Posts

Letter to my Penpal

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Dear Michael, Happy Father’s Day, Emancipation Day, and First Sunday after Trinity Sunday.   Father’s Day is the easiest to remember, as it’s the same date in Britain as it is in America, even though we celebrate Mother’s Day on different dates.   I hope you enjoy having phone conversations with your sons.   If they want you to call them from prison every week, I think it’s a good idea to do that.   If they were worried about how to pay the phone bill, they’d have told you.   And they’re probably disappointed that they weren’t able to come and visit you, with Father’s Day and your birthday coming up, because of the Covid outbreak. I didn’t know about 19 th June being Emancipation Day in America until today, when I had an email from the Innocence Project explaining that Today, Juneteenth, is the day we celebrate “Emancipation Day” in the United States. It’s the day that Union soldiers reached Galveston, Texas, bringing with them the news that the Civil War was over and all ensl

Interstellar Refugees

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Monday 20th June is World Refugee Day, and the week beginning Sunday 19th June is UK Refugee Week .   This post will try to reflect that. Ever since I was a teenager and old enough to have read the books, I have found it frustrating that the film versions of The Sound Of Music and A Town Like Alice only tell the story of the first halves of Maria Von Trapp’s autobiography The Story of the Trapp Family Singers and Neville Shute’s novel .   In other words, they cut off when the ‘couple fall in love in time of war’ plot finishes and the ‘ culture-shock observer ’ plot begins, as the protagonist or protagonists learn to deal with life in a new country. I think this is a shame.   I want to watch Jean Paget settling into life in Australia and starting small businesses to help the dead-end small town where she lives grow into a thriving town like Alice Springs (which is, after all, the point of the title).   Immigrants, the story reminds us, are positive contributors to a community, no

Drachenerwachen Chapters 17-20: Dragon Refugee

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First of all, thank you to everyone who has been donating money to my sponsorship appeals for UNHCR  and the Disasters Emergency Committee .  You've probably already had emails reminding you that the week beginning Monday 20th June is UN Refugee Week , but if not, why not click on the link to find out a bit more about it? Going on with my sponsored reading project: Chapter 17 follows on immediately from 16, as Janka returns with Kurmo once again hidden in the pink suitcase.   She pauses at her own flat only long enough to fetch the rubbish bags and send them down the waste-disposal chute – having a dragon in your life doesn’t mean that ordinary household chores cease to exist. Meanwhile, Frau Tossilo, returning from work, receives a phone call from a mysterious company called ‘Black West International’.   They want to arrange a date to collect their suitcase from Frau Tossilo and return hers. Frau Tossilo hastily denies all knowledge – no, she doesn’t have their suitcase, not e

Trinity Sunday

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(Image courtesy of  Tofin Creations )  Today is Trinity Sunday, and so the visiting preacher at our church this week began by trying to offer some helpful analogies to explain the concept of the Trinity.   What does it mean to say that God is One God, and yet is three Persons? Well, she said, one analogy that she found helpful is that God is like water.   Water is sometimes liquid, sometimes steam, and sometimes ice, but it is always water.   Or she could look at God as being like a person who has different roles: just as she is a daughter, a wife, and an ordinand, but is nevertheless the same person, so God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but is still the same God. Well, she finds these analogies helpful, and I expect that many people in the congregation did.   To me, though, they don’t seem to address the idea of God being three Persons .   In John Chapter 17, Jesus prays to his Father, first for his disciples (verse 10) ‘that they may be one as we are one’,   and then he prays