Thursday, March 31, 2011

still waiting

As my computer, following hospice care and much intervention, has finally been given last rites, I have found it a challenge to keep up with news on Haiti.  Now that I've had a chance to get online, I see that I needn't have rushed: there are no results yet.  Here is the link to the CNN article:

Haiti's presidential election results delayed by fraud

Not much in the way of detail,  unfortunately, but we may hear more later.  I understand that the preliminary count should be announced Monday now and that the final count will likely be April 16. 

Perhaps it is a Lenten opportunity to grow in patience.  Perhaps it is somehow related to the weather, which is also behind schedule. During supper this evening, I was contemplating the potential merits of packing up my winter clothing when I noticed it was snowing.

Everyone sing together now:  "Anticipa-a-tion is making me wait, is keeping me wai-ai-ai-ai-aiting..."

Meanwhile, a prayer for good government.  Perhaps this evening we can pray this both for our own home countries and for Haiti.

Heavenly Father, Spirit of justice and truth, grant to our governments and all who serve in public life, wisdom and skill, imagination and energy; protect them from corruption and the temptation of self-serving. help us to commit ourselves to the common good that our land may be a secure home for all its peoples, through Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. Amen*

*This prayer is from the Anglican Church of Australia Mossman/Port Douglas Parish and may be found at , listed as Pentecost 12

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

morning praise

When morning gilds the skies,
my heart, awaking, cries,
may Jesus Christ be praised!

- The Hymnal 1982 #427

morning bell

chapel bell at dawn
SSM Roxbury convent roof

Monday, March 21, 2011

in honor of Boston spring snow

It snowed today - not just a few tiny flakes, either.  Happy Spring, Boston!

And so, in honor of spring snow, I thought I'd post a few Boston snow pictures from earlier this year.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

a Lenten heart

Bless us, O God, in this holy season, in which our hearts seek your help and healing; and so purify us by your discipline that we may grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

---Collect for Wednesday in the First Week of Lent, Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2006, p. 34

Heart of God - Gary Rowell
(not sure where I found it)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japanese Anglicans respond

Statement from the Archbishop of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (The Anglican Communion in Japan) The Most Revd Nathaniel Makoto Uematsu,14 March, 2011:
"In many affected areas there are roadblocks but as for Tohoku diocese the church is planning to establish an emergency relief centre within the diocesan building. Bishop Kato will lead the efforts to respond to the crisis.

At a Provincial level I am working to establish a structure for responding to this unprecedented natural disaster as soon as possible. This will include providing relief and sourcing volunteers and funding to help with the restoration of the affected areas. I am also trying to find more accurate information about our church family and the relief efforts, and to communicate that information as quickly as possible.

What we can do right now, however, is pray. Prayer has power. I hope and request that you pray for the people who are affected, for those who have died and for their families. Pray for the people involved with the rescue efforts, and in particular pray for Tohoku and Kita Kanto dioceses and their priests and parishioners during this time of Lent.

I am grateful for all the many prayers and messages of support from throughout the world; from the Archbishop of Canterbury and other Churches."

You can read his full response here:

There is also an update from the Nippon Sei Ko Kai this morning with many of the particulars about earthquake damage.  The Diocese of Tohoku, however, is not included because information is still unavailable due to the lack of power and telephone service. Its cathedral is located in Sendai, the town that was hardest hit by the tsunami.  "The Diocese of Tohoku covers the prefectures of Aomori, Akita, Miyagi, Yamagata, and Fukushima, and the last three have been hit hard, particularly Miyagi prefecture. Membership of diocese of Tohoku is about 1,500 people and there are 29 churches, chapels and missionary stations."

The next hardest hit, "The Diocese of Kita Kanto covers prefectures of Ibaragi, Tochigi, Gunma, and Saitama. The membership of the diocese is about 2,100 people and there are 31 churches, chapels, and missionary stations. Its Cathedral is located in Maebashi-shi, Gunma prefecture."

 The photo below is of St. Stephen's Church.  You can see that the stone on the wall behind the altar has fallen, among other things.  The article says that "St. Stephen’s Church in Mito-city, Ibaragi prefecture has lost its bell tower although not completely destroyed with a big crack in the tower, and the church building and rectory suffered substantial damage, cracked and fallen walls and ceiling."

You can read the whole report here:
Finally, there is an Episcopal News Service report summarizing much of this, reporting on fundraising efforts now begun throughout the church, and giving news of Young Adult Service Corps members from the Episcopal Church who have been living and working in Japan.  It includes a jaw-dropping photo of a ferry stranded on top of the building. (I'd include it here, but it specifically says it is not to be reused without permission.)  You may read it here:
Finally, via internet news, here is some general information on donating by text message, as was possible during the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti.

Monday, March 14, 2011

beauty again

Baroque Festival, February 27, 2011, at Karibe Convention Center, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Orchestra: Orchestre Philharmonique du Ste Trinite (campus-community orchestra of the Holy Trinity Music School in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Conductor: Cynthia Katsarelis
Flute: Theophile Joseph
Violin: Guerlyn Esperance
Oboe: Frantzdy Monteau
Trumpet: Jeanne Pocius

I'm so glad Jeanne posted this for us. It's a sign of life following a disaster, of beauty in a time of continuing devastation.  If they can still play, so can all of us.  Japan will, too.

night music prayer

"God of day and God of darkness,
now we stand before the night.
As the shadows stretch and deepen,
come and make our darkness bright.
All creation still is groaning
for the dawning of your might.
When the Sun of peace and justice
fills the earth with radiant light."

-- Marty Haugen

I found this music at RevGalBlogPals: Sunday Afternoon Music Video: God of Day and God of Darkness along with the text above, which may be sung to its melody.  It makes for good night prayer, especially in such times.

My prayer tonight is especially for the people of Japan.  My heart goes out to them, and I think especially of my former students from Japan, some at home and some listening and waiting for news from afar.  I've had news of almost all of them, thanks be to God, but what it must be like... I am reminded so much of the waiting time following the earthquake in Haiti.  The searching for loved ones.  And then the aftermath.  Power and water shortages.  And the piles of rubble everywhere more than a year later.  Japan has more resources, but then, so do we in the US, and we haven't finished cleaning up New Orleans or rebuilt Ground Zero.  Of course, at this point it seems a bit early to think of rebuilding when people are still in shock and trying to contact the missing.   

And we are all still waiting as they try to bring the nuclear reactors under control.  Dangerous work on top of the emotional and physical exhaustion that come from living through disaster.  Further prayers for all of those involved.

Earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear reactors, political violence, epidemics, and more - so much heartache in the world right now.  Japan.  Haiti. Libya.  So very many places.

The other side of the world seems so close tonight, but as my thoughts are there, I am also very aware that there is hunger and heartache right here at home.  We see it at home in Boston and I see it especially in Chelsea at the well-attended Saturday food pantry and the accompanying breakfast and lunch.

Yet I do firmly believe that all this disaster and pain are not the end of the story.  Just as Good Friday leads to Easter, so we know that none of these events is final, full stop.  There will be new life.  There will be new beauty.  There really is hope.  We just need to respond to God's call to work as well as watch for spring to come out of winter, for life to come out of death.

Perhaps this Lent we will learn to care for each other better as we realize how very connected we all are. 

God of day and God of darkness,
now we stand before the night.
As the shadows stretch and deepen,
come and make our darkness bright.