Welcoming Five New Parishes – Australia

Anglican Communion News Service, UK

1025) 20-September-2007 – Welcoming Five New Parishes – Australia

News Digest – September – 2007

(1026) 20-September-2007 – House of Bishops meeting – USA

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has assured Archbishop of
Canterbury Rowan Williams that he will be received September 20 and 21
by the House of Bishops `with great respect and hospitality.’

The Revd Dr. Charles Robertson, canon to the Presiding Bishop and
Primate, said September 19 that Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori had
spoken with Archbishop Williams to discuss meeting arrangements and
the bishops’ anticipation of their conversations.

The Revd Dr. Robertson termed `extraordinary’ the unanimity with which
the House of Bishops voted at its March meeting to invite Williams to
meet with them.

`Both he and we recognize the importance of this time, and that it is
natural to experience some anxiety’ in the current context, The Revd
Dr Robertson said.

`Our call is to respond to one another, not out of anxiety, but out of
an even deeper respect for ourselves and one another, honouring our
relationships,’ he said.

Robertson noted that the Presiding Bishop, in question-and-answer
sessions held during her recent travels around the church, has said
that `when communion is based on agreement rather than relationship,
it is easier for tensions to arise.’

Given that potential, Robertson said, `to truly be able to listen to
one another is important for finding ways to lower the anxiety.’

The Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori has also reiterated to Archbishop
Williams that the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council in June
`promised our engagement with the churches of the Anglican Communion
and our deep and sincere listening will continue.’

The Revd Dr. Robertson noted that the General Convention both in 1991
and 1994 `encouraged conversation with our sisters and brothers in the
Anglican Communion, and our ecumenical partners,’ and that this desire

In 1991, the General Convention proposed a `Pan-Anglican and
Ecumenical Dialogue on Human Sexuality.’ Resolution B20 said, in part,
that the Presiding Bishop’s office should "propose to all provinces of
the Anglican Communion and all churches with whom we are in ecumenical
dialogue that a broad process of consultation be initiated on an
official pan-Anglican and ecumenical level as a bold step forward in
the consideration of these potentially divisive issues which should
not be resolved by the Episcopal Church on its own.’

In 1994, Resolution B12 called, in part, for the church to `commit
itself to dialogue in faith, with no expectation of uniformity, but
every expectation of unity’ and `encourage conversation on the issues
of human sexuality with both Anglican and ecumenical partners open to
such communication at national, diocesan and local levels.’

The Revd Dr. Robertson said that all such listening takes place within
a context in which `we also respectfully acknowledge that we have
inherited a system of governance that is not necessarily the same as
in other parts of the communion.’

He added `it is very important to us that we continue to honour not
only the concerns of the communion but also our own polity — our own

Meeting agenda detailed

The House of Bishops unofficially started its regularly scheduled fall
meeting with a September 19 dinner, also attended by spouses who are
meeting concurrently under the theme `Marching with the Saints.’

Archbishop Williams will meet with the bishops and other invited
guests for the entire day on September 20 and for the morning of
September 21. They will discuss a variety of subjects, including the
recently proposed Anglican covenant and the Primates
communiqué. The communiqué made certain requests of the bishops
and set a September 30 for their response.

The Joint Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council and
the Primates will attend those conversations, at Presiding Bishop
Jefferts Schori’s invitation.

House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson, also invited by the
Presiding Bishop, will be present as well.

The sessions with Archbishop Williams are closed to the public, media
and other visitors.

The Joint Standing Committee will then meet as a group on September 24
in the same hotel as the House of Bishops. Archbishop Williams departs
New Orleans the afternoon of September 21 to begin an official visit
to Armenia, Syria and Lebanon.

Archbishop Williams will participate in a September 20 evening
interfaith gathering at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans,
which will celebrate the "Resiliency of Spirit in New Orleans,"
according to a Diocese of Louisiana news release.

Aspects of poverty and hunger relief targeted by the first of eight
U.N. Millennium Development Goals will be the focus of the house’s
September 21 afternoon session as the bishops join a dialogue with
medical anthropologist and physician Paul Farmer, founder of Partners
in Health medical programs in Haiti and around the world.

A work day for bishops and their spouses is set for September 22. The
house’s planning committee and local officials are monitoring weather
conditions. The work day may have to be re-scheduled depending on the
intensity of developing storms.

Many bishops will participate in worship September 23 with Episcopal
congregations across Louisiana and Mississippi. The Joint Standing
Committee has been invited to witness and take part in re-building
initiatives sponsored by the Diocese of Louisiana over the weekend and
will likely attend worship in local churches, according to a media
advisory from the Anglican Communion News Service.

The bishops will meet in the evening that day to reflect on their
weekend experiences with specific attention to the role racism plays
in hurricane-recovery efforts. Gus Newport, Eugene `Gus’ Newport, a
program consultant to the Vanguard Public Foundation and the Louisiana
Disaster Recovery Foundation, will lead the session.

The bishops will hold their first business sessions on September
24. That day will end with a Eucharist.

On September 25, a morning business session is planned. Time is also
set aside in the afternoon if the morning session needs to be
continued. The meeting will close with the Presiding Bishop Jefferts
Schori’s reflections, followed by a Eucharist in memory of deceased
members of the house and then a dinner.

Each day includes time for the bishops to study the Bible and to
worship together.

Article from: Episcopal News Service – by The Revd Mary Frances

fm?years07&months=9&article=1026&pos=# 1026

(1025) 20-September-2007 – Welcoming Five New Parishes – Australia

The Sydney Diocese reclassified three churches to parish status at
Synod yesterday and there are still two more to come.

St Thomas’, Cranebrook is one of five local ministries moving from
provisional parish to parish status at Synod this year.

`The church has experienced a steady growth in membership and ministry
in the four years since becoming a provisional parish,’ says rector,
the Rev Richard Goscombe.

Under the Rev John Reid, parent church St Paul’s Cambridge Park
brought St Thomas’ to a position of viability by the end of 1998.

The provisional parish of St Thomas’, Cranebrook was reclassified as
the Parish of Cranebrook with Castlereagh.

The move from infancy to adolescence was recognised in 2004, when St
Thomas’ was declared a provisional parish. Numbers had doubled,
offertories trebled and comprehensive and integrated ministry has been
established within the church.

`Now, in 2007, we continue to rejoice to see the growth from a heavily
grant-dependent branch church, to a viable, maturing centre of
ministry with two full-time and two part-time workers, and two vibrant
congregations committed to reaching Cranebrook for Christ,’ Mr
Goscombe says.

There is now an average of 140 adults and 50 children attending each

God-given gospel growth

Along with St Thomas’, Cranebrook, St Nicolas’, Coogee and St
Stephen’s, Lidcombe also moved from provisional parish to full parish
status at Synod.

The rector of St Nicolas’, Coogee, the Rev Craig Segaert says by the
grace of God upgrading the church’s annual fete, developing a
strategic hall rental policy and acquiring regional grants helped
generate the essential income that has seeded growth since 1998.

`We have had a building program and upgraded hall facilities, we have
focussed on children’s and families ministry with both Sunday services
and playgroup and we have reconnected with some lapsed attendees,’ he

The church is even in the process of obtaining a children’s ministry

`When we started here there were two kids in the church, now we have
over 90 kids in our church twice a week,’ Mr Segaert says.

The rector of St Stephen’s, Lidcombe, the Revd Joseph Thiem says his
church has focussed on gospel ministry in his ten years there to help
it grow from a dwindling parish of 20 to a vibrant multi-ethnic
congregation of over 140 people.

`Three quarters of the growth in the church has been through
conversions and that is mainly in the areas of first and second
generation Chinese ministry and Chinese university student ministry,’
he says.

More to come

The parish of Newtown with Erskinevile and St James’s, Menangle will
be the two parishes reclassified at today’s afternoon session of

The amalgamation of St Stephen’s, Newtown and Holy Trinity,
Erskineville, which took place in April this year, will be complete as
the parish of Newtown with Erskineville is reclassified to full parish
status for the first time since 2000.

The Revd Peter Rodgers says the church has grown significantly and is
financially viable again.

He recalls there were three things missing at the church when he
arrived in 2002.

`We didn’t have people in the 20 to 35 year bracket, yet according to
the census the majority of residents in Newtown are that age, there
were no Bible study groups in our church and no staff other than me,’
Mr Rodgers says.

`The majority of our congregation is now in the 20 to 35 year age
bracket, we would have 80 people in mid-week Bible study groups which
have become the lifeblood of our church and we have four part-time
staff with an office assistant, two student ministers and a children’s
ministry coordinator.’

However, Mr Rodgers in no way thinks the church has `arrived’.

`While we have come far and thank God for that, the job has just
begun. We are just back on our feet ready to do our job of reaching
out to the people of Newtown,’ he says.

St James’, Menangle will become a parish after having spent several
years as a branch church of St John’s, Camden, then three years as a
provisional parish.

Rector, the Rev Craig Fulton, who began at the church in 2002, says
the church has concentrated on carrying out the Diocesan Mission and
made prayer and preaching the basis of the ministry.

Mr Fulton says the church has a `four-prong approach’ for community

`We have a church newspaper that goes out to every residence in the
area, we have a youth and children’s worker who is now chaplain at the
local high school, we have a team of men who carry out manual labour
and maintenance for people n the area who need assistance, and we have
a Christmas carols event which over half the community attends.’

Article from: Sydney Anglican Network

fm?years07&months=9&article=1025&pos=# 1025

(1024) 20-September-2007 – Archbishop of Wales warns proposed Anglican
Covenant could lead to exclusion – Wales

A laudable attempt to unite Anglicans is in danger of becoming a
contract designed to cut off those who don’t conform, warns the
Archbishop of Wales.

Church in Wales today, Dr Morgan said that, while he supported the
principle of an Anglican Covenant, he could not endorse the proposed
version currently on the table.

He fears the draft – under consideration by all churches in the
Anglican worldwide community – will lead to one voice on controversial
issues, such as homosexuality, which members would have to sign up to
or leave.

While the Church of England has said it is willing to `engage
positively’ with the recommendations, Dr Morgan believes a similar
response from the Church in Wales would be seen as an acceptance not
just of the concept of the Covenant, but also the draft version. He
asked the Governing Body just to note the process taking place to
produce a Covenant and invite the Welsh bishops to finalise a

Dr Morgan, who will fly to New Orleans tomorrow with the Archbishop of
Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, for a pivotal meeting for the Anglican
Church, said, `There is no doubt that things have got bitter in the

`The original intention of a Covenant to affirm the bonds of
affection, was good. The indications now are that many see it as a
contract, a means of ensuring a uniform view on human sexuality
enforceable by the threat of exclusion from the Communion if one does
not conform. I certainly do not want to sign up to that kind of

He criticised the draft Covenant for seeming to put sexual morality
interpreted in one particular way at the heart of what might cause
exclusion from the Communion.

`The Lambeth quadrilateral of scripture, creeds, sacraments and
historic episcopate are no longer sufficient credentials for being an
Anglican. A particular view of human sexuality is also required. That
devalues scripture by restricting its moral values simply to what it
might be saying about sexual relationships and turns the Bible into a
kind of rule book where texts can be wrestled out of context.’

He also warned that the draft Covenant would interfere with the
autonomy of the Anglican provinces, such as the Church in Wales.

`There will be obvious constitutional implications for us as a Church
because we may be asked to subject decisions to primates and this will
alter the nature of the Church in Wales and its provincial autonomy.
Our Constitution allows the Governing Body the authority to change our
doctrine. If we pass a doctrine, which the primates think breaches the
Covenant, we may face censure.’

Dr Morgan also criticised Anglican primates threatening to boycott the
Lambeth Conference next year.

`They are not willing to come to talk and deliberate with those who
differ from them. That seems to me to deny the very nature of
Anglicanism. The way some of the primates have behaved does not give
me great hope of entrusting the interpretation and the implementation
of the terms of the Covenant to them.’

He also warned that the draft Covenant might prevent theological
change and innovation in the Anglican church.

`The history of both Christianity and Anglicanism shows that what
tends to happen is, that one part of the church innovates and the rest
of the church eventually catches up. It happened in Anglicanism over
the ordination of women. Some provinces did it and whilst keeping in
dialogue and in communion with other provinces, nevertheless did not
seek permission from them.’

The full text of Dr Morgan’s speech

Notes to Editors

– The Governing Body of the Church in Wales is meeting at the
University of Wales, Lampeter, today (Sept 18) and tomorrow (Sept
19). It is attended by about 175 lay and clergy members.

– The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, will leave the meeting
tomorrow to fly to New Orleans to attend the House of Bishops of the
US Episcopal Church with the Archbishop of Canterbury and fellow
members of the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates of the
Anglican Communion. It will be followed by a meeting of the Anglican
Consultative Council.

– All provinces of the Anglican Church are being asked to respond to
the draft text of the Anglican Covenant by the end of 2007. The final
version of the Covenant will be sent to them after the Lambeth
Conference 2008 for formal debate and response. The draft has been
drawn up the Covenant Design Group, appointed by the Archbishop of
Canterbury on behalf of the Primates of the Anglican Communion.

– The call for an Anglican Covenant comes in the wake of a row within
the church over homosexuality. The row was sparked by the consecration
in 2004 of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, USA, a divorced
man living with his male partner, and the blessing of some same sex
unions in the Diocese of New Westminster, Canada. Many Anglicans,
including the Archbishop of Nigeria, Peter Akinola, argue that
homosexuality is contrary to scripture and goes against the 1998
Lambeth Conference resolution which rejected `homosexual practice as
incompatible with scripture’. In 2006, Martyn Minns was elected by the
Church of Nigeria’s House of Bishops to serve as Missionary Bishop for
a new orthodox Anglican presence in the western hemisphere called
Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA). As a result of the
row, neither Bishop Gene Robinson nor Bishop Martyn Minns have been
invited to vote at the Lambeth Conference 2008.

Item from: The Church in Wales

fm?years07&months=9&article=1024&pos=# 1024

(1023) 20-September-2007 – Churches called to remember the plight of
farmers in their Harvest Festivals – England

The Bishop of Exeter has encouraged congregations not just to thank
God for the food they eat but to remember the farmers who produce it
at their Harvest Festivals. As Foot and Mouth disease continues to
push farming into crisis, the bishop also called on churches to
consider the Farming Help Charities when gathering their Harvest

`The first outbreak of Foot and Mouth in Surrey was worrying enough
for farmers but the latest one could not have come at a worse
time. Farmers left with animals that should have gone to market, short
of both feed and money. Others uncertain about the condition of the
stock they need to buy in for the coming year,’ said the Rt Rev
Michael Langrish, Bishop of Exeter, who chairs the Rural Strategy
Group of the General Synod.

`Harvest is supposed to be a joyful time; a celebration of the fruits
of the earth. That will be difficult for many farmers this year. Every
church should give thanks for the farmers who put food on their
tables, and for the auctioneers and hauliers who get it there, and
pray for them at this particularly difficult time. A true sign of
thanks would be to donate harvest festival collections to one of the
Farming Help Charities: ARC-Addington Fund, Farm Crisis Network and
Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution.’

Canon Glyn Evans, regional coordinator for the Farm Crisis Network, is
working with local clergy to ensure pastoral support for the Egham
family who had their stock culled when the new outbreak began. `It is
important that farmers know they are not forgotten and that support is
available,’ he said.

The local situation is a lot more tense for farmers than during the
first outbreak and people are more anxious. There are many hobby
farmers in the area around Egham and therefore many more holdings and
farming families. All local clergy have been contacted and asked to
ensure that all holdings with livestock are supported.

Nationally, farmers, auction marts and hauliers are under great
pressure, not least as this is the time of year for selling breeding
stock and putting them to the ram for future production, not just
animals for slaughter. Hill farmers face major losses with the
cancellation of lamb sales, leaving them overstocked and, the grass
having stopped growing, having to buy feed with no sales
income. Animals should be moving down to the lowlands but such
movement is banned. Pig farmers, already hit by high feed prices,
cannot move stock, have no income and need to buy in more feed.
Markets and hauliers lie idle.

The ARC-Addington fodder bureau, part of the ARC-Addington Fund that
helps to support farmers at such times, is gearing up for an increased
demand over the coming weeks. The fodder bureau’s is distributing
fodder as required and the appeal has so far collected£5,000 in
cash donations to cover haulage costs, 750 big bales of straw, 560
acres of straw in swath, 820big bales of hay, 152 acres of grass to
mow and 515 big bales of haylage/silage.

`We’ve already had contact with a number of co-ordinators and
volunteers from Farm Crisis Network reporting the situation around the
country and we anticipate a major increase in calls to FCN,
ARC-Addington Fund and agricultural chaplains,’ said Dr Jill
Hopkinson, the Church of England’s National Rural Officer, based at
the Arthur Rank Centre on the Royal Showground at Stoneleigh,
Warwickshire. The ARC is providing briefings, information and support
as needed.


The Arthur Rank Centre is the Churches’ rural resources unit and is a
partnership between the Royal Agricultural Society of England, the
national Churches and the Rank Foundation. It is 35 years old this
year and is an ecumenical centre for the UK Churches focusing on rural
communities, agriculture and rural

The Farming Help Partnership brings together the three national
charities working in the farming community, ARC-Addington Fund, Farm
Crisis Network and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution. Each
partner charity provides different but complementary forms of help and
support to meet a wide range of needs.
Helpline 07002 326326

The ARC-Addington Fund was set up by the Arthur Rank Centre in 2001
during the foot and mouth epidemic, and distributed £10.3 million
to farmers in 15 months. The Fund continues its work by providing
strategic housing support for those who loose their homes when their
rural business ends and this will continue beyond the current extreme

Farm Crisis Network provides pastoral and practical support to farming
people during periods of anxiety, stress and problems relating to both
the farm household and the farm business. It was set up by the Arthur
Rank Centre and the Agricultural Christian Fellowship in

Rural Stress Helpline (tel 024 7641 2916) is an Arthur Rank Centre
project offering a confidential listening service to those suffering
stress or distress in rural areas.

Item from: The Church of England

fm?years07&months=9&article=1023&pos=# 1023

(1022) 20-September-2007 – Washington’s Cathedral College to host
Spanish preaching course – USA

The Cathedral College of Washington National Cathedral will host a
Spanish preaching conference, spoken entirely in Spanish, October

`Biblical Preaching: A Hispanic Approach’ (for Spanish-speaking
preachers) will be a comprehensive introduction to the art of biblical
preaching offering a definition of biblical preaching and a method of
biblical interpretation for preaching. Participants will explore how
to preach some of the most common biblical forms, such as Hebrew
narrative, Psalms and Proverbs, prophetic oracles, miracles, parables,
epistles, and apocalyptic texts.

The conference will be led by the Revd Pablo A. Jiménez, an
ordained minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) with
more than 25 years of ministerial experience. Jiménez directs
, a bilingual website dedicated to Hispanic
homiletics. He also serves as editor of Chalice Press, a line of
academic and pastoral books, and co-wrote Púlpito: An Introduction
to Hispanic Preaching (2005) with Justo L. González.

The conference cost $750. To register visit

A full list of preaching conferences and programs offered by the
Cathedral College of Washington National Cathedral is available here.

Item from: Episcopal News Service

fm?years07&months=9&article=1022&pos=# 1022

(1021) 19-September-2007 – Archbishop of Canterbury to visit Armenia,
Syria and Lebanon – Lambeth

Following on from his visit to the United States the Archbishop of
Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams will visit Armenia, Syria and Lebanon,
from 22nd – 29th September.

The Archbishop’s visit to Armenia is a result of an outstanding
invitation from the Catholicos, His Holiness Karekin II, who heads the
Armenian Apostolic Church. The Archbishop, who has a long-standing
interest in the spirituality and history of the Eastern Churches,
hosted the Catholicos at Lambeth Palace and Canterbury in 2004.

This visit is part of the Archbishop’s programme of ecumenical
encounter and dialogue with sister churches worldwide, learning more
about their life and witness. The visit will focus on shared worship
and liturgy, and visits to a range of significant religious and
national sites, to a prison for women and children to meet inmates and
chaplains, as well as discussions with the Armenian government. During
the visit the Archbishop will lay a wreath and plant a tree at the
Genocide Memorial.

The Archbishop will co-host, with British Ambassador Anthony Cantor,
the Queen’s Birthday Party at the Armenian Church’s Mother See of Holy

The Archbishop’s visit to Syria and Lebanon will be shorter and forms
part of his continuing personal engagement with Christian churches in
the Middle East, and with leaders of other faiths in the region. The
visit takes place at the invitation of the Anglican Bishop of
Jerusalem, Suhail Dawani, whose diocese covers these countries, and is
being arranged in collaboration with the Middle East Council of

In Syria, as well as meetings with Christian leaders and the local
Anglican community, the Archbishop will meet with the Grand Mufti of
Syria and the country’s President, Dr Bashar Al Asad. The programme
for his visit to Lebanon will be released nearer the time.

Item from: Lambeth Palace

fm?years07&months=9&article=1021&pos=# 1021

373737 (1020) 11-September-2007 – Archbishop of Canterbury launches
new research degrees – Lambeth

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has announced a new
higher degree programme as an expansion of the Archbishop’s
Examination in Theology. Applications for PhD and MPhil degrees in
Theology will be accepted from early 2008 with the first awards of the
new MPhil degrees anticipated in 2012 and Doctorates shortly
afterwards. Candidates will be examined to university standards in
order to qualify.

The new programme, intended to run at a reasonable cost to the
candidates, is an extension of a scheme begun over a century ago by
Archbishop Randall Davidson, who established the Lambeth Diploma to
allow women access to a theological qualification. The scheme was
opened to men in the 1940s and Archbishop Runcie established an MA by
thesis in 1990.

The scheme will be open to suitably qualified candidates and has been
developed with Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) requirements and general
university standards in mind, and in a form which provides easy access
for students.

Dr Williams said that improving access to higher degree education was
a crucial step for the development of the Church’s theological

`We have never had a greater need or a greater chance to extend the
opportunity of higher degree theological education to those who might
benefit from it. I’m confident that this scheme can go some way to
overcome the barriers of cost, competition and access which stop good
candidates being able to pursue this kind of detailed study. The
Church as a whole has always needed and encouraged the study of
theology at its deepest level and this scheme seeks to extend that
possibility to those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to take advantage
of it.’

There will be no changes to the Lambeth Diploma programme.


Notes for editors:

The Archbishop of Canterbury was granted the right to award degrees in
1533, a privilege which has been exercised sparingly over the years,
with Lambeth doctorates and Masters degrees being awarded to highly
deserving candidates.

Archbishop Randall Davidson used this legal framework to establish the
Lambeth Diploma examination in 1905 as a means of allowing women
access to a theological qualification and this to ministry. A further
extension opened the examination to men, and in 1990 Archbishop Robert
Runcie established the MA (Master of Arts) degree by thesis. The
management of this educational provision has been the responsibility
of the Committee of the Archbishop’s Examination in Theology, its
members being appointed by the Archbishop.

The Lambeth MPhil/PhD Awards Scheme is open to suitably qualified
laity and clergy. Applications can be made through this office.

Application packs can be obtained from the Administration Office
email: [email protected]

fm?years07&months=9&article=1020&pos=# 1020

(1019) 11-September-2007 – Madeleine L’Engle, writer and Episcopalian,
dies at 88 – USA

Madeleine L’Engle, a lay Episcopalian who wrote more than 60 books
ranging from children’s stories to theological reflection, died
September 6 in Litchfield, Connecticut. She was 88.

Her death, of natural causes in a nursing home, was announced
September 7 by her publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, according to
the Associated Press.

L’Engle was best known for her children’s classic, `A Wrinkle in
Time,’ which won the John Newbery Award as the best children’s book of
1963. By 2004, it had sold more than 6 million copies, was in its 67th
printing and was still selling 15,000 copies a year, the New York
Times reported.

She had been the writer-in-residence and librarian at the Episcopal
Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.

In November 2000, she told an interviewer for Religion and Ethics
Newsweekly that suffering and grief are a part of life.

`In times when we are not particularly suffering, we do not have
enough time for God," she said. "We are too busy with other
things. And then the intense suffering comes, and we can not be busy
with other things. And then God comes into the equation. Help. And we
should never be afraid of crying out, `Help!’ I need all the help I
can get.’

L’Engle wrote a number of books for adults, many of them reflecting on
her faith. Those titles included `Bright Evening Star: Mystery of the
Incarnation’ and `Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art.’ She
also wrote a series known as the Crosswicks Journal, based on the
liturgical year and reflecting on the seasons of her own life. Titles
included `A Circle of Quiet,’ `The Summer of the Great-Grandmother,’
`The Irrational Season,’ and `Two-Part Invention: The Story of a

Article from: Episcopal News Service

fm?years07&months=9&article=1019&pos=# 1019

(1018) 11-September-2007 – Church of Ireland Gazette Editor speaks on
Religious and media freedom in today’s World – Ireland

Preaching on the Church of Ireland’s `Hard Gospel Sunday’ (9th
September) in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, the editor of The Church
of Ireland Gazette, Canon Ian Ellis, will say that there must be a
renewed determination in the international community to protect
religious freedom around the world.

Ahead of next year’s Olympic Games in Beijing, he will refer in
particular to reports of lack of religious and media freedom in China,
while at the same time acknowledging the recent renewing of certain
Church links with the Church in China.

Canon Ellis will also refer to the March 2007 report of the UN’s
Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Asma Jahangir,
which includes 65 communications between the Special Rapporteur and no
fewer than 35 states, over information received by her. Canon Ellis
will point out that in 28 of the 65 items, Dr Jahangir expresses
concern at lack of replies from governments.

Full Text of Sermon follows:

Today has been designated as `Hard Gospel Sunday’ in the Church of
Ireland. The Hard Gospel Project – a three-year programme running
throughout the Church – aims at helping us all to overcome sectarian
attitudes and to accept `difference’. It is a tall order, but the
success of the Project will lie in Church members allowing themselves
to be challenged by the vision that is set forth – a vision of
reconciliation and acceptance of others in their diversity.

The Hard Gospel Project is indeed a `Gospel’ project, because
reconciliation lies at the heart of the Gospel. St Paul tells us that
`God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ’ (2
Cor. 5:19). And the ministry we have been given, St Paul says, is the
ministry of reconciliation.

To perform this ministry, of course, we must be free to do so. Sadly,
we live in a world where such freedom is not everywhere to be found
and often, where it does exist, it is not properly valued.

In just under a year, from 8th – 24th August 2008, the Olympic Games
will be held in Beijing. Yet, recently, a theological consultant to
the Christian Conference of Asia – the Revd Kwok Nai-Wang – went on
record as saying that even though China had tried to give the
impression it would improve its human rights record, when it was
applying to host the 2008 Olympic Games, there has been no substantial
evidence to show that its human rights situation has improved. He
added that religious freedom in China exists only when the faithful do
not challenge the political status quo. That is certainly not real
religious freedom. However, it is good to note the recent renewing of
certain Church of Ireland links with the Church in China, including
student exchanges.

Then again, the international human rights group, Olympic Watch, has
gone so far as to say that media freedom is `nowhere in sight’ in
China. Independent monitors, such as Reporters Without Borders and the
Committee to Protect Journalists, the organisation says, register at
least 30 Chinese journalists and 50 Internet activists in
jail. Olympic Watch states: `Chinese domestic media face a policy of
systematic censorship and the reporting of international media into
China is blocked.’ Indeed, major Internet companies have voluntarily,
and controversially, restricted their services within China in order
to gain access to the vast Chinese market.

The March 2007 report of the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Freedom of
Religion or Belief, Asma Jahangir, includes 65 communications between
the Special Rapporteur and no fewer than 35 states, over information
received by her. In 28 of the 65 items, she expresses concern at lack
of replies from governments. The March report was an addendum to an
earlier one, in December 2006, in which Dr Jahangir emphasized the
`urgent need to eliminate the root causes of intolerance and
discrimination’ – a goal that is a fundamental part of the raison
d’etre of the Hard Gospel initiative.

Religion is a vital part of human experience. It always has been and
it always will be. So, there must be a renewed determination in the
international community to protect religious freedom around the world.

Religion is, if you like, the formal expression of the spiritual
experience. While it has often made mistakes because of the human
aspect of that formalizing process, religion should be judged first of
all by its inspiration. Equally, religions must always strive to be
faithful to their inspiration. For Christianity, that inspiration is
the person of Jesus Christ.

It is when we look to our inspiration, Christ, that we find at the
heart of his ministry the Cross itself. That way was the way of true
peace and real healing: this is the message with which we are
entrusted and, indeed, the message with which the Hard Gospel Project
is concerned; this is the message of God’s reconciliation.

May our world become a place in which there is greater freedom for us
to proclaim that message, and greater freedom for the Church to fulfil
its ministry.

Article from: The Church of Ireland

fm?years07&months=9&article=1018&pos=# 1018

3636 (1017) 06-September-2007 – Service, collaboration central in
reorganization set for Church Center – USA

Presiding Bishop, colleagues outline recommendations; plan includes
satellite offices

Raising levels of service to dioceses, congregations, and individuals
– `equipping people to use their gifts’ – is at the heart of
recommendations to reorganize work based at the Episcopal Church
Center, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said in a September
5 presentation to staff.

The goal `is to use the gifts and skills of the staff for the good of
the whole Church,’ she noted, inviting participants in the staff-wide
assembly to contemplate in new ways what it means to take on the `role
of servant leaders’ for the Episcopal Church, formed of 110 dioceses
configured in some 16 nations and territories.

`This is about being the body of Christ,’ Presiding Bishop Jefferts
Schori added, underscoring that healthy bodies are capable of
demonstrating flexibility, adaptability, and `building new
connections.’ Every member of Christ’s body is valued and essential,
she said.

The Presiding Bishop said the reorganization would facilitate
`excellence in management,’ encourage `churchwide thinking in all
mission programs,’ and be `responsive and supportive of those who lead
ministries.’ She emphasized that the reorganization `is not about
budget cutting’ but about establishing the best possible deployment of
personnel; `it is about effectiveness and servant leadership.’

The recommendations for reorganization – shaped with input from
bishops, General Convention deputies, Executive Council members, and
staff through five months’ work by two task forces – are now ready for
next steps of implementation, Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori said.

Task force members joined the Presiding Bishop in briefing the staff
on the reorganization, which recommends the creation of four new
`Centers for Mission’: Advocacy Center, Evangelism and Congregational
Life Center, Mission Leadership Center, and Partnerships Center
including a Diocesan Services unit. (See further details on each
Center outlined below.)

Position descriptions for the directors of each of the four centers
will be posted on the Episcopal Church web site, with October 3 set as
the closing date for applications. Another round of new positions is
set for posting on September 21.

Other highlights include steps to create "an inspired workforce," and
satellite offices launched in several cities to operate in
collaboration with the Church Center, located at 815 Second Avenue in
New York City.

Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori said the reorganization would also
clarify that the direction of the work of both the Church Center and
its wider corporate organization – the Domestic and Foreign Missionary
Society (DFMS) – is drawn specifically from resolutions of the General
Convention, the Episcopal Church’s bicameral legislative structure.

She said the reorganization will `increase the depth of communication
with Executive Council; committees, commissions, agencies and boards
of General Convention; and other stakeholders.’

The president of the House of Deputies, Bonnie Anderson, attended the
Presiding Bishop’s presentation to staff, together with two members of
Executive Council, priests Gay Jennings of Ohio and Petero Sabune of
New York, and former council member Diane Pollard of New York, who
served on the reorganization’s task force.

Anderson said the plan `outlines a responsive and creative design for
delivering mission and ministry support services across the church.’

New ‘Centers for Mission’

The scope of the four new work centers was introduced to the staff by
the Rev. Canon Robert Nelson, a former U.S. Energy Department
executive who is now canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of
Nevada. He chaired the reorganization’s `Working Group on
Organizational Effectiveness.’

The reorganization "calls for a greater emphasis on supporting the
ministries of dioceses and congregations," said Nelson, who has
collaborated closely with Jefferts Schori during both the beginning of
her nine-year term as Presiding Bishop, and her earlier 2001-2006
tenure as bishop of the Diocese of Nevada.

Without proceeding to the level of detail of individual positions,
Nelson cited ways in which the new Mission Centers coordinate with
other `infrastructure’ offices such as those of the General
Convention, finance, communication, and introduces new units for
administration and mission funding. The full reorganized structure, he
said, aligns under the leadership of the Presiding Bishop’s Office.

Nelson said the reorganization `clarifies decision-making authority,
incorporates a mentoring and training mindset, it improves functional
alignments, reinforces common strengths; brings about matrix-like
interactions,’ and `focuses on results, with review and approval.’

He said the Workplace Effectiveness Group has `recommended an
organization that will be more responsive to the Church and its
governing structures’ and that `will communicate better internally and
externally, will utilize and develop the strengths and gifts of the
Church Center staff’ and encourage collaboration and cohesiveness
rather than isolation.

Most of the Episcopal Church Center staff members, Nelson said, `will
find that their work continues, albeit in a different structure. In
some cases, staff will be moved to other organizational elements and
work will be of a different nature requiring some realignment of
people and resources.’

Nelson said the reorganization is rooted in a Mission Statement
adopted for the Church Center `to further God’s mission, interpreted
by the General Convention’ … joining `with our dioceses,
congregations and organizations in the vision of a vital and hopeful

(The Mission Statement is available here. A detailed organizational
chart is available here.)

Core values

Recommendations of the second task force, `the Working Group for an
Inspired, Trained and Innovative Workforce’ – a group of co-workers
who have identified ways to encourage professional excellence – were
presented by Bernice Lucas, a communication deputy at the Church
Center who is also general manager of Episcopal Books and Resources.

Lucas, a Church Center employee for some 18 years, said the
recommendations underscore areas including encouraging professional
and personal growth and development; employee incentives, awards and
rewards; and corporate growth and development, all grounded in stated
core values.

The core values begin with the Prayer Book’s call to `respect the
dignity of every human being’ and include `commitment to excellence as
a team,’ striving `to be inventive, innovative, inspired and
flexible,’ Lucas said.

`These core values serve as a framework to create and recreate at the
DFMS God’s vision of ‘shalom’ – of homecoming and reconciliation – for
all persons in this place,’ she said.

`We brainstormed ideas for awards, rewards and professional
development,’ she said. `An important part of our work included
thinking about how to determine what kinds of performance should be
rewarded and how to measure that.’

Lucas outlined recommendations for an `enhanced performance management
system,’ including retooling of longstanding procedures for each staff
member’s formal performance appraisals.

She pointed to the importance of recruiting and developing `managers
with superior supervisory skills and performance management skills,’
enumerating related attributes including `clear roles, manageable
expectations, and appropriate boundaries,’ as well as creating `work
challenges that provide opportunity for meaningful results and
satisfaction, reinforced by recognition.

Lucas listed among priorities for corporate growth and development the
introduction of a staff `ombudsperson’ to address concerns, as well as
creating a formal internship and volunteer program. She underscored
the importance of flexible scheduling.

Lucas called the recommendations "seeds, that when firmly
planted…and harvested will speak only excellence."

Satellite offices, steps for implementation

The morning’s fourth presenter was Linda Watt, the Episcopal Church’s
chief operating officer and a vice president of the DFMS called to
serve in 2006 following her tenure as U.S. Ambassador to Panama.

Watt outlined the concept of satellite offices `extending beyond the
several places in which DFMS employees currently work’ including the
Church Center and also the Office of Government Relations in
Washington D.C.; the Episcopal Migration Ministries Office in Miami;
the Episcopal Church Archives in Austin, Texas; and the Episcopal Life
advertising and circulation office in Ambler, Pennsylvania.

Watt said satellite offices – with staffs of about three persons each
– are planned for Los Angeles and Atlanta, with conversations
continuing with regard to a Midwest location, and to explore
opportunities in Seattle. The plan leaves room for consideration
designation of other sites in the future.

The Los Angeles office will be strategic for media work, ethnic
ministries and preparations for the 2009 General Convention meeting in
nearby Anaheim, Watt said, noting that the Atlanta office is
envisioned to specialize in evangelism and growth, as well as seminary
partnerships. Congregational life, ecumenical partners, and
philanthropy are focus areas for the Midwest location, while a Seattle
site would afford connections with local environmental advocacy work
and Pacific Rim relationships.

The satellite offices are to be `co-located’ with diocesan or parish
facilities, she said. The Los Angeles office, for example, is planned
for the Cathedral Center of St. Paul, located in the Echo Park
district with an on-site, 14-room retreat center to support overnight
conferences. Location for the Atlanta site is yet to be confirmed.

Satellite office staff members are meant to be `out and about in the
region,’ serving as `church diplomats,’ Watt said.

Addressing plans for the overall reorganization, Watt said the coming
months of November through February are designated for implementation
following the September 21 posting of other positions yet to be
announced, and November selection of Mission Center directors.

Of importance within the transition timetable are also the fall
meetings of the House of Bishops and Executive Council, Watt said.

In late September through October, consultations are planned for
individuals and small groups to discuss opportunities and options
available to current staff members.

Positions within each new Mission Center include those of director,
senior program officers, associate program officers, program trainees,
and technical support specialists, Watt said, outlining a one-year
process by which program trainees are to be fully trained and prepared
for wider work in their respective areas.

Watt said the offices of the treasurer and controller are coordinating
work to facilitate the reorganization within existing budgets approved
by the General Convention, and to implement a `detailed budget
crosswalk’ so the new systems will be in place with the January 2008
opening of the next fiscal year.

She said it will be necessary to operate with a `parallel system’
approach in some areas until the reorganization is fully implemented.

A Transition Steering Committee has also been named, Watt said, to
offer advice and recommendations on issues including satellite office
options, the employee transition process, communication outreach, and
budgetary changes — and to serve as `a repository for feedback.’

Steering Committee members include Gregory Straub, Bernice Lucas, John
Colon, James Lemler, Neva Rae Fox, and Alpha Conteh, working together
with Watt.

Mission Center activities, priorities

The reorganization reflects what the Presiding Bishop has described as
`a hunger’ across dioceses and congregations `to get about mission
serving the gospel.’

Theologian Frederick Buechner `has defined ministry as where one’s own
deep joy meets the deep hunger of the world,’ Presiding Bishop
Jefferts Schori said.

`This reorganization is not about control from the top,’ she
said. `It’s about encouraging and allowing the creative spirit of God
to speak through all of God’s people. The role of servant leaders –
and we are all servant leaders – is to facilitate and equip and
encourage the expression of God’s creative spirit and to do that in a
body that has the ability to adapt to changing needs, those deep
hungers of the world. The role that we all share is to let the deep
joy all around us be expressed in meeting that deep hunger. That’s
why we’re here and frankly that’s the only reason why we’re here.’

As a Church Center staff working under the reorganization, we "are
here to fulfill God’s mission, and to do it in a more relational way,"
she added.

`Theologically,’ the reorganization `is about the body of Christ as an
organic and living organism,’ Jefferts Schori said in her remarks to
the staff. `Living things are flexible, they adapt, and they’re
capable of building new connections, and that’s overwhelmingly what
this new organization is talking about.

`All the parts of the body in the body of Christ are essential and
none is more important than another. Each has its own gifts and
that’s why this is about mission and ministry. God’s mission is a
dream of a healed world and in order to carry that out we all engage
in ministry.’

The new work Centers support the Mission Priorities set by the General
Convention in 2006 with top emphasis given to justice and peace work
framed by the Millennium Development Goals, eight initiatives that
have at their core the reduction of global poverty.

International and cross-cultural ministries continue as central in
this work, aided by the proximity of the Church Center – recently
renovated for the first time since its construction in 1962 – to the
United Nations’ headquarters, located two blocks away along the East

Domestic mission is also a strong priority under the recommendations
for reorganization, the Presiding Bishop has emphasized.

The new Mission Centers, as Nelson outlined, include the following
activities, reporting to a `Mission Coordinator’:

Advocacy Center Social and Economic Justice Ethnic Ministry and
Anti-Racism (advocacy component) Migration (advocacy component)
International Affairs

Evangelism and Congregational Life Center Christian Formation (all
ages) Congregational Research Congregational Vitality Ethnic
Congregations Evangelism and Church Planting Refugee Resettlement
Stewardship Worship and Spirituality

Mission Leadership Center Ordained Ministry (including Transition) Lay
Ministry (including Ministry in Daily Life) Young Adults (including
Campus Ministry and PLSE) Missionary Personnel Chaplaincies (including
Prison Ministries) Theological Education

Partnerships Center Affiliated Organizations Anglican Communion
Diocesan Services Ecumenical & Interfaith Grants and Covenants United
Thank Offering

Concurrently, the General Convention Office will: Coordinate
Committees, Commissions, Agencies and Boards Plan and execute General
Convention and Executive Council Publish General Convention and
Executive Council documents Provide support for the President of the
House of Deputies

A new Administration unit, meanwhile, will coordinate: Archives
Facilities Management Human Resources Legal Technology Translation
Services Travel and Meeting Arrangements

The Communication Office is reorganized into two units: Episcopal Life
Media Public Affairs

The Finance Office will continue to include two units: Controller’s
Office Treasurer’s Office

Another new addition is the creation of a Mission Funding portfolio
including a Development Office.

Responses to the reorganization recommendations will continue into the
coming weeks.

Anderson, as House of Deputies president, said the Executive Council –
`which has oversight regarding budget implications that may be a
result of shaping the Episcopal Church Center staff’ – will consider
those implications in October at the regularly scheduled Council

Anderson also pointed to the importance of supporting the staff
through the transition period. `Understandably, there is anxiety
among the staff regarding implementation of the plan,’ she said.

The Presiding Bishop also acknowledged that she is `aware of the
anxiety’ created by the reorganization plan, but encouraged staff
members to `stay open’ to the opportunities created by change. She
also added her `abundant thanks’ for each Church Center staff member
and `all that each of you contribute.’

Following the presentation, praise for the reorganization plan was
voiced by several staff members, including Bowie Snodgrass, web
content editor.

`As an Episcopalian and an employee of the Church Center, I think this
re-org is needed and seems to be moving us in a direction to better
resource the Church,’ she said. `The process and people involved gave
me hope all along for the plan revealed today.’

Article from: Episcopal News Service – by Bob Williams, Communication
Specialists Neva Rae Fox and Lisa Webb contributed to this report.

fm?years07&months=9&article=1017&pos=# 1017

(1016) 04-September-2007 – Archbishop Gomez’s Homily from the Nairobi
Consecrations – Kenya

`Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these? Feed my lambs
…; tend my sheep …;feed my sheep …; follow me.’ (John 21:15, 16,
17 and 19).

In the Gospel according to John, Jesus addressed Peter as ‘Simon, Son
of John’ on two occasions. In chapter one, Andrew, Simon’s brother,
introduced Peter to Jesus. On this occasion, Jesus draws attention to
Simon Peter’s natural human condition and his future role in the
divine dispensation. Andrew brought Peter to Jesus. Jesus looked at
him and said, "So you are Simon, the Son of John? You shall be called
Cephas (which means Peter). (John 1 :42). Simon, the son of John, is
to become, by the grace of God, Peter the rock upon whom Jesus will
build the church. Simon, Son of John, does not become Peter the rock
by a process of natural development, not by a process of developing
his natural potential but by a process of transformation by the power
of God.

In a sense this process of transformation which began in chapter one
is not completed until chapter twenty-one where we find the second
occasion when Jesus addressed him as Simon, Son of John – Jesus said,
"Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?’

Among all the disciples, Peter was the one who had protested his
devotion to Jesus most vehemently, promising to follow him even to
death. `Peter said to him, Lord why can I not follow you now? I will
lay down my life for you.’ (John 13:37)

All the Gospels record the terrible fact that Peter, the leaders of
the Apostolic band, denied his master at the moment of crisis. The
evangelist John, in line with the consistent teaching of his Gospel,
is at pains to show that this did not arise from any moral weakness in
Peter but was one manifestation of the necessary fact that the meaning
of Jesus’ death can in no circumstances be grasped by unaided human
nature (flesh and blood), but can only be grasped by the new
dispensation of the spirit which is inaugurated by the passion and
resurrection of Jesus.

Peter had been among the first to be called by Jesus to follow
him. And he had followed faithfully in his way. Peter is ready to lay
down his life for Jesus, just as Jesus had said that the good shepherd
lays down his life for the sheep. And Peter’s word was proved true
when in the darkness of the Garden of Gethsemane Peter drew his sword
and proposed to fight single handedly against a whole company of
soldiers. But that act of the impetuous – Peter brought only a sharp
rebuke from Jesus. `Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to
drink the cup that the Father has given me?’ (John 18:11). Peter is
eager to follow, but he cannot because `the way’ has not yet been
opened. No one can follow until Jesus has done what he alone can
do. Only he can `offer for all time a single sacrifice for sin.’
(Hebrews 10:12). Jesus does this as an act of loving obedience to his
Father – `Not my will but your will be done.’ When Jesus has
accomplished his saving work, a way will be opened along which Peter
can and will follow, along with all who take up the cross and follow
Jesus. Now he sees through a glass darkly and has to come to the
realization that his human and loyal determination to follow Jesus
leads him to act in his own strength without reliance on the will and
power of God.

So in chapter twenty-one, Peter, who had promised to follow even unto
death comes face to face with his friend and master whom he had three
times denied. On this occasion, he is addressed by his old name, the
name he had before Jesus met and called him to discipleship. Once
again, as on that night of his threefold apostasy, Jesus looked at him
across a charcoal fire and challenged him three times with the simple
yet painfully searching question, `Simon, Son of John, do you love me
more than these?’

Three times Peter answers with an affirmation of his love – but an
affirmation which rests its confidence not on the strength of his own
love but on the sureness of Jesus’ knowledge. "Lord you know
everything, you know that I love you. And three times Jesus solemnly
gives to the grieved and humbled disciple the commission to be the
shepherd, guiding, guarding and nourishing the flock which belongs to
Jesus. `Feed my lambs;’ `Tend my sheep;’ `Feed my sheep’ are three
commands included in the overriding command of Jesus `follow me.’

In the light of the Resurrection, Peter has learned what following
Jesus really means. In the past, he had tried to follow according to
his own desires and in his own strength. Now he will learn that
following Jesus means going the way of the cross. "When you were
younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you
wished But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and
someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do
not wish to go." (John 21 :18-19). After this he said to him `follow

This following along the way of the cross will glorify God, for just
as Jesus manifested the glory of God in his death, so the same glory
will be manifested in the disciples whom he sends out into the
world. `The glory that you have given me I have given them.’

So Peter receives the good news that the threefold denial is wiped out
and forgiven in the threefold commissioning. `Feed my lambs;’ `Tend my
sheep;’ `Feed my sheep.’ An important element in the good news is the
fact that the flock which belongs to Jesus consists not of the
righteous but of sinners called to repentance. We need to remember
that the primacy which Peter holds among the apostles is the primacy
of a forgiven sinner. `You are Peter’ is said by Jesus to the one to
whom in the next breath Jesus will say `get behind me, Satan.’
(Matthew 16: 18, 23). It is to the fisherman overwhelmed by the
realization of his sinfulness that Jesus says `Do not be afraid,
henceforth you will be catching men.’ (Luke 5:8-10). It is to the
disciple who will fall away that Jesus says, `when you have turned
again, strengthen your brethren.’ (Luke 22:31).

Peter is to be both a fisher of men and shepherd as he answers the
call of Jesus to `follow me.’ Peter can only serve as fisher of men
and shepherd in so far as he is first a disciple – one who is
following Jesus along the way to the cross.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, as disciples of the same Christ who
continues to invite persons everywhere to follow him, we have
assembled to participate in the solemn liturgy for the consecration of
Bishops in the Church of God. It is only fitting on this occasion, to
reflect on the nature of Christian ministry with special emphasis on
Episcopal ministry.

As Anglicans, we identify with the growing ecumenical consensus on the
nature of ministry reflected in the document issued by the World
Council of Churches entitled `Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry’
(BEM). All ministries in the church, including the ordained ministry,
are gifts (charisms) of the Spirit for the building up of the body of
Christ. `For as in one body we have many members, and not all the
members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in
Christ, and individually we are members of one another. We have gifts
that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in
proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in
teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the
leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.’ (Romans
12:4-8) `Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and
there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are
varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of
them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for
the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of
wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the
same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of
healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to
another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another
various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of
tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who
allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.’ (1
Corinthians 12:4-11) `The Holy Spirit bestows on the community diverse
and complementary gifts.’ (BEM, Ministry, 5) This charismatic
understanding of ordained ministry is reflected in BEM’s
interpretation of the meaning of ordination: `Ordination denotes an
action by God and the community which through long tradition takes
place in the context of worship and especially of the eucharist
… The act of ordination by the laying on of hands of those appointed
to do so is at one and the same time invocation of the Holy Spirit
(epiklesis): sacramental sigh; acknowledgement of gifts and
commitment. Ordination is an invocation to God that the new minister
be given the power of the Holy Spirit in the new relation which is
established between this minister and the local Christian community
and, by intention, the Church universal.’ (BEM, Ministry, 40-42)

Ordained ministry is not only a gift of the Spirit. It is also a
representative ministry. While all baptized Christians represent
Christ and the church, the ordained ministry represents Christ and the
church in particular ways. In his book, `A Ministry Shaped by
Mission,’ Paul Avis explores the concept of representation as applied
to the ordained ministry. According to Avis, the ordained ministry
represents Christ to the community which is already united to Christ
in baptism. The ordained ministry acts as the representative and organ
of the whole body in the exercise of responsibilities which belong to
the body as a whole.

The understanding of ordained ministry as a gift of the Spirit and a
representative ministry together with the language of `sign’ and
`symbol’ used in ecumenical agreements in connection with the ordained
ministry challenge a purely functional understanding of ordained
ministry, including episcopal ministry. Because Christ’s ministry is
present to us only through the Spirit, ecclesial ministry is
necessarily charismatic. For the same reason, it is relational. The
nexus of relationships established by the Spirit creates a new way of
being, which transforms both the one ordained and those for whom he is
ordained, making it futile to debate whether ordained ministry in the
church is functional or ontological in nature. BEM points in this
direction when it speaks of ordination as establishing a `new
relation’ between the ordained minister and the local and universal
church. Ordained ministry is neither a status nor a set of functions,
but a charism of the Spirit which is to say that it is a sacramental

Already in the early paragraphs of the Ministry section of BEM, the
sacramental and not merely functional aspect of ministry, and indeed
of Episcopal office, is implied and assumed:

`The chief responsibility of the ordained ministry is to assemble and
build up the body of Christ by proclaiming and teaching the Word of
God, by celebrating the sacraments, and by guiding the life of the
community in its worship, its mission and its caring ministry. It is
especially in the eucharistic celebration that the ordained ministry
is the visible focus of the deep and all-embracing communion between
Christ and the members of his body. In the celebration of the
Eucharist, Christ gathers, teaches and nourishes the Church. It is
Christ who invites to the meal and who presides at it. In most
churches this presidency is signified and represented by an ordained
minister.’ (BEM, Ministry. 13-14) In the Anglican tradition it is
primarily the bishop as eucharistic president who is the sign of

In IASCER’s response to the Lutheran document The Episcopal Ministry
within the Apostolicity of the Church particular note was taken of the
patristic tradition concerning episcopal ministry:

`Historians commonly agree that there are three principal images or
models of the office of a bishop in the pre-Nicene church, which are
best exemplified in Ignatius of Antioch, Irenaeus, and Cyprian. For
Ignatius, the bishop is primarily the one who presides at the
eucharist. This is central for Ignatius because of his understanding
of the nature of the church. For Ignatius, then, the bishop is … the
one who presides at … the eucharistic liturgy.

Irenaeus, on the other hand, while echoing the eucharistic teaching of
Ignatius, places primary emphasis on the bishop’s role as teacher of
the faith. The context here is the conflict with Gnosticism. For
Irenaeus, the bishop is above all the one who preserves the continuity
of the apostolic teaching in unbroken succession from the apostles. It
is through the bishop’s faithful proclamation of the Gospel in each
local church that the unity of the church and the continuity of the
church in the apostolic tradition is preserved.

For Cyprian, the bishop serves as the bond of unity between the local
church and the universal church. Here the collegial aspect of the
bishop’s role comes to the fore. The Bishop is one member of a
worldwide `college’ of bishops who are together responsible for
maintaining the unity of the churches. Cyprian’s primary emphasis,
therefore, is upon the bishop as the bond of unity between the local
church and the church universal.

In each of theses models, therefore, the bishop is the sign of unity
between the local and the universal church, either through the
maintenance of eucharistic communion, continuity in apostolic
teaching, or common oversight of the churches.

My brothers, you are entering the Episcopal ministry within the
Anglican Communion at a time when the Communion is being severely
challenged in each of the three related areas of the patristic
tradition concerning Episcopal ministry. I refer to:

* The maintenance of eucharistic communion

* Continuity and apostolic teaching.

* Oversight of the churches.

The present impaired state of the Communion is due mainly to actions
taken by the Episcopal Church of the United States of America in
respect of human sexuality with special reference to the consecration
of a bishop living in an opened homosexual relationship. The actions
of the Episcopal Church have created a situation in which some
Anglicans in the United States and throughout most of the Provinces of
the Communion are convinced that the gospel of our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ is clear in its teaching and must take precedent over
culture. Holding fast to this belief, they cannot accommodate those
who believe the contrary. The issue is not primarily on of sexuality
but one which seeks to answer the question "which relationships
correspond to God’s ordering of life, and violate it?" It is a
division of opinion between those of us who firmly believe that
homosexual practice violates the order of life give by God in
scripture and those who seek by various mean to justify what scripture
does not hounour. We, in the Global South, whole heartedly support the
position outlined by Richard Hays in `The Moral Vision of the New

`Paul singles out homosexual intercourse for special attention because
he regards it as providing a particularly graphic image of the way in
which human fallenness distorts God’s created order. God the Creator
made man and woman for each other, to cleave together to be fruitful
and multiply. When human beings `exchange’ these created roles for
homosexual intercourse, they embody the spiritual condition of those
who have `exchanged the truth about God for a lie.’

We believe that faithfulness to the gospel of Jesus Christ prevents us
from compromising the truth so clearly revealed in holy scripture.

While the Anglican Communion struggles through the present impasse
you, as bishops of the church, will be required to give sound and
faithful leadership to the people of God committed to your care and
charge. In faithful obedience to Christ, you must endeavour to `build
up the body of Christ by proclaiming and teaching the word of God, by
celebrating the sacrament, and by guiding the life of the community in
its worship, mission and its caring ministry.’ You cannot fulfill this
ministry in your own strength. You must continue to meet the Lord in
prayer as you seek to discern his will for his flock. You must love
the flock of Christ as he loves us, and you must be a true shepherd
`guiding, guarding and nourishing the flock which belongs to Jesus.’
As you grow in apostolic ministry, always remember that you are
sharing tin the ministry of Jesus the Good Shepherd and never forget
that in all you say and do your aim must be to follow Jesus who is
indeed `the way, the truth and the life.’