This Week's News

Reformer of the week: Thomas Cranmer 1489-1556
Thomas Cranmer studied at Cambridge University, meeting with other scholars in a local inn to discuss the Greek New Testament. King Henry VIII wanted the Pope to annul his marriage to Catherine so as to remarry and produce a son as heir to the English throne. Henry and his Chief Minister Thomas Cromwell had Parliament pass a number of laws that severed all links between the Church of England and Rome. In 1534 the English Sovereign was declared to be “the only Supreme Head in earth of the Church of England.” 
With the other reformers, Cranmer believed that the godly prince had authority in the church. He was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury in 1532. There was a constant political and theological struggle between the conservative Catholic faction and those who wanted protestant reform in the Church of England. Cranmer published the Bible in English and had it installed in every parish church. When Henry died he was succeeded by protestant Edward VI. One of Cranmer’s great gifts was his liturgical sensitivity and skill. He published the first English Book of Common Prayer in 1549. He retained what he could of the Roman Catholic services and this book included some “ambiguities” to appease Catholics. These were removed in his 1552 Prayer Book. This book is a liturgical masterpiece and is a thoroughly protestant work. There are few differences between it and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer that remains one of the standards of doctrine and practice of our church today. Cranmer also wrote many “Homilies” or sermons to be read in churches by priests who were often poorly trained.
One scholar has called Cranmer’s 1552 prayer book “the only effective attempt ever made to give liturgical expression to the doctrine of justification by faith alone.” This and other great reformation teaching flow through our prayer books because of Cranmer’s work. Cranmer and Ridley produced the 42 Articles of Religion – later changed to 39 Articles which are part of our standard of doctrine (along with the Book of Common Prayer and the three historic Creeds).
Catholic Mary followed Edward on the throne and persecuted protestants. Latimer and Ridley were executed along with many others. Cranmer’s (now Catholic) sovereign ordered him to recant his protestant beliefs and he did so under great pressure. Mary then decided to execute him anyway. It was arranged that he should publicly renounce Protestantism at his execution but instead he renounced his recantation and reaffirmed his protestant convictions. He plunged the hand that had signed his recantation into the flames before being burnt at the stake. Latimer’s words of encouragement to Ridley before his death were prophetic: “We shall this day light such a candle by God’s grace in England as, I trust, never shall be put out.” Latimer, Ridley and Cranmer’s “candle” shines brightly today as our Protestant heritage.

Learning English
A lady from our 10am congregation who works Monday to Friday is looking for help with English conversation. Could you help her, perhaps on a Sunday 9.15–9.45 or at home on a weeknight? Let office know if you can help.

gingerbread event

Farewell Wayne and Helen, Caleb, Evie and Benjamin
After 5 years of ministry with us, Wayne will finish at the end of December. His last Sunday will be 31st December but we thought we would like to officially farewell him and his family on a more “normal” day before the Christmas rush and not on New Year’s Eve. We are planning their farewell during the 10am service on Sunday 10th December. If you would like to contribute to a farewell gift you can place money in a clearly marked envelope in our offering bags. You can also make a direct deposit to St. Anne’s account – please make sure you clearly mark that it is for the Mayhew farewell gift.

Special Religious Education (SRE)
Scripture Teachers are needed in our schools. Can you help?
Please see Wayne or Katie for details.

RACE (Ryde Area Christian Education)
Ryde Area Christian Education Board is looking or a staff worker to serve at Ryde Secondary College teaching and coordinating the SRE program in that school. If you know anyone interested in this 3 – 4 day position, ask them to contact Greg Burke at the office or refer them to the Generate website (under the link “Become an SRE teacher”  choose “SRE positions vacant” and then choose the RACE board link.)

Prayers

  • Pray for Joan B and her family as they grieve Jim’s death. Ask for God’s comfort as they reflect on his life and the promises of God in the gospel.
  • Pray for the RACE committee as they interview applicants for the SRE staff worker at Ryde Secondary College.
  • Pray for a good response to our Toy Collection next weekend at Top Ryde Shops.
  • Thank God for our great SRE (Scripture) teaching team as they teach their last lessons before the Christmas assemblies. Pray that students will remember their example of faith and love as the reflect on their time at school.
  • Pray for the devastated country of Yemen asking that emergency medical and food aid will get to those in need.
  • Pray that the authorities in Myanmar will change their attitude to, and harsh treatment of the Muslim minority among their people. Pray for generous international aid responses to the refugees who are fleeing violence.
  • Pray for members of Federal Parliament as they consider proposed legislation to legalise same sex marriage. Pray that implementation will respect the rights of all people and for respectful cooperation to achieve a good outcome for our society.

Pray for those in need:

  • Ask God to comfort, strengthen and deepen the trust of those who are sick, grieving, or in special need at this time, especially Betty K, John E, Betty B, Des and Koula.