Monthly Archives: October 2021
Grant us, O Lord, to pass this day in gladness and peace, without stumbling and without stain, that reaching the day’s end victorious over all temptation, we may again praise you, the eternal God, blessed over all things now and for ever. Amen.
October is a busy time at @ShenandoahNPS. People from across the country flock to marvel at the enchanting fall beauty of the mountains and misty forests.
The park is filled with peaceful places where you can settle down and take in the foggy autumn leaves.
Pic by Eric Trefney pic.twitter.com/AiiFGwyFxy
— US Department of the Interior (@Interior) October 27, 2021
On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the morrow; and he prolonged his speech until midnight. There were many lights in the upper chamber where we were gathered. And a young man named Eutychus was sitting in the window. He sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer; and being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. But Paul went down and bent over him, and embracing him said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.” And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed. And they took the lad away alive, and were not a little comforted.
The Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye – Scotland pic.twitter.com/WOu6NNHQaQ
— Mochamad Muafi (@mu_afi) October 31, 2021
Two middle school students are being praised for their quick action when their bus driver experienced a medical emergency.
Conner Doss and Kane Daugherty are students at East Paulding Middle School outside Atlanta and were on a full bus when the incident happened, according to CNN affiliate WSB-TV.
“I come out, I come in the aisle and look down. Miss Julie’s face is bright red and shaking,” Doss told WSB.
The driver managed to pull over and that’s when they realized something was wrong.
“I hear her say, ‘Hey! Somebody help!’ So, I run up. She’s over here shaking really bad,” said Daugherty. “I picked up the [dispatch radio], I said, ‘Somebody help. Our bus driver feels really dizzy.’ Somebody called her phone.”
The dispatcher was able to call 911, help the boys set the emergency brake, flashing lights and emergency stop arm.
— Jade Walker (@jadewalker) October 28, 2021
O God, whose justice continually challenges thy Church to live according to its calling: Grant us who now remember the work of John Wyclif contrition for the wounds which our sins inflict on thy Church, and such love for Christ that we may seek to heal the divisions which afflict his Body; through the same Jesus Christ, who livest and reignest with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Autumn Lectures 2021 reminder. We plan to hold our next lunch time lecture on Zoom next Monday 1-2 pm (Oct 25). The lecturer is Rob Childs and he will speak on John Wycliffe the Morning Star of the Reformation. Log on details to from the Library. All are welcome! pic.twitter.com/p5HZWxMZd6
— Evangelical Library (@evangelibrary) October 22, 2021
through the work of your Holy Spirit teach us to be faithful in change and uncertainty,
that trusting in your word
and obeying your will
we may enter the unfailing joy of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen (Slightly edited–KSH).
— Julio Maiz (@maiz_julio) October 29, 2021
Cast your burden on the Lord,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved.
🍁Zauberhafte Augenblicke 🧡🍁 pic.twitter.com/fMDEKdB43r
— 💫Stein_harmonie🍀🧚♀️ (@SteinHarmonie) October 29, 2021
The Church of England launches consultation on plans to get to net zero carbon in just nine years as new Synod prepares to meet
The Church of England is to consult dioceses, cathedrals, national institutions, parishes, schools, and other interested parties on a proposed routemap to achieve net zero carbon by 2030, as papers are published for November’s inaugural meeting of a new General Synod.
The draft routemap, published among today’s General Synod papers, suggests how all parts of the Church of England can make changes together to achieve the ambitious target set by General Synod in 2020 to be net zero carbon 20 years ahead of the Government’s targets.
It includes recommendations for building maintenance, heating and the availability of specialist advice for each setting alongside how the central Church and dioceses can offer support.
The newly elected Synod will be formally inaugurated on Tuesday November 16 at the start of a two-day meeting.
Items on the agenda include a debate on the wealth gap in the UK and discussions about Church matters including the recent review of governance and the development of a new vision and strategy for the Church of England in the 2020s and beyond.
That includes an ambitious goal to double the number of children and young people in churches.
We are consulting dioceses, cathedrals, parishes, schools, and other interested parties on a draft plan for the Church of England to achieve net zero carbon by 2030.
Find out more at https://t.co/CK6P6iqRjs.
— The Church of England (@churchofengland) October 28, 2021
The U.S. and China are engaged in a “strategic competition,” as the Biden administration has put it, with Taiwan emerging as the focal point. But an ascendant view inside the administration seems to be that while China represents a serious economic, political and technological challenge to American interests, it doesn’t pose a direct military threat. This is a very imprudent assumption that could lead to war and, ultimately, American defeat. To avoid that disastrous outcome, the U.S. must recognize that China is a military threat—and conflict could come soon.
What makes China an urgent military threat? First, Beijing has made clear it is willing to use force to take Taiwan. Subordinating the island isn’t only about incorporating a putative lost province—it would be a vital step toward establishing Chinese hegemony in Asia. And this isn’t mere talk. The Chinese military has rehearsed amphibious attacks, and commercial satellite imagery shows that China practices large-scale attacks on U.S. forces in the region.
Second, China doesn’t merely have the will to invade Taiwan, it increasingly may have the ability to pull it off. China has spent 25 years building a modern military in large part to bring Taiwan to heel. China now has the largest navy in the world and an enormous and advanced air force, missile arsenal and network of satellites. This isn’t to say China could manage a successful invasion of Taiwan tomorrow—but Beijing could be very close. It will be “fully able” to invade by 2025, Taiwan’s defense minister said recently. China’s military power is improving every month.
Third, China may think its window of opportunity is closing. Many wars have started because one side thought it had a time-limited opening to exploit. Certainly this was a principal factor in the outbreaks of the two world wars. Beijing may reasonably judge this to be the case today.
This is close to my view of the danger zone we are entering over Taiwan. The U.S. has raised its political commitment at a time when its military ability to deter China has been eroded and will take time to restore. Beijing confronts a closing window: https://t.co/0nRRLhlZXK
— Niall Ferguson (@nfergus) October 28, 2021
When Dr. Robert Stuart first arrived at the Medical University of South Carolina from Johns Hopkins in 1985, the Hollings Cancer Center wasn’t even a far-flung dream.
That’s because there was no oncology department to speak of at MUSC back then. There weren’t even board-certified oncologists on the full-time faculty. Stuart was the first one the hospital ever hired.
MUSC, he acknowledged, was late to the game.
“Roper had probably four or five (oncologists),” Stuart said. “That aspect of cancer medicine here (at MUSC) was almost non-existent.”
Born in Baton Rouge and raised in rural Louisiana, Dr. Robert Stuart's long oncology career in many ways demonstrates how cancer care has been transformed over the past several decades.https://t.co/1vo3zmJCY3
— The Post and Courier (@postandcourier) October 29, 2021
(NC Register) Former Anglican Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali Discusses His Decision to Convert to Roman Catholicism
“Because it is the only Church where decisions that affect everyone are made so that they ‘stick’; where there is a body of doctrinal and moral teaching that can guide the faithful; and where there is a magisterium that can teach effectively. There is also a lively sacramental and devotional tradition which appeals.”
These plainly stated words were the reasons why Michael Nazir-Ali, a prominent former Anglican bishop, decided to become Catholic. Nazir-Ali spoke via email to the Register on Oct. 25.
A week or so before, on Oct. 14, the British political magazine The Spectator had reported that the Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Anglican bishop of Rochester, England, had joined the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. This personal ordinariate, directly subject to the Holy See, was established by Pope Benedict XVI in 2011 to allow Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of their patrimony.
On Sept. 29, the feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels, Nazir-Ali was received into communion with the Church by the group’s ordinary, Msgr. Keith Newton.
“People want a sense of the presence of God and the teaching of Christ when they go to church, especially those who don’t go often. They don’t want a happy-clappy chat show or a glorified yoga center, where the Bible, prayer & true worship are sidelined.”https://t.co/3pBXtUjC8U
— National Catholic Register (@NCRegister) October 28, 2021
Precious in thy sight, O Lord, is the death of thy saints, whose faithful witness, by thy providence, hath its great reward: We give thee thanks for thy martyrs James Hannington and his companions, who purchased with their blood a road unto Uganda for the proclamation of the Gospel; and we pray that with them we also may obtain the crown of righteousness which is laid up for all who love the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
— The Church of England (@churchofengland) October 29, 2018
God of glory, present in all places and filling all things, treasury of blessings and source of life: come and dwell with us, cleanse us from all sin and grant us your salvation. Amen.
— Rob Doerr (@DoerrRob) October 29, 2021
In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Ar-ta-xerx′es, when wine was before him, I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. And the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing else but sadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid. I said to the king, “Let the king live for ever! Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lies waste, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” Then the king said to me, “For what do you make request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may rebuild it.” And the king said to me (the queen sitting beside him), “How long will you be gone, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time. And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given me to the governors of the province Beyond the River, that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah; and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress of the temple, and for the wall of the city, and for the house which I shall occupy.” And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me.
The deep canyon of Snake River is home to the highest amount of nesting birds of prey in North America, making this an immensely important National Conservation Area.
During the day, hawks and eagles fly overhead, while at night the stars light flight paths for swooping owls. pic.twitter.com/G7HR3tK3Xj
— US Department of the Interior (@Interior) October 29, 2021
In theological terms, the crucial word is kenosis, which means self-emptying. Christ “emptied himself, taking the form of a servant” is how Paul’s letter to the people of Philippi puts it. What is being described here is a process by which the ego is set aside for the fullness of God’s love to enter into a human life. The less of me, the more of You. In this way vulnerability is regarded as the defining feature of precisely the sort of holiness that was there in that moment of the Queen’s anointing. A ‘tired” Queen is an exemplification of just this sort of kenotic servant monarchy. In other words, a “tired” Queen is the perfect sacrificial embodiment of what a monarch should be. And demonstrates why the well-being centred virtue-signalling showiness of some of her relatives is such a grotesque parody of the role.
But to put this in more secular terms, vulnerability is the means of connection between people. Our vulnerability is how we are open to the other and the other is open to us. Which is why — and I don’t think I am just imagining this — the present vulnerability of the Queen is establishing a renewed kind of intimacy between the Queen and her subjects. Given the formality within which she is encased, it is entirely inappropriate to say this — but I want to give her a hug. We don’t need the handshakes or the curious peering into a familiar woman’s face to try and work out what is going on behind all that well-rehearsed small talk. The more vulnerable she becomes, the more human, and so also the more fully a Queen in the theological sense.
Such public defencelessness is rare, at least in leaders. The last one I can remember achieving anything like this was Pope John Paul II. His last few years — and these may well be the last few years of the Queen’s life — were marked by a reduced physical capacity, while at the same time he became a more intense version of what he was called to be. To be a Pope is partly to perform a certain function. But when ill health robbed him of the ability to perform that function, all the job description utilitarian bits of being Pope dropped away and his, as it were, symbolic role was more fully exposed….
Thankfully, the Queen is not yet this ill. But she is 95 and easily the longest serving monarch in history. Her Christian faith has long been a comfort to her. And this is especially evident now, in the twilight of her years. Indeed, the version of the Queen that we are now seeing is the greatest of her roles as our monarch. It is not important if she misses COP26 or other political talking shops. She is doing something much more important now.
She is showing us what human life is all about when we loosen our grip on power and status and function. Her last act may well be her finest.
The Queen’s finest hour. https://t.co/z8K6zyrlSl
— Giles Fraser (@giles_fraser) October 28, 2021
He said, “I know you all want to reach people—but it seems to me, when you’re choosing between comfort and blood, too many of you are making the wrong choice.”
I think of that conversation often when I think of the way many of us have grown alarmed by what’s sometimes called Christian nationalism—either in its more common and less virulent strain of “God and country” civil religion, or in the more explicit and terrifying ways we have seen Christian symbols co-opted by demagogic and authoritarian ethnocentric or nationalist movements.
Yes, this degrades the credibility and witness of the church. It grants delegated legitimacy to what the Bible itself denounces, and it turns the church into a captive servant to what can only be called an idol. What we often miss, though, is that what these nationalistic movements trade away is blood.
There’s a reason we see an American church riven apart by resurgent heresy trials. These inquisitions are far less likely to be about essential matters of Christian doctrine—the Trinity or the Virgin Birth or the bodily resurrection—than to be about some talking point of populist politics. In our world, politics is no longer about philosophies of government but about identity (“Whole Foods vs. Walmart”). And in such a world, nationality and politics, even in their smallest trivialities, seem far more real to people than kingdom-of-God realities that Jesus described in terms of a seed underground or yeast working through bread or wind blowing through leaves.
Christian nationalism isn’t just bad for democracy; it’s heresy too.
— Russell Moore (@drmoore) October 28, 2021
Archbishops’ Commission on Reimagining Care proposes set of values to inform vision for care and support in England
Today marks the start of a formal period of Listening and Engagement which will run until Friday 10 December. The Commission wants to hear from a wide range of individuals and organisations and ensure that its work is shaped by the views and voices of people and organisations who have experience of care and care giving.
They are calling for contributions from:
- Those who draw on formal services
- Unpaid carers, and the relatives and friends of those who draw on care and support
- Those who work in the care sector and the voluntary and community sector
- Churches of all denominations and other faith communities
- Those who commission, provide and regulate formal services
- Community groups and people who provide informal support
The consultation launched today aims to gather views about the challenges experienced by those currently drawing on care and support and those who work in the sector.
They are also interested in identifying examples of good practice.
The Commission is particularly interested in the role that communities play in supporting people with disability and in later life to live well, in particular the role of church and other faith communities.
The Archbishops’ Commission on Reimagining Care launches its survey today – help shape the Church’s long-term vision for care and support by telling us your thoughts about ageing, disability and our humanity in the light of who God is. https://t.co/EvJf3H5RCL pic.twitter.com/OJwMtzvLu6
— Stephen Cottrell (@CottrellStephen) October 27, 2021
Lymm Hall is an Elizabethan manor house built in 1603. It is Grade II* listed, making it among England’s most protected properties and creating a problem for its owner Kit Knowles, who is attempting to bring the hall up to modern standards of energy efficiency.
“We have an incredibly effective guide for creating high-performance buildings. But there are a lot of issues with applying that to historic buildings,” says Knowles, who runs Ecospheric, which works on pioneering sustainable development projects. Lymm Hall is a test bed for the company’s work to retrofit historic properties and, ultimately, will be a home for Knowles and his family too.
The house, in Cheshire, has some very particular issues: “It has a cockfighting pit, a moat and an icehouse, each protected in their own right,” Knowles says.
While some of the challenges at Lymm Hall are unique, the problem of how to make old buildings more energy efficient and end their reliance on polluting heating systems cascades through the UK’s property market. And it is a problem that must be solved if the UK is to meet its goal of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Some unique examples. Not nec. detail relevant to the majority of homeowners – but demonstrates concerns raised around net zero adaptations and buildings considered of significance.
Grade I to net zero: can historic houses be made energy efficient? https://t.co/03tR8wm9c8
— BEFS (@TheBEFS) October 28, 2021
O God, we thank thee for the glorious company of the apostles, and especially on this day for Simon and Jude; and we pray thee that, as they were faithful and zealous in their mission, so we may with ardent devotion make known the love and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
On this Feast of St Simon and St Jude, strengthen, Lord Jesus, those feeling lost or in despair, that they may know that your love and mercy endure for ever. #Prayer #Apostles #Saint pic.twitter.com/SKFPQzOdFA
— Andrew Zihni (@andrew_zihni) October 28, 2021
God of grace, we bless you for the gift of each day; for the glory of creation, the joy of salvation and the fire of your love in our hearts. Amen.
–Handley Moule (1841-1920)
— Brigitte B (@BrigitteB55) October 28, 2021
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.
Pink Peach Trees, March 1888.
Vincent van Gogh pic.twitter.com/nst9hzxon2
— Scott ☘ (@Havenlust) October 27, 2021
O Lord, support us all the day long through this trouble-filled life, until the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in your mercy grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last.
— Veronica in the Fens 🧚🏼♀️ (@VeronicaJoPo) October 27, 2021
“I am gravely concerned by the draft anti-LGBTQ+ Bill due to be debated by the Ghanaian parliament. I will be speaking with the Archbishop of Ghana in the coming days to discuss the Anglican Church of Ghana’s response to the Bill.
“The majority of Anglicans within the global Anglican Communion are committed to upholding both the traditional teaching on marriage as laid out in the 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution I:10, and the rights of every person, regardless of sexual orientation, before the law. In Resolution I:10, the Anglican Communion also made a commitment “to assure [LGBTQ+ people] that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ.” Meanwhile on numerous occasions the Primates of the Anglican Communion have stated their opposition to the criminalisation of same-sex attracted people: most recently, and unanimously, in the communiqué of the 2016 Primates’ Meeting.
“I remind our brothers and sisters in the Anglican Church of Ghana of these commitments.
“We are a global family of churches, but the mission of the church is the same in every culture and country: to demonstrate, through its actions and words, God’s offer of unconditional love to every human being through Jesus Christ.”
I am gravely concerned by the draft anti-LGBTQ+ Bill due to be debated by the Ghanaian parliament. I will be speaking with the Archbishop of Ghana in the coming days to discuss the Anglican Church of Ghana’s response to the Bill.
My full statement: https://t.co/WcQMKzBseg
— Archbishop of Canterbury (@JustinWelby) October 26, 2021
Since becoming founding members of the Financing a Just Transition Alliance in 2020, the Church Commissioners for England and Church of England Pensions Board have been active in identifying concrete steps that the financial sector can take to ensure that no-one is left behind as part of the transition to a low carbon economy.
This engagement with high carbon emitting investee companies has focussed on the issue of a Just Transition, ensuring that workers and communities are not left behind and are appropriately supported in the low-carbon transition.
Each company was actively considering how to address and achieve a Just Transition. However, their approaches varied greatly depending on factors such as location, developed versus emerging market, relationship with unions, governance, company size, status as local or international company, and ability to transfer and reskill employees within their own operations. For example, one company that the Commissioners is engaging with is training the operators of coal-fired facilities in a developing country to work in the fishing industry.
Ethiopia is the second most populous country in Africa. It is also a vibrant and expansive center of Christianity: the present Christian population of 80 million is on track to double by 2060, placing Ethiopia far ahead of any European nation. The Orthodox make up 44 percent of Ethiopia, and 22 percent are evangelicals or “Pentays”—Pentecostals. Some 31 percent are Muslims.
But religion is by no means the only factor dividing the country, which is a patchwork of ethnic, tribal, and linguistic groupings. From 1975 through 1991, those diverse populations allied to resist and ultimately overthrow a savage communist dictatorship. After liberation, one of the most powerful ethnic groups seceded to form the new nation of Eritrea. The remaining groups cooperated, somewhat tensely, to rule the restored Ethiopia. That coalition was dominated by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which effectively held power until 2018. The TPLF was then displaced by the new regime headed by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who has won golden opinions as a peacemaker. In 2019, he received the Nobel Prize for promoting peace with Eritrea. As a faithful Pentay, Abiy Ahmed represents that sizable and fast-growing share of the population.
But despite initial hopes, the country has descended rapidly into turmoil. As the TPLF became ever more disaffected, violence erupted with Ethiopian armed forces, and in 2020, a full-scale Tigray War was in progress. Ethiopian forces seeking to impose their rule on Tigray were assisted by allied Eritrean regulars, and also by some lethal ethnic militias. Massacres and atrocities mounted.
The 🇪🇹 govt. & its allies have sought to destroy #Tigray & its people. Those in Western Tigray remain brutally occupied by Amhara forces as they enact their ethnic cleansing & genocidal campaign. Int’l community must act to alleviate Tigrayans’ suffering & stop #TigrayGenocide pic.twitter.com/9KBRerK6Xt
— Omna Tigray (@OmnaTigray) October 26, 2021
The Islamic State in Afghanistan could be able to launch attacks on the West and its allies within as soon as six months, and al Qaeda could do so within two years, a top Pentagon official told lawmakers on Tuesday.
The testimony by Colin Kahl, undersecretary of defense for policy, before the Senate Armed Services Committee, diverged from an earlier Biden administration view that al Qaeda had been “degraded” in Afghanistan.
Mr. Kahl said the U.S. is fairly certain that both terror groups “have the intention to” launch such attacks.
“We could see ISIS-K generate that capability in somewhere between six or 12 months, according to current assessments” by the intelligence community, Mr. Kahl said, using an acronym referring to Islamic State’s branch in Afghanistan. “And for al Qaeda, it would take a year or two to reconstitute that capability. We have to remain vigilant against that possibility.”
Mr. Kahl’s testimony offered a more detailed assessment of militant capabilities than was provided by Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who told the same committee on Sept. 28 that terror groups generally could pose a threat between six and 36 months.
The Islamic State in Afghanistan could be able to launch attacks on the West and its allies within as soon as six months, and al Qaeda could do so within two years, a top Pentagon official told lawmakers on Tuesday https://t.co/ZV03AOc3t4
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) October 26, 2021
In a project that could unlock the world’s research papers for easier computerized analysis, an American technologist has released online a gigantic index of the words and short phrases contained in more than 100 million journal articles — including many paywalled papers.
The catalogue, which was released on 7 October and is free to use, holds tables of more than 355 billion words and sentence fragments listed next to the articles in which they appear. It is an effort to help scientists use software to glean insights from published work even if they have no legal access to the underlying papers, says its creator, Carl Malamud. He released the files under the auspices of Public Resource, a non-profit corporation in Sebastopol, California that he founded.
Malamud says that because his index doesn’t contain the full text of articles, but only sentence snippets up to five words long, releasing it does not breach publishers’ copyright restrictions on the re-use of paywalled articles. However, one legal expert says that publishers might question the legality of how Malamud created the index in the first place.
Some researchers who have had early access to the index say it’s a major development in helping them to search the literature with software — a procedure known as text mining. Gitanjali Yadav, a computational biologist at the University of Cambridge, UK, who studies volatile organic compounds emitted by plants, says she aims to comb through Malamud’s index to produce analyses of the plant chemicals described in the world’s research papers. “There is no way for me — or anyone else — to experimentally analyse or measure the chemical fingerprint of each and every plant species on Earth. Much of the information we seek already exists, in published literature,” she says. But researchers are restricted by lack of access to many papers, Yadav adds.
A big development for text-mining? @carlmalamud has released online a giant, free index of 355 billion words and sentences in 107 million science papers. By @hollyelse in @nature https://t.co/FDE1mlfwbg
— Richard Van Noorden (@Richvn) October 26, 2021
O God, the Lord and leader of the hosts of the blessed: Instruct us in the spiritual warfare; arm us against all foes visible and invisible; subdue unto us our own rebellious affections; and give us daily victory in the following of him who vanquished sin and death, and now goeth forth with us conquering and to conquer, even thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ.
—Daily Prayer, Eric Milner-White and G. W. Briggs, eds. (London: Penguin Books 1959 edition of the 1941 original)
— Andrew Gorton WTOC (@AndrewGortonWx) October 27, 2021
And I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals; and I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I wept much that no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. Then one of the elders said to me, “Weep not; lo, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth; and he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints; and they sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy art thou to take the scroll and to open its seals,
for thou wast slain and by thy blood didst ransom men for God
from every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
and hast made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on earth.”
Mount Rainier National Parkpic.twitter.com/rOZd5quyRn
— Travel Nature (@othingstodo) October 27, 2021
In 2015 there was Pope Francis’ papal encyclical Laudato Si and the Lambeth Declaration on climate change, not to mention only last month we saw for the first time the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican Communion jointly warning of the urgency of environmental sustainability and its impact on the poor.
That impact was something I witnessed myself three years ago when travelling in a part of Northern Kenya where it hadn’t rained for 18 months. Seeing children waving empty plastic bottles at us, begging for water was one of the saddest things I have experienced. Every day the equivalent of 12 jumbo jets worth of people die because they do not have access to fresh water. This horror is only going to worsen without tackling the injustice of the climate crisis.
For me the challenge of the environmental emergency is captured in the Lord’s Prayer. We pray “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as in heaven.” If you look in the Book of Common Prayer you’ll notice it says “in earth, as it is in heaven.” Somewhere in the last hundred years or so “in earth as it is in heaven” has somehow changed to, “on earth as it is in heaven”. It was not an organized change by some church commission, it just happened.
We used to believe, and to know, that we lived in earth, that we were part of it, interdependent with it. And if we had a relationship with the earth it was to be its good stewards, living in it, and with it, and serving it. Then somewhere in the last couple of hundred years we moved to a position from living in the earth to living on the earth. And now I’m separate from the earth. The earth is mine, and I can do with it what I will. And from that, disaster upon disaster has flowed. We’ve been blind to the consequences of our actions, and we now live in a time where we must take action.
— Church of England Environment Programme (@CofEEnvironment) October 26, 2021