Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Ariel on Ash Wednesday

"...All flesh is grass, and all its glory is like the flowers of the field...."

“…All flesh is grass, and all its glory is like the flowers of the field….” — Isaiah 40:6

And this, of course, is the flip side of Mardi Gras — Shrove Tuesday, in places that observe the liturgical calendar originally put forth by the Catholic Church, was a time to clear your house and life of rich and good things before the penitential season of Lent.  Mardi Gras and Carnival celebrations derive from this, as a last night of revelry, of getting the anarchy out of your system before buckling down to the forty days of penitence and meditation leading up to Easter.

That was yesterday; it’s now time to embark on a most spiritual journey.  As I have written Ariel Sherman in my stories, she grew up on a planet with a state, conservative-Christian-oriented religion, but was never much of an adherent to it.  After her soon-to-be husband freed her from the pleasure house where she had been converted into a cyborg, she adopted his Anglican-inspired faith (St. Michael’s Cathedral, Vidran, planet Videra, in the Anglican Communion of the Human Diaspora — thank you, David Weber).  For Ariel and Adam, this would be Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.

Full-size (1920 / 16:9 wallpaper) photo on Flickr

Teleport to Chouchou

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Merry Christmas 2015

Christmas Card 2015 jpg

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Christmas Eve 2015

 

An old tradition here at Around the Grid, Bing Crosby and David Bowie in a duet from Bing’s last Christmas special

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…The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The LORD is our righteousness.”

  • From Jeremiah 33, Revised Standard Version

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Are We Certain of Our Certainties?

The following has been so exercising me, I’ve been thinking about this so much, that I need to get it off my chest somehow.  A Second Life blog isn’t necessarily the best location for such an article, except that we Residents of Second Life are also Residents of the First Life, Real Life; and those of us here in the United States are affected by the events of recent days in Kentucky and Oregon and without a doubt (ironic twist to lips) several other locations.  I offer them up here for you, if you’re interested; and I hope you will be, because we all need to be jostled out of our comfort zone periodically.  So no fashion or pretty landscapes today.  My sorrow if you’re not interested, or (quite possible) you’ve heard so much already that you can’t stand to hear or see any more about such things.

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Posted September 6, 2015 by Harper Ganesvoort in Real Life, Religion

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Recalling Jonathan Myrick Daniels

me at courthouse

I’m standing (or, more accurately, hovering) in front of the Lowndes County Courthouse in Hayneville, Alabama.  Hayneville is like many of the towns in the Black Belt of Alabama (so called because it’s one of the few regions in the state where the soil is black earth instead of red clay):  small, sleepy, economically challenged if not outright dying.  Once a year, though, visitors descend on Hayneville — not for a festival in the sense most people think, but to remember a life of dedication to service and faith, to courage, and to the beginning (pray God) of an end.  Yearly, around August 14, the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama holds a pilgrimage dedicated to the life and death of a man not from their region, but who shook up the region in ways nobody could foresee at the time.

Daniels as a VMI cadet.

Daniels as a VMI cadet.

Jonathan Myrick Daniels was a New Hampshire man, the son of a doctor.  Born in 1939, he applied himself well enough to enter Virginia Military Institute, from which he graduated in 1961 as the class valedictorian.  He was awarded a valuable scholarship, and entered Harvard University to major in English.

Jonathan Daniels at seminary

Plans can change, though.  Daniels had been brought up a Congregationalist, but questioned his faith while at VMI.  However, in 1962, while attending an Easter service in Boston, he felt a renewed calling, and chose to change career paths.  He enrolled in the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge in 1963.

Daniels in Alabama

Things changed again in 1965.  As many of us may recall who were alive then, 1965 was a turbulent time, to put it mildly.  American involvement in the Vietnam war was increasing; more importantly to this story, the civil rights movement was meeting with huge resistance from the southern states it was at work in.  Hearing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s call for more white clergy to get involved in the black voter-registration work going on, Daniels, now a seminarian, looked deep into himself, doubted his feelings for a time, but ultimately answered the call when he felt sure that God was asking him to help.  He set off for Selma in the summer, and the work he entered into ultimately led him to the town of Ft. Deposit.

storefront

The building which housed the store in front of which Daniels was killed. The owner of the building had it torn down, along with the apron where Daniels died, in 2014.

Daniels was arrested on August 14, along with other protesters involved in picketing “whites-only” stores in Fort Deposit.  They were transported to Hayneville and held in the jail there; some were released early, but several others, including Daniels, refused to go unless all were given the opportunity to make bail.  After being held in an steamy jail for six days, the group was finally released without explanation on August 20; none of them had paid or been offered bail.  No transportation was supplied for them to return to Fort Deposit; while one of the group went to telephone to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee for a ride back, Daniels, Father Richard Morrisroe (a Catholic priest) and two African American students walked to a store which was willing to sell to blacks, to get some cold drinks.  Outside of the store, Thomas Coleman, a former deputy sheriff, barred the way with a shotgun, and aimed it at Ruby Sales, one of the students.  Daniels reacted on instinct and pushed Sales out of the line of fire; in doing so, he took the shot himself, and died on the store’s concrete apron.  Father Morrisroe, attempting to escape with student Joyce Bailey, took a second shot, but survived his wounds and is alive today.  Coleman was charged with manslaughter, but claimed self-defense, saying that he had been threatened with a knife and a gun.  He was acquitted by an all-white jury, which the Attorney General of Alabama (!) deplored as “[an example of the] democratic process going down the drain of irrationality, bigotry and improper law enforcement.”

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Daniels Pilgrimage

It took the death of a courageous man to break through some mindsets, but it was effective.  Much of the Episcopal Church began re-evaluating positions following the murder, which was characterized by Martin Luther King as “one of the most heroic Christian deeds of which I have heard in my entire ministry….”  Daniels was eventually proclaimed a martyr of the church, and his name added to the calendar of Lesser Feasts.  August 14 is the day set aside for remembrance of him, and an annual pilgrimage of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama walks the courthouse square of Hayneville each year on or near that date to commemorate him and remember his death, as well as others who died in Alabama working for civil rights.

O God of justice and compassion, who put down the proud and the mighty from their place, and lift up the poor and afflicted: We give you thanks for your faithful witness Jonathan Myrick Daniels, who, in the midst of injustice and  violence, risked and gave his life for another; and we pray that we, following his example, may make no peace with oppression; through Jesus Christ the just one: who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

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Christmas Eve 2014

 

An old tradition here at Around the Grid, Bing Crosby and David Bowie in a duet from Bing’s last Christmas special

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…But thou, Bethlehem-Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting….

  • From Micah 5, King James Version

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Las Posadas at Cayo

Posadas 2014

My turn came up this year last Friday for the Anglican Cathedral’s Posadas, and I played host again to the Holy Family at my island.  Several people visited, and I took one on a tour of the space station while he was there.  (He enjoyed it a lot, despite it being several hundred years ahead of his preferred time period, 1928 Berlin.)  The statues have technically moved on for the year, but I’ve hung on to copies for my own use.  Any who would like to visit through December 24 are welcome.  However, I’d also encourage you to follow the travels of the “actual” Holy Family by joining the Anglicans of Second Life group.  Notices are posted most days on where the Posadas statues will be bound to, and all are welcome to participate in the rites, as well as share fellowship.

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