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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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Just Imagine: Marcia Laycock’s endorsement of Restoring Health

by Marcia Laycock

Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is a book that will both challenge and encourage the spiritual leaders of our day. It will also inspire those who are just blossoming, those who are on the edge of their destinies.

In his book Rev. Ed Hird uses Titus, the Apostle Paul’s second in command, as a template. As he moves swiftly and eloquently through one of the smaller and often neglected books of the Bible, Rev. Hird lays out a pattern that can be followed today. The parallels with the first century church Titus helped establish and the struggles we face in our churches today are startling and undeniable.

Rev. Hird states – “If the wisdom in the 45-sentence book of Titus can revolutionize a pirate island, it can even transform a pirate continent like North America. Signs of our North American toxicity include gun violence and the insanity of the shooters, obesity when there is no shortage of food, and a wealth of communication tools while many are no longer talking any more.”

“I have become convinced that North America desperately needs to recover from its toxicity, and that the key to restoring its health is found in strengthening a new generation of holistically healthy leaders, as illustrated in the person of Titus.”

The Second in Rev. Hird’s series,

Strengthening a New Generation of Healthy Leaders, this book is endorsed by such notable spiritual leaders as Dr. J. I Packer, Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology at Regent College and Peter H. Davids, Ph.D. Visiting Professor of Theology, Houston Baptist University.

Rev. Hird ponders – Imagine what would happen if every congregation had a Titus in their midst. Imagine what would happen if tens of thousands of healthy Tituses were strengthened and released throughout the pirate continent of North America and to the ends of the earth.

Imagine what could happen if every church leader in the country read this book.

-A book review by Marcia Lee FrontLaycock

– author of A Traveller’s Advisory: stories of God’s grace along the way

-Marcia was raised on an island off the north shore of Lake Huron, ran away to Alaska and then the Yukon, had a “road to Mayo” conversion in 1982, leaped by faith into Briercrest Bible College with her husband in 1985 and landed in the “promised land” of central Alberta in 1988.

She also had the privilege of living a few miles south of the Arctic Circle (Dawson City Yukon) and a couple of degrees south of the equator (Papua New Guinea).

smooth_stone_cvr_alt4For the past thirty some years, she’s been a pastor’s wife, mother of three girls, caretaker of two dogs, two cats and sundry fish, and oh, yes, a freelance writer.

She now has two award-winning novels in print as well as three devotional books. Her ebooks are available on www.smashwords.com and some on Amazon, Barnes and Noble etc.

Marcia is honored to have served on the executive of Inscribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship, been a long-time member of The Word Guild and American Christian Fiction Writers, and been privileged to teach for some of these groups.

She is also a sought-after speaker for women’s retreats and one day events, having spoken widely for Stonecroft Ministries. You can contact her for available dates and topics.

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Dr John B. MacDonald’s review of Restoring Health

Restoring Health cover 907

Restoring Health: Body, Mind and Spirit by Ed A. Hird.

This book is part of the author’s focus on restoring health to the North American church by strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Paul’s letter to Titus is the biblical text for this project.

The book begins with a foreword by the respected theologian, J. I. Packer, and no fewer than eight pages of endorsements.

Dr. Hird has been the Rector for St. Simon’s Church in North Vancouver, Canada since 1987. St. Simon’s is a member of the Anglican Mission in the Americas (Canada) and is a renewal-oriented church.

Paul had some harsh words to say about the people of Crete where Titus was serving: “one of themselves, a prophet of their own said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.’ This testimony is true” (Titus 1:12-13a; pp. 29-30). Dr. Hird expands on this assessment by drawing from Crete’s ancient history as a habitation for pirates.

Hird then makes a comparison between the cultures of ancient Crete and modern North America. He concludes that our North American culture has many characteristics of a culture of “pirates.” Using this thesis, he then demonstrates the relevance of Paul’s instructions to Titus for today: “If the Cretans can be delivered from piracy through Titus, there is hope for even North Americans” (49).

Those expecting an exegetical commentary of Titus will not find it in this book. Instead, as Hird walks with us through Titus, verse-by-verse, he provides basic explanations of the text. These explanations are liberally illustrated by the use of interesting and useful anecdotes, many drawn from his personal experiences.

Here are a couple of examples. Discussing the issue of drunkenness (1:7), Dr. Hird uses the life of Johnny Cash as an extended illustration of God’s power in battling addiction (37-40). Titus 1:10 becomes an opportunity to address the modern North American phenomena of yoga and labyrinth-praying as spiritually dark, deceptive, and dangerous practices (49-53).

The actual text is relatively short – fewer than 70 pages. A bibliography (3 pp.) and extensive endnotes (11 pp.) are provided.

Overall I found this book readable, enjoyable, and profitable.

Dr. John B. MacDonald41e4vv1ejtl. ss218

My purpose

My goal through living theology is to equip and encourage you to become more like Jesus Christ and to live all of life with God-honoring competence and joy.

My content

To further that goal, I focus on providing you with practical resources for disciple-making and church health.

By ‘church health’ I do not mean ‘church’ as an institution. Rather I have in view communities of Christians – ‘Jesus communities’ – living out the values of the Kingdom of God in their ‘here and now’. The same goes for disciple-making – living and growing as followers of Jesus in all of life.

My biography

I became a follower of Jesus in my university years.

I had practised law for over 27 years when I accepted an invitation to pastor and teach within a Jesus community in Metro-Vancouver, Canada. More than 12 full and interesting years have passed. I’m an associate with Outreach Canada with a strong desire for the health of churches and the making of disciples – and I’m back practising law a couple of days a week. I’m also writing, speaking, and teaching in areas of practical theology with an emphasis on living theology.

Over the years I’ve completed an M.A. in Biblical Studies at Regent College (Vancouver), and a Doctor of Ministry. My doctoral thesis was at the intersection of leadership, conflict, and spiritual formation. I’ve taught in universities, colleges, churches, conferences, retreats, and seminars in North America, Europe, and Latin America.

One exciting project I’m working on is the re-discovery of Matthew as a practical and effective paradigm for making disciples. The research, field-testing, and development of this resource is still a work-in-progress.

Sharon and I have been married for 37+ years and have been blessed with four grown children, two sons-in-law, and two grandchildren – so far.

Disclosure: I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


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Captain Reed Fleming’s take on Restoring Health

“Rev. Dr. Ed Hird makes a compelling case that 21st Century North America is very similar to 1st Century Crete, an island of pirates. He uses Paul’s letter to Titus to unpack a prescription for health and recovery from a pirate-like life. He shares many personal stories along the way. A worthwhile read!”

Captain Reed Fleming

Street Hope Chaplain, Threshold Ministries

“I’m excited about being a part of the Kingdom of God. We launched Street Hope Saint John in the fall of 2012 and gather regularly at 36 Sewell Street in Uptown Saint John. The times together are centered on three themes:

1.) Study and worship – We believe there is no higher calling than to worship God. We believe that for Street Hope to be a catalyst in the community we must find ourselves in God’s presence and grow in our knowledge of Him. Street Hope gather as a community for worship, study and prayer at least once a day.

2.) Outreach & Maintenance Programs – The emphasis here is to provide venues where people can find freedom in Christ, from a variety of addictions and behaviours. Many of the founding members of the community come from lives ensnared in these addictions, so the program is of use in maintaining their freedom while reaching out to help others in the wider community to find such freedom. This involves 12 Step studies, an Overcomers program and a variety of video and guest speakers and ministries. This is the main way in which people become new members of the community.

3) Serving the Master – The community and its individuals serve the wider community. This is mainly done through volunteering with other existing ministries, particularly those that serve the marginalized of our city. Examples are: Out of the Cold, Out Flow, Hope Mission, Salvation Army Friendship Centre, and mission activities sponsored by local churches.

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 1008- 555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC, V7N 2J7, Canada.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #1008-555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC V7N 2J7. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. TheBattle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $9.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to download a complimentary PDF copy of theBattle for the Soul study guide :  Seeking God’s Solution for a Spirit-Filled Canada

You can also download the complimentary Leader’s Guide PDF: Battle for the Soul Leaders Guide


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Book review by Michael Donahoe of ‘Restoring Health’

4.0 out of 5 stars Restoring Spiritual Health, February 10, 2015 
The author uses teachings from Titus to show that Christians, especially North American Christians, need to focus on Christ and God’s love to live physical, mental and spiritual healthy lives.


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Endorsement by Rev. Capt. Brian Kirby of the Restoring Health book

By the Rev. Captain Brian Kirby

I found this book by my good friend and colleague Rev. Dr. Ed Hird to be challenging, informative, encouraging and uplifting all RH - Hirdat the same time.  I have read Paul`s letter to Titus, along with commentaries on Titus many times over my 32 plus years in Ordained Ministry.  One of the things which stuck with me this time was that the people on the island of Crete were Pirates.  I knew they were lazy, gluttons and drunkards and even though I knew these were all characteristics of pirates the two things had not fully registered.

As I have read what Ed has had to say about the Cretans being pirates, challenged me when he related that to people in North America being pirates.  This led me to do a lot of soul searching and re-examining both my life and the life styles of my fellow Canadians and North Americans to see what truth there was in this bold statement.  I have seen confirmation after confirmation of how not only are we as people in Canada and in fact North America are pirates, but that also I can relate where I can apply that term to myself as well.  How often do we steal time from our employers, our family or from other people through laziness and procrastination?

I find myself invigorated through reading and meditating upon what Ed has shared not only about Titus, but also about his own life and ministry.  I have been reminded of things which through our friendship over many years have been an encouragement to me in the fulfillment of the ministry to which Jesus has called me to boldly proclaim the Good News of Salvation to our local communities today.

back coverI heartily recommend Ed`s latest book to all who are called into any aspect of leadership in the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ whether lay or ordained.  By sinking your teeth into the meat of material in this book you will be encouraged and further equipped for the work of ministry to which Jesus has called you by the power of the Holy Spirit.  If you are a seeker, you will find humour entwined with solid teaching which will draw you to a Saviour who loves you and died for you that you might receive the greatest gift of all, the gift of new life.

Rev. Capt. Brian M. Kirby+(Ret`d)

Priest, Anglican Network in Canada

Interim Pastor – Arbutus Grove Reform Church, Parksville

Padre – Canadian Forces Maritime Test Range, Nanoose Bay

Zone Padre – Central Vancouver Island Zone – Royal Canadian Legion


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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit

By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

File:Crete topographic map-fr.svg

Who in their right mind would want to be sent to a toxic island where everyone was a pirate, including the grandmothers, grandsons, and everyone in between?  Who would want to be sent to an island where all islanders were liars, evil brutes and lazy gluttons?  The Island of Crete which my wife and I visited had been a pirate stronghold for over 800 years.  While in Crete, we learned about Titus who was just the man for the job.  He did not flinch.  Titus taught toxic Cretan pirates how to become radically healthy: how to love, how to lay down their lives for another, how to be the faithful husband of but one wife, how to be gentle and patient.  He taught the female pirates how to be best friends with their husbands and their children.  This is true health.  If the wisdom in the 45-sentence book of Titus can revolutionize a pirate island, it can even transform a pirate continent like North America.  Signs of our North American toxicity include gun violence and the insanity of the shooters, obesity when there is no shortage of food, and a wealth of communication tools while many are no longer talking any more.

Is it a mere coincidence that the late Steve Jobs defined Apple employees as pirates, even raising a pirate flag with the Apple logo as the pirate eyepatch?  It is better, said Jobs, to be a pirate than join the navy.     In the 1999 movie Pirates of Silicon Valley, Jobs accused Bill Gates of ripping him off by producing the Microsoft Windows mouse-based graphical user interface.  Gates, the wealthiest person on earth, memorably said to his outraged fellow pirate Steve Jobs: “we both had this rich neighbor named Xerox and I broke into his house to steal the TV set and found out that you had already stolen it.”  Ironically Jobs loved to quote Picasso’s comment: “Good artists copy. Great artists steal.”  So do great pirates.

Titus was a first-century go-getter.  He reminds me of my father, Ted Hird, who always gets the job done.  At one of my father’s retirements, his company, Microtel, gave him a statue of a horse in memory of my father’s billing the company for a dead horse.  Working in Newfoundland for three months with the snowy roads sometimes impassible, my father hired a farmer’s horse to drag the telecommunications equipment up the hill. The microwave tower was finally finished, but the horse died.  Titus-like leaders make things happen against impossible odds.

If the toxic Cretan pirates can become healthy, anyone can become healthy, even North Americans.  Dr. Brene Brown, whose TED talk has been seen by over sixteen million people, said that we in North America “are the most we are the most in-debt, obese, addicted and medicated adult cohort in (our) history.”   In an age of many regrets, Titus is a symbol of hope for healthy leadership in the twenty-first century.  With the huge global changes happening, the need for healthy leaders like Titus has never been greater.  A key solution to our North American toxicity is rediscovering Titus, the epitome of integrated healthy leadership.  Titus planted significantly healthy communities by identifying and training indigenous leaders in every one of the over hundred Cretan cities.  The book of Titus gives you the keys to healthy communities, healthy families and healthy lives.

The book of Titus calls us to become whole people – in mind, body, and spirit.  That is the theme of my brand new book ‘Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit.’  So often we North Americans are toxically fragmented in areas of our lives.  We need the Great Physician to give us a full check-up to determine whether our lives, our marriages and families, our churches and communities are sound and healthy.  Many of us are out of balance in our health emphasis, neglecting either the body, the mind or the spirit.  Too many good people have bought the lie that they can eat anything they want and not bother to exercise.  The Bible says that our health choices have consequences.  We reap as we sow.  People who neglect their bodies lose the ability to travel cross-culturally as they get older.  People who neglect their minds go stale and have nothing worth saying.  People who neglect their spirits go shallow and self-absorbed. Healthy leaders embrace their bodies, minds and spirits for Christ’s sake.

My prayer for those reading this article is that we will choose the way of holistic health in every area of our lives.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector

St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver

Anglican Mission in Canada

-an article for the November Deep Cove Crier

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 1008- 555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC, V7N 2J7, Canada.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #1008-555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC V7N 2J7. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $9.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to download a complimentary PDF copy of the Battle for the Soul study guide :  Seeking God’s Solution for a Spirit-Filled Canada

You can also download the complimentary Leader’s Guide PDF: Battle for the Soul Leaders Guide


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Preface to my sequel “Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit’

by the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

 

Preface

We have all been painfully stuck.  Being at a key transition-point in our lives, we do not know how to move forward, finding ourselves immobilized.[i] I have been there many times.  My perfectionism makes it worse.   A key turning point for me was when as I attended a Leadership Conference at the University of Kent in England.[ii]  Walking into a seminar, God ‘whispered’ to me that I would be receiving a message. The Rev Freda Meadows suddenly called me out of the crowd and gave me a specific prophetic message, saying:

You don’t need to run in keeping up with others.  Enter into God’s rest.  Keep your eye on the finishing line which is Him.  You will be moving into new things, having words of knowledge. You will be gifted in this area.  You are in an apprenticeship time at present.  You will disciple others.  You are a man of God’s Word, things of the Kingdom. You are a person of vision, a long-range visionary.  God is going to put you in a key place and you will find yourself training and discipling others.[iii]

I had no idea how powerfully God was going to use the 1998 Pre-Lambeth Leadership Conference.  Most of us as North American Anglicans were still stuck in the ‘inside strategy’ mindset.  Being conflict-avoiders, we were going to ‘fix’ the North American Anglican churches while still inside the old institution.  This virus of institutionalism can slip inside the mind of even the most sincere believer, turning us toxic.  It is so easy to become the hollow, stuffed men of TS Eliot’s poem: “We are the hollow men. We are the stuffed men Leaning together…”[iv]  We Canadians were still quite ‘gung-ho’ at the Canterbury Leadership Conference, but the Americans were unusually quiet. They lacked their usual American ‘get-up-and-go’ attitude.  When Americans go quiet, you can tell that something is up.

At the official Canadian night, Bishop Eddie Marsh of Central   Newfoundland invited the Americans to come up and share.  I will never forget how our American colleagues Bishop Alex Dickson and Dr. (now Bishop) John Rodgers stood up and repented to our African colleagues for the shame that the USA had brought on the Anglican Church, and for Bishop John Spong’s castigating African Anglicans as just one step out of animism and witchcraft.[v]

“(Bishop Spong) has insulted you.  We are ashamed for him; we are ashamed for ourselves.  We ask your forgiveness and we assure you that he does not speak for us.”[vi]

Hundreds of African bishops and clergy spontaneously flocked forward and hugged the Americans, weeping and declaring God’s forgiveness.  Todd Wetzel of Anglicans United said that ‘this was one of the American Church’s finest moments in decades.’  This prophetic action of repentance and forgiveness was a new beginning for Anglican Christians around the world.

I am convinced that we are not to despise prophecy, and that the prophetic gift is still in operation today.  Prophecy does not just address the global picture.  It can also address our personal situations, even regarding writing a book.  Through prayer, I have received very clear direction about the topic of this current book.[vii]   Pushing through our toxic stuckness is key to restoring health, and key to strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders.

The purpose of prophecy is to encourage, build, and strengthen.[viii]  Yes, all prophecies have to be tested.  As children of the New Covenant, we only prophesy in part.[ix]  Prophecies help me push through my ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’.  In the 21stcentury, a sensitive use of the gifts of prophecy and exhortation will be essential to getting unstuck, to becoming a healthier and more Christlike leader.  As Paul said to Timothy, by following prophecies made about us, we leaders more effectively ‘fight the good fight’ and live out our daily lives.[x]  Out of these prophetic encounters, I have become convinced that North America desperately needs to recover from its toxicity, and that the key to restoring its health is found in strengthening  a new generation of holistically healthy leaders, as illustrated in the person of Titus.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector
BSW, MDiv, DMin
St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver
Anglican Mission in Canada

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 1008- 555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC, V7N 2J7, Canada.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #1008-555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC V7N 2J7. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $9.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to download a complimentary PDF copy of the Battle for the Soul study guide :  Seeking God’s Solution for a Spirit-Filled Canada

You can also download the complimentary Leader’s Guide PDF: Battle for the Soul Leaders Guide

[i] Terry B Walling, Stuck!, (ChurchSmart Resources, 2008),  p. XIII “Without transitions, and the paradigm shifts that occur, Christ followers would stay stuck!”,

[ii] This Pre-Lambeth Leadership Conference was jointly sponsored by Anglican Renewal Ministries/ARM and SOMA/Sharing of Ministries Abroad.  I was serving as the Chair of ARM Canada.

[iii] Freda Meadows ministers with the International New Wine Director Rev Bruce Collins http://www.new-wine.org; Ten years later, the Rev Freda gave further insight into the 1998 Canterbury prophecy, saying:

“…the underlying thrust was to trust God for the outcome of the plans He had in using you.  While you were to do all that was necessary, it was not for you to try and make anything happen.  But you were to follow the Lord’s leading using the gifts and skills He gave in the best way you knew and through what you had learned as your experience grew.”

[iv] http://poetry.poetryx.com/poems/784/

[v]  “African Christians? They’re just a step up from witchcraft: What Bishop Spong had to say about his fellow Christians, John Spong interviewed by Andrew Carey, Church of England Newspaper, July 10th 1998.  Newspaper & Andrew Carey. “They’ve moved out of animism into a very superstitious kind of Christianity. They’ve yet to face the intellectual revolution of Copernicus and Einstein that we’ve had to face in the developing world. That’s just not on their radar screen.”

[vi] Doug LeBlanc, Lambeth, 1998, “Episcopal Dissidenta, African Allies”, Dr Miranda Hassett,University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill,  http://anglicanhistory.org/academic/hassett2004.pdf

[vii] On October 17th Wednesday 2008 while at the Anglican Coalition Clergy Retreat at Cedar Springs, I received a distinct impression from the Lord while in deep quiet group prayer: “Yes, it is Titus.”  While attending the Henry Wright ‘Be in Health’ conference, I heard a still small voice saying: “Write 3rd book on Titus for North American Audience.”

[viii] 1 Corinthians 14:3

[ix]  1st Thessalonians 5: 19-21: Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.; 1 Corinthians 13:9.

[x] 1 Timothy 1:18, 4:14

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Labels: 1998AfricaAmericansAnglicanBishop Eddie MarshBishop John RodgersBishop John Spong,CanadianshealthyleadersleadershipNewfoundlandperfectionismPre-Lambethprophecyreststuck,TS Eliot