T A

American news roundup

Updated Friday

An open letter to Rowan Williams was issued by a distinguished group of Episcopal rectors and cathedral deans who had been staying at the Canterbury Cathedral.

You can read the full text of it at the Episcopal Café Letter to Lambeth:

We salute your stated desires to “keep everyone at the table.” Your recent call for a renewed reading and hearing of scripture, rooted in eucharistic fellowship and the Holy Spirit, is one that we eagerly accept. We note that such a call is what holds our own parishes and cathedrals together. Our local communities are full of people who have disagreements, but who yet share eucharist, scripture, and truly holy communion together. Thus, in our commitment to the resurrection of Jesus, the Holy Spirit has continuing occasion to renew us. Thus, too, we celebrate Jesus Christ together in our Anglican heritage.

Toward that end, we urge you to continue our Anglican precedent of inviting all jurisdictional bishops of The Episcopal Church in the United States and of the Anglican Church of Canada to the upcoming Lambeth Conference. We certainly respect the fact such an invitation is yours to give; but we pray that your invitation will be as broad and graceful as the invitation Jesus offers all Christians to gather at table together.

From Jim Naughton, we learn news not published by Lambeth Palace: Rowan Williams to take sabbatical at Georgetown
Update The Telegraph has more about this: A glutton for Punishment. See also this Prospect magazine article (hat tip Episcopal Café)

The Presiding Bishop visited Boston and her remarks there were reported in the Boston Globe as Episcopal leader holds firm on gay rights:

Saying “I don’t believe that there is any will in this church to move backward,” the top official of the Episcopal Church USA said yesterday that the election of an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire has been “a great blessing” despite triggering intense controversy and talk of possible schism.

In an interview during a visit to Boston, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori compared the gay rights struggle to battles over slavery and women’s rights, and said she believes that it has become a vocation for the Episcopal Church “to keep questions of human sexuality in conversation, and before not just the rest of our own church, but the rest of the world.”

…The Anglican Communion has been embroiled in a debate about whether and how to punish the American church for its consent to Robinson’s election, which some Anglican primates view as a violation of biblical teachings about sexuality.

“This is an issue for some clergy and a handful of bishops in our own church, and for a handful of primates across the communion, who believe that this issue is of sufficient importance to chuck us out, but the vast majority of people and clergy in this church, and I would believe across the communion, think that our common mission is of far higher importance,” Jefferts Schori said. “If we focus on the mission we share, we’re going to figure out how to get along together, even if we disagree about some things that generate a good deal more heat than light.”

And there is much more of this interview on video here.

67
Leave a Reply

avatar
67 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
34 Comment authors
Ford ElmsGöran Koch-SwahneNPchoirboyfromhellFord Elms Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
NP
Guest
NP

The ABC can follow this advice and see the AC split and reduced to a few million people around the world………or he can do as he has in TWR and Tanzania and call the small rebel elements in the AC to heel. Guess which he will do.

Weiwen Ng
Guest

I pray that all the US bishops are not invited (eg Gene Robinson), that none of them will go. of course, Rowan has given no indications that he’s considering anything like this.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Our local communities are full of people who have disagreements, but who yet share eucharist, scripture, and truly holy communion together.”

Describes our little cot to a T!

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

And so His Grace, Dr. Rowan Williams, doesn’t ‘grace’ Episcopal parishes with his presence when visiting the U.S.? Does he attend RC parishes or just ‘take a holiday’ from attending church?

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

The Lambeth Conference Design Group has issued this:

http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/articles/42/75/acns4281.cfm

I note that the The Listening Process is on the agenda. If they’re truly serious about it, then they cannot exclude Gene Robinson.

Jane Williams is to host bishops’ spouses in a parallel conference. Presumably Gene Robinson’s partner will be invited. The wives will then benefit from their own Listening Process and learn what it’s like to be one half of the most scrutinised partnership in the history of the Anglican Church since Henry VIII.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Schori’s comments reminded me of Adams “Leaven in the Lump” paper. Specifically his paragraph starting with “The Church is human as well as Divine, and the human side has always shown an interest in confusing the two.” As Adams correctly points out “God is the only one good enough and smart enough and resourceful enough to organize utopia, to integrate the good of individual creatures with the good of the whole.” One of things that happens when humans try to be “good” or “pure” enough, is that they start falling over their inability to meet the standards. We then end… Read more »

Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

Begin quote: Schori’s comments reminded me of Adams “Leaven in the Lump” paper. Specifically his paragraph starting with “The Church is human as well as Divine, and the human side has always shown an interest in confusing the two. End quote. Er, um, for the record, the Rev. Canon Marilyn McCord Adams, Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University and author of “Leaven in the lump of Lambeth,” is of course a she, not a he. As she is walking proof of the authenticity of God’s call of women to the priesthood, it’s good not to inadvertently transition her gender… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Please let Rowan have his break – he really deserves it after all the stress TEC’s unilateral actions have caused him. Secondly, please do remember his record in the last 4 years – it is very unlikely that he is going to invite VGR to Lambeth and see 70m+ Anglicans got to Alexandria 2008 instead! The ABC is not going to split the AC for the sake of a tiny minority who have not convinced many people of their new scripture-light “theology” and who have been arrogant in taking unilateral actions, expecting everyone else to accept their behaviour because the… Read more »

Anglicanus
Guest
Anglicanus

May I point out to NP that Dr Williams is the Metropolitan of a Province where women are ordained to the orders of Deacon and Priest. He is a Diocesan Bishop who licenses ordained women to function in his diocese. This is action where many across the Provinces of the Anglican Communion are not persuaded of the case, hence in England we have the Act of Synod. It is by no means certain that Dr. Williams will always subvert his own opinions and/or principles to the mantra of ‘Unity at all costs’. By the way, I am still uncertain as… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Anglicanus – I have responded on another thread to your raising of the issue of women’s ministry.

As I said there, I think women as being done a great disservice by the LG lobby trying to link the two issues…..it is a good political move by the LG lobby but damaging to those, like me, who value the ministry of faithful women pastors and teachers

Terence Dear
Guest
Terence Dear

I don’t think for one moment that Rowan Williams will have any concern for his own survival when deciding who to invite to Lambeth but it may be interesting to consider the consequences if he doesn’t invite everybody. The AofC is the second most important person in Britain after the Queen and is very much part of the British Establishment. Now the latter couldn’t care less what he gets up to out and about the Anglican Communion; whether he upsets a few Africans or a few Americans is of no consequence. However, if he doesn’t invite the Americans and Canadians… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

NP.
Paul wouldn’t agree with you on that. How is this so easily explained away, but what he said about gay people isn’t? The plain word of scripture is quite plain on women’s role in the Church. My Lord of Sydney, about whose fidelity to the Gospel you have spoken most glowingly, sides with Pual against you as well.

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

How about we wait and see? Doubt he’s going to fly to Pittsburgh or Charleston for communion every Sunday, nor do I think he’ll be a regular attendee at mass at Georgetown. There’s method behind this.

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

In other words, you are selective in your bigotry – and indeed, in your fundamentalism, as anyone with half a brain can see that a conservative reading of the Bible opposes women’s ministry. At least try and be consistent – but then, that’s not what I expect from conservatives, who are every bit as selective as the liberals they disdain. Only without the recognition of the importance of reason.

As for Williams, who cares? An irrelevant, obscure, inadequate cleric at best, leading a terminally dysfunctional international religious body near the end of its natural life. The split cannot come too soon.

NP
Guest
NP

Ford – you are clearly ignorant of what actually happens in Sydney….I have been and seen and (sorry to disappoint you!) your caricature is wrong – they have lots of women teaching and studying at Moore College

Merseymike – you are clearly ignorant of what ST Paul actually wrote on the subject of women’s ministry (and other subjects) – suggest you read and find out.

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

NP: “Please let Rowan have his break – he really deserves it after all the stress TEC’s unilateral actions have caused him” Oh that’s right, blame TEC for all the AC’s ill’s. Nothing about the New Zealand Church’s decision back to ordain female clerics, predating TEC by at least four years, or the Diocese of New Westminster (Anglican Church in Canada) same-sex blessings before +VGR ever came up upon the radar. Get real. You’ve made me laugh so hard, that with my mouth full of my mornington crescent I’ve manage to spill bits of it on my laptop. And Merseymike,… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

“Doubt he’s going to fly to Pittsburgh or Charleston for communion every Sunday, nor do I think he’ll be a regular attendee at mass at Georgetown.”

Maybe he’ll just bring along a sufficient supply of Reserved Sacrament from home … from what’s been said about how he has acted in the past, it looks like he’ll be depriving himself of the rich variety of Episcopal churches in the Diocese of Washington. Too bad. He could learn something about diversity in that place.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

NP,
Are you saying that Sydney ordains women? When did they start doing that? They make some pretty strong arguments against women’s headship, which they use to argue against women’s ordination. And get back to Paul. How does your position agree with his?

NP
Guest
NP

ok, choirboy – so, you seriously want to argue that TEC’s unilateral actions re VGR were not the start of the AC having to make decisions on what it really thinks is right and wrong re Lambeth 1.10 and …the bible’s teaching? (I said “seriously”, please note)

Ford – you will find women pastors and teachers leading in Sydney but under male headship. They do a lot of work with a lot of people so and are integral, respected gospel co-workers (not necessarily ordained)

Graham Ward
Guest

Reading P+ Schori’s comments on the day that +Robinson has announced his intention to enter a Civil Union just as soon as the legilation is passed by the Governer of New Hampshire, I can close my eyes and believe that maybe the Anglican church will be the inclusive church so many of us want it to be. On a sunny day I can suspend my disbelief for minutes at a time…

NP
Guest
NP

Graham – I think you are dreaming of TEC Global – the AC has woken up to what has been happening for years and is (finally) dealing with the false teaching and practice so your dream ain’t going to happen in the AC.

I read somewhere that the average TEC member is 66 yrs old and the average congregation has no more than 77 members – great work, TEC!

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

So, to clarify, you do not believe in women’s ordination, NP, as that ordination comes with an expectation of being a priest with a living, in charge of a church.

Not that hard really , is it?

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

Umm, is it time to start the ‘late arrivals at the Primate’s Ball’ round?

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

NP: Seriously yes on the fact that New Westminster predated +VGR. That’s a fact in time. And the aborted promotion of the [now] Dean of St. Albans. But I’ll really take you seriously when I see some gracious credibility from the opposition, that comes from a country that is committing crimes against humanity, with the Anglican metropolitan’s implicit blessing. But no, I guess I just can’t take you seriously when you (mis)use your interpretation of scripture to condemn a group of people (and I dare you to prove otherwise – through scientific facts and not your “beliefs”) that seem to… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

Rowan Williams has stated most recently his aim is to keep everyone around the table, that if not the Covenant etc. then what, and he wants to keep everyone talking. NP seems to enjoy the mind of Rowan Williams; I just go on what he says. I also read such as his interview about Russian understanding of individual and community, because it is yet another insight into his understanding of unity. Also his sympathy for Roman Catholicism is shown in his coming trip to the USA, at least through personal connections but also I assume a view of unity and… Read more »

JPM
Guest
JPM

>>>I read somewhere that the average TEC member is 66 yrs old and the average congregation has no more than 77 members – great work, TEC!

Are you an accountant, NP? Or maybe a realtor?

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest
Leonardo Ricardo

“I read somewhere that the average TEC member is 66 yrs old and the average congregation has no more than 77 members – great work, TEC!”

Posted by: NP

And I read somewhere that “seeing is believing” and I don’t believe much you have to say NP as you rush about trying to destroy the ACTUAL moral reputations of other human beings (without knowing zilch about them or their behavior)!
What do they call that kind of maliciousness in your neck of the deep dark woods of smearing and slander?

SHP
Guest
SHP

“I read somewhere…” cite your reference, please NP! This doesn’t square with my personal observation about the Episcopal Church, even in the tiny Diocese of Southwest Virginia. What pray tell is the “average” AC member’s age and the average congretation? 85 and 16?

The Anglican Scotist (Todd)
Guest

Just a note: it is transparently false to speak of TEC’s unilateral actions at GC2003 with regard to the rest of the Anglican Communion.

First — consider Canada’s movement to bless gay unions. Second, consider the CoE’s own movement on civil unions for gay couples, and even clergy. Third, consider that there are sympathetic leaders in the hierarchies of other Anglican provinces who disagree with the “GS” stand.

The idea of TEC moving out into the unknown utterly alone is sheer fiction — even if convenient for some.

counterlight
Guest
counterlight

“I read somewhere that the average TEC member is 66 yrs old and the average congregation has no more than 77 members – great work, TEC!” Maybe you should quit reading all the ConsEv propaganda and actually go visit an Episcopal parish some Sunday. Our small 300 member parish recently inducted 15 new members; 10 of whom were under 30. A much larger neighboring parish of about a thousand members recently confirmed about 30 new member under the age of 25, all students at a local university. I’m with Weiwen, if the dreaded +Gene Robinson of that cesspool of perverted… Read more »

Bob in SWpa
Guest
Bob in SWpa

Doesn’t Paul say something about women not teaching men? So in Sydney women can teach men but not be headship? I think NP would be better of at virtue on line or stand firm. Sorry, NP, I agree with Mersey and Ford, you select what you believe. All scripture isn’t inerrant. We can pick and choose the ones the Holy Spirit truly spake to the scribes.

Either you follow the all the laws and instructions in the bible as the word of God or you admit that your as flawed as the liberals.

k1eranc
Guest
k1eranc

Actually, Sydney is a bit of a paradox at present when it comes to the whole question of women’s ministry. There have been some comments on this thread that have mentioned Sydney, and I think the following is worth sharing. Over the last couple of years there have been some very large ordinations to the diaconate in Sydney, and while the majority of the candidates have been men, there has been a significant number of women among those ordained. One would suppose that this would come with a wider reassessment of the role of the diaconate in the life of… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

>>>I read somewhere that the average TEC member is 66 yrs old and the average congregation has no more than 77 members – great work, TEC! Are you an accountant, NP? Or maybe a realtor? Posted by: JPM on Friday, 27 April 2007 at 7:37pm BST The Mold Quaker Meeting has ten members all well over 70, a good 6 or more mange to get thre each week, thru sickness and a full life. It is one of the most spiritually deep meetings I have ever attended. In fact, they have recently gone from meeting fortnightly, to meeting weekly. And… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

More news from the states – according to a NYTimes article that I was told about, ++Akinola will be formally installing Martyn as a CANA bishop next week – May 5th. The article did not say where, but I suppose at Truro, where Martyn was once a priest, now accupied by a CANA congregation of squatters. Perhaps someone can access the article for this list. Glad the good archbishop has abundant cash to swan about like this. Too bad so many in his country have no assurance of their next meal or drink of water or a roof over their… Read more »

counterlight
Guest
counterlight

I suspect that His Grace ++Abuja will not be flying tourist class to America.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Viriato Blush. Thanks for pointing that out. And you’re right, the proof of a capable woman is the proof that it can be done. Sydney is not straight forward. There are some great women in the diocese. There are also some great women who have left the diocese for other states or denominations as they were unable to actualize their potential. My personal experience is that there is an intense dislike of women taking on any kind of teaching of men role – so it is okay to teach little ones, other women, non-Christians; but it is not okay to… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

What price ageism ?!

Exactly. There is a need for some respect of people of different ages.

I went through several viewpoints about this when I was frustrated about levels of conservatism in the Unitarian denomination and some congregations. But in the end there are a death of places for older people to go and be recognised by one another for what they are doing, and churches are one of these places. So much of contemporary culture is aimed elsewhere, when it might be a good idea to listen to what some older people have to say.

Anthony W
Guest
Anthony W

NP’s statistics are spurious and unconvincing. And even if they were reliable, what would the conclusion be? That a church with an average age of n or higher is therefore out of favor with God?

obadiahslope
Guest
obadiahslope

Sydney is moving to have a permanent diaconate in this diocese. This will include both men and women. As to whether this is some plot to stack general synod it should be noted that there are perhaps several hundred lay workers in the diocese that are possible deacons but there seems to be no rush to ordain them. If this is stacking, it is a poor attempt.

JPM
Guest
JPM

>>>NP’s statistics are spurious and unconvincing. And even if they were reliable, what would the conclusion be?

According to NP’s reasoning, China’s population of app. 1,300,000,000 clearly indicates the superiority of communism.

As for all the comments regarding Sydney, it would seem to me that their proposal to allow people to wander in off the streets and celebrate Holy Eucharist represents a greater departure from Anglican order and doctrine that anything that has happened in New Hampshire.

NP
Guest
NP

Keep on missing the point if you like people – the point is that the “inclusive” gospel fails even in the West to attract many people.

You know its true – that’s why some here hate to see the strong growth in evangelical churches – even in England!

But you comfort yourselves with whatever smokescreens you like and thank God that your organisations have inherited enough money to keep on paying for decades of failed ministry and ideology.

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

I think the days of large scale church attendance in the UK are basically over. We have to look for new ways of engaging those who have an interest in spirituality but would run a mile from the sort of beliefs and practices promoted by NP and his colleagues.

After all, there are plenty of conservative churches around if people were convinced by that approach. I think what progressives need to do is firstly, forget about the traditional model of ‘going to church’. That is largely yesterday’s activity.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

NP wrote: “…decades of failed ministry and ideology.”

I for one, pray to God that my church will never mire it self in “ideology”, failed or otherwise.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Come to think of it… “successful” ideology would be even worse.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Merseymike,
The church is a convenient place for meeting people who are interested in the same questions and who are searching for answers within similar parameters. It’s not so easy to find those who want more liberal ways of meeting “outside”.

But Chris Sunderland’s Agora Space is a very good starting point:
http://www.agoraspace.org/cgi-bin/page.cgi?16

NP
Guest
NP

Merseymike – the Alpha and Reform churches all over England are packed and still growing so they are not going to listen to your advice (especially as you don’t seem to believe much at all that might lead to you being described as an Anglican, even a liberal one!)

…..maybe it is the “progressive” non-message you like which turns people off and leaves you with your experience of decline?

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

Yeah NP, a hundred and forty-two last late afternoon for Evensong. That on a perfectly clear and warm spring day in which we in the choir (incorrectly) guessed that everybody would rather be playing golf and drinking beer than worshipping with us. And the “hand waving” (Pick Me Jesus, I’ve got all the answers!!!) break-away (Southern Cone) church up the road was closed. Preaching (and singing) the gospel and pandering/playing with people’s fears is not the same thing. These days, do we know the difference? Would we know a ‘Good Shepherd’ if we saw one? Stanford in B flat Major… Read more »

JPM
Guest
JPM

NP, given your faith in numbers, can you tell us what the rate of church attendance is in the UK?

I seem to recall that it is something like 5% and would be even lower if not for immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Merseymike said: “After all, there are plenty of conservative churches around if people were convinced by that approach. I think what progressives need to do is firstly, forget about the traditional model of ‘going to church’. That is largely yesterday’s activity. “ This is an intriguing statement. Why do we think that forms of worship that have roots going back thousands of years to ancient Jewish worship are no longer adequate for post-modern society? Corporate worship seems to be a fundamental element of a Chirstian community (OT and NT) and to say that is dead implies our relationship with God… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Please, focus your comments more strictly on the American news reports and not on what is happening, or not happening, in the UK. We have plenty of other threads for the latter, from time to time.