Showing posts from January 13, 2008

A competition for you!

How many words beginning with “para” do you know?

Set a timer for five minutes, and write down as many of these words as you can recall (no dictionaries please!).

Send your list to me as a “comment”, and I’ll attach it to this blog.

(You might wish to do this in competition as a family, friend or partner; in which case send me the winning list).

No cheating - this is just for fun!

Mike Huckabee and other liars

So those wankers are at it again. No apologies for my language.

First they went after Max Cleland (D - GA), a veritable hero from Vietnam.

Next in line was John Kerry (D- MA), another Vietnam hero.

Now they are after John McCain (R- AZ) a true Vietnam war hero.

Do these folks have no shame?

Decent Republicans and Democrats must disavow this crap. It is un-American, indecent, cruel, and untruthful.


Meanwhile, be aware that Mike Huckabee (likable as he is supposed to be), is a dangerous candidate.

He believes that all illegal immigrants should be deported. Quite apart from the fact that the American economy depends on immigrants - how in heaven’s name will we deport 11-13 million people.

He believes that Palestinians should be moved from their ancestral homelands, and be “given” a State in Egypt or Jord…

Sometimes I am so naughty!

He stood in line behind me at the “Publix” Supermarket this evening, clutching his three or four items. He “danced” from foot to foot, and chatted to anyone who would listen.

As soon as I spoke to the check-out clerk he asked:

“Where are you from?”.

“Sarasota” I replied.

“No” he said, "Where are you from originally?”

“I cannot tell you” I said.

He asked me why, and I in turn asked him if he had heard of Michael
Ch-rt-ff, (head of the Department of Homeland Security).

“Yes”, he had.

“Well”, I said, “Michael Ch-rt-ff has told me that I must not tell people where I am from. It’s a matter of national security”.

He looked puzzled for a minute. Then he said “Oh, I get it, you are in the military”.

I left the store with an evil grin on my face, whilst the check-out clerk could scarcely contain her laughter.

(I have discovered that Mr. Ch-ert-ff is an object of hatred from neo-N-zi and anti-Semitic groups. I do not wish for one of their ilk to “Google” his name, and come across my blog, so…

Blessings, blessings!

“Blessings, blessings”. These are the words with which I think of Greta Meyer, the mother of my best friend in High School, Stephen Meyer.

Greta and her husband Martyn had escaped from Nazi Germany in 1939. They settled in Bristol, U.K. Stephen was their only child.

He and I became the most unlikely of friends in High School. The son of German Jewish immigrants, and a young fundamentalist. But friends we were, and friends we are. I met with Stephen in Nov 2006 in his home in Shropshire.

Stephen and I would take long urban/suburban hikes together. As we left his home, Greta would always say “Blessings, blessings”.

I thought of Greta today. I was at the homeless shelter with the wonderful “Wednesday Team”.

There is M a retired fire-fighter from Buffalo, N.Y.

And B (1) a 90+ years old retiree who is faithful to the Wednesday team.

Then there is R, a 60 something retiree from Venice, FL.

And this team pals around with another B (2) a former Res. House client, who now …

Something old, something new. (Posted late for Jan 15th)

My good Bishop, Gayle Harris had a strong admonition for me when we met in in June 2006.

“Now when you retire”, she said, “don’t even think of taking on any commitments for at least six months”.

The reason for her words was sound. So many Rectors have taken such pride in how busy they are in parish life, that they cannot bear retirement without being similarly busy.

I took the Bishop’s advice. I had little choice. I was so tired that could not take on any commitments for a year. They I was ready to re-enter.

You’ve read about my commitment to Resurrection House, the day shelter for homeless people in Sarasota. I have been volunteering there for seven months. I also “help out” a bit at St. David’s, Englewood where the Rector, Arthur Lee, has been more than generous in sharing pulpit and altar.

But as I began to truly relax in retirement I was also aware of a warning given me by a Psychologist, in 2004. She noted that my “identity” was deeply intertwined with my priesthood and minis…

Folks I have known: Geraldine Ratcliffe Humpidge

In 1964 after the “Eric Hutchins” crusade in Bristol ended, he assigned me to Bath and an advance man for his forthcoming crusade there.

I was billeted with a wonderful “maiden lady”, Geraldine Ratcliffe Humpidge, already in her seventies. I grew to be very fond of her, but always despised her Siamese cat!

Geraldine was born in the lovely village of Amberly in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds. Her parents were middle class, and she was educated privately.

She had but one sibling Vernon. He opened a flower and vegetable nursery in the 20’s or 30’s in the village of Bromham, near Devizes, Wiltshire. The family moved there, and attended the Plymouth Brethren Assembly in Devizes, Salem Chapel.

Geraldine told stories of the difficulties of running a business and getting into town during the war because of gas rationing. But the family was never poor, and being country folks they were never short of good food.

Old Mr. Humpidge died, then Vernon. Geraldine and her Mother (who lived to be 100) …

Sermon for January 13th 2007

Sermon for January 13th 2007
The Revd. J. Michael Povey at St. David’s, Englewood, FL

Isaiah 42:1-9; Acts 10:34-43; Matthew 3:13-17

When I was a slip of a lad I said “I want to be like Mr. Norton when I grow up”. Mr. Ralph Norton was a retired missionary who lived three doors away. My first essay in High School was on “my ambition”. It was to become a medical missionary. I mention this to illustrate that many of us have a sense of vocation from a young age.

I believe this to be true of Jesus. It is an article of our faith that Jesus was fully human, as we are, therefore I take it that Jesus’ road to maturation and self awareness was the same as ours.

Therefore I cannot believe that the baby Jesus had any unusual self awareness. But the boy Jesus grew up with an increasing knowledge of his vocation, schooled as he was in the Torah. So it is not surprising that at aged 12 he was aware that he had to be “about his Father’s business”. And the moment when he fully accepts his call, …