My blog posts revolve around my interests and vocation as a historian: the intersection of history and contemporary church life, the intersection of history and contemporary politics, serendipitous discoveries in archives or on research trips, publications and research projects, upcoming conferences, and speaking engagements.
I sometimes blog for two other organizations, the Canadian Baptist Historical Society and the Centre for Post-Christendom Studies.
The views expressed in these blogs represent the views of the authors, and not necessarily those of any organizations with which they are associated.
In one of my trips to the archives I unexpectedly found in a Canadian Methodist periodical an editorial on the subject of a climate crisis. It was published in the Christian Guardian well over 100 years ago, and I was struck with how the language is virtually the same in 1901 as it is now.
Here I sit craving dark chocolate. Craving… Craving… I am fighting to remain faithful to my Lenten vow to go without dark chocolate, my favorite snack (low sugar, yummy cocoa).
But I am not alone in my suffering during Lent. And as the following story indicates, nor were some hungry printers roughly 500 years ago. They were craving sausages. And their cravings were a catalyst to reforming the church’s view of Lent.
I was recently reading Douglas Rhymes, Prayer in the Secular City (1967), and was pleasantly surprised by an appendix that offered a liturgy entitled “A Service for Those Leaving School.” And with Christian schools gearing up for convocation services, I thought it would be good to share it.
It is an incredibly insightful liturgy in that it offers prayers for things not often mentioned in liturgies (eg. protection from “slick salesmen”) and provides helpful reminders of traps that lay in waiting for new graduates (eg. dangers of freedom, lust, power). It also casts a vision for a responsible engagement with society as students “enter the arena of a free society.”
Here it is basically unredacted (you will have to adjust stats for cars accidents in Britain, etc.). "Leaver" is for those who are graduating.