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The Liturgical Calendar: The Church Remembers

Today the church remembers John and Charles Wesley, Priests, 1791, 1788.

John and Charles were raised together at the rectory in Epworth. They studied at Oxford, and together they were ordained into the ministry of the Church of England. Together they journeyed to America and served there as missionaries in Georgia for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. Together they led the great evangelical revival of the eighteenth century.

This movement attempted to foster among Christians a strong personal commitment to Jesus. Its leaders, such as John and Charles, preached and sang in the open fields, on street corners, and in the market places. They actively opposed slavery and drunkenness. John was the more impressive preacher, Charles the musician. (The Hymnal 1982 contains twenty-three of Charles's hymns.)

The Evangelical Movement led to the formation of several religious societies. The most famous of these was the "Methodist" Society, so-called for its strict and methodical practices. Some of these societies, especially in America, separated from the English Church. John and Charles Wesley, however, did not forsake the Church of England. Their feast day would seem an appropriate time to recommit ourselves to the spread of Christ's kingdom among all classes of people.

Lord Christ, make us ready to journey forth into the world to do your work and to praise your Name, and all for your glory. Amen.

Read the Wikipedia article here.

Lord God, you inspired your servants John and Charles Wesley with burning zeal for the sanctification of souls, and endowed them with eloquence in speech and song: Kindle in your Church, we entreat you, such fervor, that those whose faith has cooled may be warmed, and those who have not known Christ may turn to him and be saved; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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