Thursday, August 28, 2014

One of the trademarks of a champion is that he can outlast you. -Lou Brock





One of the trademarks of a champion is that he can outlast you. -Lou Brock

I should be suspicious of what I want

My Upper Division Convocation Address was based on this poem by Rumi, one of my favorite poets, and poems!

~Chaplain Carey




Who makes these changes?
By Jelalludin Rumi


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.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. ~ T.S. Eliot




Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. ~ T.S. Eliot


Sunday, August 24, 2014

From Seth Godin's blog: Why drafting works



From Seth Godin's blog:

Why drafting works

The other day, a speedster on a bike passed me as I rode along the bike path. For the next ten minutes, I rode right behind him, drafting his progress.
Sure, there's an aerodynamic reason that this works--there's less wind resistance when you ride closely.
But the real reason is mental, not based on physics. Drafting works because, right in front of you is proof that you can go faster.
Without knowing it, you do this at work every day. We set our pace based on what competitors or co-workers are doing. One secret to making more of an impact, then, is figuring out who you intend to follow. Don't 'pace yourself,' instead, find someone to unknowningly pace you.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Service of Institution

We had a a wonderful Service of Institution of me as the Chaplain of Berkeley Preparatory School on Wednesday!

Many thanks to the Bishop of the Southwest Diocese of Florida, The Rt. Rev. Dabney Smith the Headmaster, Joseph Seivold, and the Chair of the Board, George Gramling who helped to install me as the new chaplain at this outstanding school.  In addition a dozen or so students and a group of faculty also played an essential role in the service.  Thank you all!

The Rev. Peter M. Carey, Chaplain




Wednesday, August 20, 2014

From Patheos: Sunday Schooling Our Kids Out of Church

Sunday Schooling Our Kids Out of Church

About 40 years ago a profound shift took place in many Christian congregations across the country…for all the right reasons…with one troubling unintended consequence:

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, my generation, Baby Boomers, rebelled against the “institutional church” just as we did with every other institution our parents built/supported.  We rebelled by dropping out: 2/3rds of my generation dropped out of church.  In the late 1970’s/early 1980’s, innovative pastors and congregations of all sizes and denominations looked for ways to draw Boomers back to church.  They began to create worship experiences based on the unique “personality” of the Boomer generation. These churches went “contemporary,” “seeker,” and/or “seeker-friendly.”  Because these were the primary parenting years for Boomers, these congregations recognized the need to not only provide Boomer-friendly worship experiences for adults, but the need to create dynamic experiences for their children as well, knowing that if the kids wanted to come back, the parents were more likely to come back.  XX Sunday Morning-p7 dk

So began a shift from kids worshipping with the big people for one hour followed by all ages attending a second hour of Sunday School, to churches creating Sunday School experiences for kids that ran concurrently with their parents’ worship service.  In other words, kids and parents were separated from each other, having different Sunday experiences.

Again, the reasons were right…or so we thought.  Because these new Boomer services had a sense of evangelism about them (trying to win Boomers back to the church) we didn’t want anything to interrupt their focus…like squirming or crying or screaming kids. Church leaders sensed that Boomer parents wanted the one hour break from their kids—that they wanted to focus on their own spiritual life for an hour away from the distraction of their children.  And, again, we assumed, reasonably so, that worship targeted to adult boomers would not be all that engaging for kids.  So dynamic Sunday school programs were created to engage the kids at their level in their language while their parents were in worship.  In fact, some churches didn’t (and don’t) allow kids into big people worship at all.

The result: Many of these innovated congregations had a positive, significant impact on the lives of disenfranchised Boomers and their kids.  Many saw their congregations and their children’s ministries grow exponentially.  The evangelism imperative to reconnect with Boomers seemed to work.
But there was (and is) one huge unintended consequence:  We have raised the largest unchurched generation in the history of our country.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Taylor Mali, "What Teachers Make"



What Teachers Make
by Taylor Mali
He says the problem with teachers is
What’s a kid going to learn
from someone who decided his best option in life
was to become a teacher?

He reminds the other dinner guests that it’s true
what they say about teachers:
Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.
I decide to bite my tongue instead of his
and resist the temptation to remind the dinner guests
that it’s also true what they say about lawyers.
Because we’re eating, after all, and this is polite conversation.
I mean, you’re a teacher, Taylor.
Be honest. What do you make?
And I wish he hadn’t done that— asked me to be honest—
because, you see, I have this policy about honesty and ass-­‐kicking:
if you ask for it, then I have to let you have it.
You want to know what I make?
I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional Medal of Honor
and an A-­‐ feel like a slap in the face.
How dare you waste my time
with anything less than your very best.

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall
in absolute silence. No, you may not work in groups.
No, you may not ask a question.
Why won’t I let you go to the bathroom?
Because you’re bored.
And you don’t really have to go to the bathroom, do you?

I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:
Hi. This is Mr. Mali. I hope I haven’t called at a bad time,
I just wanted to talk to you about something your son said today.
To the biggest bully in the grade, he said,
“Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes, don’t you?
It’s no big deal.”
And that was noblest act of courage I have ever seen.

I make parents see their children for who they are
and what they can be.
You want to know what I make? I make kids wonder,
I make them question.
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them write.
I make them read, read, read.
I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful
over and over and over again until they will never misspell
either one of those words again.
I make them show all their work in math
and hide it on their final drafts in English.
I make them understand that if you’ve got this,
then you follow this,
and if someone ever tries to judge you
by what you make, you give them this.
Here, let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:
Teachers make a goddamn difference! Now what about you?
Mali. Taylor. “What Teachers Make.” What Learning Leaves. Newtown, CT: Hanover Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN: 1-­‐887012-­‐17-­‐6)
See more at Taylor Mali's website, HERE   ... www.taylormali.com

A wonderful sermon - "I'm through with love," The Rev. Matthew Gaventa

A wonderful and challenging and hope-filled sermon by my friend Matt Gaventa is really a must-read, as we are all reminded once again of the ways that Depression can strike right at the heart of what is good and true and enduring.



I'm through with love, The Rev. Matt Gaventa 
Sunday sermon from Sunday, August 17, 2014
Text: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Given at Amherst Presbyterian Church, Amherst, Virginia 
When I was 15 years old my father disappeared without leaving the house. His body didn’t go anywhere new, but he disappeared, and this pale imitation showed up in his place. In some ways, it was a pretty good copy. For a while, he could go to his job, he could go to the grocery store, he could drop off the dry cleaning. I’m sure the clerk at the gas station didn’t notice anything different. But we knew, mom and I, we knew. Or at least she knew. I’d like to tell you that I was right there, that I was in the room when we first noticed that real Dad had been swapped out for some cut-rate photocopy, but I was 15, and life was busy, and I was busy with everything except the emotional health of my own parents, which had never in my life been something that I had needed to take care of. I can’t swear that I was paying close enough attention to notice that my father had in fact disappeared, but it makes me look a little better in this story if I loop myself in, so let’s just say: when I was 15, my father disappeared without leaving home, and only a very few people knew, but Mom and I, we knew. 
The thing was, once you noticed, you couldn’t not notice. My father — and some of you have met him, and maybe you will recall enough to back me up — my father can talk to anyone. He’s got no end of charisma; he’s got no end of charm. He smiles with his eyes, and the way he does it is just to let out for a split second some fractional gasp of the joy that radiates in his heart, and it lights up the room, and when he disappeared, everything changed. When that pale copy of my father entered the room, you could feel the temperature drop five degrees. You could taste the shadow of a few scattered clouds drifting in front of the sunlight. He was a grayscale ghost in a technicolor world, and when you looked in his eyes – when you looked in its eyes – there was no smile. There was no joy. He didn’t want to talk to you; he didn’t want to know you, he didn’t want anything, because he wasn’t there, because he’d disappeared, without leaving home. 
I don’t remember when I first heard the word “Depression,” I mean, in a clinical sense. Anybody can be depressed; everybody gets depressed, lower-case D, every once in a while. I get depressed when the Braves are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, which, judging by their performance as of late, will be any moment now, but that wasn’t this. This was the real deal. On my 16th birthday my parents, in conjunction with my dad’s therapist, decided that my father was under such a cloud of acute Clinical Depression as to merit hospitalization. As a birthday present, they waited until the day after to let me know, which, in retrospect, seems fair. He checked himself in to the psychiatric wing of Princeton hospital, the acute ward, which is the one where they take your shoelaces and your belt and anything else that you can make into a noose. It was a very grayscale place, and it fit him perfectly. 
Mom and I didn’t really talk about it with the outside world, not much. What do you say that possibly sets anybody up to ask a follow-up question you might want to answer? “Well, my father’s in the hospital with acute Clinical Depression” invariably led to something like “What’s he so sad about?” which may be actually the worst possible follow-up question. Were there parts of my father’s biography helping to gather the fuel for his Depression? Absolutely. He grew up in a family where expressing your emotions wasn’t exactly smiled upon, and as a consequence it was always going to be harder for him to process anger, shame, anxiety, fear, you name it. And were there parts of my father’s life in 1995 that helped light the match? Almost certainly. His office routine was stressful in ways I don’t think anybody else has ever entirely understood, and, you know, he had a bratty teenage son who probably wasn’t helping anything. Well, I told him I loved him. More than a few times. We all did. What else can you do? I told him I loved him, because it was true, and because I didn’t know what else to say, and because I didn’t know how else I could help, and because I thought it might help, and because I thought “how could anyone be sad who is so well loved?,” and because I thought “Love never fails,” and because I thought “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things,” and surely, if we love him enough, if he just sees how much we love him, surely he’ll come back.

Read the rest HERE at Matt's blog - www.mattgaventa.org

Friday, August 15, 2014

Who will be the next leader of The Episcopal Cafe?

I received word that my friend and colleague, Jim Naughton, will be stepping down as the intrepid leader of The Episcopal Cafe.  If anyone is interested in taking up the mantle, do be in touch with him or with the news team!  I was delighted to be a news editor of the Cafe for a year or two, and also contributed a few essays to the Daily Episcopalian.  I agree with Jim that we in the Episcopal Church need an independent news source and I hope that there will be folks who will take on the challenge.

In the meanwhile, blessings and gratitude to Jim Naughton and all the wonderful folks who have made the Episcopal Cafe a wonderful source over these last 9 years!

Blessings,

Peter Carey+

See the posting below or HERE:


Dear friends and readers,
After almost nine years of blogging at the Episcopal Café and its predecessors, I have decided to pursue a new project. I will be stepping down as the editor of the Café by the end of the year. I have loved bringing you the news each day and participating in the debates and conversations about what God is calling our church to do, but I am eager to devote my energy to a different kind of writing.
The news blogging team and I haven’t determined whether it is time to close the Café, and we’d like to hear from some of you before we make that decision.
In its eight year of operation, the Cafe draws more than 330,000 visitors per year, and it is flourishing on Facebook, where it has more than 11,600 followers, and on Twitter, where it has more than 10,600 followers. Yet several key news bloggers, including Ann Fontaine, who not only works on The Lead each Tuesday, but who also manages the Daily Episcopalian and Speaking to the Soul blogs, are ready for a break from the rigors of keeping the Café running. Additionally, the Café is still running on the same now-outdated software on which it was launched in April of 2007, and Bill Joseph, our ingenious web master, can only keep us afloat for so long.
To remain viable, the Café needs a significant infusion of cash and a new content management system. It also needs to be redesigned, not just to give it a fresh look, but also to reflect the tremendous growth of social media that has taken place since the Café was founded. (The Video blog, for instance, is obsolete thanks to the proliferation of content on YouTube and Vimeo.) I’ve explored a few partnerships and sources of funding over the last few years, but, in the end, it is difficult to get large institutions to give you money without trading away some editorial independence, and I thought that was a bad idea.
What we are wondering is whether there is anyone, or, more likely, any ones, who have an interest in keep the Café going. Most of the news team is at ease with the decision to cease publication before the end of the year. But if there are folks out there who have the interest, energy and expertise to keep the Café going, I’d be willing to listen to your ideas. I wouldn’t want to hand the Café over to a person or group that wasn’t entirely committed to the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the church, or who had any doubts about the ordination of women to all orders of ministry. I am not interested in having the Café become a platform for people who want either to diminish the authority of lay people in the church, or diminish the role of the General Convention in shaping the social justice policies of the church. It is also important to me that the Café continue to be good at what it does. I’d like to know that a group of conscientious and committed people with at least a modicum of experience in curating news stories and catalyzing online conversation was going to be at the controls.
I would be delighted if the work of the Café could continue. The Episcopal Church needs an independent news source. It needs an outlet at which new ideas can be raised and evaluated. It needs a website and social media presence that can call attention to the good work being done by independent bloggers with whom much of the church is not yet familiar. But after almost nine years as a church blogger and church news editor, I’ve done that particular kind of work long enough, and most of the news team, including original cast members John Chilton, Ann Fontaine and Andrew Gerns are also ready to give up what can be a time intensive weekly commitment.
If you are interested in attempting to sustain the Café, please contact me or leave your name in the comments.
We will keep everyone posted if there are developments.
With gratitude for this great ride,
Jim Naughto
n



Wednesday, August 06, 2014

The rise of the helicopter teacher

Interesting food for thought here in this article from the Chronicle of Higher Education.

 by 
The Rise of the Helicopter Teacher
A week before the first paper was due, a young woman in my class raised her hand and asked where the rubric was. 
Shamefaced and stuttering, I had to admit that I had no idea what a rubric was. She helpfully explained that this was a set of guidelines explaining what I expected them to write, how I expected them to write it, and how each aspect of the paper would be evaluated. A set of boxes that students could check off to guarantee that they had met my expectations. For all intents and purposes, in other words, an outline for the paper.
Oh, I replied. No, I continued, there would be no rubric. And as I saw the crestfallen faces in front of me I realized what these students expected me to be: a helicopter teacher.
We have all seen (and made fun of) helicopter parents. They hover. They are endlessly accommodating. They put up with rude, spoiled behavior from their children without offering much by way of discipline or punishment. 
Over the last generation or so, teaching has come to resemble parenting in several ways, swayed by the currents of hyper-parenting that come from the larger culture and responding to the dictates that come down to us from higher up our institutional food chains. 
Read the rest HERE

The call never lies within our own power



Obedience to the call of Jesus never lies within our own power. If, for instance, we give away all our possessions, that act is not in itself the obedience he demands. In fact such a step might be the precise opposite of obedience to Jesus, for we might then be choosing a way of life for ourselves, some Christian ideal, or some ideal of Franciscan poverty…. The step into the situation where faith is possible is not an offer which we can make to Jesus, but always his gracious offer to us. Only when the step is taken in this spirit is it admissible.

~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

The Pope gives advice for being a happy person


THE POPE JUST RELEASED A LIST OF 10 TIPS FOR BECOMING THE POPE JUST RELEASED A LIST OF 10 TIPS FOR BECOMING A HAPPIER PERSON AND THEY ARE SPOT ON


IN A RECENT INTERVIEW WITH THE ARGENTINE PUBLICATION VIVA, POPE FRANCIS ISSUED A LIST OF 10 TIPS TO BE A HAPPIER PERSON, BASED ON HIS OWN LIFE EXPERIENCES.


The Pope encouraged people to be more positive and generous, to turn off the TV and find healthier forms of leisure, and even to stop trying to convert people to one’s own religion.
But his number one piece of advice came in the form of a somewhat cliche Italian phrase that means, “move forward and let others do the same.” It’s basically the Italian equivalent of, “live and let live.” You can check out the full list below.

The Pope gives a thumbs up to an audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. (Photo: CSV)

The Pope’s 10 Tips for a Happier Life
1. “Live and let live.” Everyone should be guided by this principle, he said, which has a similar expression in Rome with the saying, “Move forward and let others do the same.”
2. “Be giving of yourself to others.” People need to be open and generous toward others, he said, because “if you withdraw into yourself, you run the risk of becoming egocentric. And stagnant water becomes putrid.”
3. “Proceed calmly” in life. The pope, who used to teach high school literature, used an image from an Argentine novel by Ricardo Guiraldes, in which the protagonist — gaucho Don Segundo Sombra — looks back on how he lived his life.
4. A healthy sense of leisure. The Pope said “consumerism has brought us anxiety”, and told parents to set aside time to play with their children and turn of the TV when they sit down to eat.
5. Sundays should be holidays. Workers should have Sundays off because “Sunday is for family,” he said.
6. Find innovative ways to create dignified jobs for young people.“We need to be creative with young people. If they have no opportunities they will get into drugs” and be more vulnerable to suicide, he said.
7. Respect and take care of nature. Environmental degradation “is one of the biggest challenges we have,” he said. “I think a question that we’re not asking ourselves is: ‘Isn’t humanity committing suicide with this indiscriminate and tyrannical use of nature?’”
8. Stop being negative. “Needing to talk badly about others indicates low self-esteem. That means, ‘I feel so low that instead of picking myself up I have to cut others down,’” the Pope said. “Letting go of negative things quickly is healthy.”
9. Don’t proselytise; respect others’ beliefs. “We can inspire others through witness so that one grows together in communicating. But the worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyses: ‘I am talking with you in order to persuade you,’ No. Each person dialogues, starting with his and her own identity. The church grows by attraction, not proselytising,” the Pope said.
10. Work for peace. “We are living in a time of many wars,” he said, and “the call for peace must be shouted. Peace sometimes gives the impression of being quiet, but it is never quiet, peace is always proactive” and dynamic.
Courtesy of the Catholic News Service.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The kingdom of God



The kingdom of God is not something in the far future that is going suddenly to come down from heaven and settle on you and magically turn everything right. You yourselves are It. It’s in you and among you; you have to do It or It will never come.


posted in the Inward/Outward blog

No time to think?

This opinion piece in yesterday's New York Times, "No time to think," is essential reading for all of us who have issues with being "too busy," and who are tied up with our devices!


No Time to Think
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ONE of the biggest complaints in modern society is being overscheduled, overcommitted and overextended. Ask people at a social gathering how they are and the stock answer is “super busy,” “crazy busy” or “insanely busy.” Nobody is just “fine” anymore.
When people aren’t super busy at work, they are crazy busy exercising, entertaining or taking their kids to Chinese lessons. Or maybe they are insanely busy playing fantasy football, tracing their genealogy or churning their own butter.
And if there is ever a still moment for reflective thought — say, while waiting in line at the grocery store or sitting in traffic — out comes the mobile device. So it’s worth noting a study published last month in the journal Science, which shows how far people will go to avoid introspection.
“We had noted how wedded to our devices we all seem to be and that people seem to find any excuse they can to keep busy,” said Timothy Wilson, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia and lead author of the study.
READ IT ALL HERE

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Communion on the moon 45 years ago


45 Years ago humans stepped onto the moon.  Did you know that they also shared communion?

Pretty interesting blogpost from 5 years ago over at "Irenic Thoughts."  Check it out:

~Chaplain Carey


Communion on the Moon

Buzz Aldrin steps down to the surface of the moon
You will read and hear much today of what happened 40 years ago on July 20, 1969. Neil Armstrong's "One small step for man" will be replayed again and again. But minutes after the lunar landing and prior to the moonwalk, Lunar Module pilot Buzz Aldrin radioed back to earth,
Houston, this is Eagle. This is the LM pilot speaking. I would like to request a few moments of silence. I would like to invite each person listening in, whoever or wherever he may be, to contemplate for a moment the events of the last few hours, and to give thanks in his own individual way.
Silence was all he could request. In his autobiography Aldrin would write, "NASA was already embroiled in a legal battle with Madelyn Murray O'Hare, the celebrated opponent of religion, over the Apollo 8 crew reading from Genesis while orbiting the moon at Christmas." A presbyterian layman, Aldrin arranged to take reserved sacrament (already blessed bread and wine) with him to the moon. He had a Ph.D. in astrophysics from MIT, and he was a man smart enough to think of no better way to offer thanks for the moon landing. He had permission to bring the sacrament on board as long as he didn't talk of it for two decades. He would later write,
In the radio blackout, I opened the little plastic packages which contained the bread and the wine. I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. Buzz Aldrin on the moonIn the one-sixth gravity of the moon, the wine slowly curled and gracefully came up the side of the cup. Then I read the Scripture, "I am the vine, you are the branches. Whosoever abides in me will bring forth much fruit....Eagle's metal body creaked. I ate the tiny Host and swallowed the wine. I gave thanks for the intelligence and spirit that had brought two young pilots to the Sea of Tranquility. It was interesting for me to think: the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the very first food eaten there, were the communion elements.
This day marks the 40th anniversary of that communion on the moon. The following prayer for space travel is appropriate for this day:
Creator of the universe, whose dominion extends through the immensity of space: guide and guard those who seek to fathom its mysteries. Save us from arrogance lest we forget that our achievements are grounded in thee, and, by the grace of thy Holy Spirit, protect our travels beyond the reaches of earth, that we may glory ever more in the wonder of thy creation: through Jesus Christ, thy Word, by whom all things came to be, who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

an experience of being alive




"People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive ... Experience of life. The mind has to do with meaning. What’s the meaning of a flower? ... There’s no meaning. What’s the meaning of a flea? It’s just there. That’s it. And your own meaning is that you’re there."

-- Joseph Campbell and The Power of Myth (with Bill Moyers) pp. 4,5 (small paperback edition)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

May the road rise up to meet you



May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Psalm 23 ~ a healing balm



Transitions are difficult, even with the excitement of the "next thing", it can be hard to move through change.  I have known that I have difficulty with transitions, especially moving, however, I also have confidence that there are blessings even among the days of change.  Even though it can feel daunting, I have confidence that God is with us in these transitions, and "goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our lives!"

May it be so!



Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: 
he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: 
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: 
thou anointest my head with oil; 
my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: 
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Evan Longoria rocks the one-handed catch to save a reporter!

Wow! Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays makes an incredible catch during an interview!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Ubuntu Theology described by Desmond Tutu

How could we understand something of the way that the "persons" of the Trinity are both unique and also intertwined with one another?

Perhaps Ubuntu, as described by Desmond Tutu, might tell us something of the Trinity, and also perhaps something about how we are in relationship with one another.







Images of the Trinity: Rublev's Icon


Monday, June 09, 2014

A great Pentecost at St. Paul's Memorial yesterday!

A new deacon, 3 baptisms, great Spirit, and I preached on one of my favorite passages!  

Pentecost Blessings!!!





John 20:19-23

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

Friday, June 06, 2014

D-Day -- Honoring those who served




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.
Thanksgiving for Heroic Service, BCP 1979



Normandy, 1997 Photo Credit: Peter Carey



Thursday, June 05, 2014

Pentecost! Put on your crash helmets!






On the whole, I do not find Christians, outside the catacombs, sufficiently sensible of the conditions. Does any-one have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies' straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping god may wake some day and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return."
~Annie Dillard~Teaching a Stone to Talk

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Rowan Williams offers his thoughts on Pentecost

The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, gives his thoughts on Pentecost, the seventh Sunday after Easter, is 'the moment when the friends of Jesus discover that they can communicate to all sorts of people they never thought that they would be speaking to'.

Glad to see I got a shout-out on Patheos Blog!

Glad to see I got a shout-out on Patheos Blog (even if it was many months ago!)



A Benedictine Blessing

I must admit, I didn’t pay much attention to Sunday’s service. I think the sermon went something like, “Be your true self as you were created in God’s image,” but I don’t remember details. I was tired and a little bit cold. And mostly my brain was honing in on the mountain of schoolwork that awaited me at home.  But then, as I flipped through my hymnal in preparation for our closing tune, Rev. Peter Carey read off this blessing:
May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships so that we may live deep within our hearts. Amen. 
May God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people so that we may work for justice, freedom and peace. Amen.
May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that we may reach out our hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy. Amen.
May God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in this world, so that we can do what others claim cannot be done. Amen.
Suddenly I was present.  “Read it again,” I wanted to say. I wished to hear it spoken once more in Rev. Peter’s powerful voice. I wanted someone to shower me with those true and honest words.
This blessing, as they often do, came at the perfect time. Here on the East Coast, we’re staring down Hurricane Sandy. And nation-wide, Election Tuesday is but a week away. Keeping in mind the impending consequences of both events, this Four-fold Benedictine Blessing asks God for some unusual things: discomfort, anger, tears, and foolishness.
Wait a second… discomfort?
Discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships.
Anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people.
Tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war.
Foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in this world.
This blessing, above all, calls us to be better citizens of this world. It asks us to open our eyes to what’s happening not only in our backyard but also half of a world away. In the context of this week, I think it says, “Shed tears for those suffering the wrath of the storm.” For many, it might mean a day off of work or school, but for many others it means destruction and devastation.


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Tuesday, June 03, 2014

The Holy Spirit ~ Sweeping our house empty!


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 are 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 whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

-- Jelaluddin Rumi,
    translation by Coleman Barks

Monday, June 02, 2014

Four - Fold Franciscan Blessing

From time to time, I use this blessing, that I first heard in Washington, DC at the Church of the Epiphany back in 2004.  I have a copy of it pasted in the back of my prayer book and I prayed it yesterday at the end of our service.  There are slightly different versions of it, but this is my favorite.

Some have argued that it's origin is likely more Benedictine than Franciscan, but, when I first discovered it, it was called a Four-Fold Franciscan Blessing, so that is what I call it.

Blessings!

Peter+

Four - Fold Franciscan Blessing

May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers,
half truths, and superficial relationships,
so that we may live deep within our hearts. Amen.

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

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

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