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Sunday, 7 February 2016

Litany for Sermons on the Transfiguration

Archdruid: On those who struggle to complete their sermon this morning because they can't draw any parallels from a terrifying event on a Judean mountain and the 7.42 when it's raining

All: Have mercy.

Archdruid: On those trying to delve into the Greek to discover whether Peter's "shelters" would have been "tabernacles"

All: Have mercy.

Archdruid: On those trying to use the phrase "behind the veil"

All: Have mercy.

Archdruid: On those who who preach, or teach, or listen this morning

All: Have mercy.

Archdruid: On those still awake trying to work out what the preacher is trying to convey

All: Have mercy.

Archdruid: And especially on those who say that the Transfiguration "reveals Jesus's true nature. And then spend twenty minutes having to explain that dusty, dirty, sweaty and unmistakably human was also Jesus's true nature

All: Have mercy.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Liturgy of Explaining Everything About the Liturgy

Archdruid: And so, as it's the start of the service, let's begin the service by wishing peace to each other. Thus ensuring that we start in a state of peace. So peace be with you.

All: And also with you.

Hymn: My Heart Will Go On

Archruid: Now we are at peace with each other, let us remember that we may not be at peace with the Divine. Not because God does not love us but because we turn away from the Divinity. And so we come to this time of confession, not because God does not know our sins, but so we accept them and cast them away from ourselves.

A Confession Is Read

Archdruid: Now it is time for Filling-Up of Beakers. We fill up beakers to represent blessing being poured into us. So in this illustration. the Pump of Filling is the source of the Divine Blessing. And the beakers represent us. And so at the start of the filling-up, the beakers are empty. A symbol of emptiness. And then as we pour water into the beakers, it is a symbol of filling. We notice that as water is poured into them, they fill up - just like we do when filled with the Divine Blessing.

All: OK Eileen. We got it on the first lap.

Beakers are Filled Up

Archdruid: And so we come to a reading from Scripture. Around the world, religions that hold to Scriptures have always read those writings - almost always from their own holy Scriptures - when they come together to praise God and read their Scriptures. As we do now.

A Reading from the Little Book of Calm

Archdruid: Now we have already wished each other peace, then received God's peace. And in response to God's peace, now we can all wish each other peace - but this time like we really mean it. As we walk around sharing the peace, our handshakes, hugs or curt, English nods will be symbols of the peace that we share. And we say "Peace be with you" to express our hope that God's peace - and our own, and the Creation's - will indeed be with them. And also with us...

All: Eileen, is it time to explain the dismissal yet?

3 Years of Hell in the Ecuadorian Embassy

We've welcomed a new person in the Beaker People today. It's Angela, fresh from her previous job cleaning in the Ecuadorian Embassy. Where, she tells me, conditions have deteriorated.

Sure, anyone could get a bit stressy. Since whey-faced rape-charge-dodger Julian Assange has been "arbitrarily detained" - by himself - there's been two coppers hanging around outside at all hours, ready to arrest him if he nips out to McDonalds. Then there's the press attention. The phone calls at all hours. The constant fear that George Galloway might pop round to offer solidarity.

But they're not really the things that caused her to break. Nor the constant rattling of Assange's Vitamin D bottles, or occasionally thinking she's run into a ghost when the dangerous narcissist wanders out of a doorway. Nor even his playing Teena Marie singles in the early hours. She says even when he left his toenail clippings in the carpet, at least all she had to do was hoover them up. Sure the piles of empty Tizer bottles around the place are annoying, Though not as annoying as the wind the Tizer causes. But you learn to live with it.

No, she says. In the end, it was his habit of drying his socks and pants on the radiator. I mean, imagine that for three years. It's a crime against humanity

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Dismissal for a Nice House Group Meeting

This evening we have spoken of many nice things. We have spoken of people in "the World" who are the centres of their own existence.

We have talked of our workmates, and the way we relate to them,
in such a way that we have implied that they are real human beings whom God loves.

And we understand that although we aren't hugely competent in the evangelistic arts, yet the way we behave may have an eternal effect on those we work with.

May we act tomorrow like we are 6% as nice as we have claimed this evening, so that we have even 6% of the effect we just suggested we have.

As then our love, care and disinterested action for our workmates would be 6% of what we have spoken this evening.
Yet immeasurably more than we have achieved thus far.


Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Beakerquality for Stonehenge

Determination of the sex of remains of people buried at Stonehenge reveals surprising gender equality, according to the BBC.

Quite why gender equality is surprising is an interesting question. Because we assume the original Beaker Folk were a bunch of sexist monsters and oppressed women, I guess. Equal numbers by gender I suppose might also imply monogamy, and thereby a generally equal society where powerful men don't get all the wives.
But you see our assumptions already working. I'm presuming that the more important people got buried at Stonehenge, or a priestly caste - same thing, I would argue. Otherwise equal numbers would imply just that there were equal numbers who just got buried. So I'm making my own assumptions here.
Are you there, Audrey?

There's plenty of other explanations. Maybe the chiefs were buried, and only their main wives. That wouldn't be so equal. Or they killed a wife specially if the chief died. Maybe there was a Neolithic mortuary wife-swapping ritual where men were buried with somebody else's wife.

It all shows the dangers of assumptions in reading ourselves or our opposites into the past. The 
archaeologists of the 19th and early 20th Century believed that the Greeks, Romans or Mycenaeans had built Stonehenge - great empires bringing civilisation and pointless buildings to ignoble savages.

I often wonder how come archaeological reports often refer to "the remains of an individual in good health." If you think someone whose skeletal remains have been buried in a ditch near Hadrian's Wall for 1900 years is in good health, I bet you never go to the doctor till it's too late. But that's by the by.

If you ask me, most of the female remains in the Aubrey Holes are of female Archdruids and a few select friends. The males are butlers, specially chosen to carry the Archdruids' bags in the Afterlife. Equality? I don't think so.

1000 Gladioli

I've realised I'm being too authoritarian. Just going around bossing people about. Just because I know what is right and they don't.

So I'm instituting a policy called "1000 Gladioli". Basically let anyone who has an idea, bring it forward. If it's an initiative that won't clash with the prime activities of the Community, won't take resources from other things - let's do it.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

The Journey of the Groundhog

A cold coming I had of it.
Lifted from my cage on a bright Candlemas
And dragged before the cameras of a waiting world.
A tradition, based on a German climate,
translated to the Eastern Seaboard with no claim to common sense.

The sun shone - hung in the air for a moment
And I wondered why these mortal souls
Furless, squeaking for meaning in their darkness
Paid attention to this overgrown rat
Forbidden food - unclean by regulation
Dragged out on this day of Purification.

And so I was cast back to my nest
To sit and sulk and graze another year
The gifts they showed me not those I desire
For what does a groundhog need with fame?
I would be glad of another carrot.

Groundhog Day

The Groundhog
Today is the day we go to the Earless Beaker Bunny and try to work out what the weather is going to be like.

And this morning's result - since we live in England - is the same as it has been for the last 8 years.


Monday, 1 February 2016

José Enrique Accepts Job as Druid

Enrique wonders where the ball is.
I'm pleased to announce a piece of last-minute transfer deadline news of my own.

José Enrique has agreed to take on the role of Deputy Druid (self-supporting). José will be a key part in our mission to the Cave Folk of Altamira, and to PlayStation addicts.

Some of you may be aware that José is a professional football player. However we do not expect this materially to affect his role with us. In fact he says he'll probably just join up with us on his way back from West Ham next week.