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Monday, 29 November 2021

SIGNS OF SHARED MINISTRY AT BROUGHTON ST, MARY'S


SHARED MINISTRY: work collaboratively in covenant with mutual trust and support toward a common vision, a set of goals, and a legacy.

On 2nd  December 2021 we inducted Rev. Laurene Lafontaine as incoming minister at Broughton St. Mary's Parish Church in Edinburgh


                                                                   



Session Clerk or chair of Nominating Committee to be the one person who hands over all the signs while three different people say the words. A small table with a Bible, water in a jug, wine in a chalice, all to be close to where Laurene can stand with a mic. Three readers to be at a distance at anther mic to speak in turn.) 

 

(A Bible is brought to the minister)    

 

Suzanne says: It is through Scripture that we are called to be Christ’s body. Teach us the faith so that we may be true to the Gospel. 

The Minister says: Together may we listen for the Word of God. 

 

The people of the congregation say: In our words and in our lives, may we declare the Good News to all people. 

 

(Water is brought to the minister) 

 

Diane says: By water and the Holy Spirit we are claimed as God’s own. Renew us in our calling as servants of Christ in the world. 

The Minister says: Together may we live out our baptism as a loving community in Christ. 

 

The people of the congregation sayMay we nurture one another in faith, uphold one another in prayer, and encourage one another in service. 

 

(A communion cup is brought to the minister) 

 

Tom says:  In celebrating Holy Communion, we know Christ present among us. Gather us round the Table that we may be united as his Body. 

The Minister says:  Together may we celebrate the Meal of the Kingdom. 

 

The people of the congregation sayWe shall be always ready to meet Christ in this place and to show in our lives the promise of his reconciliation.



During the reception after the induction, I read my poem REACHING OUT, to welcome Rev. Lafontaine. Laurene was well received by a highly convivial congregation, and people seemed to like the poem


                                       




 


Saturday, 27 November 2021

SCARY POLITICS IN THE SOLOMON ISLANDS








ACCORDING TO VIJAY PRASHAD (THREAD READER 26 NOV 2021) A dangerous situation is afoot in the Solomon Islands. A coup is on with the government of Manasseh Sogavare threatened with overthrow by a revolt in Malaita, pushed by the U.S. and Australia Australian troops have arrived in Honeira, the capital of the Solomon Islands. PM Scott Morrison says that they will only be there for ‘weeks’. We shall see. This intervention has been planned for years, since Solomon Islands recognized Beijing over Taipei in September 2019. When Sogavare switched his link to China, the U.S., driven by Marco Rubio, and other violators of international sovereignty, built a coalition of anti-communists and pro-Zionist Christians. See the Israeli flag held by those making the coup


      WHILE I'M BY NO MEANS A MARXIST, PROFESSOR PRASAD'S VIEWPOINT SEEMS TO MAKE GOOD SENSE. WHY ELSE WOULD THE AUSTRALIANS BE INTERFERING? THEY HAVE A HORRIFIC HISTORICAL: REPUTATION e.g. BECAUSE OF THEIR ABUSE OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN AUSTRALIA AND THE SURROUNDING ISLANDS, THEIR ABUSE OF ORPHANS FROM BRITAIN, AND THEIR ABUSE OF THEIR OWN LGBT PEOPLE. WHY SHOULD THIS BE ANY DIFFERENT?


                                                             VIJAY PRASHAD (WIKI)




                                                                     by UNCTAD







                                                        SOLOMON ISLANDS (WIKI)


Post-conflict era[edit]

Kemakeza remained in office until April 2006, when he lost the 2006 Solomon Islands general election and Snyder Rini became PM. However allegations that Rini had used bribes from Chinese businessmen to buy the votes of members of Parliament led to mass rioting in the capital Honiara, concentrated on the city's Chinatown area. A deep underlying resentment against the minority Chinese business community led to much of Chinatown in the city being destroyed.[81] Tensions were also increased by the belief that large sums of money were being exported to China. China sent chartered aircraft to evacuate hundreds of Chinese who fled to avoid the riots.[citation needed] Evacuation of Australian and British citizens was on a much smaller scale.[citation needed] Additional Australian, New Zealand and Fijian police and troops were dispatched to try to quell the unrest. Rini eventually resigned before facing a motion of no-confidence in Parliament, and Parliament elected Manasseh Sogavare as Prime Minister.[82][83]

Sogavare struggled to assert his authority and was also hostile to the Australian presence in the country; after one failed attempt, he was removed in no confidence vote in 2007 and replaced by Derek Sikua of the Solomon Islands Liberal Party.[84] In 2008 a Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established to examine and help heal the wounds of the 'tension' years.[85][86] Sikua lost the 2010 Solomon Islands general election to Danny Philip, though after a vote of no confidence in him following allegations of corruption, Philip was ousted and replaced by Gordon Darcy Lilo.[87][88] Sogavare returned to power after the 2014 election, and oversaw the withdrawal of RAMSI forces from the country in 2017.[74] Sogavare was ousted in a no confidence vote in 2017, which saw Rick Houenipwela come to power, however Sogavare returned to the Prime Ministership after winning the 2019 election, sparking rioting in Honiara.[89][90] In 2019 Sogavare announced that the Solomons would be switching recognition from Taiwan to China.[91][92]

In November 2021 there was mass rioting and unrest.[93]

Thursday, 25 November 2021

TOM LEONARD : CHRISTMAS NEWS 2021

 



I HOPE THAT ALL IS GOING WELL WITH YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES AND THAT YOU ARE IN GOOD HEALTH. PLEASE SEND US YOUR NEWS. 




  

    SCOTT, JULIE and I ARE SURVIVING WELL FROM COVID IN OUR SUPPORT BUBBLE, AND JULIE BRINGS US DELICIOUS FOOD TO EAT. HOWEVER, FOLLOWING MY INJURY IN 2017, MY PHYSICAL HEALTH HAS FURTHER DETERIORATED e.g. WITH DYSPNEA IN MY CHEST, ASTHMA, AND ARTHRITIS IN MY HANDS, TO THE POINT WHERE I'M QUITE IMMOBILE AND INCAPACITATED. 

     SCOTT'S HELP AND FORBEARANCE IN THE FLAT IS INVALUABLE. MY MIND-BOGGLING EXPERIENCES WITH UNREGISTERED CARERS FROM MY HOMECARE EDINBURGH DON'T BEAR REPEATING!!


                                      

                                                                      

                                                                                                                              


     I HAVE ALSO RECEIVED HELP FROM THE PASTORAL CARE TEAM AT BROUGHTON ST. MARY'S CHURC.H  AND FROM VARIOUS CHURCH MEMBERS, INCLUDING JIM, IAN, DEBBIE, COLIN, AND REV. BILL TAYLOR. 




                                           The Garden Room in the Social Hub,

                                            Broughton St. Mary's Parish Church, Edinburgh


I HAVE CORRESPONDED DURING THE YEAR ABOUT IMPORTANT NOTIONS OF FORGIVENESS AND SPIRITUALITY WITH MY FORMER SCHOOL FRIEND  REV. GEOFF FLOYD WHO IS RETIRED AND LIVING IN GLOUCESTERSHIRE. WE LAST MET IN YORK IN ABOUT 2014. 

     GEOFF HAS, FOR EXAMPLE, GIVEN ME KEY INSIGHTS INTO THE CRUEL BULLYING AT SUTTON  HIGH SCHOOL IN PLYMOUTH. UNFORTUNATELY, THE BULLIES NEVER SEEM TO UNDERSTAND THE LIFE-LONG IMPACT OF WHAT THEY DID WHEN THE ISSUES ARE DISCUSSED WITH THEM MANY YEARS LATER.


                                                                               

                                                                  Rev. Geoff Floyd


WITH THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF REV. BILL TAYLOR, I'VE READ SEVERAL BIBLE PASSAGES AND POEMS TO THE SUNDAY SERVICES AT BSM, INCLUDING

                  .                                               CHRYSALIS

                                                                               






















I ALSO PLAY SCRABBLE IN THE SOCIAL HUB AT BSM EVERY WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON, IN PREPARATION FOR MY ANNUAL CHRISTMAS BATTLE WITH SCOTT AND JULIE.  I FIRST STARTED PLAYING SCRABBLE WITH MY WIFE VALERIE IN ABOUT 1969, AND I HAVEN'T IMPROVED MUCH SINCE!  RECENTLY, A NINETY-ONE YEAR OLD LADY BEAT ME HANDS DOWN WITH THE SEVEN-LETTER WORD 'AVEURES' WHICH SCORED 79 POINTS!!

      I RECALL PLAYING AGAINST THE REDOUBTABLE JOAN FISHER BOX AND HER DAUGHTER (BOTH DESCENDED FROM SIR RONALD FISHER HIMSELF!)" IN GEORGE BOX'S LAVISHLY ENORMOUS MANSION  IN SHOREWOOD HILLS. MADISON WISCONSIN ON CHRISTMAS DAY 1979. MY STAY WAS ABRUPTLY CURTAILED ALONG WITH THE SECOND GAME WHEN MY SHORT WORDS PERSISTED IN SCORING HIGHER THAN JOAN'S IMPRESSIVELY LONG WORDS! GEORGE SWIFTLY DROVE ME HOME FOR MY OWN SAFETY.

      In 1978, JOAN FISHER-BOX AUTHORED THE BOOK 'R.A. FISHER, THE LIFE OF A SCIENTIST' ABOUT HER EMINENT FATHER. SEE ALSO SIR RONALD FISHER EUGENICIST one of many blog posts about eugenics by Scott Forster and myself.
  


       SCOTT IS STILL WORKING IN RETAIL, AND WRITING HIS POLITICAL HISTORIES OF SCOTLAND. THE FLAT IS PACKED WITH REFERENCE BOOKS, AND SEVERAL MORE KEEP COMING THROUGH THE DOOR EACH  WEEK FROM AMAZON.







     SCOTT AND I ARE PARTICULARLY INTERESTED IN BLACK-LIVES-MATTER, PRO-TRANS, ANTI-SLAVERY, AND ANTI-IMPERIALIST COLONIALISM ISSUES (e.g. IN THE CHAGOS AND SOLOMON ISLANDS)

    SCOTT'S GIRLFRIEND  JULIE HAS JUST MOVED SCHOOL , AND SHE 'S ENJOYING EVERY MOMENT OF TEACHING SPECIAL STUDENTS






                                                                 Cricklepit Mill, Exeter

                                                           DEVON WILDLIFE TRUST
                                                                                                                    


MY SECOND COUSIN GEORGE BARBOUR IS A WILD-LIFE CONSERVATIONIST AND RETIRED SCHOOL TEACHER LIVING IN EXETER. HIS GARDEN AT CRICKLEPIT MILL IS RECIEVING MORE AND MORE NATIONAL AWARDS. HE IS ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL MEMBERS OF OUR HUGE ANGLO-CANADIAN FAMILY (DESCENDING FROM OUR GREAT GRANDPARENTS WILLIAM AND LYDIA LEONARD) 


 GEORGE HAS RECENTLY PUBLISHED A SPLENDID BOOK

   


WHICH INCLUDES 100 HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPHS OF MARLBOROUGH AND DISTRICT TAKEN BY HIS GREAT GRANDFATHER



GEORGE'S BROTHERS AND SISTERS JANETTE, TERRY, NICHOLAS, PAUL, AND SARAH, ARE DOING WELL IN ONTARIO, WILTSHIRE, DEVON, AND CORNWALL.




John and Serene Hsu on the Union Terrace, University of Wisconsin-Madison in about September 2021. The magical Lake Mendota (The Lake of the Sunset) is in the background. This was one of my favourite stomping grounds (1979-1995) and it hasn't changed much since



MY LONG-TIME CO-AUTHOR AND FRIEND JOHN HSU SPENT THE ACADEMIC YEAR 2020/21 ON SABBATICAL (FROM UCSB) IN TAPEI.  SINCE THEN HE AND SERENE HAVE REVISITED MADISON, WISCONSIN AND BOSTON MASSACUSSETS FOR BIG FAMILY CELEBRATIONS

JOHN TELLS ME THAT WE PUBLISHED A JOINT PAPER IN 2017 BASED ON STATISTICAL RESEARCH COMPLETED SOME 12 YEARS PREVIOUSLY AND THE ANALYSIS OF DATA IN INSURANCE AND PSYCHIATRY. THIS IS 28 YEARS SINCE WE FIRST PUBLISHED TOGETHER. 








John and Serene, September 2021, John and I had dinner close to this spot in 1992, when we presented a conference paper at MIT on the Charles river together. The waiters laughed at us, perhaps because we both gave them a tip, or maybe because I asked them where the rebels dropped the tea into the harbour.

************************


ON 2 ND. DECEMBER 2021, I PARTICIPATED IN AN INDUCTION CEREMONY AT BROUGHTON ST. MARY'S CHURCH, FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF OUR NEW MINISTER, REV. LAURENE LAFONTAINE.


***********************

Monday, 22 November 2021

ONWARDS WISCONSIN by Tom Leonard

                                                        ONWARDS WISCONSIN






                                                            BY TOM LEONARD


                                        ANCESTRAL HOME OF THE SAUK,

                                       1983  GAY RIGHTS STATE,

                                       MID-WEST MAD CITY OF BEZERKELEY WAS

                                        OASIS OF LIBERTY DURING VIETNAM  WAR,

                                        SPRING GREEN, VALE OF SHAKESPEAREAN CHARM,

                                        DIVERSE SPIRITUALITIES UNDERLY

                                        MONONA AND MENDOTA,

                                        THE LAKES OF THE SUNRISE AND SUNSET.

                                        WYALUSING EPITOMISES BEAUTY FOREVER

                                        MISSISSIPPI IS THE BLOODLINE OF LIFE

                                        SPIRIT OF LOMBARDI REIGNS TILL ETERNITY


                                       YET POLITICS ARE MENTAL,

                                       AS DAFT AS McCARTHY AND COHN;

                                       TOWNSHIP OF BROOKFIELD TURNS TURTLE WITH TRUMP;

                                       WHEN JACOB BLAKE IS SHOT IN KENOSHA,

                                       BLACK PROTESTORS NEEDLESSLY DIE,

                                       OBJECTORS CAST AS MERE LIBERALS

                                       CHILD ASSASSIN FROM ANTIOCH IDOLISED 

                                       AS INNOCENT AS A FLY.

                                      

                                       

                                      BUT STRICKEN WAUKESHA AND CRAZY WISCONSIN

                                      WILL RISE AGAIN TO LEAD US

                                       AND TO RIPPLE GOODNESS AROUND THE WORLD

                                       ONWARDS WISCONSIN, AND SAVE US

                                       FROM THE VICISSITUDES

                                      THAT PROMISE TO CURTAIL US









Thursday, 18 November 2021

J.J. HUNT'S WILTSHIRE CAMERA, BY GEORGE M. BARBOUR published by Cromwell House, Exeter, 2021

   



       MY SECOND COUSIN GEORGE M. BARBOUR IS A WILD-LIFE CONSERVATIONIST 

AND RETIRED SCHOOL TEACHER  LIVING IN EXETER. 

        GEORGE  HAS RECENTLY PUBLISHED A SPLENDID BOOK ABOUT HIS GREAT 

GRANDFATHER, THE WILTSHIRE PHOTOGRAPHER J.J. HUNT, I AM FAMILIAR

WITH LOTS MORE OF THE STORY, AS RELATED BY MY GREAT UNCLE., THE 

PHOTOGRAPHER CECIL  HUNT, HIS WIFE MY GREAT AUNT OLIVE HUNT (NEE

 LEONARD), AUDREY BARBOUR(GEORGE'S MOTHER), AND MY  FATHER CECIL 

LEONARD. 


                                                                  



GEORGE'S BOOK IS PACKED WITH 100 BEAUTIFUL PHOTOGRAPHS. IT CAN BE

 PURCHASED DIRECTLY FROM THE WHITE HORSE, MARLBOROUGH ON-LINE SHOP,


                                          J.J. HUNT ARCHIVE


                100 HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPHS OF MARLBOROUGH AND DISTRICT

                                  (Review by Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre)




                                                                    




FROM MY MEMORY BANK:


        CECIL HUNT RAN A PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS IN AL CAPONE ERA 

CHICAGO, WHERE HE WAS PUT UNDER PRESSURE BY THE MOB. HE AND HIS FAMILY 

RETURNED TO MARLBOROUGH IN 1933 TO HELP HIS FATHER MAINTAIN THE FAMILY 

BUSINESS. 

        

         CECIL AND HIS FAMILY (OLIVE, AND AMERICAN-BORN CHILDREN AUDREY 

AND KEN) MOVED TO PLYMOUTH IN 1936. CECIL LATER BECAME A CITY COUNCILLOR 

AND WORKED AT  MANADON NAVAL SCHOOL. 


      AT THE OUTBREAK OF WAR, KEN HUNT TRAVELLED TO LONDON, AS A TEENAGER, 

TO  ENLIST IN THE U.S. MILITARY. HE LATER  OBTAINED A DEGREE IN BUSINESS 

AT  COLUMBIA, FINANCED ON THE G.I. BILL, BEFORE RETURNING TO EUROPE AS A 

SALES EXECUTIVE FOR REMINGTON RAND.


       KEN HUNT MARRIED A FRENCH DOCTOR OF MEDICINE, AND THEY RAISED FIVE 

CHILDREN WHO VISITED PLYMOUTH FROM TIME TO TIME. KEN DIED TRAGICALLY IN 

NEW YORK DURING THE MID 60s, AND IS STILL SORELY MISSED BY THE FAMILY.

 

       CECIL AND OLIVE HUNT'S ELEVEN GRANDCHILDREN SPAWNED  A LARGE,

SUCCESSFUL DYNASTY. AUDREY AND HER FAMILY (SIX CHILDREN) LIVED 'KITTY 

CORNER' FROM ME IN MANNAMEAD, PLYMOUTH, AND CECIL AND OLIVE LIVED IN A 

COTTAGE ON NEARBY THORNHILL WAY. 


       WHILE AUDREY WAS A PUPIL AT PLYMOUTH HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS (IN ABOUT 

1939) SHE MET UP WITH MAJOR MICKEY  BARBOUR, A MILITARY DENTIST. THEY WERE 

SOON MARRIED AND THEIR FIRST CHILD JANETTE WAS BORN IN 1941.


       AS BRANCH MANAGER FOR CLAUDIUS ASH (LATER AMALGAMATED DENTAL) MY 

FATHER, CAPTAIN CECIL LEONARD KEPT MICKEY'S ST. BUDEAUX  DENTAL PRACTICE 

WELL SUPPLIED FROM HIS DEPOT IN REGENT ST,, AS THEY RAISED THEIR FAMILIES 

(MINE ND GEORGE BARBOUR'S) DURING THE 1950s to 1970s. 


        MICKEY WAS A DENTIST  OF THE OLD SCHOOL .HE REVIVED THE FORTUNES OF 

THAT SIDE OF  THE FAMILY. AUDREY'S PEKE CHUNKY CHU WAS A CHARACTER TO BE 

RECKONED WITH IN THEIR LARGE HOUSE OVERLOOKING THE SIR FRANCIS DRAKE 

BOWLING  GREEN ON WHITEFORD ROAD. CHUNKY WAS FED WITH THE PRIME 

CHICKEN.


       MAYBE I WAS THE FIRST MEMBER OF THE FAMILY TO GO BACK TO CHICAGO. IN 

OCTOBER 1980, I PRESENTED A SEMINAR ON BAYESIAN STATISTICS AT THE 

UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, AND STAYED IN THE ALT-RIGHT QUADRANGLE CLUB. 


I TOLD MY HOST ARNOLD ZELLNER THAT I WAS THE FIRST MEMBER OF MY FAMILY

TO RETURN AFTER MY GREAT UNCLE WAS 'DRIVEN OUT' BY AL CAPONE !! ARNOLD

THOUGHT THAT I WAS 'LIGHT ON LUGGAGE AND HEAVY ON IDEAS' (SINCE I'D PACKED

 MY GEAR INTO A SMALL RED SPORTS BAG). WE LATER FOUNDED ISBA (THE

 INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR BAYESIAN ANALYSIS) TOGETHER../



                                                                         



 

                                                                       


                             

                             

Sunday, 14 November 2021

REACHING OUT by TOM LEONARD

                                                                      REACHING OUT

                                                                   by TOM LEONARD

I have been invited to read this poem, during the reception following Reverend Laurene LaFontaine's induction ceremony as our new minister at Broughton St  Mary's Church Edinburgh on 2nd December 2021. We have great hopes for the future.                             

                                                                           


   
                                                         SCHOOLED IN LILAC CITY,

                                                  OUT OF THE PACIFIC NORTH-WEST,

                                                 AND REACHING TO CATCH THE FISH,.

                                         CREATED NEW LIVELY CONGREGATIONS IN COLORADO,

                                      CAMPAIGNED FOR EMBRACEMENT OF DIVERSITY

                                                                      IN MINNESOTA,

                                               O'ER THE MISSISSIPPI LIKE PRINCESS WINONA.

                                           DISCOVERED AN OASIS IN PRESBYTERIAN MAD CITY.


                                            NESTLED IN SNUG DORIANLAND, CALEDONIA,

                                                    SHE REACHES OUT WIDE FOR

                                                              REFORMED ZEALOTS,

                                                            REPENTANT WARRIORS

                                                          DECENT STEINBECKIANS

                                                            BOLD SYLVIA RIVERAS

                                                       STUDIOUS MICHAEL DILLONS

                                      AND GOD'S NATURALLY BORN TWO PERCENT.

                         

                                                  COMING TO THE TEMPLE AT BELLEVUE

                                                IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ST. PETER THE ROCK

                                            HAUNTED BY THE SPIRITS OF WISHART AND KNOX

                                         SHE WILL INCLUDE EVERYBODY IN AND NOBODY OUT

                                        THAT IS WHY WE WELCOME REV. LAURENE LAFONTAINE.



                                          MORE ABOUT REV. LAFONTAINE                


Laurene is originally from the Pacific Northwest. She attended Whitworth College in Spokane, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies & Philosophy. She then attended Princeton Theological Seminary, earning her Master’s of Divinity in 1987. Laurene has lived in Denver for the past 26 years, serving churches, non-profit organizations as well as teaching and coaching at a local college prep high school. In 1991, she became the founding executive director of the AIDS/HIV Interfaith Network of Colorado and then went on to work for LGBT civil rights directing the Voices of Faith Program for Equality Colorado. She taught AP Euro and World History at St. Mary’s Academy in Englewood, Colorado. Since 2000, she has served churches with 50, 300, and 1200 members. She has been a parish associate at Montview Blvd Presbyterian Church since 1991. She has great success with grant writing and fundraising  -------


                                            SPOKANE (LILAC CITY)

                           


                                                       

                                                                        


                                                       Spokane Falls (1888)


                                                       

Sunday, 31 October 2021

BAYESIAN INFERENCE FOR MODEL CHOICE by John S.J. Hsu and Tom Leonard

 

                                                                          





                                      BAYESIAN INFERENCE FOR MODEL CHOICE


                  This version was written in 2005, and contains some flaws. We are currently rewriting the paper with a view to much belated publication


Two nested or non-nested candidate sampling models for an observed data set may be compared by consideration of summaries of a probability plot, which contrasts the posterior quantiles of the log-likelihoods under the two models. The procedures address both preference inference and refutation inference, and extensions to DIC and alternatives to AIC are developed. Preference inference favors models with more parameters, perhaps on a tentative basis when further data are anticipated, while refutation inference emphasizes parameter parsimony. A characterization relating to an α-profile motivates the comparison of the posterior medians of the log-likelihoods, when considering simple model preference. For nested models, a stronger omega-preference procedure is developed via a Bayes-frequency compromise. The Bayes-frequency performances of the different preference and refutation inference procedures are investigated when the models are nested. While attention is primarily confined to model inference within the linear paradigm, most of the methods are approximately applicable in a range of non-linear cases. A Gamma approximation to an Upsilon distribution facilitates a general approach, for the linear model with unknown variance. A data set for 71 hypertensive diabetic patients is analyzed, and a symptom of high blood pressure is related to four out of the eight explanatory variables available