Showing posts from December 1, 2013

St. Boniface Church, Siesta Key, FL GLOBAL GIFT FAIR

From my Parish Newsletter (St Boniface, Siesta Key, Sarasota FL)

The Global Gift Fair is a vibrant, weekend-long event held in the late fall each year.  The Fair brings together more than fifty volunteers and draws in hundreds of shoppers from the parish and the community.  Launched in 2002, the Fair's mission is threefold:  1) to support the Fair Trade movement through the sale of Fair Trade gift items from artisans and farmers around the world, 2) to educate people about the tenets of the Fair Trade movement, which include, but are not limited to, strict wage criteria, safe working conditions, eco-friendly farming practices, and the use of recycled raw materials, and 3) to raise funds for Saint Boniface outreach ministries. I was at the Global Gift Fair this morning. I bought .. 1. An environmentally safe and sound Household cleaner @ $7. for 32 fl. ounces (one American Quart): it's a great product. 2. 3.5 oz Chocolate bar from Germany made from Fair Trade  cocoa from Ghana @ $4.

Gluten free Quinoa based cupcakes with Greek Yoghurt.

We are subject to frequent and sometimes quite manic food fads in the USA.  It's probably true in the UK too.

It's all a bit of middle class frippery.

For a while,  in earlier days,  it was all about fondues (beware, they are making a comeback!). 
Then it was sun-dried tomatoes -  we could not eat any food without them (except ice-cream).

In recent day the crazes for food crazies have been legion:  Quinoa, Deep fried Turkey, Probiotics, Greek Yoghurt  (again in all manner of foods and candies -  so much so that I think that if a put a Greek Yoghurt label on my forehead I'd get a date!).

The latest are Sliders  ( a rip-off  -- they are chintzy mini-burgers), and Cup Cakes.  This middle class American world has gone wild for cup-cakes.  There are Cup Cake baking contests on T.V.  - utterly riveting drama of course!

I encountered another craze the other day.  Evidently there are all kind of mystical and magical properties in Himalayan Salt Blocks  see:…

I thank God for Nelson Mandela

If any wing-nuts on the extreme right of USA politics (Tea Party, KKK, ALEC, Americans for Prosperity, Limbaugh, Palin, Fox News etc.) , or any so-called Republican "moderate" complains, whines, or criticizes President Obama's speech upon the death of Nelson Mandela I will:

(1) weep for the future of our Republic, and

(2) ) strengthen my resolve to work and pray for God's justice (see the Torah) and God's Kingdom (see three of the four Gospels). 

 So there you have it.

( Some fifty years ago by the grace  and judgment of God I bore witness [much against my will] to the injustice of  apartheid. I was no more than a moral coward who had a few moments of witness to the glory of God in all peoples.)

My Florida Bishop "gets me".

My Bishop ( a.k.a. "boss")  is and will be the Bishop of Massachusetts (whomever he or she may be) until the day I die

But in  retirement I am "on loan" so to speak  to the Bishop of South West Florida whose See includes Sarasota.

This local Bishop is The Rt. Revd.  Dabney T Smith. I like and respect him greatly.

Bishop Smith has heard me when I have gone off on a passionate speech(some would call it a rant!) about the gospel, or the church(or the price of cornflakes) etc.

He was at the parish where I hang my hat (St. Boniface, Siesta Key FL)  last Sunday.

I greeted him in the Sacristy just before the early service.

After some warm chit-chat Bishop Smith said with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eyes: "Now Michael, if you disagree with anything I say in my sermon this morning SIT ON IT".

Of course he was teasing,  and I love it. He "gets me".

Keep Christ in Christmas?

Keep Christ in Christmas is a popular enough Facebook posting at this time of the year.

Here is my response:

No one can take him out of Christmas. The bigger question goes beyond Christmas -- it is this "are we his disciples each day of the year?"

An odd Sarasota County (FL) ordinance, with commentary by jmp

A county ordinance prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption on properties within 800 feet of an established (school) or church in the unincorporated area of Sarasota County, calling such practice “a threat to the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the public.”


 Is the threat to the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the public.” a danger to the Church, or to the place which sells alcoholic beverages.

Think about it!

Tongue in cheek   jmp

Slow news day

So you opens yer tin of sardines and tips the wau-er out

You mashes them up with a bit of red onion and a bit of musturd.

Not bad me babby