Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

A Prayer of Thanks...
Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have done for us. We thank you for the splendor of the whole creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life, and for the mystery of love. ~ from the General Thanksgiving (BCP)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Prayer for Quiet Confidence

A Prayer for Quiet Confidence

O God of peace, who has taught us that in returning and rest we will be saved, in quietness and confidence will be our strength: By the might of your Spirit lift us, we pray, to your presence, where we may be still and know that you are God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
~ Book of Common Prayer
Sand tufas and the Milky Way by Celso Mollo

Friday, June 20, 2014

"I Love a Tree" by Samuel N. Baxter


When I pass to my reward.

Whatever that may be,
I'd like my friends to think of me
As one who loved a tree.

I may not have a statesman's poise
Nor thrill a throng with speech
But I may benefit mankind
If I set out a beech.

If I transport a sapling oak 
To rear its mighty head
Twill make for them a childhood shrine, 
That will not soon decay.

Of if I plant a tree with fruit,
On which the birds may feed,
Then I have fostered feathered friends
And that's a worthy deed.

For winter when the days grow short
And spirits may run low
I'd plant a pine upon the scape
T'would lend a cheery glow.

I'd like a tree to mark the spot
Where I am laid to rest
For that would be the epitaph
That I would like the best.

Tho it's not carved upon a stone
For those who come to see
But friends would know that resting there 
Is he, who loved a tree

-- Samuel N. Baxter (1872-1935)

Sabal Palmetto in Charleston, SC on The Battery
As for me, I would like a Sabal Palmetto over my grave site, please. It must be a Sabal palmetto and not the Sabal "lisa" palmetto. A small stone and a tree and some daffodils all around it. 
Sabal Palmetto in Charleston, SC on the Battery

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Just Plane Fun :-)

Call me crazy, but I love taking photographs from my plane trips. I thought I'd post some here since I took a bazillion on my past two trips. :-)

Delta flight over Lake Ponchartrain New Orleans
A collage of plane shadows as we land
Waiting to taxi away from ATL
Heading back to NOLA in the clouds
On the way from DFW to SLC, it looks like somebody's playing PacMan down there!
Our star shining brightly above the clouds from MSY to DFW

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Angel Oak on John's Island, SC

Today, my Mom and I went driving around John's Island, South Carolina and to Kiawah Island, where we used to live before it became one giant golf course. In fact, when we moved there from Columbia, SC, there were still wild horses on the island, two thirds of it was undeveloped, and the Vanderhorst Plantation was still standing and accessible. Kiawah is still absolutely gorgeous, but not a place I would ever EVER want to live again. Too isolated, too expensive, and too....elite for my personal taste. One the way back toward Charleston, we came upon Resurrection road and decided to explore that. It featured a gigantic, plantation style home and a few other houses on the water. It also seemed that the forest around it was filled with blue, beautiful hydrangeas! Cool! I'd nevertheless seen them in a forest before.

After the road ended, we had lunch off of Maybank Highway and then turned back toward Bohicket road turns into Main road. There, along Bohicket road, lies many a dusty dirt road, leading off to either water, farm, or someone's home. The Angel Oak is off of one of these roads. Once down a ways, you park along the roadside and THERE IT IS!!! 

The Angel Oak is by no means the largest of the oldest tree in the US, but one of the largest live oaks around the US and is an astounding gigantic and ancient tree! It's 1500 years old and is about 65 feet tall. It provides 17,000 feet of shade. In a Carolina summer, one greatly appreciates ANY shade! You can read more about The Angel Oak HERE or even HERE (This site has glorious photos!)

I'm not normally a fan of wooded areas (too creepy quiet and isolated for me), but rather, I adore large, open green spaces and beaches or having a view on an edge of a mountain. 
Anyway, The Angel Oak was actually so big that it provided sunlit spots in between its shadows and SUCH a large area that it felt breezy and open. It was SO INVITING! Also, the people there today were all pretty quiet and everyone was amazed so it was a nice, bonding experience of smiles with my fellow humans :-)

I thought that it might be nice to capture some video of this giant oak since pictures cannot do it justice! Enjoy!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day 2014, Remembering My Dad in Pictures: Ashmead Courtenay Carson, Jr. (1918-1998)

Today, I want to share two awesome pictures of my Dad!  
                                            Ashmead Courtenay Carson, Jr. (1918-1998)
This one was taken while Dad was grilling dinner and it was supposed to be a "horror movie pose" so he scrunched up his face and made a giant movement toward whatever was being grilled with the tongs, HA! 

This next one was posted on FB by my half sister Pride with the great description: "Dad as an Army Air Corps flyboy" circa WWII." I can't believe how young he looks!

This last one (for today) is another from sister Pride as THE BEST gift for Christmas EVER! The wave in Dad's hair is very characteristic of the Carson line. In fact, I've seen a silhouette from the 1700's where it was there too! Cool!

He is greatly missed! Dad taught me that "nothing is as strong as gentleness". We also shared a strong ability to make and appreciate good puns :-) 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Pilot Day 2014

Today is Pilot Day! Since I'm not a pilot myself, I am celebrating by thinking about my Dad (Bomber pilot WWII, more on him tomorrow for Father's Day!) and also looking over photos that I've taken in the past few years. :-) Things you can do today to celebrate pilots and/or aviation are suggested at the end!
Photo by C. Carson of the Blue Angels rehearsing for their NOLA air show
This is a cool media set from my Facebook of photos from when the Blue Angels came to New Orleans and gave an air show out by The University of New Orleans (UNO). All pics taken with my Canon powershot 10X zoom so NOT BAD if I do say so myself :-)  I wasn't able to attend the show the next day, BUT I did manage to see them practicing the day before. Thank goodness it was Friday and that I'd already had rehearsals. I can't seem to concentrate when jets fly overhead, ESPECIALLY when you can hear that they are clearly doing cool maneuvers. It literally makes me squirm with anxiety to be outside staring up. The whole music department was watching me walking around to the different offices asking "can I look out your window....for just a second?" HA! Good times! I did finally just give up and walk out to the edge of our UNO campus at Lake Ponchartrain so I could get a much better view.

Some great things happening:
- Make-A-Wish helps kids become fighter pilots for a day 
- Pilots prepare for 60th annual Father's Day Fly-In 
Bomber Pilot Saves The Day In Boeing 737 Emergency Landing - from June 2

Learning to fly a plane is still officially HIGH UP ON MY BUCKET LIST! 
Before I forget, here is a link to my blog post on the Lockheed Martin Tweetup Adventure I attended - also from 2012. Lockheed Martin is extremely awesome in every aspect of what they do! I am a giant fan! 

What can you do on Pilot day?
- If someone is flying YOU around, SAY THANK YOU to your pilot! 
- If YOU are flying - why not share that enthusiasm with someone who may be inspired?!
- Simply think about the amazing things that go into modern Aviation
- Check out #AVGeek on Twitter! 
- If you have the means, contribute to someone's Make-A-Wish dream to be a pilot for a day!
- Visit an Aviation museum
- Check out the FlightAware and the FlightRadar24 apps. 
- Check out the FAA and learn about air safety
- Draw a plane or build a plane (legos, a real one, whatever is handy! :-)

                                                   Have a great day out there everybody!
Photo by C. Carson, 2012

Friday, June 13, 2014

Ponderings at Two Stoplights on a Grey New Orleans Day

When I left this morning to head on over to UNO, it was extremely DARK and ominous, quite windy, and about to rain hard. I LOVE days like this and I completely love storms, especially thunderstorms. The first stoplight I came to was long enough for me to start wishing I'd seen the weather radar earlier and could have run out to Lake Ponchartrain to view the storm as it was coming in and take pictures. I was just mulling that over and didn't see any lightening yet, but it's something I really want to do at some point this summer. I'm SO EXCITED to be getting a lightning trigger - a piece of camera equipment I've wanted for at least five years. Not exactly sure which brand I want, but quality enough to capture some terrific shots! I drove a few blocks and stopped at another light. 

I was able to take this iPhone photo that really shows you how dark it was. Wow, the storm was moving super rapidly! As I put the phone back down and turned to look down Elysian Fields, there came a GIGANTIC wall sheet of water, something you'd see sweeping across the plains, barreling down the street! It must have had a bit of a downburst in it too because I saw that it broke off a pretty sizable branch of an oak tree which remained in the middle of the road. I thought how lucky it was that no one was in its way and noted the strength of the whipping rain. The light then turned green.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Laughing at St. Paul's Senior Center = The Best Medicine :-)

Today, I spent most of the day at the St. Paul's Senior Center (formerly the St. Paul's Homecoming Center) in Gentilly, New Orleans. I haven't been in a little while and I have been missing seeing them on the Fridays when I usually call Bingo :-) Today, I went to meet a new group meeting on Thursdays and had lots of fun! 
When I arrived, they were talking about what we can do when we feel discouraged. Sort of seemed like a gloomy topic until we got to talking and they were so animated about life's ups and downs and how God is always there no matter what. I was a fantastic discussion and I am always amazed at the breadth of things they have each gone through. One of the men had recently had a house fire started by a bored child not monitored enough by his neighbor. It was a sad story, but he had come through it well. The positive attitude that all of these folks have is astounding - especially after you hear their stories. I taught them how to play Scrabble today. They weren't that into it at first, but then the laughter began as we tried various words which really weren't words! HA! Ms. Anna, in her 90's wiped the floor with us all and beat us by a large margin. Then we all had Shrimp pad Thai for lunch (YUM!) Afterwards, we played Bingo and as with my other bunch of seniors at the center, their competitive natures came rushing out and they were BINGO CRAZY!!!!! There are few things more precious than a group of seniors in their 70's, 80's, and 90's laughing and cracking themselves (and me) up every ten minutes! 
What a super fun day filled with special people and some great fellowship, needed by all! :-) Laughter is the best medicine!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Rainy Day NOLA and Great Books

It's not raining today, but it was yesterday! :-) I kind of wish it were today so that I could curl up again with some of the terrific new books I've been reading. I wasn't feeling well yesterday so resting helped a lot. I think my tonsils should probably come out, but I'm avoiding it for many reasons. Anyway, I am LOVING my free time this summer to stay up super late and read. It's sort of stolen free time, as I have a megaton of work that always needs to be done, but whatever. Some of the books I have recently read and/or am now reading are:
The Heart of Christianity  -  by Marcus Borg (terrific read!)
Episcopal Questions, Episcopal Answers  - by C.K. Robertson and Ian S. Markham (fantastic!)
What Should I Do with My Life?  -  Po Bronson (reading a bit at a time)

Here's my pretty silhouette of P.T. Beauregard at the NOLA City Park roundabout yesterday! On my way home, it was about to storm and I looked up and saw this wonderful storm light! 
C. Carson, 2014

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Trinity, Daily Prayer, Episcopal Space Blog, and St. Patrick's Bad Analogies

So this post is about prayer, challenges, the confusing and mysterious Trinity, and my new blog.                                                        #shamelessplug  - All exciting stuff! :-) 
What does God challenge me to do, be, or change - with regards to 2 Corinthians 13:11-13?

What does this tell us about the nature of the Trinity? (We also read Matthew 28:16-20.) 

These were the questions at the Bible study portion of our weekly staff meeting this morning. These are two of the lessons for this Sunday, June 15th, 2014, Trinity Sunday.  It goes right along with what I was writing last night about creating a space for daily prayer and reflection. In reading these lessons and pondering about the simple, yet confusing concept and nature of the Trinity....well, WOW, there's a lot to ponder. 

The Christian faith is resolutely Trinitarian and regardless of how I individually might struggle with this concept, the community fills in those faith gaps. While I dare not to make an heretical analogies just yet (see the veeeery end of this post for some of St. Patrick's Bad Analogies), I decided that our standard for the nature of the Holy Trinity as community is one aspect of our human struggle to remember by the actions of the second verse of 2 Corinthians: "Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you" ---  to actually receive the last verse of 2 Corinthians: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you".

That sounds awfully confusing. What I think I mean is that it seems like we continually strive for that last verse....we continually hope for and grow spiritually into the grace which is given us, grow through the love God has given us, and grow with the communion of the Holy Spirit in one another and with God. I see the ability to be in communion and fellowship with one another at various times and in various places as one of our challenges. I hope for our world that we will continue to strive for this and also take into account that perhaps the "communion of the Saints" doesn't solely represent those who have gone before, but those in the here and now! I feel that we need to create a space for the active Holy Trinity to be active in our lives, in the now. The Eternal nature of God provides for seeing his different aspects over time. One of the challenges to myself is to foster that continuous spiritual growth, realization of grace, and hope for community and one way I hope to do that is to continue daily prayer and/or reflections. Even if I don't arrive at any earth-shattering conclusions with my reflections - that's OK, but at least I am moving in the right direction. A passage from a book I recently read, Episcopal Questions, Episcopal Answers, written by one of my best friends, C.K. Robertson, and Ian S. Markham, states: 

"Constantly throughout the Bible, we see these three different aspects of God move and connect and interrelate. So, for example, at the baptism of Jesus (see Matthew 3:13-17), we see Jesus (the Word) being baptized, the Father's divine affirmation of the mission, and the Holy Spirit descending like a dove. It is because of this three-fold movement of God that we are baptized in the name of the "Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.". I find this very helpful. I also find it helpful that we "have seasons in our lives" where we might struggle with the concept of a Triune God. The book is VERY worth reading and can be bought here. He has tons of fantabulous books at his website, check it out! C.K. Robertson

When it comes to that daily prayer........Do we sit down and reserve and spend some time for God in my daily life and activities? Do we forget? Do we see it as a reflex, a habit, a necessity, a gift, or what? What do we do with this thing called prayer? I can tell you without reservation that for different portions of my life, I tended to save prayer for right before I went to sleep. I had the idea that it was supposed to be a private affair and quiet and....well, that made it rather stagnant. What would happen? I'd fall asleep OF COURSE! Was that a bad thing? Probably not dire, but I felt badly about it. It's not too cool to feel you are failing at faith and prayer. 
It was also indicative that I was definitely not giving God enough space in my being. Throughout my life, my ideas of prayer have certainly evolved and largely in part to my living into the greater Church, into The Episcopal Church, and witnessing how others dealt with faith and how they prayed. I came to realize that doubt is part of faith, and sometimes failures can be the "roads less traveled by"  that can lead to triumphs in disguise. Prayer is a necessity, a reflex at times, and a gift. I strive to live and focus on realizing and recognizing that our whole lives ARE ministries and many times, our actions can show our faith. These are easy things to forget and I was recently reminded by our bishop of this fact that our whole lives are ministries - it was wonderful to hear again. I believe that God is infinite and therefore space is as well. I believe that within us lies infinite potential and wonder. I feel that connecting these elements is as necessary as breathing.

Are daily prayer and reflection a part of my life? I'm excited to say that right now, they are! 

So, I do actually find the time these days to pray daily, but it's because it's summer and I've got
Hibiscus: C. Carson
loads of time (cue laughter) on my hands :-) I'm kidding. Seriously though, I am finding that daily prayer can take many forms: meditation, prayer, scriptural reading and mulling over it, breathing in the spirit of being still and knowing that God's presence (nature, walking in City Park, etc.) and basically acting out or being prayer. I consider that nature photography can be a form of prayer.  It is sharing time with God and acknowledging his presence in our lives that gives us wholeness. I've known these things for years, but perhaps it is where I am in life right now that allows me to live it rather than to simply see or say it. 

One of my favorite things to say when I wake up is: How can I be more loving today? 
Another is: What can I do for you today, God? It gets me thinking about my actions and motives.

Two years ago, I found myself wanting to combine aspects of my life.....perhaps those that seemed unlikely partners. One such combo ended up being what I call "Coffee with God". Sound silly? That's ok, it does to me too sometimes and it makes me laugh and I'm ok with that. It came about because of my coffee habit. I am pretty much addicted to coffee and tea and Snapple Mango Madness. Just ask me about my Starbucks mocha frappuccino habit. No, I'm lying, don't ask me. Just buy me one. I like and am addicted to the crackfish at Lakeview Grocery too, but that's another post, literally.
St. Paul's Episcopal, New Orleans. Baptismal
font and window at sunset. C. Carson

So the "Coffee with God" was a way for me to make a good thing out of a questionable thing. I bought my coffee or Snapple and came into the St. Paul's NOLA sanctuary and sat and spent time with God in meditation, prayer, and sharing my hopes and dreams and it helped open me up beyond belief! Who knew?! God knew.

One thing I completely love doing is spending time online. Yes, I admit, I am an online junkie of sorts. It's not so bad until I realize I've been leaning over a computer and that hours have passed. For the past two years, I have made concerted efforts to subdue this habit of mine and while I still spend plenty of time online and on social media, I have indeed learned to give these things their times and places. I've learned to cut my phone off (and I'm from South Carolina so "cut off" is normal speak :-) With the time that I allow myself, during the past twelve months, I decided to see if I could focus some of my online efforts and mix them with productivity. 

I realized that with a blog, website, and several social media outlets, I am slightly overproductive at times. Prolifically, annoyingly, continuously productive in content, commentary, and reading everyone's else's productivity as well. BUT I LOVE IT SO.    What to do, what to do.....

Then, one evening, during my Eastertide reflections and reading someone else's blog......


Why don't I include some prayerful blog posts?! It was a PERFECT match for me and the idea of accountability in prayer. For sure, this is one of my attempts at daily prayer and meditation and as we struggle to find time in our over-filled and joyfully busy lives, why not take some time to share what we love doing and OPENLY INCLUDE GOD. Yes indeed! With this, there will always be more to do and new ideas, continuous growth and deep reflection!

It's silly how much I love the grass template combined with the space waternark!!! :-)
So, my current blog, CARSONIA continued and Episcopal Space was born! (Check them out if you have time..... #shamelessplug )  I love space, I love Episcopal prayers, I love blogging, and VOILA! Seeing images of our solar system, the universe, and what lies beyond our realm of influence amazes me. It overwhelms me. With all of the science background I have and all that I have read and heard from scientists and astrophysicists, it simply reinforces for me that it is all divinely created. I decided to include a daily post of a space image with an Episcopal prayer, a hymn text, a psalm verse or another text! I am hoping to keep it up for my own daily meditation and reflection. I also see space as Trinitarian. The Universe is about 13.82 billion years old (Big Bang Theory) so that is the distant past. We exist now. Someone else sees our star's light or receives our radio signal in the future and for them, it will be the present and yet is will be our past. It's just SO. INSANELY. COOL. Sometimes I truly struggle to get every little thing done, but what's it all for if we don't allow and ensure that God is in and influencing our lives, our  thoughts, our feelings, our very spaces? 
Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest 
Check out these fabulous sites and blogs when you get the chance:

Astronomy Picture of the Day - APOD
Church Social Media - #chsocm
Episcopal Cafe - ecafe

And so I close this rambling mixed bag of a post with wishing you luck on your faith journey wherever you may be. Wish me luck with continued prayer and reflections! I charge you to think about your daily prayer and how you can include God and prayer in various aspects of your life that you may have previously thought impossible or perhaps have yet to consider - and to do this between Sundays! While you're at it, some of the images and experiences in the blogs mentioned above may help you or inspire you! Think about how we experience the divine in our daily lives, how we strive to grow spiritually in communion with one another and the saints. We hopefully won't get to a point where we feel we have "arrived" as prayer isn't something to simply check off on a list, but hopefully we may continuously grow spiritually throughout our lives and in all aspects of our lives. 
As for the Trinity, let me know how you handle that :-) Since you made it to the end, you deserve a reward....check out St. Patrick's bad analogies of the Trinity

Monday, June 09, 2014

Episcopal Prayers at the Close of Day

Look down, Lord, from your heavenly throne. Illuminate the darkness of this night with your celestial brightness, and from us, the children of light, banish for ever the deeds of darkness. God our judge and our teacher, let us not waste time when the day is done in guilt or self-reproach. Give us rather the courage to face whatever has been, accept forgiveness, and move on to something better. Amen. (from the New Zealand Prayer Book)
NASA / Hubble image of Messier 5

NROL-33 Launch on an Atlas V

This is a delayed post since it's June, but I wanted to save my launch photo collage somewhere and summer is a TIME TO CATCH UP for me! Back on May 22, the classified NROL-33 satellite launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. 

My FAVORITE shot that I took during the video! NROL-33 lifts into the air!
I watched online, as I do frequently for various launches. I also tweeted the launch and made a collage of launch photos which always goes over well online. From what I understand, the NROL-33 is a satellite launched to join a constellation of spacecraft in GEO orbit to relay for the US Reconnaissance Office - stuff like imaging. SUCH an interesting article HERE at and also some basic info about this launch at its ULA site. Launches have always fascinated me and I get super excited watching them. Once at UNO, I brought a few folks into my office to watch one with me because it was during the school day. The sheer power used to gain lift and then speed is amazing. Then, the booster separation and different propellant to push it further away from Earth's gravity and yet, into orbit, is also mind-blowing for me! 

Collage from iPhone video, a bit poor, but whatever

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Pentecost Sunday, 2014

Today was a big Pentecost service at St. Paul's NOLA. Fr. Rob, who is currently on an EDOLA pilgrimage in The Holy Land, sent us is sermon via Skype and YouTube during the service! The choir was small, yet fabulous! Here is a collage from today that I managed to take and a meme that I made. I taught my choir that when I was young, our choir at St. Michael's Episcopal used to sing "Hail Thee Festival Day" as "Hail Thee Vegetable Day.....blessed day that art salad for ever..." SO FUNNY to hear my choir doing it now :-)

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Episcopal Prayers at the Close of Day

From the New Zealand Prayer Book:

Lord it is night. The night is for stillness. Let us be still in the presence of God. It is night after a long day. What has been done has been done; what has not been done has not been done. Let it be. The night is dark. Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives rest in you. The night is quiet. Let the quietness of your peace enfold us, all dear to us, and all who have no peace. The night heralds the dawn. Let us look expectantly to a new day, new joys, new possibilities. In your name we pray. Amen.
A Starry Night of Iceland
Credit: Stephane Vetter (Nuits sacrees)

Thursday, June 05, 2014


What exactly is that? Why do we wear red? Why do we read the Gospel in different languages? What's this about "the birthday of the church"? I put together some info. to help answer these questions ~ Caroline
What is Pentecost?
June 8th marks "the Fiftieth day" of Easter and is a prominent feast in the calendar of ancient Israel celebrating the giving of the Law on Sinai, and also later in the Christian liturgical year commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the twelve Apostles of Christ. In the Eastern churches, Pentecost can also refer to the fifty days between Easter and Pentecost, hence the book containing the liturgical texts for Paschaltide is called the Pentecostarion. The feast is also called Whit Sunday, Whitsun, or Whit, especially in England, where the following Monday was traditionally a holiday. Pentecost is celebrated seven weeks (50 days) after Easter Sunday, hence its name.  Pentecost falls on the tenth day after Ascension Thursday.

What happened that day?
Ten days after Jesus ascended into heaven, the twelve apostles, Jesus’ mother and family, and many other of His disciples gathered together in Jerusalem for the Jewish harvest festival that was celebrated on the fiftieth day after Passover.  While they were indoors praying, a sound like that of a rushing wind filled the house and tongues of fire descended and rested over each of their heads.  This was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on human flesh promised by God through the prophet Joel (Joel 2:28-29).  The disciples were suddenly empowered to proclaim the gospel of the risen Christ.  They went out into the streets of Jerusalem and began preaching to the crowds gathered for the festival.  Not only did the disciples preach with boldness and vigor, but by a miracle of the Holy Spirit they spoke in the native languages of the people present, many who had come from all corners of the Roman Empire.  This created a sensation.  The apostle Peter seized the moment and addressed the crowd, preaching to them about Jesus’ death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins.  The result was that about three thousand converts were baptized that day. (

Among Christians, Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Twelve apostles and other followers of Jesus as described in the Acts of the Apostles.  For this reason, Pentecost is sometimes described as the "Birthday of the Church." 
(by Rev. Jay Sidebotham) 

The Pentecostal movement of Christianity also derives its name from the New Testament event.

We wear red because it is the color of fire and blood. Red is liturgically used for Palm Sunday and Pentecost and reminds us of the tongues of fire as the Holy Spirit descended.
(The picture above is an icon of the Christian Pentecost, in the Greek Orthodox tradition. This is the Icon of the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. At the bottom is an allegorical figure, called Kosmos, which symbolizes the world.)

We read in different languages because the idea is: Many languages, one prayer! It is because of this passage from Acts 2:1-4 "When the day of Pentecost had come, the disciples were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability." Some congregations choose to read The Lord's Prayer in many languages and some read the Gospel. If you ever have the opportunity while traveling to say The Lord's Prayer simultaneously with others speaking several languages, it is very striking and can be quite an emotional experience!

Various symbols of Pentecost include flames, wind, doves, and the breath of God and the Holy Spirit.

Other traditions included scattering rose petals from the ceiling of the churches (Italy), blow trumpets to represent the mighty wind (France), and Morris Dancing & cheese rolling (England). ( In at least 22 nations, Pentecost Monday is a public holiday. 

On the way to Salt Lake City!

I'm on my way to Salt Lake City this morning to attend the national ACDA Leadership conference. I'm thrilled to get to go! As president-elect for the state of Louisiana, there is MUCH I have to learn! This training will address some things I've needed to learn for a while now and be helpful forever! Things like meeting organization, bylaws, procedures, etc. Then, there's all the "choral-ness" and meeting new people which is always awesome! I bought the Gogo airplane internet day pass because I'm actually NOT sleepy today.....yet. :-) I also wanted to try out blogging from my iPhone and it looks like I'll have to add links and tags later as it's not user-friendly ----> if one can even do it from the Blogger app. I'm trying to blog more lately. I love it very much, but during the year it's hard to keep up. I have SO many thoughts to write down though, so expect to see many, and varied, posts! 
Here's my current view: "I've looked at clouds from both sides now..." HA!   
I had some tea which made up for the airport PJs not having coffee this morning. Initial descent into Dallas DFW so gotta go, but more from SLC!

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Episcopal Prayers at the Close of Day

From the Book of Common Prayer, 1979

O God, your unfailing providence sustains the world we live in and the life we live: Watch over those, both night and day, who work while others sleep, and grant that we may never forget that our common life depends upon each other’s toil; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Three Galaxies and a Comet
Image Credit & Copyright: Miloslav Druckmuller (Brno University of Technology)

Episcopal Prayers at the Close of Day

From the Canadian Prayer Book:

To you before the close of day, Creator of all things, we pray that, in your saving constancy, our guard and keeper you would be. Save us from troubled, restless sleep; from all ill dreams your children keep. So calm our minds that fears may cease and rested bodies wake in peace. A healthy life we ask of you: the fire of love in us renew, and when the dawn new light will bring, your praise and glory we shall sing. Almighty Father, hear our cry through Jesus Christ, our Lord, most high, Whom with the Spirit we adore forever and for evermore. Amen.
Milky Way Over Spain's Bardenas Reales
Image Credit & Copyright: Maria Rosa Vila

Episcopal Prayers at the Close of Day

From the New Zealand Prayer Book:

Support us, Lord, all the day long, until the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes, the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over, and our work done; then Lord, in your mercy, give us safe lodging, a holy rest and peace at the last. Amen.

A Milky Way Shadow at Loch Ard Gorge
Credit & Copyright: Alex Cherney (Terrastro)
Many more Episcopal Prayers at the Close of Day at my Episcopal Space blog site and some here on Carsonia as well, just type in "Episcopal prayers" to search.


I'm just going to call it like it is: CRACKFISH. Seriously, the catfish that the Lakeview grocery makes (Lakeview area of New Orleans) is THE. BEST. EVER. #NotEvenKidding

I need some sort of 12-step intervention program to keep me from eating so much of it. I'm in there at least once.....ok maybe twice a week lately. Today, I was voraciously craving chocolate and went in there to pick up some tea and chocolate for the few hours of work before choir rehearsal at St. Paul's Episcopal. BUT, I saw the salad bar and the catfish on the hot bar and instantly forgot the chocolate and got a big takeout container of salad and catfish. SO. MUCH. GOODNESS. Of course I'm not upset about eating salad, but the fried catfish, again......well, I should probably NOT eat it so often. Alas, I am enjoying some leftovers as I type this :-)

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Episcopal Prayers at the Close of Day

Tonight, I offer two short prayers. One is adapted from the BCP via and changed slightly to reflect my love of SPACE! I'll be using this one almost all the time :-)

God, grant as we probe the wonders and mysteries of the universe, we may come to know you more truly! Amen.

From the New Zealand Prayer Book:
Look down, Lord, from your heavenly throne. Illuminate the darkness of this night with your celestial brightness, and from us, the children of light, banish for ever the deeds of darkness. God our judge and our teacher, let us not waste time when the day is done in guilt or self-reproach. Give us rather the courage to face whatever has been, accept forgiveness, and move on to something better. Amen.
Star Forming Region in the Small Magellanic Cloud, NASA Image