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Sal from New Media Central recently tweeted about the Democrats’ hypocrisy on elections, noting their persistent attacks about Russian collusion in the 2016 election and their push to get non-citizens registered to vote in the US:

It makes no sense until we consider one thing.

Democrats need non-citizens’ votes.

This was an issue long before 2016. You can find out by doing an online search with these words: Democrat says we need non-citizens to vote.

Pennsylvania

GOPUSA, representing the Republican Party, posted an eye-opening article about Pennsylvania from the Washington Times, dated July 13, 2018 (emphases mine):

Abdel showed up at his local Pennsylvania motor vehicle office to take his driver’s license test — and walked out having registered to vote, even though he is not a citizen.

He said his command of English isn’t good and the computer system was unclear, but he somehow managed to sign up even though he knew he shouldn’t.

Then there was Angelo, who figured he could vote because he joined the U.S. military, even though he wasn’t a citizen. He, too, signed up at the Pennsylvania motor vehicle bureau and registered as a Democrat. He then voted nearly every year from 2001 through 2014.

He finally wrote to Allegheny County asking to be stricken from the rolls, saying he had been ineligible all along.

Angelo and Abdel are some of the more than 130 people the county has nixed from its voter lists in recent years after discovering they weren’t U.S. citizens and should never have been allowed to register, much less vote, according to a report being released Thursday from the Public Interest Legal Foundation.

Non-citizens applying for US citizenship often walk back their previous voter registration:

only when they did try to seek citizenship or some other immigration benefit — and learned that illegal registration or voting, both felonies, could be hurdles for their applications.

Voter registration at the motor vehicle office started at the federal level — i.e. across the US — in 1993, during Bill Clinton’s presidency:

Under the 1993 federal “motor voter” law, people who show up to renew licenses or transact other business at motor vehicle bureaus are supposed to be asked if they want to register to vote. The form relies on the honor system for people to swear they are citizens.

The goal of the law was to boost election participation — but it also muddied voting lists.

Indeed.

Texas

Not every state with illegal voters wants to strike them from the rolls.

On June 7, GOPUSA reported on Houston’s rolls. Houston is a Democrat city:

Ann Harris Bennett, registrar for Harris County in Texas, is battling to keep secret the names of non-citizens who signed up to vote and, in some cases, may have even cast ballots. In a federal court filing last week she said people can be removed for other reasons, but there is no requirement she erase names of people even after they tell her they aren’t citizens.

“Once a person is officially registered to vote, a state may only remove them from the voting list if: the person dies, changes residence, asks to be removed from the list, or becomes ineligible under state law because of criminal conviction or mental incapacity,” Ms. Bennett said in court papers. The National Voter Registration Act “does not create any obligation for a state to conduct a list maintenance program to remove the names of voters who may be ineligible due to lack of citizenship.”

Maryland

In 2013, Think Progress posted an article, ‘Why You Have Nothing to Fear From Non-Citizen Voting’, which concerned an election in Takoma Park, Maryland:

Non-citizens may soon be voting in our nation’s biggest city — at least in local elections — and that’s got voter suppression groups like the Election Law Center sounding the alarm. Don’t listen to them.

As New York City considers whether to expand the franchise to non-citizens, it’s instructive to look at the experience other municipalities, like Takoma Park, Maryland, have had with non-citizen voting.

ThinkProgress spoke with two experts on non-citizen voting: Montgomery County (MD) Council member George Leventhal and Maryland State Sen. Jamie Raskin (D). Both individuals helped initiate Takoma Park’s non-citizen voting policy in 1991.

The city-wide referendum was approved, putting the non-citizen voting policy into place in 1992. The referendum passed because of redistricting. Many non-citizens resided within the redrawn district boundaries.

Regardless, it isn’t right, even if it’s only in local elections and even if non-citizen voting numbers continue to be low.

California

The latest city to adopt non-citizen voting is San Francisco, after three goes at a referendum. Keep voting on the same thing and the Noes will turn into Yesses.

As in Takoma Park, Maryland, this measure is only for local elections — school board, in this instance — but how many ineligible voters are also voting nationally?

Conclusion

I don’t have a solution to illegal voting, other than Pennsylvania’s example of purging electoral rolls of ineligible voters.

Many Americans clamour for voter ID.

That won’t work, either. Who, in a corrupt district, is going to check voter ID? No one.

P.S. – population count and political influence

There is another dimension to the Democrats’ love of illegal aliens, which is to increase population not only for Congressional representation but also Electoral College votes:

This is what Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Alabama) said:

We’re probably in the neighborhood of about 15 million illegal aliens in America now. 15 million comes out to roughly 20 congressional seats and 20 electoral college votes. Each congressional seat has roughly 700,000 to 800,000 people in it. [Emphasis added]

So, if you count illegal aliens in the Census for the purposes of distributing political power, that’s the number of congressmen per state or … the number of electoral college votes per state, you’re talking about … 20 electoral college votes and congressmen that are taken from states that follow our laws, that help our border patrol agents, and help our ICE agents … shifting those 20 congressional seats and 20 electoral college seats to states like California that have large numbers of illegal aliens in them. [Emphasis added]

I personally believe that’s wrong, on a policy level, but I also believe it violates the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution because it dilutes the voting power of citizens who live in states that don’t harbor an enormous number of illegal aliens. [Emphasis added]

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P.P.S. — On a lighter note, here’s another great tweet from Sal:

The video is excellent — please watch his float go by!

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On Saturday, January 6, 2018, Newsbusters posted an article about a BBC interview with Michael Wolff, author of Fire and Fury, which is about President Donald Trump.

Incidentally, the book is currently available for free online. As such availability likely violates copyright law, I have not posted the link.

Nicholas Fondacaro’s article, ‘Wolff Touts Book “Will Finally Bring Down…This Presidency”’ recaps a BBC interview Wolff gave to the BBC’s Nick Robinson last Saturday. Excerpts follow (emphases in the original):

In an interview with BBC Radio on Saturday, Michael Wolff, the author of the dubiously sourced gossip book targeting President Trump, boasted to host Nick Robinson that “the story” that he told, “will finally end…this presidency” once and for all …

Now, all of this is fascinating, it’s an insight, it’s gossip some of it, it may not be enough to stop him from being president. Whereas, the allegations about Russia may be,” Robinson prefaced. “Do you believe that anything in the book will actually change the chances of the allegations of collusion with Russia being found to be true and therefore leading to the impeachment of the President?

Wolff said:

You know, I think one of the interesting effects of the book so far is a very clear emperor-has-no-clothes effect. That, the story that I have told seems to present this presidency in such a way that it says he can’t do his job. The emperor has no clothes. Suddenly everywhere people are going: ‘Oh my God, it’s true, he has no clothes.’ That’s the background to the perception and the understanding that will finally end this – that will end this presidency.

As retired courtroom lawyer Lionel says, such talk is potentially dangerous:

Incredibly, Wolff told Robinson that Trump hardly has any staff and that he will do little as president. Despite stellar economic results in 2017, Wolff said:

The economy is booming possibly because you’ll have someone who’s not capable of actually implementing any policies or regulation.

In a way, that makes no sense.

In another, such a statement implies that the economy does better with less government interference.

Trump’s insistence on rolling back Obama era regulations has helped the economy improve. Trump was also busy last year negotiating various trade initiatives, such as coal.

In June, the New York Post published an article on coal by Salena Zito, who does an excellent job of covering small town life in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

‘Don’t be so quick to dismiss Trump’s coal mining initiative’ is an eye-opener. For the first time in a decade, a new coal mine opened in Acosta, Pennsylvania. Trump sent his congratulations via video shown to local residents (emphases mine below):

The Acosta Deep Mine in Somerset County marks a dramatic upturn for the area. And while President Trump cannot claim that he brought the industry back here personally (this new mine was already being developed before the election), he is an effective cheerleader for folks who’ve been discounted by the political elite.

“We will begin by employing 70 to 100 miners and we hope to open a total of three new mines in the next 18 months — and that will mean additional hiring,” said George Dethlefsen, CEO of Corsa Coal, which owns the mine.

More than 400 people applied for the first wave of jobs that will pay from $50,000 to $100,000, Dethlefsen said.

In a region where the median household income is $29,050, and nearly 12 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, the economic injection is huge.

It also creates a ripple effect: For every new job generated by the mine, even more jobs like waitresses, hotel workers, barbers or grocery workers are needed to support the community.

Absolutely.

Furthermore, the coal mined in Acosta is being used for steel production:

The coal from this mine is not going to be used for energy — instead, it will be used for the production of steel for the next 15 years. (According to the World Steel Association, coal is used to make 70 percent of the steel today.)

Every single one of us relies on steel in our daily lives. It’s found in our cars, bikes and public transportation. Those wind turbines so loved by environmentalists? Made of steel. The utensils we use to eat? Steel. Medical devices used to save lives? Steel.

Roads, bridges, appliances and even iPhones and computers all contain steel.

Exactly.

This is a great move.

And there is more good news on the coal front. In July, The Conservative Treehouse reported on the increase in American coal exports. This came as news to me:

U.S. EIA data shows a gain of 60.3% so far this year in exports of both steam coal (used to generate electricity) and coking coal (metallurgical coal used for steel manufacturing) as a direct consequence of President Trump’s common sense energy policy.

Interestingly, the largest destinations for the growth in American coal export are the U.K. (+175%) and a doubling of tonnage to both France (+100%), and Asia (+100%). High transport costs to ship coal to the EU are being offset by U.S. coal manufacturing efficiencies and improvements in mining productivity.

Reuters has more:

“Simply to know that coal no longer has to fight the government – that has to have some effect on investment decisions and in the outlook by companies, producers and utilities that use coal,” said Luke Popovich, a spokesman for the National Mining Association.

Shaylyn Hynes, a spokeswoman at the U.S. Energy Department, said: “These numbers clearly show that the Trump Administration’s policies are helping to revive an industry that was the target of costly and job killing overregulation from Washington for far too long.”

Coal could also be a major economic weapon used against North Korea, one of China’s principal coal suppliers.

Recall that China’s president Xi Jinping met with Trump at Mar a Lago on April 6 and 7, 2017. On April 11, Reuters reported:

Following repeated missile tests that drew international criticism, China banned all imports of North Korean coal on Feb. 26, cutting off the country’s most important export product.

To curb coal traffic between the two countries, China’s customs department issued an official order on April 7 telling trading companies to return their North Korean coal cargoes, said three trading sources with direct knowledge of the order …

The Trump administration has been pressuring China to do more to rein in North Korea, which sends the vast majority of its exports to its giant neighbor across the Yellow Sea …

North Korea is a significant supplier of coal to China, especially of the type used for steel making, known as coking coal.

To make up for the shortfall from North Korea, China has ramped up imports from the United States in an unexpected boon for U.S. President Donald Trump, who has declared he wants to revive his country’s struggling coal sector.

Eikon data shows no U.S. coking coal was exported to China between late 2014 and 2016, but shipments soared to over 400,000 tonnes by late February.

This trend was exacerbated after cyclone Debbie knocked out supplies from the world’s top coking coal region in Australia’s state of Queensland, forcing Chinese steel makers to buy even more U.S. cargoes.

I digressed from Wolff. However, he and his fellow ilk in the media deserve to have their collars felt by the authorities. What Wolff is doing with his book and what the media have been doing with fake news could be construed as advocating the overthrow of government, or, as Lionel tweeted, sedition.

Last week, I wrote about Jill Stein’s divisive petitions for recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — states which Donald Trump won.

Michigan’s Attorney General Bill Schuette tweeted the following information on December 6:

Many of us were surprised no one in authority in Michigan said this in the first place. Stein got approximately 1% of the vote in every state. She never had legal standing.

Anyway:

TRO — temporary restraining order.

And:

An ABC affiliate in Michigan, WLOX, has an excellent summary from the Associated Press of what happened in the Stein recount states, some of which is referred to below.

Wisconsin

As of December 5, 23 of 72 counties have finished their recount. In those counties, Trump gained 105 votes and Hillary Clinton lost 41 votes. Overall, Trump won by approximately 22,000 votes.

On Friday, December 9, a federal judge will hear a lawsuit filed last week by a Trump voter and two super PACs seeking to stop the recount.

Michigan

In addition to the tweets from AG Schuette, Trump won Michigan by approximately 10,700 votes.

This was the state’s third recount. The first two caused the delay in Michigan posting the election result for several days.

The Conservative Treehouse (CTH) discusses the difficulty of counting votes in Detroit:

If anyone thought a Michigan ballot recount was going to end up being a net positive for Hillary Clinton, they are intellectually disconnected from understanding the reality of how fraudulent the most democrat precincts are in Wayne County (Detroit) Michigan.

CTH cites an article from the Detroit News that states:

Michigan’s largest county voted overwhelmingly for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, but officials couldn’t reconcile vote totals for 610 of 1,680 precincts during a countywide canvass of vote results late last month.

Most of those are in heavily Democratic Detroit, where the number of ballots in precinct poll books did not match those of voting machine printout reports in 59 percent of precincts, 392 of 662.

According to state law, precincts whose poll books don’t match with ballots can’t be recounted. If that happens, original election results stand. 

As to who pays for this utter waste of time and resources, although the Republican-majority Michigan legislature just approved a measure requiring candidates who won less than 5% of the vote to pay the cost of the recount, Democrats point out this measure came into play after Stein filed for the recount. They do not think she should have to pay for it. The cost would be in the millions of dollars. Stein has the money. She can pay and she should. That is why she was raising funds on Thanksgiving Day.

Pennsylvania

If Michigan’s recount is called off, it looks as if Pennsylvania’s would be, too.

So far, Trump’s lead there has shrunk by about 20,000 votes. He now leads Clinton by 44,000 votes. The margin is still enough to avoid a recount of the entire state. If such a recount had to proceed, it would probably not be finished in time for the Electoral College vote on December 19.

Pennsylvania law states that one must have concrete evidence that voting irregularity occurred. Stein merely stated that the state’s election system is ‘a national disgrace’. Well, anyone can say that. The recounts in certain counties went ahead, however, based on petitions from Pennsylvanians about their local districts.

The Billy Penn site reports that little changed in Philadelphia’s recount:

The great Philadelphia recount has ended, and Hillary Clinton got five more votes than she had in her previous total …

Donald Trump’s number stayed the same, as did the totals for Independent candidate Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein after the City Commissioners Office recounted votes in 75 of Philadelphia’s more than 1600 voting divisions. The recount had been launched by 250-plus Philadelphia residents answering the call of Stein, who asked for three petitioners in each of Pennsylvania’s voting district to file recounts to assist in her attempts to get a statewide recount through a Commonwealth Court and then Federal Court lawsuit.

Stein’s camp had planned on using the district-level recounts as possible evidence for hacking or fraud. The recount turned up no instances of fraud or hacking here, City Commissioner Al Schmidt said, emphasizing the difficulty of hacking voting machines that aren’t connected to the internet …

The five extra votes for Clinton, he said, came from paper provisional or absentee ballots that were undetected by the optical scanner that counted votes in the days following the election. Schmidt said this can happen when people don’t mark their choices clearly on paper ballots or, ridiculous as it sounds, use a green highlighter instead of a pen or pencil …

On Monday, December 5, Stein announced in front of Trump Tower that she was going to file a federal lawsuit for a statewide recount in Pennsylvania. This will be heard on Friday, December 9. The Michigan decision might well have an impact on the result in the Pennsylvania hearing. However, if Stein wins the case, a statewide recount would begin.

Nevada

The Independent candidate Rocky De La Fuente, who finished in Nevada with under 1% of the vote, has paid $14,000 for a partial recount, mostly affecting Las Vegas’s 92 precincts. The other eight precincts are elsewhere in the state.

If the total recount shows a 1% discrepancy for De La Fuente or Clinton, a statewide recount goes ahead. The partial recount is expected to be complete by the end of the week.

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I’ll provide a final update when it becomes available.

One year after it premiered in the United States on the Food Network, Save My Bakery is now showing on the channel’s sister station in the UK.

SpouseMouse and I have been enjoying the programme. For me, the bakeries featured are a blast from the past. SpouseMouse is bemused by what passes for a ‘bakery’ in the United States. ‘First, there are no breads or rolls. Secondly, most of what’s on offer looks as if it were intended for a bake sale.’ I try to explain that that is the nature of neighbourhood bakeries. Although nothing was fancy, everything was a favourite.

Kerry Vincent is the Australian makeover lady who helps beleaguered bakeries out of a hole. She focussed her efforts on Pennsylvania, particularly establishments in or near Philadelphia.

Her brusque manner is offputting as is her penchant for fondant-covered cakes which did not feature in the establishments shown (initially) or in the ones I frequented as a child. Hmm.

However, she does seem to be good at conflict resolution. In every one of these shows, the bakery owners are at odds with their children or younger employees with regard to overcoming an impasse in sales.

I am still thinking about the episode at Schenk’s Bakery in Philadelphia. Their website has a thank you to Vincent for remaking their shop and offering advice on their products. I hope they continue to prosper.

Schenk’s cake line used to feature three cakes which Vincent advised against: pound cake, Washington cake and Goldenrod cake.

The last two came as a revelation. I’d not heard of them before. I was very disappointed that Vincent did not help the Schenks to keep these items on sale by improving the texture and flavour. Washington and Goldenrod cakes are historical artifacts.

Pound cake

But, first, let’s look at pound cake, one of the few cakes which does not need icing. Not so long ago, most grandmothers made pound cake. Mine did and hers was still the best I’ve ever tasted. The best part is the crunchy exterior, the product of the amount of butter in the batter.

In researching pound cake recipes, I was surprised to see how huge they are and that they are now made in ring tins. My grandmother used to make hers in much smaller quantities in a well greased loaf tin. The top used to split ever so slightly, giving a craggy appearance with extra crunch.

A loaf tin pound cake will probably serve a dozen people. The texture is dense and rich, similar to a French quatre-quarts (‘four quarters’, equal weights of eggs, butter, flour and sugar). A little goes a long way.

Since I’ve been on the ketogenic diet, I don’t make it anymore. However, those who enjoy traditional cakes will find it worthwhile practising making it. I would recommend several tries, because it can be challenging getting the consistency light enough. For this reason, I would suggest cutting the following recipes in half and using a loaf tin. King Arthur Flour’s site has the traditional recipe and Chef In Training has one for a coconut version.

Vincent did approve of a remake of the Schenks pound cake, to which they added orange flavouring and topped with sliced almonds. It looked delicious!

The Goldenrod

The Goldenrod, or Golden Rod, was popular in the late 1890s through to the early part of the 20th century.

It is — or was — probably the only full-size triangular cake in existence. This photo from a 1906 cookbook, courtesy of Resurrected Recipes, shows the special tins used:

These tins are not available today, however, using a loaf tin would probably do the trick. Cutting the rounded top off the finished product then neatly slicing diagonally down the middle should produce a good result.

Resurrected Recipes compares and contrasts the recipes for the Goldenrod with another popular cake of the same period, the Waldorf Triangle. Both look easy enough to bake.

The Goldenrod must have orange flavouring in the batter. Vincent said that the Schenks’ version could have used more of it. Why did she not help them with such a small improvement? If I were in the area, I would have loved trying it.

This is another missed opportunity; the bakery could have introduced the Goldenrod to a new generation.

It is also interesting that the Schenks frosted one side with white icing, piped it along the top ridge and frosted the other side with chocolate icing. One wonders if that decoration was particular to Philadelphia or to Mr Schenk’s father who emigrated from Germany and founded the bakery in 1938. Resurrected Recipes tells us that this cake was also popular with German bakers.

Washington Cake

This cake has undergone several reiterations since Martha Washington first made her Great Cake to share with guests on Twelfth Night (Epiphany) 1798.

Her husband George had announced before Christmas 1797 that he would not be serving a third term as America’s first President. He returned to his home in Mount Vernon for the holidays.

Mrs Washington’s great cake was modelled on the traditional English recipe for Christmas cake. It was a pound cake made with currants and spices.

The cook-historian Tori Avey tells us that after Washington’s death, a Manhattan shopowner named Mary Simpson made Washington Cake every year on his birthday, February 22. She was popularly known as Mary Washington, as she claimed to have been one of his slaves. Customers flooded in to buy a slice of cake and a small glass of punch or cup of coffee.

In the 19th century, American bakers created variations of the Washington Cake. One used cherries, recalling Parson Weems’s legend of young George cutting down his father’s cherry tree. When Washington State was incorporated into the Union, their version had apples, the fruit for which the state is known.

Avey says that Philadelphia had its own version, which emerged in the 1950s. The Schenks made this variation, which was a spiced cake with chocolate and scalloped-edged white icing.

Kerry Vincent didn’t like their Washington Cake. Admittedly, the one shown was poorly frosted. However, whether it was the amount of spice in the cake or the frosting, she said it had to go. Unfortunately, the Schenks agreed.

Another opportunity missed! Why not improve it and introduce it to people — especially children — who have never tried it?

Suggestion for the Schenks

My better half and I suggest that the Schenks offer one of these types of cakes — pound, Goldenrod and Washington — on special once a month at the weekend. Make sure Washington Cake in on sale during Presidents’ Day weekend in February.

Have a sign up — ‘This week’s special’ — and tell everyone how good it is. Have some samples on the counter. Let people try it.

It would be a shame to lose these historical recipes for the sake of a few minor improvements to flavour and appearance.

Kerry Vincent

Hmm. She’s an acquired taste, certainly.

However, after having researched her biography, I can understand how her background shaped her outlook on baking and life.

Zap2It has a fascinating, if brief, interview with Vincent. We discover that, like many Australians living on sheep stations (ranches), she went to school via radio. I remember reading about this method of education in geography class when I was eight years old. Households had pedal radios — operated by foot pedal — which, when used with a telephone line, could enable any Australian youngster to communicate with the teacher. Parents were responsible for reviewing homework!

She also told Zap2It that her mother taught her how to bake at a very young age. One of the first lessons young Kerry Flynn learned was how to test an oven. Mrs Flynn told her to stick her hand in it to get a true feel for the temperature. Vincent does the same today because:

I don’t even believe the calibrated oven because it is never calibrated. Shove your hand in, and feel this, and close your eyes, and that’s the temperature you need for a sponge [cake] and the rest of the baking.

At the age of 8, Kerry won first prize in an adult baking competition at Albany Fair in Western Australia.

As a young woman, Vincent was a Western Australia state finalist in the 1964 Miss Australia Quest. She went on to a career in modelling hats and as a cigarette girl:

The fashion co-ordinator at the Perth department store Boans wanted her for millinery: “She said, ‘I could put a jerry [chamber pot] on your head and it would look good.’ ” For tobacco brands Rothmans and Dunhill, Kerry wore navy and white, pillbox hats and white boots, and moved from trackside to cocktail party as a promotional girl. “It was elegant then; you smoked with a pair of long satin gloves and a holder.”

In 1973, whilst on a working holiday in London, she met the love of her life, Doug Vincent, an American oil engineer, in a pub. They married in 1974 and live in Oklahoma.

Vincent’s baking and sugar-crafting career has taken her around the world, winning her accolades from the rich and famous to hundreds of aspiring home bakers.

The Pennsylvania bakers who took part in Save My Bakery say that Vincent’s bark is worse than her bite.

Stephen Riccelli of Schubert’s Bakery in Nazareth said:

I think she’s a very nice lady but I also think she may not have been the best fit for our bakery.

I agree. She never understood the Moravian cake which isn’t exactly patisserie but has deep historical and cultural roots in that part of the Lehigh Valley.

Richard Wilcox of Phatso’s Bakery in Chester told his local newspaper:

The host’s venomous demeanor is just a front, Wilcox said, explaining that Vincent was very helpful and pleasant off camera.

“Kerry is a wonderful lady,” he said. “We had a very pleasant time working with her. She was not the same person when the cameras were off.”

Vincent clearly did not understand the slang word ‘phat’ — beautiful, excellent — which can be used to describe anything from food to women.

It was also a play on words, as Wilcox called his younger son Fatso as a toddler. He gave the name to the bakery. Vincent wanted to change it!

I’m glad to read that Wilcox saved his past awards and put them back on the wall of his bakery.

Vincent insists that America’s tastes are changing. Possibly.

However, there is always room for enduring American, cross-generational favourites. May they — and family-owned bakeries — long continue.

Of course, every denomination differs, but the Church of the Holy Comforter in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, offers a grand introduction to how worship and the Christian life work in the Anglican Church.

First, a word about its mural behind the altar, which was discussed on a post at Titus One Nine. Pictured are the mural in its entirety then a detail of it, both courtesy of the church’s website.

The church’s rector, Fr Jonathan, explains here:

The mural that you see at the east end is a painting of the Communion of the Saints that was done by one of our parishioners in the 1950s. Until coming to Holy Comforter I’d never seen anything like it. The bottom portion is an ordination service for the priest who was rector at the time. Then there are several rings of saints, including many Anglican figures, such as William Temple, Samuel Seabury and William White, and Saint Hilda. It also includes a former pope and patriarch of Constantinople (all in a parish with a classical lowchurch background!). Then there is a ring of apostles and patriarchs. The top ring is, as it should be, the Holy Trinity with Christ at the center, patterned off of an ancient carving from Antioch

The detail shown is from the lower centre of the mural, showing an ordination with the customary laying on of hands by bishops.

If you are interested in going to church at Christmas — or, indeed, any other time — you couldn’t get a more comprehensive, easily understood and friendly introduction than the Church of the Holy Comforter’s website.  Kudos to Fr Jonathan and his parish for putting this together so beautifully.

First, there’s the ‘Why we worship’ page:

Worship is an act of love. The word worship literally means ‘to give worth to’ or ‘to acclaim as worthy’… God gives Himself totally for us in the person of Jesus Christ. He does this for us purely out of love for us. God doesn’t need our worship. But we offer it to Him anyway, out of love for Him …

We believe that when we celebrate the Eucharist, the line between heaven and earth thins, and the whole Church throughout the world and throughout time is joined as one with God. In our worship space this is symbolized for us in a mural above the altar that depicts the Communion of the Saints ...

Then, the ‘How we worship’ page:

… When we gather, we bless bread and wine and share them with one another, just as Jesus did with his disciples on the night before he died for us. We believe that Jesus is truly present in this celebration, that it’s more than just a symbol, that we actually receive His Body and Blood.

Our worship can sometimes seem strange or confusing to people who come in for the first time. At most of our services the whole text of the service is printed in a service bulletin. Generally, we stand or kneel to pray, stand to sing, and sit to hear readings or to be instructed …

If you get lost the first time that you come to worship with us, don’t panic. There are plenty of people around you who are more than willing to help you out. The important thing is not what you do or don’t get right. The important thing is to find and be found by God who is present in each moment of our worship …

They don’t mention a Communion policy.  Normally, it’s ‘all baptised Christians are welcome at the Lord’s table’, but it doesn’t say here — my only criticism, but perhaps I missed it.

The introduction in ‘About us’ is great:

… As Anglican Christians, we believe that the story of God’s great love is told to us through the Bible and revealed to us in Jesus, the only Son of God the Father. We also believe that God has sent his Holy Spirit to us and that the Spirit will guide us and form us. Our faith is summarized in the words of the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed. We believe that God speaks to us through prayer, through scripture, and especially through the holy sacraments …

Want to know more about us? The best way to find out what we’re all about is to see what we do. We invite you to come and worship with us on a Sunday. We especially invite those of you who are searching, skeptical, or suffering from wounds that have been inflicted on you by other Christians …

That last sentence is particularly helpful. 

Finally, there is the page on the sacraments — Catholic readers, please take note.  All are described, including Reconciliation and the Anointing of the Sick.

While there are a number of rites that may properly be called sacraments, the Church has always recognized that Holy Baptism and the Holy Eucharist have a special significance. This is because these two sacraments alone were given by Jesus for the salvation of all people

An excellent site, nicely done. 

If you live in or near Drexel Hill and are looking for a church to attend, why not give the Church of the Holy Comforter a try this Christmas?

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First case: June 2-3, 2011 — resolved

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