Dick Hunt's Blog

February 11, 2013

Back When AMEN Meant Something.

Filed under: Current — Tags: — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 6:41 pm

Back When AMEN Meant Something.
by Dick Hunt, February 11th, 2013.

In the 1960’s in Alberta, we had a delightful couple visiting in our Parish for a weekend. They were the Rev’d. Ken Coleman and his wife and they were on furlough from a Mission in India. They had been working there for several years, very effectvely. When they first arrived there, they were offered the use of a comparatively palatial Home in which to live with their two Children. But they chose rather to live in a mud hut, similar to what all the people round them made do with. That had the effect of endearing them to the rest of the people.

They were a delightful couple and shared their experiences widely in our Parish and community. Ken and his Wife taught the people in their Mission how to protect their health with careful use of water and not to draw their water from the drainage ditches around the Community. They taught them basic agricultural skills and procured seeds from Canada to help them get started. And all the time they were sharing the Christian faith and teaching them to read the Scriptures and worship together. Ken trained “Catechists”, that is volunteers well taught in the Faith and Worship of the Anglican Church and when they were ready to Minister the Faith, sent them out to an ever wider group of villages to share the Gospel. In the same general area there was a strong Pentecostal Church at work. It so happened that a husband and wife team from Ken’s Parish were both organists and the wife played in the Anglican Church and the husband was the organist in the Pentecostal Church. The husband died and his wife chose to have the burial service in the Anglican Church. The entire Congregation from the Pentecostal Church attended the Funeral. They were very moved by the service.

So moved were they in fact that they decided to simply move to the the Anglican Church. They were astonished at the solid Biblical content of all the worship and teaching of Anglican worship, for in the Book of Common Prayer 80% of the worship is straight from Holy Scripture.

For those who have worshipped in many Churches in the Evangelical Traditions, it is common to hear from the Pews, many remarks in support of the Preacher, such as, ‘Halleluia’, ‘Praise the Lord’, ‘yea man’ and other approval words. As time went on, Ken was able to get them to wait until the end of each prayer and then say AMEN. And he said, the Amen’s were loud and heartfelt. The combined Congregations were a most effective Mission in the area, reaching a much wider area than before. At it’s best, the Anglican Church is deeply Evangelical and only with the liberal tendency of many people in the so called “developed world” has it sadly failed in it’s Mission in some areas.

In another area of India, an Anglican couple moved in and began reaching out to the local people, discovering in the process that there were people loyal to various traditions and denominations who had not found a Church they could be part of. They were contacted by the Anglican Parish, made welcome and in due course swelled the ranks of the Anglican group. Then the new members began to be visited by officials from their original Church homes and weaned away again ‘to be set straight in their teachings’. The result was sad as many left their new fellowship and were lost in the shuffle, being looked after by no-one. It is so sad that there are so many divisions in the Church when the world is longing for meaning and fulflment in what should be a much more united Body.

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