Friday, October 30, 2009

Why New Zealand is so much better than Sydney

 From Newstalk ZB in Auckland via Madpriest although I do not understand his humour at times.

Anglicans debating gay issue

30/10/2009 7:04:01
A Maori Anglican Church report will be recommending the ordination of gay leaders at the church's two-yearly conference being held Auckland over the weekend.
Bishop Te Kitohi Pikaahu says the Commission on Human Sexuality believes sexual orientation is no barrier to ordination.
He admits there is opposition to gay ordination in the Anglican Church worldwide, but says what is important is that the issue is being talked about.
"The Anglican Maori Church is beginning to wrestle with this issue in an open way, in an open forum."
Bishop Pikaahu says there is opposition to gays being ordained worldwide and there is a long way to go before the church reaches a view it can act on, but what is important is that the conversation is even happening.

I may be wrong but I always thought the opposition to gay ordination in NZ came from the Maori Tikanga. If so, that seems to be changing, Praise God.

Meanwhile thanks to Lapinbizarre commenting at Caliban's Dream I learn that

On the final night of the 2009 Synod, the Anglican Diocese of Sydney has passed a resolution embracing the new Anglican province, the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).
In the words of the resolution “Synod welcomes the creation of the Province of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) under the leadership of Archbishop Bob Duncan and notes the GAFCON Primates’ Council recognition of the ACNA as genuinely Anglican and its recommendation that Anglican Provinces affirm full communion with the ACNA. Synod therefore expresses its desire to be in full communion with the ACNA.’

My house is on the market, I have had one offer which I rejected as too low and I really do not want to move out before Christmas but other than that the sooner the better to be out of the Sydney Diocese.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mao's Last Dancer

It is not often I see a movie that has been released in Australia before the USA or UK.
Last week I saw 'Mao's Last Dancer' and I was stunned.
I knew something of the story as Li Cunxin, whose biography it is, now lives in Australia and the book is on the shelves of most Australian school libraries but, while I had catalogued it, I had never read it.
However I found it a wonderfully moving story, very well acted by comparatively unknown actors. Chi Cao who plays the adult Li is simply amazing. Chosen for his ballet ability, he is also a great actor.  His dancing is simple mind blowing. I am not a great ballet fan (which did not stop me enjoying the movie) but my sister is and she could not get over how great a dancer he is. Chi Cao is a principal dancer with the Birmingham Royal Ballet.
It opens in the USA on November 4 so if you have the opportunity, go see it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Who will rid us of this stupid archbishop?

The columnists who openly admit their atheism or agnosticism have had a field day with ++Jensen's latest address to Synod on the Financial Losses.
Mike Carlton as usual has a satirical article headed The St Jensen's Parish Newsletter

It concludes : The good news is that much of our work will continue. Dean Matthias Jensen would like to remind our menfolk that the Say No To Sodomy Supper will go ahead as planned next Friday. Mrs Hepzibah Jensen, chair of our Women's Subordination Committee, asks ladies to provide a plate for hubby to enjoy and share. More of those curried egg sandwiches, please!

Peter Fitzsimons, after referring to Jensen wondering what God was trying to say to us,  says "Was God, perhaps, punishing them for going up against the Archbishop of Canterbury on the subject of gay priests or even for arrogantly betting the farm on dodgy investmensts and borrowing money to do so?
and finishes "Or perhaps, sir, he is saying that people whose thought processes are locked into this kind of medieval superstition, shouldn't be allowed to vote, let alone be in charge of $200 million"

Our rector, in his sermon, told us that one woman from Anglicans Together had put several motions to the Synod asking that the Standing committee be called to account but they were all defeated. I am afraid I snorted in derision.
Perhaps it was a mistake to allow a woman to put forward such motions, I mean these people think women should be outside preparing the supper and they also think those of us who are "liberal catholics" should just keep quiet
They have made Christianity and Anglicanism the laughing stock of Sydney. I think the Archbishop and the rest of the Calvinist Fundies would be better being the ones to keep quiet and they would be more productive and honouring of the gospel if they went and baked some cakes and fed the poor.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Roman offer to Anglican dissidents

My small addition to this furore from our local paper.
First a letter from a Catholic priest in Sydney (not sure he will have impressed his boss, Cardinal Pell)

As a Catholic priest I shudder when I read that people might want to join the Catholic Church because they find their own too inclusive . Certainly the Catholic Church itself has a long way to go regarding inclusiveness, but the last thing it needs is more people who are anti-women, anti-gay or anti-anybody.
Father John Crothers Penshurst

and then an article from Dr Muriel Porter. Muriel is a journalist but also is a member of the Standing Committee of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia and has been a leader in the fight for women priests and bishops in the Australian  church. She is has written a book The New Puritans: the rise of fundamentalism in the Anglican Church describing the activities of the Sydney Diocese.  I have heard her preach at St James.

The Vatican finally gets its revenge on Henry VIII

It concludes (my bold) - But the emergence of women bishops has persuaded Rome to give them Anglican parishes within a Catholic world order. From the Roman perspective, it is a means of demonstrating to its own restive nuns and lay women that there is no hope of female equality in the foreseeable future. It may, however, lead to some heart-searching for Catholics concerned about the impact that priestly celibacy continues to have on their Church. How can it be unacceptable for home-grown clergy to marry but quite OK for the imports from Anglicanism?
It will be interesting to see how many Anglican clergy and laity actually go over to Rome. The Anglican Church has a much more democratic polity than the Catholic Church. Anglican vicars and parishes have a significant degree of autonomy and Anglicans have decision-making powers through diocesan and national synods. They participate in the election of their bishops. They help decide how church finances will be spent. Will they adjust easily to the complete obedience required by Papal autocracy?
Is it any wonder that the strident voices of atheism are attractive to contemporary people when churches split apart over the irrational fear of the feminine?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Calling Anonymous

A person from Sydney commented on the blog of Revd Ivan Ackeroff - Unthinking Anglicans the following comment. He has since more briefly commented here on one of my posts.

 Dear Brian, You are to be commended for speaking out about some of the Sydney Diocese's inappropriate decision making. However you seem to be a voice in the wilderness. A very noble lone wolf. There has been the occasional single Sydney voice but nothing collective. Is there any real concern amongst Sydney Anglicans regarding the economic and prejudicial decision making of the senior management? Are any Sydney Anglicans aware of the impact that these decisions are having domestically and internationally, particularly on GLBT people? I realise that a few groups exist such as Anglicans Together and MOW but they are rarely heard publicly. Are they more concerned about the image of the Sydney Diocese than the damage this diocese is doing to the marginalised? Are all Sydney Anglicans in favour of their church being affiliated with extreme right wing Evangelicals and of the decision to empower African bishops, who are involved politically in the persecution of gays? Do they realise that their policies re women's ministry translates into social injustice, particularly in 3rd world countries? Brian, have any of these Sydney Anglicans ever listen to how hurt GLBT people are as a result of church discrimination, or is their only contact the ex/post gay propaganda thing? (These post gay spruikers should be ashamed of themselves. They know the hurt they have endured and that's what forced them to turn their backs on their own sexuality/identity in order to stop the discrimination against them and gain acceptance from those who hurt them). Brian, I'm just interested to know if all Sydney Anglicans condone the prejudices that are laid out in the diocese's mission.

From a Sydney sider, who is concerned about the influence that this diocese wields within the broader community. Influence gained by masquerading as a very tolerant, compassionate moderate "old" church, when in reality its conservatism only reinforces stereotypes that breeds hatred. Thanks again Noble Wolf 17 October 2009 22:44 

Thank you Anonymous although as I said, I wish you could use a nom de plume so that I can differentiate your comments from any other anon that might comment. I guess you are the person who has often commented on other posts  by Revd Ivan Ackeroff relating to the Jensens and  the Sydney Diocese.
He, Madpriest and Rev Fr Dr Christian Troll seem to know more about what is going on in this diocese than I do but then I do not want to regularly monitor the dribble that is produced by the Diocese.

MOW (Movement for the Ordination of Women) is still going strong. The Sydney branch use to meet at St Luke's Concord, the subject of my previous post. I guess there is only so much banging one's head against a brickwall that any group can do. Most capable women in Sydney who want to be ordained as a priest just move to another diocese. Those who remain are generally restricted in their ability to relocate by family considerations. Most of the other dioceses in Australia are happy to take advantage of the ministry of these women.

Anglicans Together seems to muddle along although I do find it frustrating at times.
While, from my observation, most if not all members are inclusive in their outlook, many are more concerned with the departure from prayer book practices that are carried out in so much of the diocese.  They worship in the handful of Anglo-catholic parishes which are permitted to exist within the diocese and I often feel are not willing to raise their heads too high above the parapet. Eventually they will be searching for a new rector and the person they choose will need the approval of the Archbishop. The rule seems to now be that any new appointment within the diocese must be a person who has studied for at least one year at Moore College. I think many suitable men would need to really want work in Sydney to undergo that painful experience.  The majority of active members of Anglicans Together both lay people and ordained seem to be older.

Young people are either brainwashed into the Moore agenda or have left the church especially if they are LGBT.
There are 2 MCC churches in Sydney. One meets at Petersham and the other at Granville. From looking at their webpages I gather they are fairly liturgical which I am told is not so common in other parts of the globe. This may be due to the large number of refugees from Sydney Anglicanism in their membership.
I have often considered attending the church at Granville but am Anglican and have a personal dislike of anything resembling a gay ghetto. But this is for me personally and I would encourage any LGBT Christian to attend if they find Sydney Anglicanism impossible to stomach.

However there are true Anglican churches operating within the diocese who openly welcome LGBT people. St Marks South Hurstville featured in last night's Compass program Anglicans - Sydney Style and I was pleased to see Rev Chris Albany display and explain the significance of the Rainbow that is placed on the pulpit. To quote him.

The kind of Anglicanism at St Marks is what I would call a broad inclusive Anglicanism that would be recognisable by Anglicans from most parts of the world.

By broad and inclusive I mean that we seek to welcome anybody and everybody without any qualification in terms of the normal discriminators that are sometimes used in terms of age or race or sexual identity or gender.

Yeah we have the rainbow sitting up on the pulpit there most Sundays. It’s there to remind us of God’s promise to Noah, of his covenant relationship with his people.
And it is also a little sign if any gay and lesbian people were to come into the life of this community and to worship here, a little sign to them to say we’re a friendly welcoming community.

This is a parish that supports very strongly women being involved in all aspects of the church’s life and ministry, including its leadership and so being able to be both priests and bishops. We believe that that’s in fact quite clear from Scripture, that there is no reason why that can’t happen.

If anonymous or anyone else in Sydney emails me (and I promise the utmost discretion) I can give them the location of Anglican churches within the diocese who are inclusive although this may not be widely advertised. Within the city St James, King Street and Christchurch St Laurence certainly have GLBT members who are welcomed and in some cases play leading roles in the life and worship of the church.

Back in the early 80's I was a member of a group called 'Angays' and they once met up here in my house. It was a small but active group largely based on St Luke's Enmore.
Even in those days the situation was made clear when we met with one assistant bishop who was willing to meet and consider our case. The leader of our group mentioned his friendly attitude to a reporter. It was widely believed that this report in the newspaper was the death knell for the ambitions of said bishop.

The well known case was Bishop Watson who, while an assistant in Sydney, spouted the hardline against the ordination of women but once elected as Archbishop of Melbourne had a sudden conversion.

So, Anonymous, there are Sydney Anglicans who are inclusive. However, if they are in a position of influence, they are well aware that any hint of deviation from the accepted homophobic stance will ruin any chance they have of preferment within the diocese.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

St Luke's Concord

Today my sister and I worshipped at St Luke's Concord. It was the 150th Anniversary of the laying of the Church Foundation stone and our first visit back since the memorial service for our mother on July 12, 2006.

Mum worshipped there, firstly in her young married life,  and my sister was baptised in the church. Mum returned there not long after Dad died and attended for another 30 years although in her last 5 years she could only go, mainly to the Wednesday Senior Fellowship, if my sister drove her.  The memorial service for Mum was held as part of the regular Senior fellowship.

The church today was packed, the Governor of NSW, Professor Marie Bashir, a delightful lady was present. Our State Governors are not politicians but appointed to represent the Queen.

My sister knew a lot of the older people who had been friends of Mum and were delighted to see us there. I only went there for Christmas services with Mum.

The lady sitting next to me was there in memory of her Grandfather, baptised at St Luke's in the 1880's and she had the signed prayer book with her. He went on to become an Anglican Priest.

Some of the past rectors were present. One, Rev Feldham, officiated at my sister's wedding in a neighbouring church way back in 1961 while still an assistant. We had not seen him since and I remember him as a young handsome priest (I was only 17), oh how life has passed for us.

When the previous rector retired a year ago, I was concerned that the Archbishop might appoint an evango-fundie. I need not have worried. The new rector processed in wearing a biretta. I only know one other church in Sydney where these are worn and it is the other city church which is more Anglo-catholic than St James, King Street.

However neither ++Jensen nor the regional Bishop Forsythe attended, thankfully.

In the altar party was deacon Rev Sue Emeleus who was serving at St Luke's in my mother's time and greatly beloved by Mum. Sue anointed Mum with holy oil from Jerusalem a few days before Mum died and officiated at Mum's cremation and memorial services. I have come to know Sue much better since that time and was so pleased that Sue gave me the cup using my name. That meant that my sister received it from another person which disappointed her. Sue will always be special to us both.

Like many Anglican churches in the middle suburbs of Sydney, numbers are declining as the population is largely immigrant but the church building is also used by the Korean Presbyterians and a group of them took part in national costume, playing national instruments. They played 'How great thou art' which I love as well as 'Amazing grace' which I loathe. Some verses were sung in Korean.

A moving service for an old (by Australian standards) church which has such memories for my family.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ballads of the Bush

I have written about my time in the Blue Mountains Musical Society. There was a family involved. Ruth often took leading parts and still does, she is taking the part of Mother Superior in the production of 'Sound of Music' this month. Arthur was in the chorus with me. They had a teenage son, Gavin. Gavin moved onto bigger things taking the role of Gavroche in the Sydney production of Les Miserables and going on to even greater things as a singer, pianist and composer. He has been studying for a PhD at Oxford.

Yesterday I took my sister to a production of his titled 'Ballads of the Bush'
Gavin has set to music many of the poems written by famous Australians A.B. 'Banjo' Paterson, Henry Lawson, C. J Dennis and others. We had a wonderful time.
Even non-Australians would know Paterson's poem 'Waltzing Matilda' which was sung (the original tune, not one by Lockley) at the end of Act 1 with audience participation.

Some of the great poems I have known since primary school days.
The Geebung Polo Club still raises a chuckle.

I could probably recite Clancy of the Overflow along with them.

Henry Lawson had a more sober view of life as seen in Faces in the Street and the very sad The Water Lily depicting the harshness of life in the bush.

I am not so familiar with C.J. Dennis and find his writing in the vernacular a bit hard to follow.

The program ended with 'My Country Australia' which Gavin has written and since expanded into a symphony. It is based on the poem 'My Country' by Dorothea Mackellar which all Australians know. Hardly a dry eye in the house.
I have found on youtube Gavin's composition 'My Country Australia' with Gavin singing and conducting. My sister, who is more patriotic than me was quite overwhelmed.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Amazing escape

This happened at a railway station in Melbourne yesterday. Thankfully the 6 months old child only suffered a bump to the head. The train driver and the mother needed counselling.
The video is being broadcast as a warning to keep hold of prams on stations.


May God forgive me for my feelings.

Anglican Church slashes staff, programs

 AUSTRALIA'S richest Anglican diocese will slash staff and ministries after revealing it lost $160 million on the sharemarket - $60 million more than reported at the height of the global sharemarket downturn.

The cutbacks will be deepest at St Andrew's House, Archbishop Peter Jensen's power centre, with central funds for ministries and programs to spread the Gospel slashed by half over the next three years.

In its report to the synod, the board expresses regret for mistakes made, not only for its highly geared portfolio which exposed it to the market freefall, but for realising debts just as the market rebounded. ''We thought we would be able to ride out the fluctuations in the market and hold the bulk of our market positions.
''We did not, however, envisage the severity of the falls that occurred concurrently in the various markets due to the global financial crisis. Our diversification strategy did not provide the protection we had expected.''
As a result, distributions from the diocesan endowment fund - the main source of funding allocated by head office to support ministry and organisations outside the diocese - halved to $5.3 million.

This is in a country which is the only western country not to have fallen into technical recession and has been the first western country to begin raising interest rates as we have managed to avoid the worst of the GFC.

Perhaps it will keep ++Jensen at home and stop him interfering in the affairs of the World Anglican Communion. We can but hope.

There is a television program interviewing Jensen next Sunday night. I do not know if I can watch it,   There would be a risk to my TV screen.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Role of Women

Have been reading about the latest shenanigans in the  progression towards women bishops in the Church of England. I do not understand all the details except that it is trying to find ways for men who will not accept women to remain in the Church.

I really become very angry and have trouble seeing these men, who will not accept women as priests or bishops, as even Christian. Whether they be the extreme evangelicals like those who run the Diocese of Sydney or the extreme Anglo-catholics, I do not want to have anything to do with them.

I needed to read Davis's comment at Audacious Deviant to calm down.

We start bickering about all the details, but so often we're missing the reason for daring to be Christian. It's about love - even of our (perceived) enemies.

Love one another.

It's worth every bit of pain.
   Thanks Davis.

When I began teaching aeons ago, women had few leadership roles except in girls' schools. I taught in co-ed and occasionally boys' school and saw the gradual movement of women into leadership roles and finally become Principals.  I saw how they had to push harder than men and how men ridiculed them for being pushy. Apparently it was okay for a man to be authoritarian but not a woman. I have worked under hopeless women and excellent women but also hopeless men and excellent men.
That this argument should be still going on in the church in the 21st century angers me. How can one defend one's church when it is so antiquated? St Paul wrote in the 1st century and there are many things he writes which are just irrelevant today and I do not believe reflect the teachings of Jesus.

In Sydney Diocese some women have just been brainwashed. It is sad to read their writings. The senior woman, Archdeacon Narelle Jarrett (Arch deacon, not priest) is pathetic in my opinion.  One woman wrote about her work in her parish as a deacon and it was obvious she was seen as second rate by the male clergy and she accepted this situation. I felt like being sick.

In Australia we have 2 women bishops but neither is a Diocesan. It remains to be seen what will happen if one is elected a diocesan. If men cannot accept this they can go to the Roman Catholic church in my opinion.

New Zealand has had two women diocesan bishops. Bishop Penny Jamieson, Dunedin was the first woman diocesan in the Anglican communion and Bishop Victoria Matthews is now Bishop of Christchurch.  Two New Zealand Dioceses will be choosing a bishop this month, including Dunedin this weekend. I do not know what the possibilities are.

I would like to quote Father Ron Smith from Christchurch who commented on Thinking Anglicans. He expresses my views much better than I ever could.

It would be wonderful if the Church of England could be humble enough to take a leaf out of the book of it's fellow Anglican Provinces - who have trusted the Holy Spirit to call and equip women for the total ministry of the Church. This has been quietly going on now for at least a decade in most overseas provinces, and the Church buildings have not fallen down. Why not take a calculated risk and trust God's providence, and preserve the Church from further schism?
When I was confirmed into the C.of E., I was taught that bishops were the focus of unity. What has changed in the theology of the Church that could possibly dictate otherwise - in the modern age, where women have been accepted as equal partners with men in most other spheres of human endeavour. To create a division in the Church on the grounds of sex or gender does seem to compromise Paul's later understanding of our common (male/female) life in Christ.
The whole idea of 'flying Bishops' sounds like something from science fiction. Do we need to bring further extra-terrestrial paradigms into the serious business of getting alongside both men and women in the world of today, where there are many problems to be solved that require the different skills of both male and female clergy.
Christ was not just a representative male, he was representatively and fully human. He chose not to generate children, but rather to nurture all who came into contact with his inclusive grace and empowerment, giving men and women the equal right to become 'children of God'. AND, Mary Magdalene (a woman) was chosen by Christ to bring the Good News of his resurrection to the male apostles - who, of course, did not believe her. What's new?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dunedin is not dull

Whenever I mention I want to move to Dunedin, NZ, people think I am mad. Today there is an article in the Sydney Morning Herald. St Paul's Anglican Cathedral is on the left in the photo. 

Behind the heritage facades beats the heart of a buzzing university city, writes Briar Jensen.

Dunedin, winner of New Zealand's most beautiful city award last year, is often considered conservative. But with almost one-fifth of the city's population being university students, it is not dull. Among the beautifully preserved gold rush-funded heritage buildings are funky fashion and design stores, hip cafes and wine bars.
Despite having the world's steepest street, the central city is flat and compact and you can navigate comfortably on foot.
The Otago Peninsula is a treat for nature lovers, being home to rare yellow-eyed penguins and the only mainland breeding ground of the northern royal albatross.

If you're a discerning coffee drinker, head to Strictly Coffee in a side street just behind the Octagon city centre, where you can watch the industrial-sized roaster in action. The best way to explore the city is on foot, so start at the Octagon, overlooked by St Paul's Anglican Cathedral, the imposing Municipal Chambers, Dunedin Public Art Gallery and, in the background, the Gothic spire of First Church. Read the pavement plaques around the Robert Burns statue, which feature intriguing and revealing quotes from notable Dunedin writers and poets.

Walk down Stuart Street to the Flemish Renaissance railway station, reputedly New Zealand's most photographed building, with its Royal Doulton mosaic tiles and leadlight windows. Here you can book the scenic Taieri Gorge Railway, which runs half-day return trips to rugged Central Otago. Ditch the diet and follow the delicious smell to nearby Cadbury World for a factory tour with loads of samples.

Follow Cumberland Street to the University of Otago, New Zealand's oldest university and the first to admit women, where imposing volcanic rock and limestone buildings cluster around a tranquil, tree-lined stream.

I just want to sell my house and get going.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Long Term Plans

Not much blogging as I have been trying to prepare a 35 year old house for sale and housework is the last thing I like to do. I have been reading blogs as a break from the task. Amazing the dust that develops in hidden places where no-one would ever look unless they were considering to buy a home and I cannot just blame the recent dust storms.

However I have also been amusing myself planning a long journey at the end of next year. I do not even know where I will be living so most plans are vague except today the cost of 2 nights accommodation in Oberammergau and the tickets to the Passion play went onto my credit card. The tickets are for the performance on September 21, 2010.  If I cancel up to 6 months before I only lose 20% and 3 months before 30%. However even a year before the date I had to take a higher accommodation level than I originally wanted.

Friends from South Africa, whom I met on the train to the performance back in 1980, emailed me back in March suggesting a reunion (The play is only performed every 10 years.) However my emails to them have gone unanswered since May so sadly I am going alone. I am very worried about them in the volatile conditions in Johannesburg.

My dreams are to spend September in Europe. I have never been to Portugal and visited Spain way back in 1980. Or I could return to the British Isles which I last visited also in 1980 and have never been to Ireland. I must resist spending too much more time in Bavaria which I love so much but was there in 2008.

After the performance I am considering returning home via the USA and Canada.

My plan is to complete a loop mainly by train from Chicago to New York to New England onto Nova Scotia then Montreal, Quebec, Ottawa, Toronto and Niagara. Finally flying from Toronto with a stopover in either San Francisco or Los Angeles.

I was not sure which way to go but find I would see more in daylight on the Lake Shore Limited from Chicago to New York rather than the other way.

I want to catch the jetcat from Portland to Nova Scotia but this year it finishes running on October 12 and I have just learnt from Grandmere's blog that the leaves in New England may not be at their best that early.

I also find it is difficult to see some places on my list such as Mt Washington in New Hampshire and the Cabot trail in Nova Scotia. I either need to drive (Right hand traffic, no, no) or travel with an expensive tour, they always stay in much more expensive accommodation than I need or can afford.  Europe is so much easier than North America, or Australia for that matter, for the budget traveller without a car.

However al these details can wait until next year, I must stop dreaming and get back to housework.

Thursday, October 01, 2009


Prayers for all the natural tragedies that have occurred in Australia's neighbouring area in the last few days.
Typhoon Ketsana in Manila, Phillipines and more recently Vietnam and Cambodia
Over 300 dead.

Tsunami in Samoa and American Samoa. Latest figure is over 140 killed (including 3 Australians). Heartrending stories. Also deaths in nearby Tonga.

Now, as we wake, news is coming in of an earthquake in Padang, Indonesia with deaths in 100s more than 1000.

And on a much smaller scale but also need for prayer,  there was a story on TV last night of a 15 year old boy who is suffering from spinal muscular atrophy. Blake weighs 15 kg at 15 years of age. He cannot walk or even lift his head yet he has such a wonderful spirit. Please pray for Blake and his family.