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St. Paul's Anglican Church Website
The Parish Speaks
Re-Inventing the Family Part 1
Are you satisfied with the sort of families that exist today, or do you think that members of families are living up to, and fulfilling their responsibilities? History reveals that the family did play a major role in our society in the past. Thus there is a great desire to return to those days, but this desire must not be limited to simply re-inventing it, but to do so through wholesome Christian Values. This brings us to another point which is that the Church or Christianity helped to shape the family and what the family meant and contributed to the society.
Is it true to say that contemporary society has moved away or no longer pays regard to Christian teachings, morals and principles? Is it that we no longer have a Christian society, in other words we are no longer a Christian State? Generally speaking from observation one can conclude that the Church/ Christianity does not have the hold or influence that it once had on society. As we endeavour, in this context, to re-invent the family through wholesome Christian attitudes and values. We must consider the methods available to us, for the civil authority as in the past can no longer mandate that people follow the Christian Tradition, for our constitution allows for freedom of religious practice. Where in the past, for example, a teacher was suspended or expelled for having children out of Wedlock that cannot be imposed today. Even though the purpose was to encourage marriage and to have children brought up in a stable environment. (I am not implying that such a practice should continue or that it is/was appropriate).
The methods available to us in today’s world are example and persuasion, for we cannot force our Christian faith unto anyone. This means that Christians in general must believe in and seek an abiding relationship with our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. I am not speaking of merely having a personal relationship with our Lord for this is inadequate, what I speak of is commitment and surrender. It is a call to devote ourselves to following the ways of God. It is not only professing that what God requires is true but that we desire and intend to do what God would have us do. I am not speaking of perfection. I am rather inviting us all to be genuine and sincere believing that what God requires of us can be done through his grace.
As we seek to re-invent the family through wholesome Christian values it is of great importance that we assist in providing a prudently planned program for those who are preparing for marriage, those who have already entered into marriage and to single parent families. A program which first of all is to present the Gospel to them, by persons who believe it to be true and by the grace of God can be followed. Secondly, there ought to be some instructions with regards to parenting, the role and responsibility of the Christian Father, Mother and Children. Thirdly, some guidance on the relationship between Male and Female as persons created by God in His own image and likeness. Fourthly, Instructions and teachings with regards to Christian Marriage which ought to include sex education.
The Mothers’ Union
Mothers' Union is an international Christian charity that seeks to support families worldwide.
In 81 countries, members share one heartfelt vision - to bring about a world where God's love is shown through loving, respectful and flourishing relationships. This is not a vague hope, but a goal they actively pursue through prayer, programmes, policy work and community relationships. By supporting marriage and family life, especially through times of adversity, they tackle the most urgent needs challenging relationships and communities.
Members are not all mothers, or even all women. Single, married, parents, grandparents, or young adults just beginning to express their social conscience. For all 4 million members what Mothers' Union provides is a network through which they can serve Christ in their own community - through prayer, financial support and actively working at the grassroots level in programmes that meet local needs. They lobby local and national governments on issues affecting family life and campaign to challenge legislation that neglects the vulnerable and marginalised. They are also represented at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
Vision: Their vision is of a world where God's love is shown through loving, respectful, and flourishing relationships.
Aim & Purpose: To demonstrate the Christian faith in action by the transformation of communities worldwide through the nurture of the family in its many forms.
·To promote and support married life
·To encourage parents in their role to develop the faith of their children
·To maintain a worldwide fellowship of Christians united in prayer, worship and service
·To promote conditions in society favourable to stable family life and the protection of
·To help those whose family life has met with adversity
Mothers' Union is firmly rooted in a voluntary ethos. Its governance, leadership, and
programmes are driven by and undertaken through members around the world as they
respond to God's call to faith and action.
·They believe in the value of each individual and their unique qualities
·They believe in the value of relationships. Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God with all
your heart and all your soul and all your mind. This is the first and greatest
commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself."
·They believe in the value of the family in its many forms as a source of love and support
for individuals and the basis for a caring community. (The above was adapted from the
Mothers’ Union website)
As we celebrate Mothers Day 2010 let us support and show our appreciation for the work of the Mothers’ Union throughout the Diocese, which has been in existence here for over sixty years in Grenada, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and over fifty five years in St. Lucia. The Mothers’ Union has been a source of comfort, solace, fortitude, spiritual growth and nurture for many women throughout the world. I invite you to join the Mothers’ Union for I believe that you will receive, benefit from, and make an important contribution to, the Mother’s Union. In so doing ensure that we have good Mothers, Fathers and families. Thinking of being a member, kindly speak to your Parish Priest or Branch Leader at your Church.
The ascension brings the earthly ministry of the Incarnate One to an end and ushers in the Christian Church. Jesus came to redeem the world, to reconcile us to God as St. Paul wrote. In the book of Genesis we learn that man and woman had a wonderful, relationship with God which was destroyed through disobedience the act of eating of the forbidden fruit, man and woman were now separated from God, that they no longer were eager to be in the presence of God with joy and enthusiasm, but they now hid themselves from Him.
God’s intention of Creation being a cosmos, a harmony, never changed consequently, our loving God sought to restore that wonderful relationship which existed at Creation so He sent His son Jesus Christ “The word became flesh and dwelt among us.” “God so loved the world that he gave His only Son that whosoever believes in Him shall have everlasting life” Jesus came to save the world. The ascension marks the fulfillment of that act of God so to speak to redeem the world. For Jesus has overcome the powers of darkness and sin, he rose triumphantly from the dead and has ascended into heaven, taking our humanity up into the heavens, restoring our human dignity. So we have the full assurance in the words of Jesus that he has gone to prepare a place for us so that where he is we may be also.
The ascension emphasizes that Jesus is Lord of our lives, those who believe in him are called to demonstrate this. Christians are called to be faithful to His moral demands, and to proclaim the gospel to the world. It is not simply a matter of converting the world, nor is it that Christians seek to force their beliefs unto the world, rather, being ever conscious of who we are by nature, acknowledging the weakness and frailty of our being and our desire to be in control and the joy that flows from experiencing the redeeming work of God, the certain faith and hope of eternal life. This is what drives us to share our faith with the world, for we love the world and like our Lord desire that all people share in the joy of the Lord. Let us then seek to preserve the dignity and sacredness of all human life encouraging each other to return to the ways of the Lord. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! The Lord is risen, ascended, glorified! Come let us adore Him Alleluia!
Pentecost marks the close of the Great Fifty Days of Easter. The Jews long before Christianity was born celebrated the giving of the Law on the day of Pentecost, for Christians Pentecost celebrates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Our Lord promised that the Holy Spirit would be sent upon the apostles, that they might be His witnesses (Acts 1:8; John 15:26). On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came upon them, with the visible appearance of tongues of fire upon their heads: which was the birthday of the Christian Church, the Church of the New Covenant.
In the Acts of the Apostles the leaders of the Church are seen working under the direction of the Holy Spirit (Acts 3:31, 6:10, 7:51) and there was a change in their conduct. St. Peter, who had only a few weeks before had denied his Lord, now stood up before the very council which condemned his Lord to death, and said, “ we must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29), and other apostles, who had fled when their Lord was arrested, and had afterward shut the doors for fear, became courageous. There is a big contrast between the apostles in the Gospels, timid, slow to understand and searching, and the apostles after the day of Pentecost, bold, wise, and with a sense of purpose.
The Day of Pentecost is designated as a baptismal feast; over three thousand people were baptized on the Day of Pentecost as the way of eternal life was opened to every race and Nation. The English title Whitsunday derive from “White Sunday,” so called because the newly baptized were present in Church in their white baptismal robe.
The colour for Pentecost is red, the colour of the Holy Spirit. The Paschal Candle, which has been burning for all services since the Easter Vigil is extinguished without ceremony at the conclusion of the last service on the day of Pentecost. The Paschal candle is moved to the baptistery after the service, so that it may be lighted for all baptisms as a symbol of the resurrection.
Pentecost is the final day of Easter, and not the beginning of a new season. The Paschal or Easter cycle has ended for the year, and the Church enters the weeks after Pentecost, celebrating the time in which we actually live-the period between Pentecost and the Second Advent /second coming of Christ. Thus our liturgical cycle sanctifies all time and history.
The Duty of All Christians.
The duty of all Christians is to follow Christ; to deepen our relationship with Him by coming together week by week for corporate worship; and to work, pray and to give for the spread of the kingdom of God.
God the Father calls all His people to witness to the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the power of the Holy Spirit to bring others to a knowledge of Him. (Book of Common Prayer CPWI)
You may ask, but how do we live this out in our daily live? The response is as follows:
1.Coming to God in private prayer daily- morning-noon-evening (see book of
common Prayer page31ff)
2.Reading and meditating on Holy Scripture daily. (See book of common prayer
page733ff, there are also some helpful daily readings –Daily Word, Daylight, light
for our path).
3.Receiving Holy Communion frequently and in expectant faith and love (that is we
must have the intention to amend our lives, be in charity with all people and truly
believe that through the Holy Communion God does help us to be channels of His
4.Seeking the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit daily, so that in all we do
we may be “a light to the world.”
5.Speaking about Jesus in our conversations with others, as the Lord whom we
know and experience.
6.Working for what is just and right for all people, and encouraging others and self to
be in a right relationship with God, Creation, all human beings and self. (no clever
or smart (Sin) thoughts nor deals to gain profit or advantage over others.)
7.Upholding Christian standards in marriage and family (we are to respect God and
our neighbour in our sexual behaviour, practice abstinence before marriage and
faithfulness in marriage. No sexual abuse of children, women or men.)
8.Bringing up children to love and serve the Lord. (Baptism, worship at home and in
Church, Sunday school, Confirmation, Bible reading and study. Teach them the
ways of the Lord, to be obedient, honest and upright.)
9.Expressing our gratitude to God for all that He has given us by giving money in
support for God’s work, and dedicating our material possessions to God and His
10. Committing ourselves for service to the Church and our neighbour. (Consider
whether you are being called to join a group in the Church or community, assist
with an activity, be a Sunday school teacher, lay reader or a priest.)
11. Remembering that the most important thing in life is a right relationship with
God, we are to put nothing in God’s place and let our lives be marked with self-
denial and simplicity and permeated by love of God and our fellow human beings.
The leader and the Interior Life
Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." To look after and care for the soul, according to Socrates, was more important than money, honor, and even reputation. The first duty was "to know thyself. ... For once we know ourselves, we may then learn how to care for ourselves, but otherwise we never shall."
One of the greatest dangers stalking many leaders is that of becoming so busy or so bored, so proud or so depressed, that the things they desire most, as well as their actions, go unexamined. Because they want it so much, they assume it is right for them and that they are therefore doing it well.
An essential practice for being an effective leader is, therefore, that
one must continually examine one's own life.
First, examine the character and structure of one's life when out of the public eye:
(1) Who am I?
(2) What thoughts do I entertain?
(3) To what private and secret activities do I give myself?
Second, examine the quality and character of one’s life and work when one is in the public eye;
(4) What are my values and behaviours as a leader?
(5) To what do I give myself?
(6) What are the true results of my leadership?
Problems enough are evident in organisations whose leaders are confused over their roles as a leader. There are more and deeper problems when a leader forgets he or she is a person. The study and practice of leadership begins with our interior life-it is our own identity and self-understanding that influences all other leadership behaviours and relationships.
People and the community expect competent leaders, but they also want leaders who possess inner character and integrity-a congruency between what they profess and what they do. For a variety of reasons, the journey inward is resisted by many. Some are afraid, others are too busy or feel guilty for taking the time, as the urgent demands and problems press in on them.
The interior life of the leader does indeed work its way out in other aspects of the leaders work. The leader "must not be a slave to one's own unexamined passions. Otherwise the people entrusted their care may be subject to manipulation by the supposed career, whose passions are projected on to the relationship."
Think about it!
Concern Among Members of the Church
The consecration and ordination of The Rev’d Mary Glasspool an openly lesbian as a bishop in the Episcopal diocese of Los Angeles, on Saturday 15th May, 2010 has caused some concern among members of the Church here. We in the diocese of the Windward Islands continue to uphold the Lambeth Conference 1998: Resolution 1.10 Human Sexuality:
1.in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man
and a woman in lifelong union, and believes that abstinence is right for those who
are not called to marriage;
2.recognises that there are among us persons who experience themselves as having
a homosexual orientation. Many of these are members of the Church and are
seeking the pastoral care, moral direction of the Church, and God's transforming
power for the living of their lives and the ordering of relationships. We commit
ourselves to listen to the experience of homosexual persons and we wish to assure
them that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful
persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ;
3.while rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture, calls on all our
people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation
and to condemn irrational fear of homosexuals, violence within marriage and any
trivialisation and commercialisation of sex;
4.cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those
involved in same gender unions;
It is necessary to note however, that the Anglican Communion is a collection of independent units of National Churches and Provinces, with each having the authority to make decisions in keeping with, or contrary to the resolutions of Lambeth. Our position is that Resolutions agreed to at Lambeth should be respected whatever may be the national agenda. being pushed in a particular country. We in this diocese, will continue to uphold Resolution 1.10 of Lambeth 1998. We will continue to minister to all persons regardless of race, gender, class, nationality or sexual orientation. We will love and care for all as Jesus did, our ministry must be patterned after his. We will not reject or discard anyone from the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Jesus had table fellowship and associated with tax collectors and sinners, and others who were regarded as notorious sinners. Let us follow the example of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Valuing Our Elders
One of the advantages that the Caribbean nations have enjoyed over the more developed countries of the world is the culture of the extended family. In the West Indies, many families consist not only of parents and children but also include grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and even friends. In such a family, the grandparent or other aged relative is revered and plays a very important role in helping to nurture the children and pass on acceptable values to the younger generation. As these seniors grow older, every effort is made to make them comfortable within the home and they are lovingly cared for until death. To a large degree, Caribbean people believe that it is a blessing and a privilege to personally take care of one’s parents until they pass away, whereas to do otherwise is a “curse”. Thus the grandparent or old relative holds a place of honour in the home as everyone tries to live up to the fifth commandment – “Honour thy father and thy mother…” Deut 5:6.
Unfortunately, however, the pressure of modern living has begun to weaken the extended family. The rising cost of living makes it necessary for everyone to seek employment and unless the family can afford a care-giver, the aging parent is left alone at home all day. Further, migration is also taking its toll as young families are moving away to “greener pastures”, sometimes leaving aging parents; and though it is still not a widespread custom for families to abandon their elderly relatives, yet more and more older persons are being placed into homes for the elderly or left to fend for themselves.
Further, because having homeless older persons among us has not been the norm in the West Indies, governments and non-governmental organisations are ill-prepared for this, so that even though there are homes for the elderly, they are either too few or may not be of an acceptable standard.
The Mothers’ Union in the province, ever mindful of its motto of caring for families, has observed the changes that are taking place with regard to the care of the elderly and many groups have undertaken projects that would help those who in their golden years are affected by this trend.
Such projects include visits to the elderly to tend to their personal needs, reading to them, taking them to their doctors, doing their shopping, and rendering other services that would make their lives more comfortable. On St Luke’s Day every year, special healing services are held throughout the province to which the elderly are bussed and at certain times of the year such as Mothering Sunday and Christmas, special programmes are organised for the elderly and “shut-ins”.
By engaging in this ministry, the Mothers’ Union in the Province of the West Indies is living up to its motto “Christian Care for Families”.
Think of how you can participate in such a ministry.
Adapted from the International Anglican Family Network News Letter 23rd June 2009
As we prepare to receive our New Priest
O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favourably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
O God you did bound Archdeacon Sylvanus Regisford as Rector of St. Paul with St. John and the people of this Parish together for a time as priest and people to work for the advancement of your kingdom in this place. We give you humble and hearty thanks for the ministry which was shared in those years now past.
We also thank you for the ministry of Canon Hoskins Huggins, Fr. Lionel Richards, Fr. Ulric Jones and Fr. Alric Skerritt.
We thank you for your patience with us despite our blindness and slowness of heart. We thank you for your forgiveness and mercy in the face of our many failures.
Especially we thank you for your never-failing presence with us through those years, and for the deeper knowledge of you and of each other which we have attained.
We thank you for those who have been joined to this part of Christ’s family through baptism. We thank you for opening our hearts and minds again and again to your Word, and for feeding us abundantly with the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of your Son.
Now we pray, be with those who have left and with us who are here and Father Otis Nichols who is to come; and grant that all of us, by drawing nearer to you, may always be close to each other in the communion of your saints. All this we ask for the sake of Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.
Church and Gender
Church and Gender: In responding to the issues confronting women in the Church, one must seek to select those relevant areas that reflect the true nature of the situation. Human rights appear as one such, yet presently, gender is one of more pressing issues. The way our Church handles gender issues will ultimately reflect its commitment and conviction.
Our point of departure for gendered approach can be historical, socio-cultural, economic, political or psychological; anyone or all of them will yield meaningful insights for a coherent strategy. However, our concern about gender issues need to be rooted firmly in the notion of humanity as made in God’s image. From this perspective men and women are created equal yet different, meant to live in communities where respect, corporation, justice and love prevail not manipulation, control and discrimination.
Consequently, the Church must continually renew itself and proclaim what it means for humanity to be made in God’s image. As women’s awareness increase, opening up better access to resources, and therefore improved socio-economic status, self worth and dignity, we all grow more fully into the theological notion-made in God’s image.
Therefore to address the foundational issues of gender will require the Church to place advocacy and solidarity at the heart of a holistic vision which challenges the power structure, the dominant patriarchal models and any attempt at manipulation, indoctrination and discrimination, as well as working with individuals and organizations in the struggle for gender equality.
More importantly, gender concerns are compatible with the ideas of the Church insofar as they seek to recover the full humanity of marginalized persons who are created in God’s image. Compatible insofar as they seek to make women agents in the struggle for their own development, rather than perpetually having a victim’s mentality or expecting that development must come from the work of men. Also the Church is expected to lobby the architects of social change calling for corrective measure immediately. It does so fulfilling its call to image God’s concern for the poor and vulnerable in the community.
Votive Candles, Fire and the Love of God: There is something profound in the simple action of lighting a votive candle. “Signs and symbols rule the world more than words and laws,” says an ancient maxim. To light a candle involved a small ritual: first, you struck a match, from this, the flame passed to the wick of the candle in the glass votive lamp. The wick caught fire, and a small drama began. Sometimes if there was a draft in the church, the flame would flare and dance, one can imagine that one’s prayer had caught the attention of Our Lord or Our Lady. Yes, it was heard, but everything would be resolved in Heaven’s time. The peace and calm of the flame quieted one’s anxieties, for God is good and will hear our prayer.
In the Church, votive candles, also known as vigil lights, are burned to demonstrate special devotion or to make a specific appeal. Having a votive candle lit is a beautiful form of prayer. In other words, a candle is lit when someone says a prayer. Additionally, it means that one person will say a prayer for another. (Candles are lit for prayer intentions. To "light a candle for someone" indicates one's intention to say a prayer for another person, and the candle symbolizes that prayer.) They're meant to symbolize the person's prayers to God.
The candle has a deep symbolism with a long and beautiful history in the Church. The great Pascal candle represents Christ, the true Light, and the smaller candles stand for each individual who strives to become “another Christ.” From the earliest times in the Church, candles were used in the conferring of all Sacraments except Penance, as well as at many other exceptional functions. For example, at Baptism, the burning candle placed in the hand of the godparent represents the child receiving the light of Christ.
The votive candle has its own very beautiful meaning that came from the Old Testament practice of sacrifice. Just as the incense that sent up its cloud of perfumed smoke heavenward was a symbol of prayer, the candle consuming itself is a representation of sacrifice. The candle burnings its life out before a statue is symbolic of a person’s love for God and his own desire to offer his sacrifices, and if need be, his life itself for the glory of God. The lighting of these simple votive candles is our way to prepare the soul for a life of dedication and to offer the best of what we have to God. It is a symbol of the personal sacrifice that souls are moved to make of themselves for the love of God. Accordingly, they symbolize prayer and sacrifice.
In Practice: A church member burns a votive candle when praying for a specific circumstance or outcome, such as the safe return or improved health of a loved one, birthday, wedding anniversary, memorials. Moreover, we can light a candle to show thanks to God and to praise him for his many blessings. We can light a candle because candle burning is a natural religious expression, not something tied to a specific form of idolatry or for that matter to any form of idolatry .
Light of the World: More importantly, the light from the candle is a powerful symbol of Christ, the Light of the World. In John 8:12, Jesus tells us, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." The candles are meant to show that light and draw us closer to God.