Some Christmas stuff

posted by Mike on December 23rd, 2008

This year I somehow finished most of my Christmas chores in late November. Then things got super-busy, and the last few tasks, like writing this pre-Christmas blog post, got pushed till the last minute.

Civil disobedience through oil and gas bids
Adam sent along this inspiring story of Tim DeChristopher, who de-railed “an oil- and gas-lease sale that caught the attention of Congress and the incoming Obama administration.”

Holiday giving?
If you’re thinking of donating money to an interesting cause, and you’ve already helped your church and local Catholic Worker house, you might consider Worcester’s EMPOWER. This group has been working to start a local biodiesel cooperative, converting waste restaurant fryer oil into home heating oil. They’re raising a few more funds so they can finish crossing the Ts and dotting the Is and begin production. You can learn more about them through EPOCA (their fiscal sponsor), or I’d be happy to put you in touch with the right people.

If you’re looking for a present for post-Christmas giving, you could do worse than the Snow Ghost Community Show DVD box set, available for a $50 donation to WCCA TV13, Worcester’s cable access station (and my sometime employer). Get your copy at WCCA’s office or HBML. I’m slowly uploading the images to the Archive for your DVD-burning pleasure.
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posted by Mike in Christmas, General | on December 23rd, 2008 | Permanent Link to “Some Christmas stuff” | 1 Comment »

Religious figures address the European Parliament

posted by Kaihsu Tai on December 7th, 2008

I mentioned in these pages that the “green” Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, His All Holiness Bartholomew I, addressed the European Parliament earlier this year. This was as part of a series during the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. The other speakers were His Eminence Sheikh Ahmad Badr El Din El Hassoun, Grand Mufti of Syria; Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth; and most recently His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Thanks to the intervention by the Liberals and the Greens, Dr Asma Jahangir, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, were also invited to speak. (Sophia in ’t Veld: “I would like to know why the Conference of Presidents has chosen to interpret intercultural dialogue exclusively as an interreligious monologue and whether it feels a part-session is an appropriate platform for religious messages.” and Sarah Ludford: “it seems that you [the President(s)] have made the Grand Mufti comparable to the Pope and the UK Chief Rabbi as a European representative of his particular religion.”)

Here are some highlights from each the speakers, with links to their texts for the gentle readers’ perusal over Christmastime: Read the rest of this entry »

posted by Kaihsu Tai in Catechism, China, Christmas, Green Party, Heresy, New Left Review, Orthodoxy, The Papacy | on December 7th, 2008 | Permanent Link to “Religious figures address the European Parliament” | Comments Off on Religious figures address the European Parliament

Ecumenical preparation during Advent

posted by Kaihsu Tai on January 6th, 2008

I participated in the following, with my church Saint Columba’s as a base, as preparation for the 100th anniversary of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Friday 18 to Friday 25 January 2008).

posted by Kaihsu Tai in Advent, Christmas, Itinerant Communicant | on January 6th, 2008 | Permanent Link to “Ecumenical preparation during Advent” | Comments Off on Ecumenical preparation during Advent

Joseph-with-a-lantern crèche

posted by Mike on December 24th, 2006

In this nativity scene, a very old Joseph holds a lantern.

My grandparents bought this olive wood nativity scene in the Holy Land, back in the day. Joseph has a walking stick. There’s one shepherd, in the background, holding a sheep. No shepherd’s crooks.

Crazy crèche sheep

posted by Mike on December 23rd, 2006


The sheep on the left side of this beautiful nativity scene seems to be standing on its front legs, trying to kick Joseph in the knee.

The dove on Joseph’s crook is a nice touch. It’s only in the last three days that I’ve realized that Joseph is often depicted in nativity scenes holding a shepherd’s crook. Is this supposed to be some piece of gear he found lying around the barn?

M Iafrate has a nice version of the Christmas carol “Hardrock, Coco, and Joe” (mp3).

posted by Mike in Christmas | on December 23rd, 2006 | Permanent Link to “Crazy crèche sheep” | 3 Comments »

Crèche improvisation

posted by Mike on December 21st, 2006


My mom “got this at the Goodwill” for $1. It was missing almost all of the figurines. In the spirit of Joseph himself, a king has stepped into the father role.

posted by Mike in Christmas, Heresy | on December 21st, 2006 | Permanent Link to “Crèche improvisation” | No Comments »

Celebrating together

posted by Kaihsu Tai on January 20th, 2006

cross and menorah in OxfordMore than 200 people of the three Abrahamic faiths made their way on Thursday evening to the Asian Cultural Centre in Manzil Way, east Oxford, for the celebration of Hanukkah, Christmas, and Eid ul-Adha. There were informative displays on Judaism and Islam; menorah and Christmas tree shared the stage. We heard songs in Hebrew and Arabic flanking Christmas carols. The stories of the festivals were told – the Nativity of Jesus explained with the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ – we also learnt about the route of the Hajj. Read the rest of this entry »

Christus natus est

posted by Kaihsu Tai on December 26th, 2005

A happy Christmas to all readers and contributors.

Here is a small collection of homilies and messages from our brothers and sisters.

posted by Kaihsu Tai in Christmas, Orthodoxy, Religion, The Papacy | on December 26th, 2005 | Permanent Link to “Christus natus est” | 1 Comment »

Thanksgiving and other items

posted by Mike on November 25th, 2005

Let’s eat

Thanksgiving is one day when America not only makes a point of feeding the hungry, but feeding them in style.

There was a big crowd at St. John’s Free Meal for Thanksgiving Breakfast. Lots of hugs and smiles.

The St. John’s High School football team stopped by with a donation. (Later that day, they beat St. Peter-Marian 28-7.)

The breakfast conversation was sparkling, as always.

Mike: Why are they showing “Night of the Living Dead” on Thanksgiving?

Bruce: The dead gotta eat too, Mike!
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