Sunday, August 27, 2006

Husband #2 would probably have celebrated his 63rd birthday today had he not been a smoker. Lung cancer got him in 1995, and it continues to be the leading cause of cancer deaths, and the no.1 preventable cause of strokes. Makes me want to snatch cigarettes away from those who use the courtyard at church as a smoker's lounge. It ain't cool, Folks!

Father of all, we pray to you for Don, and for all those whom we love but see no longer. Grant to them eternal rest. Let light perpetual shine upon them. May his soul and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. (BCP)

Today we're remembering Katrina and her victims. Tom wrote a liturgy that is being used throughout the diocese. I wonder if we'll have storm songs, too. Seems there are more in the Baptist Hymnal than in the one we use.

Mike has invited Jon and Trish over this afternoon to watch RV. I tried to watch it when he first brought it home, but to me, it was too stupid to be funny. He watched Bruce Willis in Fifth Element this morning before leaving for church. He and Benji love that Sci-Fi classic, another one that I just don't get.

I was so glad he didn't turn on the tv when Skip and Bill were here. It's a poor substitute for good old-fashioned conversation, and gets in the way of our relating to one another as well as I would like. But he's addicted to it, so I blog.. Each of us is on a one-way street headed in opposite directions. No wonder I feel we're estranged sometimes.

After church.

I especially liked the Prayers of the People that Tom wrote for today's service:

We gather before God in faith and hope following the devastation our community has suffered from Hurricane Katrina. To the God of all creation we bring the tears we have cried, but with our hearts set on the future.

Hear us, God of creation.

God of Creation and Lord of all seasons, hear the thoughts of our hearts for the year that has passed and our hope for grace and protection in days yet to be.

Hear us, God of creation.

Lord God of all seasons, you sustain us througout the year.

You are the rain that refreshes the earth.

You are the light that shines upon all things.

You are the miracle of birth and growth.

You write the times and the seasons on the face of the earth.

You set it in motion for the benefit of all.

You are the Creator who blesses.

You are the Guardian of all that you have created.

The eyes of all look to you, O Lord.

You open your hand, and satisfy the desire of every living thing.

We have faced and endured the might of the winds, thunderous rains, and surging waves;

Hear us, God of Creation.

We have known uncertainty, and we carry concern for our brothers and sisters who have stood in harm's way;

Hear us, God of Creation.

We give you thanks for your holy strength that has sustained us in the year that has passed;

Hear us, God of Creation.

You are the God of hope; grant us the grace of your Spirit in the seasons to come;

Hear us, God of Creation.

Be our light in the darkness, our hope in the storm and the calm, our serenity in the chaos and peace, and our hope and trust in the future;

Hear us, O Lord of life.

Almighty and ever living God, we bring our grateful hearts to you in thanksgiving and praise for bringing us through the year that has past. Yet, we are mindful of those who have suffered injury, damage or loss and ask that you would comfort them with your healing love. Guard, as well, those who yet remain in harm's way. As we continue through the days to come, help us always to place our hope, our fears, and our trust in you, for in you alone is life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

David was back on the organ today, and got a round of applause when Tom welcomed him back. Everybody has missed him. Special music today was provided by a men's quartet - Ben, Don, James, and David. Then James did Duke Ellington's Come Sunday:

Ooooh...Lord, dear Lord above, God almighty, God of love,/ Please look down and see my people through./ I believe that God put sun and moon up in the sky./ I don't mind the gray skies'cause they're just clouds passing by./ Heaven is a goodness time. A brighter light on high./ Do unto others as you would have them do to you./ And have a brighter by and by./ Lord, dear Lord above, God almighty, God of love,/ Please look down and see my people through./ I believe God is now, was then and always will be./ With God's blessing we can make it through eternity./ Lord, dear Lord above,/ God almighty, God of love,/ Please look down and see my people through.

I recorded some of this with my digital camera. Just happened to have it with me today, but I didn't get it all, had to go for communion in the middle of it. Wish I could post the part I got, makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up, every bit as majestic and soulful as Mahalia Jackson's recording.

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