Posts filed under ‘Episcopalian’
Evan Daniel, in his classic 1892 historical commentary on the Book of Common Prayer, argues that a Prayer Book is not only a liturgical manual, but the “. . . fullest statement of the teaching of the Church . . . [bringing] before us the . . . great articles of the Christian faith.” In this post I explore the liturgical Rite that best exemplifies one of the major theological emphases of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer (BCP): Holy Baptism as “. . . full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body the Church” comparing the 1979 BCP with its 1928 predecessor, and identifying continuities and discontinuities between these two Prayer Books. In doing so I demonstrate how the theologies of the 1928 and 1979 Prayer Books concerning Baptism stand in stark contrast to each other, and how the tensions created by liturgical and theological innovations in the 1979 BCP continue to inform the debate around what happens at Baptism, and whether or not Baptism is a preparatory Rite for Confirmation and reception at the Eucharist, or the sole Rite for full membership in the Church. (more…)
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church, issued a statement May 6 on the political and humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe. The full text of the Presiding Bishop’s original statement follows:
Together with millions of people around the world, my heart has been drawn in recent months to the political and humanitarian crisis unfolding in Zimbabwe. The tragedy of that nation’s descent into internal chaos is magnified by the high sense of purpose and prosperity that a newly independent Zimbabwe brought to Africa and the world nearly three decades ago. Sadly, Robert Mugabe’s government has undermined that promise beyond recognition with its systematic repression of human rights, democracy, and economic opportunity for the people of Zimbabwe. The turmoil in the wake of Zimbabwe’s recent elections signals an urgent need for governments and other leaders in the international community to stand in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe, and call for an end to this long hour of human suffering and the beginning of a new era of promise and opportunity. (more…)
For our waste and pollution of your creation, and our lack of concern for those who come after us,
Accept our repentance, Lord.
Two senior Church of England bishops called on Tuesday for Britons to cut back on carbon, rather than the more traditional chocolate and alcohol, for the Christian period of Lent this year.
During Lent, which starts on Wednesday and lasts until Easter, Christians are supposed to fast and pray. In the bishops’ green drive, those taking part can choose how they reduce their carbon footprint on a daily basis. (more…)
At the heart of Paul Westermeyer’s Te Deum: The Church and Music is his central conviction that music is revelatory and that music in worship constitutes an interpersonal encounter between God and the community that has gathered to worship him. But, as Westermeyer argues in his postscript, “. . . everything has not been sweetness and light.” In this quest to encounter the divine through the liturgical use of music, and as suggested by the subtitle title of his book, The Church and Music (not The Church and Her Music), the institutional church and composers, musicians, choirs and congregants have coexisted in uneasy tension over the centuries. This tension persists, Westermeyer contends, because of ethical and hermeneutical questions such as “. . . the role of the Church in social justice versus personal morality or differences about racism, abortion, homosexuality, the role of women, and biblical interpretation.”
Nigerian Primate Peter J. Akinola (left) installed Bishop Martyn Minns (right) as leader of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America during a May 5 ceremony at the Hylton Memorial Chapel in Woodbridge, Virginia. The service drew comments from Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori who urged Akinola not to proceed with the installation.
Archbishop of Canterbury
Lambeth Palace, London
Sunday, May 6th, 2007
My dear Rowan,
Grace and Peace to you from God the Father and from our Lord Jesus the Christ.
I have received your note expressing your reservations regarding my plans to install Bishop Martyn Minns as the first Missionary Bishop of CANA. Even though your spokesmen have publicized the letter and its general content I did not actually receive it until after the ceremony. I do, however, want to respond to your concerns and clarify the situation with regard to CANA. I am also enclosing a copy of my most recent letter to Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori.
We are a deeply divided Communion. As leaders of the Communion we have all spent enormous amounts of time, travelled huge distances – sometimes at great risk, and expended much needed financial resources in endless meetings, communiqués and reports – Lambeth Palace 2003, Dromantine 2005, Nottingham 2006 and Dar es Salaam 2007. We have developed numerous proposals, established various task forces and yet the division has only deepened. The decisions, actions, defiance and continuing intransigence of The Episcopal Church are at the heart of our crisis.
We have all sought ways to respond to the situation. As you well know the Church of Nigeria established CANA as a way for Nigerian congregations and other alienated Anglicans in North America to stay in the Communion. This is not something that brings any advantage to us – neither financial nor political. We have actually found it to be a very costly initiative and yet we believe that we have no other choice if we are to remain faithful to the gospel mandate. As I stated to you, and all of the primates in Dar es Salaam, although CANA is an initiative of the Church of Nigeria – and therefore a bonafide branch of the Communion – we have no desire to cling to it. CANA is for the Communion and we are more than happy to surrender it to the Communion once the conditions that prompted our division have been overturned.
We have sought to respond in a measured way. We delayed the election of our first CANA bishop until after General Convention 2006 to give The Episcopal Church every opportunity to embrace the recommendations of the Windsor report – to no avail. At the last meeting of the Church of Nigeria House of Bishops we deferred a decision regarding the election of additional suffragans for CANA out of respect for the Dar es Salaam process.
Sadly we have seen no such respect from the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church. Their most recent statement was both insulting and condescending and makes very clear that they have no intention of listening to the voice of the rest of the Communion. They are determined to pursue their own unbiblical agenda and exacerbate our current divisions.
In the middle of all of this the Lord’s name has been dishonoured. If we fail to act, many will be lost to the church and thousands of souls will be imperilled. This we cannot and will not allow to happen. It is imperative that we continue to protect those at most risk while we seek a way forward that will offer hope for the future of our beleaguered Communion. It is to this vision that we in the Church of Nigeria and CANA remain committed.
Be assured of my prayers.
The Most Revd. Peter J Akinola, CON, DD
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of all Nigeria.
(Church of Nigeria News)
2nd May, 2007
The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori,
Episcopal Church Center
815 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017, USA
My dear Presiding Bishop:
My attention has been drawn to your letter of April 30th ostensibly written to me but published on the Episcopal News Service website.
In light of the concerns that you raise it might be helpful to be reminded of the actions and decisions that have led to our current predicament.
At the emergency meeting of the Primates in October 2003 it was made clear that the proposed actions of the Episcopal Church would “tear the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level, and may lead to further division on this and further issues …” Sadly, this proved to be true as many provinces did proceed to declare broken or impaired communion with the Episcopal Church. Since that time the Primates have established task forces, held numerous meetings and issued a variety of statements and communiqués but the brokenness remains, our Provinces are divided, and so the usual protocol and permissions are no longer applicable.
You will also recall from our meeting in Dar es Salaam that there was specific discussion about CANA and recognition – expressed in the Communiqué itself – of the important role that it plays in the context of the present division within your Province. CANA was established as a Convocation of the Church of Nigeria, and therefore a constituent part of the Communion, to provide a safe place for those who wish to remain faithful Anglicans but can no longer do so within The Episcopal Church as it is currently being led. The response for your own House of Bishops to the carefully written and unanimously approved Pastoral Scheme in the Communiqué makes it clear that such pastoral protection is even more necessary.
It is my heartfelt desire – and indeed the expressed hope of all the Primates of the Communion – that The Episcopal Church will reconsider its actions – and make such special measures no longer necessary. This is the only way forward for full restoration into fellowship with the rest of the Communion. Further, I renew the pledge that I made to your predecessor, Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, that the Church of Nigeria will be the first to restore communion on the day that your Province abandons its current unbiblical agenda. Until then we have no other choice than to offer our assistance and oversight to our people and all those who will not compromise the “faith once for all delivered to the saints.” (Jude 1:3)
You speak in your letter of centuries old custom regarding diocesan boundaries. You are, of course, aware that the particular historical situation to which you make reference was intended to protect the church from false teaching not to prevent those who hold to the traditional teaching of the church from receiving faithful episcopal care. It was also a time when the Church had yet to face into the challenge of different denominational expressions of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I also find it curious that you are appealing to the ancient customs of the church when it is your own Province’s deliberate rejection of the biblical and historic teaching of the Church that has prompted our current crisis.
You mention the call to reconciliation. As you well know this is a call that I wholeheartedly embrace and indeed was a major theme of our time in Tanzania. You will also remember that one of the key elements of our discussion and the resulting Communiqué was the importance of resolving our current differences without resorting to civil law suits. You agreed to this. Yet it is my understanding that you are still continuing your own punitive legal actions against a number of CANA clergy and congregations. I fail to see how this is consistent with your own claim to be working towards reconciliation.
Once again please know that I look forward to the day when this current crisis is behind us and we can all be reunited around our One Lord and only Saviour Jesus the Christ. Until then be assured of my prayers for you and The Episcopal Church.
The Most Revd. Peter J Akinola, CON, DD
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of all Nigeria
The Most Rev. Peter J. Akinola
Primate of All Nigeria & Bishop of Abuja
PO Box 212 ADCP
My dear Archbishop Akinola:
I am writing this letter with my prayers for you and for the entire worldwide Anglican Communion from a fellow child of Christ.
I understand from press reports you are planning to come to the United States to install Martyn Minns as a bishop in the Convocation of Anglicans in North America. I strongly urge you not to do so.
First, such action would violate the ancient customs of the church which limits the episcopal activity of a bishop to only the jurisdiction to which the bishop has been entrusted, unless canonical permission has been given. Second, such action would not help the efforts of reconciliation that are taking place in the Episcopal Church and in the Anglican Communion as a whole. Third, such action would display to the world division and disunity that are not part of the mind of Christ, which we must strive to display to all.
I would carefully ask that you reconsider your plans to come to this country for this purpose. This request stems from the hope and vision of reconciliation which was the mind of the primates as we met in Tanzania.
Your servant in Christ,
Katharine Jefferts Schori