Tuesday, January 26, 2016

God's call



God’s call is mysterious; it comes in the darkness of faith. It is so fine, so subtle, that it is only with the deepest silence within us that we can hear it. And yet nothing is so decisive and overpowering for a human on this earth, nothing surer or stronger. This call is uninterrupted: God is always calling us.



(Posted in "Inside/Outside" Blog)

Friday, January 15, 2016

The very love of God reaching out to us all


Bishop Michael Curry: We are a "House of Prayer for All People"



From Presiding Bishop Curry:
“Many of us have committed ourselves and our church to being ‘a house of prayer for all people,’ as the Bible says, when all are truly welcome,” Curry said in remarks he later made available to Episcopal News Service.

“Our commitment to be an inclusive church is not based on a social theory or capitulation to the ways of the culture, but on our belief that the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross are a sign of the very love of God reaching out to us all. While I understand that many disagree with us, our decision regarding marriage is based on the belief that the words of the Apostle Paul to the Galatians are true for the church today: All who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female, for all are one in Christ.”

“For so many who are committed to following Jesus in the way of love and being a church that lives that love, this decision will bring real pain,” he said. “For fellow disciples of Jesus in our church who are gay or lesbian, this will bring more pain. For many who have felt and been rejected by the church because of who they are, for many who have felt and been rejected by families and communities, our church opening itself in love was a sign of hope. And this will add pain on top of pain.”

Curry told the primates that he was in no sense comparing his own pain to theirs, but “I stand before you as your brother. I stand before you as a descendant of African slaves, stolen from their native land, enslaved in a bitter bondage, and then even after emancipation, segregated and excluded in church and society. And this conjures that up again, and brings pain.

“The pain for many will be real. But God is greater than anything. I love Jesus and I love the church. I am a Christian in the Anglican way. And like you, as we have said in this meeting, I am committed to ‘walking together’ with you as fellow primates in the Anglican family.”

Monday, January 04, 2016

Finding God in the World - my essay posted at NAES Blog

My essay on "Finding God in the World" was posted at the National Association of Episcopal Schools "Commons" blog today:

Finding God in the World

The Rev. Peter M. Carey
January 04, 2016

My Episcopal priest when I was growing up always said that he loved getting books for Christmas, but that he wished that people could also grant him the time to read them as well. It is a blessing to serve as a school chaplain and have a bit of time to read in the days following Christmas.
Over the last few days, I have had the great pleasure to read the new book, Grounded: Finding God in the World – A Spiritual Revolution, by my friend and former professor, Diana Butler Bass. Diana is a wonderful writer, and is grounded (pun intended) as a student of history, theology, and the church. InGrounded, she describes some of the ways that we can know God that may surprise us with their apparent “newness,” even though they are also rooted deeply to the theological tradition.She speaks of the ways that people are finding the nearness of God :
Far too many people who understand God in these ways probably do not know how rich the tradition is that speaks of God with us, God in the stars and sunrise, God as the face of their neighbor, God in the act of justice, or God as the wonder of love. The language of divine nearness is the very heart of vibrant faith. Yet it has often been obscured by vertical theologies and elevator institutions, which, I suspect, are far easier to both explain and control. Drawing God within the circle of the world is a messy and sometimes dangerous business.
As a school chaplain, I loved hearing her descriptions of the ways that more and more people are becoming aware of God not as a distant and nearly absent rule-maker or watchmaker. Rather, Diana describes the plethora of ways that we can know and experience God who is nearby us, among us, and grounded in the soil, water, air, and in the communities in which we dwell.
As I make my way around campus, I find that God is present, not only in chapel services or in the midst of time for prayer and meditation, but also in the everyday moments in a school’s life. Whether it is in the athletic training room where our caring trainers help our athletes to heal, or in the lower division lunchroom where parent volunteers help our littlest ones find sustenance. God is present in our vegetable garden that our middle division director tends along with her student gardening club. God is also present in the grand performances on stage and on athletic fields, and is also present in the moments of disappointment and defeat as team members care for one another.
In this new calendar year, I am not taking on any new resolutions. However, I am praying for the gift of awareness of the ways that God is present and loving in the midst of the everyday stuff of the world. My second prayer is to help others to see the ways that God is present in the midst of us, and give thanks for this everyday gift of seeing “God within the circle of the world.”

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Much abides

Ulysses

BY ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON
It little profits that an idle king, 
By this still hearth, among these barren crags, 
Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole 
Unequal laws unto a savage race, 
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me. 
I cannot rest from travel: I will drink 
Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy'd 
Greatly, have suffer'd greatly, both with those 
That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when 
Thro' scudding drifts the rainy Hyades 
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name; 
For always roaming with a hungry heart 
Much have I seen and known; cities of men 
And manners, climates, councils, governments, 
Myself not least, but honour'd of them all; 
And drunk delight of battle with my peers, 
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy. 
I am a part of all that I have met; 
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro' 
Gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades 
For ever and forever when I move. 
How dull it is to pause, to make an end, 
To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use! 
As tho' to breathe were life! Life piled on life 
Were all too little, and of one to me 
Little remains: but every hour is saved 
From that eternal silence, something more, 
A bringer of new things; and vile it were 
For some three suns to store and hoard myself, 
And this gray spirit yearning in desire 
To follow knowledge like a sinking star, 
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought. 

         This is my son, mine own Telemachus, 
To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle,— 
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil 
This labour, by slow prudence to make mild 
A rugged people, and thro' soft degrees 
Subdue them to the useful and the good. 
Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere 
Of common duties, decent not to fail 
In offices of tenderness, and pay 
Meet adoration to my household gods, 
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine. 

         There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail: 
There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners, 
Souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and thought with me— 
That ever with a frolic welcome took 
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed 
Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old; 
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil; 
Death closes all: but something ere the end, 
Some work of noble note, may yet be done, 
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods. 
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks: 
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep 
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends, 
'T is not too late to seek a newer world. 
Push off, and sitting well in order smite 
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds 
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths 
Of all the western stars, until I die. 
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down: 
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles, 
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew. 
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho' 
We are not now that strength which in old days 
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are; 
One equal temper of heroic hearts, 
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will 
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Parenting in the Age of Awfulness



Parenting in the Age of Awfulness

Children are immersed in a culture that stokes disrespect. Here’s how to instill some civility.

ENLARGE
PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES/VETTA
Kyle was absorbed in a videogame on his cellphone, so I asked his mom, “How long has Kyle had a stomach ache?” Mom said, “I’m thinking it’s been about two days.” Then Kyle replied, “Shut up, mom. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” And he gave a snorty laugh, without looking up from his videogame. Kyle is 10 years old.
I have been a physician for 29 years. This sort of language and behavior from a 10-year-old was very rare in the 1980s and 1990s. It would have been unusual a decade ago. It is common today. America’s children are immersed in a culture of disrespect: for parents, teachers, and one another. They learn it from television, even on the Disney Channel, where parents are portrayed as clueless, out-of-touch or absent. They learn it from celebrities or the Internet. They learn it from social media. They teach it to one another. They wear T-shirts emblazoned with slogans like “I’m not shy. I just don’t like you.”
The challenge of raising children in America today is different from 30 or 50 years ago. Back then popular culture supported the authority of parents, whether it was the “Andy Griffith Show” in the 1960s or “Family Ties” in the 1980s. Kids are not born knowing how to be respectful. They have to be taught.
Read it all at The Wall Street Journal

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Autopsy: 5 Thoughts about the Death of Christmas

Christmas Autopsy: 5 Thoughts about the Death of Christmas

ID-100169914The war on Christmas has become an annual topic of conversation.
This year The Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Henningereven declared that Christmas is dead.
Is it time for an autopsy?
Scanning the store windows up and down New York’s Fifth Avenue, Henninger chronicled the ways in which major commercial outlets had erased even the most sentimental traces of Christmas from their windows, replacing Santa Claus and his elves with palm readers; the Roman god, Neptune; and the inebriated and seductive images of holiday revelers.  Only Macy’s, Henninger notes, held out and featured Charlie Brown and the gang.
Do these developments suggest a trend, or what Henninger describes as the “de-sanctification” of Christmas?  Probably. But it is perilously easy to overestimate the significance of New York ad agencies and window dressers.
Would Christian leaders be well advised to pay attention to what is happening in the culture around them?  Sure.
Christians need to be active observers of the world around them.
But how should the church respond?  Shall we wring our hands?  Offer new legislation?
Let’s not waste our time.
Instead, let’s strike out in a new and decisively constructive direction in 2016 and make a few notes for the future:
One: Remember that the culture is not the custodian of the Christian tradition.  The church is the custodian of Christmas. 
Nothing about our cultural traditions will ever be deeply articulate or spiritually and theologically grounded.  It will always be deeply colored by sentimentality, commercialism.  The culture will always distort and exploit the message of Christmas.
Two: Remember that your vocation is to provide leadership for the church.  You are not the custodian of the culture’s conscience.
The Constitution and the country is – by design – pluralistic and must be.  That priority preserves freedom of choice and freedom from tyranny of any and every kind.
Churches offer a place for faith formation to those who have made their choice; and clergy are charged with nurturing the means of grace that deepen the lives of those who have made that choice.
Three: Mine the rich traditions of Christmas — its narratives, its central figures, its traditions and theology. 
There are countless untapped resources in the church’s tradition, most of which go untouched in any given year.  Who needs Charlie Brown, anyway?
Four: Find ways in which to engage the members of your congregation in the active sanctification of the season, urging them to make worship a centerpiece of the celebration.
Who cares what is in Bergdorf Goodman’s window, when the smallest numbers of the year in most churches is the attendance at a Christmas day service?  The latter should concern us far more than the former.
Five: Look for new ways to engage families in the season-long observance of Christmas at home.
What our churches really lack is a sense of celebration and occasion, particularly at home.  Help the church’s families to recapture an understanding of Christmas that transcends the sentimental and you need not worry about what is in Macy’s window.

Friday, December 25, 2015

St. John Chrysostom’s Christmas Homily


St. John Chrysostom’s Christmas Homily


BEHOLD a new and wondrous mystery. My ears resound to the Shepherd’s song, piping no soft melody, but chanting full forth a heavenly hymn. The Angels sing. The Archangels blend their voice in harmony. The Cherubim hymn their joyful praise. The Seraphim exalt His glory. All join to praise this holy feast, beholding the Godhead here on earth, and man in heaven. He Who is above, now for our redemption dwells here below; and he that was lowly is by divine mercy raised.

Bethlehem this day resembles heaven; hearing from the stars the singing of angelic voices; and in place of the sun, enfolds within itself on every side, the Sun of justice. And ask not how: for where God wills, the order of nature yields. For He willed, He had the power, He descended, He redeemed; all things yielded in obedience to God. This day He Who is, is Born; and He Who is, becomes what He was not. For when He was God, He became man; yet not departing from the Godhead that is His. Nor yet by any loss of divinity became He man, nor through increase became He God from man; but being the Word He became flesh, His nature, because of impassability, remaining unchanged.

And so the kings have come, and they have seen the heavenly King that has come upon the earth, not bringing with Him Angels, nor Archangels, nor Thrones, nor Dominations, nor Powers, nor Principalities, but, treading a new and solitary path, He has come forth from a spotless womb.

Since this heavenly birth cannot be described, neither does His coming amongst us in these days permit of too curious scrutiny. Though I know that a Virgin this day gave birth, and I believe that God was begotten before all time, yet the manner of this generation I have learned to venerate in silence and I accept that this is not to be probed too curiously with wordy speech. For with God we look not for the order of nature, but rest our faith in the power of Him who works.

What shall I say to you; what shall I tell you? I behold a Mother who has brought forth; I see a Child come to this light by birth. The manner of His conception I cannot comprehend.
Nature here rested, while the Will of God labored. O ineffable grace! The Only Begotten, Who is before all ages, Who cannot be touched or be perceived, Who is simple, without body, has now put on my body, that is visible and liable to corruption. For what reason? That coming amongst us he may teach us, and teaching, lead us by the hand to the things that men cannot see. For since men believe that the eyes are more trustworthy than the ears, they doubt of that which they do not see, and so He has deigned to show Himself in bodily presence, that He may remove all doubt.

Christ, finding the holy body and soul of the Virgin, builds for Himself a living temple, and as He had willed, formed there a man from the Virgin; and, putting Him on, this day came forth; unashamed of the lowliness of our nature’. For it was to Him no lowering to put on what He Himself had made. Let that handiwork be forever glorified, which became the cloak of its own Creator. For as in the first creation of flesh, man could not be made before the clay had come into His hand, so neither could this corruptible body be glorified, until it had first become the garment of its Maker.
What shall I say! And how shall I describe this Birth to you? For this wonder fills me with astonishment. The Ancient of days has become an infant. He Who sits upon the sublime and heavenly Throne, now lies in a manger. And He Who cannot be touched, Who is simple, without complexity, and incorporeal, now lies subject to the hands of men. He Who has broken the bonds of sinners, is now bound by an infants bands. But He has decreed that ignominy shall become honor, infamy be clothed with glory, and total humiliation the measure of His Goodness.

For this He assumed my body, that I may become capable of His Word; taking my flesh, He gives me His spirit; and so He bestowing and I receiving, He prepares for me the treasure of Life. He takes my flesh, to sanctify me; He gives me His Spirit, that He may save me.

Come, then, let us observe the Feast. Truly wondrous is the whole chronicle of the Nativity. For this day the ancient slavery is ended, the devil confounded, the demons take to flight, the power of death is broken, paradise is unlocked, the curse is taken away, sin is removed from us, error driven out, truth has been brought back, the speech of kindliness diffused, and spreads on every side, a heavenly way of life has been ‘in planted on the earth, angels communicate with men without fear, and men now hold speech with angels.

Why is this? Because God is now on earth, and man in heaven; on every side all things commingle. He became Flesh. He did not become God. He was God. Wherefore He became flesh, so that He Whom heaven did not contain, a manger would this day receive. He was placed in a manger, so that He, by whom all things arc nourished, may receive an infant’s food from His Virgin Mother. So, the Father of all ages, as an infant at the breast, nestles in the virginal arms, that the Magi may more easily see Him. Since this day the Magi too have come, and made a beginning of withstanding tyranny; and the heavens give glory, as the Lord is revealed by a star.

To Him, then, Who out of confusion has wrought a clear path, to Christ, to the Father, and to the Holy Ghost, we offer all praise, now and for ever. Amen.

Source

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Take our minds, and think through them




Take our minds, and think through them.
Take our lips, and speak through them.
Take our hearts, and set them on fire with love for thee.
What we know not, teach us.
What we have not, give us.
What we are not, make us.
For Jesus Christ's sake.  Amen.



By Donald Coggan (1909-2000) - former Archbishop of Canterbury

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Stir up your power!



Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Collect for the Third Sunday of Advent

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Thomas Merton - 31 January 1915 - 10 December 1968

Thomas Merton - 31 January 1915 -  10 December 1968


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. Amen.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

A new heaven and a new earth

Advent is a season of preparation; preparation for newness, for new life, for new hope, for a new outlook, for God breaking into our lives in new and unexpected ways.  The book of Revelation has a wonderful vision of the new world that God has in store for us!

~The Rev. Peter M. Carey



Revelation 21:1-7

I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
"See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them as their God;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away."
And the one who was seated on the throne said, "See, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true." Then he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Feast of St. Andrew

Feast of St. Andrew, the great bridge-maker and "introducer" of Jesus to others!



Almighty God, who gave such grace to your apostle Andrew that he readily obeyed the call of your Son Jesus Christ, and brought his brother with him: Give us, who are called by your Holy Word, grace to follow him without delay, and to bring those near to us into his gracious presence; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Matthew 4:18-22

As Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea-- for they were fishermen. And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fish for people." Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.

Video Advent Calendar - Day 2 - Meet Brother Geoffrey

Video Advent Calendar - Day 2 - Meet Brother Geoffrey

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Cast away the works of darkness!




Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Attentiveness




"This is the first, wildest, and wisest thing I know, that the soul exists and that it is built entirely out of attentiveness." —Mary Oliver

The task of education




“It is the foremost task of education to insure the survival of these qualities: an enterprising curiosity, an undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, readiness for sensible denial, and above all, compassion.” 

~Kurt Hahn, Outward Bound Founder

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Prayers from the service of Compline




Prayers from the service of Compline 

Be our light in the darkness, O Lord, and in your great mercy
defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the
love of your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the hours
of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and
chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Look down, O Lord, from your heavenly throne, and
illumine this night with your celestial brightness; that by
night as by day your people may glorify your holy Name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Visit this place, O Lord, and drive far from it all snares of the
enemy; let your holy angels dwell with us to preserve us in
peace; and let your blessing be upon us always; through Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen.

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or
weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who
sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless
the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the
joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.

O God, your unfailing providence sustains the world we live
in and the life we live: Watch over those, both night and day,
who work while others sleep, and grant that we may never
forget that our common life depends upon each other's toil;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Open my lips, O Lord




Open my lips, O Lord, *
    and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, *
    and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence *
    and take not your holy Spirit from me.
Give me the joy of your saving help again *
    and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.
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.

~From Psalm 51

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Parable of the Good Samaritan



Luke 10:25-37New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

25 Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus.[a] “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” 27 He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”
29 But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii,[b] gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 10:25 Gk him
  2. Luke 10:35 The denarius was the usual day’s wage for a laborer
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Reflections on the recent events in Paris

Upper Division Convocation
The Rev. Peter M. Carey
Berkeley Preparatory School, Tampa, Florida
19 November 2015

Let us pray

Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace. Amen.

We have been reminded all too often in recent times of the ways that religion can be bent and perverted to evil uses. 

And so, it is very important to remember what former president, George Bush stated just six days after 9-11 when he spoke at the Islamic Center in Washington, DC:

“The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam.  That’s not what Islam is all about.  Islam is peace.  These terrorists represent evil and war.  When we think of Islam we think of a faith that brings comfort to a billion people around the world.  Billions of people find comfort and solace and peace.  And that’s made brothers and sisters out of every race – out of every race.  (America counts millions of Muslims amongst our citizens, and Muslims make an incredibly valuable contribution to our country.  Muslims are doctors, lawyers, law professors, members of the military, entrepeneurs, shopkeepers, moms and dads.  And they need to be treated with respect.)  In our anger and emotion, our fellow Americans must treat each other with respect.”

These are helpful words to remember as we continue to learn more about these terrible attacks, and consider the best way to counter the despicable acts by these fringe groups.  Like many of you, France is close to my heart.  My parents visit France each year, and were just recently there this Fall.  I myself love France and have spent time right where some of these attacks occurred.

Just as Paris was reeling, I received word from my friend and former headmaster Ham Clark (the cousin of two Berkeley students) who is now head of a school in Beirut that his school community is also reeling from multiple bombings nearby. 

And so, like you perhaps, I am feeling many emotions: anger, fear, sadness, helplessness … so, how might we respond.  I would pray that we respond with the desire to learn as much as we can about these events, while also holding true to the “better angels of our natures.”

One Parisian who is living in the US had this quite profound response:

"It is so easy to hate. It is so much harder to quell and extinguish hatred, especially at moments like this. But, if we are to be victorious in this struggle, we must begin by owning our own selves and exercising self-control. We must not allow ISIS to plant their evil banner in our hearts and souls...We have to unite to fight this evil and mourn the loss of these young lives, not just in Paris but in Egypt, in Lebanon, in India, to name a few places." ~Christele Furey

As our own French student, Charly Pollet shared the other day:

“We fight terrorism with love, compassion, and joy (joie de vivre)  by cherishing our life, being thankful for each and everyday.  Remember the French community around the world and here at Berkeley as well as the victims of terrorism everywhere.  “Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever”- Gandhi

One way that Parisians are standing up to terror is by the simple, and yet profound, act of returning to their beloved cafes – the very places which were the sites of some of these violent acts.  And so, as I again ask us to pray, I lift my coffee cup to those Parisians, those citizens of Beirut, of Egypt, of India, and elsewhere who are standing up to this evil. 


Let us pray


Almighty God.  Broaden our minds and hearts so that we may find solutions to terrible situations while also acting out of compassion and loving kindness.  Help us to seek the good, while we also root out evil.  Help us to see recognize the interconnectedness of our ever shrinking world and to see one another as fellow brothers and sisters.  Amen.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Lead from trust, hope, and faith



We have places of fear inside of us, but we have other places as well—places with names like trust and hope and faith. We can choose to lead from one of those places, to stand on ground that is not riddled with the fault lines of fear, to move toward others from a place of promise instead of anxiety. As we stand in one of those places, fear may remain close at hand and our spirits may still tremble. But now we stand on ground that will support us, ground from which we can lead others toward a more trustworthy, more hopeful, more faithful way of being in the world.  

      ~Parker Palmer

Monday, November 16, 2015

Prayer for all who suffer

By Jean Jullien


Almighty God, pour out your grace and peace upon all those who suffer today.  For those who are reeling from the attacks in France and Lebanon, and all those throughout the world who are in harm's way, we pray that they might feel the blessing of your healing power.  We know that what appears impossible to us is within your power to grant.  Send your Holy Spirit among us, and enliven us to find solutions to difficult problems, to bring peace where there is war, to bring understanding where there is confusion, and to bring love where there is hate.  All this we ask through your son, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

(The Rev. Peter M. Carey, Chaplain, Berkeley Preparatory School)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Thank a Veteran

Today is a day to remember and honor the veterans of the United States of America and also a day to remember the Armistice (end of fighting) on the 11th month of the 11th Day in 1918 when the "War to End All Wars" came to an end. Of course, it was not the war to end all wars and our veterans have born the greatest burdens in this century as we have sent them into harm's way countless times. I have many friends who are veterans and I honor their sacrifice and their dedication on this day while I also pray and work for peace in our time.

So, thank a veteran today and also work for peace and justice!




Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The strength of the hills



In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. ~Psalm 95:4

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

For all the saints


For All the Saints 
For all the saints who from their labor rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blessed,
Alleluia! Alleluia!

O blest communion, fellowship divine.
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

And when the fight is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia! Alleluia.

From earth's wide bounds, from ocean's farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
Alleluia! Alleluia!


(1864) (William How)