Showing posts from November 20, 2016

He always was so grumpy.

"He"  is a man who walks his Scottish Terrier in the neighbouring community of Glen Oaks Manor.

He, the man not the dog, would scarcely acknowledge my cheery greetings.

That was until about two months ago when, out of the blue, he ventured that his wife was a chronic alcoholic, and that life was tough for her, and for him.

A few weeks later I asked this comparative stranger the awkward question "how is your wife?"

"She is in Hospice" he replied.

I uttered/muttered/spluttered some "comments of the pablum type", whilst trying to convey my belief that advanced alcoholism is a deadly disease, and that I understood his pain, his anger,his frustration.

I simply do not know him well enough to have a deep conversation.

Maybe he did not need such a conversation with me.

I saw him and his dog on Thanksgiving Eve.  I had no idea whether or not his wife was still alive.

I asked "do you have plans for tomorrow?"

He replied "I have been invited…

Those difficult discussions.......

...........  Helpful words via my Jamaica Plain, MA friend Tess P.  (Thanks Tess)

"I read this recently and thought it well worth sharing.: "I just wanted to share a conversational tactic that has worked for me over many years in responding to passive misogyny, racism, homophobia, etc.. especially useful in the workplace, a simple statement: "You're not talking to somebody who shares those beliefs." It draws a clear line, is not engaging, argumentative or combative, and can steer the conversation back on track, liberates one from being a passive participant in hate speech."

A hymn at the end of Thanksgiving Day


The hymn was written in a pre-modern, pre-scientific age.  But I love Gerhardt's words as he (and we) look up at the night sky:
Now all the heavenly splendour breaks forth in starlight tender from myriad worlds unknown, and we, this marvel seeing, forget our selfish being for joy of beauty not our own

A great hymn for Thanksgiving - all too rarely sung

Enjoy the hymn here

For the fruit of all creation,
thanks be to God.
gifts bestowed on every nation,
thanks be to God.
For the plowing, sowing, reaping,
silent growth while we are sleeping,
future needs in earth's safekeeping,
thanks be to God.

In the just reward of labor,
God's will is done.
In the help we give our neighbor,
God's will is done.
In our worldwide task of caring
for the hungry and despairing,
in the harvests we are sharing,
God's will is done.

For the harvests of the Spirit,
thanks be to God.
For the good we all inherit,
thanks be to God.
For the wonders that astound us,
for the truths that still confound us,
most of all that love has found us,
thanks be to God.

Words: Fred Pratt Green

So let me get this straight

The Dakota Access (oil) Pipeline is to be routed through the Sacred lands and burial places of Native Americans, under the Missouri River, and through rich agricultural lands,.......  so that Americans in their SUVS and enormous Dodge Rams can travel to  

rivers and streams which are polluted with coal ash and mercury
* lakes and large fishing ponds which are dead and dying from algae blooms due to the overuse (or unwise use) of phosphates in fertilizers
beaches which are disappearing due to rising sea levels, 
off beach waters (Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico) which are not swim-able because of  red tide pollution.
And of course, oil pipelines are utterly safe and never fail or leak.

Church and all that stuff

I have not been at my local Church for four Sundays.

The first week because I was the "supply Priest" at another congregation.

The second and third weeks because I was spending time with my family members who were visiting from the U.K .   Time with them was more important than time at Church.

Yesterday, well yesterday because I could not summon a compelling reason to be there.

Don't get me wrong.  I attend a "Lake Woebegon" parish where all the people are above average.  We have a solid and like-able new Priest in Charge.  The Word is preached with dignity and respect.  The bread and wine are shared with reverence and joy.  It's a pretty good place to be on Sunday mornings.

Yet, yesterday nothing drew me there.  I had no sense that life would change much, or that my faith would be enriched (or challenged)  whether or not I attended.

The "problem" is not with my parish.  To those readers who know the congregation whereof I speak -  please know that…