Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Quite the Summer Shaping Up

Just got home from a physical therapy visit where my PT guy basically chewed me out! Seems I am way overdoing it on the injured leg. There's lots of swelling, and pain. So I gotta take it easy. I wonder if walking up and down all those piers during the Blessing of the Fleet (see pic on left) had anything to do with it? We blessed over 300 boats! The sea was too rough to take the boats out, so we walked the piers. It was a beautiful, although very windy day. Lot of fun, but paying a price now. I don't want to go back to doing church like THIS - again.

This summer will be busy and wild! First Sunday in new building is still on for Pentecost - May 31! The next week I go to Kanuga for Province IV Synod (pre-General Convention meeting). I do my camp session (5th and 6th graders) late June. Then GC in Anaheim from July 7 to 18! And sometime a little vacation with the family, leading up to our official dedication service August 15th! It won't be boring around here, that's for sure.....

Monday, April 20, 2009

Video Journey

If you have a few minutes, would you mind watching this video? You can click HERE, or copy the link below into your browser.
It tells the story of St. Patrick's and asks for help in our rebuilding efforts. Please watch and pray about how you can help - and PLEASE pass the link on to others.
Thanks, God bless.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Maybe Pentecost!!!

Well, Holy Week is in the books. It was really wonderful, special this year because we know it's our last Holy Week in exile! Thinking back over four Holy Weeks done in borrowed space - two in a school gym and two at Camp Coast Care - I am very proud of how our folks have come together to make these spaces holy and sacred, and to be able to provide these special liturgies under difficult circumstances.
Our attendance was only fair for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, but excellent for the Easter Vigil Saturday night and for Easter Sunday. The Vigil was really special. I was worried we wouldn't have a big crowd since, for the first time, we were not doing baptisms. But they came! It shows this Parish has really adopted this service and looks forward to it each year. The storytellers did a good job, and I was able to tie my homily into my own story telling (Ezekiel - dry bones). We renewed baptismal vows and I sprinkled the congregation with Holy water. Then the lights came on and the bells rang at the 1st Alleluia of Easter!
Easter Sunday was very nice, wonderful music and a lot of dressed up kids! We have an abundance of families with small children now, many of whom have joined us since Katrina and only know us in this borrowed space. Have we got a treat for them!
Speaking of - we believe we will take occupancy of the building mid-May! Keep praying! If so, we will move in just before and after Memorial weekend, and have our first Sunday service on Pentecost! Isn't that appropriate! There is much left to do, so pray we can make it on time. This is wonderful news! Stay tuned - and join us if you can.
Oh - the pic at the top is about a month old - but all the current work is going on inside.....

Monday, April 06, 2009

Holy Week!

"The most wonderful time of the year....". I know it's from a Christmas song, but for me it screams HOLY WEEK.
I really do love it.
I don't mind the extra work pumping out bulletins, or the demand of writing 8 sermons (ok, 7, my Deacon preached tonight (Monday of Holy Week). I don't because it is just wonderful. Holy Week. A living and breathing thing, that allows us a glimpse into that last week of our Lord's life on earth. If only we could get all the Christians, much less those who don't believe, to set this week aside, this one week, and attend services, if not every night AT LEAST the Triduum of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Great Vigil of Easter.
If only.
Meanwhile, some will come to all, some will come to a few, most will only come on Sunday, having missed the story that gets us to Easter. All we can do is pray and prepare and rejoice when someone dares to step out of the culture of the world and say - this week is for God and I will commit to walk this path with Jesus.
I am doing a few different things this year. Their is a debate amongst preachers in the Episcopal church on whether to preach on Palm Sunday or not - the liturgy is so rich, the Passion Gospel so profound, some think it better to just let that speak for itself. I am reluctant to do so. Last year I preached a very short homily outside before the blessing of the palms and the procession (right after the 1st Gospel lesson of Jesus entering the city on the donkey). This year I preached a short homily just after the 2nd lesson - that fantastic reading from Phillipians. I will do this again on Good Friday, I will preach on the Isaiah passage BEFORE we read John's version of the Passion Gospel. It gives me, and the church, a chance to deal with some really amazing Scripture passages that can get lost with everything else that is going on.
At the Vigil we will use story tellers again to tell the Old Testament salvation history lessons. And we will renew baptismal vows (this is my first Vigil to not have a baptism, darn it). Then the magic happens - lights, bells, music, joy.
I can't wait....I hope you find a place to join in this most wonderful time of the year.