|Prague, Czech Republic|
|Prague, Czech Republic|
“‘A dog’s breakfast’. During a recent conversation in the UK, a casual observer used that phrase to describe to me the Anglican Church in the United States of America. The fracture in the global Anglican Communion is most acute in the States, where the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) has been set up as a parallel Anglican province, bringing together the various Anglican groups that have been forming over the last twenty years or so – such as the Nigerian based, Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA). However, the gospel clarity of the 16th century English Reformers – expressed in the Thirty-Nine Articles and the 1552 Prayer Book – is not yet found in North American Anglican structures. This is why the formation of the Anglican Connection is important.”
"dog's breakfast," which has been British slang for "a complete mess" since at least the 1930s. While no one took the time to write down the exact origin of the phrase, the allusion involved seems to be to a failed culinary effort, perhaps a burned or botched omelet, fit only for consumption by the mouth of last resort, Fido. As a vivid figure of speech meaning something so fouled up as to be utterly useless, "dog's breakfast" can cover anything from a play plagued by collapsing scenery to a space mission ruined by a mathematical error. "Dog's dinner," which seems to have appeared around the same time, means exactly the same sort of disaster, but has the advantage of being attractively alliterative. Both phrases are heard occasionally in the U.S., but are more common in the U.K. and Commonwealth countries.
This article originally appeared on Thom Rainer's blog on August 31, 2015. I posted it on Anglicans Ablaze on that date or shortly thereafter. I am reposting it since church leaders who prompted by the article may have taken a look at the internal barriers to growth in their church may wish to take a second look two years later. They may wish to ask themselves these questions: Have the barriers that were identified two years ago been reduced or eliminated? If they persist or have grown worse, why? Here we need to be objective in our assessment and to avoid playing the blame-game. What additional steps can we take to reduce or eliminate these barriers?
For those who may be curious in regards to the origin of the phrase "praise the Lord and pass the ammunition, I am providing links to a relevant article and video.
The two photo show black-powder enthusiasts who reenact the Battle of Antietam, also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg. It was originally fought on September 17, 1862, near Sharpsburg, Maryland and Antietam Creek as part of the Maryland Campaign. It was the first field army-level engagement in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War. It took place on Union soil and was the bloodiest single-day battle in American history. A total of 22,717 Union and Confederate soldiers were killed, wounded, or missing in action.
Approximately one in four soldiers who fought in the American Civil War never returned home. Casualties on the battlefield were high in a war that combined new military technology with old-fashioned tactical doctrine and were unprecedented in American history.
Most casualties and deaths in the Civil War were the result of disease that was unrelated to combat. For every three soldiers killed in battle, five more died of disease. See Civil War Casualties for further details. Major Civil War diseases were Dysentery, Typhoid, Pneumonia, Tuberculosis, Malaria, and Measles. About 1 in 20 people who came down with the Measles died from it.
“I have been involved in 17 church closures where we sold the properties to a secular company.”Those words grieved me in two ways. First, I grieved that the ministry and mission presence of those 17 churches were no longer realities in their respective communities. Second, I grieved that the properties were no longer being used for local church ministries.
The use of a Prayer Book does not guarantee that a congregation is united in prayer. The members of the congregation may be reciting the same prayer but some may be saying it mechanically, not praying it from the heart. They may not be giving any thought to what they are saying. Indeed they may view the saying of the prayer as a duty that they must perform or an onerous task that they must complete. They rush through it at a gallop so they can move onto to what is in their estimation the most important part of the service - the sermon or the communion.
“The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”—Mark 12:31Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)It will blow you away to see how the most unlikely of people can become the closest of friends, all through the act of intentional love. What’s the difference between being the church and simply inviting people to one? It’s showing relentless love. This will let us see every place, from the gas station to the grocery store, with an entirely new set of eyes. Before we love, though, we must get to know people. Knowing your neighbor is slowly becoming a faded concept, perhaps because while many people in this world truly yearn for the love and affection friendship brings, many of us are putting our own agendas before the needs of others. Read More