A Fresh Take on An Election!

This is copied from The Cincinnati Enquirer regarding a recent Northern Kentucky election. Trying to bring you this humorous news there were many typos created from copy and pasting. I hope I caught all of them!

Mon 11/21/2022 Jolene Almendarez, Cincinnati Enquirer USA TODAY NETWORK

How this NKY city forgot all about an election
MENTOR, Ky. – The election in this city earlier this month
featured no negative ads, no spam texts – not even any
candidates on the ballot.
In this city of fewer than 200 residents, every elected official
forgot to submit their names in time to run for office again. So, on
Election Day, voters had to write in candidates.
Mentor City Commissioner Maggie Gosney didn’t even know she
won the election until three days after the polls closed. When an
Enquirer reporter told her she likely did win based on unofficial
election results, she shrugged.
“We just got wrapped up in our lives and it slipped past us,” she
said about missing the deadline to run for office. “And we knew
about it, because the city clerk kept saying we have to get our
names in by a certain date. … We just forgot and we were like, ‘Oh,
yeah, we were supposed to do that, weren’t we?’ ” Run by a mayor
and four-person city commission, this Campbell County enclave is
roughly a mile-long strip on state Route 8 along the Ohio River,
about 30 minutes southeast of Cincinnati.

Red Pin is Mentor, KY

The political scene in Mentor seems even further away from the
name-calling and election complaints of Northern Kentucky
politics this year.
Gosney, 55, a lifelong resident of the city, said residents basically
take turns holding office. She also clarified that write-in
candidates still have to pay a fee to run for office and submit their
intent to run as a write-in candidate.
City Clerk Carol Dunn asked Gosney to run for office a little over
four years ago when another resident gave up the spot. She took
up the offer and it didn’t take much campaigning to win back then
or for her to win this year’s election, which she did with 30 of the
113 votes cast, according to unofficial election results from the
Campbell County Clerk.
She says she posted about her candidacy on Facebook the day
before the election. Write-in candidates were also mentioned in
the city’s one-page newsletter this month, where the election and
candidates were given a two sentence mention. More information
was given about this year’s Christmas parade
where the person
with the best float (usually a tractor or a truck) wins a gold painted
ceramic turkey and about $15.
The parade is the biggest event of the year in Mentor.
Last year, float winners won one of three city signs that were
being replaced. The city signs say, “Last one out of town, please
turn off the light.” Gosney and her family won one of the signs
with a “Very Covid Christmas” theme: A tree decorated with toilet
paper, masks, and bandages.
There are only a handful of businesses, including a dog training
facility and a hair salon. And Gosney said that as a city
commissioner, there is never any drama or people lined up to
speak about issues.
City council meets once a month at a nearby house. Meetings
used to be held on some church steps, but they changed the
location after the church became a residence.
At most meetings, she says they take on issues like potholes or
snow removal. The city doesn’t have any zoning laws or other
restrictions that require permits.
Mayor Peggy Fury declined to be interviewed. But she said
in a phone call that she’d likely end up being mayor again, though
unofficial election results show nobody was written in as mayor of
the city.
Campbell County Clerk Jim Luersen said a small town with only
write-in candidates isn’t unusual.
“We have 15 different cities in Campbell County and a couple of
them are very, very small. So, sometimes it’s hard to find anyone
to pay the $50 filing fee to run,” he said. “It’s not like you get paid
for the job or anything.”
In fact, when nobody wants to run the local government in a small
town, it could lead to dis-incorporation.
The Ohio Valley Resource, an online news outlet, reported the
eastern Kentucky town of Blackey has been dis-incorporated twice,
most recently this summer. It has been years since the city had a
government and its infrastructure began crumbling. The Letcher
County government absorbed it in June, the news
organization reported.
But Gosney says she isn’t worried about that happening in Mentor
any time soon.
“I think we’ll always be a little town. I hope so anyway.”

Mentor is a city in Campbell County, Ky. with a population of about
200 people and a total area of 0..81 square miles..

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Fifth Grade Book Learning

At times I entertain myself reading Junior Fiction, quick stories told on a simple level about life with specific themes. Number the Stars is the book one Fifth Grade class is reading this year. I decided to read it, too. As the cover reads, “Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think about life before the war. But it’s now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching in their town.” There is nothing I know less about than that era in Copenhagen so I found the story interesting.

Copyrighted in 1989 by Lois Lowry it is a great quick story. This book also won a John Newberry Yearling medal. The author researched part of the book reading of the Resistance leaders in Denmark. She came across an account of a young man named Kim Malthe-Brunn, eventually captured and executed by the Nazis when he was only twenty-one years old. I found the paragraph written ‘by that young man, in a letter to his mother, the night before he was put to death’ as a great challenge to American thinking today.

…and I want you all to remember – that you must not dream yourselves back to the times before the war, but the dream for you all, young and old, must be to create an ideal of human decency, and not a narrow-minded and prejudiced one. That is the great gift our country hungers for, something every little peasant boy can look forward to, and with pleasure feel he is a part of – something he can work and fight for..

Kim Malthe-Brunn

Yes, that in 2022 America might create a country of human decency! Lois Lowry continued

Surely that gift – the gift of a world of human decency – is the one that all countries hunger for still. I hope that this story of Denmark, and its people, will remind us all that such a world is possible.

Afterword, Number the Stars

It is possible. We must all strive for that world to come into being. We must adjust our individual attitudes to be as inclusive as possible to others who seem different from us. Just think, the tattooed, the rich, the pierced, the old, the poor, the young, the infirm, those who worship in ways other than ours, the dark and the light skinned, the olive and red skinned, the ones with interesting eyes that do not run in our family, the left, the right, the indifferent, those who seem invisible in our circles. The world contains so much that we do not understand. Rather than shame, blame and accuse those who are different, can we make a world of decency where they are simply allowed to be as they are without our criticism and attempts to change them to be like us? “An ideal of human decency, and not a narrow-minded and prejudiced one.” The Bible also has much we do not understand. My intention here is not to offend anyone. This is solely my opinion.

How will we answer the Great Shepherd when we face Him?

I have other sheep that are not in this sheep pen. I must also bring them together, when they hear my voice. Then there will be one flock of sheep and one shepherd.

John 10:16 CEV

We speculate on much of the meaning of Scripture. I, too, am uncertain of the meaning at times. Repeatedly we conjecture the meaning and then it is as if the Holy Spirit shows a vast swath of the church an enlightened meaning. I do not presume to understand John 10:16 thoroughly. I am, however, open to the instruction of the Spirit to teach me and show me what the words recorded as having been said by Jesus my Lord mean.

The Divine Image
William Blake - 1757-1827

To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love,
All pray in their distress:
And to these virtues of delight
Return their thankfulness.

For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love,
Is God, our father dear:
And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love,
Is Man, his child and care.

For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity, a human face:
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.

Then every man of every clime,
That prays in his distress,
Prays to the human form divine,
Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.

And all must love the human form,
In heathen, Turk, or Jew.
Where Mercy, Love, & Pity dwell,
There God is dwelling too.

From Edges of His Ways to Ukraine

From Him, who loves me now so well,
What power my soul shall sever?
Shall life, or death, or earth, or hell?
No; I am His forever.
~J. G. Small

This snippet of poetry was in The Edges of His Ways one day. Such a tidy reminder that we are His and nothing can stop that fact.

What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:31-39 NLT

When I pray for the Ukrainian people on the run from Putin’s war I am reminded that the ones who trust in Christ have the right attitude. “Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” This is not something the world can comprehend, but God knows that ones who are His.

Please pray for the Ukrainian people. Pray for the end of the destruction and slaughter. Pray for peace.

NPR Interview

I rarely comment on politics, but the events of last week hit those of us in the USA very hard. I heard this broadcast on Sunday January 10, 2021. I am only sharing a portion of it with you. I first met Bishop Curry when he was a priest leading an Associates Retreat at the Convent of the Transfiguration. His teaching and preaching deeply impacted my spiritual journey. If you care to listen to or read the full transcript go to https://www.npr.org/2021/01/10/955479453/how-faith-leaders-are-finding-hope-in-dark-times

“And finally today, we wanted to acknowledge that it’s been difficult for many of us to think about the events of this past week without a fair amount of anxiety or anger or confusion about what comes next. Perhaps you’re looking for some words of wisdom or comfort that can be heard above all the shouting. For that, we asked some of the faith leaders who we’ve talked to in the past on this program to share some of their thoughts for the current moment. We’ll start with Bishop Michael Curry presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church.

“MICHAEL CURRY: Three questions I’m finding helpful in these days of difficulty and hardship for us all. Sometimes it helps to just ask, what hurts? What’s wrong? And in this time of pandemic, it’s helpful to name where the pain is coming from. It’s important for those who are sick or who have died to remember them, to let their memory be a blessing. But then don’t stop there. After you ask what hurts, ask what helps to be better and to be more and to endure, to survive and even to thrive. And then lastly, but not least, what can I do to help? What can I do to be a blessing to somebody else? What hurts, what helps, how can I help – may well make all the difference when we live those questions.”

He ended with ‘when we live those questions.’ Are you willing to ask not only others, but yourself, those questions?

My friend Dianna was married for 60 years to Marvin. He died at home last week, under Hospice Care from cancer. I called Dianna this week to ask how she was doing. She has been his care giver for several years as he was dying. She said she is fine. Many people have called to check in on her, and for that she is grateful. One gal from our church went to her house and put cream on the bottom of her feet. Dianna cannot reach her one foot anymore and the doctor had said that cream would help the discomfort in that foot. Twice she told me, in amazement, about this gal who was willing to do that. I have gone to pick up her grocery order, but have never asked about her feet.

“Words of wisdom or comfort that can be heard above all the shouting.” This morning I remembered there was a prayer about conflict in the Book of Common Prayer. I am all for extemporaneous prayer; however, there are times when a written prayer helps me out.

O God, you have bound us together in a common life. Help us,
in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront
one another without hatred or bitterness, and to work
together with mutual forbearance and respect; through Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen.

BCP #28. In Times of Conflict

Forbearance means patient self control; restraint and tolerance. I believe that the laws in our Nation are for the mutual good of the people. Father, stir our hearts to forbearance and respect for one another. Deliver us from the tendency to think violence can solve our problems.

We said repeatedly that the Pandemic brought situations in 2020 that we have never experienced in our lifetime. Most of us know that even with the vaccines, 2021 will bring Pandemic situations we never before imagined such as limiting medical care to patients, running out of oxygen supplies in hospitals, continued deaths. Now the insurrection on the Capitol building has brought another occurrence we never, ever wanted to see in our lifetime. God help us all to draw closer to You and find Your rest.

James 4:8 (NLT2)  Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.

James 4:10 (NLT2)  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.