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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
Two Patron Bishops for No Anglican Covenant Coalition

Wednesday, July 06, 2011 at 10:15 am

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Channel: No Anglican Covenant Coalition   

From the coalition’s announcement:

The Right Reverend Dr John Saxbee and the Right Reverend Dr Peter Selby have been appointed Episcopal Patrons of the international No Anglican Covenant Coalition.

... “More and more questions are being raised about the potential pitfalls of the proposed Anglican Covenant,” said the Reverend Dr Lesley Fellows, Moderator of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition. “We have consistently seen that support for the Covenant tends to collapse in the face of full and fair discussion and analysis. We are very pleased to welcome Bishops Selby and Saxbee as our first Episcopal Patrons. They are well respected in the Church of England and throughout the Anglican Communion. We expect that their views on the Covenant will persuade many more people to take a harder look at the risks inherent in this radical proposal.”
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Douglas LeBlanc's avatar
Lambeth Palace on the AMiE

Tuesday, July 05, 2011 at 5:15 pm

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From here

The announcement of the creation an ‘Anglican Mission in England’ prompts concern for a number of reasons. New mission initiatives are, as such, always good news; and the declared intention of the spokesmen for this new initiative to remain faithful to the structures of the Church of England is welcome.

However, it is not at all clear how the proposed panel of bishops relate to the proper oversight of the diocesan bishops of the Church of England. Nor is there any definition of what the issues are that might be thought to justify appeal to such a panel rather than the use of normal procedures. Furthermore, the ordination of three English candidates to the diaconate in Kenya with a view to service in England is problematic. It is not clear what process of recognised scrutiny and formation has taken place and how, in the absence of Letters Dimissory (the relevant formal letters from the sponsoring bishop), they have come to be recommended as candidates for ordination by the authorities of another province.

The issue is one of episcopal collegiality. There needs to be some further discussion of this development between those involved and the diocesan bishops of the Church of England. The Archbishop of Canterbury has had the opportunity to speak with the Archbishop of Kenya about the situation: the good faith and fraternal good intentions of our Kenyan colleagues are not at all in…

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Anglican Centre in Rome: An Introduction (video link)

Tuesday, July 05, 2011 at 4:02 pm

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Graham Kings's avatar
Scribal Wisdom

An edited version of a sermon preached at the leavers’ service, Trinity College, Bristol, 4 June 2011
Saturday, July 02, 2011 at 1:35 pm

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Cross-posted from Fulcrum

Introduction

In Alan Bennett’s play, Forty Years On (1968), there is an intriguing dialogue between Lady Dundown and her butler:

Lady Dundown: I see the Dean of Windsor has been consecrated the Bishop of Bombay.

Withers: Bombay. Hmm. If I may say so, ma’am, that seems to me to be taking Christianity a little too far.

I do not think, geographically, you can take Christianity too far. ‘To the ends of the earth’ is our calling. The ironic critique of the ‘scribes and pharisees’ in Matthew 23 is not so much about geography as depth: ‘For you cross sea and land to make a single convert, and you make the new convert twice as much a child of hell as yourselves’ (Matthew 23:15). Scribes have got a bad name. Is it worth, perhaps, trying to redress the balance? Is there such a thing as scribal wisdom?

A. Ezra the Scribe

In Rabbinic literature, Ezra is known as Ezra the Scribe. The rabbis look back to him with awe. He was deeply involved in the return of the Judean exiles from Babylon back to Jerusalem in the middle of the 5<sup>th</sup> century BC. Ezra chapter 7 begins with his genealogy and his influence: he was skilled in the law of Moses, had a network of influence and a particular gifting from God (v 6). He was accompanied…

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Posted by Douglas LeBlanc
SCCC Critiques the Anglican Covenant

Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 7:16 am

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Channel: Episcopal News Service   

Members of the Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons write:

A close reading of the Covenant, and especially Section 4.4.1, makes it clear that the text of the Preamble and of the Introduction to the Covenant must be considered as part of the Covenant itself, despite some confusing language to the contrary. The Commission is mindful of recent actions and statements by the Archbishop of Canterbury, our Presiding Bishop, and other primates of the Communion which provide some perspectives on the subject of future disputes and the understanding of roles and authority.

As developed further in this report, the SCCC is of the view that adoption of the current draft Anglican Covenant has the potential to change the constitutional and canonical framework of TEC, particularly with respect to the autonomy of our Church, and the constitutional authority of our General Convention, bishops and dioceses.

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Bishop Little: Ayn Rand Led Me to Christ

Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 7:10 am

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Channel: Christianity Today   

Bishop Edward S. Little II of the Diocese of Northern Indiana writes in the June issue of Christianity Today:

Ayn Rand changed my life. When I embraced her philosophy, Objectivism, the conversion was far more dramatic than my decision, several years later, to follow Jesus Christ—more dramatic, but in the end transitory. Yet Rand, the novelist, philosopher, and uncompromising atheist, inadvertently opened a door for the gospel. I don't believe dead people spin in their graves, but if they did and she could read these words, I imagine Rand would be twirling violently.

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Posted by Benjamin Guyer
Lawsuit Prompts Priest’s Resignation

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Tags: katharine jefferts schori, sexual abuse

Channel: Living Church   

The lawsuit said that Parry submitted to psychological testing in 2000.

“The results of this testing revealed that Fr. Parry was a sexual abuser who had the proclivity to reoffend with minors,” the lawsuit said, adding that the results were provided to the abbey, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas and the Diocese of Nevada. Parry began working as music director at All Saints in 2000. Jefferts Schori was consecrated Bishop of Nevada in 2001.

Parry said he felt called back to priestly ministry when an opening arose at All Saints’ Church.

“I talked to the bishop, and she accepted me,” he told The Kansas City Star. “And I told her at the time that there was an incident of sexual misconduct at Conception Abbey in ’87. The Episcopal Church doesn’t have a ‘one strike and you’re out’ policy, so it didn’t seem like I was any particular threat. She said she’d have to check the canons, and she did.” Read full post >>

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Graham Kings's avatar
Fulcrum Statement on the Anglican Mission in England

Monday, June 27, 2011 at 12:00 pm

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From here:

Fulcrum has very serious concerns about the launch of the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE), the latest in a number of initiatives in recent years by the same group of conservative evangelicals. These have included the irregular Southwark ordinations (2005), the Covenant for the Church of England (2006), GAFCON (2008), FCAUK (2009) and the St Augustine Society (2010). Fulcrum has often responded to these past actions [in addition to various writings by members of the Leadership Team and Bishop Tom Wright, there have been official Fulcrum responses to the covenant, to GAFCON’s final statement, a Fulcrum PCC Briefing Paper on GAFCON, and a response to Charles Raven on Fulcrum and FCAUK]. Sadly, concerns we have raised in the past appear to be confirmed and heightened by this new development.

We affirm

• the fundamental vision of working “within the Church of England dedicated to the conversion of England and biblical church planting”. But we believe that the latter must be conducted with a biblically based respect for order and hence proper regard to the authority of Church of England structures

• the concern to continue the pressure for maintaining the Anglican Communion’s conservative view on sexual ethics within the Church of England and

• the desire to find appropriate Church of England processes for episcopal oversight for particular parishes, in extreme cases, where bishops do not abide by…

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Posted by Graham Kings
The Bishop of London on the King James Version

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 9:58 am

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Hats off to the Stationers' Company! The final revision before the publication of the King James or Authorised Version of the Bible in 1611 was made possible by the generosity of your Company. The revisers were assembled in Stationers Hall hard by the palace of the Bishop of London, George Abbott who kept a close eye on the business and who had been a member of the Oxford Company responsible for the translation of the greater part of the New Testament. Read full post >>

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Graham Kings's avatar
Moral Journalism

The Richard Johnson annual sermon for the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers
Saturday, June 11, 2011 at 2:49 pm

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Cross-posted from Fulcrum

The Richard Johnson annual sermon
preached at St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street, London
Tuesday, 7 June 2011
for the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers

Co-published with the Times Online

Introduction

Thank you very much for the invitation to preach the Richard Johnson ‘Bubble’ sermon this year. I look forward to the refreshment afterwards, which, I gather, does indeed contain bubbles.

Richard Johnson, who bequeathed this annual sermon gave posterity its text: Vita Humana Bulla Est — Human Life is a Bubble. He died in 1795, tragically, at the early age of 38.

Maybe Richard Johnson was prophetic in his will. Like a bubble, life can indeed be blown up, float along and be popped at any time. However, Bulla in Latin not only means ‘bubble’ but, by analogy, also ‘a globular necklace for children’; and ‘a globular club for hitting people’. On which meaning am I supposed to preach?

My wife, Alison, is a psychotherapist and she has a favourite post card of bubble wrap. It says, ‘Therapy is expensive. Popping bubble wrap is cheap. You choose.’

Physics teaches us that bubbles are spherical because that is the lowest energy state. Whether this applies to the shape and energy of journalists, I will leave you to decide. Also whether bubbles — in terms of being blown,…

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Abp. of Canterbury guest-edits The New Statesman

Thursday, June 09, 2011 at 7:53 pm

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Cross-posted from Fulcrum

The Archbishop of Canterbury guest-edited The New Statesman this week, 9 June 2011. It is worth buying this edition of The New Statesman to read all the articles and gain the context for the debate. Looking forward to comments on this forum thread.

Rowan Williams, ‘The government needs to know how afraid people are’, Editorial, 9 June 2011

Philip Pullman, ‘on what he owes to the Church of England’, New Statesman, 9 June 2011

George Eaton, ‘Archbishop of Canterbury: No one voted for Coalition Policies’, New Statesman blog, 8 June 2011

Responses from the media so far include:

Andrew Brown, ‘Rowan Williams is not interested in party politics’, Comment is Free, Guardian, 9 June 2011

BBC, ‘David Cameron rejects Archbishop of Canterbury’s claims’ [and Bishop Tim Stevens backs them], including two video interviews with Cameron and Stevens.BBC site, 9 June 2011

Charles Moore, ‘Rowan Williams: Another Blast from on High’, The Daily Telegraph, 9 June 2011

Iain Duncan Smith, ‘PM Rejects Archbishop’s Criticism’ article including ITN video interview, The Independent, 9 June 2011

Rob Hastings, ‘Archbishop: No One Voted for Coalition Reforms’, The Independent, 9 June 2011

James Chapman and Steve Doughty, ‘Britain’s bishops at war: Catholic church head leads backlash after Archbishop of…

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Posted by Graham Kings
Durham’s Next Bishop

Monday, June 06, 2011 at 11:23 am

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Channel: Church of England   

The appointment of the new Bishop Designate of Durham, the Very Rev. Justin Welby was announced on Thursday, June 2 — Ascension Day.

Justin Welby is currently Dean of Liverpool and is very much looking forward to being part of the continuing renewal of the ministry of the diocese of Durham and joining those that are strong advocates of the North East. Read full post >>

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The Covenant: What Is it All About?

Friday, May 27, 2011 at 12:43 pm

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From the Anglican Communion Institute

Introduction

After several iterations and a good bit of political chicanery the proposed Anglican Covenant has been sent to the provinces for their consideration, adoption or rejection. Prediction is always a chancy matter. Nevertheless, despite the welcome accession of the Province of South East Asia and the Affirmation of the Church of Ireland, if one observes the virtual disappearance of the Archbishop of Canterbury from the process, and if one looks at the comments that fly around on the blogs it appears that the chances for adoption are in decline. The moral authority vested in the Archbishop is not being exercised. Emboldened by silence from the center, with growing vigor progressive voices object to the fourth section of the proposal because they see in it a form of centralized authority that would limit the autonomy of the provinces. Similarly emboldened, traditionalists object that the Covenant lacks sufficient doctrinal specificity and effective means of discipline. They want shared belief and practice to play a dominant role in the definition of Anglicanism. As clearly illustrated by the recent statement by the GAFCON Primates Council, many with conservative convictions want to give the Covenant a more confessional form and they want it to contain effective means of enforcement.

This dispute both reflects and creates a good bit of heat. It does not, however, create much light. Indeed, in its present form the dispute serves to obscure what the…

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Update on ARCIC III

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 8:11 am

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Channel: Anglican Communion News Service   

From Anglican Communion News Service:

The Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCICIII) has completed the introductory part of the agenda for its first meeting. On Friday and Saturday it discussed background papers on the history of ARCIC I and II (Bishop Christopher Hill, Anglican Diocese of Guildford in England); how ARCIC I and II addressed matters of ecclesiology (Bishop Arthur Kennedy, Roman Catholic Auxiliary Bishop of Boston in the USA; Canon Dr. Nicholas Sagovsky, England) and ethics (Fr. Adelbert Denaux, Dean of Tilburg School of Theology, Utrecht; Dr. Charles Sherlock, retired professor from Melbourne, Australia).

… [Dr. Paul Murray from Durham University in England] stimulated discussion about receptive ecumenism: a way of being with each other that is open and vulnerable. “This is ecumenism not primarily as a task of convincing the other, but as a task of conversion; a task of asking how in the face of the other we are being called to conversion out of ways that are frustrating our flourishing, and into a greater abundance of life, a deeper quality of catholicity,” Dr. Murray said. In other words, our two Communions might be able to help each other grow in faith, life and witness if they are open to being transformed by God’s grace mediated through each other.” Read full post >>

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Why ARCIC is still worth it

Monday, May 23, 2011 at 8:18 am

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Channel: America    Author: Austen Ivereigh

There is something rather retro and quaint about the 10-day gathering of 17 Catholic and Anglican bishops and theologians which begins at a monastery in northern Italy [May 18].

Bose is a community of both men and women, made up of both Anglicans and Catholics, founded in the 1970s, when there was talk of Anglican-Catholic unity within a generation.

Although the aim of the third phase of the official Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, or ARCIC (pron. AR-KICK), is, as it has always been, the full and visible unity between the Catholic and Anglican Churches, there is a new sober realism hanging over this gathering. Read full post >>

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