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.


Read more HERE





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.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

With wings that big, why not fly!?

Incredible!


Reminds me of Daniel 3:79

Daniel 3:79-82
79  You sea monsters and all water creatures, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.
80 All you birds of the air, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.
81 All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.
82 All you mortals, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday




Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your
family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be
betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer
death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and
the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, we pray you to set
your passion, cross, and death between your judgment and
our souls, now and in the hour of our death. Give mercy and
grace to the living; pardon and rest to the dead; to your holy
Church peace and concord; and to us sinners everlasting life
and glory; for with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live
and reign, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Maundy Thursday


Collect of the Day: Maundy Thursday
Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.














Sunday, April 13, 2014

On Palm Sunday, Jesus rides into the Perfect Storm by N.T. Wright

On Palm Sunday, Jesus rides into the Perfect Storm
by N.T. Wright in ABC Religion and Ethics



The crowd went wild as they got nearer. This was the moment they'd been waiting for. All the old songs came flooding back, and they were singing, chanting, cheering and laughing. At last, their dreams were going to come true. But in the middle of it all, their leader wasn't singing. He was in tears. Yes, their dreams were indeed coming true. But not in the way they had imagined.
He was not the king they expected. Not like the monarchs of old, who sat on their jewelled and ivory thrones, dispensing their justice and wisdom. Nor was he the great warrior-king some had wanted. He didn't raise an army and ride to battle at its head. He was riding on a donkey. And he was weeping - weeping for the dream that had to die, weeping for the sword that would pierce his supporters to the soul. Weeping for the kingdom that wasn't coming as well as the kingdom that was. What was it all about? What did Jesus think he was doing?
On Palm Sunday, Jesus was riding into the perfect storm. Recall the story of the famous "perfect storm." It was late October 1991. A New England fishing boat by the name ofAndrea Gail had sailed five hundred miles out into the Atlantic. But the weather was changing rapidly. A cold front moving along the American-Canadian border sent a strong disturbance through New England, while at the same time a large high-pressure system was building over the Maritime provinces of south-eastern Canada. This intensified the incoming low-pressure system, producing what locals called "The Halloween Nor'easter."
These circumstances alone could have created a strong storm, but then, like throwing petrol on a fire, a hurricane coming in from the Atlantic brought incalculable tropical energy to the mix. The forces of nature converged on the helpless Andrea Gail from the west, the north and the south-east. Ferocious winds and huge waves reduced the boat to matchwood. Only light debris was ever found.
The first two elements of Jesus's perfect storm are comparatively easy to describe; the third less so, but all-important if we are to understand both the original meaning of Palm Sunday and the meanings that it might have for us as we draw nearer to the cross in this holiest of weeks.
read it all HERE


Thursday, March 06, 2014

“Conversations on Prayer Class” - St. Paul's Memorial - Wednesday Nights in Lent






“Conversations on Prayer Class” – Wednesday Night class in Lent

Join our Senior Associate Rector, The Rev. Peter M. Carey for a three-session class on prayer during the final three weeks of our Lenten journey on Wednesday nights from 7:00-8:00pm.  March 26th, April 2nd, and April 9th. 

v In session one (March 26th) , we will begin by discussing “What is prayer” and “What do we need to unlearn/learn about prayer?” and move to discussing Lectio Divina and Ignatian Prayer. 
v In session two (April 2nd) , we will examine Christian meditative/contemplative traditions of praying with Icons and Centering Prayer. 
v In session three (April 9th), we will continue with the Christian meditative/contemplative traditions by examining the Jesus Prayer, Journaling, and various Body Prayer practices.

All are welcome to join in this class in which we will have “Conversations on Prayer” and should prove to be a wonderful way to deepen our prayer in this season of Lent.  If you have questions, please contact Peter in the church office or at peter.carey@stpaulsmemorial.org.


Wednesday, March 05, 2014

T.S. Eliot reads his poem, Ash Wednesday



T.S. Eliot reads his poem, Ash Wednesday




Ash Wednesday, by T.S. Eliot 

Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man's gift and that man's scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the aged eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?


Because I do not hope to know again
The infirm glory of the positive hour
Because I do not think
Because I know I shall not know
The one veritable transitory power
Because I cannot drink
There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is nothing again


Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are and
I renounce the blessed face
And renounce the voice
Because I cannot hope to turn again
Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
Upon which to rejoice


And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us


Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still.


Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.


II


Lady, three white leopards sat under a juniper-tree
In the cool of the day, having fed to satiety
On my legs my heart my liver and that which had been contained
In the hollow round of my skull. And God said
Shall these bones live? shall these
Bones live? And that which had been contained
In the bones (which were already dry) said chirping:
Because of the goodness of this Lady
And because of her loveliness, and because
She honours the Virgin in meditation,
We shine with brightness. And I who am here dissembled
Proffer my deeds to oblivion, and my love
To the posterity of the desert and the fruit of the gourd.
It is this which recovers
My guts the strings of my eyes and the indigestible portions
Which the leopards reject. The Lady is withdrawn
In a white gown, to contemplation, in a white gown.
Let the whiteness of bones atone to forgetfulness.
There is no life in them. As I am forgotten
And would be forgotten, so I would forget
Thus devoted, concentrated in purpose. And God said
Prophesy to the wind, to the wind only for only
The wind will listen. And the bones sang chirping
With the burden of the grasshopper, saying


Lady of silences
Calm and distressed
Torn and most whole
Rose of memory
Rose of forgetfulness
Exhausted and life-giving
Worried reposeful
The single Rose
Is now the Garden
Where all loves end
Terminate torment
Of love unsatisfied
The greater torment
Of love satisfied
End of the endless
Journey to no end
Conclusion of all that
Is inconclusible
Speech without word and
Word of no speech
Grace to the Mother
For the Garden
Where all love ends.


Under a juniper-tree the bones sang, scattered and shining
We are glad to be scattered, we did little good to each other,
Under a tree in the cool of the day, with the blessing of sand,
Forgetting themselves and each other, united
In the quiet of the desert. This is the land which ye
Shall divide by lot. And neither division nor unity
Matters. This is the land. We have our inheritance.


III


At the first turning of the second stair
I turned and saw below
The same shape twisted on the banister
Under the vapour in the fetid air
Struggling with the devil of the stairs who wears
The deceitul face of hope and of despair.


At the second turning of the second stair
I left them twisting, turning below;
There were no more faces and the stair was dark,
Damp, jagged, like an old man's mouth drivelling, beyond repair,
Or the toothed gullet of an aged shark.


At the first turning of the third stair
Was a slotted window bellied like the figs's fruit
And beyond the hawthorn blossom and a pasture scene
The broadbacked figure drest in blue and green
Enchanted the maytime with an antique flute.
Blown hair is sweet, brown hair over the mouth blown,
Lilac and brown hair;
Distraction, music of the flute, stops and steps of the mind over the third stair,
Fading, fading; strength beyond hope and despair
Climbing the third stair.


Lord, I am not worthy
Lord, I am not worthy
but speak the word only.

IV


Who walked between the violet and the violet
Who walked between
The various ranks of varied green
Going in white and blue, in Mary's colour,
Talking of trivial things
In ignorance and knowledge of eternal dolour
Who moved among the others as they walked,
Who then made strong the fountains and made fresh the springs


Made cool the dry rock and made firm the sand
In blue of larkspur, blue of Mary's colour,
Sovegna vos


Here are the years that walk between, bearing
Away the fiddles and the flutes, restoring
One who moves in the time between sleep and waking, wearing


White light folded, sheathing about her, folded.
The new years walk, restoring
Through a bright cloud of tears, the years, restoring
With a new verse the ancient rhyme. Redeem
The time. Redeem
The unread vision in the higher dream
While jewelled unicorns draw by the gilded hearse.


The silent sister veiled in white and blue
Between the yews, behind the garden god,
Whose flute is breathless, bent her head and signed but spoke no word


But the fountain sprang up and the bird sang down
Redeem the time, redeem the dream
The token of the word unheard, unspoken

Till the wind shake a thousand whispers from the yew
And after this our exile

V


If the lost word is lost, if the spent word is spent
If the unheard, unspoken
Word is unspoken, unheard;
Still is the unspoken word, the Word unheard,
The Word without a word, the Word within
The world and for the world;
And the light shone in darkness and
Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled
About the centre of the silent Word.

O my people, what have I done unto thee.

Where shall the word be found, where will the word
Resound? Not here, there is not enough silence
Not on the sea or on the islands, not
On the mainland, in the desert or the rain land,
For those who walk in darkness
Both in the day time and in the night time
The right time and the right place are not here
No place of grace for those who avoid the face
No time to rejoice for those who walk among noise and deny the voice


Will the veiled sister pray for
Those who walk in darkness, who chose thee and oppose thee,
Those who are torn on the horn between season and season, time and time, between
Hour and hour, word and word, power and power, those who wait
In darkness? Will the veiled sister pray
For children at the gate
Who will not go away and cannot pray:
Pray for those who chose and oppose

O my people, what have I done unto thee.

Will the veiled sister between the slender
Yew trees pray for those who offend her
And are terrified and cannot surrender
And affirm before the world and deny between the rocks
In the last desert before the last blue rocks
The desert in the garden the garden in the desert
Of drouth, spitting from the mouth the withered apple-seed.

O my people.

VI


Although I do not hope to turn again
Although I do not hope
Although I do not hope to turn


Wavering between the profit and the loss
In this brief transit where the dreams cross
The dreamcrossed twilight between birth and dying
(Bless me father) though I do not wish to wish these things
From the wide window towards the granite shore
The white sails still fly seaward, seaward flying
Unbroken wings


And the lost heart stiffens and rejoices
In the lost lilac and the lost sea voices
And the weak spirit quickens to rebel
For the bent golden-rod and the lost sea smell
Quickens to recover
The cry of quail and the whirling plover
And the blind eye creates
The empty forms between the ivory gates
And smell renews the salt savour of the sandy earth This is the time of tension between dying and birth The place of solitude where three dreams cross Between blue rocks But when the voices shaken from the yew-tree drift away Let the other yew be shaken and reply.


Blessed sister, holy mother, spirit of the fountain, spirit of the garden,
Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still
Even among these rocks,
Our peace in His will
And even among these rocks
Sister, mother
And spirit of the river, spirit of the sea,
Suffer me not to be separated

And let my cry come unto Thee.

Ash Wednesday - "ashes on the go" on the Corner at UVA


Rowan Williams reflects on Lent


Ash Wednesday



Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Be joyful



Be joyful in the Lord, all you lands;
serve the Lord with gladness
and come before his presence with a song.
Know this: The Lord himself is God;
he himself has made us, and we are his;
we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and call upon his Name.
For the Lord is good;
his mercy is everlasting;
and his faithfulness endures from age to age.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

The Dalai Lama and the Mosquito



When I was in college, I attended a wonderful Symposium at Middlebury College on "Spirit and Nature" and one of the keynote speakers was the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.  There to film a documentary for PBS was Bill Moyers which is a great video, and you can watch the whole thing here - http://billmoyers.com/content/spirit-nature/.

A gem of the video is this brief interaction between the Dalai Lama and Bill Moyers, talking about our relationship with nature - even down to the pesky mosquito who bites us.  Here is exhibited not only the Dalai Lama's compassion, but also his quick sense of humor and deep humanity!

Check it out!

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

A good day with David Steindl-Rast

Watch this!

"let your gratefulness overflow into blessing!"