Holy Week church-hopping and other items

posted by Mike on April 23rd, 2011

The day before Holy Week began, I attended a wedding at St. Columba’s United Reformed Church in Oxford, UK. St. Columba’s is down an alley near some of the Oxford colleges. It’s a normal sort of church inside, with a vestibule and facade that make it look like an office building.

Most churches stand out. St. Columba’s is hidden. Attending church there was like going to a house mass—nobody walking past suspects you’re going to a sacred gathering.

(Best wishes to the bride and groom—your lovely wedding is an auspicious start to your lives together.)
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Kaihsu’s letter in the Guardian

posted by Mike on July 3rd, 2008

P&C contributor Kaihsu Tai had a letter in yesterday’s Guardian:

Don Touhig and the Co-operative party’s People’s Rail campaign (Letters, June 25) has no credibility. The party is the junior partner in government with Labour, which has already had a decade to sort out the railways by reversing privatisation. As taxpayers, the citizens are already “shareholding members” of Network Rail. Adding another layer of membership is not going to make it a “mutual” – any more than an NHS trust becoming a foundation trust (with nominal, non-shareholding membership). The Co-op needs to break from its electoral pact with Labour and cooperate with voices for real collective change.
Kaihsu Tai, Janet Warren, Sid Phelps
Oxfordshire Green party

As usual with British politics, I have no idea what is going on.

posted by Mike in Green Party, Oxford | on July 3rd, 2008 | Permanent Link to “Kaihsu’s letter in the Guardian” | Comments Off on Kaihsu’s letter in the Guardian

Fasting and Eating and Understanding

posted by Mike on October 13th, 2005

Today is Yom Kippur. It’s also Ramadan. Many are fasting today, and many who would not fast ordinarily are joining them. So if you see a bunch of people looking cranky and repentant, that’s what’s going on.

Yesterday was the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast in Worcester. I’d heard of “prayer breakfasts,” but I’d never been to one, so I did a little research and found the Prayer Breakfast Network. Their website does not feature symbols of religion (Christian cross, Jewish star, Muslim crescent, Buddhist wheel) or breakfast (Northern bagel, Southern grits, Western omelette), just a bunch of American flags. Their spiritual heritage page is entirely about Anglo-Saxon Protestantism.

Maybe some towns could have a monocultural prayer breakfast like that, but not Worcester. The breakfast emcee was a rabbi, the opening prayer was by a Catholic bishop, the opening speech was by a city employee identified as a Unitarian, the keynote speaker was Bernard Lafayette (Baptist minister, among other things), and the closing prayer was by representatives from Hillel and the Islamic Society.

Then an Indian man who’d known Gandhi read a poem!

Stuff like that, and the City Council’s choosing religious tolerance over mosque wiretapping, makes me happy to be in Worcester.

Here’s another story that makes me happy to be in Worcester. It’s about some folks who decided to meet their new neighbors instead of fearing them. As told in Worcester’s Catholic Free Press:
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