20th January 2019

Martin Luther King Junior.
Although Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 the USA  holiday of  “Martin Luther King Day” is celebrated tomorrow, on the third Monday of the month. He was an American  Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1954 until his death in 1968. He is best known for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience, tactics inspired by his Christian beliefs and the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi. King led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott, the 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, and the nonviolent 1963 protests in Birmingham, Alabama, He is probably best known in England for organizing the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. On October 14, 1964, King won the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. In his final years, he expanded his focus to include opposition towards poverty and the Vietnam War. In 1968 King was assassinated on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. In 1986 “Martin Luther King Jr. Day” was established as a holiday at the federal level by legislation signed by President Ronald Reagan.

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13th January 2019

January 13th.
As often happens when I don’t have any ‘News’ for this page I look up the day’s Saint to write about – there are four Saints whose ‘Feast Day’ this is, which is too much information, even for me !
They are Hilary, Kentigern, Antony Pucci and  Berno of Cluny.
Berno (d. 927) was the Co-founder and first Abbot of the Abbey of Cluny which soon became the largest and most influential abbey in all of Western Europe. Berno was a strict ‘Benedictine’ monk who insisted on making his monks return to the Rule of St Benedict, a rule which demanded individual chastity and poverty within an organisation that was complete, orderly and workable while concentrating on liturgical prayer and sacred reading. Aiming for self-sufficiency the monks became agricultural experts. Many Benedictine monasteries and Nunneries were founded in Lincolnshire, the nearest being at Skendleby. So St Berno encouraged Christianity in Lincolnshire, from which Anglican Parishes developed, out of which the Wesley brothers came and who we thank for our present faith.        Thank God for St Berno.

Jo’s contribution this week is -  “ People are funny : they want the front of the bus, the ‘middle of the road’ and the back of the church.

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6th January 2019

January 6th.
We celebrate this day as Epiphany,  also known as Three Kings’ Day or Twelfth Night. The word  Epiphany means “manifestation” or “showing forth”. It is the date which commemorates the first two occasions on which Jesus’ divinity  was manifested: when the three wise men or Magi visited infant Jesus in Bethlehem, and when John the Baptist baptized him in the River Jordan. The Roman Catholic and Protestant churches emphasize the visit of the Magi when they celebrate the Epiphany. The Eastern Orthodox churches focus on Jesus’ baptism. Epiphany is one of the oldest Christian feasts. It has been celebrated since the end of the second century, before the Christmas holiday was established. Some authorities also give this as the date of the Miracle at Cana when Christ’s power was manifest. A questionable Roman author called Ammianus Marcellinus wrote in 361AD that the 6th was Christ’s birthday. In some churches and countries it is still celebrated as Christmas Day or, sometimes, as Christmas Eve,


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