Wednesday, December 16, 2009

God's Mercy

When God hardens it is not that he ceases to be merciful, but that his mercy can no more take effect upon the hardened substance of the heart.

Fr David Jenks

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Jenks - FACE - The Fellow-Believer

The Fellow-Believer

“And again, I will put my trust in him.”—Heb. ii. 13.
Consider the Brother and Fellow-worshipper as also the Fellow-believer. It is fitting that the Fellow-worshipper should be the Fellow-believer; as Brother too he must also put his trust in God.
Make an act of faith in Christ’s trust in God even unto death, and examine your trust in him.

I — The Incarnate life a life of trust in God.

a.The writer has given his lessons in the form of quotations from David the suffering king, and Isaiah the representative prophet at a critical moment of history. By such illustrations he draws attention to the Messiah as realizing the sum of human experience, and as the fulfiller of the destiny of mankind.

b.The Incarnate life was the manifestation of perfect trust in God. It may be seen in his submission to the limitations and conditions of human life, domestic, social, national; in his prayers, his obedience to the Father’s will, his dependence on him; in his consciousness of mission, his independence of human judgments, his conviction of successful issue.

c.Isaiah trusted in God during Assyria’s tyranny, and led his brethren to put their hope on him (Isa. viii. 11-18. The quotation is from verse 17 Greek). Fit type of him who through the dark conflict with the world’s sin would neither compromise with the world, nor relax his trust in God in the failure of public ministry, and the hour of darkness and death; “My God, my God.”

II—Trust and faith.

a.Trust is the response of relationship. The Elder Brother has manifested for us the life of sonship; he who reveals the Father has lived under human conditions the life of filial trust, and lived it for his brethren, that united with him we too may respond to our new birth, “Begotten again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

b.Trust is the active expression of faith. This trust in God was neither fatalism nor credulity. On the one side it was voluntary, “I lay down my life”; on the other it was the consciousness of existing facts, “I know him, and if I should say I know him not I shall be a liar like unto you.” The Christian life possesses the gift of trust as the very prompting of the nature of our sonship. We cry, “Abba, Father.”

c.Christ himself is the conviction of the Christian’s trust in God. In him we see the perfected life of sonship. And we are to grow up into him in all things, as the younger brethren, In him we see what we are to become in realization and development, what we are even now in state (see 1 S. John iii. 2).

III —Christ and the Church’s faith.

a.The Church supported by the trust of Christ in God cannot fail. Her faith is the measure of her worship, the confident assurance of her continual approach to God; the Fellow-worshipper is the Fellow-believer, and against such faith the gates of Hades cannot prevail; they failed in the hour of his death.

b.And he is the guardian of the Church’s faith. To be ready to shed portions of the faith at the urgency of the world is to deny the verity of the Fellow-believer; the Church cannot believe other than he believes. When the faith seems failing, remember the great Isaiah, the preacher of “The remnant;” “Nevertheless when the Son of Man cometh shall he find that faith on the earth” which always prays and never faints (S. Luke xviii. 8 and 1)?

c.How different is this truth of the Church as the embodiment of the Christ from the loosely held ideas of the Church! When faith fails and we seem to be losing trust in the Church, regarding it as a decaying power, then lift up the eye to the Fellow-believer, who holds all secure in himself, and speaking as the mouthpiece of the Church says, “I will put my trust in him.”

Jenks - FACE - The Son of Man

The Son of Man

“Who is this?”—S. Matt. xxi. 10.
Picture: the entry into Jerusalem.
Resolve: to think of Jesus Christ, the Man, this Advent.

I—The scene.

a.The first Advent gospel brings forcibly before us the Immediate purpose of the Incarnation: “For this cause came I into the world.” In view of that purpose the scene has for us an appalling character in its mixture of curiosity, excitement, indifference, passing favour, but readiness to be stirred up to religious violence. It seems in part to represent permanent attitudes towards the Gospel.

b.Nevertheless the crowd did not mean to attack goodness. That aspect which impresses us so strongly was lost upon them, for they did not perceive even his goodness, still less did they understand him. They only knew of him through the religious prejudice of their teachers, and from certain stories which shocked their traditions. They were sight-seers who did not even ask their question with any serious intention.

c.Through this crowd, unheeded as a force, he rode in meekness and submission to its conditions. It is we who can see in this picture a partial answer to the question: he is one whose Person is revealed in humility, whoever he may be. He will conquer by conviction of character, and not by the display of any evidence of works.

II—The Son of Man.

a.The title is especially applied to him in this connection. But to us it conveys more even than ideal humanity: it connotes to Christians the divine relation of humanity. There is the self-revelation of all the Gospel in his Person; that God could become man is the evidencing that man’s purpose can be fulfilled, and that this purpose is the expression of true and full manhood.

b.We must study for a lifetime this revelation of what man is meant to be, and must study it in the imitation of the life of the Son of Man in its many-sidedness: but never may we lose sight of the truth that it is man in his fulness, man in relation to human life, although the revelation involves aspects of life not much regarded outside Christ.

c.Exhibition of human life is an inadequate expression of that life of the Son of Man which is the revelation of the power of God in man, which is to be ours through the Man who is God made man. Imitation can only mean here the proving of the power, the finding real and operative that gift which is the spirit of Christ and therefore of God.

III —Who for us men and for our salvation.

a.Bidden on Advent Sunday ask “Who is this?” of him as he enters Jerusalem on that journey at the end of which he was to be consummated. We, being as we are; may not think of him solely as the revelation of man, and the gift of God in man; but must recognize the gift as brought to us through the mystery of his life interpreted by its close. This should suffice to save us from the adoration of Christ merely as the Example.

b.Inasmuch as this redemption is wrought out in human nature we must learn therefrom that our incorporation into him is not merely into the fruit of his redemption but into him as Redeemer; that in him the character of his life of oblation is to be reproduced in us. Thus this Gospel is in no way foreign to the season, but casts a fuller light upon the humble and neglected birth-chamber.

c.Who will dare to look with pity upon the infant who is thus to suffer and die, and not rather to adore yet more devoutly? For what is even any life worth except what it can endure, suffer to save, and so rise to its highest fulfilment through the surrender of self to the bearing of the burden of life’s deformities which mar the presentation of true humanity.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Coming Soon to the Eastport Peninsula - THE MESSIAH!

The Messiah is to be preformed at the Church of the Holy Cross, Eastport, on Sunday December 13.
Come and enjoy an the spiritual performance that is Handel's Messiah.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Psalm 130 - "Plenteous Redemption!"

For with him is plenteous redemption.
Psalm 130.4
Experience of penitence has also led to a wide interpretation of redemption; it is plenteous, free, bounteous, not exhausted at the first exercise. And from out of self the penitent has advanced to see therein the Redeemer of Israel; the Church is seen as the sphere of redemption, and the Church as the redeemed from among mankind. Life in the Church is the continued experience of redemption. We were not redeemed one by one, nor can we live singly; life is collective.

This quote is from a meditation Fr David Jenks prepared for the 2nd Saturday of Lent.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Meditation is about our Affections towards God

For we must always remember that the meditation has not merely to do with vague truth. We meditate, in order to come to the Personal Truth, to God. As He is Love, it is only in the act of Love that we can come to Him.

Various affections ought therefore to be elicited in meditating upon the points which are given. The Holy Spirit will develop these, if we give ourselves up to His guidance. He teaches as the things of God more truly by leading us to proper affections towards God, than by giving us clear intuitions of what God is.

Constant aspirations, and devout acknowledgments uttered throughout the time of meditation, in sweet colloquy with God, are the really important part of the meditation. Sometimes, perhaps, these find their strongest utterance in the profound silence with which the soul waits upon God. God hears when wo are silent, if our silence is the silence of Love.

Fr Richard Meux Benson

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Compose yourself to Meditate

Composure must he obtained in two ways. First and chiefly, by the habitual repose of the soul in God. We must be living in continual fellowship with God. This habitual preparation is of the utmost consequence. If we are strangers to the Life of God, we cannot put ourselves, nor expect to be drawn, into the Life of God suddenly. Watchfulness in daily life helps us to contemplate God, and the habit of looking up to Him helps us to be watchful.
Fr Richard Meux Benson

Monday, October 12, 2009



“Were not the ten cleansed? but where are the nine?”—S. Luke xvii. 17.
Picture: the grateful Samaritan at the feet of Jesus.
Resolve: to make special acts of thanksgiving daily.
  1. Consider the virtue of gratitude.
    1. Our conscience tells us that there is a peculiar barbarity about ingratitude. Even the animals can feel and express gratitude: for a man not to feel it on occasion proves gross perversion of character. And, feeling it, not to express it in thanks is wilful damaging of character. Christ permitted himself to express surprise at the ingratitude of the nine.
    2. The main impediment to gratitude is pride of independence. A man does not like to feel under obligation: he desires to feel sufficient in himself. This is false: not independence but mutual love is the Christian’s aim. This applies in spiritual matters as well as material; we should be willing to accept help from all sources.
    3. Some feel gratitude, but cannot express it in thanks. This is to be deplored. When a man is true it should be natural to express what he feels. To act in such a manner as to give a false impression is hypocrisy. And so towards God as well as also towards man. If unaccustomed to express gratitude to him, we must train ourselves by continual acts of thanksgiving.
  2. Consider that God delights to receive the expression of our gratitude.
    1. Gratitude to him is not so common as it should be. We take his gifts as a matter of course, and do not think of the giver. And often we fail in gratitude because we do not appreciate his favours, having little or no desire for spiritual gifts.
    2. Men say “He ought to have said ‘Thank you’; not that I want his thanks.” But God does want, because he loves us. It is always unkind not to reciprocate advances of friendship: love is not so common in the world that it can be despised. But how gross the ingratitude not to reciprocate the advances of God’s love to us, manifested in the bestowal of the gifts.
    3. He delights in our gratitude also because it is the evidence of the character which he desires to see in us. For the practice of this virtue produces in us cheerfulness, contentment, humility, thoughtfulness for others. It is always so—it is an aspect of God’s unity—that what he desires for himself in us is that which is also for our own good.
  3. Peculiar reasons for cultivating the virtue of gratitude.
    1. To make reparation for the great ingratitude of the world, and for our own past ingratitude. It is one of the obligations of religion to make reparation to God for the insult of the world’s neglect of him.
    2. It develops a character of great importance to the priest and the religious—a lively sense of obligation to God, a freedom of speech with him, a sense of dependence on him and on one another. Gratitude is the foundation of charity. “We love because he first loved us.”
    3. While gratitude is a state of mind, thanksgiving is an act. By making acts of thanksgiving we cultivate the corresponding state of mind. The General Thanksgiving will give us all that we need by way of subjects—providence and grace. “That due sense of all thy mercies” (Gratitude) “and that we show forth thy praise . . . by giving up ourselves to thy Service” (Thanksgiving).

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bible Study - Hebrews ONE

Today in the Parish Bible Study we looked at Hebrews 1.
After lunch today I read the following, from Fr David Jenks book of meditations.
I invite you to take time and consider prayerfully this meditation.

The Worship of Jesus Christ

“The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”—Psa.110.1; Matt.22.44.
Picture: the Son of Man seated in glory with the holy angels round him.

Resolve: the worship of Jesus Christ.

  1. The two scenes.

    1. The scene passes from earth to heaven. David’s royal son is my Lord, who is exalted to the right-hand seat. In earlier Jewish prophecy the anointed king was conceived as frankly human; in later days the Messiah in apocalyptic literature became supramundane. The harmonizing of these elements in the person of the Incarnate Son was a stumbling block to the Jews.

    2. While the Jews did not connect the prophecies relating to the manifestation of the day of the Lord with those of the scion of the house of David, we do so boldly in the truth of the Ascension. The Son of David has entered upon his royal sway.

    3. The “angels share this experience with us, but enjoy it in a far higher degree. Since their creation they have worshipped the divine Word; when they minister as the divine agents they worship him in creation by service. Since the Incarnation they worship him in human nature also with an intelligence which corresponds to the unfolding appreciation of his redemptive work.

  2. “Sit thou on my right hand.”

    1. The epistle to the Hebrews has seized on these words as expressive of the dignity of the Son, who is the sharer of the Father’s throne. He sat down at the right hand of the majesty on high. After the work of redemption is the rest of the session, and the honour bestowed on his victorious human nature.

    2. The writer has dwelt also upon the unique position. No angel has ever been singled out for individual dignity, although they are highly distinguished as a class. The angels are sons of God (Job.2.1; Psa.89.6), but not to any one of them belongs the proud dignity of being addressed as “Thou art my Son” (Heb.1.5-13).

    3. And the session of the Son is the assumption of rule as the reward of victory. The angels are but attendant ministers, busy in his service. When he was on earth they ministered to him in his humility; now they minister to him in the person of those who shall be heirs of salvation through him (Heb.1.14).

  3. “Until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”

    1. The defeating blow has already been struck. Now he sits expecting in confident assurance the accomplishment of his work. The simile is that of vanquished enemies being brought to his footstool as to the presence of their conqueror: but is it for destruction or submission? Is Agag a type or Mephibosheth?

    2. Here too the angels minister, as they will do at the last. Sent forth to do service they bring many a vanquished foe to his pierced feet, to seize them and bedew them with the tears of penitence. And such he raises to be partners of his throne. And they also who will not seek for pardon must come at last to his feet, which are like unto fine brass as if they burned in a furnace (Rev.1.15).

    3. His feet are the place of worship. When S. John fell at the angel’s feet ho was rebuked (Rev.19.10; Rev.22.8-9); their feet were ready to be dispatched on duty. But when he fell as dead at the feet of the ascended Lord, he raised him up (Rev.1.17).

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ewer's book The Operation of the Holy Spirit

Bishop Eddie recently introduced me to the Rev'd Dr F C Ewer's book The Operation of the Holy Spirit.
The following is from page 35, as he reflects on the stories and songs of the Hebrew Testament and the influence of the Holy Spirit:

Who shall lay the measures of the Old Testament, or enter into the springs thereof? And who shall bind its sweet influences?
Consider, first, the diversity that is apparent on its surface. The Pentateuch moves with an epic cadence; Joshua rings with heroic numbers; and Judges sustains the martial strain; but in Ruth, the song sinks to a gentle pastoral, soon to break out as a sonnet in Esther, then swell to a drama in Job, and heave like a restless sea in the lyric Psalms.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Celebrating Roy with molasses!

Today we celebrated the life of a friend. Roy! And as we did a story was told of Roy seeking a taste of molasses. His great uncle kept a barrel in his store. One day Roy and a cousin when to the store to help themselves to some of the molasses. They removed the plug and had a good taste of the sweet and heavy molasses. But they could not get the plug to hold in place and the molasses was running on the floor. Roy's uncle kept his rubber boots in the store — and they were filled in an attempt to save some of the precious sweet molasses.

It's easy to point out another's mistakes — but when did you get it all right?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Meditation and the purpose that springs from the resolution

Last night, being Holy Cross Day, I lead the congregation in a meditation of Numbers 21. The following is a quote from Fr David Jenks about the purpose of a resolution in our meditations.

There is more than one purpose in the resolution, and the practice of it ought not to he neglected. It is only needful here to mark that it is a good application of the truth that a meditation is not an end, but a means to an end; meditation is to affect life. When we feel very dissatisfied with our meditations, it is something to know that at least they give us a daily resolution which is to be kept; when we are growing dangerously pleased with ourselves about them, it is a reminder to us of the practical character of the devotion, and a warning not to rely upon our pleasurable experiences.

In small group sharing, be it in Cursillo or a cell group, one of the purposes is to share our struggles and our successes. And in that to share our resolve in faith, whether that be of personal study and prayer, or of some action of faith that one has yet to accomplish.
In prayer and meditation it is vital to resolve to adoration, action, or acts of charity.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to . . . .
James 1.27

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Jenks - FACE - The Sigh of Jesus

The Sigh of Jesus

“He sighed.”—S. Mark vii. 34.

Picture: Jesus Christ in a Gentile district, sighing over this man whose ailment was typical.

Resolve: to share with him this sigh of being in an alien land.
  1. He sighed.

    1. He never lost the power of sympathy through familiarity with physical suffering. He entered into it, bore its sadness, relieved it where he could. It is indifference which deadens the heart to the pathos of familiar sights.

    2. He sighed now over a sick case which was typical of the spiritual state of the district: they had charity to bring this man to him to be healed, but were unconscious of the spiritual healing which they needed from him.
      Decapolis lay near to Judaea, but felt no need of its religion. Nothing about the world is sadder than its vicinity to the Church, and its natural kindness, together with its ignorance of its real needs.

    3. He sighed too as he foresaw the crowds which would gather from the disregard of his order of silence (vers. 36, 37; S. Matt. xv. 30, 31). Yet he submitted himself into their hands, healed their sick, preached to the crowds, fed four thousand of them. How contrary to this is the spirit of many of his servants, who are offended because the world is not conscious of thirsting for the sacraments! Should we not rather share his sigh, and then do what we can?

  2. He sighed for the man himself.

    1. His sickness was typical of his spiritual condition: deaf to the voice of God, stammering in speech to him. The impediment in the world’s speech with God is unrecognized and so unconfessed sin. It has not heard the voice of God walking in the garden of life, saying, “Where art thou?”

    2. He sighed over the coming disregard of his commands. He put a charge of silence on him for his own good, lest the fruits of his healing should be dissipated before they produced eternal benefits. Here too the man is typical of the modern Decapolis, whick looks for revival excitements and religious advertisement, rather than for the deep things of God.

    3. There was no impatience in the sigh. The man disobeyed, but his diseases did not return to him. The life-long deafness and impediment may be cured, and the man who has found healing in him may yet be very inattentive to his words. Surely the sigh says much to us of God’s patience with ourselves, who often come rather to be healed of the diseases which trouble us than to do his will.
  3. He sighs.

    1. The incarnate God by a human sigh can express to us the mind of God. Study to see the revelation of God in human expression: “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” Not only for the world but for the Church also must God, in the language of our meditation, sigh.

    2. There is often a weight of depression over his disciples from the sense of impotence. He sighs with us in this, in sympathy with our depression who live in Decapolis; for us also, because we so often bear our depression alone, and forget his sigh. For us, too, because, conscious of our impotence, we do not remember his power. His Church, which “with Babylon must cope,” also sighs: she must represent his mind.

    3. Let it be an ambition of Christian life to have fellowship with him in his sigh; to be unselfish, to have the mind of Christ. How can we be indifferent to the joys which the world is just missing? or to the contentment with which many Christians rest in their first healing? or to being ourselves strangers to the experiences of the sacred Heart?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Robertson of Brighton

While reading In the Face of Jesus Christ, by David Jenks, I came across the following quote:
But “when we are restless, God remains serene and calm. . . . What God is in himself, not what we may chance to feel him in this or that moment to be, that is our hope.”
(F. W. Robertson.)
Frederick William Robertson is also known as Robertson of Brighton. As Eastport was once called Brighton, I took some interest. And S.U.F. Brighton Lodge is a place we all know in the community. Ninety-four of his sermons are online.
Which sermon, or text, the above quote comes from I have yet to find out.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Jenks - FACE - The Grace of Sacramental Communion

The Grace of Sacramental Communion

“If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever.”—S. John vi. 51.

Picture: the scene, and the conversation about manna.

Resolve: to give greater heed to my communions.

  1. Communion and life.

    1. Seeing what it is, it cannot be other than a blessing. The fathers called it the medicine of immortality. It is life not merely grace, but the giver of grace himself. What S. Paul says is true here, that “I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life” (S. John vi. 54).

    2. Life is spiritual: a mechanical interpretation of human life is impossible, And the special purpose of the Holy Communion is the sustenance of life it is the daily bread of life. Other sacraments are provided for the gift and renewal of life; but if the soul be unconsciously in mortal sin, the sacrament of the Body of Christ faithfully received will be for the remission of sins.

    3. It is unfaithful to doubt the benefit. The food is the Blessed Sacrament. Do not trust your own faith rather than the Blessed Sacrament. Nevertheless, because spiritual, the particular benefit received will be adapted to our capacity to receive it. This is a great consolation: we are not made judges of what is best for ourselves, but he gives just that which is best for us.

  2. Communion and grace.

    1. Grace is the fruitfulness of the communication of Jesus Christ himself. Hence the Blessed Sacrament is the supreme means of grace for the Christian. All that Jesus Christ is, he is for us, and in this hallowed gift he gives himself.

    2. The normal grace of a good communion is the strengthening of perseverance. It is this by closer union with himself. Is not this enough to call forth our deepest devotion to this sacrament? Is it not unspeakably faithless when we are moved in our attachment to this great gift by the variableness of feeling? We have no more right to demand specially realized experiences than we have to feel better and stronger after each natural meal.

    3. But particular graces are acquired herein, as he sees our need of them and our capacity to receive them. “All things are yours, and ye are Christ’s,” is true in relation to this sacrament. Bring hither, therefore, your poverty, your sorrow, your weakness, your desire; but not in the spirit of those who sought for a sign from heaven, tempting him.

  3. Grace, and capacity to receive it.

    1. The degree of benefit is proportioned to one’s capacity to receive. This consideration is a great stimulus. A genuine belief in the Blessed Sacrament is a great incentive to progress. Mortification, self-denial, and other virtues, duly exercised, qualify for the reception of greater benefit in communion. They are fruits and preparation alike.

    2. There is also particular preparation: do not be so proud as to despise this. The whole life may be the ideal preparation; but your life cannot afford to neglect the special preparation of examination, contrition, prayer, and devotion. Study therein to desire the Blessed Sacrament more, and especially by meditation.

    3. And a most valuable preparation for communion is the thanksgiving which follows it. Some, not hindered by time, leave church after communion at the earliest moment, having already made a technical thanksgiving. But stay to realize your gift, renew your resolution, make your colloquies with Jesus in the heart.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Jenks - FACE - Above all, in all, through all

Above all, in all, through all

“Over all and through all and in all.”—Eph. iv. 6 (R. V.).

Picture: the whole world as God’s family.

Pray: for a larger heart.

  1. The words.

    1. It is very tempting to interpret directly of the Holy Trinity. Yet the preceding words, “One God and Father of all” must make us hesitate, if not more than that. At any rate reflect that the Father is the source of life in the Blessed Trinity. One may concede so much as that he is revealed through and approached through the Word and the Spirit. These words of S. Paul will check any tendency to tritheism in our idea of the Blessed Trinity, such as may arise through carelessness in thought, and is of course irreverent.

    2. Are the words used in reference to Christians only? This becomes more urgent when the word “you” is rightly omitted. There is no doubt that the apostle’s words have taken rise from the unity of the Church; but it looks as if in the climax he has burst the bonds of his thoughts, and sees in the Church the fulfilment of the whole purpose of God, who rules, pervades, and sustains all.

    3. And if this be so, the last difficulty of interpretation will be solved, and we shall not confine the “all” to human life. He is over all things and events, he pervades all that truly is, and he sustains all things, unifying the variety of things, and giving them the cohesion of purpose.

  2. A more simple reflection.

    1. He is over all. It should inspire us with great confidence, if we live morally in this belief. Faint-heartedness in Christians comes from a partial glimpse of God; a clearer sight of him encourages. Both the world and the Church are under his rule, and he is not to be thwarted or defeated. He is working out his purposes.

    2. He is through all. A lesson of reverence both in prayer and in thought. It is so easy to be secular, and to forget that he is moving and acting through all the issues and events of life and history. It is so easy and so irresponsible to say that God does everything, when we know that there is a great deal that is wrong with the world. But do we with patience wait to see in what way God is acting through the movements which are so complicated?

    3. He is in all. What a solemn reminder of respect for the individual, for the opinion which differs from mine, for the liberty of another which limits my liberty! How unbelieving it is to be self-assertive, aggressive, domineering, intolerant, and the like. And we heighten the effect of these words if we remember that S. Paul does not merely say that God is in all. but God the universal Father. And see iii. 14, 15.

  3. In reference to the Church.

    1. The words form a climax to the description of the one Body, animated by one spirit, stimulated by one hope. Over it all is the great and good Father; Father of the Church doubly, for Father of all. It is the trumpet call to the Church in its relation to a world which denies his Fatherhood and the Church’s sonship. But the Church may not forget that he is the universal Father; it is her encouragement to remember it in her mission to the world.

    2. And what sense of fellowship and corporate union in the Church! And how must one strive to get at this in actual realization, until the Church gives the world an illustration of corporate unity, and convinces her of the only way in which the brotherhood of man is to find realization!

    3. In all. Apply again to Church life, and may the truth of it in prayer and fellowship help to break down the ugly narrownesses and littlenesses of partizan spirit, spiritual rivalry and petty exclusiveness. God is not only in you. And seek the prayers of others, and be not too proud to be helped by the sympathy of others. God is in them also.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Kuyper - Psalm 73 - V - When He Turneth Himself Unto the Prayer

How is this? Does the Lord turn Himself unto our prayer only after long delay? Is not He omnipresent? Is not every whispered and stammering prayer known to Him, before there is yet a word in the tongue? How then can the All-knowing One at first indifferently stand apart and only gradually become aware that we are praying to Him, and turn Himself to the prayer which He temporarily ignored?
And yet without doubt this is what is meant. The Psalmist stands before a closed heaven. In sorrow of soul supplication is made, but trouble is not removed, and God contends against the prayer of His people. The arch enemy does not pray, does not understand God, but in this he is encouraged by Jehovah. God’s own covenant people continue to be repulsed. God hides His face. And the Psalmist cries: “O Lord hear my prayer and let my cry come unto Thee. Hide not Thy face from me. In the day when I call, answer me speedily” (Ps. 102, 1, 2).
This relieves his troubled mind. With prophetic daring he forecasts the day when the Lord will hear the prayer of his people again, and inspired by this thought declares: “When the Lord turneth him unto the prayer of the destitute, and despiseth not their desire, then all kings of the earth shall fear him” (Ps. 102, 17, Dutch Ver.).
Thus in fact he was still in a period, when the Lord holds Himself deaf to His people, and the future still holds the moment in which the Lord shall turn Himself unto the supplication of His people.
What do you think? Has not the Psalmist felt and known the objections that rise from the very Being of God against this human representation, and do you stand on a so much higher plane that thoughts arise in you, that were foreign to him?
But pray, who has portrayed in terms of finer imagery than he the omnipresence and omniscience of God? Are not the expressions in which you clothe your prayers borrowed for the most part from his writings? Did not he propound the question: “Shall he who planted the ear, not hear?” and did not he say in the hundred and thirty-ninth Psalm, “There is not a word in my tongue, but, In, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I can not attain unto it?”
In fact, it is the Psalmist who has described the virtues of God in behalf of all Christendom, and the secret things of the Almighty are nowhere placed before us, veiled or unveiled, more clearly than in his language.
And when this eminently saintly poet over and over again speaks to us of God, also in connection with this matter of prayer, in a way that is so purely human, what else then can it mean, save that the terms of intimacy between man and man retain their significance in the secret walk with God; and that therefore there are moments, when God turns Himself away from our prayer, and that, Praise His Name, there are moments when He turns Himself unto our prayer.
You believe in Christ, and in the truth of His saying: “He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father, and how sayest thou then: show us the Father?” You yourself kneel down before Him, saying: “My Lord and my God,” and what is the Incarnation of the Word other than that God became Man? And what profit can this be to you, unless you feel that, in Christ, God has come to you in a human way.
Until the birth in Bethlehem, God spoke to you in human words, but in Christ God appears to you in human nature. He reveals Himself to you as the Son of Man. A human heart here speaks in human language and in human motions. S. John declares: “In Jesus we have seen and heard not only what is God’s, but we have touched and handled, and actually seen before our eyes the eternal-Divine in human stature and in human form.”
The whole Christian faith, the entire Christian confession rests upon the clear conviction, that God has not laid it upon you to lose Him in endless abstractions, but, on the contrary, He would come to you ever more closely in human form and in human language, in order through your human heart to make warm, rich fellowship possible with Himself.
Moreover, you must understand that all this rests upon sober reality. It is not semblance, but actual fact, because God created you after His Image, so that with all the wide difference between God and man, divine reality is expressed in human form. And that, when the Word became Flesh, this Incarnation of the Son of God was immediately connected with your creation after God’s Image.
And you would undo all this when in the place of this warm, rich fellowship with God which can not be practised except in a human way, you would put a whole system of abstract ideas about the immensity of God, and so create a distance between Himself and you which excludes all intercourse and fellowship of soul.
Leave this to philosophers who do not practice prayer; to theologians, dry as dust, who are no children of their Father in heaven. As for you, love God with a love, of which childlike fellowship with Him is the warm expression.
You know yourself that the practice of prayer puts the seal upon the words of the Psalmist. At one time, heaven is open to you, and as you pray angels descend and ascend to present your petitions at the Throne of God. At another time your prayer is formal and your words come back upon yourself, and the circuit of heaven, as Job (xxii: 14) calls it, is closed against you.
Then the turning point is reached in this oppressive isolation, and you perceive that the gate of heaven opens once again, and your prayer obtains free access to the Throne of the Almighty, and you understand from your own experience what the Psalmist here affirms regarding the blessedness of the moment in which the Lord turns Himself again unto the prayer of a soul that is utterly destitute.
But is the solution of this apparent contradiction as impossible as it seems? By no means, provided you have eyes to see the workings of God in your prayer-life.
Yea, when you deem that prayer originates with yourself; when you do not believe that the spirit of prayer goes out from your God within you, and you think that God’s active part in your prayer only begins when He hears and answers it, then indeed you face here an insoluble riddle.
But if you take it in the other, truer way, and make it clear to yourself that your prayer-life too is quickened, directed and carried on in you by God, then light shines in upon you.The farmer sows the seed in the newly ploughed furrows, and leaves it quietly to do its work, in order that when dew and sunshine from heaven have caused the seed to sprout and send the blade upward, and ripen the corn in the ear, he may return to the field and gather in his harvest.And is not this the case in our prayer-life? Here too our Father Who is in heaven takes the initiative by sowing the seed of prayer in our heart. Then follows a slow process. That prayer-life must come to development in us, and prayer in our soul must ripen. And only when this result has been obtained, and prayer has unfolded itself in us into that higher form, the heavenly Husbandman turns Himself again to the prayer-life in us; and then comes the rich hearing and answering of what went up from our soul to Him.
Such is the case with our prayer-life taken as a whole. Through foolish prayers we come to purified prayers. Through earthly prayers we come to those holier ones, which have been watered with dew from above and which radiate sunlight of a higher order.
And such is the case with individual, particular prayers. These, too, are not at once purified and made perfect. These, too, go through a process in the soul. These, too, spring up from a root, and only by degrees develop themselves into prayer such as our Father Who is in heaven expects of His child; prayer which is not merely a sound of the lips, but rises from the depths of the heart; prayer, in which one’s own sense and inclinations agree; prayer in which not merely a spontaneous thought but our whole person expresses itself; prayer, in which in very truth the soul pours itself out before the Holy One.
For this, God allows us time. It is not done all at once. If His response were immediate, no prayer-life would be developed within us, and no single prayer would be sanctified in us. Weeds that spring up between our prayers must first be rooted out. Every sort of infectious germ that creeps in must be removed. And prayer must refine itself, it must sanctify itself, so that in a heavenly sense by faith it may be able to ripen.
Therefore God leaves you to yourself for a time, so that by the trial of His seeming indifference the development may the better be prospered. And when at length your prayer has reached that degree of perfection which renders it meet, as a prayer of a saint of God, to be laid on the altar, then He turns Himself again to your prayer; and you offer thanks to your Father in heaven, that He has trained you in that holy school of prayer.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Jenks - FACE - Seeking the Heavenly Manna

Seeking the Heavenly Manna

“Our fathers did eat manna in the desert . . . My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.”— S. John vi. 31, 32.

Picture: an Israelite in the wilderness looking upon the manna in the morning.

Resolve: more devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.

  1. Manna.

    1. The word manna means “What is it?” Many dispute about the Blessed Sacrament, who might profitably learn to value it by grateful reception of the Father’s gift. Others despise it just because it is like a common thing (Numb. xi. 6, 7), although it is nourishing their brethren in the wilderness-life. Reflect that the benefit of the gift is not dependent upon understanding what it is.

    2. It is a new kind of food, sent down from heaven: “He gave them food from heaven” (Ps. lxxviii. 25, P.B.V.); “My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven; for the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven and giveth life unto the world.” “The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?”

    3. The true science for the understanding of the Blessed Sacrament is the science of experience. To the faithful communicant it is found to be like wafers made with flour and honey, and like sweet oil (Ex. xvi. 31; Numb. xi. 8), which expresses to an Eastern mind the perfection of food (see Ezek. xvi. 13). The natural soul “loatheth this light bread” (Numb. xxi. 6); but to the spiritually-minded the promise of God is fulfilled (see Deut. xxxii. 13).

  2. The principle of supply.

    1. “He that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack.” S. Paul calls it the principle of equality (2 Cor. viii. 14, 15). Some do gather much, and yet they have nothing over; not the most advanced Christian can live without his communions.

    2. But each gets his omer (Ex. xvi. 18). By the generosity of God even he who gets little gets as much as he can use: more would not profit him. Spiritual gifts are not to be measured by a material estimate. Oh, wonderful application of the equality! Think more of God’s liberality than of your own unworthiness.

    3. There is no lack in God’s storehouse: “He opened the doors of heaven, and rained down manna upon them to eat” (Ps. lxxviii. 23, 24). It is in ourselves that we are straitened; no one has ever failed to find all that he needed, if he sought aright.

  3. Consider then how to seek aright.

    1. The manna was the food for God’s own people (Ps. Lxxviii. 20); and the heavenly food is for the sons of the kingdom, who have received the Holy Ghost. The manna fell upon the dew (Ex. xvi. 13, 14), and dew is the unction of the Holy Ghost: Let the heart be well nourished with grace, by prompt response to the Holy Spirit, and the manna will be abundantly supplied.

    2. It is true of the communicant that “the preparation of the heart in man . . . is from the Lord” (Prov. xvi. 1). See that the formal preparation for communion is such, and that it does not sink into the mere recital of an office. God promised, “I will be as the dew unto Israel ” (Hos. xiv. 4, 5). Then shall be realized the further blessing that “The remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the Lord” (Mic. v. 7); and it is a condition of gathering much that the communicant’s life shall not be lived for himself.

    3. There is no way more after the mind of God than that the communicant shall have kept the dew of his youth (Ps. cx. 3). The early grace of life is easily lost (Hos. vi. 4), but it will be fixed in the gifts of good communions. The manna fell upon the dew and absorbed it (Ex. xvi. 14: Numb. xi. 9).

Kuyper - Psalm 73 - IV - In the Covert of Thy Wings


The deepest question that governs our Christian life is that which touches our personal fellowship with God. And in the Book of Psalms, which is the richest outpouring of a devout heart, you see how the inmost longings ever and again go out after this Divine fellowship.

Certainly there is in the Book of Psalms also a mention of the tie that binds us to God as the Creator and Supporter of all things; and of the relation in which by faith he who fears God stands to the Holy One; but both this tie and this relation are still something else than fellowship with the Eternal.

The heart of him who fears God does not rest until it has come to such a conscious fellowship with its God, that between itself and the heart of God there is mutual knowledge, the one of the other—even the clear sense that God has knowledge of us and we of Him.

What we between people call mutual companionship, intimate association, union of soul with soul in faithfulness and in love, is implied from of old in >Psalm 25, 14: “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant.”

Even as two intimately connected friends go through life together, and mutually unbosom themselves to each other, and in this intimate walk through life become the confidents of each other’s secrets, so it is told of Old Testament heroes of the faith that they “walked with God.”

And although these are but figures and terms borrowed from those that are used to describe human happenings; and although, when we would describe our appreciation of our fellowship with our God, we should never use these terms and figures except with deep reverence for His Divine Majesty, nevertheless, it is equally certain that God Himself has pointed them out to us for this end.

The Scripture sets the example in this, even to the extent that it borrows pictures from animal-life by which to illustrate this fellowship with God. As Jesus portrayed His tender love for Jerusalem by the figure of a hen that gathers her chickens under her wings, so David not only said that he would abide in the tabernacle of the Lord for ever, but also that he would trust under the covert of God’s wings (Ps. 61, 4).

And why not?

Is it not God Himself Who in the world of winged creatures has created this exhibition of tender fellowship, as the expression of what moved His own Divine heart? And is not every such expressive, touching picture of love’s fellowship in nature a God-given help by which to interpret to ourselves what we perceive and feel, or only dimly sense, in the mystic depths of the heart?

Even the vast range of creation falls short of material for this, and therefore the Lord has purposely placed still another picture before us, by which to illustrate the intimacy of fellowship with Himself; even that of living together in one house.

The house, or with nomadic tribes the tent, was not, of course, a part of creation, but was mechanically constructed by human hands. When Jabal came to do this, the social life of man took an incredible step forward.

The house, as the family dwelling, was foreshadowed in creation. Jesus called attention to the fact that foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests. And was there no deep sense of want expressed in the words that He, the Son of man, had no home of His own wherein to lay his head?

Intimacy of life is only born from dwelling together under one rooftree; the family home is the nursery of love; it is the external hedging in, with the tie of the most intimate fellowship of life.

And in Scripture the house, or dwelling, is presented as a means by which to make our fellowship with God assume a definite form. God also has a house; and the idea of dwelling in the house of our God is the richest thought that is given us, to set forth the most intimate and tenderest fellowship with Him.

Purposely, therefore, the Tabernacle of the Lord is erected in the wilderness, and presently it is rendered permanent in the Temple on Mount Zion. Moreover, it is stated, that at Horeb God Himself showed Moses the pattern of the Tabernacle. Hence Tabernacle and Temple were actual representations of what exists in heaven.

And in connection with this, the ardent longing to dwell in the house of the Lord finds expression in the Psalms. The Psalmist would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of God, than dwell in the palaces of the ungodly (Ps. 84, 10).

“One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple” (Ps. 27, 4).

But this was not permanent. Tabernacle and Temple rendered only temporary service. They were a transient form in the rich unfolding of consecrated life. And when Jesus came He said: “Woman, the hour cometh, and now is, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father, but when true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth” (John iv, 21, 23). This means that without emblems, symbols, or outward forms, worship shall be spiritual, as from heart to heart.

If, therefore, we feel a holy sympathy for David’s burning desire, to dwell in the house of the Lord, we may not apply this to any earthly house, not even to the visible Church. That would be the return to the dispensation of shadows. That temple is no longer a symbolic house of God made of wood and stone, but the majestic palace of God in the heavens.

God dwelleth in the heavens. There is the Tabernacle of his Majesty. There is the Temple of his Honor. When Jesus teaches us to pray, “Our Father, who art in Heaven,” He detaches the soul from everything earthly, and lifts up our heart on high, iii order that we shall no more think in earthly terms of the Majesty of our God.

To dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of our life, means: every morning, noon and night to be so clearly conscious of our fellowship with the Living God, that our thoughts go out to Him, that we hear the sound of His voice in our soul, that we are aware of His sacred presence round about us, that we experience His operations upon our heart and conscience, and shun everything we would not dare to do in His immediate presence.

The Psalmist goes one step further, which plainly shows that already under the Old Covenant, amid the shadows, the faithful grasped the higher reality. For, he adds, “I will take refuge in the covert of Thy wings” (Ps. 61, 4. R.V.)

To think of the glory of God above, to picture life in His holy Temple, to have walks among angels and saints before the white throne, is not yet enough. The house of the Lord may enclose our fellowship with Him, but in that house we shall look for God Himself.

One must live with a person in his house, in order to enjoy his company, the house is nothing to us without him, and he is our first and chief concern in it.

Such is the case with our search after fellowship with God.

Sursum corda!”—lift up your hearts. I will lift up my heart to the trysting-place of Thy holiness.

But this is not the end. In order to find God, we must dwell in His house. To be near unto Him in His house is the sole end and aim of all godly desire and endeavor.

And to express this in terms of passionate tenderness and daring boldness, David exclaims: “I will take refuge in the covert of Thy wings.” Here soul meets soul; here is the sacred touch; here one perceives, and experiences, and realizes that nothing stands between ourselves and our God; that His arms embrace us, and that we cleave unto Him.

But his imagery is attended with danger lest it be taken too literally, and God, in an unholy sense, be interpreted in terms of matter. False mysticism has shown to what errors this may lead.

But if you realize this, and are on your guard, this imagery is supremely rich and superbly glorious.

It means that you possess God Himself, and that you have made fellowship with Him a reality. Provided that it is in Christ, by your Savior alone, that you, the impure and unholy, are initiated into this tender fellowship with your God.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Lessons of Grace

This if from In the Face of Jesus Christ, 1925, by David Jenks (1866-1935).

As I prepare for Sunday's reflection on the Gospel, 2009 July 26, I have been working with the following devotional:

Lessons of Grace

“Make the men sit down.” “Gather up the fragments.”S. John vi. 10, 12.

Picture: the scene.

Resolution: thanksgiving for mercies.

  1. “Make the men sit down.”

    1. Consider the orderliness of grace. In human bounty, when unstinted, there is often to be found a certain recklessness, which manifests the self-indulgence, of liberality. The divine bounty is indeed unstinted, but has not the wastefulness of self-pleasing. It is regulated and proportioned in its distribution.

    2. Consider the discipline of grace. The men must sit down in order, and wait until the distribution was duly carried out; then all were fed. A spirit of impatience will at times rebel against the discipline of orderliness, and the conditions of grace, misinterpreting the wisdom of the divine bounty by the undisciplined eagerness of their own minds. They would hasten where God acts slowly, would reject the measured life of grace, week by week, year by year. We should pray, “Feed me with food convenient for me.”

    3. The reception of grace. In quietness and obedience, prompted by confidence in the great teacher, they waited until the meal was given. Such is the law of the reception of grace. As the years of grace pass, we are more ready than formerly to sit down and receive. Lord! I have nothing, and I am hungry: feed me, that the word which thou hast spoken to my heart may be nourished.

  2. The meal.

    1. He made the meal like the Holy Communion, breaking and blessing the bread as he was about to do on the last night; and then he fed them by the hands of his disciples. Now he makes the Holy Communion like a meal. It is part of the orderliness and seemliness of grace. As of old he prepared the faithful for the gift of the Blessed Sacrament by the multiplication of natural food, so he prepares us now by these conditions to realize some of the laws of grace.

    2. The law of spiritual digestion, which requires a fit condition in the recipient, and then the spiritual food is assimilated silently and nourishes the life in health. And as the natural food requires exercise for its proper digestion, so the spiritual sustenance must be exercised by prayer which is the fruit of communion, and by daily life among the brethren who partake of the common meal.

    3. In the natural life appetite is a sign of health, and is the result of due exercise after healthy food. In the spiritual life also digestion through exercise renews the spiritual desire for food. And as in the disciplined daily life one is ready for each meal, while not conscious of extravagant hunger unless the meal be delayed, so too the spiritual life in normal condition is ready for each heavenly meal, and learns by grace the times of reception.

  3. “Gather up the fragments.”

    1. The position of this Gospel gives to these words a particular application in the review of a year of grace. Grace is one; it is only broken up for individual needs, and for distribution. So the years too are only fragments of eternity broken up for human requirements and distributed to us day by day for the fulfilment of their purposes in the exercise of grace.

    2. We cannot gather up what has been lost by misuse; we can gather up the “over and above,” the remaining portions of the life of grace which he has blessed and broken for us. Do this, in the spirit of grace, making such a profitable gathering up as may fit us for a new year more of grace, and less of reliance upon natural strength and resolution.

    3. And for this, reflect upon the divine estimate of grace. He could multiply five loaves for five thousand, and yet was careful that nothing should be lost. Let there be a reverent appreciation of the value of grace, and not a presumption based on its bounty. Let there be, however, a strong confidence in his supply, who supplieth liberally, but will not squander.

This if from In the Face of Jesus Christ, 1925, by David Jenks (1866-1935).

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Guilty Conscience and Stone Forgiveness

One of my twitter subscription is to the Biblical Archaelology Review tweet - BibArch. They share the story of one man and the stone he had for the last twelve years and the guilt he carried.

You can read the whole story at the Israel Antiquities Authority.
The Biblical Archaelology Review currently carry a summary under their News section.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Listen to these words - written by David Jenks in 1923, or before

In his own accessibility. Not now is the Shekinah glory veiled in the unapproachable mystery of the Holy of Holies; no longer is he to be sought only in one Temple; but he presents himself at the humblest altar of the poorest church, under the veils of homely bread and common wine, at the word of any priest.

These words always bring it home for me. Even in the most common and ordinary of circumstance the uncommon and holy can be there.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Devotions - In the Face of Jesus Christ

In the Face of Jesus Christ is a devotional book for the year by David Jenks, 1923. Terrific - deep - incredible - and I never heard of it before. Well it is out of print, but maybe it should not be!
The text is based on the Church Year and starts out with a Scripture verse and Jenks offers different ways for the reader to proceed in devotions while living with the text. One can simply read through all that Jenks has written, but the object of an effective devotion ought to be to engage the text within ourselves - to live with the text - and observe, and affirm, how the Spirit speaks to us through the text.
One of the strengths of Jenks devotions is that he always gives us something to "picture" in our minds as we listen to Scripture, prayer, and offer our devotions. As I write this on what Jenks knew as the "Monday in Whitsun Week" he suggests that we:
Picture: an advocate in his twofold office (see § I. b and c).
Pray: to realize the strength of grace.
Each devotion also has three divisions, which are further composed of three subdivisions (those I checked had over 600 words per day). This allows the reader to choose to read the whole devotion, or to focus on one or more of the directions provided for the reader.( The book reminds me of some of the books available for young readers in those books where the reader makes choices and proceeds to option a, b, or c.)
Thanks to Bishop Eddie for bringing it to my attention. Just waiting for my own copy to arrive in the post. While the book is out of print it is still available online at

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

This Sunday is Pentecost

Hello to All:

This Sunday is Pentecost, when we celebrate the "birthday" of the Church.

We look forward to celebrating this day as a Parish as we gather at Holy Cross 10 am Sunday.

The "Open Offering" will be received, and given to Holy Cross School in Belize.
We are the companion diocese for the Diocese of Belize.

Coffee, tea and muffins will be served in the hall following the service.
So if you have some muffins, or raisin buns, to share bring them along.
Come along - bring a friend - share a muffin.

May the Risen Lord give you Joy!

Fr Paul C Thoms

Anglican Parish of Salvage

Monday, May 25, 2009

A wise old owl

A wise old owl lived in an oak,
The more he saw the less he spoke.
The less he spoke the more he heard;
Why can’t we all be like that bird?

Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury's Reflections on Pentecost

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bad Vicar - That Mitchell and Webb Look

Is this your friendly neighbourhood rector?

How to welcome newcomers, or anyone to church, not!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Called to Serve by Max de Pree

What is the Rector reading now? Called to Serve by Max de Pree, is what he's reading presently.

The book is a series of "letters" written by Max to his friend Verley (Dr. Verley Sangster is the president of the Center for Urban Theological Studies in Philadelphia). The letters address issues and matters related to those who volunteer their energy, money, and time, on non-profit boards.

While at a government sponsored workshop for non-profit organizations at Gander the Rector was introduced to the writing on Mr de Pree. "Image that."

For those who serve on a vestry, parish council, or executive committe, this is a helpful read. The big plus of this book is that it is short, it won't take you all month to read. While there are ten chapters the book is only 91 pages.

The book discusses and effective board, tensions with a board, the role of the chair, and why members are on a board.

This is a helpful book to read, if one has not read anything else in this area. Mr de Pree's insights are worth considering. His questions are likely to stir some thought. Through his experience sitting on various boards he know the questions to ask - he knows the time that can be wasted - he knows how effective, or ineffective a board can be! If you read this book, and I hope some of you do, note the questions and make a note of your own answers.

While to book is written for those who sit on boards, of colleges, etc., most that Max de Pree writes is applicable to the urban and rural non-profit boards and parish councils and vestries.

About mission statements, de Pree favours fuller mission statements over shorter one generally.

Here's a quote from the chapter entitled A Chairperson’s Guide:

Well, Verley, these are some thoughts concerning guidelines for chairpersons and for those who will be chairpersons in the future. It’s interesting how much of this is just horse sense and how most of it is relational rather than technical.

One chapter is entitled What the Board Owes the President. Which he writes of in terms of the "mandate, trust, space, and care."

The Rector recommends Called to Serve for wardens, secretaries, and any serving on executive committee.

WWW links: The book is listed with Google-Books and Open-Library. It can be purchased through Amazon, Chapters, or Eerdmanns. But I borrowed it from a public library, and have to return it soon.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Gift Giving Catalogues

Every year we receive gift giving catalogues from non-profit organizations. The Anglican Church of Canada has announced that the ACC will “launch” a similar catalogue in 2010. The announcement is as follows, and is to be commended.
Anglican gift catalogue to be launched in 2010
Marites N. Sison - staff writer - Apr 22, 2009

The Anglican Church of Canada will launch a gift catalogue next year as part of a fundraising program that will allow donors to select items for their own purchase or designate them as gifts for recipients.

Archdeacon Michael Pollesel, general secretary of the Anglican Church of Canada, told the house of bishops that the catalogue would benefit the Anglican Appeal, the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund, the Anglican Journal Appeal, the Anglican Foundation, and Council of the North.

“It’s something to look forward to,” said Archdeacon Pollesel, adding that staff responsible for catalogue are crafting creative ideas for it.

The gift catalogue system has been an increasingly popular fundraising tool for not-for-profit corporations, which taps into a growing number of people’s desire for alternative gifts in lieu of the usual material things.
Many individuals look for ways to give a gift without giving another dust collector. Hopefully this will give Anglicans an opportunity to give such gifts, as we continue to learn what it is to give to the “Giver.”
All our ACWs sponsor a child through a non-profit organization, as well, a number of families as sponsor a child. It has recently been acknowledged that children were also being supported as they received an education in residential schools, and this as early as the 1920s. (Read the article at the Anglican Journal)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Trust in God - an Ecumenical Theme

We have just concluded our Ecumenical Lenten Services for 2009. Throughout Lent Trust in God has been a consistent theme that was expressed by the clergy.
Rev'd Betty Harbin summarized it quite clearly:

We are here tonight and we gather as disciples of Jesus and to reflect on what it means to let go of the branch. In one way or another our readings and reflections for these ecumenical worship services this year have been about trust. Father Dino spoke about the trust he placed in God in coming to Canada to minister to the flock in this part of God’s kingdom. Captain Karen spoke about looking up at the stars, as Abraham did, to reflect on God’s promises. Rev’d Paul Vardy talked about trust when he told us about his son’s swimming lessons and the lessons he himself learned through this experience. Father Paul Thoms spoke about trusting God to the extent that we are even able to get angry with him at times. In these Tuesday night ecumenical services we have listened to God’s love song, calling us to trust him and calling us bring others to this relationship of trust. The name of the love song is the covenant and the words are: I will be your God and you shall be my people.

Now we prepare to move towards the Cross on our Lenten journey, into Easter and the joy of Resurrection.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Celebrating Lizzie Mary

Some of us were born into large families. Some of us have numerous relatives.
Lizzie Mary was a lone child – she married Sandy – they had no children.
Yet! They had many children. Almost everyone in the small harbour in which Lizzie Mary, was born and grew up, looked upon her as an Aunt – a dear member of their family.
She was a faithful soul. Her trust in her Saviour was evident in her devotion. Lizzie Mary went to Church when others wouldn't go out doors, and at home her Bible, which she read from daily, was next to her rocker. And she rocked and prayed. A motherly one to all who loved her.

Friday, January 16, 2009

St. Martin's Cathedral 50th

St. Martin's Cathedral, Gander, will celebrate their Fiftieth Anniversary 2009 May 22-24. Congratulations to our Cathedral Parish.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Re-Pitching the Tent

Re-Pitching the Tent, Richard Giles, is a great book in many ways. I have the Revised and Expanded Edition, published in 2000. The Third Edition was published in 2004.
One glaring omission of this book is that microphones and sound are not mentioned in edition published in 2000, and appear to be missing from the 2004 edition as well. If this book is further revised I hope the author includes an audio/visual chapter.
When thinking about worship space - the how and why - this is an excellent resource and worth reading as a reference. Every Archdeacon should have a copy in their office.
Every Vestry should work through, at several points, Appendix J whether they are going to "re-pitching" or not. Appendix J is entitled: A six-week crash course on the design of liturgical space.
An informative and valuable book - but it lacks completely regarding microphones, speakers, and visual presentation considerations - a must chapter for the the twenty-first century.

Preview this book at Google Books.