Continuing Home

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

Monday, May 26, 2008


I've always been a big fan of Rudyard Kipling's poems, though I learned many years ago that (our Irish priest) Fr. Leen did not like his position on "The Irish Question" -- which I hadn't even known about. But in any event, on the Memorial Day weekend it was fitting to have Deacon Ed (who served in the military, collecting a number of ribbons) preach. He wound up with one of my favorites, Kipling's "Recessional" (Hymn #147, for National Days):

God of our fathers, known of old--
Lord of our far-flung battle line
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine--
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies;
The captains and the kings depart:
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

Far-called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe--
Such boasting as the Gentiles use
Or lesser breeds without the law--
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard--
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding, calls not Thee to guard--
For frantic boast and foolish word,
Thy mercy on Thy people, Lord!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Affliction and Tribulation

Our Scripture Class this morning departed a bit from study of the Service Proper (the appointed Collect, Epistle and Gospel) to instead study John 16:33(b). Fr. Daniel must have felt a little bit afflicted because when we arrived late (due to our own tribulations this morning) it was a class of one -- Nancy. (It is not surprising that our numbers would be low on the weekend preceding the "beginning of summer" Memorial Day holiday tomorrow.) But he'd already filled in the Greek and was going through it.

So much in one sentence! Discussions went briefly into the contrast with the "prosperity gospel," but then on to Foxe's Voices of the Martyrs, an updated (and beautifully bound) copy of which Fr. Daniel just received and which is now in the church Library. (Reading a bit online, I chanced on the martyrdom of Bishops Ridley and Latimer, about which I'd read before but not in this much detail. This is obviously not a book for the faint of heart...)

I was going to comment here on Fr. Daniel's subsequent joke regarding our processional hymn #296, which he had intended us to sing to a familiar tune rather than afflicting us with something completely unknown, but he'd forgotten to tell our organist. I don't think we did badly at all -- but it certainly pales to insignificance after what I just read...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sumer is icumen in

Sorry about the pause. One of my "hobbies" is watching the making of laws (a business far more appalling than the making of sausages, I assure you) and advising the makers of said laws when they are making a bad mistake. Shortly after the previous post I happened to stumble across a very bad mistake in process and analyzing, researching and responding to it completely tied me up until last evening. (The letters should be in the mail today.)

In any event, after a long cold winter-like spring, a heatwave descended on us the end of last week (temperatures in the high 80s F, high 20s C), too-bright sun and all. Suddenly summer has arrived -- we have to start opening the windows in the Nave and be bothered by traffic noise from Avondale Road, some of us get to be awakened by the 4:30 AM dawn chorus ("Lhude sing cuccu..." and other birds!) and as regular as clockwork, the summer schedule of events appears in the Sunday bulletin.

Well, okay, kidding on the last (I think?). But Fr. Daniel has clearly been thinking way ahead. Choir Camp will be held August 12-14. Camp Cookie is slated for August but might not happen because it's support for Kathy in her Kairos Prison Ministry and she will miss the September event -- it coincides with my meeting in Vienna, and she is coming with me, though I learned today we'll likely return separately because I have to go speak at a conference in Dallas immediately after.

But there are other things such as our Patronal Festival this year, August 24th, which will be the 30th anniversary of the founding of St. Bartholomew's! We have a few people who remember those days but not many. And the Annual Parish Retreat on September 27th (maybe I'll be there -- the Dallas conference will be over).

I noticed that the Diocesan Youth Camp (late June) and the Diocesan Camp-Out (7/10-13) weren't listed, but it still looks like a busy summer ahead.

Oh. And the flags? They appeared about the time of Bishop Provence's visit on Pentecost. I rather suspect the Anglican Church Women were involved somehow.

Now if it would only rain and cool things off a bit...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Rogation Sunday

I admit it, this one is two weeks after the fact. But I didn't even offload the pictures from the camera until May 6th, 9 days after.

The Sunday after Synod ended I was able to get to church and to serve with Bishop Provence. It being Rogation Sunday, we had our second annual procession around the property, with Fr. Daniel sprinkling holy water as we went. I noted my car got a splash as we passed -- later Fr. Daniel joking asked if I'd let him know if it was running better.

You know, I think it is.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Tight schedule

Just got back early this morning (1 AM) from another trip. This one looked easy, just a short 105-minute flight to SFO (San Francisco)... but none of the travel turned out to be so easy.

A declining set of circumstances beginning with airplane mechanical trouble set back my arrival in SFO to a time where I was barely going to make my speaking engagement. I made it in time though, to the evident relief of my colleague and speaking partner Graham, who took me to see the memorable The Trees of St. Mary's at Goring-By-Sea last December.

But my recent hope that I might be able to get away to visit St. Stephen's, Oakville Grade, was not to be. The buffet dinner / "trade show" / etc. went way too late.

But during it I talked with both Graham and his wife Julie (whom I met on my visit to St. Mary's), and in the course of the discussion I somehow mentioned our upcoming Anglican Camp (our Diocese of the Western States camp-out), probably because it'll be on the California coast two or three hours' drive north of the conference. They were intrigued, so I am to e-mail them links to the Anglican Camp last year (photos and more photos more photos). .

They related some of their activities, not exactly like ours but involving people from multiple parishes. The common element we all held is that it's a good thing for people from different parishes to meet and get to know each other.

But all too soon it was time to head towards the airport, more difficulties with airplanes, and arriving late o again.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Extinguishing the Paschal Candle

Today is Ascension Day, celebrating Jesus' ascension into the heavens, as noted in today's "portion of Scripture appointed for the Epistle" (as the 1662 rubric says), beginning at Acts i. 1. (which was the subject of study two weeks ago when I visited "O Street"!).
For the Epistle. Acts i. 1.

THE former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom be had chosen: to whom also he shewed him self alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: and, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld. he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

I clearly have never been the Epistler on Ascension Day, because I have never read this out loud before. (To tell the truth, I've rarely been to church on Ascension Day -- it just sort of tended to be lost, and I am really glad that Fr. Daniel has brought the focus back at St. Bartholomew's.) But Fr. Daniel also wanted help for the 10 AM Morning Prayer + Holy Communion service so I volunteered.

Deacon Ed, who read the Gospel, noted that I had a much longer reading, and it was true. But it also felt a little odd to read this letter -- my mind's eye kept flicking over to movie scenes where someone is writing a letter with voiceover reading the content of the letter. I wonder if anyone in the small group present this morning noted it.

But in any event, before the service I asked about lighting the candles. Fr. Daniel said "Light them ALL up!" with Deacon Ed noting that this would be the last time because we would not be using the Paschal candle after today. And in fact, Fr. Daniel directed me to carry the candle to the spot by the organ where it will reside and extinguish it. It felt odd, because it seems like it was almost yesterday I was carrying that candle, lit for the first time, into the church on Easter Even.