The programs this past week were excellent--at least for me. I’m sure some people didn’t want to hear a Methodist seminary president from Moscow, but I enjoyed it. I’d been a little puzzled about Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church--he never struck me as a Christian, being former KGB. But as Dr. Sergei Nikolaev explained it, Russia recognizes 4 religions, Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist. The Russian Orthodox cooperate with the government. It’s a draw, I think, who is infiltrating whom. And it was that way under the Tsars, the USSR and the Russian Federation. The Tsar that invited the Orthodox to Christianize the Slavs was Vladimir—and that’s also Putin’s name. Methodists, Pentecostals, Adventists, etc. are considered cults. Even atheists consider the Russian Orthodox their church. The afternoon programming was on China, Pakistan, and Thomas Merton and Pope John XXIII and Vatican II. A little syncretic, but since I watch so much Catholic TV, I’m a bit more tolerant of that than I used to be. It’s such a big tent, something we Protestants don’t have. Next week is on travel and art—two of the countries (Italy and Egypt) I’ve visited, so looking forward to that.
Evening shows were also very good. Of course, this is symphony time. Saturday was ballet, and one of the best I can remember here. Thursday with the Good Lovelies (Canadian) was a fun evening. Last Friday, although not technically week 7, was the team from Happy Days, Donny Most and Anson Williams who played Richie’s friends on the mid 70s TV show “Happy Days.” It was fun to hear them tell stories of the cast relationships, try outs, mentoring and softball team. Both are very good singers, and Most has a night club act. We occasionally get Happy Days on retro TV stations, and saw one the next day.
On Wednesday I attended the Herb group discussion on the Lakeside daisy at the Train Station. Very interesting. It’s not actually a daisy.
That’s me in the second row end.