A weekly roundup of Anglican Communion news plus opinion, reviews, photos, profiles and other things of interest from across the Anglican/Episcopal world.
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Archbishop's message to Christians in Iraq
The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued a message to Christians in Iraq, following recent killings in Bagdad and the appeal of senior Catholic Bishops in Iraq. The message will also be read at a commemoration Mass in London later today.
The full text of the message is below:
Dear Brothers and Sisters
May the peace and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
We read with deep emotion the heartfelt appeal of our brothers the Syrian and Chaldean Catholic archbishops in Iraq on All Souls Day, which followed the dreadful events of 31 October.
We have repeatedly highlighted the plight of Christian minorities in Iraq, and the need for them to enjoy a dependable freedom of conscience, religion and worship, to flourish as minority communities, and to contribute to the common good of Iraqi society from the riches of our Christian heritage and faith.
But the killing of worshippers at Our Lady of Salvation Church in Bagdad has demonstrated a new low point of Christian vulnerability in the country. This slaughter of unarmed people gathered in church to worship God is a shocking and disgraceful act that should be utterly condemned by people of all faiths and none.
We commend those who were killed to God's grace and mercy, and our prayers are with all those who survived the attack, their families, and all others in Iraq who mourn the loss of loved ones. We pray too for all Iraqi Christian communities elsewhere in the world who rightly feel passionately for the safety of our Christian brothers and sisters there, and with all those in Iraq who will live in greater fear not only because of this appalling event but also because of the continuing threats directed against them all.
We hope and pray with all our hearts that there may be an end to this kind of sacrilegious butchery and to all intimidation and violence against Christians and other minorities in Iraq.
+ Rowan Cantuar:
Kairos: an anglican church without parish boundaries
When St Mary’s Church in Low Harrogate, England, was closed because of building problems and safety fears, it could have spelt the end of Anglican worship in the area. But six years later a new form of church has risen from the crumbling masonry, a ‘network’ church which now crosses parish boundaries. ‘Kairos’ church had its official launch this October and is led by Pioneer Minister Revd Mark Carey. It is still based opposite the crumbling St Mary’s church and uses the Westcliffe Hall in Low Harrogate for Sunday worship once a fortnight. But there the resemblance to a traditional Church of England church ends. This church which crosses parish boundaries has a growing number of small ‘house church’-style communities and is developing new forms of worship and outreach.
Kairos, while one church, is also six smaller network churches, groups of up to thirty people known as ‘mission-shaped communities’ (MSCs). With a variety of imaginative titles, each MSC is treated as a church in its own right, meeting not in a church building but in homes, café’s, pubs, or even outdoors. One called ‘Outnumbered’ consists mainly of families with children and holds a variety of events from a monthly ‘Messy Church’ on a Saturday afternoon which draws in newcomers to Sunday brunches sat the local public house.
‘Wanderers’ is a group of Christians whose passion for walking is the basis for connecting with others who may be lonely and looking for friendship. With informal Alpha courses they have grown from four to sixteen in just over a year. They are even meeting for ‘Curry and Communion’ also in the local pub.
It’s a new and challenging approach to church, especially in the Church of England, a point acknowledged by Mark Carey. “Kairos Church is about becoming a new kind of church which focuses on releasing communities of followers to live out the mission of Jesus. This is being worked out through people who are good news in our workplaces, families and friendships.”
In mid-October, Bishop John joined the church at Yorkshire Hotel, Harrogate, to celebrate the launch of Kairos. A ‘Bishop’s Mission Order’ has allowed this radical form of church to go ahead, and it will be keenly watched by others. For the other churches of the town, Kairos has taken a bit of getting used to – with much consultation, many meetings and a long “process” as Mark calls it.
One of the biggest shake-ups will be the dividing up of the parish into its four neighbouring parishes. But Mark says that the closure of St Mary’s has created new opportunities. “We have found ourselves without church buildings, but this has enabled us to embrace a temporary nature to being church and a mentality that is at heart simple and flexible.”
Find out more by visiting the Kairos website www.kairoschurch.net
From the Together Magazine of the Diocese of Ripon and Leeds, England.
By Louise Ewington, General Secretary, PNGCP
I recently attended the Partnership in World Mission Conference in Swanwick where we were challenged by Bishop Chad Gandiya of the Diocese of Harare, Zimbabwe, to consider what working in partnership really means. Most would agree that the move away from a paternalistic model is a key factor in redressing the imbalance of relationships in world mission, but I wonder whether we have truly understood what it means to be in partnership. I wanted to share with you three observations which came out of the conference for me.
In a legal context section 1 of the Partnership Act 1890 defines what is meant by partnership and section 2 sets out the essential criteria for determining whether a partnership exists. The test is that if an entity does not fall within that definition and does not adhere to that set of criterion it will not be a partnership even if you call it one. During his keynote speech Bishop Chad propounded what he considered to be seven essential elements of a partnership. Amongst these elements he included: a theological or ideological similarity which is also respectful of the differences between the partners, the enabling of full participation in the relationship, mutual respect, a foundation of equality, a faithful commitment to the relationship, and an involvement in decision making which affects the partnership. What struck me was that the politically correct language of 'partnership' has become imbedded within mission culture. However, if a truly honest analysis of those relationships took place would it really reveal a partnership, or would it in fact reveal a donor-recipient relationship dressed up in socially acceptable 'partnership' language?
Secondly, it concerned me to hear mission agencies being referred to as 'funding bodies' the implication being that reciprocity and relationship are the exclusive domain of Diocesan links. If that is the impression which we as mission agencies are giving, that is a real concern and it is clear that we need to be more open about the relationships which we are engaged with and the dialogues that we are having. I am proud that the Papua New Guinea Church Partnership (PNGCP) has an open and transparent line of communication with the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea (ACPNG), and the fact that it refers to us as its 'London office' is testament to the mutuality of that relationship. However, we also work closely with other agencies that support ACPNG, most notably USPG, the Anglican Board of Mission - Australia, and the Anglican Mission Board – New Zealand. Sharing information and ideas as well as engaging each other in decision making processes is an integral part of building and strengthening those relationships.
My final observation concerned the territorialism which can easily dominate a relationship if one is not careful. As Bishop Chad noted, it is important to be faithful to a partner. However, it is also very easy to become proprietorial about the relationship which can be just as damaging or limiting to our partners as the 'mother church' model which we have worked so hard to steer away from. In his book Past Imperfect Julian Fellowes writes: "There are few markers of small-mindedness so clear as when people resent their friends becoming friendly with each other". It is a reflection on human nature which could so easily apply to world mission. Do we have the strength to admit when that happens and the generosity to share our friendships?
If we truly intend to engage in equal relationships and have mutually beneficial adult conversations, it is vital that we recognise that we do not have ownership of our partners. Honesty is the linchpin of success for any partnership. However, in order to avoid dominating our partners and undermining the mutuality which is vital for success, we must also be honest with ourselves. We may not mean to dominate and we may not intend to dictate, but it is easily done. Can we really call ourselves partners if we are actually creating tiers of dependency, albeit unintentionally? Absolutely not. It defies the equality which must be present for a partnership to be truly effective and belittles the partner that we are in relationship with. It takes integrity to recognise the effect that our words or actions might have but it takes courage to do something about remedying it. As Mignon McLaughlin said: "True remorse is never just a regret over consequence; it is a regret over motive." I think that we can all learn something from that.
PUBLICATION OF THE WEEK
The website of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion
"The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) shall be bible based, spiritually dynamic, United, disciplined, self-supporting, committed to pragmatic evangelism,social welfare and a Church that epitomizes the genuine Love of Christ."
It’s filled with a host of news, photos, a weekly devotion and lots more information about the Province, its people and its mission.
Visit it at http://www.anglican-nig.org/
By The Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Back cover description:
“Explore our connections—as human beings with each other, as one nation with all other nations, as the human species with the whole of our environment—through the lens of faith. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church, examines these connections as she looks at the intersections of faith with the major issues of our day:
Click the title above to see inside the book through Google books.
THE COMING WEEK’S ANGLICAN CYCLE OF PRAYER (click the link for the full details of the ACP)
Psalm: 41 Isa 54:11-17
Karamoja - (Uganda) The Rt Revd Joseph Abura
North Karamoja - (Uganda) The Rt Revd James Nasak
Psalm: 42 Isa 55:1-9
Karimnagar - (South India) The Rt Revd P Surya Prakash
Sunday 14-Nov-2010 Pentecost 25 Rememberance Sunday (in Some Countries)
Psalm: 119:49-64 Jn 11:1-16
Katsina - (Province of Kaduna, Nigeria) The Rt Revd Jonathan Sani Bamaiyi
Psalm: 43 Jn 11:17-27
The Most Revd Suputhrappa Vasantha Kumar Moderator of the Church of South India and Bishop of Karnataka Central
Karnataka North - (South India) The Rt Revd J Prabhakara Rao
Karnataka South - (South India) The Rt Revd Devaraj Bangera
Psalm: 44:1-8 Jn 11:28-37
Katakwa - (Kenya) The Rt Revd Zakayo Iteba Epusi
Psalm: 45 Jn 11:38-54
Katanga - (Congo) The Rt Revd Muno Kasima
Psalm: 46 Isa 55:10-13
Kebbi - (Province of Kaduna, Nigeria) The Rt Revd Edmund Efoyikeye Akanya
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Disclaimer: The Weekly Review is a summary of news, information and resources gathered from around the Anglican Communion over the past week. The views expressed in Weekly Review do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the Anglican Communion Office.