Saturday, 8 August 2009

The Scary Man

In the “olden days” they said that the “Scary Man” would:


Kill you
Rape your wife and daughters
Murder your sons
Steal your property and burn your house down

In “modern times” they say that the “Scary Man” will:

Euthanise your Granny
Dispose of your mentally or physically handicapped child
Base health care on eugenics
Rule by “Diktat” as did H-tler

I have a few innocent questions.

(1) What do the olden times Scary Man and the modern times Scary Man have in common?

(2) Who are they? Why do they say such things?


I am just asking.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Wisdom (via my friend D)

"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."


Maya Angelou

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

August 6th

August 6th in recent history is the day in 1945 when the U.S. Air Force Bomber “Enola Gay” flew over the Japanese city of Hiroshima, dropping an atomic bomb on to that city.

It is believed that 70,000 people were killed instantly, and another 70,000 died as a later result of the bombing.

We are all of course familiar with photo’s of the atomic bomb cloud.

Surviving witnesses of the Hiroshima bombing also recalled a dazzling light.

August 6th in the Christian calendar is known as the Feast of the Transfiguration.

The feast recalls the Gospel stories in which Jesus, with Peter, James and John climbed Mount Tabor, whereupon the face and clothing of Jesus are transformed before the eyes of the disciples: his face shining like the sun and his clothing becoming “dazzling white”.

A little bit later in the story a cloud covers Jesus and a voice announces that he is God’s beloved son.


Ironic, isn’t it, that dazzling light and a cloud are features of both stories?

So on the Sixth of August we have two tales.

Hiroshima: a story of death and destruction.

The Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke): a story of the beloved son.

They illustrate the stark choices facing all humanity.

THE HIROSHIMA CHOICE

1. global warming,
2. the polluted and dying rivers lakes and oceans,
3. the shortage of potable drinking water in all too many places;
4. the hatred, violence and murder between “us and them” throughout the world (and the ready availability of deadly weapons);
5. The unchecked growth of world population;
6. The diminishment, death, and extincting of so many species &c, & c, & c

- all these portend destruction which is unimaginable.

THE GOSPEL CHOICE

Living together as the beloved children of God to create a world in which we declare that

1. More is not necessarily better for us, and much more is clearly bad for us.
2. We think not just of today, but of our grand-children’s grand-children.

3. We understand that our primary religious duty is not to make more and more babies, but to love and care for the ones we have.

4. We affirm that the smallest of organisms are as important to the world’s future (and to God), as are we humans.



I AM PLACING BETS ON THE HIROSHIMA CHOICE.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

J. Michael Povey - please lighten up

O.K. I'll lighten up.

Here is a story which I have stolen from the blog of my friend, the Revd. Elizabeth Kaeton ("Telling Secrets" is the name of her blog)



A wife was making a breakfast of fried eggs for her husband.

Suddenly, her husband burst into the kitchen.'Careful,' he said, 'CAREFUL!

Put in some more butter! Oh my gosh! You're cooking too many at once. TOO MANY!

Turn them! TURN THEM NOW!We need more butter.

Oh my gosh! WHERE are we going to get MORE BUTTER?

They're going to STICK! Careful. CAREFUL! I said be CAREFUL!

You NEVER listen to me when you're cooking! Never!

Turn them! Hurry up! Are you CRAZY? Have you LOST your mind?

Don't forget to salt them. You know you always forget to salt them. Use the salt. USE THE SALT! THE SALT!


The wife stared at him.'What in the world is wrong with you? You think I don't know how to fry a couple of eggs?'

The husband calmly replied, 'I just wanted to show you what it feels like when I'm driving.'

Monday, 3 August 2009

We're not just screwin', we're doin' -- (and we, like you, aint doin' much screwin')!!!

Just in case you thought that all Episcopalians were do nothing more than searching the musty closets in our Churches and Parish Halls, to drag out gay and lesbian people and force them to become Priests - it ain’t so!


You won’t read it in the press or see it on fundamentalist blogs/websites - but here is what we are doing these days.

We are praying.


We are studying the Bible.


We are rejoicing when folks who join us, turn to Christ and confess him and Lord and Saviour. (That’s in our Prayer Book you know).

We are trusting God: "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" as the ancient creeds have expressed this.


We are feeding the hungry.


We are working to build houses, clinics, schools in many lands.


We are enabling care, medication, and healing to thousands upon thousands of men, women and children who are HIV + (particularly in Africa).


We are working for racial equality and reconciliation.


We are visiting prisoners and working for their educational and spiritual welfare.


We are helping to take care of battered women, and abandoned children.


We are breaking the bread and sharing the cup as most Christians have done for well night 2,000 years.

We are either hosting or running a thousand and one feeding programs.

We are working with "inner City" children at risk.


We are sending hundreds upon hundreds of youth on mission trips in the USA and in Mexico, Central America and South America.


We are singing some of the best music ever written.


We are taking care of frightened and lonely Christians in hospitals and nursing homes.


We are loving homeless people, and working with them to make their lives better.


We are ministering to men and women in the Armed Forces.

And then there is Sunday/Church School, Youth Groups. (Not to mention youth as a vital part of our services).





And the list goes on.






Read it here if nowhere else. Episcopalians are believing, living, and proclaiming the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

(And we have the best parties!)

Sunday, 2 August 2009

BIGOT

A few weeks ago I was told that I am a bigot. I was told this by a person who was responding to a newspaper article which I had linked to my Facebook page. I have never met my critic, and he has never met me.


I suppose that there are two kinds of bigots.


There are those who have never engaged with or encountered the persons or ideas which they scorn. These bigots have simply absorbed the atmosphere of bigotry in which they live – home, work, church, community, and have never questioned what they have learned. Perhaps this is “a bigotry of ignorance” – rooted in the lack of the ability or desire to challenge what has been learned “by osmosis”, so to speak.


Then there are those who know that there is no evidence to support their bigoted views, and indeed there is much evidence against their beliefs, but choose to hold on to them “come what may”. We could call this “a bigotry of choice”.


As you might imagine, I did not do cartwheels when I was pegged as a bigot.


But I know that I can be racially prejudiced.



That’s an easy confession to make, and it is much more honest that all the wailings of “but I am not racist” which arise as various stars, celebrities, sports men/women, politicians make their public mea culpas, after various “slips of the tongue”.


I can be, have been, and sometimes am racially prejudiced.



And in that “confession” there is hope.


For as I face my prejudices and neither ignore or deny them, I am (by the faith of Jesus) moved into encounter with that “other” about which I am prejudiced.


The encounter with the “other” is scary and always difficult. But it is also liberating and life giving.


It liberates my sight, so that I can begin to see the world with eyes other than my own.


It liberates my mind, so that I can begin to think thoughts that are not original to me.


It liberates my actions, so that I can begin to act with those who are entirely unlike me - and allow them to “act” upon me.


Most of all, it liberates my soul from its lonely and isolating cell, into the joy of dancing new steps, and singing new songs.