team's training facility, where coachPete Carroll and his players have put a 21st-century spin on the notion of Seattle Sound.
Whether it's reggae in the draft room, classic rock on the practice field or Lynch's Oakland-heavy rap playlist in the locker room, there's an omnipresent groove at theSeahawks' training facility, one of the many reasons so many players have come to regard their workplace as refreshing, progressive and enjoyable.
"Look at this," defensive lineman Michael Bennett said Thursday, gesturing toward Lynch as he reclined in a plush leather chair in the middle of the locker room. "It's the Google of football."
That's one reason this Pacific Northwest outpost has become a prime destination for free agents searching for an upbeat environment, a movement the Seahawks' success is only likely to amplify. And the credit should go to the region's most influential power trio since Nirvana: Carroll, general manager John Schneider and owner Paul Allen, all of whom are committed to cultivating an atmosphere conducive to smiling employees.
"We work hard, but we like being here," All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas explained. "We have the best facility. The cooks are great. Across the board, they've placed great people in great positions. And the music is always playing ..."
In a city that has given the world an inordinate share of musical excellence -- claiming Jimi Hendrix, Heart (whose lead singer, Ann Wilson, provided a blistering rendition of the "Star-Spangled Banner" before the NFC Championship Game), Sir Mix-a-Lot, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Foo Fighters and Macklemore (last Sunday's halftime performer), among others -- the local football team most definitely rocks.
"It's a very relaxing work environment," said All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman, who knows a thing or two about volume. "People are most comfortable being themselves. And if you allow people to be in the most comfortable state, they're going to be the most successful."
It might be somewhat of a stretch to equate the constant rhythm at the VMAC (Virginia Mason Athletic Center) with the noise the Seahawks have made on the field since Allen lured Carroll from USC four years ago, with the team's then-CEO, Tod Leiweke, plucking Schneider from the Green Bay Packers' front office shortly thereafter. Yet there is a method to the loudness, something upon which Carroll expounded during our sit-down interview Thursday, for a feature scheduled to air on NFL Network's "GameDay Morning" on Super Sunday.
"Music's always been a big part of my world," Carroll told me. "And I've just found over the years that our game and the environment that we perform in has a beat to it. And there is a pulse and a rhythm to it, and it's always encompassed in noise and sound and all of that. And it's all part of something that is part of what we feel.
"And so I found out, you know, years ago back at SC that if I included the music as much as possible wherever it fit, we might be able to benefit from it. And I found some information, some reports that support that people learn better, you know, when they're upbeat and they're uplifted. But mainly it's just about (the fact that) I like it. I like the feel of it. And I like the way the players respond to it.
"I mean, it's not for everybody. I don't expect everybody to understand that. But it's something that's very special and it's a big part of us."
Carroll, naturally, plays a part in choosing the soundtrack that accompanies the Seahawks' daily routine. There is a deejay on hand for practices -- including those open to the public in training camp, adding some entertainment value to the monotony of 7-on-7 drills and the like -- and he also sets up shop on the sidelines on Sundays at CenturyLink Field, where the pregame mix is routinely popping. And while Carroll doesn't decide the entire playlist, the coach does have input. "If I'm not feelin' it," Carroll said, "I'm gonna let him know."
You would think a 62-year-old coach supervising musical selections for a team of mostly 20-somethings (the Seahawks are the second-youngest team in Super Bowl history) would have the potential to create some serious blowback. Carroll, however, isn't your typical sexagenarian.
"For a 62-year-old, he has good taste," Lynch said. "He listens to all types of music. Sometimes I'll be like, 'What the (expletive) is that that he's playing?' But the majority of what he plays, everybody knows and likes. Even the oldies -- he'll play some James Brown out there, and even the youngest guys on the team will be dancing and singing along."
From his days growing up in Marin County, where he checked out a few shows by the Grateful Dead as they forged their golden road from hippie house band to legendary American rock ensemble, to his decade-long stint presiding over the Trojans' renaissance in Los Angeles, where his celebrity helped him forge a friendship with iconic Long Beach rapper Snoop Dogg, Carroll has stayed in the mix when it comes to musical trends.
His players notice, too. In August, when Snoop Dogg showed up for a Seahawks preseason game against the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink -- rocking a white Lynch jersey, to boot -- nobody on the 'Hawks was saying there Ain't No Fun in Seattle.
"You have to be a part of it to see how it's run, and how cool it is," said outside linebacker Cliff Avril, who signed with the Seahawks as a free agent last March. "You can't really see it from the outside. We embrace it. Pete himself is an up-tempo, hyped-up guy. If your coach is like that, it kind of trickles down, and you can't help but have fun."
Added backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, who returned to Seattle after spending the 2012 season with the Buffalo Bills: "Look around -- you see it. There aren't too many locker rooms like this. The type of music we play here, it's like home. Music in the locker room, music on the field, even music at meetings. Music's a big part of what we do here."
 read the rest HERE at nfl.com 

Kid President does it again!

Kid President's Letter To A Person On Their First Day Here

21 January 2014

Stopping by woods on a snowy evening

Stopping by woods on a snowy evening
Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   

My little horse must think it queer   
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   

He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.   

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.
Robert Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” from The Poetry of Robert Frost, edited by Edward Connery Lathem

20 January 2014

MLK Jr's "I have a dream" speech

Yesterday, at our Joyful Noise service at St. Paul's Memorial Church, I encouraged all our youth at church, as well as their parents to watch or listen to this speech today!  I am taking my own advice.  Give yourself 16 minutes to be inspired!

~The Rev. Peter M. Carey

There are no limits

"If you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it'll spread over into the rest of your life. It'll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level." —Bruce Lee

(Hat-tip to my old friend Mike Berthiaume who posted this awesome quote on Facebook!)

19 January 2014

Senior Associate Rector’s Annual Report 2014 ~ St. Paul's Memorial Church, Charlottesville

Senior Associate Rector’s Annual Report 2014

The year of 2013 has been a rich year at St. Paul’s Memorial as I continue to learn about the many gifts and blessings of this fine church community.  I am thankful to God for the blessings of serving among you and feel that the Holy Spirit is at work in our ministry together.  I have enjoyed the wide variety of tasks, roles, and projects on which I have been able to engage my energy as your Senior Associate Rector.  I look forward to further exploration of how God will lead us into the future, and how we will discern how best to be followers of Jesus here in this place in coming days, months, and years.

In the beginning of the year of 2013, I had the wonderful fortune to be accompanied by our Rector Emeritus, the Rev. David Poist as we ushered in the season of Epiphany through the traditional Yule Log Hunt and the burning of our Christmas trees.  David was wonderful as always, and commissioned me as a fellow “Honorary Druid Priest” so that I could continue this fun and gorgeous tradition here at St. Paul’s.  Luckily, just a few weeks ago, in 2014, the rain held back a bit and a stalwart group of folks continued this tradition.  The Yule Log Hunt is an example of the wonderful ways that this community gathers for fellowship, worship (of sorts, in this case), and fun.

Our Family and Youth ministries continue to develop and grow at St. Paul’s Memorial.  In the Fall, we welcomed Maggie Thornton as our Youth Group Coordinator, and she is doing a great job to continue the good work laid down by our former Associate Rector, Nicholas Forti, who left in May to attend graduate school.

In addition, we have had some wonderful events for families such as our Backpack Blessing in the late Summer, the Pumpkin Carving in the Fall, a visit to UVA’s Klockner Field to watch the UVa women’s soccer team and our annual Advent Wreathmaking event and our yearly visit from St. Nicholas.  In addition, our Joyful Noise worship during the first part of the 10am Holy Eucharist continues to develop and grow under the leadership of our Associate Rector Heather Warren, as well as dedicated lay leaders.

A year ago, we embarked on a newly energized Godly Play curriculum in our two Sunday School, and I have worked to shepherd this process throughout the last year.  In the Summer, the teachers of the older group of students, 4th and 5th graders, decided that we would use a lectionary-based curriculum for that group of “tweens” and we are finding that this curriculum has been a good fit in the Fall.  We call this class “Faith Adventurers” and we are working to enhance and develop the class.  Currently, the teachers of the 4th ad 5th grade class are Claire Busseret, Tom Nachbar, and Steve Bolton.  They are doing tremendous work and I thank them for their dedication and service.

The Godly Play curriculum is also taught by an extremely dedicated group of teachers who prepare diligently, and create a holy space each Sunday morning at 9am for our younger students.  The teachers of Godly Play are Arlene Lee, Chris Lee, Michelle Claiborne, Lara Hall, Frank Rambo, E.D. Rambo, and Ed Tourangeau.  We also had Leslie Middleton helping in the Spring of 2013.  We have plans to bring in a trainer to help build our knowledge-base of Godly Play.  A few of the teachers who are interested in becoming “certified teachers” and hope to attend a longer training at some point this coming year.

In the Spring, we conducted a survey of parents to gain some information about our Sunday School programs, our Joyful Noise worship, and our other offerings for young children and families.  The results of this survey gave the teachers and me some helpful information about how we might move forward and strive to grow the program further.  Overall, we are pleased with the way that our Sunday School programs are developing, and it is an area that we are devoted to developing as we move forward.

In the Winter and Spring of 2013 I taught Wednesday evening courses on the Desert Fathers and Mothers and I worked to prepare confirmands for our Bishop Susan Goff’s visit in May.   In the Fall, I taught an evening class on “Seven Day Sprituality” which was a source of great joy for me as I learned more and more about our wonderful parishioners as we explored the ways that God is impacting our everyday lives.  In addition, my Coffeehouse Bible Study continued at CVille Coffee on Mondays.

With the beginning of the New Year, I have begun a class for those seeking Confirmation later this Spring and we’ve had a wonderful first two sessions already. 

Many good things are happening at St. Paul’s, and I believe that the Spirit is at work in our midst.  We are blessed with many fine leaders, a dedicated staff, and great colleagues in the many areas of our parish life.  Thank you for all you do to make St. Paul’s a visible and living witness to the blessings that God has bestowed on us!


The Rev. Peter M. Carey+

Senior Associate Rector

06 January 2014

More photos from our 2014 Yule Log Hunt at Ash Lawn, Highland

Awesome Yule Log Hunt yesterday at Ash Lawn

Though it was freezing raining and James Monroe's Ash Lawn was officially closed, we persuaded them to let some hearty members of our congregation in to this remarkable location to have our annual Yule Log Hunt and Christmas Tree Burning!  What a fun time for 40-50 folks in the mud and rain...here's a short video I shot of the bonfire.  It was a bit smaller than in years past, due to fewer folks, but a great time and a wonderful tradition that hearkens back to an old old ritual in Northern Europe!

~The Rev. Peter M. Carey