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Old 02-07-2014, 03:55 PM   #11
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Lightbulb Venerable Order of Saint John

The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem( l'ordre très vénérable de l'Hôpital de Saint-Jean de Jérusalem), also referred to as the Order of St John, is a royal order of chivalry, established in 1831, incorporated in 1888, and found today throughout the Commonwealth of Nations, Hong Kong, Ireland, and the United States of America, with the world-wide mission "to prevent and relieve sickness and injury, and to act to enhance the health and well-being of people anywhere in the world"..The Order's approximately 25,000 conferees, supported by 4,000 employees and 300,000 volunteers, are mostly of the Protestant faith, though those of other Christian denominations or other religions are accepted into the order, but usually honorary membership is awarded to deserving and distinguished adherents of other religions. Except via appointment to certain government or ecclesiastical offices in some realms, membership of the order is by invitation only and individuals may not petition for admission. It is perhaps best known through its service organizations, St John Ambulance and St John Eye Hospital Group, the memberships and work of which are not constricted by denomination or religion.. It is also a member of The Alliance of the Orders of St. John of Jerusalem...

The Sovereign Head makes all appointments to the order as she, in her absolute discretion, shall think fit, though the constitution does impose certain limitations: the maximum number of members is set at 35,000, and appointees to the level of Esquire may not be under the age of 16, nor appointees to all other grades under the age of 18.. Recommendations are made by the Grand Council, and those selected have generally acted in such a manner as to strengthen the spirit of mankind—as reflected in the Order's first motto, PRO FIDE—and to encourage and promote humanitarian and charitable work aiding those in sickness, suffering, and/or danger—as reflected in the order's other motto, PRO UTILITATE HOMINUM..

To be inducted, new members must recite the organization's declaration:

"I do solemnly declare that I will be faithful and obedient to The Order of St. John and its Sovereign Head as far as it is consistent with my duty to my [sovereign/president] and to my country; that I will do everything in my power to uphold its dignity and support its charitable works; and that I will endeavour always to uphold the aims of this Christian order and to conduct myself as a person of honour"..Notwithstanding the order's devotion to Christian ideals of charity and its official position that the order has a "Christian character", its Grand Council has since 1999 affirmed that "profession of the Christian Faith should not be a condition of membership of the Order." The issue of the order's Christian character and the issue of "inclusive membership" was dealt with in the Grand Council's Pro Fide Report in 2005, wherein it was said that the order's life is shaped by Christian faith and values, but that "[r]ather than the emphasis being primarily upon 'spiritual beliefs or doctrine' it is on works of mercy rendered through St. John". Therefore, while the Great Officers are required to profess the Christian faith, the same is "not an essential condition of membership" and "[t]he onus is on the man or woman who is invited to the privilege of membership to decide whether he or she can with a good conscience promise to be faithful to the stated aims and purposes of this Christian lay order of chivalry." On the subject of inclusive membership, the report stated "Christian hospitality is a criterion which can be applied to the Order's relationships to persons of other religious faiths," and "the Order needs to be characterized by a hospitable disposition towards other faith traditions while holding fast to its own
origins and foundational identity in Christian faith"... I will take you places you've never been.. I will show you things that you have never seen and I will see the life run out of you..It was as if she had never been here.. As if it had never happened..If only we'd been 30 instead of 20..Imagine her waiting for you all these years..The Rose certain Prince will always be remembered...
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