Showing posts from May 4, 2008

Mother's Day

Mother's Day (May 11th this year) came to the United States from the English Christian Mothering Sunday (the Fourth Sunday in Lent).(see )

Julia Ward Howe (the author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic") made the following all but forgotten proclamation in 1870. She had in mind the reconciliation between the Union and the Confederacy.

Mother's Day ProclamationArise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."
From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes…

Birds, Frogs, Trees and Cats.

I walk early each morning (6:00 a.m.) for an hour. My route takes me through the Glen Oaks Ridge Community where I live, and also through the Glen Oaks Manor Community.

In the morning twilight I am greeted by the songs of the Northern Mockingbird. They never cease to delight me.


A pair of Mockingbirds are nesting near my home. They are fierce in the defence of their home. They are not too crazy about my presence, but they tolerate me. Not so the crows. What fun it is to see a Mockingbird drive off a flock of crows (the bully birds).

The pond at Glen Oaks Manor is home to a few bull frogs. I am not sure if they are alerted by my footsteps or my early morning shadow, but whenever I pass their abiding places they croak. They croak with a deep groaning sound. I always reply with a hearty “good morning”.

Each of the communities is graced by Jacaranda trees. (I had never seen these in Massachusetts). They are in full bloom righ…

Damned by the gods of our own creation

The Revd. Jeremiah Wright has been excoriated for one phrase in one of his sermons: “God damn America”. The pundits and the public have allowed this one phrase to be the sum total of the man. All the vitally important things he has said have been drowned by the cacophony of criticisms.

I’d certainly hate it if my career as a Priest and Pastor was damned by but one thing that I’d said.

I’d also be angry if my parishioners had been judged “guilty by association” on account of my words. But that is what has happened in a McCarthy-esque way to Senator Barack Obama.

And of course, Pastor Wright’s words are not far from the Biblical truth. The Hebrew Prophets were more than willing to say that biblical Israel would be judged harshly when she oppressed the poor.

In the Christian tradition it is the “nations” who are cursed for their lack of concern for the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, the naked, the imprisoned. (see Matthew 25).

If I am to criticise Pastor Wright, it would only be to s…

This, that, and the other


Peter Tchaikovsky was born on May 7th.

As was Johannes Brahms.

And my Mum. She would be 96 years old today, but with the grace and mercy of God she died in 2001.

Betsy Pusey is a dear friend in Pittsfield. Her Mom, now passed was also a May 7th child. Betsy and I chatted today as we always do on May 7th.

Frances Brown, a parishioner in Fitchburg also shared this birth date. She passed many years ago.

But Barbara Sweatman, also from Fitchburg yet lives. She was 80 years old today, and we chatted this afternoon.

As Anna Vincent in Pittsfield and I also did. Anna is 90 years old today - another May 7th birthday.

And I sent an e-mail to my former colleague, Margaret Quill, now in Texas, also a May 7th child.


I spent some time with J. P. today. He is a Res. House guest. He was in tears, as he knows that he is dying from liver disease.

His life is complicated. He drinks too much; he is estranged from his wife; and he has mental illness.

He is scared of dying alone.

I made two st…

Tales and Tails

The Fellowship of Believers is a “non-denominational” Church near my home. It has a huge American flag outside, but no Cross.

It’s the Church of stupid signs. Last week the sign-board read: “Eternity is a long time”. I wanted to call and tell the Pastor that “eternity” is not “time”.

This week the sign reads: “Mother’s are the precious gift’s of God”. I called the Church Office about the two apostrophes. “Thank you” said the person who answered the ‘phone. “I’ll tell the guy who puts up those signs”.

(I suspect that she was thinking” “I’ll tell the guy who put’s up those sign’s” !)

I went to the local Wall-Mart last Saturday. The entrance doors bore computer generated signs which read: “The Stationary Department has been moved to the Arts and Crafts Department”.

That figures. A “stationary” department could hardly move itself.

Ben and I were out and about last week. We were driving west on Whitfield Road, approaching a slight rise of no more than 20 degrees to a height …

Am I stupid or what?

Adams has not returned. I hope that he is safe.

So I returned to the Humane Society today and adopted "Tuffy", an eight year female, to be company for Adelaide.

I have renamed her "Abigail" in honour of President John Adams' wife.

The two cats are sussing each other out, but apart from a bit of hissing from Adelaide, they seem to be intrigued with each other.

Adelaide seems to have needed a bit of extra TLC this afternoon. She's been a bit stand-offish with me.

(But all the literature and lore suggests that two cats do better than one. So I think that Addie will adjust with grace).

I'll keep you posted!

See pics.



Sermon for May 4th '08

Sermon for May 4th 2008
The Revd. J. Michael Povey at All Angels by the Sea, Longboat Key, FL

Acts 1:6-14; Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35; 1 Peter 4:12-14 + 5:6-11; John 17:1-11

I grew up in the west of England, the very rainy west of England. I remember the clouds in winter. There could be cloud cover for weeks on end, and I would sometimes wonder if I’d ever see the sun again.

In my early twenties I worked for what was then the Westminster Bank. I was assigned to a branch in Chew Magna, an extremely pretty north Somerset village. Twice a week I would be sent in a taxi, with a black leather bag full of money, and an aged “guard” named Percy, to our sub-Offices in West Harptree and in Blagdon. These villages are in the Mendip Hills. The rain clouds would come scudding over the hills - wind-chased. They were a beauty to behold.

I miss those clouds! And I miss the Mendip Hills, as well as the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts.

None of us will ever forget those old “Wendy’s Hambur…