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We Wish You a Merry Saturnalia: Northern Churchman

We Wish You a Merry Saturnalia? The Northern Churchman There is a familiar feel to this time of year. The Christmas advertising on television, the darker evenings, the Carol Services – and the inevitable scoffers who call the Christmas story a myth. Not ‘Once in Royal...

Mark Pickles: The Story of Two Trampolines

Gospel-Driven Anglicanism By the Revd Dr Mark Pickles The Story of the Two Trampolines:  A passage that is frequently referred to during times of great revival is Isaiah 64:1-3:  “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your...

Ten Thousand Bibles for London’s Children

TBS Auxiliary Meets Ten Thousand Bibles For London’s Children The Greater London Auxiliary of the Trinitarian Bible Society was delighted to report at its Annual Meeting held on 15 November that over 10,000 Bibles have been distributed to London schools since the...

Good News for Egypt’s Christians

Barnabas Fund Reports Good News for Egypt’s Christians The government of Egypt licensed 125 churches and church-affiliated buildings on 14 November. It is the 24th batch of approvals made since the government committee overseeing the licensing process started work in...

Church Society’s Response to MP Ben Bradshaw

Church Society’s Response to MP Ben Bradshaw In the aftermath of Desmond Tutu’s daughter being refused permission to preside at a funeral in a Church of England parish, Labour MP Ben Bradshaw told The Guardian that the “C of E must move swiftly to welcome lesbian...

Collins: Who’s Your Righteousness?

Who’s Your Righteousness? By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins Who’s your righteousness? "The Lord our Righteousness" was the sermon preached March 20, 1757 at St. Mary's Church in Oxford. It offended nearly everyone that day and William Romaine was invited to never preach...

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Act of 1963

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Act of 1963 Persons Against Whom Proceedings May be Instituted. Proceedings under this Measure may be instituted against an archbishop, any diocesan bishop or any suffragan bishop commissioned by a diocesan bishop or any other bishop or a...

Editorial: Joy to the World Cup

Editorial Joy to the World Cup The result of the 2022 FIFA World Cup is already in. And it appears the Church of England has lost. The latest advice from the Church of England’s Support Hub is for parishes to consider the timing of Christmas Carol Services to avoid...

Symes to Step Down from Anglican Mainstream Leadership

Symes to Step Down from Anglican Mainstream Leadership By Chris Sugden Andrew Symes is to stand down as Executive Secretary of Anglican Mainstream on January 1, 2023, after nearly ten years in post. Rev Symes, 56, who had earlier served with Crosslinks in South...

Retired Bishop Given Life Suspension

Retired Bishop Given Life Suspension By George Conger The former Bishop of Ramsbury has been suspended for life from the ordained ministry after he admitted to having sexually abused two women. The Daily Mail reported the Rt Rev. Peter Hullah had been the subject of...

Bishop of Bermuda’s Christmas Address

Bishop of Bermuda’s Christmas Address

Yes, we know that Christmas has past—and that Epiphany has too but we thought it worthwhile to present the Bishop of Bermuda’s Christmas Address for your encouragement.  The Rt Revd Nicholas Dill is the Bishop of the Anglican Church in Bermuda.  The Church in Bermuda is very fortunate to have such an episcopal leader.

“Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Omicron — these are the names given by the World Health Organisation to differing strains of the Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

“In themselves they don’t mean much but are easier to remember by the general public.

“In the Bible, however, names are highly significant — reflecting the character, nature or calling of the person named.

“At Christmas, we reflect on some of these names associated with the coming of Jesus — and they highlight how, during the darkness of these days, there is room for hope.

“He is called the Alpha and the Omega — that is to say the beginning and the end, who has the first and last word — creating this beautiful world in which we live, resolving the mess we have made of it.

“Wherever we are in the middle of those two things they neither take him by surprise, nor do they frustrate his loving plans and purposes.

“In fulfilment of prophecy, he is called Emmanuel — which means “God with us”. It is so important for us to hold onto the truth that we have not been abandoned by God, but he is present here with us now.

“The entry of Jesus into the world at a time of national crisis; in a place which is notorious for its ongoing strife and warfare; at a time of corrupt and harsh leadership; in poverty and obscurity; to a world where there was no room, his “incarnation” — literally becoming flesh and bone like us and his deliberate love-filled decision to do so — show the depths to which he is present with all who call on him.

“2021 has been a really hard year — not just in terms of physical health, but also mental health, economic security and even due to the latent violence and frustration in our community which spills out with tragic consequences from time to time.

“But God is with us, giving daily strength, a shoulder to cry on, an ear to hear our pleas, an aid to give us the ability to stand.

“Due to the virus, many are still in isolation or separated from loved ones. Emmanuel is there. We too, who know him are also here with you in his name.

“The name Jesus itself means “God is salvation”. Not only is God with us, but in the coming of Jesus has done something to bring salvation — from ourselves and our selfish ways, from our enmity with others and our estrangement from God.

“His salvation provides the possibility of forgiveness, reconciliation and transformation and give the hope of eternal life, joy and peace that not even death can sever.

“He is the light of the world. He is the King of kings. He is a friend of sinners. The list of names and attributes is never ending.

“It is my prayer for each individual, family and community that, if nothing else, you may experience joy, peace and the love of God who is with you, for you — that your hearts will rise up with thanksgiving for the gifts of life, hope and healing.

“It is my prayer that this will continue beyond the Christmas celebrations into the New Year, in Jesus’ name.”

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