WEDNESDAY THE SEVENTH OF JUNE, 2017
* Pioneers of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil *
O Lord, give us more charity, more self-denial, more likeness to you. Teach us to sacrifice our comforts to others and our likings for the sake of doing good. Make us kindly in thought, gentle in word, generous in deed. Teach us that it is better to give than to receive; better to forget ourselves than to put ourselves forward; better to minister than to be ministered unto. And unto you, the God of love, be glory and praise for ever. Amen.
( Henry Alford )
PSALM NINETY ( abridged )
Keep me as the apple of your eye.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the most high
and abides under the shadow of the almighty,
shall say to the Lord, "My refuge and my stronghold,
my God, in whom I put my trust."
For he shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
He shall cover you with his wings
and you shall be safe under his feathers;
his faithfulness shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of any terror by night,
nor of the arrow that flies by day;
of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor of the sickness that destroys at noonday.
Though a thousand fall at your side
and ten thousand at your right hand,
yet it shall not come near you.
Because you have made the Lord your refuge
and the Most High your stronghold,
there shall no evil happen to you,
neither shall any plague come near your tent.
For he shall give his angels charge over you,
to keep you in all your ways.
They shall bear you in their hands,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.
Because they have set their love upon me,
therefore will I deliver them;
I will lift them up, because they know my name.
They will call upon me and I will answer them;
I am with them in trouble,
I will deliver them and bring them to honour.
With long life will I satisfy them
and show them my salvation.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.
Keep me as the apple of your eye.
Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
and, as you have bound us to yourself in love,
leave us not who call upon your name,
but grant us your salvation,
made known in the cross of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Pioneers of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil
Today Saint Laika’s remembers the pioneers of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil. Anglican ministry in Brazil began as early as 1810, when chaplaincies were established for expatriated Anglicans. In 1889, Brazil formalised the idea of separation of church and state in its constitution. The Episcopal Church in the United States decided that missionary work should commence. In 1890 , two Episcopal priests were sent to Brazil, the Rev. Lucien Lee Kinsolving, and the Rev. James Watson Morris. In 1891 two other priests, and a laywoman teacher joined them. These five, along with six Brazilians (Vicente Brande, Américo Vespúcio Cabral, Antônio Machado Fraga, Bonaventura de Souza Oliveira, Júlio de Almeida Coelho, and Carl Henry Clement Sergel) are now celebrated as the founders of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil. Kinsolving was elected as the first bishop of the church in 1899.
The church was under the supervision of the Episcopal Church in the United States until 1965, when the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil became fully autonomous. In 1982 they also became financially independent from the Episcopal Church.
The Church is committed to fight against problems that affect vast portions of the Brazilian society, such as social inequality, land concentration, domestic violence, racism, homophobia and xenophobia. As of 2015, the World Council of Churches lists their membership at one hundred and twenty thousand.
Scripture: In the "Book of Revelation," chapter seven, verses nine and ten we read:
"After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands.
"They cried out in a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!’"
... for peace in the world.
... for the members of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil and for the success of their efforts to increase justice and mutual respect in their land.
... for the people of Malta who celebrate Sette Giugno today.
... for those killed or injured when the Iranian parliament and Ayatollah Khomeini's mausoleum in the capital, Tehran, were attacked by armed gunmen. DETAILS
... for the Indian farmers who died after shots were fired during a protest in the central state of Madhya Pradesh. DETAILS
... for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing.
... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.
... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.
... for ourselves.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
From "The Moral Reflections on Job" by Gregory the Great:
It is characteristic of the way that arrogant people teach, that they do not know how to convey their knowledge humbly and cannot express straightforward truths straightforwardly. When they teach, it is clear from their words that they are placing themselves on a pinnacle and looking down on their pupils somewhere in the depths - pupils unworthy to be informed and scarcely even worth the bother of dominating.
The Lord rightly admonished such people through the mouth of the prophet Ezekiel, saying You have ruled your flock cruelly and with violence. For they rule with cruelty and violence when they do not try to correct those under them with rational arguments but try to dominate them and crush them.
On the other hand, sound teaching is eager to avoid this sin of pride manifested in thought: just as eager as it is to attack with words the teacher of pride himself. Sound teaching does not promote him by imitating his arrogance but uses pious words to attack him in its hearers’ hearts. Instead it promotes humility, the mother and teacher of all virtues. It preaches humility in words and manifests humility in its actions. It commends humility to its pupils more by conduct than by speech.
This is why Paul seems to have forgotten his exalted status as an apostle when writing to the Thessalonians: We were babes among you. So also Peter: Always have your answer ready for people who ask the reason for the hope you all have, adding, to emphasise that the teaching must be presented in the proper way, But give it with respect and with a clear conscience.
When Paul says to Timothy "Command these things and teach them with all authority," he is not calling for a domination born of power but an authority that comes from a way of life. “Teaching with authority” here means living something first before preaching it; for when speech is impeded by conscience, the hearer will find it harder to trust what is being taught. So Paul is not commending the power of proud and exalted words, but the trustworthiness that comes from good behaviour. This, indeed, is why it is said of the Lord, Unlike the scribes and pharisees, he taught them with authority. He alone spoke with unique authority because he had never, through weakness, done evil. What he had from the power of his divinity, he taught to us through the innocence of his humanity.
O God, who sent your son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: we bless you for the missionaries from the Episcopal Church and those who first responded to their message, joining together to establish the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil; and we pray that we, like them, may be ready to preach Christ crucified and risen, and to encourage and support those who pioneer new missions in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
NOW LIGHT A CANDLE
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