Monday, November 12, 2018

Dog Hobbies or Atheist Clergy?

There's a little app on Facebook and you can have a poll - with people voting on two choices.  If we were on Facebook would you vote to find out about hobbies involving dogs or atheist clergy?

My bet is that you'd choose atheist clergy.  So very quickly, this is the list of hobbies involving dogs.  They are as strange as yesterday's post.
  • California's annual Surf City surf dog competition
  • Freestyle dog dancing
  • The world's ugliest dog competition
  • Cats and dogs as Downton Abbey characters
  • Skijoring
  • Dressing up as dogs
Don't stop there! Hobbies lead to jobs.  And it turns out that there are even stranger animal related professions - here are a few:
  • Pet Colorist
  • Goat Mowing Service
  • Goose Control
  • Cat Cafes
  • Pet Taxi Service
  • Pet Psychic or Communicator
  • Pet Prosthetics
  • Luxury Pet Hotels
  • Pet Bakery
Now on to the Atheist Clergy topic - a very intriguing one.  This became a national headline about Gretta Vosper of Toronto .  She made the papers because the United Church wanted to oust her in an ecclesiastical court hearing. The hearing was dubbed a 'heresy trial' with the intention of defrocking her.  They have come to a settlement so it won't happen.  You can find out more about Gretta Vosper by searching on her name or going to her website HERE

I am intrigued by the operational mechanics.  For example, how does a church service work when there is no reference to God or to Bible passages.  The Bible typically provides an over-reaching theme or guidance on a theme through scripture passages.  I found an answer in the Guardian article dated April 2016 HERE

"References to God and Jesus became talk of love and compassion and prayer was replaced with community sharing time. The removal of the Lord’s Prayer in 2008 proved to be a critical test, sending attendance plunging from 120 people to 40 and leaving the church’s financial strength in tatters. “The Lord’s Prayer was the last thing in the service that still held them to previous generations of church,” says Vosper. “So it became the lightning rod for all of that loss.”  

The loss recovered and attendance grew to over 100.  It turns out that there are hundreds to thousands of clergy who are atheists practicing their profession.  The Clergy Project is an online support group for current and previous ministers and they have 750 members.

Today we can contemplate all this while enjoying the lyrical shapes of Koi.

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