October 28, 2014
The glory of God is a human being fully alive. – St Irenaeus of Lyons (d. 202)
Each year on 29 October, ABM remembers the day when it came into being in 1850. George Selwyn, the Bishop of New Zealand, was in Sydney to ask for help from the Australian bishops. He wanted funds to purchase a boat which could be used to evangelise the people of Melanesia. At the meeting it was decided to form, as we were known then, the Australasian Board of Missions. It’s recorded that when the decision was relayed to a crowd who were waiting on Pitt Street for news, they began to sing Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus spontaneously. Things were certainly different back then.
Yet, despite the changes we have seen in 164 years, some things remain constant –
God of heaven and earth, we give you thanks for sustaining the Anglican Board of Mission through the past one hundred and sixty-four years. As we commemorate the yearly remembrance of ABM’s foundation, may we be empowered by your Spirit to continue to work for you. May the whole world receive the fullness of life which your Son Jesus Christ, taking on our human flesh, came to bring to us in all humility. This we ask through the same Jesus Christ who died and yet now lives with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Pictured: a depiction of the bishops at the meeting where ABM, then the Australasian Board of Missions, was formed in 1850.