Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 18 April 2020

Andrew Walker Ship of Fools The doubting disciple

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Talking of Church: dispersed yet communal & catholic

Kelvin Holdsworth Grace Received: communion on the battlefield

Emma Major Building community in a crisis Church Online: Nothing New

Ann Memmott Ann’s Autism Blog Who is welcome? A reflection for churches, during online times.

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Coercion and Control and the Church

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Susannah Clark
5 months ago

Thanks so much for posting Ann’s article. Neuro-diversity brings gift to church communities, and to families, and workplaces. I love the drawing in her article, which reminds us that Jesus ‘thought outside the box’, and reached outside the box to others, and we should do the same. Having family members who are autistic (and gifted) in my close private life, I try not to romanticise autism with its very real frustrations and pressure points, and the barriers that society constructs for people who don’t conform to the ‘acceptable’ norm; but I am also very much aware what gift neuro-diverse people… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
5 months ago

Andrew Walker on Thomas: the Thomas story tells me that following Jesus means putting my hands in the wounds of others, sharing them, open to being wounded myself, allowing my wounds, my mistakes, my agony, my tears at the injustices of the world to be agents of healing. Thomas was no doubter. He was the first dirty hands, rolled up sleeves guy.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
5 months ago

I recall that Archdruid Eileen (who, in reality, is a male C of E priest) wrote a wonderful piece in ‘defence’ of Thomas. Among all the whimsical humour of that blog, there are outstanding ‘sermons’, one of them similarly putting a proper perspective on St Mary Magdalene – one of the earliest disciples (the first?) who saw and believed.

Susannah Clark
5 months ago

Archdruid Eileen is a guy? I feel like a kid who’s just been told that Father Christmas isn’t real…

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
5 months ago
Reply to  Susannah Clark

As I said, a male priest, and sometimes the ‘serious’ pieces are among the best and most thoughtful available on the internet. ‘Her’ true identity is easily ascertained with a bit of delving.

Susannah Clark
5 months ago

Kelvin’s article reminds me of a passage from ‘Chasing Charlie’: ‘It was the last battle…’ Old Duncan Ban at the fireplace, reflecting. The bar fell hushed as he spoke. ‘They waited in vain for the word to charge – Claymore! – but by then they were being cut to pieces, falling where they stood : Glenbucket, Pitsligo, and a’ the clans.’ ‘Oooh!’ Grouse whispered. ‘By Christ.’ ‘And mah faither used tae tell me this,’ Old Duncan continued, his shepherd’s face weathered like the landscape by winter of many years. ‘When the Laird Strathallan lay dying, he was gived his last… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
5 months ago

Thanks for the link to the ‘Building Community in a Crisis’ blog; lots of good stuff there for those of us who want to explore new ways of being church in these strange times, rather than just look back longingly to what we used to be able to do.

Susannah Clark
5 months ago

Gu dearbh, tha e air èiridh!

dr.primrose
dr.primrose
5 months ago
Reply to  Susannah Clark

Atgyfododd Crist! Atgyfododd yn wir!

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
5 months ago

I too appreciated the piece on Thomas and have pondered again his example. That he was so mistrustful of the testimony of close friends is not, in itself, a quality to admire. Nor do we know his reasons. But paradoxically I admire his willingness to question and not just go along the majority view. In our own age of fake news his insistence on questioning for himself is timely. Graham Greene believed there is a necessary unease in the experience of believing. Doubt is one expression of that – or at least a resistance to the tendency to believe too… Read more »

ACI
ACI
5 months ago

I suspect part of the underlying issue with Thomas is what it means to be a twin (whose sib is never around). The Hebrew word “Thom” actually means “twin” (so Didymus). I once did some research on twins. They are not like us/we are not like them! Otherwise the essay makes some valuable “supposals.” I would add his presence with the named others in the final scene. I also tend to hear the “blessed are they that have not seen…” (as does Walker if I understand him) as less directed to Thomas exclusively and more akin to omniscient narrator commentary.… Read more »

Savi Hensman
Savi Hensman
5 months ago

Kelvin Holdsworth raises important points, as we worship a God who meets us in our hour of need with whatever is to hand.

Kate
Kate
5 months ago
Reply to  Savi Hensman

Had Jesus been Scottish I have little doubt that we would all now celebrate the Eucharist with oatcake and whisky – or some similar combination.

But had Jesus livestreamed the Last Supper do we really believe he would have told those watching not to join in with their own bread and wine? This is Jesus who turned water into wine so that all guests could share in the celebration. This is Jesus who fed the multitude. Everything points to hospitality being important to him. So, no, I don’t believe he would have told people to have a “spiritual communion”.

Savi Hensman
Savi Hensman
4 months ago
Reply to  Kate

To me, physical gathering in a particular time and place matters deeply too and there are risks in disconnecting from material reality. The question is, what happens when, for a sustained time and possibly the rest of some communicants’ lives, gathering face-to-face would be harmful (rather than just inconvenient)?

Kate
Kate
4 months ago
Reply to  Savi Hensman

“The question is, what happens when, for a sustained time and possibly the rest of some communicants’ lives, gathering face-to-face would be harmful (rather than just inconvenient)?”

We might know more later this week if the Government published its exit strategy.

T Pott
T Pott
4 months ago
Reply to  Kate

Whisky does not look very much like blood, though does perhaps resemble something else.

ACI
ACI
4 months ago
Reply to  T Pott

Nor does it look like Passover, which Jewish Jesus was enacting and interpreting via his body (lamb) and blood (sacrificial death).

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
4 months ago
Reply to  ACI

Rod Gillis. You remind me of a time when I was a chaplain of a community at a Christian holiday/conference centre. At our weekly eucharist, one week, I had had to substitute the usual fortified sherry wine with a dry Co-Op red. I did not warn them and at communion watched people reacting quite strongly at the unexpected taste of the wine. Over breakfast afterwards there was an extended, impassioned discussion – some thought the wine should taste bitter to represent the suffering and pain of the cross. For others the sweetness of the wine expressed his love for us.… Read more »

dr.primrose
dr.primrose
4 months ago
Reply to  T Pott

When the altar guild one of my priest asked that white wine be used, he told them that at the Eucharist he was offering the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, not his plasma.

Kate
Kate
4 months ago
Reply to  Kate

“was following a well known liturgical practice”

In a decade or two livestreaming is likely to be described as “a well known liturgical practice”. In truth, it is a hollow phrase which says more about past practice than theological worthiness.

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
5 months ago

“Scotch Whiskey is the Real Holy Water”

As an admirer of single-malt Scotch Whiskey, I knew there was a reason I liked Pope Francis! 🙂

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
5 months ago

This is an unusual subject for TA, and apologies for being pedantic, but the spelling is Scotch Whisky (no ‘e’). Whiskey is the spelling for the Irish and American equivalents. Whisky from the Oban Distillery, as presented to Pope Francis, is a fine single malt. The town of Oban in Argyl and Bute on the west coast of Scotland is the sea port for the Isle of Mull and the Hebrides, both sources of more whiskies. Perhaps more relevant to this post, Oban possesses a Roman Catholic cathedral and diocese. The bishop has met Pope Francis.

Kate
Kate
4 months ago

There have been several comments about virtual communities.

My guess is that most TA regulars are middle-aged or older. I suspect that the younger generation has a more positive view of virtual communities and communication. We often comment that the episcopate lacks diversity and that is certainly true when it comes to age. That might turn out to be a significant weakness.

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