A weekly roundup of Anglican Communion news plus opinion, reviews, photos, profiles and other things of interest from across the Anglican/Episcopal world.
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This edition includes...
St. Peter's: The Little Church That Could
By Veronica Hinds, on peekshill.patch.com
St. Peter's has a rich history in the area, including ties to George Washington, and its innovative way of handling the 2008 economic crash has inspired members during their own tough financial times.
Tom Hunt, 54, a former Roman Catholic and his wife, Donna, a life-long Episcopalian got married in St. Peter’s Episcopal Church on North Division Street in Peekskill in 1984 simply because it was close to where they lived. Today, they remain active, well-loved members of the congregation.
“The church has always been an extended family. The majority of our personal friends come here. The diversity here is fantastic and we have so much fun,” said Tom who has been a part of the church leadership for 20 years. He ticks off the different ways he’s been involved as one would a shopping list. “Finance committee, building committee, vestry member, junior warden, senior warden, usher, endowment committee, parish life committee.” He paused to think and with a jolly smile adds that he has been involved in just about every way possible.
Perhaps of all the jobs, the most important one for him is working with the kids as a Sunday school teacher and teen group leader. You see, Tom and Donna do not have any biological children of their own but, as they put it, through St. Peters they have many.
St. Peter’s has a rich and intriguing history. Its first building, a one-room framed structure located in Van Cortlandtville was consecrated in 1767. George Washington reportedly read the Morning Prayer there and between 1781 and 1782 and French troops in the area who helped the Americans defeat the British used the church as a military hospital. One of the folklore about the church is that when told that the church on top of the hill in the cemetery needs to be burnt down General Washington responded, “I sir, do not burn down churches.”
One of St. Peter’s most loved qualities is its diversity. Forty years ago Dr. Martin Luther King said that the most segregated hour in the United States is on a Sunday morning at 11a.m. because each ethnic group tends to worship together in their own religious institutions, but St. Peter’s has always been different. That is one of the historical facts, Reverend Caryle J. Hughes; the church rector says its congregation takes for granted.
“St. Peter’s has been integrated since its inception. There were free blacks in Peekskill. By right there should have been a black Church of England, but for some reason there wasn’t,” said Hughes. “I don’t know how many churches in the U.S. that has been integrated for over 240 years.”
“We have a lot to offer the rest of the world when it comes to the issue of how do different groups of people not just get along but flourish together, because that is what we have done here. We do not just tolerate each other, we are in relationship with each other and that is an extraordinary gift,” said Hughes.
St. Peter’s also has a close relationship with the Peekskill community.
“Where ever there seems to be a need, St. Peter’s is called upon,” said Connie Dyckman, a church member of 13 years and senior warden. “Currently, we are conducting our annual school drive where we collect school items and in September distribute them to needy families. We have Fred’s Pantry, which we started in February 2010, with Caring for the Homeless in Peekskill (CHOP, Inc.) Every Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. families in need can come to St. Peter’s for canned goods, other non-perishable items and frozen meats and vegetables. We feed more than 600 families. We also have a free community dinner on the third Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. in the parish hall,” said Dcykman.
Doryl Wolfe has been a church member for eight years and one of the members of the community dinner committee. “We feed people who like our food and need our food and that makes us feel good,” said Wolfe, and went on to explain how committed members are.
“We meet to decide what we are going to cook and the items we need. We are very organized and everyone is very dependable. They do what they say they are going to do. On a given night, we serve 65 to 70 people, sometimes a hundred depending on the time of year.”
“Every time we turn on the television or read the news papers someone is telling us that America is falling apart. They say that the democrats and republicans will never come to the meetings of the minds and that those who have are trampling over those who have not. That is why I feel the church that we have here on Saturday around the food pantry is just as important as the one we have on Sunday,” said Hughes.
“On Saturday morning there are between two to three hundred people here. There are those who have and those who are less fortunate. They know each other by name, check in on each other and are considerate and passionate to one another. Besides feeding people, we put a level of balance back into the community.”
Three years ago all of this could have been lost when St. Peter’s faced its biggest financial challenge in its existence. During the financial fallout in fall of 2008, overnight St. Peter’s lost two thirds of its operating budget when their endowment lost substantial profit. A meeting of the vestry was convened. They sat around a table with a box of tissue, cried, ranted, prayed and asked God for help.
“Although it made financial sense, it was unacceptable to close the church. We saw a level of need around us and felt that God was asking us to be present in a troubled time,” said Hughes. In that moment, St. Peter’s became the little church that could, but it meant changing the way they dealt with their finances.
“We recognized that God has given us enough to take care of our financial needs and it was spread all over the church,” said Hughes. “Three or four wealthy families always assumed the lion share of caring for the church. With those families long gone, it was up to a hundred families to all take care of the church.” This drastically changed how the church operated.
“Mother Caryle handed over the spiritual leadership of the church to everyone. She told us this is your church. You have to decide what you want to do for God and St. Peter’s. Before the decisions came from the top and now it comes from the people. It is truly a partnership,” said Dcykman.
It began with transparency. Every Sunday the bulletin provides the congregation with a financial update. It lists how much monies were expected, what actually came in and the bills that need to go out. Hughes says St. Peter’s often reflects what is going on in the nation and the congregation’s response expresses that. Together the members learned how to do more with less. They lent their skills and expertise and ensured that St. Peter’s remained a charitable and spiritual resource in the community.
For an hour after service last Sunday, Hughes sat with a church member discussing an energy audit to take place that Monday to help make the church buildings more energy efficient. Hughes says many of the ideas do not come from her but from members. This includes grant proposals, the annual fundraising dinner, flea market participation, small change make big change campaign, putting Sunday service on You Tube and many of the mission and outreach activities. Congregation members have discovered and even deeper connection as more members have increased their participation. Dcykman says people have always loved the church but now have more ways to express it.
“They are people who would love to never talk about our financial situation again, but the reality is if we don’t then we close the church. This little church feeds approximately 10,000 people every single year. There are usually 70 people in service on Sunday. How do 70 people feed 10,000 people? We do it because we care,” said Hughes.
The church’s innovative way of handling its financial problems has inspired members who have lost their jobs and their homes. They have expressed how witnessing the church weather its financial struggles has given them inspiration and renewed strength to endure their own.
“The thing that makes us unique is that we are not of the world. We are of God. Our doors could have closed, but they remain open. There was a time our church could have been burnt down, but it wasn’t, because a man of faith looked at the church and said I am not going to burn that down,” said Hughes.
Spotlight on Juliaca
From eNoticias - a newsletter of the Anglican Church of Peru
Juliaca is home to our highest Church! We are not talking churchmanship but altitude at 12,500 feet. Our parish there is called St. Mary Magdalen and is served by Frs. Ruben Mancilla and Luis Vizcarra. They have a mission outpost in Tariachi.
Juliaca is a city in the southeast of Peru, near Puno and north east of Lake Titicaca up on the altiplano of the Andes mountains.
It is called the “Sock City” because traditionally the people of Juliaca make socks, as well as sweaters, scarfs, wraps, ponchos and gloves out of lambswool and alpaca. These are all used to counter the cold climate up on the altiplano of the Andes.
Life is difficult there. St. Mary Magdalen Church works with families and children with a feeding and nutrition ministry. This is a great example of “Mision Integral,” one of the hallmarks of the Anglican ministry in Peru, where our ministry combines both social and spiritual transformation.
Fr. Ruben came to Juliaca from Lima, and Fr. Luis from Arequipa. Both priests were nurtured from childhood in the Anglican Church and both were formed at our Saints Augustine (of Hippo and Canterbury) Seminary under Fr. Allen Hill, its founder and rector.
This year CMS, who support seven missionaries in Peru, is developing links to St. Mary Magdalena.
(Donations may be sent to our 501c3, Amigos del Peru, 4550 Legacy Drive, Plano, TX 75024)
"Dear brother...Dear Sister"
From the Diocese of Connecticut's Compassion in Mission eNews
My name is Chris Ochaloi. I come from Uganda in East Africa. I am 32 years old. I am a priest as well as a teacher in Uganda. I volunteer with Call To Care Uganda, and I serve as their Ugandan Chairman. I am a Rotarian and a Paul Harris Fellow, and also a husband and father of my three year old daughter, Martha.
I grew up in a rural northeastern part of Uganda in the District of Kaberamaido. I was orphaned as a teen and faced many serious challenges as a young boy still growing.
As part of my challenges, I lacked fees to go to school. I was on the verge of dropping out of school and I thought I would never attain my education. But through my prayers, God earned me a scholarship from Calvary Church in Stonington, CT, at Ugandan Christian University in Mukono. The mighty hand of God worked to save me from dropping out of school through Calvary Church. As I share with many, this story inspires people in my country not to give up but to put trust in God through prayers.
I met Martha Hoffman of St. Andrew's Church when she took a trip with two Christians from Calvary Church whom I had invited to Uganda to attend my ordination as priest after my graduation. Martha Hoffman was following her dream and calling, and the first time I saw her, I could see something special in her. I could see love and care for the children in her. When she asked me to share with her about myself, I told her about myself, how I grew up and also about my niece and nephew who are now orphans. Martha Hoffman became my sister, my American sister. She photographed me during my ordination in Uganda and made for me a wonderful album which she mailed to me.
Our relationship began growing day and night, even when she is in America, and I am in Uganda. The internet connection brought us closer, and we became a brother and a sister. This is how we write to each other on email, "Dear brother," and on my side "Dear sister." We are so close that each week we have to write, and when we don't write, then there is something wrong, like maybe sickness. Through our closeness, God is using us in an amazing way. God brought us together for a purpose of His mission in Uganda.
Our main mission of Call To Care Uganda is to build a children's center for the community village of Kaberamaido in order to aid support of the many orphans and vulnerable children there. This is the main mission God has called me to do with Martha Hoffman in Uganda. Hence, we are working very hard to make it a reality. I am inspired to build the children's center by the serious challenges I faced as an orphan myself.
I have learned a lot through the places I visited on my first trip to the United States (June 8-July 28). The Children's Center of Hamden and High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center are just a few. They also began from something small like the center we are building in Uganda, and they have inspired me so much. Sitting down to talk with others who I have only emailed or talked to on the phone meant so much, and I am going back with a lot of confidence.
God has been working through us as we celebrated at St. Andrew's Church with Rev. Steve Domienik, at St. James in Warrenton, VA, at Calvary Church in Stonington, and at Christ Church in Guilford. I learned the Episcopal way of service that I can use when leading back home - the order of service and various preaching styles. Also, services are very long in Uganda and are not friendly to people and to God. People come from far and must stay for very many hours, delaying them from gathering wood to cook with and food. I see how priests here can be straight and precise and really focused, so their parish can go home with a good message in an hour - - instead of staying long and going home with much less. Also, I enjoyed how everyone responds during the intercessory prayer.
Staying in my sister's home and living with her family of 5, friends and colleagues has helped me to gain a better view of how we are different, but also how we are the same. We are doing God's work, together.
Lubanga mii winyo (God bless you)
Bats in belfry plague British church
By Al Webb, Religion News Service
A beleaguered 11th-century church in England is losing its worshippers and has been forced to suspend services indefinitely because of bats in its belfry.
Bats are a protected species in Britain, and the Anglican St. Hilda's Church in Ellerburn, North Yorkshire, is trying -- so far with no luck -- to get a license to get rid of its share of them.
Church Warden Liz Cowley said the bats have taken up residence in the church's upper regions and are making a mess of the place.
"The walls and floors are covered with bat droppings," Cowley told the BBC. "We have tried to keep the church clean, but we have lost the battle."
She added that "services have had to be canceled, and we cannot realistically open the church."
Ashley Burgess, a member of the local parish church council, said the congregation has raised 10,000 pounds (about U.S. $16,000) to build new roosts for the bats away from the main building, but they remain stubbornly entrenched in the church's upstairs.
"The financial cost has been huge," Burgess added. "Nobody wants to sit in a bat-stained church, and our congregation has dwindled as a result."
Top 20 Under 20 award for Anglican youth
From The Diocesan Times, the newspaper of the Anglican Church in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, Canada
St. Margaret of Scotland parish in Halifax, Nova Scotia celebrates as one of their own, Rita-Clare LeBlanc, receives one of 20 prestigious awards given out annually to outstanding young Canadian leaders.
The Top 20 Under 20™ Award program is designed to identify outstanding young Canadian leaders, further develop their skills and aptitudes, focus and fuel their passions. While hundreds of Canadian youth apply each year, only 20 will receive this award — which includes a four-day leadership summit in Toronto, a personal mentor for one year, a personal career coach and a $5,000 scholarship.
Rita-Clare is the only recipient from Atlantic Canada for 2011. Two years ago, she received a Christmas gift from her Uncle Roger in the form of an I.O.U. for $77.12. This wasn’t a personal gift to buy the latest app from Itunes, but rather it was a monetary gift that she had to invest in a project – that could make more money for a charity of her choice. This unique gift led to her winning the Top 20 Under 20 award and making a difference to children around the world.
For a long time, Rita-Clare wondered how to make the biggest impact with $77.12! After all, it’s not everyday you get this type of extra-special gift. It was during DYC—an Anglican Youth Conference where she heard a gentleman speak about the lack of education available to children in Africa. When she saw all of the photos of the children attending a newly built school, the smiles on their faces stuck in her mind weeks after the workshop. She instantly felt connected to that cause – feeling very grateful for living in Canada where education is available to everyone and wanted to ensure children everywhere had those same opportunities.
Rita-Clare started searching for someone to work with that would help her build a school. Because she feels strongly about community and relationships, it was important to her to find an organization that didn’t simply take the money – but valued the idea of maintaining relationships with the school – and African Sky was perfect!
After going back to sharing this idea with friends from all over the Maritimes, she soon realized that this was not a job she could do by herself. Many of her friends asked how they could help – and MYST was formed. MYST stands for Maritime Youth
Standing Together. She had four people attend the first meeting and now, they have over 30 members – all working together to make a difference for children in Africa.
The cost to build a school in Africa, for 100 children, is $13,500.00. There was plenty of planning for fundraising events such as day camps, concerts, coffee houses and a spaghetti dinner to help raise our money.
Rita-Clare is also very fortunate to have her church, St. Margaret of Scotland, help them by managing the proceeds from personal donations and events. Many parishioners often ask Rita-Clare how their school is coming along!
Raising money to build a school in Africa has taught Rita-Clare and the MYST members a great deal. They have learned the value of philanthropy – the special feeling you get when you reach out to others. You can’t really put a price on this either - although $77.12 seems to be a good amount!
The way that MYST began with a simple Christmas gift initiative of $77.12 is so unique. One could never imagine that such a gift could change so many people’s lives, including Rita-Clare’s. Working with a well run, all-volunteer organization in another country gives the project an international flare – teaching every MYST member about African Sky and all members of African Sky about Nova Scotia. MYST has even been able to connect with African Sky in Ohio via conference calls and internet Skypeing – where each member is able to offer their ideas and share their enthusiasm about the project.
Each member of MYST has been affected by their involvement in giving of themselves for others less fortunate. Students have committed their time and energy in helping to fundraise for their peers. It’s neat to see a community come together to make a difference for other students.
This journey of building a school hasn’t been without worries or troubles, but Rita-Clare always tries to think of their end goal, and how they are already doing something to make a difference.
Rita-Clare has recently been in contact with the Director of African Sky, Dr. Scott Lacy, and has found out that African Sky will begin construction of the MYST school in Mali, in early summer. They actually have a new “brick maker” on route to Mali that will allow community members in the village to gather and start making their own bricks to form the walls of the school.
The MYST journey doesn’t simply end with a completed school though. MYST will continue to make a difference by building a well so the students will have safe drinking water; by creating the very first music program ever – in a Mali school; and by creating an annual back-pack program for the parents that cannot afford school supplies.
Being a youth active in philanthropy has been a tremendous experience for everyone in MYST. It is humbling to see all ages come together for a common goal – and making a difference.
Please stop charging cell phones at cathedral
From The Anglican Outlook - The newspaper of the Anglican Church in the Diocese of Trinidad and Tobago
The Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity is reporting what it calls "a very disturbing practice" where individuals go to the cathedral and plug their cell phone chargers into the electrical outlets there to charge their units and also use laptop computers to conduct their "private affairs" at the church's expense.
The cathedral authorities have warned through the Sunday service bulletin that these activities are "absolutely unauthorised".
They ask that persons who are guilty of this behaviour should discontinue "immediately".
Students from Twyford School, Ealing attend Maciene in Mozambique
By John Seymour, Twyford School
The VisitorsMozambique, our Glorious Land
Rock by rock constructing a new day
Millions of arms in one only force
O Loved fatherland we will be successful
Our visit to Mozambique is set apart from many of the other trips that take place in Activities week by its nature: to establish a link for Twyford with a school in this developing country. Mozambique is ranked 211 out of 228 counties by the amount of money the country generates in its economy per person in the population (GDP per capita) (Source: the CIA factbook.)
Twelve of us travelled as a group and it took 24 hours for us to arrive at our destination. The first impressions of the city as we arrived by aeroplane were of the undeveloped natural landscape and the smoke rising from various parts. Arriving on the ground, it was apparent that this was a mixture of wood smoke and burning tyres from the smell. Our very simple bus took us on a journey of 250 km to Maciene, much on a well built road (provided by the Chinese) but the last 7 km on a dirt track.
The guest house in MacieneThe accommodation looked pretty normal from a Western point of view. The guest house in Maciene was built by the Swedish Church a few years ago and has a conference centre on the bottom floor and rooms for guests on the first floor. Conditions were simple though, with an uncovered cement floor, and water being brought by the servants of the bishop’s house – up and down the hill from the well that was close to his house.
Water storage at MacieneWe all became very aware of how much water we used, as from the storage butt shown each of us flushed the toilets and washed. Most mornings and evenings hot water was also brought so that a warm ‘shower’ was possible – using half a mineral water bottle to scoop the water. During our time in Maciene, the pump that provides water from 100 m below ground was not fixed and so there was no running water in the guesthouse or elsewhere.
As the week unfolded it was apparent that we were given the best of what was available; whether it was the food and comfort of the bishop’s house, or the gifts that staff and students presented to us. Or the gestures of greeting and welcome: indeed, the welcome we received could not have been warmer.
Sunday 10 July
Breakfast at Bishop’s house and then worship
The church at MacieneOur first day started with breakfast: fried eggs and cheese slices; bread and jam; fresh fruit. We then went to church in the village church, which is also the Cathedral for the Anglican Church in the Southern half of Mozambique. Fr John presided at the Eucharist with Fr Carlos, the Cathedral Dean and main community leader. The service was conducted in Chingolese rather than the national language of Portuguese. Adrian read the epistle in English and then Fr. John brought greetings from London as well as news about schools and the church. Clare and Josephine then spoke about Twyford. Singing was present throughout the service and was deeply moving – the people did not hold back from thanksgiving in their worship.
For more of this report click here
What is Anglicanism?
The Rt Revd Pierre W. Whalon, D.D. writing on Anglicansonline.org
'Anglicanism' is a funny word, perhaps even a little more droll than 'Presbyterianism' or 'Roman Catholicism'. It is also a bit strange, since the word 'anglican' has only been in regular use since the nineteenth century, while the reality it names has existed since the second century in embryo at least, and the sixth century saw that reality finally established. 'Episcopalian' antedates it in usage, yet the majority of members of the Hmm-Hmm Communion do not refer to themselves that way.
Too many syllables, perhaps? I met a man once who told me he couldn't be an Episcopalian because there were too many syllables. 'So what did you become?' I asked. 'A Presbyterian,' he replied cheerfully. 'One less'.
Be that as it may, it is true that 'Anglican' has a crisp ring to it that 'Episcopalian' does not. Its pedigree is interesting, in that it has a Latin root, albeit post-imperial. According to the Venerable Bede, Pope Gregory I referred to some Angles taken as slaves in Britannia as 'Non Angli, sed angeli' — 'They are not Angles, but angels' (because of the fair skin and colouring). Move to the Magna carta, which refers to the Church of England as Ecclesia anglicana. Anglicana appears a few times in the sixteenth century. Then we come to John Henry Newman, who coined the word we now use so ubiquitously, 'Anglicanism'.
So is Anglicanism what Anglicans believe, like Roman Catholicism defines what those Christians are? It is true that as '–isms', both terms are of recent origin. However, the Church of Rome has since Gregory VII centered itself more and more on the office of the Bishop of Rome as supreme leader. This is as much political as theological, and its logical conclusion is the decree of Vatican I (1870) declaring the pope's 'universal immediate ordinary jurisdiction', thus making that office in effect the only bishopric in the world, with diocesan bishops functioning as its prefects.
This may be why, despite 45 years of ecumenical dialogue, Roman Catholics cannot seem to stop repeating that Henry VIII 'founded' the Church of England. Historically that is manifestly false: Henry founded nothing. But if one subscribes to the notion that submission to the papacy equals the Church, then it makes some sense.
Anglicanism is a different approach to being church. Rather than a doctrinal construct like the Westminster Confession or a theologico-political entity like the Church of Rome, Anglicanism is a method for being Christian. Not the method — we know better. We have endured too much at the hands of those who claim to be the unique way to Christ. Anglicanism identifies the Bible as the supreme tradition on which Christianity lies, while pointing out that there is a lot more tradition to take account of, as well, in order to interpret the Scriptures. The theologico-political entity it identifies as 'the local church' is the diocese, the basic unit of the church. Not much can supersede the authority of the synod of the diocese — the clergy and laity of its parishes taking counsel with their bishop. One thing that does is the Book of Common Prayer, from which the basic identity of Anglican Christians derives. 'Prayer Shapes Believing' is the title of a popular book on liturgy, and also a shorthand description of how Anglicans (and Episcopalians, of course) determine doctrine. Understanding, mind you, that large chunks of the Scriptures are always prayed aloud and expounded in our services.
As a method, Anglicanism invites all people to encounter Jesus Christ in a community, the parish, that is shaped by the common life of its congregants and clergy, in communion with its bishop and diocese. That invitation is wide: "come and see." And it is conscious of the command that we must love God with all our mind, among other things. Part of the method is therefore to treat people as adults who can and indeed must think for themselves.
Along the same lines, there is little emphasis on converting people to Anglicanism. Anyone can find Christ among us, and follow him as Lord with us. But we are profoundly convinced that it is the Spirit who converts. Our evangelists are content to lay out the message and issue the invitation to accept Christ, but with confidence that God will move. And the invitation is to become a Christian first, not an Anglican. Whatever you may think of the Alpha Course — a popular program presenting the catechism as a series of questions — it should be noted that its pastoral style is very Anglican. Guests are to be allowed to say what they want without contradiction, and should not be subjected to browbeating or other manipulative tactics.
We are also confident that the sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist, faithfully administered and faithfully received, are vital to every Christian's life. And we make available as needed the other sacraments as well. Our method for being church includes therefore a strong emphasis on God’s action in our communal life, celebrated ritually. As all human beings are creatures of ritual, we see this as natural. Furthermore, we are not interested in doctrine as an intellectual exercise so much as shaping a way of life.
Another aspect of the Anglican method is an emphasis on education and scholarship. Of course, we share this with other Christians: a church that does not teach is no church at all. But our peculiar approach to tradition requires communal reasoning, and we think this must be as widely informed as possible. We have deep respect for our elder brothers and sisters in the Faith, but we also know that bearing forth the Faith into the future requires living it in our own generation. Thus when we sense that reforms are necessary, we cast an eye back to the Tradition for inspiration, but not uncritically. And when change is necessary, we can go forth when we have convinced ourselves that such change is essentially consonant with the Faith as we have received it. The ordination of women is an example.
Another example is slavery. The Bible can be invoked to defend slavery and deny ordination to women, but it can and did inspire the abolition of slavery and the recognition of the equal leadership of women. Reasoning together, informed by scholarship, we believe we can and indeed, must overturn received convictions when they become clearly contradictory to the Gospel.
At the same time, and this is a clear mark of Anglicanism, there must be a certain modesty about our way of being Christian. The development of our way began as a historical accident, the result of a sordid struggle for power between venal popes and monarchs. It took place during the explosion of the Western church, to which we contributed. As a catholic church with roots in the ancient church, we know that the disunity of Christians is profoundly wrong. Anglicans began the ecumenical movement for this reason. At the same time as a church that has learned over time that it has to reform itself, we understand the provisional nature of all the Christian '–isms' that enable the schisms to endure. So Anglicans are very leery of our own who might proclaim the superiority of Anglicanism. It is simply out of place. As St. Paul said, we should make Christ our boast, and only Christ.
To sum up, Anglicanism is about meeting Christ in everyday life, through a community of prayer, sacrament, study, and service, sharing life together with all the saints who have gone before, and learning to follow Jesus in the way we live and how we love. As a method, it has great flexibility, which is why it is a global phenomenon — the average Anglican today is a young woman of color who does not speak English. We have become fairly competent at understanding how the Gospel transforms a culture to forge a national Christian identity.
It also has some drawbacks. We tend to wait for people to 'come and see' rather than go to meet them where they are. Often, we are unable to see how elitist this can appear. And while the genius of Anglicanism is the ability to inculturate the Gospel, we can become all too comfortable with the access to the powerful that we have traditionally enjoyed. And finally, seeing Christian life as a process can be a temptation to become unbalanced, emphasizing one aspect over other, Bible over sacrament and vice versa, a lazy acceptance of a certain minimum rather than striving for spiritual excellence, tolerance of injustice for the sake of (false) peace, and other kinds of distortions that have appeared from time to time.
But at its best, Anglicanism is a way of being Christian that is viable everywhere. Its works for 'all sorts and conditions of men' — and women. Like other Christian "–isms" it will get you to heaven, though we like to joke that Anglicans will already know which fork to use at the Celestial Banquet. Like all the other '–isms', it is imperfect, flawed and partial.
Yet the Spirit of God works through it to redeem people, and through the saints thus produced, to transform creation and make it new. Historical accident though it be, Anglicanism is therefore a part of God’s providence for the life of the world. If you are searching, Gentle Reader, come and see.
THE RT REVD PIERRE W. WHALON is Bishop in Charge of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe. welcomes comments or questions about this article. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org .
New video from England's iconic St Paul's Cathedral
Go behind the scenes as our conservator gives an insight into work on the mosaic designs
Door43 - Could this be a digital revolution for the church?
Imagine a world where church resources were free - in every language...
St Paul's Theological Centre's GodPod
A regular podcast where theologians Graham Tomlin, Mike Lloyd and Jane Williams get together to discuss burning issues of God, theology, life and much more, over an endless supply of coffee and biscuits.
GodPod is available on iTunes. But you can also find them here: http://sptc.htb.org.uk/godpod
ANGLICAN CYCLE OF PRAYER Click here for the full ACP
Friday 12-Aug-2011 International Youth Day
Psalm: 46 Gen 22:1-19
PRAY for the International Anglican Youth Network (IAYN) as it looks for a Communion in which young people are supported and strengthened in their own ministry and participation in the life of the Church.
Rio Grande - (Province VII, USA) The Rt Revd Michael Louis
Sunday 14-Aug-2011 Pentecost 9
Psalm: 119:65-80 Acts 9:32-43
Riverina - (New South Wales, Australia) The Rt Revd Douglas Stevens
Monday 15-Aug-2011 The Blessed Virgin Mary
Psalm: 48 Acts 10:1-8
Rochester - (Canterbury, England) The Rt Revd James Henry Langstaff
Rochester - Tonbridge - (Canterbury, England) The Rt Revd Dr. Brian Colin Castle
Psalm: 49 Acts 10:9-23
Rochester (USA) - (Province II, USA) The Rt Revd Prince Singh
Psalm: 50:1-15 Acts 10:24-33
Rockhampton - (Queensland, Australia) The Rt Revd Godfrey Charles Fryar
Psalm: 51 Acts 10:34-48
Rokon - (Sudan) The Rt Revd Francis Loyo
Rumbek - (Sudan) The Rt Revd Alapayo Manyang Kuctiel
1st Assistant Bishop of Rumbek - (Sudan) The Rt Revd Isaac Dhieu Ater
2nd Assistant Bishop of Rumbek - (Sudan) The Rt Revd Micah Dawidi
Ruaha - (Tanzania) The Rt Revd Donald Leo Mtetemela
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