January 2018

sun blowing new year's trumpet


  1. Many thanks to Alfie Sandstrom for preparing Sunshine for the internet each month. He is a faithful, intelligent servant to the use which this magazine serves. I try to be the same. So what we have here is two brothers-in-law, working for almost a decade now, bringing the beauty of truth to readers of Sunshine. We have created an enlightening and cheerful niche in New Church literature, I believe.
  2. And what is Sunshine Magazine? It is a messenger of humor, poetry, local history, wonderful insightful thoughts from women and men. Also it conveys my literary art in the form of editorials. And these editorials often convey my not-yet-angelic humanity and the faulty humanity of those people with whom I interact.
  3. I hope that the New Year will be one in which we continue to cooperate with the Lord as He endeavors to establish His new church among the human race on our planet. And I cannot help but wonder if “women priests,” raised in local Swedenborgian churches, are anything other than a hindrance to His endeavors. Yes, the Lord does enlighten people through the reading of His Word by laymen and laywomen or those women who think of themselves as being ministers. But women entering into the use of the priesthood seems not to be indicated or commissioned by the Lord in His Word.
    I believe that most of these women lacked pre-theological school testing which could have revealed to them that their motives were other than a humble desire to serve the spiritual needs of humanity.
    I might add that when I opined a few years ago that “women ministers” should think about their motivations, one of these ladies seemed to look at me one day with haughty distain. And I thought, “Well, there is no charity in her heart. I think that she genuinely hates me for raining on her parade.” I just made a suggestion, that’s all. I believe that the use of New Church ministry is a use to be served by men just as I understand that it is the Lord’s will that the primary raising of children during their first six years of life, more or less, is a use not to be served by men but by women.
  4. The day after last Thanksgiving the pastor left a basket of fruit on our front porch, since I was not home to receive it. It was a kind gesture and I still remember the words of the attached card which expressed hope that my wife and I be surround by the “Lord’s healing love.” I appreciated this act of charity.


“As a girl my temper often got out of bounds. But one day when I became angry at a friend over some trivial matter, my mother told me, ‘Elizabeth, anyone who angers you conquers you.’” - Elizabeth Kenny

“I am more involved in unlearning than learning. I’m having to unlearn all the garbage that people have laid on me.” - Leo Buscaglia

“I have wept in the night – For the shortness of sight – That to somebody’s need made me blind – But I have never yet – Felt a tinge of regret – For being a little too kind.” - Anon


Fortunately this new book with the above title has no notices about “all rights reserved” so I will quote a brief passage with approving smiles, I hope, from the authors, Vera Powell Glenn, Doris Acton Halterman, and Janet Davis Austin Simons.

“In the 1880s the Philadelphia to Newtown line of the Reading Railroad began to run weekend excursion trains out to a little station, sixteen or so miles out of the city, called Alnwick Grove. This announcement appeared in The Times (Philadelphia Edition) on May 8, 1887: ‘Alnwick Grove Beautifully situated on the Pennypack creek, in Montgomery County, Pa., twelve miles out from Philadelphia, is now making arrangements with excursion parties. Excellent boating, fishing, etc., and all rural sports, Covered pavilions, etc….’

“Among the many people who came to enjoy the canoeing on the Pennypack Creek and dancing to a small band in the pavilion in the park was a group of members of the New Church Advent Society and their families. After picnicking they would walk up the station hill, across the old Marsh farm, and climb to the ridge of Knight’s Hill. Here, looking out over the valley in the slanting rays of the westering sun, they would hold a service of worship. It was a beautiful and inspiring place. Perhaps they could even imagine the spires of a beautiful Cathedral rising there one day.”

This was the very beginning of what was to become the borough of Bryn Athyn. God bless the three ladies who produced this finely detailed account of our borough with its special religious mission.


Sept. 4, 1971 ELEPHANTS IN SOUTHAMPTON! Things like that shouldn’t happen to a motorist without warning. To be driving along minding one’s own business, when all of a sudden out of the corner of the eye, one sees three elephants grazing peacefully next to the turnpike on the way to Southampton, could be demoralizing. But quickly the children solved the mystery – a carnival or circus was coming to town.

November 4, 1971 A bit of Bryn Athynania from the past: Friday Suppers and singing classes have been in existence for 76 years! Bishop W.F. Pendleton started suppers and doctrinal classes and Mr. Robert Glenn conducted singing practice on Friday nights, only they started in the afternoon and continued on into the evening. October 1895 was the date of the first of such evenings.


  1. Three sons were discussing the gifts they were able to give their elderly mother. The eldest said, “I built a big house for our mother.”
    The second said, “I sent her a Mercedes with a driver.”
    The youngest smiled and said, “I’ve got you both beat. Do you remember how Mom enjoyed reading the Bible? And you know that she can’t see very well. I sent her a remarkable parrot that recites the entire Bible. He’s one of a kind. Mom just has to name the chapter and verse, and the parrot recites it.”
    Soon, Mom sent out her letters of thanks. To her first son: “The house you built is so huge. I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house.” To her second son: “I am too old to travel. I stay home most of the time. And the driver is rude!” To her third son: “You have the good sense to know what your mother likes. The chicken was delicious.”
  2. The police were sure that the criminal was inside the movie theater. The chief told the sergeant to surround the building and have all exists watched. An hour later, the sergeant returned to his men. “He got away,” he told the chief.
    “Got away!” the chief roared. “Did you guard all the exits like I told you?”
    “Then how did he get away?”
    “Don’t know. Maybe he used one of the entrances.”
  3. Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.


“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of little pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.” - Khalil Gibran

“You’re only here for a short visit. Do not hurry. Do not worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” - Walter Hagen

“What you can do, or dream you can, Begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it, Begin it now.” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“We cannot control the wind, but we can adjust our sails.” - Anon

“Though we are imperfect He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God’s love encompasses us completely. He loves every one of us, even those of us who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken.” - Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“Our ideas of God, tells us more about ourselves than about Him.” - Thomas Merton

“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon – instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.” - Dale Carnegie

“I have to laugh at the times I’ve knocked myself out over a tough spot only to find out afterwards that there was an easier way through.” - Robert Franklin Leslie

Below is a quote from Vera Glenn’s book, HEAVEN IN A Wild Flower. It is the closing section of her spiritual reflections in her book which was published in the year 2000. I trust that she will not disapprove of my using it to close this issue of Sunshine.

“Many non-gardeners think of winter as death. But gardeners know that, although things may look moribund, life is still there. The buds that hold the flower and the leaf are set on tree and shrub. Energy is packed up tight in root and bulb. The seed is in the ground ready to spring into action. Everything in the vegetable kingdom is at the ready, waiting for ‘the force that through the green fuse drives the flower’ as the poet Dylan Thomas wrote. All it takes is the right amount earth rotation, the right amount of natural and spiritual sunshine. Nature sleeps to waken; the garden dies to come alive again.

“And by late January the snowdrops will be blooming once again.”

I look forward to seeing the cheerful snowdrops smiling in the still-chilly weather at Cairncrest, the Cathedral and in the ground near Greg and Jesse’s mail box.