Checking on our friends

We hope the members of our growing network of progressive thinkers and explorers are all safe and well. Rex Hunt has taken the initiative of inquiring of several of the scholars and practitioners we follow just how they are managing in the Covid crisis.

Here are their responses:

Brandon Scott (USA)

Hi to everyone in Aussie Land, Margaret and I are here in Taos NM in the wonderful house we stayed in last fall. We are halfway through our 5 week stay. We travelled in our quarantine bubble. Things are pretty shut down here, but we get out for walks and short car trips; always something new to explore. 

From the news, some parts of Australia, esp Melbourne have had a hard time. Hope everyone is doing well. 

If Tyche favors us, it looks like our four year nightmare may be coming to an end. Take care and be safe.

Joe Bessler (USA)

Thanks so much for thinking of us! We’re doing pretty well even as cases in Oklahoma are at their highest levels yet and continue to, pressuring hospital staffs. At school we’re doing all online. I’m transitioning from the Dean’s office where I’ve been for the last two years. 

How’s the economy there? Are you all on edge as you move into summer—concerns of fires? Has drought eased? 

We’re all on edge with the election coming up—that Trump is not being utterly rejected, 

And with still a fair chance of winning (and anything can happen in the next couple of weeks), is beyond my comprehension. 

Jack Spong (USA)

How nice to hear from you.  The stroke slowed me down considerably so I live in the past today. I am not depressed. I had a wonderful life and I look forward to what comes next.  Australia was very kind to me and formed many of my happiest memories.  I remember meeting you for the first time in Canberra and being very pleased with your leadership.  That was never diminished by a long association.  Thank you for that. 

Please give my best regards to my friends. I recall them well and with gratitude.

Keep the fight up.  We have much to be proud of.

Jeff Proctor-Murphy (USA)

Thanks Rex! Appreciate the warm thoughts. We’re hunkered down and so far have avoided the virus. Church has been virtual since mid-March and likely ’til Christmas Eve. 

We’re all getting along fine. Love to you and yours!

John Churcher (Britain)

Thanks for the email and for your concern. It is good to hear from you in these challenging times. 

I cannot remember whether or not I told you that although the prostate cancer treatment appears to have been successful there was a very unpleasant side effect in that the radiation damaged the blood vessels in the bowel and I have been bleeding daily for the past year. Things came to a head 3 weeks ago when the GP wanted me to have a blood transfusion but the hospital decided otherwise. Then, almost immediately, having waited 5 months for the second argon beam coagulation treatment [having been told that I would be waiting only 2 -5 weeks….] The consultant who carried out the treatment thinks that he has done the trick… Fortunately I am feeling much better…

Obviously regular preaching ended abruptly in March and so far shows no sign of restarting but lockdown has given me precious time to catch up on all those books waiting to be opened…

I have just finished re-reading Geering’s “Christianity Without God”, brilliant book!

Best wishes to you and hope that you continue to enjoy retirement and stay well away from those Covid bugs – we need you fit and well for a long time yet!

Gretta Vosper (Canada)

Has it not been almost the worst year E.V.E.R? I hope you and Dylis have been staying well. 

Scott continues to work in the long term care facility he’s been at for the past many years. It is a publicly funded one which receives from the local government an additional 2/3 of what the province provides. So they have been able to keep COVID out of the home excepting one staff person whose partner brought it home from a private home that had a staggering number of deaths. Money truly is the root of all evil. The company that owned several of the private homes in which dozens died paid out huge profits to its shareholders in the same quarter. Time to dismantle some of the more egregious corporate laws, like limited liability, for instance.

Imagine me heading off on a rant straight out of the box!!

West Hill, too, has been spared any COVID losses. We did not return to regular meetings when we were permitted to simply because we felt our members were too vulnerable. 

The result has been that we have extended our community reach to the UK, Africa, the US and all across Canada. 

It has been a good thing in that, but we have many seniors who are not able to connect at all. It is like solitary confinement for them. So so so difficult. 

Thank you so much for reaching out… As it begins to warm up there, I hope you are able to avoid the kind of destructive fires that were so devastating last year. 

Wesley Wildman (Aussie in USA)

I’m running along just fine here. Weird times in the USA with weirder to come given the strange election. 

My routines haven’t changed much aside from not traveling. Not sure how much I need to travel anymore, in fact. 

But I miss not connecting with people in person. 

Jerome Stone (USA)

So nice of you to be concerned, Sue and I are both OK.  But I do have trouble getting a wi-fi connection. (Long story.)

We have both voted.  We mailed our ballots.  We think they will get through.  Our daughter’s mailed-in ballot was received.

Been reading Spinoza to stay calm.  He’s half right.


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