Halloween – the Darkness runs from the Light

Vast armies undead do tread through the night and
In hordes march towards hapless victims to frighten.
They stumble in step with glass-eyes on the prizes;
Bunched hither, hunched over in monstrous disguises;
In sizes not lofty but numb’ring a throng;
To unleash on their prey the dreaded DING DONG.
Small faces with traces of mother’s eye-liner,
Peer up to the resident candy provider.

And there to intone ancient threats learnt verbatim;
They lisp “TRICK OR TREAT!” Tis their stark ultimatum.
Thus: region by region such legions take plunder.
Does this spector-full spectacle cause you to wonder?
Just how did our fair festive forebears conceive,
Of this primeval practice called All Hallows Eve?
The answer, if anyone cares to research,
Surprises, it rises from old mother church.

On the cusp of the customary All Saints Day
The Christ-i-an kinsfolk made mocking display.
These children of light both to tease and deride;
Don darkness, doll down as the sinister side.
In pre-post-er-ous pageants and dress diabolic,
They hand to the damned just one final frolick.
You see with the light of the dawn on the morrow,
The sunrise will swallow such darkness and sorrow.

The future is futile for forces of evil;
And so they did scorn them in times Medieval.
For this is the nature of shadow and gloom;
In the gleaming of glory there can be no room.
What force is resourced by the echoing black?
When the brightness ignites can the shadow push back?
These ‘powers’ of darkness, if such can be called,
Are banished by brilliance, by blazing enthralled.

So the bible begins with this fore-resolved fight;
For a moment the darkness…. then “Let there be Light!”
First grief in the gloom, then joy from the East.
First valley of shadow, then mountaintop feast.
First wait for Messiah, then long-promised Dawn.
First desolate Friday and then Easter Morn.
The armies of darkness when doing their worst,
Can never extinguish this Dazzling Sunburst.

So… ridicule rogues if you must play a role;
But beware getting lost in that bottomless hole.
The triumph is not with the forces of night.
It dawned with the One who said “I am the Light!”

This video is excellent, and I am clearly going to use it in my Collective Worship at the end of October. However, I’ve had a look at the website of 10ofthose.com: it believes worship be about just singing songs, and puts Mark Driscoll and Penal Substitution at the heart of its book choices. It is not, regrettably, a place for objective Bible Commentary, so I’m afraid I cannot recommend it.  

Dwelling in the Word – Reflection & Meditation before a PCC or any other meeting at which we should hear God’s Voice…

I found this exercise very useful, and the two times I have done it, I have been drawn by different things. Here is the key difference between this and Lectio Divina:  you do the same passage each time. This means that new meanings arise in each context. Also, it is not about a personal reflection, as Lectio is, but is about listening to your partner, and listening is a key value to get into frame with at the beginning of a meeting.

How we Dwell in the Word

  • Listen to the passage read (below)
  • Consider where it “captures” you, speaks to you and/or what question(s) it raises for you
  • Find a person in the group you do not know or know less well, a ‘reasonably friendly-looking stranger’.
  • Listen to that person as he or she tells you what they heard in the passage. They may mention something they’d never heard before, something odd or something comforting, or something about which they’d like to ask a Bible scholar.
  • Listen well, because your job will be to report to the rest of the group what your partner has said, not what you yourself said. Some people take notes to help them focus and remember.

At the end:

A prayer as we Dwell in the Word

Loving God,
Though our destination is not yet clear,
May we trust in Your graceful promises;
Though we are uncertain of ourselves,
May we be rooted in Your loving regard;
Though our attention is inclined to wander,
May we hear the things You are saying;
Though we often neglect Your influence,
May we be convicted of Your power to change,
In Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

The Text: Luke 10:1-12   (NRSVA)

After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, “Peace to this house!” And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the labourer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house.

Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.” 10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11 “Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.” 12 I tell you, on that day it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for that town.

Animated / looping images inside Prezi

nimbus-record-video

 

 

Prezi, thankfully, still supports animations, but not as we now know and love them. With one simple step, however, you can insert animated gifs and take other short movies and insert them into your Prezi presentation to liven them up.

 

 

Although Pregreen-right-arrow-moving-up-and-downzi does not support animated gifs (yet, hint, hint) you can easily convert these to Flash swf format files which will loop indefinitely in a Prezi.

Here is how you do it.

 

  1. Find your animated gif through Google Images
  2. Enter a search term and then select “Search Tools” and under “Type” select “Animated”
  3. screenshot-www-google-com-2016-10-19-11-52-04This will limit the search to images that are moving. Download that image (Right-Click / Save As…)
  4. Visit the excellent Convertio online converter, drag and drop the downloaded file onto the page and select as output “Video/SWF”screenshot-convertio-co-2016-10-19-11-58-54
  5. Add as many files as you like and then convert them. There is a daily limit, but I can’t imagine you would exceed this for this purpose.
  6. Now in Prezi, you can drag and drop the new SWF file, or Insert it as a File. You can also insert it as a Background image, which is particularly good as an opener.giphy_champagne_wrong_rcs
  7. I would use it sparingly, especially as some animated gifts move very fast, but a gentle animation like the one above, or a subtle illustration can be effective.
  8. Beyond that, you can convert a (very) short and small movie from your video editing package into an swf. You can do this directly in some packages (Sony Vegas) or export it from iMovies / Windows Movie Maker and convert it via Convertio. This could be, I imagine, a moving graph, or a quick clip.

nimbus-record-videoHave fun.

 

 

 

2017 Electric Ordo released FREE – all I ask for is your prayers (PRAYERWARE)

Download

Download the Zip Files file (from my public dropbox folder)

Right click on the above link and select “SAVE AS..” or “SAVE TARGET AS…” or “SAVE LINK AS..”

screenshot-calendar-google-com-2016-09-29-19-57-162017: As the amount of data included continues to increase, the file is too large to import as a single year/file, so this year for the first time, the file has been broken down into MONTHLY files. Please follow the instructions for all 12 months.

This is my annual release of an Electronic Ordo or Church Calendar, containing daily information and readings for Mass each day according to both an Anglican or Roman lectionaries.

It is designed to be imported into electronic calendars which support the iCalendar format. I use it in Google Calendar but it has been proven to work within iCal on the Mac and Microsoft Outlook.

Once in Google Calendar, it will synchronise with your Smartphone or Tablet and give you a quick way to check the Colour, the Divine Office or the readings for Holy Communion.

I compile this for myself, and as such it may contain errors or omissions, but if the data is wrong, you won’t be the only one making a mistake, I’ll be making it too! This is released FREE, all I ask is your prayers for my ministry and the ministry of the Roborough Team Ministry here in Plymouth: call it prayerware if you like!

How to Import to Google

FIRSTLY, unzip the file by double-clicking on it and extracting the files.

Remember where you unzipped them because you will need to browse to pick up each file.

At the bottom left hand side of your Google Calendar

Select “Add”
Select “Import Calendar”
Browse to where you downloaded the data files. Repeat for all 12 files.
Google Calendar

You will see the file upload and import

It takes a few moments to import, and seems to be doing nothing. Worry not. It will then appear in your calendar and synchronise in the usual way. Enjoy!

Just A Common Sailor

by Anon (brought to my attention by Fr Andy, with much thanks and condolences)

He was getting old and paunchy, and his hair was falling fast,
He sat around the table telling stories of the past,
Of a war that he had fought in, and the deeds that he had done,
Of his exploits with his oppo’s, they were heroes every one.

And tho’ sometimes to his family his tales became a joke,
His wife she listened carefully, for she knew of what he spoke.
But we will hear those tales no longer for [name]’s passed away,
And the worlds a little poorer for a sailor died today,

He’ll not be mourned by many, Just his family and his friends.
For he lived a ordinary, quiet , life. until the very end.
He worked to raise his family, till to old to earn his pay,
No the world won’t know his passing, tho’ a sailor died today.

When politicians leave this earth their bodies lie in state
While thousands note their passing and proclaim that were great.
The papers tell their histories from the time when they were young,
But the passing of a sailor goes unnoticed, go unsung.

Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land
Someone who breaks his promises and cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow who, in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his Country and offers up his life?

A politician’s stipend and the style in which he lives
Are sometimes disproportionate to the service that he gives.
While the ordinary sailor who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal and perhaps, a pension small.

It’s so easy to forget them for it was so long ago,
That the old Jacks of our Country went to battle, but we know
It was not the politicians, with their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom that our Country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger, with your enemies at hand,
Would you want a politician with his ever-shifting stand?
Or would you prefer a sailor, who has sworn to defend
His home, his kin and Country and would fight until the end?

He was just a common sailor and his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us we may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict, then we find the sailors part
Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honour while he’s here to hear the praise,
Then at least let’s give him homage at the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline in a paper that would say,

Our Country is in mourning, for a sailor died today.

Eucharistic Preface for Unity

for use in times of national disunity

The Lord be with you
and also with you

Lift up your hearts
We lift them to the Lord

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God
It is right to give thanks and praise

Almighty God and Ever-lasting Father
We come together in this holy sanctuary
From many different places, spaces and positions
To sing your praise and glory.

You weave us together
Shape us on the potter’s wheel
You take our glorious diversity of creation
And unite us in the one universal Kingdom of God

A Kingdom where peace and prosperity,
Worship and love
Justice, mercy and joy abound
Even in the face of our human frailty and failings.

The choirs of heaven, the angels, saints, prophets & patriarchs
Join together in unity to sing of your praise and glory
And we join with them, singing

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of Power & Might
Heaven & Earth are full of your glory
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed are they who come in the name of the Lord
Hosanna in the highest!

Liturgical note: Yes, you CAN write your own prefaces!

GCSE: Cross-curricular studies for teenagers

Time allowed: 1 hour 45 minutes

Please show your workings.

Mathematics

1. Three people live in a house. All of those people are over the age of 14. Please explain, with the aid of diagrams, why only one of those people can take the rubbish out.

2. Josh has started an apprenticeship earning £140 per week. His mobile phone bill this month was £385. How much pay will he have left over?
a) All of it, WTF should he pay his own bill?
b) None of it, he has spent it all on a tattoo

3. Jane wears a clean shirt to school every day. Jane has six shirts. Explain using Bayes Theorem and taking into account microbiological cross-contamination how likely it is that any given shirt on the floor on Thursday morning will be clean enough to wear to school.

English language and creative writing

4. “I was like going to the shopping mall and met like Lucy, Dan and like two other people from like school. We went to like Hollisters to get some like T-shirts for Dan and then went to like Primark cos Becky like needs a bikini for her holiday in like Benidorm. We were like starving so we went to like McDonald’s to get like some food and met up with like more people from school. We all had like burgers and like chips and some of us had like a drink but some of us didn’t have like enough money.”

Explain the exact meaning and usage of the word ‘like’ in the above passage.

5. Write about an inspirational member of your local community, such as Beth’s Mum. Pay particular attention to Beth’s Mum’s opinions on music, art, politics, fashion sense, physical fitness, financial generosity and liberal parenting policies.

Combined Science

6. Explain, using the periodic table, why WKD will make you puke.

7. Explain the physics behind the phrase “It’s just gone”. You may use any of the following objects to illustrate your theory: an outdoor coat, one rugby boot, school tie, art coursework.

Technology and Computer Science

8. Explain how you will circumvent the broadband security your moderately techy parents have set up. Use diagrams if necessary.

9. You have been invited to sleep over at Harvey’s house. Your parents wish to communicate with Harvey’s parents about this.
(i) Explore and explain the circumstances under which the following items of modern technology would be simultaneously broken in order to prevent this communication from taking place:
a) the telephone – you should include reference to both landline and mobile.
b) email or any other internet-based communication system.
c) carrier pigeon.
(ii) Calculate the probability that, in a relatively small village, your parents already know that Harvey’s parents have gone away for the weekend.

Critical Thinking

10. Explain what happens when you use the last of the toilet roll.
a) I put another full roll on the holder.
b) I stuff the full roll behind the back of the holder.
c) I’m going to Nando’s with Becky.

Drama and Theatre Studies

11. “The Walking Dead could like totally happen.”
Discuss the devices used by the writers to support this assertion. Your answer should include reference to themes, tone and setting.

Economics

12. You are in a house alone during the day. How many lights should be switched on and remain on?
a) Those in the room you’re in.
b) Those in the room you are about to enter.
c) All of the lights including the fridge light as, though you are able to remove plaster when you slam your bedroom door shut, you can’t quite shut the fridge door properly.

Philosophy

13. It’s soooo unfair!!!! – discuss.
14. Arthur is 17. His dinner consists of a XXL pizza and there is half a pizza in the box. Discuss whether this is:
a) Half eaten
b) Half uneaten
c) Not enough

For bonus marks:
How much more pizza will it take to fill Arthur up? (10 pts)
Discuss the theoretical concept of “too much bacon” (15 pts)

15. If a mother is speaking and no one is listening, does she still make a sound?