A weekly roundup of Anglican Communion news plus opinion, reviews, photos, profiles and other things of interest from across the Anglican/Episcopal world.
*A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all ACNS Weekly Review readers! We'll be back in January*
This edition includes...
Christian women join demonstration by victims of Japan's wartime sexual slavery
By Hisashi Yukimoto
Christians in South Korea, Japan, and elsewhere, led mostly by women, joined on 14 December to mark the 1,000th Wednesday demonstration in Seoul demanding dignity and justice for victims of the Japanese military's sexual slavery during the Second World War.
In Seoul, about 2,000 people participated in the weekly demonstration in front of the Japanese embassy, demanding Japan's official apology and reparations to the victims, the so-called "comfort women." Similar demonstrations reportedly took place in 27 other places in South Korea.
The demonstration's organizer, the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan--led by a female Christian minister, Rev. Han Kukyom, and Yoon Mee-hyang--urged the Japanese government to "stand up for the solution of the problem." Among the council's founding member organizations is Korean Church Women United.
The committee on the equality of both sexes of the Seoul-based National Council of Churches in Korea released a 14 December statement urging the Japanese government to "implement a thorough investigation of the truth [of the problem]," calling for its "official apology and legal reparations" and demanding it "acknowledge its war responsibility in the past and make every effort for peace."
The council also demanded that the South Korean government "make positive efforts to solve the problem of 'comfort women' for the protection of the human rights of its own nationals."
The first demonstration began on 8 January, 1992, after Kim Hak-Sun declared she had been forced to serve as a sex slave by the Japanese Army in Korea during the Second World War. More than 200 of the South Korean women who spoke up were more than 80 years old, and only 67 are still alive.
In Japan, two civic groups, Japan Network against Wartime Sexual Violence and Japan Action 2010 for Resolution of the "Comfort Women" Issue, organized nationwide demonstrations on 14 December.
In Tokyo, about 1,300 people surrounded the ministry of foreign affairs building in a human chain and held a rally at the Second House of Representatives Members' Hall.
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War widows are given a sense of hope: Diocese of Colombo, in Sri Lanka, is bringing women together
The civil war in Sri Lanka ended in 2009 but for many people – especially women from the defeated Tamil community – the wounds are still raw.
In response, supported by the Anglican mission agency USPG, the Diocese of Colombo’s Reconciliation and Peace Desk is running a series of workshops at which war widows can find solace and practical help.
One young woman told her story. At the age of 16 she had been forced to marry a soldier in the Tamil Tigers liberation army. Her parents hoped it might afford her some protection during the fighting. But the woman’s husband was killed, leaving her alone to look after a three-year-old child.
‘I am now 20 years old,’ the woman said. ‘My mother-in-law doesn’t want me in her house because her husband is no longer here. My father is ill. My mother doesn’t want to look after me because she also has a small child. I don’t know what to do.’
Workshop facilitator Juliet Christeena said: ‘When the event finally got underway, the women began to express their bitter experiences. Some of the things they shared were extremely complex. The helplessness of the women was very evident to us. But they felt relieved having shared their feelings. We also held a session to identify their talents and strengths, and they told us we had given them a sense of hope to move forward.’
The first workshops were held at the Church of Holy Spirit, in Vavuniya. In attendance were 35 Hindu and Christian women from the Manik Farm camp for Internally Displaced Persons. Women from the church congregation – themselves facing many hardships – also took part and made friends with the war widows.
Juliet said: ‘Here was a situation where little-privileged women from the congregation were trying to be in solidarity with gravely-affected widows. It was a symbol of solidarity. We hope they will continue to support each other.’
Helping to end child sacrifice in Uganda
From the Jubilee Campaign which is supported by, among others, the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, the Most Revd Luke Orombi
A big thanks to everyone who has supported our campaign against the gruesome and shocking crime of Child Sacrifice in Uganda - we’ve made important progress.
Thanks also to everyone who gave to help Allan, the young boy who survived a ritual sacrifice by a witch doctor in Uganda. Allan was featured prominently in the BBC TV news coverage, and we have launched an appeal to help build him a new house. If you would like to help, you can donate online through Just Giving here http://www.jubileecampaign.co.uk/justgiving or PayPal here http://www.jubileecampaign.co.uk/paypal
But there’s more to do. In November, we received the shocking news that an 11-month old baby had been offered for sale to witch doctors. The sale was stopped and the culprit arrested. Our partner in Uganda confirms that our campaign has made an impact and has increased awareness throughout the country on this terrible crime. Read the full story here http://allafrica.com/stories/201111160872.html
To learn more visit www.jubileecampaign.org.uk
Hundredth anniversary of journal celebrated in Geneva
From the World Council of Churches
The International Review of Mission marked a century of work in mission studies with a public celebration, held 9 December at Philip Potter Library of the World Council of Churches (WCC), centered on its centenary issue, just released.
The omnibus issue, “A Century of Ecumenical Missiology,” features 15 commissioned articles assessing the history of the journal, the evolution of the field, and the prospects and shape of its future.
Rev. Dr Jooseop Keum, IRM editor since 2008, led the celebrations by presenting a congratulatory copy of the issue to WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit and offering tributes to longtime journal contributors Rev. Jacques Matthey (editor from 1999 to 2007, and guest editor of the centenary issue), Prof. Andrew Walls (who has contributed the annual bibliographical survey for 40 years), book review editor Prof. Paul Isaak, and staffer Marlise Freidig.
Participants and guests were welcomed by Metropolitan Geevarghese Mor Coorilos, Syrian Orthodox Bishop of Nirinam, India, and moderator of the WCC’s Commission on World Mission and Evangelism, the journal’s sponsor. Referring to the “landmark” occasion, Coorilos said, “IRM, over the last 100 years, has influenced thousands of missiologists, mission bodies and churches through its profound discussion of missiological issues. Even at the age of 100, IRM continues to provide us with inspiration and challenge.”
In his remarks, Tveit spoke of the impressive longevity of IRM, which at 100 years still maintains its relevance and brings vitality to the ongoing discussions and discernment about mission and evangelism. The influential journal, a WCC publication produced in partnership with Wiley-Blackwell, of Oxford, England, was initiated in 1912. Its first editor, J. H. Oldham, was secretary of the historic 1910 world missionary conference in Edinburgh, after which the International Review of Missions, as it was then tagged, was launched.
This current issue takes a close look at the origins of the journal in the context of nascent ecumenism, as well as at the decisions and directions by which it shaped the field in the ensuing decades. It also offers specific surveys of the present landscape of mission and theological proposals for rethinking the mission endeavor.
A panel presentation featured Matthey’s introduction of the issue, Walls’s analysis of the massive shifts in global Christianity in the last century, and Keum’s ideas of key theological questions that the journal will explore in coming years.
[Editor's note: Churches of the Anglican Communion are members of the World Council of Churches]
Persecution of Anglicans continues in Zimbabwe
From the USPG e-news 2011
Nearly 300 Anglicans arriving at Daramombe Mission on Sunday 27 November were blocked from entering the church by eight police officers, some of them armed, and a police dog.
At a police station, the Rt Revd Godfrey Tawonezwi, Bishop of Masvingo, was told he could not use the mission as a church, so his congregation met in the local school instead.
During his sermon, Bishop Godfrey said ex-communicated bishop Nolbert Kunonga wanted to take charge of Anglican properties for personal benefit. Sadly, however, many of the properties were falling into disrepair due to a lack of maintenance.
Bishop Godfrey and his clergy have received threats from Kunonga supporters, but remain committed to finding peaceful ways of reclaiming Daramombe Mission.
Archbishop Rowan’s visit brought stability
This latest incident is sad news for Zimbabwe’s Anglicans, who have been facing fewer direct attacks from Kunonga since the Archbishop of Canterbury visited the country in October.
Prior to the incident at Daramombe, Fr Tambaoga Manjengwa, of Anglican Relief and Development in Zimbabwe, had observed: ‘The visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury was a blessing. Meeting with the political leadership of Zimbabwe seems to have brought stability, and a slowing down of unwarranted assaults on the church.’
He added: ‘The visit was a great show of solidarity with the Anglican Communion. It cemented the confidence and solidarity of Anglicans who have grown strong in defiance of persecution.
‘However, it should be known that all church properties are still in the hands of Kunonga’s people, who are persecuting the church with help from the state machinery.’
Meanwhile, all Zimbabweans are feeling the sharp effects of the global recession and climate change.
Fr Tambaoga said: ‘Industry has virtually collapsed. Unemployment has sky rocketed. Climate change has worsened the grim situation through perennial droughts, resulting in food shortages and poverty.’
This Christmas, please pray for Zimbabwe and all communities around the world who are suffering oppression, poverty and hardship.
Billboard invites caption for Mary
From Anglican Taonga
(Auckland) - St Matthew-in-the-City's Christmas billboard portrays Jesus’ mother, Mary, looking at a home pregnancy test kit revealing that she is pregnant.
Priest associate Clay Nelson says: “It's our intention to avoid the sentimental, trite and expected to spark thought and conversation in the community. This year we hope to do so with an image and no words. We invite you to wonder what your caption might be.”
Regardless of any premonition, that discovery would have been shocking, Mr Nelson adds. Mary was unmarried, young, and poor. This pregnancy would shape her future. She was certainly not the first woman in this situation or the last.
Vicar Glynn Cardy says: “Christmas is real. It’s about a real pregnancy, a real mother and a real child. It’s about real anxiety, courage and hope.
“Although the make-believe of Christmas is enjoyable – with tinsel, Santa, reindeer, and carols – there are also some realities.
"Many in our society are suffering: some through the lack of money, some through poor health, some through violence, and some through other hardships. The joy of Christmas is muted by anxiety.
“In this season we encourage one another to be generous to those who suffer, to give to strangers, and to care for all – especially those who have the least. Like the first Santa, St Nicholas did.
“We invite all who celebrate the season to hold these different strands of a real Christmas together: anxiety and joy, suffering and compassion, Santa and Jesus.”
Retracing the steps
From the Anglican Centre in Rome
When the Earl of Halifax visited Rome recently he was retracing the steps of his great-grandfather, the 2nd Viscount Halifax, who as a leading Anglo-Catholic had sought dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church on the subject of Anglican Orders, giving rise to Apostolicae Curae in 1896.
Undaunted, the 2nd Viscount had engaged in the Malines Conversations with Belgium Cardinal Mercier in the 1920s.
At a Reception at the Anglican Centre in Rome, the Chairman of the Centre, Bishop of Wakefield Stephen Platten, presented the Earl of Halifax with a booklet of texts just published by the Centre, “Journey in hope”, containing historical references to the 2nd Viscount. (“Journey in hope” can be ordered free through www.anglicancentreinrome.org .)
A CHRISTMAS PRAYER
By the Revd D S Jeevan Babu, Presbyter-in-charge, St Peter's Telugu Church, Bangalore, India
From CSI Life the Magazine of the Church of South India
O God, enable us to celebrate Jesus Christ in our lives
In order to promote life in others
Help us to seek Jesus as Wonderful Counselor
In order to remove the fears and tears of the people
Give us a mind to invite Jesus as Messiah
In order to liberate people from several bondages
Guide us to call on the Mighty God
In order to put an axe on corrupt rulers and exploiters
Humble us to follow the Prince of Peace
In order to bind the broken relationships
Empower us to embrace Jesus as the Eternal Father
In order to showcase care and compassion of Jesus to others
Enliven us to recognise Jesus as Immanuel
In order to experience and enjoy His presence with us always
Envelope us with your Son Jesus Christ
In order to have a joyful accomplice in our life's journey
As we celebrate 'a child born to us'
Help us to direct the people at the crossroads
Grant us the privilege of worshiping you always
And share the gift of your love to your people.
Mother Thekla - Abbess
Mother Thekla who died on August 7 aged 93, was the last surviving nun to have occupied the enclosed Orthodox Monastery of the Assumption in North Yorkshire, but became better known to the wider world as the spiritual muse of the composer Sir John Tavener. She spent her last years at the Anglican Abbey of St Hilda in Whitby.
From the Anglican Order of the Holy Paraclete OHP Newsletter www.ohpwhitby.org
Marina Sharf was born in Kilslovodsk, in the Caucasus, in 1918, amid the strife and tumult of the Russian revolution but she was still very young when her barrister father moved his family to England. OHP’s Foundress, Mother Margaret, was concerned for the welfare of such immigrants and took pupils into St Hilda’s at very reduced fees. But the Sharfs decided to educate their daughter in London.
So, she would say many years later, ‘I did not come as a child; instead I’ve come to spend my second childhood here’! After graduating from Cambridge she joined the WAAF and worked in the Intelligence service during the war – deciphering for Bletchley Park – but she never spoke of this. She told beautifully comic stories of episodes in her own life. A friend’s favourite tells of an air-raid warning in London, which sent crowds from the streets scuttling down into the nearest tube station. In the crush, Marina trod heavily on her mother’s foot. “You b***** fool, Marina!” swore Mrs Sharf, in Russian, and the elderly woman beside them on the crowded platform responded, also in Russian, “How wonderful to hear one’s native tongue!”
Later Marina became a teacher. A long-time friend, Marilyn Wood, who knew Mother Thekla for almost sixty years, spoke of her influence: “ I knew her first as a pupil, (she was an inspirational teacher) and then, seven years later, as a colleague in her English department at Kettering High School. No-one could have been kinder and more supportive to a new arrival, although her version of ‘the last in makes the tea’ was ‘the newest staff member types the examination papers’. When she left teaching in 1966, to become a nun, I observed her journey: from Sister Marina, the junior member of the community at Filgrave, to her becoming Abbess at Normanby.
“I can honestly say that in all those years Mother changed very little in her personality. Her generosity of time, spirit and intellect, was offered unstintingly, to all who came to her. The famous, the unknown (I almost said infamous but Mother would have taken that in her stride) received her help and advice on an equal footing. She taught me a great deal, not only about literature but spiritual matters too, and sometimes things practical – among the latter the dubious pleasure of waiting in a freezing cold shed for one of her beloved goats to produce her kid!”
Mother herself wrote about her sudden decision to become a nun, “I went on a retreat and met Mother Maria and that was it. I was called to it. It’s a bit like a thunderbolt. You can’t deny it when it hits you. I used to love things like visiting secondhand book shops but you can’t compare life now with life before. It’s like walking through a mirror backwards.”
The Monastery of the Assumption at Normanby was a busy place for all its seclusion and prayerfulness; the nuns needed to earn their keep and grew vegetables as well as keeping goats. When Father Ephrem first visited he was warned that he would find two highly intellectual sisters and about five acres of cabbages! The Monastery also set up a small publishing house, The Library of Orthodox Thinking and produced work on subjects ranging from Shakespeare and Keats to Platonism and translations of the psalms.
But, above all, Mother Thekla was a good listener; one who sought her advice says, “It took a little courage to visit Mother Thekla for counsel. She would welcome you warmly, sit you down and focus her whole attention upon you. Her piercing gaze summed up your current state of being without a word being said. ‘What news on the Rialto?’ she might then ask, quotations from Shakespeare coming readily to her tongue.
She listened to what was said, and what was not said, touching the core of the matter with precision in response. There was no room for sentimentality nor was there time for sloppy thinking. She had a fine sense of humour, and her pithy comments could turn tears to laughter. Hers was a tough love; her advice was steeped in the Gospels, and arose from the depth of her wisdom. ‘Heaven has no sense of proportion’ she often said, quoting her beloved Mother Maria. One always left her presence enriched, with horizons widened and perspectives deepened.”
Mother Thekla achieved wider recognition as a counsellor from her association with the composer John Tavener. He contacted Sister Thekla, as she then was, in 1984 after reading a book she had written. She subsequently became one of the composer’s principal spiritual guides: he called her his spiritual mother.
She was the librettist of Sir John’s opera Mary of Egypt and of choral works including The Apocalypse and Fall and Resurrection. She was also the spiritual driving force behind his best known piece, The Protecting Veil. She had also supplied, at very short notice, words for Song for Athene. The piece, retitled for the occasion, was played at the funeral of Princess Diana.
And so she came to spend her last years (what she termed her second childhood) with us and we were greatly enriched by her presence. The Infirmary staff loved her and teased with her, which she loved. She taught them Russian and they taught her ‘Whitby’! A few faithful friends continued to visit her. Ann Hamblen would take her out and to services in York with Father Stephen who ensured that she received Communion more times than she had done for many years.
Mother leaves us with a legacy of wisdom, intellect and devout practicality. For her funeral, the Priory Chapel was temporarily transformed into a beautiful Orthodox place with icons, candles and clouds of incense. The service, which was both in English and Greek, was conducted by Archbishop Gregorios, supported by many Orthodox deacons and priests. Chapel was full to over-flowing – in itself a tribute to the breadth and depth of her contacts.
Tributes were paid by the Archbishop, the Prioress and Marilyn Wood. Martin Neary directed the Corbridge Singers in Mother of God, here I stand (from the Veil of the Temple), Love bade me welcome (George Herbert) and the first performance of They are all gone into the world of light (Henry Vaughan); all the music being Tavener’s. Sir John and Lady Tavener were in attendance. And so to her resting-place beside her beloved Katherine and Maria.
Mother Thekla – Memory Eternal!
Anglican Communion's Francophone Network launches
"Bienvenue au site du Réseau francophone de la Communion anglicane, qui relie 4 millions d’anglicans et épiscopaliens qui célèbrent en langue française."
The Episcopal Church in the Philippines.
With its history as a Spanish colony, the Philippines was predominantly Roman Catholic. When Americans colonized the country in 1898, Anglican missionary work began in the north and among Muslim populations in the south. Four dioceses were established by 1971. The Church consecrated its first Bishop in 1963 and became an autonomous Province in 1990. Learn more at http://www.episcopalchurchphilippines.com/ecp/and why not download the latest Provincial Magazine at http://www.episcopalchurchphilippines.com/ecp/files/3rd%20Quarter%20Episcopalian%202011.pdf
Stuck for something to buy for your favourite clergy this Christmas?
Why not try...
"Bishops Blend: Buy a Bag...Change a Life
Enjoy one of life's everyday pleasures while making a difference — one cup at a time.
Episcopal Relief & Development has partnered with Pura Vida Coffee to offer Bishops Blend: a premium line of special-grade coffees from Central America, Indonesia and Africa, along with organic teas, available in Moroccan Mint and fair trade Earl Grey.
Organic, shade grown and certified fair trade, Bishops Blend protects the earth while ensuring that coffee and tea growers are paid a living wage and have access to affordable credit.
These delicious coffees and teas will meet your home, office and church needs and also make great gifts. Sell bags as part of a church or school fundraising event. Let your friends and family know about this great-tasting way to change the world — one cup at a time.
To view a PBS segment featuring Pura Vida's work with coffee-growing communities in developing countries, click here."
From Episcopal Relief & Development http://www.er-d.org/BishopsBlend
ANGLICAN CYCLE OF PRAYER Click here for the full ACP
Psalm: 71:3-8 Esther 8
Wusasa - (Kaduna, Nigeria) The Rt Revd Ali Buba Lamido
Sunday 18-Dec-2011 Advent 4
Psalm: 19: 7-end Col. 2:8-15
Wyoming - (VI, The Episcopal Church) The Rt Revd John Smylie
Psalm: 85: 7-end Col. 3: 1-11
Yambio - (Sudan) The Rt Revd Peter Munde Yacoub
Psalm: 96: 1,10-end Isa. 7: 10-17
Yei - (Sudan) The Rt Revd Hilary Luate Adeba
Psalm: 23 Col 3: 12-end
Yewa (form. Egbado) - (Lagos, Nigeria) The Rt Revd Simeon Adebola
Psalm: 145: 1,8-13 Dan. 7: 9-13
Yirol - (Sudan) The Rt Revd Daniel Deng Abil
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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.