Of Course, I Could be Wrong

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

THURSDAY THE TWENTY-THIRD OF MARCH, 2017
* Paul Couturier *

OPENING PRAYER

O God, the Father of our lord Jesus Christ,
our only saviour, the prince of peace:
give us grace seriously to lay to heart
the great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions.
Take away all hatred and prejudice,
and whatever else may hinder us
from godly union and concord;
that, as there is but one body and one Spirit,
one hope of our calling,
one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
one God and father of us all,
so we may henceforth be all of one heart and of one soul,
united in one holy bond of peace, of faith and charity,
and may with one mind and one mouth glorify you;
through Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

PSALM SIXTY-THREE ( abridged )

My soul is athirst for God, even for the living God.

O God, you are my God; eagerly I seek you;
my soul is athirst for you.
My flesh also faints for you,
as in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.
So would I gaze upon you in your holy place,
that I might behold your power and your glory.

Your loving-kindness is better than life itself
and so my lips shall praise you.
I will bless you as long as I live
and lift up my hands in your name.

My soul shall be satisfied, as with marrow and fatness,
and my mouth shall praise you with joyful lips,
when I remember you upon my bed
and meditate on you in the watches of the night.
For you have been my helper
and under the shadow of your wings will I rejoice.

My soul clings to you;
your right hand shall hold me fast.

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.

My soul is athirst for God, even for the living God.

To you we come, radiant lord,
the goal of all our desiring,
beyond all earthly beauty;
gentle protector, strong deliverer,
in the night you are our confidence;
from first light be our joy;
through Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Paul Couturier: pioneer ecumenist, founder of the Dombes Group

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Paul Couturier, a French Roman Catholic priest, who promoted the idea of Christianity and worked tirelessly to improve relationships among Christians and to seek a better understanding of the life and religious practice of all the world’s religions.

In the 1920s Father Couturier worked with the thousands of Russian refugees and became acquainted with their Russian Orthodox spiritual heritage. Later, in 1932, when he was with the Benedictine Monks of Unity, he became acquainted with the work of Cardinal Mercier who was just beginning to explore what we know today as ecumenism. In 1933, he established a triduum for Christian unity at Lyon, which later became an octave in 1934, extending from the feast of the Chair of Saint Peter to the feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul. This was an outgrowth from the Octave for Church Unity which had been established by two Anglicans in 1908. However that emphasis always had associated with it a notion that for true unity among Christians, all must return to the Roman Catholic Church. Couturier sought a deeper unity among Christians and specifically offered his octave for the unity of any and all baptised into the Christian faith, including Orthodox, Anglican, and other Christian groups. Beginning in 1939, its name was changed to the "Universal Week of Prayer for Christian Unity".

He founded the Dombes Group in 1937, an unofficial gathering of twenty Roman Catholic and twenty Protestant theologians that has met regularly since then in a small monastery near Lyon, France. It is not just a mere theological gathering but a "spiritual" approach to ecumenism. Aside from the discussion of doctrinal matters, it also includes common prayer and the "call to conversion" addressed to the churches. They have often been the leaders in seeing past divisive issues that seemed to be conversation stoppers.

He died on this day in 1953.

Scripture. In the seventeenth chapter of "John," we hear Jesus’ great prayer for unity, in verses twenty and twenty-one:

"I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for Christian unity between the different churches of the world and for those who work to tear down the barriers that divide Christians.

... for meteorologists. DETAILS

... for the people of Pakistan who celebrate their national day today.

... for those killed or injured in the terrorist attack at Westminster, England, yesterday.

... for those killed or injured in an air strike on a school in a village west of the Islamic State-held Syrian city of Raqqa on Monday. 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.

READING

From "The Testament of Cardinal Mercier":

In order to be united, it is necessary to love another; in order to love one another it is necessary to know one another; in order to know one another we must go to meet one another.

CLOSING PRAYER

Holy God we honour the life and witness of your servant Paul Couturier, who dedicated his life to the deeper unity of Christians with each other. Make all Christians one in Christ as he is one with you, so we may carry to the world the message of your love, revealed in Jesus Christ, your son, our saviour and lord. 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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No Future: Why There Is No Such Thing As Predestination

It would not bother me in the slightest if God turned out to be less powerful than is routinely claimed within the Church's liturgy and doctrine. In fact, I would delight in it as it would emphasise the personhood of God. That God is capable of doing the impossible seems illogical to me. Surely if God can do something then it is a possibility. Therefore, God can only do that which is possible. Acceptance of this leads to two choices. Either anything that God can imagine doing is possible for God or only those things that can be done according to "the rules" are possible for God. Both options allow for an all-powerful God (being able to do everything that is possible is the only thing requisite for all-powerfulness) but the possible nature of that which exists is potentially very different depending on which of the two is true. For example, a god who could do whatever can be imagined by that god could build a planet out of ice cream and have it orbiting its star, without melting, at a distance of just one hundred miles. However, a god who has to abide by the rules of creation could not do this because, within nature as it is, such a planet could not be made in the first place (interplanetary gas and dust are not dairy products) and it would most certainly melt if it was placed so close to such a massive heat source.

Personally, I hope that the latter of the two gods is the real God. It is more logical and it would help answer such difficult theological questions as "Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people." To put it simply, God does not stop the earthquake because God cannot stop the earthquake. This would not be because of any lack of power on God's part but because it is not possible, according to "the rules," to stop an earthquake and God cannot do the impossible because if God did it would not be impossible. I love the idea that the Goldilocks principle that states that for a planet to be inhabitable it has to be in the "just right" location also has a theological reality. That, for life on earth to be as it is, it required God to create the universe dependent on physical laws that make that life, our life, possible. Earthquakes are usually caused by shifting tectonic plates and the movement of the earth's crust over the molten core of our planet is one of the most important contributors to the earth being "just right" for complex lifeforms to exist.

If God is only capable of being able to do that which it is possible to do due to the very nature of things we would be able to get rid of all the predestination nonsense from our theologies. Time travel may or may not be possible. However, most physicists who believe it might be do not believe it is possible to travel forwards in time because the future does not yet exist. There is no future to travel to so it is impossible to travel into it. You cannot eat a loaf of bread until it has been baked. God cannot do the impossible (because if God did it would not be impossible) so God cannot travel into the future, so God cannot see into the future. God may be able to predict what is going to happen in the future very precisely because of an awareness of all that has happened in the past and is happening in the present, but that is not the same as knowing exactly what will happen in the future. God has created far too complicated and unpredictable (see quantum physics) universe for such prescience to be believable. Even the claim that God lives outside of time does not alter the situation as time is only that which has happened and what is happening. There is no future time to live outside of as it does not exist.

If I am correct what would it all mean for us?

For a start it returns our free will to us which has recently been under sustained attack from philosophers and neurologists. Secondly, it makes us responsible for our futures. Thirdly it let's God off the hook as God is not, even academically, guilty of any calamity we may face in life (or, for that matter, any incident of good fortune we may experience). Fourthly, and this I find the most exciting, it introduces jeopardy into God's economy. If God cannot see into the future, because the future does not exist, then God did not know that Jesus would go through with the sacrifice that would save humankind and God did not know that Jesus would successfully be raised from the dead. There is a possibility that God can lose a "battle."

I do not worship God because of what God can do but because of what God has done. That God took such a massive risk to save humankind makes God far more worthy of thanks and praise than if God just did a mundane thing without there being any potential cost involved.

Thanks be to the God of the possible!

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

WEDNESDAY THE TWENTY-SECOND OF MARCH, 2017

OPENING PRAYER

My adorable God, I humbly beseech you to accept the sacrifice I here, in all humility, desire to make you, of the remainder of my life; to be entirely employed, with the utmost vigour both of my soul and body, in your service and adoration. Pardon all the sins and offences of my life past, and be pleased to bestow upon me a steadfast faith, an ardent love, a humble and perfect obedience, and a will capable of no other inclination than what it shall continually receive from the absolute guidance of your divine will; to which I beg it may be ever perfectly subservient, with all readiness and cheerfulness. As all my thoughts and actions are continually before you, so I humbly beseech you, that they may never be unworthy of your divine presence, for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.

( Charles How )

PSALM SIXTY-TWO ( abridged )

Wait on God alone in stillness, O my soul.

On God alone my soul in stillness waits;
from God comes my salvation.
God alone is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold, so that I shall never be shaken.
In God is my strength and my glory;
God is my strong rock; in God is my refuge.

Put your trust in God always, my people;
pour out your hearts before God, for God is our refuge.
Put no trust in oppression; in robbery take no empty pride;
though wealth increase, set not your heart upon it.

God spoke once, and twice have I heard the same,
that power belongs to God.

Steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord,
for you repay everyone according to their deeds.

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.

Wait on God alone in stillness, O my soul.

O God, teach us to seek security,
not in money or theft,
not in human ambition or malice,
not in our own ability or power,
but in you, the only God,
our rock and our salvation. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Joseph of Nazareth (transferred from last Sunday)

All that we know of Joseph we learn from the first two chapters of Matthew and of Luke, together with passing references in the gospels. To say much else is to enter the wide field of speculation.

The story of Joseph in Matthew’s gospel leads us to understand that he had no marital relations with Mary prior to Jesus’ birth. So he is generally considered Jesus’ foster father. People speculate about Joseph’s age, since the last reference we have to him being alive is the curious story of Jesus at age twelve becoming separated from his parents on a trip to Jerusalem. Was he elderly? Had he been a widower with children from that marriage? Were the brothers and sisters of Jesus children he had with Mary, or step-children? Or cousins?

In the face of circumstances where a man of lesser character might have reacted very differently, Joseph graciously assumed the role of Jesus' father. He is well remembered in Christian tradition for the love he showed to the boy Jesus, and for his tender affection and care for Mary, during the twelve years and more that he was their protector. If we accept the doctrine of the Incarnation fully, then we understand that Jesus was born as any other child, and had to grow up as any child. Joseph then helps us understand this by the interactions of a boy with his father, raising Jesus faithfully in the traditions of Judaism, teaching him to be comfortable at the workplace, showing him a father’s love. If the grown Jesus went around preaching that God was a loving father, one wonders if the influence of Joseph was not helpful for Jesus in shaping that image.

The Gospels use the word "tekton' to describe Joseph, traditionally translated as 'Carpenter." Although it is also the same word used to describe an architect or builder. Justin Martyr, writing about 100AD makes a passing reference, that he has seen plows and ox-yokes still in use which were said to have been made in the carpenter-shop at Nazareth.

Whatever else we may say about him, the most lasting legacy of Joseph the carpenter, is what we see in the carpenter’s son.

Scripture. In the fourth chapter of "Proverbs," verses one to four, we read:

"Listen, children, to a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight; for I give you good precepts: do not forsake my teaching. When I was a son with my father, tender, and my mother’s favourite, he taught me, and said to me, ‘Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live.'"

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for fathers.

... for carpenters, builders and architects.

... for workers, travellers, unborn children, immigrants and all congregations under the patronage of Saint Joseph.

... for universal access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene. DETAILS

... for the continuation of peace and cooperation in Northern Ireland.

... 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.

READING

From a sermon by Bernadine of Siena:

There is a general rule concerning all special graces granted to any human being. Whenever the divine favour chooses someone to receive a special grace, or to accept a lofty vocation, God adorns the person chosen with all the gifts of the Spirit needed to fulfil the task at hand.

This general rule is especially verified in the case of Saint Joseph, the foster-father of our Lord and the husband of the Queen of our world, enthroned above the angels. He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trustworthy guardian and protector of his greatest treasures, namely, his divine son and Mary, Joseph’s wife. He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying: “Good and faithful servant enter into the joy of your lord.”

What then is Joseph’s position in the whole church of Christ? Is he not a man chosen and set apart? Through him and, yes, under him, Christ was fittingly and honourably introduced into the world. Holy Church in its entirety is indebted to the Virgin Mother because through her it was judged worthy to receive Christ. But after her we undoubtedly owe special gratitude and reverence to Saint Joseph.

In him the "Old Testament" finds its fitting close. He brought the noble line of patriarchs and prophets to its promised fulfilment. What the divine goodness had offered as a promise to them, he held in his arms.

Obviously, Christ does not now deny to Joseph that intimacy, reverence and very high honour which he gave him on earth, as a son to his father. Rather we must say that in heaven Christ completes and perfects all that he gave at Nazareth.

Now we can see how the last summoning words of the Lord appropriately apply to Saint Joseph: “Enter into the joy of your Lord.”

In fact, although the joy of eternal happiness enters into the soul of a man, the Lord preferred to say to Joseph: “Enter into joy.”

His intention was that the words should have a hidden spiritual meaning for us. They convey not only that this holy man possesses an inward joy, but also that it surrounds him and engulfs him like an infinite abyss.

CLOSING PRAYER

O God, who from the family of your servant David raised up Joseph to be the guardian of your incarnate son and the spouse of his virgin mother: give us grace to imitate his uprightness of life and his obedience to your commands; through Jesus Christ our lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. 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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Holy Communion For The Third Sunday In Lent

In the sacrament of holy communion we gather together at the well of living water to meet Jesus Christ. He is truly the saviour of the world.

At Saint Laika's everyone is welcome to take communion and be in communion, with each other and with God. There are no exceptions. So, come, join us.

If you want to physically partake of communion you will require a small piece of bread and a small amount of drink (preferably made from grapes and containing alcohol).

CLICK HERE to access the podcast via iTunes.

To stream the service direct from this page without having to use the iTunes' facility, click on the arrow on the left of the player below.

Join in with us as we worship God by CLICKING HERE for the order of service, credits and details of the music featured. The words in bold type are the ones we say together.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

TUESDAY THE TWENTY-FIRST OF MARCH, 2017
* Cranmer *

OPENING PRAYER

Lord God,
you have taught us
that anything we do without love is worth nothing,
for whoever lives without love
is counted dead before you;
send your Holy Spirit,
and pour into our hearts
that most excellent gift of love,
the true bond of peace and of all virtues;
grant this for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ
who is alive with with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God now and for ever. Amen.

( Thomas Cranmer )

PSALM SIXTY-ONE ( abridged )

You are my refuge, O God,
a strong tower against the enemy.

Hear my crying, O God,
and listen to my prayer.
From the end of the earth
I call to you with fainting heart;
O set me on the rock that is higher than I.

For you are my refuge,
a strong tower against the enemy.
Let me dwell in your tent for ever •
and take refuge under the cover of your wings.

For you, O God, will hear my vows;
you will grant the request of those who fear your name.
So will I always sing praise to your name,
and day by day fulfil my vows.

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.

You are my refuge, O God,
a strong tower against the enemy.

Risen Christ,
as you knew the discipline of suffering
and the victory that brings us salvation,
so grant us your presence in our weakness
and a place in your unending kingdom
now and for evermore. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Thomas Cranmer: Hero or Villain?

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Thomas Cranmer who, as archbishop of Canterbury saw the Church of England through its shift of allegiance from pope to king. He was the principal figure of the English Reformation and was primarily responsible for the first "Book of Common Prayer" of 1549 and for its first revision in 1552.

Cranmer was at Cambridge during the time the Reformation exploded into Germany. And he carefully studied the Bible and kept himself aware of the theological battles being waged by proponents of the Reformation.

When Henry VIII wanted his marriage to Catherine of Aragon dissolved, he selected Cranmer to be the one to prepare the his side in the matter. Cranmer presented the case for a dissolution of the marriage to universities in England, Germany, and Rome.

While in Germany, Cranmer met and married the daughter of Andreas Osiander. But on his return to England he kept her hidden away.

The King saw to it that he was appointed archbishop of Canterbury when the position became vacant and Cranmer was consecrated on the thirtieth of March, 1533. Among his earliest acts was to declare the King’s marriage null and void. He then validated the King’s marriage to Anne Boleyn. Her child, the future Queen Elizabeth I, was Cranmer’s godchild.

During the reign of Edward VI, Cranmer had a free hand in reforming the worship, doctrine, and practice of the Church. But at Edward’s death, Queen Mary, daughter of Catherine of Aragon, had him in her sights. He was arrested, deprived, and degraded by the Queen who had remained a staunch Roman Catholic. He was burned at the stake on the twenty-first of March, 1556.

Cranmer remains controversial. Some laud him as a hero of the Reformation. Others paint him as a cowardly villain. I suppose we might hearken back to Luther, who stressed that all of us are “simul justus et peccator” (at one and the same time both saint and sinner). Diarmaid MacCulloch, whose epic six hundred plus page biography of Cranmer, is the new standard, says: “As I have looked at what we know of Cranmer, I have also concluded that those who told the hero-narrative generally distorted fewer of the facts than those who told the villain narrative.”

Scripture. In the eighth chapter of the "First Book of Kings," at verses fifty-nine and sixty, Solomon prays to God:

"Let these words of mine, with which I pleaded before the LORD, be near to the LORD our God day and night, and may he maintain the cause of his servant and the cause of his people, as each day requires; so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God; there is no other."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for liturgists and prayer writers.

... for members of the Prayer Book Society.

... for the separated and the divorced.

... for an end to racial discrimination. DETAILS

... for poets. DETAILS

... for people of the Zoroastrian faith as they celebrate Nowruz (the Persian new year).

... for those who were born with Down Syndrome. DETAILS

... for puppeteers. DETAILS

... for forest workers, for those who care for and protect forests; that the people of the world will stop foolishly destroying them. DETAILS

... for the people of Montenegro who are celebrating their national day today.

... 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.

READING

From "A Short Declaration of the True, Lively and Christian Faith" by Thomas Cranmer:

Of ( the Christian ) faith three things are specially to be noted. First, that this faith does not lie dead in the heart, but is lively and fruitful in bringing forth good works. Second, that without it can no good works be done, that shall be acceptable and pleasant to God. Third, what manner of good works they be that this faith brings forth.

For the first, as the light cannot be hid, but will show forth itself at one place or other; so a true faith cannot be kept secret, but, when occasion is offered, it will break out, and show itself by good works. And as the living body of a man ever exercises such things as belong to a natural and living body, for nourishment and preservation of the same, as it hath need, opportunity, and occasion; even so the soul, that hath a lively faith in it, will always be doing some good work, which shall declare that it is living, and will not be unoccupied. Therefore, when men hear in the scriptures so high commendations of faith, that it makes us to please God, to live with God, and to be the children of God; if then they fantasise that they be set at liberty from doing all good works, and may live as they wish, they trifle with God, and deceive themselves. And it is a manifest token that they be far from having the true and lively faith, and also far from knowledge what true faith means. For the very sure and lively Christian faith is, not only to believe all things of God which are contained in holy scripture; but also is an earnest trust and confidence in God, that he doth regard us, and hath cure of us, as the father of the child whom he loves, and that he will be merciful unto us for his only Son's sake, and that we have our Saviour Christ our perpetual advocate and priest, in whose only merits, oblation, and suffering, we do trust that our offences be continually washed and purged, whensoever we, repenting truly, do return to him with our whole heart, steadfastly determining with ourselves, through his grace, to obey and serve him in keeping his commandments, and never to turn back again to sin. Such is the true faith that the scripture does so much commend; the which, when it sees and considers what God has done for us, is also moved, through continual assistance of the Spirit of God, to serve and please him, to keep his favour, to fear his displeasure, to continue his obedient children, showing thankfulness again by observing his commandments, and that freely, for true love chiefly, and not for dread of punishment or love of temporal reward; considering how clearly, without deserving it, we have received his mercy and pardon freely.

CLOSING PRAYER

Merciful God, through the work of Thomas Cranmer you renewed the worship of your Church by restoring the language of the people, and through his death you revealed your power in human weakness: grant that by your grace we may always worship you in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ, our only mediator and advocate, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

CLICK HERE, then click on "Begin" and follow the instructions on each page.

New Scientists Discover Old Tricks

A report, recently published by The Newcastle School for Research
into the Bleeding Obvious, claims that work such as that detailed
below proves, beyond doubt, that if you take a lot of scientists
with a lot of time on their hands and give them a lot of money to
do with as they please, they will eventually discover, and write an
"important" paper on, that which the rest of us have known all along.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

MONDAY THE TWENTIETH OF MARCH, 2017
* Cuthbert *

OPENING PRAYER

Guide us in Thy way, O Lord, and mercifully show the fountain of wisdom to our thirsting minds; that we may be free from sorrowful heaviness, and may drink in the sweetness of life eternal

( Mozorabic )

PSALM FIFTY-SEVEN ( abridged )

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens,
and your glory over all the earth.

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for my soul takes refuge in you;
in the shadow of your wings will I take refuge
until the storm of destruction has passed by.

I will call upon the most high God,
the God who fulfils his purpose for me.
He will send from heaven and save me
and rebuke those that would trample upon me;
God will send forth his love and his faithfulness.

My heart is ready, O God, my heart is ready;
I will sing and give you praise.
Awake, my soul; awake, harp and lyre,
that I may awaken the dawn.

I will give you thanks, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praise to you among the nations.
For your loving-kindness is as high as the heavens,
and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

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.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens,
and your glory over all the earth.

Tender God,
gentle protector in time of trouble,
pierce the gloom of despair
and give us, with all your people,
the song of freedom and the shout of praise;
in Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Cuthbert: “Healer of the Breach”

Cuthbert was the most popular saint of the pre-Conquest Anglo- Saxon Church. He was born about 625.

In response to a vision of the death of Aidan of Lindisfarne, Cuthbert entered religious life and was formed in the austere traditions of Celtic monasticism. He was Prior of Melrose Abbey from 651 to 664 and was then Prior of Lindisfarne.

The seventh century was the time in England when Roman rite and custom were imposed on the Christians who had previously followed Celtic rite and custom. While many voiced schism or bitterly opposed the rule of Rome, Cuthbert accepted the decisions of the Council of Whitby in 663. He was, therefore, a “healer of the breach” that threatened to divide the church into Celtic and Roman factions.

The Venerable Bede wrote a “Life of Saint Cuthbert” which detailed his faithfulness to Christ, his devotion to the people of God, and his simple, austere lifestyle. Late in his life, in 684, he was consecrated Bishop of Hexham. At that time Bede wrote this:

"The venerable man of God, Cuthbert, adorned the office of bishop, which he had undertaken, by the exercise of many virtues, according to the precepts and examples of the Apostles. For he protected the people committed to his care with frequent prayers, and invited them to heavenly things by most wholesome admonitions, and followed that system which most facilitates teaching, by first doing himself what he taught to others. He saved the needy man from the hand of the stronger, and the poor and destitute from those who would oppress them. He comforted the weak and sorrowful; but he took care to recall those who were sinfully rejoicing to that sorrow which is according to godliness. Desiring still to exercise his usual frugality, he did not cease to observe the severity of a monastic life, amid the turmoil by which he was surrounded. He gave food to the hungry, raiment to the shivering, and his course was marked by all the other particulars which adorn the life of a bishop.”

Cuthbert continued to live in Lindisfarne and died at his hermitage on the twentieth of March, 687.

Scripture. In the fifty-fifth chapter of "Isaiah," at verses ten and eleven, we read:

"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for those who choose to live a monastic life.

... for bishops and church leaders who are caring, prayerful and not eager for authority.

... for the flourishing of a variety of expression in our worship.

... for the people of Tunisia who are celebrating their national day today.

... for those who were killed or injured when a large tree fell on them at a popular waterfall spot in Kintampo, Ghana and for the successful rescue of those still trapped. 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.

READING

From "Prejudice and Faith," a sermon by John Henry Newman:

Now is it not strange that persons who act in this way, who skip over things in scripture, and go by their prejudices, and by the bad teaching they have received in scripture, should yet boast that they are scriptural and go by scripture, and use their private judgement? No, they do not judge, they do not examine, they do not go by scripture; but they take just so much of scripture as suits them, and leave the rest. They go, not by their private judgement, but their private prejudice, and by their private liking.

CLOSING PRAYER

Ever-living God, you called your servant Cuthbert to proclaim the gospel in northern England and gave him a loving heart and a gentle spirit: grant us grace to live as he did, in simplicity, humility and love for the poor; through Jesus Christ, who came among us as one who serves, and 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.

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

FRIDAY THE SEVENTEENTH OF MARCH, 2017
* Patrick *

OPENING PRAYER

I bind unto myself today
the strong name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the three in one and one in three.

I bind this day to me for ever,
by power of faith, Christ's incarnation;
his baptism in the Jordan river;
his death on cross for my salvation;
his bursting from the spiced tomb;
his riding up the heavenly way;
his coming at the day of doom;
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
of the great love of the cherubim;
the sweet 'well done' in judgment hour,
the service of the seraphim,
confessors' faith, apostles' word,
the patriarchs' prayers, the prophets' scrolls,
all good deeds done unto the Lord,
and purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
the virtues of the starlit heaven,
the glorious sun's life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea,
around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
his eye to watch, his might to stay,
his ear to hearken to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach,
his hand to guide, his shield to ward,
the word of God to give me speech,
his heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
the vice that gives temptation force,
the natural lusts that war within,
the hostile men that mar my course;
or few or many, far or nigh,
in every place and in all hours,
against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan's spells and wiles,
against false words of heresy,
against the knowledge that defiles,
against the heart's idolatry,
against the wizard's evil craft,
against the death wound and the burning,
the choking wave and the poisoned shaft,
protect me, Christ, till your returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the name,
the strong name of the Trinity;
by invocation of the same,
the three in one, and one in three,
of whom all nature has creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
praise to the lord of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ the lord.

( attributed to Saint Patrick )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Patrick: the man behind the blarney

Saint Laika’s remembers Patrick today, servant of Christ and apostle of Ireland.

So much has been made of Patrick, so many tales and legends associated with him, that any credible written devotion, ought to take to heart the Wikipedia warning: “Most available details of his life are from subsequent hagiographies and annals, and these are now not accepted without detailed criticism.”

One of the writings that passes the credibility test is a short document entitled the "Confessio." Those interested in the real Patrick might find it enjoyable to read. It reads a bit like a diary, but shows a man with a healthy sense of his own sinfulness, a man with a strong confidence that the future is secure in God’s hands, a man in love with the Irish people. Here are a few short excerpts:

“My name is Patrick. I am a sinner, a simple country person, and the least of all believers. I am looked down upon by many. My father was Calpornius. He was a deacon; his father was Potitus, a priest, who lived at Bannavem Taburniae. His home was near there, and that is where I was taken prisoner. I was about sixteen at the time. At that time, I did not know the true God. I was taken into captivity in Ireland, along with thousands of others. We deserved this, because we had gone away from God, and did not keep his commandments.”

“So I am first of all a simple country person, a refugee, and unlearned. I do not know how to provide for the future. But this I know for certain, that before I was brought low, I was like a stone lying deep in the mud. Then he who is powerful came and in his mercy pulled me out, and lifted me up and placed me on the very top of the wall.”

“I am greatly in debt to God. He gave me such great grace, that through me, many people should be born again in God and brought to full life. Also that clerics should be ordained everywhere for this people who have lately come to believe, and who the Lord has taken from the ends of the earth. How has this happened in Ireland? Never before did they know of God except to serve idols and unclean things. But now, they have become the people of the Lord.”

“I pray for those who believe in and have reverence for God. Some of them may happen to inspect or come upon this writing which Patrick, a sinner without learning, wrote in Ireland. May none of them ever say that whatever little I did or made known to please God was done through ignorance. Instead, you can judge and believe in all truth that it was a gift of God. This is my confession before I die.”

Scripture. In the second chapter of "First Thessalonians," as verses three and four we read:

"For our appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the people of Ireland, both in the north and in the south and for people of Irish descent throughout the world.

... for the holding together of the peace agreement in Northern Ireland.

... for the safety of all taking part in Saint Patrick Day celebrations this weekend.

... for Grizz and all animals who help us, but who we repay with betrayal and ruthlessness. DETAILS

... for those injured when a gun-obsessed seventeen year old boy attacked a school in Grasse, France. DETAILS

... for those who were killed or injured during an air strike on a mosque in a rebel-held village in northern Syria, in particular the civilians, and for all caught up in the warfare and violence in that land. 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.

READING

From "The Truth about Love" by Josephine Hart:

When boys called Bob and Bono would bring their own wild-rhythm celebration and the world would fall down in worshipful hallelujahs as it again acknowledged Ireland's capacity to create missionaries. So what if they were "the boys in the band"? They sang from a pulpit, an enormous pulpit looking down on a congregation that would knock your eyes out. A city that had produced Joyce and Beckett and Yeats, a country that had produced poet-heroes and more priests and nuns per head of population than almost any on earth was not going to spawn boys who just wanted to stand before a packed hall of gyrating teenagers and strum their guitars and sing. They had to have a message. One of salvation; they were in it to save the world. Like I said, we're teachers, missionaries.

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God, who in your providence chose your servant Patrick to be the apostle of the Irish people, to bring those who were wandering in darkness and error to the true light and knowledge of you: Grant us so to walk in that light, that we may come at last to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

THURSDAY THE SIXTEENTH OF MARCH, 2017

OPENING PRAYER

God, our refuge and strength,
bring near the day when wars shall cease
and poverty and pain shall end,
that earth may know the peace of heaven
through Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

CANTICLE

Let there be light, Lord God of hosts,
let there be wisdom on the earth;
let broad humanity have birth,
let there be deeds, instead of boasts.

Within our passioned hearts instil
the calm that endeth strain and strife;
make us thy ministers of life;
purge us from lusts that curse and kill.

Give us the peace of vision clear
to see our brothers’ good our own,
to joy and suffer not alone,
the love that casteth out all fear.

Let woe and waste of warfare cease,
that useful labor yet may build
its homes with love and laughter filled;
God give thy wayward children peace.

( William M. Vories )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

My Lai Massacre. Kyrie Eleison.

Those readers of more tender years only know the Vietnam War as an event of history. For those who lived through the time, it was a tumultuous time, especially in the U.S.A., a time when the hopes and excitement that rang in the 1960’s quickly soured. A time when an ambiguous foreign policy left us with an unwinnable war. A time when the polarisation that today reaches the heights of lunacy began. America lost her innocence once again, and one of the events that brought it all home was the My Lai Massacre which took place on the sixteenth of March, 1968. It is the name given to the mass killing of between three hundred and fifty and five hundred unarmed civilians: men, women, children, even infants, by American soldiers. Twenty-six soldiers were ultimately charged with criminal offences, but only one, Lieutenant William Calley Jr. , a platoon leader was convicted. He was originally given a life sentence, but, in fact, served only three and one-half years under house arrest.

The incident prompted global outrage when it became public knowledge in November 1969. The My Lai Massacre increased domestic opposition to the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War when the scope of killing and cover-up attempts were exposed. Initially, three U.S. servicemen who had tried to halt the massacre and rescue the hiding civilians were shunned, and even denounced as traitors by several U.S. congressmen. Only after thirty years were they recognised and decorated, one posthumously, by the U.S. Army for shielding non-combatants from harm in a war zone.

When the war finally ended, Americans were so ambivalent about the war that soldiers returning home were often rejected and shunned. Many brought home physical and more importantly mental scars that never healed. Truly the anniversary of My Lai is a day never to forget. Our sad history of subsequent warfare, however, shows that even if we haven’t forgotten it, we haven’t learned much from it, either.

Scripture. In "Psalm Forty-Six," at verses nine and ten, we read:

"He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. ‘Be still, and know that I am God!'"

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the victims of genocide and other atrocities or war.

... for children with mental health problems, in particular those whose who are bullied at school.

... 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.

READING

From the teachings of Gautama Buddha:

Those who attempt to conquer hatred by hatred are like warriors who take weapons to overcome others who bear arms. This does not end hatred, but gives it room to grow. But, ancient wisdom has advocated a different timeless strategy to overcome hatred. This eternal wisdom is to meet hatred with non-hatred. The method of trying to conquer hatred through hatred never succeeds in overcoming hatred. But, the method of overcoming hatred through non-hatred is eternally effective. That is why that method is described as eternal wisdom.

CLOSING PRAYER

Eternal God, you are our only hope, our help in time of trouble. Great sacrifices have been made for war; awaken in us and in all people the willingness to make great sacrifices for peace. Hasten the day when no nation shall draw the sword against another, and your blessed peace shall rule each continent and island; through Jesus Christ, our saviour and lord. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

WEDNESDAY THE FIFTEENTH OF MARCH, 2017

OPENING PRAYER

I know, O Lord, and do with all humility acknowledge myself an object altogether unworthy of your love; but I am sure that you are an object altogether worthy of mine. I am not good enough to serve you, but you have a right to the best service I can pay. Impart to me some of that excellence and that shall supply my own want of worth. Help me to cease from sin according to your will, that I may be capable of doing your service according to my duty. Enable me so to guard and govern myself, so to begin and finish my course, that, when the race of life is run, I may sleep in peace, and rest in you. Be with me until the end, that my sleep may be rest indeed, my rest perfect security, and that security a blessed eternity. Amen.

( Augustine of Hippo )

PSALM FIFTY-SIX ( abridged )

In God I trust, and will not fear.

Have mercy on me, O God, for they trample over me;
all day long they assault and oppress me.
My adversaries trample over me all the day long;
many are they that make proud war against me.

In the day of my fear I put my trust in you,
in God whose word I praise.
In God I trust, and will not fear,
for what can flesh do to me?

In God whose word I praise,
in the Lord whose word I praise,
in God I trust and will not fear,
what can flesh do to me?

To you, O God, will I fulfil my vows;
to you will I present my offerings of thanks,
For you will deliver my soul from death
and my feet from falling,
that I may walk before God in the light of the living.

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.

In God I trust, and will not fear.

Faithful God,
your deliverance is nearer than we know;
free us from fear
and help us to find courage in your Word,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Longinus, whose spear pierced Christ’s side

In the ancient western calendar, the fifteenth of March was the day to remember Longinus, the name given to the Roman centurion who presided over Christ’s death on the cross.

In John’s gospel he is said to have pierced Jesus’ side with his lance, causing blood and water to flow out.

In Luke, he is said to have proclaimed: “Certainly here is an innocent man.”

In Matthew and Mark he proclaimed: “Truly this man was God’s son.”

In the gospels this centurion is unnamed. In one of the apocryphal gospels, the "Gospel of Nicodemus, which dates to the fourth century, he was called Longinus, and that name carried throughout subsequent history. The legend stated that following his experience on Calvary, Longinus became a Christian.

The spear of Longinus was known to have been venerated as a relic in Jerusalem in the sixth century. In 615 AD, Jerusalem was captured by the Persians and the relic disappeared.

Actually the relic multiplied. It turned up in Constantinople, there was one in Paris. Armenia claimed it had the lance. There is one at the Vatican.

There really is little compelling evidence that Longinus is anything more than a legend, a story spun out of the telling of our Lord’s passion in the four gospels. But these stories, these relics, guide us into the realm of devotion, where we can begin to admit to ourselves how much these stories of Jesus and his suffering love mean to us.

Longinus exists because those who love Jesus said to themselves, “Well, if I were this centurion, and if I were this close to Jesus Christ on the cross, how could I not have become a Christian?”

To admit that you are devoted to Jesus is simply to admit that you love him and that your heart and affections have been captured by his sacrifice. As the yearly remembrance of Jesus’ suffering and death draws near, you might remember that centurion with the words of this African-American spiritual:

"Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?"

Scripture. In the nineteenth chapter of John, at verses thirty-three and thirty-four, we read:

"But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out."

In the 1965 film “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” the part of Longinus was played by the American actor John Wayne in a cameo appearance.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for new converts to the Christian faith, in particular those from cultures not sympathetic to Christianity.

... for the people of Hungary who are celebrating a national day today.

... 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.

READING

From "The Calls of Grace," a sermon by John Henry Newman:

And if you are conscious that your hearts are hard, and are desirous that they should be softened, do not despair. All things are possible to you, through God's grace. Come to him for the will and the power to do that to which he calls you. He never forsakes anyone who calls upon him. He never puts any trial on a man but he gives him grace to overcome it. Do not despair then; nay do not despond, even though you do come to him, yet are not at once exalted to overcome yourselves. He gives grace by little and little. It is by coming daily into his presence, that by degrees we find ourselves awed by that presence and able to believe and obey him. Therefore if any one desires illumination to know God's will as well as strength to do it, let him come to mass daily, if he possibly can. At least let him present himself daily before the blessed sacrament, and, as it were, offer his heart to his incarnate saviour, presenting it as a reasonable offering to be influenced, changed and sanctified under the eye and by the grace of the eternal Son. And let him every now and then through the day make some short prayer or ejaculation, to the Lord and Saviour, and again to his blessed mother, the immaculate most blessed virgin Mary, or again to his guardian angel, or to his patron saint. Let him now and then collect his mind and place himself, as if in heaven, in the presence of God; as if before God's throne; let him fancy he sees the all-holy lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. These are the means by which, with God's grace, he will be able in course of time to soften his heart; not all at once, but by degrees; not by his own power or wisdom, but by the grace of God blessing his endeavour. Thus it is that saints have begun. They have begun by these little things, and so become at length saints. They were not saints all at once, but by little and little. And so we, who are not saints, must still proceed by the same road; by lowliness, patience, trust in God, recollection that we are in his presence, and thankfulness for his mercies.

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God, so draw our hearts to you, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, that we may be wholly yours, utterly devoted to you; and then use us as you will, but always to your glory and the welfare of your people; through Jesus Christ, our saviour and lord. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

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Another Day, Another Referendum

Mild mannered bank clerk, David Cooper, of Cotswold Green, Carshalton, made the news today by probably causing the break up of the United Kingdom. For the last thirty-three years of his life he has worn a blue tie for work without fail but this morning he decided that, for a change, he would wear a red one (a present from his wife for his birthday yesterday). On being informed of this alteration in David's sartorial habits Scottish first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, immediately called a press conference and announced that she would be demanding yet another referendum on Scottish independence by next Wednesday at the latest.

"Mr Cooper's radical recolourisation of his accessories is a substantive change to the political situation in the United Kingdom," Mrs Sturgeon told the assembled reporters. "It is not what the Scottish people voted for in the referendum two years ago."

The Scottish Labour Party would have been asked to comment but nobody could find it.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

TUESDAY THE FOURTEENTH OF MARCH, 2017
* Marianella Garcia Villas *

OPENING PRAYER

Teach me, O Father, how to ask you each moment, silently, for your help. If I fail, teach me at once to ask you to forgive me. If I am disquieted, enable me, by your grace, quickly to turn to you.

May nothing this day come between you and me. May I will, do, and say, just what you, my loving and tender Father, desires me to will, do, and say. Work your holy will in me and through me this day.

Protect me, guide me, bless me, within and without, that I may do something this day for love of you; something which shall please you; and that I may, this evening, be nearer to you.

Lead me, O Lord, in a straight way towards yourself, and keep me in you grace unto the end. Amen.

( E. B. Pusey )

PSALM FIFTY-FIVE ( abridged )

Cast your burden upon the Lord and he will sustain you.

Hear my prayer, O God;
hide not yourself from my petition.
Give heed to me and answer me;
I am restless in my complaining.

I am alarmed at the voice of the enemy
and at the clamour of the wicked;
for they would bring down evil upon me
and are set against me in fury.
My heart is disquieted within me,
and the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me,
and a horrible dread has overwhelmed me.

And I said: "O that I had wings like a dove,
for then would I fly away and be at rest.
Then would I flee far away
and make my lodging in the wilderness.
I would make haste to escape
from the stormy wind and tempest."

As for me, I will call upon God
and the Lord will deliver me.
In the evening and morning and at noonday,
I will pray and make my supplication,
and he shall hear my voice.
He shall redeem my soul in peace
from the battle waged against me,
for many have come upon me.

Cast your burden upon the Lord and he will sustain you,
and will not let the righteous fall for ever.

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.

Cast your burden upon the Lord and he will sustain you.

Lord, in all times of fear and dread,
grant that we may so cast our burdens upon you,
that you may bear us on the holy wings of the Spirit
to the stronghold of your peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Marianella Garcia Villas: martyr for justice in El Salvador

It was on the thirteenth and fourteenth of March, 1983 when thirty-four year-old Marianella García Villas was tortured and killed, three years after the assassination of the archbishop with whom this young woman had shared battles and hopes, Oscar Romero.

Born in El Salvador in 1948, a daughter of the rich upper-class, from her teen years Marianella was upset by social injustice in her country. While attending college, where she graduated with a law degree, she joined Catholic Action and trained herself by discussing the Second Vatican Council and the liberation theology movement that had swept through Latin America in the 1970’s.

After college her passion to seek social justice for the poorest in her society led her into politics in the Christian Democratic Party. In 1974 she entered Parliament thanks to the support of the market women and the suburban mothers and wives who had seen her in court as a lawyer defending their rights. Later she began to visit families living in the more difficult areas. She was already aggravating people in powerful positions, and the Christian Democrats marginalised her and she left Parliament in 1976. She founded the Latin-American Human Rights Commission with ties to the United Nations

Marianella began to take pictures with her camera of human rights violations, pictures of dead bodies abandoned on roadsides or found buried after days of searching, devastated by torture. The photos served as a response to the despair of the relatives and to document the truth that public officials tried to deny. She became civilian victim number forty-three thousand three hundred and thirty-seven and for a long time after her assassination the dictatorship continued to refer to her as a subversive guerilla, however, over the years the world has little by little become aware of the young woman’s true story, and the Christian motivation for all that she did.

Scripture. In the eighth chapter of Ecclesiastes, at verses twelve and thirteen, we read:

Though sinners do evil a hundred times and prolong their lives, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they stand in fear before him, but it will not be well with the wicked, neither will they prolong their days like a shadow, because they do not stand in fear before God.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for all who campaign against injustice and stand up for the oppressed, in particular those who risk their lives or liberty in doing so.

... for the people of Hungary who celebrate a national day today.

... for all who are oppressed because of bigotry born of religious dogma.

... for those living in the path of Winter Storm Stella which is due to hit the north-eastern United States on Wednesday, that they may be safe. DETAILS

... for the crew of the Sri Lankan freight ship that has been hijacked by Somali pirates. 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.

READING

From "Key Themes of Liberation Theology" by Leonardo and Clodovis Boff:

The evangelically poor are all those who place themselves and their strength at the service of God and their sisters and brothers; all those who do not put themselves first, who do not see their security and the meaning of their lives and actions in profiting from this world and accumulating possessions, honour power and glory but open themselves to God in gratitude and disinterestedly serve others, even those they hate, building up means of producing a more worthy life for all. Faced with a predatory consumerist society, the evangelically poor will use the goods of this world with moderation and sharing. They are neither rigid ascetics who disdain Gods creation with all the good things God has placed at the disposal of all nor spendthrifts who intemperately and selfishly take all they can for themselves. The evangelically poor are those who make themselves available to God in the realisation of God's project in this world and thereby make themselves into instruments and signs signs of the Kingdom of God. The evangelically poor will establish solidarity with the economically poor and even identify with them
just as the historical Jesus did.

Those who without being socioeconomically poor make themselves poor out of love for and solidarity with the poor in order to struggle against unjust poverty with them and together seek liberation and justice are evangelically poor to a preeminent degree. They do not seek to idealise either material poverty, which they see as a consequence of the sin of exploitation, or riches which they see as the expression of the oppressive and selfish accumulation of goods; instead they seek the means to social justice for all. In the Third World context one cannot be evangelically poor without being in solidarity with the lives causes and struggles of the poor and oppressed.

Sometimes love for the poor can become so intense that individuals give up their own station in life to share in the sufferings of the poor even to the point of sharing their premature death. This is perfect liberation for they have set themselves free from themselves and in following Jesus, the poor man from Nazareth, they have freed themselves fully for others and for the God dwelling within these others.

CLOSING PRAYER

Look with mercy, gracious God, upon people everywhere who live with injustice, terror, disease, and death, as their constant companions. Rouse us from our complacency and help us follow the example of Marianella Garcia Villas, whose hunger and thirst for justice led her along the way of the cross. Help us, as followers of your son Jesus Christ, to make no peace with injustice, for he 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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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

MONDAY THE THIRTEENTH OF MARCH, 2017

OPENING PRAYER

O Lord God, holy lover of my soul, when you enter my soul, all that is within me rejoices. You are my glory and the exultation of my heart; you are my hope and refuge in the day of my trouble. Set me free from all evil passions, and heal my heart of all inordinate affections; that, being inwardly cured and thoroughly cleansed, I may be made fit to love, courageous to suffer, steady to persevere. Let me love you more than myself and not love myself but for you. Amen.

( Thomas à Kempis. )

PSALM FIFTY-FOUR ( abridged )

Behold, God is my helper.

Save me, O God, by your name
and vindicate me by your power.
Hear my prayer, O God;
give heed to the words of my mouth.
For strangers have risen up against me,
and the ruthless seek after my life;
they have not set God before them.

Behold, God is my helper;
it is the Lord who upholds my life.
For he has delivered me out of all my trouble,
and my eye has seen the downfall of my enemies.

An offering of a free heart will I give you
and praise your name, O Lord, for it is gracious.

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.

Behold, God is my helper.

O living God,
reach through the violence of the proud
and the despair of the weak
to create in Jesus Christ
a people free to praise your holy name,
now and for ever. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

James Theodore Holly: bringing the Church to Haiti

James Theodore Holly was the first African American bishop in the Episcopal Church and bishop of Haiti. He has an interesting history.

He was born in 1829 in Washington, DC, the descendent of freed slaves. His great-great grandfather was a Scotsman in Maryland, a slave owner, who freed his slaves in 1772, including his son and namesake James Theodore Holly. This son married the daughter of an Irish Catholic whose last name was Butler, and they were the great grandparents of Bishop James Theodore Holly.

Holly was baptised and raised a Roman Catholic yet gradually he moved away from the Roman Catholic Church. He spent his early years in Washington, DC and Brooklyn, NY where he connected with Frederick Douglass and other black abolitionists. He was active in anti-slavery conventions in the free states, participating in abolitionist activities.

He left the Roman Catholic Church over a dispute about ordaining local black clergy and joined the Episcopal Church in 1852. He was a shoemaker, then a teacher and school principal before his own ordination at the age of twenty-seven. He served as rector at Saint Luke’s Church in New Haven, Connecticut.

In 1861 he left the United States with his family and a group of African Americans to settle in Haiti, the world’s first black republic. In July 1863 Holly organised the Holy Trinity Church. He lost his family and other settlers to disease and poor living conditions but was successful in establishing schools and building the church. He trained young priests and started congregations and medical programs in the countryside.

In 1874 he was ordained bishop at Grace Church, New York City, not by the mainstream Episcopal Church, who refused to ordain a black missionary bishop, but by the American Church Missionary Society, an evangelical episcopal branch of the Church. He was named Bishop of the Anglican Orthodox Episcopal Church of Haiti. Bishop Holly was also given charge of the Episcopal Church in the Dominican Republic from 1897 to 1911. He died in Haiti in on the thirteenth of March, 1911.

Scripture. In the fourth chapter of "John" at verses thirty-four and thirty-five we read:

Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. Do you not say, 'Four months more, then comes the harvest?' But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the people of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

... for the thirty-four (or more) people who have been killed after a runaway bus veered into crowd in the Haitian city of Gonaives anf for all who have been injured or otherwise affected by the incident. DETAILS

... for missionaries and church-planters.

... for all who are suffering from mental illness and for those who love them.

... for Julia Derbyshire and her family. For all who are bullied, in particular children and young people. For all who believe that the only way out of their anguish is to take their own lives. DETAILS

... for the children of Syria. DETAILS

... for workers taking industrial action to try and save their jobs.

... for those killed, injured or still missing following a landslide at a rubbish dump on the outskirts of Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. DETAILS

... for the forty (or more) people who were killed and those who were injured in a twin bombing in Damascus on Friday. 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.

READING

From "Our Countrymen In Chains" by John Greenleaf Whittier

Our fellow-countrymen in chains!
Slaves, in a land of light and law!
Slaves, crouching on the very plains
where rolled the storm of freedom's war!
A groan from Eutaw's haunted wood,
a wail where Camden's martyrs fell,
by every shrine of patriot blood,
from Moultrie's wall and Jasper's well!

By storied hill and hallowed grot,
by mossy wood and marshy glen,
whence rang of old the rifle-shot,
and hurrying shout of Marion's men!
The groan of breaking hearts is there,
the falling lash, the fetter's clank!
Slaves, slaves are breathing in that air
which old De Kalb and Sumter drank!

What, ho! our countrymen in chains!
The whip on woman's shrinking flesh!
Our soil yet reddening with the stains
caught from her scourging, warm and fresh!
What! mothers from their children riven!
What! God's own image bought and sold!
Americans to market driven,
and bartered as the brute for gold!

Speak! shall their agony of prayer
come thrilling to our hearts in vain?
To us whose fathers scorned to bear
the paltry menace of a chain;
to us, whose boast is loud and long
of holy liberty and light;
say, shall these writhing slaves of wrong
plead vainly for their plundered right?

CLOSING PRAYER

Most gracious God, by the calling of your servant James Theodore Holly you gave us an outstanding shepherd for your flock, who brought the Gospel and the Church to the people of Haiti. Grant that, inspired by his testimony, we may overcome our prejudice and honour those whom you call from every family, language, people, and nation; through Jesus Christ our lord, 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

CLICK HERE, then click on "Begin" and follow the instructions on each page.

Holy Communion For The Second Sunday In Lent

The death and subsequent resurrection of Jesus Christ transformed the very fabric of the universe and our world became no longer destined for destruction but destined to become a new and eternal world, the kingdom of God. We are the citizens of this redeemed world, new people for a new place, born of both the flesh and the spirit so that we may be lifted up to glory with our saviour, Jesus Christ. In the sacrament of holy communion we are in the presence of God and we enjoy being members of the community of those who have been born again.

At Saint Laika's everyone is welcome to take communion and be in communion, with each other and with God. There are no exceptions. So, come, join us.

If you want to physically partake of communion you will require a small piece of bread and a small amount of drink (preferably made from grapes and containing alcohol).

CLICK HERE to access the podcast via iTunes.

To stream the service direct from this page without having to use the iTunes' facility, click on the arrow on the left of the player below.

Join in with us as we worship God by CLICKING HERE for the order of service, credits and details of the music featured. The words in bold type are the ones we say together.

Chosen Or Deluded?

In the Church of England, you have to prove to the selectors that you believe God has chosen you to be a priest otherwise they will not consider you for ordination. Therefore, unless you are prepared to lie (which I expect some are) you must truly believe that you have been chosen by God. If the Church, as in my case, later decides that you should no longer be a priest it really messes with your head and your faith. Did God lie to me? Did I lie to myself? Does God even exist? You just do not have these problems if you get the sack from any other job.

You Are A Priest Forever

Perhaps those of you who are struggling to understand my refusal to "move on" would find it easier if you accepted that my belief that I am a priest is of the same kind of belief as that of a man who believes he is a woman. Although it is obviously possible for a transgender person to live in the body they feel is not their real body so it would be possible for me to pursue a vocation that I hated. However, it would not be a real life just as a transgender person who is not allowed to express themselves as they really are is not living a real life. Reality (authenticity) is extremely important to me. I find it very difficult to lie and presenting as anything other than a parish priest would be a travesty in my mind. To expect me to go and get reprogrammed by a psychologist is no different to expecting a gay man to undergo ex-gay treatment.

Becoming What You Hate

This morning I woke up feeling unemployed, exiled, without direction and with an overwhelming certainty that I have very little time left to turn failure into accomplishment. Of course, this is how I feel to an extent every day but this morning it is particularly bad. I made the mistake yesterday of commenting on a church matter and it has, as always happens, reminded me that I am nothing to do with the Church.

I have become a bitter old man. Those who hate me have turned me into something they can justifiably hate. Through their vindictiveness and coldness of heart they have made me into the very excuse for their behaviour towards me. In fact, insomuch that I now hate the person I have become, they have made me no different to them. Except for the fact that they prosper whilst I sink further into despondency and self-pity.

The Gay Elephant In The Church Of England’s Closet

I don't know if it's ironic or tragic or both or neither but there is one heck of a woolly mammoth in the Church of England's closet. Nobody will talk about it, least of all the liberals whose idealised views of oppressed minorities does not correspond to the reality of the situation.

The reality is this, the clergy in the Church of England (bishops, priests and deacons) who are most prejudiced against women priests, with very few exceptions, are gay men. Furthermore, most of them are, or have been, in same gender sexual relationships, often with each other. Most Anglo-Catholics, gay and straight, are fully aware of this as are all of the bishops. The hypocrisy that emanates from this situation is massive. For a start, we have gay bishops and priests of the Forward in Faith faction going on about tradition and orthodoxy and the impossibility of female priests and bishops whilst they are themselves engaged in, or privately supportive of, gay men (including priests and bishops) in sexual relationships with other gay men which is a practice that is most definitely not orthodox according to their own definition of orthodoxy. This must lead to the conclusion that the anti female priest thing championed by Anglo-Catholic gay priests is down to misogyny rather than any coherent theology.

Passing Thoughts Of A Mad Priest

I don't know why so many people got all in a dither about Philip North as to whether or not he could provide proper pastoral care to female priests when being a caring person, with the welfare of one's priests at heart, is so far down the list of attributes found in any bishop nowadays.

Sexual Equality

Having asked a female bishop for help and having received none I can categorically state that there is absolutely no difference in nature between male and female bishops. It's a crying shame but those who wish to lord it over others behave just as callously whatever their gender.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

FRIDAY THE TENTH OF MARCH, 2017
* SOJOURNER TRUTH AND HARRIET ROSS TUBMAN *

OPENING PRAYER

Lord, let your holy breath ever keep alive in us that fire which your son of old came to kindle upon earth, that we also may be anointed with the spirit of peace, holiness, and obedience, and dwell in your fellowship for ever Amen.

( Rowland Williams )

PSALM FIFTY-THREE

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God."
Corrupt are they, and abominable in their wickedness;
there is no one that does good.

God has looked down from heaven upon the children of earth,
to see if there is anyone who is wise and seeks after God.
They are all gone out of the way;
all alike have become corrupt;
there is no one that does good, no not one.

Have they no knowledge, those evildoers,
who eat up my people as if they ate bread,
and do not call upon God?

There shall they be in great fear,
such fear as never was;
for God will scatter the bones of the ungodly.
They will be put to shame,
because God has rejected them.

O that Israel's salvation would come out of Zion!
When God restores the fortunes of his people
then will Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.

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.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Without you, O God, nothing is real,
all things are open to corruption
and we are deadened by deceit;
do not abandon us to our folly,
but give us hearts that seek you
and, at the last, joy in your heavenly city;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Sojourner Truth and Harriet Ross Tubman: liberators

Today Saint Laika’s remembers two women whose efforts were essential in securing freedom for the many African-American slaves , and after America’s civil war, to improve their lives and livelihoods. Both of these women were undergirded by their strong faith in Christ, their knowledge of "The Bible," and their desire to give themselves to the cause of others.

Sojourner Truth ( c. 1797 – November 26, 1883 ) was an African-American abolitionist and women's rights activist. She was born as a slave in New York, but managed to escape with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826. After going to court to recover her son, she became the first black woman to win such a case against a white man. Her birth name was Isabella ( "Bell" ) Baumfree. She gave herself the name Sojourner Truth in 1843.

Her best-known extemporaneous speech on gender inequalities, "Ain't I a Woman?," was delivered in 1851 at the Ohio Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio. During the Civil War, Truth helped recruit black troops for the Union Army; after the war, she tried unsuccessfully to secure land grants from the federal government for former slaves. Sojourner Truth had a radical conversion to Christianity early in her adult life. She affiliated for many years with the Methodist Church and later she joined the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Harriet Ross Tubman was also born into slavery in 1820 in Maryland. She connected deeply and intuitively with the story of Israel’s liberation by God in the book of "Exodus." It became the basis of her belief that it was God's will to deliver slaves in America out of their bondage, and that it was her duty to help accomplish this. In 1844, she managed to find freedom in Canada, nevertheless she returned to help others escape. Working with other abolitionists, chiefly white Quakers, she made at least nineteen excursions into Maryland in the 1850's, leading more than three hundred slaves to freedom. During the Civil War, she joined the Northern Army as a cook and a nurse and a spy, and on one occasion led a raid that freed over seven hundred and fifty slaves. After the war, she worked to shelter orphans and elderly poor persons, and to advance the status of women and blacks. She became known as the "Moses of her People."

Scripture. In "The First Letter of Peter," chapter four at verses ten and eleven, we read:

"Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen."

O God, whose Spirit guides us into all truth and makes us free: Strengthen and sustain us as you did your servants Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Ross Tubman. Give us vision and courage to stand against oppression and injustice and all that works against the glorious liberty to which you call all your children; through Jesus Christ our saviour, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for an to slavery and human trafficking in whatever form they may take.

... for those who work to free others, in particular those who risk their lives or liberty in doing so.

... for the Rohingya Muslim people of Myanmar who have been victims of "crimes against humanity" at the hands of their nation's military. For those who have fled their homes and are now refugees in foreign lands. DETAILS

... for those injured during an axe attack injured in an axe attack at the main railway station in the western German city of Dusseldorf and for all victims of random violence. 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.

READING

From a sermon on "Ecclesiastes" by Gregory of Nyssa:

"I got me slaves and slave-girls."

For what price, tell me? What did you find in existence worth as much as this human nature? What price did you put on rationality? How many obols did you reckon the equivalent of the likeness of God? How many staters did you get for selling that being shaped by God?

God said, Let us make man in our own image and likeness. If he is in the likeness of God, and rules the whole earth, and has been granted authority over everything on earth from God, who is his buyer, tell me? Who is his seller?

To God alone belongs this power or, rather, not even to God himself. For his gracious gifts, it says, are irrevocable. God would not therefore reduce the human race to slavery, since he himself, when we had been enslaved to sin, spontaneously recalled us to freedom.

But if God does not enslave what is free, who is he that sets his own power above God's?

CLOSING PRAYER

O God, whose Spirit guides us into all truth and makes us free: strengthen and sustain us as you did your servants, Sojourner Truth and Harriet Ross Tubman. Give us vision and courage to stand against oppression and injustice and all that works against the glorious liberty to which you call all your children; through Jesus Christ our saviour, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

CLICK HERE, then click on "Begin" and follow the instructions on each page.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

THURSDAY THE NINTH OF MARCH, 2017
* EDWARD KING *

OPENING PRAYER

Almighty and eternal God, who has revealed your nature in Christ Jesus your son as love: we humbly pray that you will give us your Holy Spirit, to glorify you also in our hearts as pure love, and so constrain us by your divine power to love you again with our whole souls, and all people as ourselves; that so, by your grace, we may be fulfilled with love, and evermore abide in you and you in us, with all joyfulness, and free from fear or distrust, through Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

PSALM FIFTY-TWO

I trust in the goodness of God for ever and ever.

Why do you glory in evil, you tyrant,
while the goodness of God endures continually?

You plot destruction, you deceiver;
your tongue is like a sharpened razor.
You love evil rather than good,
falsehood rather than the word of truth.
You love all words that hurt,
O you deceitful tongue.

Therefore God shall utterly bring you down;
he shall take you and pluck you out of your tent
and root you out of the land of the living.

The righteous shall see this and tremble,
they shall laugh you to scorn, and say:
"This is the one who did not take God for a refuge,
but trusted in great riches and relied upon wickedness."

But I am like a spreading olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the goodness of God for ever and ever.

I will always give thanks to you for what you have done;
I will hope in your name,
for your faithful ones delight in it.

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.

I trust in the goodness of God for ever and ever.

Faithful and steadfast God,
nourish your people in this wicked world,
and, through prayer and the scriptures,
give us our daily bread;
through Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Edward King: teacher, pastor, bishop, straw man

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Edward King, an outstanding servant of Christ in nineteenth century England.

The Church can be an abusive mother, at times. To understand its history helps one to understand why many today hold it in such utter contempt, while others continue to serve Christ in and through it.

Edward King knew his church history. He understood the bitterness and the politics of the origins of the Church of England in the sixteenth century. His reading of the ancient church “fathers” led him to identify as an Anglo-catholic, someone who sought to restore to the Church of England the heritage of the Christian Church of pre-Reformation times.

His influence on seminary students was immense. Much of his life was spent in theological education. He taught “pastoral theology,” another way of saying he laid out the theological rationale for the way ministry was to be done in the church. He insisted, for example, that preaching could never be effective or worthwhile unless it was rooted in a life of prayer and of love for one's parishioners. A priest must pray regularly for every member of his parish, individually and by name.

Anglo-catholicism scared many in the Church of England, who felt that the hard won independence of the English Church from Rome was about to be turned back by these priests and bishops who wanted to reclaim the trappings of the Roman Catholic Church. Parliament passed the "Public Worship Regulation Act" in 1874, as an attempt to undercut the growing Anglo-catholic movement. King was viewed with suspicion by the “low-church” folks of denomination. But in 1885, with a new archbishop and a new prime minister, King became Bishop of Lincoln.

In 1888, King was prosecuted for breaking the "Public Worship Regulation Act." His offences included using lighted candles on the altar, facing eastward with his back to the congregation, having the "Lamb of God” sung at communion, using the sign of the cross to bless the congregation at the end of the service. In 2010, speaking on the one hundredth anniversary of King’s death, the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, called the former prosecution an embarrassment to the church and the state.

As Bishop of Lincoln, King was devout and faithful. He devoted himself unsparingly to pastoral work in his diocese, particularly among the poor, both farmers and industrial workers, as well as condemned prisoners. The private letters of his contemporaries contain many testimonies to his personal holiness and to his loving concern for others. He sought out those whom the Church had failed to reach, and spoke with them about the good news of God's love declared in Jesus Christ. He died on the eighth of March, 1910.

Scripture. In "The First Letter to Timothy, chapter four, verses seven and eight, we read:

"Train yourself in godliness, for, while physical training is of some value, godliness is valuable in every way, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for our church leaders to be shepherds rather than managers, pastors who love all in their care rather than mere protectors of the institutions of the Church.

... for the bishops of the Church of England, that they may find the courage to proclaim aloud what they individually believe rather than hiding behind the wall of collegiality.

... for the nineteen teenage girls who died and for all who were injured in a blaze at the Virgen de Asuncion children's home in San Jose Pinula, Guatemala. 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.

READING

From "Alone, Yet Not Alone" a sermon by Edward King:

"I am a stranger upon earth:
O hide not thy commandments from me."
( Psalm One Hundred and Nineteen, verse nineteen )

Faith is not the desperate leap of a moment; it is ultimately the gift of all we have, and are, to God; but first, it is a gift from God to us — it is given us in the behalf of Christ, to believe on him.

"By grace ye are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God."

Faith is the gift of God, not only in the object, but in the act.

Saint Augustine has expressed this very fully: "That faith of mine, Lord, which you have given to me, which you breathed into me by the incarnation of your Son, invokes you in prayer through the ministry of your preacher."

So the text, after confessing man's solitude and dissatisfaction, " I am a stranger upon the earth," and pointing upwards to the only remedy, thy commandments, the will of the personal God, says: "Hide not," reveal to me, make clear to me what I vaguely feel must be; teach me, give me more light.

Here is the step we have come to, and it is a hard one, too hard for a man to take alone, and so, alas, it becomes to some a stone of stumbling, a rock of offence, for it implies two things — more help from God than we by
nature have.

"To them gave he the power to become the sons of God, which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

And, on our side, it implies surrender, acceptance — "teach me". Except we become as little children, we cannot enter, we cannot take the first step.

This, brethren, I believe to be the exhortation that nature herself would give to us, and to which the angels are longing to make us attend, as they look down upon us in this busy place, and to which God himself, step by step, is calling us, as he sees us toiling in our loneliness along the way.

"Lift up your hearts," all seem to say; oh, that we might have grace to
answer, "We lift them up to the Lord."

CLOSING PRAYER

O God, you raised up your faithful servant Edward to be a bishop and pastor in your Church and to feed your flock: give abundantly to all pastors the gifts of your Holy Spirit, that they may minister in your household as true servants of Christ and stewards of your divine mysteries; through Jesus Christ our lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

CLICK HERE, then click on "Begin" and follow the instructions on each page.

The MadGang Go To Flamborough Head

For her birthday walk this year, Mrs MP chose Flamborough Head in the East Riding of Yorkshire. It was a bright, late winter day until about two o'clock in the afternoon when the rain set in. Fortunately, we were nearly back at the car by that point. The ground was exceedingly claggy and slippy throughout the walk which I proved in style by falling on my arse. This would not have been so bad if I had not grasped hold of the adjacent barbed wire fence in an attempt to steady myself. Bloody and muddy I continued on to journey's end undeterred like the brave little soldier that I am.

Here are the photos.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

WEDNESDAY THE EIGHTH OF MARCH, 2017
* G. A. STUDDERT KENNEDY *
* INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY *

OPENING PRAYER

Women are a reflection
of the glory of God.
Today we honour the women
of all times and all places:

Women of courage.
Women of hope.

Women suffering
Women mourning.
Women living fully.
Women experiencing joy.
Women delighting in life.

Women knowing the interconnectedness
of the human family.
Women honouring the sacredness
of the relational, the affective.

Women quietly tending the garden
of human flourishing.
Women boldly leading the transformation
of unjust global structures.

Women seeking wisdom.
Women sharing wisdom.

Women receiving love.
Women giving love.

Women: life-giving.
Women: the image of God.

Loving God, we celebrate your faithfulness and love. On this day we commit ourselves to the promotion of the full humanity of all women everywhere. We know that whatever denies, diminishes, or distorts the full humanity of women is not of God.

Help us to be faithful to your call to love. Amen.

( Education for Justice )

CANTICLE

Come, women, wide proclaim
life through your saviour slain;
sing evermore.
Christ, God’s effulgence bright,
Christ, who arose in might,
Christ, who crowns you with light,
praise and adore.

Come, clasping children’s hands,
sisters from many lands,
teach to adore.
For the sin sick and worn,
the weak and overborne,
all who in darkness mourn,
pray, work, yet more.

Work with your courage high,
sing of the daybreak nigh,
your love outpour.
Stars shall your brow adorn,
your heart leap with the morn,
and, by his love upborne,
hope and adore.

Then when the garnered field
shall to our master yield
a bounteous store,
Christ, hope of all the meek,
Christ, whom all the earth shall seek,
Christ your reward shall speak,
joy evermore.

( Fannie E. Heck )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

G. A. Studdert Kennedy: Woodbine Willie

Today Saint Laika’s remembers a man who went to war and came back a man of peace. G.A. Studdert Kennedy, priest in the Church of England, legendary military chaplain in the First World War .

Born in Leeds in 1883, Kennedy was the seventh of nine children born to Jeanette Anketell and William Studdert Kennedy, a vicar in Leeds. He himself entered the priesthood and was serving as the vicar of Saint Paul’s, Worcester, when war broke out. He volunteered as a chaplain to the armed forces on the Western Front, where he brought comfort and pastoral care up and down the line. Grateful soldiers gave him the nickname “Woodbine Willie,” because he always seemed to have a Woodbine cigarette to share with a soldier who wanted one. In 1917, he won the Military Cross at Messines Ridge after running into no man's land to help the wounded during an attack on the German frontline. Kennedy wrote two books of poems based on his wartime experiences. In one poem he comments on his nickname:

They gave me this name like their nature,
compacted of laughter and tears,
a sweet that was born of the bitter,
a joke that was torn from the years.

Of their travail and torture, Christ’s fools,
atoning my sins with their blood,
who grinned in their agony sharing
the glorious madness of God.

Their name! Let me hear it—the symbol
of unpaid, unpayable debt,
for the men to whom I owed God’s peace,
I put off with a cigarette.

The war turned Kennedy into an advocate for pacifism. Returning to England, he resumed parish ministry in London, but in those years he also published a series of books advocating both pacifism and socialism. He became associated with the Industrial Christian Fellowship, and went on speaking tours on their behalf. In early March 1929, while in Liverpool on a speaking tour, he suddenly took ill and died.

Scripture. In "The Second Book of Samuel," chapter twenty-two, verses two to four, we read:

"The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for soldiers on the frontline and the chaplains who care for them.

... for women caught up in the horrors of war, both service personnel and civilians.

... that women may come to enjoy real equality with men throughout the world and that women will no longer suffer abuse and oppression by men and the patriarchal systems of the world.

... for those suffering fro lung cancer and other respiratory diseases.

... for the people of Syria, for a just end to the conflict in and around their nation, on this their national day.

... for those caught up in a gun battle at a military hospital in Kabul, in particular those who have been wounded. 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.

READING

"The Pensioner" by G. A. Studdert Kennedy:

'Im and me was kids together,

Played together, went to school,
where Miss Jenkins used to rap us

on our knuckles wiv a rule.
When we left we worked together,

at the fact'ry, makin' jam.
Gawd 'ave mercy on us women!

I'm full up to-day — I am.
Well I minds the August Monday,

when 'e said 'e loved me true,
underneath the copper beech tree,

with the moonbeams shining through.
Then we walked down by the river,

silent like an' 'and in 'and.
Till we came there by the Ketch Inn,

where them two big willows stand.
There 'e caught me roughly to 'im

an' 'is voice was 'oarse and wild.
As 'e whispered through 'is kisses,

"Will ye mother me, my child?"
An' I took and kissed and kissed 'im,

sweet as love and long as life.
Vowed while breath was in my body

I would be 'is faithful wife.
And I seemed to see 'is baby,

smiling as 'e lay at rest,
with 'is tiny 'and a-clutching

at the softness of my breast.
Gawd above, them days was 'eaven!

I can see the river shine
like a band of silver ribbon,

I can feel 'is 'and in mine.
I can feel them red 'ot kisses

on my lips or on my 'air.
I can feel 'is arm tight round me.

Gawd! I tell ye it ain't fair.
Look ye what the war 's done at 'im,

lying there as still as death.
See 'is mouth all screwed and twisted,

with the pain of drawing breath!
But of course I 'ave a pension,

coming reg'lar ev'ry week.
So I ain't got much to grouse at —

I suppose it 's like my cheek,
grousin' when a grateful country

buys my food and pays my rent.
I should be most 'umbly grateful

that my John was one as went.
Went to fight for king and country,

like a 'ero and a man,
I should be most 'umbly grateful,

and just do as best I can.
But my pension won't buy kisses,

An' 'e '11 never kiss again,
'E ain't got no kissin' in 'im,

ain't got nothin' now — but pain.
Not as I would ever change 'im

for the strongest man alive.
While the breath is in my body

still I'll mother 'im — and strive
that I keeps my face still smiling,

though my 'eart is fit to break.
As I lives a married widow,

so I'll live on for 'is sake.
But I says — let them as makes 'em

fight their wars and mourn their dead.
Let their women sleep for ever

in a loveless, childless bed.
No — I know — it ain't right talkin',

but there's times as I am wild.
Gawd! you dunno 'ow I wants it.

'Ow I wants a child, 'is child.

CLOSING PRAYER

Glorious God, we give thanks not merely for high and holy things, but for the common things of earth which you have created: Wake us to love and work, that Jesus, the Lord of life, may set our hearts ablaze and that we, like Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy, may recognise you in your people and in your creation, serving the holy and undivided Trinity; who lives and reigns throughout all ages of ages. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

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Holy Communion For The First Sunday In Lent

Jesus went alone into the desert where he was tempted but did not succumb to temptation. Although we too will face wilderness experiences during our lives, although we will be enticed by tempters to abandon the path God wants us to follow, we do not need to face these trials on our own. God the Father is very close to us, God the Son walks beside us and God the Holy Spirit is within us. Furthermore, through Jesus Christ we are united with all the people of God. This reality is focussed and made clear when we receive the sacrament of holy communion together. The togetherness with God and with each other that we experience in the presence of Jesus Christ and with each other strengthens us to resist the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil that offer nothing more than temporal pleasure indelibly tainted with corruption.

At Saint Laika's everyone is welcome to take communion and be in communion, with each other and with God. There are no exceptions. So, come, join us.

If you want to physically partake of communion you will require a small piece of bread and a small amount of drink (preferably made from grapes and containing alcohol).

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

FRIDAY THE THIRD OF MARCH, 2017

OPENING PRAYER

God, gracious and merciful, give us, we entreat you, a humble trust in your mercy, and suffer not our heart to fail us. Though our sins be seven, though our sins be seventy times seven, though our sins be more in number than the hairs of our head, yet give us grace in loving penitence to cast ourselves down into the depth of your compassion. Amen.

( Christina G. Rossetti )

PSALM FIFTY-ONE ( abridged )

The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit.

Have mercy on me, O God, in your great goodness;
according to the abundance of your compassion
blot out my offences.
Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my faults
and my sin is ever before me.

Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean;
wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me hear of joy and gladness,
that the bones you have broken may rejoice.
Turn your face from my sins
and blot out all my misdeeds.
Make me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence
and take not your holy spirit from me.
Give me again the joy of your salvation
and sustain me with your gracious spirit.
Deliver me from my guilt, O God,
the God of my salvation,
and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness.

O Lord, open my lips
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
For you desire no sacrifice, else I would give it;
you take no delight in burnt offerings.
The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

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.

The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit.

Take away, good lord, the sin that corrupts us;
give us the sorrow that heals
and the joy that praises
and restore by grace your own image within us,
that we may take our place among your people;
in Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Richard Allen was born into slavery on the fourteenth of February, 1760 in Delaware. In his teens, he began attending meetings of the Methodist Society, and joined them at age seventeen. On hearing the preaching of Methodist ministers in Delaware, Allen’s master became convinced that slavery was wrong and Allen was able to buy his freedom in 1780. In 1784 he qualified as a preacher at the founding of the Methodist Church in the United States in Baltimore. But he also experienced the institutional racism of those early Methodists who insisted on segregating African-Americans. In 1786 he began preaching at Saint George’s Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, where he was again segregated to preaching in the early morning hours and, when his congregation numbered fifty, they were also segregated to worship in a separate location.

Together with Absalom Jones, another Africa-American Methodist preacher, he led the black members of Saint Georges out of the Methodist Church in 1787 and they struggled to find the money to build themselves a church. He and Jones formed the Free African Society in 1787 to minister to African-Americans who were new to Philadelphia.

Eventually he and Jones parted ways. Absalom Jones and many of the Free African Society found a home in the Episcopal Church. Richard Allen and others wanted to continue in the Methodist tradition. On this day in 1794, he founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia. In 1799 he was ordained to the sacred ministry, and by 1815 their church had over twelve hundred members. In 1816 Allen united four African Methodist congregations under the banner of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He was elected the first bishop of the Church, and led the church until his death in 1831.

Richard Allen struggled to make the Christian faith meaningful to the African American community in North America. He saw the Church at its worst, yet created a viable and Spirit-filled community of African- Americans early in the history of the United States of America.

Scripture. "Exodus," chapter six, verse six:

"Say therefore to the Israelites, 'I am the LORD, and I will free you from the burdens of the Egyptians and deliver you from slavery to them. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the congregations of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

... for an end to segregation, both official and casual, in our churches.

... for the people of Bulgaria who celebrate their national day today.

... that people will stop exploiting and endangering the creatures that we share this planet with. WORLD WILDLIFE DAY

... for honest and open government and that all politicians may tell the truth.

... for the people of Northern Ireland awaiting the result of their assembly election and that stability will return to the political process in the province. 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.

READING

From "Preparation for the Judgment," a sermon by John Henry Newman:

Well is the hour of death described as the evening. There is something in the evening especially calm and solemn, fitly representing the hour of death. How peculiar, how unlike anything else, is a summer evening, when after the fever and heat of the day, after walking, or after working, after any toil, we cease from it, and for a few minutes enjoy the grateful feeling of rest! Especially is it so in the country, where evening tends to fill us with peace and tranquillity. The decreasing light, the hushing of all sounds, the sweet smell, perhaps, of the woods or the herbs which are all about us, the mere act of resting, and the consciousness that night is coming, all tend to tranquillise us and make us serious. Alas, I know that in persons of irreligious mind it has a very different effect, and while other men are raised to the love of God and Christ and the thought of heaven by the calm evening, they are but led to the thought of evil and deeds of sin. But I am speaking of those who live towards God and train their hearts heavenward, and I say that such persons find in the calm evening but an incitement to greater devotion, greater renunciation of the world. It does but bring before them the coming down of death, and leads them with the Apostle to die daily. Evening is the time for divine visitations. The Lord God visited Adam after he had sinned in the garden, in the cool of the evening. In the evening the patriarch Isaac went out to meditate in the field. In the evening our Lord discovered himself to the two disciples who went to Emmaus. In the same evening he appeared to the Eleven, breathed on them, gave them the Holy Ghost, and invested them with the power of remitting and retaining sins.

Nay even in a town the evening is a soothing time. It is soothing to be at the end of the week, having completed the week's work, with the day of rest before us. It is soothing, even after the day of rest, though labour is in store for us against the morrow, to find ourselves in the evening of the day. It is a feeling that almost all must be able to bear witness to, as something peculiar, as something fitly prefiguring that awful time when our work will be done, and we shall rest from our labours.

CLOSING PRAYER

O God, the source of perfect blessedness, who teaches your faithful ones to walk in your laws, to search your testimonies, to keep your commands; grant to us, we beseech you, your righteousness, that we may seek you with our whole hearts; that we, who hitherto have wandered like lost sheep, restored by your kind arms, may rejoice in the glories of Paradise, through Jesus Christ your son. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

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When Is A Vocation Not A Vocation?
When You Are Mad

I have just received an email from the diocesan office telling me that the seventh of May is "Vocations Sunday." The main problem with being an unemployed priest that no good Anglican will touch with a barge pole is that the knife is pushed in and twisted so regularly. Just going for a drive can be painful. I never fully realised how many church buildings there are out there until I was excluded from them. Of course, if I was not clinically depressed I would probably not get so upset by all the references to the Church and to the priesthood I come across every day. But if I was not clinically depressed I would not have been kicked out the church and disappeared in the first place. So there's the answer. If you want to be part of the Church of England do not go down with a mental illness. Better to kill yourself than embarrass the bishops with your condition and, come to think of it, Vocations Sunday would be a symbolically appropriate day to do that.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

THURSDAY THE SECOND OF MARCH, 2017
* CHAD OF MERCIA *

OPENING PRAYER

O God, the sovereign good of the soul, who requires the hearts of all your children, deliver us from all sloth in your work, all coldness in your cause, and grant us by looking unto you to rekindle our love, and by waiting upon you, to renew our strength, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

( William Bright )

PSALM FIFTY ( abridged )

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving.

The Lord, the most mighty God, has spoken
and called the world from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth;
our God comes and will not keep silence.
Consuming fire goes out before him
and a mighty tempest stirs about him.

He calls the heaven above,
and the earth, that he may judge his people:
"Gather to me my faithful,
who have sealed my covenant with sacrifice."

Hear, O my people, and I will speak:
"I will testify against you, O Israel;
for I am God, your God.
I will take no bull out of your house,
nor he-goat out of your folds,
for all the beasts of the forest are mine,
the cattle upon a thousand hills.
I know every bird of the mountains
and the insect of the field is mine.
Do you think I eat the flesh of bulls,
or drink the blood of goats?

"Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving
and fulfil your vows to God most high.
Call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you and you shall honour me.
Whoever offers me the sacrifice of thanksgiving honours me
and to those who keep my way
will I show the salvation of God."

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.

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving.

Mighty God,
dwelling in unapproachable light,
forgive our vain attempts to appease you,
and show us your full salvation
in Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Chad: taking the high road in church politics

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Chad, Bishop of Lichfield, one of the great Celtic leaders of the church.

As mentioned in yesterday’s devotion, the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes migrated into Britain in the fifth and sixth century. They were pagan people, and, for a time, the Christians in Britain were centred in Wales and in northern England, with help and support from the Christians of Ireland. History, rightly or wrongly, has come to call these Christians “Celtic.” They were centred on monasteries, with bishops who were monastic travellers, not diocesan administrators. Their customs and rituals differed from the Roman Church.

Toward the end of the sixth century, Pope Gregory organised a concentrated mission to convert the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, to Christianity. To that end he sent Augustine of Canterbury to lead the mission and to establish Canterbury as the chief diocese in the land. The mission met with much success, but that success brought the Roman Christians into conflict with the Celtic Christians. It was important to Rome, even then, to assert its authority and press for a unification of Christians under the Roman system. On the high cliff overlooking the North Sea, just outside the town of Whitby in 663 AD, the deal was struck, and all Christians were supposed to adopt the Roman form of the faith.

Chad, had been elected and duly installed as bishop in York, but as the Venerable Bede tells us Chad had been ordained by “bishops of the British race who had not been canonically ordained,” in other words by bishops of the Celtic tradition, who had not abandoned the Celtic ways as they were supposed to do.
Theodore, the new Archbishop of Canterbury arrived in Britain not long after Chad’s consecration. When he made a point of declaring Chad’s consecration irregular, Chad offered to resign from the office.

He told Theodore, “Indeed, I never believed myself worthy of it.”

Theodore was so impressed by Chad’s sincerity and humility, that he regularised his canonical status, and offered him the opportunity to become bishop in Lichfield in Mercia. Chad administered his new diocese with devout concern, travelling, as was his custom on foot, until Theodore gave him a horse and ordered him to use it, at least on the longer journeys.

Chad died on this day in 672.

Scripture. In the fourth chapter of "Philippians" at verses eleven to thirteen, we read:

"I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the people of Lichfield in England, for those who minister and worship in the cathedral there and all congregations whose patron is Saint Chad.

... 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.

READING

From "The Omnipotence of God the Reason for Faith and Hope,"
a sermon by John Henry Newman:

Jesus said to the disciples when the storm arose, "Why are ye fearful?"

That is, "You ought to hope, you ought to trust, you ought to repose your heart on me. I am not only almighty, but I am all merciful. I have come on earth because I am most loving to you. Why am I here, why am I in human flesh, why have I these hands which I stretch out to you, why have I these eyes from which the tears of pity flow, except that I wish you well, that I wish to save you? The storm cannot hurt you if I am with you. Can you be better placed than under my protection? Do you doubt my power or my will, do you think me negligent of you that I sleep in the ship, and unable to help you except I am awake? Wherefore do you doubt? Wherefore do you fear? Have I been so long with you, and you do not yet trust me, and cannot remain in peace and quiet by my side?"

And so he says to us now. All of us who live in this mortal life, have our troubles. You have your troubles, but when you are in trouble, and the waves seem to mount high, and to be soon to overwhelm you, make an act of faith, an act of hope, in your God and saviour. He calls you to him who has his mouth and his hands full of blessings for you.

He says: "Come unto me, all that labour and are laden, and I will refresh you"

"All ye that thirst," he cries out by his prophet, "come ye to the waters, and ye that have no money, haste ye, buy, and eat."

Never let the thought come into your mind that God is a hard master, a severe master. It is true the day will come when he will come as a just judge, but now is the time of mercy. Improve it and make the most of the time of grace.

"Behold now is the acceptable time, behold now is the day of salvation."

This is the day of hope, this is the day of work, this is the day of activity. "The night cometh when no man can work," but we are children of the light and of the day, and therefore despondency, coldness of heart, fear, sluggishness are sins in us. Temptations indeed come on you to murmur, but resist them, drive them aside, pray God to help you with his mighty grace. He allows no temptation to befall us which he does not give us grace to surmount. Do not let your hope give way, but "lift up the languid hands and the relaxed knees" (Heb. 12). "Lose not your confidence, which hath a great reward" (Heb. 10). Seek his face who ever dwells in real and bodily presence in his church. Do at least as much as what the disciples did. They had but little faith, they feared, they had not any great confidence and peace, but at least they did not keep away from Christ. They did not sit still sullenly, but they came to him. Alas, our very best state is not higher than the apostles' worst state. Our Lord blamed them as having little faith, because they cried out to him. I wish we Christians of this day did as much as this. I wish we went as far as to cry out to him in alarm. I wish we had only as much faith and hope as that which Christ thought so little in his first disciples. At least imitate the apostles in their weakness, if you can't imitate them in their strength. If you can't act as saints, at least act as Christians. Do not keep from him, but, when you are in trouble, come to him day by day asking him earnestly and perseveringly for those favours which he alone can give. And as he on this occasion spoken of in the Gospel, blamed indeed the disciples, but did for them what they asked, so, (we will trust in his great mercy), though he discerns much infirmity in you which ought not to be there, yet he will deign to rebuke the winds and the sea, and say "Peace, be still," and there will be a great calm.

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God, for the peace of the Church your servant Chad relinquished cheerfully the honours that had been thrust upon him, only to be rewarded with equal responsibility: Keep us, we pray, from thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, and ready at all times to step aside for others, that the cause of Christ may be advanced; through 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.

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

WEDNESDAY THE FIRST OF MARCH, 2017
* ASH WEDNESDAY *
* DAVID *

OPENING PRAYER

Almighty and everlasting God,
you hate nothing that you have made
and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent:
create and make in us new and contrite hearts
that we, worthily lamenting our sins
and acknowledging our wretchedness,
may receive from you, the God of all mercy,
perfect remission and forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ your son our lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever Amen

THE LITANY

Let us now call to mind our sin and the infinite mercy of God.

God the Father,
have mercy upon us.

God the Son,
have mercy upon us.

God the Holy Spirit,
have mercy upon us.

Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity,
have mercy upon us.

From all evil and mischief;
from pride, vanity, and hypocrisy;
from envy, hatred, and malice;
and from all evil intent,
good Lord, deliver us.

From sloth, worldliness and love of money;
from hardness of heart
and contempt for your word and your laws,
good Lord, deliver us.

From sins of body and mind;
from the deceits of the world, the flesh and the devil,
good Lord, deliver us.

In all times of sorrow;
in all times of joy;
in the hour of death,
and at the day of judgement,
good Lord, deliver us.

By the mystery of your holy incarnation;
by your birth, childhood and obedience;
by your baptism, fasting and temptation,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your ministry in word and work;
by your mighty acts of power;
and by your preaching of the kingdom,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your agony and trial;
by your cross and passion;
and by your precious death and burial,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your mighty resurrection;
by your glorious ascension;
and by your sending of the Holy Spirit,
good Lord, deliver us.

Give us true repentance;
forgive us our sins of negligence and ignorance
and our deliberate sins;
and grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit
to amend our lives according to your holy word.

Holy God,
holy and strong,
holy and immortal,
have mercy upon us.

Make our hearts clean, O God;
and renew a right spirit within us.

Father eternal, giver of light and grace,
we have sinned against you and against our neighbour,
in what we have thought,
in what we have said and done,
through ignorance, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We have wounded your love,
and marred your image in us.
We are sorry and ashamed,
and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us,
forgive us all that is past;
and lead us out from darkness
to walk as children of light. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

David: shepherd of Wales

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. It is also the day Saint Laika’s remembers David, in ancient times, Bishop of Wales and protector of Christ’s flock.

Britain was not spared in the mass migration of human population that occurred in the fifth century. The “barbarians,” as Roman citizens called them, were on the move. This effectively brought to an end the ancient Roman Empire in the West, and as the Ostrogoths settled in and around Italy, the Franks in France, the Visigoths in Spain, Britain was settled by the Angles, the Saxons, and the Jutes, pagan tribes, that would become Christian in subsequent centuries.

There were, of course, already Christians in Britain prior to the invasion. And these Christians sought refuge in the region called Wales. There they developed a style of Christian life devoted to learning, asceticism, and missionary fervour. Since there were no cities, the centres of culture were the monasteries, and most abbots were bishops as well. David was the founder, abbot, and bishop of the monastery of Mynyw (Menevia in English). He was responsible for much of the spread of Christianity in Wales, and his monastery was sought out by many scholars from Ireland and elsewhere. He is commonly accounted the apostle of Wales, as Patrick is of Ireland. His tomb is in Saint David's Cathedral, on the site of ancient Mynyw.

He is said to have been strict in the governing of his own monastery at Menevia, yet loving in his treatment and correction of wrongdoers. It is said that his monks called him the "Waterman,” which may indicate that he allowed the monks in his care to drink only water at meals instead of the customary wine or mead.

Some facts of his life can be historically established. Among them is that toward the end of his life he had several Irish saints as his pupils at the monastery. But much of his life is shrouded in legend and mystery.

David is clearly the foremost saint of Wales. He is revered and loved to this day as patron of Wales, foremost Christian priest, and courageous leader.

Scripture. In the "First Letter to the Thessalonians, chapter two, verses seven and eight, we read:

"But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for those intending to fast during Lent, that they may persevere and benefit from their self-discipline.

... for the people of Wales and all congregations under the patronage of Saint David.

... for the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and also of South Korea who are celebrating their national days today.

... 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.

READING

From a letter to the Corinthians by Clement of Rome:

Let us fix our attention on the blood of Christ and recognise how precious it is to God his father, since it was shed for our salvation and brought the grace of repentance to all the world.

If we review the various ages of history, we will see that in every generation the Lord has offered the opportunity of repentance to any who were willing to turn to him. When Noah preached God’s message of repentance, all who listened to him were saved. Jonah told the Ninevites they were going to be destroyed, but when they repented, their prayers gained God’s forgiveness for their sins, and they were saved, even though they were not of God’s people.

Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the ministers of God’s grace have spoken of repentance; indeed, the master of the whole universe himself spoke of repentance with an oath:

"As I live," says the Lord, "I do not wish the death of the sinner but his repentance."

He added this evidence of his goodness:

"House of Israel, repent of your wickedness. Tell the sons of my people, if their sins should reach from earth to heaven, if they are brighter than scarlet and blacker than sackcloth, you need only turn to me with your whole heart and say, 'father,' and I will listen to you as a holy people.

In other words, God wanted all his beloved ones to have the opportunity to repent and he confirmed this desire by his own almighty will. That is why we should obey his sovereign and glorious will and prayerfully entreat his mercy and kindness. We should be suppliant before him and turn to his compassion, rejecting empty works and quarrelling and jealousy which only lead to death.

Brothers, we should be humble in mind, putting aside all arrogance, pride and foolish anger. Rather, we should act in accordance with the scriptures.

As the Holy Spirit says, "The wise man must not glory in his wisdom nor the strong man in his strength nor the rich man in his riches."

Rather, let him who glories glory in the Lord by seeking him and doing what is right and just. Recall especially what the Lord Jesus said when he taught gentleness and forbearance.

"Be merciful," he said, "so that you may have mercy shown to you. Forgive, so that you may be forgiven. As you treat others, so you will be treated. As you give, so you will receive. As you judge, so you will be judged. As you are kind to others, so you will be treated kindly. The measure of your giving will be the measure of your receiving."

Let these commandments and precepts strengthen us to live in humble obedience to his sacred words.

As scripture asks, "Whom shall I look upon with favour except the humble, peaceful man who trembles at my words?"

Sharing then in the heritage of so many vast and glorious achievements, let us hasten toward the goal of peace, set before us from the beginning. Let us keep our eyes firmly fixed on the father and creator of the whole universe, and hold fast to his splendid and transcendent gifts of peace and all his blessings.

CLOSING PRAYER

Merciful Father,
turn us from sin to faithfulness
and from disobedience to love,
and prepare us to celebrate
the death and resurrection of Christ our saviour
who is alive and reigns, now and for ever. 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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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

TUESDAY THE TWENTY-EIGHTH OF FEBRUARY, 2017
* ANNA JULIA HAYWOOD COOPER AND ELIZABETH EVELYN WRIGHT *

OPENING PRAYER

Almighty God, have mercy upon us, who, when troubled with the things that are past, lose faith, and life, and courage, and hope. So have mercy upon us, and uphold us, that we, being sustained by a true faith that you are merciful and forgiving, may go on in the life of the future to keep your commandments, to rejoice in your bounty, to trust in your mercy, and to hope in the eternal life. Grant to all of us, whatever may happen to us us, to remember always that it is all of your guidance, under your care, by your will; that so, in darkest days, beholding you we may have courage to go on, faith to endure, patience to bear, and hopefulness to hold out, even to the end. Amen

PSALM FORTY-NINE ( abridged )

Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.

Hear this, all you peoples;
listen, all you that dwell in the world,
you of low or high degree,
both rich and poor together.
My mouth shall speak of wisdom
and my heart shall meditate on understanding.
I will incline my ear to a parable;
I will unfold my riddle with the lyre.

Why should I fear in evil days,
when the malice of my foes surrounds me,
such as trust in their goods
and glory in the abundance of their riches?

For no one can indeed ransom another
or pay to God the price of deliverance.
To ransom a soul is too costly;
there is no price one could pay for it,
so that they might live for ever,
and never see the grave.

For we see that the wise die also;
with the foolish and ignorant they perish
and leave their riches to others.
Their tomb is their home for ever,
their dwelling through all generations,
though they call their lands after their own names.

Those who have honour, but lack understanding,
are like the beasts that perish.
Such is the way of those who boast in themselves,
the end of those who delight in their own words.
Like a flock of sheep they are destined to die;
death is their shepherd;
they go down straight to the Pit.
Their beauty shall waste away,
and the land of the dead shall be their dwelling.
But God shall ransom my soul;
from the grasp of death will he take me.

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.

Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.

Save us from envy, God our Redeemer,
and deliver us from the chains of wealth,
that, ransomed through your Son,
we may inherit the crown of everlasting life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Anna Julia Haywood Cooper, Elizabeth Evelyn Wright: teachers

The "Emancipation Proclamation" brought an end to the institution of slavery in the United States, and the Union victory in America’s Civil War cemented freedom for African-American slaves throughout the south. But in the wake of emancipation, how were black Americans to live out the freedom they had achieved? Saint Laika’s today remembers two African-American women who, in the years after the Civil War devoted themselves to the education of African American children.

Anna Julia Haywood Cooper was born in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1859. She was an academically gifted child and received a scholarship to attend Saint Augustine Normal School and Collegiate Institute, a school founded by the Episcopal Church to educate African-American teachers and clergy. There she began her membership in the Episcopal Church. She married George A.C. Cooper, the second African-American ordained to the Episcopal priesthood in North Carolina. After her husband's death in 1879, Cooper received degrees in mathematics from Oberlin College, and was made principal of the only African American high school in Washington D.C. Throughout her career, Cooper emphasised the importance of education to the future of African Americans, and was critical of the lack of support they received from the Church. An advocate for African-American women, Cooper assisted in organising the Coloured Women's League and the first Coloured Settlement House in Washington, D.C. She wrote and spoke widely on issues of race and gender, and took an active role in national and international organisations founded to advance African Americans. In 1925, Cooper became the fourth African-American woman to complete a Ph.D degree, granted from the Sorbonne when she was sixty-five years old. From 1930-1942, Cooper served as president of Frelinghuysen University.

Elizabeth Evelyn Wright was born in Talbotton, Georgia in 1872. She was a humanitarian and educator, founding several schools for black children. In 1888, she attended Booker T. Washington's Tuskegee Institute as a night student. In 1897, she moved to Denmark in rural Bamberg County, South Carolina. There she started a school over a store with the support of some influential people in the community. She raised money for what she called Denmark Industrial School, modelled after Tuskegee Institute. Ralph Voorhees and his wife, philanthropists from Clinton, New Jersey, donated five thousand dollars for the purchase of land and the construction of the school's first building. In 1902 Voorhees Industrial School opened for male and female students at the elementary and high school levels, and Wright was principal. Voorhees provided additional gifts during the next few years, and the General Assembly incorporated the school in his name. The school was later affiliated with the Protestant Episcopal Church and eventually became a fully accredited four-year college.

Scripture: In the "First Letter to Timothy," chapter four, verses seven to ten, we read:

"Train yourself in godliness, for, while physical training is of some value, godliness is valuable in every way, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and struggle, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the saviour of all people, especially of those who believe."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for teachers, lecturers and educationalists.

... that free education for all may become a reality throughout the world especially for children.

... for the people of Andalusia who celebrate their national day today.

... 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.

READING

From "Mere Christianity" by C. S. Lewis:

I hope you will not misunderstand what I am going to say. I am not preaching, and heaven knows I do not pretend to be better than anyone else. I am only trying to call attention to a fact; the fact that this year, or this month, or, more likely, this very day, we have failed to practise ourselves the kind of behaviour we expect from other people. There may be all sorts of excuses for us. That time you were so unfair to the children was when you were very tired. That slightly shady business about the money (the one you have almost forgotten) came when you were very hard up. And what you promised to do for old so-and-so and have never done, well, you never would have promised if you had known how frightfully busy you were going to be. And as for your behaviour to your wife (or husband) or sister (or brother) if I knew how irritating they could be, I would not wonder at it and who the dickens am I, anyway? I am just the same. That is to say, I do not succeed in keeping the Law of Nature very well, and the moment anyone tells me I am not keeping it, there starts up in my mind a string of excuses as long as your arm. The question at the moment is not whether they are good excuses. The point is that they are one more proof of how deeply, whether we like it or not, we believe in the Law of Nature. If we do not believe in decent behaviour, why should we be so anxious to make excuses for not having behaved decently? The truth is, we believe in decency so much (we feel the Rule or Law pressing on us) that we cannot bear to face the fact that we are breaking it, and consequently we try to shift the responsibility. For you notice that it is only for our bad behaviour that we find all these explanations. It is only our bad temper that we put down to being tired or worried or hungry; we put our good temper down to ourselves.

CLOSING PRAYER

Eternal God, you inspired Anna Julia Haywood Cooper and Elizabeth Evelyn Wright with the love of learning and the joy of teaching: help us also to gather and use the resources of our communities for the education of all your children; through Jesus Christ our saviour, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

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Woman Among Lit Votive Candles

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

MONDAY THE TWENTY-SEVENTH OF FEBRUARY, 2017
* GEORGE HERBERT *

OPENING PRAYER

Come, my way, my truth, my life:
such a way as gives us breath;
such a truth as ends all strife;
such a life as killeth death.

Come, my Light, my feast, my strength:
such a light as shows a feast;
such a feast as mends in length;
such a strength as makes his guest.

Come, my joy, my love, my heart:
such a joy as none can move;
such a love as none can part;
such a heart as joys in love.

( George Herbert )

CANTICLE

Let all the world in every corner sing, my God and king!
The heavens are not too high, his praise may thither fly,
the earth is not too low, his praises there may grow.
Let all the world in every corner sing, my God and king!

Let all the world in every corner sing, my God and king!
The church with psalms must shout, no door can keep them out;
but, above all, the heart must bear the longest part.
Let all the world in every corner sing, my God and king!

( George Herbert )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

George Herbert: faithful in small things and large

Today Saint Laika’s remembers George Herbert, priest and servant of Christ, a poet and one who shaped the life of the clergy in post-Reformation England.

George Herbert was born in 1593, and later attended Trinity College, Cambridge, and became the Public Orator of the University, responsible for giving speeches of welcome in Latin to famous visitors, and writing letters of thanks, also in Latin, to acknowledge gifts of books for the university library. This brought him to the attention of King James I, who had him in mind for a career in the king’s court. However, when the King died in 1625, he returned to his first desire, holy orders, and was ordained a priest in the Church of England in 1626.

Herbert was devoted to his parish ministry. He was a good visitor, regularly visiting his parishioners, bringing holy communion if they were ill, and food and clothing if they were in need. Instead of reading morning and evening prayer privately, as many priests did, he read them in church and invited his parishioners to attend. He would also ring the church bell at the hour of prayer, so that those unable to attend might at least pause in their day to offer their own prayer. He was an example of Christian compassion and charity, very edifying to his parishioners.

He set down his thoughts on the parish ministry in a book entitled “A Priest in the Temple: the Country Parson.” It was very influential in shaping the practice of ministry in post-Reformation England. He was also a poet and some of his poems have found their way into English hymnody.

Of his poems, Herbert said they were: “a picture of the many spiritual conflicts that have passed betwixt God and my soul, before I could submit mine to the will of Jesus my master; in whose service I have found perfect freedom.”

George Herbert died on this day in 1633.

Scripture: In the fourth chapter of "Philippians," at verses eight and nine we read:

"Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for parish priests.

... for poets and hymn writers.

... for the people of the Dominican Republic who celebrate their national day today.

... for abandoned wives and children. DETAILS

... for those affected by rain storms and mudslides in Chile, in particular those who are without water. DETAILS

... for those who are not able to work or who are unable to get work because of a physical or mental disability.

... for those suffering from hunger due to the famine in South Sudan. DETAILS

... for those injured when a pick-up truck was driven into a crowd at a Mardi Gras parade in the US city of New Orleans. DETAILS

... for people born intersex, in particular those who are mistreated because of ignorance and bigotry. 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.

READING

"Prayer" ( 1 ) by George Herbert:

Prayer the church's banquet, angel's age,
God's breath in man returning to his birth,
the soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage,
the Christian plummet sounding heaven and earth,
engine against the Almighty, sinner's tower,
reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing spear,
the six-days world transposing in an hour,
a kind of tune, which all things hear and fear;
softness, and peace, and joy, and love, and bliss,
exalted manna, gladness of the best,
heaven in ordinary, man well drest,
the milky way, the bird of Paradise,
church-bells beyond the stars heard, the soul's blood,
the land of spices; something understood.

CLOSING PRAYER

Our God and king, you called your servant George Herbert from the pursuit of worldly honours to be a pastor of souls, a poet, and a priest in your temple: Give us grace, we pray, joyfully to perform the tasks you give us to do, knowing that nothing is menial or common that is done for your sake; through Jesus Christ our lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

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Holy Communion For The Last Sunday After The Epiphany
The Sunday Next Before Lent
Transfiguration Sunday

Ours is a transformative faith. Ours is an evolutionary faith, a journeying faith, a blossoming faith. God has promised never again to destroy that which he has created. Instead our encouraging God works with the earthly and lovingly persuades all his creatures to become more glorious and perfect. God is changeless but the revelation of God through his son, Jesus Christ, has changed everything. In the sacrament of holy communion this truth is made clear to us as we experience the transfiguration of the commonplace into the very being of Jesus, our lord and saviour.

At Saint Laika's everyone is welcome to take communion and be in communion, with each other and with God. There are no exceptions. So, come, join us.

If you want to physically partake of communion you will require a small piece of bread and a small amount of drink (preferably made from grapes and containing alcohol).

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