++Cantuar Said What?

10 02 2010

This is filed under the “Wonders Never Cease” department

From the Times of London:

Rowan Williams Issues ‘Profound Apology’ to Gay Christians

The  quote, taken from a transcript of the address

The debate over the status and vocational possibilities of LGBT people in the Church is not helped by ignoring the existing facts, which include many regular worshippers of gay or lesbian orientation and many sacrificial and exemplary priests who share this orientation. There are ways of speaking about the question that seem to ignore these human realities or to undervalue them; I have been criticised for doing just this, and I am profoundly sorry for the carelessness that could give such an impression.

Well, I could be very well mistaken as I have not been following Church news as I once did, but this is the first time I believe that the head of an Anglican Province has said that this is about people.

My own two cents is that in discussing these things, it is always important remember that we are not talking about abstract issues, or about a sexual act, but we are talking about people … people who have dedicated their lives to serving God.  For any Church not to recognize people’s gifts, calling and dedication it does nothing but diminish the Body of Christ in the long run.

I’ll read the whole thing later .. Looks like he mentions bishops, his recent trip to the US, and the Covenant.






Where is the Gospel? (aka the return of the Corkscrew of Anglican Infallibility)

26 10 2009

Much has been said about the recent announcement from the Vatican about allowing disaffected Anglicans to become Roman Catholic and still retain much of their spirituality and liturgy.  Under this new “Personal Ordinariate,” this will allow for married Anglican deacons and priests, but not bishops.  Those who have been agonizing over the fact that the Anglican Communion works best on a missional and consensus-driven model rather than a magisterial way of governance will find safe harbour at the Vatican.  Of course, these clergymen (and yes, they will all be men, make no mistake about that!) will have to be re-ordained because the Vatican does not recognize the vaildity of Anglican Holy Orders.

Many questions arise out of this announcement, and the answers will probably be sorted out in the actual Apostolic Constitution document when it comes out over the next few weeks.

Some questions include (most of which have been discussed elsewhere):

  • What about bishops who are currently married?  One case in point is a bishop of the Traditional Anglican Communion over in the Philadelphia suburbs.  His commentary on the matter may be found in the NY Times at the link above.  He hopes that the sea of purple can be “grandfathered in” and presumably going forward, once the initial crop of bishops dry off from their swim across the Tiber, the celibacy requirement will be in force.  Regardless, I think the ban on married bishops will prevent many from leaving the Anglican Communion than we might at first be inclined to believe (i.e., I don’t see +Jack Iker of Fort  Worth, or any of our African Bishops running off to Rome any time soon).
  • Will this bring up again the taboo topic of discussing whether or not it is a right, good and a joyful thing to require the clergy to be celebate? This has been brought up several times over the past week, recently on NPR’s All Things Considered, which featured interviews with Jim Naughton of Episcopal Cafe; +Robert Duncan of ACNA; and Fr. Thomas Reese, a Jesuit priest in Washington, DC.
  • And what about the laity?  In the USA, Canada, and also to an extent the United Kingdom, I believe that lay participation in the councils and structures of the church is rather robust … Is there room in a top-down magisterium for such a group?
  • Oh, yes and the property questions, and what to do with their stipends, pensions, etc.

Lots of questions, not a lot of answers …

For those of us in the US, and perhaps Canada also, this will not prove to be such a big deal.  Actually, I think it affects the Anglicans in Europe much more so than here in North America, which tends to be the consensus amongst the Anglican pundits.  The Anglicans in North America who have left TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada are busy forming their own parallel province, so I doubt seriously anyone will want to take advantage of this move … However, one really big question I have is ….

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Anglican Wine Bars .. No, it’s true!

2 09 2008

We take a break from talking about politics and wincing at the theology of Southern Gospel to bring you this important announcement from the UK’s Telegraph … Graphic shamelessly stolen from Dr.Vino, to whom I am also giving a hat-tip….

Cathedral Turns to Wine Bars to Woo New Business

Now you can go to church, have coffee hour AND have brunch all in the same place! I hope someone told Dennis

Dr. Vino writes, “If you’ve wanted to work for the Church of England but have felt constrained by the whole clergy thing, Birmingham Cathedral in England may have just the position for you: sommelier.

Excerpts from The Telegraph say (emphasis mine, click on the link above for the whole article.

The first “director of hospitality and welcome” at an English cathedral has unveiled far-reaching plans to make its operations more business-like……His plans, revealed today, include a chain of city-centre wine bars and “loyalty cards” for regular worshippers to obtain discounts at the cathedral’s shops.  The new appraoch to attracting and retaining worshippers could become a blueprint for dioceses across the countr.  The wine bars would feature stained-glass windows, pictures on a religious theme and be decorated in “episcopal purple”.

Staff would have to be sympathetic to Christianity and times of cathedral services would be posted on the walls.  Mr Hope-Urwin said: “We’re not trying to encourage drinking, but the cathedral has to engage more with the city and find ways of meeting people on their territory.

“Cathedral wine bars should be seen as a potential commercial operation with profits going into the upkeep of the building and paying for evangelistic work… People have all kinds of distractions in their busy lives and at the moment too many just see the cathedral as a big brick monolith. That has to change if we are to bring people in.”

Except for the whole loyalty card business, this actually sounds kind of fun.

Oh! Oh! and wait!  There’s a traditional “orthodox” nay-sayer just waiting in the wings to point out just one more way the God’s Church is going to hell in a handbasket.

The Rev David Phillips, the general secretary of the Church Society, a traditionalist group, said: “Opening wine bars doesn’t seem an appropriate way to generate money.

“People who attend church should give more so that this doesn’t have to happen. The idea of the Church getting involved with selling alcohol will worry people.”

Oh, for the love of Mike … whatEVER Rev. Phillips.

Now here’s the fun part … Let’s come up with fun names for our favourite vintages at the church pub wine bar.  How about “De Vine and De Branch?”





Lambeth Lamb-bake

5 08 2008

I have only been an Episcopalian for a little less than 5 years now, so this is the first time I’ve observed from afar what went on at the Lambeth Conference which just ended this past weekend. I give thanks to everyone who took time to report back their perspectives of what was going on, from blogging bishops in the US, Canada, the UK, Brazil, and everyone who was doing the work of advancing the Kingdom on the fringes and in the marketplace, especially to +Gene Robinson, Susan Russell+, Elizabeth Kaeton+, and Katie Sherrod.

All in all, despite all the money that was spent and the disappointments that came out of the last few days of the conference, I believe that it was A Good Thing, and an Important Thing to have. Looking at things from the perspective of the bishops, it seems that a lot of good (and at times difficult! ) conversations were had and new relationships forged, and people have begun to appreciate others’ viewpoints whereas before they most likely only read about them via newsfeeds, blogs and other media. You can read all you want, but nothing replaces a face – to – face encounter.

As I have commented on other folks blogs, the non-invitation of +Gene Robinson and his presence on the fringes of the conference made him a bigger rock star than the British Press is making +Rowan Williams out to be, and +Gene’s witness is much more powerful and persuasive on the outside than it would have been inside. From reading +Gene’s blog and from reading about other accounts from the marketplace, it seems that the Lord was definitely at work in the hearts and minds of people. Our faith is an Incarnational one, one that is lived out and given flesh, not one that is read about, so I am all in favour of people getting together in the flesh as faithful followers of Christ.

I recently had a conversation via email with a conservative priest in the Diocese of Central Florida, and what was great about it was that we did not agree on too much, and we will probably won’t in the near future, but we saw in each other a faithfulness in our commitment to Christ and to the Church, and therefore, a mutual respect. I think that conversation is a glimpse into what happened in many cases at Lambeth.

All of that being said, I do have to say that while it is not entirely surprising that the reflections document contained calls for moratoria on partnered gay bishops and blessings of unions, it is disheartening. It is discouraging all the more so because in spite of our HUGE presence in the marketplace the GLBT witness is still one that is talked about, and not spoken with. The Covenant, it seems, is going forward and +Rowan’s newly found ecclesial capital has given it the steam to continue down the road we’re on. I do find it VERY discouraging that the people who are asked to be making sacrifices are the one people that are NOT being spoken to face to face and are not being allowed that Incarnational encounter.

Read the rest of this entry »





Humour

23 07 2008

Thanks to my father for sending this along.  I thought this was appropriate in light of the tea party going on over in Canterbury.





Quote of the week

21 07 2008

Now THIS is a sermon … Taken from the Bishop of Colombo’s sermon from the opening Eucharist of the Lambeth  Conference, emphasis mine. You can read the whole thing here

It is indeed a true saying that God gives the Church an agenda out of the crises of the world.  And so my dear sisters and brothers in Christ, the Anglican Communion must always give the highest priority to our invitation from Christ to participate Christ in transforming God’s world.  To bring healing, peace, justice, reconciliation, abundant life, where there is oppression, where there is hostility, where there is strife and division.  … God has called us and placed us in God’s world so that we might participate with him in bringing this transformation.

….

I would like to draw your attention to the parable that was read as the Gospel:  the words of the master were wise words.  Let them grow together.

There can and there must be no uprooting, simply because if we attempt this game of uprooting the unrighteous then, my dear sisters and brothers, none of us will remain.  We are all a mix of the wheat and the weeds. The wisdom of these words suggest that we stay together because we draw from a common soil, a common tradition, a common heritage.  We are what we are regardless of our differences, because of our common life together and our origins.  Transformation comes in this interaction, and transformation must come from within.

And all of God’s people said … AMEN!





Doing the Lambeth Walk

10 06 2008

Last week, iNYC had the pleasure of listening to Brenda Harrison from the UK speak to us about the inclusive presence at the upcoming Lambeth Conference.  Brenda wears a couple of hats.  She is the Lambeth Administrator for Inclusive Church, whose goal is to work towards a Communion which welcomes every baptized person, and the Lambeth Administrator for Changing Attitudes UK, which is similar to Integrity.

Brenda spoke about “Practicing the Ministry of Presence” in the marketplace at the Lambeth Conference this summer.  The marketplace will be full of people from the USA, Canada, the UK, and will even include some liberal evangelicals.  There will also be some inclusive-minded Africans from Nigeria, Uganda, and Kenya pending visas being granted.  It is very important that non-Western voices be heard at the conference, so there is a big push to get as many people from the Global South present at the marketplace as possible.

A huge segment of the marketplace will be devoted to LGBT concerns, so much so that the organizers of the conference have asked the various groups not to send any more people than what have already registered!  There will also be contingents from women’s groups and other groups from around the communion (Africans, Asians, etc.)

There will be a communications centre, and a daily newspaper both of which will be spearheaded by John Clinton Bradley of Integrity USA.  A few bloggers will also be there.  The goal of the communications centre is to be the first port of call, so to speak, for the media.  Despite all efforts by Canterbury to promote the Lambeth Conference as a time of study and reflection and specifically NOT legislative sessions, I personally don’t think the media is going to buy it, so I would be surprised if there is not a substantial media presence at the conference.  The marketplace will also be open to the general public.

On the first Sunday of the Conference, there will be a HUGE Integrity / Changing Attitudes open air Eucharist.  According to Brenda, about 30 or so bishops from The Episcopal Church will be attending.

One final note … According to Brenda, there will be very very small conservative presence (sorry, I refuse to call them orthodox out of principle), which was surprising.  After all, these are the Very Loud Voices saying that their church / communion has been hijacked by the progressives and have called The Episcopal Church apostate and even non-Christian at times.  This is their chance to lay all the cards on the table and to interact with basically almost every who’s who in the Anglican world, and they declined to come to the party.

I look forward to hearing more about the Lambeth Conference from the folks on the ground.  If you are interested in what Integrity USA is doing at Lambeth, I would imagine that the best way to get the updates and newspaper would be to subscribe to Walking With Integrity or check in at Susan Russell’s blog “An Inch at Time,” the links of which are on the blogroll.