Showing posts from November 4, 2007

Armistice Day

An armistice was called between the combatants in the Great War (later known as World War I) for the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month in 1918.

That day was long known by the victors as Armistice Day. Now it is called Remembrance Day in the United Kingdom, and Veterans’ Day in these United States.

So many young men died in that war. Left behind in each of the warring countries were young widows, and women who would never be able to marry because the cream of males had perished.

Memorials were set up in small towns and on village greens throughout the United Kingdom (and doubtless also in the U.S.A..

In the U.K. they often bore this inscription - a lament to the young dead. It is from a longer poem by Lawrence Binyon.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them

As well as being known as the Great War, or the 1914-18 war, people called i…

Memories of rationing

Rationing continued in Great Britain until well after the end of World War II. Clothing, foodstuffs, furniture - just about everything was rationed.

That great British standby “tea” was at a premium. Every leaf had to be imported.

Clothing was rationed, as was furniture under a national design known as Utility Furniture. People could purchase furniture only if they were newly weds, or if their home had been bombed.

Here is a typical ration allowance for 1948 - three years after the war’s end.

Bacon and Ham 2 oz. (57 gm) per person a fortnight

Cheese 1½ oz. (43 gm) a week

Butter/margarine 7 oz. (198 gm) a week

Cooking fats 2 oz. (57 gm) a week

Meat 1s. (5p) worth a week Sugar 8 oz. (227 gm) a week

Tea 2 oz. (57 gm) a week

Chocolates and sweets 4 oz. (113 gm) a week

Eggs No fixed ration: 1 egg for each ration book when available

Liquid milk 3 pints a week

Preserves 4 oz. (113 gm) a week

And these are the dates on which items came off ration.

July 1948 - Bread.
December 1948 - Jam.
October 195…

Gone fishin'

With all the wisdom of a 14 year old he told me “when I was young I used to fish here, and I used to catch 10lb basses”.

“He” was at the back of my house today, fishing in our pond with a friend who was maybe 10 years old.

I watched as the younger boy landed a fish. It looked big to me, and I rushed to get my camera.

By the time I returned, the fish had already been returned to the pond.

“How big was it?”, I asked. “About five pounds” the older boy replied.

“Was it a Tilapia?” I asked - (rumour has it that our pond is filled with such fish).

“Oh no”, he replied, “it was a Bass. We are just catching and releasing”.

“When I was young”, he said, “I used to fish here, and catch 10lb basses”.

Thank God for young boys who still go fishing.

Thank God for 14 year olds who say: “when I was young”!

Yesterday's election in SRQ

Yesterday we had an election in Sarasota County and in the City of Sarasota.

For the first time we used optical scanning machines rather than touch screen voting. Somehow it felt more satisfying to put pen to paper on the large ballot sheet, rather than touching a computer screen. And now we have a paper trail in the event of disputed votes. Yeah for delayed progress - we were using optical scanners years ago in Massachusetts.

I remember the first time I was able to vote. The voting age was 21 in England at the time, so I would have cast my first ballot in the General Election of March 1966. My constituency, Bristol Central, was solidly Labour, and a Mr. Palmer (Arthur?) won the seat for Labour. The turnout was 69%. We voted on a paper ballot marking it in pencil with a large “X” for our preferred candidate.

I’ve voted in every election since then (including in American primaries) except for the period 1976 - 1984 when I lived in these United States but was not yet a citizen. …

Don't call me Father

Soon after I was ordained Priest in December 1976 I had business cards made which identified me as Father Michael Povey. I relished that “Father” bit! No longer.

The whole business of names and titles for the ordained often causes confusion or merriment. ‘Tis all very silly stuff, except when it is taken seriously. And I was once a “serious Father”!

A wee bit of history.

The old appellation for a Minister in the Church of England was “Clerk in Holy Orders”. He (and it was always “he”) was a “Clerk” because he was literate. He was in Holy Orders since he was ordained.

There were also un-ordained “lay Clerks” - often the only literate man in the parish, who could therefore lead the congregational responses in the Liturgy.

Ordained Clerks became known as “Clerics” (the word is the same).

I am a Cleric. When with my sister and brother Priests we are Clerics - but we are never “Clergy” “Clergy” is a collective noun. We should speak of “the Clergy”.

(But tell that to the Marines! I…

When I was horrible religious (4)

Futher adventures with Eric Hutchins”, and my downfall!

The “Eric Hutchins City Wide Crusade” ended in Bath, England. “Doctor Hutchins” as he liked to call himself (he had an Honorary Doctorate from a dubious American College) was about to leave with his team for South Africa. He was more than willing to preach to segregated congregations.

He summoned me to his home in Eastbourne, Sussex, and then offered me a new job. I was to visit Cities where he’d previously held crusades, and there peddle his monthly magazine (with a picture of him on every page).

I accepted the bait. He, his wife and I traveled back to London by train “First Class” on a Pullman car, on which we breakfasted in style with table linens, fine silverware and reasonably decent food. The Hutchins’ liked the finer things in life, and paid themselves well.

First I went to Brighton and stayed with a lovely host family. I visited Church after Church, but made few sales. The magazine was quite dreadful (and I knew it). In…

Message to readers of this blog re photographs

Please note two entries today - this, and also my sermon from this morning.

I have discovered how to include photo's within the text of my blog, rather than on the right hand side of the blog page.

This will help to clean up the look of the blog.

So on Tuesday 6th I will remove all the existing photo's (and perhaps at some time in the future attach them to the relevant "stories" - but this will be very labour intensive so don't count on it!).

(If you would like a copy of any of the existing photo's to "save" on your computer, please let me know before Tuesday)


Sermon for 4th November 2007

Sermon for November 4th 2007.
The Revd. J. Michael Povey at St. David’s, Englewood, FL

Isaiah 1:1-20; 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12; Luke 19:1-10

The Biblical record loves to turn thinking on to its head; to upset our theological apple-carts.

Jerusalem and Judah is Sodom and Gomorrah.

Jesus desires the company of a hated little man

Earlier this week Pope Benedict beatified more than 400 priests and nuns who had been killed in the Spanish Civil War. It was a controversial act because of the politics involved, but politics are nothing new in the life of the Church.

We simply cannot live in a religious bubble, separated from the life of the world, nor is that what is required of us. If we are to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth, many of our choices as disciples of Jesus will have political consequences.

To feed the hungry, and no one is opposed to that, is to raise an important question “but why are they hungry in a world of abundance?” And that question leads us to poli…