Continuing Home

The ongoing saga of a Continuing Anglican church home, as seen by a member of the laity.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Selah (III)

It's that time again: my fall travel season has arrived and with a veangence this year. I'm off on the first of four trips from now until November 11th, and at 5 days away this is the short one. Updates to the blog are not going to be as frequent during this time.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Proliferation of Priests, and Playing of a Piano

It seems the number of clergy at St. Bartholomew's has been growing, somewhat unnoticed by the congregation who are only aware of Fr. Daniel and Deacon Ed.

The latest appears to be "Father Canticle," as I noted here last Saturday. But even prior to "Father Canticle" we had another, as noted on the sign below and in a recent newsletter:

Yes, it's the Irish priest Father Pint O'Guinness (no doubt named "Pint" because he's short, so much unlike Fr. Daniel).

The piano? Recently moved from the Boeschotens' to the Parish Hall, apparently because it wasn't getting any use. It is now; just a couple of Sundays ago we heard somebody playing it (and well! Ruby??) during Mass. I don't know if the stairwell door was open or the sound was coming up through the ventilation ducts, but it was a little distracting. Hm, if I remember right that was the Sunday the Boeschotens were celebrating their wedding anniversary.

You can see it in the blog posting of our patronal festival.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Matins and Memories

This morning I attended early Matins (due to an end-of-project stint in the office this weekend) and to my surprise, we sang it!

The settings chosen for the Benedictus es, Domine and the Jubilate Deo were not familiar, but I saw that for one of them there was a familiar setting in the Hymnal.

But best of all, for the Venite, exultemus Domino we used the setting of Hymn 609 which was very familiar for all that I haven't heard it since, oh, about 1968. Thank you, Father Daniel!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Matins, Sung

At the tail end of this morning's Men's Group Breakfast (served up as usual by our great chef and lawyer Gordon -- the latter position has no connection with the former description, I promise), a couple of the group confronted Fr. Daniel face-to-face in the parking lot with the totally all-important question: "Fr. Canticle, why are we not singing more of Morning Prayer?!?!" (Fr. Canticle... will have to remember that one!)

For at least some of us this is a practice we remember from Way Back, complicated by the fact that we didn't all sing the same settings.

Fr. Daniel seemed delighted, and I agree. More song is GOOD; if anything (my personal opinion), we've gone a bit backward lately. Don't know why.

Whatever we do, it will never be as "bad" as a former church choir I knew who rightfully called themselves "A Joyful Noise." They were awful and knew it, but we knew their heart and that made all the difference; we loved them. I'd rather have "A Joyful Noise" than a budget-draining professional choir.

Though if I can't get my voice beyond today's croak, I'm out of our prospective choir.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Baptism of Mary Eve McGrath

Today was a special day for St. Bartholomew's: Mary Eve McGrath, daughter of Fr. Daniel and Josephine was baptized into "the faith once delivered unto the saints." Unlike my lifelong experience of baptisms this was a special service held well in advance (at 9:15 AM) and apart from the usual Sunday service (10:00 AM Mass for us) -- but it was not the less attended for all that!

We waited until after Mass for the celebration in the Parish Hall. A special cake had been created for the occasion, as shown here. I am told the Chinese text represents Mary's name, the first character roughly approximating "McGrath", and the next two "Mary Eve."

Friday, September 15, 2006

Seminarian Care Package

Fr. Daniel has announced our autumn "Let’s give ‘em a taste of Seattle Care Package” for our seminarians" enrolled in our national seminary, Saint Joseph of Arimathea Anglican Theological College, in Berkeley, California.

Gifts may be brought to the Parish Hall anytime from now until Sunday, September 24.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Be careful what you say!

This morning I was reading an APCK e-mail list digest and noted that Fr. Daniel had written another of his interesting, educational articles and submitted it to the list for discussion.

In an incautious moment I wrote back, saying:

I note these articles... have you thought about starting a blog?
He responded shortly thereafter, asking how he might start a blog and questioned whether he'd have time to make regular entries on it. I noted the response but because I was then deep into my workday, I figured I would wait until lunch to respond.

Back from lunch and ready to respond I checked my e-mail and learned I was too late: Fr. Daniel had already figured out the entire process (even starting with my preferred blog host -- the host for this blog!), created a new blog and started it off with one of his works!

Of course there was the issue of updating the blog "regularly." I sent him a brief note during a short break in the afternoon's craziness at work, assuring him that irregular updates are fine. Some of the Anglican blogs I read only update every couple of weeks or so, but if the content is good people do return. (I have even seen some go dead for months, but word gets around fairly quickly when they come back to life.)

Finally home this afternoon, much later than normal, I find Fr. Daniel's been busy. Links are up, profile is up, and several more postings are on the blog.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome the Anglican Parish Priest to the blogosphere!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Schola Cantorum

In the latest parish newsletter, Earth and Altar, Fr. Daniel announces the formation of St. Bartholomew's Schola Cantorum (Latin "School of Singing") for adults.

Several of us apparently have expressed an interest (I was one), so a small group will be formed to meet once a month (initially?) to study choral music and possibly to perform on occasion. I sang in a choir once, but nothing like what this promises to be.

I just hope I can get my old voice back, or I might be booted out!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Autumn's Harbingers

Headed out to church Sunday I saw the first real harbingers of autumn. Sometime in mid-August we start getting early-morning fogs in low-lying valleys, but Seattle traffic has forced me into the "high road" (back road) to work this year so I've not been seeing the fogs.

Next are the appearance of large spiders (ugly but harmless to humans) with spiderwebs elsewhere. I saw the first two of those Sunday; in no time they are going to be everywhere, disappearing soon after All Saint's Day.

About the same time as the spiders' appearance the deciduous trees' leaves start coming down, though that can be caused early by drought stress as is the case this year.

The next-to-last harbinger is when the cedars' innermost fronds start turning reddish-brown and though not visible in this picture, we saw them when crossing over the top of Union Hill on the way to church Sunday.

The final harbinger is when we at St. Bartholomew's post our "Sunday School" banner beneath the St. Bartholomew's church sign, which we did this Sunday after the service. Our Sunday School program begins its new year on Sunday, September 17th.

Autumn is almost here.

Earth and Altar

The mystery of the note at the bottom of the bulletin was finally revealed Sunday. It's the new debut of our parish newsletter which, as Fr. Daniel noted, has been somewhat unimaginatively (if perfectly accurately and appropriately) named "St. Bartholomew's Anglican Church Parish Newsletter," but under a new name: "Earth and Altar."

The name comes from the wonderful G.K. Chesterton hymn I mentioned a week and a half ago, Hymn 521, O God of Earth and Altar.

Fr. Daniel requests ideas for logo (graphic) and font for the newsletter.

(Ugh. While preparing this post I went and did a Google image search on "Earth and Altar." There is a lot of strange stuff out there. And the last site I looked at that purportedly quoted the hymn turned out to be something about the group Iron Maiden on it. Not what I wanted, so I returned to edit this post... several minutes later the computer startled me when it started playing rock. It was the Iron Maiden page, still open on another browser tab!)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Blessing of the Animals?

I can tell it's been a busy week. Written on Sunday's bulletin, sitting next to the computer was a note I had forgotten. Fr. Daniel had said during the announcements Sunday that Wednesday, October 4th, will be the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. He was (if my memory is correct) considering holding a Blessing of the Animals, in this case a relatively short little service, but wondered when the best time would be. This is, of course, a significant issue for a fairly wide-spread parish in a region of bad traffic.

When he made the announcement my mind went back to my first experience with a Blessing of the Animals, at our church previous to St. Bartholomew's. A few months earlier we'd adopted a shepherd-mix puppy who had been terribly abused by a two-year-old (and likely a parent, we surmise from available evidence). The poor pup was terrified of everything that moved, and much that didn't. He was so fearful it took us three days to coax him to come inside the house.

Flash forward a few difficult months: Training him to walk on a leash was proving impossible. The instant the leash went on he was fighting it, alternately actively and passively. And although he absolutely loved to run and play at the ocean shore, I would have to chase him down and catch him to get him into the pickup truck for the trip over (and repeat much the same for the return trip).

So when it came to the Sunday for the Blessing of the Animals we figured he might do well with a blessing, though we were concerned about his reaction to the other pets and the leash he would have to wear.

Our concerns turned out to be absolutely groundless. As soon as I opened the gate to the yard he ran out and leaped into the truck bed all Eager TO GO!! I was stunned; I didn't know what to make of it (but I made sure he was secured anyway).

And when we got to church (instead of the beach) he simply allowed the leash to be attached and just ignored the other pets in the parking-lot service; being near us was all that seemed to matter that day.

He was a different, loving and accepting dog from that day on, and is remembered fondly by family to this day, so many years after his passing.

A Blessing for him, and to us all!

(And THAT finishes my notes from Sunday!)

Monday, September 04, 2006

Cookies for Kairos

kairos Yesterday Kathy announced that it is "Kairos Cookie Time" again! From the flyer:
Kairos is a Greek word designating an opportunity, a fixed time, or "God's Special Time." It is a special time for inmates to attend a three-day seminar on Christianity, learning about the love God has for them. Kairos is an ecumenical prison ministry, made up of those who have attended a similar three-day seminar (Cursillo, Walk to Emmaus, etc), and is adapted to the prison environment.

During a Kairos weekend, the prison is flooded with home-baked, prayed-over cookies. Every resident in the institution receives a dozen cookies each day of the Kairos weekend; for the six retreats in the three western Washington prisons, over 36,000 dozen cookies are needed each year! God uses these cookies to bring others to Himself; some inmates come to Kairos "just for the cookies," and as they sit and munch, they not only hear about the love of God, but they experience it too!

What can you do?
Bake tasty cookies . . .
Pray as you bake . . .
Pack the cookies carefully . . .
and bring them to: _____________

Kathy has led this project at St. Bartholomew's (as well as working Kairos weekends) for some years now, and the women have always baked up huge numbers of cookies. There are a number of special rules, such as no frosting (could hide "something else"), and no nutmeg or poppyseed (test positive for drugs), that have to be followed.

It's even possible for the children to get involved, decorating the bags (#6 industry-size white). The flyer gives some do's and don'ts, and a number of ideas for artwork.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


It's been a year since the McGraths arrived from Santa Barbara for Fr. McGrath to take up the position of Rector at St. Bartholomew's. We're planning a little celebration tomorrow.

Friday, September 01, 2006

G. K. Chesterton in The Hymnal, 1940

Fr. Daniel announced on the APCK mailing list yesterday one of the hymns we will be singing Sunday. I do not think I know this one (nor that we had anything at all by Chesterton in the Hymnal)!

Fr Daniel's note included the following commentary:

Hymn 521, "O God of Earth and Altar", written in 1906 is very relevant to us in America in 2006, with references to "terror", inordinate wealth, the climate of cynicism, and also to the sophistry that is the trademark of our political life, in which the weaker arguments are made to appear strong by lies and manipulations by all political parties. Verse 2 of the hymn contains clear references to The Litany from the Book of Common Prayer. In the Hymnal 1940, Chesterton's hymn is sung to a lovely traditional English melody, called "King's Lynn", arranged by R. Vaughan Williams in 1906.

Hymn 521, O God of Earth and Altar, by G. K. Chesterton:

O God of earth and altar, Bow down and hear our cry,
Our earthly rulers falter, Our people drift and die;
The walls of gold entomb us, The swords of scorn divide,
Take not thy thunder from us, But take away our pride.

From all that terror teaches, From lies of tongue and pen,
From all the easy speeches That comfort cruel men,
From sale and profanation Of honor, and the sword,
From sleep and from damnation, Deliver us, good Lord!

Tie in a living tether The prince and priest and thrall,
Bind all our lives together, Smite us and save us all;
In ire and exultation Aflame with faith, and free,
Lift up a living nation, A single sword to thee. Amen.