Monday, September 13, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
The miracle of Pentecost is a clear reversal of the tragedy of the Tower of Babel where humans became not only further estranged from God, but also from one another. The Communion for which we were created is lost and the story of the progressive disaster of that lost communion marks much of the opening narratives of Scripture. In contrast, the Gospels and Acts tell a story of the reversal of that lost communion.
One of the great challenges of the Church in the modern age is to return the proclamation of the Gospel (evangelism) to its proper foundations and rescue it from the increasing secularism of marketing growth and moralistic interpretations. Christ did not come to make bad men good, but to make dead men live. The conversion of 3,000 at Pentecost was not a membership drive, but glorious reversal of both The Fall and the tragedy of Babel. That is the Gospel we proclaim! Not, “Join our church, be good, and God will take care of you,” but “Life, freedom, healing, forgiveness, redemption, and salvation are offered to you in the death & resurrection of Jesus.” We, The Church, are simply the humble stewards of that message, that way of life, and the mysteries of the Sacraments through which Jesus still comes to us.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
The second is a blog dedicated to Anglican spirituality, theology, history, and worship. Check it here: A Tribe Called Anglican
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Watch it here: The Green Patriarch
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Do whatever you need to do (including small and medium size misdemeanours) to get your hands on what I'm sure we'll be one of the most musically brilliant and well crafted pieces of art in your collection.
Also, check out this article in Elephant Magazine regarding Donnie, his music, and the album:
-- Christopher Hitchens, Atheist and Author in response to a Unitarian minister
Monday, January 25, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Thursday, December 17, 2009
NEW YORK (ARCHONS) – His All Holiness Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians who constitute the second largest Christian denomination in the world, will be featured on the CBS News program 60 Minutes reported by Bob Simon, scheduled to air on Sunday, December 20, 2009 at 7 p.m. EST. The segment will focus on the Orthodox Church, the most ancient Christian church, and its development from its earliest years to modern times in what is now the Republic of Turkey.
His All Holiness was named 11th among the world’s 100 most influential people by Time magazine and was awarded the US Congressional Gold Medal for his efforts to promote human rights and religious tolerance. He has also been recognized by the United Nations as a Laureate Champion of the Earth for his pioneering work to protect the environment. Affectionately known as “the Green Patriarch,” Patriarch Bartholomew has called upon leaders of all denominations to join him in this effort, noting simply that “If life is sacred, so is the entire web that sustains it.”
His All Holiness recently concluded an extended visit to the U.S., where he participated in an environmental symposium in Mississippi, ministered to the five million Orthodox faithful in America, and met with Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and President Barack Obama, among many others. He is the author of Encountering the Mystery (Doubleday) and In the World, Yet Not of the World (Fordham).
Commenting on the upcoming broadcast, Archbishop Demetrios of America said:“The appearance of the Ecumenical Patriarch on a program such as 60 Minutes is an extraordinary opportunity for the American public to become aware of our Orthodox Christian Faith. Millions of people who would otherwise have limited knowledge of the Orthodox Church will have the chance to see and hear the highest ecclesiastical personage of our Church in their living rooms. It is also a tremendous opportunity for our own Orthodox Faithful in the United States to see His All Holiness in a way that will surely touch their hearts and minds with love and deep respect.”
Friday, December 04, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Read it all here.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The Roman Catholic Church has opened the door (via an Apostolic Constitution) for dissatisfied Anglicans to join together with the RCC.
The process will enable groups of Anglicans to become Catholic and recognize the pope as their leader, yet have parishes that retain Anglican rites, Vatican officials said... The parishes would be led by former Anglican clergy -- including those who are married -- who would be ordained as Catholic priests, said the Rev. James Massa, ecumenical director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops... "This sets up a process for whole groups of Anglicans -- clergy and laity -- to enter in to the [Roman] Catholic Church while retaining their forms of worship and other Anglican traditions."...We've been praying for this unity for 40 years and we've not anticipated it happening now," ... "The Holy Spirit is at work here."
The Archbishop of Canturbury responded:
The announcement of this Apostolic Constitution brings to an end a period of uncertainty for such groups who have nurtured hopes of new ways of embracing unity with the Catholic Church. It will now be up to those who have made requests to the Holy See to respond to the Apostolic Constitution.
The Apostolic Constitution is further recognition of the substantial overlap in faith, doctrine and spirituality between the Catholic Church and the Anglican tradition. Without the dialogues of the past forty years, this recognition would not have been possible, nor would hopes for full visible unity have been nurtured. In this sense, this Apostolic Constitution is one consequence of ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Turning points can pass in silence, almost unobserved. It may be that way with the "Great Schism," the most serious division in the history of the Church. The end of the schism may come more quickly and more unexpectedly than most imagine.
On Sept. 18, inside Castel Gandolfo, the Pope's summer palace about 30 miles outside Rome, a Russian Orthodox Archbishop named Hilarion Alfeyev, 43 (a scholar, theologian, expert on the liturgy, composer and lover of music), met with Benedict XVI, 82 (also a scholar, theologian, expert on the liturgy and lover of music), for almost two hours, according to informed sources. (There are as yet no "official" sources about this meeting -- the Holy See has still not released an official communiqué about the meeting.)
The silence suggests that what transpired was important -- perhaps so important that the Holy See thinks it isn't yet prudent to reveal publicly what was discussed.
...Closer relations between Rome and Moscow, then, could have profound implications also for the cultural and liturgical life of the Church in the West. There could be a renewal of Christian art and culture, as well as of faith.
All of this was at stake in the quiet meeting between Archbishop Hilarion and Benedict XVI on Friday afternoon, in the castle overlooking Lake Albano.
Read it all here.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Andy Serkis, the man who did Gollum's character in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, will be doing the voice of Screwtape in a upcoming audio drama remake of C.S. Lewis's classic The Screwtape Letters. It looks quite good!
The official website is www.screwtape.com.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Also on matters of doctrine, the two churches are essentially in agreement. “There remains the question of papal primacy,” Archbishop Pezzi acknowledged, “and this will be a concern at the next meeting of the Catholic-Orthodox Commission. But to me, it doesn’t seem impossible to reach an agreement.”
Thursday, September 17, 2009
The Archbishop on Understanding Prayer
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Ian Hislop: .... How do you balance that attempt to be of the age, to be accessible, and yet not be banal.
Archbishop of Canterbury: The point is often being confident enough about what you are inviting people into, which is not simply an entertainment but a journey and process of change. ....I went with the family to Taize for a few days in the summer.... one of the things I shall remember for a long time is the sound of 5,000 teenagers being quiet. That was an environment that didn't make any concessions to entertaining anyone. It assumed that if you were there, you wanted to be taken a bit deeper. That's the crucial thing.
IH: I remember being told by my teenagers that Church was boring and thinking, good it's meant to be boring. You need a lot more boring in your life and in the middle of it, you'll find something.
ABC: I have to confess that has been in the past one of my regular confirmation sermons. Get used to it. It's not always going to be fun. Life isn't always going to be fun and there's something to be said for sitting things out.
IH: This particularly applies to young people...there is a tendency to assume they have no attention span....
ABC: We set our assumptions and expectations very low.... It's a downward spiral.
IH: Keeping it simple may not be good enough, enriching enough.
ABC: That's right. While I hope that I don't set out to be boring in church - shut up everyone! - I also hope that when I stand up and perform the liturgy, I am doing something that is not just reflecting to them what they already know and what they feel comfortable with. That somehow there is a journey forward to be undertaken. We expect people to grow.... if we don't provide an environment where people grow we only have ourselves to blame. Very often what the Church past and present has been in danger of doing is offering people a thinned down experience whereas I would like to say it is utterly the opposite.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Who is like my child
Who’s so lovely and wild?
Oh, my little bird
By the river I have heard
My lover calls
In fall and spring
Keep your eyes on heron’s wings
She’s coming soon
Let’s dance and sing
For the joy a new life brings
Strong and graceful, too
Like your mother
In red and blue
Love I never knew
Filled my heart
When I held you
My lover calls
In fall and spring
Keep your eyes on heron’s wings
She’s coming soon
Let’s dance and sing
For the joy that her life brings
It's coming soon, let's dance and sing, for the joy a new life brings!
Friday, July 31, 2009
I do think TEC is still a church - just one in very bad shape - much like the Church before Francis or Dominic - intellicutaly lazy, adicted to secular power and taking its queues from the secular world. But it seems that everytime the Church gets into this position, God raises up a prophet (such as Francis - who was a Deacon by the way) to call the Church back into relationship with her Lord.
That is part of what I am trying to do in my little neck of the woods - be that prophet that calls the Church back to her Covenant.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I won't post the whole reflection here, but I'd like to share and comment on a few pieces myself:
From 1.1, "No-one could be in any doubt about the eagerness of the Bishops and Deputies of the Episcopal Church at the General Convention to affirm their concern about the wider Anglican Communion."
This is perhaps the most amussing part of the whole reflection to me, because it seems to be that very thing that many, many poeple doubt, including his fellow senior bishop NT Wright.
From 2.8, "...a blessing for a same-sex union cannot have the authority of the Church Catholic, or even of the Communion as a whole. And if this is the case, a person living in such a union is in the same case as a heterosexual person living in a sexual relationship outside the marriage bond; whatever the human respect and pastoral sensitivity such persons must be given, their chosen lifestyle is not one that the Church's teaching sanctions, and thus it is hard to see how they can act in the necessarily representative role that the ordained ministry, especially the episcopate, requires."
This is one of the clearest statement I have ever seen +++Rowan make regarding same-sex relationships, and it seems he comes down here clearly on the side of orthodoxy.
An important point from 2.10, "...if society changes its attitudes, that change does not of itself count as a reason for the Church to change its discipline."
And finally, some very wise words about how the local church responses to various concerns from 3.12, "When a local church seeks to respond to a new question, to the challenge of possible change in its practice or discipline in the light of new facts, new pressures, or new contexts, as local churches have repeatedly sought to do, it needs some way of including in its discernment the judgement of the wider Church. Without this, it risks becoming unrecognisable to other local churches, pressing ahead with changes that render it strange to Christian sisters and brothers across the globe."
Rowan, without being unkind or vicious, manages to draw a line in the sand and spell out the consequenses for those who cross it. Not consequenses that he will impose with the heavy hand of the See of Canterbury, but consequenses that the line-crossers will bring upon themselves. It is not the clear anathama of the progressives that many of the orthodox were hoping for, but it is substantial none the less.
Also, a few commentaries of note on Archbishop William's reflection that I'd like to point out to my readers:
First, one by A.S. Haley (also known as the Anglican Curmudgeon) is probably the best one I have read so far, and I commend it to you heartily.
Others that are worth your time are those by Matt Kennedy, Peter Ould, and Jordan Hylden. I am still waiting for ACI to respond, and when they do, I'll let you know.
Overall, I am moderately pleased with Rowan's actions so far, although I am aware this puts me in a very, very, very small minority seeing that he has now managed to throw the progressives into a tantrum right along with the usual conservative poopooing of his efforts (here, here, and here). I will concede that Rowan's way forward is not altogether "strong" or "clear," but neither is is tyranical, mean-spirited, or proud. His prayerful, patient, and almost-to-a-fault-kindness and forebearance, though not a very popular way to lead, do have the smell of Christian to me. Many would accuse him of being "weak" or a "coward," but he seems to be attempting a difficult path of orthodoxy and unity that, to his mind, is faithful to the Jesus he worships, winning him precious few friends along the way. Quite a cross to bear and hardly the behavior of a coward. I will keep him in my prayers, and I hope others will do the same.
***UPDATE*** Roman Catholic church issues statement of support for Rowan Williams:
In a statement July 29, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity noted Archbishop Williams' concern for maintaining the unity of the Anglican Communion through common faith and practice based on Scripture and tradition. The Vatican office "supports the archbishop in his desire to strengthen these bonds of communion, and to articulate more fully the relationship between the local and the universal within the church," the statement said. "It is our prayer that the Anglican Communion, even in this difficult situation, may find a way to maintain its unity and its witness to Christ as a worldwide communion."
Read it all here.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Of course, matters didn’t begin with the consecration of Gene Robinson. The floodgates opened several years before, particularly in 1996 when a church court acquitted a bishop who had ordained active homosexuals. Many in TEC have long embraced a theology in which chastity, as universally understood by the wider Christian tradition, has been optional.