Sermons

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Saturday Music Concert



The final concert of the Jeffrey Cox Quintet on August 18, 2013 at The Velvet Note in Alpharetta, GA.

Jeffrey Cox, trumpet
Morgan Guerin, saxophone
Jordan Holiman, drums
Andres Rovira, piano
Andrew Sommer, bass

Guest Trumpet: Dr Gordon Vernick (Jeffrey's teacher for the last several years)

Thanks to Luis Rovira for recording and posting the video to YouTube.

And if you only have time for one song, skip to the last one, at 2:42:32 to hear their version of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit. There's a long story behind that one.

Enjoy!






Friday, August 30, 2013

Local Views: Boston


This is the performance hall at the New England Conservatory - Jordan Hall. It will be my son's "home court" for the next four years. This is a jewel of a performance space - exquisitely beautiful, with fantastic acoustics and, as was related by the president of the college, endued with "Spirit," which flows and plays through the musicians who stand on the stage. I think I know about this Spirit.






Here's another view - the second level of Jordan Hall. Simply beautiful.







Thursday, August 29, 2013

Local Views: Manhattan


This is the view from the back stairs window of my elder son's apartment in Manhattan. It's the (Episcopal) Cathedral of St John the Divine. I took this photo last Friday when we were visiting the "kids" in NYC.

This photo shows pretty clearly the parts of the Cathedral that remain unfinished. One tower. Pretty much all of the East roof and walls.

But still, it is a beautiful structure. I hope someday someone is able to finish building it.







Friday, August 23, 2013

Gone Fishin'

Great blue heron

I'm away for a few days - we are taking our son Jeffrey to Boston to settle him in at The New England Conservatory where he will study jazz trumpet for the next few years.

Then I will be putting on our huge parish book sale for the next week, which is a huge (and hugely fun) undertaking.

Blogging will be intermittent! See you later in September!








Thursday, August 22, 2013

Racing


Sigh. I'm almost always the hare.

How about you?







Collect for Those We Love

A blurry cell phone photo of my family



Almighty God, we entrust all who are dear to us to thy never-failing care and love, for this life and the life to come, knowing that thou art doing for them better things than we can desire or pray for; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(BCP 831)





Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Riding the Wave






A red-throated loon in its winter plumage does a little body surfing.







Serenely riding the top of the wave.











Prayer for Travelers

O God, our heavenly Father, whose glory fills the whole
creation, and whose presence we find wherever we go: Preserve
those who travel [in particular _______________]; surround
them with your loving care; protect them from every danger;
and bring them in safety to their journey's end; through
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


(BCP 831)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Evening Prayer

Steps at Lincoln (Center) Square



Almighty God, we give you thanks for surrounding us, as daylight fades, with the brightness of the vesper light; and we implore you of your great mercy that, as you enfold us with the radiance of this light, so you would shine into our hearts the brightness of your Holy Spirit; through Jesus Christ our
Lord. Amen.


(BCP 110)






Prayer for the Absent




O God, whose fatherly care reacheth to the uttermost parts of the earth: We humbly beseech thee graciously to behold and bless those whom we love, now absent from us. Defend them from all dangers of soul and body; and grant that both they and we, drawing nearer to thee, may be bound together by thy love in the communion of thy Holy Spirit, and in the fellowship of thy saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(BCP 830)








Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday Afternoon Bird Photo


Sanderlings in flight








Collects for Birthdays

50. For a Birthday

O God, our times are in your hand: Look with favor, we
pray, on your servant N. as he begins another year. Grant
that he may grow in wisdom and grace, and strengthen his
trust in your goodness all the days of his life; through Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen.

51. For a Birthday

Watch over thy child, O Lord, as his days increase; bless and
guide him wherever he may be. Strengthen him when he
stands; comfort him when discouraged or sorrowful; raise
him up if he fall; and in his heart may thy peace which
passeth understanding abide all the days of his life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


(BCP 830)

Bonus today! Both of the birthday prayers from the BCP.






Sunday, August 18, 2013

Divisions and Fire (and Thinking of Egypt)



This week's Gospel lesson is one of the most difficult in the lectionary. We like to think of Jesus as the prince of peace, but today he tells us that he came to bring fire and division. I believe the division he brings is his calling for us to be on God's side, not on the side of the world or even of family. We must choose to follow God (remember Moses exhorting the people in the wilderness that God has set before them life and prosperity or death and adversity and that they should choose life) even if others, including our families, do not so choose.

In scripture, fire, of course, is emblematic of both judgment and purification.

But sometimes fire is just about destruction, when it originates from evil rather than the Divine.

Today, I'm thinking of the division and fires that rage in Egypt. My news feeds have been peppered with disturbing images from Cairo as the country seems to be descending into total chaos - rows of wrapped bodies, the linens bloody, not cleaned up the way they would be in our country, lying in makeshift morgues (i.e., lying in the street); rows of unwrapped bodies surrounded by people crying uncontrollably; the burned out Jesuit Cultural Center in Minya; a woman being shot; angry young men covered in blood; and fire.

Lots of fire. Churches are being burned and Christians are taking note of that.

All of makes my heart so heavy. We should all be outraged at all of the violence, not just the violence directed at the Christian community. These are not fires of divine purification or judgment but fires of destruction, brought about by humans who are operating out of a place of hatred and fear. These are not the divisions that Jesus came to bring but the divisions that come from the worship of power and a thirst for revenge that is fed by a steady diet of bitterness and brutality.

And what signs of the times are these? How do we interpret this present time? What is it that is right in front of us that we are supposed to see?

I only know that this is not what Jesus came for. This is not the fire of eternal life. This is not the love of God made manifest on Earth. And yet God is there, because as Jeremiah says, God is everywhere, filling heaven and earth, so what do we see God doing and how must we be changed because of that?

It is hard to look at these images and hear these stories. It is hard not to shrug and say that this is the way of the world and there is nothing we can do about it. It is hard to see what God is doing amid the horror that reigns in Egypt (and Syria and Somalia and many other places in the world) now, especially for those of us who are safe in our own homes far away.

But I believe we cannot look away, for to look away from suffering is to look away from God, as God is always present with the suffering. And so I reckon that God is doing what God always does, binding up the wounded, and cradling the dead, and looking to us to cry out to the world once again that this is not the way.

God needs our voices to proclaim that the powerless are again being pushed aside and made afraid and carelessly killed as "collateral damage" in the pursuit of that which is neither holy nor eternal.  God looks to us to cry out that violence is not the answer, that the worship of power leads to death and destruction. And God will hear our prayers for peace, our prayers for the hearts of the violent to be turned away from bitterness, our prayers for mercy, our prayers for the courage to not look away, our prayers for healing and reconciliation.

May the world hear our voices and the Lord hear our prayers.
















Collect for the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

King Chapel, Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, Iowa




Almighty God, you have given your only Son to be for us a sacrifice for sin, and also an example of godly life: Give us grace to receive thankfully the fruits of his redeeming work, and to follow daily in the blessed steps of his most holy life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.











Saturday, August 17, 2013

Saturday Morning Music Video: from the Goat Rodeo Sessions




National Public Radio (NPR)'s music folks offer what they call "Tiny Desk Concert" on a weekly basis.  It's called "tiny desk concert" because the performers are recorded while playing behind/around the desk of Bob Boilen in the NPR Music Offices.

Here's what the NPR Music YouTube Channel has to say about this video from November 2011:

"The genre-bending cellist Yo-Yo Ma heads a dream team of string players -- Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, Stuart Duncan -- who borrow from bluegrass. The quartet, plus singer Aoife O'Donovan perform three songs from their album The Goat Rodeo Sessions at the NPR Music offices.

Set List:

"Quarter Chicken Dark"
"Attaboy"
"Here And Heaven"

For more videos and to subscribe to the Tiny Desk Concerts podcast, visit NPR.org/tinydeskconcerts."


Everybody knows Yo-Yo Ma, of course. Edgar Meyer is the double bass player who often plays with Yo-Yo Ma and a host of others. Chris Thile plays mandolin with The Punch Brothers (who describe themselves as a progressive bluegrass band). Stuart Duncan fiddles with The Nashville Bluegrass Band and Aoife O'Donovan has an extensive resume (including studying at The New England Conservatory) as a singer-songwriter who sings with bluegrass band Crooked Still and the "folk noir" trio Sometymes Why, and has just released a solo album.

Enjoy!










Thursday, August 15, 2013

Angels Among Us

Baptismal font at historic Christ Church, Lancaster County, VA


I was intrigued by the story that went around a week or so ago about the "mysterious angel priest" who appeared to pray with a woman who was trapped in a car after an accident.

Now the mystery has been solved solved. The priest has come forward, and his name is Patrick Dowling. Not the same Father Dowling as the one portrayed on TV by Tom Bosley in the late 1980's solving mysteries in Chicago, but the coincidence about the names is interesting.

Many of us want to believe that angels move among us, guarding us if possible or at least attending us in some way. Many of us have stories of the mysterious person who seems to come out of nowhere at just the right moment to help us.

I well remember the time I was driving in a snowstorm with my two sons in the back of the minivan, anxious about the driving conditions, wishing my husband were with me to at least share the burden of worry.   The snow was getting deeper and I was beginning to think I ought to stop, but I was out in the country, amid fields and trees and not much else. Stopping didn't seem to make all that much sense since the snow was only going to continue to deepen.

I may have said a prayer. Or I may have just radiated anxiety, which is how I pray sometimes.

Suddenly a little red truck with two men appeared on the road in front of me. Despite its small size, their vehicle made deep tracks in the snow, and so I gratefully followed directly in those tracks for half an hour or so, until the snow began to thin and the road became clear. That's where they turned off, and I continued on my way.

Angels? I've always thought so.

So if you were one of those guys in the little red truck that day, don't tell me. Let me keep my story of angelic intervention the way it is. Because that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Thanks.














Morning Prayer for Those Who Live Alone

Miss Kitty


Almighty God, whose Son had nowhere to lay his head: Grant that those who live alone may not be lonely in their solitude, but that, following in his steps, they may find fulfillment in loving you and their neighbors; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(BCP 829)













Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Surreal Swimmers


This was a shop window near our hotel on my last trip to Manhattan. For whatever reason, I was captivated. So here's to the waning days of summer fun.







Morning Prayer for Young Persons

God our Father, you see your children growing up in an
unsteady and confusing world: Show them that your ways
give more life than the ways of the world, and that following
you is better than chasing after selfish goals. Help them to
take failure, not as a measure of their worth, but as a chance
for a new start. Give them strength to hold their faith in you,
and to keep alive their joy in your creation; through Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen.


(BCP 829)

















Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Evening Prayer: Be Our Light in the Darkness



A Collect for Aid against Perils

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.

(BCP 123)





Morning Collect for the Care of Children

The Olympic Rings Fountain, Centennial Olympic Park, Atlanta, GA

Almighty God, heavenly Father, you have blessed us with the joy and care of children: Give us calm strength and patient wisdom as we bring them up, that we may teach them to love whatever is just and true and good, following the example of our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

(BCP 829)












Monday, August 12, 2013

Night Prayer





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.

(BCP 132)







Morning Prayer for Families





Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who settest the solitary
in families: We commend to thy continual care the homes in
which thy people dwell. Put far from them, we beseech thee,

every root of bitterness, the desire of vainglory, and the pride

of life. Fill them with faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance,
patience, godliness. Knit together in constant affection those
who, in holy wedlock, have been made one flesh. Turn the
hearts of the parents to the children, and the hearts of the
children to the parents; and so enkindle fervent charity among
us all, that we may evermore be kindly affectioned one
to another; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(BCP 828)







Sunday, August 11, 2013

How Much is Enough?

Last week we heard about a man who had wonderfully good fortune, and who consulted with himself to determine that his response to this good fortune should be to build big barns to keep all his stuff in. Jesus called him a fool.

This week we hear Jesus advising his disciples to sell their possessions and to give alms, and not to worry, and yet to be always prepared for the knock on the door.

What came in between these stories were the lines many of us know and love - but find so hard to live out:

Do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. ... And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?  ... Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. ... Do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.”

This is why Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid, little flock.” Jesus is asking us to think differently, to recognize the goodness and abundance that is all around us, to know what real life is, and to hold on to our stuff more lightly, willing to trust that there is enough. He asks us to be intentional about our reliance on God, the source of abundance and love. He is asking us to live out the kingdom values.

That requires us to think differently about “enough.” It’s not about money or clothes or square footage. The world abounds in life and opportunity, but if we are slaves to things and money for things, then we are not really participating in the real world. We are just participating in the Market. We are in danger of just serving our stuff, of spending our lives serving that master.

But how exactly are we to live out the kingdom values? How do we show that we are willing and able to rely on God? Does God really expect us to give away all our possessions? What about taking care of ourselves and our children? Does God want us to be homeless? Is God asking us to be irresponsible?

I don’t think those are the right questions, the ones about “irresponsibility” and “being homeless”. The real question is how might we become willing to rely on God and not on possessions or status. It’s not about being homeless but it is about resisting putting our faith in our buying power and prestige.  Which is counter to The American Way, which encourages us to consume and stockpile and acquire so that we can insulate ourselves from the things we fear.

But no, Jesus says, striving for all that keeps us distracted from what is really important. Think differently! Live differently! Be countercultural.

Well, how does one do that, anyway? 

We practice it. Over and over again. And we can start small. When we have anxieties about things, we can practice letting them go. 

When I lived in Atlanta, the city of snarling traffic where everyone is tempted to be mean and grasping behind the wheel, whenever I felt anxious about getting to where I was going on time, I would make myself stop and let someone in instead of planning to cut them off.  It was amazing the unexpected calm I felt after that, realizing that I was still going to get where I was going, and probably still on time. I could be generous in even a very small way, and it was good.

And I learned that whenever I feel anxious about money, my response should be to give money away. Not by spending it on something to make me feel safer but to give it away. Write a check to charity or cause. Buy lunch for someone, even someone I don’t know. Pull out a $20 instead of a $1 to put in the collection plate or donation box. Because I still have enough after that. I always do. Practicing giving away money helps me become less anxious about money and more willing to put it to use for furthering the kingdom.

And I learned, after receiving a scary diagnosis, to let go of my life altogether, to trust that my loving and faithful community would care for my family if I was not able to. Through that experience, I got my real life back, and knew abundance I’d never imagined before.

Being generous in our thoughts, words, and deeds not only helps us quell our anxieties but trains us to live out kingdom values. When Jesus says we need to be ready because we don’t know when the knock will come, it isn’t about steeling ourselves for judgment, but being ready at a moment’s notice to join in God’s work, which we can more clearly see when our vision isn’t obstructed by our big barns and our big anxieties. 

Is this simple or easy? No. Is it a one-time event? No. We have to discern, over and over again, when we need to repent of relying on ourselves and our positions and our stuff, which separates us from one another and from the reality of the world around us.

Real life is scary. It’s filled with pain and sorrow and heartbreak. But it is also filled with so much wonderfulness - unspeakable beauty and tenderness and delight and love so powerful it makes the heart nearly burst with joy. That’s what the kingdom is like.

And so, let us strive for that kingdom, here and now, in our own lives and in the life of this parish and community. Let us learn to see God’s presence around us and to be reassured by that. Let us learn to let go of our grasping and instead open our hands in generosity. Let us learn to see and act upon opportunities to work to build up the kingdom, instead of building up fortresses designed to distract and shield us from real life.

Do not be afraid of real life, of not having enough, of not being enough. You have enough. You are enough. God knows what we all need. In God there is always enough, and more than enough. Don’t be afraid to let go of your own plan for your own salvation and believe and trust instead in God’s overflowing goodness, goodness that is more and better than you could ever ask or imagine. 

Don’t be afraid. Have faith. Be free.










Collect for the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost

Detail from window at St Stephen's Episcopal Church, Oxford NC




Grant to us, Lord, we pray, the spirit to think and do always those things that are right, that we, who cannot exist without you, may by you be enabled to live according to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.







Saturday, August 10, 2013

Saturday Morning Movie: Simon's Cat - Suitcase




Well, since packing is what is happening in my family - and perhaps yours, too, this being vacation time - this new episode of Simon's Cat is apt. Kitty knows what he'd like Simon to take away with him, and it's not underwear!

Enjoy!







Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday Afternoon Fountain Break


Ah! The cooling waters from the fountain at Washington Square in Greenwich Village in Manhattan. What a fantastic park.

And here's Dr. Playground in his truck, ready to fix what needs fixing.

I took this shot in the morning, downtown, and by noon-time Dr. Playground was uptown in Morningside Park, fixing what needed fixing there. Probably there is more than one Dr. Playground truck, but I'm sure that even so, Dr. Playground really gets around.

Enjoy your Friday afternoon!






Morning Prayer for the Harvest of Lands and Waters


O gracious Father, who openest thine hand and fillest all things living with plenteousness: Bless the lands and waters, and multiply the harvests of the world; let thy Spirit go forth, that it may renew the face of the earth; show thy loving-kindness, that our land may give her increase; and save us from selfish use of what thou givest, that men and women everywhere may give thee thanks; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

(BCP 828)






Thursday, August 8, 2013

Letting go, again



The great children-migration in our family begins today. My firstborn is at this moment driving a U-Haul truck up the interstate, moving the 865 miles from Atlanta to Manhattan. He is still a student and will begin graduate school at Columbia University in a couple of weeks, and there will more than likely be another move coming as he continues his studies, but from now on, wherever he goes, he'll be moving from his own place and not from our home. 

Then, in a couple of weeks, we'll pack up the old minivan and drive our younger son to Boston, where he will study (no surprise here - jazz trumpet) at The New England Conservatory. He says that he thinks he may never be in Atlanta again, because he's not only a student but already a professional musician now. He is relocating, as far as he is concerned, to the Great Northeast where jazz clubs abound and gigs await.

Many of us have had the experience of children leaving home. Many of us have also seen those children come back home, for summers at least or for what some have called "failure to launch." I am not sure I like that term, since failure is a relative term oftentimes, but in this day and age, many young people do end up back at home for one reason or another. We've had that, too.

It's hard not to get emotional about these leavings, even while we are happy and proud, and no matter how difficult the coming backs were. Life is going to be different.

But that is as it should be.








Morning Prayer for the Future of the Human Race


O God our heavenly Father, you have blessed us and given us dominion over all the earth: Increase our reverence before the mystery of life; and give us new insight into your purposes for the human race, and new wisdom and determination in making provision for its future in accordance with your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(BCP 828)


The photo is of a bas relief that is part of a monument to Carl Schurz (created by Karl Bitter) which stands at one of the entrances to Morningside Park at 116th Street and Morningside Drive in Manhattan. Here is a link to the article reporting the unveiling of the statue of Mr. Schurz in 1913. Here is a link to the Wikipedia entry on Carl Schurz, who had quite an interesting history.)


















Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Bird Bath


A blue jay showers in a park puddle.







Morning Prayer for Rain (only where it's needed!)

Fountain on the campus of New York University, Manhattan


O God, heavenly Father, who by thy Son Jesus Christ hast promised to all those who seek thy kingdom and its righteousness all things necessary to sustain their life: Send us, we entreat thee, in this time of need, such moderate rain and showers, that we may receive the fruits of the earth, to our comfort and to thy honor; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(BCP 828)

(P.S. It rained here all day yesterday, so we are good in Tidewater Virginia, but I know there are many other places that are parched. And, by the way, there has always been a prayer for rain in every prayer book, starting with the 1549 one.)






Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Transfiguration
























Today, the Feast of the Transfiguration, marks the fifth anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood. I am eternally grateful to God for calling me to this vocation and to those who walked with me through my discernment of that call.  The following is a post I wrote a couple of years ago for this date, so I thought I'd reprise it here today.

Because of my relationship with the Feast of the Transfiguration, I have a couple of icons of this event and have always enjoyed the art I've seen depicting the Transfiguration, from the cool Transfiguration on the Golf Course by Bellini (OK, I made that title up but that's what this has always looked like to me - see for yourself here) to the etherial Transfiguration by Fra Angelico who puts a properly reverent Mary into the picture (see here) to Titian's version (here), whose Jesus looks a lot like Raphael's Jesus (here), kind of round and pinkish and wearing flowing robes.  I love the icons of Theophanes and Rublev, as well as the abstract art of Salvadore Dali (here).

What I love about these pictures is not Jesus, though; it's the disciples.  (Or in the case of Dali, the squiggles at the bottom.)  Nobody quite knows what to do here.  Almost always the disciples look dazed and confused; sometimes they are even head down/upside down/flat on the ground (which is the appropriate posture when one is in the presence of God).  Some of them have haloes; in the Titian, the disciples are in so much chaos as not to be clearly seen - they are all flailing and fearful and ready for flight and so are almost out of the painting already and altogether.  In the Raphael, the disciples are near Jesus and a great mass is at the bottom of the hill, and only a few people are looking at Jesus.  Others are looking anywhere but at Jesus.  And in nearly every artistic representation of the Transfiguration there's always at least someone who is flailing an arm or two as he falls to the ground in shock/fear/amazement/reverence.

Given my history with Transfiguration, you would think that I knew a lot about it, about how to read it, interpret it, what it means to the story of Jesus, what it means to me.  But every year, twice a year, I feel as if I've just encountered the text for the first time.  What's going on and why is this scene in the story of Jesus just in the middle of everything?  What does it mean?  What are we supposed to do with it and about it?

And where are we supposed to look?  Is the transfiguration a moment of adoration, a time out in the otherwise busy life and ministry of the faithful person?  Or is the transfiguration the backdrop for all of our work, there all the time but only noticed when the curtain is lifted by the unseen hand of God upon some rocky terrain onto which we have wandered or blundered or been led?  As many times as I have read this text, been confronted by this text, (twice a year every year!) I am as bewildered as ever by it.  (Here's what I wrote last August for the feast...)

Oh yes, I know the scholarly arguments and the contents of many commentaries.  I know the differences in each gospel writer's telling of this tale.  I know that if I am somewhere in this story, I'm certainly not the shining one.  Mostly I feel like one of Dali's squiggles at the bottom of the page.

This is ultimately a mystery.  The central figure is always Jesus, this shining glory, and I am a squiggle boldly drawn, just happy to be close by, to be near him as he hears, and I overhear, the affirmation from God, "This is my son, the beloved.  Listen to him!"

I guess, really, that's all I need to know.












Collect for the Feast of the Transfiguration




O God, who on the holy mount revealed to chosen witnesses
your well-beloved Son, wonderfully transfigured, in raiment
white and glistening: Mercifully grant that we, being
delivered from the disquietude of this world, may by faith
behold the King in his beauty; who with you, O Father, and
you, O Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and
ever. Amen.


(BCP 243)






Monday, August 5, 2013

O Gracious Light

From the nave of The Riverside Church, Manhattan



O Gracious Light Phos hilaron 

O gracious light, 
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven, 
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed! 


Now as we come to the setting of the sun, 
and our eyes behold the vesper light, 
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices, 
O Son of God, O Giver of Life, 

and to be glorified through all the worlds. 

(BCP 118)








Morning Prayer for the Conservation of Natural Resources




Almighty God, in giving us dominion over things on earth,

you made us fellow workers in your creation: Give us wisdom
and reverence so to use the resources of nature, that no one
may suffer from our abuse of them, and that generations yet
to come may continue to praise you for your bounty; through
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(BCP 827)









Sunday, August 4, 2013

Collect for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

Riverside Church, Morningside Heights, Manhattan



Let your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend your Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without your help, protect and govern it always by your goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.







Saturday, August 3, 2013

Saturday Morning Movie: For the Birds




This is a movie short from the digital animation geniuses at Pixar. Since I love birds, I love this movie, even though it doesn't sugar coat the basic story: a clique makes fun of an outsider but in the end, they'll suffer some consequences. Being mean doesn't pay.

Plus, you get to hear a little of Dave Brubeck's wonderful song, Take Five.

Enjoy!



















Friday, August 2, 2013

Friday Afternoon Beach Break


No, I'm not at the beach this afternoon. But I can pretend and you can join me!







Morning Prayer for Knowledge of God's Creation

Lacecap hydrangea with pollen-laden bee


Almighty and everlasting God, you made the universe with all its marvelous order, its atoms, worlds, and galaxies, and the infinite complexity of living creatures: Grant that, as we probe the mysteries of your creation, we may come to know you more truly, and more surely fulfill our role in your eternal purpose; in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(BCP 827)











Thursday, August 1, 2013

Evening Prayer: Keep Watch, Dear Lord.....

The fountain at Lincoln Center Plaza, Manhattan

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. 

(BCP 124)






Morning Prayer for Those Who Influence Public Opinion




Almighty God, you proclaim your truth in every age by many
voices: Direct, in our time, we pray, those who speak where
many listen and write what many read; that they may do their
part in making the heart of this people wise, its mind sound, and
its will righteous; to the honor of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


(BCP 827)

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