We were twinned with The Diocese of Akure in Ondo Sate of Nigeria.They have broken their ties with our diocese over the appointment of the Rt Revd Susan Goff as a Hon. Assisting Bishop in our diocese. We remain open to resume this link as we seek to walk together with all parts of the communion.
Monthly Archives: May 2016
‘Want to know why GAFCON exists and what it’s relevance is within the Anglican Communion? Listen to Dominic Steele interview Peter Jensen on these areas’
Reports that the Acting Bishop of Oxford, Rt Rev Colin Fletcher, gave his permission for Revd Charlotte Bannister-Parker to lead a celebration of a same-sex wedding raise a number of questions to which answers are not forthcoming. A photograph showing Revd Charlotte Bannister Parker officiating, as the couple exchanged rings and made vows, was published in a South African newspaper more than two weeks ago, yet Reform have been told that Bishop Colin is having to take advice before commenting on the following:
Was the Acting Bishop of Oxford aware of the nature of the ‘celebration’ when he gave permission to Revd Charlotte Bannister-Parker to lead it?
Has the Acting Bishop of Oxford seen the liturgy/ order of service used?
Does the Acting Bishop of Oxford believe that a ‘celebration’ of a marriage that re-enacts the giving and receiving of rings and the making of promises to one another and according to the report the ‘pronouncement that we now ‘recognise you as wife and wife’ falls within the terms of the Bishops’ Pastoral Guidance on Same-Sex Marriage?
Does the Acting Bishop of Oxford believe that a ‘celebration’ of a marriage that re-enacts the giving and receiving of rings and the making of promises to one another and according to the report the ‘pronouncement that we now ‘recognise you as wife and wife’ is consistent with the express terms of Lambeth 1:10?
If so, what would else would need to happen for this to be considered a ‘blessing’?
Meanwhile, the House of Bishops have been discussing plans for the forthcoming ‘shared conversations’ at General Synod.
It has come to the attention of Reform, that the Bishop of Liverpool, The Right Reverend Paul Bayes, has appointed Bishop Susan Goff as an Honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Liverpool. Susan Goff is a Suffragan Bishop in the Diocese of Virginia in The Episcopal Church. In July 2016, she voted in favour of changing the definition and purpose of marriage according to in Canons of The Episcopal Church. This alteration to the Canons was the action that led the Primates of the Anglican Communion, gathered in Canterbury earlier this year, to require The Episcopal Church to step down from representing the Communion or being involved in decision making on matters pertaining to doctrine or polity.
Susie Leafe, Director of Reform said, “The Bishop of Liverpool has chosen to bring the conflicts that have torn the fabric of the Anglican Communion in to the heart of this diocese. The long standing link with Akure Diocese, in Nigeria, has been severed for the sake of closer ties with The Episcopal Church. The decision to appoint Susan Goff as an Honorary Assistant Bishop is a provocative and divisive step which is obviously unacceptable from someone who holds themselves out as a focus of unity. Members of the Dioceses of Liverpool are entitled to expect that their bishop should respect and not simply ignore the settled will of the Communion.”
An historic moment in the lives of the dioceses of Virginia and Liverpool occurred Monday, May 2, 2016 at Shrine Mont Retreat Center when the Rt. Rev Susan Goff was commissioned by Shannon S. Johnston, bishop of Virginia, and Paul Bayes, bishop of Liverpool, as Assisting Bishop of Liverpool.
Bishop Bayes presented the letters commissary to Bishop Goff and both Bishop Bayes and Bishop Johnston prayed over her while the room spontaneously rose to its feet with applause, love and affection.
The dioceses of Liverpool and Virginia are companion dioceses, focusing on Jesus and Justice, that together, a bigger church might make a bigger difference in the world. This exciting appointment is more than just in title. As part of the link, Bishop Goff has visited Liverpool and her ministry of teaching and support has been very much welcomed not just by women in the diocese but by all.
“The link with the Diocese of Virginia has been important to us in Liverpool for many years,” said Bayes. “At my installation eighteen months ago it was a privilege to welcome Bishop Shannon Johnston as a guest of honour. Now, with Bishop Susan Goff’s appointment as one of our assisting bishops, we are able to strengthen our bond still further. Bishop Susan is no stranger to Liverpool and we look forward to being enriched by her wisdom as a teacher and pastor of pastors whenever she visits us.”
Among Bishop Goff’s first responsibilities in Liverpool, she will be leading the retreat and preach at the ordination of priests with Bishop Bayes in June and speaking at the clergy conference in July.
10 May 2016 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of John Charles Ryle, the 1st Bishop of Liverpool.
Benjamin Disraeli, the Prime Minister of the day, invited John Ryle to become Bishop of Liverpool in 1880.
The new Bishop was from the Evangelical wing of the Church of England. He was surprised to receive the invitation and was concerned that he was too old for the task. Disraeli assured him that he would live for a few years yet and was proved correct.
He began his ministry on July 1st 1880 and came to live at the Bishop’s Palace in Abercromby Square, Liverpool with his wife and daughter Jessie.
Every third year he delivered his Episcopal Charge to the clergy of the Diocese and held a Diocesan conference annually. The charge in 1881 set the tone for his future ministry; throughout his episcopate – he made it a priority to recruit more clergy and lay ministers and built many more churches. Before clergy were ordained they attended a retreat at Bishop’s Palace and the Bishop gave a series of addresses. Diocesan clergy could call on their Bishop on any Tuesday morning.
The Bishop valued the work of the Scripture Readers who were paid lay workers. There were about 50 licensed Readers in the Diocese.
Looking at married couples who were together less than 20 years and couples together for more than 50, Mejia and her colleagues have found striking similarities between partners who have spent decades together, especially in kidney function, total cholesterol levels and the strength of their grips, which is a key predictor of mortality. They presented their findings at the annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America.
The data came from 1,568 older married couples across the United States. The couples were part of a larger dataset that included information on their income and wealth, employment, family connections and health, including information based on blood tests.
One obvious reason for partner similarity is that people often choose partners who are like them ”” people from the same stock, with similar backgrounds. But that didn’t explain why there were more similarities between the long-time partners, compared to the others.
Millennials are waiting longer to get married than previous generations. According to a 2013 study by the Pew Research Center, only 26 percent of millennials are getting hitched between the ages of 18 and 32. That’s compared to 36 percent of Generation X, 48 percent of baby boomers and 65 percent of the Silent Generation.
One of main reasons people say they’re waiting: Money. Specifically, paying off student loans.
“They are facing dual student loan issues, where maybe their parents only had one set of student loans to deal with. I also think that they’re more expensive,” said Angie Eggum, a financial advisor at Edward Jones Investments.
Eggum said there are some simple steps people can take to make sure they’re financially ready to say “I Do.”
Delegates to the Episcopal convention last summer approved a marriage equality resolution allowing same-sex couples to be married in an Episcopal church if the local priest is willing. The passage of the resolution came days after the June 26, 2015, ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that legalized same-sex marriage for all Americans.
For some, like Mark McCarty, that was the last straw. McCarty was a member of the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest for 60 years before deciding to leave over the same-sex marriage issue. To him, it is a matter of biblical interpretation. He says no one has been able to show him a Bible passage that OKs same-sex marriage. He prefers the “traditional biblical Anglican worship” referred to in the newspaper ad.
Deciding to leave Heavenly Rest was painful, McCarty said. He will miss the beauty of the building itself, the bell tower, the music and grandeur of the service. But, McCarty said, he believes staying at Heavenly Rest for those reasons, when he opposes the Episcopal Church’s theology, would be wrong.
“That’s idolatry,” he said. “That’s building worship.
ISIS is reported to be holding several hundred families as “human shields” in the Iraqi city of Fallujah while government forces close in, the United Nations refugee agency said on Tuesday, citing witness accounts.
Some 3,700 people have fled Fallujah, west of Baghdad, over the past week since the Iraqi army began its offensive on the city controlled by militant forces, it said.
Here are the questions to ponder after listening.
1) Is your faith in Christ your personal faith?
2) Is your faith consistent and active?
3) Is your faith aware of its potential impact on others?
Father in heaven, by whose grace the virgin mother of thine incarnate Son was blessed in bearing him, but still more blessed in keeping thy word: Grant us who honor the exaltation of her lowliness to follow the example of her devotion to thy will; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Today is the feast of the Visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Elizabeth. Late 13th c. Psalter [LPL MS368 f.10v.] pic.twitter.com/n1nrkwH9rl
— LambethPalaceLibrary (@lampallib) May 31, 2016
O God, we have known and believed the love that thou hast for us. May we, by dwelling in love, dwell in thee, and thou in us. Teach us, O heavenly Father, the love wherewith thou hast loved us; fashion us, O blessed Lord, after thine own example of love; shed abroad, O thou Holy Spirit of love, the love of God and man in our hearts. For thy name’s sake.
And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there, and coming to his own country he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.” And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.
A look at scenes from around the United States on Memorial Day, May 30, 2016
Take a glance at them all.
Saratoga Springs, N.Y., famous for its historic racetrack, is among the most idyllic places in America. But on a recent fall weekend, not far from the track, horses were serving a different mission: retired thoroughbreds were recruited to help returning veterans at Song Hill Farm. A group from the US Army 2nd Battalion, 135th infantry, united in grief over the death of a fellow solider, gathered for the first time in five years to be part of Saratoga Warhorse, a three-day program that pairs veterans with horses. Tom Rinaldi reports the emotional story of the veterans, paired with their horses, undergoing a rebirth of trust and taking a first step toward healing.
Watch it all, and, yes, you will likely need kleenex–KSH.
Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans ”” the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) ”” established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.
The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.
The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.
The muffled drum’s sad roll has beat
The soldier’s last tattoo;
No more on life’s parade shall meet
That brave and fallen few.
On Fame’s eternal camping-ground
Their silent tents are spread,
And Glory guards, with solemn round,
The bivouac of the dead.
No rumor of the foe’s advance
Now swells upon the wind;
Nor troubled thought at midnight haunts
Of loved ones left behind;
No vision of the morrow’s strife
The warrior’s dream alarms;
No braying horn nor screaming fife
At dawn shall call to arms.
Their shriveled swords are red with rust,
Their plumed heads are bowed,
Their haughty banner, trailed in dust,
Is now their martial shroud.
And plenteous funeral tears have washed
The red stains from each brow,
And the proud forms, by battle gashed
Are free from anguish now.
I walk down the garden-paths,
And all the daffodils
Are blowing, and the bright blue squills.
I walk down the patterned garden-paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
With my powdered hair and jeweled fan,
I too am a rare
Pattern. As I wander down
My dress is richly figured,
And the train
Makes a pink and silver stain
On the gravel, and the thrift
Of the borders.
Just a plate of current fashion,
Tripping by in high-heeled, ribboned shoes.
Not a softness anywhere about me,
Only whalebone and brocade.
And I sink on a seat in the shade
Of a lime tree. For my passion
Wars against the stiff brocade.
The daffodils and squills
Flutter in the breeze
As they please.
And I weep;
For the lime-tree is in blossom
And one small flower has dropped upon my bosom.
And the splashing of waterdrops
In the marble fountain
Comes down the garden-paths.
The dripping never stops.
Underneath my stiffened gown
Is the softness of a woman bathing in a marble basin,
A basin in the midst of hedges grown
So thick, she cannot see her lover hiding,
But she guesses he is near,
And the sliding of the water
Seems the stroking of a dear
Hand upon her.
What is Summer in a fine brocaded gown!
I should like to see it lying in a heap upon the ground.
All the pink and silver crumpled up on the ground.
I would be the pink and silver as I ran along the paths,
And he would stumble after,
Bewildered by my laughter.
I should see the sun flashing from his sword-hilt and the buckles on his shoes.
I would choose
To lead him in a maze along the patterned paths,
A bright and laughing maze for my heavy-booted lover.
Till he caught me in the shade,
And the buttons of his waistcoat bruised my body as he clasped me,
Aching, melting, unafraid.
With the shadows of the leaves and the sundrops,
And the plopping of the waterdrops,
All about us in the open afternoon–
I am very like to swoon
With the weight of this brocade,
For the sun sifts through the shade.
Underneath the fallen blossom
In my bosom,
Is a letter I have hid.
It was brought to me this morning by a rider from the Duke.
“Madam, we regret to inform you that Lord Hartwell
Died in action Thursday se’nnight.”
As I read it in the white, morning sunlight,
The letters squirmed like snakes.
“Any answer, Madam,” said my footman.
“No,” I told him.
“See that the messenger takes some refreshment.
No, no answer.”
And I walked into the garden,
Up and down the patterned paths,
In my stiff, correct brocade.
The blue and yellow flowers stood up proudly in the sun,
I stood upright too,
Held rigid to the pattern
By the stiffness of my gown.
Up and down I walked,
Up and down.
In a month he would have been my husband.
In a month, here, underneath this lime,
We would have broke the pattern;
He for me, and I for him,
He as Colonel, I as Lady,
On this shady seat.
He had a whim
That sunlight carried blessing.
And I answered, “It shall be as you have said.”
Now he is dead.
In Summer and in Winter I shall walk
Up and down
The patterned garden-paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
The squills and daffodils
Will give place to pillared roses, and to asters, and to snow.
I shall go
Up and down
In my gown.
Boned and stayed.
And the softness of my body will be guarded from embrace
By each button, hook, and lace.
For the man who should loose me is dead,
Fighting with the Duke in Flanders,
In a pattern called a war.
Christ! What are patterns for?
–Amy Lowell (1874–1925)
Leader: Let us give thanks to God for the land of our birth with all its chartered liberties. For all the wonder of our country’s story:
PEOPLE: WE GIVE YOU THANKS, O GOD.
Leader: For leaders in nation and state, and for those who in days past and in these present times have labored for the commonwealth:
PEOPLE: WE GIVE YOU THANKS, O GOD.
Leader: For those who in all times and places have been true and brave, and in the world’s common ways have lived upright lives and ministered to their fellows:
PEOPLE: WE GIVE YOU THANKS, O GOD.
Leader: For those who served their country in its hour of need, and especially for those who gave even their lives in that service:
PEOPLE: WE GIVE YOU THANKS, O GOD.
Leader: O almighty God and most merciful Father, as we remember these your servants, remembering with gratitude their courage and strength, we hold before you those who mourn them. Look upon your bereaved servants with your mercy. As this day brings them memories of those they have lost awhile, may it also bring your consolation and the assurance that their loved ones are alive now and forever in your living presence.
”¢ NCA currently maintains approximately 3.4 million gravesites at 133 national cemeteries, one national Veterans’ burial ground and 33 soldiers’ lots and monument sites in 40 states and Puerto Rico.
”¢ Approximately 473,000 full-casket gravesites, 124,000 in-ground gravesites for cremated remains, and 154,000 columbarium niches are available in already developed acreage in our 133 national cemeteries.
”¢ There are approximately 20,500 acres within established installations in NCA. Nearly 57 percent are undeveloped and ”“ along with available gravesites in developed acreage ”“ have the potential to provide approximately 6.3 million gravesites.
”¢ Of the 131 national cemeteries, 73 are open to all interments; 17 can accommodate cremated remains and the remains of family members for interment in the same gravesite as a previously deceased family member; and 41 will perform only interments of family members in the same gravesite as a previously deceased family member.
“”¦that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion ”” that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain”¦”
–Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1863
Despondency breaks off its course.
Anguish breaks off its course.
The vulture breaks off its flight.
The eager light streams out,
even the ghosts take a draught.
And our paintings see daylight,
our red beasts of the ice-age studios.
Everything begins to look around.
We walk in the sun in hundreds.
Each man is a half-open door
leading to a room for everyone.
The endless ground under us.
The water is shining among the trees.
The lake is a window into the earth.
What we commemorate on Memorial Day is the ultimate sacrifice thousands of Americans made in defense of freedom. It is a sacrifice that is part and parcel of commitment to a way of life that embodies the very concept of dying for the sake of others, namely our military. For that reason, Memorial Day is as much about the living as the dead. The living are those who have benefited from that sacrifice like me; and those who are pledged to offer their lives if and when necessary, namely our men and women in uniform.
Part of the problem of understanding the depth and meaning of that act of selflessness is simply comprehending the entire scale of the sacrifice, starting from our Civil War.
“My Fellow Americans:
“Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.
“And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:
“Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.
“Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.
“They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest — until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war.
“For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.&
“Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.
“And for us at home — fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them — help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.
“Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.
“Give us strength, too — strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.
“And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.
“And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment — let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.
“With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace — a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.
“Thy will be done, Almighty God.
You can listen to the actual audio if you want here and today of all days is the day to do that. Also, there is more on background and another audio link there.–KSH.