Feeling blessed but guilty

by
19 May 2017

Write, if you have any answers to the questions listed at the end of this section, or would like to add to the answers given below.

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Your answers

How can one continually, at all times and in all places, give thanks for all the unmerited blessings of one’s life, without also being consumed with guilt at the manifest unfairness of the world?

 

Our right reaction to “the . . . unfair­ness of the world” must surely evoke that very “giv(ing) thanks for all the . . blessings of one’s life”. Our prayers must include the petition that all people and situations should know God’s blessings.

(The Rt Revd) Michael J. Cleaves
(Bishop in the UK of the Evangelical Baptist Church of Georgia)

Fareham, Hants

 

Taking good fortune for granted reinforces the status quo. Gratitude inspires generosity and a deter­mination to work for the less fortu­nate.

There is nothing to be guilty about. Feelings of guilt may arise from low self-esteem.

(Canon) John Goodchild

Liverpool

. . . If a person who has attended worship most weeks for 40 years, regularly read the lesson, performed sidespersons’ duties, set up for communion and cleared up after­wards, is fully involved in the life of the church, but does not, through integrity, receive com­munion, and is offering to serve as a PCC member, do we really have to refuse him or her?

[Answers, 5 May]

 

Adrian Sunman’s answer is fine until: “enforcement of the rules is a matter for individual incumbents.” There are too many parish popes who disregard rules that don’t suit them, regardless of the wishes of those on the electoral roll or the PCC.

Rules can be changed, but only through the proper channels. The only time a rule can be broken legitimately (unless the rule decrees otherwise) is if all parties agree, not just the incumbent.

This rule seems to be written for a reason. So, the sensible solution might be to co-opt the person to the PCC without voting rights, this is if agreed by the elected PCC members, excluding all clergy.

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This is one vote for which I would advocate the use of secret voting slips. The status of the person would then be similar to attendance by a member of staff, e.g. the building caretaker. The incumbent and the other PCC members might usefully and confidentially pray that the person will resume taking holy communion.

Mike Houldershaw (Chartered Secretary)

Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire

 

At our annual parochial church meeting, we had two vacancies on the PCC, and two nominees for the posts. . .

 

I have known several ministers in the past to ask the APCM for a proposer and seconder that the properly nominated and seconded persons should be elected. I have never understood their reason; it usually turned out that they were not aware of Church Representation Rule 11(3).

It is odd to quote the rule and yet still question the validity of such an election. What more is needed, other than a rule that is clear and precise? If the meeting insisted on voting on accepting the nomina­tions, it might decide “not”; the chairman would then, I suggest, be in a deep legal pickle entirely of his or her own making, as there is no way in which properly nominated persons can be denied election if there are not enough nominations for a contest.

If you don’t think they should be elected, then you need to nominate additional people and force an election.

Matthew Clements (Churchwarden)

Bicester

 

What is an LSM? R. M.

 

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