The Anglican Church of Bermuda is as much a part of our Bermudian culture as the beat of the snare drum from the neighborhood Gombey troupe; or the refreshing taste of a sweet loquat in season. In fact, the Anglican Church has been a part of the Bermudian way of life from the very beginning. Aboard the Sea Venture on that fateful journey in June 1609, was a Priest of the Church of England, Rev’d Richard Bucke. Thus the ties between Bermuda and the Anglican Communion have a long, rich history.
As the national religious body for the beautiful island of Bermuda, the Anglican Church hopes to offer the same tranquility, serenity and peace that can be found in the scent of salt water, the view of the sunset and the sweet singing of the bluebird. We welcome you into a safe and Godly environment, where a love for Jesus Christ is supreme and service to others in the power of the Holy Spirit is paramount.
Christ is Risen, he is risen indeed, alleluia! We have heard this acclamation resounding around the Churches over this Easter tide. It was such a joy to both baptize and confirm a number of people on Easter Eve with the lighting of the new fire of Easter in the Cathedral. It is hoped that the fire of that day will only grow as we approach Pentecost 2016 and remember the coming of God’s spirit upon the church for witness to the world.
Thy Kingdom Come
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby has invited us as a Diocese to prepare for this time by joining in with the Church of England for Thy Kingdom Come. The Archbishops of York and Canterbury have written to every serving parish priest in the Church of England expressing their longing “to see a great wave of prayer across our land, throughout the Church of England and many other Churches” from 8th-15th May. The week of prayer will culminate in ‘Beacon events’ around the country over Pentecost weekend, where people will pray for the renewal of the Holy Spirit and the confidence to share their faith.
In their letter the Archbishops said: “At the heart of our prayers will be words that Jesus himself taught us – ‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.’ It is impossible to overstate the life-transforming power of the Lord’s Prayer. It is a prayer that is reassuring enough to be on the lips of the dying and yet dangerous enough to be banned in cinemas. It is famous enough to be spoken each day by billions in hundreds of languages and yet intimate enough to draw us ever closer into friendship with Jesus Christ. It is simple enough to be memorised by small children and yet profound enough to sustain a whole lifetime of prayer. When we pray it with sincerity and with joy, there is no imagining the new ways in which God can use us to his glory.”
The Archbishops are suggesting various ways churches can engage with the week of prayer. These include holding a day or week of continuous ‘24/7’ prayer as parishes and teams; saying special prayers in Sunday worship; prayer walking; or handing out a novena prayer card to every congregation member.
Our Pentecost service this year will be Bermuda’s own ‘Beacon event’. Archbishop Justin will send a message via video link to us. The service will be a time of prayer and praise at 4:00 on the 15th May at the Cathedral. More information about prayers leading up to this event will be forthcoming. To prepare yourself and your church, please consult the website: www.thykingdom.co.uk
A spiritual use for Kite String. As part of the preparation you will need a length of kite string left over from Good Friday. With this make 5 small knots to represent 5 people that you can pray for during this week – either placing it in your Bible or wearing it on your wrist. With all that we are facing in our community and church we need to pray for one another and for God’s Spirit to work.
Prayer walking with the Bishop. On Wednesday, 11th May, as part of my own preparations I will be undertaking a prayer walk from St. James’ Church to St. Peter’s, passing each parish Church on the Island during the day. I am aiming to be on the 7:10am ferry from Hamilton to Dockyard. All are welcome to join me in this spiritual exercise. The Cathedral will be open throughout the week for prayer and particularly in the lunch hour, the warrior chapel will be dedicated as a quiet prayer space throughout the week 8-15th May.
Celebrating the ministry and legacy of Bishop Ewen Ratteray. Later on in the next week, we have another opportunity to celebrate a milestone in the life of our Church. On the Feast of St. Dunstan, the 19th May Bishop Ewen Ratteray will be celebrating both his 20th anniversary of consecration as the first Bermudian Bishop of the Anglican Church and 50 years since his ordination to the Priesthood. A special service will be held in the Cathedral to mark this occasion at 7:00 in the evening. All are invited to attend. Congratulations to Bishop Ewen and praise God for your faithful ministry to Christ and his Church over this time! Bishop Ewen will be celebrating the mass, the Archdeacon, the Ven. Andrew Doughty will be the preacher. Mrs. Marjorie Pettit will be directing her community choir and the massed choirs of the Diocese. All are invited to join with him and his family.
Looking Beyond May –
The Queen’s 90th Birthday celebrations This year marks the 90th birthday of our sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth II. Her actual birthday is on 21st April, but there are a number of official events around the world, including a televised service from St. Paul’s Cathedral on the 10th June. Here in Bermuda there will be official events on the 9th June. Information about this and how to participate will be forthcoming shortly.
St. Anne’s Church 400th Anniversary. This year marks the 400th anniversary of St. Anne’s Church. Whilst there are a number of things being planned, there will be a special service at St. Anne’s on the 19th June. More information will be published about this, but please put the date in your diary for prayer and attendance, if you are able.
Finally, in the aftermath of the events of this last 6 months, as political, racial and cultural tensions have re-surfaced, I, in conjunction with many others, are exploring ways to host and hold honest and open discussion about such important issues as what it means to be a Bermudian; how to live with division of opinion without being divided; how to rebuild trust across our community across racial and cultural lines and to address the anger and frustration felt by many; how to educate the next generation. We all have a part to play in this – by fostering a community that listens to one another, acknowledges the pain of others and seeking to move forward together. I would invite every family to talk about the issues in a godly and loving way and to invite others who may be different to you to share their experiences, hopes and frustrations with you. With Heritage Month and Bermuda Day coming – it would be great to pledge ourselves once more to this Island and its future.
*Ordinand - someone who is training for Ordained ministry as a deacon or priest.
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