Tag Archives: blessing
Southern Reporter 1 July 2015
Bishop earns time in loo
Episcopalian Bishop of Edinburgh, the Rt Reverend John Armes, chalked up a first when he visited Kelso on Sunday.
He had never been asked to bless the loos anywhere before and admitted that, while there wasnt an appropriate item in his book of blessings, that should be rectified in future as good toilet facilities were essential.
Fortunately he had also been asked to bless the new kitchen in St Andrews Episcopal Church and was able to adapt and extend his duties to cover the two new facilities which have been created at a cost of ?60,000.
Ensuring that as rector, the Reverend Bob King teased the church got its moneys worth out of the bishops visit, he not only blessed a new carpet for the Lady Chapel, but also authorised new chalice bearers and licensed new intercessors.
Bishop John also appointed Alan Hall as Emeritus Lay Reader one of only three in Scotland in recognition of his long-standing work for the church in Kelso.
In a historic shift in thinking a panel of bishops recommend the Church of England allow special services which will amount to gay marriages in all but name
In principle the Church of England is still committed to the belief that any sex outside a traditional marriage between a man and a woman is a sin
By John Bingham, Religious Affairs Editor
11:15AM GMT 28 Nov 2013
The Church of England is poised to offer public blessing services for same-sex couples in a historic shift in teaching.
A long-awaited review of church teaching by a panel of bishops recommends lifting the ban on special services which will amount to weddings in all but name.
Although the Church will continue to opt out of carrying out gay marriages, when they become legal next year, the landmark report recommends allowing priests to conduct public services “to mark the formation of permanent same sex relationships”.
The report repeatedly speaks of the need for the Church to “repent” for the way gay and lesbian people have been treated in the past.
In what will be seen as a radical departure, it also suggests that the Bible is inconclusive on the subject of homosexuality.
The report does not recommend drawing up special liturgies for the blessing service, although it suggests new “guidelines” are drawn up.
Unlike weddings, priests will not have a legal obligation to offer such services and the decision will be left to individual parishes.
The report insists that the Church continues to “abide by its traditional teaching”, but the recommendation undoubtedly represents a fundamental shift in practice.
Opponents have been warning that any attempt to change the church’s position in sexuality would lead to a split which would make the disagreements over women bishops pale into insignificance.
It would also trigger a major rift within the 80 million-strong worldwide Anglican Communion.
The review, chaired by Sir Joseph Pilling, a former civil service mandarin, and including four bishops, was ordered last year in an attempt to resolve years of tension over the Church’s approach to gay worshippers and clergy.
But it was granted a wide remit to explore all aspects of its teaching on human sexuality – an issue which has dogged it for decade on sex.
Although the report itself will not change Church teaching or liturgy – something only the House of Bishops and General Synod can do – its publication marks a landmark moment for Anglicanism.
The debate over gay marriage earlier this year was just the latest in a series of issues exposing growing divisions as liberals and conservatives battle for the soul of the Established Church.
Questions over remarrying divorcees, its approach to cohabitation have plagued the Church for decades.
In principle the Church of England is still committed to the belief that any sex outside a traditional marriage between a man and a woman is a sin.
Any official endorsement of lifestyles outside those limits draws anger from traditionalists who argue that the Church is turning its back on 2,000 years of teaching.
But opponents argue that an apparent obsession with people’s private lives is a distraction from the Church’s core mission to spread the Christian gospel.
In practice its position has shifted dramatically in recent decades and even leading evangelicals have acknowledged a need to accept massive social change.
Last year a new official handbook for vicars on conducting weddings made clear that they should expect most couples wanting to marry to be already living together and probably have children.
The House of Bishops agreed last Christmas that openly gay clerics who are in civil partnerships are now officially allowed to become bishops – as long as they claim to be celibate.
The approach taken by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, typifies that of the Church in recent years.
An evangelical who once opposed gay couples adopting children, the Archbishop strongly objected to the Government’s introduction of same-sex marriage when it was debated in the Lords.
But only weeks later, he used his first presidential address to the Church’s General Synod, to warn Anglicans of a need to face up to a “revolution” in attitudes to sexuality.
He later said that most young people – including young Christians – think its teaching on gay relationships is “wicked” and has angered traditionalists by inviting the gay rights group Stonewall into church schools to combat homophobic bullying.
The Archbishop of York, who led the Church’s opposition to gay marriage, has himself signalled support for some form of blessing for same-sex relationships.
Speaking in Lords in July, he pointed out that it already offers special prayers and services to bless sheep and even trees but not committed same-sex couples – something he said would have to be addressed.
One particular fellow sky pilot often forgets to announce that the Offering will be collected – and someone from the Choir has to whisper in his ear during the last hymn to remind him of this omission. His response is usually to say to the congregation “Oh, silly me – I forgot to ask you for your cash!”
another man of the cloth who was obviously not firing on all cylinders one Sunday morning and after the congregation had sung the first hymn, he pronounced the Blessing or Benediction – thus closing the service. My erstwhile colleague left the punters in the pew somewhat puzzled
A fellow Divinity student friend once took a service during the University vacation, and discovered that the service was going to be rather short – so he had the congregation repeat the Nicene Creed and had them say the Lord’s Prayer a second time toward the end of the service – all to pad it out.
how about the retired minister “filling in”during a vacancy – he announced from the pulpit that some people found his sermons too long. So, on this particular Sunday (and I was there at that church as a worshipper), he announced, “This morning’s sermon will be much shorter, in the Name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen”…… and that was it!
One of the kirks where I was minister was used by a neighbouring vacant Charge to assess and then interview one the applicants for the post.
Poor guy got landed with taking the service on Trinity Sunday (which all clergy love – not).
His children’s story was very inventive, using three drinking straws bound together with sellotape. He started by asking the kids what an equilateral triangle is. Silence. He then attempted to explain before the whole thing fell to pieces. Quickly, he reassembled it. Interruption from a surly teen (not part of the Sunday School contingent): “Isn’t that now an Isosceles Triangle?”
Guest minister: “No, it’s not! And my first Degree is in Maths, so I should know!”
He didn’t get the job.
Pope Francis blessed scores of Harley-Davidson riders who went to the Vatican to celebrate the manufacturer’s 110th anniversary.
Thundering Harley engines nearly drowned out prayers that were recited as the Pope greeted crowds before Sunday mass at St Peter’s Square.
Thousands of bikers in their trademark leather Harley vests stood alongside tens of thousands of Catholic worshippers.
The Pope blessed the “numerous participants” of the two-day pro-life rally – the centrepiece of which was Francis’ Mass.
Harley owners from around the world descended on Rome for the anniversary.
- Pope Francis blesses hundreds of bikers celebrating Harley Davidson anniversary (ctvnews.ca)
- Pope blesses hundreds of Harley Davidsons (cnsnews.com)
- Harley Davidson presents Pope Francis with two motorbikes (looksouthtours.wordpress.com)
- Bikers gather in Rome to celebrate Harley Davidson anniversary (fox6now.com)
The Meenister’s Log
The bell had been forged in Scotland, taken to Canada and eventually ended up in Arouca in Trinidad.
It had lain disusused for many years, but now it was to be housed in its own belfry: in a free standing scaffolding-like tower just outside the front door of the Barrow Memorial Church.
It was their pride and joy. And I was asked to dedicate it.
Standing amid a large group of members and friends, beneath the tower, with my Book of Common Order opened at the right place, I started to read the appropriate words.
Standing beside me was the caretaker. She was a wee totally toothless woman who never wore her dentures, had a man’s “bunnet” perched on her head and “baffies” on her feet. She was what we’d charitably call “a character”.
She was intensely proud of her church and of this wonderful bell, so much so that when I had just said “And we dedicate this bell….” and before I’d got to “to the glory of Almighty God”, she grabbed the rope and started pulling on it with the strength of ten men”
The noise was literally deafening, and at the service which followed in the church building I felt my head vibrating and couldn’t even hear what I was saying myself.
I went back to the home of one of my elders following the service, but turned down his kind offer of “one for the road”
It was, of course, a dram of…………Bells