St. Alban’s in the Rain

            Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.

Enkindle in us the fire of your love.

   Send forth your spirit and we shall be created

and you shall renew the face of the earth

On this Sunday remembering the baptism of Christ,the heaven was opened and John saw the Spirit (πνευμα) of God descending like a dove and alighting on Jesus.(Matt.3:13-17) I awoke with a flash,sprang from my bed. A large smile on my face and jumped into the shower, ready to meet the day!

No, I dragged myself from a dead sleep and slugged thru a very wet morning. Arriving in El Cajon about 30 minutes before service and met with Fr. David. Then to church, where the joy and brightness warmed me. I was raised in this parish and it had been many years away. I was an acolyte in the old church building but never in the new church building. The altar I served at when I was a boy is now a side chapel. I have tried to think of the names of the boys and girls that were in my Sunday school class, but can’t come up with one name, I will have to work on my memory. I will spend the next few months with the people of St.Alban’s. Even if this morning started out slow I look forward to my time with the family of St.Alban’s.

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Air & Space Museum

Where charity and love prevail, there God is ever found; Brought here together by Christ’s love, by love are we thus bound (Hymn: Where charity and love prevail)

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We went to the Air & Space Museum last week with the children of the network. Mr. Ron was our guild. He is a volunteer; he is also a member of the network board. Mr. Ron worked in the air and space industry, inventing many helpful devices for the space program. I noticed that the children were very attentive and stayed very close to Mr. Ron. When the children were asked where they would like to go back to some day they said Air & Space Museum (me too).

I walked around the museum with a very tall teenage boy; he was trying to take everything in. I asked him if he had every seen some of these old planes. No he had not, and then I showed him a 1914 engine with the round cylinders all in a round pattern. He and I counted the number of cylinders, 14 in all. From that moment on the both of us tried to find a bigger and more impressive engine. Well there are plenty of very powerful engines in the museum. As we were walking I keep thinking what fun this is; I wonder if some day this teenager might be an aerospace engineer. Or like Mr. Ron an electronic engineer in the space program. When these kids grow up the world will be deep into space and the last frontier.

As people go deeper into space will they be awed by the variety of outer space and think more of the creator or will they become more agnostic? Do scientific discoveries lead people to the one creator or further away? Can scientific study dull the perception of the creator or bring a person closer to the one creator? Some scholars say closer and some say further away, for me it is closer.

I hope that some of the young people that went to the Air & Space Museum  will always have an appreciation for Science and see the hand of the creator in action.

In the next two weeks

2 Corinthians 3:1-9,18

 

Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Surely we do not need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you or from you, do we? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all; and you show that you are a letter of

Christ,

 

 

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How can one sum up the feelings of an encounter with humanity? How can one tell everyone about the smiles and the tears? What language expresses the joy of family in the pain of abject poverty? I could not film the back alleyways and the trash, or the flies. Most of the last few days were worked in heat and humidity. The smells of the neighborhoods were almost overwhelming. The smiles of the children beyond description, the cry of the babies beckoning me to hold them, and the mothers so grateful for the food we bring.

Yes Jesus I do believe that a sip of water given to a child is like giving you a glass of water. Yet in the chaos, violence, rotting smells and heat I have trouble seeing you or recognizing your presents. In the last two weeks here in the back alleyways I am going to try very hard to see you.

Our Last Buss to Camp Stevens

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Next Saturday will be the last trip from St.  Paul’s to their homes, after a full week at Camp Stevens. The weather is still summer. The days are still long, yet the summer is winding down. Soon the summer tutoring program will be ending. We only have one more field trip. Then I will be going back to school and leave my kids on their own. No more photo-ops we return to the mundane . Enjoy the photos !!

Field Trip

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We went on a field trip to the Scripps Institute of oceanography. The aquarium was quite a thrill for the children. Scripps gave each of them a small booklet to identify the fish and other undersea creatures. The children loved the booklet and were excited to find the names for the fill in blanks.

 

I like them was taken back by the size and diversity of Gods creation. The aquarium has the smallest plankton and some very large fish. Many photos of wales and sculptures a true delight for all of us. I was reminded of the excitement of new discoveries.

 

In the play area there were a number of hands on exhibits that teach about some aspect of physics. I wish I had a movie of the children experimenting with the water pumps. Some of these pumps where bicycle and some were hand crank. None where plane old hand pumps. Hydraulics with air pressure held their attention for long periods of time. All to soon our time was up and we were on our way home. The drive home was in very heavy traffic and some of my crew fell asleep.

When I was driving the empty van back to the church I was thinking about how their world had expanded today. All I had to do was drive them to the aquarium, make sure they stayed together, and then take them home. Such a simple task, I should have known.

1 Cor. 1:L26-27…not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many of noble birth; but…God chose what is weak in this world to shame the strong.

 

What happen here, the bad falls on the good

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“What happen here, the bad falls on the good?” The van started ok and I made it to St. Paul’s, to pick up the campers from Camp Stevens. But  when I went to move the van to a new parking place the battery was dead. After a few phone calls I was able to get two drivers to drop everything and give a hand. We got the kids home late but safe.

The kids were very tired when they got back. The last night at camp is always late, some stay up most of the night talking. They were so tired they did not have much to say on the ride home. The car and van were very quite.

The Fest of The Transfiguration is in two weeks and I was thinking about the mountaintop experience of the disciples. The kids came back with their own story of a mountaintop experience some talked about the spiritual connection with the mountain and the pines. Others talked about the special friendships they built on the mountain. Each did have a mountaintop experience knowing it or not. Not knowing is ok as I remember that Peter misunderstood the occasion of the Transfiguration of Christ.

I always come home after dropping the kid’s home with the feeling of awe. Their lives are transformed, they do not know it now but when they grow up then they will know how much the mountain top experience changed them.

Last Day Intercultural Exchange with Bishop’s School

 

Yes this was our last day with the joint cultural exchange with the students from Bishop’s School. The kids ranged in age from 8 years to 14 years. Bishop’s award winning water polo team was well represented and many different countries were also represented.

They learned how to tread water and basic swimming, they danced, and they told about their cultural. I even told about my boyhood and shared my Autoharp with them. There were many different types of clothing and art object that they shared with all of us. What a fun way to learn about some one and their cultural. They made notebooks of art and pictures and also interviews of their partners. The director had the booklets printed and bound at Kinko’s. In the back of these notebooks a blank page was for them to have others sign or write something; this whole process was very touching

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Today was our potluck dinner. The best part of the week for me, the food was outstanding. So many different tastes and smells, many of the dishes were very hot. I loved every dish and every strange taste. Then we went around the room and said in one word or what every one would like to say about the experience. All were very grateful for the time and program. I could see the change in some of the kids, they just seemed to blossom as the weeks went by. This is theology in its best form.

 

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