Signs of the Times

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Signs of the Times  •  11 July 2019 •  No. 197

Processional. “Listen, smith [crafter] of the heavens, / what the poet asks. / May softly come unto me / your mercy. / So I call on thee, / for you have created me.” —“Heyr himna smiður,” English-translated lyrics of a 13th century Icelandic hymn, performed by Ellen Kristjándsóttir

Above: Halitrephes Maasi jellyfish, photographed at a depth of over 4,000 feet of water off Baja California by the Exploration Vessel Nautilus. Watch this brief (1:17) video.

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Signs of the Times  •  3 July 2019 •  No. 196

Processional. Drummer Emmanuel Afolabi from Lagos, Nigeria.

Above: Lightning and rainbow, photo by Miriadna

Invocation. “Let no one lift a coin of gold and say, ‘In God We Trust.’ The shekel’s rule and the shackle’s restraint shall feel the wrath of the One who sets prisoners free. In this confidence, sing and shout together, lift every voice and sing: Proclaim liberty throughout the land!” —continue reading “Proclaim liberty,” a litany for worship for use on US Independence Day Read more ›

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Signs of the Times  •  13 June 2019 •  No. 195

Processional.Ain’t a That Good News,” performed by the combined Boston Chidren’s Chorus and the Chicago Children’s Choir.

Above: Iceland's volcano, Hekla, erupted at the same time that auroras were visible overhead. Photo by Sigurdur H. Stefmisson.
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Signs of the Times  •  6 June 2019 •  No. 194

Processional.Veni, Sancte Spiritus” (“Come, Holy Spirit”), Taizé.

Nature’s own “tongues of fire”? Every year for a week or so between late May and mid-June people from around the country (and, this year, as far away as Australia) flock to the Smoky Mountains National Park (near where I live) for a unique occurrence: The annual appearance of synchronous fireflies (Photinus carolinus, aka lightning bugs), the only species in the US whose individuals can synchronize their flashing light patterns, part of their mating display. For more (including other photos and a brief video) see “Ryan Wilusz, “Smokey Mountains synchronous fireflies left us nearly speechless,” Knox News

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Signs of the Times  •  9 May 2019 •  No.193

Processional. Blue Ridge Mountain Dancers with Pete Seeger, at the Newport Folk Festival, 1964. May 3 was the 100th anniversary of Seeger’s birth.

Invocation. Bread baking, kitchen-dwelling, breast-feeding God, / We return to your lap and to your table / because we are hungry and thirsty. / Fill us again / with the bread that satisfies, / with milk that nourishes. / Drench parched throats with wet wonder; / feed us ‘til we want no more.” —continue reading “Bread baking God Read more ›