Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

* Jonathan Daniels *


O holy and ever-blessed Lord, teach us, we beseech you, to love one another, to exercise forbearance and forgiveness towards our enemies; to recompense no person evil for evil, but to be merciful even as you, our Father in Heaven, are merciful: that so we may continually follow after you in all our doings, and be more and more conformed to your image and likeness. Amen.

( New Church Book of Worship )



O praise the Lord, all you nations;
praise him, all you peoples.
For great is his steadfast love towards us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures for ever.

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


Gracious God,
we praise you for your faithfulness
and pray that every nation
may find your blessing
in the face of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Jonathan Daniels: hid with Christ in God

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Jonathan Daniels, a seminary student from the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who was shot and killed in Selma, Alabama, in 1965 whilst working for the cause of equal rights for African-Americans. This is especially poignant as this remembrance comes after a weekend of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, perpetrated by white supremacists and others in the neo-Nazi movement.

Doctor Martin Luther King had issued a call for others to join him in Selma, Alabama, to march to the state capitol, on behalf of the civil rights movement.

Daniels tells in his own words what happened to him during evensong at the seminary: “I was singing the Magnificat with the special love and reverence I have always felt for Mary's glad song. Then it came. 'He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble and meek. He hath filled the hungry with good things.' I knew then that I must go to Selma. The Virgin's song was to grow more and more dear in the weeks ahead.”

He went to Selma, but realising how ineffective his own witness would be if he simply returned to Cambridge, he received permission to complete his semester off campus, and he stayed in Selma through the spring of 1965, returning to Cambridge only to take exams and turn in papers.

Jonathan devoted many of his Sundays in Selma to bringing small groups of black people, mostly high school students, to church with him in an effort to integrate the local Episcopal church. In August, he and others were arrested for picketing local businesses and spent six days in jail. Upon their release, they entered a local store, where a man met them with a loaded shotgun. He aimed his gun at one of the women in the group, and Jonathan pushed her out of the way and took the shotgun blast himself, which was fatal.

He had written: “I lost fear (of Selma) when I began to know in my bones and sinews that I had been truly baptised into the Lord's death and resurrection, that in the only sense that really matters I am already dead, and my life is hid with Christ in God."

Scripture. In the "Book of Proverbs," the fourth chapter from verse twenty-three to twenty-six, we read:

"Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you crooked speech and put devious talk far from you. Let your eyes look directly forwards and your gaze be straight before you. Keep straight the path of your feet and all your ways will be sure.


We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for those who campaign, peacefully, for an end to racial inequality, race hatred and all claims of racial supremacy.

... for the people of Charlottesville, Virginia, in particular those who were killed or injured when a car was driven into a crowd of pedestrians on Saturday.

... for an end to racism and segregation within our churches and congregations.

... for the people of Pakistan who celebrate seventy years of independence today; that there may be a real and lasting peace between Pakistan and India and that their territorial arguments may be resolved.

... for those killed or injured when Islamist militants attacked a restaurant in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. DETAILS

... for an end to the cholera epidemic in Yemen that has, so far, resulted in the death of nearly two thousand people; for an end to the civil warfare in Yemen that is causing the spread of disease, hunger and thirst. DETAILS

... for the hundreds of people who have been killed and all who have been injured or made homeless by a mudslide that has occurred near Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown. 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.


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


From the decree of the Holy and Grand Council, Constantinople, September, 1872:

The apostle Paul has commanded us to take heed unto ourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has made us overseers, to govern the Church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood; and has at the same time predicted that grievous wolves shall enter among us, not sparing the flock, and that of our own selves shall men arise speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them; and he has warned us to beware of such.

We have learned with astonishment and pain that such men have lately appeared among the Bulgarian people within the jurisdiction of the Holy Ecumenical Throne. They have dared to introduce into the Church the idea of phyletism, or the national church, which is of the temporal life, and have established, in contempt of the sacred canon, an unauthorised and unprecedented church assembly, based upon the principle of the difference of races.

Being inspired in accordance with our duty, by zeal for God and the wish to protect the pious Bulgarian people against the spread of this evil, we have met in the name of our saviour, Jesus Christ. Having first besought from the depths of our hearts the grace of the Father of light, and consulted the gospel of Christ, in which all treasures of wisdom are hidden, and having examined the principles of phyletism with reference to the precepts of the gospel and the temporal constitution of the Church of God, we have found it not only foreign, but in enmity to them, and have perceived that the unlawful acts committed by the aforesaid unauthorised phyletismal assembly, as they were severally recited to us, are one and all condemned.

Therefore, in view of the sacred canons, whose rulings are hereby confirmed in their whole compass; in view of the teachings of the apostles, through whom the Holy Spirit has spoken; in view of the decrees of the seven ecumenical councils, and of all the local councils; in view of the definitions of the fathers of the Church, we ordain as follows:

Art. 1. We censure, condemn, and declare contrary to the teachings of the gospel and the sacred canons of the holy fathers the doctrine of phyletism, or the difference of races and national diversity in the bosom of the Church of Christ.

Art. 2. We declare the adherents of phyletism, who have had the boldness to set up an unlawful, unprecedented Church assembly upon such a principle, to be foreign and absolutely schismatic to the only holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.


O God we give you thanks for your faithful witness Jonathan Daniels, who, in the midst of injustice and violence, risked and gave his life for another; and we pray that we, following his example, may make no peace with oppression; through Jesus Christ the just one: 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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