Palm Sunday

Cornwall Cogitation #8, Sunday 29 March 2015–This morning the two parish congregations, St Uny, Lelant, and St Anta & All Saints, Carbis Bay, joined for a Benefice worship at St Anta. Guest preacher was The Rt Reverend Chris Goldsmith, Bishop of St Germans. Chris is one of two bishops in Cornwall. Rev Carlyn Wilton was the communion celebrant and Rev Suzanne Hosking, Priest-in-Charge of the parish, was the leader.

Good singing. Good sermon. Good prayers. Good Lord’s Table. Good pasty lunch and Q&A with Chris. A true feeding of spirit, mind and body.

The two parish churches have signed up with the Diocese of Truro to embark on a year-long Accompanied Ministry Development. It’s a concerted commitment to “discovering God’s Kingdom and growing the church.”

The vision states, “The many and varied communities of Cornwall have never been more in need of compassionate care and reconciling love of God and we, the church, are God’s chosen means of blessing others. God longs to see a flourishing Cornwall with a flourishing church at its heart.” And further: “there is an urgency to reinvigorate the whole people of God in our worship, our discipleship and our mission. Our future will be different from our past, yet none of us can do this alone.”

Chris underscored that the church exists for others as a community, God’s people, seeking to respond to God’s goodness to us in faith and faithfulness. The effort focuses on growing the church through prayer, sharing our faith, being reconciled and reconciling communities, worship–especially among young people, and living our faith wherever we are. Bravo! Hitherto may the Lord help us.

Tea. A proper brewed tea would be made with loose tea leaves. Few people have the time or patience to do it any way other than teabags. That’s o.k., but one purist responded to the question, “Is it necessary to warm the pot before putting in the tea? If so, why?” Jenny Stone wrote in The  Guardian (26.03.15) “Warm the pot? For real tea leaves yes, it keeps the tea hot longer, and it’s a satisfying ritual. For teabags, no, there is no need to keep dust-with-water warm.”

In the same newspaper (19.03.15) Alterboy wrote,” For tea to infuse effectively it has to be hit, and immersed in, water that is as hot as possible. Try infusing water at 30C, or 50C, or even 75C, and watch what happens to the water. It needs to be 100C, or as close as possible, and to stay very hot for as long as it needs to infuse   (especially if you can’t wait long for your culpa–I leave mine to brew for about two minutes. , , , If you want tea to be properly brewed, warming the teapot first gives you the edge.”

There, you almost have it, but not quite. Somebody with the handle, AFishInThePercolator, adds, “That’s only true of black teas. Other varieties (green, white, oolong, pu erh) need water that has been allowed to cool a little. The extreme is white tea which ‘scorches’ if you use water over 60C and makes a brew that that is only fit for tanning hides.” There’s more, however I’ll spare you needing to reach  for a cup of coffee.

Environment. From a news note by science editor, Steve Conner, (I didn’t  note the paper or date) we learn: “The Gulf Stream that helps to keep Britain from freezing over in winter is slowing down faster than at any time in the past millennium, according to a study suggesting that major changes are taking place to the currents of the North Atlantic. Scientists believe that the huge volumes of freshwater flowing into the North Atlantic from the rapidly melting ice cap of Greenland have slowed down the ocean ‘engine’ that drives the Gulf Stream from the Caribbean towards Europe. However, the researchers, in a study published in Nature Climate Change, say that Britain is still likely to become warmer due to climate change providing the Gulf Stream does not come to a halt–although they are unsure how likely this is.” Interestingly, an ad from British Gas, next to the news story, offers a service contract for homeowners to “Say goodbye to the chill of a boiler breakdown.”

USA in the news. From The  Independent (28 March) we learn that the Navajo Nation “has imposed the country’s first junk-food tax: an extra 2 percent sales tax on foods with minimal or no nutritional value. The tax will affect pastries, crisps [potato chips], soft drinks, desserts, fried foods and other processed or refined foods according to Mother Jones.”

From the same paper (27 March) we read about a public  health emergency in Austin, a town of about 4,300 in Scott County, Indiana. About 80 people so far this year have been diagnosed with the virus that causes AIDS. Governor Pence’s emergency order calls for a temporary needle exchange program.

The Independent on Sunday (22 March):  Ryann Ford , a photographer, has visited 17 states to photograph the remaining original rest areas in the interstate highway system and plans to publish a book of her images. See “In 1956 President Eisenhower introduced the Federal-Aid Highway Act, allocating billions of dollars to the construction of 41,000 miles of road across the United States.The project aimed to improve consistency from coast to coast: the same width, and the asphalt was to be of the same depth in every state. There was, however, one area in which local authorities were given freedom: the rest areas that Eisenhower’s government added for road safety. Every state could design its own.”

Election UK. Tomorrow the Queen will dissolve Parliament, opening the way for official campaigning for elections to be held on May 7.

Back to normal. The  incision on my back is almost fully healed. My last visit to the nurse should be Wednesday. PTL!  John

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