Continuing Home

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

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2011: 400 years of the KJV

A friend pointed out today that next year will be the 400th anniversary of the publication of the Authorized or King James Version of the Bible. I gather this tidbit has been floating around some circles, but only today did I become aware of it.

A bit of research shows that the year is as close we can come to publication date -- and it appears to be unknown whether it was finally authorized or not. But thanks to Fr. McGrath several years ago I read "God's Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible" by Adam Nicholson, a very interesting read.

(Now if I could only find an Android app for the AKJV with Apocrypha, not to mention the 1928 BCP...)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Broken links

It is surprising at times to see how this blog "gets around." Ranjit asked this morning if I had posted something about snow being in our forecast, having heard something to that effect from someone else. (After our White Christmas two years ago folks are still on edge.)

I had to think about it a bit, then remembered the White Christmas? posting last week. I assured him it was okay, and suggested that if nothing else he could check the weather & traffic link from the church website to see about conditions.

Although we have no scheduled events for a few days, we might get snow midweek that could last for a couple of days according to current forecasts (plenty of time for things to change either way). So I thought I'd double-check the weather page and to my horror, the links were broken -- both Washington Dept. of Transportation and King County had changed their traffic camera websites.

A half-hour of reworking their links into a simple presentation on the weather page results in something hopefully useful for those making a decision on driving in based on road conditions near the church.

Friday, December 24, 2010

It was a dark and stormy night...

...and it really is. Heavy rain set in about the time I left for this evening's service, and all the way to St. Bartholomew's it felt like one of the darkest nights I've ever seen in Seattle. I really just wanted to be staying at home. But once arrived, I was glad I hadn't stayed home -- even though in the confusion of departure I'd left my pen and camera home.

And confusion too was what I found there. Sacristy packed full of readers, acolytes, Thurifer, Master of Ceremony and Fr. Davis. I had had some difficulty because I couldn't find the appointed Epistle, not noticing there was an alternate for Christmas and that was what we were using. And my preparation for the second lesson of the five -- well, Deacon Miller wasn't coming so I wound up reading the first instead. (Paul Jr. wound up reading the second.)

Somehow we skipped the Decalogue, but things went pretty well. Fr. Davis did a great job of integrating a set of readings alternating with carols into Holy Communion -- we seem to be blessed with a series of great liturgists (or maybe our seminary is teaching this well). My favorite hymn, 197 Picardy (Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent), was the post-communion hymn; I just wish I could find a recording of it that I like -- should be simple, male choir or soloist singing it a cappella and straight, to the setting in our Hymnal 1940. But it's not.

A very touching moment before the carols ended: Kavya leading her new little sister Tanaya up to the table-top creche, where Tanaya reached waaay up to place the infant Jesus in the manger. One of those things visually recorded only in the mind's eye.

It was still very dark and stormy coming home, but no longer so bleak.

Merry Christmas, dear reader.

Carols and Communion

Somehow I missed until this morning the email that Fr. Davis sent out yesterday to the Lay Readers, noting that readers were needed for the service (and it looks like we're all "signed up"). It included the bulletin for the service, and what I see from this is that the Carols and several lessons have been integrated into the service. It looks like it will be a very nice service!

It being Christmas Eve our tree is finally up, and a happy old mountain dulcimer Christmas LP (yes, vinyl -- Jean Ritchie, if you want to know) is playing. A nice antidote to what I heard in the stores.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas blast

Before we entered into Advent, Fr. Davis asked us to observe Advent.

Okay, maybe not the first we've heard this admonition, but he was a bit clearer on what this meant. Leave the "Christmas" things until Christmas -- this didn't mean avoiding Christmas parties (aka "Holiday Luncheon and Gift Exchange" at the office) or Christmas gift shopping, but that in our personal lives we'd live the "lesser Lent" and prepare for the coming holiday in humility. The household decorations don't go up until Christmas Eve, for example.

Well, here in the Pacific Northwe(s)t we need every protection against the grim, grey weather that is well-known to cause depression, resulting in folks moving away after a few years. So our outside lights were turned on at the beginning of Advent and will remain on until Twelfthnight.

But other old family traditions remain. We're not going out to chop down or buy a Christmas tree tomorrow -- last year we bought a fake tree. (Local prices coupled with the fact that nearly all local vendors are shut down *before* Christmas Eve dictated that move.) It will be erected, decorated, and presents placed beneath it tomorrow.

But all of that is an aside.

With the approaching Christmas gift-exchange tradition I've worked on it in advance. But for me some of it requires visiting actual stores.

So on Tuesday, being on holiday from work (and uncertain what I did Monday except wind down), I headed out to the local stores to look for "lesser presents." My first stop was a housewares store, and to be frank I wasn't there to look for gifts but to look for three small items to fix/improve the household.

Now I've been traveling a lot, and family have tried to insulate me from the "Christmas shopping," but the instant I entered this housewares store completely overwhelmed me with its loud blare of Christmas music, Christmas displays, and Christmas wares (which I don't think you will see the rest of the year). The music and displays... all I remember is wandering through the store looking for the non-Christmas items I sought (didn't find them), looking briefly at their "Christmas"offerings" (no sale) and moving on and out in a complete daze.

Fully observing Advent hasn't been easy, especially this last week. Maybe I will appreciate Christmas, beginning to end, all the more -- I certainly hope so!

The elusive right combination

Over the years we've had many changes in service times for Christmas Eve, trying to find the right combination. The first, at 3 PM in the afternoon (Christmas Eve, 1986), doesn't count because the building wasn't finished, we didn't have lighting (or heat) and the fire marshal wouldn't let us have candles.

But since then we've held combined Carols and Holy Communion, an earlier children's service (as early as 6 PM if I remember correctly), and Holy Communion at various times, including Midnight Mass (starting at 11 PM). At least one or maybe two years the services were close enough that it was better to have a parish supper, rather than have people drive all the way and back again -- some live quite a ways away.

The one problem with Midnight Mass is that it is difficult to leave at half-past midnight or so, drive home, sleep too few hours and be up and back for the 10 AM Mass.

So this year we're holding Carols at 8 PM, followed by Holy Communion.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

White Christmas?

When I woke up this morning I checked the weather forecast on the cellphone -- and to my dismay it called for snow. White Christmases look nice, but can make a real mess of things here, as we learned a couple of years ago.

So it was with some relief (and puzzlement) that I checked two reliable weather sites and found only rain in the forecast, and temperatures well above freezing. But the phone still showed snow. On investigating, I found it was set to give a Chicago forecast, not local. Whew!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

St. Thomas

A small group of us turned out for 10 AM Holy Eucharist. Fr. Davis told us a little in advance about St. Thomas, including the cathedral built in southern India. I thought I had been there, but when I researched the matter, I realized I was wrong.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Where have all the photos gone?

A couple of weeks ago Bob asked me for a photo of the altar. No problem, I thought, because I had some going back to when it arrived. But they have disappeared.

It's not like they've been misfiled -- the photo filing system is very simple and they should have been in one or more folders named something like /2010/2010-03-28-StB/ but there's nothing there. Only 2010-02-Paris/ followed by 2010-04-Frankfurt/. True, pictures taken explicitly for the blog are put elsewhere, but they're not there. And sometimes they'll be placed in a similar location on the work laptop (particularly when traveling), but that looks the same as the home machine.

I had to revisit this blog's archives to persuade myself that I took them.

I wonder... I think I burned a CD for Fr. Davis. Perhaps I accidentally deleted them then? I'll have to ask.

As Bob noted, it's worrisome when things like this just disappear. What else might have vanished undetected?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Near oops

Got up feeling pretty tired -- no wonder because I was awake for hours in the middle of the night. Coupled with an upset stomach I almost didn't go this morning. But it's Advent IV and we were going to do the Greening of the Church (decorating for Christmas) today and I didn't really want to miss that, so I went.

I'd barely sat in the pew, just minutes before the service was to begin, when Larry came up and said, "You're signed up to read today." I was? I had completely forgotten about it. So I went to the Sacristy and vested, while Deacon Miller held his prayer book open so I could preview the Epistle.

Fortunately it was a short and easy one. With the line Fr. Davis mentioned a Sunday or three ago: "Let your moderation be known unto all men."

But after, between my stomach and tiredness, I went home just as the Greening began. So I won't see the work until Wednesday, probably.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Missed again

I missed the Mens' Breakfast once again today. For once not due to travel, but rather to sleeping until noon. Mostly it's wind-down into the vacation that started when I left the office yesterday afternoon. I'll return January 4th.

I'm usually useless for the first three days of vacation -- and I didn't really get one this year. In fact, I probably left a number of days of unused vacation on the table, but since I'm not filling out online (or any other kind of) time-sheets anymore I don't know. (Why I'm not doing them anymore is beyond the focus of this blog.)

Still, it's a bit sad I missed this fellowship and another opportunity to re-engage with some of my parish family. But I have 5 to 6 weeks yet at home before my next trip, and the coming week will see lots of activity around the church.

I am so happy to BE Home, however humble it is!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I recommend "Dawn Treader"...

...but only you're not a purist. The movie makes changes from the book; not all were necessary for adaptation to film. But it was fun to watch, and I think the best use of 3-D I have seen yet -- no "object in your face" silliness, and more 3-D than "Avatar." My opinion.

It's the best of the Narnia series I've seen so far. So it was kind of sad to watch it in a nearly-empty theatre this afternoon. If we had all sat in one row we might not have filled it. (Was it the heavy rain and flooding? "Tangled"? Over-hyped? I don't know. The folks working at the theatre said so far it has been a disappointment in turn-out.)

Not many movies gather applause at the end. This one did.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I can't wait...

...well, maybe I can seeing as how our youngest turns 21 tomorrow. What a story that was, involving a difficult nighttime journey through freezing fog leading a train of automobiles... but that's a story for private conversation.

I just read a review of The Dawn Treader movie --warning, it's a spoiler but I just re-read the book (after so many decades)-- and it looks good. The reviewer said, it's two hours of fun! (Plus a bit to think about, of course.) After the mild disappointments despite enjoyment of the previous two movies, I hope the producers have hit their stride. This should be as good as Harry Potter (which has become rather dark) and Lord of the Rings (waiting for The Hobbit remake if only to finally erase Ralph Bakshi's half effort from memory, and I forget who else attempted it).

Some of us will have lunch in the Parish Hall Sunday and then head out to the theatre together. Parish outings are always fun and this one, well, I can't wait... well, maybe I can, seeing...

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Vilia got the job!

A couple of weeks ago I asked for prayers for Vilia, who was interviewing for a job that looked perfect for her. After Evening Prayer tonight she announced she got the job! This is happy news indeed!!


It hasn't been the best of weeks at work, and I really got no time to unwind after the trip, so I was pretty tired and down when I arrived for Evening Prayer followed by supper and "The Truth Project" video and discussion -- and enough so that I declined to read the lessons for Evening Prayer.

The turnout for Evening Prayer was relatively small, with more folks showing up afterwards (sometimes just a necessity, given Seattle traffic) and on into the video. (The Parish Hall became rather crowded, more so than in this picture, and by the end I realized the forced-air heat doesn't serve the Parish Hall -- the CO2 levels, to which I am sensitive, had to be quite high. I had to leave early.)

But for all that it felt good to be back, re-connecting with the Parish. I am home! (For seven weeks or so.)

Friday, December 03, 2010

An Advent Calendar for the Geeks among us

I should have just arrived in Minneapolis on my way home, but they canceled the flight due to weather (snow) there. I'm re-booked for a 6:45 AM flight tomorrow morning, but with snow arriving here in Chicago in the morning... who knows? Nevertheless, I have a little time to catch up on the world after a very busy week at a conference and ran across a reference on Slashdot to this gem:

Perl Advent Calendar 2010

Warning -- you need to be a geek to understand this!