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.


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