Category: California

Reference Library – California

Where next? Maps show stark threat of coastal erosion to hundreds of Norfolk homes

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Homes along the Marrams, Hemsby are slowly starting to fall apart due to coastal erosion. Picture: Nick Butcher
Archant © 2018

Sobering maps have shown which sections of Norfolk’s coastline could be next to feel the devastating impact of coa…

RONG HI Paradox Youth’s Raglan Teeshirt

Paradox Half Sleeve Teeshirts 7-15 Business Days To UK By USPS. Material:100% Cotton,Soft Hand Feeling The Perfect Shirt For Baseball Games Or Just Representing That Laid Back California Lifestyle! Show Off Your Edgy California...

'Scooby-Doo' van involved in high-speed police chase

Zoinks! In a further example of life imitating cartoons, a van painted to look like the vehicle from the Scooby-Doo series was recently involved in a high-speed police chase 1 in California that reached speeds of 100 miles per hour. This makes perfect sense.

If you re intending to be involved in criminal activity, a garishly-painted, attention-grabbing van that s instantly recognizable to everyone who owned a television in the last 50 years is a great choice. To be fair, since the Mystery Machine was the vehicle of crime-solvers Shaggy, Scoob, and company, perhaps the perpetrator was attempting to fool the police into thinking they were on the right side of the law. The driver was allegedly 51-year-old Sharon Kay Turman, who is wanted for alleged probation violations.

There s no word whether she is also the owner of a haunted amusement park or rundown mansion filled with secrets.

What we do know is that police have not yet caught up with the incredibly easy-to-find vehicle.

In other words, she got away with it, too. 2 ] References ^ involved in a high-speed police chase (news.sky.com) ^ Sky News (news.sky.com)

'Wahlburgers' burger joint coming to Myrtle Beach

Hold on to your Calvin Kleins! Actor and model, Mark Wahlberg is bringing his burger franchise to the Lowcountry. Wahlburgers, the better burger restaurant founded by Chef Paul Wahlberg with his celebrity brothers, Mark and Donnie, just announced that they will be opening over 30 stores in several major metro markets and Charleston is on the list.

Stores will also open up in Charlotte, NC and Myrtle Beach, SC. Are you excited about the new restaurant news? Check out the press release below: BOSTON , March 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ Wahlburgers, the better burger restaurant founded by Chef Paul Wahlberg with celebrity brothers Mark 1 and Donnie 2 , has announced franchise deals with five new franchise groups to open over 30 stores in several major metro markets in Massachusetts , California , Georgia , Michigan , Ohio , North Carolina and South Carolina .

Seven restaurants are currently open, with three more slated within the next few months in Boston s Logan Airport, Las Vegas and Philadelphia . Since its 2011 debut in Hingham, Massachusetts , Wahlburgers has expanded steadily. To date, 12 area development deals, including two airports, are in place, committing franchise groups to a total of 118 Wahlburgers over the next several years.

We are on the road to bringing Wahlburgers to a city near you, said Mark Wahlberg . We ve created this family business with a mission to welcome families and friends from around the world to a place where they can break bread, enjoy some great food and lots of laughs. As we pick up the pace of our national expansion, we are pleased to be working with a group of experienced franchisees who have histories of running multiple units successfully, explained CEO Rick Vanzura .

We re glad that they are embracing the brand and thank them and the millions of Wahlburgers fans who are contributing to our early success. According to Vanzura, a new Massachusetts development group, including Wahlberg family members, will open five to 10 additional restaurants in the state, including one in Dorchester , the brothers hometown. Four restaurants are planned for the Carolinas in Charleston , Charlotte , and Myrtle Beach .

The greater Atlanta metro area and Savannah will be home to six restaurants, and six are slated to open in Cleveland and Detroit , where Wahlburgers will make an exciting debut in Greektown this summer/fall.

Eight are planned for the Northern California Bay area, and a 15-store agreement was signed for Los Angeles in January.

References ^ Mark (en.wikipedia.org) ^ Donnie (en.wikipedia.org)

'Wahlburgers' burger joint coming to Charleston

Hold on to your Calvin Kleins! Actor and model, Mark Wahlberg is bringing his burger franchise to the Lowcountry. Wahlburgers, the better burger restaurant founded by Chef Paul Wahlberg with his celebrity brothers, Mark and Donnie, just announced that they will be opening over 30 stores in several major metro markets and Charleston is on the list.

Stores will also open up in Charlotte, NC and Myrtle Beach, SC. News 2 reached out to their marketing team to find out where and when Wahlburgers would arrive in the Lowcountry. They said, No word yet on a definite location or time period but we will certainly keep you posted.

Are you excited about the new restaurant news? Take Our Poll 1 Check out the press release below: BOSTON , March 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ Wahlburgers, the better burger restaurant founded by Chef Paul Wahlberg with celebrity brothers Mark 2 and Donnie 3 , has announced franchise deals with five new franchise groups to open over 30 stores in several major metro markets in Massachusetts , California , Georgia , Michigan , Ohio , North Carolina and South Carolina . Seven restaurants are currently open, with three more slated within the next few months in Boston s Logan Airport, Las Vegas and Philadelphia .

Since its 2011 debut in Hingham, Massachusetts , Wahlburgers has expanded steadily. To date, 12 area development deals, including two airports, are in place, committing franchise groups to a total of 118 Wahlburgers over the next several years. We are on the road to bringing Wahlburgers to a city near you, said Mark Wahlberg .

We ve created this family business with a mission to welcome families and friends from around the world to a place where they can break bread, enjoy some great food and lots of laughs. As we pick up the pace of our national expansion, we are pleased to be working with a group of experienced franchisees who have histories of running multiple units successfully, explained CEO Rick Vanzura . We re glad that they are embracing the brand and thank them and the millions of Wahlburgers fans who are contributing to our early success.

According to Vanzura, a new Massachusetts development group, including Wahlberg family members, will open five to 10 additional restaurants in the state, including one in Dorchester , the brothers hometown. Four restaurants are planned for the Carolinas in Charleston , Charlotte , and Myrtle Beach . The greater Atlanta metro area and Savannah will be home to six restaurants, and six are slated to open in Cleveland and Detroit , where Wahlburgers will make an exciting debut in Greektown this summer/fall.

Eight are planned for the Northern California Bay area, and a 15-store agreement was signed for Los Angeles in January. ABOUT WAHLBURGERS Founded by Executive Chef Paul Wahlberg , celebrity brothers Mark and Donnie Wahlberg and other investors, Wahlburgers debuted in October 2011 in Hingham, Mass. The subject of an A&E reality show, Wahlburgers offers a fun, casual music-filled atmosphere where guests, like family, share great food, a few laughs and lots of love.

While its interior d cor is filled with photos and memorabilia celebrating the Wahlberg brothers life journeys from Dorchester, Mass. neighborhood kids to rising chef and international superstars, Wahlburgers makes food the REAL star. Crafted by Chef Paul and served with heart-felt hospitality, menu selections include chef-inspired freshly ground beef burgers served on fresh baked buns, crispy fries, onion rings, tater tots and sweet potato tots, along with tasty housemade sauces and thick, creamy frappes.

While burgers are the restaurant s specialty, guests will enjoy delicious fish and vegetarian options, a variety of fresh-cut salads, and gluten-free buns and lettuce-wrapped burgers and sandwiches upon request. Wahlburgers full bar is a popular gathering spot featuring an impressive selection of adult frappes, cocktails, wines and beers including the signature Wahlbrewski a Harpoon Brewery custom, unfiltered Pale Ale. Dedicated to giving back, Wahlburgers is active in every community it serves.

Open daily for lunch and dinner, Wahlburgers offers fast casual and table service.

For locations and more information visit wahlburgersrestaurant.com 4 RELATED LINKS http://www.wahlburgersrestaurant.com 5 Like this: Like Loading…

References ^ Take Our Poll (polldaddy.com) ^ Mark (en.wikipedia.org) ^ Donnie (en.wikipedia.org) ^ wahlburgersrestaurant.com (www.wahlburgersrestaurant.com) ^ Link to http://www.wahlburgersrestaurant.com (www.wahlburgersrestaurant.com)

Sony Entertainment Suffers From 'Leadership Vacuum'

Lack of clear direction and financial pressure at Sony s motion picture and music divisions are affecting morale Sixteen months after a catastrophic cyber attack at Sony Entertainment, the company is facing what insiders describe as a leadership vacuum, with key departures affecting morale and financial pressure to improve performance stoking anxiety within the studio. Tension is high in the motion picture group, where a weak slate has produced one box office disappointment after another, including the upcoming The Brothers Grimsby, which is tracking poorly. The music department faces the PR debacle of Kesha s lawsuit against her Sony-based producer Dr.

Luke and a pending decision on whether to buy or sell a storied music catalog co-owned by the Michael Jackson estate. 1 2 Meanwhile, there is a widespread perception that CEO Michael Lynton 3 has been absent in recent months, according to multiple insiders, feeding an internal sense of aimlessness exacerbated by the February resignation of the much-respected Nicole Seligman, president of both Sony Entertainment and Sony Corp. of America. There is a palpable sense of a leadership vacuum, said one individual with internal knowledge of the company.

Where s the message of how great the company is? Of where it s going? Also Read: Greatest Hits of Leaked Sony Emails: Angelina Jolie, ‘Aloha,’ David Fincher and More 4 A Sony spokesman vigorously disputed any suggestion of trouble at the company.

These claims about leadership are ridiculous and clearly being made by a few people with agendas of their own. There is no lack of leadership, spokesman Robert Lawson told TheWrap. Sony Entertainment s leadership at the corporate level and at each of the business units is fully engaged to address the myriad opportunities and challenges in our industry, whether it s from L.A., NYC or Tokyo.

Still, the departure of Seligman was a real loss, acknowledged by Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai and Lynton as an integral and indispensable part of many big decisions and developments throughout Sony s global organization when they announced she would leave at the end of this month. No replacement has yet been named. A lot of people would go to Nicole to resolve things that weren t getting done, said the individual.

She would keep the trains running you need decisions to get made. From left: Michael Lynton, Nicole Seligman, Tom Rothman Lynton is perceived as too-often absent from both Sony s offices in Culver City, California, and New York, where he moved last year, according to two senior individuals at the company. Lynton splits his time between the two offices, but is based in New York, where the company just moved from its longtime Philip Johnson-designed headquarters in midtown Manhattan to smaller downtown offices.

The impression is supported in part by leaked emails from the hack scandal suggesting that Lynton had been looking for jobs elsewhere including as president of New York University, one email said. (That job went to Andrew Hamilton, former vice-chancellor of Oxford University.) Individuals close to Lynton insist that he is engaged and focused on his job since extending his contract in February 2015. Also Read: Inside Sony Pictures 1 Year After Hack: ‘It Takes a While to Turn a Ship This Big’ 5 Still, even senior executives acknowledge that Sony s Motion Picture Chairman Tom Rothman 6 , who took over for studio chief Amy Pascal 7 after the hack, is suffering too-few box office wins and a lagging slate. Rothman is said to have been surprised by the scope of the challenge facing him.

He didn t anticipate the hole would be as deep as it is. It s film after film, one top-level individual said of Rothman, whose initial movie choices as head of Sony s TriStar division have not dazzled like the Robert Zemeckis 8 high-wire thriller The Walk, which was budgeted at $35 million before P&A and only earned $10 million at the domestic box office. There is no question that the motion picture group has underperformed in the last year or two, another executive said.

It s been clear he has to resuscitate the slate, it has got to improve. He s in the process of getting that done. Rothman has long had a reputation for intensity, but multiple executives who deal with him say that the veteran executive has at times seemed visibly overwhelmed in recent months.

One told TheWrap that during Oscars weekend Rothman appeared so stressed that some people met him Friday night and said, Is he OK?’ One telling sign of the pressure to grow the film division: Rothman has pressed veteran Sony Pictures Classics co-presidents Tom Bernard 9 and Michael Barker 10 to double their output and their revenue, according to two individuals with knowledge of the conversations. They told him no, they could not. Barker and Bernard, who report to Lynton not Rothman, have successfully run the indie division for 25 years, and last year generated $62 million off of 17 new releases.

Also Read: Tom Bernard and Michael Barker Recall Sony Classics at 25 Years (Video) 11 Adding insult to injury for Rothman in his release slate are Pascal legacies like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which cost $28 million but has grossed just under $11 million in the U.S., and The 5th Wave, a Chloe Grace Moretz 12 dystopian thriller budgeted at $38 million that only recouped $33 million in North America (the film traveled much better, earning $70 million internationally). The immediate future isn t much brighter, as Sacha Baron Cohen 13 s The Brothers Grimsby, a Sony action-comedy with major stunts and an undisclosed budget, lands on March 11. The film has been panned by critics and is tracking around $12 million for opening weekend, according to BoxOffice.com.

During Rothman s first year in power, 2015, Sony Pictures accounted for only 8.4 percent of overall North American box office, besting only Warner Bros. among major players like Universal, Paramount and Fox, according to Box Office Mojo. Only three years prior, Sony had 16.1 percent of the market, placing them in first.

Rothman has been digging deep into Sony s intellectual property to strengthen the studio in the long term, another insider said, resurfacing franchises like Will Smith 14 s Bad Boys, scoring international distribution rights to Ridley Scott 15 s upcoming Blade Runner sequel, developing Stephen King 16 s Dark Tower book series and developing a crossover film combining its Men in Black and Jump Street action-comedy franchises. There is also hope in the 2016 slate. Paul Feig 17 s all-female reboot of the Ghostbusters franchise starring Kristen Wiig 18 and Melissa McCarthy 19 has significant groundswell of fan interest ahead of its July 15 release.

This December, Rothman is banking on a new sci-fi tentpole in the Jennifer Lawrence 20 – Chris Pratt 21 space romance Passengers from director Morten Tyldum as well as an awards hopeful with Ang Lee 22 s Billy Lynn s Long Halftime Walk. Also Read: Laurence Fishburne Joins Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt Space Romance ‘Passengers’ 23 Rothman has also been stung by the recent success of Deadpool at Fox, a studio he headed before joining Sony in 2013. He was called out publicly for opposing the film, which was greenlit by his successors and became an unexpected superhero hit, grossing nearly $620 million worldwide.

Tom Rothman 24 single handedly kept Deadpool from getting made at Fox. Not a fan, wrote the character s comic book creator Robert Liefeld on Twitter. Tim Miller 25 , the director of Deadpool, told Entertainment Weekly that Rothman simply said no to the conceit.

Sony Television is the one division that doesn t seem to be facing crisis, but its chief Steve Mosko s contract is up at the end of the year. The hard-charging executive is not considered to be in Lynton s inner circle, which may be contributing to the dearth of a sense of shared mission among top executives. Upheaval at Sony Music Entertainment has also been on Lynton s plate.

The division, run by CEO Doug Morris, has been thrust into the spotlight in recent weeks thanks to a nasty court battle between singer Kesha and her former mentor and producer Lukasz Dr. Luke Gottwald. Also Read: How the Sony Hack Changed Hollywood: Fear, Ambivalence and ‘Dose of Cold Water’ 26 The pop star is seeking to void her recording contract with Sony, and has cited harrowing claims of decade-long sexual and psychological abuse at Gottwald s hands.

She currently owes the label six full albums. A New York Supreme Court Judge has so far sided with Sony in the contract dispute given the lack of evidence to support the abuse allegations, Gottwald s vehement denial of the abuse and the fact that the singer could work with other producers to fulfill her album commitments. But public opinion is against him as pop stars from Lady Gaga 27 to Taylor Swift 28 to Demi Lovato 29 have offered their support.

Fans have picketed Sony s headquarters with signs reading, #FreeKesha and Choose people over profit. According to another insider, Lynton has also been tasked with another tricky issue for Sony Music: determining how to exercise the buy/sell option for the company s stake in Sony/ATV Music Publishing, a music library it co-owns with the Michael Jackson estate. For months, Lynton and lawyers have been parsing the long-term value of such a library in today s digital streaming culture, with opinions varying widely among experts.

Getty Images Getty Images Getty Images Steve Mosko Mosko served as the Head of Television Division of Sony Pictures Entertainment from 2001 until October 2015, when he was made Chairman of Sony Pictures Television. Also Read: Sony TV Promotes Steve Mosko to Chairman 30 Getty Images Getty Images Clint Culpepper Screen Gems’ president called Kevin Hart 31 a whore in an email to a colleague after the actor sought an increase in salary for his personal promotions. Hart responded, I worked very hard to get where I am today.

I look at myself as a brand and because of that I will never allow myself to be taken advantage of. Culpepper is still president of the production company. Also Read: Sony Leak: 28 Lies Hollywood Agents Tell Studio Executives About Their Actor Clients 32 Getty Images Getty Images Getty Images Seth Rogen and James Franco 33 The hack revealed that Rogen made $8.4 million for co-directing and acting in “The Interview,” while co-star Franco received $6.5 million.

The film’s overall budget was $44 million and included $241 for a table of weed, coke, pills and panties,” as well as $74,000 for two tigers, their handlers, and special tiger accommodations. Rogen recently starred in ” Steve Jobs 34 ” and has six more projects lined up, including “Neighbors 2.” Franco also has multiple projects in the queue, including directing “The Long Home.” Also Read: Sony to Release The Interview in Theaters, on VOD Despite Threats (Exclusive) 35 Getty Images Getty Images David Fincher In an email with the subject line Well it ain t ME, the director who almost directed ” Steve Jobs 36 ” blames the studio for the many leaks on that film — compared to the more tight-lipped studios like Fox, with whom he worked on “Gone Girl.” I had 15 meetings with Rosamund Pike 37 for “Gone Girl” and her DEAL CLOSED before Variety OR The Hollywood Reporter ever ran a single blurb, he said. This is a CONTINUAL PROBLEM WITH SONY.” Since then, Fincher has focused on producing Netflix’s “House of Cards.” Also Read: Steve Jobs Biopic: David Fincher Not in Talks to Direct, But He s Taking the Meeting 38 Getty Images Michael de Luca 39 , the president of production at Sony, proved true all the gossip that surrounded his taking the studio job.

The “Fifty Shades of Grey” producer left Sony in April shortly after Tom Rothman 40 ‘s promotion and took a producing deal with Universal. Getty Images Getty Images Getty Images Previous ; Next 41 42 1 of 15 What has become of Amy Pascal, Michael Lynton, Mike de Luca and Tom Rothman since last November s cyberattack? References ^ Kesha s lawsuit against her Sony-based producer Dr.

Luke (www.thewrap.com) ^ whether to buy or sell a storied music catalog co-owned by the Michael Jackson estate. (www.thewrap.com) ^ Michael Lynton (www.thewrap.com) ^ Greatest Hits of Leaked Sony Emails: Angelina Jolie, ‘Aloha,’ David Fincher and More (www.thewrap.com) ^ Inside Sony Pictures 1 Year After Hack: ‘It Takes a While to Turn a Ship This Big’ (www.thewrap.com) ^ Tom Rothman (www.thewrap.com) ^ Amy Pascal (www.thewrap.com) ^ Robert Zemeckis (www.thewrap.com) ^ Tom Bernard (www.thewrap.com) ^ Michael Barker (www.thewrap.com) ^ Tom Bernard and Michael Barker Recall Sony Classics at 25 Years (Video) (www.thewrap.com) ^ Chloe Grace Moretz (www.thewrap.com) ^ Sacha Baron Cohen (www.thewrap.com) ^ Will Smith (www.thewrap.com) ^ Ridley Scott (www.thewrap.com) ^ Stephen King (www.thewrap.com) ^ Paul Feig (www.thewrap.com) ^ Kristen Wiig (www.thewrap.com) ^ Melissa McCarthy (www.thewrap.com) ^ Jennifer Lawrence (www.thewrap.com) ^ Chris Pratt (www.thewrap.com) ^ Ang Lee (www.thewrap.com) ^ Laurence Fishburne Joins Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt Space Romance ‘Passengers’ (www.thewrap.com) ^ Tom Rothman (www.thewrap.com) ^ Tim Miller (www.thewrap.com) ^ How the Sony Hack Changed Hollywood: Fear, Ambivalence and ‘Dose of Cold Water’ (www.thewrap.com) ^ Lady Gaga (www.thewrap.com) ^ Taylor Swift (www.thewrap.com) ^ Demi Lovato (www.thewrap.com) ^ Sony TV Promotes Steve Mosko to Chairman (www.thewrap.com) ^ Kevin Hart (www.thewrap.com) ^ Sony Leak: 28 Lies Hollywood Agents Tell Studio Executives About Their Actor Clients (www.thewrap.com) ^ Seth Rogen (www.thewrap.com) ^ Steve Jobs (www.thewrap.com) ^ Sony to Release The Interview in Theaters, on VOD Despite Threats (Exclusive) (www.thewrap.com) ^ Steve Jobs (www.thewrap.com) ^ Rosamund Pike (www.thewrap.com) ^ Steve Jobs Biopic: David Fincher Not in Talks to Direct, But He s Taking the Meeting (www.thewrap.com) ^ Michael de Luca (www.thewrap.com) ^ Tom Rothman (www.thewrap.com) ^ Previous (www.thewrap.com) ^ Next (www.thewrap.com)

CAUTE — An archeology of morning: Mother Love All The Way …

Readings: I began by explaining why I was not going to use the reading from which we derive the whole idea of Mothering Sunday 1 , namely, Galatians 4:21-31 2 . Not least of all this was because Paul’s image relies upon us abandoning, for wholly spurious reasons, one human mother and child in favour of another. I said that, instead, I wished to begin with reading something found in the Book of Isaiah, specifically in the King James translation 3 : Isaiah 49:8-18 4 . . .

Zion said, The LORD has forsaken me, my Lord has forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.

Behold, I have graven you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me. Your builders outstrip your destroyers, and those who laid you waste go forth from you. Lift up your eyes round about and see; they all gather, they come to you.

As I live, says the LORD, you shall put them all on as an ornament, you shall bind them on as a bride does. The second reading was taken from: Proem to Book One of Lucretius On the Nature of Things, trans. by David R.

Slavitt (University of California Press, 2008) 5 Mother of Aeneas and of his Rome, and of gods and men the joy, dear Venus, who underneath the gliding heavenly signals busies the seas with ships and makes earth fruitful (for only through you are living things conceived and because of you they rise up to bask in the light of the sun): from you the harsh winds flee and the skies black storm clouds scatter at your approach; for you the intricate earth sprouts flowers, wide ocean roads subside into gentle smiling, and furthest reaches of heaven glow serene in response to your prompting. In the spring s first days, the nurturing western breezes breathe free again, and birds in the air, smitten by you, warble the news of your coming, as beasts of woods and fields cavort in the meadows and splash through brooks and all for love. Under your spell, all creatures follow your bidding, captive eager even.

Look to the teeming seas, the mountains, the fast flowing streams, the treetops, or rolling gorse where the birds flutter and dance the reel of lust as earth once more renews itself as you have ordained, for you alone govern the nature of things, and nothing comes forth to the light except by you, and nothing joyful or lovely is made. I seek, therefore, your blessing and help in writing these verses that I presume to compose on the Nature of Things, the way things come about and are for Memmius s sake, my friend whom you have favoured, goddess: for his sake give me words. Make it happen that war interrupts its savage work on land and sea, for this would be in your power and you can bring to mortals that peace we long for as Mars, who is mighty in warfare and rules over bloody deeds, adores you, will lay his head on your lap, defenseless, utterly vanquished and altogether undone by love s unhealable wound.

I also showed members of the congregation a picture taken by Petros Giannakouris (Associated Press) of a refugee woman holding her child as she ran away from police firing tear gas on the Greek-Macedonian border, 29th Febraury 2016. Do please click on this link to view it before you read on. 6 For the record, this address is revision and rewrite of one I gave on Mothering Sunday back in 2008. 7 For those interested in such things, on my blog you will be able to compare the two texts which will give you some idea of my own direction of travel over the past eight years one that will, no doubt, please some and disappoint others. Over the nearly sixteen years of my ministry with you I ve remained acutely aware that when I use the word God in this church it can sound to a first-time visitor and even to quite regular visitors as if I am talking about the same God that is believed in and worshipped in most Christian churches and, for that matter within Islam or Judaism.

This impression can be added to by the fact that I so often choose to illustrate what I have to say, as I have done today, by drawing in part upon some biblical text from the Judaeo-Christian tradition the tradition out of which I came and which, despite my knowledge and genuine interest in other religious traditions, is the only one I can truly claim to know. Consequently I can, and sometimes do, sound to many people, although liberal, still metaphysically quite Christian. However, those who really know me know me know this is far from being the case.

Of course, I m genuinely happy for any of you to use and understand the word God how you will, but when I use the word here I m always doing it in one of two ways; the first is clearly human and decidedly non-metaphysical, the second appears to be somewhat more metaphysical in flavour. When I m using it in a non-metaphysical way (which is most of the time) I m drawing upon John Dewey s 8 use of the word God as found in his important book, A Common Faith 9 . He wrote: We are in the presence neither of ideals completely embodied in existence nor yet of ideals that are merely rootless ideals, fantasies or utopias.

For there are forces in nature and society that generate and support the ideals. They are further unified by the action that gives them coherence and solidarity. It is this active relation between ideal and actual to which I would give the name God .

I would not insist that the name must be given ( A Common Faith, 2nd ed., Yale University Press, 2013, p.

47 10 ). When I m minded or sometimes need to appear more metaphysical, I m using the word God in a way which draws upon Henry Nelson Wieman s 11 use of the word: Whatever else the word God may mean, it is a term used to designate that Something upon which human life is most dependent for its security, welfare and increasing abundance. That there is such a Something cannot be doubted.

The mere fact that human life happens, and continues to happen, proves that this Something, however unknown, does certainly exist ( Religious Experience and Scientific Method 12 , Macmillan Company, 1926, p.

9). In early-modern period this Something upon which human life is most dependent for its security, welfare and increasing abundance seems to me to have been most attractively and plausibly presented by Spinoza who thought it was best understood as being equivalent to Nature. In a nutshell he consistently sought to divinize Nature and naturalize the divine, and that s a project I m certainly trying to continue here.

Most importantly Spinoza s Deus sive Natura (the God-or-Nature referenced in our opening words) is NOT personal and you cannot, in any normal, everyday sense, talk with, pray to or influence such a God. It is also vital to note that neither does this kind of God (this ‘Something’) write books, holy or otherwise, in order to communicate with us. Anyway, I more or less agree with the words Albert Einstein wrote to Murray W.

Gross in 1947 (26 April) 13 , saying: It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropomorphic concept which I cannot take seriously. I feel also not able to imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere. My views are near to those of Spinoza: admiration for the beauty of and belief in the logical simplicity of the order and harmony which we can grasp humbly and only imperfectly.

I believe that we have to content ourselves with our imperfect knowledge and understanding and treat values and moral obligations as a purely human problem – the most important of all human problems. By taking my cue from Einstein s point about treating values and moral obligations as a purely human problem and as the most important of all human problems I can begin to move towards a theme obviously connected with Mothering Sunday. To be human is to engage with the world not only as rationalist philosophers and scientists, but also as poets and artists.

We think, and we feel and imagine. To help us explore and discern what might be good and lasting human values and moral obligations, we have often given those same values and moral obligations faces and personalities and we have turned them into characters in plays, poems, songs, novels and films. For example, in ancient Israel, wisdom became personified as a woman, Lady Wisdom; in Greece and Rome wisdom was Athena and Minerva respectively.

In Christianity this tendency to personify was, of course, taken to its ultimate extreme in the figure of Christ who, by degrees, became a personification, not just of one virtue but all of them and, as such, for many Christians a male, father God himself. Over the centuries this has become increasingly problematical and there are millions upon millions of people around the world who really think God is a interventionist and often violently judgemental male person arbitrarily condemning some to hell and others to paradise both in this world and the imagined next. In the face of this horror I am often tempted to ditch the idea of personification altogether.

But remember my earlier point that to be human is to engage with the world not only as rationalist philosophers and scientists, but also as poets and musicians we continue to gather around not only the lab-table but the campfire or hearth and we are always already imagining and creating stories along the way. This is one of the reasons I so value the Roman poet Lucretius (1st Century CE) who, although a naturalist and atheist, was wise enough to begin his epic poem, De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things), with a paean to a god in his case Venus, who was for him a personification of the beautiful face of Nature in its creative mode. With Lucretius dear Venus in mind, the need for and value of poetic language in our exploration of human problem of values and moral obligations, and the fact that it is Mothering Sunday, I m going to suggest that there is today a rich harvest to be gained by more regularly personifying God-or-Nature as a mother rather than as a father.

Remember, as I do this, that I don t think the personification of God-or-Nature as mother is any more really-real than personifying it as a father all I am saying is that in our present age such a female personification seems more amenable, appropriate and vital to our present and ongoing needs as human beings. For the following illustration I m indebted to my philosophy tutor at Oxford, mentor and, later, friend, Victor Nuovo, under whose gentle and wise guidance I first properly began to explore and truly come love both Spinoza s philosophy and Lucretius extraordinary poem. 14 Victor invites us to consider the love of a mother for her suckling child and also the image of God or Nature as mother. He suggests that if God is truth, then, since mother love is a truer image of love, we perhaps ought to embrace it.

Indeed, I am inclined to agree with Victor that such an image better expresses the whole meaning of our existence than does the image of God as father. In connection with this thought he told me a story about something that happened to him one spring in Vermont where he and his wife, Betty, have lived for many years: Some weeks ago, I was loading a cart to carry my recycling down the driveway. It looked like rain, so I though it advisable to cover it with a tarpaulin, to keep the paper from becoming rain-soaked and hard to handle.

The tarpaulin lay rolled up beside the cart, where it had been for some weeks. When I unravelled it, I discovered that a mother mouse had made her nest in it; there she was nursing her brood. She was terrified as were her nurslings, whose eyes had yet to open.

They clung to her teats not, in this instance, to suckle, but because they found security there. She tried to cover them with her body. They were as one being.

It was a beautiful sight, and yet heartbreaking. I had absolute power over them. I could have killed them, and perhaps I should have.

But I could not. Instead, I set them gently on a flat shovel, and carried them to the edge of the yard and set them down in some undergrowth. Once there, the faithful mother mouse moved away, her nurslings still clinging to her breasts, and found shelter.

Oh how I wished that I might make all beings in the world safe! But I am not the king of love, or a faithful shepherd. And there is no such power.

There is only mother love all the way down. Victor observes that the aim of a mother s love is to nurture to maturity a free human being (or, indeed, an adventurous mouse!), the perfection of the life that was conceived in her womb and carried there. A mother s love and suckling is, as Victor notes, the beginning of a child s engagement with the world, the first moment in the adventure of learning, the awakening of the mind, perhaps its first act, a prelude to finding one s way in the world.

Victor then asks the all important question of Where does this love come from? The answer given in most churches points, of course, to the personal God of monotheism, but for reasons already touched upon this is an answer which is simply not available to me. Victor answers, as do I, in a Lucretian manner by suggesting that it is in the nature of things to love in this way.

In other words an emergent quality of God-or-Nature is, in living creatures, this astonishing thing we know as mothering love it seems to be graven on the emergent hands of Nature itself as Isaiah once believed it was graven on God s eternal hands. Victor concludes that, although we cannot all be mothers, we can all learn to love like this, tenderly, faithfully, steadfastly, in a way that nourishes, that gives life, that comforts, that seeks to set free, as though we were all mothers to each other. To borrow a beautiful line from the book of Common Prayer it is surely very meet, right, and our bounden duty to observe this on Mothering Sunday in order to encourage us to display this through all the realms and days of human activity.

Which point allows me, lastly, to turn again to the picture of the refugee mother and child you have before you 15 . It seems very important to note Lucretius felt that dear mother Venus is also, by her creative love and beauty, capable even of quieting the savage work of Mars, the god of war. This image of a mother and child refugee from war speaks painfully and eloquently to the need for such global expression of creative mother love that can play its part in quieting the savage work of war which continues to bring this mother and child, and countless others, such dreadful pain and anguish.

Let us, in all our actions bear witness to the natural truth that there is, indeed, mother love all the way down. References ^ Mothering Sunday (en.wikipedia.org) ^ Galatians 4:21-31 (bible.oremus.org) ^ King James translation (en.wikipedia.org) ^ Isaiah 49:8-18 (bible.oremus.org) ^ Proem to Book One of Lucretius On the Nature of Things, trans. by David R.

Slavitt (University of California Press, 2008) (books.google.co.uk) ^ I also showed members of the congregation a picture taken by Petros Giannakouris (Associated Press) of a refugee woman holding her child as she ran away from police firing tear gas on the Greek-Macedonian border, 29th Febraury 2016.

Do please click on this link to view it before you read on. (bit.ly) ^ of one I gave on Mothering Sunday back in 2008. (andrewjbrown.blogspot.co.uk) ^ John Dewey s (en.wikipedia.org) ^ A Common Faith (books.google.co.uk) ^ A Common Faith, 2nd ed., Yale University Press, 2013, p.

47 (books.google.co.uk) ^ Henry Nelson Wieman s (uudb.org) ^ Religious Experience and Scientific Method (books.google.co.uk) ^ Albert Einstein wrote to Murray W.

Gross in 1947 (26 April) (www.stephenjaygould.org) ^ For the following illustration I m indebted to my philosophy tutor at Oxford, mentor and, later, friend, Victor Nuovo, under whose gentle and wise guidance I first properly began to explore and truly come love both Spinoza s philosophy and Lucretius extraordinary poem. (www.hmc.ox.ac.uk) ^ to turn again to the picture of the refugee mother and child you have before you (indy100.independent.co.uk)