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...
ANGLICAN LIFEChurch in Malta responds to help refugees from Libya
From the Diocese of Europe website
In the wake of developments in Libya and the subsequent mass evacuations via Malta the Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe, the Right Reverend Dr. Geoffrey Rowell, has written to clergy and congregations around the Diocese to inform them and ask for their prayers following reports and offers of practical assistance from the Anglican Chaplaincy of Malta and Gozo, which includes the pro-Cathedral of Malta.
Dear Friends in Christ,
The Humanitarian Crisis that has engulfed North Africa has prompted swift action from the British High Commission in Malta.
High Commissioner Louise Stanton has a hard working team supplemented by a considerable number of extra staff from around Europe and a large military presence.
Nearly 12,000 people have fled Libya for Malta, 700 of whom have been repatriated by our High Commission. HM Ships Cumberland and York have been ferrying large numbers of our citizens and others in anticipation of more possible civil action or even military intervention in the face of Colonel Gadaffi’s comments and behaviour, and in the wake of considerable bloodshed. A total of 8241 from 89 different countries have been brought to Malta by sea and 3,525 have been evacuated by air involving 212 extra flights undertaken by military and civilian aircraft.
Please keep in your prayers the victims of this tragedy and all whose life is bound up with relieving those who are the casualties of a crisis which seems to change daily and is involving more and more countries.
The Chancellor of St Paul's Pro Cathedral, Canon Simon Godfrey, has been having regular meetings with the High Commissioner and has assured her of our prayerful support for which she has been very grateful.
During the recent visit of HRH The Duke of Kent to Malta he visited our High Commission to thank all involved in the sensitive and essential work they are doing on behalf of the British people.
Please also pray for our Anglican Chaplaincy in Malta and Gozo whose offers of practical help will soon be taken up as the full extent of the problems become evident.
+ GeoffreyThe Right Reverend Geoffrey Rowell, Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe
Ecumenical prayer service in solidarity with the people of Japan
From the Episcopal Church in the Philippines' magazineThe Philippine Episcopalian NB: This link will download a pdf file of 9MB
“Our lives are all connected, we breathe one air, we dwell in one earth. The tragedy in Japan has become ours.” With this sentiment, representative from different churches and institutions gathered for an Ecumenical Prayer Service in Solidarity with the People of Japan at the Saint Andrew’s Theological Seminary in Quezon City on March 31, 2011.
The service was opened by words of welcome and call to worship by the Most Reverend Edward P Malecdan, Prime Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines while the Right Reverend Dixie Taclobao officiated the service.
Serving as Master of Ceremony is the Reverend Rex Reyes of the Episcopal Church and General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines. A Japanese lady read a statement in Nihongo while a Korean clergy read the lesson in his language. A video clip on the after effect of the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear plant meltdown was shown in place of the traditional homily or sermon. Three member churches of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines read their solidarity statements during the service.
The service culminated with prayers and candle lighting for those who perished, the injured and suffering and those who are ministering to them.
Diocesan big day live on BBC TV
BBC Television has announced details of its live coverage of the Royal Maundy Ceremony at Westminster Abbey [in London] on Thursday 21st April. Huw Edwards will be hosting the programme on BBC1 and BBC1 in High Definition when forty nominees from the Diocese in Europe will be among the recipients of the Royal Maundy purses.
The Diocesan and Suffragan Bishops will be at the ceremony, with most of the archdeacons who represent this vast diocese which has 270 churches and congregations in 42 countries, across 3 continents and covers one-sixth of the earth’s land surface.
The recipients have been chosen for their contribution to the life of the church within the Diocese in Europe and will each receive two purses. A red purse contains a £5 coin commemorating the Duke of Edinburgh’s ninetieth birthday, and a 50p coin which is one of the twenty nine designs celebrating the forthcoming 2012 London Olympic Games. Both coins have been minted this year.
The white purse contains uniquely minted Maundy Money. This takes the form of one, two, three and four penny pieces in silver, the sum of which equals the number of years the Monarch has years of age. This year there will be 85 pennies worth distributed. All the coins are newly minted this year.
A total of 170 men and women will receive the coins, to mark the Queen’s 85th birthday which, by a happy coincidence, falls on Maundy Thursday this year. The honours are being shared with the Diocese of Sodor and Man, which covers the Isle of Man, and Westminster Abbey which is hosting the occasion. It is the first time that the Diocese in Europe, which was formally created in 1980, has been honoured with a Royal Maundy invitation which will unite the smallest and largest of the 44 dioceses in the Church of England.
Pictures and further coverage of the event will be posted on the diocesan website and later in a special section of the June edition of the diocesan magazine, The European Anglican. BBC television coverage is from 10.45am to 12.15pm.
The Re-dedication of St. Paul's Anglican Church, Jerusalem
From the The Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem newsletter
St. Paul's is known to be the first Arab-Anglican church in the region. The church was built in 1873 with the support of the Church Missionary Society of England (CMS) during the episcopacy of the Rt. Revd Samuel Gobat. The church was consecrated on November 29, 1874.
St. Paul's was in regular use by parish members as part of the Diocese of Jerusalem until 1948. When the fighting ended and Israelis took control of the neighborhood, the members of the congregation found they could not easily get to the church as it was on the west side of the "green line" in what is now known as West Jerusalem.
The congregation began to worship at Christ Church, Jaffa Gate for a few years. In 1953 the congregation of St. Paul's became, by formal agreement, part of the ministry of the Cathedral of St. George in what became known as East Jerusalem. St. Paul's Church has not been in use for regularly scheduled worship since 1948.
St. Paul's underwent renovations and improvements prior to its being re-opened during a service of re-dedication on March 2nd, 2011. The Rt. Revd Suheil Dawani, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, presided over a service which included restoring the baptismal font, altar and pulpit to their original locations and use in the church. Each of these had been removed from the church for safe-keeping when the church was closed. (The altar and font had been kept at St. Paul's Church in Shef'amr and the pulpit at Church of our Savior in Kufr Yasf.)
During the service Bishop Dawani welcomed His Beatitude Theophilos III, Greek Patriarch, Bishop Kamal Bathish who represented His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch and Bishop Mounib Younan of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Holy Land. Each of the ecumenical representatives offered remarks celebrating the re-opening of the church in West Jerusalem.
Others in attendance included the clergy of the Diocese, members of both the Arabic and English-speaking congregations of the Cathedral, neighbors and friends as well as political representatives of both Palestinian and Israeli authorities. Bishop Suheil spoke of the importance of peace and reconciliation which the re-opening of St. Paul's in West Jerusalem inspires as a place of prayer for all of God's children.
Only the parents can end the horror of gang violenceBy Archbishop John Sentamu, Archbishop of York writing in The London Evening Standard
I am sure most Londoners were shocked by the murder of 16-year-old Agnes Sina-Inakoju last year: this week her murderers were convicted at the Old Bailey.
Agnes had hoped to go to Oxford University.
Instead she found herself dead as a result of simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Sadly, I have seen so many lives ruined by the evils of gang violence. I worked on the inquiries into the 1993 racist killing of Stephen Lawrence and the stabbing in 2000 of Damilola Taylor - and I was Bishop of Birmingham when Charlene Ellis and Letisha Shakespeare were murdered at a New Year's Day party. All were killed before their 19th birthdays.
What we need is a society where those who work hard and play by the rules are rewarded. But how do you best tackle gang violence? Is it in new government edicts, or police action plans, or heavier sentences?
The justice system has its place, but I would argue if you want long-term solutions, then you must instead look at the root cause of the problem.
Too often we create a moral panic that generates fear, short-term responses and, most worryingly, a distrust of young people. As soon as the dust settles we go back to older ways, without embarking on a long-lasting culture change among the perpetrators.
I remember when Charlene Ellis and Letisha Shakespeare died, it was the young people of Birmingham who stood up and said this gang violence was unacceptable. It was the young people who had the passion and determination to look for a way forward. It was the young people who provided hope and inspiration in dark times.
As a society we have a responsibility to stand up and support those in need, and to offer alternatives to a life of crime and violence. We should be applauding young people running projects in inner cities and those who study so that they have the chance of university and a rewarding job.
However, we should not pretend that these crimes are caused solely by failures of society. These crimes are caused by the choices made by those holding the gun. They are caused by families not intervening. They are caused by those who turn a blind eye.
The role of the family is key. Parents must shoulder the responsibility for where their children are, who they are with and what they are doing.
It is not for the state to instil values of kindness, generosity or purposefulness. It is for parents to teach about morality, and what is right and wrong. Parents have a unique opportunity to encourage, to discipline, to lead and to love.
All too often we look towards the government or local authorities or external individuals and organisations to be responsible for failures that begin at home. That can never be an approach which offers a long-term solution.
Responsibility, civic-mindedness and a care for others are learned in the home. Yes, we can support those values on our streets, in our churches, in our schools and our workplaces - but it is at home that the first steps must be taken.
As a society, let us support parents making difficult choices in difficult situations. Let us stand up for those young people working hard and making a difference. Let us realise that even in the darkest situation, there is hope.
Growing together in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
Archbishop David Moxon writes of celebrating the communion that exists in his Province
For a number of years the Anglican - Roman Catholic Commission in Aotearoa New Zealand (ARCCANZ) and the Churches have taken opportunities to celebrate the degree of communion that exists both within and between us. These occasions are now well-established and the Liturgies offered provide considerable fellowship and are meaningful celebrations of sharing and co-operation.
In Aotearoa, New Zealand, Church as Communion: A Discussion Resource for Anglicans and Roman Catholics in Aotearoa New Zealand has been distributed nationally. This five-meeting course is designed to deepen relationships between Roman Catholics and Anglicans, with a view to encouraging partnerships in mission and the solidarity needed for joint action in ministry to the community. An earlier Australian Edition was amended and adjusted for New Zealand by ARCCANZ. This resource has been welcomed by the Churches and will further build upon the goodwill which exists between Anglicans and Roman Catholics. It will be offered in local communities and ministry units as a recommended study resource.
The more formal and well-established shared liturgies take place on Ash Wednesday and at the beginning of Advent. These have evolved following input from representatives of both Churches at a local level and have resulted in very significant ecumenical worship. We cannot now imagine neglecting such opportunities.
A new indigenous and creative example of acknowledging the light of the world at Advent is offered through an Advent Cross, rather than an Advent Wreath. The Advent Cross represents stars of the Southern Cross in the night sky in the Southern Hemisphere. The stars are symbolised as four white candles with stars in front. This new approach is prompted by a number of Biblical images: Saints shining like the Stars (Dan 12.3), The Star of Bethlehem (Matt 2.9), The Coming of Christ (John 1.4-5) and Christ the Morning Star (Rev 22.16). Also just as stars offered South Pacific travellers and ocean navigators a sure sense of direction, they are a relevant reminder for Christians in the Southern Hemisphere of that One from whose Divine Light we take our bearings. Lent Anglican and Roman Catholic faith communities have long combined all over Aotearoa, New Zealand on Ash Wednesday which includes the blessing and imposition of ashes and anointing with oils. All our Cathedrals see large crowds on these occasions. This coming together at Advent and Lent in the spirit of friendship and hope enhances what we have in common in Christ and reinforces the hopes of our respective leaders, as expressed on the occasion of the Pope's visit to England in 2010.
"I wish to join you in giving thanks for the deep friendship that has grown between us and for the remarkable progress that has been made in so many areas of dialogue during the 40 years that have elapsed since the Anglican- Roman Catholic International Commission began its work. Let us entrust the fruits of that work to the Lord of the harvest, confident that he will bless our friendship with further significant growth."
Archbishop Rowan Williams:
"We shall not quickly overcome the remaining obstacles to full, restored communion; but no obstacles stand in the way of our seeking as a matter of joyful obedience to the Lord, more ways in which to build up one another in holiness by prayer and public celebration together, by close friendship, and by growing together both in the challenging work of service for all whom Christ loves, and mission to all God has made."
The Most Revd David Moxon is Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church Province of Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia, and a Governor of the Anglican Centre.
Easter Message 2011 from The Rt. Rev'd Suheil Salman Dawani, Bishop of Jerusalem
Alleluia! Christ is risen.
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia! Salaam and warm greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ from here in Jerusalem to all of our friends and partners, our brothers and sisters in Christ. The celebration of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is always a time to renew our faith and commitment as faithful people.
The mission of the Church here in the Holy City of Jerusalem and throughout the Holy Land continues to be focused on building bridges of peace and reconciliation rooted in the love of God for all his children.
St. John writes that "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." (John 3:16-17) God's love for all the world has brought us the example of the sacrificial love of his Son. This love is so great as to overcome the threat of death, the passion of the cross and the descent to the dead.
God's love for all the world is more powerful than the grave. We celebrate this love and give thanks to God for the gift of faith which continues to overcome the challenges which confront our lives. Christians here in this land confront all the difficulties which are part of the lives of all people. We look for a better future for our children and grandchildren. We comfort one another in times of grief and sadness while we also celebrate together during times of joy and gladness. Our family life is important to us as is the wider Christian family of which we are a part. Our faith is challenged, but our faith is also renewed to greater commitment to the mission of the Church as both a pastoral presence and as an faithful witness through which God's love may be experience by all of our neighbors, no matter their religious beliefs. The mission of Christ is to love all people, not to condemn, but to love. The mission of the Church here continues to be a source of God's love shining the light of hope through our parishes, schools, hospitals and clinics.
The source of our celebration is and must always remain in the power of the resurrection faith of Easter morning. This is the day which defeated, once and for all, the power of death and grave to control the lives of faithful people. Our faith is renewed in the shadow of the empty cross. Our commitment finds new courage as we look into the empty tomb. Our hope for the future is strong for it is the love of God in Christ Jesus which fills our hearts.
Music from York Minster
Enjoy a beautiful version of Psalm 8 from a beautiful church in one of England's two Provinces
Darwinism and the Divine
Alister E McGrath
Blackwell, pb, £19.99
Two themes that have been prominent in recent works by Alister McGrath reappear in this new book: the nature of natural theology and the relationship between science and Christianity. McGrath sheds fresh light on both subjects in a lively and stimulating work that contains the Hulsean Lectures delivered in Cambridge. This is not McGrath at his most popular but readers should not be put off by the academic origins of the work. This is a book anyone with an intelligent interest in the subjects discussed can read with interest and profit.
Inevitably McGrath devotes a good deal of attention to William Paley. Although he pays tribute to Paley’s achievement and defends him against charges of plagiarism levelled at the time, he also highlights a number of defects in Paley’s work. Paley had a static notion of creation: he assumed that the world was designed and unchanging, existing in the form in which God had made it. He also assumed that a ‘contrived’ world could not depend on chance and took it for granted that divine design could be deduced from the observance of contrivance in nature. In common with most Protestant theologians he lacked any understanding of God working through ‘secondary causes’. To attribute causal agency to material forces seemed to Paley to be tantamount to atheism. If he had read Augustine and Aquinas he would have been able to see how God can make things to make themselves.
Crucially McGrath shows how Paley’s approach rested on an outdated approach to evidence. As a result of a legal debate that took place in early 19th century England it came to be understood that evidence depends upon the acceptance of a framework of interpretation. To speak of ‘proof’ is to talk of a fit between theory and observation. The key question to ask is how well a theoretical framework makes sense of what is encountered in the world.
McGrath builds his own understanding of natural theology on the work of the American philosopher, Charles Pierce who argued that when we observe an amazing fact we are led by a process he termed ‘abduction’ to postulate the existence of something that explains this fact. Abduction is not irrational but it transcends reason; it involves imagination and the ability to range over a number of possible scenarios.
On McGrath’s understanding, natural theology is not concerned with offering a deductive proof for the existence of God in the manner attempted by such philosophers as William Lane Craig. This approach is based on a positivist view of evidence. Instead natural theology should set out to show how the Christian vision of reality offers the ‘best explanation’ of what is seen in the empirical world.
Turning to Darwinism and evolution, he argues that while ‘chance powers the search engine it does not determine what is found’. There is still a place for teleology in evolution. The view of the Cambridge paleobiologist, Conway Morris, that the evolutionary process showed a propensity to navigate its way to certain predetermined conclusions, is quoted.
Looking at the impact of Darwin on Christian belief, McGrath makes the interesting point that Darwin made animal suffering more of a problem for Christians because he both revealed how widespread it was in nature and also contracted the ontological difference between human beings and animals.
Theological argument and intellectual history are often combined in this fascinating book. McGrath gives attention to Addison and the argument from beauty in the world and the impact of Tennyson’s In Memoriam as well as to the kenotic theology of John Polkinghorne or TH Huxley’s intimation of a wider teleology. Doubtless Dawkins and his followers will want to respond to McGrath but I suspect he will also stir up debate among theologians by his remarks about the nature of natural theology. McGrath is clear that natural theology has an important part to play in Christian apologetics even if he has doubts about the kind of natural theology that is sometimes deployed. What is perhaps surprising in his brief discussion of Karl Barth is that he does not recognise how far James Barr undermined Barth’s criticism of natural theology by his analysis of the way the Bible itself make room for just such a form of theology.
ANGLICAN CYCLE OF PRAYER Click here for the full ACP
Psalm: 119:169-176 Job 21:17-34
Namirembe - (Uganda) The Rt Revd Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira
Psalm: 116 Ro. 8:31-39
Nandyal - (South India) The Rt Revd Dr P J Lawrence
Sunday 17-Apr-2011 Palm Sunday of the Passion
Psalm: 24:7-10 Mt. 21:1-11
Bishop of Jerusalem - (Middle East) The Rt Revd Suheil Dawani
Monday 18-Apr-2011 Monday in Holy Week
Psalm: Lam. 3:4-12 Jer. 7:1-11
Nasik - (North India) The Rt Revd Kamble Lemuel Pradip
Tuesday 19-Apr-2011 Tuesday in Holy Week
Psalm: Lam. 3:13-21 Ezekk. 3:4-9
Bishop of Nassau & The Bahamas - (West Indies) The Rt Revd Laish Zane Boyd
New Providence - (West Indies) Vacant
Wednesday 20-Apr-2011 Wednesday in Holy Week
Psalm: Lam. 3:55-63 Jer. 37:6-16
Natal - (Southern Africa) The Rt Revd Rubin Phillip
1.Suffragan Bishop of Natal - (Southern Africa) The Rt Revd Funginkosi Niclaus Mbhele
2. Suffragan Bishop of Natal - (Southern Africa) The Rt Revd Hummingfield Charles Ndwandwe
Thursday 21-Apr-2011 Maundy Thursday Anselm, Abbot of Le Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1109
Psalm: Lam. 2:20-21 Jer. 12:7-13
When Jesus wept, the falling tear in mercy flowed beyond all bound; when Jesus groaned, a tembling fear seized all the guilty world around
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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.