Category : * Christian Life / Church Life

Saturday Food for Thought–There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy by Frederick W. Faber (1854)

“For the love of God is broader than the measures of man’s mind; and the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind. But we make his love too narrow by false limits of our own; and we magnify his strictness with a zeal he will not own.”

"For the love of God is broader than the measures of man's mind; and the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind….

Posted by St Mary's Shortlands – Church of England on Sunday, April 7, 2019

Posted in Liturgy, Music, Worship, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Lancelot Andrewes

Almighty God, who gavest thy servant Lancelot Andrewes the gift of thy holy Spirit and made him a man of prayer and a faithful pastor of thy people: Perfect in us what is lacking of thy gifts, of faith, to increase it, of hope, to establish it, of love, to kindle it, that we may live in the life of thy grace and glory; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Bishop Nicholas Ridley (1500-1555)

Heavenly Father, the Father of all wisdom, understanding, and true strength, we beseech Thee look mercifully upon Thy servants, and send Thy Holy Spirit into their hearts, that when they must join to fight in the field for the glory of Thy holy Name, then they, strengthened with the defense of Thy right hand, may manfully stand in the confession of Thy faith, and continue in the same unto their lives’ end.

–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 Feast Day of Saint Sergius

O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich: Deliver us, we pray thee, from an inordinate love of this world, that inspired by the devotion of thy servant Sergius of Moscow, we may serve thee with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the age to come; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in Church History, Russia, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Benjamin Jenks

O renew our spirits and draw our hearts unto Thyself, that our work may not be to us a burden, but a delight; and give us such a mighty love to Thee as may sweeten our obedience. O let us not serve Thee with the spirit of bondage as slaves, but with cheerfulness and gladness, delighting ourselves in Thee and rejoicing in Thy work.

–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 Bishop Walter Frere (1863-1938)

My God, I desire to love Thee perfectly: with all my heart which Thou madest for Thyself, with all my mind which only Thou canst satisfy, with all my soul which fain would soar to Thee, with all my strength, my feeble strength, which shrinks before so great a task, and yet can choose naught else but spend itself in loving Thee. Claim Thou my heart, fill Thou my mind, uplift my soul, and reinforce my strength, that where I fail Thou mayest succeed in me, and make me love Thee perfectly.

–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

(CC) Philip Jenkins–To understand African Christianity, remember the Battle of Adwa

The new war culminated on March 1, 1896, at Adwa, when the Italian force of around 18,000 allowed itself to be drawn into battle against an Ethiopian army at least six times larger. The Italian force was utterly destroyed as a fighting unit, suffering at least 6,000 dead and losing all artillery and equipment. Only Menelik’s diplomatic sense and restraint prevented his forces from sweeping up all the now defenseless Italian territory that remained on the Red Sea. Why risk his gains when he already had achieved everything he needed? (The campaign is expertly described in Raymond Jonas’s 2011 study The Battle of Adwa.)

The sheer scale of the European catastrophe demands attention. This was a period when White empires might lose the occasional battle, as the British had to the Zulus some years before, but they certainly did not lose whole wars to despised Black Africans. Nor did the familiar stereotype allow for a situation where African commanders outmaneuvered imperial invaders and deployed modern weaponry against them. To put such a reversal of expectations in a US context, we would have to imagine an alternate world where Native forces both triumphed at Little Bighorn and then went on to secure the independence of the whole Black Hills region for a generation.

That context explains the very long shadow cast by Adwa, on Europeans and Africans alike. Italy recalled the battle as an epic humiliation, a horror made all the worse by propaganda tales of the atrocities inflicted on their prisoners of war….

Read it all.

Posted in Africa, Church History, Ethiopia, Italy, Military / Armed Forces

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Gelasian Sacramentary

We pray Thee, Lord, Who art the author and giver of light, that Thou wouldest banish from us this day the shadows of evil, and shed upon us the bright beams of Thy loving-kindness; 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

(WSJ) Vatican Pushes Against Growing Acceptance of Euthanasia

The Vatican condemned the spreading international acceptance of euthanasia and assisted suicide, including in some traditionally Catholic countries in Europe, in a strongly worded document that reasserts traditional teaching.

“Euthanasia is an act of homicide that no end can justify and that does not tolerate any form of complicity or active or passive collaboration,” the Vatican’s doctrinal office said in a document published Tuesday and expressly approved by Pope Francis. “It is gravely unjust to enact laws that legalize euthanasia or justify and support suicide, invoking a false right to choose a death improperly characterized as respectable only because it is chosen,” the document says.

Spain’s Parliament is considering a law that would make the country the fourth in Europe to legalize euthanasia, after the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Legislators in neighboring Portugal are considering similar proposals. In February, Germany’s highest court overturned a law banning assisted suicide.

Euthanasia is the painless killing of a patient suffering from a physical or mental disease. In assisted suicide, patients administer lethal drugs to themselves under medical supervision.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Pope Francis, Roman Catholic, Theology

(CT) Atlanta’s Black Church

They say you can’t love what you don’t know, and lately, many of us are realizing just how much we don’t know. This year, my church in Augusta, Georgia, began exploring the racial history of our city, the location of one of the first and largest civil rights riots in the South. The details of the 1970 riot—chronicled in a recent Georgia Public Broadcasting podcast—resemble current events: a teen beaten to death in police custody, the black community responding with peaceful demands then rebellion, police using deadly force to suppress the uprising. But the parallels to the present aren’t striking if, like so many young people in our city, you had no idea it took place.

No wonder we feel so stuck in this racial justice fight. You can’t lament a past you don’t remember. You can’t change problems you don’t recognize. You can’t empathize with voices you ignore. Part of our call to love and serve our neighbors is to understand the lingering scars and burdens they bear.

Learning how my community downplayed the significance of its racial past made me all the more curious about the extensive civil rights legacy in the Georgia capital, the subject of this month’s cover package. Across the generations, Atlanta—with the black church as its heartbeat—has worked to honor its hard-won progress as well as to lament the cost of the ongoing fight for justice.

That practice has helped carry on a long legacy and inspire today’s leaders in Atlanta—the preachers and politicians, entrepreneurs and activists, who are working to see the principles of God’s kingdom shape every sphere of life.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Parish Ministry, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues

The Columbus [Ohio] Dispatch looks back to 1817–Episcopal priest Philander Chase Comes to Preach

On May 3, 1817, he conducted the first…[Episcopal] service in Columbus at the Buckeye House hotel.

Four days later, he preached again at the High Street home of storekeeper Lincoln Goodale. “Some of those who came were merely curious. Others believed that God’s inerrant providence brought them to that spot. All listened with reverence as Chase intoned the service from the Book of Common Prayer and preached to them,” Lisa M. Klein wrote in her 2003 history of Trinity Episcopal Church, Be It Remembered.

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Philander Chase

Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the pioneer and perfecter of our faith We give thee heartfelt thanks for the pioneering spirit of thy servant Philander Chase, and for his zeal in opening new frontiers for the ministry of thy Church. Grant us grace to minister in Christ’s name in every place, led by bold witnesses to the Gospel of the Prince of Peace, even Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Eugene Bersier

O God, Who hast given us life and all things good in this world: Thou hast created us for Thy service, and when we have forsaken Thee in our wanderings Thou hast sought us out; Thou hast vouchsafed to us the precious treasure of Thy Gospel; Thou hast ordained that we should be born in the bosom of Thy Church; Thou hast revealed to us Thy exceeding great mercies in Jesus Christ our Lord; Thou hast borne with us in our rebellions, raised us up from our falls, comforted us in our sorrows. For all these gifts of Thy grace, and for Thy benefits which we remember not, we Thine unworthy servants do give Thee thanks, and bless thy holy 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

Marcus Kaiser, rector of Holy Comforter, Sumter, SC announces his call to be the new dean of St. Peter’s Anglican Cathedral in Tallahassee, Florida

This is a letter I knew that I would one day write, but never wanted to believe it. It’s with the most extreme mix of sadness and excitement that I tell you that I have been called to be the next Dean of St. Peter’s Anglican Cathedral in Tallahassee, FL. My last Sunday at Holy Comforter as your Rector will be October 18th, 2020. In the coming weeks, Bishop Lawrence will be working with the vestry to develop a plan both for the interim period between Rectors and the calling a new Rector for Holy Comforter.

It has been a privilege and honor beyond anything I can explain to have worked and served alongside you for the past 11 years, and even more so as your Rector for the last 6. I want you to know that I am not being called away from you, but to St. Peter’s and serving the wider Church. Kim, our boys, and I will be here for plenty of discussion and questions, and this is not our final farewell, but in the remainder of this letter, I want to answer two questions – Why now and why this call?

First, why now?
The truth is that there is never a perfect time, but I have come to believe this is God’s kairos time. I did not know then, but looking back it is clear I was called to see Holy Comforter through a contentious time of lawsuits and conflict. I have learned hard lessons of patience and known God’s grace in ways no human could ever imagine. We have been through this struggle for the gospel together, most of you have stayed in and stood your ground, and we have come through. I truly believe that the worst of that is behind us and that this congregation is poised to start a new chapter, an era unmarked by the existential threat of the past several years, a time of asking, “what now, Lord?” It is clear to me that the vision for that new chapter will be given to someone else, and I am excited to see how God directs this.

You might also reasonably ask why I would leave in the middle of a pandemic. All I can really say is that Kim and I have struggled with that very question more than any other, even more than the lawsuits. The reality of this pandemic is that we simply don’t know when it will be over enough. We are now 7 months in, and it was clear months ago that there will probably not be a single day when we can say the threat has passed. Still, we are in a good and stable place. Almost half of the congregation has decided to return to in-person worship, even with the restrictions in place, and the staff is working hard on exciting bible studies and small groups that will be sustainable. I would not have picked this time, either for my family or for Holy Comforter, but after many hours of prayer, I believe it is the time God has anointed.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Parish Ministry

Andrew Cannell’s Sunday Sermon–Giving Hope to Our Enemies (Jonah 3:10 – 4:11)

The sermon starts about 22:30 in.

Posted in * South Carolina, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology: Scripture, Youth Ministry

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Matthew

We thank thee, heavenly Father, for the witness of thine apostle and evangelist Matthew to the Gospel of thy Son our Savior; and we pray that, after his example, we may with ready wills and hearts obey the calling of our Lord to follow him; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Eastern Orthodox Church

Set our hearts on fire with love to Thee, O Christ our God, that in that flame we may love Thee with all our heart, with all our mind, with all our soul, and with all our strength, and our neighbours as ourselves; so that, keeping Thy commandments, we may glorify Thee, the giver of all good gifts.

–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

Join us this Sunday, September 20, 2020, as we, in the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina, pray for the retired clergy…

Posted by The Anglican Diocese of South Carolina on Friday, September 18, 2020

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day from John Wesley

Deliver me, O God, from a slothful mind, from all lukewarmness, and all dejection of spirit. I know these cannot but deaden my love to Thee; mercifully free my heart from them, and give me a lively, zealous, active, and cheerful spirit; that I may vigorously perform whatever Thou commandest, thankfully suffer whatever Thou choosest for me, and be ever ardent to obey in all things 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

(NPR) Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Champion Of Gender Equality, Dies At 87

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the demure firebrand who in her 80s became a legal, cultural and feminist icon, died Friday. The Supreme Court announced her death, saying the cause was complications from metastatic cancer of the pancreas.

The court, in a statement, said Ginsburg died at her home in Washington, D.C., surrounded by family. She was 87.

“Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature,” Chief Justice John Roberts said. “We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her, a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”

Architect of the legal fight for women’s rights in the 1970s, Ginsburg subsequently served 27 years on the nation’s highest court, becoming its most prominent member. Her death will inevitably set in motion what promises to be a nasty and tumultuous political battle over who will succeed her, and it thrusts the Supreme Court vacancy into the spotlight of the presidential campaign.

Read it all.

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, Law & Legal Issues, Supreme Court, Women

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Theodore of Tarsus

Almighty God, who didst call thy servant Theodore of Tarsus from Rome to the see of Canterbury, and didst give him gifts of grace and wisdom to establish unity where there had been division, and order where there had been chaos: Create in thy Church, we pray, by the operation of the Holy Spirit, such godly union and concord that it may proclaim, both by word and example, the Gospel of the Prince of Peace; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Prayer Manual

Almighty God, give us grace to do the work to which Thou hast called us with reverence and Godly fear, not with eye-service as pleasers of men, but in singleness of heart as in Thy sight. Direct, we beseech Thee, all our thoughts, words, and deeds, with the help of Thy Holy Spirit; that we may set Thy will ever before us, and turn away from vanity and self-seeking, and give ourselves wholly unto Thee to spend and be spent in Thy service; through Jesus Christ, our only Lord and Saviour.

–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

Choral Worship back at Hereford and Lincoln Cathedrals

Hereford and Lincoln cathedrals are the latest to reintroduce choral worship upholding a tradition that goes to the heart of our mission and ministry – thanks to the support of the Church Commissioners.

Tonight (Friday) will mark the first time the full choir of Lincoln Cathedral will return for Choral Evensong since our cathedrals were closed last March.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry

An EB Pusey Sermon for his Feast Day–“Patience and Confidence the Strength of the Church” (1837)

The general conduct of our Church has been true to her first principles, to render to Caesar the things that were Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s; to do nothing against the command of God, but to suffer every thing which the Caesar may require. It was thus that the seven Bishops mainly checked James’s tyranny, refusing to do, but submitting to suffer, what was unlawful; it was thus that even in the Great Rebellion men cheerfully took the spoiling of their goods; it was thus that in events familiar to us, the members of this place, at different periods, suffered what was un lawful, rather than compromise their principles;–and we cherish their memories.

The two events, for which we keep this day as an annual thanksgiving to God, together, strikingly illustrate these principles. 1. That we may safely leave things to God. 2. That there is great risk, that man, by any impatience of his, will mar the blessing which God designs for His Church.

In the plot, from which this day is named, God had permitted things to come to the uttermost; every preparation was made, every scruple removed; a Roman priest had solemnly given the answer, that, for so great a benefit to the Church, their own people too might be sacrificed; the innocent might be slain, so that the guilty majority escaped not. The secret was entrusted to but few, was guarded by the most solemn oaths and by the participation of the Holy Eucharist, had been kept for a year and a half although all of the Roman Communion in England knew that some great plot was being carried on, and were praying for its success; inferior plots had been forbidden by Rome, lest they should mar this great one; no suspicion had been excited, and there was nothing left to excite suspicion, when God employed means, in man’s sight, the [28/29] most unlikely. He awoke, at the last, one lurking feeling of pity for one person in the breast of but one, so that a dark hint was given to that one: and He caused him who gave it, to miscalculate the character of his own brother-in-law, or entrust him with more than he was aware; then He placed fear in that other’s breast, so that, through another and distant fear, he shewed the letter which contained this dark hint; then, when the councillors despised the anonymous hint, as an idle tale, He enlightened the mind of the monarch, to discover the dark saying, which to us it seems strange that any beforehand should have unravelled; and when even then the councillors had surveyed the very spot, and discovered nothing, He caused the monarch to persevere, undeterred, until He had brought the whole to light. Yet to see more of this mystery of God’s Providence, and how He weaves together the intricate web of human affairs, and places long before the hidden springs of things, we must think also, how He ordered that one of these few conspirators should be intermarried with one of the few Roman peers, and so desired to save him; and by the conspiracy from which God had shielded the monarch’s early life, He quickened his sense of the present danger; so that while men were marrying, and giving in marriage, and strengthening themselves by alliances, God was preparing the means whereby this kingdom should be saved against the will of those so employed; and while men were plotting against a sacred life, God was laying up in the monarch’s soul the thought, which Himself should hereafter kindle to save it. Verily, “a man’s heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps.” “The ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He pondereth all his goings; own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.” The words of the Psalmist, selected for this day’s service, find a striking completion in this history. “God hid him from the secret counsel of the wicked, from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity–they encourage themselves in an evil matter; they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them? they search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search; the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep: but God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded; so they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves.”

But it yet more illustrates the teaching, and is an argument of encouragement to our Church, how God in two neighbouring countries permitted similar plots to be accomplished.

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE), Preaching / Homiletics

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Edward Bouverie Pusey

Grant unto us, O God, that in all time of our testing we may know thy presence and obey thy will; that, following the example of thy servant Edward Bouverie Pusey, we may with integrity and courage accomplish what thou givest us to do, and endure what thou givest us to bear; 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 to Begin the Day from Daily Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, who for our sake didst endure the cross, and hast bidden us to follow thee: Take away from us all fear, all coldness of heart, all unwillingness to suffer; that we, glorying in thy cross, may glory also that thou hast called us to bear it with thee; for thy name’s sake.

Daily Prayer, Eric Milner-White and G. W. Briggs, eds. (London: Penguin Books 1959 edition of the 1941 original)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

Mark Lawrence’s Sermon from last Night at Christ Saint Paul’s–Confirmed by the Holy Spirit in the Love of the Father

The sermon starts about 19:30 in.

Posted in * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Stewardship, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology), Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Hildegard of Bingen

O God, by whose grace thy servant Hildegard, enkindled with the fire of thy love, became a burning and shining light in thy Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and may ever walk before thee as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, liveth and reigneth, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Euchologium Anglicanum

Almighty God, only giver of all mercies, whose Son, Jesus Christ, has taught us how to pray aright: Save us, we beseech thee, from all presumption in our prayer, and grant unto us the grace of humility and contrition; that we may, sharing the vision of thine apostle Saint Paul, know that it is by the grace of God alone that we are what we are, and that we can do nothing but through the strengthening of thy Son, Christ our Lord; who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Ninian of Galloway

O God, who by the preaching of thy blessed servant and bishop Ninian didst cause the light of the Gospel to shine in the land of Britain: Grant, we beseech thee, that, having his life and labors in remembrance, we may show forth our thankfulness by following the example of his zeal and patience; 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