Tag Archives: Canada

The PC Presbyter

Oh dear!  Just heard of a retired minister who was “filling in” for a few Sundays, during a Minister’s absence because of illness.

He used the word “mankind” at one point in his sermon, only to be heckled by a politically correct young member in the congregation who shouted out, “It’s ‘humankind’!”

I have to admit that I’ve been using the word, “humankind” since the early nineties.

I mention this, because of a University friend who emigrated to Canada, and became a Minister in the United Church of Canada.

He recalls that at one Presbytery meeting, when a “roadshow” ,promoting the UCoC, was being discussed, he asked an innocent question about who would be “manning” the various stalls at the exposition.

The (female) Moderator of Prebytery glowered at him, and asked him to repeat what he had just said.

Somewhat flummoxed, and assuming that she must be a bit hard of hearing, Alastair repeated his question – with more emphasis this time, and a bit louder.

The Moderator stared at him – and here I quote her actual words: she coldly reprimanded him, saying “You say that one more time, buddy, and you’re out that door!”

Somebody near him whispered to him, “The word is ‘staffing’ not ‘manning’

Oh dear (again) dare we use the title, “Son of Man” ever again?

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The irreverent Reverend George



from the “Toronto Star”

Nearly three months after their summertime wedding, Jessica and Casey O’Donnell aren’t quite sure if they’re actually married.
In the Peterborough couple’s own words, the newlyweds are “sort of” spouses.
“Un-frickin-believable,” said Casey, 33, when discussing the events that led to their marital limbo.
“To be honest, it feels surreal, like — did this actually happen? What the hell?”
What happened is this: In the rush to organize an outdoor wedding in August, they took to Kijiji to hire an officiator named George T. Casselman to oversee their ceremony and legally confirm their nuptials.
That resulted in what Casey calls a “trainwreck” at the altar. As portrayed in a video of the ceremony, Casselman stumbled over his words and seemed to utter incoherent sentences. He briefly misplaced the wedding rings, then dropped them to the grass at his feet. At one point he lost his place in his notes, prompting Jessica to mutter, “Couldn’t you just make it up?”
That was hard enough, Jessica recalled. But then, on Monday, the couple says they received a call from Service Ontario telling them Casselman was not authorized to marry people in the province. The O’Donnells say they now have to go to family court and apply for an “order of validity” to finally make their marriage official, an ordeal Casey expects to cost “about $500.”

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Synchronisity 1

Ecclesiastes 1:9  New International Version 

 What has been will be again,

 what has been done will be done again;
 there is nothing new under the sun.


The claim of Jungian spirituality is there is more to the Universe and to our personal experience than can be seen through the lens of science and comprehended by human reason.

 Despite our immense modern scientific knowledge — there remains much more about the universe that we do not know from our limited, human perspective.


The French writer Emile Deschamps claims in his memoirs that, in 1805, he was treated to some plum pudding by a stranger named Monsieur de Fontgibu. Ten years later, the writer encountered plum pudding on the menu of a Paris restaurant and wanted to order some, but the waiter told him that the last dish had already been served to another customer, who turned out to be de Fontgibu. Many years later, in 1832, Deschamps was at a dinner and once again ordered plum pudding. He recalled the earlier incident and told his friends that only de Fontgibu was missing to make the setting complete — and in the same instant, the now senile de Fontgibu entered the room


Viktor Frankl recounts in his Autobiography that one day he and his wife were walking through the streets of Vienna. They passed by a church they had long admired because of its Gothic architecture and were drawn in on a whim by some organ music they heard being played inside. But as soon as they entered the sanctuary, the music stopped, and the priest began preaching about — of all possible things — the godless writings of one Viktor Frankl.

He writes:

The priest preceded to tear my book to shreds. Later, I introduced myself, a bit worried that this encounter might give him a heart attack. He certainly had not expected that I would be present. How many minutes had passed from my birth up to that sermon, up to the point of our visit to the Votive Church for the first time? How minuscule the chance that I would enter at exactly the moment when the priest mentioned me in his sermon?

I think the only appropriate attitude to such coincidences is to not even try to explain them. Anyway, I am too ignorant to explain them, and too smart to deny them.


Once I was driving through a sparely populated part of Canada, and we stopped at a small diner for a bite to eat.  After our meal, I took our (then) small sons to the loo.

They had an annoying habit of going into a cubicle, locking the door, then crawling out under the space at the bottom.

In my best “Kelvinside accent”, I reprimanded them and told one of them to crawl back under the space and unlock the door, as it would be unfair on other customers “in a hurry”

As I said this, a guy standing at one of the urinals turned round and asked “Hey, Jimmy (all Glaswegians are “Jimmy”) whit part of Glesca are you from?”  (in a Weegie/Canadian accent)

It transpired that he had emigrated to Canada years before from Glasgow and before leaving  Scotland, had lived just a few minutes away from my parental home where I grew up.

And this in the middle of nowhere in Canada.




There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. 


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