Geranium Farm Home         Who's Who on the Farm         The Almost Daily eMo         Subscriptions         Coming Events
Hodgepodge         More or Less Church         Ways of the World         A Few Good Writers
Gifts For Life         Pennies From Heaven         Light a Prayer Candle         Links

December 6, 2007
Back in September, an important thing began to happen at St. Paul's Chapel in New York City, the historic 18th-century church that served so many recovery workers after the destruction of the World Trade Center. You may not have noticed it, not right away, it was so simple and so quiet. But it's still happening as I write this, and you're noticing now.

It's called The Counting Prayer. People are praying it every day: The world now has the means to end extreme poverty, we pray we will have the will. It takes about three seconds to say it. People are signing onto a pledge to say it daily. Individuals and congregations of all faiths and Christian denominations throughout the world are pledging to say the prayer at every public service of worship. I have promised to say it at Morning and Evening Prayer every day. The prayers are counted and tallied at

The Counting Prayer will go on until the Millennium Development Goals are met. You know the MDGs, by now: that group of eight means by which extreme poverty and its terrible effects on the human race can be ended. We do not lack what is needed to fulfill them. Our failure to do so is purely a matter of will, and our will can change: that's one of the things prayer does in us. And our will does lead us: when our will has changed, our behavior follows.

Because we don't pray for change in the world as if it were a reality external to ourselves. The world isn't outside us; we are the world. We pray to become that thing we wish to see in the world, to become people for whom comfort is incomplete while others still sicken and die from being poor. Perfectly aware that self-interest governs the affairs of nations and the lives of many individuals, we pray for another rule to grow among us: we pray for the world to become as important as the self. People are capable of living this way: ask almost any parent.

The Prayer Vigil Counter as of this morning was at 0,000,064,032. The people at say they expect to reach 100,000 by New Year's. They bid us all a blessed Advent.

The world now has the means to end extreme poverty, we pray we will have the will.
I should have included the recipe for Eccles Cake when I wrote about it the other day, instead of just taunting people with it. Sorry for that! Here is how my dad made it:

Mr. Cawthorne's Eccles Cake

2 cups white flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, cold and sliced into 1/4" pats
ice water
1 1/2 cup raisins or currants or a mixture of the two. Maybe more -- we
didn't measure much.
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp lemon peel (optional)

Mix flour and salt; cut in butter with a pastry blender or two table knives. You could also do this with a few pulses of a food processor. Add 1/4 cup ice water and mix with fork (or pulse 8-10 times) until it forms a ball. Wrap in waxed paper and chill for at least a half hour.

Mix remaining ingredients. Roll out pastry dough 1/4" thick and cut into 4" rounds. Put 2 tsp filling in the middle of each round and brings edges of dough to center, pinching them together to seal in the filling. Turn the cakes upside down onto baking sheet, about 2 inches apart -- I now cover with parchment paper, although that was not a concept my father knew -- and make a small slit in the smooth top of each cake. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and filling is bubbling through the slits.

You can also make a large Eccles Cake by rolling out the dough, filling half of it with all the filling and folding the other half over the filling. Bake it all in one piece, for 35 minutes or so.

The way my dad made Eccles Cake reflected the fact that currants weren't often readily available here in those days -- even now, they can be hard to find sometimes. So he used raisins, or a mix of raisins and currants. For, perhaps, a more authoritative Eccles cake recipe, visit
And here are the 8 Millennium Development Goals:
1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development
Copyright © 2022 Barbara Crafton
  2016     2015     2014     2013     2012     2011     2010     2009     2008     2007     2006     2005     2004     2003  
  2016     2015     2014     2013     2012     2011     2010     2009     2008     2007     2006     2005     2004     2003  

Copyright © 2003-2022 Geranium Farm - All rights reserved.
Reproduction of any materials on this web site for any purpose
other than personal use without written consent is prohibited.

2003-2004 Golden Web Awards Winner     2003-2004 Level 2 Diamond Web Award Winner Humanitarian Award Winner     2004 WebAward Winner for Standard of Excellence