Thursday, March 29, 2007
Ten days ago my friend Paul was in a really serious car accident and I'm going up to Calgary to see him today. Paul is Jewish and claims to be an atheist but many of us have told him often that he is actually having a tift with the God he claims not to believe in. In any case, he made me promise years ago that I would never pray for him. So the question is, can I be held to this promise under these circumstances? I've been really distressed about the accident and so it seems normal to pray about it but I've been very aware of the promise and have tried hard to honour it. When my parish asked if they could pray for him I told them to pray for the nurses who have to look after him. In any case I'm using the occasion of his being too weak to thump me to have some fun. I'm taking these delightful items up to him to bring him comfort.
What Wondrous Love is This
What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul.
When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down beneath God’s righteous frown,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul, for my soul,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul.
To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, I will sing;
To God and to the Lamb, I will sing.
To God and to the Lamb Who is the great “I Am”;
While millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing;
While millions join the theme, I will sing.
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on.
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be;
And through eternity, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And through eternity, I’ll sing on.
Words attributed to Alexander Means.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Kathleen Norris, Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith
Henri Nouwen, Show Me the Way
Monday, March 26, 2007
Joseph Pieper, Faith, Hope, Love
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Today was a really good day at church. Lots of folks I hadn't seen for a few weeks were there and everybody seemed to be doing well. Coffee hour was really sociable afterwards too. On Friday, when I told the folks at Cuppers about our Lenten project they got really excited and decided to buy a goat. So here are some of our kids adding a goat to our farm yard.
I spoke in my sermon about Oscar Romero who was martyred 27 years ago yesterday. Back then I was attending a Jesuit parish in Winnipeg and we were really aware of what was happening in El Salvador. One of my profs from the University of Winnipeg went down to El Salvador with a church peace group several times and later his daughter was arrested and thrown in jail there while working with a peace group. So for those of us in that university Christian community the struggle for peace and justice for Salvadorans was very present. Now I am so grateful for the formation that I received then. Fr. Bert Foliot and the Rev. Carl Ridd both had a deep personal faith but it wasn't individualistic or privatized despite being personal. It seems often to be a difficult balance for Christians.
Carl died a few years ago - Dad went to the funeral and said it was incredible. The church was packed and every extra room in the church had a feed to it. He had had an incredible impact on the city, particularly on decades of U of W students. We called students who became Carl's groupies Riddians and they were many in number.
Fr. Foliot continues to be a real mentor to me despite the fact that I probably haven't seen him in twenty years. He works in Northern Ontario I think now and we've only had contact a couple of times over the years, the last time when I was ordained a deacon five years ago. I think of him very often and in moments of dilemma will often ask myself what he did in similar circumstances. I chuckle when I realize that he was only in his 30s back then and I'm now in my 40s. He seemed even then to be a real father figure.
It has been a very full but fun day....this sounds like deja vu all over again. I seem to be having a lot of these kinds of days lately. This morning began with the gym, and then I met with a group of folks over at Immanuel Lutheran Church to sort a bunch of donated food into bags which we will hand out to students at the U of L next Wednesday. The local LDS church had donated a whole pile of tinned goods and with some financial donations we bought granola bars and other good things to add to the bags. Those got added to the bags which were donated from local churches. It was really exciting to get some new churches participating this term including Immanuel and the Christian Reformed Church in Iron Springs.
We started this programme about four years ago to try to give students support at the tough end of term. The university provides really nice cloth bags and local churches fill them with $10-15 worth of food. We've had as many as 700 bags of food donated in the past. This time some of our big churches didn't do it though so we ended up with about 200 bags. But that still means 200 happy students, and since the students tend to share the bags it will probably translate into more like 300 happy students.
James and Claire Penner brought a group of their ISCF students over to help and when we were done the folks from the university sprang for pizza for the gang from my favourite pizza place. No Mediterranean pizza sadly but the Hawaiian was good. Thank goodness I had gone to the gym. For the rest of the afternoon I did some visiting with friends and picked up some supplies for our new espresso maker. Can't wait to create our little coffee heaven at the office. Then it was a wonderful evening with dinner at Miro's Bistro, the food was heavenly, and then the university production of Angels in America. The play was really well done. I enjoyed it the best of the four plays I saw this year.
All in all a very nice day.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
In the most sublime homily ever given, Christ closes the book and says, "These things have been fulfilled today."
That is what a homily is: saying that God's word is not about times past, but a living and spiritual word that is being fulfilled here. Hence our effort to apply God's eternal message to the people's concrete circumstances.
Archbishop Oscar Romero, January 27, 1980
Thanks to http://bogners.typepad.com/church/oscar_romero/index.html
Friday, March 23, 2007
These are the blessed beginnings, ordinary graces."
Mary Jo Leddy, Radical Gratitude
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Mary Jo Leddy, Radical Gratitude
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Nora Gallagher, Things Seen and Unseen
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Now very very tired.
10 A capable wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant,
she brings her food from far away.
15 She rises while it is still night
and provides food for her household
and tasks for her servant-girls.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength,
and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor,
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid for her household when it snows,
for all her household are clothed in crimson.
22 She makes herself coverings;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the city gates,
taking his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
she supplies the merchant with sashes.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household,
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her happy;
her husband too, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Give her a share in the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the city gates.
Monday, March 19, 2007
1 But now thus says the LORD,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
3 For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you.
4 Because you are precious in my sight,
and honored, and I love you,
I give people in return for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
5 Do not fear, for I am with you;
I will bring your offspring from the east,
and from the west I will gather you;
6 I will say to the north, “Give them up,”
and to the south, “Do not withhold;
bring my sons from far away
and my daughters from the end of the earth—
7 everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”
Thursday, March 15, 2007
I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same
The Three in One and One in Three.
I bind this today to me forever
By power of faith, Christ’s incarnation;
His baptism in Jordan river,
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb,
His riding up the heavenly way,
His coming at the day of doom
I bind unto myself today.
I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of cherubim;
The sweet ‘Well done’ in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors’ faith, Apostles’ word,
The Patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord
And purity of virgin souls.
I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the star lit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea
Around the old eternal rocks.
I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.
Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility
I bind to me these holy powers.
Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart’s idolatry,
Against the wizard’s evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave, the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.
By Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Saintliness means living without division between word and action. If I would truly live in my own life the word I am speaking, my spoken words would become actions, and miracles would happen whenever I opened my mouth.
Henri Nouwen, Show Me the Way: Reading for Each Day of Lent
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Henri Nouwen, Show Me the Way: Readings for Lent
Monday, March 12, 2007
It was a big day yesterday. In Winnipeg my friend Jane Barter Moulaison was confirmed in the Anglican Church - welcome Jane! At Ascension the Sunday School cooked soup for the parish. (As you can tell from the photo we are already dressed for Pentecost) We took up a free will offering and now have $175 towards buying a cow. Our Lenten project is to fill a farm yard with animals for the Third World and the kids are really getting into it. Then I met with my reading group. There are four of us who have been getting together for a few years about once a month to read something together. We actually haven't been together since before Christmas so we had a lot of catching up to do. Right after that and a hurried supper I went back out to Ascension for the evening service and then came right back into town for our biweekly chaplaincy service. Last night our student chaplains led us in a very moving service with the washing of feet. It was a full but good day.
Collect for the Feast of Gregory the Great
Almighty and merciful God, who raised up Gregory of Rome to be a servant of the servants of God, and inspired him to send missionaries to preach the Gospel to the English people: Preserve in your Church the catholic and apostolic faith they taught, that your people, being fruitful in every good work, may receive the crown of glory that never fades away; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.Isaiah 55:1-3
Saturday, March 10, 2007
god or the gods, the unknown,
that which imagined us, which stays
our murderous hand,
and gives us
in the shadow of death,
our daily life,
and the dream still
of goodwill, of peace on earth.
flow and change, night and
the pulse of day.
|An excerpt from "Mass for the Day of St. Thomas Didymus"|| |
|by Denise Levertov|
Friday, March 9, 2007
Last night I went to hear the Diesel Librarian's band play at the local folk pub, the Tongue 'n' Groove. The Darby and Joan Club are really fun - sort of a British pop sound with a caffeine edge. I really get a kick out of their music and hearing them live is always fun because Rob is particularly fun to watch. He gets really intense and does a lot of moving while he plays - not what you'd expect from a librarian at all :-). Last night I was sitting there feeling the percussion in my chest and wondering if my heart was beginning to beat to the same rhythm. I closed my eyes and everything around me disappeared. All I was aware of was the beat of my heart and the drum beat reverberating in my chest. It was a really neat sensation and I thought kind of a good opportunity to pray. While I can intellectually appreciate the Quaker tradition of stripping away everything that might distract the senses to allow the Spirit room to move it doesn't appeal to me much. I've always preferred times when my senses become so satiated that they are so busy that I'm not distracted by them anymore and can just sit and listen to the Spirit.
Now as I write this I'm listening to Charlie Haden. There was no jazz in my house growing up and while I discovered Ella and Billie while working on my MA thesis late at night listening to CBC it has only been recently that I've discovered more jazz. My cousin came for Christmas and gave me Charlie Haden and Hank Jones' album Steal Away and I fell in love. Right now I'm listening to Land of the Sun and it is beautiful too. So I'm glad to say that I don't suffer from the hardening of my musical arteries.
The world is
not with us enough.
O taste and see
the subway poster said,
meaning The Lord, meaning
if anything all that lives
to the imagination's tongue
grief, mercy, language,
tangerine, weather, to
breathe them, bite,
savior, chew, swallow, transform
into our flesh our
deaths, crossing the street, plum, quince,
living in the orchard and being
hungry, and plucking
Thursday, March 8, 2007
1 In you, O LORD, have I taken refuge; *
let me never be ashamed.
2 In your righteousness, deliver me and set me free; *
incline your ear to me and save me.
3 Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe; *
you are my crag and my stronghold.
4 Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, *
from of the clutches of the evildoer and the oppressor.
5 For you are my hope, O LORD God, *
my confidence since I was young.
6 I have been sustained by you ever since I was born;
from my mother's womb you have been my strength; *
my praise shall be always of you.
May it be so.....
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
(Marijohn Wilkins / Kris Kristofferson)
One day at a time sweet Jesus
That's all I'm asking from you.
Just give me the strength
To do everyday what I have to do.
Yesterday's gone sweet Jesus
And tomorrow may never be mine.
Lord help me today, show me the way
One day at a time.
Monday, March 5, 2007
Sunday, March 4, 2007
Saturday I went with my rector's warden to a meeting in Macleod of about 75 Anglican clergy and lay leaders from our area. Our bishop called us together to discuss the current state of the Anglican church. He made a short presentation on the Canadian church's response to the Windsor report and explained what would happen at General Synod in June. Then we talked about ministry in our parishes, what worked and what didn't and what we might do instead. It was a big conversation to have in a short time and I think there was a lot we didn't discuss. We didn't talk about the radical changes occurring in agriculture and the impact that is happening on our communities. And even though we have two reserves in this area, two First Nations parishes and many First Nations Anglicans there was no one present from these communities and nothing was said of issues for this community. It seems like our church is facing huge issues and all we did was scratch the surface.
Saturday evening a friend and I went to see The Marriage of Figaro at the university. It was the first time they had ever staged a full opera there and they did a marvelous job. The singing was great and the sets were spectacular. It was really a wonderful evening.
Today we had services in the morning and evening. Then a few of us met to look at the life of Henri Nouwen. We are meeting during lent and looking at the lives of some contemporary saints. Henri Nouwen has had a huge impact on my own faith journey and it was really good to share some of that with folks. There are so many paradoxes in Nouwen's life - he was so loved and yet so insecure about that love. He could speak so profoundly of the love of God and yet knew such darkness. Someone said of him that he witnessed to the fact that one could be a saint and wounded at the same time. I guess that means that there is hope for the rest of us.
from Pastor Kevin Powell's sermon for today. Read the rest here.
Saturday, March 3, 2007
In honour of John and Charles Wesley who are remembered this day
Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.
Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.
Friday, March 2, 2007
I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer. --
from the letters of Ranier Maria Rilke
Thanks to the Velveteen Rabbi who picked it up from Maggie Dawn
Thursday, March 1, 2007
By JACK MILES Los Angeles
THE decision of the global Anglican Communion to threaten the Episcopal Church, its American affiliate, with expulsion is about much more than the headline issue of homosexuality. Yes, the impending divorce has been precipitated by the decision of the Episcopal Church to consecrate a gay bishop and to allow individual congregations to decide whether or not to allow gay marriages. But as so often in religious history, the deeper issue is one of church governance. In effect, the Episcopalians left the Church of England more than two centuries ago.
Read the rest here.
Guide me, O thou great Jehovah,
pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but thou art mighty;
hold me with thy powerful hand.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
feed me till I want no more;
feed me till I want no more.
Open now the crystal fountain,
whence the healing stream doth flow;
let the fire and cloudy pillar
lead me all my journey through.
Strong deliverer, strong deliverer,
be thou still my strength and shield;
be thou still my strength and shield.
When I tread the verge of Jordan,
bid my anxious fears subside;
death of death and hell's destruction,
land me safe on Canaan's side.
Songs of praises, songs of praises,
I will ever give to thee;
I will ever give to thee.