Saturday, 9 March 2019

Another Scandal Rocks the Church.

"Poor as a Church Mouse".

We've often said it, but we've never stopped to ask why Church Mice are so poor.

It's because of ecclesiastical hypocrisy.

Church people "talk the talk" about justice and equity, but they do not "walk the walk"  when it comes to Church Mice.

These poor creatures -

1)  are underpaid, and often not paid at all.

2) are dependent on scraps of food  in order to survive.

3)  live in squalid conditions.



Our demands on behalf of Church Mice are simple.

1)  A living wage.

2) Access to decent foods at all times.

3) Comfortable and affordable housing.


Is this too much to ask?


I conclude with a bit of cheesy  humour

Friday, 8 March 2019

Unpleasantness at the Supermarket.

I was in my local supermarket this morning in the express lane, with my four items.  (Publix gets it right with "fewer", not "less").

There were two people ahead of me.  The one whose groceries were being scanned was more than talkative, thus slowing down the line.   

Was  the clerk/cashier supposed to say:   "Hurry up ma'am, there are other people in line"?  Of course not.

From behind me I heard an almost disembodied voice say  "Is the the Express Line?".   I ignored her question, The lane was clearly marked "Express, Ten items or fewer".  

The voice cried out "she (the clerk/cashier) is talking too much".  (Can you hear the querulous tone?).

Came my turn in line.  The voice behind me addressed the clerk/cashier asking "are you new here?" The clerk/cashier volunteered that she had  been employed since last October.  The voice said "I knew it" in a certain tone of voice

The clerk/cashier blushed.  I spoke to her and said "you are doing just fine".

Even as I gathered up my purchases  the voice behind me addressed the clerk/cashier saying   "You are very slow".  

At this point, just before the steam came out of my ears, I turned to the clerk/cashier and in a firm voice I said "thank you very much for your good service".  

Of course that was not enough. So before I left the market I sought out a supervisor and said "a customer was very rude to your clerk/cashier C.    I want you to know that C handled it very well and she is to be commended".  

That was about the least I could do in this business of helping to create the peaceable creation.

Where do people "get off" by being rude and nasty to hard working retail clerks/cashiers?


At least the Supermarket sign did  not read "Ten or less"

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Such beauty for eye and ear from Sweden.

The Spellbinding Swedish Song That Calls Cows Home

Thanks to Sarah McF for tipping me off to this article.

What is kulning?

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Ash Wednesday Shadow.

My shadow early today (Ash Wednesday) as I walked out on a chilly (by Florida standards) morning.  NO  I am not wearing a Biretta, nor do I have a "man bun".

I am wearing the woolen bobble hat which my niece Nicola knitted for me.

As for birettas..

I'll turn in my grave if ever I see myself wearing one of these esoteric bits of ecclesiastical haberdashery. 

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

The Peaceable Kingdom will not arrive by magic.

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. (Isaiah 11:6)

Isaiah's Peaceable Kingdom will not come about by magic.  We are called to create it.


It was probably eight years ago that I was on a Frontier Airlines flight from Tampa to Denver.

My seat mate was a young (23 years old) man, a member of the LDS Church, who was on his way home to Utah -  to his wife, his child, and his dog.

I asked him about his faith, and especially about his work as a young LDS Elder and the two year? missionary service which young Mormons undertake.

I asked him about his wife, his child, and his dog.

In turn he asked my about my faith and life as an Episcopalian Minister, and about the Episcopal Church.

As we drew near to Denver he thanked me.  He said "you are the first Christian minister I have ever met who hasn't told me all that's wrong about the LDS Church".

DUH  But of course!  His LDS roots were deep and important to him. Who was I to try to "convert" him?  That would have been foolish and unkind, even arrogant: (two hours on a plane versus his lifetime of LDS faith!)

The Peaceable Kingdom is ours to create.  I did my little bit on that flight.


I thought about that young man when I encountered two very young  (20ish) Jehovah's Witnesses as they sat on a bench in Arlington Park, their easel of literature nearby.

It's a common enough sight.  Gentle Jehovah's Witness folks sit in public places - ready to talk about their faith - but only speaking when they are spoken to. They eschew evangelistic aggression.

I spoke to them with words like these.  "I am a retired  Christian Pastor and I know that I will never become a Jehovah's Witness. But I admired your willingness to give witness to your faith in this gentle manner".

I added "I utterly hate the fact that J.W's are being tortured and imprisoned in Russia. I will pray for them"

It was another gracious encounter with folks whose theology I eschew, but whose lives are precious to God. 

The Peaceable Kingdom is ours to create.  I did my little bit in Arlington Park today.

Isaiah's Peaceable Kingdom will not come about by magic.  We are called to create it.

Monday, 4 March 2019

Good, and great,, and greatest.

Lunch today  - so good.

Macaroni and Cheese, with carrots (of many hues), snow peas, and pan fried Trout.




On Feb 17th 2019 I sent all my 2018 tax information to the Massachusetts accounting firm I have used since 2001(thanks Manny Faria for the recommendation way back then).

Yesterday (March 3rd 2019) I received (electronically) the tax return this firm had prepared for me.  I signed and returned it electronically. It's good to have a tax preparer that I trust  ( despite a merger of  my 2001 firm with a much bigger outfit, the same man has prepared my taxes for all these years.)  



In spite of all the confusion caused by the passage of the Trump/Republican tax bill (under which many of my middle class working friends have seen their 2018 tax bill double) I'll be getting a 2018 refund which is twice as much as my 2017 refund.

Go figure!    Tax law in the U.S.A. is more complicated and mysterious than the Kabbalah.  

I'll accept this "refund", not because Uncle Sam is generous, but because I gave him too much in 2018.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Noor Inayat Khan

She was a Muslim.  

She was a direct descendant of an Indian Royal Family.   

She agreed to spy for the British in WWII.  

She was the first female spy to be parachuted into occupied France.  

She was betrayed by a double agent.  

She was executed  (murdered) in Dachau