Showing posts from June 2, 2019

When there is good news from a troubled land -and singing breaks down barriers

Koolulam: singing to  challenge the status quo.
They met in a warehouse at the port of Haifa in Israel.
They learned the music and rehearsed it for just one hour.
And then they sang  -  Christians, Jews, Muslims - they sang together.  
They sang in Arabic, English, and Hebrew,  - they sang together.  
Oh yes, music can be so utterly subversive.
They sang in Haifa.
Here is what they sang.  Let your knees tremble, your eyes get teary, and your heart be filled with hope.

Well lookee here St. James's Cambridge, MA parishioners (and other people of goodwill)

I took myself over to Lakeland FL  (75 - 80 miles away) on 6th June to have dinner with an old friend, Dana L Robert.

Cambridge folks know her best as a Professor at B.U.; as  member of Harvard-Epworth Methodist Church;  and as the mother of Sam and John Massie (who were at St. James's most Sundays, but occasionally also at Harvard -Epworth).

The wider international Church knows, values and respects  her as the Truman Collins Professor of World Christianity and history of mission at Boston University. 



Dana was in Lakeland to address the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Of course we wanted to see and and enjoy each other (after many years) hence our gathering for dinner.   What a joy, what a pleasure, what a Spirit-given blessing to be together.

I have enough of a Methodist heritage (I was baptised at Eastville Methodist Church, Bristol, U.K…

Down at the Bay, and in the Park 6th June 2019


D Day and the Buffalo Soldier I knew.


Of course the focus of June 5th has been on D-Day, that audacious, risky and costly landing of (mostly) Canadian British, and American soldiers on the beaches of Normandy.

But later in 1944 there was another allied invasion, through Sicily and Italy.  It was equally costly. It's all but been forgotten as D Day has become the focus of commemorations.

In that Sicilian/Italian invasion,  battling second to none, and better than many, the 92nd Infantry (the Buffalo Regiment) played a pivotal role. 

An "all coloured" (to use the language of the day) regiment fought with immense courage and immense distinction.

I wonder if there will be a commemoration later this year of their entry into the conflict and the sacrifices they made.  (Don't hold your breath).

Take time to read about it here

This and That on a hotter than Hades day!

Indoors a lot, but with some good dog walks in the (relative) cool of the morning.

95f daytime.  73f night time.  Slightly humid.  Lawns look like hay fields after they have been mowed.

A wee bit of excitement today!   Visit to my Podiatrist.  Visit to my Dermatologist.   
s Does it get better than this for a septuagenarian?

It did today. Lunch with my good friend Ann A  at "Shore"  (St. Armand Circle)

Shore restaurant is good.   Ann A. is great!


And here is a bit of This and That with which I amused myself on this hot day.

The U.K. Guardian newspaper discovers Sarasota's Amish

For the Guardian this is exotic Sarasota.


The Guardian article above is the "best bit".  

What follows is my observation.

Pinecraft is not exotic, it is everyday/ordinaryfor me since I drive through the area at least four times each day, on my way to and from Arlington Park, and shop, eat and bank there.

I estimate  that of the City of Sarasota population (57,000) or the County population (436,000) no more than 5% have stopped to enjoy Pinecraft with its:

Big Olaf's Ice Cream;  

The three Yoder's places: ( 1. Restaurant,  2. Deli, and  3. Fruit and Vegetable Market);

The Mennonite owned Credit Union where I have an account (Everence);

A few more may have feasted at the Der Dutchman restaurant.

Many more will have driven by or through Pinecraft on Beneva Rd, a busy north/south r…

Brexit and "The Bloody Germans"

I listened to BBC radio programme last week which did some predictable and inevitable analysis regarding the relative success of the Brexit party in the European Parliament elections.

One woman  (a High Tory from the Shires?) voiced her anti-German sentiments as a reason for voting BREXIT.

She stated (in tones which suggested a quotation from some kind of Holy Writ) "As my grandfather always said, you can bolt the front door to the Germans, but they'll always get in by the back door".

Despite this my brother Martyn tells me that anti-German sentiment is not a strong factor for the Brexiteers.   

What is true is that the European Union  (which is not a Union!) is more than heavy handed in its bureaucratic impulses, regulations and rulings.

Above and beyond that, there is a widespread belief in the ranks of the working classes that the E.U. has not delivered for them. (c.f the election of Donald J. Trump).

The frustration of the working classes is real, but their plight has more…