Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Heronfield Academy Invocation

Heronfield Invocation
June 1, 2020
The Rev. Mark Pendleton 

There is deep wisdom in the words of the Hebrew Scriptures that says:  For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. 

At this time in our lives, coming after weeks when so many things in our lives changed so quickly – and we see the impact of the pain that has spread far and wide in our nation and world-- may we – each one of us -- always look to bring and offer more light than darkness, more hope than fear, more justice than violence.

May this moment truly be a

a time to be born,
a time to plant
a time to heal;
a time to build up;
a time to laugh;
a time to dance;
a time to embrace,
a time to seek,
a time to keep,
a time to speak;
a time to love,
a time for peace.

On this beautiful day, we gather to honor your time at this Academy.

This has been a time for you to:

Learn, to study, to teach, to make friends, to encourage, to play, to be challenged.  A time to grow and try new things.  To sing a new song.  A time to fail at first and then try again.

As you moved forward, may the students gathered here this afternoon know that they go with a sense that their time here has been a blessing.    May they, and we, always know that each day is a gift. 

This is a time to honor and celebrate our graduates and to thank all those who made this day, and their many achievements, possible.   And, as always, we give thanks.


Saturday, March 14, 2020

Home early from the Holy Land

What an odyssey!

I departed for Israel on March 6 for my long awaited study pilgrimage to the Holy Land.  Israel was not on a hot spot list and after talking to some public health care friends (my friend is a county health director in Florida) I ventured forth.  The flight from Boston was full to Istanbul.

From the Mount of Olives looking at the Temple Mount 
Israel has already locked down the West Bank, so we knew that the trip to Bethlehem and Jericho could not take place. What became apparent as the days went by was that the Israeli government would take exceptional steps to protect the the health of their military preparedness, which would be an existential threat.  All new arrivals to the country would have to self quarantine.  There were concerns to whether flights would be canceled into the country, making is difficult to fly out.  Digesting all of the quickly changing news, I quickly changed my flight and arrived in Boston late Wednesday March 11.

I am self-monitoring and laying low for any Covid-19 related symptoms for the first 14 days out of extra caution after having been in a plane for such long flights.

The disappointment for not being able to complete this pilgrimage pales to the isolation and suffering of so many impacted by this health emergency and the dramatic downturn the tourism.

In the meantime, here are some pictures from three full days in Jerusalem.   
Western, or Wailing Wall below the Dome of the Rock

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Inside the Holy Sepulchre

Friday, March 6, 2020

Well.. maybe only Jerusalem

Over the last 25 years, two previous planned trips to the Holy Land were cancelled due to wars and violence.  Well, I have researched travel restrictions around COVID-19 and have decided to depart tonight for Jerusalem. It may be a reduced itinerary, as the West Bank is now closed for the next two weeks.  No Bethlehem!  I still hoping to get up to Galilee.

At the very least, I hope to take this time for retreat in Jerusalem.  There may be few pilgrims.

I invite your prayers.  

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

A long-awaited part of my sabbatical leave is an upcoming pilgrimage and study course in Jerusalem at St. George's College.  The Learning Objectives are:
  • Integrate contextual biblical study with theological and spiritual reflection
  • Reflect on some of the contemporary issues in Israel and Palestine
  • Explore the nature of Christian ministry and Anglican identity in the context of Israel and Palestine
  • Engage with Jewish and Muslim perspectives
  • Return home renewed in faith

I wanted to share the highlights of the itinerary, hoping in a small way that you all might share this journey with me.  It will be my first trip to Israel and Palestine after many years of preaching -- trying to imagine the landscape of the many Bible stories.  

Sunday, March 8               Arrivals
Monday, March 9                      O, Jerusalem!

10:00        Board bus to Nebi Samuel (Tomb of the Prophet Samuel; only if weather is fair)    
Vistas into Samaria and Judea
Second Temple period ruins
Crusader period fortress and ruins
(If weather is inclement) Visit the Museum of the History of Jerusalem in the Citadel

         13:30        Briefing:  Geography and Topography of the
Lands, Lecture Room
14:30        Visit the City of David.  Walk through Israelite excavations and Warren’s Shaft through the dry tunnels.  Visit Pool of Siloam.  Return to Temple Mount SW corner via underground passageway.

 Tuesday, March 10           Herod the Great and the Holy Child

         8:30          Depart for Bethlehem
                                    The Wall of Separation
Church of the Nativity
                                    Tomb and Chapel of St. Jerome
                                    St. Catherine’s Church

         13:00        Depart for the Herodium
Visit interior and exterior ruins of Herod the Great’s palace and fortress
         15:30        Depart for the Israel Museum
                                    Model of Jerusalem in 66 CE
Shrine of the Book (Dead Sea Scrolls and Aleppo Codex)
Wednesday, March 11              Into the Wilderness

         8:30          Depart for Judean Wilderness
                           Monastery of St. Euthymius
                                    Kasr al Yahud: Jordan River site of the
                                    Baptism of Our Lord
                                    Renewal of our Baptismal Vows
         13:30        Visit to Tel el-Sultan (ancient Jericho)
         14:15        Depart for Qumran
                           Film and visit to excavations of the
                           Essene community
                           Overview of Cave IV and Dead Sea

Thursday, March 12         The Great Sea and On To Galilee

         7:15          Depart for Caesarea Maritima
                                    Morning Prayer on the bus
         9:45          Visit Caesarea Maritim
                                    Meeting Herod the Great once again
                                    Caesarea in the New Testament
                  Roman and Christian (Byzantine) Caesarea
         12:15        Picnic lunch near the Mediterranea Sea
         13:15        Depart for Nazareth
                                    Walk through the Old City
 Friday, March 13      From Mt. Hermon to the Sea of Galilee

         8:00          Depart for Caesarea Philippi (Banias National Park)
                                    Visit to the Shrine of Pan
         13:30        Depart for the lakeside
Tabgha (Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes)
                           Mensa Christi (Peter’s Primacy; opportunity
                           to wade in the Sea of Galilee)
Saturday, March 14          Transfiguration; Facing Jerusalem

8:30          Depart to Mt. Tabor

Sunday, March 15            
A “Holy Week” Begins        
         10:00        Eucharist in the Cathedral with the
Arabic/English-speaking congregations
         13:00        Depart for the Mount of Olives/Palm Sunday walk
                                    Mt. of Olives descent
                                    Church of Dominus Flevit
Garden of Gethsemane and Church of All Nations

  Monday, March 16
7:45          Walk the Way of the Cross (meet outside College front door)
         9:15          Devotional visit to the Holy Sepulchre
 Tuesday, March 17                   Heading home 

You have come to the Holy City, and now return home in peace. Travel safely, and may . . . 
The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up his countenance upon you,
and give you peace.
 The Priestly Blessing from Numbers 6