Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Saint Matthew the Apostle.
O ALMIGHTY God, who by thy blessed Son didst call Matthew from the receipt of custom to be an Apostle and Evangelist; Grant us grace to forsake all covetous desires, and inordinate love of riches, and to follow the same thy Son Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.
The Epistle. 2 Cor. 4. 1.
THEREFORE seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
The Gospel. St. Matth. 9. 9.
AND as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
The Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity
LORD, we pray thee that thy grace may always prevent and follow us, and make us continually to be given to all good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle. Ephes. 4. 1.
I THEREFORE, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
The Gospel. St. Luke 14. 1.
IT came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him. And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy. And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day? And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go; And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day? And they could not answer him again to these things. And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them. When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Scotsman.com News - International - Africans set to found rival Anglican church
AFRICANS say they have had enough of the Church of England's endless discussions over the ordination of gay vicars and same-sex blessings. With help from their colleagues in Latin America, African primates, bishops, priests and laymen are getting ready to strike out on their own and establish a new Anglican Church based in Egypt.
A conference that could turn the Anglican community on its head takes place in Alexandria, Egypt, next month, organised by angry Africans and Latin Americans who say they are "sick and tired" of endless debate about same-sex blessings and the ordination of gay Christians. "We've had enough," the Archbishop of Central Africa, Bernard Malango, said last week.
The Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) and the recently formed Council of Anglican Provinces of the Americas and Caribbean (CAPAC) will represent up to two-thirds of the world's 77 million Anglicans.
In a new African-based Anglican community they plan to replace the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams as their spiritual leader with the Archbishop of Nigeria, Peter Jasper Akinola, and exclude homosexuals from full church life.
A leading gay vicar - who asked not to be named - said: "I fear for Rowan Williams if he attends the Alexandria Conference. Anglican dissidents will publicly announce that Archbishop Akinola is their new spiritual leader and that there is no place for the present Archbishop of Canterbury in the new community based in Alexandria.
"I also hear that African Anglicans plan to place a throne in a conference room and ask Archbishop Akinola to sit in it - while Dr Williams is supposed to stand by and watch.
"Where will that leave the man, and where will that leave the Queen, who is head of the Church of England?"
CAPA's members include the Anglican dioceses of Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Egypt. It was formed in July at Nassau after Latin American Christians expressed their bitterness towards the Church of England, saying it was prevaricating on the subject of gay rights and same-sex blessings - 300 of which take place in England every year.
"We were inspired by CAPA," says Drexel Gomez, Archbishop of the West Indies. He predicts "a shattering split in the entire worldwide Anglican community" following the Church of England's approval of the Civil Partnership Act that comes into force in December.
There are about 13,900 clergy in the Church of England, which is facing slumping attendance and widespread indifference - even though some 25 million people in the UK are nominal members.
Africans have been watching what seems to be growing tolerance by the Church of England towards gays with alarm and deep anger.
Anglicans in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Egypt say that when eight Church of England bishops supported the Civil Partnership Act in the House of Lords they flouted the rules of the worldwide Anglican community.
Since then, Akinola has called for the suspension of the Church of England. "I believe that the temporary suspension of the Church of England is the right course of action to take."
Akinola says that he is disappointed with the example that Williams is setting by appearing to condone the Civil Partnership Act and he advises Anglicans to steer clear of the leadership of Lambeth Palace.
"Lambeth Palace upholds our common historic faith and it will now lose that place of honour in the world."
In a pastoral statement issued in August, English bishops said that they would allow gay clergy to register their partnerships, as long as they abstained from sex.
Akinola asked: "Is the Church of England planning to install cameras in the bedrooms of its clergy?"
However, Richard Kirker, general secretary of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, said: "Personally, I'd rather see a split within the ranks of the Anglican community than for people of principle to bow to the demands of homophobic Africans."
Some Anglican churches in Africa are turning away funds from US and Canadian churches because of their tolerance of active gays in the church.
And a vicar from London has been asked by Archbishop Malango to clarify his views before being consecrated as Bishop of Lake Malawi.
The Rev Nick Henderson has two parishes in west London and Malango asked him to confirm that he subscribes to the Creed, the Bible and the Thirty-Nine Articles and "fashions his own life and his household according to the doctrine of Christ".
Until recently, he was chairman of the Modern Churchpeople's Union, which is a leading liberal forum for "open and informed theological comment in the Church of England and the Anglican Communion".
Henderson is unmarried and shares his vicarage with a male lodger, who is organist at one of his churches. In a letter to Henderson, Malango said: "It has been reported that you currently live with a male lodger. Because of reports of your advocacy of the gay and lesbian movement, I am constrained to ask a very awkward question."
Henderson was asked if he believed sexual intimacy should be restricted to within the marriage of one man and one woman. "Is there anything I should know that would make my work difficult if you took up this position?" asked the archbishop.
Henderson was not available for comment and Lambeth Palace is - for the time being - keeping quiet about the seriousness of a looming split.
The Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity
O LORD, we beseech thee, let thy continual pity cleanse and defend thy Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without thy succour, preserve it evermore by thy help and goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle. Ephes. 3. 13.
I DESIRE that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
The Gospel. St. Luke 7. 11.
AND it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people. And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about.