Benediction At RNC

Last night His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios gave the benediction at the Republican National Convention.  You can watch it here.  The text is below:

Let us pray,

“O Heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of truth Who is ever present and fills all things, the Treasure of all blessings and source of life, we beseech you to dwell in our hearts” (1) as we hold in prayer our brethren who suffer the ravages of Hurricane Isaac. Embrace them in your love and keep them safe. Enable us to reach out to them in acts of philanthropy and generosity.

As we close this evening’s program, we pray that You bless and inspire the delegates of this Republican Convention to be your devoted servants and dedicated citizens of our great country. They have nominated two of your faithful sons, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, to serve the highest offices of this beloved land, a nation which has always opened its embrace to welcome “the tired, the poor and the huddled masses, all the tempest tossed to breathe free” (2) a nation that has always been a model of peace, justice and the rule of law. Shine in the hearts of the nominees of this convention the radiant light of Your divine will.  Imbue them and Chairman Reince Priebus, Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate with insight, wisdom, and boldness, with courage, compassion and competence.

Tonight, we remember the intrepid members of our armed forces who place themselves in harm’s way in defense of our freedom, and like our Founding Fathers, are steadfast in keeping America the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

May every American be more sensitive:

To the neglected and forgotten
To those who have been victims of discrimination and crime
To those who are hungry and homeless
To those with no jobs and little hope

Help us, Lord, to break down the walls of enmity and distrust, and show us the way to a new era of peace, equality and opportunity. Strengthen the hand of America as it reaches out to clasp the hands of our brethren throughout the world to build bridges of understanding. May we rediscover the path that leads one to another, and all to You. Amen.

 

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August 30th, 2012 by Fr. Greg

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Bun Muffins

This delicious gluten-free recipe is from my dear friend Leslie Saffer:
Muffin Mixture:
Makes 9 muffins
1 cup blanched almond flour (I added an additional 3 Tablespoons.)
2 tablespoon coconut flour (I used tapioca instead.)
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
¼ cup grapeseed oil (I used coconut oil instead.)
¼ cup agave nectar (I used maple syrup.)
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Combine flours, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl,
In a large bowl blend together oil, agave, eggs and vanilla.
Blend dry ingredients into wet and scoop a scant ¼ cup at a time into lined muffin cups.
Spoon topping onto muffins.
Bake muffins for 8-12 minutes at 350°

Cinnamon Topping:
Combine agave, cinnamon and oil in a small bowl
Set mixture aside.
Ingredients:
2 tablespoon agave nectar (I use maple syrup.)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (I use coconut oil.)
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August 24th, 2012 by Fr. Greg

A Chilling Phrase

A high school in Mississippi has given up the tradition of an invocation before its football games – check out an opinion piece on the issue here and the website of the group who is behind eliminating the prayer here.  My interest in this incident is not really a religious one – being originally from New England I did not grow up with the tradition of prayer before games and it is not something I really care about one way or the other (although plenty of other civic gatherings have invocations, even in the Northeast).  Rather, I am interested in the mind-your-own-business angle, which has a regional component.  Prayer before games is a longstanding tradition in many parts of the South.  If a community wants to do it and one or two people don’t like it or are offended, should the practice be stopped?  The organization that drove the move to end the practice in this case is the Freedom From Religion Foundation (see the link above), which bill itself as “protecting the Constitutional principle of separation of state and church (note the reversal of the usual order of a phrase that appears nowhere in the Constitution).  If you check out their website, though, you will see the group is not just for separation but is actively anti-church.  They are also based in Wisconsin but have a national reach.  Why not let the people of Mississippi do what they want?  Why is a group from Wisconsin involved?  This is not a matter of protecting someone from harm, which would be a totally different thing and quite understandable reason for outsiders to get involved.  Annie Lauire Gaylor, the FFRF co-president quoted in the article, says that people shouldn’t have to pray to enjoy the football game.  Who is making anyone pray?  It is words over a loudspeaker.  She later utters the chilling phrase “illegal prayer”.  It has been a while since I have blogged, but reading those two words fired me up.  What have we become?

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August 21st, 2012 by Fr. Greg

Hummingbird

Here is a beautiful picture taken by Vas Ferreira yesterday morning:

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August 8th, 2012 by Fr. Greg