A weekly roundup of Anglican Communion news plus opinion, reviews, photos, profiles and other things of interest from across the Anglican/Episcopal world.
This edition includes...
Women meet for conference in Jordan
From Bible Lands, the Magazine of the Jerusalem and the Middle East Church Association.
Led by Shafeeqa Dawani, the wife of Bp Suheil, 75 ladies of the diocese gathered in Jordan. These occasions area wonderful opportunity for the women to support each other and to contribute to life in the diocese. The event took place at the Ahliyyah School for Girls in Amman where the ladies spent the day together. The history of Christianity in the Middle East was the morning theme and stressed the need to live alongside people of all faiths in such a troubled land. Bishop Suleil showed how King Abdullah of Jordan encourages his people to co-exist and respect each other's religious beliefs.
Group discussions followed sharing ways that help can be given to our young men and women to stay in their home towns and to live and work in their home countries after receiveing their education. In the afternoon Rev. Ibrahim Nairouz, pastor of the church in Nablus, gave a presentation on the life of John the Baptist with special reference to his significance in Jordan.
Throughout the day emphasis was given to the important role of the priest and his wife and also how young couples continue to love the church and have a vital role in its life. Bp Sulheil said, "Women are vital to the life of the church and the diocese. All women have a role to play in dialogue, awareness and Christian presence in the difficult situations that are found in the Middle East and the women's conference is seeking to encourage this."
The importance of education was particularly emphasized and the continuing role of the church which serves the whole community without any social, racial or religious discrimination.
Church of Ireland release publications to encourage more psalm singing in churches
By Paul Harron, Church of Ireland Communications Department
In time for the coming liturgical year beginning on Advent Sunday (28 November 2010), a new publication – the last in a series of three – has been produced by the Church of Ireland designed to encourage more psalm singing in churches. The publication contains simple musical psalm settings for all the psalms needed for the liturgical year. Like volumes one and two, Singing Psalms – Year A contains fresh and engaging simple chants for the psalms.
The publications have resulted from a feeling that the practice of singing psalms has been somewhat lost in parishes. In an attempt to recapture the richness and variety of emotion expressed within the psalms, the Liturgical Advisory Committee (LAC) of the Church of Ireland asked musicians Alison Cadden and Peter Thompson to devise a way of setting the psalms to music that can be sung by anyone.
Alison Cadden and Peter Thompson say, ‘Whether there is a congregation of ten or a hundred, no choir or a large chorus, Singing Psalms will work effectively – all that is needed is the prayer book and a copy of this new publication. The publication of Singing Psalms – Year A completes the full lectionary cycle of responsorial psalms and marks the culmination of this important project by the LAC. We are delighted to see the full set in print and hope that they will be used to reinvigorate psalm-singing throughout Ireland and beyond.’
Singing Psalms – Responsorial Psalms set to Simple Chant – Year A sets out the psalms in a clear and easy to use manner. It also contains Appendices covering Saints’ Days, Holy Days and the Easter Vigil, and contains cross-references to the other two volumes. It is published by The Columba Press, price £12.99 or €17.99 and will be available from the Good Bookshop, Belfast and the Resource Centre, Rathmines, Dublin. [link]
Alison Cadden and Peter Thompson are both members of the Liturgical Advisory Committee and actively involved in the music of their parishes. Alison is a music teacher in Portadown, while Peter is Rector of St Michael’s, Castlecaulfield. Their hope is that the passion expressed in the poetry of the psalms will be enhanced by the music in Singing Psalms.
For more information contact the Church of Ireland on Tel: (028) 9023 2909
Men join the Mothers' Union at Grace Church
By a Mothers' Union correspondent, The Anglican Outlook
The Mothers' Union in the diocese celebrated an historic day at Grace Church, New Grant, [country] when it commissioned a new branch in the parish and--for the first time in its history--admitted men to its fold.
In the early morning sunrise, with its cool country air, the flowering palm trees with eye-catching red and green fruit marked the way uphill to Grace Church, New Grant. From the top, the panoramic view was simply beautiful as the birds greeted the day with their own songs of praise to God.
Inside the church and under the roof top, the "Cuckoo Rachel" (housebird) joined in the singalong; oblivious to the full congregation below that were there to witness the commissioning of the new Grace Church Mothers' Union. Grace Church helped the diocesan MU to turn to the new chapter that Sunday morning when 16 people, including the three men, enrolled as members at the 7am Eucharist.
The men were: Stephen Cameron, an information technology technician; Andre Ayers, a school teacher of Grace Church; and Christopher Pierre, a retiree of St Andrew's Church, Couva. Those commissed as executive members of the branch were: Joan Superville-Haneiph, branch leader ; Hazel Spring, secretary; and Su-Lyn Alexander treasurer.
The Mothers' Union President Phyllis Raghunanan noted that the priest-in-charge, the Revd Fr Wilson Thomas, must be commended for his interest and influence in the formation of the branch. In his sermon, the officiating priest, the Venerable Edwin Primus, who serves as the Archdeacon for south Trinida, encouraged the members to perservere and to pray to God for strength and commitment.
Further, he encouraged the branch to work to be a vanguard in the parish and to aspire to be the best branch in the diocese.
Episcopalian leader renews appeal to free 43 detainees
By Maurice Malanes, Ecumenical News International, Manila
A Philippines church leader has renewed an appeal for supporters to help persuade President Benigno Aquino to free 43 detainees, most of them church-based health workers detained for more than nine months, and whom the military has accused of being communist rebels.
"Another day in prison for the 43 is another day of justice denied," said the Rev. Rex Reyes, general secretary of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) and a priest in the Episcopal Church of the Philippines, in a Nov. 9 statement that repeated an earlier appeal.
Reyes appealed for support from local and global church organizations, human rights advocates and civil libertarians.
He urged them to sign an online petition, and told ENI news on Nov. 18 that the NCCP, which represents Protestant and Anglican churches in the Philippines, but does not include the country's dominant Roman Catholic Church, would later publish the signed petition as a paid advertisement in national newspapers.
The church leader said the advertisement would be the council's way of trying to convince Aquino finally to release the 43 health workers, whom military authorities arrested on Feb. 6. At the time, the workers were conducting primary health-care training for communities in the town of Morong, east of the capital Manila.
The military had accused the workers of being members of the clandestine communist-led New People's Army but the workers have denied this allegation.
"This issue is very close to us, not only because it involves human rights and social justice but also because one of those detained is Dr. Alexis Montes," said Reyes. Montes is a member and former national health program coordinator of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines. He also was once part of the NCCP's commission on faith, witness and service.
"If Mr. Aquino freed rebel soldiers, why not the 43 detainees?" asked Reyes, referring to detained rebel soldiers involved in a 2008 coup attempt, whom Aquino set free in October 2010.
Other groups have also chided Aquino for recently showing sympathy for the release of Myanmar opposition leader Ang Suu Kyi but not for the 43 detainees.
After pressure from church and human rights groups, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda told reporters on Nov. 16 that the presidential palace had organized a team to review the case of the 43 detainees. "A prompt resolution would be forthcoming," he said.
A Ghanaian member of the Anglican Order of the Holy Paraclete made her first visit to the UK in 2009 to undertake her 'community experience'. In the Advent edition of the OHP Newsletter, Sister Helena shares a little of her impressions of living in England.
The Impact of Experience
(My First Year in the UK)
Behind each face, there is a unique world, which no one else can see. This is the mystery of individuality. I have had a lot of experience in my life, but the one that has really shaped me, is my time in the United Kingdom. Having spent a year of my novitiate training in Ghana, it was then time for my Community experience in our Mother House at Whitby in the United Kingdom.Well, I needed a visa to get there! After a year's battle with the British High Commission, I managed to get a visa for two years. I was so excited and looking forward to it, but I had no idea what the country was like.
I arrived at Teedside Airport on the 17th October 2009 and I was VERY cold. On my arrival at the Priory I was given plenty of warm clothes and a long heavy English winter habit and some warm footwear to go with it. LIfe at the Priory was a big culture shock to me because it was completely different. There were many more sisters and the Office was sung to plainsong.
Although everything was new to me, I was never left out of any activity. This increased my confidence and I gradually picked things up. I must say, the sisters were very helpful.After nine months, I was due for First Profession, which took place at the Priory on 17th July, 2010. It went very well with African music at the end and, of course, a dance to go with it!
I have noticed a great deal about the country and its people and most of them are very impressive. People seem to have a healthy communication amongst themselves. For instance, you will never get away without a smile or hello when you meet someone on the street. It sometimes goes on to "How are you?", "Nice weather" or "Not a nice day" as English people always talk about the weather.
Furthermore, the care for nature is very important to people. Everybody tries to keep his or her garden and fields as neat and protected as possible. Also, there are public footpaths around people's fields, which makes it possible for walkers to enjoy lovely views. To add to this, there is a conservation area in Whitby call the Pannet Park which is my favourite place.
Another thing I have noticed is pets. Nearly everybody has a pet, which is unusually a dog, cat or a bird. It seems as though everyone must have a birdbath or a bird-feeder in their garden. I often hear people say, "it's me and the cat in a flat" which sounded strange at first but I have become used to it. I am always fascinated by the kind of care given to animals in this country. We have a large number of cows in the Priory farm under the careful supervision of Gavin, and there are two donkeys Billy and Uisce who require a great deal of care from Sisters Jocelyn, Margaret, Katherine Therese, and Samantha. In one of our branch houses, apart from the pets in the house, Sisters go to the extent of feeding and caring for feral animals and I was surprised to see a squirrel eating Yorkshire pudding on a bird-feeder! This image still remains with me and always reminds me of Hebrews 13:2 "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers". This is also made clear in our Rule of Life.
I am still in the UK and loving it and I have developed a sense of belonging. I sometimes help in the kitchen, the sewing room, the craft room, and the shop. I am learning to take Greater Office and I am now more familiar with sacristy work. I have been able to meet other Anglican Religious from different communities. Coming to the UK was not an easy decision for me. I have come to realise that we do not learn from easy journeys--we just enjoy them--but it is the hard journeys that shape our personality and strengthen our will.
Click here to see pictures of Sr. Helena as a postulant and novice http://www.ohpwhitby.org/PDFs/News&Events.pdf
PUBLICATION OF THE WEEK
Anglican Board of Mission's PROJECT WASH website lets you follow the money
By Elizabeth Keevers, ABM Communications and Marketing department.
The Anglican Board of Mission (ABM) has just launched PROJECT WASH, a webpage that tracks a donation to a water project in the Philippines in order to show donors how their donations are spent.
Every year, around 1.5 million children die from diarrhea caused, in part, by unclean water. 88% of cases of diarrhea are caused by unclean water. ABM has been helping to build clean water systems in the Philippines since 1994, saving the lives of many children in the process.
Melany Markham, Communication and Fundraising Manager of ABM said, “The question we hear most often from our donors is, ‘How do you know the money really gets there?’ so we wanted to be more transparent about what donated funds are spent on.”
WASH stands for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene – all the components need to ensure a clean water supply. To ensure that the water supply is sustained, entire communities need to be involved in the building and maintainence of the water system. The webpage explains this and all the other components of a successful project.
“It might surprise people to learn that, from every dollar donated to this project, 48 cents is spent on materials. Some people might question this, but the reality is, you have to make sure that the system is sustainable. It has to be right for the environment and someone has to be trained to maintain it locally,” said Ms Markham.
When stuck by the need in developing countries, the impulse is to do something quickly. However, ill-considered solutions do not last. Donors are often disappointed when they put energy and money into a project only to return years later to find it neglected or dismantled.
“Real, sustainable development takes time. If solving poverty were easy, we would have done it by now,” said Miss Markham. “Our supporters take a keen interest in how our work is done and want to know more. Most of the time, people understand that it’s not always easy to achieve things in developing countries – that it’s hard work and complicated.”
PROJECT WASH also invites people to take part in building a water system in the Philippines by joining a trip to the country in 2011. The public can register their interest through the Project WASH webpage also.
See exactly what it costs, how donations are spent and the direct benefits provided to villages in the Philippines. Visit www.abmission.org/project_wash.
The Spiritual Journey of Newman, Jean Honore, Archbishop of Tours
Review by Martyn Drakard in The Observer (Kampala, Uganda)
Alba House Publishers, Shs25,500. Available from St Paul's Bookshop.
Much is being said, and perhaps little understood, of the Catholic Church's recent openness to Anglicans who wish to convert. The book, "The Spiritual Journey of Newman", by Frenchman, Jean Honore, helps put this new development into the context of the last two hundred years of Catholicism and Anglicanism.
John Henry Newman (1801-1890) is the Church of England's most famous convert. His father, a banker turned brewer, his mother a strict moralist, John Henry was the eldest of six. Grave and artless, he took seriously his responsibility of looking after his siblings.
From childhood he had been interested in the true nature of things rather than their appearance. Mystery for him was part of reality. Childhood was God's supreme gift, he said. It is then that one is innocent and untarnished by the world and is able to discover reality in its true dimension.
At fifteen he had his first "conversion", and afterwards realized the benefits of solitude. His immensely brilliant and sensitive mind caused him great suffering as his thoughts and what he imagined others' thought about him turned him in on himself.
Yet this helped him prepare spiritually for his later years when he would be misunderstood, slandered and the victim of intrigues. In 1817 he entered Trinity College, Oxford. Five years later he was appointed tutor in Oriel College, known for its sharp minds and independent thinkers.
In 1824 he was ordained deacon in the Anglican Church, and in 1829 vicar of St Mary's where he preached some of his most famous sermons. These were years of intense study and reflection, leading him to question the Anglican Church of his time -its strong ties with the political and cultural Establishment, its general laxity and doctrinal laziness.
Invaluable discussions in the Oriel Common Room helped him understand that the evil of his day was "liberalism", a freedom of thought that denies every authority other than its own "rightness"; and how he as an intellectual was in great danger of imbibing it himself.
His mother accused him of timidity. But at Oxford he realized he had empathy. Others were attracted to him. Another biographer writes that this was because he offered others the intuition of what they desired to find in the depths of their own soul.
In 1833 he and Keble started what was to become the Oxford Movement, an interior cleansing and revitalization of the Church of England, which led many of its members to convert to Catholicism. Newman was "received" in October 1845 and ordained a Catholic priest seventeen months later.
The few English Catholics of the time had just emerged from persecution and were zealous to defend their faith, even against the ideas of Newman, progressive for his time, in which he espoused the right of instructed lay-people to speak on faith and morals.
This led to misunderstanding, as did his openness to the dialogue between theology, science and reason. This excellent translation does justice to one of the great figures of the 19th century.
THE COMING WEEK’S ANGLICAN CYCLE OF PRAYER (click the link for the full details of the ACP)
Psalm: 55 Isa 62:1-5
North Kigezi - (Uganda) The Rt Revd Edward Muhima
Psalm: 119:65-80 Isa 63:7-14
Kilmore, Elphin & Ardagh - (Armagh, Ireland) The Rt Revd Kenneth Herbert Clarke
Sunday 28-Nov-2010 Advent 1
Psalm: 68: 1-10 Rev. 2: 1-7
Kimberley & Kuruman - (South Africa) The Rt Revd Oswald Peter Patrick Swartz
Psalm: 122 Rev. 3: 1-6
Kindu - (Congo) The Rt Revd Zacharie Masimango Katanda
Tuesday 30-Nov-2010 St Andrew's Day
Psalm: 72: 1-4,18,19 Rev. 4:
Kinkizi - (Uganda) The Rt Revd John Ntegyereize
Wednesday 01-Dec-2010 World AIDS Day
Psalm: 103: 8-13 Isa. 13: 1-12
PRAY For greater awareness of HIV and AIDS,
For greater dignity and rights of people living with HIV and AIDS,
For more compassion and care
For the rejection of discrimination and stigmatization,
For wider prevention activities that address root causes of vulnerability
For efficient mobilization of resources and treatments,
For increased access to treatments and care,
For support for those left behind to grieve the loss of their loved ones,
For trust and hope in our God. Amen
The Mothers’ Union, Living Positively, “Prayers and Reflections”
Kinshasa - (Congo) The Rt Revd
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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.