Early in the pandemic there was an expectation of reduced demand while at the same time factories in the Pacific Rim region were shut down because of Covid-19 quarantines and infections. In response, shipping companies cut their schedules in anticipation of a drop in demand for moving goods around the world.

Meanwhile in western countries, especially the United States, the timing and quantity of consumer purchases swamped the supply chain system. Factories whose production tends to be fairly predictable ramped up to satisfy a surge of orders. But the problem is the ability to obtain needed materials and the timing as the delivery system tattered on the edge of disaster. Shortages beget more shortages. A paint manufacturer that needs 27 chemicals to make its products may be able to buy all but one, but that one — perhaps stuck on a container ship off Southern California — may be enough to halt production. Continue reading

World Mission Sunday

Last evening I attended the annual Franciscan Mission Service celebration/gala. It was 25 years ago that I joined FMS and headed to to Kenya. Yikes! That was brought to my attention when a pre-dinner slide showed the commissioning of overseas group #36. I was in group #7 sitting with a friend who was in group #1. There is a great energy at FMS – and all this right before World Mission Sunday.

Continue reading

Bartimaeus: the petition

This coming Sunday is the 30th Sunday in lectionary cycle B. The gospel is the story of Bartimaeus, a blind man, who cries out to Jesus for pity: Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.”  Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way. Continue reading