Of Course, I Could be Wrong

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

TUESDAY THE TWENTY-THIRD OF MAY, 2017

OPENING PRAYER

God of love,
turn our hearts to your ways;
and give us peace.
Amen.

PSALM TWENTY-THREE

The Lord is my shepherd;
therefore can I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down
in green pastures
and leads me beside still waters.
He shall refresh my soul
and guide me in the
paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

Though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You spread a table before me
in the presence of
those who trouble me;
you have anointed my head with oil
and my cup shall be full.

Surely goodness and loving mercy
shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house
of the Lord 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.

O God, our sovereign and shepherd,
who brought again your Son Jesus Christ
from the valley of death,
comfort us with your protecting presence
and your angels of goodness and love,
that we also may come home
and dwell with him in your house for ever.
Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Trail of Tears

One of the hardest realities to reconcile with the myth of America as “the land of the free, the home of the brave,” was the passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. It passed by one vote, and allowed President Andrew Jackson to implement the removal of several tribes of native peoples from the east of the United States to lands further west, without regard to the feelings, traditions, or sacred space of these people. The Choctaw were the first to go, followed by the Seminole, the Creek, and the Chickasaw.

On this day in 1838 the forced removal of the Cherokee tribe began from Georgia to what would later become Oklahoma. The tribes suffered from exposure, starvation, and disease. It is estimated that over four thousand Cherokee people died along the way. Hence the name “Trail of Tears.”

The struggle to live faithfully to Christ is difficult in every generation. It is of vital importance that we remember such atrocities as this, so that we can be more careful about stumbling into others. The illegal immigrants of today are but the latest to be dehumanised by people in power. And they will surely not be the last.

Today pray for all victims of greed and thirst for power; pray for the First Peoples of the US and other nations; pray to be delivered from hypocrisy.

Scripture. In the twenty-first chapter of "Revelation," at the fourth verse we read:

“God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away”

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for all victims of greed and thirst for power.

... for the first peoples of the United States and other nations.

... that we may be delivered from hypocrisy.

... for those who were killed and those who were injured in last night's terrorist attack in Manchester; for all who are still separated from their loved ones or unable to get home; for those who await news about a friend or family member; for a world in which it is safe for our children and young people to play and enjoy themselves.

... 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 homily on the "Gospel of Matthew" by an unknown patristic author:

We have seen how murder is born from anger and adultery from desire. In the same way, the hatred of an enemy is destroyed by the love of friendship. Suppose you have viewed a man as an enemy, yet after a while he has been swayed by your benevolence. You will then love him as a friend. I think that Christ ordered these things not so much for our enemies as for us, not because enemies are fit to be loved by others but because we are not fit to hate anyone. For hatred is the prodigy of dark places. Wherever it resides, it sullies the beauty of sound sense. Therefore not only does Christ order us to love our enemies for the sake of cherishing them but also for the sake of driving away from ourselves what is bad for us…. If you merely hate your enemy, you have hurt yourself more in the spirit than you have hurt him in the flesh. Perhaps you don’t harm him at all by hating him, but you surely tear yourself apart. If then you are benevolent to an enemy, you have rather spared yourself than him. And if you do him a kindness, you benefit yourself more than him.

CLOSING PRAYER

O God, Great Spirit, many tears were shed by your people when they were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands and sacred spaces. We turn to you, who wipe away all tears, and we look with hope toward a future when the native peoples of the nations of the world and those who have come after them, may live together in peace with justice, mercy, and compassion as the hallmarks of our life together; 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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Children – Do Your Parents Love You Or Hate You

The Labour Party has promised that it will scrap university tuition fees if they win the election. This would save students upwards of £30000. All they would owe after leaving university is any student loan they took out to cover their living costs.

It's a shame that there is no way of finding out what percentage of parents (of children under university age) who normally vote Tory will still vote Tory even though it means crippling their own children with debt. If we could get those figures we would have proof as to whether people are inherently selfish or inherently selfless.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

MONDAY THE TWENTY-SECOND OF MAY, 2017

OPENING PRAYER

O God, of surpassing goodness, whom the round world with one voice praises for your sweet benignity; we pray you to remove from us all error, that so we may perform your will; through Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

PSALM EIGHTY-EIGHT ( abridged )

You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.

O Lord, God of my salvation,
I have cried day and night before you.
Let my prayer come into your presence;
incline your ear to my cry.
For my soul is full of troubles;
my life draws near to the land of death.
I am counted as one gone down to the Pit;
I am like one that has no strength,
lost among the dead,
like the slain who lie in the grave,
whom you remember no more,
for they are cut off from your hand.

You have laid me in the lowest pit,
in a place of darkness in the abyss.
Your anger lies heavy upon me,
and you have afflicted me with all your waves.
You have put my friends far from me
and made me to be abhorred by them.
I am so fast in prison that I cannot get free;
my eyes fail from all my trouble.

But as for me, O Lord,
I will cry to you;
early in the morning
my prayer shall come before you.

Lord, why have you rejected my soul?
Why have you hidden your face from me?
I have been wretched
and at the point of death from my youth;
I suffer your terrors and am no more seen.
Your wrath sweeps over me;
your horrors are come to destroy me;
All day long they come about me like water;
they close me in on every side.
Lover and friend have you put far from me
and hid my companions out of my sight.

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,
my portion in the land of the living.

In the depths of our isolation
we cry to you, Lord God;
give light in our darkness
and bring us out of the prison of our despair
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Godric of Finchale: single-hearted lover of God
(transferred from Sunday)

Today, Saint Laika’s remembers with affection Godric of Finchale, a medieval English hermit, lover of animals, wise guide to archbishops and popes.

Godric was born at Walpole in Norfolk (England) around the year 1065. He was a peddler of some sort, a traveling salesman indeed, whose wanderings led him to sea for a period of around sixteen years. During this time he became a part-owner of a number of vessels, one of which he went on to captain.

Godric’s maritime exploits brought him to the island of Lindisfarne off the Northumbrian coast, and here he became acquainted with tales of St Cuthbert, Lindisfarne’s greatest saint. His life was transformed by his encounter with Cuthbert and he experienced a profound conversion.

Godric came to live in Finchale near Durham, alongside the River Wear. He created a hermitage dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. His biographers recorded that he lived an ascetic life on this site for fifty years, living and sleeping outside and rejecting expensive cloth and plentiful food. It is said that he slept on the ground with only stones and branches as his furniture. His last years were marred by extreme sickness, perhaps a result of his difficult life-style. For almost a decade before his death on the twenty-first of May, 1170, Godric was confined to his bed and cared for by monks of Durham.

Four songs of St Godric's have come down to us. They are the oldest songs in English for which the original musical settings survive. The first song he said was taught to him by the Virgin Mary herself, in a vision. He lived to the amazing age of one hundred and five.

Scripture. In the first chapter of "Job," at verses twenty and twenty-one, we read:

"Then Job arose, tore his robe, shaved his head, and fell on the ground and worshipped.

"He said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.’"

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for all who find God in solitary ways.

... for all who love and care for animals.

... for all who make music or compose songs.

... that the weather will be fair for the annual, open air, Ascension Day service at Finchale Abbey this week and that people will enjoy God there.

... for healthy biodiversity on our planet and an end to human activity which leads to the extinction of animal and plant species. DETAILS

... for the people of Martinique who celebrate Abolition of Slavery Day today and the people of Yemen who celebrate Unity Day today.

... for the twenty-four people who were injured in a bomb blast at Phramongkutklao Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand DETAILS; the two people killed by gunmen at a guesthouse in west of Kabul, Afghanistan DETAILS.

... for Wang Quanzhang and his family and for lawyers, legal assistants and human rights activists in China who campaign for justice even though this means suffering persecution from their government. DETAILS

... that the women and children of South Africa may no longer have to fear being abused and that the good men of South Africa may succeed in making the nation a safe place for all. 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 Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers by Henry David Thoreau:

As the truest society approaches always nearer to solitude, so the most excellent speech finally falls into Silence. Silence is audible to all men, at all times, and in all places. She is when we hear inwardly, sound when we hear outwardly. Creation has not displaced her, but is her visible framework and foil. All sounds are her servants and purveyors, proclaiming not only that their mistress is, but is a rare mistress, and earnestly to be sought after. They are so far akin to Silence, that they are but bubbles on her surface, which straightway burst, an evidence of the strength and prolificness of the under-current; a faint utterance of silence, and then only agreeable to our auditory nerves when they contrast themselves with and relieve the former. In proportion as they do this, and are heighteners and intensifiers of the Silence, they are harmony and purest melody.

Silence is the universal refuge, the sequel to all dull discourses and all foolish acts, a balm to our every chagrin, as welcome after satiety as after disappointment; that background which the painter may not daub, be he master or bungler, and which, however awkward a figure we may have made in the foreground, remains ever our inviolable asylum, where no indignity can assail, no personality can disturb us.

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord our God, you accepted the single-hearted devotion of your servant Godric, who loved and served you alone. Give us also the desire to love you and serve you, and lead us through our lives to everlasting life with you; 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

FRIDAY THE NINETEENTH OF MAY, 2017

OPENING PRAYER

O God, the life of the faithful, the bliss of the righteous: mercifully receive the prayers of your suppliants, that the souls which thirst for your promises may evermore be filled from your abundance, through Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

PSALM EIGHTY-SIX

All nations you have made
shall come and worship you, O Lord.

Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me,
for I am poor and in misery.
Preserve my soul, for I am faithful;
save your servant, for I put my trust in you.
Be merciful to me, O Lord, for you are my God;
I call upon you all the day long.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
For you, Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.

Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer
and listen to the voice of my supplication.
In the day of my distress I will call upon you,
for you will answer me.

Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord,
nor any works like yours.
All nations you have made
shall come and worship you, O Lord,
and shall glorify your name.
For you are great and do wonderful things;
you alone are God.

Teach me your way, O Lord,
and I will walk in your truth;
knit my heart to you,
that I may fear your name.

I will thank you, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
and glorify your name for evermore;
For great is your steadfast love towards me,
for you have delivered my soul
from the depths of the grave.

O God, the proud rise up against mE
and a ruthless horde seek after my life;
they have not set you before their eyes.
But you, Lord, are gracious and full of compassion,
slow to anger and full of kindness and truth.

Turn to me and have mercy upon me;
give your strength to your servant
and save the child of your handmaid.
Show me a token of your favour,
that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed;
because you, O Lord, have helped and comforted 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.

All nations you have made
shall come and worship you, O Lord.

God of mercy,
who in your great love
drew your Son from the depths of the Pit,
bring your people from death to life,
that we may rejoice in your compassion
and praise you now and for ever. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

The Martyrs of Sudan: no abandoning of God as they knew him

“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church,” the third-century North African teacher, Tertullian, once wrote and in no place is that observation more apt than in Sudan, Africa’s largest country, and a land long torn by violence.

British policy in the late nineteenth century was to arbitrarily divide the vast country between a Muslim North and a multiethnic South, limiting Christian missionary activity largely to the latter, an artificial division that has created enduring problems. Since independence, on the first of January, 1956, three civilian governments and three military dictatorships have ruled a country that has experienced forty-one years of civil war. During the 1980s Sudan’s internal armed conflict assumed an increasingly religious character, fuelled by a northern-dominated Islamic government imposing authoritarian political control, Islam as the state religion, a penal code based on Sharia law, and restrictions on free speech and free assembly.

On the sixteenth of May, 1983, a small number of Episcopal and Roman Catholic clerical and lay leaders declared they “would not abandon God as they knew him.” Possibly over two million persons, most of them Christians, were then killed in a two-decade civil war, until a comprehensive peace treaty was signed in January 2005. During those years, four million southern Christians may have been internally displaced, and another million forced into exile in Africa and elsewhere. Yet despite the total destruction of churches, schools, and other institutions, Sudanese Christianity has both solidified as a faith community, and gradually expanded at home and among refugees, providing steadfast hope in often-desperate setting.

Scripture. In the tenth chapter of Hebrews, at verses thirty-five and thirty-six, we read:

"Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward. For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the Christians of North and South Sudan.

... for an end to the government sponsored Islamic oppression of other faiths throughout the world.

... 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 Apology" (chapter fifty) by Tertullian:

In that case, you say, why do you complain of our persecutions? You ought rather to be grateful to us for giving you the sufferings you want. Well, it is quite true that it is our desire to suffer, but it is in the way that the soldier longs for war. No one indeed suffers willingly, since suffering necessarily implies fear and danger. Yet the man who objected to the conflict, both fights with all his strength, and when victorious, he rejoices in the battle, because he reaps from it glory and spoil. It is our battle to be summoned to your tribunals that there, under fear of execution, we may battle for the truth. But the day is won when the object of the struggle is gained. This victory of ours gives us the glory of pleasing God, and the spoil of life eternal.

But we are overcome. Yes, when we have obtained our wishes. Therefore we conquer in dying; we go forth victorious at the very time we are subdued. This is the attitude in which we conquer. Naturally enough, therefore, we do not please the vanquished; on account of this, indeed, we are counted a desperate, reckless race. But the very desperation and recklessness you object to in us, among yourselves lift high the standard of virtue in the cause of glory and of fame.

But go zealously on, good presidents, you will stand higher with the people if you sacrifice the Christians at their wish, kill us, torture us, condemn us, grind us to dust; your injustice is the proof that we are innocent. Nor does your cruelty, however exquisite, avail you; it is rather a temptation to us. The oftener we are mown down by you, the more in number we grow; the blood of Christians is seed. Many of your writers exhort to the courageous bearing of pain and death, as Cicero in the Tusculans, as Seneca in his Chances, as Diogenes, Pyrrhus, Callinicus; and yet their words do not find so many disciples as Christians do, teachers not by words, but by their deeds. That very obstinacy you rail against is the preceptress. For who that contemplates it, is not excited to inquire what is at the bottom of it? Who, after inquiry, does not embrace our doctrines and when he has embraced them, desires not to suffer that he may become partaker of the fulness of God's grace, that he may obtain from God complete forgiveness, by giving in exchange his blood? For that secures the remission of all offences. On this account it is that we return thanks on the very spot for your sentences. As the divine and human are ever opposed to each other, when we are condemned by you, we are acquitted by the Highest.

CLOSING PRAYER

O God, steadfast in the midst of persecution, by your providence the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church: as the martyrs of the Sudan refused to abandon Christ even in the face of torture and death, and so by their sacrifice brought forth a plentiful harvest, may we, too, be steadfast in our faith in Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, 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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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

THURSDAY THE EIGHTEENTH OF MAY, 2017

OPENING PRAYER

Eternal, merciful God! You are a God of peace, love and unity, not of conflict and division. With this unity you view the world in your righteous judgment, knowing it has forsaken you. You alone can establish and maintain unity in a world which in its own wisdom has fallen away from you, especially in those things which relate to your divine truth and the salvation of souls. You let the world divide and splinter into pieces, so that with the false wisdom of disunity which can only lead to disgrace, the world might again turn to you, O lover of unity!

We are poor sinners whom you have graciously endowed with the ability to understand all this. So we pray and implore you through the Holy Spirit to dispel confusion. Unify what is divided and make it whole. Also give us the means to seek your unique, eternal truth, which leads to divine unity.
Thus may we turn away from every division and become of one mind, will, conscience, spirit and understanding, aligned according to Jesus Christ, our Lord. May we then praise and glorify you, the heavenly Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, with steadfast unity and with one voice, through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, in the Holy Spirit. Amen.

( "Prayer Book for Earnest Christians" )

PSALM EIGHTY-FIVE

Show us your mercy, O Lord.

Lord, you were gracious to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
You forgave the offence of your people
and covered all their sins.
You laid aside all your fury
and turned from your wrathful indignation.

Restore us again, O God our Saviour,
and let your anger cease from us.
Will you be displeased with us for ever?
Will you stretch out your wrath
from one generation to another?
Will you not give us life again,
that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your mercy, O Lord,
and grant us your salvation.

I will listen to what the Lord God will say,
for he shall speak peace to his people and to the faithful,
that they turn not again to folly.
Truly, his salvation is near to those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.

Mercy and truth are met together,
righteousness and peace have kissed each other;
truth shall spring up from the earth
and righteousness look down from heaven.
The Lord will indeed give all that is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness shall go before him
and direct his steps in the way.

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.

Show us your mercy, O Lord.

Most holy God,
when we come to you fearing that
truth condemns us,
show us that truth is one with love
in your Word made flesh,
our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Dirk Willems, loving your enemy when they don’t love you back

Willems grew up in the Netherlands in the tumultuous sixteenth century time of reformation and protest. He followed the Anabaptist tradition. He had been imprisoned for his faith and managed to escape from prison, with guards in hot pursuit. He could have made his escape but one of his pursuers fell through the thin ice of a frozen pond and was in danger of drowning. Willems turned around and rescued the guard. He was recaptured, and burned at the stake on the sixteenth of May, 1569.

The charges against him were preserved: “Whereas, Dirk Willems, born at Asperen, at present a prisoner, has, without torture and iron bonds (or otherwise) before the bailiff and us judges, confessed that at the age of fifteen, eighteen or twenty years, he was rebaptised in Rotterdam, at the house of one Pieter Willems, and that he, further, in Asperen, at his house, at divers hours, harboured and admitted secret conventicles and prohibited doctrines, and that he also has permitted several persons to be rebaptised in his aforesaid house; all of which is contrary to our holy Christian faith, and to the decrees of his royal majesty, and ought not to be tolerated, but severely punished, for an example to others; therefore, we the aforesaid judges, having, with mature deliberation of council, examined and considered all that was to be considered in this matter, have condemned and do condemn by these presents in the name; and in the behalf, of his royal majesty, as Count of Holland, the aforesaid Dirk Willems, prisoner, persisting obstinately in his opinion, that he shall be executed with fire, until death ensues; and declare all his property confiscated, for the benefit of his royal majesty. So done this sixteenth of May, in presence of the judges.”

Scripture: In the sixth chapter of Luke, at verses twenty-seven to thirty-one, we read:

“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the courage to live the teachings of Jesus in our daily life.

... for the reconciliation of enemies and for our enemies.

... that a vaccine to prevent the catching of the AIDS virus may be discovered and made available soon. DETAILS

... for those injured in Washington when President Erdoğan’s private security forces attacked people protesting against his visit and for a speedy end of his oppressive rule in Turkey. 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 "My Brother's Keeper" by Lester Bauman:

"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." (Philippians 2:3)

Humility is one of the most difficult of the brotherhood attitudes to cultivate. It is totally opposed to our natural inclinations. Eve ate the forbidden fruit because she wanted more prestige. We almost automatically seek the same. But the humble Christian is more concerned about his brother's success and prestige than he is about his own.

Humility takes a lot of the tension out of church life. If we are not worried about our prestige, we do not have to fight to maintain it. We can be much more relaxed when we teach a Sunday school class. We do not need to be embarrassed or offended if our thought is shot down by someone else. It does not need to bother us if we "lose" the election for Sunday school superintendent. We can honestly rejoice at the good thought a brother shares, or the position he is asked to fill.

If I am humble, my brother is no longer a threat to me. Since I have not prestige to maintain, I do not need to worry that my brother will undercut it. I am free to love him, no matter what!

CLOSING PRAYER

Gracious God, in every age you have sent men and women who have given their lives in witness to your truth and love. Inspire us with the example of Dirk Willems, and give us courage to bear witness with our lives to your son’s resurrection; 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 SEVENTEENTH OF MAY, 2017

OPENING PRAYER

Late have I loved you, O you who are eternal truth and goodness: late have I sought you, my Father! But you did seek me, and when you shined forth upon me, then I knew you and learnt to love you. I thank you, O my light, that you did shine upon me; that you did teach my soul what you would be to me, and did incline your face in pity unto me. You, Lord, have become my hope, my comfort, my strength, my all! In you my soul rejoices. The darkness vanished from before my eyes, and I beheld you, the sun of righteousness. When I loved darkness, I knew you not, but wandered on from night to night. But you led me out of that blindness; you took me by the hand and call me to you, and now I can thank you, and your mighty voice which has penetrated to my inmost heart. Amen.

( Augustine of Hippo )

PSALM EIGHTY-FOUR ( abridged )

Blessed are they who dwell in your house.

How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!
My soul has a desire and longing
to enter the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh rejoice in the living God.

The sparrow has found her a house
and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young:
at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my king and my God.

Blessed are they who dwell in your house:
they will always be praising you.
For one day in your courts
is better than a thousand.

I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of ungodliness.
For the Lord God is both sun and shield;
he will give grace and glory;
no good thing shall the Lord withhold
from those who walk with integrity.

O Lord God of hosts,
blessed are those who put their trust in you.

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 are they who dwell in your house.

Lord God,
sustain us in this vale of tears
with the vision of your grace and glory,
that, strengthened by the bread of life,
we may come to your eternal dwelling place;
in the power of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Mary McLeod Bethune: educator and civil rights leader

Mary McLeod Bethune died on the eighteenth of May, 1955. She was an American educator, stateswoman, philanthropist, humanitarian, and civil rights activist. She is best known for starting a school for African-American girls in Daytona Beach, Florida. This later evolved into the co-educational Bethune–Cookman University. President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed her a national advisor on what was known as his “Black Cabinet.” She was known as "The First Lady of The Struggle" because of her commitment to gain better lives for African Americans.

Faith was a very important part of her life from her earliest days. Her first education was at the Trinity Mission School run by the Presbyterian Church. Her parents were born into slavery, she was the fifteenth or seventeen children. She had at first wanted to be a missionary in Africa, but later turned her thoughts to the education of African American girls. The Presbyterian Church persuaded her to move to Florida, where she ran a mission school. This was in 1899.

In October 1904, she moved to Daytona Beach, Florida and opened the Literary and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls. In the beginning she struggled to find financial support.

Later on, reflecting back on that time she wrote: “I considered cash money as the smallest part of my resources. I had faith in a loving God, faith in myself, and a desire to serve.”

The Presbyterian Church, and local black churches in Daytona got her through the early years.

Besides her efforts in education, she was a dynamo in the civil rights area. She was involved in the National Association of Coloured Women and as early as 1917 was registering African Americans for voting. She took on the Ku Klux Klan in Florida in the 1920’s, and went on to establish a National Headquarters for the NACW in Washington, DC, a first for any organisation of African Americans.

After working on the presidential campaign for Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932, she was invited as a member of his Black Cabinet. She advised him on concerns of black people and helped share Roosevelt's message and achievements with blacks, who had historically been Republican voters since the Civil War.

On May 18, 1955, Bethune died of a heart attack. Her death was followed by editorial tributes from across the country.

The "New York Times" noted she was, "one of the most potent factors in the growth of interracial goodwill in America."

The Washington Post said: "So great were her dynamism and force that it was almost impossible to resist her... Not only her own people, but all America has been enriched and ennobled by her courageous, ebullient spirit."

Scripture. In the fourth chapter of "Philippians" at verses twelve and thirteen we read:

"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 those who are an ethnic minority in their land and for those who work for their full and equal inclusion within society.

... for educators, in particular those who provide schooling for those without easy access to education.

... for an end to homophobia, transphobia and biphobia throughout the world. DETAILS

... for the people of Norway who celebrate Constitution Day today.

... for Mohammad Amin, who was murdered by the Saudi Arabian authorities after being arrested for dressing in female attire, and for all transgender and transvestite people who live in places where they are persecuted and criminalised. 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 "Building a Better World, Essays and Selected Documents" by Mary McLeod Bethune:

I believe today that spiritual growth comes with meditation and communion when alone I sit with God. Through the years my meditative moments have grown into habitual continuation. They are not too habitual however, to keep away the fervour which comes with each experience. There is in me always that deep awe and reverence for God and his way of working in me. I feel him working in and through me, and I have learned to give myself freely, unreservedly to the guidance of the inner voice in me.

I can remember when I longed to know the inner voice and searched my mind for an answer to its meaning. It came about in the late hours of those nights when I listened to my mother. She took her lonely vigils when she thought everyone in the house was asleep. There she was, in the dark, on her knees. I knew the form kneeling in the moonlight which poured in upon her, sometimes beside her bed, sometimes beside a chair. She would ask God for faith, for strength, for love, for forgiveness, for knowledge, for food and clothing, not for herself but for her children and for all the poor people. I gained faith in her way when I saw these things she prayed for coming to pass.

Many a poor man left our home happy because mother and father had given some simple thing that met his need. Many were the times that our little family was happy when a gift of something we needed came almost miraculously. And my mother's "Thank You, Father,” made me realise early in life that all things must come from God. I began to see that the full life must be mine only as I learned to live close to God and to trust him always. I thank my mother and heavenly Father for imparting to me this strength and vitality which has led me from that picture in the closed hours of those nights to the light of this full new day, when I am enjoying the fruits of that first seed-sowing. The desire for spiritual start in living grew on me, and I know today that effectual, fervent desire does not go unrewarded.

As I grew I knew what it meant to absorb my will into the will of God whom I claimed as my Father. Where he reigned at first I do not know. I am sure my child mind personalised him; but when I knew him to be a great Spirit, his fatherhood increased because his spirit could dwell in me and go with me and never leave me to my own devices. Part of that learning his will was in the secret of knowing how to hold the faith with the desire, and how to work continually to bring things to pass. When I had my first experiences with people who could read when I could not, and with seeing fine churches, when my people worshipped in shacks, I asked God to open to me the opportunity to do something about that. The idea that I needed gripped me. I found myself endowed with creative power within. I put all negative thoughts away from me. as I do now, and then and there I affirmed my needs, my hopes, and my aspirations. That affirmation with God took me from the cotton fields to the little mission school to Scotia College to Moody Bible Institute, and, finally, to the planting of the Bethune-Cookman College—the real child of my desire.

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord our God, we thank you for the gifts of grace given to your servant, Mary McLeod Bethune, particularly for the clarity of her vision, and the freshness of her thought. Help us, like her, to serve you with single-hearted devotion, in the church and in public life; 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.

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

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Failed

I tried, about a month ago, to persuade more people to donate to support my online ministry on a regular monthly basis. I got quite a few likes for the various posts concerning this but a total of £3.50 ($5.00) a month in new subscriptions. In the same month a long term supporter stopped their regular £5.00 a month regular donation. So I ended the campaign £1.50 down.

The amount of money I raise each month (less than £500) does not validate my ministry. It does not give me worth. It does not reward me for my labours. It does not allow me to take care of my own. Because of this I live with a constant feeling of failure that is reality based and my depression grabs hold of this and turns it into pathological misery. The fact that I cannot even buck up the courage to end my useless life is just another failure to add to the list.

However, I cannot stop my online ministry because it is my only source of income. So I am stuck with having to persist in a failed enterprise and this is making, what should be joyful employment into drudgery. What should distract me from the pain of lost vocation is a constant reminder of it.

I was brought up to believe, at home and at school, that a life that was not successfully useful was a wasted life and I bought into this belief to the extent that it is hardwired into my psyche. Unfortunately, I foolishly put all my eggs into one basket and when the people with all the power came along and deliberately broke those eggs all I was left with was an empty, egg stained basket.

I am fully aware that my work may not be worth supporting financially as I am fully aware that the reason no one in Durham or Newcastle Diocese has reached out to offer me the opportunity of being useful is because I am, literally, of no possible use to them. An option is to let go of hope but what does that leave? I have spent my life telling people there is hope. If there is not then not only has my life been a waste of time it has also been one big lie.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

TUESDAY THE SIXTEENTH OF MAY, 2017
* Caroline Chisholm *

OPENING PRAYER

We humbly beseech you, O heavenly Father, to do away as the night all our transgressions, and to scatter our sins as the morning cloud. Lord, forgive whatsoever is amiss in us, cleanse us from our sin, and let your Holy Spirit so prevent and accompany and follow us day by day, that we may believe in you, and love you, and keep your commandments, through Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

( Goulburn’s Family Prayers )

PSALM EIGHTY-THREE ( abridged )

The wicked shall not be able to stand in the judgement.

Hold not your peace, O God, do not keep silent;
be not unmoved, O God;
for your enemies are in tumult
and those who hate you lift up their heads.
They take secret counsel against your people
and plot against those whom you treasure.

They say, "Come, let us destroy them as a nation,
that the name of Israel be remembered no more."

O my God, make them like thistledown,
like chaff before the wind.
Like fire that consumes a forest,
like the flame that sets mountains ablaze,
so drive them with your tempest
and dismay them with your storm.

Cover their faces with shame, O Lord,
that they may seek your name.
Let them be disgraced and dismayed for ever;
let them be put to confusion and perish;
and they shall know that you, whose name is the Lord,
are alone the Most High over all the earth.

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 wicked shall not be able to stand in the judgement.

Lord God, most high over all the world,
when the pride of nations obscures
your glorious purpose,
draw us into that unity
which is your will for all people
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Caroline Chisholm: giving immigrants a voice

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Caroline Chisholm.

When Caroline was a child, in the early eighteen hundreds, her father, a wealthy, landed gentleman, brought into their home a poor, maimed soldier. He instructed his family that they were obliged to care for this man who had fought for them. This experience made a deep impression on Caroline, and she dedicated her life to helping others.

In 1832 the East India Company posted her husband to India, and Caroline saw the bleak living conditions the wives and daughters of British soldiers had to face. She started a school for them and greatly improved their standard of living.

Life next took her to Australia, to Sydney, where she worked tirelessly on finding work opportunities for female immigrants. Later she expanded her work to cover entire families. It is estimated that during her time there, she helped over fourteen thousand immigrants to find employment and homes.

Back in England, she organised a group of wealthy people to provide loans for folks migrating to Australia. She got Parliament to pass laws for better shipboard condition for passengers.

She died at age sixty-eight in 1877. The Church of England also remembers her today.

Scripture. In the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah, as verses six and seven we read:

"Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?"

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for immigrants and those who assist them.

... for all who live in poverty and struggle to better their conditions.

... for the families of servicemen, in particular those living abroad.

... for young people killed or injured in road traffic accidents, for their families and friends. DETAILS

... for the twenty-three people who have died and those who were injured after a tourist bus fell from a cliff near the southern Turkey seaside resort of Marmaris. DETAILS

... for Mexican journalist Javier Valdez, known for his award-winning coverage of the drug trade, who has been shot dead by unidentified attackers and for the safety of all members of the media who risk their lives investigating the criminal organisations of the world. DETAILS

... for the survival of the vaquita porpoise and all endangered species. 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 Pope Francis' address to the participants in the plenary of the Pontifical
Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, the twenty-fourth of May, 2013:

The Church is mother, and her motherly attention is expressed with special tenderness and closeness to those who are obliged to flee their own country and exist between rootlessness and integration. This tension destroys people. Christian compassion (this "suffering with" compassion) is expressed first of all in the commitment to obtain knowledge of the events that force people to leave their homeland, and where necessary, to give voice to those who cannot
manage to make their cry of distress and oppression heard. They are all elements that dehumanise and must push every Christian and the whole community to concrete attention.

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God, though divided by geography, nationality, and political systems, all the mortal race are your children. We thank you for raising up among us Caroline Chisholm, who had such a passion for work with immigrants, easing their passages and bettering their conditions. Teach us to regard with dignity all human beings, and help us understand we are all migrating to that kingdom where you live and reign, with your son 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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Back To The Seventies

I always thought the Mail and the Sun were tory newspapers but they keep splashing all over their front page that Jeremy Corbyn wants to take Britain back to the 1970s, which I, for one, think would be brilliant. The seventies were the most exciting, creative and revolutionary decade since the 1920s. Popular music was better than it ever had been and ever would be again. Film producers were making their greatest work. Working people were telling the bosses what to do for the only time in human history. What was there not to like. Heck, even the candlelit blackouts had their charm - people started talking to each other as there was no TV and I believe they were responsible for a huge spike in the number of births nine months later.

So, if you want higher wages, great music, great films and great sex, vote Labour on June 8.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

FRIDAY THE TWELFTH OF MAY, 2017

OPENING PRAYER

O Lord, with whom are strength and wisdom, put forth your strength, I implore you, for your own sake and for our sakes, and stand up to help us; for we are deceivable and weak persons, frail and brief, unstable and afraid, unless you put the might of your Holy Spirit within us. Amen, O Lord. Amen.

( Christina G. Rossetti )

PSALM EIGHTY-ONE

O come, let us sing to the Lord.

Sing merrily to God our strength,
shout for joy to the God of Jacob.
Take up the song and sound the timbrel,
the tuneful lyre with the harp.
Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
as at the full moon, upon our solemn feast day.
For this is a statute for Israel,
a law of the God of Jacob,
the charge he laid on the people of Joseph,
when they came out of the land of Egypt.

I heard a voice I did not know, that said:
"I eased their shoulder from the burden;
their hands were set free from bearing the load.
You called upon me in trouble and I delivered you;
I answered you from the secret place of thunder
and proved you at the waters of Meribah.

"Hear, O my people, and I will admonish you:
O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
There shall be no strange god among you;
you shall not worship a foreign god.
I am the Lord your God,
who brought you up from the land of Egypt;
open your mouth wide and I shall fill it.

"But my people would not hear my voice
and Israel would not obey me.
So I sent them away in the stubbornness of their hearts,
and let them walk after their own counsels.

"O that my people would listen to me,
that Israel would walk in my ways!
Then I should soon put down their enemies
and turn my hand against their adversaries.
Those who hate the Lord would be humbled before him,
and their punishment would last for ever.
But Israel would I feed with the finest wheat
and with honey from the rock would I satisfy them."

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.

O come, let us sing to the Lord.

Father of mercy,
keep us joyful in your salvation
and faithful to your covenant;
and, as we journey to your kingdom,
ever feed us with the bread of life,
your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Humanity: A race dedicated to many absurdities.

In the "Letter to the Hebrews," chapter two, verses fourteen and fifteen we read:

"Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he (Christ) himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death."

In his book "Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander," Thomas Merton wrote:

“It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, though it is a race dedicated to many absurdities and one which makes many terrible mistakes: yet, within all that, God also gloried in becoming a member of the human race. A member of the human race! To think that such a commonplace realisation should suddenly seem like news that one holds the winning ticket in a cosmic sweepstake.

"I have the immense joy of being a member of a race in which God became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now I realise what we all are. And if only everybody could realise this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.

"It was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God’s eyes.”

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for those who bring us hope and encouragement on difficult days.

... for the gift of laughter in the face of absurdity.

... for nurses, auxiliary nurses and health care assistants. DETAILS

... for Miriam Rodríguez Martínez who was shot in her home in the town of San Fernando, Mexico on Wednesday after successfully investigating the kidnap and murder of her daughter by a local drug cartel. For all who are searching for the "disappeared" and all who are prepared to help bring criminals to justice even when it could lead to their own murder. 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 Epistle to the Ephesians" by Ignatius:

It is better for a man to be silent and be a Christian, than to talk and not to be one.

“The kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.”

Men “believe with the heart, and confess with the mouth,” the one “unto righteousness,” the other “unto salvation.” It is good to teach, if he who speaks also acts. For he who shall both “do and teach, the same shall be great in the kingdom.”

Our lord and God, Jesus Christ, the son of the living God, first did and then taught, as Luke testifies, “whose praise is in the Gospel through all the Churches.”

There is nothing which is hid from the Lord, but our very secrets are near to him. Let us therefore do all things as those who have him dwelling in us, that we may be his temples and he may be in us as God. Let Christ speak in us, even as he did in Paul. Let the Holy Spirit teach us to speak the things of Christ in like manner as he did.

CLOSING PRAYER

O you who know our hearts, and who sees our temptations and struggles, have pity upon us, and deliver us from the sins which make war upon our souls. You are all-powerful and we are weak and erring. Our trust is in you, O faithful and good God. Deliver us from the bondage of evil, and grant that we may hereafter be your devoted servants, serving you in the freedom of holy love, for Christ’s sake. Amen.

( Eugene Bersier )

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

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The Future Of Flyball ( Perhaps )

Me and my boy, Quiz, have recently taken up Flyball. Both of us like things to be simple, not complicated, so this sport suits us fine. In fact, Quiz has taken to it like a fish to water and has lots of fans among the more experienced handlers who see him as a future star. We will still continue with the agility lessons because Quiz enjoys them. However, I don't think we will ever be very good at it as it requires a lot of hard work and mental effort. Running, jumping and catching balls is much more our scene.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

THURSDAY THE ELEVENTH OF MAY, 2017
* Josimo Moraes Tavares *

OPENING PRAYER

O God, author of eternal light, you shed forth continual day upon us who watch for you; that our lips may praise you, our life may bless you, our meditations may glorify you; through Christ our lord. Amen.

( "Sarum Breviary" )

PSALM EIGHTY ( abridged )

Hear, O Shepherd of Israel,
you that led Joseph like a flock;
Shine forth, you that are enthroned upon the cherubim,
before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.
Stir up your mighty strength
and come to our salvation.
Turn us again, O God;
show the light of your countenance,
and we shall be saved.

O Lord God of hosts,
how long will you be angry at your people's prayer?
You feed them with the bread of tears;
you give them abundance of tears to drink.
You have made us the derision of our neighbours
and our enemies laugh us to scorn.
Turn us again, O God of hosts;
show the light of your countenance,
and we shall be saved.

You brought a vine out of Egypt;
you drove out the nations and planted it.
You made room around it,
and when it had taken root, it filled the land.
The hills were covered with its shadow
and the cedars of God by its boughs.
It stretched out its branches to the Sea
and its tendrils to the River.
Why then have you broken down its wall,
so that all who pass by pluck off its grapes?
The wild boar out of the wood tears it off,
and all the insects of the field devour it.

Turn again, O God of hosts,
look down from heaven and behold;
Cherish this vine which your right hand has planted,
and the branch that you made so strong for yourself.
Let your hand be upon the man at your right hand,
the son of man you made so strong for yourself.
And so will we not go back from you;
give us life, and we shall call upon your name.
Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts;
show the light of your countenance,
and we shall be saved.

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.

Faithful shepherd of your people,
as we look for the light of your countenance,
restore in us the image of your glory
and graft us into the risen life of your son,
Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Josimo Moraes Tavares: defender of the poor, priest and martyr

In these days when certain segments of the United States population are in a frenzy about illegal aliens and undocumented workers, the deportation of a mother and her five year old son back to Honduras, has brought into sharp clarity the hardship of such migrant families.

Josimo Moraes Tavares was a child of migrant workers in Brazil. He was born in 1953. He was born into hardship and poverty, and the stress of their migrant lifestyle eventually broke his family asunder, leaving him as a small child with his mother and sister. They moved to Xambioá, Brazil, where his mother worked as a laundress. Eventually his sister died, leaving him with just his mother in a hostile environment. In Brazil, children like Josimo were often called “orphans of living parents.”

He was a bright boy and was able to go to school. He eventually discerned a vocation to the priesthood and was sent to study first with the Salesians in Sao Paulo, and then with the Franciscans in Rio de Janeiro. It was there that he came under the tutelage of noted liberation theologian Leonardo Boff.

He was ordained in 1979, and immediately became involved with the struggle for land rights that was raging in Brazil. He was a “people’s priest.” He attracted many to the cause, and began to be threatened and attacked by the wealthy landowners.

After an attempt was made on his life in April of 1986, he wrote: “In spite of everything, I want to and will continue to struggle, trying to bring together the need for peace and the Christian mission of creating a fraternal and just world, moving from the situation of the impoverished and oppressed. May my faith be penetrated by political clarity and impregnated by that courage which is a witness of the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ.”

On the tenth of May, 1986, at the age of thirty-six, he was killed. A Brazilian newspaper printed this terse announcement: "the priest of São Sebastião do Tocantins and the coordinator of the Pastoral Land Commission in the extreme north of Goiás, Father Josimo Tavares, was assassinated by two gunmen, 36 years". ( "Correio Brasiliense," 05/11/1986).

Scripture: In the "Gospel of John," chapter sixteen, at verse thirteen we read:

"I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!"

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for those who campaign for land reform in Brazil and elsewhere in the world, in particular those who risk their freedom and even their life by doing so.

... for an end to the destructive exploitation of the world's resources at the expense of the environment.

... for people killed or driven from their land by those who want to exploit it for financial gain.

... for an end to the political corruption that allows profiteers to ignore environmental laws and even get away with murder.

... for workers threatened with redundancy.

... for the (at least) twenty-four people killed and those who were injured when a wall collapsed during a wedding party in Bharatpur, northern India. 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 "From Wasteland to Promised Land: Liberation Theology for a Post-Marxist World" by Robert V. Andelson and James M. Dawsey:

To recognise that "the earth is the Lord's" is to see that the same God who established communities has also in his providence ordained for them, through the land itself, a just source of revenue. Yet, in the wasteland in which we live, this revenue goes mainly into the pockets of monopolists, while communities meet their needs by extorting individuals the fruits of their honest toil. If ever there were any doubt that structural sin exists, our present system of taxation is the proof. Everywhere we see governments penalising individuals for their industry and creativity, while the socially produced value of land is reaped by speculators in exact proportion to the land which they withhold. The greater the wasteland, the greater the reward. Does this comport with any divine plan, or notion of justice and human rights? Or does it not, rather, perpetuate the wasteland and prevent the realisation of the promised land?

This not meant to suggest that land monopolists and speculators have a corner on acquisitiveness or the "profit motive," which is a well-nigh universal fact of human nature. As a group, they are no more sinful than are people at large, except to the degree that they knowingly obstruct reforms aimed at removing the basis of exploitation. Many abide by the dictum: "If one has to live under a corrupt system, it is better to be a beneficiary than a victim of it."

But they do not have to live under a corrupt system; no one does. The profit motive can be channeled in ways that are socially desirable as well as in ways that are socially destructive. Let us give testimony to our faith that the earth is the Lord's by building a social order in which there are no victims.

CLOSING PRAYER

Gracious God, in every age you have sent men and women who have given their lives in witness to your love and truth. Inspire us with the memory of Josimo Moraes Tavares, whose faithfulness led him to the way of the cross. Give us courage to bear full witness with our lives to your son’s victory over sin and death. 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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Invalid Argument For Invalid Orders

Yesterday, "The Tablet," (a Roman Catholic weekly magazine published in England which is known for its intelligent, almost independent reporting and commentary) reported that one of the Vatican’s top legal minds, Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, has opened the way for a revision of the Catholic position on Anglican orders by stressing they should not be written off as “invalid.”

Encouraging as this is, the cardinal is coming at the (theological) question from the wrong direction - the direction of hubris (something that the company men and women of our churches are often guilty of).

The thing is, the sacramental ministry of a priest is validated by the presence of Jesus Christ, not by the Church (any church) and certainly not by the priest herself/himself. A priest is an empty vessel of no special worth that becomes the means of God's sacramental action in the world, not through the priest's doing or because of the priest's attributes and achievements but through the choice of God alone. A priest is nothing but a sham and confidence trickster without the power of the Spirit giving divine worth to his or her actions. It follows that the number one requirement of a priest should be humility. In fact, any priest who is not greatly humbled by his or her office does not understand what that office actually is. Therefore to claim that your priesthood is valid and that another person's priesthood is not valid shows an arrogance and ignorance of the working out of God's grace that would invalidate the priesthood of the person making the claim if it was not for the grace of God.

A Convenient Cover Up

I don't know why people pooh-pooh the existence of a special relationship between the U.K. and the U.S.A. I mean what can be more loyal than sacking the head of the F.B.I. and risking being accused of a cover-up just so your friend, Therese, can bury at the bottom of the BBC news the announcement that the Crown Prosecution Service has decided not to prosecute her Conservative Party for election fraud - not because there is no evidence of fraud but because the police cannot prove that the people involved "knowingly" committed fraudulent acts.

It is one of those anomalies of the English legal system that ignorance is no defence unless you are a member of the Conservative Party and your local member of Parliament is a member of the same lodge as your local police commissioner. Try telling your friendly, local traffic cop that you were not knowingly travelling at forty miles an hour in a thirty mile an hour zone and see how far you get.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

WEDNESDAY THE TENTH OF MAY, 2017
* Nicolaus Zinzendorf *

OPENING PRAYER

Creator of us all, we praise your name because you have lovingly made each one of us. May your intended purpose be made real here on earth, even as it is already done in heaven. Feed us today with those things that we truly need, and may we share our abundance with others. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who have done wrong to us. In times of temptation, may we know of your live giving strength, and keep us from all evil. Gracious God, this is your kingdom, and we acknowledge your power and glory, both now and forever more. Amen.

( "Daily Prayers for Moravians" )

CANTICLE

Eternal depth of love divine,
in Jesus, God with us, displayed.
How bright your beaming glories shine!
How wide your healing streams are spread!

With whom do you delight to dwell?
Sinners, a vile and thankless race.
O God, what tongue aright can tell
how vast your love, how great your grace!

The dictates of your sovereign will
with joy our grateful hearts receive.
All your delight in us fulfil.
Lo! all we are to you we give.

To your sure love, your tender care,
our flesh, soul, spirit, we resign.
O fix your sacred presence there
and seal the abode for ever yours.

O King of glory, your rich grace
our feeble thought surpasses far.
Yea, even our crimes, though numberless,
less numerous than your mercies are.

Still, Lord, your saving health display
and arm our souls with heavenly zeal.
So fearless shall we urge our way
through all the powers of earth and hell.

( Nicolaus Zinzendorf;
translated into English by John Wesley )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Nicolaus Ludwig Von Zinzendorf:
builder of Christian Community at Herrnhut

At Saint Laika’s, today is the day we remember Count Nicolaus Ludwig Von Zinzendorf.

While many think the Reformation of the Church began with Martin Luther, there were two groups of protesting Christians who formed before Luther’s time. The Waldensians began in the twelfth century and were characterised by lay preaching and voluntary poverty. The Bohemian Brethren were followers of Jan Hus, who was martyred by being burned at the stake in Constance in 1414.

Zinzendorf lived in the first half of the eighteenth century. He started life as a Lutheran, but as he came to maturity, became more interested in reviving a practical Christianity that was lived out with fervour. He provided refuge to members of both the Waldensians and the Bohemian Brethren. They, along with others, began to build Christian community in a village he had established on his German estates. The village was named Herrnhut. Out of this community the present day Moravian Church came into being. By 1732, Zinzendorf was sending missionaries to live with and teach the slaves in the West Indies and the Inuit people of Greenland.

Zinzendorf himself travelled as a missionary to the Pennsylvania Colony where he met leaders like Benjamin Franklin. He established relationships with the Iroquois tribe, and ministered there for a number of years. He died, just short of his sixtieth birthday, on this day in 1760.

Scripture: In the second chapter of "The Second Letter to the Thessalonians," at verses thirteen and fourteen we read:

But we must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. For this purpose he called you through our proclamation of the good news, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the members and the ministry of the Moravian Church.

... for all those who live out the Christian life every day in exemplary ways and for the strength and faith to do such ourselves.

... for those whose vocation is one of prayer.

... for the safety of migratory birds and for those who work and campaign to protect their species and habitat. DETAILS

... for the people of the United States of America as their nation continues to descend into a dictatorship.

... for women trafficked into sexual exploitation and sham marriages. 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 Third Pennsylvania Sermon" by Nicolaus Zinzendorf:

Those, however, who come to Jesus as poor sinners, who bring no righteousness, no words, no holiness, nothing but nakedness and poverty, they can receive the garment of honour. Such people are not turned away. They are not thrown out into the darkness but can walk in the light of life.

May the Saviour bring about such a mind in us so that we faithfully guard against all such pretensions of our own and allow ourselves to be saved from them. They have brought ruin to so many people in so many hundreds of years; they have completely destroyed people and blinded them throughout their lives. They set the Bishop of Laodicia in such a troubled state that the Lord said to him, "You say, 'I am rich and have enough to eat and need nothing,’ and do not know that you are a wretched, poor person" (Revelation 3:17).

The kind of people, however, who allow themselves to be called and then come with trembling and shaking and think, "What should I do there? This grace is too great for me!" These are the ones who accept it. They allow it to be given to them because Jesus came to bless us. They put on the clothing of righteousness, the merit of Jesus. These are the ones who rejoice over the great salvation. In that clothing they await the appearance of his joy. They will taste the wedding. They will not only celebrate the Lord's Supper with Jesus, and he with them, but they will also eat his flesh and drink his blood until they have something new again with Jesus in his Father's kingdom.

CLOSING PRAYER

God of life made new in Christ, you call your Church to keep on rising from the dead: We remember before you the bold witness of your servant Nicolaus von Zinzendorf, through whom your Spirit moved to draw many in Europe and the American colonies to faith and conversion of life; and we pray that we, like him, may rejoice to sing your praise, live your love and rest secure in the safekeeping of the 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

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

TUESDAY THE NINTH OF MAY, 2017

OPENING PRAYER

I offer up unto you my prayers and intercessions, for those especially who have in any matter hurt, grieved, or found fault with me, or who have done me any damage or displeasure. For all those also whom, at any time, I may have vexed, troubled, burdened, and scandalised, by words or deeds, knowingly or in ignorance; that you would grant us all equally pardon for our sins, and for our offences against each other. Take away from our hearts, O Lord, all suspiciousness, indignation, wrath, and contention, and whatsoever may hurt charity, and lessen brotherly love. Have mercy, O Lord, have mercy on those that crave your mercy, give grace to them that stand in need of it, and make us such as that we may be worthy to enjoy your grace, and go forward to life eternal. Amen.

( Thomas à Kempis )

PSALM SEVENTY-NINE ( abridged )

Help us, O God of our salvation,
for the glory of your name.

O God, the heathen have come into your heritage;
your holy temple have they defiled
and made Jerusalem a heap of stones.
The dead bodies of your servants they have given
to be food for the birds of the air,
and the flesh of your faithful
to the beasts of the field.
Their blood have they shed like water
on every side of Jerusalem,
and there was no one to bury them.
We have become the taunt of our neighbours,
the scorn and derision
of those that are round about us.

Lord, how long will you be angry, for ever?
How long will your jealous fury blaze like fire?

Remember not against us our former sins;
let your compassion make haste to meet us,
for we are brought very low.
Help us, O God of our salvation,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us, and wipe away our sins
for your name's sake.

Why should the heathen say,
'Where is now their God?'
May the taunts with which
our neighbours taunted you, Lord,
return sevenfold into their bosom.
But we that are your people
and the sheep of your pasture
will give you thanks for ever,
and tell of your praise
from generation to generation.

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.

Help us, O God of our salvation,
for the glory of your name.

When faith is scorned
and love grows cold,
then, God of hosts, rebuild your Church
on lives of thankfulness and patient prayer;
through Christ your eternal Son. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Harriet Starr Cannon and the labour of
holy women in the nineteenth century

In 1941 the “Women’s Porch” was dedicated at the Washington National Cathedral, the Episcopal Church’s cathedral in the capitol city of the United States. Etched into the porch are the words “To the glory of God and in grateful recognition of those faithful women whose Christian zeal and service have enriched both church and nation.”

Throughout the nineteenth century in both Britain and the US, faithful women, seeking to follow Christ in an increasingly urbanised environment, and with the path to ordination not yet open to them, responded to God in a rich variety of societies, communities, and religious orders of women. These groups revitalised Anglicanism. They turned increasingly toward a recovery of the sacramental life which characterised the pre-Reformation church, and combined that with a thoroughly contemporary response to the needs of urban life.

A perfect example of this was Harriet Starr Cannon who, in 1865 founded the Community of St. Mary in New York. Harriet and a small group of sisters took the traditional vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience before their bishop, and began a life of prayer and service that started with nursing, and particularly focused on the care of women who had endured difficult circumstances. As their community grew they also took on a teaching mission, providing free schools for the education of young women. Eventually the community grew and developed girls’ schools, hospitals, and orphanages not only in New York, but also in Tennessee and Wisconsin.

Today give thanks to God for the persistence and creativity of women who, while searching for a way to live out their faith, revitalised the church as well.

Scripture. In the thirteenth chapter of "Hebrews" at verses fifteen and sixteen we read:

Through Jesus, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for women who have dedicated their lives to God and the living out of the teaching of Jesus Christ.

... for the women we have known who have brought God's love into our lives.

... for those who are, for whatever reason, prevented from following what they believe to be their calling.

... for peace and unity in Europe. DETAILS

... for the people of the Channel Islands who celebrate Liberation Day (the end of the German occupation in 1945) today.

... for those with cancer, especially those who are, at present, very poorly or near death and for those who love them and are distressed by their suffering.

... for whistleblowers, in particular those who lose their job, or who are otherwise treated badly,  after reporting abuse or injustice.

... 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 "Ten Decades of Praise: the Story of the Community of Saint Mary during Its First Century" by Sister Mary Hilary, CSM:

Not surprisingly, in a nation that had jettisoned Catholic theology, a distorted notion of virtue prevailed. Chastity was equated with innocence. Having lost her innocence, a woman was "branded with the ignominious name of outcast," as a House of Mercy pamphlet said. It mattered not whether she had plunged through weakness or been pushed. Social conventions of the time required that the adulteress be scorned and the adulterer go free, as Dr. Muhlenberg charged in a fiery sermon. One result of this prevailing attitude was a traffic in "white slaves" more horrible than the Sunday Supplement writers ever devised. The House of Mercy case histories witness to the frequency with which naive girls from the country were offered jobs as domestics in brothels; sometimes they were rescued by prostitutes and sent to the House of Mercy.

The House itself was believed to be haunted. Strange sounds were heard at night, as of a heavy object being dragged across the floor. A bloody-looking stain oozed out of one wall, to the horror of everyone, including Dr. Seymour. Sister Gertrude's memoirs, dictated in 1914, recounted these mysteries, concluding matter-of-factly: "Dr. Dix exorcised the House, and then there were no more ghosts after that. No matter what went, nobody ever spoke about it."

On October 16, 1869, the corner stone was laid for a new addition, with Bishops Southgate, Lay and Quintard present. The new facilities enabled the Sisters to double the population of the House to eighty.

There is little doubt that one of the greatest values of the work at the House of Mercy was its role in modifying the attitude toward "fallen women." The lists of contributions began to take on a more humane note, with such games as croquet and battledore and shuttlecock among the "bbls. of bedroom china." Bishop Potter's touching reports of confirmation services at the House won even the hardest hearts among the respectable. He pointed out that even when the Sisters' efforts at the House of Mercy appeared to fail, that the Lord who was tender with the adulteress would say to them, "Nevertheless, thou didst well, that it was in thine heart to save them."

CLOSING PRAYER

Gracious God, you called Mother Harriet and her companions to revive the religious life in the Episcopal Church by founding the religious community of St. Mary, and to dedicate their lives to you: Grant that, after their example, we may ever surrender ourselves to the revelation of your holy will; through our saviour Jesus Christ, 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

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Ancient And Long Forgotten

In a pastoral letter to the parishes and chaplaincies of the Church of England, Archbishops Justin Welby and John Sentamu urge people to set aside “apathy and cynicism” and draw new inspiration from the ancient Christian virtues of “love, trust and hope”.

I don't know Sentamu personally, but Welby I do know and, honestly, I would not advise anybody to put their trust in him. I did, but he turned out to be just another company man devoid of compassion. He is a killer of hope rather than loving and is, therefore, the Church of England personified. The people of my country are apathetic and cynical because of the inherent apathy and cynicism of our national institutions, including the Church of England. The Christian virtues of “love, trust and hope” are rightfully called ancient. In fact, they are so ancient the Church has long forgotten them.

CLICK HERE for full text of pastoral letter.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

MONDAY THE EIGHTH OF MAY, 2017
* Julian of Norwich *

OPENING PRAYER

God, of thy goodness, give me yourself;
for you are enough for me,
and I can ask for nothing less
that can be full honour to you.
And if I ask anything that is less,
ever shall I be in want,
for only in you have I all. Amen.

( Julian of Norwich )

CANTICLE

God chose to be our mother in all things
and so made the foundation of his work,
most humble and most pure,
in the Virgin's womb.
God, the perfect wisdom of all,
arrayed himself in this humble place.

Christ came in our poor flesh
to share a mother's care.
Our mothers bear us for pain and for death;
our true mother, Jesus,
bears us for joy and endless life.

Christ carried us within him in love and travail,
until the full time of his passion.
And when all was completed
and he had carried us so for joy,
still all this could not satisfy
the power of his wonderful love.

All that we owe is redeemed in truly loving God,
for the love of Christ works in us;
Christ is the one whom we love.

( Julian of Norwich )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Lady Julian of Norwich: all shall be well

Today, the Saint Laika’s community remembers Lady Julian of Norwich. Of the Lady herself, we know very little. Even her name was taken from the church at which she lived a secluded life as a hermit.

She was born in 1342 during the time when the black plague was virulent. At age thirty after an illness so severe that she was near death, she received a series of fifteen visions or “showings,” as she called them of the passion of Christ. She wrote a book about the visions called "Revelations of Divine Love."

Julian believed that sin was necessary because it brings someone to self-knowledge, which leads to acceptance of the role of God in their life. She believed that humans sin because they are ignorant or naive, and not because they are evil, the reason commonly given by the mediaeval church to explain sin. To learn we must fail, and to fail we must sin. She saw no wrath in God at all, only love, she taught that sin was part of our learning about the need and reality of God’s love.

Julian's belief in God as mother was controversial. According to Julian, God is both our mother and our father. Julian believed that the mother's role was the truest of all jobs on earth. She emphasised this by explaining how the bond between mother and child is the only earthly relationship that comes close to the relationship a person can have with Jesus.

Quote: “This blessed friend is Jesus; it is his will and plan that we hang on to him, and hold tight always, in whatever circumstances; for whether we are filthy or clean is all the same to his love."

Scripture. In the forty-sixth chapter of "Isaiah," at verses three and four we read:

"Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am he, even when you turn grey I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for those whose faith leads them to live in seclusion, dedicated to God alone.

... for those who help us understand the love of God.

... for participants in the Julian Meetings, members and affiliates of the Order of Julian of Norwich and all other organisations who have Julian as their patron or inspiration.

... for the shrine of Saint Julian in Norwich, England, and the people who make known God's love in that place.

... for the Red Cross and the Red Crescent. 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 "Revelations of Divine Love" by Julian of Norwich:

Jesus wants us to understand four things: first, that he himself is our ground, the soil from which we grow, the foundation on which we are built; second, that he guards us and keeps us safe when we are in the midst of sin, when our own choices allow our enemies to surround us, when we do not even realise our own need; third, that he guards us with care and kindness, showing us where we have gone astray and fourth, that his presence is always with us, and his loving gaze never wavers, for he wants us to turn back to him and become united with him in love, as he is with us.

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord God, who in your compassion granted to the Lady Julian many revelations of your nurturing and sustaining love: Move our hearts, like hers, to seek you above all things, for in giving us yourself you give us all; through Jesus Christ our Lord, 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.

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Holy Communion For The Fourth Sunday Of Easter

In the sacrament of holy communion we, the people of God, gather together as sheep gather together in one flock. We are led by Jesus Christ as the sheep are led by their shepherd and we know him in the bread and in the wine. He is the good shepherd who is always with the people of his flock.

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).

To download the podcast click on "MP3 File" beneath the player below.

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.

MP3 File

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

FRIDAY THE FIFTH OF MAY, 2017

OPENING PRAYER

Nothing, O Lord, is more similar to your holy nature than the mind that is settled in quietness. You have called us into that quietness and peace of yours, from out of the turmoils of this world, as it were, from out of storms into a haven; which is such a peace as the world cannot give and which passes all capacity of man. Grant now, O most merciful Father, that, through your exceeding goodness, our minds may yield themselves obedient unto you without striving; and that they may quietly rise into that sovereign rest of yours above. Grant that nothing may disturb or disquiet them here beneath; but that all things may be quiet and calm through that peace of yours. Amen.

PSALM SEVENTY-EIGHT ( abridged )

O Lord, how glorious are your works.

Hear my teaching, O my people;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will pour forth mysteries from of old,
such as we have heard and known,
which our forebears have told us.

We will not hide from their children,
but will recount to generations to come,
the praises of the Lord and his power
and the wonderful works he has done.

He laid a solemn charge on Jacob
and made it a law in Israel,
which he commanded them to teach their children,
that the generations to come might know,
and the children yet unborn,
that they in turn might tell it to their children,
so that they might put their trust in God
and not forget the deeds of God,
but keep his commandments,
and not be like their forebears,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
and whose spirit was not faithful to God.

The people of Ephraim, armed with the bow,
turned back in the day of battle;
they did not keep the covenant of God
and refused to walk in his law;
they forgot what he had done
and the wonders he had shown them.

For he did marvellous things
in the sight of their forebears,
in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
He divided the sea and let them pass through;
he made the waters stand still in a heap.
He led them with a cloud by day
and all the night through with a blaze of fire.
He split the hard rocks in the wilderness
and gave them drink as from the great deep.
He brought streams out of the rock
and made water gush out like rivers.

Yet for all this they sinned more against him
and defied the Most High in the wilderness.
Their heart was not steadfast towards him,
neither were they faithful to his covenant.

But he was so merciful that he forgave their misdeeds
and did not destroy them;
many a time he turned back his wrath
and did not suffer his whole displeasure to be roused.
For he remembered that they were but flesh,
a wind that passes by and does not return.

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.

O Lord, how glorious are your works.

God our deliverer,
as you led our ancestors through the wilderness,
so lead us through the wilderness of this world,
that we may be saved through Christ for ever. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

The Second Council of Constantinople begins 553

By the sixth century the unity of the Christian church had irretrievably shattered. The symptom of this shattered unity was an inability to agree on the exact relationship of the human and the divine in Christ. What lay beneath the symptom were a host of political and cultural issues that continued to roil across the centuries.

On the fifth of May, 553 AD the Second Council of Constantinople opened, It was convened by the renowned Roman emperor Justinian, and lasted into early June of the same year. It was led by the Patriarch of Constantinople and of the one hundred and fifty two bishops present only sixteen were from the western church. The Pope was not involved, even though he was in Constantinople at the time.

The three groupings that were emerging in the fifth and sixth centuries were the Miaphysites, the Dyphysites, and a centrist, mediating party.

The Miaphysites held that while Jesus was truly God and truly human, he had but a single divine nature.

The Dyphysites held that while Jesus was truly God and truly human he had two separate natures, human and divine, which were not to be mingled. They refused, for example, to call Mary the Mother of God.

The centrist party accepted what came to be called “the Chalcedonian Compromise,” named after the fifth century Council of Chalcedon. They believed that Jesus had both a human nature and a divine nature combined in a single person. Western Christians then and now, were regarded as Chalcedonian Christians. This was the position of the Emperor Justinian, and he used the Second Council of Constantinople to bash the Dyphysites and try to force into union the Miaphysites with the Chalcedonian Christians.

Justinian’s policy was a complete failure, pushing the Miaphysites and Dyphysites even farther from the middle of the road Chalcedonians but the policy of pestering everyone to be Chalcedonian continued.

Sadly, a century later, with Islam aggressively spreading, Muslim invaders were welcomed by Miaphysites and Dyphysites alike, who saw them as liberators from the hated Roman Empire. The Muslims treated them as “people of the Book” and allowed them to continue to practice their faith free from royal interference.

In our world, the Miaphysites are represented by the Coptic Orthodox, the Syrian Orthodox, and the Armenian Apostolic Church among others. The Dyphysites are represented by the Assyrian Church of the East. How differently might our world have looked then and now, if Christians had not driven each other apart.

Scripture. In the second chapter of "Colossians," at verses eight and nine we read:

"See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... that we may discern what is really important in life and not fall out with each other over technicalities.

... for midwives. DETAILS

... for the people of the Netherlands who celebrate Liberation Day today.

... for those who are excluded from healthcare because of poverty or the refusal of insurance companies to cover them.

... 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 Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians":

The last times are come upon us. Let us therefore be of a reverent spirit, and fear the long-suffering of God, lest we despise the riches of his goodness and forbearance. For let us either fear the wrath to come, or let us love the present joy in the life that now is; and let our present and true joy be only this, to be found in Christ Jesus, that we may truly live. Do not at any time desire so much as even to breathe apart from him. For he is my hope; he is my boast; he is my never-failing riches, on whose account I bear about with me these bonds from Syria to Rome, these spiritual jewels, in which may I be perfected through your prayers, and become a partaker of the sufferings of Christ, and have fellowship with him in his death, his resurrection from the dead, and his everlasting life.

CLOSING PRAYER

God of our lives, by the power of your Spirit we have been drawn together by one baptism into one faith, serving one lord and saviour, Jesus Christ. Do not let us tear away from one another through division or hard argument. May your peace embrace our differences, preserving us in unity, as the body of Jesus Christ. 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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MadPriest Registers His Vote

I voted in the county council elections today. There was a big notice on the polling station door saying that it is a serious offence to vote if you are not entitled to or to pretend to be somebody else.

I thought, "Sod them," and went in as Elvis during his Las Vegas period.

MadPriest On Brexit

This one hundred billion pound bill the EU is trying to slap on the UK is outrageous. We should do what a lot of people with impossible debts do. We should change the country's name and move without leaving a forwarding address.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

THURSDAY THE FOURTH OF MAY, 2017

OPENING PRAYER

O blessed Lord, I beseech you to pour down upon me such grace as may not only cleanse this life of mine, but beautify it a little, if it be your will, before I go hence and am no more seen. Grant that I may love you with all my heart and soul and mind and strength, and my neighbour as myself and that I may persevere unto the end; through Jesus Christ. Amen.

( James Skinner )

PSALM SEVENTY-SEVEN ( abridged )

In the day of my trouble I have sought the Lord.

I cry aloud to God;
I cry aloud to God and he will hear me.

In the day of my trouble I have sought the Lord;
by night my hand is stretched out and does not tire;
my soul refuses comfort.
I think upon God and I groan;
I ponder, and my spirit faints.

I consider the days of old;
I remember the years long past;
I commune with my heart in the night;
my spirit searches for understanding.

Will the Lord cast us off for ever?
Will he no more show us his favour?
Has his loving mercy clean gone for ever?
Has his promise come to an end for evermore?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he shut up his compassion in displeasure?

And I said, "My grief is this:
that the right hand of the Most High has lost its strength."

I will remember the works of the Lord
and call to mind your wonders of old time.
I will meditate on all your works
and ponder your mighty deeds.

Your way, O God, is holy;
who is so great a god as our God?
You are the God who worked wonders
and declared your power among the peoples.

With a mighty arm you redeemed your people,
the children of Jacob and Joseph.
You led your people like sheep
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

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 the day of my trouble I have sought the Lord.

God our shepherd,
you led us and saved us in times of old;
do not forget your people in their troubles,
but raise up your power
to sustain the poor and helpless;
for the honour of Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Haymarket Riot, 1886: history continues to repeat itself

The past two years saw urban violence springing up across the United States, coalescing in a movement called “Black Lives Matter.” Rioting was particularly severe in Baltimore. In 2017 police violence against black citizens continued to provoke protest. At the end of April, a fifteen year old unarmed black teen was killed by a Texas police officer.

The Haymarket Riot was the aftermath of a bombing that took place at a labour demonstration on Tuesday the fourth of May, 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago. It began as a peaceful rally in support of workers striking for an eight-hour day and in reaction to the killing of several workers the previous day by the police. An unknown person threw a dynamite bomb at police as they acted to disperse the public meeting. The bomb blast and ensuing gunfire resulted in the deaths of seven police officers and at least four civilians; scores of others were wounded.

There is always a constituency. There is always an issue. In 1886 the constituency was German, Eastern European, and Irish working class people. The issue was an eight hour work day. Eight anarchists were ultimately put on trial. Four were hanged, one committed suicide, and three were sentenced to life in prison. Already by 1893 public opinion was turning in favour of the workers. A century later Haymarket Square was designated a Chicago landmark, and a public sculpture was dedicated there in 2004.

To read an account of the Haymarket Riot now is to find oneself eerily in the grip of history repeating itself. Particularly chilling is the way the newspapers in 1886 played up the violence of the workers, when, in effect, the violence was committed by a few, after the many had cleared the square. Today’s media have already come under fire for overplaying the violence in Baltimore and other cities at the expense of frustrated citizens who are simply seeking justice.

Scripture. In the fifth chapter of "Amos" at verses sixteen and seventeen, we read:

"Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the Lord, In all the squares there shall be wailing; and in all the streets they shall say, ‘Alas! alas!’ They shall call the farmers to mourning, and those skilled in lamentation, to wailing; in all the vineyards there shall be wailing, for I will pass through the midst of you, says the LORD."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for victims of violence at the hands of police and security forces; for all victims of state violence.

... for workers campaigning for better pay and working conditions.

... for a truthful and unbiased press.

... for an end to privilege in our nations.

... for firefighters. 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 Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians":

Stand fast, therefore, in these things, and follow the example of the Lord, being firm and unchangeable in the faith, loving the community of believers and being attached to one another, joined together in the truth, exhibiting the meekness of the Lord in your intercourse with one another, and despising no one. When you can do good, defer it not, because “alms delivers from death.” Be all of you subject one to another “having your conduct blameless among the Gentiles,” that you may both receive praise for your good works, and the Lord may not be blasphemed through you. Teach, therefore, sobriety to all, and manifest it also in your own conduct.

CLOSING PRAYER

Holy God, in the midst of conflict and division you turn our mind to thoughts of peace. Your Spirit changes our hearts. Enemies begin to speak to one another, and those who have been at odds seek the way of peace together. In all our times of need, help us to find solutions to the problems that beset us; 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.

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

WEDNESDAY THE THIRD OF MAY, 2017

OPENING PRAYER

O Lord our God, who has bid the light to shine out of darkness, who has again woken us to praise your goodness and ask for your grace: accept now, in your endless mercy, the sacrifice of our worship and thanksgiving, and grant to us all such requests as may be wholesome for us. Make us to be children of the light and of the day, and heirs of your everlasting inheritance. Remember, O Lord, according to the multitude of your mercies, your whole Church; all who join with us in prayer; all our brothers and sisters by land or sea, or wherever they may be in your vast kingdom, who stand in need of your grace and succour. Pour out upon them the riches of your mercy, so that we, redeemed in soul and body, and steadfast in faith, may ever praise your wonderful and holy name. Amen.

( Liturgy of the Greek Church )

PSALM SEVENTY-SIX ( abridged )

The Lord has made fast his throne for judgement.

In Judah God is known;
his name is great in Israel.
At Salem is his tabernacle,
and his dwelling place in Zion.

In the light of splendour you appeared,
glorious from the eternal mountains.
Terrible are you in majesty:
who can stand before your face when you are angry?
You caused your judgement to be heard from heaven;
the earth trembled and was still,
when God arose to judgement,
to save all the meek upon earth.

Make a vow to the Lord your God and keep it;
let all who are round about him bring gifts
to him that is worthy to be feared.

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 Lord has made fast his throne for judgement.

Majestic and gracious God,
more awesome than the agents of war,
more powerful than the wrath of nations,
restrain the violence of the peoples
and draw the despised of the earth
into the joyful life of your kingdom,
where you live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Marie de l’Incarnation: émigré and missionary
(transferred from Sunday)

Born in France in 1599, Marie Guyart was already widowed with one son by the age of nineteen. She entered the Ursuline Convent in 1631, leaving her sister and brother-in-law to raise her son. While in the convent she sensed a call from God to go to Canada to witness to the faith. In August 1639 she landed in Quebec City, which, at the time consisted of no more than a half-dozen homes. By 1642 she had established the first school there. And both the transplanted French and the first peoples of Canada sent their children to be educated. Marie mastered the languages of the first peoples and wrote dictionaries in both the Algonquin and Iroquois languages. She also wrote a catechism in the Iroquois language. She also kept a detailed record of the history of the colony.

Her ministry and dedication is representative of the dedication of religious women who were willing to sacrifice all that was familiar to them in the culture of Europe, to reach out to the first peoples in the name of Christ. Marie is considered to be one of the founders of Canada, and her statue stands outside the Quebec Parliament building. In 2008 the National Film Board of Canada recounted her story in a film entitled "The Madwoman of God." Pope Francis just added her to the official list of Catholic Saints on the second of April, 2014.

Scripture. In the forty-third chapter of "Isaiah," in the eighteenth and nineteenth verses we find:

"Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the nation of Canada; in particular for the first peoples of that land.

... for teachers and missionaries.

... for the freedom of the press. DETAILS

... for the people of Poland who celebrate Constitution Day today.

... for those killed or injured in a suicide attack on a convoy belonging to the Nato mission in Afghanistan. DETAILS

... for honey bees and bumblebees and all creatures whose existence is threatened by the agricultural practices of humankind. DETAILS

... for people suffering from anorexia and other eating disorders.

... 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 Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians":

Let us then continually persevere in our hope and the earnest of our righteousness, which is Jesus Christ, “who bore our sins in his own body on the tree,” “who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth,” but endured all things for us, that we might live in him. Let us then be imitators of his patience; and if we suffer for his name’s sake, let us glorify him. For he has set us this example in himself, and we have believed that such is the case.

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty and ever-living God, we thank you for your servant Marie de l’Incarnation, whom you called to Canada to preach the gospel to the first peoples. Raise up among us evangelists and heralds of your kingdom, that your church may always preach the unsearchable riches of Jesus Christ, our saviour and 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

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MadPriest On Brexit

So, the EU is insisting that the UK will not be treated any differently to any other non-EU nation following Brexit. We will receive no special treatment. But before we are allowed to discuss this with them we have to agree that all EU citizens presently living in the UK will be allowed to stay in the UK after Brexit. Now, I happen to believe that it would just not be British to send our guests packing, it's the sort of thing Hitler and Idi Amin did and they were certainly not of the right sort. However, having said that I am also having problems working out how letting EU citizens stay in the UK after Brexit isn't special treatment of exactly the same type as the UK is not going to be given by the EU.

The MadGang Go Home ( Briefly )

This bank holiday weekend we travelled south to Northamptonshire to visit my folks. It was nearly thirty years ago that I left my home town to begin my theological training in Nottingham. Three years later I moved to the northernmost county in England and my visits south have been infrequent to say the least. Therefore it is not the town I used to know. To be honest, what was once a small town backwater in the shires has become part of London. You hear the Essex accent far more than you hear the rural twang of the East Northants accent I still slip into when I've had a few pints.

It's been a bitter-sweet visit. I left my home town with great hopes of being a parish priest. So, having failed so miserably to achieve my dream because of a disastrous first curacy with a child grooming, woman hating, self-loving training vicar, I have felt somewhat depressed throughout the trip. Also, spending time with my elderly parents and realising that I am only twenty years off being their age has reminded me that I've really fucked my life up and that it is now too late to make being born worth the effort. It does not seem fair that one decision, in my case accepting a curacy position that seemed fine beforehand, can completely ruin a whole life. Of course, if the Church of England wasn't rotten to the core with posh boys covering up the nastiness of their kind, blowing the whistle on a paedophile wouldn't mean the end of everything you have worked for. But it is so there is absolutely no hope for me and people like me.

Never mind. We go home tomorrow. I'll be just as unemployed up north, of course, but at least I will not be constantly reminded of the time when I still had my life ahead of me and believed I was going to spend it as a parish priest. What a waste!

Holy Communion For The Third Sunday Of Easter

Sometimes it is extremely difficult to recognise the divine in our lives. We can become so despondent in the face of all the evil and human failure in the world that we just stumble along through life with no hope or direction. But Jesus is here beside us and it is only our foolishness that hides him from us. Fortunately, we do not have to rely on our own poor perception to recognise our lord for, in the sacrament of holy communion, in the breaking of the bread, he reveals himself to us. We are witnesses to his resurrection and we are sent out into the world to proclaim the good news with a new enthusiasm and willing hearts.

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.

Ancient Mystery Solved

I think I may have sussed out why the two disciples did not recognise Jesus as they walked along the road to Emmaus with him. My theory is that it was just prior to meeting them that Jesus miraculously changed from being a typically Jewish looking man, who had spent his entire life being baked by the Middle Eastern sun, into the tall, blond, pale young man who looks like he was a member of an English progressive rock band, circa 1972, that we all know and love today.

What do you think?

I'm hoping to get a Lambeth degree off Welby for this.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

FRIDAY THE TWENTY-EIGHTH OF APRIL, 2017

OPENING PRAYER

O God of love, who has given a new commandment, through your only-begotten son, that we should love one another, even as you loved us, the unworthy and the wandering, and gave your beloved son for our life and salvation; we pray you, Lord, give to us your servants, in all time of our life on the earth, a mind forgetful of past ill-will, a pure conscience and sincere thoughts, and a heart to love our sisters and brothers. Amen.

( Coptic Liturgy of Saint Cyril )

PSALM SEVENTY-FIVE ( abridged )

God alone is judge.

We give you thanks, O God, we give you thanks,
for your name is near, as your wonderful deeds declare.

"I will seize the appointed time;
I, the Lord, will judge with equity.
Though the earth reels and all that dwell in her,
it is I that hold her pillars steady.

"To the boasters I say, 'Boast no longer,'
and to the wicked, 'Do not lift up your horn.
Do not lift up your horn on high;
do not speak with a stiff neck.'"

For neither from the east nor from the west,
nor yet from the wilderness comes exaltation.

But God alone is judge;
he puts down one and raises up another.
For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup,
well mixed and full of foaming wine.
He pours it out for all the wicked of the earth;
they shall drink it, and drain the dregs.
But I will rejoice for ever
and make music to the God of Jacob.

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.

God alone is judge.

Judge of all the earth,
restrain the ambition of the proud
and establish among us the reign of the Messiah,
who drained for us the cup of judgement
and is alive with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Thor Heyerdahl launches Kon-Tiki

One of earth’s great mysteries is how the earth became populated. If migration originated “out of Africa” as the current theory holds, how did humanity spread across the planet?

Thor Heyerdahl, Norwegian ethnologist and explorer, believed that people from South America could have settled Polynesia in pre-Columbian times. Although most anthropologists as of 2010 had come to the conclusion they did not, in 2011, new genetic evidence was uncovered by Erik Thorsby that Easter Island inhabitants do have some South American DNA, lending credence to at least some of Heyerdahl's theses.

His aim in mounting the Kon-Tiki expedition was to show, by using only the materials and technologies available to those people at the time, that there were no technical reasons to prevent them from having done so.
Heyerdahl and a small team went to Peru, where, with the help of dockyard facilities provided by the Peruvian authorities, they constructed the raft out of balsa logs and other native materials in an indigenous style as recorded in illustrations by Spanish conquistadores.

The trip began on the twenty-eighth of April, 1947. Heyerdahl and five companions sailed the raft for one hundred and one days over six thousand nine hundred kilometres (four thousand three hundred miles) across the Pacific Ocean before smashing into a reef at Raroia in the Tuamotu Islands on the seventh of August, 1947. The crew made successful landfall.

After spending a number of days alone on the tiny islet, the crew were greeted by men from a village on a nearby island who arrived in canoes, having seen washed-up debris from the raft. The crew were taken back to the native village, where they were celebrated with traditional dances and other festivities. Finally the crew were taken off Raroia to Tahiti by the French schooner Tamara, with the salvaged Kon-Tiki in tow.

After the destruction visited upon nations and peoples in World War II, Heyerdahl’s expedition represented something noble and hopeful. His thesis was controversial, but people admired his willingness to follow his convictions for the advancement of human knowledge. The bravery of the small crew, kept many people following their progress via the small radio they carried on board.

Thor Heyerdahl spent the rest of his life writing and researching, and mounting expeditions. He died at age eighty-seven in 2002.

Scripture.

In the eleventh chapter of "Genesis at verses eight and nine, we read:

So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore it was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for explorers and anthropologists.

... for the safety of seafarers.

... for workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work. For good health and safety practices in workplaces throughout the world; in particular in the developing world where regulation is lacking or ignored. DETAILS

... that Donald Trump would stop being so aggressive and arrogant in his foreign policy.

... for an end to the threat of terrorism on the streets of our towns and cities.

... for an end to child marriages throughout the world and for the success of initiatives to discourage them. 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 "Meditations on the Cross" by Toyohiko Kagawa:

O winter weather of the human race! After your coldness came the springtide of love omnipotent! The omnipotent love of the Universe — it is its fruitage that we see in Jesus.

Christ is the first man to awake to full consciousness of the Universe, the first to realise his responsibility even for sinners. But as winter comes back again after the fruit-bearing of the flowers so, since the flower of love blossomed in the bosom of Jesus, humanity’s winter has come round again and again in wearying repetition. Nor since then has there yet appeared on earth the flower of universal love, like that of Jesus, brought to blossom and fruition in a group, in a community.

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God , with your blessing the human race scattered across the face of the earth, filling the world with life. We bless you for those who study the past and search for deeper understandings, such as Thor Heyerdahl. Help us to ponder the human journey across time, with awe and wonder; 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.

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

THURSDAY THE TWENTY-SEVENTH OF APRIL, 2017
* Christina Rossetti *

OPENING PRAYER

Lord God, whose strength is sufficient for all who lay hold on it, grant us in your mercy to comfort our hearts and be strong. Humility, temperance, purity, largeheartedness, sympathy, zeal - grant us these evidences of faith, servants of hope, fruits of love; for the sake of Jesus Christ, our strength, our righteousness, and our hope of glory. Amen.

( Christina Rossetti )

PARADISE

Once in a dream I saw the flowers
that bud and bloom in Paradise;
more fair they are than waking eyes
have seen in all this world of ours.
And faint the perfume-bearing rose,
and faint the lily on its stem,
and faint the perfect violet
compared with them.

I heard the songs of Paradise:
each bird sat singing in his place;
a tender song so full of grace
it soared like incense to the skies.
Each bird sat singing to his mate
soft-cooing notes among the trees:
the nightingale herself were cold
to such as these.

I saw the fourfold river flow,
and deep it was, with golden sand;
it flowed between a mossy land
with murmured music grave and low.
It hath refreshment for all thirst,
for fainting spirits strength and rest;
Earth holds not such a draught as this
from east to west.

The Tree of Life stood budding there,
abundant with its twelvefold fruits;
eternal sap sustains its roots,
its shadowing branches fill the air.
Its leaves are healing for the world,
its fruit the hungry world can feed,
sweeter than honey to the taste,
and balm indeed.

I saw the gate called Beautiful;
and looked, but scarce could look within;
I saw the golden streets begin,
and outskirts of the glassy pool.
Oh harps, oh crowns of plenteous stars,
O green palm branches many-leaved —
eye hath not seen, nor ear hath heard,
nor heart conceived!

I hope to see these things again,
but not as once in dreams by night;
to see them with my very sight,
and touch and handle and attain:
to have all Heaven beneath my feet
for narrow way that once they trod;
to have my part with all the saints,
and with my God.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Christina Rossetti: poetry and passion for those in need

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Christina Rossetti, an Englishwoman perhaps best known for her Christmas carol “In the Bleak Midwinter.”

She was born in London in 1830. At age fourteen she suffered a nervous breakdown and struggled with depression brought on by her father’s ill-health and the family’s subsequent financial insecurity. Christina took solace in religion, and devotion to God became a central pillar of her life. Her first poems were published at age eighteen, and she continued to write poetry throughout her life.

She lived during a time of great societal change. Urban living brought to light many social ills. From 1859-1870 she was a volunteer worker at the Saint Mary Magdalene House of Charity, a refuge for former prostitutes. She also posed for her brother Dante’s religious portraits, including "Ecce Ancilla Domini" in which she portrayed Mary. She serves as an example of faithful Christian living, as someone who put their talents to use for God and the Church.

In 1881 she wrote a book entitled “Called to Be Saints” from which the following quotation is taken:

“Angels share one nature with devils, sanctified souls with souls nigh unto cursing, Saint Matthias with Judas Iscariot, the very staff of our life with the noxious darnel. And thus the perfections of our very God's very humanity urge us to fear and hope : though we are of one blood with him we may not be of one mind, may never become like him, may never see him as he is; on the other hand (blessed be God), though we languish ready to perish, yet is he our brother who loves us, Who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him.”

This quote so perfectly captures the powerful witness of Christina Rossetti. Out of her inner pain and depression, she forged a strong faith coupled with service to women who were trying to reclaim their integrity. Her poems, especially her religious poems bear witness to her sanctity.

Scripture.

In the sixth chapter of "Matthew," at the twentieth and twenty-first verses, we read:

"Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for poets.

... for those who suffer from depression.

... for the people of Mayotte, the Netherlands, Sierra Leone and South Africa 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 "Time Flies" by Christina Rossetti:

"Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life." (Prov. xiii. 12.)

We feel or fancy ourselves quite at home in the first clause of this proverb, whether or not we have deeply and keenly experienced the heart sickness of which it speaks.

But how about the second clause?

Left to myself, I at any rate might never have caught its most blessed meaning. But one from whose words I ought to have imbibed much wisdom, and from whose example many virtues, once pointed out the cross of Christ crucified as that tree of life which satisfied the world's heartsick hope.

And if it suffices to slake a world's desire, whose desire sufficeth it not to slake?

Even as the Lord hath said, "I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."

CLOSING PRAYER

O God, whom heaven cannot hold, you inspired Christina Rossetti to express the mystery of the Incarnation through her poems: help us to follow her example in giving our hearts to Christ, who is love; and who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. 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

WEDNESDAY THE TWENTY-SIXTH OF APRIL, 2017

OPENING PRAYER

Almighty and most merciful God, in whom we live, and move, and have our being; lord of all life; source of all light, guiding and governing all things out of your loving kindness and power! Hear our thanksgivings to you for all the joy that you put into mortal life; but chiefly for the joy that comes of sin forgiven, weakness strengthened, victory promised, life eternal looked for. To every one of us grant that, being fully conscious of having erred and strayed from your ways, we may be equally conscious of our need to go back again to the Good Shepherd. Let there be no doubt with any one of us that you do forgive, even to the uttermost, all those who draw nigh in penitence to you; that so, those of us who are sinful, and sad because sinful, and sorrowful in sinning, may have this day the joy of the Lord. Amen.

( George Dawson )

PSALM SEVENTY-FOUR ( abridged )

Arise, O God, maintain your own cause.

O God, why have you utterly disowned us?
Why does your anger burn
against the sheep of your pasture?

Remember your congregation that you purchased of old,
the tribe you redeemed for your own possession,
and Mount Zion where you dwelt.
Hasten your steps towards the endless ruins,
where the enemy has laid waste all your sanctuary.

Your adversaries roared in the place of your worship;
they set up their banners as tokens of victory.
They said in their heart,
"Let us make havoc of them altogether,"
and they burned down all the sanctuaries of God in the land.

There are no signs to see, not one prophet left,
not one among us who knows how long.
How long, O God, will the adversary scoff?
Shall the enemy blaspheme your name for ever?
Why have you withheld your hand
and hidden your right hand in your bosom?

Yet God is my king from of old,
who did deeds of salvation in the midst of the earth.

Yours is the day, yours also the night;
you established the moon and the sun.
You set all the bounds of the earth;
you fashioned both summer and winter.

Remember now, Lord, how the enemy scoffed,
how a foolish people despised your name.
Do not give to wild beasts the soul of your turtle dove;
forget not the lives of your poor for ever.
Look upon your creation,
for the earth is full of darkness,
full of the haunts of violence.
Let not the oppressed turn away ashamed,
but let the poor and needy praise your name.

Arise, O God, maintain your own cause;
remember how fools revile you all the day long.
Forget not the clamour of your adversaries,
the tumult of your enemies that ascends continually.

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.

Arise, O God, maintain your own cause.

Redeeming God,
renew your broken people
with your Holy Spirit,
that they may walk your narrow way,
and greet your coming dawn
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Toyohiko Kagawa: making all things new in Christ
(transferred from Sunday)

The Saint Laika’s Calendar calls for a remembrance of Toyohiko Kagawa, who died on the twenty-third of April in 1960.

Kagawa was born in 1888 and, as a teenager converted to Christianity. He studied at theological seminaries in Japan and at Princeton University and Princeton Seminary. He sought to introduce Christianity to the Japanese people applying Christ’s teachings directly to Japan’s poor in a theologically uncomplicated way. For over twelve years he lived in a six foot by six foot cubicle in the city of Kobe’s worst slum. He devoted himself to the service of the poor and to improving conditions for Japanese workers.

He became a respected labour leader and a social reformer. He was also a staunch pacifist and organised the National Anti-War League in 1928. Kagawa was arrested in 1940 for publicly apologising to the people of China for Japan’s invasion of that country.

He wrote many books and novels, some were widely read. He used the profits from his book sales to establish schools, hospitals, and churches. Although some knew him best as a social reformer and pacifist, Kagawa saw himself first of all as an evangelist.

“Christ alone can make all things new,” he said. “The spirit of Christ must be the soul of all real social reconstruction.”

Noted quotation:

"I read in a book that a man called Christ went about doing good. It is very disconcerting to me that I am so easily satisfied with just going about.”

Scripture:

In the fourth chapter of "Philippians," in the twelfth and thirteenth verses, we read:

"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 Japanese Christians.

... for the poor and the poorly paid and for those who campaign to improve their lives.

... for the people of Bangladesh who are celebrating Independence Day today.

... for victims of organ traffickers. DETAILS

... for young people whose behaviour is "challenging" because of mental health problems. Especially those in prison or under other forms of detention. DETAILS

... for workers facing redundancy.

... 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 "Meditations on the Cross " by Toyohiko Kagawa:

O Son of Man, bearing the cross upon his exhausted and bruised shoulders, climbing the hill of Calvary, I myself have seen him!

Weighted down by the burden, in the road he falls.

Then Simon the father of Rufus, hurrying up to the spectacle to gaze upon it, is pressed into service by the soldiers. He, the astonished countryman, grumbles not a little as he shoulders and carries forward the unwelcome
burden.

Thus desires our Lord Jesus of us, that we, too, take our turn in bearing his cross. For Jesus, after three years of unresting struggle, after uncounted nights of prayer, and in particular, after the last night of agony in Passion week; Jesus, the sturdy manual labourer that he is, has no more strength in him to carry the cross alone.

Steadily he guides himself along the road of his destiny that, having saved others, he may not save himself. For, in the name of religion, the ruling classes are carrying on a system of exploitation. Thus for one who lives in the love of the Heavenly Father there can be no avoidance of the direct conflict with them.

He who would save the lost sheep may not shrink from being himself devoured by the wolf. Determined to walk the great highway of holy suffering, in order to live in the love of the Infinite, he willingly abandons himself to the cross.

He it is who is indeed the Son of God.

CLOSING PRAYER

We bless your name, O God, for the witness of Toyohiko Kagawa, reformer and teacher, who was persecuted for his pacifist principles and went on to lead a movement for democracy in Japan; and we pray that you would strengthen and protect all who suffer for their fidelity to Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, 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.

Grantchester In The Diocese Of Cloud Cuckoo Land

A black archdeacon in the Church of England in the early 1950s? Surely not, and definitely not in the Diocese of Ely. I think the producers of "Grantchester" need to put authenticity before their company's diversity policy. They do black English people no favours by prettying up the past in such an unbelievable way.

On Facebook one of my friends asked me if there are any black archdeacons in the Church of England now?

To which I replied, "Are there any black clergy nasty enough?"

The underlying problem here is that TV programme makers are under a lot of pressure to include more ethnic minorities, physically disabled people and people with Downs syndrome and the like, in their productions. The problem is that although they are generally enthusiastic about doing so they haven't yet learned how to do it in a natural and authentic way. So we have nonsense like a black senior clergyman in the 1950s and, elsewhere, English villages full of young black families. Almost every police department on TV has a member of its admin support who is either a "small person," in a wheelchair or, preferably, both. It is all very unlikely as we have not, as a society, embraced our inclusivity desires in real life.

At least no programme maker has so far included a person who has been a patient on a mental ward, in a proper job. That really would be unbelievable.

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