Blessed Michaelmas!

29 09 2009

Today is the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels.  I remember one time being at Holy Cross Monastery on this day, where they celebrated the feast with a sung Eucharist and, oh yes, fantastic food and especially dessert!  The biggest treat though, was to hear almost a dozen monks singing a capella in harmony the hymn “Christ the Fair Glory.”  Here’s the first verse:

Christ, the fair glory of the holy angels

Maker of all things, ruler of the nations

Grant of thy mercy unto us thy servants

Steps up to heaven

Everything you ever wanted to know about angels can be found at the Mission of St. Clare, THE ultimate online source for all things in the Daily Office and the greater and lesser feast days.  I use it to say morning prayer (not out loud!) via blackberry on the way to work.  Here’s what the good mission has to say about St. Michael et al

On the Feast of Michael and all Angels, popularly called Michaelmas, we give thanks for the many ways in which God’s loving care watches over us, both directly and indirectly, and we are reminded that the richness and variety of God’s creation far exceeds our knowledge of it.

The Holy Scriptures often speak of created intelligences other than humans who worship God in heaven and act as His messengers and agents on earth. We are not told much about them, and it is not clear how much of what we are told is figurative. Jesus speaks of them as rejoicing over penitent sinners (Lk 15:10). Elsewhere, in a statement that has been variously understood (Mt 18:10), He warns against misleading a child, because their angels behold the face of God. (Acts 12:15 may refer to a related idea.)

You may read more here … and hopefully in the meantime I’ll figure out what happened with the font …

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A New Way of Living: Integrity Eucharist, NYC

21 09 2009

If anyone is interested, below is the sermon I preached at the Integrity Eucharist in NYC yesterday … After a brief word of welcome, I dived right in …

Text:  Mark 9:30-37; James 3:16 – 4:8

Anyone who has been following the news will note there is quite a rather large power struggle going on within our society.  A sizeable portion of our nation laments that the country they grew up in is not the country they’re living in today.  On many levels, they’re right. The United States today is certainly not the United States from 50s or 60s, or even 70s 80s or 90s!  Change is inevitable as history marches on.  Speaking of change, another sizeable portion of the country is saying that the change they supposedly voted for almost a year ago is not happening.  Depending on how certain bills get through Congress, they could be proven right as well. What these two sides have in common is that, rightly so or wrongly so, they are giving each other a large dose of bad press in no small part because we live in a world of instant communication, tweets, blog posts and a 24 hour news cycle. We live in a world where civil discourse has been thrown out the window, where anything can be said and anything goes.  It seems that any chance of intelligent discussion has been discarded in favor of sound bites, talking points, and over-the-top rhetoric.

The disciples get quite a bit of bad press in the Gospels.  They are shown saying inappropriate things, shooing people away from Jesus, and constantly misunderstand what Jesus is trying to tell them.  Sometimes we can see quite a bit of ourselves in the disciples.  Much too often for our liking, we can be rather slow to get the point of what Jesus is talking about or what he is doing.  The Good News, however is that if we read through to the end of the Gospels, we learn the disciples are restored, redeemed and reclaimed following the Resurrection of Christ.  Reading further into the book of Acts, we witness the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all sorts of different cultures and tribes and nations.  So then, we shouldn’t lose hope as we look at what is going on in the world.  Consider the place of African Americans, who once were required to sit in balconies during church services so as to be out of site of their white masters.  Consider the place of women, who only gained access to the discernment process and the sacrament of Holy Orders within our lifetime, and could not even vote a century ago.   And now, consider the place of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Christians and the road we are on today.  Slowly but steadily, the Church has expanded its embrace to include everyone who Jesus has already included.  It is a long road, and at times it is a hard road.  Quite frankly, I’m sure many of us have just wanted to give up and get off the road altogether!  But in the end, just like the disciples, we all get caught up in the radical welcome of grace and peace that comes of living in relationship with God.  This is a precious gift, and one that is given freely.  But, like many things worth having, it is a gift that, while it is given freely, does not come cheaply.

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SCARY!

21 09 2009

Oh …. my !!!!  Me at the Integrity Eucharist yesterday…..

Reverend boy





The Devil that is Facebook

18 09 2009

So, I recently joined Facebook against my will.  You can find me under my real name, David Casey.  Please stop by and say hey if you have time.

I say against my will, because I received an email from someone on a listserv I read saying “look at my pictures from this event on Facebook” with a link.  I follow the link, and am asked to enter my email address, first name and last name.  Next thing you know, the screen goes “WELCOME TO FACEBOOK!”  and within an hour I have 11 friends, several suggestions, and a plaintive request for me to post a picture.   I did post a picture of a very Anglican looking Weimeraner until I can get a decent picture of myself up there.

Shortly thereafter, I saw i got another email on my blackberry saying someone wrote on my wall (which sounds quite suggestive and possibly kinky, but I digress … ).  So, once again, I followed the link on my blackberry, and next thing you know, my blackberry now has a Facebook icon on it.

I feel like I’ve been caught by the matrix.  Anyone have a blue pill?

I have found it useful to keep in touch with friends and stuff.  Integrity NY has a page on there and it is also has a notice about our Eucharist on Sunday.  One of the possible attendees is a professor at General Seminary.

Does anyone know of a crash course in “How to Survive Coffee Hour?”  If they don’t teach that at seminary, they should.  I understand it can be treacherous.

Seriously, it seems as if it’s coming along very nicely and I’m quite excited about it 🙂  If you’re in town around 4, please join us at St. Luke in the Fields at the corner of Grove and Hudson.  Should be quite lovely!

UPDATE: Apparently there are “about a million” David Casey’s on Facebook.  I’m the one who lives in New York, NY and whose main photo is a very Episcopalian looking Weimeraner.





DOMA Appeal Introduced in US Congress

17 09 2009

Move over DOMA, here comes RFMA (Respect for  Marriage Act).

A bill was introduced in Congress this week to allow for federal recognition of same-sex marriage.  Unless I’m wrong, though, it doesn’t force states to recognize marriages that take place elsewhere or force states to marry same-sex couples.

You can read more about it at the Huffington Post.

Oh, and by the way, the guy that introduced the legislation with an impressive 90 co-sponsors is my own Congressman, Representative Jerrold Nadler.

There is also a nifty press release on his site:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, following the introduction of the Respect for Marriage Act by Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO), the legislation has already gained key support from important corners.  Among the bill’s backers are former President Bill Clinton, who signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) into law in 1996, and former Congressman Bob Barr (R-GA), who first introduced DOMA.  They join the dozens of civil rights organizations and 91 original co-sponsors of the bill who are pushing for a full repeal of DOMA.


Today, President Clinton said: “I want to thank Congressman Nadler for his leadership on this issue, and Reps. Baldwin, Polis, Conyers, Lewis, Velazquez and Lee, for introducing the Respect for Marriage Act in the House of Representatives.  Throughout my life I have opposed discrimination of any kind.  When the Defense of Marriage Act was passed, gay couples could not marry anywhere in the United States or the world for that matter.  Thirteen years later, the fabric of our country has changed, and so should this policy.”


Today, Bob Barr said:  “I join with former President Bill Clinton in commending Rep. Jerry Nadler for introducing the ‘Respect for Marriage Act of 2009.’  This legislation would strengthen the principle that each state is free to set the definition of marriage the citizens of that state have adopted.  Rep. Nadler’s legislation would also repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, and by so doing, remove the federal government from involving itself in matters of defining ‘marriage,’ which historically and according to principles of federalism, are properly state matters and not federal.”





Where is God?

17 09 2009

No,  I’m not having a crisis of faith or asking some existential question.

This is a question I ask myself when things are particularly rough or difficult.  For instance, work is difficult and family stuff is difficult and will continue to be so for quite some time.  For the most part, I don’t mention specifics to too many people other than SIR, my personal Atheist or Sista girl (all three of whom, mind you, should be at the Integrity Eucharist on Sunday).

One particular session with my Spiritual Director, I vented for a few minutes about all these two different (but major!) stresses in my life.  She sat back and listened calmly and then asked the question as she sipped her tea, “so … where is God in all this?”  I replied that was a Very Good Question.

I’m not sure where God is, but I know that God’s there.  I mean as far as work goes, the issue stems from being overworked and the typical thing of having too much to do and not enough time or people to do them.  The people I work with are wonderful and we are all in this together.  So in one sense, I suppose God is in our little group as we are a community of sorts.   Even with the ever looming spectre of job losses or reshuffling or whatever, at the core of my self  underneath all the stresses is a lack of real anxiety.

For whatever reason, I’ve observed that no matter how stressful or just plain bad things get, everything just has a way of working out.

Now, for those who think this might sound a bit naive, I’m not talking about just sitting back on your haunches, God is on his throne in heaven and earth, and all is right with the world.  Hardly.

The point I’m making here is that God is not some genie-in-a-bottle that we pull out when things get tough and grants wishes.  If we’re faithful in doing our part, God will be faithful in doing God’s part … with the caveat, sometimes what God’s part is may not be clear or is usually not what we expect. 😉





Integrity Eucharist

14 09 2009

OK 3rd post today, and probably the last until tomorrow….

The Integrity NYC chapter is having a Eucharist this Sunday at St. Luke in the Field in Manhattan at 4pm.  We’re delighted that Bishop Roskam, our Suffragan, will be celebrating.

I will be preaching.

The Reverend boy’s preaching debut will be in front of a bishop.

No pressure.

Update: You should probably check out our chapter’s  blog to get the full gist of it.  And we have a very nice graphic

Eucharist 3