Youth minister at St. Andrew's in Spring Hill gets kids involved
For Jody Bowes, a youth ministry involves more than activities for kids. She wants them to get excited about what they do — and about God.
"A lot of times, kids are only thinking whatever it is their friends are thinking," the youth minister for St. Andrew's Episcopal Church explained. "We want to get them interested in not only an activity, but the reason behind the activity. We want them to buy into something because it's important to them as a person and a way to grow creatively."
Bowes would like children to understand what it means to be a spiritual being as well as a human being.
"It's important for them to become closer in their relationship to God and to understand that things are bigger than just them or just a youth ministry," she said.
With that in mind, Bowes leads St. Andrew's youth, ages 8 to 18, in being active participants in numerous church events — some for themselves, and others as an outreach.
The group of about 30 kids gets together on Wednesday evenings. Creative activities include singing, playing instruments, skits and participation in an annual talent show. Spiritual activities include a monthly contemporary worship service, visiting other church youth groups, Bible trivia games and discussions.
It's been a mixed week financially for the Church of England. It proudly announced that public donations for the archbishops' Zimbabwe appeal had reached £292,330. However, it also admitted to losing some 4,500 times as much – £1.3 billion – through investments in shares and property. That's a fifth of its investment wealth.
But the church still has assets of £4.4bn, and to put that in context, Christian Aid Week aims to raise just £15m annually for the world's poor.
The C of E seems to see its investments primarily as a fundraising vehicle. The Church Commissioners previously officially aimed at 5% profit over and above the rate of inflation. According to their latest annual report (pdf) that seems to have changed – probably due to the threat of deflation and heavy losses. Now the goal is now just to make as much money as possible.
The commissioners do not see their investments as integral to the church's mission, but as additional – a dualism which suggests both bad theology and seeking to justify investment decisions by ends rather than means.
It is true that the church doesn't invest in companies that promote pornography or supply armaments, or where over 25% of group turnover relates to gambling, tobacco, alcohol, military equipment, doorstep lending or human embryonic cloning. But this looks a bit like New Labour's "ethical foreign policy". Proudly worn on its sleeve, but somewhat lacking in substance and subservient to self-interest.
Canadian delegates to the 14th Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) echoed sentiments of hope and optimism expressed by other attendees, although tempered by the fact that despite a good meeting, issues related to human sexuality remain on the table for the Anglican Communion.
“I came to this meeting quite burdened, quite worried. I have come home with evidence, not just hope, that the Communion will last and that we will be a part of it,” said Suzanne Lawson, lay delegate of the Anglican Church of Canada. In a report on her discernment group, she quoted one of the delegates as saying “'I’m not taking back a bunch of ACC resolutions, I’m taking you back, and you, and you.'" She added:" It may sound soft, but it’s hard fought and hard won.”
The diocesan bishop of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, Sue Moxley, bishop delegate of the Anglican Church of Canada, said she came to the meeting “hopeful” because she saw how the 2008 Lambeth Conference of bishops “turned around” under the leadership of Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and the meeting managers. “I thought the same thing would happen. My expectations were met; this was light years better than the horrible experience we had at Nottingham,” she said. At that ACC meeting in 2005, the Canadian and American delegates sat on the sidelines after their churches were censured for liberal views on human sexuality.
Members of two of the largest Protestant denominations in the United States are gearing up for national conventions this summer, when the topic of homosexuality once again promises to heat things up.
The 4.7-million member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will hold its biennial Churchwide Assembly Aug. 17-23 in Minneapolis, while the Episcopal Church will meet for its triennial General Convention July 8-17 in Anaheim, Calif.
Leaders of the Episcopal Church, which has 2 million members nationwide, held a live online "webcast" this week to discuss the upcoming Anaheim convention. Participating were Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the leader of the Episcopal Church; Bonnie Anderson, president of the House of Deputies; the Rev. Gregory Straub, General Convention executive, and the convention's host bishop, Bishop J. Jon Bruno of Los Angeles. It was the Episcopal Church that propelled the issue of gay clergy into the national headlines when it elected an openly gay priest, the Rev. V. Gene Robinson, as bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.
Nearly six years later, the issue continues to tear at the seams of the denomination. Archbishop Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury and head of the global Anglican Communion, this week compared the divisions within the church to the deep-seated and longstanding tensions in the Middle East.
"The other day we were giving quite intense attention to the situation in the Holy Land, and in that discussion I thought there are echoes of language we hear nearer home," Archbishop Williams said. "Emergencies mean all the rules and standards are suspended. We can't discuss while there are tanks on the lawn. We can't discuss when there are facts on the ground."
ANGLICANS in the Diocese of New Westminster are scheduled to go to court May 23 in a case that could determine the shape of Canadian Anglicanism.
At stake is the ownership of four church buildings, but the case could set a precedent that would affect the ownership of other church buildings across Canada, Anglican and otherwise.
The two sides in the dispute are currently engaged in a mediation process that is due to conclude at the end of this week. If the mediation effort is unsuccessful, the court case will go ahead as scheduled May 23; it is expected to take two to three weeks, with a decision likely to come before the end of the year.
The court case was launched in September 2008 by leaders of St. John's Shaughnessy parish in Vancouver, who made a "statement of claim" for ownership of the parish building, which is valued at over $10 million. Leaders of three other parishes have also joined the court case: St. Matthew's in Abbotsford, BC; St. Matthias and St. Luke's in Vancouver; and Church of the Good Shepherd in Vancouver.
All four parishes have voted to leave the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) and are now affiliated with the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), along with 23 other Canadian parishes.
The Christ Episcopal Church Charitable Foundation presented four year Florida pre-paid college scholarships to Haley Brown, Christopher Dell, and Alex Sopchak of Nease high School and two grants to Kelley Davis and Sydney Ilano of Fletcher High School. Brown plans to attend Nova Southeastern University, Dell plans to attend Stetson University, Sopchak and Davis plan to attend University of Florida and Ilano plans on attending Florida Gulf Coast University.
"We are excited and proud to assist these outstanding young people to pursue a college education and their dreams for the future. We congratulate them and wish them the best," said The Rev. Richard S. Westbury, Jr.
The Foundation has awarded a total of 36 scholarships since 1994. Scholarship recipients are selected based upon financial need, a strong spiritual background of any faith and the ability to succeed academically.
Devon is the daughter of Bonnie Anderson, President of the House of Deputies. I've worked with her at General Convention. She'll do a wonderful job.
The board of directors of Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation (EGR) on May 14 announced the Rev. Devon Anderson has been named executive director, replacing the Rev. Michael Kinman, as of May 15.
EGR is a grassroots organization that uses the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to organize Episcopalians to eradicate world poverty.
"It's about building leadership and leadership capacity in the church, and trying to set measurable goals and strategies organized around global policy," said Anderson in a telephone interview, adding that she is excited to work with EGR and its board in this mission.
"In my theology, promises made to the poor are particularly sacred. I think we've reached a defining moment in our church. We could decide as a church to move on to the next thing, or we could follow through on the promises we've made to the poor. I am confident the church will redouble its efforts."
Anderson said she feels her previous work--both in the church and in government--has prepared her for this position.
"Devon combines experience at the local and national church level with experience in Washington, D.C., and in community organizing. But most important is her passion for the MDGs and the mission of EGR," said John Hammock, board president, in a news release.
Anderson, 42, has a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Michigan and a master's in divinity from Harvard Divinity School. She was ordained a deacon in 1997 and a priest in 1998.
From Episcopal Life Online (I was there and in my opinion the video needs a car chase)
The role of young people, the fate of controversial resolutions and the effect of actions on the "people in the pews" were some of the topics discussed during an Internet broadcast, or webcast, May 13 with officers of General Convention, the Episcopal Church's triennial governing meeting. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson, General Convention executive the Rev. Gregory Straub, and Bishop J. Jon Bruno of the host diocese of Los Angeles were the presenters.
The webcast, which was moderated by Neva Rae Fox, program officer for public affairs for the Episcopal Church, originated from Anaheim, California, where the convention will meet from July 8 to 17.Jefferts Schori began the webcast by invoking the convention theme, "ubuntu," a Zulu Xhosa word that is often translated as "I am because we are.""General Convention is a remarkable opportunity for Episcopalians and those who will be peering over our shoulders to see this church in action, in its way of having deep and vigorous conversation in community," said Jefferts Schori. "We never all agree about anything except that it is good to be together."
She said she looks forward to welcoming church members and visitors of every language and culture as well as ecumenical observers and guests from the Anglican Communion. "It's an opportunity for the world to see how we make decisions, in all of our incarnate messiness."Anderson pointed out the importance of General Convention to the church. "All other positions and bodies in the Episcopal Church derive their authority from General Convention," she said. "This General Convention is providing us with a unique opportunity to explore our mission together." The convention, she said, "will have time set aside to explore the question of the church's mission through a process called public narrative." More here-
The U.K.-based Anglican Friends of Israel this week lambasted the Anglican Communion's latest resolution on the Middle East, saying it is one-sided and unfairly critical of Israel. The Anglican Communion - an international association of national Anglican churches representing 88 million members in over 160 countries - passed a resolution Saturday condemning Israel for creating "severe hardship" for Palestinians by enacting policies resembling a "physical form of apartheid."
"Once again, Anglican representatives have singled out Israel for criticism without placing her actions in context or directly addressing the Palestinian contribution to the conflict," Anglican Friends of Israel's co-chair Simon McIlwaine wrote in a statement published Tuesday. "Thus the Resolution calls on Israel to lay down all measures which protect her citizens from Arab terrorism while failing to demand that Palestinian leaders meet any of the obligations placed on them by UN resolutions, such as the requirement to dismantle their terrorist networks."
The non-profit group, which was founded in 2005 and aims to bring the Anglican Church "back to an understanding of [its] Jewish roots," said the Communion's "ghastly pronouncement threatens to completely sabotage Anglican-Jewish relations."
The Rt. Rev. Gregory H. Rickel, Bishop of Olympia, has suspended the Rev. Lawrence S. Perry from his position as rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Everett, Wash., having recently received two separate complaints of sexual misconduct against Perry. In both complaints, Perry crossed boundaries that are to be held between a priest and a layperson. In neither of these cases was a child or youth involved. Perry has voluntarily submitted to Rickel's care and discipline and has fully cooperated. Perry has admitted that the complaints are substantially true. Counseling has been offered to all those involved, including members of the congregation.
"Please trust that as your bishop I take this matter seriously," Rickel told the congregation. "The members of the parish, the people who have been harmed and the Perrys are all in my prayers and will continue to be in those prayers."
Although the details of Perry's discipline are still to be determined by Rickel and will in large part be between Rickel and Perry, the following terms were reported: Perry will not return to Trinity, Everett; he will be suspended from the priesthood and may not function as a priest in any way; he may not contact Trinity, Everett parishioners, be on the grounds of Trinity, Everett or wear priestly garb. If any of the terms of the suspension and discipline are not obeyed, it becomes a matter for further discipline.
"A significant amount of time and space for healing in the congregation is necessary," Rickel said, explaining that the process to call a new rector would not begin until sometime in the future. With the input of Trinity's vestry, or administrative committee, Rickel will appoint a priest-in-charge in the near future. Meanwhile, the Revs. Robert Dunn and Wayne Bond, already exercising ministry at Trinity, Everett, have agreed to cover the liturgical and pastoral needs of the congregation.
THE Anglican Covenant will not be sent out to the provinces of the Communion for adoption until there has been consultation on the controversial section 4, the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) voted by the narrowest of majorities at its meeting in Jamaica this week. Sec tion 4 deals with the enforcement of the terms of the Covenant.
The chairman of the Covenant Design Group, the Most Revd Drexel Gomez, the recently-retired Arch bishop of the West Indies, had urged delegates not to lose the opportunity to take decisive action on the Covenant in what was considered to be its final form, the Ridley Draft (News, 8 May). He had predicted breaks in the Communion if it did not vote to send it out. The outgoing deputy secretary general of the Communion, the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron, commented on Monday of the vote: “Many will feel that any delay in the adoption of the Covenant inflicts further damage on the Communion; others feel that to take matters deliberately and with consultation can only strengthen the process overall.
“I myself believe that the Ridley Covenant Draft is mature, and feel that delay will allow more radical groups to agitate for more precipitous change or realignment.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury urged Anglicans not to put off discussing the Covenant. He told the ACC: “The text is on the table. Begin the discernment, begin that intelligent engagement as soon as you can.”
The complicated debate taxed delegates to the full. It involved 18 amendments to the resolutions, and four personal interventions by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Ridley draft had been discussed before the meeting by the Joint Standing Committee (JSC) of the ACC. The JSC had asked Dr Williams and the secretary general to develop a text for a resolution reflecting their discussions, which could be offered to discernment groups once the ACC was under way.
St. Matthew’s Church, Fairbanks, is serving as a staging area for Alaskan villagers evacuated to escape some of the state’s worst flooding in decades.
No deaths or injuries have been reported from the flooding, caused by an unusually warm spring thaw the week before, but the village of Eagle was destroyed May 12. Some villages remain under water, while others are littered with house-size boulders of ice that remained after the river receded. The floodwaters also have become contaminated with toxic chemicals, oil and gasoline that were stored in tanks that ruptured.
So far about 50 evacuees have arrived at the Fairbanks church from Tanana, a village of about 250 located along the Yukon River.
“They’re just coming in now from the village and I’m told there are three more planes coming in from Tanana,” said Hilary Freeman, St. Matthew’s parish administrator. “They brought elders, young mothers, and babies, little ones.”
Telephone lines were down, according to the Rev. David Blanchett, the Diocese of Alaska’s representative to Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, a coalition of nonprofit organizations that respond to disasters as part of their overall mission.
“We are waiting for the assessment team to come back so we can get an idea of what’s really happening and what is needed,” Fr. Blanchett said. “Right now we are in the relief stage. We are trying to have an Episcopal presence in the flood areas so that they know we care and also so that we can assess what is needed so we can try to help them in the recovery stage of it.”
Fairbanks is surrounded by a number of smaller communities where unemployment is as high as 90 percent. Many residents subsist on hunting, fishing and gathering. Only nine of nearly 50 such villages are accessible by road year-round; the others can only be reached by air or river from June through mid-September.
The Diocese of Minna (Anglican Communion) Niger State has described the Federal Government's 7-Point Agenda as a failure, pointing out that instead of enriching Nigerians, it has continued to impoverish them.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the 7th Synod of the Diocese in the state capital, the church urged the government to be more practical in its approach to solving the economic hardship in the country rather than being a paper work.
The Synod also berated the interest rate charged by banks in the country, pointing out that rather than help the economy to grow it has in no small way led to the closure of the few existing industries in the country, thereby throwing Nigerians into unemployment.
The Synod which had as its theme: Christian Response to Hard Times: A Case Study of Joseph, wondered why the economy of Nigeria and its people are worst hit by the economic meltdown, whereas other continents still have their economy well managed and their citizens not hard-hit.
The Synod, which was presided over by Bishop of Minna Diocese, Rt Rev Abubakar Yisa, decried a situation where a country like Nigeria, blessed with abundant natural and human resources, has nothing positive to show for the blessings from God but rather poverty everywhere.
This year’s General Convention will be a “magic kingdom” to rival the nearby Disneyland amusement park, according to the three senior officers in charge of convention planning and the bishop of the host diocese. The four spoke at a press conference broadcast over the internet on May 13.
“What happens at General Convention will affect you,” Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said in response to a question emailed by a viewer. “It governs how your diocese is served by church-wide staff and how your diocese uses church-wide resources.”
In addition to Bishop Jefferts Schori, participants included Bonnie Anderson, president of the House of Deputies; the Rev. Gregory Straub, executive officer and secretary of General Convention; and the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, Bishop of Los Angeles.
A number of viewers wanted to know how results from the recently concluded meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council might affect convention. Bishop Jefferts Schori said the need to debate the proposed Anglican Covenant obviously was a moot point since it failed to pass during the ACC meeting in Jamaica last week.
In response to a question regarding the repeal of B033, the resolution approved at General Convention in 2006 that recommends caution in consecrating bishops whose manner of life might cause distress to other members of the Anglican Communion, Bishop Jefferts Schori said B033 would be debated, but that she opposes its repeal.
“I would far more prefer that we say here is where we are today,” she said, adding that it was a more positive way to express the mind of the church.
Bishop Jefferts Schori, Bishop Bruno and Mrs. Anderson all expressed hope that the church would emerge from convention as a people empowered and excited about mission.
“In the past we tried to do that through programs,” Mrs. Anderson said. “I’m not sure it is in our DNA yet.”
Destroyed by a $3 million intentionally set fire more than two years ago, the worship space of St. David’s Episcopal Church at 3916 S.W. 17th is steadily rising from the ashes.
The latest sign of progress will be evident around 7:30 a.m. today when construction crews begin installing a new tower that will stand approximately 50 feet tall near the southwest corner of the church, where the new worship space will be located.
The Rev. Don Davidson, rector of the 500-member church, said the new tower won’t have a carillon but will be topped by a cross.
“For us, it’s a pretty big deal,” Davidson said. “It’s a pretty big step as far as getting the building rehabbed and ready to go.”
Davidson said work continues to progress on the church, portions of which were destroyed and other parts of which sustained extensive damage in an arson early Nov. 10, 2006.
Fire officials said the blaze started in the chapel, which was located on the southeast side of the church near S.W. 17th and Gage.
Though rewards totaling $15,000 have been offered, no arrests have been made.
Church members opted to rebuild at the original location, then met for more than a year in other houses of worship, including Temple Beth Sholom, as work was done on fire-damaged portions of the building.
St. James Anglican Church will take its battle to keep its Via Lido campus after a contentious break with the Episcopal Church to the United States Supreme Court, the Newport Beach congregation announced Tuesday.
The church will ask the court to resolve whether the 1st Amendment of the Constitution protects church property ownership. In the case, the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles claims it has a right to keep St. James’ Newport Beach church after it left the Episcopal Church in 2004 over differing views on theology and homosexuality. The California Supreme Court ruled in favor of the diocese in January.
The case raises questions about St. James’ constitutionally protected religious freedoms, said John Eastman, dean of Chapman University School of Law.
“By taking their church away that makes it hard for them to practice their religion,” Eastman said.
A constitutional law scholar who once served as a law clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas, Eastman has agreed to take the St. James case.
“I think there’s a decent chance that the court will take it up,” Eastman said. “This is a case of consequence not just to the Episcopal Church, but to all sorts of churches that have loose affiliations with national organizations.”
St. James has until May 26 to file with the Supreme Court, and has already set up www.steadfastinfaith.org in support of their push to get the court to take up the case. The church expects to get an answer on whether the high court will hear the property dispute by September or October, Eastman said. The court could reach a decision as early as summer 2010 if it decides take up the matter. St. James also continues to pursue its case in Orange County Superior Court.
The role of young people, the fate of controversial resolutions and the effect of actions on the "people in the pews" were some of the topics discussed during an Internet broadcast, or webcast, May 13 with officers of General Convention, the Episcopal Church's triennial governing meeting.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson, General Convention executive the Rev. Gregory Straub, and Bishop J. Jon Bruno of the host diocese of Los Angeles were the presenters. The webcast, which was moderated by Neva Rae Fox, program officer for public affairs for the Episcopal Church, originated from Anaheim, California, where the convention will meet from July 8 to 17.
Jefferts Schori began the webcast by invoking the convention theme, "ubuntu," a Zulu Xhosa word that is often translated as "I am because we are."
"General Convention is a remarkable opportunity for Episcopalians and those who will be peering over our shoulders to see this church in action, in its way of having deep and vigorous conversation in community," said Jefferts Schori. "We never all agree about anything except that it is good to be together."
Paul was the advisor on my doctoral dissertation. I wish him all the best.
The Rev. Paul F. Zahl, former dean of Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, has announced his intention to resign effective June 15 as rector of All Saints’, Chevy Chase, Md.
According to accounts from several members of the parish, Fr. Zahl, 58, said in his announcement during services on Sunday, May 10, that he felt called at this stage of his ministry to concentrate on teaching, preaching and reaching the unchurched as opposed to parish ministry.
Fr. Zahl, an author and distinguished theologian, resigned as seminary dean and president in 2007. He was dean of the Cathedral of the Advent, Birmingham, Ala., from 1995 to 2004 and has served at several other prominent parishes. He has been rector of All Saints’ for about a year.
The Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, Jr., Bishop of South Carolina from 1990 to 2007, has agreed to serve as a short-term interim at All Saints’. Under an arrangement reached with the Rt. Rev. John B. Chane, Bishop of Washington, Bishop Salmon has provided alternate episcopal oversight to All Saints’ for the past several years.
If there is one issue that threatens to destroy what remains of Europe’s Protestant ecclesiastial communities from within, it is homosexuality.
Few Christian communities have kept up with the advance in homosexuals’ civil rights.
Perhaps they do not understand how advances in education mean that young people coming out of schools today find opposition to homosexuality in the churches incredible. The Anglican Communion, possibly even the Church of England, might not survive the debate in their present form.
At a crucial meeting of its central executive body in Jamaica last week, leaders of the Anglican Communion effectively kicked a new “covenant”, into touch. This was a document designed to hold together the member provinces under a banner of agreed orthodoxy.
Some believe it could never have worked, as wealthiest of these provinces, The Episcopal Church of the US, has already embraced gay rights and has no plans to relinquish them.
The Anglicans are the most publicly divided over this issue, and are now staring schism in the face, but in the Church of Scotland the divisions also run deep, as they do in most churches.
The Methodists and the Quakers, adopting their gently liberal gospels of inclusiveness, are among the few who seem to have managed this issue with true Christian charity.
While the recent Anglican meeting that ended Tuesday did not produce any ultimate solutions to the problems wracking the global church body, Anglicans came out of the gathering with a sense of hope that they will remain unified.
"We believe that whatever has happened in the course of our decisions, from this point forward God has a perfect plan for his Church to remain the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church," said delegates from the Global South in a statement. "Our hope for the future is based on the fact that God has raised Jesus to be Lord and Christ and given Him as the head of the Church and commissioned us to proclaim Him as Lord and Savior to all peoples."
Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams says the 12-day Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Kingston, Jamaica, deepened their sense of obligation to one another as it revealed the participants' willingness to act as one body.
"[W]e have not in this meeting given evidence of any belief that we have no future together," Williams said Monday. "The question is of course what that future will look like."
The 77 million-member Anglican Communion has been threatened with a split over differences on scriptural authority and particularly homosexuality. Rifts were widened in 2003 when The Episcopal Church – the U.S. arm of Anglicanism – consecrated the first openly gay bishop.
Williams, considered the Anglican spiritual leader, noted this week that many in the communion believe the credibility of Christianity is at stake.
Some say that "Christian credibility is shattered by the sense of rejection and scapegoating which they experience, and that includes a great many of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ," Williams outlined. "The cost they feel is often they cannot commend the Christianity that they long to believe in because they feel that they are bound up in a system and a community where scapegoating and rejection are very deeply ingrained."
Churchgoers across the Church of England are set personally to invite up to half a million people to services on Back to Church Sunday, 27 September 2009, making the event one of the largest co-ordinated evangelism events shared across the Church in recent history.
Every one of the Church’s 44 dioceses are taking part in the initiative this year, by encouraging churchgoers to invite someone they know who used to attend church to come back on a particular Sunday. Churches will focus on extending an even warmer welcome than usual on the day, supported by ‘Back to Church Sunday’ resources such as special red ‘welcome’ T-shirts and subsidised ‘party packs’ of fairly-traded catering products, produced in partnership with Traidcraft.
Up to 16,000 Church of England churches could be taking part, joining congregations from Churches Together in Scotland, the Church in Wales, Baptist, Methodist and United Reformed churches nationwide, Elim Pentecostal churches and Anglican churches in Australia, Argentina, New Zealand and Canada.
‘Back to Church Sunday’ began in Manchester in 2004, spread to Wakefield Diocese in 2005, nine dioceses in 2006, 20 in 2007, and 38 in 2008, when an estimated 37,000 people came back. While not each of the Church of England’s 16,000 parish churches will necessarily be taking part this year, each church has the opportunity to do so, with bishops encouraging parishes to get involved.
“The impact of Back to Church Sunday is not just measured in statistics; it is measured by the wonderful impact it has had on numerous individual lives,” comments the Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill, Bishop of Lichfield.
Anglican supporters of the state of Israel have expressed their “dismay” at a statement from Anglican leaders from around the world criticising Israel for imposing a so-called apartheid system on the Palestinians.
At its meeting in Jamaica chaired by the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, the Anglican Consultative Council, the policy body at the centre of the worldwide church, said it “laments” that current Israeli policies in relation to the West Bank “have created severe hardship for many Palestinians and have been experienced as a physical form of apartheid”.
Calling for a Palestinian state alongside Israel, the Anglican council made no request for an end to terrorism but called on Israel to end occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, freeze all settlement building, abandon its settlement policy and dismantle the separation barrier.
The lobby group Anglican Friends of Israel warned that the council’s resolution threatened to “completely sabotage” Anglo-Jewish relations.
In a statement, the group said: “Once again, Anglican representatives have singled out Israel for criticism without placing her actions in context or directly addressing the Palestinian contribution to the conflict.”
The statement continued: “Israel is falsely accused of imposing an apartheid system on Palestinians while the education of Palestinian children to hate Jews and give their lives in cause of Israel’s destruction is ignored.
Church flocks are growing as people search for a deeper meaning during the recession.
Christ Church Cathedral Dean Peter Beck said Anglican churches had seen an increase in congregation numbers.
"There's certainly a renewed interest; people are looking for a way forward," he said.
"Instead of consumerism and individualism, which has really consumed us in these last decades, people have been shown the result of all that is to reap this whirlwind around the world and they are looking for something better.
"It's extraordinarily encouraging really."
The church stood for values of community and responsibility and was becoming more confident about communicating that message, said Beck.
Presbyterian Church assembly executive secretary Martin Baker said churches had noticed a big rise in numbers over holiday periods.
Christmas and Easter were usually quiet times for churches as families went away on holiday, but with budgets tightening many were choosing to stay at home.
"There's some indication that people are participating more fully in the life of churches, reconnecting to the churches," he said.
"During times of change people often take time to rethink their priorities and engagements with the community and values."
An Irish cardinal has made an unprecedented ecumenical gesture by attending a Church of Ireland service and by preaching in a once-forbidden Anglican chapel.
Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, Northern Ireland, became the first Catholic Irish primate or cardinal to attend a Communion service at the Church of Ireland General Synod and to preach in the chapel of Trinity College Dublin.
At the service marking the close of the Anglican Church’s synod in Armagh May 10, he told the congregation: “We live in remarkable times.”
The following day, speaking in the 18th-century chapel in Dublin, Cardinal Brady said: “I suspect it would have been almost unimaginable at that time (of its construction) to foresee a Catholic archbishop of Armagh preaching in this chapel at something called an ecumenical service.
“I thank God this morning for the immense progress we have made on the journey of mutual respect and Christian solidarity between the Christian traditions of Ireland,” he said. “That the greater part of this progress has happened in recent years, and more quickly than many could have imagined, is grounds for even greater hope about God’s plans for the unity of his followers.”
Trinity College was founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592 as Ireland’s first university, and for nearly four centuries it was one of the key institutions of the Protestant Ascendancy under British rule.
Catholics were not admitted to Trinity College until 1793, and they were denied university scholarships late into the 19th century. Until the 1970s, Catholics required a dispensation from their local bishop before they could attend the college. From 1940 to 1972, it was a sin for a Catholic to enter Trinity College’s gates to take a shortcut across its grounds.
Church Publishing, the publishing arm of the U.S. Episcopal Church, says it is “suspending” acquisitions of new trade books because of the current market decline in general trade publishing. CPI will scale back activity at its trade imprint Seabury Books and implement a 30% staff reduction. Spokesperson Nancy Fisher had no details on the reductions. She also said that books currently under contract would be produced, and that backlist titles would continue to be supported and promoted; more books had been made available for Amazon’s Kindle reader.
The Morehouse and Church Publishing imprints will concentrate on producing material and supplies for worship and church life, including e-products. All production will be centralized under new v-p for production Lorraine Simonello. Editorial acquisitions will continue under CPI editorial director Frank Tedeschi and publisher Davis Perkins. Fisher said the publisher would monitor the market with an eye to resuming trade publishing when the market was more favorable.
The Archbishop of Canterbury was the celebrant at a closing Eucharist for the Anglican Consultative Meeting (ACC-14) in Kingston Jamaica.
The Eucharist was held at The Cathedral of St. James in Spanish Town- the oldest Cathedral in the British Caribbean. The first Anglican Church building was destroyed by hurricane in 1712 and rebuilt in 1714. The Cathedral is a mixture of many architectural styles with the tower (added in 1817) having one of the few steeples found in the Caribbean.
During the closing service the members of the Standing committee including Bishop James Tengatenga (chair) Mrs Elizabeth Paver (vice chair) and the newly elected member of the Standing Committee were commissioned in a colourful service. The music was sung with joy and enthusiasm and included everything from the setting of Psalm 121 by Walford Davies through to Three Little Birds of Bob Marley.
The preacher was the Bishop John Paterson, the Bishop of Auckland New Zealand and the retiring chair who finished his long and distinguished ministry with the Consultative Council with this service.
In his homily he reflected on his years of service and spoke directly about ACC-14, “ Our meeting has been characterized by some rigorous debates, but with respect and even affection across the floor of the house. As your outgoing Chair, I have been deeply grateful for that. And that surely is one of the many gifts that we can return home with, knowing that the ACC has met well, and the renewed confidence we can have in the strength and the life of the Anglican Communion.”
He also had the privilege of announcing that the next ACC meeting (ACC-15) will be held in his home province of The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. A gala dinner concluded the evening with a heartfelt expression of thanks from The Council to the Bishops clergy and people of the Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands for their warmth generosity and gracious hospitality.
Much happens each day during the Anglican Consultative Council's (ACC) 14th meeting. In addition to Episcopal Life Media's regular coverage, here's some of what else went on May 12, the final day of the gathering, which began on May 2. Council asks Primates Meeting to include ACC standing committee members ACC members asked the Primates Meeting to include an equal number of non-primatial members of the ACC Standing Committee as non-voting members. The primates, or leaders of the Anglican Communion’s provinces, meet every one to two years to discuss communion-wide matters.
The six members of the Primates Standing Committee have voice and vote on the majority of matters that come before the ACC.
Five of the primatial members have attended most or all of the Kingston ACC meeting. Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda did not come to Jamaica and has not attended any of the three standing committee meetings held since his election in February 2007.
"We've heard a lot in this meeting about how the instruments of communion need to understand one another. They can only really understand one another if they are members of one another's meetings," Welsh Archbishop Barry Morgan, a standing committee member, told the council. The inclusion of the ACC members is meant to "create greater understanding" between the ACC and the primates, he added.
The ACC cannot compel the primates to act on the resolution. "I know that the primates might not look at the request too favorably," Morgan said.
The conversation about the resolution stressed that the ACC was not asking for its standing committee members to have a vote in the Primates Meeting. In fact, the primates rarely conduct formal votes during their meetings.
Two churches' request for extra-provincial membership gets ACC attention A request from the Reformed Episcopal Church of Spain and the Lusitanian Church for full membership to the ACC was sent to the ACC/Primates Standing Committee for action.
The original resolution asked the ACC to admit the churches to the list, or schedule, of ACC member provinces included in the council's constitution. Anthony Fitchett, lay representative of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, and chair of the council's resolutions committee, reminded the ACC that two-thirds of the leaders, or primates, of the communion's provinces must approve such a request for full membership.
The ACC has full members, but the communion also includes in its general membership five "extra-provincial churches," such as Bermuda and the Falkland Islands, listed here.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has conceded that ACC-14 in Kingston, Jamaica was a “failure” that disappointed many Anglicans across the Communion. However, the meeting of the Anglican Communion’s fourth ‘instrument of unity’ had been a “glorious failure” that saw the Anglican Communion rise from its “deathbed” to address its own shortcomings, Dr Rowan Williams said in his closing presidential address on May 11.
It was unhelpful to establish criteria for success or failure for Anglican meetings, Dr Williams told delegates to the May 2-12 meeting in Kingston, Jamaica said, as there was “no absolute measure for achievement. In critical times – small things might be large achievements. Our willingness in certain areas to act as one and to discover more deeply how we pray as one is, by God’s grace and gift, for no other reason, an achievement,” he said.
At ACC-14 “we got up every morning, we prayed every morning, read Scripture, we affirmed our will to stay in relation, we’ve done some planning,” he noted, adding that significant progress had been made in forming an Anglican relief and development network, committing the Communion to evangelism, endorsing the recommendations of the Windsor Continuation Group (WCG), and “we even agreed on the substance of the covenant and the time scale of that work.”
Predictions of the demise of the Communion were unfounded. “If someone diagnosed as terminally ill has prayed and planned and given new evidence of energy and life from their deathbed to begin new things we might just possibly question the diagnosis of a terminal outlook,” he said.
AND SO BEGINS another round of what some see as little more than battling bishops and multimillion-dollar lawsuits, all in the name of the church.
I'm referring to this summer's General Convention of the Episcopal Church, the once-every-three-years gathering of thousands of church members from Ecuador to Alaska.
For the fourth time, I will don my hat as editor of Center Aisle, the daily newspaper published during the convention by the Diocese of Virginia.
This year, the 10-day-long convention will be held in an Anaheim, Calif., convention center across the street from Disneyland. But judging by my experience, I'll have no time to spend with Mickey Mouse, Goofy and the rest of the gang (though the temptation to make symbolic use of those characters may be irresistible).
Ever since 2003, when Gene Robinson's consecration as the first openly gay bishop of the church was affirmed, the media have made a beeline to this convention, despite the fact that it spends a good portion of its time delving into arcane matters of church governance.
So why am I still an optimist when the doomsayers are once again predicting that the Episcopal Church and the Worldwide Anglican Communion are about to come apart at the seams over issues of human sexuality?
Call me naive, but I see another opportunity in Anaheim for our church to be a positive witness to the world--a model of how passionate believers can champion their causes and still remain committed to the foundational beliefs that unite them.
At the end of May, a tornado took a long and destructive path through northern Colorado. While several communities were affected, Windsor took the most direct blow. Just two weeks later, Episcopalians and others gathered each morning at St. Alban’s in Windsor, eager for clean up and restoration assignments. Two youth groups who had planned to spend a week in Juarez, Mexico building houses, found themselves in Windsor and the surrounding area, doing everything from tearing off damaged roofing material, to picking debris out of a pasture, to pulling a garage door out of a lake.
Two youth missions – one from northern Colorado churches in Longmont, Boulder and Loveland, and one from Calvary in Golden – who had originally planned to spend a week in June in Juarez, had to cancel those trips due to safety concerns, and spent the week in Windsor instead, helping with cleanup and recovery.
The groups performed a variety of tasks – putting new roofs on houses, building new fences and helping residents there get back on their feet, or accomplish repairs they did not have adequate insurance to cover. In addition, throughout the week, volunteers from all over the front range gathered at St. Alban’s in Windsor in the morning to be dispatched out to help sort donations in the donation and resource clearing house, help haul debris to the county dump and do other clean up and recovery work. Deacons Jan Dewlen, from St. Stephen’s Longmont, and Rhoads Hollowell from St. Mary Magdalene helped to organize these efforts, in conjunction with other area relief agencies and churches. Fortunately, St. Alban’s church building sustained minimal damage, but some of its members did have damage to their properties, and volunteers did help with repairs to those properties.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams used his May 11 presidential address to the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) to urge Anglicans not to “put off discussion of the covenant simply because of that detail we are finalizing.” The ACC voted May 8 to postpone sending the third draft of the Anglican Covenant to the provinces for adoption.
“The texts are out there. Please pray them through and talk them through, starting now,” Archbishop Williams said. “The official processes will no doubt take longer and be more complex. We are trying to make sure that any delay is as brief as possible. But meanwhile the texts are on the table. Begin the discernment. Begin that intelligent engagement with those texts as soon as you can.”
Archbishop Williams addressed the confusion and controversy that surrounded the ACC’s processes in postponing the covenant.
“As we go back to our provinces thinking about the work we’ve done, and thinking about the quagmires of detail and procedure that we waded through [May 8], the only thing we can say, I suspect, in defense of all that is something like this: We did it because we hoped that through all these procedures, Christian people would be able to recognize each other a bit more fully, a bit more generously, and a bit more hopefully.”
While noting that “there are some who would say that in this conflict the credibility of Christianity itself is at stake,” Archbishop Williams stressed that “we have not in this meeting given evidence of any belief that we have no future together.”
The archbishop said some people expect the Anglican Communion will in the future resemble a federation, and he suggested that such a result may be inevitable if all provinces don't sign on to the covenant once it is presented for consideration.
“That not what I hope, [but] it's what I think we have to reflect on as a real possibility,” and said the challenge if this takes place is how to carry out mission effectively.
A Roman Catholic archbishop who resigned in 2002 over a sex and financial scandal involving a man has written a memoir that describes how he struggled with being gay.
Archbishop Rembert Weakland, former head of the Milwaukee archdiocese, "is up front about his homosexuality in a church that preferred to ignore gays," Publisher's Weekly wrote in a review Monday.
The book, "A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church: Memoirs of a Catholic Archbishop," is set to be released in June and is described by the publisher as a self-examination by Weakland of his "psychological, spiritual and sexual growth."
The Vatican says that men with "deep-seated" attraction to other men should not be ordained. Weakland stepped down quickly after Paul Marcoux, a former Marquette University theology student, revealed in May 2002 that he was paid $450,000 to settle a sexual assault claim he made against the archbishop more than two decades earlier. The money came from the archdiocese.
Marcoux went public at the height of anger over the clergy sex abuse crisis, when Catholics and others were demanding that dioceses reveal the extent of molestation by clergy and how much had been confidentially spent to settle claims.
Weakland denied ever assaulting anyone. He apologized for concealing the payment. In an August 1980 letter that was obtained by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Weakland said he was in emotional turmoil over Marcoux and signed the letter, "I love you."
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams in his presidential address to the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) here May 11 compared the Anglican Communion's long-standing divisions to those in the Holy Land.
"The other day we were giving quite intense attention to the situation in the Holy Land and in that discussion I thought there are echoes of language we hear nearer home," Williams said. "Well, thank God, our divisions and our fears are not as deep and as poisonous as those between communities in the Holy Land, but I think you may see why some of the same language occasionally awakes echoes."
It was also through the lens of Holy Land politics that Williams suggested during his address a possible way forward.
"People find each other in the depths of suffering they have endured; something shifts when those who bear the heaviest cost on either side find each other," he said.
To illustrate this, he shared the story of an Israeli mother whose son had been killed by a Palestinian sniper and a Palestinian man whose brother had been killed by an Israeli soldier. The two travelled Britain together and shared their stories and talked of the "imperative necessity of being with one another."
He then asked: Who are the people who bear the deepest cost in the Anglican Communion?
"There are some who would say that in this conflict the credibility of Christianity itself is at stake," Williams said.
Rt Rev James Tengatenga was just named as the new head of the ACC.
Armed robbers raided the official residence of Anglican Church Bishop, Rt Rev James Tengatenga at Namiwawa in Blantyre going away with computers and cash.
Police at Chilomoni confirmed the incident but referred Nyasa Times reporter to Blantyre Police Station. They also said the Bishop’s hired guards were arrested for questioning.
However, Blantyre Police Station spokesperson Elizabeth Divala was not available as his phone went unanswered after several attempts.
A source at the Anglican secretariat told Nyasa Times, the robbers raided the residence on Wednesday night and took away two laptops and three desktop computers, hard cash and some foreign currencies particularly the Sterling Pound and American Dollars.
“Everything was valued at K1.6 million,” said the source.
He said at the time of the incident the Bishop was outside the country and it happened two days before Bishop Tengatenga was elected the new Chairperson of the Anglican Consultative Council beating four candidates who had been nominated.
The call by some Anglicans for the Church of Melanesia to rethink the appointment of an Anglican Priest from Banks & Torres to the post of Mission Secretary of the Church must not be carpeted but ought to be dealt with seriously.
The priest’s history are obvious both in New Zealand and Solomon Islands. How fitting is it for the Council of Bishops and the Melanesian Board of Mission to equate such personalities to the church’s highest mission agency?
With this call the Church of Melanesia needs to be really cautious about the kind of persons and personalities it takes on board to head its various mission departments and pastoral activities within its entire structure.
The message is simple and straightforward. If a clergy or bishop who has some histories of immoralities, misconducts, irresponsible leadership, poor pastoral administration and incompetence in some stages of his ministry, he has to be refused from taking up any forms of leadership appointment within the church.
There is nothing like second and third chances for leaders who messed up their own lives.
The Anglican Consultative Council expressed support on Saturday for a project that will explore the ways Anglicans worldwide read and interpret Scripture.
The Bible in the Life of the Church project is being launched to build "understanding, trust and respect" among those who differ in biblical interpretations.
Formerly, the Anglican Communion had been called on in 2004 to "re-evaluate the ways in which we have read, heard, studied and digested scripture". The request, however, was largely neglected.
"We can no longer be content to drop random texts into arguments, imagining that the point is thereby proved, or indeed to sweep away sections of the New Testament as irrelevant to today's world, imagining that problems are thereby solved," a provision in the 2004 Windsor Report states.
"We need mature study, wise and prayerful discussion, and a joint commitment to hearing and obeying God as he speaks in scripture, to discovering more of the Jesus Christ to whom all authority is committed, and to being open to the fresh wind of the Spirit who inspired scripture in the first place.
"If our present difficulties force us to read and learn together from scripture in new ways, they will not have been without profit."
Well I guess it could have gone better but "a satanic spirit?" From Religious Intelligence.
The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) will not endorse the Anglican Covenant, and has voted to send it back to committee for further review. The vote comes as a major defeat for the Archbishop of Canterbury who had championed the covenant as the one way to keep the Anglican Communion from splitting. However the defeat was self-inflicted, as Dr Rowan Williams’ ambiguous intervention in the closing moments of the debate led to the loss.
Delegates adopted a compromise resolution, whose provisions Dr Williams had rejected at the start of the May 8 debate but backed by its end, to appoint a committee to review and revise section 4 of the covenant and report its recommendations to the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates and the ACC for adoption. A process, the ACC’s secretary general Canon Kenneth Kearon said would likely take up to year to bring to fruition.
Questions of treachery and incompetence were lodged against Dr Williams by conservative members of the ACC in interviews with Religious Intelligence following the vote, but the next day softened to exasperation with the archbishop’s ambiguous way of speaking that critics said was unsuited to the political rough and tumble of a meeting where many delegates had limited English-language abilities.
Delegates from the Church of Nigeria stated they were perplexed by Dr Williams’ actions. “All of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s contributions were positive” up until the last moment of the meeting, Bishop Ikechi Nwosu of Nigeria said.
Nigerian Archdeacon Abraham Okorie said there was a “satanic” spirit of confusion in the air. He noted it was hypocritical of the ACC to make a great noise of using African ways of decision making in addressing the covenant, but then resorting to slippery parliamentary tricks to thwart the will of the meeting.
The Anglican Consultative Council is moving into its last few days of meetings. On Sunday all of the delegates were sent in teams of three or four to every parish on the island of Jamaica- in some cases to celebrate and preach and in all cases to engage in conversations about mission and the opportunities to share the gospel.
On Monday May 11,2009 the current ACC Chair Bishop John Paterson of Auckland New Zealand, the newly elected chair Bishop James Tengatenga of Malawi and Canon John Rees (the legal advisor to ACC participated in a press briefing both looking back in the case of Bishop John and in looking forward for Bishop James to the work of ACC. They both concurred that this has been an important meeting and that engaging in mission is critical in the way forward for the Anglican Communion. Canon Rees provided some important information to clarify the process concerning resolutions and the power and authority of the Chair at ACC meetings.
An Episcopal priest was permanently suspended from his position at an Everett church last week.
Father Lawrence Perry, who has served as head of Trinity Episcopal Church since 2000, was asked to leave after two adult congregants accused him of sexual misconduct, said Norah Joslyn, a spokeswoman for the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, which governs the Everett church. Perry did not dispute the accusations, she said.
Perry could not be reached for comment.
Church leaders don't know whether the two congregants plan to pursue the matter with police or in the courts, she said.
The suspension was effective Thursday, when Bishop Gregory Rickel met with members of the church to explain the situation, Joslyn said. The church has about 400 members, based on numbers from a few years ago, Joslyn said.
Further discipline is likely, Joslyn said. Perry likely will be suspended from serving in any role at the Episcopal Church, she said.
The Rev. Wayne Bond and the Rev. Robert Dunn, who both served under Perry at Trinity, are expected to preach and perform other duties until the diocese finds a permanent replacement.
The new bishop-elect for the Episcopal Church in South Dakota says he’ll make visiting reservation congregations a top priority.
“A priority of mine -- and this is not meant as an assessment or judgment of the past, because I live in the present, not the past – but a priority of mine is to be among the congregations,” the Rev. John Tarrant said.
Tarrant, 57, was elected May 9 to succeed Bishop Creighton Robertson as the leader of the Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota. He has been pastor of Trinity Church in Pierre since 2005 but spent the majority of his ministry career in Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Robertson, who suffered health problems during his 15-year tenure as bishop, including a kidney transplant in 2005, was criticized by some Native American Episcopalians for a lack of visits to their parishes over the years, as well as his recent decision to close nine small churches on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Robertson, a member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux tribe, was the first Native American diocesan bishop in the church.
Although defending the closure decisions as “not taken by Bishop Robertson alone,” Tarrant promised a “ministry of presence” to the people of Pine Ridge and elsewhere. “One of my first priorities would be to visit congregations and do a whole lot of listening,” he said. “That’s no commentary at all on Bishop Robertson. That’s my style and what I perceive to be a need.”
At the end of a hectic day of often confusing debate and parliamentary maneuvering in which Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams personally intervened four times, the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) on May 8 postponed sending the third draft of the Anglican Covenant to the Communion’s provinces for adoption.
The Anglican Communion Institute has issued a statement decrying the proceedings as “an embarrassment to Anglicans everywhere, and a sad display of procedural confusion.”
The ACC had been asked to send the entire text to the provinces for adoption. However, some members considered allies to The Episcopal Church raised objections to the processes outlined in Section Four regarding dispute resolution. Their first motion to remove Section Four for review was voted down, but the main provisions of the defeated motion were then inserted into a separate resolution already under consideration. The ACC’s chairman, Bishop John Paterson of New Zealand, initially ruled this re-introduction out of order, but Archbishop Williams, who had called for a vote on the first motion, then challenged Bishop Paterson’s ruling and it was reversed. The pending resolution was amended to include the previously defeated provisions. After a break, Bishop Paterson announced that the resolution had passed.
“Evidence indicates that members did not understand what they were voting on, what the Archbishop of Canterbury was proposing, or why he was proposing it,” the ACI argued. “Amid much confusion, the chairman announced that the entire resolution had passed, even though there is no evidence it had even been voted on, the previous votes having been to amend the resolution, not pass it.”
As adopted, the resolution now asks Archbishop Williams, in consultation with the ACC’s secretary general, the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, “to appoint a small working group to consider and consult with the provinces on Section Four and its possible revision, and to report to the next meeting of the Joint Standing Committee” of the Primates and the ACC in late 2009, and asks the JSC to approve a final form at that meeting.
The word family evokes a wide range of emotions. For some it is a very loving and supportive word that is the centre of their being. For others it is a place of distance anxiety and frustration with people who are closely related failing to talk or listen to one another. We use the term in many ways, thinking of the Church as a family and even the Anglican Communion as one family under our Lord and Saviour.
In every province of the Communion there are joys and difficulties faced by families. The Church is present and with them- at times of great happiness and of profound sadness. The International Anglican Family Network is one of the networks of the world wide Anglican Communion. It began at the Mission of St James and St John in Melbourne, Australia, in 1987 and produced an important resource document on families for the 1988 Lambeth Conference. Since 1991, IAFN’s work has focused on the production of three newsletters per year on issues affecting families. The aim of the newsletters is to set challenges and problems in an international context and to give information about practical projects and work being done by churches and communities to help.
Articles are written by men and women, lay and clerical from many different countries. The range of topics covered in the newsletters: eg Street Children, Fathers and Families, HIV/AIDS, Children and War, Community Families, demonstrate the many areas where individuals and groups, often linked with churches, are active in responding to families in need. The newsletters provide an educational resource for both the developed and the developing world, helping all to learn more about the resources and dedication of the many women and men within the worldwide Anglican family whose work is often unknown. Their stories provide a stimulus for greater understanding and further action.