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Joe Parrish
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Post by Joe Parrish » Sun Dec 11, 2016 5:08 am

http://tinyurl.com/jk6qlgr is a draft of a reflection based on Matthew 11:2-11, “The facts of the kingdom of heaven”.
Peace and blessings,
Joe
Peace and blessings,
Joe

User avatar
Joe Parrish
Posts: 950
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
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Post by Joe Parrish » Sun Dec 18, 2016 7:38 am

Here is a draft of a reflection for December 18, 4 Advent A, based on Matthew 1:18-25, "Will Christmas Come?"

Trinity Episcopal “Old Swedes” Church
1208 Kings Highway
Swedesboro, New Jersey 08085
The Fourth Sunday of Advent (A)
December 18, 2016
A Sermon by the Rev. Joe Parrish
“Will Christmas Come?”
DRAFT
The Holy Gospel -- Matthew 1:18-25
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.

Come to us, O Emmanuel, abide with us, O God, as we await with bated breath the arrival of our Savior at the Last Day. Amen.

After re-reading the gospel today several times, I thought to myself, I wonder what comes next? How does the Gospel according to Matthew depict Christmas? And the answer, which I guess I should have known, is that the Gospel according to Matthew more or less completely misses Christmas. The next story after the angel’s announcement to Joseph in a dream that he was to take the pregnant Mary to be his wife and followed by a somewhat off the cuff naming of his adopted son, Jesus, the very next story is not about Christmas but about the Epiphany, which we celebrate on January 6, two weeks from today. Matthew’s Gospel omits Christmas almost entirely--no shepherds in the fields, no serenading by the heavenly hosts, no manger, not even a birth; suddenly Matthew immediately goes ahead possibly a year or more in time when the Holy Family is in a house, and the wise magi following a star come to bring the child, not the baby, come to bring the child Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Our Christmas crèche scenes and Christmas Pageants have it all wrong. Matthew pretty much completely skips the lovely Christmas story which we will hear here next Saturday night and Sunday morning. So we bid you not to miss next Saturday and Sunday, or Christmas will simply again be gone in a flash.
Joseph’s role in the whole birth scenario was downplayed by the Church for about a millennium, about a thousand years, until the tenth century when the veneration of St. Joseph formally began. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Joseph

Before the tenth century, the Church’s focus was more or less entirely on Jesus’ mother, Mary, who in Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches is ‘ever virgin.’ And in that apocryphal version of the story of the birth of Christ, Joseph is simply the namer of Jesus and not much more. Most Protestants however cling to the word in the Gospel for today, “until”--Joseph had no marital relations with Mary “until” she had given birth to Jesus. So we Protestants allow conjugal happiness for Joseph and note that the James in the Book of Acts, Chapter 15, Verse 13, and in Paul’s letter to the Galatians Chapter 1, Verse 19, James, who is probably the head of the first church council in Jerusalem, is named by Paul as “Jesus’ brother”. And perhaps that biblical taint of Joseph that disallows his and Mary’s own perpetual celibacies tainted some of the Church’s history of Christmas and its consideration or lack of consideration of Joseph as playing any particularly significant role in the whole panoply of Christmas. And only beginning in the tenth century does the church pretty much officially begin to recognize the importance of Joseph. During those first thousand years of church history Joseph’s role in the birth narrative was largely downplayed or ignored.
Pastor Maxwell Grant wrote: “For Joseph, to hear the call of God's love was the dawn of a distinctly countercultural vision. And the Christmas that lives in the heart remains profoundly countercultural, too. At its core, Christmas is foreign to everything about us but the power of our capacity to love and be loved. [Christmas’] bold claim is that, in the end, it is our capacity to love and be loved that is the most important thing about us.”
“Advent invites us to let go of all expectations. Advent calls us to remember the love of Jesus and Joseph and the love of God. It calls us to let God's peace gradually warm our souls, freeing us for new expectations and the birth of something within us and for us: the arrival of Emmanuel--God with us. Advent calls us to wait for the arrival of hope and to see the shadowy outline of a new world that is just beginning to dawn.”
Sam Chandler, the Episcopal Dean of Atlanta wrote: “We too often forget about poor Joseph. Every year, we tend to focus on the story of Mary. But this year, (Year A) it’s Joseph.” But, “if the angel can appear to Mary, and then also appear to Joseph, there's a lesson in that. That means that the angel can appear to you and me, too. In the Bible, the annunciation does not occur only once, but twice--not just to a woman, but also to a man. The Bible, then, carries an implicit message that God does appear over and over again, to various sorts of folks. Matthew and Luke both have it right, but they are different stories. God continues to come into the world, but we have to trust other sources!
“What are you giving for Christmas this year? I do not mean what are you getting. We all want something wonderful, I am sure. But what are you giving for Christmas?
“The greatest gift you can give this year is to believe in someone's dreams. The greatest gift you can give is to have faith in someone else; believe in their dreams. Believe in the dreams of the person you love. Believe in the dream of your husband. Believe in the dream of your wife. Believe in the dreams of your children. Believe in the dream of your hero, your leader, your friend, your church. Believe in their dreams!
http://day1.org/1070-believe_in_the_dre ... n_you_love

Pastor Edward Markquart quoted this poem:
“When Jesus called that Christmas week I wasn’t at my best;
And the house was much too cluttered to entertain a guest.
Jesus seemed to notice everything, the card still unaddressed,
The gifts piled high awaiting wraps, the baking and the rest.
He eyes fell on the evergreen and the presents ‘neath the tree,
It’s my birthday that you celebrate, Jesus said--what are you giving me?
‘What am I giving him?’ I thought; ashamed, no words I found.
So many costly things I’d bought, he looked at me and frowned.
I prayed he’d let the question pass, but when he did persist,
I blurted out the truth at last, Jesus, … you, were not on my list.”
(By Louise Teisberg)
http://www.sermonsfromseattle.com/serie ... istmas.htm

My former church would receive and try to fulfill Christmas requests from people in the community—it had long done that even before I came there as Rector. We made every effort to fulfill all the requests, usually for gifts for children. On one Christmas one of our occasional church visitors gave us a small list of items for her two and three year old children. She was very poor, displaced by Hurricane Sandy and living with her husband on his meager disability income. I recall most of the wants for the children were for dolls, so we at the church went to purchase a few baby dolls of various sizes and delivered them to that family. A day later she called the church and asked if she could give one of the dolls to an upstairs neighbor girl whose family could not afford any Christmas presents, and we answered, “Sure”, and later she told us how appreciative their neighbor child was to get a doll as a present.
A large number of children somewhere will not have Christmas this year, no presents, no Santa, no joy. Anything we can do to help in those situations would be greatly appreciated, I can assure you, having had such an experience at our former church. Christmas is not about getting; Christmas is about giving.
God was about giving, too. God gave his only begotten Son, Jesus to us. And Jesus gave his very life to give us salvation from our sins. The name that Joseph was to give Mary’s child means, ‘Yahweh saves’.
The name, Jesus, “is the Greek form of the Hebrew Yehosua, which means ‘YHWH is salvation’” (Bergant, 27). It is related to the name Joshua––Moses' successor. “For it is he who will save his people from their sins” (v. 21b). The first Joshua saved the people from their enemies; the second Joshua (Jesus) will save the people from their sins.
In our Psalm for today, Psalm 80, three times we hear the people’s same plaintive cry in Stanzas 3, and 7, and 18 repeated over and over again: “Restore us, O Lord God of Hosts; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.” “Restore us, O Lord God of Hosts; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.” “Restore us, O Lord God of Hosts; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.” A three-fold prayer for the three-fold triune God--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
How many churches today want to be restored? Their buildings may be glorious, their music may be sweet, but the people still do not come. We in the church pray for God’s restoration as did the Psalmist.
The message the church has is a simple one. Jesus can save us. Only Jesus can save us. Only Jesus can restore us to God’s good graces.
So the birth of the Messiah, sent to save his people from their sins is the salvation promised to all who come to Christ in faith, believing in his mighty power to save us.
As we close this season of Advent and look forward again to the birth in us of the Spirit of Christ who gives us protection from any ultimate harm, let us remember the lowly beginnings from which Jesus sprang: a poor young teenager, Mary, shamed by an unwanted pregnancy, whose husband heard God in a dream and affirmed the ultimate value of the little child that was miraculously within his betrothed wife. He named him Jesus, for he will save his people, he will save us, from our sins and restore us on the last day to the kingdom of heaven that has no end.
Let us give thanks to the God who hears our prayers and restores us to God’s good graces. May we, too, turn our lives towards the one who gave his all for us on the cross. Amen.
Peace and blessings,
Joe

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Joe Parrish
Posts: 950
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
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Post by Joe Parrish » Sat Dec 24, 2016 5:37 am

http://tinyurl.com/jew9ydf is a draft of a reflection for Christmas Eve based on John 1:1-14, "Light shines and overcomes darkness".
Peace and Christmas blessings,
Joe
Peace and blessings,
Joe

User avatar
Joe Parrish
Posts: 950
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
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Post by Joe Parrish » Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:08 pm

http://sjnj.com/media_view.php?SelectedID=549 is a draft of a sermon for Christmas Day (A) based on Luke 2(:1-7,) 8-20, “It is all in God’s timing”. To see it just click "Current Reflections" and then on the white arrow on black background, and it appears at the bottom of your computer page. It is my new website.
Peace and Christmas blessings,
Joe
Peace and blessings,
Joe

User avatar
Joe Parrish
Posts: 950
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
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Joe's blog

Post by Joe Parrish » Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:08 pm

http://sjnj.com/media_view.php?SelectedID=549 is a draft of a sermon for Christmas Day (A) based on Luke 2(:1-7,) 8-20, “It is all in God’s timing”. To see it just click "Current Reflections" and then on the the white arrow on black background under the Sermon Title, and it appears at the bottom of your computer page. It is my new website.
Peace and Christmas blessings,
Joe
Peace and blessings,
Joe

User avatar
Joe Parrish
Posts: 950
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
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Joe's blog

Post by Joe Parrish » Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:57 am

For January 1, based on Luke 2:15-21. "Praying as Jesus wants", go to http://sjnj.com/media_view.php and to the top sermon in the Downloads section which downloads in Word.
Peace and New Years blessings,
Joe
Peace and blessings,
Joe

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Joe Parrish
Posts: 950
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
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Post by Joe Parrish » Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:58 am

To see the draft of a reflection for January 8 based on Matthew 3:13-17, "Baptism: does it make a real difference?" please go to http://sjnj.com and at the first sermon in the list, click the file next to the Word icon to download it.
Peace and blessings,
Joe
Peace and blessings,
Joe

User avatar
Joe Parrish
Posts: 950
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
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Post by Joe Parrish » Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:01 pm

To see the draft of a reflection based on John 1:29-42, "How much do we love God?" please go to http://sjnj.com and at the first sermon in the list, click on the file to download it, in Word or .pdf form.
Peace and blessings,
Joe
Peace and blessings,
Joe

User avatar
Joe Parrish
Posts: 950
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
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Joe's blog

Post by Joe Parrish » Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:46 pm

To see a draft of a reflection for January 22 based on Matthew 4:12-23, "Our mission is fishin'", please go to http://sjnj.com and at the first sermon in the list, click on the file to download it, in Word or .pdf form.
Peace and blessings,
Joe
Peace and blessings,
Joe

User avatar
Joe Parrish
Posts: 950
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
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Post by Joe Parrish » Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:11 pm

To see a draft of a reflection for February 5 based on Matthew 5:13-20, "We are the light of the system, the salt of the earth", please go to http://sjnj.com and at the first sermon in the list, click on the file to download it, in Word or .pdf form.
Peace and blessings,
Joe
Peace and blessings,
Joe

User avatar
Joe Parrish
Posts: 950
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
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Post by Joe Parrish » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:27 am

A draft of a reflection for Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017, is the first sermon at http://sjnj.com/media_view.php and is entitled, "Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven".
Peace and blessings,
Joe
Peace and blessings,
Joe

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Joe Parrish
Posts: 950
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
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Post by Joe Parrish » Wed Mar 01, 2017 7:50 pm

Here is a second reflection for Ash Wednesday: "Healed to serve – and why prayers seem to go unanswered", which is the second sermon at http://sjnj.com/media_view.php
Peace and blessings,
Joe
Peace and blessings,
Joe

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Joe Parrish
Posts: 950
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
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Post by Joe Parrish » Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:34 am

A reflection for the First Sunday in Lent (A), March 5, 2017, is the first post at http://sjnj.com/media_view.php and is entitled, "Permission, power, and peril".
Peace and blessings,
Joe
Peace and blessings,
Joe

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Joe Parrish
Posts: 950
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
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Post by Joe Parrish » Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:12 am

A reflection for the Second Sunday in Lent (A), March 12, 2017, is the first sermon at http://sjnj.com/media_view.php and is entitled, "Bow down before the Lord".
Peace and blessings,
Joe
Peace and blessings,
Joe

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Joe Parrish
Posts: 950
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
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Post by Joe Parrish » Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:59 am

A reflection for the Third Sunday in Lent (A), March 19, 2017, is the first sermon at http://sjnj.com/media_view.php and is entitled, "Dried up water".
Peace and blessings,
Joe
Peace and blessings,
Joe

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Joe Parrish
Posts: 950
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
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Post by Joe Parrish » Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:45 am

A reflection for the Fourth Sunday in Lent (A), March 26, 2017, is the first sermon at http://sjnj.com/media_view.php and is entitled, "Do we have flexibility?"
Peace and blessings,
Joe
Peace and blessings,
Joe

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Joe Parrish
Posts: 950
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
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Post by Joe Parrish » Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:39 pm

A reflection for the Fifth Sunday in Lent (A), April 2, 2017, is the first sermon at http://sjnj.com/media_view.php and is entitled, "Rising from the dead", based on John 11:1-45.
Peace and blessings,
Joe
Peace and blessings,
Joe

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Joe Parrish
Posts: 950
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
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Post by Joe Parrish » Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:59 am

A reflexion for the Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday (A), April 9, 2017, is the first sermon at http://sjnj.com/media_view.php and is entitled, "You raise me up", based on Matthew 27:11-54.
Peace and blessings,
Joe
Peace and blessings,
Joe

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Joe Parrish
Posts: 950
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
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Post by Joe Parrish » Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:48 pm

A reflection for Good Friday (A), April 14, 2017, is the first reflection at http://sjnj.com/media_view.php and is entitled, "Are we ever really that thirsty?", based on John 19:1-37.
Peace and blessings,
Joe
Peace and blessings,
Joe

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Joe Parrish
Posts: 950
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
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Post by Joe Parrish » Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:04 pm

A draft of a a reflection for the Easter Vigil (A), April 15, 2017, is the first sermon at http://sjnj.com/media_view.php and is entitled, "What does it all mean?" based on the variety of readings in the Easter Vigil.
Peace and blessings,
Joe
Peace and blessings,
Joe

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Joe Parrish
Posts: 950
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
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Post by Joe Parrish » Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:16 am

A reflection for Easter (A), April 16, 2017, is the first sermon at http://sjnj.com/media_view.php and is entitled, "Defining moments" based on Matthew 28:1-10.
Peace and blessings,
Joe
Peace and blessings,
Joe

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Joe Parrish
Posts: 950
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
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Post by Joe Parrish » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:06 pm

Snake handler at church?

http://boingboing.net/2017/04/21/90-yea ... by-po.html

Snakes do not bother church knitters.

Mark 16:18
Peace and blessings,
Joe

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Joe Parrish
Posts: 950
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
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Post by Joe Parrish » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:47 am

A reflection for 2 Easter (A), April 23, 2017, is the first reflection at http://sjnj.com/media_view.php and is entitled, "When believing is not seeing" based on John 20:19-31.
Peace and blessings,
Joe
Peace and blessings,
Joe

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Joe Parrish
Posts: 950
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
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Post by Joe Parrish » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:43 am

A reflection for 3 Easter (A), April 30, 2017, is the first reflection at http://sjnj.com/media_view.php and is entitled, "Curses, Francis Chan" based on Luke 24:13-35.
Peace and blessings,
Joe
Peace and blessings,
Joe

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Joe Parrish
Posts: 950
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
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Post by Joe Parrish » Fri May 05, 2017 8:23 pm

Stephen Hawking will test his theory that humans must leave Earth. Let’s hope he’s wrong.
HTTPS://WWW.USATODAY.COM/STORY/TECH/NAT ... 310545001/
<>
In a new BBC documentary, Hawking will test his theory that humankind must colonize another planet or perish in the next 100 years. The documentary Stephen Hawking: Expedition New Earth, will air this summer as part of BBC’s Tomorrow’s World season and will showcase that Hawking's aspiration "isn’t as fantastical as it sounds," according to BBC.

For years, Hawking has warned that humankind faces a slew of threats ranging from climate change to destruction from nuclear war and genetically engineered viruses.

=
Peace and blessings,
Joe

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