Daily Archives: January 5, 2014
The Baptism service currently used by the Church of England has been in use since Easter 1998. The wording of the service was amended by General Synod in 2000 and again in 2005.
In 2011 a group of clergy from the Diocese of Liverpool brought forward a motion to the General Synod of the Church of England requesting materials to supplement the Baptism service “in culturally appropriate and accessible language.” Specifically the motion requested new additional materials which would not replace or revise the current Baptsim service but would be available for use as alternatives to three parts of the service.
We end this hour with a remembrance of a daring World War II flight that lifted the spirits of the French people and of the humble man who flew it. In 1944, American fighter pilot William Overstreet of the 357th Fighter Group was on a mission in Nazi-occupied territory. Flying his P-51 Mustang, Overstreet was escorting American bombers through France when a dogfight broke out. Overstreet broke away to pursue an enemy German plane.
PASTOR JEFF CLEMMONS: It started at 30,000 feet….This was a half-hour dogfight which would end up going through the streets of Paris and conclude itself through a pursuit through the Eiffel Tower where Bill shot down the German pilot.
Nearly 300 of us gathered yesterday (Saturday 4th January) at St John’s Church, Somersham on the Cambridgeshire fen-edge to give thanks for the life of the Revd John Galbraith Graham MBE, better known world-wide as “Araucaria”, the premier crossword-setter in the English language. John had asked me to look after the service, and I am most grateful to everyone who lent a hand in arranging, speaking, making music, providing refreshments, and everything else that helped make it a very special occasion. A number of people asked for the text of my homily, so I now reproduce it here.
I’ve always enjoyed crosswords, as many of you here today do, and like so many others I’ve turned to Araucaria to put a smile on my face, though (tell it not in Gath, or at least in Libertarian company such as this) I also wrestle the Listener to the ground each week in what is probably a futile attempt to prove that my little grey cells are in still in functioning order.
So imagine the extra wide smile on my face when I discovered five years ago that the said Araucaria was no other than the Revd John Galbraith Graham whose name was hiding innocently and without fanfare in the list of retired clergy of my new diocese, and who was despite his advancing years making a valuable contribution to the ministry here in Somersham.
Glory be to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards men; for unto us is born in this season a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. We praise thee, we bless thee, we glorify thee, we give thanks to thee, for this greatest of thy mercies, O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father almighty.
Bless our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept us among the living, and has not let our feet slip.
–Psalm 66: 8-9
In the field of higher education, reality is outrunning parody. A recent feature on the satire website the Onion proclaimed, “30-Year-Old Has Earned $11 More Than He Would Have Without College Education.” Allowing for tuition, interest on student loans, and four years of foregone income while in school, the fictional student “Patrick Moorhouse” wasn’t much better off. His years of stress and study, the article japed, “have been more or less a financial wash.”
“Patrick” shouldn’t feel too bad. Many college graduates would be happy to be $11 ahead instead of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, behind. The credit-driven higher education bubble of the past several decades has left legions of students deep in debt without improving their job prospects. To make college a good value again, today’s parents and students need to be skeptical, frugal and demanding. There is no single solution to what ails higher education in the U.S., but changes are beginning to emerge, from outsourcing to online education, and they could transform the system.
Face-to-face peace talks between warring parties in South Sudan were stalled Saturday, government officials and rebel delegations said, dashing hopes of a swift end to the bloodshed.
Representatives of President Salva Kiir’s government and rebels loyal to his former vice president, Riek Machar, began preliminary negotiations through mediators in neighboring Ethiopia on Friday. The talks are seen as a step toward ending the violence that has killed at least 1,000 people, driven tens of thousands from their homes and threatens to plunge the world’s newest country into civil war.
But a cease-fire appeared to be a long way off Saturday as government and rebel delegations in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, reported that direct talks in the Sheraton Hotel had been delayed as the two parties work through the mediators to set a negotiating agenda.
“I’m not making missionaries heroes,” said Richard H. Elphick, a historian at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and the author of “The Equality of Believers,” a book about Protestant missionaries in South Africa. “Missionaries and other white Christians were alarmed by the idea that the equality of all people before God means they should be equal in public life. But the equality of believers is an idea they dropped into South Africa. And it was constantly reinforced in the schools. And that made it a dangerous idea.”
Olufemi Taiwo offered a similarly nuanced endorsement, and he did so from two perspectives: as the product of a mission education in his native Nigeria and as a Cornell University professor with expertise in African studies.
“Under colonialism, there’s a tension between the missions and the colonial authorities,” said Dr. Taiwo, author of the 2010 book “How Colonialism Preempted Modernity in Africa.” “There was a missionary idea that black people could be modern. And most churches cannot come out and say some people are not human. So you might have a patronizing attitude, but if you don’t think Africans can benefit from education, why would you set up schools?”
Elizabeth and I finally made it to Saving Mr Banks this week–it was really well done; so many great scenes, lets go fly a kite my favorite. I would note, however, to any father who has daughters or vice versa, that the story packs a real emotional and personal punch (and it applies by extension to other parents and children)–KSH.