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Friday, November 27, 2015

Paris Memorial

Holy God, give strength to those who mourn,
healing to those wounded,
light and peace to those who have died;
and grant us justice in the face of wickedness.
Amen.

Two weeks ago on Sunday, The Man and I and others with a personal connection to France were invited by our vicar to participate in a short memorial ceremony at the beginning of the morning service. We each lit one of the candles seen in the photograph and then the vicar read the words which are below the photograph of Paris. For me the words were absolutely right and I greatly appreciate the thought and care he took writing them. It seems appropriate to share them today, when Paris is holding a moving ceremony to honour the victims of such evil in our world.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Halloween, Thanksgiving and !!!

Each year as Halloween approaches and November 1st looms, I bemoan the fact that the Festive Season in "thrust" upon us. Part of this is the American in me that wants to get Thanksgiving Day properly celebrated and out of the way before getting on with the traditional blitz that entails the month of December. And perhaps part of it is my Swiss/German heritage that waits for the coming of Advent before all hell breaks loose.

So imagine my surprise at myself when a few days before Halloween, I came upon the 'Christmas Shop' in Marks and Spencer and felt a sudden uplifting of my spirits at the sight of all the sparkling ornaments and jolly old St. Nicks! I suddenly felt the lost sense of excitement that Christmas used to bring to me but hasn't for many years now.

The past few months have been for me one of frustration and sadness at the state of the world, of Europe and of attitudes so many of us have towards those less fortunate than ourselves in the West. The Global State of Mind is pretty depressing right now. Yesterday's meeting in Malta proved once again that Europe is impossible to run. Millions of people are desperately trying to leave deathly dangers and we look at them and wring our hands and can barely bear to see. The idea of ever closer union among European nations seems to me to be a sick joke. One of the reasons for fighting wars in the Middle East was to keep the battles 'over there' not 'here'! Well guess what -- there is no escaping the consequences of that stupidity and the sooner we figure that out the better. And 'not in my back yard' is not the right answer...

So while I am feeling all uplifted and happy at the onslaught of the celebrations to come, it will behoove me to remember the message on the Christmas card that reads "Peace on Earth and Good Will to All Men"!