The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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The World Economic Summit and Faith

Posted on January 22, 2019

As I compose these thoughts, hundreds of jets are on their way to Davos, Switzerland for the 2019 version of the World Economic Summit.  As always, those in attendance will include capitalist barons, politicians, celebrities, researchers, UN and NGO delegations, and past, present and future national leaders. I write about the summit every year because, well, it is an important opportunity for the moral, anti-poverty, social justice and women’s movement leaders to speak to the elite and weigh in on the side of collective humanity. But in the last two years there is one group that has been asked to partner with the Davos organizers that will come as a surprise to many – faith leaders from around the world. There are some key and sensible…

Life Among the Stones – Alberta’s Wish (Chapter 13)

Posted on January 21, 2019

The older woman faced them directly. “There can often be milestones along the way, occasions when the caregivers, and sometimes the patient, can spot that they are entering a new stage.  Perhaps that’s what Edinburgh was all about.  You say she hasn’t been the same?” Elizabeth Fairborough’s queries were professionally delivered, but behind the words was a shared sense of sadness between the doctor, Robin, and Jennifer.  Alberta was down the hall, undergoing a series of tests. With her in good and capable hands, the three had used the opportunity to have an intimate chat in Fairborough’s office. “No, something’s different. She still gets around the house with no real problems, but she more frequently fades off into another world – sometimes right in front of us.  Her eyes light…

Life Among the Stones – First Kiss (Chapter 12)

Posted on January 20, 2019

The morning began with a light rain that gave way to sparsely clouded skies before the lunch hour. Alberta slept in and, upon rising, commented, “O dear, what did I miss?” She was looking at the wrinkled clothes she had slept in for over 12 hours. She had no idea how it happened. “You were exhausted following that walk, Mom. You didn’t even want dinner, only to sleep. Remember any of it?” Her daughter’s question received only a confused stare in response. She watched as her mother thought hard, working her way back through the hours to that moment Jenny was referring to, but it was gone – likely permanently. “I’m sorry if I caused you any difficulty … or embarrassment, Jen. O my,…

Life Among the Stones – To the Castle and Beyond (Chapter 11)

Posted on January 19, 2019

Alberta had wanted to walk from the Principal Hotel to the base of Edinburgh Castle and then along the winding road to the top of the great cliff.  It had been a mistake.  The ups and downs of the trek had tired Jennifer, but had exhausted her mother. The uneven conditions of the alleys and pathways had made for precarious walking, leaving Jennifer to reach for and steady her mother on more than a few occasions. They talked frequently along the way but concentrated mostly on putting one foot in front of the other in order to get to the base of the great castle.  There were clouds coasting through the increasingly pale blue sky but mostly the sun was permitted to shine freely over the ancient city.  …

More Vulnerable Than We Think

Posted on January 18, 2019

Their stories weren’t of the tragic kind, but in listening to some of the 800,000 American government workers who have been living without a wage during the country’s longest government shutdown, one couldn’t help but feel for them.  They had done nothing to deserve such treatment, yet they are losing mortgages, selling their cars, prematurely dipping into their retirement savings, and, in some painful images, taking their kids out of college.  If there is a trait of tragedy about the entire thing, it is to be found in the partisan mess that is American politics at the moment and how political leaders have become so calloused to the plight of millions – even if those workers are the ones actually keeping the government going instead of…

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