Saturday, October 20, 2012

On This Day: Wren

Architect Christopher Michael Wren was born 20 October 1632 in East Knoyle, Wiltshire, England.

The design of many churches in London bare his stamp. I am more familiar with St James's, Piccadilly, as it was my parish when I lived for a year in London.
“I can hardly think it practicable to make a single room so capacious, with pews and galleries, as to hold 2,000 persons, and all to hear the service and see the preacher. I endeavoured to effect this in building the parish church of St James’s, Westminster [Piccadilly], which I presume is the most capacious, with those qualifications, that hath yet been built.”
Sir Christopher Wren

On This Day: Charles Ives

From the G. Schirmer (music publishers) website:
"Born in Danbury, Connecticut on 20 October 1874, Charles Ives pursued what is perhaps one of the most extraordinary and paradoxical careers in American music history. Businessman by day and composer by night, Ives's vast output has gradually brought him recognition as the most original and significant American composer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Inspired by transcendentalist philosophy, Ives sought a highly personalized musical expression through the most innovative and radical technical means possible."
Ives was a complex composer. He drew on a range of influences, particularly military music (his father was a US Army band leader). He also wrote for the church. This is a lovely setting for Psalm 135.

Seumas Milne: The Real Lessons of The First World War

Seumas Milne in The Guardian,  The first world war: the real lessons of this savage imperial bloodbath

"The idea that the war was some kind of crusade for democracy when most of Britain's population – including many men – were still denied the vote, and democracy and dissent were savagely crushed among most of those Britain ruled, is laughable. And when the US president, Woodrow Wilson, championed the right to self-determination to win the peace, that would of course apply only to Europeans – not the colonial peoples their governments lorded it over.

"As the bloodbath exhausted itself, it unleashed mutinies, workers' revolts and revolutions, and the breakup of defeated empires, giving a powerful impetus to anti-colonial movements in the process. But the outcome also laid the ground for the rise of nazism and the even bloodier second world war, and led to a new imperial carve-up of the Middle East, whose consequences we are still living with today, including the Palestinian tragedy."

Dealing with Nature

"...Then we ask, 'How should we deal with nature?' We should deal with nature the way we should deal with ourselves! Nonviolently. We should not harm ourselves, and we should not harm nature...Human beings and nature are inseparable. By not caring properly for either, we harm both." -from Love In Action: Writings On Nonviolent Social Change, by Thich Nhat Hanh

Thursday, October 11, 2012


A lead religious right “research” group has concluded that Dr. Sally Ride’s pancreatic cancer may be due to her being a lesbian.  They deduced this from looking at the obituaries of lesbians in San Francisco papers.  Seriously.
Dr. Ride was the first US woman astronaut. She recently died of pancreatic cancer.
The attack comes from a well-known hate group, the Family Research Institute, that’s been promoted by all the lead groups of the religious right, including the Family Research Council, the American Family Association and the Concerned Women for America.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Episcopal Church Exposes the Doctrine of Discovery

This video is intended to inform people about the impact of the Doctrine of Discovery in an effort to respond to God's direction; that we, the Episcopal Church, "act with justice what is right" (Psalm 106:3, Book of Common Prayer), and about the unjust way the Americas were settled, and the on-going consequences of those events. Resources Now Available at