Saturday, 29 April 2017

I am usually well organised but.......

I am usually well organised but I procrastinate about

1.  Clipping my finger and toe nails

2.  Getting a haircut

3. Going to the car wash


I went to the local 7/11 car wash today, for the first time since December 2016.  (It's hard for me to hand wash my 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe 'cause it is taller than I.)   But today  I allowed a cashier to prise $8 from my tight hand this morning, and went through the automatic machine at my local 7/11 store. My goodness. I can now see out of the rear view mirror.

I like my local "old school" barber.  He's a genial guy.  But he doesn't get much dough from me. I have sat in his chair only twice since December.

I postpone the trimming of my finger and toe nails for as long as I can.

I do not know why I postpone this simple chore. Of course I've done it more that twice since December 2016!

On the other hand,  I submitted my 2016 Taxes, and got my refund before the end of February 2017,  and I usually pay my modest credit card bills before the due date. Go figure!


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On the other hand


“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds".  (Attributed by some to Ralph Waldo Emerson(.



Friday, 28 April 2017

Holy Communion snacks

I dreamed last night that  woman from St. Boniface (her name is Dana and I like her a lot) was  ministering the bread at Holy Communion.

I received it in my hand, but when I looked down my right  hand was filled with Chex Mix snacks.

The wine was on its way and I was wondering if it would be O.K. if I took a mouthful of wine, and then swished it around before swallow the wine infused Chex.

The dream then ended, so I will never know what I did.



Thursday, 27 April 2017

Laestadian Lutherans (and a tender novel)

Many American Christians have some knowledge of the various Lutheran denominations in our country.

The largest is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America The word "Evangelical" in this denomination is, I think, from Germany where in Lutheranism it is more or less synonymous with Protestant rather than with the usual English speaking world's usage meaning "born again" Christians.

The ELCA is a mainstream protestant denomination like the Episcopal Church.- indeed our ordained ministries are interchangeable. (Friends of mine attend an Episcopal Church in Wolfborough N.H.,which has a Lutheran Pastor).

Then there is the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod -  very strict, and theologically conservative.

Next comes the Wisconsin Synod, even more exclusive than Missouri.

(ELCA members are not allowed to receive Communion in these two latter denominations, nor would LCMS welcome Wisconsin Synod members at the Lord's Table and vice versa. (It's important to keep the Church pure!).

I know that there is an Alphabet Soup of smaller Lutheran Churches  (each convinced that it has a monopoly on the truth), but until this week ** see below I had never heard of Laestadian Lutherans.  They are of Swedish/Finnish origin, and came into being because of the remarkable ministry amongst the Lapps of one Lars Levi Laestadius  (1800-1861).

Of course this form of Lutheranism came to the United States, where it proved to be entirely fissiparous.   See this (from Wikipedia).

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171 000 laestadians in total in world. 26 000 laestadians in total in America.
  • 1. Firstborn laestadianism ("Esikoinens") 10 000 people in U.S.A. (Old Apostolic Lutheran Church)
  • 2. Little firstborn group (Rauhan Sana group) (Federation) ("Mickelsons" 6 000 people (in U.S.A.(Apostolic Lutheran Church of America), Canada(ALC) and Guatemala)
  • 3. Conservative laestadianism ("Heidemans") 5 000 people (in U.S.A.(Laestadian Lutheran Church), Canada(LLC) and Ecuador)
  • 4. Torola group 4 000 people in U.S.A. (First Apostolic Lutheran Church)
  • 5. Reedites (pollarites) 3,500 people in U.S.A (Independent Apostolic Lutheran Church)
  • 6. Aunesites 550 people in U.S.A. (The Apostolic Lutheran Church)
  • 7. Andersonites about 200 people in U.S.A. in South Carolina (Grace Apostolic Lutheran Church)
  • 8. Davidites 40 people in U.S.A.
  • 9. Melvinites 20 people in U.S.A.

Jesus wept, or something like that.


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I heard of these fringe Lutherans by reading a most tender, honest and tragic novel by Hanna Pylvainen who was raised in this group.  It is called "We Sinners" and was published by Henry Holt and Company in 2012.

It creates a tale about  the Rovaniemi family, and is set in  contemporary America's mid-west. They are poor. 

The Rovaniemi's have nine children.  The chapters are written from the vantage of each of the children, with no regard for chronology.

As the dust jacket puts it   "... each chapter is told from the distinctive point of view of a different Rovaniemi as they grapple in some way with their relationships to their faith, to one another, and to the outside world, both embracing the security of their community and chafing against its restrictions.................What emerges is a haunting depiction not of strangers from a strange faith but of ordinary people making their way through the world as best they can".

I like this novel, partly because I am one of nine children who were raised in a somewhat esoteric and fundamentalist British and Irish denomination -  the "Plymouth Brethren". We too were poor.  The Brethren afforded us  a place of secure faith which was good for the while.  But none of the Povey nine are today connected with this denomination. 

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My copy of "We Sinners" will be returned to the Sarasota County Public Library system on April 28th 2017.



Wednesday, 26 April 2017

A more quiet jmp

Hallo good readers,

I haven't had much to say on this blog or on Facebook for a few days because I haven't had much to say.

That did not deter me in former years!


😄

jmp

Monday, 24 April 2017

Such uplifting skill - so good for my soul

I took myself to St. Boniface Church on Siesta Key last evening for the season finale of our our annual Concert Series.

The Church was all but filled for a splendid concert given by the Sarasota Opera Youth Chorus.

I wish that I could tell you more about the youth programme at the Sarasota Opera, but the various websites are inaccessible tonight.

Save to say that Sarasota Opera is a local treasure.

And that the youth programmes are great (based on what I saw and heard last evening):-  here were sixty or more young people who sang with discipline, great skill, enthusiasm and conviction.  They sang in Italian, German, French and English with never a score in sight! They created beauty!


It was a Concert which lifted my spirits.  Here is a set piece photo' from last evening which I lifted from the web.


I needed this reminder that life is not all about politics (Trump/May/Erdogan/Le Pen/Maduro etc). despite what the media (print, visual, audible and virtual) lead  us to believe.

Even the "storied and supposedly venerable"  National Public Radio is not much more than an intellectual hotbed of news, commentary, political talk shows and the like..   I am about to give up on our local and terminally boring NPR Station WUSF.    It is in no way as good as it could be, and that it claims to be,.

I can only take about twenty minutes worth of news and commentary each day.  WUSF offers more than fifteen hours of various news programmes and gab-fests, except on weekends when "nothing happens"!

 I need many more hours of beauty.  They are hard to find!  I did so last evening (Sunday 23rd)  at the Sarasota Opera Youth Chorus Concert.

Thank you St. B's and Sarasota Opera.

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Sunday, 23 April 2017

Kicking my heels this afternoon - A new market, some jaundiced opinions, and a joyful happenstance

With time to spare and no urgent care  I took myself  to snoop at  "Sprouts" the newly opened "up-scale" market in south Sarasota.  The place was mobbed (and I was part of the mob!)



https://www.sprouts.com


Despite the claim that it is a  Farmers Market  (see photo' above) it was hard for me to  see it as anything more than a rival or alternative to Whole Foods or Fresh Market.

That's fine and dandy if you like that sort of thing.  (In the interests of full disclosure I use Whole Foods and/or Fresh Market every now and then.  But I could not possibly afford their prices for my regular grocery  shopping.  Be aware that I am not sure if my ethic is based on price, or on principle).  

I thought that the prices at "Sprouts" were on the high side.  Not to worry!  I'll never have an urgent need to shop there, especially as the Store in nearly nine miles from my home.

But I think that it will be a good place for comfortably off residents of south Sarasota  (and they are legion) who will no longer have to trek north on the over-crowded Route 41 all the way to downtown SRQ to get their upscale fix at Whole Foods.

It's all very well just so long as these fancy/dancy Markets do not become the matrix from which we assess what is good in the food biz.

What is good in the food biz may not be so good for those good, loyal and hard working Americans who are unemployed or under-employed  and who struggle to get ahead.   In SRQ many of them live in an area called Newtown.   It's an area  which even the utterly downscale supermarket chain  (Winn-Dixie) abandoned leaving behind a food desert.

Guess who created a pretty good food oasis in Newtown's food desert when Winn-Dixie bailed?

Whole Foods?  WRONG

Fresh Market?  WRONG

Sprouts?   WRONG

A hint!  It's that evil and dreadful chain based in Bentonville AR (which does business in the UK as "ASDA").

Pause for thought by we anti Walmart snobs?
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But I have digressed.   For lo and behold I met two of my favourite people at Sprouts.  They were Ashley H.B and her son Grant.    I haven't seen them in about  three or four years.  Their family used to attend St. Boniface Church.  They transfered out to Sarasota's First Congregational Church (U.C.C.) some give or six years ago,   This was not for any negative feelings about St. B's.  It was that in their minds and hearts they preferred the United Church of Christ and the retirement of St. B's long term Rector  (they adored him) gave them a gracious way to follow their hearts.

I have always had a warm place in my heart for Grant, ever since the Sunday  (when he was aged about three or four) I saw him almost dance up to the Altar for the sheer joy or receiving Communion.  It was a wonderful sight!

Grant has had a growth spurt and her is now a student at Sarasota's Pine View School  (middle school I think).

The three of us had a happy reunion in the aisles of Sprouts.   It was so good to see them.