Category : * General Interest

My Favorite Veteran’s Story of the last Few Years–An ESPN piece on the Saratoga WarHorse Program

Saratoga Springs, N.Y., famous for its historic racetrack, is among the most idyllic places in America. But on a recent fall weekend, not far from the track, horses were serving a different mission: retired thoroughbreds were recruited to help returning veterans at Song Hill Farm. A group from the US Army 2nd Battalion, 135th infantry, united in grief over the death of a fellow solider, gathered for the first time in five years to be part of Saratoga Warhorse, a three-day program that pairs veterans with horses. Tom Rinaldi reports the emotional story of the veterans, paired with their horses, undergoing a rebirth of trust and taking a first step toward healing.

Watch it all, and, yes, you will likely need kleenex–KSH.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Animals, Death / Burial / Funerals, Health & Medicine, History, Military / Armed Forces

Remembrance Day 2017 around the world – in pictures

Read it all.

Posted in Globalization, History, Military / Armed Forces, Photos/Photography

A NY Times profile of the Sutherland Springs, Texas, Gunman

Before a gunman entered a rural Texas church with a ballistic vest and a military-style rifle, killing at least 26 people on Sunday, he was convicted of assaulting his wife and breaking his infant stepson’s skull.

In 2012, while stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, Devin P. Kelley, 26, was charged with “assault on his spouse and assault on their child,” according to the Air Force.

“He assaulted his stepson severely enough that he fractured his skull, and he also assaulted his wife,” said Don Christensen, a retired colonel who was the chief prosecutor for the Air Force. “He pled to intentionally doing it.”

He was sentenced in November of that year to 12 months’ confinement and reduction to the lowest possible rank. After his confinement, he was discharged from the military with a bad conduct discharge. It is unclear whether his conviction would have barred him from purchasing a gun.

The case marked a long downward slide that included divorce and being charged with animal cruelty.

Read it all.

Posted in Animals, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Violence

(NBC) Faithfulness in little things is not a little thing–Heroic mailman still delivering the mail after California wildfires

Postman Trevor Smith has picked up mail from a senior community for the past 8 years. Today, he picks up their melted mailboxes.

Posted in Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

(CEN) Caribbean picks up the pieces after Hurricane Irma

The Island of Anguilla in the Diocese of North East Caribbean and Aruba featured in the most recent BBC 2 series, An Island Parish. It was badly affected by Hurricane Irma.

Speaking to The Church of England Newspaper on 27 September, Bishop Errol Brooks, whom the TV programme described as a ‘rock’, said the western half of Anguilla had suffered the worst. This is the Methodist area and two of their churches had been “really messed up”.

Of the three Anglican Churches the roof of St Andrew’s Island Harbour had been badly damaged. The winds that blew throughout the day had lifted a sheet or two of the roof in the main church St Mary’s in the Valley, and water had got inside.

While the worship area of the new section of St Augustine’s remained intact the 200-year-old section of the church had been badly damaged. “I do not know where to start,” said the assessor.

Damage was worse on the island of Dominica, where one of the Pirates of the Caribbean films was shot. The roof of St George’s Church has gone and the rectory, where this writer stayed when doing a locum on the island, is badly damaged. Barbuda, a small island off Antigua, had now been evacuated. The island of St Kitts however escaped without any damage.

Read it all (may require subscription).

Posted in - Anglican: Latest News, Caribbean, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

(NBC) Balloons Paint The Albuquerque Sky At Annual Fiesta

Enjoy it all.

Posted in * General Interest, America/U.S.A.

(WSJ) The damage from Hurricane Maria–mostly in Puerto Rico–could be worse than Harvey and Irma combined

Hurricane Maria caused an estimated $40 billion to $85 billion in insured losses, mostly in Puerto Rico, catastrophe-modeling firm AIR Worldwide said Monday.

Maria was the worst storm to hit Puerto Rico since 1928 and devastated the island, causing widespread property damage and power outages. The storm also caused extensive damage in Dominica.

More than 85% of the insured loss is in Puerto Rico, AIR said. The firm’s preliminary damage estimate is higher than the firm’s estimates for Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall in Texas in August, and Hurricane Irma, which passed through the Caribbean before reaching Florida earlier this month.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

(NPR) Earthquake In Mexico Hit Churches Hard in Puebla State

To Mexico now where the death toll from last week’s earthquake has climbed to well over 300. Structures have been damaged throughout central Mexico, including more than 150 churches. That’s according to the country’s archdiocese. Hardest hit were churches in the state of Puebla, the epicenter of the quake. NPR’s Carrie Kahn sent this report from the town of Cholula.

CARRIE KAHN, BYLINE: In the center of town sits Cholula’s ancient pyramids said to be the widest in the world. It’s never been fully excavated, but to get to what is visible involves a steep climb.

Fifty-three, 54, 55 – I’m climbed at the top of Cholula’s ancient pyramid where the Church of the Remedies sits on top of the pyramid. Two of the beautiful churches’ domes have collapsed, and they’re not letting us go to the top. Instead, they’re holding mass outside.

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: (Speaking Spanish).

KAHN: Dozens of parishioners have made the climb in search of solace in Sunday mass.

GERARDO LOPEZ RAMIREZ: (Singing in Spanish).

KAHN: Gerardo Lopez Ramirez is the church’s organist and tenor. He says his town is in mourning.

Read it all.

Posted in Mexico, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

A Series of Wonderful Photos of the new bishop of Sheffield Pete Wilcox

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Photos/Photography

Friday Morning Mental Health Break–A 40 Ton Humpback Whale Leaps Entirely Out of the Water (Really)

Posted in * General Interest, Animals, Photos/Photography

(WSJ) After Irma, Many Mobile Homeowners May Face Tough Choice–rebuild or walk away

Some of the homes hardest hit by Hurricane Irma in Florida are also the least likely to be insured.

Florida has more mobile and manufactured homes than any other state. These homes, which are built in factories rather than directly onto a lot, often house low-income residents and seniors seeking cheaper housing for their retirement.

The homes are also less likely to be insured than many other types of homes, with the Florida Manufactured Housing Association estimating as many as 50% of the homes may lack insurance.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Marriage & Family, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Personal Finance & Investing

A Prayer for those in Hurricane Irma’s path by the Rev. David Booman of Saint Michael’s, Charleston

O God, Master of this passing world, hear the humble voices of your children. The Sea of Galilee obeyed your order and returned to its former quietude; you are still the Master of land and sea. During this storm we turn to You, O loving Father. Spare us from calamity, keep us safe in the palm of your hands and help us walk in your footsteps with gratitude and praise in all things. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Posted in * South Carolina, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Spirituality/Prayer

The Latest on Hurricane Irma Watch–Track shifts a little South and West

Posted in * South Carolina, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Weather

The Latest on Hurricane Irma Watch–Track shifts Slightly West

There is still much uncertainty as to northward turn timing and direction.

Posted in * South Carolina, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Weather

Diocese of South Carolina Parish Priest Karl Bruns Writes his Parish–On Hurricane Irma and the Current Litigation

I want to thank all of you for your prayers last Wednesday as we held a diocesan wide day of fasting and prayer and ask that you continue to lift the Bishop, the legal team, the Standing Committee, the clergy and the lay ministers of the churches of the Diocese in your prayers.

Our appeal for a rehearing by the State Supreme Court was filed on Friday and later that evening, the news of our appeal was made public.  You can read more about the appeal here: http://www.diosc.com/sys/index.php, and you can read an analysis of the appeal at A.S. Haley’s blog; http://accurmudgeon.blogspot.com, and further information can be found at Anglican ink: http://www.anglican.ink/.

Basically there were two appeals made; the first was made on the grounds of violation of the state and federal constitutional guarantees as well as violation of 300 years of application of the natural principles of law by the courts in South Carolina.  The second appeal for a rehearing was made on the grounds that Justice Kaye Hearn failed to disclose her personal connections to The Episcopal Church (TEC), to the newly formed diocese that is known as The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC), and her membership at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Conway, South Carolina.

After the ruling was handed down on August 2nd, the Diocese of South Carolina and the joining churches, we were given fifteen days to appeal, and we were granted an additional fifteen days to respond.  Our motion to appeal was delivered on September 1st and TEC and TECSC will be given fifteen days to rebut our appeal.  They will probably ask for and be granted a fifteen day extension, meaning that the State Supreme Court would not make a ruling until the first of October.

The hurricane metaphor holds very true in our situation as after the first of October (or whenever the State Supreme Court decides what they will do), the tract of the timeline becomes very unpredictable.  I ask for your continued prayers and remind you to not only pray for wisdom and justice but to also pray for “the other side.”    Romans 12: 14 says that we are to bless (pray for) those who persecute us and that is what I strive to accomplish in my prayer life.  It is not too late for you to reach out to others and inform them of what is going on in our diocese and the unjust ruling that we have received and I encourage you to follow your conscience and act.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Parish Ministry, Weather