I like to be able to control things, or at least fool myself
into thinking I can control them. I think that this is why I am not that
comfortable with the Holy Spirit. It is the part of the Trinity that I
try not to think about. I think that this comes from my fear of what
could happen if I let the Holy Spirit have a go at my life or the
situation that I am in, because you hear stories of what happens when
you let go and let the Holy Spirit in.
Why doesn’t the Anglican church avidly celebrate Pentecost, and its
important encounter with the Holy Spirit, with the same fervour as the
mega-feasts of Christmas and Easter? The Rev. Dr. David Reed, professor
emeritus of pastoral theology at Wycliffe College, University of
Toronto, offers this possible explanation.
It was a clear, crisp winter’s day when our six-day-old son was
marked with ashes. That Wednesday in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, we
were reminded that we are dust, and to dust we shall return. These
words, in combination with Old Testament prophet Joel’s prophecy and the
dark palm char on rosy newborn skin, left an indelible mark on my
What a privilege and blessing it was to represent our beloved
church at the inauguration of the ministry of Justin Welby, the 105th
Archbishop of Canterbury. There were three aspects I shall never forget.
In recent years, I often recall the first time I saw my dad pray. It was
unsettling. I came upon him in church, where he was kneeling, his hands
shading his eyes. He had a type of intensity that, at three or four
years old, I had never seen before. Nor had I had ever seen him kneel
before his God—or anyone else, for that matter.
Above the west door of the Chapel of the Holy Trinity Church, Staunton Harold, in North West Leicestershire is a tablet with this inscription:
“In the year 1653 when all things sacred were throughout the nation either demolished or profaned, Sir Robert Shirley, Baronet founded this church; whose singular praise it is to have done the best things in the worst times and hoped them in the most calamitous. The righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance.”
What does it mean to believe in God in our world? For some of us,
belief may not come easy. I think of the people who come to the parish
office seeking a food voucher. Many have physical or mental health
problems, and they are simply unable to work or hold a steady job.
This February, two
bishops shocked their communities by announcing their retirements. Pope
Benedict XVI’s decision to retire was an enormous break with tradition.
The bishop of British Columbia, James Cowan, decided to retire at age
In the world we live in, we may be duped into thinking that one
thing is as good as another, and that moral choices are apt to be
swathed in shades of grey rather than stark black and white. Is it
surprising, then, that worldly self-interest so often stands paramount
in the calculations of individuals and states alike?
Last fall, Dr. Walter Deller put this question to the directors of
General Synod ministries. It came at the end of a very scholarly
dissertation on chapter 11 in the Book of Numbers. Feeling the burden of
leadership for the people of Israel, Moses took his concern to the