Wind Chimes: 9 Dec 2012

The Lord God took the man
and put him in the Garden of Eden
to work it and take care of it.

Genesis 2:15 NIV

The chimes sound of beauty and creativity today, but also of warning and peril. What do you hear?

It’s not the responsibility of the UN, it’s personal

In the poetic language of the King James Version of the Bible we hear that “man” (you and me) is placed in the Garden to till it and keep it. The New International Version speaks of our working and caring for the Garden. Our Episcopal Great Thanksgiving Prayer C suggests “the Garden” is “this fragile earth, our island home.” (BCP, p. 370)

Many among us continue to deny that the climate is changing, and have no problem doing what they have always done. Others accept that the climate of the planet is changing, but leave the solutions to others. In our Anglican way, accepting the challenge of climate change and making the responses needed to “work and care for” the Garden—as our God calls us to do—is personal. It is my responsibility, it is my calling.

The wisdom of the Jewish Talmud, wisdom born long before the Episcopal Church, describes the attitude to be adopted by 21st century people of faith:

“Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justice, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it”

The promises we make in our Baptismal Covenant are personal. We do not speak for the President or the Congress; we do not speak on behalf of the United Nations; we make one promise after another to God and each other beginning with the words, “I will ….” I invite you, and pledge my own efforts, to do the small things in our daily lives that will together add up to something big as we work the Garden and care for the Garden, a divine blessing and responsibility given us at the beginning of time. ~dan

Links to online Advent Calendars

Each of these has a different approach. Find one that helps you “prepare the way.”

Trinity Wall Street Online Advent Calendar

Busted Halo Online Advent Calendar

CREDO Online Advent Calendar

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This fragile earth …

At your command all things came to be: the vast expanse of interstellar space, galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses, and this fragile earth, our island home.
By your will they were created and have their being.

From the primal elements you brought forth the human race, and blessed us with memory, reason, and skill. You made us the rulers of creation. But we turned against you, and betrayed your trust; and we turned against one another.
Have mercy, Lord, for we are sinners in your sight.

From Eucharistic Prayer C in the Book of Common Prayer, p. 370

“Black Friday” began the “Shopping Season” and retailers are relentless in keeping us focused on buying often and buying more. “#GivingTuesday” (11/27/12) was an invitation to give and use our “buying power” in a way that benefits others for more than just a day.

I intend to keep that invitation in front of us throughout the “Shopping Season.” I believe  that It is always the right time to be generous. If you haven’t participated in “#GivingTuesday” how about today? ~dan

Today’s give-a-gift-to-help-others idea:

  • Interfaith Power and Light —  which seeks “to be faithful stewards of Creation by responding to global warming through the promotion of energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. This campaign intends to protect the earth’s ecosystems, safeguard the health of all Creation, and ensure sufficient, sustainable energy for all.” (Interfaith Power and Light Mission Statement)

Looking for other give-a-gift-to-help-others ideas?
Go first to Charity Navigator for those ideas
and for an evaluation of how your dollars will be spent

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Image: tcktcktck on Facebook

Wind Chimes: 7 Dec 2012

He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.

Isaiah 2:4 NRSV

A beautiful day has dawned. The air is mostly still, the chimes almost silent. When I do hear them there is a kind of melancholy to the notes. So much changed in our world only 71 years ago; perhaps the winds of that day are the winds that still move the chimes today. What do you hear?

Peace that passes all understanding

He was 18 years old, a senior in high school. He had a car, a Model A Ford. Driving around Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis, MN with some “buddies,” my father’s world changed in an instant. The United States had been attacked at Pearl Harbor. That day, December 7, 1941, and the next several days were spent with the “adults” in his life talking with him and making decisions for the country (and world) and finally, turning to him, to ask him to be brave and to stand up for those he loved and for his country. And he did. My father enlisted in the Navy and served on the aircraft carrier Lexington in the Pacific until his discharge after the war’s end in 1945. My father is part of the “Greatest Generation.” Thank you, Dad.

On this day (seared into the memory of my parents’ generation) I continue to both work and pray so that we will unlearn war and find and support new, creative, and more constructive ways to establish the Reign of God, a Reign marked by Peace (that passes all understanding) and genuine love of neighbor and God. ~dan

Links to online Advent Calendars

Each of these has a different approach. Find one that helps you “prepare the way.”

Trinity Wall Street Online Advent Calendar

Busted Halo Online Advent Calendar

CREDO Online Advent Calendar

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We remember this day

O God of all generations, we guard in our hearts today the sacred memory of those who gave their lives on that day which will live in infamy. Bless us, O Lord, as we humble ourselves in your presence to remember the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy; Guide and direct us in all that we do so that the light and peace of your true freedom may continue to shine brightly to the glory and honor of your Holy Name, and for the welfare of all creation, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Adapted from a prayer by Pastor Ricky Powell and a Thanksgiving for Heroic Service in the BCP, p. 839

“Black Friday” began the “Shopping Season” and retailers are relentless in keeping us focused on buying often and buying more. “#GivingTuesday” (11/27/12) was an invitation to give and use our “buying power” in a way that benefits others for more than just a day.

I intend to keep that invitation in front of us throughout the “Shopping Season.” I believe  that It is always the right time to be generous. If you haven’t participated in “#GivingTuesday” how about today? ~dan

Today’s give-a-gift-to-help-others idea:

  • Wounded Warrior Project — whose purpose is “to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women; to help severely injured service members aid and assist each other; and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of severely injured service members.” (Wounded Warriors Project Mission Statement)

Looking for other give-a-gift-to-help-others ideas?
Go first to Charity Navigator for those ideas
and for an evaluation of how your dollars will be spent

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Image:

Wind Chimes: 6 Dec 2012

Detail from a Tiffany Window

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful;
for beauty is God’s handwriting – a wayside sacrament.
Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower,
and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Beauty is in the wind and in the chimes. What do you hear?

Faith shaping art shaping Faith

Louis C. Tiffany is perhaps best known for his intricate glass lamps, but a new exhibit at the Museum of Biblical Art reveals a spiritual side to the master designer and craftsman whose studio single-handedly shaped the image of American churches.

Louis C. Tiffany and the Art of Devotion,” which runs through Jan. 20, 2013, centers on the religious memorials and decorations that Tiffany and his firm created for American congregations for about a half century, beginning in the 1880s.

Read the entire article about the exhibit on Religion News Service: Exhibit highlights Tiffany’s lasting impact on American church design by Chris Herlinger (RNS, 12/5/12)

We have discussed the role of art in the formation of faith. We have discussed the inspiration of art found in the stories of faith. How is this dynamic working itself out today I wonder. It is a questioning sound I hear in the chimes today. What do you hear?

Links to online Advent Calendars

Each of these has a different approach. Find one that helps you “prepare the way.”

Trinity Wall Street Online Advent Calendar

Busted Halo Online Advent Calendar

CREDO Online Advent Calendar

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The work and joy of creation

God who wrestled with chaos to create matter, and overcame death to bring us to eternal life, give to writers, musicians, and artists a share in the work and joy of creation, that, like you, they may draw forth beauty out of nothingness, and reveal to us some glimpses of your eternity, where you are enthroned, Life-giver, Pain-bearer, Love-maker, alive for ever and ever. Amen.

Michael Counsell in
2000 Years of Prayer, (1999). p. 564

“Black Friday” began the “Shopping Season” and retailers are relentless in keeping us focused on buying often and buying more. “#GivingTuesday” (11/27/12) was an invitation to give and use our “buying power” in a way that benefits others for more than just a day.

I intend to keep that invitation in front of us throughout the “Shopping Season.” I believe  that It is always the right time to be generous. If you haven’t participated in “#GivingTuesday” how about today? ~dan

Today’s give-a-gift-to-help-others idea:

  • Idyllwild Arts Foundation — just up the hill from St. Margaret’s, “The Idyllwild Arts Foundation is committed to supporting and advancing education and cultural development by providing instruction and enrichment in the arts through the Idyllwild Arts Academy and Summer Program.” (IAF Mission Statement)

Looking for other give-a-gift-to-help-others ideas?
Go first to Charity Navigator for those ideas
and for an evaluation of how your dollars will be spent
The Idyllwild Arts Foundation has a 4-stary rating on Charity Navigator

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Image: Museum of Biblical Art. Tiffany Studios, New York. Frederick Wilson, designer. The Righteous Shall Receive a Crown of Glory (Brainard Memorial Window), ca. 1901. Leaded glass. Methodist Church, Waterville, NY. Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY.

Wind Chimes: 4 Dec 2012

Good morning

As a new day dawns the chimes sound in greeting and joy. What do you hear?

Preparing for a guest

In this Advent season we prepare outwardly for Christmas: we hang lights and put up decorations, we bake goodies and wrap gifts. How will you prepare inwardly? The coming of Christ means that God will be incarnate: embodied, lovingly present, in the flesh in your life. Christ is coming into your life, into your heart, in a new way. Advent is a time to prepare a way for that to happen. God enters our lives without our planning or arranging; yet there are ways we can open the doors, and as the carol says of Jesus, “prepare him room.”

Imagine that Jesus were actually coming to live with you. What would you want to do to prepare? READ the rest of the “Prepare the way” meditation on Unfolding Light

Links to online Advent Calendars

Each of these has a different approach. Find one that helps you “prepare the way.”

Trinity Wall Street Online Advent Calendar

Busted Halo Online Advent Calendar

CREDO Online Advent Calendar

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God help us to be …

God help us to be honest
so our children will learn honesty.
Help us to be kind
so our children will learn kindness.
Help us to be faithful
so our children will learn faith.
Help us to love
so our children will be loving.

Marian Wright Edelman in
Guide My Feet, (1995).

“Black Friday” began the “Shopping Season” and retailers are relentless in keeping us focused on buying often and buying more. “#GivingTuesday” (11/27/12) was an invitation to give and use our “buying power” in a way that benefits others for more than just a day.

I intend to keep that invitation in front of us throughout the “Shopping Season.” I believe  that It is always the right time to be generous. If you haven’t participated in “#GivingTuesday” how about today? ~dan

Today’s give-a-gift-to-help-others idea:

  • Children’s Defense Fund — “a non-profit child advocacy organization that has worked relentlessly for nearly 40 years to ensure a level playing field for all children.”

Looking for other give-a-gift-to-help-others ideas?
Go first to Charity Navigator for those ideas
and for an evaluation of how your dollars will be spent

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Photo: Nao Sakaki on Indian Country Today Media Network

Wind Chimes: 3 Dec 2012

The chimes have begun to ring in the “new (church) year.” What do you hear?

Check out the Advent Calendar from Trinity Wall Street

Trinity (Episcopal) Wall Street has an online Advent Calendar for us. Every day features a short verse from scripture and an audio meditation from members of the church. Here is the link: http://www.trinitywallstreet.org/news/features/2012-advent-calendar

An Advent Calendar with a more “youthful” flavor

Here is another kind of Advent Calendar with a younger audience in mind:
http://bustedhalo.com/features/advent-calendar-2012

It is produced by The Paulist Fathers (a Roman Catholic Religious Order). Their ministry has the intriguing title of “Busted Halo Ministries” because they believe that “all God’s children are ‘saints in the making.’ Everyone is called to aspire toward the holiness and selflessness of a Mother Teresa or Saint Francis. At the same time we are all too often aware that this journey toward sainthood is one fraught with imperfections, struggles, and mistakes. Each of us sports a Halo that is either dented, scratched, tarnished… in some way Busted. Yet God loves us anyway and continually calls to bang out the dents and polish our halos up to a nice golden shine.” About BustedHalo

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Yes, give us grace …

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Collect for the First Sunday of Advent
Book of Common Prayer, p. 211

“Black Friday” began the “Shopping Season” and retailers are relentless in keeping us focused on buying often and buying more. “#GivingTuesday” (11/27/12) was an invitation to give and use your “buying power” in a way that benefits others for more than just a day.

I intend to keep that invitation in front of us throughout the “Shopping Season.” I believe (and am acting on my belief) that It is always the right time to be generous. If you haven’t participated in “#GivingTuesday” how about today? ~dan

Today’s give-a-gift-to-help-others idea:

  • Kiva — “a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty.”

Looking for other give-a-gift-to-help-others ideas?
Go first to Charity Navigator for those ideas
and for an evaluation of how your dollars will be spent

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Video: Advent in 2 minutes was produced by Busted Halo Ministries

Wind Chimes: 1 Dec 2012

World AIDS Day is December 1

The sounds in the chimes today seem to carry until the whole world is filled with their hope. What do you hear?

December 1 is World AIDS Day

This is a day of prayer, study, reflection, and action. Some statements and information for you:

A Statement on World AIDS Day from The Rev. Mark S. Hanson (Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) and The Most. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori (Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church)

World AIDS Day 2012: Esperança’s Esperança a reflection from the field by an Episcopal Relief and Development worker

The UN Press Release for World AIDS Day

On Twitter search/see: #worldaidsday

A Prayer on World AIDS Day

Loving God, you show yourself to those who are vulnerable and make your home with the poor and weak of this world; Warm our hearts with the fire of your Spirit. Help us to accept the challenge of AIDS. Protect the healthy, we pray, calm the frightened, give courage to those in pain, comfort the dying and give to the dead eternal life. Console the bereaved, we beg you, and strengthen those who care for the sick. May we, your people, using all our energy and imagination, and trusting in your steadfast love, be united with one another in conquering all disease and fear. —Author unknown

Shannon, Maggie Oman (2009-12-22). Prayers for Hope and Comfort: Reflections, Meditations, and Inspirations (pp. 170-171). RedWheelWeiser – A. Kindle Edition.

“Black Friday” began the “Shopping Season” and retailers are relentless in keeping us focused on buying often and buying more. “#GivingTuesday” was an invitation to give and use your “buying power” in a way that benefits others for more than just a day.

I intend to keep that invitation in front of us throughout the “Shopping Season.” I believe (and am acting on my belief) that It is always the right time to be generous. If you haven’t participated in “#GivingTuesday” how about today? ~dan

2 Suggestions for giving on this Day (one global, one local for desert dwellers)

  • The “Health Fund” of Episcopal Relief and Development. (Navigate to “Health” on the Donate Page to designate your donation go to ERD’s Health Fund)
  • Desert AIDS Project. Located in Palm Springs, California, the Desert AIDS Project (DAP) seeks to “meet the evolving medical and social service needs of people living with HIV/AIDS by providing direct services and advocacy, while working to prevent new infections through education and outreach.”

#GivingTuesday™ is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.

Mission Statement
Go to the Home Page for #GivingTuesday
Wind Chimes for November 27, 2012

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Image: UN Press Release for World AIDS Day

Wind Chimes: 30 Nov 2012

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted *
and will save those whose spirits are crushed.

Psalm 34:18
(from Morning Prayer, 11/30/12)

As always, the chimes sound, moved by the wind. Do the chimes sound comfort as you listen? Do the chimes sound like a call to action? What do you need in this moment? What do you hear?

How will this happen?

How will the Lord be “near” the brokenhearted unless one who knows the Lord goes—with compassion and empathy—and is present for as long as it takes? How will the Lord work to “save those whose spirits are crushed” unless one who knows the Lord goes with—conviction and courage—and acts on behalf of and with them? How will the Father’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven, unless we who know the Son (and the Father who sent him) act accordingly? What do you hear?

Continue, please, the spirit of #GivingTuesday

“Black Friday” began the “Shopping Season” and retailers are relentless in keeping us focused on buying often and buying more. “#GivingTuesday” was an invitation to give and use your “buying power” in a way that benefits others for more than just a day.

I intend to keep that invitation in front of us throughout the “Shopping Season.” I believe (and am acting on my belief) that It is always the right time to be generous. If you haven’t participated in “#GivingTuesday” how about today? ~dan

Looking for a “reputable” nonprofit organization that helps others?

CharityNavigator-logoI encourage you to find out more about your favorite nonprofit on Charity Navigator. It is also a great starting point if you have an idea about what kind of efforts you would like to support but don’t know which nonprofit would use your gift wisely.

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#GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday™ is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.

Mission Statement
Go to the Home Page for #GivingTuesday
Wind Chimes for November 27, 2012

Wind Chimes: 29 Nov 2012

Episcopal Relief and Development Gifts for Life Catalogue
A great place to continue #GivingTuesday generosity

What does “upside down” sound like?

Year C Lectionary features Luke’s Good News (Gospel)

We’ll begin “Year C” In our three-year cycle of lectionary readings this Sunday, December 2nd. Year C features the Gospel according to Luke. Here is a glimpse into Luke’s Good News:

Luke’s Gospel is the most broad-minded and the most forgiving. Every chance he gets, Luke has Jesus forgiving people, right up to the good thief on the cross. Luke is quite ready to see God as generous, gratuitous, and merciful. Mercy and inclusivity—Jesus’ ministry to outcasts, to Gentiles, to the poor—are emphasized a great deal in Luke. Luke’s Gospel is also called the gospel of women. Far more than any other evangelist, Luke brings women into Jesus’ life and shows Jesus’ very positive way of relating to women, especially for his time and culture.

Luke’s has also been called the gospel of absolute renunciation. For Luke, to be a disciple one has to let go of everything—not just money or other external idols, but inner idols and ego concerns as well. Luke advocates radically new social patterns of relationship. His is an upside-down gospel: “The first will be last and the last will be first” (Luke 13:30). Luke uses every story he can to show that what impresses people does not impress God, that people who think they are at the top are often, in God’s eyes, at the bottom, and that people who think they are at the bottom are, in God’s eyes, often at the top.

Adapted from The Good News According to Luke: Spiritual Reflections, pp. 38-40 and sent as an email by Richard Rohr. Online version of Daily Meditation: The Good News

Continue, please, the spirit of #GivingTuesday

It is always the right time to be generous. If you haven’t participated in “#GivingTuesday” how about today?

#GivingTuesday™ is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.

Mission Statement
Go to the Home Page for #GivingTuesday
Wind Chimes for November 27, 2012

Image: Cover of the 2012 Gifts for Life Catalog from Episcopal Relief and Development

Wind Chimes: 27 Nov 2012 #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday™ is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.

Mission Statement
Go to the Home Page for #GivingTuesday

Compassion is in the wind that moves the chimes today. What do you hear?

Earlier today …

… I was reminded of the wisdom of Marian Wright Edelman (ht Diane Noble and Gratefulness.org)

We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily difference we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.

Please make a difference today, no matter how small—it really does “add up.”

Let awareness inspire your giving today

To be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything He has given us. . . and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference. . . .

Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude

Photo: YouTube video introducing #GivingTuesday

Wind Chimes: 26 Nov 2012

#GivingTuesday Logo
Tuesday, November 27, 2012. Click to find out more

No one has ever become poor by giving.

Anne Frank

The wind does not require anything of you, it is a gift. The sounds made by the chimes do not require anything of you, they are a gift. Generosity sounds in the chimes today. How long will it last? Forever. What do you hear?

What a great idea: #GivingTuesday

Quote . . .We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. This year help create #GivingTuesday™, the giving season’s opening day.

On Tuesday November 27, 2012 charities, families, businesses and individuals are coming together to transform the way people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season.

It’s a simple idea. Find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to join in acts of giving. Tell everyone you can about what you are doing and why it matters. Join a national celebration of our great tradition of generosity.
And together we’ll create ways to give more, give better and give smarter.
~#GivingTuesday introduction

Go to the Home Page for #GivingTuesday

In gratitude

In gratitude, in deep gratitude
for this moment
this experience
these people,
we give ourselves to you.

Lead us out
to live as changed people
because we have shared the Living Bread
and cannot remain the same.

Ask much of us,
expect much from us,
enable much by us,
encourage many through us.

So, Lord, may we live to your glory,
both as citizens of earth
and citizens of the commonwealth of heaven
where our pilgrimage will be complete.

Pritchard, John (2011-09-12). Pocket Prayers for Pilgrims (Search term: gratitude). Hymns Ancient and Modern Ltd. Kindle Edition.

Photo: Logo for #GivingTuesday from the website for #GivingTuesday