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A Prayer for the Day from St. Francis of Assisi

God Almighty, eternal, righteous, and merciful, give to us poor sinners to do for Thy sake all that we know of Thy will, and to will always what pleases Thee; so that inwardly purified, enlightened, and kindled by the fire of the Holy Spirit, we may follow in the footprints of Thy well-beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

–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

Monday Mental Health Break–Dizzy – Roman Candles

Posted in * General Interest, Canada, Music

Prayers for the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina This Day

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

Matt Ridley–5 reasons why the coronavirus nightmare may soon be over

The second reason for hope is that, as Oxford University’s epidemiologist Sunetra Gupta has argued, herd immunity may be achieved more easily than we first thought. Indeed, from the way that infections have continued to dwindle despite lessening social distancing it seems probable that herd immunity has already been achieved in London at least. Half the population could be immune already because of recent exposure to coronavirus colds, while children seem to resist catching Covid-19, let alone passing it on. As the chief medical officer Chris Whitty has conceded, the epidemic was already in retreat before lockdown began. That is because the virus depends heavily on a few superspreaders, and pre-lockdown measures we were taking in March are remarkably effective: no handshakes, frequent hand washing, no large gatherings and so on.

So the third reason for optimism is that as long as we continue with these measures then this virus will struggle to keep spreading in the community. The one place where the virus did spread with horrible ease was in care homes and hospitals. Why was this? T-cell senescence is an issue, so old people’s immune systems are just not as good at coping with this kind of infection, and there were dreadful policy mistakes made, like stopping testing people, clearing patients out of hospitals to care homes without tests, and assuming no asymptomatic transmission. Healthcare and care home staff were not properly protected and were allowed to go from site to site. Many were infected and became carriers.

Read it all.

Posted in Health & Medicine, Science & Technology

A Prayer for the Day from Bishop Thomas Wilson

Grant, O God, that amidst all the discouragements, difficulties, dangers, distress, and darkness of this mortal life, I may depend upon Thy mercy, and on this build my hopes, as on a sure foundation. Let Thine infinite mercy in Christ Jesus deliver me from despair, both now, and at the hour of death.

–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

In thee, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame! In thy righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline thy ear to me, and save me! Be thou to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for thou art my rock and my fortress. Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man. For thou, O Lord, art my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth. Upon thee I have leaned from my birth; thou art he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of thee. I have been as a portent to many; but thou art my strong refuge.

–Psalm 71:1-7

Posted in Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Day from the Book of Hours

O Lord, Who hast brought us through the darkness of night to the light of morning, and by Thy Holy Spirit dost lighten the darkness of ignorance and sin: we beseech Thee of Thy loving-kindness to pour Thy holy light into our souls, that we may ever be devoted to Thee, by Whose wisdom we were created, by Whose mercy we were redeemed, and by Whose providence we are governed; to the honour and glory of Thy Name.

–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

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to thee, when my heart is faint. Lead thou me to the rock that is higher than I; for thou art my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in thy tent for ever! Oh to be safe under the shelter of thy wings!

–Psalm 61:1-4

Posted in Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Day from Malcolm Spencer

Lord, I believe in Thee; help Thou mine unbelief. I love Thee, yet not with a perfect heart as I would; I long for Thee, yet not with my full strength; I trust in Thee, yet not with my whole mind. Accept my faith, my love, my longing to know and serve Thee, my trust in Thy power to keep me. What is cold do Thou kindle, what is lacking do Thou make up. I wait Thy blessing; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–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

Prayers for the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina This Day

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

(CT) Bruce Hindmarsh–J.I. Packer Was the Robin Hood of Evangelicalism

J. I. Packer was my teacher at Regent College when I was a young graduate student. Some years later, he became my colleague and next-door neighbor in the hallways at the college and a fellow church member at St. John’s Anglican Church in Vancouver. I will forever be grateful to have known him. He shaped my life and thought in many ways, and I am not alone in this experience.

In light of his recent passing, I have been thinking more about his wider legacy and especially his significant contribution to evangelicalism as a whole. In the present political culture, however, the word “evangelical” or “evangelicalism” is freighted with a good deal of baggage that’s worth shedding immediately.

We can do so by going back in time. The Old English word “gospel” never got a proper Old English adjective and had to steal a Greek one: “evangelical.” But the noun and the adjective belong together. And as the great Bible translator William Tyndale put it, “evangelical” is a word that “signifieth good, merry, glad and joyful tidings, that maketh a man’s heart glad, and maketh him sing, dance, and leap for joy.”

This vibrant relationship between word and life, message and experience, doctrine and devotion was absolutely central to the evangelical movements in Germany and English-speaking lands that emerged at the beginning of the modern period.

Evangelicals today claim some sort of genealogical or theological continuity with these movements. But wherever we see the preaching of Jesus Christ generate new life and set people in joyful motion, that is where we properly use the adjective “evangelical” in its most important and basic sense. It is why we cannot, I think, abandon the term. Again, the words “gospel” and “evangelical” ought always to be kept together. Indeed, Jim Packer played a significant role in evangelicalism over the past six decades precisely because he helped those who identify as social evangelicals to be theological and spiritual evangelicals as well.

Read it all.

Posted in Canada, Church of England (CoE), Evangelicals, Seminary / Theological Education

From the Daily Scripture Readings

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

–Romans 15:13

Posted in Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Day from Thomas Arnold of Rugby

O Lord, I have a busy world around me; eye, ear, and thought will be needed for all my work to be done in that busy world. Now ere I enter upon it I would commit eye, ear, and thought to Thee. Do Thou bless them and keep their work Thine; such as, through Thy natural laws my heart beats and my blood flows without any thought of mine for them, so my spiritual life may hold on its course at those times when my mind cannot consciously turn to Thee to commit each particular thought to Thy service. Hear my prayer for my dear Redeemer’s sake

–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

(CT) Karen Marsh–The Demanding Faith of Flannery O’Connor

One cannot get through a Flannery O’Connor story without encountering the strangeness of God. As she said, the greatest dramas involve the salvation or loss of the soul. Her short story “Revelation” startles with its final vision of a field of living fire. The vast hordes of souls rumbling toward heaven, the battalions of freaks and lunatics shouting and clapping and leaping like frogs, are a queerly beautiful sight. And then the words, “In the woods around her the invisible cricket choruses had struck up, but what she heard were the voices of the souls climbing upward into the starry field and shouting hallelujah.” Here is a spiritual reality, glorious and disturbing, which my comfortable Christian categories cannot contain.

Flannery lamented that our secular society understands the religious mind less and less, that people who believe vigorously in Christ are wholly odd to most readers. It becomes more and more difficult in America to make belief believable, yet this is what she wanted to do.

My husband, Charles, has always been a Flannery O’Connor fan, and he introduced me to her personal correspondence. Flannery’s letters reveal a warm, witty, probing woman—nothing like the stern author I’d imagined from her violent stories. She discusses manuscripts she’s rewriting, the books she’s reading, a funny encounter with the telephone repairman, a promise to send more peacock feathers, news of Cousin Katie, complaints about the “idiot legislature,” and an account of a funeral. Throughout the 596 pages, there is a great deal of theology. Flannery insists that she is not a mystic and does not lead a holy life, yet she unapologetically displays her faith: a life of continually turning away from egocentricity and toward God.

Read it all.

Posted in History, Poetry & Literature, Theology, Women

A Prayer for the Day from Bishop John Cosin (1594-1672)

Lord Jesu, I give Thee my body, my soul, my substance, my fame, my friends, my liberty, and my life; dispose of me, and of all that is mine, as it seemeth best to Thee, and to the glory of Thy blessed Name. Be Thou a light unto mine eyes, music to mine ears, sweetness to my taste, and a full contentment to my heart. Be Thou my sunshine in the day, my food at the table, my repose in the night, my clothing in nakedness, and my succour in all necessities.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Daily Scripture Readings

O God, thou art my God, I seek thee,
my soul thirsts for thee;
my flesh faints for thee,
as in a dry and weary land where no water is.
So I have looked upon thee in the sanctuary,
beholding thy power and glory.
Because thy steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise thee.
So I will bless thee as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands and call on thy name.

–Psalm 63:1-4

Posted in Theology: Scripture

JI Packer RIP

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Psalm 116:15 ESV

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Dr. J.I. Packer, a treasured faculty member, author, churchman, and friend.

James Innell Packer died July 17th in Vancouver, British Columbia. He was ninety-three, and humorous, gracious, and prayerful even in his final days.

One of the most widely-respected systematic theologians of the twentieth century, Jim drew his inspiration primarily from Scripture, but was deeply influenced by the works of John Calvin and the English Puritans. Jim brought seventeenth-century Puritan devotion to life for his twentieth- and twenty-first-century students. While named as one of the 25 Most Influential Evangelicals by Time Magazine in 2005 and author of one of the best-selling Christian books of all time, Knowing God, Jim Packer’s description of himself was as an “adult catechist.” “Theology, friends, is doxology” is a phrase students recall, and in many respects, the adage that shaped his lengthy career.

From his youth as the son of a railway clerk in Gloucester, England, Jim won a scholarship to Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he was noted as a remarkable student with a brilliant intellect. Growing up in a nominal Anglican home, Jim became a Christian early in his time at Oxford, largely through the InterVarsity Fellowship Christian Union and St. Aldate’s Anglican Church.

Following his undergraduate degree, Jim taught Greek at Oak Hill Theological College in London. He quickly felt drawn to further study, and commenced his studies in theology at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. He was awarded an MA and DPhil, writing his dissertation on Puritan Richard Baxter’s doctrine of salvation under Geoffrey Nuttall. “It was the Puritans,” Jim noted, “that made me aware that all theology is also spirituality.”

Read it all.

Posted in Canada, Church of England, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Evangelicals, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;

To the end that [my] glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

–Psalm 30:11-12 (KJV)

Posted in Theology: Scripture

From the Morning Scripture readings

‘But I trust in thee, O Lord,
I say, “Thou art my God.”
My times are in thy hand’

–Psalm 31:14-15a

Posted in Theology: Scripture

Thursday food for Thought from Pope Benedict XVI

Posted in Eschatology, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Christina Rossetti

Lord Jesus, All-pure, purify us that we may behold All-holy, sanctify us that we may stand before Thee. All-gracious, mould us that we may please Thee. Very love, suffer us not to set at naught Thy love; suffer not devil, world, flesh, to destroy us; suffer not ourselves to destroy ourselves; us with whom Thou strivest, whom Thou desirest, whom Thou lovest.

–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

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Eugene Bersier

O God, Who knowest our hearts and seest our temptations, our struggles, and our deep distress: have pity upon us, and deliver us from the evil that wars against our souls. Thou art all-powerful, and we are weak and sinful; but our hope is in Thee, O faithful and good God. Release us from bondage to evil, and grant that henceforth we may serve Thee in the freedom of Thy holy 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

Brand new TEC in SC Diocese’s motion for reconsideration in Lawsuit with Historic Anglican Diocese of South Carolina is denied

Monday, July 13 Judge Dickson denied the TECSC Motion for Reconsideration of his ruling.  They promptly filed their Notice of Appeal and a further motion requesting the S.C. Supreme Court to take the appeal directly.

The Diocese continues to give thanks for the clarity of Judge Dickson’s ruling and forward progress towards the conclusion of this litigation.

Posted in * South Carolina, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Michael Curry, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Prayer Manual

Into Thy hands, O Lord, we commend ourselves this day. Let Thy presence be with us to its close. Strengthen us to remember that in whatsoever good work we do we are serving Thee. Give us a diligent and watchful spirit, that we may seek in all things to know Thy will, and knowing it, gladly to perform it; to the honour of Thy Name.

–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

Praise from Thomas Ken to Begin the Day

Blessing and honour and thanksgiving and praise, more than we can utter, more than we can conceive, be unto Thee, O holy and glorious Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, by all angels, by all men, all creatures, for ever and 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

A Prayer for the Day from the Church of England

Almighty and everlasting God,
by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church
is governed and sanctified:
hear our prayer which we offer for all your faithful people,
that in their vocation and ministry
they may serve you in holiness and truth
to the glory of your name;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Spirituality/Prayer

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 Archbishop Edward White Benson

Lord, Who hast called me with a holy calling; O Word of God, living and active, be Thou quick to discern the thoughts and intents of my heart, that I may not glory save in the Cross, that I may not tire in well-doing, and not wax weary in soul. Lord, I lack wisdom, make me wise, Who ask in faith and doubt neither Thy power nor Thy love; may my inner man be renewed day by day, fashioned after the image of God. And this I pray that love may abound in knowledge and all discernment, to learn to know Thy will and Thee, my God, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding and orderly prudence.

–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

South Carolina Anglican Bishop Mark Lawrence Calls for a Bishop Coadjutor

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Children, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Thursday Mental Health Break–Ubi Caritas – Ola Gjeilo (cover)

Posted in Liturgy, Music, Worship