Of Course, I Could be Wrong

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Don’t Blame Me, Blame MadDad

A husband and wife who worked for the circus went to an adoption agency. The social workers there raised doubts about their suitability.

The couple then produced photos of their fifty foot motor home, which was clean and well maintained and equipped with a beautiful nursery and nicely set up with a Christmas tree and presents etc.

The social workers then raised concerns about the education a child would receive while in the couple's care.

"We've arranged for a full-time tutor who will teach the child all the usual subjects along with French, Mandarin, and computer skills," said the husband.

Then the social workers expressed concern about a child being raised in a circus environment.

"Our nanny will be a certified expert in paediatric care, welfare, and diet,” said the wife.

The social workers were finally satisfied.

They asked, "What age child are you hoping to adopt?”

"It doesn't really matter," replied the husband. "As long as the kid fits in the cannon."

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

THURSDAY THE TWENTY-THIRD OF NOVEMBER 2017

OPENING PRAYER

O God, who has taught us to do unto others as we would they should do unto us; give me grace to cleanse my heart and hands from all fraud and wrong, that I may hurt nobody by word or deed, but be true and just in all my dealings; that so, keeping innocency and taking heed unto the thing that is right, I may have peace at the last; through Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

( "Pocket Manual of Prayers" 1860 )

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-SIX

The Lord shall reign for ever.

Alleluia.
Praise the Lord, O my soul:
while I live will I praise the Lord;
as long as I have any being,
I will sing praises to my God.

Put not your trust in princes,
nor in any human power,
for there is no help in them.
When their breath goes forth,
they return to the earth;
on that day all their thoughts perish.

Happy are those who have
the God of Jacob for their help,
whose hope is in the Lord their God;
who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all that is in them;
who keeps his promise for ever;
who gives justice to those that suffer wrong
and bread to those who hunger.

The Lord looses those that are bound;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous;
the Lord watches over the stranger in the land;
he upholds the orphan and widow;
but the way of the wicked he turns upside down.

The Lord shall reign for ever,
your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.
Alleluia.

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 shall reign for ever.

Lord of all, our breath and being come from you, yet our earthly end is dust; as you loose the bound and feed the hungry, so bring us in your mercy through the grave and gate of death to the feast of eternal life, where you reign for evermore. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Lazarus and the rich man

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.A.

Walter Brueggemann, in his book “The Threat of Life,” shares a sermon he once wrote on the story of Lazarus and the rich nan in the sixteenth chapter of Saint Luke’s gospel, verses nineteen to thirty-one. Some call it a parable of reversal. Lazarus has nothing here on earth, dies, and winds up in the bosom of Abraham. The rich man has everything here on earth, dies, and spends eternity in torment in Hades.

Brueggemann writes: “Well, at least for a while there is nothing in common between them. In an instant, however, they have everything in common. What they have in common overcomes all that was different between them. At the top of verse twenty-two, the poor man dies. You knew he would, quickly and unnoticed, perhaps of infection, or perhaps because of malnutrition, or perhaps simply of neglect. By the end of the same verse, one phrase later, the rich man dies. It is a moment of dreadful equity: alike for an instant. The rich and poor are very different in life, very alike in death.”

Brueggemann unwraps the parable for the reader in a clear and vivid way. He reminds us that the poor man died first, and comments that it was probably the only time in his life that he had been first. He surmises the rich man most likely assumed that he would be the one headed for the bosom of Abraham. He comments on the significance of the rich man’s asking for mercy.

“Remember,” he tells us, “that back before he died, the rich man had not asked for mercy, because he did not need it.”

At the end Brueggemann says: “This is a hard, demanding story. There is nothing her about what one must do, nothing about being liberal or conservative, nothing about ‘welfare’ or ‘the private sector,’ nothing about how to vote or spend or share or save. Jesus, this terrible storyteller, gives us a zinger. There is nothing to do with the story but to be haunted by it, haunted in this age and in the age to come, haunted at feast and in poverty, haunted through hope and amidst warning.”

Then Brueggemann gives the reader a zinger of his own, and I had to admit that, as many times as I had read this story, I hadn’t realised it quite this way.

Brueggemann concludes: “While you are haunted, consider this very odd fact. The poor man is remembered. We know his name, Lazarus, as does father Abraham. The rich man never had a name or an identity. He had only a social role that was temporary and did not last. He is forgotten, unnamed, and abandoned. No name, and no comfort, no future, no water. His future haunts our present.”

Something to think about if you are feasting sumptuously today.

Scripture. In "First Timothy," chapter six, at verse nine, we read:

But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the poor and for the rich; that their lives may be changed by knowing God in their earthly lives.

... for the native peoples of America.

... for those enduring inclement weather and floods.

... for the crew of the missing Argentinian submarine and for the success of those looking for them.

... for those who have died recently 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 by John Chrysostom on "The First Letter to the Thessalonians" chapters nineteen to twenty-two:

Have you suffered anything contrary to your wishes? Yet nothing like what that poor man suffers. You have lost an eye, but he both his. You have long laboured under disease but he has one that is incurable. You have lost your children, but he even the health of his own body. You have suffered a great loss, but you are not yet reduced to supplicate from others. Give thanks to God. You see them in the furnace of poverty, and begging indeed from all, but receiving from few. When you are weary of praying, and do not receive, consider how often you have heard a poor man calling upon you, and have not listened to him, and he has not been angry nor insulted you. And yet you indeed act thus from cruelty; but God from mercy even declines to hear. If therefore you, yourself from cruelty not hearing your fellow servant, expect not to be found fault with, do you find fault with the Lord, who out of mercy does not hear his servant? See you how great the inequality, how great the injustice?

CLOSING PRAYER

Merciful creator, your hand is open wide to satisfy the needs of every living creature. Make us always thankful for your loving providence and grant that we, remembering the account that we must one day give, may be faithful stewards of your good gifts, 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

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

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

WEDNESDAY THE TWENTY-SECOND OF NOVEMBER 2017
* C. S. Lewis *

OPENING PRAYER

Almighty God, grant us peace and establish your truth in us as you fill all things living with plenteousness. Remember every faithful soul in trial and comfort, if it be possible, every one in sorrow and distress.

O helper of the helpless, bring the wanderer home and give health to the sick and deliverance to the captive.

Sustain the aged, comfort the weak-hearted, set free those whose souls are bound in misery; remember all those that are in affliction, necessity and emergency, everywhere.

Let us dwell with you in peace, as children of light and, in your light, Lord, let us see the light.

Direct, O Lord, in peace, the close of our life. Gather us, when you will, into the abodes of your chosen; without shame or stain or sin. Amen.

( Rowland Williams )

CANTICLE

"The Apologist’s Evening Prayer"
by C. S. Lewis

From all my lame defeats and oh! much more;
from all the victories that I seemed to score;
from cleverness shot forth on thy behalf
at which, while angels weep, the audience laugh;
from all my proofs of thy divinity,
thou, who wouldst give no sign, deliver me.

Thoughts are but coins. Let me not trust, instead
of thee, their thin-worn image of thy head.
From all my thoughts, even from my thoughts of thee,
O thou fair Silence, fall, and set me free.
Lord of the narrow gate and the needle’s eye,
take from me all my trumpery lest I die.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

C. S. Lewis:
he gave in, and admitted that God was God

"Jack" Lewis was born in Belfast in 1898 and was given the name Clive Staples Lewis. His father was a solicitor and his mother was a clergyman’s daughter, who died when he was a child. As a boy, Jack spent his time with his brother or, more often, reading alone in an attic full of books. As an Oxford University academic he taught English at Magdalen College.

As he tells in his book “Surprised by Joy,” he came to believe in God in 1929. Belief in Jesus came in 1931. He was a bold and public defender of Christianity. In a series of radio broadcasts, now collectively known as “Mere Christianity,” he made theology interesting for ordinary people. His “Screwtape Letters” helped people come to terms with the reality of evil.

His works also include the famous “Chronicles of Narnia,” in which those who have been scared by the watchful dragons of religion can experience awe and joy in the presence of One who, in our world, is known by a different name. In 1956 Lewis married Joy Davidman, a recent convert to Christianity herself. Lewis died on November 22, 1963.

Quote: “You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up as a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon, or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God.”

Scripture. In the "Book of Proverbs," chapter twenty-three, verses fifteen to eighteen we read:

My child, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad. My soul will rejoice when your lips speak what is right. Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always continue in the fear of the LORD. Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for Christian apologists, writers of popular theology and authors of divine allegory.

... for the people of Lebanon, who celebrate their national day today.

... for the people of Zimbabwe; that their future may be more peaceful and prosperous than their past.

... for those who have died recently 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 "Letters to Malcolm" by C. S. Lewis:

I will not believe in the managerial God and his general laws. If there is providence at all, everything is providential and every providence is a special providence. It is an old and pious saying that Christ died not only for man but for each man, just as much as if each had been the only man there was. Can I not believe the same of this creative act which, as spread out in time, we call destiny or history? It is for the sake of each human soul. Each is
an end. Perhaps for each beast. Perhaps even each particle of matter; the night sky suggests that the inanimate also has for God some value we cannot imagine. His ways are not (not there, anyway) like ours.

If you ask why I believe all this, I can only reply that we are taught, both by precept and example, to pray, and that prayer would be meaningless in the sort of universe Pope pictured. One of the purposes for which God instituted prayer may have been to bear witness that the course of events is not governed like a state but created like a work of art to which every being makes its contribution and (in prayer) a conscious contribution, and in which every being is both an end and a means. And since I have momentarily considered prayer itself as a means let me hasten to add that it is also an end. The world was made partly that there might be prayer; partly that our prayers might be answered. But let’s have finished with “partly". The great work of art was made for the sake of all it does and is, down to the curve of every wave and the flight of every insect.

CLOSING PRAYER

O God of searing truth and surpassing beauty, we give you thanks for Clive Staples Lewis, whose sanctified imagination lights fires of faith in young and old alike. Surprise us also with your joy and draw us into that new and abundant life which is ours in Christ Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

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

Passing Thoughts Of A Mad Priest

There are the oppressed and there are the oppressors. The splitting of the oppressed into myriad special interest groups, each one insisting that they are more oppressed than all the others, has kept the oppressed oppressed far more efficiently than any act of tyranny the oppressors could come up.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

TUESDAY THE TWENTY-FIRST OF NOVEMBER 2017
* William Byrd, John Merbecke and Thomas Tallis *

OPENING PRAYER

O Lord, may your all-powerful grace make me as perfect
as you have commanded me to be. Amen.

( Thomas Wilson )

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-FIVE (abridged )

Great is the Lord and highly to be praised.

I will exalt you, O God my king,
and bless your name for ever and ever.
Every day will I bless you
and praise your name for ever and ever.

Great is the Lord and highly to be praised;
his greatness is beyond all searching out.

One generation shall praise your works to another
and declare your mighty acts.
They shall speak of the majesty of your glory,
and I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
They shall speak of the might of your marvellous acts,
and I will also tell of your greatness.
They shall pour forth the story of your abundant kindness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

The Lord is gracious and merciful,
long-suffering and of great goodness.
The Lord is loving to everyone
and his mercy is over all his creatures.

All your works praise you, O Lord,
and your faithful servants bless you.
They tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your mighty power,
to make known to all peoples your mighty acts
and the glorious splendour of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom;
your dominion endures throughout all ages.

The Lord is sure in all his words
and faithful in all his deeds.
The Lord upholds all those who fall
and lifts up all those who are bowed down.

The eyes of all wait upon you, O Lord,
and you give them their food in due season.
You open wide your hand
and fill all things living with plenty.

The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and loving in all his works.
The Lord is near to those who call upon him,
to all who call upon him faithfully.
He fulfils the desire of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.

My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord,
and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and 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.

Great is the Lord and highly to be praised.

King of the universe, you show the bright glory of your reign in acts of mercy and enduring love; raise the spirits of the downcast and restore those who have fallen away, that we may sing for ever of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

William Byrd, John Merbecke and Thomas Tallis

Today Saint Laika’s remembers three outstanding musicians of the English Reformation period. Church musicians in England during this time had to be masters of tact and discretion. Chronicled in such works as Eamon Duffy’s “The Stripping of the Altars”,” the political winds blew some days toward Protestant religion and other day toward the Roman Catholic religion.

John Merbecke was born in 1505. As a young man he was a chorister at Saint George’s Chapel, Windsor, and from 1541 until near the time of his death in 1585, he served as chapel organist.

While only a small handful of works by Merbecke have survived, the most notable is "The Booke of Common Praier Noted 1550," composed to accompany the 1549 "Book of Common Prayer." The appearance of the 1552 "Prayer Book" made it obsolete, but in modern times, Merbecke’s musical setting has been recovered and widely used as a setting for the Anglican liturgy.

Thomas Tallis was born near the beginning of the sixteenth century. After a succession of appointments as a church musician, he spent most of his vocation as musician to the Chapels Royal under four successive monarchs, both Roman Catholic and Protestant. He himself remained Roman Catholic, but had the political savvy to survive the shifts in ecclesial loyalties and the inspiration and genius to respond to the changing needs of the Church of England. He is regarded as the father of English Church music since the Reformation.

William Byrd, most likely born in Lincolnshire in 1543, was appointed organist and choirmaster of Lincoln Cathedral in 1563 and served until he joined Tallis at the Chapels Royal in 1572. Like Tallis, he was a lifelong Roman Catholic but was successful in winning the support for his music among Anglicans of Puritan tendencies, though not without occasional difficulties. His liturgical compositions cover a variety of musical forms: mass settings, motets, graduals, psalm settings, English anthems, and occasional music for the great feasts of the church. Byrd composed both sacred and secular music. Four hundred and seventy of his compositions survived him.

Tallis and Byrd collaborated on a number of projects and together held the crown patent for the printing of music and lined music paper for twenty-one years.

Scripture. In "Psalm Forty-Seven," verses five to seven, we read:

God has gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our king, sing praises. For God is the king of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for composers of liturgical music.

... that the various denominations of the Church may be united through the singing of praises to God.

... for those killed or injured by a suicide bomber in the town of Mubi, Nigeria, whilst they were attending morning prayer. DETAILS

... for the prominent Chinese human rights lawyer, Jiang Tianyong, who has been jailed for two years, and all victims of China's repressive, authoritarian government. 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 writings of Clement of Alexandria:

King David the harpist urged us toward the truth and away from idols. So far was he from singing the praises of daemons that they were put to flight by him with the true music; and when Saul was possessed, David healed him merely by playing the harp. The Lord fashioned man a beautiful, breathing instrument, after his own image and assuredly Jesus Christ himself is an all-harmonious instrument of God, melodious and holy, the wisdom that is above this world, the heavenly Word.

He who sprang from David and yet was before him, the Word of God, scorned those lifeless instruments of lyre and cithara. By the power of the Holy Spirit he arranged in harmonious order this great world, yes, and the little world of man too, body and soul together; and on the many-voiced instruments of the universe he makes music to God, and sings to the human instrument. "For you are my harp and my pipe and my temple."

CLOSING PRAYER

O God most glorious: we give you thanks for John Merbecke, Thomas Tallis and for William Byrd, whose music has enriched the praise that your people offer you here on earth. Through their music may we come to fresh awareness of your beauty and grace; 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.

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

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

Peter Perrett

Peter Perrett, formerly the lead singer of the Only Ones, the group which released the greatest single of all time, "Another Girl, Another Planet," defies science, medicine and logic by being still alive. What is even more amazing is that he has, completely out of the blue, released one of the best albums of the year. This is the title track from it.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

MONDAY THE TWENTIETH OF NOVEMBER 2017
* Priscilla Lydia Sellon *

OPENING PRAYER

O God, fountain of truth and the giver of spiritual knowledge, who leads us from year to year in unchanging love, we bless you that when by sight we can not gaze upon your glory, by faith we can know you and lay hold on that truth which gives light to the soul. Especially we thank you for him in whom the true light shines on every man that comes into the world. And we ask from the treasures of your grace for a more childlike trust, a more faithful spirit, a more loyal will. May our obedience open to us all spiritual knowledge. May the truth of our own lives lead us into communion with your spirit of truth. May we be transformed into the likeness of Christ, and so, renew your image on the earth and hasten the coming of that kingdom of truth and liberty and love. Amen.

( Henry W. Foote )

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-FOUR ( abridged )

Happy are the people
who have the Lord for their God.

Blessed be the Lord my rock,
who teaches my hands for war
and my fingers for battle;
my steadfast help and my fortress,
my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield in whom I trust.

O Lord, what are mortals
that you should consider them;
mere human beings,
that you should take thought for them?
They are like a breath of wind;
their days pass away like a shadow.

Bow your heavens, O Lord, and come down;
touch the mountains and they shall smoke.
Cast down your lightnings and scatter them;
shoot out your arrows and let thunder roar.
Reach down your hand from on high;
deliver me and take me out of the great waters,
from the hand of foreign enemies,
whose mouth speaks wickedness
and their right hand is the hand of falsehood.

O God, I will sing to you a new song;
I will play to you on a ten-stringed harp,
you that give salvation to kings
and have delivered David your servant.

Save me from the peril of the sword
and deliver me from the hand of foreign enemies,
so that our sons in their youth
may be like well-nurtured plants,
and our daughters like pillars
carved for the corners of the temple;
our barns be filled with all manner of store;
our flocks bearing thousands,
and ten thousands in our fields;
our cattle be heavy with young:
may there be no miscarriage or untimely birth,
no cry of distress in our streets.

Happy are the people
whose blessing this is.
Happy are the people
who have the Lord for their God.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Happy are the people
who have the Lord for their God.

God our deliverer, stir our weak wills, revive our weary spirits and give us the courage to strive for the freedom of all your children, to the praise of your glorious name. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Priscilla Lydia Sellon,
“no ordinary woman”

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Priscilla Lydia Sellon, who is credited with establishing the first organisation of religious sisters in the Church of England. They served the poor and sick, orphans and victims of cholera.

It is hard for us to understand the controversy she stirred up over the issue of religious sisterhood. These were the days when the Tractarian (Oxford) Movement was in full throttle. This was the beginnings of the high church movement in the Church of England when several prominent clergy argued for a revival of catholic practices that had been abandoned in the years following the Reformation. Many feared that there would be an attempt to restore the authority of the Roman Catholic Church in England again. One of the leaders of the Oxford Movement, John Henry Newman, left the Church of England in 1845 and was received into the Roman Catholic Church.

It was in 1848 that Priscilla Lydia Sellon decided to set to work in Plymouth, Devonport, and Stonehouse. Soon other women joined her, and they established themselves as a community and took to wearing simple black dresses adorned with a black wooden cross. They called themselves “The Society of the Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Trinity.”

In 1849 there was an outbreak of cholera. The vicar of the parish most heavily affected sought, out of kindness, to prevent their work.

She told him straight out, “We are no ordinary women.”

Their work commenced.

Several clergy and lay leaders did the English Church a real disservice by starting a pamphlet war and vilifying the sisters. Sellon refused to engage them, saying she had more important work to do.

The order of sisters spread to many industrial centres in England. One group of sisters journeyed to Hawaii where they opened a centre there. Sellon’s sisters served in the Crimean War under Florence Nightingale. They distinguished themselves for heroic service in London during the cholera outbreaks in 1866 and 1871.

Sellon’s own health declined and she was for many years a paralytic living, what she called, “a life of calm.” She died on this day in 1876.

Scripture. In "The Second Letter to the Corinthians," chapter four, verses eight to eleven, we read:

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for members of female religious orders, in particular for those pursuing their vocation within the Anglican denomination of the Church.

... for peace and understanding between the various traditions of the Church.

... on Transgender Remembrance Day, for those members of the transgender community who have been murdered over the years due to the widespread hatred of transgender people and for an end to all violence and prejudice against transgender people and their full inclusion within society.

... for the people of Zimbabwe, for peace on their streets and for the resignation of the tyrant, Robert Mugabe; that his rule will not be replaced by more of the same.

... for those who have survived cancer but who now live in debilitating fear of its return and those who still suffer mentally due to the trauma of being diagnosed with cancer. DETAILS

... for those killed or injured in a stampede in the town of Sidi Boulaalam, Morocco, while food aid was being distributed. DETAILS

... for those who were sexually abused as children within the Jehovah's Witnesses cult. DETAILS

... for the LGBT people of Turkey, in particular those living in Ankara where all gay festivals, screenings, forums and exhibitions have been banned. 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 Sisters of Mercy in the Church of England," published in London in 1850 by Joseph Masters:

When almighty God raises up in his church the spirit and power of self-devotedness for Christ's sake, and the sake of those souls for whom Christ died, it is a source of deep thankfulness to every Christian heart. For the spirit and power of self-devotion are gifts of God, talents committed to our charge, bringing with them their burden of responsibility both to individuals and the Church.

True it is that this spirit must be possessed in a lesser or greater degree by every disciple of him, who leaving us an example that we should tread in his steps, said "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily."

But it pleaseth him who when he led captivity captive gave gifts unto men for the perfecting of the saints and for the edifying of the Body of Christ, to cause diversities of gifts but the same Spirit; and as to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; so is the power of self-devotion given in larger measure unto others, to be used, as all the rest, in the service of God, to the furtherance of his glory, and the, salvation of men.

CLOSING PRAYER

O God, your son came among us to serve and not to be served, and to give his life for the life of the world. Inspired by the life and work of Priscilla Lydia Sellon, lead us to serve all those to whom the world offers no comfort and little help; through the same Jesus Christ, your son, our saviour and lord. Amen.

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

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

FRIDAY THE SEVENTEENTH OF NOVEMBER 2017

OPENING PRAYER

Almighty God, and most merciful Father, give us, we beseech you, that grace that we may duly examine the inmost of our hearts, and our most secret thoughts, how we stand before you; and that we may henceforward never be drawn to do any thing that may dishonour your name: but may persevere in all good purposes, and in your holy service, until our lives’ end; and grant that we may now this present day, seeing it is as good as nothing that we have done hitherto, perfectly begin to walk before you, as becomes those that are called to an inheritance of light in Christ. Amen.

( "Hickes' Devotions" )

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-THREE ( abridged )

Show me, O Lord,
the way that I should walk in.

Hear my prayer, O Lord,
and in your faithfulness
give ear to my supplications;
answer me in your righteousness.
Enter not into judgement
with your servant,
for in your sight
shall no one living be justified.

The enemy has pursued me,
crushing my life to the ground,
making me sit in darkness
like those long dead.
My spirit faints within me;
my heart within me is desolate.

I remember the time past;
I muse upon all your deeds;
I consider the works of your hands.
I stretch out my hands to you;
my soul gasps for you
like a thirsty land.

O Lord, make haste to answer me;
my spirit fails me;
hide not your face from me
lest I be like those
who go down to the Pit.

Let me hear of your loving-kindness
in the morning,
for in you I put my trust;
show me the way I should walk in,
for I lift up my soul to you.

Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies,
for I flee to you for refuge.
Teach me to do what pleases you,
for you are my God;
let your kindly spirit lead me
on a level path.
Revive me, O Lord,
for your name’s sake;
for your righteousness’ sake,
bring me out of trouble.

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 me, O Lord,
the way that I should walk in.

Jesus, our companion, when we are driven to despair, help us, through the friends and strangers we encounter on our path, to know you as our refuge, our way, our truth and our life. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Hugh of Lincoln,
bending the rhinoceros to his will

King Henry II of England had to pay for his sins. When four of his knights overheard him wish that he would be rid of his meddlesome archbishop, Thomas Becket, they thought to put a smile on the king’s face by hacking the archbishop to death before the altar at Canterbury cathedral. This was on the twenty-ninth of December, 1170.

If news of Becket’s death brought any pleasure to the king it was short-lived. The brutality of Becket’s martyrdom unleashed a firestorm across Europe. Becket was canonised by the Pope less than three years after his death. Henry was forced to do public penance for his sins.

In an attempt to show the sincerity of his atonement, King Henry decided to endow the establishment of a new monastic house in England, to be the home on English soil of the strictest order of monks in Europe, the Carthusians. This brought Henry face to face with Hugh of Avalon, the procurator of the order’s motherhouse in France, the Grande Chartreuse. Hugh was to be the abbot of this new foundation. He came to England in 1176.

Hugh was in Henry’s face almost immediately. No compensation had been paid to those who would have to lose their lands and property to make room for the monastery. Hugh refused to take office until these persons had been paid "to the last penny." He intervened again on behalf of the builders, whose pay was not forthcoming. This might have been risky, in light of Thomas Becket’s fate, but Henry was impressed by Hugh’s frankness and candour.

Hugh reportedly told Henry, “I do not despair of you. I know how much your many occupations interfere with the health of your soul.”

They formed a strong bond. After Hugh’s death, his biographer noted that “of all men only Hugh could bend that rhinoceros to his will.”

Hugh dared to oppose the king, particularly in the matter of keeping bishoprics vacant in order that their revenues might fall to the king's treasury. One of the worst examples was Lincoln, which, except for a few months, had been without a bishop for eighteen years. Hugh was elected to the post in 1186, and his monastic superiors ordered him to accept. Hugh entered into his new responsibility with fervour, appointing clergy to parishes, defending the poor, protecting Jews when Christians rose up against them.

After Henry’s death, Hugh maintained a good relationship with King Richard the Lionhearted and King John.

In 1200 the king sent him on an embassy to France. His mission was a success, but he took ill and returned to England to die on the sixteenth of November, 1200.

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

Show yourself in all respects a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, gravity, and sound speech that cannot be censured; then any opponent will be put to shame, having nothing evil to say of us.

Postscript: Hugh's primary emblem is a white swan, in reference to the story of the swan of Stow which had a deep and lasting friendship with the saint, even guarding him while he slept. The swan would follow him about, and was his constant companion while he was at Lincoln. Hugh loved all the animals in the monastery gardens, especially a wild swan that would eat from his hand and follow him about and yet the swan would attack anyone else who came near Hugh.
( Wikipedia )

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the bishops of the Church of England; that they may stop being business men and women and become true shepherds of the flock, caring for the clergy and being an example of holy living for the people of the parishes in their care.

... that we may always be scrupulously fair in all matters of finance and property.

... for sick children, sick people, shoemakers, swans, the congregations of churches dedicated to Saint Hugh of Lincoln and all who regard him as their patron.

... for the students of the world. DETAILS

... for the Orang Rimba people of Indonesia, who are being forced from their homes to make way for palm oil plantations and pressured into converting to Islam. DETAILS

... or those who are bullied and for an end to the culture of bullying in schools, colleges and universities 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 Message of Pope John Paul II for the Ninth Centenary of Saint Bruno's Death":

At the heart of the desert, where men are tried and their faith purified, the Father leads them on a path of dispossession which questions all logic of having, being successful and finding fleeting happiness.

Guigo the Carthusian would always encourage those desiring to follow Saint Bruno’s ideal to " follow the example of the poor man Christ, in order to share in his riches "

This dispossession passes through a thorough break with the world, which does not mean contempt for the world but a fresh orientation of one's whole life in a tireless search for the unique good.

"You have seduced me, Lord, and I have let myself be seduced." (Jer. 20,7)

The Church is fortunate to have at its disposition the Carthusian witness of total alertness to the Spirit and a life entirely surrendered to Christ!

CLOSING PRAYER

Holy God, you blessed Hugh, bishop of Lincoln, with wise and cheerful boldness for the proclamation of your word to rich and poor alike: grant that all who minister in your name may serve with diligence, discipline and humility, fearing nothing but the loss of you and drawing all to 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

THURSDAY THE SIXTEENTH OF NOVEMBER 2017
* Margaret of Scotland *

OPENING PRAYER

I beseech you, my most gracious God, preserve me from the cares of this life, lest I should be too much entangled therein; also from the many necessities of the body, lest I should be ensnared by pleasure; and from whatsoever is an obstacle to the soul, lest, being broken with troubles, I should be overthrown. Give me strength to resist, patience to endure, and constancy to persevere. Amen.

( Thomas à Kempis )

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-TWO

Bring my soul out of prison,
that I may give thanks to your name.

I cry aloud to the Lord;
to the Lord I make my supplication.
I pour out my complaint before him
and tell him of my trouble.

When my spirit faints within me,
you know my path;
in the way wherein I walk
have they laid a snare for me.
I look to my right hand,
and find no one who knows me;
I have no place to flee to,
and no one cares for my soul.

I cry out to you, O Lord, and say:
"You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.
Listen to my cry,
for I am brought very low;
save me from my persecutors,
for they are too strong for me.
Bring my soul out of prison,
that I may give thanks to your name;
when you have dealt bountifully with me,
then shall the righteous gather around 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.

Bring my soul out of prison,
that I may give thanks to your name.

God of compassion, you regard the forsaken and give hope to the crushed in spirit; hear those who cry to you in distress and bring your ransomed people to sing your glorious praise, now and for ever. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Margaret, Queen of Scotland

Margaret (born c. 1045) was the grand-daughter of Edmund Ironside, king of the English, but was probably born in exile in Hungary and brought to England in 1057. After the Norman Conquest in 1066, she sought refuge in Scotland, where about 1070 she married the king, Malcolm III. She and her husband rebuilt the monastery of Iona and founded the Benedictine abbey at Dunfermline. Margaret undertook to impose on the Scottish the ecclesiastical customs she had been accustomed to in England, customs that were also prevalent in France and Italy. But Margaret was not concerned only with ceremonial considerations. She encouraged the founding of schools, hospitals, and orphanages. She argued in favour of the practice of receiving holy communion frequently.

In addition to her zeal for church and people, Margaret was a conscientious wife and the mother of eight children. Malcolm, a strong-willed man, came to trust her judgment even in matters of state. She saw also to the spiritual welfare of her large household, providing servants with opportunity for regular worship and prayer.

Margaret was not as successful as she wished to be in creating greater unity in faith and works between her own native England and the Scots. She was unable, for example, to bring an end to the bloody warfare among the highland clans and after her death in 1093 there was a brief return to the earlier isolation of Scotland from England. Nevertheless, her work among the people and her reforms in the Church made her Scotland’s most beloved saint. She died on the sixteenth of November,1093 and was buried at Dunfermline Abbey.

In the "Book of Deuteronomy," chapter fifteen, in verses seven, eight and eleven, we read:

If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted towards your needy neighbour. You should rather open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need, whatever it may be.

Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, "Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbour in your land."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the people of Scotland, those who die during childhood, large families, queens, widows and all who claim Margaret of Scotland as their patron.

... for those who have died in flash floods caused by heavy overnight rain in central Greece, and all who have suffered damage to their homes and property. DETAILS

... for those killed or injured by four suicide bombers in the north-eastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri. 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 writings of Bernard of Clairvaux:

To love our neighbour’s welfare as much as our own: that is true and sincere charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned. Whosoever loves his own prosperity only is proved thereby not to love good for its own sake, since he loves it on his own account. And so he cannot sing with the psalmist, "0 give thanks unto the Lord, for he is gracious." Such a man would praise God, not because he is goodness, but because he has been good to him: he could take to himself the reproach of the same writer, "So long as you do well unto him, he will speak good of you."

One praises God because he is mighty. another because he is gracious, yet another solely because he is essential goodness. The first is a slave and fears for himself; the second is greedy, desiring further benefits; but the third is a son who honours his father. He who fears, he who profits, are both concerned about self-interest. Only in the son is that charity which seeks not her own.

Wherefore I take this saying. "The law of the Lord is an undefiled law, converting the soul" to be of charity; because charity alone is able to turn the soul away from love of self and of the world to pure love of God. Neither fear nor self-interest can convert the soul. They may change the appearance, perhaps even the conduct, but never the object of supreme desire.

Sometimes a slave may do God's work; but because he does not toil voluntarily, he remains in bondage. So a mercenary may serve God, but because he puts a price on his service, he is enchained by his own greediness. For where there is self-interest there is isolation; and such isolation is like the dark corner of a room where dust and rust befoul. Fear is the motive which constrains the slave; greed binds the selfish man, by which he is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed. But neither fear nor self-interest is undefiled, nor can they convert the soul. Only charity can convert the soul, freeing it from unworthy motives.

CLOSING PRAYER

O God, who called your servant Margaret to an earthly throne that she might advance your heavenly kingdom, and gave her zeal for your church and love for your people: mercifully grant that we may be fruitful in good works, and attain to the glorious crown of your saints; though Jesus Christ our lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

WEDNESDAY THE FIFTEENTH OF NOVEMBER 2017
* Francis Asbury *

OPENING PRAYER

May the Lord direct me how to act, so as to keep myself always in the love of God. Amen.

( Francis Asbury )

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-ONE

Set a watch before my mouth, O Lord.

O Lord, I call to you;
come to me quickly;
hear my voice when I cry to you.
Let my prayer rise before you as incense,
the lifting up of my hands
as the evening sacrifice.

Set a watch before my mouth, O Lord,
and guard the door of my lips;
let not my heart incline to any evil thing;
let me not be occupied
in wickedness with evildoers,
nor taste the pleasures of their table.

My eyes are turned to you, Lord God;
in you I take refuge;
do not leave me defenceless.
Protect me from the snare
which they have laid for me
and from the traps of the evildoers.

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.

Set a watch before my mouth, O Lord.

Lord God, our protector and guide, who made us knowing both good and evil, help us to desire all that is good, that the offering of our lives may be acceptable to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Francis Asbury:
not destined for Canterbury

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Francis Asbury, first bishop of the Methodist Church in the United States.

In 1784, the same year that Samuel Seabury sought consecration as the first Anglican bishop in the United States, John Wesley, founder of Methodism, broke with the Church of England, and began to ordain clergy to go to America as preachers and administrators of the sacraments. Francis Asbury was his choice to be sent as superintendent, to organise what would become the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States. He could hardly have chosen a better person.

Asbury was born to very devout parents in 1745. It is said that his mother wanted him to become the archbishop of Canterbury, and so would read him the "Bible," sing him hymns, and pray over him.

In 1767 he was appointed a traveling preacher by John Wesley. In 1771 he volunteered to go to America and when the War of Independence broke out was the only Methodist preacher in America.

After the war, Asbury, together with Thomas Coke, began to organise the Methodist Church. Like Wesley himself, Asbury preached in myriad places: courthouses, public houses, tobacco houses, fields, public squares, wherever a crowd assembled to hear him. For the remainder of his life he rode an average of six thousand miles each year, preaching virtually every day and conducting meetings and conferences.

One of Asbury’s typical prayers, which he prayed regularly went like this: “Lord, we are in your hands and in your work. You know what is best of us and for your work; whether plenty or poverty. The hearts of all are in your hands. If it is best for us and for your church that we should be cramped and straitened, let the people’s hands and hearts be closed: if it is better for us; for the church, and more to your glory that we should abound in the comforts of life; do you dispose the hearts of those we serve to give accordingly: and may we learn to be content whether we abound, or suffer need.”

Under his direction, the church grew from one thousand two hundred to two hundred and fourteen thousand members and seven hundred ordained preachers.

His health began to fail in 1814 and he finally died in 1816.

Scripture. In the seventeenth chapter of "Saint John’s Gospel," at the sixth verse we read:

"I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for members of the Methodist churches throughout the world, in particular those who live in the United States of America.

... for travelling preachers.

... for the wellbeing and release of all writers imprisoned for what they have written. DETAILS

... for those who live with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. DETAILS

... for the people of Palestine who celebrate the signing of their declaration of independence in 1988 today. DETAILS

... for the people of Zimbabwe following the military takeover of their country. DETAILS

... for those killed or injured when a gunman fired into an elementary school in Rancho Tehama, California, yesterday. 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 letter from Francis Asbury to Ezekiel Cooper, dated the twenty-fourth of December, 1788:

My dear Brother:

I wish you to be blessed with health to do your duty. If possible visit from house to house, and that regularly once a fortnight for no other purpose than to speak to each in the family about their souls, that they may be ready for your help. Appoint preaching every other night, if able visit the classes every other week. Take some one of the poor Negroes and also the children. Remember the sick. The pastoral charge is very great. Whether our circle is large or small we may find work.

I wish something might be done to revive the work in town and keep it in motion; these people I know, I feel, will settle on their lees. Sermons ought to be short and pointed in town, briefly explanatory and then to press the people to conviction, repentance, faith and holiness.

I am sure the whole method of preaching will be changed as we come near the golden age. So shall we speak not so much by system but by life and application in the heart, little illustration and great fervency in the spark of life.

We have cold weather but we may have warm hearts, faith to head to mountains of sin and rivers of ice.

I am in much love thine

F. Asbury

CLOSING PRAYER

Holy God, you so inspired Francis Asbury with evangelical zeal that his faithful proclamation of the gospel caused a great awakening among those who heard him: inspire us to share your good news in our own day and lead many to Jesus Christ, in whom is eternal life and peace; 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

TUESDAY THE FOURTEENTH OF NOVEMBER 2017
* Consecration of Samuel Seabury *

OPENING PRAYER

O my Lord, abide with me, I beseech you. In you let my soul find rest and let it delight itself in you. For what is there that can be compared with that peace which is in you, seeing that it surpasses all understanding? Nothing can bring me any good if I lack your peace and what can I lack if I have you, who are nothing but good? I will rejoice in you, and you, I hope and pray most humbly, will show me the light of your will and will cause your peace and serenity to fill and gladden my heart. Truly, the heart is ever restless, until it rests in you alone. It can never be filled or satisfied with anything that is less than you. Amen.

CANTICLE

Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my king.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from thee.
Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use every power as thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is thine own; it shall be thy royal throne.
Take my love, my lord, I pour at thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for thee.

( Frances R. Havergal )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Consecration of Samuel Seabury

A crucial date for members of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America is the consecration of the first bishop of the Anglican Communion in the United States. During the colonial era there had been no Anglican bishops in the New World and persons seeking to be ordained as clergy had had to travel to England for the purpose. After the achievement of American independence it was important for the Church in the United States to have its own bishops and an assembly of Connecticut clergy chose Samuel Seabury to go to England and there seek to be consecrated as a bishop.

However, the English bishops were forbidden by law to consecrate anyone who would not take an oath of allegiance to the British crown. He accordingly turned to the Episcopal Church of Scotland.

When the Roman Catholic king James II was deposed in 1688 some of the Anglican clergy (including some who had been imprisoned by James for defying him on religious issues) said that, having sworn allegiance to James as king, they could not during his lifetime swear allegiance to the new monarchs William and Mary. Those who took this position were known as non-jurors (non-swearers) and they included almost all the bishops and clergy of the Episcopal Church in Scotland. Accordingly, the monarchs and Parliament declared that thenceforth the official church in Scotland should be the Presbyterian Church. The Episcopal Church of Scotland thereafter had no recognition by the government and for some time operated under serious legal disabilities. However, since it had no connection with the government it was free to consecrate Seabury without government permission, and it did. This is why you see a cross of Saint Andrew on the Episcopal Church flag.

In Aberdeen, on the fourteenth of November, 1784, Samuel Seabury was consecrated to the episcopate by the bishop and the bishop coadjutor of Aberdeen and the bishop of Ross and Caithness. He thus became part of the unbroken chain of bishops that links the church today with the church of the apostles.

In return, he promised them that he would do his best to persuade the American Church to use as its prayer of consecration (blessing of the bread and wine at the Lord's Supper) the Scottish prayer, taken largely unchanged from the 1549 "Prayer Book," rather than the much shorter one in use in England. The aforesaid prayer, adopted by the American Church with a few modifications, has been widely regarded as one of the greatest treasures of the Church in the United States.

Scripture: "Matthew," chapter nine, verses thirty-six and thirty-seven:

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the members of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

... for those of the Christian faith who are called bishops; that they may fulfil the expectations of their office and serve the people of the Church lovingly and with integrity.

... that we may find within ourselves the willpower and perseverance to truly consecrate our lives to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

... for David who died early this morning; for Margaret, his wife, and all his family and friends who will deeply mourn his passing; that he may rest in peace and rise in glory.

... for those living with diabetes, especially those suffering from disabling or debilitating complications. DETAILS

... for those killed, injured or made homeless during an earthquake in Iran and Iraq; for the success of attempts to get assistance and relief to the survivors.

... 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 "Epistle LXVII" by Cyprian of Carthage:

A priest should be chosen in the presence of the people under the eyes of all and should be approved worthy and suitable by public judgment and testimony; as in the book of "Numbers" the Lord commanded Moses, saying, “Take Aaron thy brother, and Eleazar his son, and place them in the mount, in the presence of all the assembly, and strip Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son; and let Aaron die there, and be added to his people.”

God commands a priest to be appointed in the presence of all the assembly; that is, he instructs and shows that the ordination of priests ought not to be solemnised except with the knowledge of the people standing near, that in the presence of the people either the crimes of the wicked may be disclosed or the merits of the good may be declared, and the ordination, which shall have been examined by the suffrage and judgment of all, may be just and legitimate.

And this is subsequently observed, according to divine instruction, in the "Acts of the Apostles," when Peter speaks to the people of ordaining an apostle in the place of Judas.

“Peter,” it says, “stood up in the midst of the disciples, and the multitude were in one place.”

Neither do we observe that this was regarded by the apostles only in the ordinations of bishops and priests, but also in those of deacons, of which matter itself also it is written in their "Acts."

“And they twelve called together,” it says, “the whole congregation of the disciples, and said to them;” which was done so diligently and carefully, with the calling together of the whole of the people, surely for this reason, that no unworthy person might creep into the ministry of the altar or to the office of a priest. For that unworthy persons are sometimes ordained, not according to the will of God, but according to human presumption, and that those things which do not come of a legitimate and righteous ordination are displeasing to God.

CLOSING PRAYER

We give you thanks, O Lord our God, for your goodness in bestowing upon the Church the gift of pastoral leadership, which we celebrate in this remembrance of the consecration of Samuel Seabury; and we pray that, joined together in unity and nourished by your holy sacraments, we may proclaim the gospel of redemption with apostolic zeal; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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

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Mary Gauthier

Mary Gauthier is probably the greatest American folk singer at this moment in
time. Sadly, she is also one of the most under-appreciated (I wonder why that
is). This is a taster from her new album which is due out on January. A timely,
poignant song of remembrance.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

THURSDAY THE NINTH OF NOVEMBER 2017
* Margery Kempe, Walter Hilton and Richard Rolle *

OPENING PRAYER

Lord Jesus, the more worthwhile our love for you, all the more pressing does it become. Reason cannot hold it in check, fear does not make it tremble, wise judgement does not temper it.

I ask you, Lord Jesus, to develop in me an immeasurable urge towards you, an affection that is unbounded, longing that is unrestrained, fervour that throws discretion to the winds. Amen.

( Richard Rolle )

CANTICLE

A New Song

I know not the song of thy praises,
till you teach it, my God, to me;
till I hear the still voice of thy Spirit,
who speaketh for ever of thee;
till I hear the celestial singing,
and learn the new song of thy grace,
and then I shall tell forth the marvels
I learnt in thy secret place.
Thy marvels, not mine, far surpassing
all thoughts of my heart they must be;
I can but declare the glad tidings,
as thou hast declared them to me.

( Richard Rolle )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Margery Kempe, Walter Hilton, Richard Rolle: mystics

Throughout the centuries, the Christian church has largely been a public community of the followers of Jesus, living in the world, engaging the world, shaping and being shaped by the events and circumstances of history, politics and social interaction.

But also throughout the centuries there have been those few who have followed Christ on a journey through the inner life of the soul and spirit: monks, hermits, anchoresses, mystics. Through the witness of their lives and the writings they left behind they gave witness to the life of prayer which led them to deeper experiences of almighty God.

Today Saint Laika’s celebrates the lives of three medieval mystics.

Margery Kempe left an autobiographical account of her life and her travels to places of pilgrimage, in particular to the Holy Land, to Assisi and to Santiago de Compostela. She writes of the visions she had of conversations with Jesus, Mary, and other saints. She received holy communion every week and ordered her days around prayer and the recitation of the rosary. She died sometime after 1438.

She was influenced by the writings of the other two mystics remembered today.

Richard Rolle was an English hermit, bible translator and mystic. His best known work was called “The Fire of Love” in which he described a movement toward God in four stages: as an open door, heat, song, and sweetness. His meditation was widely read. He died in 1349.

Walter Hilton was an Augustinian monk and mystic who lived in Nottinghamshire. His most widely read work was called “The Ladder of Perfection.” It was a spiritual journey toward the heavenly Jerusalem which was a journey of “contemplation in perfect love of God” in which one gradually draws away from the things of the world, to yearn more earnestly for the things of the Spirit, and for Jesus himself.

It’s hard to overestimate the mystical themes of the Middle Ages in relation to pilgrimages, the veneration of relics, the intercession of the saints and the building of churches and cathedrals. It gave men and women a grasp on the hope of heaven after life on earth was done.

Scripture. In "Psalm Sixty-Three, verses one to three, we read:

O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... that as well as encountering God in the world around us, the people we meet and in our everyday lives, we meet God also within ourselves as we come into God's presence through contemplation and prayer; that we may be led into a deeper and more fulfilling life of prayer.

... for the people of Cambodia who celebrate their national day today; for an end to the terrible human rights abuses in their country.

... for the people of Yemen who are facing famine; that the blockade on aid to their country may be lifted.

... 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 "Ego Dormio" by Richard Rolle:

I’ll give you one piece of advice: don’t neglect his name, “Jesus.” Meditate on it in your heart night and day as your personal and precious treasure. Love it more than your life. Root it in your mind. Love Jesus, because he made you and bought you at a very high price. Give your heart to him, because it is the debt you owe him.

Therefore devote your love to this name “Jesus,” which means “salvation.” No evil thing can have any living-space in that heart where “Jesus” is faithfully kept in mind, because it chases out devils and destroys temptations and turns out all wrongful anxieties and defects, and purifies the mind. Whoever really loves it is full of God’s grace and full of virtues, receives spiritual strength in this life; and when such people die, they are adopted into the order of angels above, to behold in unending joy him whom they have loved.

CLOSING PRAYER

Gracious God, we give you thanks for the lives and work of Richard Rolle, Walter Hilton and Margery Kempe, hermits and mystics who, passing through the cloud of unknowing, beheld your glory. Help us, after their examples, to see you more clearly and love you more dearly, in the name of Jesus Christ our saviour; 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

WEDNESDAY THE EIGHTH OF NOVEMBER 2017
* Matushka Olga Michael of Alaska *

OPENING PRAYER

Lord, living or dying I would be yours; keep me your own for ever and draw me day by day nearer to yourself until I be wholly filled with your love and fit to behold you face to face. Amen.

( E. B. Pusey )

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY ( abridged )

Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked.

Deliver me, O Lord, from evildoers
and protect me from the violent,
who devise evil in their hearts
and stir up strife all the day long.
They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent;
adder's poison is under their lips.

Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked;
protect me from the violent
who seek to make me stumble.
The proud have laid a snare for me
and spread out a net of cords;
they have set traps along my path.

I have said to the Lord, "You are my God;
listen, O Lord, to the voice of my supplication.
Do not grant the desires of the wicked, O Lord,
do not prosper their wicked plans."

I know that the Lord
will bring justice for the oppressed
and maintain the cause of the needy.
Surely, the righteous
will give thanks to your name,
and the upright shall dwell in your presence.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked.

Glorious Saviour, rescue us from the subtle evils that are too strong for us, from poisonous words and the spirit of war; by your judgement overthrow the forces of violence, that all the world may join to worship you in thanksgiving and peace, now and for ever. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Matushka Olga Michael of Alaska:
doing what was needed

Today Saint Laika’s journeys to the Alaskan wilderness of the early twentieth century, to remember and celebrate the life of Matushka Olga Michael, a woman of deep faith who served the people in and around the Kuskokwim River in the Alaskan wilderness, as a priest’s wife, a midwife, healer, and
helper.

Matushka Olga married the village postmaster and general store keeper of the village of Kwethluk and her husband became more and more influenced by her faith. He studied for the priesthood, eventually becoming the priest in the village. She raised eight children of her own, and was much in demand as a midwife.

Olga came from a poor family and she showed great compassion in this poor and remote community. As a child she had known trauma and sexual abuse and as the village midwife she alone, outside the victim’s family, noticed signs of domestic and sexual abuse and cared for the victims and helped the women address it.

Someone wrote this about her: “She didn’t talk a lot. She just would go ahead and do what was needed in order to help anyone with just about anything. She used to make traditional fur boots and parkas as donations to other communities which were trying to raise money.”

As the priest’s wife, she cared tenderly for the village church, sewing the liturgical vestments for her husband, taking care of baking the Eucharistic bread. She lived a long, happy, and holy life, successfully making the transition from her primitive beginnings to life in modern Alaska. She died on the eighth of November, 1979.

Scripture: In the thirty-first chapter of "Proverbs," verses twenty-eight to thirty, we read:

Her children rise up and call her happy; her husband too, and he praises her: "Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all."

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the indigenous peoples of the world and those who enact the love of God within their communities.

... for midwives.

... for clergy spouses.

... for an end to all forms of domestic abuse.

... for radiologists. 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 Divine Institutes (Book One)" by Lactantius:

Let the commencement of our work therefore be: Whether the universe is governed by the power of one God or of many.

There is no one, who possesses intelligence and uses reflection, who does not understand that it is one being who both created all things and governs them with the same energy by which he created them. For what need is there of many to sustain the government of the universe unless we should happen to think that, if there were more than one, each would possess less might and strength? And they who hold that there are many gods, do indeed effect this; for those gods must of necessity be weak, since individually, without the aid of the others, they would be unable to sustain the government of so vast a mass. But God, who is the eternal mind, is undoubtedly of excellence, complete and perfect in every part. And if this is true, he must of necessity be one. For power or excellence, which is complete, retains its own peculiar stability. But that is to be regarded as solid from which nothing can be taken away, that as perfect to which nothing can be added.

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God, you have surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses: grant that we, encouraged by the good example of your servant Matushka Olga Michael of Alaska, may persevere in running the race that is set before us, until at last we may with him attain to your eternal joy; through Jesus Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, 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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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

TUESDAY THE SEVENTH OF NOVEMBER 2017

OPENING PRAYER

O Lord, we beseech you mercifully to receive the prayers of your people who call upon you; and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfill the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-EIGHT ( abridged )

Search me out, O God, and know my heart.

Lord, you have searched me out and known me;
you know my sitting down and my rising up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You mark out my journeys and my resting place
and are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
but you, O Lord, know it altogether.
You encompass me behind and before
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
so high that I cannot attain it.

Where can I go then from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I climb up to heaven, you are there;
if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
your right hand hold me fast.
For you yourself created my inmost parts;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

Search me out, O God, and know my heart;
try me and examine my thoughts.
See if there is any way of wickedness in me
and lead me in the way everlasting.

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.

Search me out, O God, and know my heart.

Creator God, may every breath we take be for your glory, may every footstep show you as our way, that, trusting in your presence in this world, we may, beyond this life, still be with you where you are alive and reign for ever and ever. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Willibrord, Archbishop of Utrecht, 739;
Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg, 1719;
John Christian Frederick Heyer, 1873;
Ludwig Nommenson, 1918:
missionaries

Ever since Jesus commanded his disciples to go and make disciples of every nation, followers of Jesus have gone out to bring the gospel to others.

On the seventh of November, the Anglican Calendar remembers Willibrord who, in the eighth century went to the Low Countries to tell of Jesus. He died on this day in 739.

We know about Willibrord’s life and missionary labours through a notice in the Venerable Bede’s "Ecclesiastical History" and a biography by his younger kinsman, Alcuin. He was born in Northumbria about 658. For twelve years (678 to 690) he studied in Ireland, where he acquired his thirst for missionary work. In 690, with twelve companions, he set out for Frisia (the Netherlands), a pagan area that was increasingly coming under the domination of the Christian Franks. There Bishop Wilfrid and a few other Englishmen had made short missionary visits, but with little success. With the aid of the Frankish rulers, Willibrord established his base at Utrecht.

In 698 he founded the monastery of Echternach, near Trier. His work was frequently disturbed by the conflict of the pagan Frisians with the Franks, and for a time he left the area to work among the Danes. For three years (719 to 722) he was assisted by Boniface, who at a later time came back to Frisia to strengthen the mission. In a very real sense, Willibrord prepared the way for Boniface’s more successful achievements by his relations with the Franksish rulers and he papacy, who thus became joint sponsors of missionary work.

Many Lutheran Calendars remember three missionaries from the eighteenth through the twentieth century who brought the gospel to India and Sumatra.

Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg was a missionary among the Tamil people on the southeast coast of India. He ran into opposition to his work from local Hindu leaders, and was held, for a time in jail. Today the Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church carries on his work.

John Christian Frederick Heyer was a missionary in the Andhra region of India. Today the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church is a small but thriving community descended from those who heard the gospel from him.

Lastly, Ludwig Nommenson went to Sumatra in the 1860’s to serve as a missionary among the Batak people. He started a religious center called “ Village of Peace,” translated the scriptures into the Batak language, and today the Batak Christian Protestant Church continues from the seeds he planted.

Scripture. In the fifty-fifth chapter of "Isaiah," verse five, we read:

See, you shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you, because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for missionaries and evangelists and all who take the good news of Jesus Christ into places where it is not known or where the Christian faith is suppressed.

... for those killed or injured when gunmen, disguised as police officers, attacked the Shamshad television station in the Afghan capital Kabul. DETAILS

... for the people of Delhi whose health is in danger because of the dense smog that has descended on their city; for all whose lives are affected by pollution. DETAILS

... for those who have had money stolen through scams and fraud.

... for the two boys who were killed, the three girls who were injured and all the children were traumatised when a car crashed into a primary school classroom in Sydney; for the safety of children whilst they are at school. DETAILS

... for children who are bullied at school because of their weight and those who are negatively self-conscious of their appearance.

... 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 "Evangelism in the Early Church" by Michael Green:

The Christian Gospel was intended for all men everywhere. The early Christians had no hesitations on that point: it was the agreed starting point for mission. The very nature of God demands a universal mission: if there is but one God, whose will for all men is that they should be saved, then the preaching would be worldwide.”

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God, we thank you for calling forth missionaries to preach the gospel in foreign lands. Raise up in this and every land evangelists and heralds of your kingdom, that your Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our saviour, Jesus Christ, 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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Full English Brexit

Most comments under this YouTube vid assume that Billy Bragg is being ironic.
But I don't think it is meant to be ironic. At least, not totally. Billy Bragg is a real
socialist, not a liberal pretending to be one. He knows the working people
of the land because that is where he comes from and even when he disagrees
with some of them he respects them and allows them to have an opinion,
which is something the liberal left never allow. I hope I am right because if I am
it will make this a clever and compassionate song as opposed to yet another
patronising attack on the "ordinary" people of Britain by those who assume they
are always right. I voted remain, by the way.

Passing Thoughts Of A Mad Priest

Perhaps, without dropping the political pressure, communities in the USA (households, streets, apartment blocks, neighbourhoods) could aim for gun-free status in the same way communities in England try to obtain fair-trade status. A bit of bottom up action can help bring about top down action.

Get Rid Of The Guns But Also Get Rid Of The Pain

Civilian gun ownership enables mass shootings (makes them easier) but there is obviously a deep malaise in American society that is driving people to the breaking point. My guess (and it is only a guess) is that it may well have something to do with the disconnect between the dream and what is reality for most Americans.

I think that many Americans are blaming mental illness when, in fact, the cause is despair (and despair can be felt by the most sane of people).

Falling Down

Perhaps the shooters are not mentally unstable. Perhaps they are the sane ones. Perhaps it is the rest of us who are deluding ourselves that there is still meaning to life and moral objectivity. The western world is subject to the nihilism of existential capitalism. Self-gratification is the overwhelming ethos of the rich, famous and powerful. God is either dead or is so nicey nicey that she's not going to condemn anyone for their actions. Life is ridiculously unfair and almost all of us live perilously close to the breaking point.

What surprises me is that there are so few random mass killings. I mean, if there is no hell below and life is hell, why not?

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

MONDAY THE SIXTH OF NOVEMBER
* William Temple *

OPENING PRAYER

O God of love, give us love: love in our thinking, love in our speaking, love in our doing and love in the hidden places of our souls; love of our neighbours near and far; love of our friends, old and new; love of those with whom we find it hard to bear and love of those who find it hard to bear with us; love of those with whom we work and love of those with whom we take our ease; love in joy, love in sorrow; love in life and love in death; that so at length we may be worthy to dwell with you who are eternal love. Amen.

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-EIGHT

Your loving-kindness, O Lord,
endures for ever.

I will give thanks to you, O Lord,
with my whole heart;
before the gods will I sing praise to you.
I will bow down towards your holy temple
and praise your name,
because of your love and faithfulness;
for you have glorified your name
and your word above all things.

In the day that I called to you,
you answered me;
you put new strength in my soul.

All the kings of the earth
shall praise you, O Lord,
for they have heard the words of your mouth.
They shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
that great is the glory of the Lord.

Though the Lord be high,
he watches over the lowly;
as for the proud,
he regards them from afar.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you will preserve me;
you will stretch forth your hand
against the fury of my enemies;
your right hand will save me.

The Lord shall make good
his purpose for me;
your loving-kindness, O Lord,
endures for ever;
forsake not the work of your hands.

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.

Your loving-kindness, O Lord,
endures for ever.

Lord our God, supreme over all things, look upon the humble and lowly and put new strength into our souls to complete your purpose for us in Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

William Temple:
seeing the sacred in everyone

Today Saint Laika’s remembers William Temple, archbishop of Canterbury during World War II,, who was baptised on this day in 1881 by his father, then bishop of Exeter.

When William was fifteen, his father became the archbishop of Canterbury.

Growing up at the heart of the Church of England, William’s love for it was deep and lifelong. Endowed with a brilliant mind, Temple was enthusiastic about music, drama, and literature. He was a well-regarded theologian who believed that theological ideas were often explored most effectively by writers who were not explicitly writing theology.

Though he never experienced poverty of any kind, he developed a passion for social justice which shaped his words and his actions. He owed this passion to a profound belief in the Incarnation. He wrote that in Jesus Christ God took flesh and dwelt among us, and as a consequence “the personality of every man and woman is sacred.”

He was ordained in 1910. In 1917, he devoted his energies to the “Life and Liberty” movement for reform within the Church of England. Two years later an act of Parliament led to the setting up of the Church Assembly, which for the first time gave the laity a voice in church matters. In 1921 he was made bishop of Manchester, a heavily industrial city. In 1926 he used his skills at mediation to bring about an end to the General Strike, a protest against the then social and economic policies of the country.

Temple became archbishop of Canterbury in 1942, when a German invasion seemed likely. He worked for the relief of Jewish refugees from Nazism, and publicly supported a negotiated peace, as opposed to the unconditional surrender that the Allied leaders were demanding.

His wartime radio addresses and newspaper articles gained him a wide following. However, the scope of his responsibilities and the pace he set himself took their toll. On the twenty=sixth of October, 1944, he died.

Scripture. Saint Paul, in the third chapter of "Ephesians," verses fourteen to seventeen, says:

"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... that we may always retain a passion for social justice within our communities and in the whole world.

... for those killed or injured when a gunman opened fire during a service at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, yesterday.

... that all the people of the world, especially the leaders of the nations, may come together to reduce the pollution that is causing climate change and making a ruin of our planet.

... for an end to tax havens and a fair distribution of the wealth of the world between all its peoples.

... 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 "Readings in Saint John’s Gospel" by William Temple:

Worship is the submission of all of our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by his holiness, nourishment of mind by his truth, purifying of imagination by his beauty, opening of the heart to his love and submission of will to his purpose. And all this gathered up in adoration is the greatest of human expressions of which we are capable.

CLOSING PRAYER

O God of light and love, who illumined your Church through the witness of your servant William Temple: inspire us, we pray, by his teaching and example, that we may rejoice with courage, confidence and faith in the Word made flesh and may be led to establish that city which has justice for its foundation and love for its law; through Jesus Christ, the light of the world, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

FRIDAY THE THIRD OF NOVEMBER
* Laika *

OPENING PRAYER

Dear God, you have given us care over all living things; protect and bless the animals who give us companionship and delight, make us their true friends and worthy companions. Amen.

Saint Laika, our little lady, pray for us. Amen.

CANTICLE

O God, your creatures fill the earth
with wonder and delight,
and every living thing has worth
and beauty in your sight.
So playful dolphins dance and swim;
your sheep bow down and graze.
Your songbirds share a morning hymn
to offer you their praise.

You made the pets we welcome in,
they are wondrous blessings, too.
With paws and whiskers, wings and fins,
they offer praise to you.
O Lord, you call us to embrace
these creatures in our care.
May we show kindness, love and grace
to all pets everywhere.

You made the creatures on each farm;
you know the things they need.
May they grow healthy, safe from harm,
and safe from human greed.
Just as a shepherd loves the sheep,
you know their joy, their pain.
Lord, bless the animals we keep;
may all farms be humane.

Your creatures live in every land;
they fill the sky and sea.
O Lord, you give us your command
to love them tenderly.
We are called to have dominion here,
to care for them always.
By loving creatures you hold dear,
we offer you our praise.

( Carolyn Winfrey Gillette )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Patronal feast day of Saint Laika
for all of us strays

Today Saint Laika’s celebrates Laika, the only creature knowingly sent into space to die. It is our patronal feast day.

Laika was a three year old stray from the streets of Moscow. It is believed that she weighed somewhere between eleven and thirteen pounds when she was captured, trained, and sent into space aboard the Russian Sputnik II spacecraft. She was launched into space on the third of November, 1957. She was always intended to be sacrificed. There was, in 1957, yet no way to land an orbiting spacecraft safely.

One of the technicians preparing the capsule before final liftoff states that "after placing Laika in the container and before closing the hatch, we kissed her nose and wished her bon voyage, knowing that she would not survive the flight."

Soviet officials were very secretive about the details. Only in 2002 was it revealed that Laika died only hours after lift-off, due to a mechanical malfunction. The experiment had been designed to prove that a living passenger could survive being launched into orbit and endure weightlessness, paving the way for human spaceflight, but Laika died a needless death, for she did not live long enough to collect any viable data.

Her death sparked animal rights debates across the planet. In 2008 a memorial to her bravery was established outside of Star City, the Russian rocket facility.

Why Saint Laika’s?

I suppose it’s a fair question. Traveling the earth these days are many strays, canine and human. The two-legged strays are treated as less than human, by others. They are often victimised, and many suffer and die every day, because others simply do not care. Astonishingly, many use Jesus’ own words, “The poor you will have with you always,” as a reason to do nothing. This lovable little canine points an accusing paw at human cruelty and greed.

Saint Laika’s is a collection of strays, really. Not many who are powerful, rich, or famous. Many who have been hurt by the very church whose faith they profess. We offer to two-legged strays the peace and protection Laika never had. The lives of the marginal are treated as worthy of prayer, sacrament, and grace, offered in cyber-space. In a world where the one percent strive to control your destiny and mine, who better hear our cry: “Saint Laika, pray for us!” than the gentle little barker (Laika is Russian for Barker) whose life was taken away for the sake of a “space race.”

Lastly there is the Christ-image that even a creature such as Laika reveals. For Christ, too, died a senseless death at the hands of brutal men, in a contest to see how long they could control a small strip of land on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean sea.

Scripture. In "Romans," chapter five, verses six and eight we read:

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for laboratory animals and all creatures involved in the scientific experiments of humankind.

... for strays, runaways and the lost.

... for astronauts and all who risk their lives in the furtherance of human knowledge.

... for the people of Dominica, Micronesia and Panama, who celebrate their national days today.

... for the victims of rape and sexual abuse who are not believed.

... for the people of Madagascar who have been affected by the outbreak of pneumonic plague in their country, in particular those who have died and those who are presently ill. 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 writings of Basil the Great:

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. Oh, God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom you gave the earth as their home in common with us. We remember with shame that in the past we have exercised the high dominion of man and ruthless cruelty so that the voice of the earth which should have gone up to you in song, has been a groan of travail. May we realise that they live not for us alone but for themselves and for you and that they love the sweetness of life.

CLOSING PRAYER

O God, who dignified our mortal nature by the incarnation of your son, teach us, by the sacrificial death of Laika to value the dignity and purpose of all earth’s creatures. As we remember her soaring high above the earth, turn our thoughts toward the heavens, and toward your glory; through your son, 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

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

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

THURSDAY THE SECOND OF NOVEMBER
* All Souls *

OPENING PRAYER

Merciful Father, hear our prayer and console us. As we renew our faith in your son, whom you raised from the dead, strengthen our hope that all our departed brothers and sisters will share in his resurrection, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Requiem aeternam dona eis,
Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Requiescant in pace. Amen.

CANTICLE ( modernised )

Lead, kindly Light,
amid the encircling gloom,
lead me on!
The night is dark,
and I am far from home;
lead me on!
Keep my feet;
I do not ask to see
the distant scene;
one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus,
nor prayed that you
should lead me on;
I loved to choose
and see my path;
but now lead me on!
I loved the garish day,
and, spite of fears,
pride ruled my will.
Remember not past years!

So long your power has blest me,
sure it still will lead me on.
Over moor and fen,
over crag and torrent,
till the night is gone,
and with the morn
those angel faces smile,
which I have loved long since,
and lost awhile.

Meantime,
along the narrow rugged path,
yourself has trod,
lead, Saviour,
lead me home in childlike faith,
home to my God.
To rest forever
after earthly strife
in the calm light
of everlasting life.

( John Henry Newman and Edward H. Bickersteth, Jr. )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

The souls of the saints

Today Saint Laika’s remembers all holy souls, the counterpoint to All Saints Day, which we celebrated yesterday. In the Roman Catholic and Anglican tradition saints have the benefit of official review and blessing, while All Souls refers to the ordinary women and men who were members of families, and our friends who lived and died as we all must. We might say their eternal destiny is known to God alone.

Perhaps these verses from the apocryphal "Book of Wisdom" can set the tone for us:

"Wisdom," chapter three, verses one to three says:

"But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them. In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died, and their departure was thought to be a disaster, and their going from us to be their destruction; but they are at peace."

Can we dare hope that all souls are with God? Or is Heaven only for the few, while most are deprived of God’s eternal presence?

Let me suggest that we can answer those questions with two more questions. Is Christ a saviour? Is he any good at doing his job?

No saint, no matter how famous or holy, enjoys eternal life without the saving work of Jesus Christ. No holy soul will get there by any other way either. I want to say, at this point, that this is the Christian claim, supported by the holy texts of the "New Testament." It is not meant, in any sense, to be an exclusive claim, in the sense that only Christians will get to heaven. Christian teaching at its best understands that salvation is for all, since, as "Psalm Twenty-Four" says so well, “The earth is the LORD’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it.”

If Christ saves only those who are easy to save, what kind of saviour is he? Is it reasonable to believe the claims the Christian church makes about Christ if his “success rate” is ten percent, twenty percent% or even fifty percent? The basis for our hope that all souls live, is that Christ is an effective saviour, doing the work he came to do. I have found it to be true that we humans condemn people to hell far more easily than a loving God does.

On this All Souls Day, ponder this thought from Martin Luther:

“If you are a preacher of grace, then preach a true, not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly. For he is victorious over sin, death, and the world.”

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the faithful departed.

... that our own death will be made bearable by the comforting presence of the Holy Spirit and that our resurrection will be glorious.

... for journalists and other media workers; for their safety as they work to bring us "authentic" news. DETAILS

... for those killed or injured when a gunman upend fire in a store in Thornton, Colorado and all victims of random acts of violence. DETAILS

... for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From a book on the death of his brother, Satyrus, by Ambrose of Milan:

We see that death is gain, life is loss.

Paul says, "For me life is Christ, and death a gain."

What does “Christ” mean but to die in the body and receive the breath of life? Let us then die with Christ, to live with Christ. We should have a daily familiarity with death, a daily desire for death. By this kind of detachment our soul must learn to free itself from the desires of the body. It must soar above earthly lusts to a place where they cannot come near, to hold it fast. It must take on the likeness of death, to avoid the punishment of death. The law of our fallen nature is at war with the law of our reason and subjects the law of reason to the law of error.

What is the remedy? "Who will set me free from this body of death?"

"The grace of God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord."

We have a doctor to heal us; let us use the remedy he prescribes. The remedy is the grace of Christ, the dead body our own. Let us then be exiles from our body, so as not to be exiles from Christ. Though we are still in the body, let us not give ourselves to the things of the body. We must not reject the natural rights of the body, but we must desire before all else the gifts of grace.

What more need be said?

It was by the death of one man that the world was redeemed. Christ did not need to die if he did not want to, but he did not look on death as something to be despised, something to be avoided, and he could have found no better means to save us than by dying. Thus his death is life for all. We are sealed with the sign of his death; when we pray we preach his death; when we offer sacrifice we proclaim his death. His death is victory; his death is a sacred sign; each year his death is celebrated with solemnity by the whole world.

What more should we say about his death since we use this divine example to prove that it was death alone that won freedom from death, and death itself was its own redeemer? Death is then no cause for mourning, for it is the cause of mankind’s salvation. Death is not something to be avoided, for the son of God did not think it beneath his dignity, nor did he seek to escape it.

Death was not part of nature; it became part of nature. God did not decree death from the beginning; he prescribed it as a remedy. Human life was condemned because of sin to unremitting labour and unbearable sorrow and so began to experience the burden of wretchedness. There had to be a limit to its evils; death had to restore what life had forfeited. Without the assistance of grace, immortality is more of a burden than a blessing.

The soul has to turn away from the aimless paths of this life, from the defilement of an earthly body; it must reach out to those assemblies in heaven (though it is given only to the saints to be admitted to them) to sing the praises of God.

We learn from Scripture how God’s praise is sung to the music of the harp: "Great and wonderful are your deeds, Lord God Almighty; just and true are your ways, King of the nations. Who will not revere and glorify your nature? You alone are holy; all nations will come and worship before you."

The soul must also desire to witness your nuptials, Jesus, and to see your bride escorted from earthly to heavenly realities, as all rejoice and sing: All flesh will come before you. No longer will the bride be held in subjection to this passing world but will be made one with the spirit.

Above all else, holy David prayed that he might see and gaze on this: "One thing I have asked of the Lord, this I shall pray for: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, and to see how gracious is the Lord."

CLOSING PRAYER

Father of all, we pray to thee for those we love, but see no longer: Grant them thy peace; let light perpetual shine upon them; and in thy loving wisdom and almighty power, work in them the good purpose of thy perfect will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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.

Passing Thoughts Of A Mad Priest

Inappropriate behaviour is now more newsworthy than murder in England. I have just listened to a ten minute report about Kevin Spacey's wandering hands on, of all channels, Radio 4. What is the BBC coming to? I fear that what is being sold as political correctness is in fact little more than pruriency gone mad.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

TUESDAY THE THIRTY-FIRST OF OCTOBER, 2017

OPENING PRAYER

O Lord, who promises a crown of life to those who love you, give us grace to love you for what you are more than for all which you bestow upon us; and so, loving you, to endure temptation and finish our course with joy. Amen.

( Christina G. Rossetti )

CANTICLE

Lord, keep us steadfast in thy Word;
curb those who, fain by craft and sword,
would wrest the kingdom from thy son
and set at naught all he hath done.

Lord Jesus Christ, thy power make known,
for thou art lord of lords alone;
defend thy Christendom that we
may evermore sing praise to thee.

O comforter of priceless worth,
send peace and unity on earth.
Support us in our final strife
and lead us out of death to life.

( Martin Luther )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Starting a revolution
with a hammer and nail

On this the day in 1517 a German, Augustinian monk, name of Martin Luther, started a conversation that led to the fragmentation of church unity in Europe, by offering a critical assessment of church traditions in light of the "Bible."

Medieval people only wanted what we want today. They wanted to know what is certain about existence. What can we count on in a world where chaos so often seemed to rule? To that Medieval world, the Church offered the certainty of an institution brought to life by God, led by a pope whose spiritual authority over all others was by divine right. In effect, the Church offered, that if one followed the teaching and traditions of the Church, they were assured a place in heaven.

This worked for a long time, but then in 1378, the Church suddenly found itself with two popes each one claiming legitimacy, and before long there were three popes, vying for power, excommunicating those who favoured someone else. This papal uncertainty led people to seek a different source of authority, and so many started to turn to the "Bible." Aided by the invention of the printing press, efforts were made to translate the "Bible" into vernacular languages, and put it in the hands of as many as possible.

People like Martin Luther, began to study the biblical texts and they found out that many of the church traditions people took for granted had no warrant in the "Bible." The veneration of the saints, the teaching of Purgatory, and the sale of indulgences were the catalyst for change.

Luther was fond of drawing people back to the text of scripture to seek a way of living the faith of Jesus, not in the cloister, but in the world. He argued for a married clergy, for worship in the language people spoke, and for a dismantling of the church’s hierarchy.

Today, a different age calls for a different reformation. The internet makes possible all kinds of community unheard of in previous ages. A church like Saint Laika’s can draw upon a wider, ecumenical base to reach folks who have been hurt by the institutional church or its ministers, yet hunger for spiritual substance. In the difficult days we live in, when the world is a global village, people still are seeking certainty in an uncertain world.

Scripture. "Psalm Forty-Six" was the scriptural text behind Martin Luther’s famous hymn “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” Here are the first three verses of the psalm:

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for members of the Lutheran denomination throughout the world.

... for theologians and Biblical scholars; for leaders and enablers of Bible study.

... that all may enjoy freedom of religious thought without fear of being harmed.

... for refugees confined to detention centres and camps.

... for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From a sermon on "Titus, chapter three, verses four to eight, by Martin Luther:

This is the teaching implied in "John," chapter fourteen, verse six:

“No one cometh unto the Father but by me.”

Christ’s sole effort in the whole Gospel is to draw us out of ourselves into himself; he spreads out his wings and calls us together beneath their shelter.

To emphasise the grace of Christ is also Paul’s design in the conclusion of this lesson, where he says: “That, being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying.”

He does not say “justified by our faith” but “justified by the grace of Christ.”

Christ alone has favour with God. No one but he has done the will of God and merited eternal life. In view of the fact that he did it not for his own sake but for ours, all believers should be so perfectly one with Christ that all he has done for them will, through him and his grace, be regarded as if the believer himself had accomplished it. See what an inexpressibly beneficent thing Christian faith is — what inconceivably great blessings it brings to all believers!

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God, gracious lord, pour out your Holy Spirit upon all your faithful people. Keep them steadfast in your Word, protect and comfort them in all temptations, defend them against all their enemies, and bestow on the Church your saving peace; through your son, 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

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

The MadGang Visit Grantchester

There may not have been black archdeacons in the Church of England during the 1950s but, at least, the village of Grantchester really exists and, whilst we were down south visiting my folks the other week, we went to have a look at. It is not far from the campsite we were staying on in Cambridgeshire.

The only scenes they film in Grantchester itself are those set in (and just outside) the parish church.

I actually have a link to the series, albeit rather tenuous. I baptised one of Robson Green's nephews. Pretty much all of his extended family were at the Christening but not the man himself, which was a shame as it would have made for a far more interesting anecdote.

Here are some snaps I took whilst treading where the reasonably famous had trod.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

MONDAY THE THIRTIETH OF OCTOBER, 2017

OPENING PRAYER

Almighty and everlasting God, who, in the abundance of your goodness, does exceed the deserts as well as the desires of your suppliants, pour forth upon us your mercy; that you may forgive those things whereof our conscience is afraid, and add unto us those things which our prayer dare not to ask; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-SEVEN ( abridged )

O pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

By the waters of Babylon
we sat down and wept,
when we remembered Zion.

As for our lyres, we hung them up
on the willows that grow in that land.
For there our captors asked for a song,
our tormentors called for mirth:
"Sing us one of the songs of Zion."

How shall we sing
the Lord's song
in a strange land?

If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
let my right hand forget its skill.
Let my tongue cleave
to the roof of my mouth
if I do not remember you,
if I set not Jerusalem
above my highest joy.

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 pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

God of our pilgrimage, you sent your son to our strange land to bring us home to you; give us your songs to sing, that even in our exile we may be filled with the breath of the Spirit of Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Clarence Jordan
"He be gone now but his footprint still here"
(transferred from Sunday)

Clarence Jordan was a civil rights pioneer, author of the "Cotton Patch Gospels" and co-founder of Habitat for Humanity.

He was born in Talbotton, Georgia in 1912. From an early age the young Jordan was troubled by the racial and economic injustice that he perceived in his community. Hoping to improve the lot of sharecroppers through scientific farming techniques, Jordan enrolled in the University of Georgia, earning a degree in agriculture in 1933. During his college years, however, Jordan became convinced that the roots of poverty were spiritual as well as economic. This conviction led him to the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, from which, in 1938, he earned a Ph.D. in the Greek New Testament. While at seminary Jordan met Florence Kroeger, and the couple were soon married.

In 1942, the Jordans founded Koinonia Farm, an interracial, Christian farming community near Americus, Georgia. The Koinonia partners bound themselves to the equality of all persons, rejection of violence, ecological stewardship, and common ownership of possessions. For several years the residents of Koinonia lived in relative peace alongside their Sumter County neighbours. But as the civil rights movement progressed, white citizens of the area increasingly perceived Koinonia, with its commitment to racial equality, as a threat. In the 1950s and early 1960s, Koinonia became the target of a stifling economic boycott and repeated violence, including several bombings.

In the late 1960s, the hostilities gradually subsided, and Jordan increasingly turned his energies to speaking and writing. Among the latter are his well-known Cotton Patch series, homey translations of "New Testament" writings which set the story of Jesus in the American South.

In 1965, Millard and Linda Fuller visited Koinonia, planning only to stay for a couple of hours. Inspired by Jordan, however, in mid-1968, the Fullers chose to make Koinonia their permanent home. The Fuller family brought renewed energy to Koinonia. The organisation changed its name to Koinonia Partners and started a number of partnership type ventures such as "Partnership Housing," a project to build and sell quality, affordable homes at cost with a no interest mortgage for low-income area families. This would eventually lead, in 1976, to the creation of Habitat for Humanity. Jordan, however, would not live to see the completion of the first house. On the twenty-ninth of October, 1969, he died suddenly of a heart attack.

Scripture. In the "Cotton-Patch" version of "Luke," chapter six we read:

But you all love your enemies, and be kind, and lend, expecting nothing. And you’ll get plenty of ‘pay’; you’ll be the spittin’ image of the Almighty, who himself is friendly towards the unlovely and the mean. Be tender, just as your Father is tender.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the residents of Koinonia Farm and all who seek live in community in the same spirit as the first Christians.

... for Habitat for Humanity and all who work to make housing available and affordable to those on low incomes.

... for victims of the storms that have wreaked havoc in parts of central and northern Europe. DETAILS

... for the parents of autistic children, especially those whose child is prone to episodes of aggressive behaviour.

... for those now facing starvation in the conflict-wracked DR Congo province of Kasai. 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

Father of us, O spiritual one,
your name be truly honoured.
Your kingdom spread, your will prevail
through earth, as through the heavens.
Sustaining bread grant us each day.
Forgive our debts as we forgive
the debts of all who cannot pay.
And from confusion keep us clear;
deliver us from evil's sway. Amen.

READING

From "The Substance of Faith: And Other Cotton Patch Sermons" by Clarence Jordan:

Even though people about us choose the path of hate and violence and warfare and greed and prejudice, we who are Christ's body must throw off these poisons and let love permeate and cleanse every tissue and cell. Nor are we to allow ourselves to become easily discouraged when love is not always obviously successful or pleasant. Love never quits, even when an enemy has hit you on the right cheek and you have turned the other, and he's also hit that.”

CLOSING PRAYER

Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may move every human heart; that the barriers dividing us may crumble, suspicions disappear and hatreds cease; that we may live in peace with one another; through your son, 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

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

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

FRIDAY THE TWENTY-SEVENTH OF OCTOBER, 2017

OPENING PRAYER

May my whole being, O God, be one thanksgiving unto you, may all within me praise you and love you; for all which you have forgiven, and for all which you have given; for your unknown hidden blessings, and for those which, in my negligence or thoughtlessness, I passed over; for any and every gift of nature or of grace; for my power of loving; for all blessings within and without; and for all which you have yet in store for me; for everything whereby you have drawn me to yourself, whether joy or sorrow; for all whereby you will to make me your own for ever. Amen.

( E. B. Pusey )

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-SIX ( abridged )

Give thanks to the Lord,
for he is gracious.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his mercy endures for ever.

Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
who alone does great wonders;
who by wisdom made the heavens;
who laid out the earth upon the waters;
who made the great lights,
the sun to rule the day,
the moon and the stars
to govern the night;
who gives food to all creatures.

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.

Give thanks to the God of heaven,
for his mercy endures for ever.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Michael Servetus
Burned for heresy in Geneva

Today is a good day to reflect on the futility of trying to combine faith in Christ with worldly power. On this day in 1553, Michael Servetus, a physician, polymath, and theologian, was burned at the stake for heresy, for denying the Holy Trinity. His own books were set on fire to burn him. All of this was ordered by the Calvinist town council of Geneva. The irony of this is that Calvinists themselves had been declared heretics by the Roman Catholic Church. So this became less about correct teaching and more about who wielded the power of the sword.

Servetus was a Spaniard. As best we can tell, he began as a member of the Roman Catholic Church and in 1530 attended the coronation of Charles V, as Holy Roman Emperor. He became distressed by the ornate pomp and show of Roman Catholic ritual and in 1531 travelled to Germany and Switzerland to meet with leaders of the Reformation.

He centred on the classic doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and found it to be “unbiblical.” In the face of Muslim aggression and desiring to draw all three Abrahamic religions closer together, he stressed the unity of God at the expense of the Trinity without ever explicitly denying the divinity of the Son and Holy Spirit.

He felt that the alignment of the Church with Constantine and the power of the Roman Empire had caused the downfall of the Church. He very much wanted to devalue the Nicene Creed, and re-emphasise understandings of God and God’s nature written in pre-Constantinian times.

In his naiveté, he sent a copy of his work to John Calvin, seeking dialogue and conversation with him. Calvin had told his closest followers that if Servetus ever came to Geneva he would make sure he never left the city alive. In August of 1553 he was found to be in Geneva where he was arrested, imprisoned and put on trial for his errors. The trial concluded on the twenty-seventh of October, whereupon he was burned to death.

His dying words were recorded: "Jesus, son of the eternal God, have mercy on me."

In our day, it is so easy to cast a judgment upon extremists of other religions who are happy to kill in the name of God. I am constantly reminded of the Christian form of that extremism because I now live in a community where a doctor who performed abortions was brutally murdered with a gunshot through a window of his own home, in front of his family, by a Christian extremist.

Scripture: In the eighth chapter of "John" at verses seven through nine (a), we read:

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her."

And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground.

When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for all who are persecuted because of their religious beliefs.

... for Unitarians and all non-trinitarian followers of Jesus Christ.

... for the people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the people of Turkmenistan, who celebrate their national day today.

... for young people suffering from mental health problems, in particular those who are having to wait for the professional, medical care they need.

... for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From a letter from Michael Servetus to Oecolampadius, a Hebraist living in Basel:

Inherent of human condition is the sickness of believing the rest are impostors and heathen, and not ourselves, because nobody recognises his own mistakes. If one must condemn everyone that misses in a particular point then every mortal would have to be burnt a thousand times. The apostles and Luther himself have been mistaken. I think it is grave to kill men, under the pretext that they are mistaken on the interpretation of some point, for we know that even the chosen ones are not exempt from sometimes being wrong

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God, we come before you acknowledging the sin that is within us. We share the guilt of all those who, bearing the name Christian, slay their fellow human beings because of race or creed or nation. Forgive us and change us by your love, that your word of hope may be heard clearly throughout the world; 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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The Pain Of Being Today’s News

There are major items on news programmes today concerning mental health in the workplace. Lots of company directors are being interviewed about all the wonderful things they are going to do to help their employees with mental health problems. The government is going lead the way by insisting on best practice in the civil service.

I should be happy for all the people who will not have to go through what I went through. All the people who will not be sacked and thrown out of their home for the unforgivable crime of suffering from clinical depression. But all I feel is anguish and jealousy. The only way I can cope with my worthless life is by trying not to think about it. The news reports bring all the pain to the forefront where it cannot be ignored.

Mind you, it is going to get a lot worse. Any day now the Church of England will jump on the bandwagon and start pretending they give a damn about the mental health of its employees and priests. That is going to be a very painful day indeed.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

THURSDAY THE TWENTY-SIXTH OF OCTOBER, 2017
* Alfred the Great *

OPENING PRAYER

O Lord from who all good things do come, grant to us, your humble servants, that by your holy inspiration we may think those things that are good, and by your merciful guiding may perform the same, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-FIVE ( abridged )

Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good.

Alleluia.
Praise the name of the Lord;
give praise, you servants of the Lord,
you that stand in the house of the Lord,
in the courts of the house of our God.

For I know that the Lord is great
and that our Lord is above all gods.
The Lord does whatever he pleases
in heaven and on earth,
in the seas and in all the deeps.
He brings up the clouds
from the ends of the earth;
he makes lightning with the rain
and brings the winds
out of his treasuries.

The idols of the nations
are but silver and gold,
the work of human hands.
They have mouths, but cannot speak;
eyes have they, but cannot see;
they have ears, but cannot hear;
neither is there any breath in their mouths.
Those who make them shall become like them,
and so will all who put their trust in them.

Bless the Lord, O house of Israel;
O house of Aaron, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, O house of Levi;
you who fear the Lord, bless the Lord.

Blessed be the Lord from Zion,
who dwells in Jerusalem.
Alleluia.

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.

Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good.

Wise and gracious God, save us from the idols of our hearts and keep us in your living presence, that we may become a people for your praise in Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Alfred the Great
“In the midst of earthly troubles,
thinking of heavenly things”

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Alfred the Great, king of the West Saxons, who died on the twenty-sixth of October, 899.

Alfred ruled in a very tumultuous time in the history of Britain. He watched his father and four brothers die in battle before he wore the crown of king. He was challenged by the Norsemen, the Danes who raided and pillaged Britain.

After successfully stopping the advance of the Norsemen in 878AD, he made a treaty with them. They could keep land in the North East of England, provided they accepted baptism and instruction in the Christian faith.

These forced conversions seem inappropriate to us today as it hardly seems that genuine faith in Christ can be part of the act. But it brought peace to England, and that peace enabled the Christian Church to continue its mission throughout the land without fear.

History treats Alfred as a holy king. In his early years he had aspired to become a monk. Circumstances thrust him into battle and onto the throne, but once peace was secured he turned his thoughts once again to reading and to the "Bible." He was much impressed by the provisions in the "Law of Moses" for the protection of the rights of ordinary citizens, and gave order that similar provisions should be made part of English law. He promoted the education of the clergy as he considered that the tumultuous times he lived in were a result of a lack of learning. He caused many books and ideas to be translated and circulated for study. He once reasoned that he did this so that “in the midst of earthly troubles I might sometimes think of heavenly things.”

Scripture. In "Psalm Twenty-one" we read at verses one and seven:

In your strength the king rejoices, O LORD, and in your help how greatly he exults! For the king trusts in the LORD, and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the rulers of the nations; that they may rule for their people not over them.

... for Queen Elizabeth II; that her Christian faith may continue to be as a light to the nations.

... for intersex people. DETAILS

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

... for the safety of the people of Kenya as they rerun their national election; that it will not result in more violence. DETAILS

... for those who lose their jobs because of suffering from mental illness. DETAILS

... for those killed or injured when a fireworks factory exploded in Tangerang, Indonesia. DETAILS

... for those killed or injured during an assassination attempt on Ukrainian MP, Ihor Mosiychuk, in Kiev. 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 "Pastoral Rule: Book One" by Gregory the Great:

What manner of man ought to come to rule.

That man, therefore, ought by all means to be drawn with cords to be an example of good living who already lives spiritually, dying to all passions of the flesh; who disregards worldly prosperity; who is afraid of no adversity; who desires only inward wealth; whose intention the body, in good accord with it, thwarts not at all by its frailness, nor the spirit greatly by its disdain: one who is not led to covet the things of others, but gives freely of his own; who through the bowels of compassion is quickly moved to pardon, yet is never bent down from the fortress of rectitude by pardoning more than is meet; who perpetrates no unlawful deeds, yet deplores those perpetrated by others as though they were his own; who out of affection of heart sympathises with another's infirmity, and so rejoices in the good of his neighbour as though it were his own advantage; who so insinuates himself as an example to others in all he does that among them he has nothing, at any rate of his own past deeds, to blush for; who studies so to live that he may be able to water even dry hearts with the streams of doctrine; who has already learned by the use and trial of prayer that he can obtain what he has requested from the Lord, having had already said to him, as it were, through the voice of experience, "While you are yet speaking, I will say, Here am I" (Isaiah 58:9).

CLOSING PRAYER

O sovereign Lord, who brought your servant Alfred to a troubled throne that he might establish peace in a ravaged land and revive learning and the arts among the people: awake in us also a keen desire to increase our understanding while we are in this world and an eager longing to reach that endless life where all will be made clear; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

WEDNESDAY THE TWENTY-FIFTH OF OCTOBER, 2017
* Henri Perrin *

OPENING PRAYER

O Lord God, our governor, we beseech you, of your mercy, that we may have the heavenly vision, and behold things as they seem unto you, that the turmoil of this world may be seen by us to be bringing forth the sweet peace of the eternal years, and that in all the troubles and sorrows of our own hearts we may behold good, and so, with quiet mind and inward peace, careless of outward storm, we may do the duty of life which brings to us a quiet heart, ever trusting in you. We give you thanks for all your mercy. We beseech your forgiveness of all our sins. We pray your guidance in all things, your presence in the hour of death, your glory in the life to come. Of your mercy hear us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

( George Dawson )

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-FOUR

Bless the Lord, O my soul.

Come, bless the Lord,
all you servants of the Lord,
you that by night stand
in the house of the Lord.

Lift up your hands
towards the sanctuary
and bless the Lord.

The Lord who made heaven and earth
give you blessing out of Zion.

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.

Bless the Lord, O my soul.

Guard all your household, Lord, through the dark night of faith, and purify the hearts of those who wait on you, until your kingdom dawns with the rising of your son, Christ, the morning star. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Henri Perrin, worker priest, outside the ecclesiastical ghetto

In Paris in the 1940’s, several Roman Catholic priests asked their bishop to allow them to start a new ministry to the working class of Paris which had been long estranged from the church. They applied for jobs in the factories of Paris and worked alongside the men and women they hoped to serve. They did not broadcast their identity as priests, but built their relationships from the ground up, as co-workers. Henri Perrin was one of the founders of the movement.

Peter Collins wrote of it this way, "They began to see that the absence of the poor from the Church signalled not simply a gulf to be filled by 'bringing them back', but a radical rethinking of the whole mission of the Church.”

During World War II French workers were conscripted by the government to do factory work in Germany. Perrin and others volunteered to accompany them. It was out of this experience that the worker priest movement was born.

After the war, in 1947, their bishop gave them his blessing and the experiment began. Perrin found work in a plastics factory. When his priestly identity was discovered, his coworkers gave him a level of respect and friendship he claimed he had never received as a parish priest.

Though the French bishops were enthusiastic, their enthusiasm was not matched in Rome where the church bureaucrats were afraid to get the Church too mixed up with French communists. They ordered the worker priest movement to disband in 1954. This threw Henri Perrin into a real crisis.

“It is impossible that I should return to the ghetto,” he wrote to a friend.

His choices were bleak. Before he could reach a conclusion, he was tragically killed in a motorbike accident on the twenty-fifth of October, 1954 at age forty.

Quote: “With us, or without us, or in spite of us, God will fill that gulf, if only we don’t put too many spokes in the wheel."
( Henri Perrin )

Scripture. In "The Second Letter to the Thessalonians," chapter three, at verses seven and eight we read:

For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us; we were not idle when we were with you, and we did not eat anyone’s bread without paying for it; but with toil and labor we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for workers.

... for industrial chaplains.

... that we may demonstrate the love of God in the way we behave in our places of work.

... that the people of God may break free from the ghettoes we have constructed for ourselves and take the good news of Jesus Christ out into the whole world.

... for the dissolution of all powers and dominions within the institutions of the Church, except for the power and dominion of Jesus Christ, our lord.

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

... for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From Pope Francis' address to the Italian Christian Workers’ Associations, twenty-third of May, 2015:

True freedom of labour means that man, in continuing the work of the Creator, helps the world rediscover its purpose: to be the work of God who, in the work performed, incarnates and extends the image of his presence in Creation and in human history. Too often, however, labour is subject to oppression on different levels: of one person over another; of new organisations of slavery which oppose the poorest; in particular, man women and children are subject to an economy which forces them to work in degrading conditions that contradict the beauty and harmony of Creation. We must ensure that labour is not an instrument of alienation, but of hope and new life. In other words, that there is freedom of labour.

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God, your son Jesus Christ hallowed human labour by working with his hands in a carpenter's shop in Nazareth. May your church value and respect the hard work of men and women, especially those whose work is dangerous or burdensome. Continue to send us renewers of the Church such as Henri Perrin, so that your grace may find a home in the places where your people toil. 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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