Sunday, April 28, 2013

down to two

Lots of things I'm meaning to post, but either I haven't had time or I haven't had electricity.  However, this evening I want to post quickly (it's just started pouring down rain, which means the power should go off any time now). 

one of my favorite puppy pictures - so typical!

I'm sad because we lost three puppies this past week. One died Thursday and two Friday, both for no apparent reason.  Something they found and ate?  Anyway, I miss them.  And I think their parents and two remaining siblings must, too.  I've noticed the two little ones are sticking together pretty closely.

looking hopeful
In the photo above, you can see the little one on the lower left with the white nose and forehead.  She has been smaller and skinnier than the rest all along; there for a while I wondered if she was going to make it.  Actually prayed for her and have been petting her and telling her she's going to grow strong and healthy.  But she is one of the two who is still with us, which astonishes all of us.  The other one is the one in the back on the right with the dark nose.  Dogs don't tend to get named here, but we've joked that they're all named Noelle because they were born on Christmas Eve.  Let's hope that Noelle and Noelle stay healthy and have a good, long life.

I'm going to miss this little scene.  The two little ones are still our hospitality committee, but having five of them was wonderful.
In any case, I give thanks for them, all of them.  They brighten my day.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Marathon bombs rock local Episcopalians

I've been thinking of the parish in the block just after the finish line and wondering if they were planning to have a service tomorrow... but of course that area is now off limits, so I don't think so.  The cathedral and quite a number of other parishes are having prayer services, though.  And those of us far away as well as you all who are nearer continue to pray.

Boston Marathon bombs rock local Episcopalians

From the article at the second link above:

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who is in Okinawa, Japan for the Second Worldwide Anglican Peace Conference, called for prayer following the explosions, and offered the following prayer:
Gracious God, you walk with us through the valley of the shadow of death. We pray that the suffering and terrorized be surrounded by the incarnate presence of the crucified and risen one. May every human being be reminded of the precious gift of life you entered to share with us.  May our hearts be pierced with compassion for those who suffer, and for those who have inflicted this violence, for your love is the only healing balm we know. May the dead be received into your enfolding arms, and may your friends show the grieving they are not alone as they walk this vale of tears.  All this we pray in the name of the one who walked the road to Calvary. Amen.

Meanwhile, as we grieve and pray for peace here on this side of the world, war goes on with senseless deaths elsewhere. When will it stop?

praying for Boston tonight

This afternoon I was sitting on the porch, my brain turned to mush.  Monday is our day off, and I'd already come home from a board meeting and planned to take some down time.  That was a good plan because it was too hot to think.  The biggest thing on my mind was the thought that if it was 98F today, in mid-April, what would July be like? 

Then I got a call. Do you have power? he asked.  No.  What a strange question.  You know we almost never have power midafternoon. What's up?  Explosions in Boston, he said.  And he said something I thought was Manhattan (must have been "marathon"), and two explosions at the same time, and I thought we were talking about one in each city.  Where in Boston, I asked? He didn't know.  A while later he called back and said something about the library.  Someone blew up the library? 

Nothing on the radio here - I checked.

So we waited and prayed.  I watched a hummingbird.  Prayed some more. 

tiny hummingbird in our pine tree

Finally the call came: we have power!  And earlier than usual, too - it wasn't even close to being dark.  I was grateful.  Ran for the TV.  Then ran to bring my computer upstairs to supplement it. 

Wow.   You all know what happened; I don't need to go into that. Not that we know all that much yet, in any case.

sunset over Boston

So tonight I continue to pray.  I ask that you join me in praying for those who were hurt or killed and their families, for those who are physically unhurt but will be having nightmares for a long time, for first responders and medical teams, for investigators, for those who are still trying to find out if their loved ones are all right, and for those sick enough to plan such a thing.   And there are more prayers yet to be lifted up.  May God heal the violence in our world and in each of us.  Jesus said, my peace I leave with you.  We need to live into that, especially now.

Prayer For the Human Family
  O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole “family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

---Book of Common Prayer p. 815

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Haiti Connection, George Augustus Selwyn

I've been busy putting together a bulletin for next week's Haiti Connection, the annual conference of the Episcopal Church's Diocese of Haiti and its friends.  It's often in Florida, but this year it's being held here.  It's such good news that we can now do this! I'm looking forward to seeing a few friends as well as to attending the conference for the first time myself.  This year the focus is on the New Haiti.

Anyway, there is a morning prayer service which will be in French, but whose bulletin must be bilingual (French and English on facing pages).  Here's the issue: the saint for April 11 (uncanonized, but remembered with gratitude as an example) isn't exactly high profile, and no one has translated the collect (prayer) for the day.  I found a good part of it in other places (Le Livre de la Priere Commune's prayer for missionaries, for example), but had to finish it myself.  I thought I might as well share in case anyone else wants to do something similar down the road. 


George Augustus Selwyn
Dieu éternel et tout-puissant, nous te rendons grâce pour ton serviteur George Augustus Selwyn, que tu as appelé à prêcher l’évangile au peuple de la Nouvelle Zélande et de la Mélanésie et de poser les fondations pour l’accroissement de ton Eglise dans de nombreux pays. Suscite dans ce pays et partout ailleurs des hérauts de ton évangile, messagers de ton royaume, afin que ton Eglise proclame l’insondable richesse du Christ notre Sauveur. Lui qui vit et règnes avec toi et le Saint-Esprit, un seul Dieu maintenant et toujours.  Amen.

Here is the original prayer from Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints (2009), p. 323

George Augustus Selwyn
Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant George Augustus Selwyn, whom you called to preach the gospel to the people of New Zealand and Melanesia, and to lay a firm foundation for the growth of your church in many nations. Raise up in this and every land evangelists and heralds of your kingdom, that your church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holly Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Readings for the day:
    Genesis 12:1-4
    Psalm 28:7-11
    Ephesians 2:11-18
    Matthew 10:7-16

If you're interested in this man, here is a page full of links (below).  Personally, I think he must have been interesting, and I am most impressed with his learning Maori on the way there.  I'm still working on understanding and speaking Creole, and it's been a year and a half now (improving, though!).  He also is one of the few who seems to have been able to minister to both sides during the ten year war between the English and the Maori, which can't have been simple. Thanks be to God there are some who can do so. May God give us more such people.