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The Rev John Collins RIP

Collins…married Diana Kimpton, an actress, in 1955. They had met at a London rally held by the American evangelist Billy Graham. She would put on drama productions in church, as Collins moved away from traditional pulpit preaching, and also train Collins’s curates in public speaking. She died in 2013. He is survived by their children, Dominic and Richenda.
From 1971 Collins served at the semi-rural parish of Canford Magna in Dorset, but led regular missions to London, including the “Leap Step Forward” campaign at HTB, which planted the seeds of its rebirth as a Charismatic evangelical church.

Collins invented what he called the “evangelistic supper party” at which members of his community were encouraged to overcome their qualms, invite friends to dinner and hold discussions about the meaning of life over a glass of wine. It became a highly effective method of evangelising to the chattering classes of Kensington and its affluent surrounds. The suppers were a vital part of the introduction to Christianity course, Alpha, which had been launched at HTB in 1977 and would grow into a global phenomenon.

When he was due to leave HTB in 1985, he made the unusual step for a senior clergyman of staying on for five years as an assistant curate to ensure continuity of mission, while graciously ceding authority to the new vicar, Sandy Miller. At the same time he served as area dean of Chelsea and Prebendary of St Paul’s Cathedral. After Collins’s retirement in 1990, his work would be continued by Nicky and Pippa Gumbel.

He continued to study the Bible in Greek. Aptly, his favourite verse remained “Rejoice in the Lord Always” (Philippians, iv, 4). Ironically, for a man some deemed responsible for tambourines in church, Collins was an accomplished classical organist who played every day until the end of his life.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Evangelicals, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Monday food for Thought from John R W Stott

The Sermon on the Mount describes what human life and human community look like when they come under the gracious rule of God. And what do they look like? Different! Jesus emphasized that his true followers, the citizens of God’s kingdom, were to be entirely different from others. They were not to take their cue from the people around them, but
from him, and so prove to be genuine children of their heavenly Father. To me the key text of the Sermon on the Mount is Matthew 6:8: “Do not be like them.” It is immediately reminiscent of God’s word to Israel in Leviticus 18:3: “You must not do as they do.” It is the same call to be different. And right through the Sermon on the Mount this theme is elaborated.

–cited by yours truly in yesterday’s sermon

Posted in Theology: Scripture

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon–What is the message we proclaim and and what is the community of which we are a part (1 Corinthians 2; Matthew 5:13-16)?

Listen to it all (download option is there as well).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings

(CT) Adam Carrington–Deaths of despair are on the rise in our country. What is the role of the church?

Today our society is suffering from an epidemic of self-harm, culminating in the most final form of suffering on this earth—in “deaths of despair.”

These deaths speak to the harm inflicted on oneself through overdosing, suicide, or health issues from alcoholism. They manifest despair as a way of coping (or trying to end) one’s suffering of physical or mental pain.

A new study makes the case that a loss of religion has played a significant part in this rise. This does not necessarily entail atheism, as many of these people may continue to believe in God or some other kind of spirituality. Rather, it involves no longer participating in organized religion within a faith community.

Previous research has shown that men and women who regularly attended religious services at least once a week were less likely to die of despair. Which means, as Tyler VanderWeele and Brendan Case point out in a CT article, “Empty pews are an American public health crisis.”

The individualization of religion and the isolation of its experience are two factors contributing to this trend. We live in times of great confusion regarding how God created us—and among the lies we struggle with is believing that community is something we can take or leave.

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Posted in America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Religion & Culture

Ezra Klein–The Story Construction Tells About America’s Economy Is Disturbing

Here’s something odd: We’re getting worse at construction. Think of the technology we have today that we didn’t in the 1970s. The new generations of power tools and computer modeling and teleconferencing and advanced machinery and prefab materials and global shipping. You’d think we could build much more, much faster, for less money, than in the past. But we can’t. Or, at least, we don’t.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, productivity in the construction sector — how much more could be done given the same number of workers and machines and land — grew faster than productivity in the rest of the economy. Then, around 1970, it began to fall, even as economywide productivity kept rising. Today, the divergence is truly wild. A construction worker in 2020 produced less than a construction worker in 1970, at least according to the official statistics. Contrast that with the economy overall, where labor productivity rose by 290 percent between 1950 and 2020, or to the manufacturing sector, which saw a stunning ninefold increase in productivity.

In the piquantly titled “The Strange and Awful Path of Productivity in the U.S. Construction Sector,” Austan Goolsbee, the newly appointed president of the Chicago Federal Reserve and a former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, under President Barack Obama, and Chad Syverson, an economist at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, set out to uncover whether this is all just a trick of statistics, and if not, what has gone wrong.

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Posted in Economy, History

A prayer for the day from Christina Rossetti

Lord, because being compassed with infirmities we oftentimes sin and ask for pardon: Help us to forgive as we would be forgiven; neither mentioning old offences committed against us, nor dwelling upon them in thought, nor being influenced by them in heart; but loving our brother freely, as thou freely lovest us; for Christ’s sake.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh that would compel you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For even those who receive circumcision do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may glory in your flesh. But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule, upon the Israel of God.

Henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.

–Galatians 6:11-18

Posted in Theology: Scripture

Prayers for the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina This Day

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

A prayer for the day from Edward Bouverie Pusey

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who when on earth wast ever occupied about Thy Father’s business; grant that we may not grow weary in well-doing. Give us grace to do all in Thy Name; be Thou the beginning and the end of all; the pattern Whom we follow, the redeemer in Whom we trust, the master Whom we serve, the friend to Whom we look for sympathy. May we never shrink from our duty through any fear of man; make us faithful unto death: and bring us at last into the eternal presence, where with the Father and the Holy Ghost Thou livest and reignest for ever.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed, he is girded with strength. Yea, the world is established; it shall never be moved; thy throne is established from of old; thou art from everlasting.

–Psalm 93:1-2

Posted in Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Cornelius the Centurion

O God, who by thy Spirit didst call Cornelius the Centurion to be the first Christian among the Gentiles: Grant to thy Church, we beseech thee, such a ready will to go where thou dost send and to do what thou dost command, that under thy guidance it may welcome all who turn to thee in love and faith, and proclaim the Gospel to all nations; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A prayer for the day from William Temple

O Jesus, Master and Lord, pour into our hearts Thine own heroic love, that being filled with love we may know the love which passeth knowledge, and live in the unknown power of love to win men to trust in love, to the glory of God Who is Love.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.

–Galatians 6:7-9

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(BBC) Pope and archbishop on historic peace mission to South Sudan

There has never been a visit like it and it has been years in the planning.

The first people to greet Pope Francis when he arrived in the South Sudanese capital were Archbishop Justin Welby and Moderator Rev Iain Greenshields, who both boarded the papal plane moments after it landed.

All three religious leaders were greeted with fanfare at Juba’s airport before travelling through singing, cheering and ululating crowds to the Presidential Palace.

“It is a circuitous journey, yet one that can no longer be postponed,” said Pope Francis, referring to delays in the trip caused by Covid, security concerns and the pontiff’s own health problems.

“I have come with two brothers, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Together, stretching out our hands, we present ourselves to you and to this people in the name of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace,” the Pope said.

But this trip comes at a time when long-term peace and stability in South Sudan seem a distant prospect. It’s people are suffering crushing poverty and have little hope in their political leaders.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, --Scotland, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pope Francis, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Violence

(C of E) LLF Next Steps Group meeting on 1 February 2023

The Next Steps Group of bishops met on Wednesday 01 February 2023.

The Next Steps Group of bishops are looking forward to listening and attending to Synod members’ reflections on LLF at General Synod next week. They noted that Synod members’ feedback about the draft Prayers of Love and Faith and the proposed new Pastoral Guidance will be instrumental in shaping the way that these two strands of work are taken forward and brought back to Synod in July 2023.

The group reiterated that the Prayers and the Guidance belong together. In particular, the Prayers will not be commended before the Pastoral Guidance has set out clear reassurances for clergy and laity in relation to being able to either offer or not offer the prayers. The Next Steps bishops welcome Synod’s participation in setting out what such reassurance might look like in practice and what approaches would be helpful to enable church communities to engage with one another well in relation to the opportunity these prayers offer.

Read it all.

Posted in --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Church of England, CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

(NPR Shots) This winter’s U.S. COVID surge is fading fast, likely thanks to a ‘wall’ of immunity

This winter’s COVID-19 surge in the U.S. appears to be fading without hitting nearly as hard as many had feared.

“I think the worst of the winter resurgence is over,” says Dr. David Rubin, who’s been tracking the pandemic at the PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

No one expected this winter’s surge to be as bad as the last two. But both the flu and RSV came roaring back really early this fall. At the same time, the most contagious omicron subvariant yet took off just as the holidays arrived in late 2022. And most people were acting like the pandemic was over, which allowed all three viruses to spread quickly.

So there were big fears of hospitals getting completely overwhelmed again, with many people getting seriously ill and dying.

But that’s not what happened.

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Posted in America/U.S.A., Health & Medicine

(CC) Julian DeShazier on Clergy Burnout–The little engine that needed collaborators

According to a recent study from the Barna Group, 42 percent of pastors have given “real, serious consideration” to quitting full-time ministry. That number is higher for pastors under 45 years old and even higher for women (regardless of age). If 42 percent of pastors are seriously considering quitting, then no doubt most of the pastors reading this have at least thought about it. And if you’re a layperson, deacon, or elder, hear me now: there’s a good chance your pastor is thinking about quitting.

This column is not a call to take better care of your pastor or to take a special collection to send them on an uninterrupted vacation. As nice as vacations are—and I wonder how many “Pastors like Mai Tais, too!” T-shirts I could sell—a lack of vacation is not high on the list of burnout factors that pastors cite. In this season, clergy health requires something much more imaginative than “Here, go away.”

Pastors burn out for the same reasons engines do: they work too hard. Frontline care providers of all kinds are working too hard these days. One myth is that better engines can sustain the load, that clergy burnout is the result of weak or unfit clergy. But while it is true that some people have no business doing public ministry, the larger truth is that small, relatively weak engines can last hundreds of thousands of miles and perform incredibly well—with the right support. Both performance and lifespan depend largely on how much an engine has to compensate for systems around it that aren’t functioning well. And any pastor, whether they feel “built for this” or not, will be brought closer to burnout if they are performing most of the operational duties at a church themself.

When Barna asked pastors why they were considering quitting, the top two answers were “stress” and “feeling lonely and isolated” (with “political divisions” coming in a distant-but-meaningful third)

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Health & Medicine, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture

For his Feast Day–Medieval Sourcebook: Life of Anskar, the Apostle of the North, 801-865

When one of Anskar’s followers suggested to him that he could work miracles he replied, ” Were I worthy of such a favour from my God, I would ask that He would grant to me this one miracle, that by His grace He would make of me a good man.” No one can read the “Life” written by Rimbert his disciple and successor which, after being lost for five hundred years, was fortunately rediscovered, without feeling moved to thank God for the accomplishment of the miracle for which Anskar had prayed. He was a good man in the best and truest sense of the term. In the character presented to us by his biographer we have a singularly attractive combination of transparent humility, unflinching courage, complete self devotion, and unwavering belief in a loving and overruling providence. The claim to the title Apostle of the North, which was early made on his behalf, rests not upon the immediate outcome of his labours, but upon the inspiring example which he bequeathed to those who were moved to follow in his steps. For whilst the Missions which lie planted in Denmark and Sweden during the thirty-three years of his episcopate were interrupted after his death by the desolating raids of the Northmen, those by whom the work was restarted gratefully recognised him as their pioneer.

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Posted in Church History, Denmark, Sweden

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Anskar

Almighty and everlasting God, who didst send thy servant Anskar as an apostle to the people of Scandinavia, and dist enable him to lay a firm foundation for their conversion, though he did not see the results of his labors: Keep thy Church from discouragement in the day of small things, knowing that when thou hast begun a good work thou wilt bring it to a faithful conclusion; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Church History, Denmark, Spirituality/Prayer, Sweden

A prayer for the day from W. F. Hook

O Thou Lover of mankind, send down into our hearts that peace which the world cannot give, and give us peace in this world. O King of Peace, keep us in love and charity; be our God, for we have none other beside Thee; grant unto our souls the life of righteousness, that the death of sin may not prevail against us, or against any of Thy people.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

–Galatians 5:22-24

Posted in Theology: Scripture

The Primate of South Sudan & Chairman of Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches makes a statement on the upcoming ‘Pilgrimage of Peace’

(Via email) Issued by the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches

By the Primate of South Sudan & Chairman of Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches on the upcoming ‘Pilgrimage of Peace’

HE Primate of South Sudan, the Most Rev Justin Badi, who is also the Chairman of the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA), joyfully participates in the ‘Pilgrimage of Peace’ this coming weekend, in which the Government of his country has invited The Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, the Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, to come together and to pray for peace.

However, the Primate says his warm participation does not in any way diminish his biblical views on marriage or sexuality….

South Sudan is currently going through a civil war, persistent floods have destroyed homes and livelihoods, food shortages are widespread, and millions of South Sudanese people are displaced. Archbishop Badi said: “We appreciate these Christian world leaders for their prayers, and their tireless efforts under the most challenging circumstances, to engage the world in the immense need to stand with the South Sudanese people. We pray their visit will remind us as South Sudanese people to repent of our own spirit of violence and mistrust, and to recommit ourselves to true reconciliation, justice and peaceful co-existence.”

During the weekend, the four religious leaders shall be present for a major prayer event at which a congregation of around 60,000 is expected. They will be praying for peace in the land and the well-being of her people.

Archbishop Badi affirms and values the ‘Pilgrimage of Peace’ and shall offer generous Christian hospitality to the invited world and national religious leaders. However, he says his involvement as the Provincial Anglican leader in the country does not, in any way, diminish his views on marriage or sexuality as outlined, in full, in the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches’ Communique, published at the conclusion of the Lambeth Conference in England in the summer of 2022.

Archbishop Badi, and the leaders of the GSFA will be earnestly praying for the outcome of the Motion on Living in Love and Faith before the General Synod of the Church of England this coming week, 6-9 Feb 2023. The views of the GSFA on the recommendations of the House of Bishops have been expressed in the GSFA Press Release of 24 Jan 2023. The GSFA is poised to follow through on the implications of the critical Synod vote, and seeks a good outcome both for the Church of England, and the world-wide Anglican Communion.

Posted in --Justin Welby, --South Sudan, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Global South Churches & Primates, Pastoral Theology, Pope Francis, Roman Catholic, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Sudan, Theology

(Church Times) MPs plan to put pressure on the C of E after Welby’s disestablishment remarks

Lambeth Palace has expressed dismay at reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury told MPs that he would rather see the Church of England disestablished than split the Anglican Communion over the issue of same-sex marriage.

Archbishop Welby made the remarks in a private meeting with parliamentarians on Monday. The Church Times understands that it was put to Archbishop Welby that the Church of England’s current position on same-sex marriage was incompatible with its established status, and that the Archbishop replied that he would rather that the Church lost that status than exclude conservative groups in the Anglican Communion. The remarks reportedly were met with some surprise.

A spokesman for Lambeth Palace did not deny that the Archbishop had made a comment of this nature, but said: “We do not recognise the account of the private discussion as it has been leaked, which was much more nuanced and complex than how it has been described.

“The Archbishop agreed to meet for a private conversation with MPs, and it’s disappointing that some parliamentarians have chosen not to honour the terms of the meeting.”

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Posted in --Civil Unions & Partnerships, --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England, Church/State Matters, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

(Crux) Pope urges Congo Roman Catholics to press beyond ethnic, regional divides

On his second day in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pope Francis told Catholics to go beyond ethnic and regional divides in fostering peace, and stressed forgiveness and conversion in overcoming violence and divisions currently tearing apart the country with Africa’s largest Catholic population.

He stressed the need to forgive even those who perpetrate violence, and called those who responsible for the country’s decades-long war to conversion.

Speaking during his Feb. 1 public Mass in Kinshasa, the pope said Christians “are called to be missionaries of peace,” insisting that “it is a decision we have to make.”

“We need to find room in our hearts for everyone; to believe that ethnic, regional, social and religious differences are secondary and not obstacles; that others are our brothers and sisters, members of the same human community; and that the peace brought into the world by Jesus is meant for everyone,” he said.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pope Francis, Religion & Culture, Republic of Congo, Roman Catholic, Violence

(Economist) The touchy-feely world of the metaverse and future gadgets

The brave new world Aldous Huxley describes in his novel of that title features the “feelies”. In 1932, its year of publication, movies were turning into talkies. Feelies must have seemed a logical, if creepy, extension of that. The book alludes to a film at a local theatre with a love scene on a bearskin rug, in which the sensation of every hair of the bear is reproduced.

The feelies have still not arrived. But people are working on them. In computer games and virtual reality (vr), two heirs to cinema’s role in light entertainment, practitioners of the discipline of haptics are attempting to add a sense of touch to those of vision and hearing, to increase the illusion of immersion in a virtual world. In future, they hope, if you reach out to pluck an apple from a tree in such a paradise, your hand will no longer go through it. You will, rather, be able to feel and grasp the fruit, if not actually eat it. Conversely, if it is a paradise lost you are in, and a baddy hiding behind the apple tree shoots you, you will feel the bullet’s impact.

To experience all this a user will wear haptic clothing. The ambitious talk of whole-body haptic suits, but in the case of the apple, the tree and the gunman haptic gloves and a haptic vest would suffice. Moving a gloved hand creates corresponding movement of a user’s virtual hand, with sensations appropriate to objects “touched” being fed back via devices called haptic actuators, incorporated into the glove. Haptic vests similarly stimulate parts of the upper body.

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Posted in Science & Technology

Eleanor Parker–An Anglo-Saxon Sermon for Candlemas

‘The blessed Mary offered her sacrifice to God with the child, as it was appointed in God’s law. It was so appointed in the old law, by God’s command, that those who could afford it should bring a lamb of one year old with their child, as an offering to God, and a pigeon or a turtle-dove. But if any woman were so poor that she could not obtain those things, then she should bring two young pigeons or two turtle-doves.

This smaller offering was offered for Christ, that is, the birds, which were the offerings of the poor. The Almighty Son of God was very mindful of our needs in all things; not only did he choose to become man for us, though he was God, but he also chose to become needy for us, though he was mighty, so that he might give us a portion in his kingdom and communion with his divinity. A lamb betokens innocence and the greater kind of goodness; but if we are so wretched that we cannot offer to God that greater goodness, then we should bring him two turtle-doves or two young pigeons; that is, a twofold burgeoning of awe and love. A person experiences this burgeoning in two ways: first, he dreads the torments of hell, and mourns for his sins; then afterwards he feels love to God, and he begins to murmur, and it seems to him too long a time until he shall be taken from the afflictions of this life, and brought to eternal rest.’

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Posted in Church History, Epiphany, Preaching / Homiletics

A Prayer for the Feast of the Presentation

Almighty and everliving God, we humbly beseech thee that, as thy only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple, so we may be presented unto thee with pure and clean hearts by the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Theology: Scripture

A prayer for the day from the Prayer Manual

O Holy Spirit, Who abhorrest all uncleanness and rejoicest and delightest to dwell in pure and innocent hearts: I beseech Thee by Thy mercies that, as I owe to Thy loving-kindness this glorious treasure which I carry in an earthen vessel, so I may keep it safe by Thy goodness, and daily pleasing Thee more and more with undefiled soul and body, may come to that life which knows no corruption, in which Thou livest and reignest with the Father and the Son.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Now I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who receives circumcision that he is bound to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail, but faith working through love. You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view than mine; and he who is troubling you will bear his judgment, whoever he is. But if I, brethren, still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? In that case the stumbling block of the cross has been removed. I wish those who unsettle you would mutilate themselves! For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another take heed that you are not consumed by one another.

–Galatians 5:1-15

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(Premiere CN) ‘The Church needs to wake up’, says youth charity as average age of Christians is over 50 for first time ever

For the first time in census history, the average age of people who identify as a Christian in England and Wales is over 50.

New data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals the median age of people who describe themselves as “Christian” in 2021 was 51, an increase from 45 in the 2011 census.

Those who identified as “Christian” had the oldest average age out of the main religions in the country, with Muslims having the youngest average age of 27.

Danny Webster, director of advocacy at the Evangelical Alliance told Premier he thinks the way people label themselves has a lot to do with the way the figures have panned out.

Read it all.

Posted in England / UK, Religion & Culture