Sunday, February 8, 2009

Celebration of the life of Noel King

We will be joining in the celebration of the life of Noel King on Sunday 22 February 2009 at 2pm in First Congregational Church, 900 High Street, Santa Cruz, California

As posted at

Latin phrases have not fallen effortlessly from my lips despite a lifetime of patient teaching by example from Noel King. In fact the phrase “Dominus illuminatio mea” I once rendered God illumines my aunt…. which I’m sure she does.

He also gently pointed out the origins deep in time of the phrase, ‘my mercy always takes place over my wrath’.

Mercy and goodness follow us all the days of our lives, as they surely chased us when Dr King was in the room.

He was my great teacher from the moment I wandered into the Baobab Room in Winter quarter 1974 to a ‘pro-seminar’ on the Gospel of John. When I called on him in office hours some time later the students were stacked up like waiting airliners so he sent me down the hall to make some tea. There I found another friend, Bilal, who had been sent on a similar errand. We knew our teacher would be along - he had left one of his many pairs of Sikh-style leather slipper-sandals on the floor of the faculty common room… occasionally I would retrieve same from class rooms and return them down the hall to his office… many warm memories from that day on - including his ‘family interview’ with she who was to become my bride. … and greeting the gloaming with him: hence the evening prayers appended below.

See you at the Celebration, God willing, in this world or the next.

Psalm 27 Dominus illuminatio mea

1 The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom then shall I fear? *
the LORD is the strength of my life;
of whom then shall I be afraid?

5 One thing have I asked of the LORD;
one thing I seek; *
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days
of my life;

6 To behold the fair beauty of the LORD *
and to seek him in his temple.

Let my prayer be set forth in your sight as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Psalm 141:2

If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me, and the light around me turn to night,” darkness is not dark to you, O Lord; the night is as bright as the day; darkness and light to you are both alike. Psalm 139:10,11

O gracious light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!

Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of Life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.

Then follows

V. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit;
R. For you have redeemed me, O Lord, O God of truth.
V. Keep us, O Lord, as the apple of your eye;
R. Hide us under the shadow of your wings.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

a prayer after communion - from Iona

A prayer after Communion:

Lord Jesus Christ,
you have put your life into our hands;
now we put our lives into yours.
Take us, renew us, and remake us.
What we have been is past;
what we shall be,
through you,
still awaits us.
Lead us onward.
Take us with you. Amen.

--from the Iona Community, A Wee Worship Book (Wild Goose Publications)



Lyrics of "Broken" (Henri Nouwen/Tara Ward):

You are broken, I am broken, everyone is broken
You are broken, I am broken, intimately broken

Stay, there is peace beyond anguish
life beyond death, love beyond fear
and we all have to suffer to enter our glory.

Bless, bless and do not curse.
Pull brokenness far from the shadow of curse
put it under the light of the blessing.

Praise, praise to you Lord
for I never realized
broken glass could shine so brightly.


Listen -


Sunday, February 1, 2009

invitation to the observance of a holy Lent

'For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes.' - Daj Hammarskjold

The sun is out, the beach glistens, buds appear on trees: the days grower longer, the nights shorter, but it is still winter.

Advent, not long past, was a season of anticipation, expectation, and preparation, quiet yet joyous, not unlike the last month before a birth, as the solstice, and the Son of God, approach.

By Easter the earth will have a taken a quarter-turn in its yearly revolution around the Sun. Lent is the run-up to this turning. The days before the holiest of weeks are filled with another season of preparation, this one more somber, yet one of adventure and exploration - of the heart.

The revelations of Epiphany, the continuing set of showings-forth of the glory of God, from the pageant of the day of the three kings to the last Sunday of the season with its three figures - Moses, Elijah, and Jesus - on the mountain of Transfiguration, give way to a quiet time, marked by the ashes of mortality, as we prepare for the life beyond life.

The false spring of Palm Sunday, the rumbling greatness of Holy Week, the compelling story of the Passion narrative, the gemütlichkeit and scandal of Maundy Thursday, the shock of Good Friday's news, and the dawning of a brave new world on Easter morning, are all ahead of us.

(Gemütlichkeit, the Wikipedia assures us, connotes the notion of belonging, social acceptance, cheerfulness, the absence of anything hectic and the opportunity to spend quality time. A bit premature? There is more to come, my friends, after the dishes are taken away.)

In the meantime, the time between hope and promise fulfilled, the time between God showing forth in episodes of emergent grandeur and the astonishing dawn of the Resurrection, we call each other and ourselves into a communal season of - looking forward, looking within, of an adventure of the soul.

You may find encouragement in the idea of a solitary discipline, reading the Bible and praying every day. You may find moments of peace at a retreat or a quiet day. You may have a moment, only, to call a friend, and remember and renew an old acquaintance.

There are many ways to explore the meaning of this time of year, many ways to adventure in the souls' realm of yearning and delight, many ways to prepare for Christ. You are invited to take the path that leads your soul to him; you are invited to join us, as companions on the way. - Fr. John

Gospel Grapevine 2009 February
From the Rector's Desk