Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Sunday Reflection
The Birth of Saint John the Baptist, 24 June: The birth of Saint John the Baptist is told in the Gospel according to Luke, where it serves as a bridge between the Old Testament and the time of Christ.
The initial focus of Luke’s account is Zechariah, the priest, and his wife Elizabeth.  Luke draws on phrases and motifs from the Old Testament to associate Zechariah & Elizabeth with Abraham and Sarah. Like those ancient figures, the parents of John the Baptist were righteous but childless. Moreover, Elizabeth herself (like Sarah) was well past menopause, so that according to nature she was no longer able to conceive a child. But just as God intervened to make Abraham and Sarah have a child and become the forebears of the chosen people, so an angel announced to righteous Zechariah that he and his wife were to have a son who would be the forerunner of the Chosen One, the Christ. So it came to pass that Elizabeth conceived and gave birth to a son, whom she named John. Zechariah then prophesied, saying, “You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way, to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins”.   Zechariah also saw that his son’s mission would prepare the way for the fulfilment of God’s oath, the oath which he swore to our father Abraham, to set us free from the hands of our enemies, free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life. 
Thus, according to Luke, the birth of John the Baptist gathered up and embodied the whole truth of the Old Testament and made it ready for its own perfection in Christ Jesus, the One whose way John was born to prepare. 

Collect: Almighty God, you called John the Baptist to give witness to the coming of your Son and to prepare his way. Give your people the wisdom to see your purpose, and the openness to hear your will, that we may witness to Christ’s coming and so prepare his way; through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (For All the Saints, page 205)

General Synod: A Primer: The General Synod is a legislative body, which means it has the power to draft, change and enact laws through a process of voting.

For a canon to be changed, a resolution must be submitted to the general secretary of the church. CoGS, a committee of General Synod, a diocese or an individual delegate can initiate a motion.

When a resolution comes before synod, it must be moved and seconded before debate can begin. The mover is given five minutes to introduce the motion, after which each member has a chance to speak on the matter for up to three minutes. Resolutions that come before the synod may be voted upon, but they can also be amended, postponed (to a specific time or indefinitely), referred for study, tabled (ending discussion without decision) or voted upon clause by clause.

Some matters of business only require a simple majority, while a vote to approve or change a canon requires a two-thirds majority in each order (lay, clergy and bishops). If the canon deals with doctrine, worship or discipline, it must be voted on in two consecutive synods before the change can take effect. However, even in the case of simple majority votes, if six members ask for a vote by orders, the synod must vote by orders. (From: Anglican Journal)

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