Dick Hunt's Blog

July 10, 2014

Forty Years An Anglican Priest, and Then Died An Atheist

Filed under: Current — Tags: , — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 10:18 pm


Forty Years An Anglican Priest And Then Died An Atheist By Dick Hunt, Thursday, June 26th, 2014.

Not me, I am grateful to say, but a man who ministered in various Parishes in Alberta, including the one in which I was called to Preach and Teach the Gospel. He studied in an approved and normally effective Theological College in eastern Canada, passsed the exams and was Ordained, first as a Deacon and then as a Priest. He came to us in our small Church in a small village, feeling he was well prepared to do everything necesssary as our spiritual leader. Before he came, he took a course in the United States on how to minister to Farm Folks. So the first goal he set himself was to tell us “how to do Agriculture.” That did not impress those of us who had “borne the struggle and heat of the day to earn our living” We also learned that he was never, ever, on time for anything. His Father in Ontario let us know that he never had been on time for anything. He was not very popular with the members of the little Churches where he was called to serve. We prayed for him. We tried to get him to change his habits and attitude, all to no avail. God answered my prayers in a very moving way. He let me know, in no uncertain fashion, that if I didn’t like the way our “leader” was leading, I should do it myself. God did the moving! I decided I should become a “Lay Reader”, a term which meant , one who assisted the Clergy in any way we could. I asked him to speak to our Bishop and after many months he finally said he had done so and that he was to train me. I kept on asking him to do so, for months !

Finally the Bishop came to our little Church to Confirm four people. While he was preparing for the service, I heard him say to our minister, “(N), we have a Lay Reader here, let’s put him to work”. The response was negative, so the Bishop said to him, “I gave you his licence months ago, give it me and I will put him to work, which he did, with a veangence. He had me kneel at the Communion Rail and he Commisioned me! He assigned me to take services of Morning and Evening Prayer every week, not only in Anglican Churches but also at the request of the United Churches across the area, every week from October to May, for four years, being the time when Student Ministers were not available. And all this with no official training. I really sweat it!. I read, prayed, studied, wrote copious notes. Longhand. I remember well a Sunday morning when with Ruth and our Children we arrived at a United Church, five miles from home and I almost lost it, because I had left all my notes at home. I turned myself over to God in no uncertain fashion, throwing myself on His mercy. After that service, many of the Congregation said, “what happened to you this morning? You have never preached so positively before.” I explained and they said, “great, we look forward to more”. Don’t get me wrong. Now I always preach from the Scriptures and labour long as I prepare with constant dependance on the Holy Spirit to teach me the meaning of Scripture and implant it in my heart and mind, so I can share the Word of God with those who will hear me. Sadly, the young Priest who first came to us in Alberta, died an Atheist, as his widow told me later.

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