Daily Archives: December 18, 2016
Eyes closed and on bended knee, Pastor Edward Ducree gave thanks to God for guiding his congregation through a “painful week.”
Emanuel AME Church had just endured the final days of the Dylann Roof trial, which ended with the jury finding the self-proclaimed white supremacist guilty of 33 charges.
“We thank you for being with us last week – a painful week,” Ducree prayed. “It was a week that reminded us of horrific acts that happened in this fellowship hall.”
Read it all from the local paper.
— Eleanor Parker (@ClerkofOxford) December 17, 2016
Medieval carols have a cherished place in the modern Christmas repertoire. Perhaps the best-loved type is the lullaby carol, of which ”˜Lullay, Myn Liking’ and the ”˜Coventry Carol’ are among the most famous examples. It’s not difficult to understand the appeal of these carols, both in their original form and as texts set by contemporary composers: tender and gentle, deliberately simple in music and language, they evoke the loving intimacy of the relationship between a mother and her baby, offering a moment of stillness and reflection in the middle of the busy Christmas season.
This genre of carol was popular in the Middle Ages, too, and there are numerous beautiful examples dating from the fourteenth century onwards. It’s important to recognise that the simplicity of these carols is artful, not naive; medieval carol-writers often chose this apparently uncomplicated form in order to explore some of the complex mysteries of the Nativity story.
One of the most interesting of these lullaby carols is known today by the name ”˜As I lay on Yule’s night’. It survives in its earliest and fullest form in a manuscript compiled by John of Grimestone, a Franciscan friar from Norfolk, in 1372. The manuscript contains materials John had gathered for use in his preaching, along with short poems and carols in English; John may have written these texts himself, or collected them from other sources. Shorter versions of the carol also survive in three fifteenth-century manuscripts, one of which preserves the music ”“ a haunting tune, suiting the dark beauty of the words….
Read it all from Eleanor Parker.
The Church of England’s overriding compulsion to jettison its workers in favour of self-protection suggests that promoting (or attempting to re-gain) its reputation is more important than upholding basic principles of justice. The church is sacrificing its present loyal workers and members in order to atone for its past sins and omissions.
Innocence has manifestly become a difficult concept for the church to handle in the area of child safeguarding. What happened to the common law presumption? While the church’s measures and guidelines are developing, there are few safeguards, if any, put in place to protect the innocent and wrongfully accused. David Potter MBE (”¦) has been caught up in the injustice of the church’s procedures and was supported by his bell ringers who also appreciated the unfairness. They acted like a quasi-jury: consider that these are 30 adult minds ”“ not necessarily impartial, but certainly ”˜good men and true’. The Dean and Chapter failed to persuade any of them that David Potter MBE (”¦) presented an ongoing risk to children. Some of them doubtless have children.
And so we must add the name of David Potter MBE (”¦) to those of Bishop George Bell, Bishop Michael Perham and Sister Frances Dominica, along with sundry unnamed and unknown others who are suffering indignity if not excommunication. In the fitful fever of paedomania, the mere allegation of child abuse has surpassed blasphemy against the Holy Spirit as the unforgivable sin. While the Church of England becomes a safe place for children, it is hell for those wrongly accused of abuse. Pastoral care? What’s that?
Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that the solemn feast of our redemption which is now at hand, may help us both in this present life, and further us towards the attaining of thine eternal joy in that which is to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
–Prayers for the Christian Year (SCM, 1964)
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) December 17, 2016
We spoke with police officers from around the country to hear what it’s like to walk (or drive) a beat right now. Their answers offer a glimpse into the great highs and debilitating lows they experience as they try””and usually succeed””to serve our communities. At the same time, they, like the nation at large, are preoccupied with both the causes of and the fallout from the high-profile shootings of unarmed African Americans that have drawn so much attention to what they do and how they do it. Listen in….