Teach us, good Lord, to serve Thee as Thou deservest; to give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labour and not to ask for any reward, save that of knowing that we do Thy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, Which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort our hearts, and establish us in every good word and work. Amen.
–Henry Stobart, Daily Services For Christian Households (London: SPCK,1867), p.91
Grant, O blessed Lord, that thy Church in this our day may hear anew thy call to launch out into the deep in the service of thy glorious gospel; that souls for whom thou hast died may be won for thee, to the increase of thy kingdom and the glory of thy holy name.
Set a watch, O Lord, upon our tongue, that we may never speak the cruel word which is not true; or being true, is not the whole truth; or being wholly true, is merciless; for the love of Jesus Christ our Lord.
—Daily Prayer, Eric Milner-White and G. W. Briggs, eds. (London: Penguin Books 1959 edition of the 1941 original)
Almighty God our heavenly Father, who hast given thy Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins, and hast commanded us to love one another as thou hast loved us: Make us, we beseech thee, so mindful of the needs and sufferings of others, that we may ever be ready to show them compassion, and according to our ability to relieve their wants; for the sake of the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
–The Rev. James Mountain (1844-1933)
To give a human example, brethren: no one annuls even a man’s will, or adds to it, once it has been ratified. Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many; but, referring to one, “And to your offspring,” which is Christ. This is what I mean: the law, which came four hundred and thirty years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. For if the inheritance is by the law, it is no longer by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.
Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made; and it was ordained by angels through an intermediary. Now an intermediary implies more than one; but God is one.
Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not; for if a law had been given which could make alive, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But the scripture consigned all things to sin, that what was promised to faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
A Psalm of Asaph. The Mighty One, God the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth. Our God comes, he does not keep silence, before him is a devouring fire, round about him a mighty tempest.
Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it.
Three proposals before General Convention this year would significantly alter this situation and make it hard to see how there will be any ongoing place for this Communion witness within American Anglicanism. One would remove, with immediate effect, the diocesan bishop’s freedom to refuse trial use in their diocese (there is also a proposal to introduce a new transgender re-naming rite across all dioceses).
More serious still is a first reading to write the current trial same-sex marriage liturgies into the Prayer Book, which would require confirmation in 2021 before taking effect. Alongside this there would be a rewriting of the Church’s Prayer Book Catechism to state that “Holy Matrimony is Christian marriage, in which two (2) people [replacing “the woman and man”] enter into a life-long union, make their vows before God and the Church, and receive the grace and blessing of God to help them fulfill their vows”. Given that all those ordained in TEC have to “solemnly engage to conform to the Doctrine, Discipline, and Worship of the Episcopal Church” and that doctrine and worship is expressed in the Catechism and Prayer Book these proposals, if accepted, will make it practically impossible for clergy holding an orthodox Christian doctrine of marriage to remain with integrity in The Episcopal Church.
Finally, it is also noteworthy that the proposals coming to General Convention extend further TEC’s revision of traditional sexual ethics. There has for some time been a liturgy for “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant”, which was produced for same-sex unions before there was a marriage liturgy.
It is now proposed to add to this a liturgy for “The Blessing of a Lifelong Relationship” in response to “study of contemporary trends and the expressed experiences of Episcopalians who desire to form and formalise a lifelong, monogamous and unconditional relationship, other than marriage, in particular circumstances”.
This would be the first authorised Anglican liturgy to bless non-marital heterosexual unions. It is these very significant proposed developments eliminating the Christian doctrine of marriage from TEC’s doctrine and liturgy and effectively excluding its adherents from their church – which led to William Nye’s letter and for many Anglicans it is these, rather than the letter, which should be the headline news and real cause of serious concern within the Church of England.
O God who hast made us in thine image, and who, sustaineth us in our failures, preserve us, we be seech thee, from presumption and despair, and grant that we may serve thee with steadiness and patience; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
–Robert W. Rodenmayer, ed., The Pastor’s Prayerbook: Selected and arranged for various occasions (New York: Oxford University Press, 1960)
Please keep the family and loved ones of the Rev. Canon John Ball in your prayers. Canon Ball died on Thursday, April 26, at the Bishop Gadsden Retirement Community. Canon Ball was ordained in 1958 by Bishop Thomas N.Carruthers, and served at Christ Church, Denmark; St. Alban’s, Blackville; and Holy Apostles, Barnwell. He also served in the Diocese of Atlanta from 1961-1976 and the Diocese of West Texas from 1976-1979. He was a member of the diocesan councils of both the South Carolina and Atlanta dioceses.
A graduate of the University of the South, he served as a Sewanee trustee in the 1960s. He also served as interim dean of the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul in the 1980s. He retired in 1988, but went on to be appointed Canon Pastor of the Diocese, serving pastorally at hospitals and nursing homes. He retired again in 2008 and resided at Bishop Gadsden. He and his wife, the late Helen “Nell” Ingle Ball, were the parents of four daughters.
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) May 7, 2018
O God our Father, whose law is a law of liberty: Grant us wisdom to use aright the freedom which thou hast given us, by surrendering ourselves to thy service; knowing that, when we are thy willing bondsmen, then only are we truly free; for Jesus Christ’s sake.
–New Every Morning (The Prayer Book Of The Daily Broadcast Service) [BBC, 1900]
When the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision affirmed Americans’ constitutional right to same-sex marriage, Justice Anthony Kennedy assured the country that the religious freedom safeguards enshrined in the First Amendment would protect those who continue to oppose those marriages. In his dissenting opinion, Justice Samuel Alito was not so sanguine, warning, “I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers and schools.”
Not quite three years later, Alito’s concerns have already come to pass.
In a Star guest commentary earlier this month, Lori Ross, CEO of FosterAdopt Connect, claimed that a bill currently proposed in Kansas would enshrine “taxpayer-funded discrimination,” calling it “negligent” and “harmful.” By referencing the truly tragic story of a young boy’s suicide, she implied that the bill could lead to the deaths of children in the state foster care system. Or take Republican state Sen. Barbara Bollier’s statement on the Senate floor during a debate on the bill, where she called Catholic teachings on marriage “sick discrimination.” What sort of legislation would draw such vehement denunciation?
The proposed legislation is the Adoption Protection Act. All it does is ensure that faith-based adoption providers will be allowed to continue to operate in accordance with their sincerely held religious beliefs. In other words, the proposed legislation merely preserves the status quo and makes it clear that faith-based providers will not be penalized for serving in accordance with their beliefs.
Albert Mohler–Keeping the Evangel in Evangelism: Why Evangelicalism Can’t Abandon the Old, Old Story
Fundamentally, the survival of the church in a post-Christian age comes down to a promise and a command given us in Scripture, an indicative and an imperative. First, we must remember that Jesus promised, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt 16:18).
Next, we must remember that we have been commissioned to “make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:18-20). We need to remember both of these words from Scripture in order to evangelize faithfully and maintain our evangelical identity.
As we evangelize we must keep the gospel and the person of Christ central and we must unashamedly and winsomely teach our evangelical commitments. We must talk about God’s holiness and righteousness, we must talk about sin, and we must talk about our need of a Savior. The core of the good news is the person and work of Jesus Christ. He is the one we must talk about most of all — and without fail.
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) April 23, 2018