Thursday, August 28, 2008

+++Rowan reflects, Obama takes a stand for equality, and Bonnie Anderson: Living into the Baptismal Covenant

Now that the Olympics are finally over, and the Democratic National Convention has adjourned, and Lambeth is recent history, here are three items of interest to Episcopalians everywhere:

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has today [August 26th] sent a letter to the bishops of the Anglican Communion, setting out his personal reflections on the Lambeth Conference.

"As the Lambeth Conference of 2008 comes to an end, I want to offer some further reflections of my own on what the bishops gathered in Canterbury have learned and experienced. Those of you who have been present here will be able to share your own insights with your people, but it may be useful for me to add my own perspectives as to where we have been led.

For the vast majority of bishops, it seems, this has been a time when they have felt God to have been at work. The Conference was not a time for making new laws or for binding decisions; in spite of the way some have expressed their expectations, Lambeth Conferences have never worked straightforwardly in this way. The Conference Design Group believed strongly that the chief need of our Communion at the moment was the rebuilding of relationships – the rebuilding of trust in one another – and of confidence in our Anglican identity. And it was with this in mind that they planned for a very different sort of Conference, determined to allow every bishop’s voice to be heard and to seek for a final outcome for which the bishops were genuinely able to recognize an authentic account of their own work."

You can read the rest here.

If you would like to get the "Anglican" perspective on Communion news and happenings, you really simply need to go the Anglican Communion News service. All things Lambeth and then some, can be found there.

Joe Solomonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign, recently sent out an appeal on behalf of fundraising for Barack Obama. In his appeal he quoted the Democratic Party's nominee on his stand regarding real equal rights for all Americans, specifically, the gay community, who--by the way--are American citizens too.

Senator Obama stated:

When I am President of the United States, gays and lesbians will have somebody who will fight for equal rights for them, somebody who opposes Don't Ask, Don't Tell, somebody who's fought to make sure that gays and lesbians aren't discriminated against on the job or hospital visitation. Because they are our brothers and sisters, and I don't mind anyone knowing where I stand.

Barack Obama
November 16, 2007

Yeah, I'll be voting for him all right. Not only will he be making sure that the gay community has equal standing with the rest of the citizens of this country, but he will return dignity and respect to the United States, and he will do all that is within his power to fight special interests and corruption which is rampant among the rich, selfish Republicans who want to repeal rights and liberties for the sake of their own agendas and cronies.

On August 25th, President of the House of Deputies, Bonnie Anderson--touring the Diocese of Southern Ohio--challenged every Episcopalian to live into their Baptismal Covenant, "taking seriously the unique promise of the baptismal covenant as a foundation" for renewing the Church and being who Christ intended us to be.

Anderson challenged different groups from throughout the diocese to live out their baptismal covenant, both within their church communities and in the world. At the invitation of the Episcopal Community Services Foundation, Anderson served as the keynote speaker at a conference for social justice advocates and grant seekers. Anderson also met with youth of the diocese in Columbus and preached at Christ Church Cathedral in Cincinnati.

Within the Anglican Communion, the Episcopal Church is the only province with a baptismal covenant, said Anderson. "Our baptismal covenant brings us to an understanding of the gifts of laity that isn't really understood in the same way by the rest of the communion ... [In the Book

of Common Prayer] the catechism says that the ministers of the church are lay persons, bishops, priests and deacons -- in that order. And so we are called by God to do the work we are given."

You can read the rest of this inspiring ENS article here. I love how she reminds us that our primary vocation is "living for God". How often we forget this. Bonnie Anderson, truly an inspiring woman of our time and in the Church.


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Post-Lambeth: Reflections and Writers

Well, it's over. And the world continues to turn and life moves on. How to interpret what has happened at Lambeth is mind-boggling, to say the least. I think reading tea leaves would have been much easier to see the future of Anglicanism and the future of the Church.

There are those who are sharing their after-thoughts on the conference and I would like to point you to some of the more lucid and candid writers:

Katie Sherrod of Desert's Child really puts it into perspective as a lay person of the Church, especially from beleaguered Fort Worth.

On the other hand you have Theo Hobson of The Guardian newspaper in London who sings a woeful tune regarding his portent of the demise of liberal Anglicanism. Sorry, I'm still here, as is the American Church. And we aren't dead by any means, Theo.

Of course, a more balanced view can be found at Thinking Anglicans, so definitely visit there, as well as Anglicans Online, the haven for all things Anglican.

Mary Frances Schjonberg of The Episcopal News Service has been covering Canterbury these many days and brings together a consensus of all that has happened in a great article covering the spectrum of fundamentalism to liberalism in the Church.

Bishop Marc Andrus of California has set his reflections down and is also sharing them on Facebook. I find his views and fortitude refreshing in light of what has occurred at Lambeth.

Feathers and Faith, a blog by Barbi Click of Dallas-Fort Worth writes of her thoughts on Lambeth and about being gay in the Church. There is a lot of personal stuff that Barbi puts forth...she is so brave. Have a read that will open your eyes to the life a of gay person in the Church.

You can also go directly to the Lambeth home page of Episcopal Life Online to read the entire texts of the presidential addresses as well as other important speeches and press releases from various parties and attendees, both lay and clergy.

The Scottish Episcopal Church has stepped up to the plate in unity with the American Church as well as Canada in welcoming +Gene Robinson as a son of the Church. You can read it at What's in Kelvin's Head?, the Provost of St Mary's Cathedral of Scotland's own blog. Thankfully the Scottish Church doesn't give a fig about what the Church of England is up to [and why should it?], or Rowan for that matter. Let's hear it for The Scottish Episcopal Church!

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori made a closing statement at the end of Lambeth and Integrity Portland has it here.

Integrity USA, the LGBT arm of the Episcopal Church USA, posted newletters almost daily about the developments of the day, and they also covered the appearances and speeches of +Gene Robinson, the uninvited Bishop of New Hampshire, who most likely made more news not attending Lambeth than if he had been allowed in with the other bishops. You can also read the final Integrity USA statement about Lambeth, written by Susan Russell+, here.

Without a doubt there will be more fallout from Lambeth in the coming months and into next year, especially when GenCon '09 comes around in Anaheim, on it.

It is my hope that these links and the ones I provided in the post before last help bring to you, dear reader, what Lambeth was about and what it wasn't. Feel free to comment on any of the links or stories that you read or, on the conference as a whole.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord...


Sunday, August 03, 2008

Who has read Eckhart Tolle?

I was recently gifted with Eckhart Tolle's two books, "A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose" and "The Power of Now". I haven't really gotten into them, reading-wise, not because they are not interesting but because I have to find time to concentrate on what he is putting forth in them.

The gifter of these books highly recommended that I watch the podcasts or video presentations of the Oprah Winfrey specials where she interviews the author and hears from participants around the world who did a global read of "A New Earth". You can find a link to these here.

Just to be clear I am not promoting the reading of Mr Tolle's books or endorsing what he purports to teach. He has stated that he is not some new guru and does not want to be thought of or considered as such. He seems to be a very humble man simply wishing to share his truth of life and how he approaches it.

Has anyone read either or both books? What do you think of the subject matter and perspective? This inquiring mind would like to know what you sense and think.