Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

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

OPENING PRAYER

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

Women of courage.
Women of hope.

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

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

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

Women seeking wisdom.
Women sharing wisdom.

Women receiving love.
Women giving love.

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

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

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

( Education for Justice )

CANTICLE

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

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

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

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

( Fannie E. Heck )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

G. A. Studdert Kennedy: Woodbine Willie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... for ourselves.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

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

READING

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

'Im and me was kids together,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

'Ow I wants a child, 'is child.

CLOSING PRAYER

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

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

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

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