Saturday, November 04, 2006

Saturday November 4: Morning posts

A Question about last night’s the Online News Hour with Jim Lehrer

November 4th, 2006 posted by kendall at 8:25 am

Anyone know who Linda Ellerbee’s friend who is an Episcopal priest is? She mentioned this person in this segment (audio link).

Recreating Biblical Meals for the Modern Kitchen

November 4th, 2006 posted by kendall at 8:21 am

Parboiling in a cauldron, frying on hot stones and hanging meat on sticks over an open fire are cooking methods that would appear to have limited relevancy in the modern world of Viking stoves and panini presses.

But leave it to an Episcopal priest who previously collaborated on a book of funeral prayers for family pets to bridge the gap, bringing recipes for food mentioned in the Scriptures — like heifer fondue, Ezra’s ox meat and various forms of challah — to today’s kitchens.

The book, “Cooking With the Bible: Biblical Food, Feasts and Lore” (Greenwood Press), came about after a brainstorming jag that took the Rev. Rayner W. Hesse Jr. back to his job three decades ago as a chef for a fraternity house at the University of Maryland.

Dr. Hesse, 51, has a sideline business as an antiques dealer and formerly owned an antiques store in White Plains. But cooking was a more lasting joy, one he spent years trying to reprise in preparing large meals for various church events.

In delving into food mentioned in Scripture, Dr. Hesse and Anthony F. Chiffolo, the editorial director of Praeger Publishers in Westport, Conn., knew they had hit upon an idea for a follow-up to that first book they wrote, “We Thank You, God, for These: Blessings and Prayers for Family Pets.” That one was conceived when Dr. Hesse was the priest at a church near a pet cemetery in Hartsdale, N.Y.

Read it all.

New U.S. Episcopal leader seeks peace

November 4th, 2006 posted by kendall at 8:17 am

In a telephone interview this week, Jefferts Schori acknowledged that the departures of some priests and congregations over issues ranging from theology to homosexuality and culture, may be as much about control than anything else.

“I think in some corners there is clearly that desire to have the Episcopal Church de-recognized, in some sense, and some other body become the official Anglican representative in this country,” said Jefferts Schori, who will be installed at a service this morning at Washington National Cathedral. “The reality is that it’s a very small group of people who are so exceedingly unhappy. The great middle of the church is focused on mission.”

Most of the more than 7,000 Episcopal congregations remain intact. Since 2003, when the denomination approved the election of its first openly gay bishop, Episcopal News Service reports that 30 congregations have left and sought oversight from more conservative foreign bishops in the Anglican Communion. Six of the San Diego diocese’s 51 congregations have been affected; in three cases, the congregations and rectors withdrew but remained in the building as Anglican churches; in the other three, the rectors left and took members with them.

Jefferts Schori said she’s not ready to write off those who have left or are contemplating leaving.

“I think our call is to seek reconciliation as long as there is any possibility in it,” said Jefferts Schori, who for the next nine years will be the chief pastor and representative of 2.4 million Episcopalians.

Please note that the numbers cited by ENS of the numbers of parishes are disputed as being inaccurate and also very misleading. Read it all.

A New era in the Episcopal Church?

November 4th, 2006 posted by kendall at 8:10 am

Already, some global leaders have asked for another bishop of their choosing to represent the Episcopal Church at a February meeting, saying they will not treat Jefferts Schori as their equal. Only the U.S., Canada and New Zealand have female bishops, although 11 other provinces permit women to qualify for the position.

“There are those who have indicated that they will not sit at the same table with her,” Griswold said. “I do hope that once they meet her as a person … they will be able to sense the depth and authenticity of her faith, and to recognize her as a sister in Christ and a fellow bishop.”

In fact, some say that after Jefferts Schori is installed Saturday at Washington National Cathedral, she may well bring changes that ultimately will heal the church–that she may help steer it away from power struggles and toward reconciliation and relevance.

“We are a church that is changing what the notion of power means,” said Rev. Margaret Rose, director of women’s ministries for the Episcopal Church. “The notion of power means the power to heal, the power to reconcile, the power to look at the needs of the world rather than be distracted by issues that are internal.”

Those internal issues have threatened to push the nation’s church as well as the 73 million-member Anglican Communion into schism. More than 200 parishes have rejected the U.S. church’s progressive stance and aligned themselves with Anglican leaders in Africa and Latin America. To them, the 2003 consecration of the denomination’s first openly gay bishop–V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire–violated Scripture.

Now let’s see here. There are four quotes, one from Bishop Jefferts Schori, and the other three from her supporters. Where is the quote from someone who is worried about her theology and where it will lead? Balance anyone?.Read it all–KSH.

Martyn Percy: Diversity of belief is a very Anglican tradition

November 4th, 2006 posted by kendall at 8:02 am

There has not been a single century in which Anglicanism has not wrestled with its identity; by its nature it draws on a variety of competing theological traditions. Its appeal lies in its own distinctive hybridity.

So, another way of reading the current difficulties would be to see them as expressive of the two main competing streams of ecclesial polity that have come together within a single communion. The first is royalist, bound to a culture that is aligned with hierarchy and obedience, and linked to divine right and ordering. The second, which is republican, is essentially democratic in orientation, and therefore about the rights of the people rather than the princes and prelates. Of course, the royalist paradigm for the Anglican church is not that of an ancient quasi-feudal system, but rather that which emerged out of the 17th-century English civil war, which had deposed notions of outright kingship, but had then restored kingly power, albeit checked by new forms of democratic and parliamentary power.

These two deep cultural streams can be seen as being behind the current, apparently seismic, doctrinal shifts. The election of Gene Robinson (a genial gay clergyman) as Bishop of New Hampshire is an expression of North American faith in the gift of democracy (from God) and the inalienable right to choose. A people who were chosen - liberated, as it were, from the yoke of colonial patrimony - are now called upon by God to continue exercising their God-given rights to choose. The will of a foreign power - or even the mild intervention of a friendly Archbishop of Canterbury - will be seen as an act of hostility and demotic feudalism. The two streams of power, deeply embedded in their respective cultures (not unlike Wilde’s notion of two nations divided by a common language) are all it takes to produce two very different kinds of theological grammar within the same communion.

Read it all.

Ben Witherington Tackles the Allegations Against Ted Haggard But Puts the Story in an Important Context

November 4th, 2006 posted by kendall at 8:02 am

Before we ask– has the world gone mad, it might be good to reflect for a minute on the leadership climate in the rarified air of big time Evangelical mega-churches. of course it will vary from church to church, but there are a few things in common with most of these churches which needs to be rethought:

1) most of these large churches are not part of denominations which have a connectional enough system to hold the individual church leadership accountable through peer leaders in other churches. By this I mean there is little outside accountability. There are no covenant relationships with other church leaders, no covenant relationships with other churches, the leadership structure is entirely controlled INTERNALLY between influential lay persons and the ministers. There is normally an overseeing board of some sort. But how do they work? Are they rubber stamps? Do they contain professional counselors and ministers to whom a minister in crisis could turn? Usually not. And sometimes there is only a once a year “accountability moment”. For example there is a large mega-church in California which does accountability this way— the pastor gives the congregation in an open meeting the chance for an up or down vote on his ministry once a year. So far as I can tell this is not done by secret ballot, just by a public acclamation or vote. What’s wrong with this picture? If something objectionable shows up in the ministry plans etc. during the year and the time for the accountability moment is not near, then there is no accountability. It is handled internally.

2) The culture of patriarchal Evangelical leadership involves a lot of power and isolation at the top. Too often it involves a cult of personality kind of scenario, with the “pastor-superstar” model, and the pastor put way up on a pedestal– from which he is almost bound to fall. The isolation from normal accountability structures and peer correction leads to all sorts of abuses of power. It is quite simply too much power in too few hands. The minister begins to feel he is bullet-proof, can do no wrong. And if there is something not right in his personal relationships with his wife or family, then moral slippage tends to happen in various forms. One of the reasons, though not the only one, for this is that the patriarchal culture of male leadership isolates men from the critique of the opposite sex, and often it is the opposite sex which will first see the early warning signs of sexual trouble. Any sort of local church accountability or pastor-parish relations committee should involve both men and women, and not those hand picked by the pastor. Men watching over men when it comes to sexual matters is too often like the fox watching the hen house.

Read it all.

Pittsburgh passes APO resolution at its diocesan convention

November 4th, 2006 posted by admin at 7:25 am

Resolution I Passes

Clergy and lay deputies overwhelmingly approved passage of Resolution I.
Clergy and lay deputies voted overwhelmingly to approve Resolution I on November 3 at the City Center Marriott in Pittsburgh. The final vote was 97 aye, 14 nay, and 3 abstentions in the clergy order and 117 aye, 40 nay, and 7 abstentions in the lay order. In debate, the original resolution was replaced with a substitute. The resolution, as passed is below. The text of the original resolution is available here.

The approved resolution reads as follows:

RESOLVED, the 141st Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh confirms the actions of the Standing Committee taken on June 28, 2006, specifically (1) the withdrawal of consent for inclusion in the Third Province of the Episcopal Church (under Article VII of the Constitution of the Episcopal Church); and (2) the appeal to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primates of the Anglican Communion, and the Panel of Reference for immediate alternative Primatial oversight and pastoral care.

Source: Diocese of Pittsburgh
With a big tip of the elves’ pointy hat to our friends at Stand Firm.

Anglican body tries to halt planned ordination in new Zealand

November 3rd, 2006 posted by kendall at 8:44 pm

Christchurch members of the Anglican Church are trying to stop a Dunedin bishop from ordaining a “practising homosexual”, saying it will lead to a constitutional crisis in the Church.

The Dunedin Diocesan Council said yesterday the Bishop of Dunedin, the Rt Rev George Connor, would ordain three deacons, including Juan Kinnear, who is in a “committed same-sex relationship”.

However, conservative evangelical Anglican group the Latimer Fellowship, based in Ilam, has written to the three archbishops of New Zealand, asking them to stop the ordination.

The fellowship says sex or de facto relationships are not “rightly ordered” in the Church’s constitution and not blessed.

The vicars of New Zealand’s 10 largest Anglican churches have also written a letter of protest about the ordination.

“This is a deeply divisive issue within our Church,” Latimer Fellowship spokesman Rev Malcolm Falloon said.

“This has the potential to rip the Church right down the middle. It could cause a constitutional crisis. There have been calls for careful listening and conversation about this issue. How can we do that if some bishops are going to do this?”

Falloon said while he knew other people in same-sex relationships had been ordained, he believed this was the first time it had happened so openly.

Read it all and also see further documentation on this there and here.

Former All Saints priest begins new Anglican church in Vista

November 3rd, 2006 posted by kendall at 8:28 pm

Three months after resigning from his post at All Saints Episcopal Church in Vista, the Rev. Joe Rees is returning to the city to hold services in a new location this Sunday.

The new church is called Holy Family Anglican, and while Rees said he is far from having an actual chapel, he does have a congregation, which will meet at 10 a.m. Sunday in the lecture hall of Rancho Buena Vista High School.

“We’re hoping to generate the spirit of family, and that’s why we’re calling ourselves Holy Family,” Rees said. “We hope to be a family of God for the community.”

In that spirit, services will include a 9:45 a.m. Bible-themed puppet show for children as a way to keep families together Sunday mornings.

“Moms and dads don’t have a lot of time with their children these days,” Rees said. “On Sunday mornings, they don’t want to park them in a school someplace. It’s my hope to keep us all together as a family in a relaxed service that worships God.”

Rees’ resignation from All Saints Episcopal Church on July 30 was just one sign of a nationwide schism that has split conservative and progressive congregations.

Besides All Saints, other North County churches affected this year are St. Anne’s in Oceanside and St. John’s in Fallbrook, which changed their affiliations from Episcopal to Anglican. Most recently, the Rev. Eric Menees left Grace Episcopal Church in San Marcos last September to start a new church aligned with the Anglican Community.

Read it all.


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