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Hallo again to all.

Church Going (1858)It has been a heavy week of church life, though in a good way at each turn.

Sunday was a normal Sunday, attending our parish church and its afternoon social time with coffee, tea, snacks. Among all sorts and conditions, we gave thanks for a place that has remained our home through many changes and chances.

Monday was a visit to a venerable parish on an American island a few hours away from home, on the trail of its Canadian rector's curious biography and perhaps curiouser liturgical publications. We came away with anecdotal amusements, a good amount of documentary research, and the concretised plans for a journal article.

Tuesday was an evening meeting over an Iftar meal with Muslims, Jews, Christians, and persons of no religious identity, during which we learned still more, and first-hand, about the ongoing global refugee crisis. The feast was a difficult one to keep against the background knowledge that so many starve, and yet it was a moment of connection, of learning, of growth.

Wednesday and Thursday were the meetings of a major North American gathering of church historians and archivists, during which we learned about a wide array of ongoing research into our church's involvement with immigrants and minority populations, documentation related to such persons, and the remarkable solidarity of Anglicans over time with migrants of every kind.

Friday and Saturday saw the celebration of the sesquicentennial of a devotional society whose members began as sacramental misfits in the mid-Victorian Church of England, and whose influence throughout the Anglican Communion is in most prominent evidence today through the near-universal weekly celebration of the Holy Communion in churches where a priest is available. The relatively brief passage of time over fifteen decades collapsed in our conversations over bratwurst and lemonade into a sense that the nineteenth century was comparatively recent in terms of oral history, shared activities, and ongoing mission.

Today, Sunday, we rested after a fashion. We attended an early, quiet service in the city where we are staying, and we walked by its lake's shore with a cup of coffee before taking a late-morning nap, catching up on personal correspondence, sending a few postcards, and tucking in to a new issue of Anglicans Online.

Each day of busyness, of travel, of conversation, of learning, of common prayer, of shared meals, felt, in its way, like a continuation of the apostles' fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers. And yet tonight we are tired and very tired. Whatever your own week has been, we imagine you, too, finish and begin the hebdomadal round with a mixture of tiredness, gratitude, and hopefulness in their several measures.

As ever, the Prayer Book has a shoulder-nook of a place for us to rest our heads as we end a long week on this wise and start a new one:

O God of peace, who hast taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and confidence shall be our strength: by the might of thy Spirit lift us, we pray thee, to thy presence, where we may be still and know that thou art God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

It is one of the best collects we know, even if it is itself less than a century old. It guides our thoughts tonight, as we hope it will be your own comfort whenever you should need it.

See you again next week.

Our Signatures

Richard Mammana


All of us at Anglicans Online

25 June 2017

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