Showing posts from January 2, 2011


I am saddened, angered, frustrated, and confused about political violence in so many lands.

An American Congresswoman was shot today in Arizona.  Many prominent  political leaders in the U.S.A. have condemned this outrage, as well they should. 

This shooting illustrates that our democracy (and our ability to engage in civil discourse)  has very shallow roots.

But, in the absence of others, I ask you to note this:

That a nine year old girl was killed in this murderous rampage.

She was nine years old.

I cannot even begin to share the grief of her parents

My Rector is retiring.

My Rector is retiring in May of this year.

To be accurate he is not "my" Rector, he is the Rector of St. Boniface Church on Siesta Key here in Sarasota.

To be even more accurate, he is first and foremost my brother in Christ, Ted Copland.

Ted was ordained 43 years ago,  He has been Rector at St. Boniface for twenty years.  His skilled, wise and firm leadership has enabled St. Boniface Church to become one of the most whole and healthy parishes in the Episcopal Church.

My first reaction to the news was to think and say "good for you Ted  (and good for your wife Judy)".  My own adventure into retirement has led me into the happiest time of my life, and I know this will be true for Judy and Ted.

 Then I became a wee bit anxious.  For you see, I have always been the Rector who has left: -  Fitchburg for Chicopee, Chicopee for Pittsfield, Pittsfield for Cambridge, and Cambridge into retirement.  I always assured the people of God in those places that though we would miss e…

The Magi

"Blogger" has been doing strange things with the entries which I "cut and paste" from a word document, e.g. publishing some of my text in upper case/capital letters.  This is beyond my control!  But I have changed the template on this blog to see if this will solve the problem.

Last evening (Jan 5th) I presided at an Eve of the Epiphany Eucharist at St. Boniface Church on Siesta Key here in Sarasota FL.

I did not preach.  Instead I played a track from a C.D. on which T.S.Eliot reads his fabulous poem "The Journey of the Magi" (Thanks to Regina who gave me this C.D.).  I gave out printed copies of the poem so that the worshipers could both see and hear the words.

Here is the text of the poem, together with  with a link to YouTube on which T.S. himself can be heard reading it.


Longing for beauty

I live in a world in which there is so much ugliness. I see this in the ghastly and terrifying ways in which humans engage in angry and cruel behaviours -  from the family to the nation state. I see it in the ways in which humans have desecrated and defiled the earth, the rivers, the oceans and the sky.  I see it in the appalling ways by which religious leaders (who should, one would think, know better) treat women. My list could go on and on.  Maybe you have a list of your own. In the midst of this, I find myself longing for beauty.  This came home to me full force the other night in a dream.  More about this later, but do pay attention to your dreams. The beauty of which I speak is that which is never sought.  It comes all unexpectedly, and in my case it often provokes tears.  I think of the first time I heard a piece of music named “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba” by George Frederick Handel.   I was a wee shaver of a lad, maybe five or six years old.  What I heard was so beautif…

Why God made sofas


Cats, Dog. Me and God

Oh my!

Oh my!  I had it fixed firmly in my mind that the party yesterday was for Muriel’s 80th birthday ---   don’t ask me why.

A couple of time at the party she insisted that she was but 74, but I thought that she was being coy about her real age.
In my defence (?) -  I remind folks that eighty is the new sixty!

Of course, the real reason for my mistake is that I have only two ‘O’ levels.  That’s why I make so many mistakes over and over again.  (There’s a bit of a private joke between Muriel and I there).

It was a wonderful party.  Muriel had this to say about it:
I celebrated my 74th [NOT 80th!!] birthday in grand style yesterday--wined,dined AND serenaded by the incomparable 'Brit Birthday Bashers"--British humour at its best!
Thank you one and all for your wonderful birthday wishes, be they expressed in person,by telephone or online.You truly made this birthday one I shall never forget!Excelsior!

Muriel is famous for her hats

So I borrowed a hat to help celebrate her birthday