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Anglican Futures: Anglican Alphabet Spaghetti

Anglican Futures Anglican Alphabetti Spaghetti A dummies guide to the plethora of organisations and acronyms linked to faithful Anglicans in the UK and Europe. I once spent some time around military personel.  Everything had its own TLA (Three Letter Acronym) right...

Canterbury Tales: Favourite Bible Stories Retold by Archbishop Justin Welby

Canterbury Tales Favourite Bible stories retold by Archbishop Justin Welby The Good Samaritan A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead, halfway...

Anglican Mission in England Elects Two Suffragan Bishops

Anglican Mission in England Elects Two Suffragan Bishops The Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) met in Synod on 18 June.  While there, they elected two suffragan bishops to aid Bishop Andy Lines in providing episcopal oversight for the overall work.  Bishop Lines also...

Pride Flags Causing Conflict at Christian School

Pride Flags Cause Conflict at Christian School Conflict has broken out in a Christian school in Oxfordshire over the display of “Pride” flags. The institution in question is Kingham Hill School.  The same Trust (Kingham Hill Trust) oversees Oak Hill College, an...

Prayer Book Society Raising Funds to Put BCPs in the Hands of Choristers

Prayer Book Society Raising Funds to Put BCPs in the Hands of Choristers The Prayer Book Society, which will soon celebrate its 50th Anniversary, is raising funds to put a special edition BCP into the hands of junior choristers around the nation.   The idea came to...

Book Review: Reimagining Britain by Justin Welby

Reimagining Britain Foundations for Hope Justin Welby Bloomsbury, 2018, new edn. 2021 (ISBN: 978-1-4729-8497-5, 322pp, £12.99) The Archbishop of Canterbury has made several notable political interventions recently, including over ‘partygate’ and the Rwanda deportation...

Birthday of Anglicanism in America

Birthday of Anglicanism in America By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins June 16, 1607 was the birthday of Anglicanism in America. On this day Captain John Smith and 104 others celebrated the Lord’s Supper when they arrived safely in Jamestown, Virginia. Jamestown was the...

Barnabas Fund Report: Two ChiBok Girls Found

Barnabas Fund Reports Two Chibok Girls Found After 8 Years 24 June 2022 Two women, who were among hundreds of schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram from the Nigerian town of Chibok eight years ago, have been found. Hauwa Joseph was discovered among a group of other...

New Bishop-elect for the Diocese of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory

Church of Ireland News New Bishop Elected for Cashel, Ferns & Ossory The Church of Ireland diocese of Cashel, Ferns, and Ossory now has a bishop-elect.  The Venerable Adrian Wilkinson, Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross was elected to succeed the Rt Revd Michael...

Editorial: Lessons to be Learned from the American Pro-Life Movement

Editorial Lessons to be Learned from American Pro-Life Movement Friday, 24 June 2022, the Feast of St John the Baptist, will be a date which will live in infamy amongst the supporters of abortion.  On that date, the US Supreme Court, overturned the precedent set by...

Death is Shocking

A Devotional Thought by the Editor

 

Death is shocking even when the doctors have told us there is no hope and just a matter of time.  It still shocks when it happens.  The Covid-19 Pandemic has reminded all peoples that they are vulnerable to its cold, inevitable embrace.  It is never convenient and for many it is utterly terrifying to contemplate.  For others, death holds little fear.  The process of getting dead might be the cause of some trepidation but the result, death and eternity, does not daunt them at all.

As a clergyman for over 2 decades, I have been with a lot of people at the time their heartbeat ceases.  It is not something one looks forward to, but I want to tell you about that first one.  Why?  Because it has stayed with me for these past 26 years in good times and bad.

She was a thrice retired schoolteacher. That is right…three times she had worked in a school district long enough to retire.  She was 91 when we met and 93 when she died. Martha was as devout a Christian as you could find.  She had never married because she saw herself as a missionary to the children under her care.  She has also taught Sunday School and the catechism to generations in the congregation.  She was incredibly grateful that she had been able to keep all her own teeth for 90 + years.

Her departure from this life took place in the county nursing home.  We knew it was coming.  It was inevitable because leukaemia is not something you can avoid.  The human body can only resist its advance for so long.  

The day Martha died; I had the great privilege of spending it with her.  She told me about growing up on the prairie and all that came with it.  She talked about students she had taught… many of them at that point were pensioners like herself.  She also talked about her faith.  Hers was a quiet, dignified, and filled-to- overflowing with joy and peace faith.

As the day wore on and as her breathing became shallow, she became less talkative.  We just sat there with fewer words exchanged.  At some point I became aware that the room was filling up with the staff.  Many would offer her a hug or a touch…Martha would offer a smile in thanks.

The end was near, but I did not know just how close.  She opened her eyes and saw all the crowd in the room then she said, “Mr Pierce, would you please pray the Lord’s Prayer with me?”  I took her hand and started…the nursing staff joining in.

“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” ….in an instant her voice went silent and the sweetest smile you have ever seen broke out on her face.  Martha was home.  Her Lord, Jesus had taken her to the place he had promised to prepare.  She had been ready for the inevitable.  Are you?

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