Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Take a Wife With You

Our church has daily readings, called The Lectionary, and the one I read also features Saints of the Church, people who have served in faithfulness. Today’s reading had an impact on me for several reasons. I was immediately caught by the fact he was assigned, and told to take a wife with him, at which point he immediately proposed to a woman he thought suitable who accepted. So interesting, and so different from the way “courtships” are conducted these days. (With more reading in Wikipedia, I discovered his education was funded by donors, he was trained as a blacksmith and he actually had a fiancee, and she was the one who married him and went with him to Moose Bay. She worked with the women.)

The union was fruitful. John Horden and his wife were able to accomplish great things among the Cree and Inuit, learning their language, preaching in their tongue. It sounds like more than the preaching, his life and his love of his parishoners attracted converts to the faith.

JOHN HORDEN

MISSIONARY BISHOP IN CANADA, 1893
 John Horden (1828 – January 12, 1893) was the first Anglican Bishop of Moosonee, Canada.

On May 10, 1851, he received a letter from Church Missionary Society, informing him that the bishop of Rupert’s Land had made a request for a schoolmaster at Moose Factory, in northern Ontario, and that he had been appointed to fill the position. They also told him to prepare to leave within a month, and indicated that they desired he marry and take his wife out to assist him in his missionary work. Although he was less than enthused about the appointment, he immediately prepared for his new position. He contacted the woman of his choice, a young lady who herself had missionary inclinations, and she agreed to marry him. On June 8, 1851, they set sail for Canada. Horden spent much of his time on the trip by continuing his studies of the Greek Testament and beginning the study of the Cree language.

He went among the natives, writing down new words as he heard them and, after eight month’s effort, was able to preach to the natives without an interpreter. He was ordained a priest during this period. Soon Horden had prepared a prayer book, a hymnal, and translations of the Gospels in the Cree language.

Then in 1865, Horden and his family, which now included five children that he and his wife had had in Canada, sailed back to England so that his children could be educated. Upon Horden’s return to England, he found he was very well-known throughout the British Isles, and became a popular and sought-after speaker. In 1867, Horden returned with his wife to James’ Bay.

In the autumn of 1872, Horden received a message to return to England to be consecrated as a bishop, and on December 15, 1872, he and two others were ordained in a ceremony involving eight other bishops, including Bishop Anderson, who had first ordained Horden 20 years earlier.

He continued to serve as bishop of his huge territory, making pastoral visits to as many parts of his huge diocese as possible, despite his having a serious problem with rheumatism. In his later years, he also worked diligently to finish his translation of the Bible into the Cree language.

December 15, 2022 - Posted by | Adventure, ExPat Life, Faith, Lectionary Readings, Stranger in a Strange Land, Women's Issues

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