Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Go West lost count

Surfin' Jesus

Lecturn cover, St. Cross by the Sea, Hermosa Beach, CA.

Where else could you see this?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Go West 6

We left the Grand Canyon to reach Flagstaff by dark.  We met my cousin, Kathy, who has lived there for many years.  On the next day (Saturday, Dec 8) Kathy took us to Sedona which is supposed to be a "must see."  It does have some of most beautiful canyon country views you can imagine.  It is also a New Age hot spot.  I was surprised to see so many mainstream Christian churches there though.  We had lunch at the Creekside restaurant.  I never saw the creek but I was impressed by the lunch menu they have for your dog along with a free dish of ice water.  In the evening after our return, I began to feel a bit funny.  My extremities where very cold, I was slightly short of breath, had a headache and started to feel a bit more confused then usual.  We had been above 5000 feet since Denver (5 days). The Grand Canyon is at 8000 and Flagstaff at 7000, so altitude sickness seemed like the obvious diagnosis.  I felt like I should try to make to morning when we where leaving for lower parts but it slowly dawned on me that I could be dead by morning.  We went to the hospital and after running 500 tests on all my poor health conditions which came out negative they concluded, "Yep, its altitude sickness."  They reasoned it would make no sense to admit me since I would still be there, so they told us to high tail it out of town.  We left Flagstaff at about 3 am heading down.

The drive to lower altitude took about 2 hours so by the time we got there I was feeling better.  Monica wanted to find a Goodwill to do shopping for stocking stuffers and gag gifts so by a quirk of fate and providential guidance we ended up in Bullhead City, AZ, elevation 500 feet in the Mojave desert. (Its one of the lowest spots in the US.) Bullhead City is right across the Colorado River from Laughlin, NV which is a mini-mecca of casinos.  We got a room for $22 a night and booked in for 2 days to get some rest (no slots).  I felt good enough to play golf on Monday and Monica rode along braving the 40 degree desert morning and later 25 plus mile an hour winds.  The views of the desert were spectacular and we enjoyed our rest in the Mojave.

Next day (Tuesday, Dec 11) we are off to LA.  We arrived at the Pacific just before sunset.  A semi-conclusion to our journey.  We will be in LA till after Christmas when we plan to visit our son Drew in Oakland, CA.  Click once on pics for better view.

Best shot from Sedona

Dogie lunch menu

Destination Bullhead City, AZ

Desert view Laughlin Ranch GC

Braving the weather -- Look, no crutches!

The patient has recovered

Desert sunset

Pacific Ocean

Arrived at Manhattan Beach, CA.  Where else?

Sunset on the pier

Journey's end

Go West 5

Coming down from the Rockies we stayed in Moab, UT.  Pretty red rock mesas.  We did not tangle with the Moabites (see Judges 3.29) as we left for the Grand Canyon.  We arrived there about 2 pm and headed for the South rim.  It has to be an amazing experience to see this for the first time as we did.  I image some cow poke riding along and coming to the edge for the first time.  What a sight!  That said, once you have been there for 10 or 15 minutes, you get the basic idea.  Not to disparage those who dedicate their lives to exploring and and understanding the Canyon. It is a wonder.  Pictures do not do it justice.  There was a lot of walking for Monica from parking lots to shuttle buses and then to the view sites so we only stayed for a couple of hours.  Our next stop was Flagstaff, AZ where a new adventure awaited us. Click once on pics for a better view.

Leaving Moab -- explains itself

Red Mesa

Monica at the rim, my shadow, poor compostion

Tiny black dot in middle of picture is Colorado River

Zoom into river with suspension bridge

The sky at the Grand Canyon (long view)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Go West 4


We left Dallas on Monday, Dec 3, and made our way to Amarillo.  We were tempted to try the FREE 72 oz Texas steak  (free only if you can eat it all with all the fixins in an hour) but since we were in a hurry we settled for the 20 oz.  We then moved on and camped (Holiday Inn Express) on the High Chaparral near Lemar, CO (southeast).  The drought has hit Colorado and North Texas hard.  Lots of dry ground and still much cattle. We reached my uncle and aunt's house in Denver on Tuesday afternoon.  Had a great visit with them catching up on their six children and all the grandchildren.  On Wednesday we visited the St. Mother Cabrini shrine outside of Denver where Mother, like Moses, struck a rock with her staff and water came out to assuage the thirst of her orphan charges.  We drank the water from the holy Mother Cabrini spring which still flows today.

Then Thursday, on to the Rockies.  What a experience to drive through these American beauties.  The weather was shaky.  We had light snow flurries until we hit Vail (where else?) and then sun and clouds all down the west side.  Crossed into Utah and are spending Thursday in Moab, UT.  Heading to the Grand Canyon tomorrow!  Pics below.  Click on pics for better view.

Look closely for the Texas steak lover.

Texas style

The Gospel comes to Amarillo

Stations of the Cross -- Cabrini Shrine

Trophy case at Uncle Ed's

Rockies just west of Vail

Utah (period)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Go West 3

We are about to leave Dallas heading to Denver to visit my uncle and aunt there.  Before leaving we celebrated Nicolaus early (the feast day of St. Nicolas, December 6) with Hilary and Richard. Nicolaus was a great memory from my childhood.  Children place their shoes near the door on the eve of Dec. 6.  In the morning good children receive a small gift, bad children receive coal and onions.  One year I received the dreaded coal and onions.  I could not imagine what I could have done that was so bad.  Nicolaus was this great warm up for Christmas which, as a child, to me seemed very far away.

We gave Hilary and Richard their Christmas gifts, the first Sunday of Advent.  May we like the Wise Men begin our Advent journey to the manger to see the true meaning of our lives.  Pics below.

Nicolaus was here!

Alix and Richard's creche

A new blanket.  Wow!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Go West 2

Thanksgiving was great.  Hilary and Richard made a traditional meal with all the fixin's.  Mark and Julia, their friends, joined us.  Julia is from Edinburgh and they are redoing their wedding vows over Christmas break.  Traditional Scottish wedding with men in kilts (jealous).  On Friday played 9 holes of golf with Hilary and Richard at Hank Haney's short course.  Low 60's (temp not my score), sunny.  Nice.  Saturday I played again by myself while Monica and Hilary shopped.  Sunday we went to the Dallas Aboritum to see a display of over 500 Nativity Scenes (creches).  Truly amazing and uplifting to see how many different visions people have had of the glorious Nativity mystery.  My favorite was a set made from the ashes from the Mt. St. Helena eruption. Pics below. Click on pictures for a better view.

Table set for the feast

Richard the carver

Plated and ready

Day after Thanksgiving at the links

Dallas Arboritum

1 of 500 creches

What a gordious house!  Dallas Arboritum

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Go West 1

Reporting on trip West.  We left R'ville late on Fri., Nov 16.  To Harrisburg, PA first day.  Day 2 we wandered thru Virginia using many side roads.  Picturesque rolling hills with a touch of late fall. Nite 2 stayed in Lynchburg, VA.  Nite 3 made it to mid-Tennessee between Knoxville and Nashville.  On to Little Rock, AK. for nite 4.  Made it to Dallas on Tuesday.  Pleasant trip with nice sites.  Long trip.  See some pics below.

What the sky looks like in Arkansas

It's still fall in Texas

This long trip can berry you!

So far its been a great trip.  Looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with Hilary and Richard.  Some time here, then on to the Rockies!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bishop Longley on the New Evangelization

Excellency, Most Reverend Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham (Great Britain-England and Wales)


The New Evangelization is not a strategy or program, but an invitation to an encounter and life-long relationship with Jesus Christ and his Church. It involves fallingin love with the person of Jesus Christ and his bride, the Catholic Church. This encounter with Christ takes place in and through the Church so as not to foster afalse dichotomy between spirituality and religion. Encounters with Christ in the Church help the faithful to understand the need for salvation and forgiveness from sin. Following the initial encounter with Christ, the faithful desire to spend time with the beloved in prayer, sacrament and to contemplate the face of God (Novo Millennio Ineunte).

Hence, the Synod Fathers might propose a lifelong accompaniment of each Catholic on their journey of faith modeled on Christ's walk with the two disciples on the Road to Emmaus. The faithful need the continued work of systematic, comprehensive and lifelong catechesis. Evangelization and catechesis should help the faithful know, understand, live and share the faith. A catechesis for youth and adults that is age-appropriate and presented in an appealing and apologetic manner that answers the genuine questions of those participating in their formation would enhance the New Evangelization. This basic presentation of the fundamentals of our faith, as found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in an attractive and appealing manner, for example at World Youth Day, will help to revive aconfidence in the faith and a greater ability to share it with others.

Fostering some practical initiatives would assist the New Evangelization and catechesis: Lectio Divina, teaching prayer, making the Sacred Scriptures and the Sacrament of Penance more readily available (perhaps through offering the Sacrament at new times and on aconsistent basis during Lent or Advent), pilgrimages, sharing the stories of the saints and martyrs, and making known the excellent work and ministry undertaken by Catholic institutions and apostolates.

We discussed presenting the Sacraments in anew light aimed at reaching contemporary society. The preparation for individual sacraments should model the catechumenate and allow for personal encounters with Christ and the proclamation of the kerygma. Small Christian communities can help to connect people to one another, allowing for prayer and reflection on the Scriptures.

We encourage the Synod Fathers to pray for a New Pentecost for the whole Church and to better understand the ways in which the Holy Spirit is working in the Church and lives of Catholics and other Christians. We stressed the importance of Liturgy well-celebrated and homilies that inspire and share the faith in a compelling manner. This will require formation for the clergy in liturgy, homiletics, and the New Evangelization since they are formators for the new evangelizers.

In order to be effective evangelists, the laity needs better preparation for evangelization. This should include doctrine, helping evangelists share the faith, perhaps through a wider use of images, suitable for the people they serve, some of whom may be illiterate; humility, acquiring the ability to articulate one's story of faith and testimony of Christ.

Our group would wish to encourage bishops, priests and permanent deacons to know the lives of the people they serve in amore personal way. The bishop is an evangelist who leads by example and shares with all the baptized the blessings of being called to evangelization. His ministry must have the characteristics of the shepherd (ad intra) and the fisherman (ad extra). Ongoing formation for clergy on the New Evangelization and methods for evangelization in the diocese and parish are needed.

The family is a privileged center for the new evangelization. Catholic families are in great need of regular support and direct assistance from the Church and parish to become witnesses to the faith. Continuing inculturation of the gospel could bring together the life of Christ with the life and culture of all people. The inculturation of the Gospel involves becoming more of a welcoming Church to immigrants and those in need.

We also considered the contribution of Religious and the witness of consecrated life, the establishment of catechists as astable ministry within the Church, the need for post-sacramental catechesis, especially following Confirmation, the wisdom of consulting our Canon Lawyers when formulating diocesan policy, the particular needs of the Deaf Community, and the management of natural resources in times of conflict or warfare.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Feast of St. Aidan

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Aidan and Cuthbert of Lindisfarne

Everliving God, who didst call thy servants Aidan and Cuthbert to proclaim the Gospel in northern England and endued them with loving hearts and gentle spirits: Grant us grace to live as they did, in simplicity, humility and love for the poor; through Jesus Christ, who came among us as one who serves, and who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen  

Monday, August 27, 2012

Here is an interesting article on Finding Jesus at Burning Man from Christianity Today.
Page 2 is a little unclear but push on.  You may have to magnify the screen to read more easily.

Burning Man

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sermon -- 5 Pentecost 2012

5 Pentecost 2012

Today we continue with our readings from the books of Samuel. We see David at the moment of Saul's death. David was very close to King Saul. He knew him intimately He knew he was corrupt. He used to play his harp and sing songs to him when the King could not sleep, when he was quite mad on those difficult nights.

At a point Saul tried to kill David. Jonathan, Saul's son and the presumptive heir to the throne, saved David's life. David had a chance to kill Saul when Saul was pursuing him with murderous intentions. David chose not to kill Saul because God had anointed him as king.

Now Saul and Jonathan, his dear friend, are killed in battle. And what is David's reaction? He could have sung this song:

Oh, that corrupt old Saul is gone. Good riddance.
I've won. Thank God. How great I am.
Corruption got its just deserts.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How to Find Trinity Church

Here is where our church is located in Rensselaerville, NY.  It is where the star is on the right hand side of the map.  We are located at the end of Trinity Lane, just off Albany Hill Rd. and County Route 351.

Summer Service Schedule

Beginning Sunday June 10, 2012, we will move to our summer schedule and services will begin at 8:30 am.

Services at 8:30 am will continue through to Sunday, September 2, 2010, which is the Sunday before Labor Day.

Following Labor Day, on Sunday September 9, 2012, we will resume our Sunday service time of 11 am.  

Monday, June 4, 2012

Sermon -- Trinity Sunday 2012

We probably have all seen Rublev's icon of the Trinity. It depicts our Patron, the Trinity, as three angels, the angels that visited our father Abraham near the oaks of Mamre. (The minister circulates a large copy of the icon and mentions it is on the church blog)

In his picture, Rublev shows us what we know about this Holy One who Isaiah has seen in his vision that was read to us. We know about this Holy One primarily through Jesus. As scripture has told us “Jesus is the image of the unseen God.”

So the Christian tradition boldly claims to have some knowledge about this mysterious figure – that Rudolf Otto calls the “mysterium tremendum et fascians"  - this scary but fascinating mystery. All of our knowledge of God comes from Jesus.

Rublev depicts our three Patrons in his picture as sitting in a circle. On the right, the Holy Spirit has a garment of the clear blue of the sky, wrapped over with a robe of a fragile green. The Spirit of creation moves in sky and water, breathes in heaven and earth. All living things owe their freshness to his touch.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Trinity Sunday -- June 3, 2012


Trinity Sunday is our Patronal feast day.  We are blessed to have the Holy Trinity as our special patrons.  You can't do better than that!  This year Trinity Sunday (the Sunday after Pentecost) falls on June 3.

To celebrate we will begin our Sunday Service with a procession down Main St. from Bell's hotel to the church lead by a piper.  The procession will form in the driveway of the hotel at 10:30 am.

(On the evening of June 3, we will close our celebration with BBQ hosted by Jost and Ellen.  We would like to invite as many of our friends as will come.  Please extend an invitation to everyone to come to our celebration party beginning at 6 pm.)  BBQ AND SERVICE CANCELED 5/30/2012  Fr. Jay North+

We will close the day with a sunset service overlooking the mountains.  This is should be a great day!  So plan to attend and invite your friends.

Sermon 7 Easter 2012

Next week of course is the feast of Pentecost. This last week we celebrated the Ascension. The Ascension has become characterized as a feast day which is not widely marked. Somehow we don't know quite what to make of it these days. Does it make sense that Jesus was taken up into heaven? Why did he end his earthly ministry in this way?

Pentecost and Ascension are closely related. Jesus said, unless I go, I cannot send the Spirit (John 16.7). Why is this the case?

I think it is best explained by seeing Jesus as the New Adam. The New Adam did life right. Jesus did it correctly. The first Adam messed it up. He didn't do it right. He turned away from God. He became distracted by his own dreams and visions of grandeur. As the evil one told him, “You can be like God.” And he actually believed this. He wanted to run things his own way.

The new Adam, Jesus, on the other hand, went about doing things the way God wanted them done. He listened closely to the Father. He constantly relied on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He said, “I dont do anything unless I see the Father doing it.” He could see what the Father was up to. The Father was up to healing. The Father was up to teaching and guiding his children. The Father was up to finding lost sheep and carrying them home. The Father was up to extending his kingdom and his rule. So the new Adam, Jesus, went about doing this – thinking about God first and not about a personal agenda, if he could imagine one. The devil wanted him to.

Update on Irene

Irene has moved to the Atria Crossgates in Albany for continued rehab.  The address is 140 Washington Ave. Ext., Albany, NY 12203.  Phone: 869-0211.

Monica saw her briefly today and we will be looking in on her later this week.

Continued prayers are requested.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Irene at Sunnyview

Irene is in Sunnyview Rehab Center.  She spent a short time at Ellis Hospital.  She is hoping to get out soon.  Please keep her in your prayers.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sermon 5 Easter 12

There are a lot of theories and programs about Church growth. This was the topic of our Vestry retreat last Saturday. As I prepared for that day, I was lead to today's Gospel reading: “I am the vine, you are the branches.”

As I was studying and thinking about this, it occurred to me, perhaps obviously to others, that this is God's plan for church growth. Jesus is the vine, we are the branches. There maybe a lot of theories and programs for church growth, but this is God's theory. In his case, it is not a theory; it is HIS PLAN. So we should be be paying very close attention if we want our church to grow.

Now this is so obvious on one level that we might miss the deep significance of what Jesus is saying. He is saying that this is how a church grows. This is how you bear fruit. And we know from this discourse of Jesus that the Father is very interested in fruit.

First off, Jesus says, “I am the True Vine.” There might be others vines. We are part of other organizations in our lives. Jesus says, “I am the True Vine.” In other words this is most important vine we will ever be part of. This is vine where we receive our nourishment. This is vine where we will grow into the fulness of God. It will not happen anywhere else. If want to become the best person you can be, the person God created you to be, its gona happen here, as part of the True Vine.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

New link to 1811 Days Celebration photos

Photos from our 1811 Days celebration on June 4 and 5 last year are now available to view and download.  To get to the link go to Contributors (on right), click on my name (Jay North) which takes you to my Google Profile and posts.  On mobile view, must navigate to Posts. Scroll down until you see a picture of the Historic Marker. Click on the picture of the Historic Marker to view all photos.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sermon 4 Easter 12

4 Easter 12

I am the Good Shepherd. I am the Bread of Life. I am the Living Bread. I am the Light of the World. I am the Gate.” These are some of the “I am” sayings of Jesus. Today is Good Shepherd Sunday. “I am the Good Shepherd,” Jesus says.

We have no idea however how bone jarring these expressions were in Jesus' time. Jesus was using the sacred words “I am” to describe himself – the very name of God revealed to the the Hebrews through Moses at the Burning Bush. These words (I am) were so sacred to them that they would not even speak them, not even pronounce them. The Hebrew name of “Yahweh” never passed their lips.

So when Jesus called himself “I am” their very bones were jarred. Consider this exchange from John
Chapter 8. Jesus is speaking to the Jewish leaders:

"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." The Jews therefore said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am." Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple.”

We have no real equivalent today. For me, sometimes when I hear the Spanish name “Jesus” (Heysus) spoken I am bit shaken. This is the name of Jesus. It is a perfectly good Spanish name and parents who name their child “Jesus” do that child great honor. But still, to me, it is sometimes hard to hear this name used.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Lector List Beta (under construction)

Date Sunday Lector
4/22 Third Sunday of   Easter

4/29 Fourth Sunday of Easter
5/6 Fifth Sunday of Easter
5/13 Sixth Sunday of Easter
5/20 Seventh Sunday after the Easter
5/27 Whitsunday - Day of Pentecost
6/3 Trinity Sunday - First Sunday after Pentecost
6/10 Second Sunday after Pentecost - Proper 5
6/17 Third Sunday after Pentecost - Proper 6
6/24 Fourth Sunday after Pentecost - Proper 7