Showing posts from July 25, 2010

Sofa resting

My two cats (Ada on the left, Adelaide on the right) and my darling dog Penne scarcely care for each other!!

“Ecology of a Cracker Childhood” (Janisse Ray)

“Ecology of a Cracker Childhood” is a fabulous book written by Janisse Ray, and published by Milkweed Editions (1999).
It is an affectionate account of her up-bringing as a “Georgia Cracker” in the small town of Baxley, GA.

She writes with clear love and affection for her parents, grand-parents, and siblings. She tells of their life in the Apostolic Church; of her father’s inventive genius (he ran a scrap-yard); of her amazing and beautiful mother; her tough paternal grandmother; and of the mental illness of both her paternal grandfather, and her father.

She tells of her terrific maternal grand-parents in such a way as would make one long to feast at this grandmother’s table.

Interwoven with these memories, (and integral to her tale), Janisse introduces her readers to the bugs, beasts, and birds; and to the trees, grasses and plants with which she was surrounded in Baxley.'

Janisse Ray speaks of the material poverty of her childhood without shame or embarrassment.

She also celebr…

Fairest Isle ( i.e. Britain)


Fairest Isle, all isles excelling.

Seat of pleasure and of love,
Venus here will choose her dwelling,
And forsake her Cyprian grove.
Cupid from his fav'rite nation,
Care and envy will remove;
Jealousy that poisnous passion,
And despair that dies for love.


Gentle murmers sweet complaining,

Sighs that blow the fire of love,
Soft repulses, kind disdaining,
Shall be all the pains you prove.
Ev'ry swain shall pay his duty,
Grateful ev'ry nymph shall prove;
And as these excel in beauty,
Those shall be renowned for love
. John Dryden wrote these words in the 17th Century. Henry Purcell set them to music, also in that Century
How amazing to hear these words and music from an oriental choir in the 21st Century!

Re the Gospel reading for August 1st 2010

Luke 12:13-21

The following is from Mike Kinman, Dean of the Episcopal Cathedral in St. Louis,MO (It is reproduced with his permission). He was writing to a parishioner and her husband, whose names I have made anonymous.

"What God promises is that we will have enough to survive But even more than that, God promises enough so that we will be able to share and that God will never leave us. And I have never seen that promise broken. I have been in one of the poorest places on the planet -- Southern Sudan -- and there I found people living on the edge of famine who were completely certain of God's presence with them and took incredible joy in sharing the little food and shelter and water they had.

So a big piece of this for me is perspective. We live surrounded by wealth unimaginable by most of humanity not just in the world today but throughout history ... and yet we report a higher level of anxiety about money than most nations in the world.

And that brings us to …

The Divinity of Jesus Revisited

 By my friend and former colleague, the Revd. Dan Weir.   Reproduced with his permission
The Divinity of Jesus Revisited

There have been a few responses – here and on Facebook – to my previous post. MadPriest – one of my favorite bloggers – commented on the problem of dualism, “the splitting of the spiritual and the bodily” which leads to seeing matter as inferior to spirit. Dualism is not part of the tradition of Jerusalem, but of Athens, and the witness of the Scriptures is that matter is good. The Christian's hope for eternal life is not for a disembodied life, but for the resurrection of the body."
Another comment focused my thinking on the question of the two natures of Jesus the Christ. Again I see the underlying problem with much of our Christology as a dependence on substantialistic philosophical language. Again its the tradition of Athens that has led us to think in terms of being, rather than of being-with, which is the tradition of Jerusalem. “Does Jes…

Anne Hutchinson and my change of mind

One of the great pleasures in retirement is that I have time and to spare to read. I am learning so much!

(I know that I am a better learner via reading and intuition that I ever was in a classroom).

So I have recently  read biographies of Diana Mitford Mosley, Dorothy Parker and Anne Hutchinson, and have reported on them on this blog on previous days.

Of the three, I am most “taken” with Anne Hutchinson.
What I did not mention in my blog about her yesterday is that as well as the unswerving support of her husband (what a remarkable man), there were a few Massachusetts Ministers who supported her, and went into exile with her, or to other places.As I read a biography of Anne Hutchinson

I  asked  “which side would you have been on?” 
The J. Michael Povey of 40 years ago would have taken a position against the idea of women’s leadership (over men), within the Church.
Now thanks to such remarkable women as the Revd Gwen W. Sears (a Deacon at St. Stephen’s, Pittsfield during my sixteen ye…