Thursday, February 07, 2008

Toys for Lent I

Some of us are 'hands on' types and some of us aren't. If your family's observance of Lent is missing a little je ne sais quoi you can always make a Salt Dough Crown of Thorns with your children and fill it with little spikes that the children can remove one by one each time they do something good. In so doing apparently, they will even make Jesus feel better.

"For each Lenten sacrifice a family member makes, he or she pulls a toothpick out of the crown. This activity makes a great visual reminder of Christ’s suffering: Parents can explain to their children that sin brings additional pain to Jesus’ suffering and good works can comfort Him and show our love for Him. "

If what you say doesn't make sense at least you'll be able to prove that at the end of the day you came up with something which was practical.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Scottish Episcopal Lenten Blog

Some of the Scottish Episcopal Bloggers have gotten together and put together a Lenten Blog called Beauty from Chaos. Take a look when you've got time. Kimberly Bohan, Rector of Dunoon, is the organizing force behind this blog which goes online today.


Found this during Lent last year. Thought I'd repost it. The comics are by a cartoonist named Simon Smith. Music by Joseph Arthur.

One doesn't need to completely jettison one's sense of humour during Lent. The famous Lenten episode of Father Ted entitled 'Cigarettes, Alcohol and Rollerblading' is now available here in three parts. The Scottish Episcopal Bloggers are all busy at work, you see, and I thought I'd try to be a useful little Canadian limpet and provide a service as well.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Martyrs of Japan (February 5th, 1597)

Padre Mickey down in Panama has a very good article (I can't rememher whether written by him or by somebody else) on the Martyrs of Japan. Their feast day is today. Other material here. Still more here.

65 years ago this week

A longish article worth reading about the sinking of the Dorchester in WWII and the four chaplains who were aboard. Thanks to T19 for the reference.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Can't help myself

A mother goes to church with her little girl.
The priest intones 'remember man thou art but dust...'

The little girl says 'Mummy, what's butt dust?'

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Candlemas was yesterday. Today is the Feast of St Blaise when one is supposed to bless throats but there being scant precedent for the Service of the Blessing of Throats at St James' Penicuik we went ahead and modified our monthly Family Service along the lines of the Feast of the Presentation. Guitars, cellos, violins, a drum set, a djembe and a piano (me on the tambourine during a couple of the livelier ones). Candles were blessed. Things proceeded decently and in good order.

In the course of talking to the children about the various occasions where we still use candles in the course of our daily lives I spoke about their use as emergency equipment.

Years ago I was the Rector of Christ Church, Chibougamau and the Priest in Charge of St Barnabas' Waswanipi in the Diocese of Moosonee (northern Quebec). I lived in Chibougamau. My second point was 140 kilometres away. In order to say Mass in two places (twice a month, anyway) this made for a 280 kilometre round trip and it had to be undertaken rain or shine.

That particular corner of the world is a real snow belt - it gets as much snow as Winnipeg and it falls at inconvenient times. Add to this the occasional winter trip to our See City of Schumacher in Ontario (best approached via the back roads through Amos and Cochrane) and that makes one hell of a lot of winter driving in conditions which most people cannot imagine.

So it pays to be equipped. You can be stuck all night on one of these lonely roads without a soul coming along to help you. You keep a down-filled sleeping bag, extra matches, a jerry can of diesel, snow shoes, and a spray can of ether to spray into the air filter to give the engine a bit of a jump when you're starting it on a cold day. And candles.

A trick which I was taught by an old fellow who once ferried Lancaster Bombers over Greenland during the Second World War: You carry about a twenty ordinary builders' bricks and a box of emergency candles. If you have to ditch your bomber over Greenland or Franz Josef Land or if you wind up in a snowbank in the middle of northern Quebec you build a couple of small ovens out of the bricks and place a lit emergency candle in the midst of them. By isolating yourself in the truck or in the airplane's fusilage you can turn these little brick ovens into two small radiators which will prove adequate to keep you alive indefinitely.


Sam Thomas - our Regional Dean in those days - came to the Rectory in Chibougamau and noticed all the equipment lying in the back of my Toyota Landcruiser. After coming in and helping himself to a cup of tea Sam says to me:

Rob - couldn't help noticing that you've got an axe, ropes and a can of ether in your truck. It's no mystery to me why you can never get a date!