Saturday, June 30, 2007

Have you read the latest Credenda?

I especially appreciated Mrs. Wilson's column this month on creating beauty. I'm one of those who has always felt guilty for loving beautiful things and for wanting to make the things and the people around me beautiful. It's always felt so... fleshly and unspiritual. But no, she says, "God wants His children to take pleasure in the earthly things He has bestowed on us."

"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Revelation 4:11)"

We who are created in his image, and most especially we who have been given his name in the waters of baptism, honour him when we delight in those things that our Lord was pleased to create.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Jamestown 2007

Our bishop's son put together a two minute video montage of Saturday's service. Be sure your speakers are on. :-D

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Third Sunday after Trinity

O LORD, we beseech thee mercifully to hear us; and grant that we, to whom thou hast given an hearty desire to pray, may, by thy mighty aid, be defended and comforted in all dangers and adversities; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Four hundred years ago on this Sunday, the first communion service in Virgina was held at Jamestown, led by the Rev. Robert Hunt, in a makeshift church consisting of a sail suspended from the trees, a communion rail log attached to two saplings, and logs for benches.

I mentioned earlier that we've recently joined a chuch that uses the 1928 Prayer Book. Holy Redeemer is a member of the Anglican Church of Virginia, which has held a communion service at the church on Jamestown Island on the Saturday before 3rd Trinity every year since since its inception in 2001. Our bishop has been instrumental in bringing together other traditional Anglican bishops and their churches, and this year at Jamestown we hosted the first synod of the Anglican Church International Communion. The service yesterday was an especially big deal because we also consecrated a new bishop.

The celebration began with a procession to the church led by the St. Andrew's Pipes and Drums Legion.

All of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
I Peter 5:5-11

The Epistle for this Sunday was especially meaningful, as the new bishop is from India where there is a lot of persecution of Christians. Church buildings are often destroyed and on Sunday mornings, the congregation gathers with the women and children nearest the altar, and with the men nearest the door, a row of them standing shoulder-to-shoulder and facing the door, so that they might protect the congregation if they are attacked during a service.

During the service, the Scriptures were read in French and Spanish as well as English. Mike and six of the children sang the Gloria in Latin at the end of the service, just before the recessional. My mother asked me to record them singing and I meant to, but I plumb forgot when the time came, which is a shame, because the acoustics in that building are outstanding.

After the service the St. Andrew's Legion regaled us with song and dance.

It was a long day (we didn't get home till after midnight) but I'm so glad we were able to attend. I only wish I'd been able to attend the Synod meetings during the week so I could have spent more time with the godly men and their wives with whom the Lord has blessed us.

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Other shots from the day:

Baby Princess and Pocahontas.

The young man in the white shirt is my oldest son - this was taken after the service while the pipes and drums were playing.

One of the bishops from India and his family.

All of us with about half the bishops in attendance. We had bishops from across the US as well as from India, Haiti, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.

Monday, June 18, 2007

This morning's colloquium

When the kids and I gathered for our morning time today, I brought with me my Chuch Year Calendar (published by the Ashby Publishing Co.) so I could look over the saints who are commemorated this month. Not that I'm perfectly consistent in this by any means, but I like to pick out one or two saints each month to study with the children because it's so important for them to know their family history, including our fathers in the Faith. And given that we live in such security, ease, and plenty, it's all the more important that we should remember our brothers who have suffered and died for the Faith.

So, as I was flipping it open, I noticed for the first time that the beheading of Charles I is commemorated - that is, that his martyrdom on the 30th of January is noted on this calendar! Up until recently, we've been using the Episcopal version published by Ashby, but since we joined an Anglican church here last month, I've picked up the Anglican version, which is considerably more high church than our family is.

Since we were still waiting on one or two children to gather, I took the opportunity to mention this fact, and of course, you can't talk about Charles I and William Laud without talking about the Puritans, and the conversation continued for about an hour, at which time we closed with Morning Prayers. I can't possibly recreate that conversation here, but I thought it would be fun to list the range of topics we covered in roughly the order they came up.

- Charles I
- Cromwell
- Puritans
- Divine Right of Kings
- Norman Conquest
- Pre-Norman Britain
- the Witenagamot
- benefits of a decentralized, confederated government with an elected federal head
- religious causes of the Norman Conquest
- religious differences between Pre-Norman Ireland and Britain
- historic politcal relations between Scotland and Ireland
- family history (Scots-Irish and Welsh)
- Wales
- Welsh language
- Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

At this point we went into hysterics and couldn't procede with the discussion, so we collected ourselves went to prayers as it was already nearly eleven o'clock. Unfortunately I was still so giddy from the end of the conversation that I prayed "Let not the greedy, O Lord, be forgotten," instead of needy.

P.S. I've settled on St. Alban, a British martyr who died in 304, because I know nothing about him other than that.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day dinner

My hubby is a meat and potatoes lover, but we don't often eat that way, so as my gift to him today I made a meaty dinner especially the way he likes it.

Flank steak
mashed potatoes and gravy
green beans
Vidalia onion pie
zucchini salad
fresh strawberries and whipped cream for dessert

I was a little nervous about making this steak because my steaks always turn out tough, but I followed the directions for flank steak in my circa 1950s Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, and it was perfect!

Score flank steak; dip into flour; brown in hot fat. Season. Add 1/2 cup hot water; cover; cook over low heat or in moderate oven (350°) till tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

I browned the steak in butter in my iron skillet, sprinkled a little salt and pepper on it, then covered it tightly with foil and put it in the oven for a little less than two hours, since it was so thick.

The gravy was made from the all the pan drippings plus the water from cooking the potatoes.

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Here's my Vidalia onion pie recipe:

4 medium Vidalia onions
1 stick of butter
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp of freshly ground pepper (I use McCormick's peppercorn medley)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, divided

Preheat over to 450°. Thinly slice onions and cut into quarters, then sauté in butter until soft. Mix together eggs, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Pour 1/2 of sautéed onions into each of two pie pans, the pour half of the egg mixture over each. Top each with 1/4 cup of Parmesan (or more if preferred). Bake in 450° oven for 15 minutes, then turn down to 350° and bake till golden brown and set - about 15 minutes. Makes 16 side servings, but in our family, some of us eat about three servings. ;-)

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The zucchini salad was modified from one found in Nourishing Traditions since I didn't have all the ingredients. Put 2 Tblsps of Lemon Pepper seasoning into a bowl and cover with 2 Tblsps white wine and 1/4 cup water; set aside. Quarter four zucchinis and slice thin. Add to seasoning mix: 1/2 extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1 Tblsp flaxseed oil. Mix well, then place zucchini into a bowl, pour dressing over all, stir gently, and let sit at room temperature for a few hours before serving.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

We're kind of late getting in our garden this year. A couple of months ago, Mike and the boys planted the potatoes and onions (which are doing well), and peas and beans (which all died). Our peas have died every year and I'm not sure why. Our beans have never done well, but this is the first time they all died.

A month and a half or so ago we got the corn planted, and this week we've finally planted in the corn patch pole beans to grow up the corn, and pumpkin, watermelon, cantalaupe, yellow squash, and zucchini to grow between the rows.

In May the tomatoes went in, and yesterday I planted some basil to grow with the tomatoes, plus some marigold seeds. (Now I just have to keep the chickens from taking their dustbaths there!)

It doesn't look like much written down here, but all this, plus all the weeding, means that instead of having our Morning Time the kids and I have been gardening in the morning before it gets too hot, then around eleven I'll come in, take a shower, and lie down while the older girls get lunch ready. After lunch we have our "Morning Time" and then the little ones have naps (and sometimes I do, too). After supper we'll go back out work and for another hour or so with Mike.

Well, the older folks work - the little ones help for awhile and then start running around chasing lightening bugs.

I love this time of year.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Wendell Berry, in The Art of the Commonplace, describing the place where he lives:
The hill is like an old woman, all her human obligations met, who sits at work day after day, in a kind of rapt leisure, at an intricate embroidery. She has time for all things. Because she does not expect ever to be finished, she is endlessly patient with details. She perfects flower and leaf, feather and song, adorning the briefest life in great beauty as though it were meant to last forever.