Monthly Archives: May 2015

Nomination Committee


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Deadly Weapon Coke


Tahera Ahmad
Yesterday at 03:22 · Edited ·
I am sitting on a United airlines flight in the air 30,000ft above and I am in tears of humiliation from discrimination. The flight attendant asked me what I would like to drink and I requested a can of diet coke. She brought me a can that was open so I requested an unopened can due to hygienic reasons. She said no one has consumed from the drink, but I requested an unopened can. She responded, “Well I’m sorry I just can’t give you an unopened can so no diet coke for you.” She then brought the man sitting next to me a can of UNOPENED beer. So I asked her again why she refused to give me an UNOPENED can of diet coke. She said, “We are unauthorized to give unopened cans to people because they may use it as a WEAPON on the plane.” So I told her that she was clearly discriminating against me because she gave the man next to me an unopened can of beer. She looked at his can, quickly grabbed it and opened it and said, “it’s so you don’t use it as a weapon.” Apphauled at her behavior I asked people around me if they witnessed this discriminatory and disgusting behavior and the man sitting in an aisle across from me yelled out to me, “you Moslem, you need to shut the F** up.” I said, “what?!” He then leaned over from his seat, looked me straight in the eyes and said, “yes you know you would use it as a WEAPON so shut the f**k up.” I felt the hate in his voice and his raging eyes. I can’t help but cry on this plane because I thought people would defend me and say something. Some people just shook their heads in dismay. ‪#‎IslamophobiaISREAL‬

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This IS Britain in the 21st Century?

from C4 News

In a letter – seen by Channel 4 News – members of the British Belz Hasidic sect in Stamford Hill were told by religious leaders that any children driven by their mothers should be turned away from school from June this year onwards.

The letter, originally in Hebrew, said that a growing number of “mothers of pupils who have started to drive” has led to “great resentment among parents of pupils of our institutions”.

It read: “In particular, there is great consternation and resentment amongst our students studying in the holy establishments against this practice. A woman driving a vehicle cannot send her children for education within the Belz institutions.

“Therefore, we are to inform you that as of the beginning of June 2015, it will not be possible for a student to study within our establishment if his/her mother drives a car.

“Any mother who must drive due to a special reason (such as a medical condition) must forward a request to a special committee and that committee will consider her request.”

After the reports first surfaced in the Jewish Chronicle, the Board of Deputies of British Jews distanced itself from the advice, saying that the “vast majority of the Jewish community has never had any problem with anyone driving”.

A spokesman said: “This is an ultra-Orthodox sect and they have weird rules on what they think women should be doing. It’s not a mainstream Jewish thing. It seems to be a marginal group. Across the strictly orthodox community, women drive as much as anyone else does and no one has ever questioned it.”

Dina Brawer, the UK Ambassador of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, said that the directive had no basis in Jewish teachings. “It is a perversion of Jewish law and values. There is no foundation for banning women from driving within Jewish sources, it is not reflecting the tradition.

‘False dichotomy’
“What these ultra-Orthodox movements sometimes do is create a dichotomy between what a person of faith and part of the modern world; it is a false dichotomy.

“Rabbis have always been pragmatic and have adapted to the changing world they are living in, while upholding our values. They are trying to react against change and modern society.”

But, in a statement released on their behalf after the letter came to light, the women of the sect said they felt that driving a car was a “high-pressured activity”.

The statement read: “As Orthodox Jewish women belonging to the Belz community in London, we feel extremely privileged and valued to be part of a community where the highest standards of refinement, morality and dignity are respected. We believe that driving a vehicle is a high-pressured activity where our values may be compromised by exposure to selfishness, road-rage, bad language and other inappropriate behaviour.

“We do, however, understand that there are many who conduct lifestyles that are different to ours, and we do not, in any way, disrespect them or the decisions they make.”

Neither of the schools associated with the sect responded to requests from Channel 4 News to clarify their policies.

A Department for Education (DfE) spokesman said it was looking into allegations that the independent school standards have been breached after receiving a series of reports on Thursday. The department was not able to say how many schools were being looked at as part of the investigation, which is at an early stage, but it is understood that both of the Belz institutions are included.

The spokesman said: “If schools do not actively promote the principle of respect for other people they are breaching the independent school standards. Where we are made aware of such breaches we will investigate and take any necessary action to address the situation.”

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the Atheist and the little girl

An atheist was seated next to a little girl on an aeroplane and he turned to her and said, “Do you want to talk? Flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger.”

The little girl, who had just started to read her book, replied to the total stranger, “What would you want to talk about?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” said the atheist. “How about why there is no God, or no Heaven or Hell, or no life after death?” as he smiled smugly.

“Okay,” she said. “Those could be interesting topics but let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff – grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, but a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that is?”

The atheist, visibly surprised by the little girl’s intelligence, thinks about it and says, “Hmmm, I have no idea.” To which
the little girl replies, “Do you really feel qualified to discuss God, Heaven and Hell, or life after death, when you don’t know shit?”

And then she went back to reading her book.

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for Trinity Sunday


O Chíef o chíefs,

Lord o lords,

Kíng o kíngs;

Be wíe me lyin doon,

Be wíe me at the blink o day.

Withoot You nae delyte nor licht,

Nae licht withoot You.

O Son o Mary,

Son o Man,

Son o the Faither:

Be wíe me i the pit-mirk,

Be wíe me in braid day.

Withoot You nae day nor nicht,

Nae nicht without You.

Spírit o life,

Spírit o pooer,

Spírit o truith:

Be wíe me on the stey brae,

Be wíe me in the saft howe.

Withoot You nae deep nor hicht,

Nae hicht withoot You.

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Don’t try this on Trinity Sunday

One of the kirks where I was minister was used by a neighbouring vacant Charge to assess and then interview one the applicants for the post.

Poor guy got landed with taking the service on Trinity Sunday (which all clergy love – not).

His children’s story was very inventive, using three drinking straws bound together with sellotape. He started by asking the kids what an equilateral triangle is. Silence. He then attempted to explain before the whole thing fell to pieces. Quickly, he reassembled it. Interruption from a surly teen (not part of the Sunday School contingent): “Isn’t that now an Isosceles Triangle?”

Guest minister: “No, it’s not! And my first Degree is in Maths, so I should know!”

He didn’t get the job.

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imageMonday, May 25, 2015 07:24PM
U.S. Marine Cpl. Caleb Earwood wanted a moment to pray with his bride-to-be Maggie before their wedding ceremony on Saturday. Now, a photo of the couple holding hands in prayer has gone viral.

The ceremony was about to start in Asheville, N.C., when Caleb was guided to a cabin where Maggie was preparing for the service. The couple then joined their hands around a corner to not break the tradition of the groom seeing his bride before the altar.

“They hid me in a room and he stepped up on the stairwell and he stuck his hand out and I grabbed his hand,” Maggie Earwood told ABC News.

Caleb prayed for the couple’s marriage, asking that their union be strong enough to serve as an example for young couples, as Maggie held back tears.

“It broke me down,” Maggie said, “to know that we felt the same way about God. It just made me happy.”

The incredible moment was captured by wedding photographer Dwayne Schmidt, who later uploaded it to his Facebook page where it received an overwhelming positive response.

copyright ABC News

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Trinity Sunday


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Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire

The words of this wonderful hymn are attributed to Rhabanus Maurus, 9th c.
(Veni Creator Spiritus, Mentes tuorum visita); It was paraphrased in English
by Bishop John Cosin in Collection of Private Devotions in the Practice of
the Ancient Church, 1627. Veni Creator Spiritus is a Gregorian chant normally
sung in Latin. This version is widely sung in the Anglican Church on the feast
of Pentecost as well as Ordinations and other celebrations of the Holy Spirit.

Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,
and lighten with celestial fire.
Thou the anointing Spirit art,
who dost thy sevenfold gifts impart.

Thy blessed unction from above
is comfort, life, and fire of love.
Enable with perpetual light
the dullness of our blinded sight.

Anoint and cheer our soiled face
with the abundance of thy grace.
Keep far our foes, give peace at home:
where thou art guide, no ill can come.

Teach us to know the Father, Son,
and thee, of both, to be but One,
that through the ages all along,
this may be our endless song:

Praise to thy eternal merit,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

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PADEREWSKI (an old illustration for Pentecost Sunday)




There is a delightful story about a mother who bought a ticket to a concert by Paderewski, the great Polish pianist.  She took her five-year-old son with her hoping the experience would encourage him in his own young efforts at music.

She was delighted to see how close to the stage their seats were.  Then she met an old friend & got so involved talking to her that she didn’t notice that the wee laddie had slipped away to do some exploring.

When eight o’ clock arrived – the time for the performance to begin – the lights dimmed, the audience hushed to a whisper, and the spotlight came on.

Only then did the woman see her five year old on the stage, sitting at the piano, innocently picking out ‘Twinkle, twinkle little star’

She gasped in total disbelief.  However, before she could retrieve her son, Paderewsski walked onto the stage.  Walking over to the piano, he whispered to the boy ‘Don’t stop!  Keep playing’

Then leaning over the youngster, Paderewski reached out his left hand and began to fill in the bass.  A few seconds later, he reached around the other side of the boy, encircling him, and added a running obbligato

Together, the great maestro and the tiny five-year-old mesmerised the audience with their playing.  When they finished, the audience broke into thunderous applause.

Years later almost all those present forgot the pieces Paderewski played that night, but no one forgot ‘Twinkle Twinkle little star’

That image of the great maestro and the little boy at the piano makes a beautiful image of the Holy Spirit and the Church.  It provides a lovely image of how the Holy Spirit unites the Church to make beautiful music.

Today we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples, just as Christ had promised when he said:

 ” I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth…he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you…  I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe.” (John 14, vv 16-17, 26, 29)

Going back to the image of Paderewski and the five-year-old, we see that – to some extent – the boy resembles the disciples.

When Christ departed from their midst, they were like children; their knowledge of God & how to spread God’s kingdom was terribly deficient – like, if you like, the boy’s knowledge of music.

And the great pianist – if we can use this image – resembles, if you like, the Holy Spirit coming upon the disciples, encircling them with love, whispering encouragement to them, and transforming their feeble human efforts into something beautiful.

There is a lesson here for us, I believe.  We look at the world and see so many problems that need to be addressed.  We look at our talents and see how inadequate they are in the face of these problems.

It’s here that we need to recall the image of the little boy and Paderewski

Musically, the little boy’s skill was minimal.  Nevertheless, Paderewski built upon it and turned it into something beautiful – something that completely mesmerised the sophisticated audience that gathered in the hall that night.

In a similar way, the Holy Spirit can take whatever we have – no matter how small – build upon it, and transform it into something powerful and beautiful.

That is the good news of Scripture.  This is the good news we celebrate on this day of Pentecost.  It is the good news that Christ has sent upon his church the promised Holy Spirit.

We are not alone.  The Holy Spirit is leaning over us, taking our small contribution, and transforming it into something that we never dreamed possible.

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