Saturday, November 27, 2010

115th Annual YMCA Turkey Trot in Buffalo NY

One of Western New York’s most treasured events, the YMCA Turkey Trot brings together more than 12,000 runners of all ages and levels every Thanksgiving morning for a holiday celebration like no other.

Established in 1896, this 8K race marked its 115th start on Thanksgiving morning, making it the oldest continually running footrace in North America (even older than the Boston Marathon)

(photos from the Buffalo News)
Every Thanksgiving morning when most people are still sleeping or many are starting to prepare Thanksgiving dinner, thousands of runners gather downtown Buffalo for the annual Turkey Trot run. It is an incredible sight to behold so many people who are taking the time out for an annual benefit run. Each year more people show up than are actually registered.
Immediately followed by a post-race celebration and awards ceremony that plays host to more than 14,000 runners, spectators and volunteers.

Another aspect of Buffalo that I really love when Buffalonians gather together -
they call this the city of Good Neighbors and it really is.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving To All

All Shall Be Well

For the greening of trees
and the gentling of friends,
we thank you, God.
For the brightness of field
and the warmth of the sun,
we thank you, God.
For work to be done
and laughter to share,
we thank you, God.
We thank you, and know
that through struggle and pain,
in the slippery path of new birth,
hope will be born
and all shall be well.

from "The Pattern of Our Days:
Worship in the Celtic Tradition from the Iona Community"


Happy Thanksgiving to You!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Full Moon of November 2010 - Another Blue Moon

In the Native American culture this evening’s full moon is known as the Beaver Moon. This indicates that it is time to set beaver traps before the swamps freeze to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation is that the name comes from the fact that the beavers are now active in their preparation for winter.

This moon has also been called Mourning Moon and the Hunters' Moon. With the leaves falling and the deer fattened, it is time to hunt. Since the fields have been reaped, hunters can ride over the stubble, and can more easily see the fox, also other animals, which have come out to glean and can be caught for a thanksgiving banquet after the harvest.

The full moon that you will see this evening looks like an ordinary full moon, but it is actually a bit extraordinary—it is also a blue moon.

What is a Blue Moon?

There are two definitions for a blue moon. According to modern folklore, a blue moon is the second full moon in a calendar month. February is the only month that can never have a blue moon.

Here are the facts. Generally, there are only three full moons in any one season. Three in summer, three in autumn … you get the idea. So today’s full moon is a Blue Moon. It’s the third of the season’s four full moons.

Almanac makers like to give each full moon a name, depending on where the full moon falls relative to the year’s two equinoxes and two solstices. But when a single season presents four full moons, the extra full moon complicates the otherwise ordered nomenclature of full moons. It is easier for almanac makers to call the third – rather than the fourth – full moon a Blue Moon.

When you hear someone say "Once in a blue moon" you know that they are usually talking about something rare or unusual.

The term 'blue moon' dates back at least 400 years. Does the blue moon actually turn blue? No. Blue moons are rare, and that's where the phrase "once in a blue moon" comes from. There are occasions though when pollution in the Earth's atmosphere can make the moon look particularly bluish. The extra dust scatters blue light.

How Often Does a Blue Moon Occur? - Over the next 20 years there will be about 15 blue moons, with an almost equal number of both types of blue moons occurring. No blue moon of any kind will occur in the years 2011, 2014, and 2017.

Blue moon myths runs wild - Today’s Blue Moon definition comes from old editions of the Maine Farmer’s Almanac.

Ancient cultures around the world considered the second full moon to be spiritually significant.

Today’s November full moon is a Blue Moon. It isn’t blue in color. It’s only blue in name – at least, by one definition. Tonight’s moon is the third of four full moons in a season.

Just relax and enjoy. Watch as this November Blue Moon – the third of the season’s four full moons – shines boldly from dusk until dawn!

Yes. Tonight’s November full moon is a Blue Moon. It isn’t blue in color. It’s only blue in name – at least, by one definition.

So, heads up - enjoy this gift of Mother Nature tonight.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Reflection - World Kindness Day

Yesterday was World Kindness Day.

Those who observed it had a great time doing little acts of kindness to family, friends and complete strangers. Some who were in a drive through food or coffee line gave the cashier extra money to pay for the items of the people who were in the car behind them. Or paid the other person's toll while driving through toll booths. One lady purchased 6 bunches of flowers and took them to the Emergency Room at her local hospital and gave them to the Nurses who were on duty.

You get the idea. What if we all took one day to practice random acts of kindness? What if it became a way of life for us? It doesn't have to cost money. You could shovel the driveway of an elder, or pick up their groceries from the store. You could give a ride to a member of your place of worship who has to walk there in the inclement weather. How about donating food to the local food pantry?

What does the Bible tells us about 'kindness'?

Here are ten great Bible verses for World Kindness Day

(a day to practice random acts of kindness).

1. “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” (Proverbs 12:25)

2. “He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.” (Proverbs 19:17)

3. This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

4. “[God] has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” (Acts 14:17)

5. “God’s kindness leads you toward repentance.” (Romans 2:4)

6. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” (1 Corinthians 13:4)

7. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

8. “… the incomparable riches of [God's] grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:7)

9. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

10. “When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior.” (Titus 3:4-6)

(compiled by Pastor Ray Fowler)

So here is your call for this week:


Friday, November 12, 2010

Birthday Greetings to Baha’u’llah - the founder of the Baha’i Faith.

Seat of the Universal House of Justice,

governing body of the Bahá'ís, in Haifa, Israel

Greetings to my friends who are members of the Bahá’í International Community.

Today Bahá'ís observe the anniversary of the birth of Baha’u’llah (born Mirza Husayn-‘Ali) on Nov. 12, 1817, in Tehran, Persia (now Iran).

The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Baha’u’llah in nineteenth-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories.

The following principles are frequently listed as a quick summary of the Bahá'í teachings.

Unity of God

Unity of religion

Unity of humankind

Equality between men and women

Elimination of all forms of prejudice

World peace

Harmony of religion and science

Independent investigation of truth

Universal compulsory education

Universal auxiliary language

Obedience to government and non-involvement in partisan politics unless submission to law amounts to a denial of Faith.

Elimination of extremes of wealth and poverty

Baha’u’llah, which means the “Glory of God,” is the founder of the Baha’i Faith. It is one of the nine holy days of the year when work is suspended.


Over the years I have been invited to many Bahá'í ‘firesides' and have formed friendships with some of the kindest people I know. I have also co-conducted many 'Healing of Racism' workshops with members of the Bahá'í faith whose main goals in life are that people live peacefully and give each other the respect that they deserve. My sentiments exactly!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Reflection - Going Back in Time

Going Back in Time

Last night, because of daylight savings time, we gained an hour of time.

We lived through 1 a. m. to 2 a.m. and then there it was – 1 a.m. back again.

This had me thinking about what it would be like if we could relive certain times in our lives. If that moment could, somehow, be given back to us to experience again.

Do you have any moments in your life that you regret? Did you ever say something unkind that you felt sorry about later? Did your actions hurt another person or yourself?

Think about it for a moment. What if you were given the precious gift of returning to a certain place in time – would you do it differently?

Our happy moments are burned in our memory where we can recall them on a whim. The birth of my first child, my son, is high on that list for me. At any time that I wish, I can recollect the happiness that I felt when I first looked at his little face. And after counting his fingers and toes I was in awe at this perfect little person who had come into my life.

But what about those times that we often deliberately choose to forget, the things that we push back in the archives of our mind? The moments that we feel uncomfortable about that live in that deep dark place that some would call ‘denial’.

What if we used our extra hour today to relive that moment in time? What if we made some sort of amends to the person, place, family member, community or society at large that we have harmed? 

A phone call, a letter, even an email, can be the beginning of erasing the line of separation. As long as the goal is pure, coming together again can happen.

What if we need to forgive ourselves for harm that we have caused to our own body, mind or spirit?

When you feel forgiveness in your heart, it’s easier to be happy and at peace with yourself. Asking for forgiveness can free, nurture and release you.

It can fill you with compassion and good will. Bring you closer to God or goodness. Pray to God for forgiveness, too, if you wish.


This can be your reconciliation day –

that is if you use your extra one hour to relive over again.

Let me know how you used your extra hour today.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Daylight Saving Time Continues to Remain a Mystery To Me

Have you ever wondered why we change our clocks twice a year?

This has always been a mystery to me.

I seem to recall that daylight saving time somehow saves money and reduces consumption of energy. For me, it has always been a struggle with my biological makeup. I seem to take longer than most to adjust to the loss/gain of one hour.

Originally Benjamin Franklin's idea, Daylight Saving Time is a little bit different everywhere it is practiced and has been controversial since its introduction. It has two main purposes: to increase evening daytime hours for outdoor leisure activities and to save on energy consumption.

Benjamin Franklin first conceived the idea that would become DLT during a 1784 post as an American delegate in Paris. It was similar to his oft quoted maxim, "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." Half-jokingly, Franklin suggested that Parisians shift their sleep schedules an hour back in order to save on candles in the evening. He did not suggest changing the clock and it was not until World War I, in 1916, when several countries in Europe that had initially rejected the idea adopted it.

Spring forward...Fall back....

It's ingrained in our consciousness almost as much as the A-B-C’s. Yet in those four words is a whole collection of trivia, facts and common sense about Daylight Saving Time.

DLT - for the U.S. and its territories - is NOT observed in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and by most of Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona).

It is difficult to predict what will happen with Daylight Saving Time in the future. Many countries change the date and they desire to change the time due to special events or conditions. The United States, Canada and some other countries extended DST in 2007. The new start date is the second Sunday in March through to the first Sunday in November.

Daylight Saving Time statistics for 2010:

Daylight saving time in most of the United States ends this at 2 a.m., local time, on Sunday, November 7.

Contrary to popular belief, no federal rule mandates that U.S. states or territories observe daylight saving time.

To add to the confusion:

We also have the International Date Line, abbreviated as the IDL; this is an imaginary line, which runs roughly along the 180-degree line of longitude, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

International convention accepts the IDL as the location where one day rolls over to the next, with the area east of the IDL one day ahead of the west. The line is necessary to address certain oddities which occur during travel: people going all the way around the world perceive themselves either gaining or losing a day, depending on which direction they traveled in, as happened to Magellan on his first voyage.

I recall, while travelling to India on a plane over the Pacific Ocean, the Pilot announced, "We have just lost one day as we travel over the International Date Line."

We went from Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday afternoon in a blink of an eye. Hey, I wanted that day! How will I ever know what wonderful things could have happened on my lost day? Later, when I returned home they 'said' that they returned it to me but I have never quite believed that. Where did it go? What did I do? Now I ask you, would you voluntarily give away a day of your life? Of course not :-)


If you are interested in changing DST, either abolishing it or having it extended year-round contact your state's elected officials or your Congressional representatives. You can also contact the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C.

Final observations:

Daylight Saving Time differs in other areas of the world. To further complicate it, India makes their change difference 1-½ hours and Chatham Island New Zealand has a 1-3/4 hours time difference. It is amazing that the countries around the world can keep up with so many variations of what appears to be a vague promise of energy consumption.

Do you think when the world was created that there was ever such a plan regarding 'time' predicted for the future?

I find this website very helpful when I need to know what the time and weather is in almost every corner of the globe.


Tonight when we hear the news bulletins reminding us to put our clocks back one hour – don’t ask questions - just do it!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day is Finally Over.............

Enough is Enough!I have encouraged my family and friends to vote today. I have worked in local campaigns and stood outside my local polling station for 12 hours in the chilly temperatures - all to give the candidate of my choice some support.
I have endured months of political advertising - 267 pieces of mail begging me to vote for certain people or telling me horrible, hideous secrets or the malicious acts of the person running against them in the election.
Then there were the thousands of ads on the TV and radio airwaves - not to mention dozens of the endless, unwanted (by me) phonemessages. Even President Bill Clinton phoned me twice urging meto vote for the person of his choice.
All of which, I found extremely annoying - then to top it all off -tonight I turn to my only TV relaxation these days. I am all settled in to watch "The Good Wife" only to find that she has been preempted for election results. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
I am having a cup of hot chocolate and off to bed for me!

I am glad that election day is OVER!