Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Saturday, December 27, 2008

150 Years Ago TODAY

Today, 150 years ago, it became 'official'. The legal documents had been signed two weeks ago in the presence of the Diocesan Bishop, but it was today - The Feast of St. John's, that the first Parish Meeting was held.

I imagine it must have been an exciting moment in time. Christmas Day was just two days past, and everyone present would have known that they had just spent their last Christmas at their former parishes (primarily the old St. Paul's when it was on the river, Christ Church and Mariner's Church in Detroit).

It was probably just a 'given' that Henry Porter Baldwin, the man who had bought the property for the new parish buildings, commissioned the blue prints for a Church, a Chapel, and a Rectory, and called the three meetings in December at his house, would be elected Senior Warden. Afterall, he had been Jr. Warden at St. Paul's for many years, and Senior Warden there since Easter. Other officers and vestry members were elected - and St. John's officially came into existance!

It would be another month before the contractor was chosen, until April that the official cornerstone was laid, June until the Rector-to-be was elected (and he didn't formally accept until September), and in November that the Chapel was opened AND already too small.

But all that is ahead of us in a year of celebrations to come.

We have no record of how long the meeting was. What was the weather? Was it a social gathering as well (I imagine Harriett Cornelia Baldwin must have laid out a few things to eat and drink)? And we have no account of anything but the business conducted.

Today, at St. John's, in addition to our wonderful Christmas Lessons and Carols Service to begin the celebration, we have set up an historic display on the Undercroft Stage. There are photos of the founder, first rector, and the Church over the years (it had major cosmetic and structural renovations in 1888, 1892, 1915 and 1937). There is also a display of buildings that were and never were: our old parish hall that was demolished in the 1970's, and proposed buildings that were never constructed. We will also have a display of some liturgical items, including a rare lithograph version of the 1892 Altar Book. And on a third display will be the hand-written account of that first official meeting: written into the first Parish Register by our first Rector. Also contained in that same book are the signatures of guest preachers, including three men who are included in The Episcopal Church's book Lesser Feasts and Fasts - the closest thing to a book of saints for the Episcopal Church. (Bishop Jackson Kemper of Wisconsin, Fr. James Lloyd Breck the first dean of Nashotah House Seminary and missionary at that time to Minnesota, and Fr. James DeKoven the sometime Nashotah faculty member and president of Racine College).
Photos - Circa 1900 and 1933 - from the collection of the Library of Congress


Thursday, December 25, 2008

A blessed and holy Christmas to all!

What a glorious day. Last night's services were wonderful, and this morning's great too.

The gifts at home have been opened, and the kids are off quitely playing with their new toys.

And I am ready for a nap!

The videos of the pageant are up

I will put up other highlights...later.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Don't you hate when your hat blows off?

With all the recent windy days, I have been holding my hat on with one hand as I walk. But this would be a bit embarrasing!!!!

I don't know why, but this picture tickles me. I like the guard looking up at it as it blows by.....

I wonder if anyone caught it, or if he got it back?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Now back to our scheduled economic recovery - DEO VOLENTE



So where is it?

10 to 15 degrees below average daily high temps since before Thanksgiving.

8 to 10 inches of snow today (just finished shoveling) and cold.
More snow predicted this weekend and Christmas Eve.

Where is that global warming? Anyone????


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Big Changes for the Detroit Newspapers

I post this as a former Detroit Free Press paperboy (7th and 8th Grade...1978-1980).
Reading the paper on-line is an entirely different experience. Holding and folding the paper, dirtying your fingertips with ink, reading more in depth than when on-line. On-line I tend to browse, reading more headlines and fewer complete stories....

But I understand that it is a change necessary for economic reasons.

We did not have a home subscription since moving back to Michigan (just a local weekly paper), but in the past 6 weeks we have taken home delivery of the Free Press (the coupons pay for the price of delivery) and on some days it doesn't get read until the evening. But it is nice to share this experience with my sons (who all want to see the comics of course). When I was little it was always the sports section first, followed by the comics.
At least we will still have it on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday.

From the Detnews.com website....

The changes, expected to be implemented in March, mean home delivery of The News and Free Press will end Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Delivery will continue on Thursdays and Fridays at both papers and Sundays at the Free Press. Both will still be available at the regular price at 20,000 stores and boxes throughout Michigan and through an electronic "e-edition" that allows readers to view replicas of the printed papers online.
Meanwhile, the Web sites of both newspapers, www.detnews.com and www.freep.com, will continue to offer expanded content.
The Detroit Media Partnership, which controls business operations of both papers, would not disclose cost savings, but stressed that both papers will maintain vigorous news-gathering operations and editorial voices. Job reductions at the partnership are likely but haven't been finalized. Wolman said he doesn't anticipate newsroom layoffs.
The announcement acknowledges dual realities: The industry is suffering one of its worst years in history, but more consumers than ever are reading its content. Circulation at both papers has declined along with the industry, but detnews.com averages 30 million page views a month.
"The dynamics of delivering information to audiences has changed forever due to technology," Dave Hunke, CEO of the Detroit Media Partnership and Free Press publisher, said in a press release.
"Today, consumers are more empowered than ever before. In order to serve them well, we must find ways to be more nimble."


The Great "O" antiphons

Perhaps the most familiar of all Advent Hymns is “O come, O come Emmanuel”, hymn number 2. Each verse, describing a title for the expected Messiah, ends with the refrain –
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!
What most people do not know is that this hymn is based on an Antiphon for the Evening Prayer Canticle, the Magnificat. (p.26 in the Prayer Book). Antiphons are appointed for special occasions, to be said at the beginning and end of the canticle. The hymn O come, O come Emmanuel is based on the Great “O” antiphons, said from December 16th through December 23rd - preparing for Christmas Eve. Listed below are the antiphons for the proper days, with the verses in the hymn that they correspond to.
12/16 – O Wisdom, which camest out of the mouth of the most High, and reachest from one end to another, mightily and sweetly ordering all things: Come and teach us the way of prudence. (v.2)
12/17 – O Adonai, and Leader of the house of Israel, who appearest in the bush to Moses in a flame of fire, and gavest him the law in Sianai: come and redeem us with an outstreached arm. (v.3)
12/18 – O Root of Jesse, which standest for an ensign of the people, at whom kings shall shout their mouths, unto whom the Gentile shall seek: come and deliver us, and tarry not. (v.4)
12/19 – O Key of David, and Scepter of the House of Israel; that openest and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth: Come, and bring the prisoners out of the prison-house, them that sit in darkness and the shadow of death. (v.5)
12/20 – O Day-spring, Brightness of the Light everlasting, and Sun of righteousness: Come and enlighten them that sit in darkness and the shadow of death. (v. 6)
12/21 – O King of Nations, and their Desire; the Cornerstone, who makest both one: Come and save mankind, whom thou formedst of clay. (v. 7)
12/22 – O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, and Desire of all nations and their Salvation: Come and save us, O Lord our God. (v.1)
12/23 – O Virgin of Virgins, how shall this be? For neither before thee was any seen like thee, nor shall there be after. Daughters of Jerusalem, why marvel ye at me? The thing which ye behold is a divine mystery

Rose Sunday's Rector's Rambling

No one likes to be told to “lighten up”, but that is exactly what we are doing this Sunday.
After the last two weeks of deep purple vestments and altar hangings to begin the season of Advent (signifying the penitential aspect of this season), this week we ‘lighten up’ with the Rose colored vestments and hangings, and even have flowers on the Altar this week. Or perhaps you hadn’t noticed that we haven’t had flowers recently?
So how is Advent going for you? Have you given much thought (other than on Sunday in Church) to the fact that we are in more than just ‘pre-Christmas’? Have you revived or increased your prayer life? Opened your bible and read it? Taken on a charitable cause or two (the ECW at St. John’s has had opportunities to help others less fortunate, and other opportunities abound)? Examined the state of your soul? Repented (and even made a sacramental confession) of those sins you have observed in the examination? Have you shared the reason for your hope, Jesus Christ himself? Invited someone to Church for a Sunday? Invited them for Christmas Services?
If you have done any of the above - THANKS BE TO GOD! And if not, enjoy ‘lightening up’ today, and start fresh for the rest of Advent!
Our Lord is coming back, and the celebration of his first coming is coming soon. Let us be in a State of Grace for both!
And of course, using the following prayer can help to keep us focused!

Almighty God give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen. This Collect is to be repeated every day,
after the other Collects in Advent, until Christmas Day


Monday, December 15, 2008

An admirable ministry

A friend sent me an article about a Coptic Christian priest in Egypt who has a broadcast ministry to proclaim the Truth that Jesus Christ is Lord to the followers of Islam who do not believe this. As I mentioned in this past Sunday's sermon, prophets are those who call people into (or back into) relationship with God. And most do not want to hear this message - being told they have strayed from the truth. And like the prophets, Fr Zakaria has his share of enemies.

May we be willing at all times to proclaim the Truth that Jesus Christ is Lord!


Botros has been hosting Truth Talk since 2003. The weekly show grew out of an internet chat room attended by thousands where the Coptic priest engaged Muslims on the inherent contradictions of their own religion and found that he was leading many to faith in Jesus Christ. As the geographic scope of the show has grown, so has its reach into the lives of Muslims. It is broadcast in Arabic, and this year began also to be translated for Turkish audiences and into Farsi to be aired in Iran.
Father Zakaria, as he is known to millions, has won his enormous following not by borrowing from the toolbox of the televangelist. For someone whose ecclesiastical tradition began in a.d. 100, his tools are decidedly 21st century: satellite uplinks, Wi-Fi connectivity, a late-edition Vaio laptop that is with him at all times, and a trusted reference tool he refers to as "St. Google." He can spend 14-hour days on research for each show, and for this episode emailed the final script to producers at 4:30 a.m.
The result is less a preaching ministry and more like battlefield strategy. It's the late-in-life culmination of a conscious decision, Botros says, to move away from apologetics and toward what he calls polemics: "My program is to attack Islam, not to attack Muslims but to save them because they are deceived. As I love Muslims, I hate Islam."
Such conviction earns Botros a heady following—and serious enemies. Jihadist groups have reportedly posted a death threat worth $60 million against him. This year his name and photo appeared on an al-Qaeda website, seeking retribution for his teachings, which often depict Muhammad as less of a prophet and more of a womanizer. For his fearless determination in the face of his enemies, for his willingness to label Islam a false religion in a year when many Christian leaders have overreached in their quest for common ground with its worshippers, Zakaria Botros is WORLD's 2008 Daniel of the Year.

For the entire article go to http://www.worldmag.com/articles/14763

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A week later (150 years ago)

Having met together on December 6th and having heard about the gift of land, chapel and church design, the promise of a Rectory, and $1000 towards the building of the chapel, the neighbors of Henry Porter Baldwin met a second time 150 years ago today, December 13th (the Feast of St. Lucy). They had been challenged by Mr. Baldwin to raise another $7500 in subscriptions to actually build this new chapel for new parish in the rural area just north of Detroit (Detroit ended at Grand Circus Park, a few blocks south of St. John's).

As the 50th anniversary book states, "One week later, at the same place (HPB's house), reports were received, and action taken, the Rt. Rev'd Samuel A. McCroskry, Bishop of Michigan presiding. The subscription committee showed pledges amounting to $7600. Articles of Agreement were drawn up, and signed by twenty of those present; the day following 5 more names were added. St. John's was organized."

It would be on St. John's Day, December 27th, that the first parish meeting would be held to elect a vestry and wardens, and it is on this day that the parish name was chosen and therefore the day that we recognizes as our 'founding'.

Having the money pledged, land donated, blueprints already prepared, and Articles of Agreement in place, perhaps we should be celebrating the 150th Anniversary of St. Lucy's Church today! But the celebration will wait two more weeks....

Mark your calendars NOW for our celebration on Saturday, December 27th at 4pm with Christmas Lessons and Carols at ST. JOHN'S Church.


A sign of the digital age?

Being on a magazine foundation board, I can vouch that the most expensive part of the 'business' is paper, printing, and delivery (in our case, postage). The challenge is whether you can transition to completely electronic and keep enough ad revenue to pay salaries, etc.

The table has been set in some ways, since most newspapers have free electronic access, so subscription fees are rare. I know I have been reading the Free Press on line for years, even before I moved back to Detroit. Only recently have we subscribed to the hard copy - for the coupons! (which covers the cost). But even then, it frequently doesn't get read until the evening at all.

The Christian Science Monitor is already given up the paper copy. Is the Free Press and News heading that way? I even used to be a Free Press paper boy back in middle school in the 1970's!
DETROIT (AP) -- The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press are leaning toward cutting home delivery to three days a week, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
The Journal, quoting a person on its Web site whom it didn't name, said a final decision has not been made. But the newspaper calls it the "leading scenario."
The papers have separate newsrooms but their business operations are combined under a joint operating agreement.
Leland Bassett, a spokesman for the partnership, would neither confirm nor deny the Journal report but said a news conference was planned for Tuesday.
"We do expect to announce a new, more dynamic business model, and the focus is on maintaining and strengthening two very strong and independent newspaper voices," he said.
There already are signs of change. Both newspapers have Web sites promoting Sunday and Thursday home delivery and online access on other days at a cost of $15 for three months.
Bassett said the promotion has been up for weeks. Asked if it's the sole option for subscribers, he replied: "We will be announcing ... a wide range of dynamic options. Those are still being finalized."
The Detroit market would be the largest in the country to lose seven-day home delivery if the strategy is adopted, said Rick Edmonds, a media analyst at The Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank in St. Petersburg, Fla.
"I think doing nothing is really not an option," said Edmonds, noting the industrywide revenue slide. But there are risks, he said, especially if staffs are cut and loyal print readers find that a redesigned paper is just a "shell" of the old version.
"For some people, the newspaper is part of their routine," Edmonds said. "Those folks are not going to be happy if it doesn't come on Monday and Tuesday."
The Journal said home delivery would be limited to Thursday, Friday and Sunday, with an "abbreviated" print edition available at newsstands on other days. Readers would also be directed to the papers' Web sites.
The changes likely would mean major job cuts, the Journal said.
The Free Press, owned by Gannett Co., had a daily circulation of 314,554 at the end of March; 618,324 on Sunday. The News, owned by MediaNews Group Inc., had daily circulation of 178,280. It does not publish a print edition on Sunday.
Bassett said the papers recognize the "tremendous importance of digital communication and finding ways to better deliver news and information to people in ways that are most convenient to them."
Reporter M.L. Elrick, vice chairman of the Free Press unit of the Detroit Newspaper Guild, said there's anxiety in the newsroom.
"Everyone here is afraid we're going to have staff cuts," he said. "I wish I had my sources call me as often as my colleagues have called the past couple days. No one knows where this is going to end up."


Friday, December 12, 2008

While looking up an address....

....for a christmas card, I went to the website for Jennifer's former parish in Boston, Church of the Advent.

Note the "Big Six" candles on the reredos (back of the altar) and another on the super-reredos (higher up).

I always thought that would look great at St. John's.

This about sums it up in my mind


Very disappointed in the Senate decision

"Hey, let's GIVE $700 billion to the east coast banking establishment, without any strings, so they can pay exec bonuses and acquire each other and get stronger." (besides they give us alot in lobbying money to our campaigns - ssshh)

"But the midwest based auto companies and their white and blue collar workers - NO LOAN for them."


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Alexy II - May he rest in peace

The patriarch of Moscow and All Russia has died. Alexy II has been head of what is arguably the largest of the Orthodox Church bodies since 1990.

One can google him and read all about him, good and bad. I had a roommate in seminary who was an exchange student from Moscow, who worked in the patriarch's office, and loved him dearly. That has always shaded my opinion of him to the positive!

He led the Church in Russia through a time of great transition in Russia, and we pray for her continued health in leading people to Jesus and to greater holiness.

The current and late bishop of Rome and Alexy certainly had their squabbles, especially since he felt the Roman Church was intruding into Russia (yes, the Orthodox and Romans have issues of bishops crossing boundaries too). But both pray/prayed for closer cooperation for the sake of the Gospel.

May he rest in peace.

With a recent transition from John Paul to Benedict in Rome, there was a lot of attention to how the College of Cardinals elect a pope. How is the new Patriarch chosen? (they don't have cardinals in the Orthodox Church).

According to the Kommersant, "Russia's Daily Online"
The preparation for the election is going to be implemented according to the following scheme. On December 10 a meeting of the Holy Synod will be held, where the date of the patriarch election will be determined. Not later than in half a year bishops' council meeting will be held, where nominees as well as the number of delegates will be announced. Then a meeting of the national council of bishops, priests, monks and laymen will follow, where electors will vote. The council’s quorum is not less than two thirds of delegates from bishops, representatives of clergy, monks and laymen.

Officially, church leaders refuse to comment on successors of Alexy II. “I consider that speculating about the name of the next Patriarch when Alexy II hasn’t been buried is immoral,” chief of the Moscow Patriarchate’s press service, priest Vladimir Vigilyansky, told Kommersant. “We set our hopes upon the Lord’s will. He will determine who will be the next Patriarch.” According to Vladimir Vigilyansky, any higher bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church may become the new church head. “A candidate must have the higher theological education and be over forty years old. In addition, he must be absolutely respected with local bishops and abroad. Thank God, there are a lot of such people in the church,” the cleric summed it up.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Annotated Study Bible

This past Sunday I recommended in my sermon that people not only own a bible, but actually open it and read it! And I also recommend that people get an annotated study bible to help them to learn scripture.
A parishioner emailed for a recommendation. This is what I use. It is the New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha, expanded edition, and ecumenical study Bible, REVISED STANDARD VERSION. It is also known as the RSV bible.
I avoid the NEW Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible, since the NEW is a purposeful removal of gender specific language, even in places where the hebrew/greek is specific.
This is not the end all/be all of bibles (and for regular reading and memorizing I prefer the Authorized Version of the Bible - AKA King James Bible), but it is the one I have used since returning to the practice of the faith, through seminary, and to this day.

Praying for our region

As I requested in an email to the Church, please keep the people of the Metro Detroit area in your prayers as we await congress' decision about a BRIDGE LOAN to the auto companies. If it happens, it appears there will be lots of strings and oversight involved (I don't see how the government could run an auto company better than an auto exec, but there that is...).

It has been interesting to see how the national media is kicking around the auto companies and union workers. And I think it was appalling how the congress treated the auto execs at the hearings. But perhaps they are trying to save face somehow with their own constituants after GIVING AWAY all that money to the east coast banking establishment which is not shoring up the economy as promised. The midwest auto companies need a LOAN, and they are unsure they should help, but GAVE AWAY our tax money (and future tax money with interest) to the banks....

Yes, we should be praying for congress, the companies, the union, and most importantly all the people connected directly and indirectly.

One local church even got some press in the New York Times for their prayer service, at which they brought in SUVs into the sanctuary. But the local media pointed out today that the pastor drives a foreign made BENTLEY (starting price for its cheapest model $170,000).

PS - I love my Chevy Impala...it is the third one I've had in a row. Jennifer drives a Chevy Venture mini-van.


New York Times

Detroit Churches Pray for ‘God’s Bailout’
DETROIT — The Sunday service at Greater Grace Temple began with the Clark Sisters song “I’m Looking for a Miracle” and included a reading of this verse from the Book of Romans: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
Pentecostal Bishop Charles H. Ellis III, who shared the sanctuary’s wide altar with three gleaming sport utility vehicles, closed his sermon by leading the choir and congregants in a boisterous rendition of the gospel singer Myrna Summers’s “We’re Gonna Make It” as hundreds of worshipers who work in the automotive industry — union assemblers, executives, car salesmen — gathered six deep around the altar to have their foreheads anointed with consecrated oil.
While Congress debated aid to the foundering Detroit automakers Sunday, many here whose future hinges on the decision turned to prayer.
Outside the Corpus Christi Catholic Church, a sign beckoned passers-by inside to hear about “God’s bailout plan.” Roman Catholic churches in the Detroit area distributed a four-page letter from Cardinal Adam Maida, the archbishop, offering “some pastoral insights and suggestions about how we might prepare to celebrate Christmas this year when economic conditions are so grim.”
In the letter, Cardinal Maida acknowledged that “things in Michigan will probably never be the same” but encourages the region’s 1.3 million Catholics to maintain their faith. “At this darkest time of the year, we proclaim that Christ is our light and Christ is our hope,” he wrote.
Last week Cardinal Maida gathered 11 Detroit-area religious leaders, representing Christian, Jewish and Muslim congregations, to call on Congress to approve the $34 billion in government-backed loans that the automakers have requested.
At Greater Grace Temple, an 8,000-member Pentecostal church in northwest Detroit, the Sunday service was dedicated to addressing the uncertainty facing workers whose livelihood depends on the well-being of General Motors, Ford Motor and Chrysler.
“We have never seen as midnight an hour as we face this coming week,” Bishop Ellis said, referring to the possibility that Congress would soon vote on a deal to give the carmakers enough money to stay afloat into next year.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen, but we need prayer,” he said. “When it’s all said and done, we’re all in this thing together.”
Greater Grace, the largest church in Detroit, invited officials from the United Automobile Workers union to speak before Bishop Ellis gave his sermon, titled “A Hybrid Hope.”
The S.U.V.’s on the stage, a Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Escape and Chrysler Aspen on loan from local dealerships, were all gas-electric hybrids, and Bishop Ellis urged worshipers to combat the region’s woes by mixing hope with faith in God.
“We have done all that we can do in this union, so I turn it over to the Lord,” General Holiefield, a U.A.W. vice president for Chrysler, told the crowd. A vice president for the parts suppliers, James Settles Jr., asked those present “to continue your prayers, so we can see a miracle next week.”
Bishop Ellis encouraged the congregation to pray, not that Congress would “do the right thing” and approve loaning money to the car companies, but that Detroiters would “make it” through these tough times.
“We’ve got to keep the faith,” said Mike Young, 47, who works for the Dana Corporation, a parts supplier, and has spent more than three months of this year on furlough. His factory, in the suburb of Auburn Hills, builds drive shafts for Chrysler, which has said it would soon run out of money without billions of dollars in aid from Congress. “But you can’t count on that,” Mr. Young said. “All my hope is in God.”


Sunday, December 07, 2008

150 Years ago - December 6, 1858

Sent to the St. John's Email list on Saturday, December 6, 2008...

150 years ago tonight, December 6, 1858, Mr Henry Porter Baldwin, a prosperous Detroit merchant, called together a group of his neighbors, those who had moved 'out of town' in the area past Grand Circus Park (the park 3 blocks south of St. John's).

As the Senior Warden at St. Paul's Episcopal Church (which was then located on the Detroit River) he had a vision that Detroit would grow northward, not just along the river. Anything north of Grand Circus was considered the countryside.

In April he had purchased the lot of the farmer at the corner of Woodward and George Street (later known as High Street, then Vernor, now Fisher Freeway Service Drive). And on this December 6th night, he informed this group of neighbors that he wanted to start a new Episcopal Church. He was donating this land he had purchased, AND had already commissioned the design for a chapel (to be built first, seating 125 people) and a church seating at least 1000 to be build several years later as needed. He would also build a rectory at his own expense and donate the first $1000 towards the building of the chapel if they could raise the other $7500.

150 years ago tonight the challenge was laided down to the neighbors to begin this noble project. Had they chosen the name of the parish tonight, we might be St. Nicholas' Church....but that formality was 21 days away. They decided they would meet again in a week, with the bishop present, to see if such a project was in fact viable. But Henry Porter Baldwin, I am sure, knew it would be......


Friday, December 05, 2008

Video from Thanksgiving @ St. John's

Including Jennifer after she returned from finishing 14th in her age group in the 5k Turkey Trot!


Discussion point?

I know I am disturbed at how Disney distorts history in its stories (Pocahantus ) and subtle changes to scripture stories in the Moses movie they made, but how far does it go?


British Catholic leader claims Disney corrupts children
By Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service
LONDON — A top Roman Catholic cleric in England has accused Disney of corrupting children, encouraging greed and turning its make-believe world into a latter-day pilgrimage site.
Christopher Jamison, the abbot of Worth Abbey, in southern England, charges Disney with "exploiting spirituality" and helping to generate a culture of materialism while pretending to provide movie, book and theme park stories with a moral message.
Jamison, the star of a British Broadcasting Corp. television series, The Monastery, and a candidate to succeed Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor as leader of the Catholic population of England and Wales, lodged the accusations in his new book, Finding Happiness.
In it, he cites Disney films such as Sleeping Beauty and 101 Dalmatians as examples of products the corporation uses to entice children to buy its products if they want to see themselves as part of "a good and happy family."
According to the cleric, "the message behind every movie and book, behind every theme park and T-shirt, is that our children's world needs Disney."
This, he said, "is basically the commercial exploitation of spirituality."
The message is, Jamison added, "they will be happier if they live the full Disney experience, and thousands of families around the world buy into this deeper message as they flock to Disneyland."
"This is the new pilgrimage that children desire, a rite of passage into the meaning of life according to Disney," the cleric said. "Where once morality and meaning were available as part of our free cultural inheritance, now corporations sell them to us as products."
The sprawling corporation, founded by brothers Walt and Roy Disney in the United States in 1923, has produced more than 200 films in the 85 years since, and today owns 11 theme parks and several television networks around the world.