Monday, May 18, 2015

The Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Last Thursday, May 14th, we marked the feast day of the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  The day comes exactly forty days after the resurrection....Here is a lovely prayer from W E Scudamore (19th c. Church of England priest and scholar - Hat-tip KSH).

O God, whose dearly beloved Son was, by thy mighty power, exalted that he might prepare a place in thy kingdom of glory for them that love thee: So lead and uphold us, O merciful Lord, that we may both follow the holy steps of his life here upon earth, and may enter with him hereafter into thy everlasting rest; that where he is, we may also be; through the merits of the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

And from Dali...

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Doubting Thomas

Biola University's Lent Project looks at St. Thomas ....with a meditation  which includes the following sonnet and a wonderful painting by artist Rene Klarenbeek - Doubting Thomas (after Rembrandt)  .


St. Thomas the Apostle

By Malcolm Guite

‘We do not know . . . how can we know the way?

Courageous master of the awkward question,

You spoke the words the others dared not say

And cut through their evasion and abstraction.

O doubting Thomas, father of my faith,

You put your finger on the nub of things:

We cannot love some disembodied wraith,

But flesh and blood must be our king of kings.

Your teaching is to touch, embrace, anoint,

Feel after him and find him in the flesh.

Because he loved your awkward counterpoint,

The Word has heard and granted you your wish.

O place my hands with yours, help me divine

The wounded God whose wounds are healing mine.

For more information , please follow the link found HERE

To view a larger version of the above painting, follow the link found HERE

Monday, April 6, 2015

Annual Brick Church Service - April 12, 2015

You and Yours are Cordially Invited

to the St. James Santee Parish Episcopal Church

Annual Brick Church Service

April 12, 2015 - 11:00 am

followed by a covered dish picnic.

(Directions to the right)


Preacher and Celebrant this year: 

The Rt. Rev. Charles vonRosenberg

Bishop of the Episcopal Church in SC

Born in Fayetteville, N.C., on July 11, 1947, Charles vonRosenberg graduated from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with a bachelor of arts in 1969. He earned his master of divinity degree from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1974. Early in his episcopate, the University of the South's School of Theology awarded him an honorary doctor of divinity.  Ordained as a priest in 1975, he served as rector/vicar of four small churches in and around Belhaven, N.C. He was vicar and rector of churches in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina from 1976 until 1989.
For many years, Bishop vonRosenberg served in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, as rector of the Church of the Resurrection in Greenwood and later as Canon to the Ordinary (assistant to the Bishop) of that diocese from 1989-1994. Later he accepted a call to be rector of St. James Episcopal Church in Wilmington, N.C.   As Third Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee from February 1999 until his retirement in June 2011, he oversaw an area of 34 counties in Tennessee and three in North Georgia, with 45 congregations and five worshiping communities and nearly 16,000 active members. Bishop vonRosenberg serves in the House of Bishops, and ex officio on the board of trustees of the University of the South. He was also was elected to the university's board of regents. In 2008 he attended the Lambeth Conference and participated with other bishops in a “Walk of Witness” through central London to draw attention to the Millennium Development Goals, which target poverty reduction around the world. He has served as Bishop Provisional of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina since a special diocesan Convention on January 26, 2013, when he was elected and invested as Bishop.
Bishop vonRosenberg and his wife, Annie, a native of Alexandria, Va., married in 1973 and they have two sons and families, including six grandchildren. The vonRosenbergs reside in the Daniel Island community of Charleston.

The Lord is Risen Indeed!!!

                                                   A Blessed Easter to You All!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Treachery of Judas - Andrey Mironov - 2009

Below is a painting which has been my companion during Lent.  I am curious about the cloaked and veiled figure in the foreground.  Who is he?  Where are you in the painting?  Below is a link to a larger version of the painting if you would like to look at it more closely (which I recommend)..

                                                          The Treachery of Judas

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Arts and Faith: Lent

This is a lovely website with a number different possibilities... Below is a sample from the Arts and Faith through Lent page.  If you click on the link below, it will take you to the main Arts and Faith page and from there to the Home Page of Loyola Press.  There are meditations for each week in Lent, Holy Week and Easter Day.  Check it Out!

Arts and Faith: Lent - Week Four

Enter into a visual prayer experience this Lent with Arts & Faith: Lent. Each week we’ll provide a video commentary about a work of art inspired by the Sunday Scriptures. Use these videos to take a new look at this season of spiritual renewal through the lens of sacred art.

Commentary is by Daniella Zsupan-Jerome, assistant professor of liturgy, catechesis, and evangelization at Loyola University New Orleans. She holds a bachelor’s degree in theology from the University of Notre Dame, a master’s degree in liturgy from St. John’s University in Collegeville, a master’s degree in religion and the arts from Yale Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in theology and education from Boston College. Her unique background in faith and art brings to life a new way of observing Lent and understanding the season on a more personal level

Monday, March 2, 2015

Lenten Thoughts on Giving Up

The following is an excerpt from an essay by the Rev. Dan Heishman, head of the National Association  of  Episcopal Schools..I appreciate his take on "giving up."

We often associate this season of Lent with giving things up—some indulgence, some bad habit—and we often view the activity of giving something up for Lent as an exercise in self-denial. While it certainly can be that, and there can be real value in self-denial, this process also turns out to be an exercise in the much larger task of giving up in life. A small act of giving up turns out to be a testing ground, a spiritual preparation for one of the great surprises of adulthood—just how much we will be about relinquishing things, illusions, or self-destructive activities.

I also thought about one of the hardest things for a mature school community (substitute, church family) to accept, that it cannot do all or be all things for all people. Fewer prospects are more difficult for a school (church) to bear than having to consider ways in which it occasionally must give up on the seductive activity of constantly taking on one more project, program, or expectation. As with all forms of giving up, we worry that it is a sign of defeat.  (Emphasis mine).

One of my favorite writers used to talk about Lent as being “Easter in disguise.” Faced with the sobering task of having to give up on something, we do not in turn face a diminished future. In fact, the process of giving the entry point to a new and much fuller life.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Confused About ISIS? Read This!

             © Provided by National Journal Syrian Kurds Battle IS To Retain Control Of Kobani

What is the Islamic State?

Where did it come from, and what are its intentions? The simplicity of these questions can be deceiving, and few Western leaders seem to know the answers. In December, The New York Times published confidential comments by Major General Michael K. Nagata, the Special Operations commander for the United States in the Middle East, admitting that he had hardly begun figuring out the Islamic State's appeal. "We have not defeated the idea," he said. "We do not even understand the idea." In the past year, President Obama has referred to the Islamic State, variously, as "not Islamic" and as al-Qaeda's "jayvee team," statements that reflected confusion about the group, and may have contributed to significant strategic errors.

The group seized Mosul, Iraq, last June, and already rules an area larger than the United Kingdom. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been its leader since May 2010, but until last summer, his most recent known appearance on film was a grainy mug shot from a stay in U.S. captivity at Camp Bucca during the occupation of Iraq. Then, on July 5 of last year, he stepped into the pulpit of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, to deliver a Ramadan sermon as the first caliph in generations—upgrading his resolution from grainy to high-definition, and his position from hunted guerrilla to commander of all Muslims. The inflow of jihadists that followed, from around the world, was unprecedented in its pace and volume, and is continuing.

To continue reading ...  Click Here

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Way of Thinking and Talking

What follows is a thoughtful piece on a way of being.The author is the Rev. Dr. Daniel Heishmann, Director of the Natl. Assoc. of Episcopal Schools....

In Ian McEwan’s new novel, The Children’s Act, Fiona May is a British High Court judge who must rule on a difficult case regarding a 17-year old boy who faces likely death if he does not receive immediate blood transfusions. The boy and his parents are Jehovah’s Witnesses, a religious group that forbids the use of such medical assistance. In a high-pitched legal battle, the hospital where the boy was being treated was asking that the Judge put the interests of the boy’s health ahead of the religious convictions of the family. As Fiona hears the case, and weighs the competing claims and intense passions of each party, she determines that a ruling cannot come until she pays a visit to the boy in hospital, in an effort to determine if he is fully aware of what may happen to him, as well as whether or not he had arrived at his desire not to receive blood in a free and rational fashion.

Ultimately, she determines that the boy’s best interests are served by allowing the hospital to pursue the necessary medical treatments.

Months later, the boy, now in full recovery, pays a surprise visit to Fiona. He also pays her a great tribute, referring to the manner in which she went about her work in spite of the intensive crossfire of accusation and counter-accusation that had infected this case. As he told her:

You were calm, you listened, you asked questions, you made some comments. That was the point. It’s this thing you have…A way of thinking and talking…It was like a grown-up had come into a room full of kids who are making each other miserable and said, Come on, stop all of this nonsense, it’s teatime! You were the grown up. You knew all along but didn’t say. You just asked questions and listened.

Our school communities, our nation, our world, can feel at times like brittle and intense places of crossfire where judgment comes quickly. In the midst of such contention, it is important to remind ourselves of the power of the person who simply, calmly asks questions and listens. It is that person who is most likely to discover what lies beneath all of the shouting and conflict—real, decent human beings on both sides who are hurting and holding on to deep convictions rarely understood by those who oppose them. What’s more, in modeling this way of thinking and talking we provide both sides with the type of example—that of the grown up—most needed at such times. The muted courage of the grown-up, so to speak, is what is most lasting and potentially healing.