Lilies of the Field (1963 film)

Lilies of the Field is a 1963 film adapted by James Poe from the 1962 novel of the same name by William Edmund Barrett, stars Sidney Poitier, Lilia Skala, Stanley Adams, Dan Frazer. It was directed by Ralph Nelson; the title comes from Matthew 6:27-33, a portion of the Sermon on the Mount, its parallel scripture from Luke 12:27-30. It features an early film score by prolific composer Jerry Goldsmith; the film was turned into a Broadway musical in 1970, retitled Look to the Lilies, with Shirley Booth in the role of Mother Maria Marthe. It tells the story of an African American itinerant worker who encounters a group of East German nuns, who believe he has been sent to them by God to build them a new chapel. Homer Smith is an itinerant handyman / jack-of-all-trades who stops at a farm in the Arizona desert to obtain some water for his car. There he sees several women working on a fence ineptly; the women, who speak little English, introduce themselves as German and Hungarian nuns. The mother superior, the leader of the nuns, persuades him to do a small roofing repair.

He stays overnight. Next day, Smith tries to persuade the mother superior to pay him by quoting Luke 10:7, "The laborer is worthy of his hire." Mother Maria Marthe, responds by asking him to read another Bible verse from the Sermon on the Mount: "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. And yet I say unto you that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Mother Maria likes things done her way. The nuns have no money and subsist by living off the land, on what vegetables the arid climate provides, some milk and eggs. After being stonewalled when asking for payment, after being persuaded to stay for a meal, against his better judgment, Smith agrees to stay another day to help them with other small jobs, always with the faint hope that Mother Maria will pay him for his work; as Smith's skills and strengths become apparent to the nuns, they come to believe that he has been sent by God to fulfill their dream of building a chapel for the townsfolk—who are Mexican and impoverished—as the nearest church is miles away.

When Sunday comes, Mother Maria informs Smith that he will be driving the sisters to Mass in his station wagon. Smith is invited to attend the Catholic Mass, celebrated by a roving priest not in a church but outdoors, but he declines because he is a Baptist. Instead, he takes the opportunity to get a proper breakfast from the trading post next door. In talking to the proprietor, Smith learns about the hardships that the nuns, led by the unyielding Mother Maria, overcame to emigrate from Eastern Europe – over the Berlin Wall – only to scratch out a meager living on the farm, willed to their order. Juan humorously tells Homer that he considers prayer and belief in religion a form of "insurance", suggests, why Homer is helping the nuns without being paid. Though he has come to realize how unlikely it is that he will be paid, out of respect for all the women have overcome, Smith stays longer and finds himself driven to work on at least clearing the construction site for the chapel, he rationalizes.

After losing another duel of Bible quotes with Mother Maria, Smith acknowledges that he has always wanted to be an architect, but couldn't afford the schooling. His unfulfilled dream impels him to agree to undertake the job of building the sisters a chapel. To earn money to buy some "real food" to supplement the spartan diet the nuns are able to provide him, Smith gets a part-time job with the nearby construction contractor, impressed that Smith can handle nearly every piece of heavy equipment he owns. Smith supplements the nuns' diet as well, shopping for groceries to stock up their kitchen and delighting them with treats such as lollipops. To pass the evenings, Smith helps the sisters improve their rudimentary English and joins them in singing, they share their different musical traditions with one another: their Catholic chants and his Baptist hymns. He teaches them to join him in the call-and-response song "Amen" by Jester Hairston. Smith, determined that the building will be constructed to the highest standards, insists that the work be done by him and only him.

Meanwhile, the nuns write letters to various philanthropic organizations and charities asking for money for supplies, but all their requests are denied. As word spreads about the endeavor, locals begin to show up to contribute materials and to help in construction, but Smith rebuffs all offers of assistance in the labor; as he gains a larger and larger audience for his efforts, the locals, impressed with his determination, but no less dogged than he, will content themselves no longer with just watching. They find ways to lend a hand that Smith cannot turn down – the lifting of a bucket or brick, for example. Once the process is in motion, they end up doing as they intended, assisting in every aspect of the construction, as well as contributing materials; this accelerates the progress, much to the delight of everyone but Smith. Ashton, who has long ignored Mother Maria's pleas, finds an excuse to deliver some more materials. Overnight, Smith finds that he's become a building foreman and contractor.

Enduring the hassles of coordinating the work of so many, the constant disputes with Mother Maria

New South Wales Electoral Commission

The New South Wales Electoral Commission is the statutory agency with responsibility for the administration and supervision of elections in New South Wales for state government, local government and Aboriginal organisations, registered clubs and statutory bodies. The Commission is responsible for the administration of the Parliamentary Electorates and Elections Act, 1912, including the registration or enrolment of electors, the preparation of lists and rolls of electors and the conduct of elections, reports to the Department of Premier and Cabinet; the NSW Electoral Commission determines electoral boundaries using a distribution process which provides for an approximate equal number of electors in each electoral district. The Electoral Commissioner, a Judge of the Supreme Court and the Surveyor-General review and consider advice prior to determining the electoral boundaries. Electoral boundaries are reviewed after every second election or more when required under legislation; until October 2006, the Commission was known as the State Electoral Office.

Elections in Australia List of New South Wales government agencies Official website

Texas Annual Conference

The Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church is the regional body of congregations and ministries in East Texas, from Texarkana west to Cedar Creek Lake in the north, Thorndale in the west, Bay City in the southwest and down to the Gulf Coast and back east to the Louisiana border. It is headquartered in Houston, Texas with Bishop Scott J. Jones serving as the presiding Bishop; the Texas Annual Conference is unofficially referred to as "the Houston Area of The United Methodist Church". The Texas Annual Conference is the largest Annual Conference in the Church's South Central Jurisdiction and the third largest in the United Methodist denomination; the Texas Annual Conference was the original Annual Conference in Texas, which now contains 6 Annual Conferences that were carved out of the original Texas Conference. The State of Texas now has 1 Spanish language conference; the jurisdiction of the Spanish language Conference, the Rio Grande Conference, covers the entire State of Texas and portions of New Mexico.

The Texas Annual Conference contains over 1000 churches in over 800 pastoral appointments, 12 Wesley Foundations, 2 higher education institutions and many other ministries and outreaches. The Texas Conference is divided into 9 districts that cover subdivided areas of the conference territory. Districts are the United Methodist equivalent of a Roman Catholic diocese. McMahan Chapel, the oldest Protestant church in Texas and one of the oldest Protestant congregations west of the Mississippi River, is located in the East District and is celebrated each year with an annual Conference wide worship service and gathering, McMahon Chapel Day; the original Methodist missionary to what was the Mexican territory of Texas, the Rev. Littleton Fowler, is buried under the pulpit of McMahon's Chapel; the Rev. Sumner Bacon, the first Presbyterian missionary to Texas, is buried in the nearby Chapel Hill United Methodist Church cemetery. District Superintendents supervise each district; the superintendents serve for six years but they can serve for as long as eight if the presiding Bishop feels that there are exceptional reasons to do so.

A superintendent may serve up to 12 years in total during the course of their ministry, there are no exceptions allowed to this rule. Each of the nine districts coordinate and support all of the work of the Church within its geographical boundaries; the West District in the Texas Annual Conference is the highest apportionment paying District in the entire United Methodist denomination. The southern and eastern districts of the Annual Conference were affected by the damage of Hurricane Ike in the Fall of 2008, with several coastal congregations being wiped out completely; the Texas Annual Conference website