100 years ago: December 1899

Published December 1, 1999

Canadian Churchman reported that it is a mistake, characteristic of little learning and large assurance, to suppose that a rambling, off hand talk, however fluent, is extempore preaching. Few minds are full enough, fertile enough, methodical enough, and self-controlled enough ? in short every way intellectually and linguistically masterful enough, to speak wisely and well impromptu, or even extempore. He who without a fair share of these prerequisites attempts such impromptu speaking, supposing it to be true extempore preaching should remember that it is nowhere recorded that the Lord ever opened the mouth of more than one ass in apt and effective speech ? In the meantime we can only echo the resolution passed at the recent meeting of the Archbishops and Bishops of both English provinces: “That the closing year of the century should be observed, on the part of the Church, as a year of special collective prayer for the blessing of God upon the Church and nation.” And in taking our leave, we can only express our hope that the new year, though it comes in amidst distress and anxiety in many a home in this Dominion, may yet be one of blessing and happiness to one and all.

50 years ago: December 1949

Canadian Churchman reported an extract from a letter by the Bishop of Fredericton (Moorhead) to be read in the churches of that Diocese: “Let me ask the clergy and all the faithful laity of our Church to banish all forms of gambling and lotteries from all the organizations of our Church. It is in every respect a most unworthy way of raising money to carry on the work of the Kingdom of God. And too, I want to raise my voice most emphatically against raising money for Church purposes of any kind whatsoever through card parties and dances. I request my clergy not to countenance or allow in their respective cures such methods of raising money.”

25 years ago: December 1974

A recent survey by Canadian Churchman shows no part of Canada untouched by the waves of the charismatic movement. In response, some bishops have established centres for Christian renewal, giving the charismatic movement a respectable presence within the worshipping life of the diocese. As early as 1963 the charismatic spirit reached into Canada, but it brought with it strife and discord. Some bishops declared there would be no speaking in tongues in their diocese and forbade their clergy to discuss the baptism in the spirit. It took nearly a decade before the church in Canada recognized the movement by permitting and encouraging discussion of the movement and its gifts.


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