C of E promotes a Christian profile for Father’s Day

by
10 June 2009

by Bill Bowder

Scripture gift: detail of a US advertisement promoting Bibles for Father’s Day

Scripture gift: detail of a US advertisement promoting Bibles for Father’s Day

CHURCHES are being encouraged to promote a Christian interpretation of Father’s Day on the Sunday after next.

A new page on the Church of England website is dedicated to the day. It includes new material as well as a sample Service of the Word for local adaptation, which is already available in Common Worship: New Patterns for Worship.

A suggested prayer for use on Father’s Day cards begins: “I thank God for all the love and support you offer me, and I ask for God’s blessing on you this Father’s day. . .”

In a podcast, the Bishop of Worcester, the Rt Revd John Inge, says that becoming a father taught him about the love of God.

A suggested prayer for use on Father’s Day cards begins: “I thank God for all the love and support you offer me, and I ask for God’s blessing on you this Father’s day. . .”

In a podcast, the Bishop of Worcester, the Rt Revd John Inge, says that becoming a father taught him about the love of God.

Suggested deviations from the set Lectionary include Gospel readings about Jesus in the Temple, “about my Father’s business” (Luke 2.41-51a), the faith of Jairus, whose daughter Jesus healed (Luke 841-42, 49-56), and the prodigal son (Luke 15.11-end). Fathers might also be reminded not to “provoke your children” (Ephesians 6.1-4).

Unlike Mothering Sunday, which has evolved from an old church custom into its modern form, influenced by the US observance of Mother’s Day, Father’s Day is said to be wholly 20th-century in origin.

Suggested deviations from the set Lectionary include Gospel readings about Jesus in the Temple, “about my Father’s business” (Luke 2.41-51a), the faith of Jairus, whose daughter Jesus healed (Luke 841-42, 49-56), and the prodigal son (Luke 15.11-end). Fathers might also be reminded not to “provoke your children” (Ephesians 6.1-4).

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Unlike Mothering Sunday, which has evolved from an old church custom into its modern form, influenced by the US observance of Mother’s Day, Father’s Day is said to be wholly 20th-century in origin.

The dedicated page was due to go live yesterday.

www.cofe.anglican.org/fathersday

Let's pray for all dads in church
It would be a witness to an important truth, argues John Inge

UNLIKE Mother’s Day — the secular version of Mothering Sunday — Father’s Day does not have its origins in a church festival. So, should the Church take any notice of it, or is it just an excuse for card shops to make money?

www.cofe.anglican.org/fathersday

Let's pray for all dads in church
It would be a witness to an important truth, argues John Inge

UNLIKE Mother’s Day — the secular version of Mothering Sunday — Father’s Day does not have its origins in a church festival. So, should the Church take any notice of it, or is it just an excuse for card shops to make money?

It seems that the importance of fathers is never far from the head­lines. From controversies about teen­age fathers to reports on how good fathers have such a positive influence on the development of their children, it seems that we instinctively recog­nise the importance of fathers to us individually and to society as a whole. We shouldn’t be surprised, then, that this emphasis on good father­hood finds its roots in the way in which God has dealt with the human race throughout history.

It seems that the importance of fathers is never far from the head­lines. From controversies about teen­age fathers to reports on how good fathers have such a positive influence on the development of their children, it seems that we instinctively recog­nise the importance of fathers to us individually and to society as a whole. We shouldn’t be surprised, then, that this emphasis on good father­hood finds its roots in the way in which God has dealt with the human race throughout history.

I have always believed in my head that God loves me unconditionally; but it was only when I became a father myself that I began to under­ stand it with my heart. From the moment I set eyes on my first child, now aged ten, my love for her was so immediate and strong that I would have done anything to protect her — and still would.

I have always believed in my head that God loves me unconditionally; but it was only when I became a father myself that I began to under­ stand it with my heart. From the moment I set eyes on my first child, now aged ten, my love for her was so immediate and strong that I would have done anything to protect her — and still would.

That set me wondering about the love of God: if I, with all my faults, could love like that, then maybe I could understand in a new way how it is possible for God to love me like this.

That set me wondering about the love of God: if I, with all my faults, could love like that, then maybe I could understand in a new way how it is possible for God to love me like this.

When Jesus told the story of the prodigal son, in which a father joyfully welcomes home a son who has squandered all that his father gave him, it was to reveal the way in which God (whom Jesus refers to as Father) wants to relate to us.

When Jesus told the story of the prodigal son, in which a father joyfully welcomes home a son who has squandered all that his father gave him, it was to reveal the way in which God (whom Jesus refers to as Father) wants to relate to us.

It’s a tragedy when we hear of, or experience for ourselves, fathers who fall a long way short of this ideal; but it’s also a tragedy if we allow these experiences to colour our views of fatherhood as a whole.

It’s a tragedy when we hear of, or experience for ourselves, fathers who fall a long way short of this ideal; but it’s also a tragedy if we allow these experiences to colour our views of fatherhood as a whole.

Let’s celebrate Father’s Day in our churches, honouring those fathers who have shown us something of God’s love, and remembering that our Father in heaven loves us.

Let’s celebrate Father’s Day in our churches, honouring those fathers who have shown us something of God’s love, and remembering that our Father in heaven loves us.

Dr Inge is the Bishop of Worcester.

Dr Inge is the Bishop of Worcester.

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