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The Collect of the Week
A new Covenant
Covenant, founded in August 2007 as a weblog community of “evangelical and catholic” Christians, begins a new life today. Covenant has attracted about 40 editorial contributors, including bishops, cathedral deans, priests, and theologians. Covenant will expand its family of contributors in the months ahead.

This page will be an archive of content from August 2007 to January 2012. Please visit Covenant’s thoroughly redesigned home at covenant.livingchurch.org and join the conversation.
See liturgical notes.

Covenant, founded in August 2007 as a weblog community of “evangelical and catholic” Christians, begins a new life today. Covenant has attracted about 40 editorial contributors, including bishops, cathedral deans, priests, and theologians. Covenant will expand its family of contributors in the months ahead.

This page will be an archive of content from August 2007 to January 2012. Please visit Covenant’s thoroughly redesigned home at covenant.livingchurch.org and join the conversation.


A new Covenant
 
Posted by Douglas LeBlanc
A new Covenant

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 6:59 pm

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Covenant, founded in August 2007 as a weblog community of “evangelical and catholic” Christians, begins a new life today. Covenant has attracted about 40 editorial contributors, including bishops, cathedral deans, priests, and theologians. Covenant will expand its family of contributors in the months ahead.

This page will be an archive of content from August 2007 to January 2012. Please visit Covenant’s thoroughly redesigned home at covenant.livingchurch.org and join the conversation. Read full post >>



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Douglas LeBlanc's avatar
A new Covenant

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 6:58 pm

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Covenant, founded in August 2007 as a weblog community of “evangelical and catholic” Christians, begins a new life today. Covenant has attracted about 40 editorial contributors, including bishops, cathedral deans, priests, and theologians. Covenant will expand its family of contributors in the months ahead.

This page will be an archive of content from August 2007 to January 2012. Please visit Covenant’s thoroughly redesigned home at covenant.livingchurch.org and join the conversation.

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Douglas LeBlanc's avatar
IASCUFO promotes Anglican Covenant

Monday, December 12, 2011 at 12:30 pm

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Via Anglican Communion News Service

In the name of the Holy Trinity and grateful for the gracious guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order met in Seoul, Republic of Korea, 2 to 9 December 2011.

In preparation for the forthcoming meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC-15) in 2012, the Commission devoted its third meeting to consolidating its work in the five areas initially identified as falling within its remit in 2009.

These areas of work involve:

1. reflecting critically on the Instruments of Communion and the relationships among them. Our discussions continue to develop the potential of these in the wider contexts of Anglican and ecumenical ecclesiological reflection;

2. studying the definition and recognition of churches;

3. providing a variety of materials to assist in the reception of the Anglican Communion Covenant. The guide which we produced during the past year is being augmented by a short video presentation which will be made available from the Anglican Communion website;

4. assisting the Communion in its engagement with the complex processes involved in reception. This includes receiving from one another and embracing the fruits of ecumenical dialogue and of Anglican theological reflection at all levels in the Communion. In our work as a Commission, we have become increasingly and acutely aware of the importance of this task in the life…

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Christopher Wells's avatar
Anthony Baker on Relearning the Gospel

Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 8:07 pm

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Covenant contributor Anthony D. Baker writes in an essay for Christianity Today’s Global Gospel Project:

A few months ago, a graduate student in practical theology asked Stanley Hauerwas for his perspective on new church movements, especially emergent church movements. Disarming and epigrammatic as ever, the man whom Time once called “America’s Best Theologian” replied, “The future of the church is not found in things like this; the future is doing the same thing Sunday after Sunday.”

This may seem dismissive. The student certainly took it that way, and indicated as much on his blog. I want to suggest, though, that Hauerwas was essentially right. But first I would point to a legitimate layer of anxiety that underlies the student’s frustration.

Rest the rest.

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The Web’s Ruinous Structure

Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 7:57 pm

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Channel: New York Times   

Quentin Hardy writes on the Bits weblog at The New York Times:

The ongoing argument about whether the Internet is a boon or a bust to civilization usually centers on the Web’s abundance. With so much data and so many voices, we each have knowledge formerly hard-won by decades of specialization. With some new fact or temptation perpetually beckoning, we may be the superficial avatars of an A.D.D. culture.

David Weinberger, one of the earliest and most perceptive analysts of the Internet, thinks we are looking at the wrong thing. It is not the content itself, but the structure of the Internet, that is the important thing. At least, as far as the destruction of a millennia-long human project is concerned.

Rest the rest. Read full post >>

Go to the originating news channel for this excerpt to read the full article >>

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Graham Kings's avatar
A Churchgoer’s Guide to the Covenant

Monday, November 21, 2011 at 12:01 pm

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By Fulcrum

The whole Anglican Communion is considering whether to adopt the Anglican Communion Covenant. All Church of England dioceses and many deaneries are discussing it in coming months before it returns to General Synod in 2012. Fulcrum has consistently supported the Covenant but is aware that there is little accessible material explaining it. As a result, many people are relatively uninformed or are being misinformed about it and its significance by some opponents. We have therefore produced this short briefing paper which answers some common questions and provides ten reasons to support the Covenant.

What is The Covenant?

• An agreement among Communion churches in the form of shared affirmations and mutual commitments.

• A nine-page document representing more than three years work by a diverse international committee in dialogue with Anglicans around the world.

• There is a Preamble, four substantive Sections, and a concluding Declaration. An Introduction expressing some of its theological rationale is not part of it but is required to be printed with it.

What prompted calls for a Covenant?

• The Communion has constantly evolved as it has grown in size and diversity and this proposal is in line with earlier developments.

• The Covenant was initially proposed in the 2004 Windsor Report. This responded to two facts. First, North American provinces had abandoned longstanding Anglican principles of consultation…

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Christopher Wells's avatar
Paul Avis on the Covenant

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at 8:27 am

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From Fulcrum

The Anglican Covenant

By Paul Avis

Originally published in Ecclesiology 7.3 (2011) and reproduced with the permission of the author and of the publisher (BRILL).

The Anglican Communion is under stress because of disagreements about Christian morals and about what kind of mutual obligation is involved in membership of the Communion. The Windsor Report (2004)[i] tackled the problems raised by the consecration of a bishop in a same-gender partnership in The Episcopal Church in the USA, the liturgical blessing of same-gender partnerships in a diocese of the Anglican Church of Canada, and the cross-jurisdiction interventions by Anglican churches from the Global South in response to this situation.

The single most significant proposal made by The Windsor Report (2004) was for a Covenant between the churches of the Anglican Communion. It proposed that they would covenant together to commit themselves to exercise restraint in contentious areas, to consult carefully about potential developments and to strengthen processes of mutual accountability. The Covenant has since gone through various drafts and the final ‘Ridley’ draft is now being considered by the member churches of the Anglican Communion. The Covenant proposal has generated considerable nervousness among some: it is seen as moving the Anglican Communion into unknown territory and compromising the hard-won autonomy of the member churches. On the other hand, some representatives of the Global South of the Anglican Communion have already written it off as…

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Christopher Wells's avatar
Covenant FAQs

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at 8:11 am

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From the Diocese of St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich

Available here as a PDF

The Anglican Communion Covenant (A positive view): FAQs

Gregory K Cameron, Bishop of St Asaph, Secretary of the Covenant Design Group, 2006-2009 (Numbers in square brackets refer to sections of the covenant text.)

Where did the idea for a Covenant come from?

The Windsor Report (2004) recommended the idea in order to provide a brief statement of what should hold the Churches of the Communion together during a time of great debate and even division over sexuality questions. It recommended a “Covenant” because it is about relationships as Churches united in Christ rather than about legal or confessional formalities. The Primates unanimously adopted the idea in their meeting in 2005, and asked for a text to be drawn up.

How was the text developed?

The Archbishop of Canterbury appointed a Design Group which met between 2006 and 2009. They decided that nothing new should be expressed in the Covenant — instead, agreed statements (such as the Lambeth Quadrilateral, the four fundamental points of Anglicanism agreed in 1888) and existing institutions should be the basis of the text. They deliberately avoided a long list of beliefs or new structures, but placed the emphasis on the resources that allow all Anglicans to understand their faith. Three versions of the text were developed in turn, and each…

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Benjamin Guyer's avatar
“Forceful” Fictions and the Anglican Covenant

A Response to No Anglican Covenant Coalition’s ‘Ten Reasons Why the Anglican Covenant Is a Bad Idea’ (Part I)
Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 11:08 am

Tags: anglican covenant, windsor report, covenant, anglican communion, church of england, no anglican covenant coalition
At its November 2011 Diocesan Synod, the Diocese of St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich voted against the Anglican Covenant after considering two papers on it. The first was by the bishop of St. Asaph, Gregory K. Cameron, and the second was by the former bishop of Worcester, Peter Selby. Perusing the latter document, which consists of ten points, is a grating wake-up call. Selby, a member of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition (NACC), offered the diocese a paper that not only contained sloppy logic, but a rather curious mis-citation of the Covenant text. In what follows, we address this, noting both Selby's mis-citation and his misinterpretation of the Covenant's very vocabulary.

Mis-Citation

Point #8 of Selby’s text reads:

The notion that we need to make “forceful” the “bonds of affection” is fundamentally flawed. If we need force and coercion to maintain relationships between Communion churches, there is no true affection, and the very foundation of the proposed Covenant is fraudulent.

Two points are worth noting.

Fact #1: The Anglican Covenant never uses the word “forceful” (which does not mean the same as “force” and “coercion”). However, the Covenant does speak twice of the “bonds of affection.”

First, in paragraph 5 of the Preamble, we read: “To covenant together is not intended to change the character of this Anglican expression of Christian faith. Rather, we recognise the importance of renewing…

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Douglas LeBlanc's avatar
Council Releases Covenant-nixing Report

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 9:26 am

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Mary Frances Schjonberg of Episcopal News Service reports: “A covenant task force, composed of six council members, based its recommendation to council in a report that is available in English here and Spanish here.”

The report as released by Executive Council (watermark included) is available on Scribd.

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Douglas LeBlanc's avatar
Council Nixes Covenant, Backs Peaceful Protests

Monday, October 24, 2011 at 9:04 pm

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From The Living Church

One version of the lyrics to “Weave” is available here.

The music team at Home of Truth Spiritual Center, Alameda, Calif., performs the song in this video.

Via the Episcopal Church’s Office of Public Affairs

A Message from Executive Council
Salt Lake City, October 21-24, 2011

Weave, weave, weave …
Weave us together in unity and love.

[from the Weave song attributed to Rosemary Crow]

All day long on Thursday, October 20, the Executive Council gathered. Members came from Bogota in the Diocese of Colombia, from Seattle in the Diocese of Olympia, from the Standing Rock Reservation in the Diocese of North Dakota, from St. Thomas in the Diocese of the Virgin Islands, all ready for their seventh of nine meetings in this triennium. Some traveled only a little more than an hour by air while others spent 18 hours or more making connections and weathering flight delays. Steve Hutchinson of the Diocese of Utah was the only Council member able to sleep in his own bed in Salt Lake City each night as his colleagues came to meet in his home town.

Each was eager to greet colleagues and friends and dive into the full schedule of the meeting when it officially began on Friday morning. Council members had already become immersed in the papers and…

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Philip Turner's avatar
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South Carolina: The Need for Transparency

Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 6:46 pm

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From the Anglican Communion Institute

By the Rev. Dr. Philip Turner
Mark McCall, Esq.


We have considered carefully the available information related to the allegations against Bishop Mark Lawrence that are currently under review by the Disciplinary Board for Bishops. That information discloses an extended and troubling sequence of events that raises serious questions about transparency in the church.

We note the following:

1. In January 2010, Thomas Tisdale sent nine letters to the Diocese of South Carolina requesting voluminous documents from the diocese and its parishes. He advised the diocese that he had been retained to act “as South Carolina counsel for The Episcopal Church” by the chancellor to the Presiding Bishop. This caused the diocese to conclude that “perhaps the Presiding Bishop’s Chancellor, if not the Presiding Bishop herself, is seeking to build a case against the Ecclesiastical Authorities of the Diocese (Bishop and Standing Committee) and some of our parishes.” The Presiding Bishop subsequently told the Executive Council that “I think it’s important that people who want to stay Episcopalians there have some representation on behalf of the larger church.”

2. In August/September 2010 the directors of the Episcopal Forum of South Carolina, a group that describes its mission as “primarily to promote The Episcopal Church, its vision and polity, within the Diocese,” wrote to the Executive Council and each member of the House of Bishops requesting an investigation by…

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Douglas LeBlanc's avatar
Church Attorney Recuses Herself

Friday, October 14, 2011 at 3:56 pm

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From here

A message released to The Living Church Oct. 14 by Bishop Dorsey Henderson

Sisters and Brothers, today I have accepted the withdrawal of Ms. Josephine Hicks from further participation in the matter before us regarding Bishop Mark Lawrence.

Ms. Hicks has withdrawn from all involvement in the Board’s investigation and/or consideration of the Bishop Lawrence matter because unanticipated circumstances have created the possibility of a conflict arising regarding fiduciary responsibilities for members of her law firm as matters develop. For reasons of professional responsibility, she is not at liberty to disclose any details concerning that possibility.

You know as well as I that she has never been a member of the Disciplinary Board. We retained her to serve as the Board’s attorney as one of the decisions we made during our organizational meetings, conducted by conference call. However, the roster of the Board’s membership on the General Convention web site includes her name — obviously a clerical error. (I have requested that this error be corrected, and Canon Straub, Secretary of the General Convention, has assured me that this has been done.) Any apprehension, implication or suggestion that Ms. Hicks’ work would not be impartial is unfounded, just as the claim that she served as a member of the Board is unfounded.

I retain full confidence in Ms. Hicks, not only in her objectivity in her work, but in her proven professional…

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S.E. Asia Elects a New Primate

Friday, October 14, 2011 at 9:42 am

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From The Borneo Post:

The Anglican Bishop of Sarawak and Brunei, the Right Revd Datuk Bolly Lapok, has been elected the fourth Archbishop of the Province of South East Asia.

Bolly was elected during the Extraordinary Provincial Synod in Kota Kinabalu on Thursday.

He will become the province’s fourth Archbishop next year, taking over from the Most Revd Dr John Chew, who is Bishop of Singapore.
Read full post >>

Go to the originating news channel for this excerpt to read the full article >>

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Fr. Tony Clavier's avatar
Gamaliel

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 2:55 pm

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Cross-posted from Shreds and Patches

Like it or not, and I tend not to, most of the GAFCON leaders are members of our Communion. What are the bounds of dissent? Strangely enough this is the central question raised by the Anglican Covenant. Any competent historian will note that we have fought our doctrinal wars lustily and with little restraint other than that self-imposed by an occasional attack of charity.

So the Episcopal Church struggles with the right and limit of self-expression, even for bishops and those who commend the Covenant do the same. That both seem to reach different conclusions is par for the course in our comprehension.

By the way, this isn’t the first time that the Diocese of South Carolina embraced a theology not generally received elsewhere in TEC. In the early 19th century is was the center of a Calvinist revival which spread through the South and was largely responsible for the growth of TEC westward. The polemics indulged in by the factional journals and sermons of the time make our current conflict look wimpy. Because we have always been remarkably hospitable to new (or old) movements there has been a constant shift in opinions, always resisted by those who gained ascendancy the last time! What seems “progressive” becomes “traditionalist” when threatened. And yet through our history this very ability and liberality has renewed and refreshed us. Gamaliel might be our patron saint.

More…

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