Thinking Anglicans

New Year weekend: columns

In The Times Katharine Jefferts Schori writes that A new year is a fine time to search for shalom, Isaiah-style.

See also this video at YouTube of Katharine Jefferts Schori, then Bishop of Nevada and Presiding Bishop nominee, answering the question: “What are the priorities for the new Presiding Bishop?” Recorded May 1, 2006. (hat tip JN)

In the Guardian John Sentamu writes that Ethics must shape our global economy.

Christopher Howse in the Telegraph writes about Our splendid but unseen synagogues.

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Ford Elmsmynsterpreost (=David Rowett)Columba GillissLeonardo Ricardoruidh Recent comment authors
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Christopher Shell
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Christopher Shell

If KJS’s vision is only a quarter achieved by the time she leaves office, then the world will be a much better place. I only wish that Christians were more in a position to bring it about – but, that said, it may be surprising what we can achieve.

Lois Keen
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Lois Keen

++KJS’s “Times” column reminds me of a quote attributed to Frank Weston, once Bishop of Zanzibar: “We cannot claim to worship Jesus in our churches if we do not seek out Jesus in the slums. It is madness to suppose that you can worship Jesus in the sacraments and Jesus on the throne of glory, when you are abusing him in the bodies and souls of his children who have little or nothing. Now go out into the highways and hedges and look for Jesus in the ragged and naked, in the oppressed and the hungry, in those who have… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Now dats wad ahm talkin bout. You go girl.

At least, you can get on board the MDG even if your have not signed off on this or that or the other doctrinal conformity beyond our customary Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral.

It isn’t that hard to find people in need, at least not in the USA. Just take a short drive in your own immediate local region – say for a two or three hundred mile radius in most instance? – and chances are high you will encounter some need – justice, healing, support, Shalom, Tikkun.

Prospero a~no nuevo

laurence
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laurence

Bravo Christopher Shell and drdanfee !
A wonderful new year message from the PB and quietly challenging .

Also the piece of UK shuls / synagogues was terrific. Quietly moving.

Cheryl Clough
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KJS has done well to plug into the work that is already inspiring others. She is modelling what Jesus also did, drawing along side others and encouraging them forward on their journey, inviting others to come and help. Rev Lois, your posting was beautiful. Sentamu’s article also links into this. He talks of the need for ethics. KJS makes manifest what happens when one embraces that ethics. As one AIDS campaigner recently said “The Christians are coming! We might not agree with everything they say or how they do things, but when they get involved, things change.” What is also… Read more »

Pluralist
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I don’t know why John Sentamu has to knock economics departments as a whole – there always has to be an enemy somewhere. Otherwise ethics must come before theology too. I warm to Katharine Jefferts Schori’s inclusive approach to achieving some of the basic needs in this world. She has it right that these goals should be well above the bickering that goes on. The message as a whole is consistent with having an overall vision about diversity in the world and via meeting its needs a unity brought in of that diversity. The once Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in… Read more »

LogicGuru
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LogicGuru

Oh, shoot, who doesn’t agree. But one is so tired. Please tell me what I should do: I teach ethics. I also publish in this area, and on global ethics in particular. I’d go to church, in the past when I went, and hear priests preach stuff that made no sense. How can I say, “Yes, Father, behold the handmaid of the Lord,” when I disagreed or though it was just bs. There is such a disconnect between what I believe and what these guys are saying — the only way I could deal with it was by leaving the… Read more »

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
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mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

LogicGuru may have had unfortunate experiences, though I wonder whether his conclusions are based on charity, but I am unconvinced that his (?) analysis is correct. It may just be that the God believed in by many clergy is a bit bigger and rather more uncomfortable than the knock down miracle worker of the Southern Baptists….

Cheryl Clough
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There was a survey last year that indicated that a significant number of priests actually questioned whether God really existed. Then we have the other group of idolatrous priests who find the idea of a God that encapsulates all of this universe’s space and time (and possibly an infinite number of others) just too big; so they try to reduce God down to the characteristics manifested in one ridiculously shortened human lifetime. And I can relate to the ethics issue. I still think my failing an ethics subject from a theological college because I made an ethical decision on how… Read more »

Pluralist
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The issue of the divine is as much about essence as existence; in any case we are communicative creatures with specific language and more general symbol systems (like music and artwork); the difficulty is that when we look back over life and see a story, or sets of stories, whether and in what way there is a divine story. There is more mileage in God as Being than a being. Call it what you like, but I am not persuaded that there is a Big Daddy with ears, and if prayer is about depth and reflection then the first (and… Read more »

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
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mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

“a significant number of priests actually questioned whether God really existed.” And I should hope they (we?) do, at least from time to time. It has excellent Scriptural authority, after all – though there it is cast in the form of whether God manifests the qualities which make him worth worshipping (eg book of Job and much Wisdom literature, some of the psalms…). I do not discredit in any way the faith of those who never, even in the darkest night, find themselves asking, “Am I kidding myself?” But more of us dance on the edge, I think, challengd to… Read more »

laurence
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laurence

Very thoughtful and thought provoking posts from Cheryl, Pluralist and David. My thanks. This business of ‘realism’ and ‘nonrealism’ and their inter-face seems crucial to thinking and seeking today. For myself, I find CG Jung and jungian writers very helpul here. Their concepts of the Colletive Unconscious (and not just the Freudian indiviual ucs), archetypes and synchronicity are very helpful to these considerations. I wish more christians would draw on this rich tradition which abutts Taoist , buudhist, Jewish mystical; and folklore traditions. Many others do so benefit. Works like the Tao Teh Ching, I Ching and other eastern texts… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
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David I found God because I was grappling with the question of “did God exist”. At the time I was thinking through the creationist debate and their perspective that God’s consciousness is only 5000 or so years old. At some point I came to realise that humanity’s articulate collective consciousness might only be 5000 years old, but that God’s consciousness preceded humanity’s. I then questioned when did it end and when did it begin? I then accepted that there could be a consciousness that began the universe and would be there after the universe ended, but doubted that it could… Read more »

ruidh
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ruidh

There’s nothing wrong with a little doubt from time to time. Doubt means that you;re really attempting to deal with some of the logical contradictions inherent in believing in God. Doubt is not the opposite of Faith; certainty is.

Leonardo Ricardo
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Leonardo Ricardo

“The goals offer a form of deed-based evangelism that reminds people of faith that we can do little to improve a person’s spiritual health while that person contends with starvation or disease.” ++Katharine Jefferts Schori Yes, and near those depths of desperation is *the* moment when, most often, “spiritual” and “physical” and “emotional” health can start to be restored…the healing and the Evangelising must work together. Action and more REAL action from Episcopalian/Anglicans and please HELP stop the bickering and arrogance as to whom is spiritually/morally healthy *enough* to stand before God and receive “Communion” with one another…this, should be… Read more »

Columba Gilliss
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Columba Gilliss

Anybody remember JBPhillips’ book, Your God is Too Small? or, from MacLeish’s play J. B. – based on the Book of Job – If God is good he is not God If God is God he is not good Take the even, take the odd. I would not stay here if I could Save for the green leaf on the tree and the little bird in the wood. (I may have the first two lines reversed) Struggling with the reality of suffering and God’s response continues – from time to time – to challenge me to let God be God… Read more »

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
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mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

“Doubt is not the opposite of Faith; certainty is.”

Cue for the Babel Fish scene from Hitch-hiker 1….

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

LogicGuru, I agree. It was part of the reason I stopped going to Church years ago. I started going back when I realized that the real challenge is not opposing faithless priests, but to “be still and know” that God is God. It is a sad truth that many of our clergy are happy with The Gathering of the Community but uncomfortable with what it is the community has gathered to do. Some are so uncomfortable with the latter that they deny it is anything other than a memorial act, with only the most vague and grudging concessions to the… Read more »