Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Anglican Church of Rwanda to elect new Archbishop

A new archbishop of Rwanda will be elected on September 17.   The serving primate is Emmanuel Kolini.  He was born in 1945 in Congo, ordained in 1969 and consecrated Assistant Bishop of Bukavu, Zaire in 1980.  He served as Bishop of Katanga, Zaire from 1986 until 1997 at which time he was called into Rwanda as Bishop and Archbishop.  His education was at Canon Warner Memorial College, Bishop Tucker College and Balya Bible College in Uganda.  He and his wife Freda have eight children.  Having become Primate of the Province following the years of genocide, Archbishop Kolini has been a major force for reconciliation in Rwanda.

The Christian Post writes of Archbishop Kolini:

As the newly appointed Archbishop of his native Rwanda, Kolini was the first leader from any denomination to offer a public apology for the failure of his church to respond immediately to the genocide of 1994-a murderous spree that was carried out with shocking, sickening efficiency while the rest of the world carried on with "business as usual." Kolini inherited a region steeped in pain and bitterness, one in which many of the bishops had long since fled the country and the traumatized people were desperately in need of a shepherd. With God's help, he has met every challenge.

Above all, the success of Kolini's ministry rests on his unwavering commitment to obey the Scripture-a stance that many within the embattled Anglican church have been longing to see. He speaks with the voice of a prophet calling his people to return to biblical truth and is one whose example of personal sacrifice has earned the respect of the world. In a move that turns the North American stereotype of world missions on its head, a growing number of American congregations are choosing to place themselves under the authority of Kolini's province and the missionaries he and other archbishops in the developing world have sent through the Anglican Mission in America.

Times of war, oppression, and adverse living conditions can break a man-or they can forge him into the leader for which the world has been waiting. From the villages of Africa to the gleaming sanctuaries of North America, Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini is that leader.

Archbishop Kolini has had ecclesiastical oversight of the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA). Here is a presentation by Archbishop Kolini from last April:

Sunday, August 29, 2010

CAPA releases official Communiqué

NOTE: CAPA officially pledges to "network with orthodox Anglicans around the world, including Communion Partners in the USA and the Anglican Church in North America, in holistic mission and evangelism."  It also seems evident that, but for the Communion Partners, other TEC dioceses and funding will be declined.  There has been an effort underway to establish "partnerships" between TEC dioceses that are not part of the Communion Partners community with African and other Global South dioceses.  It appears from the communique that those days are now over, unless those dioceses "observe the agreed decisions and recommendations of the Windsor Report and the various communiqués of the past three Primates Meetings, especially Dar es Salaam in 2007." Be sure to read the footnotes as well.

From here:


1. In a spirit of unity and trust, and in an atmosphere of love the Primates of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA) as well as Archbishop John chew, the Chairman of the Global South, which represents the majority of the active orthodox membership in the entire Anglican Communion, met during the 2nd All Africa Bishop's Conference in Entebbe, Uganda. We enjoyed the fellowship and the sense of unity as we heard the Word of God and gathered around the Lord's Table.

2. We gave thanks to God for the leadership of the Most. Rev. Ian Ernest, Archbishop of the Indian Ocean and Chairman of CAPA and for the abundant hospitality provided by the Most Rev. Henry Orombi, Archbishop of Uganda and the entire Church of Uganda.

3. We were honored by the presence of the His Excellency General Yoweri K. Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, for his official welcome to Uganda and for hosting an official state reception for the AABCH. We are very grateful to him for his support of the work of the Anglican Church in Uganda and for his call to stand against the alien intrusions and cultural arrogance which undermines the moral fiber of our societies. We recall his admonishment to live out the words and deeds of the Good Samaritan. We are also grateful to the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister of Uganda for his presence and words of encouragement to us.

4. We were very happy and appreciated that the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Dr. Rowan Williams, accepted our invitation to attend the 2nd All Africa Bishop's Conference. We were encouraged by his word to us. We also appreciated the opportunity to engage face-to-face with him in an atmosphere of love and respect. We shared our hearts openly and with transparency, and we have come to understand the difficulties and the pressures he is facing. He also came to understand our position and how our mission is threatened by actions which have continued in certain provinces in the Communion. We therefore commit ourselves to continuously support and pray for him and for the future of our beloved Communion.

5. We were very saddened with the recent actions of The Episcopal Church in America who went ahead and consecrated Mary Glasspool last May 2010, in spite of the call for a moratorium(1) and all the warnings from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion and the 4th Encounter of the Global South.

This was a clear departure from the standard teaching of the Anglican Communion as stated in Lambeth Resolution 1.10. We are also concerned about similar progressive developments in Canada and in the U.K. 6. Being aware of the reluctance of those Instruments of Communion to follow through the recommendations of the Windsor Report(2) and taken by the Primates Meetings in Dromantine(3) and Dar es Salaam(4) we see the way ahead as follows:

A. In order to keep the ethos and tradition of the Anglican Communion in a credible way, it is obligatory of all Provinces to observe the agreed decisions and recommendations of the Windsor Report and the various communiqués of the past three Primates Meetings, especially Dar es Salaam in 2007. We as Primates of CAPA and the Global South are committed to honor such recommendations.

B. We are committed to meet more regularly as Global South Primates and take our responsibilities in regard to issues of Faith and Order.(5)

C. We will give special attention to sound theological education as we want to ensure that the future generations stand firm on the Word of God and faithfully follow our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

D. We are committed to network with orthodox Anglicans around the world, including Communion Partners in the USA and the Anglican Church in North America, in holistic mission and evangelism. Our aim is to advance the Kingdom of God especially in unreached areas.

E. We are committee to work for unity with our ecumenical partners and to promote interfaith dialogue with other faiths in order to promote a peaceful co-existence and to resolve conflicts.

F. We are committed to work for the welfare of our countries. This will involve alleviating poverty, achieving financial and economic empowerment, fighting diseases, and promoting education.

7. Finally, we are very aware of our own inadequacy and weaknesses hence we depend fully on the grace of God to achieve his purpose in the life of his church and our beloved Anglican Communion.

FOOTNOTES:

1. The Windsor Report Section 134.1 The Episcopal church (USA) be invited to express its regret that the proper constraints of the bonds of affection were breached in the events surrounding the election and consecration of a bishop for the See of New Hampshire, and for the consequences which followed and that such an expression of regret would represent the desire of the Episcopal Church (USA) to remain within the Communion(2) the Episcopal church (USA) be invited to effect a moratorium on the election and consent to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate who is living in a same gender union until some new consensus in the Anglican Communion energies.

The Windsor Report Section 144.3 We call for a moratorium on all such public Rites, and recommend that bishops who have authorized such rites in the US and Canada be invited to express regret that the proper constraints of the bonds of affection were breached by such authorizations.

2. Windsor Report. Section D. 157 There remains a very real danger that we will not choose to walk together. Should the call to halt and find ways of continuing in our present communion not be heeded, then we shall have to begin to learn to walk apart.

3. The Communiqué of the Primates Meeting in Dromantine (2005) Section 14. Within the ambit of the issues discussed in the Windsor Report and in roder to recognize the integrity of all parties, we request that the Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church of Canada voluntarily withdraw their members from the Anglican Consultative Council for the period leading up to the next Lambeth Conference.

4. The Communiqué of the Primates Meeting in Dar es Salaam in 2007. If the reassurances requested of the House of Bishops cannot in good conscience be given, the relationship between The Episcopal Church and the Anglican communion as a whole remains damaged at best, and this has consequences for the full participation of the Church in the life of the Communion.

5. Lambeth 1988 Resolution 18.2(a) Urges the encouragement be given to a developing collegial rule for the Primates Meeting under the presidency of the Archbishop of Canterbury, so that the Primates Meeting is able to exercise an enhanced responsibility in offering guidance on doctrinal, moral and pastoral matters. Lambeth 1998 Resolution III.6 (a) reaffirms the Resolution 18.2(a) Of Lambeth 1988 which "urges that encouragement be given to a developing collegial role for the Primates' Meeting under the presidency of the Archbishop of Canterbury, so that the Primates' Meeting is able to exercise an enhanced responsibility in offering guidance on doctrinal, moral and pastoral matters".

Tip of the Tinfoil to DV - read it all here.

Anglican Bishops draw the line with Canterbury

From CNN:

Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi, head of Uganda's Anglican church and the host of the week-long All Africa Bishops Conference, said the Archbishop of Canterbury faces a complicated task in trying to reunite the church.

"He (Williams) spoke what was on his mind and we also spoke. We impressed it on him that he had totally gone in a different direction and he has to sort it out," Orombi told journalists after their closed-door meeting on Wednesday.

"We sympathize with his position as head of the Anglican communion suffering disunity on moral grounds and teaching of the scripture. It's like having unruly kids in his house and he can't sit down to eat food."

"We have told him and he understood us, that (there's) no more diplomacy on that matter, homosexuality. We made our minds very clear and he is going back knowing there is no gray area on our part," Orombi said.

Journalists who tried to question Williams on the subject at the conference were rebuffed by aides who surrounded him. The archbishop returned to England Thursday, but CNN calls to his office were not immediately returned.

Read it all here.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Archbishop visits Mildmay Centre in Uganda

From here:

Dr Williams, who is in the country for the All Africa Bishops' Conference, described his visit to the paediatric ward as "inspirational".

But he was told that the unit, which has cared for thousands of the country's sickest children over the years, faces imminent closure as Mildmay International, the British NGO that runs it, cannot afford to do so for much longer.  The 33-bed specialist HIV paediatric unit - known as Elizabeth Ward - is expected to close down in just 37 days when the existing funds run out.

Speaking after the visit, the Archbishop said: "It's been an inspirational experience this afternoon.
"I have seen how much real future is being offered especially to the children here, the generosity and imagination of the work - the quality of care is really wonderful to see.

"And of course when people see that there is hope like this, then it helps them to be honest about themselves and face their conditions.

"I really hope and pray there will be resource to keep this level of care, love and professionalism going on.

"I know that there are many problems that organisations like Mildmay face especially with the work of children and I really, really honestly want to see this work continue and hope that generous people will go out to support it.

"It is crucial for the life of this country and this continent."
Read the whole thing here - and please pray that it may remain open and serving the children.

Archbishop Duncan joins with other Anglican archbishops at opening Eucharist at Conference

From here:

Bishops from all of Africa as well as Anglicans from around the world are meeting together in Entebbe, Uganda, for the Second All Africa Bishops Conference August 23-29.

The conference, which is organized by the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA), calls together bishops and archbishops from 400 dioceses in Africa.

Invited guests from around the Anglican world are also present.
Archbishop Robert Duncan, Bishop Martyn Minns, Bishop John Guernsey and Bishop Bill Atwood are among the Anglican Church in North America leaders who are attending the event.

“The Anglican Church is expanding everywhere in Africa.  There are now some 400 dioceses spread across the continent.  As Archbishop I am here to learn and to stand in solidarity with this vigorous gospel mission,” said Archbishop Duncan.  As the leader of the Anglican Church in North America, Archbishop Duncan was included with the other Anglican primates (leaders of Anglican provinces) during the opening Eucharist, and shared in the distribution of communion, as did the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.

Archbishop Williams told the gathered bishops that the 21st Century may well be the “African Century.”

Archbishop Duncan, as well as Archbishop John Chew of Southeast Asia, have also been invited to sit with the primates of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) during their meetings.

Read it all here. Here is CAPA Chair, Archbishop Ian Ernest at his opening address:


Remembering Jennifer Hayes (1972-2010)

Two presentations by Jennifer Hayes (1972-2010) at Truro Church from this past spring have now been added to YouTube. Here they are - and to God be the glory.
One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.
-Psalm 27:4-5


In the Love of Jesus




Faure's Pie Jesu

The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams addresses the All Africa Bishops Conference

The Archbishop of Canterbury delivered a sermon for Opening Eucharist at the 'Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa All Africa Bishops' Conference, Entebbe, Uganda, from here.  


My dear brothers and sisters, first let me say a word of heartfelt thanks for the invitation to be part of this wonderful occasion to share fellowship with you, to learn from you. Archbishop Ian thank you and thanks to CAPA for the invitation, Archbishop Henry thank you for all you have done to welcome us all here in this jewel of Africa. I want also to bring the greetings and the prayers of your brothers and sisters of the Church of England many of whom will be praying alongside us in these days ahead and will look to see and hear the great things God will do in this assembly.

Now I apologise to those in this congregation who are not bishops because I want to speak this morning first of all about the ministry of the bishop because this is a conference for those on whom responsibilities have been laid for the leadership of the church. Our readings this morning fill out the nature of that responsibility.

When we are made bishops, we pray that we may be given the grace to follow the one Good Shepherd, Our Saviour Jesus Christ, knowing that only in following him will we be set free to help bring about in his world the changes that he desires.  As St Peter's first letter makes plain, our shepherding has to be like his, grounded in the free, loving will of God to give and sustain life.  In this Conference, which offers so much hope for the churches in Africa and their brothers and sisters worldwide, our focus is quite rightly on the nature of this new life and of those changes that God desires – our focus is on our responsibility to bring healing, justice (and sometimes judgement too), to bring hope where there is none; our responsibility to show the society we live in that there is a way of life together in society that, because it is in accord with God's purpose for men and women, promises fullness of life both here and hereafter.

 It is the responsibility to show that peace lies with God alone. 'He will settle disputes among the nations, among the great powers near and far' says the prophet Micah (4.3).  And the prophet goes on, 'Each nation worships and obeys its own god, but we will worship and obey the LORD our God for ever and ever'(v.5).  We will worship and obey the God of Micah and the prophets because only in his power and grace can human beings come to see each another as equally loved and treasured by him and so to see each other – the good and the bad, the saintly, the selfish and the confused – as all, without exception, worthy of love and service.

We have the responsibility brothers and sisters of showing the world how precious a thing is a human being – and a special responsibility to show the world the preciousness of those who are hated or neglected by others or by society at large.  A few months ago, I was able to speak to the Synod of our Church of England about the work done in this province of Uganda for the rehabilitating of child soldiers after they have been forced into terrible and dehumanising actions and habits.  There are many more stories of this kind, which you know better than I. The Church here has bravely refused to turn its back on those living with this and other kinds of stigma, so as to say, 'All are precious in God's sight'.
Only yesterday afternoon I had the huge grace and privilege of seeing the work done at the Mildmay hospital here in Entebbe with children living with HIV and AIDS who spoke how the gospel of Jesus Christ enabled them to live in hope to face and contest the stigma that so often so unjustly lies upon them. I shall take that back as one of the greatest treasures of that visit.

Now to come to this realisation that God treasures the persons he has made is one result of recognising what it is that Jesus Christ has done for us.  God in Christ is – we can almost say – unable to bear the terrible results of our sin and our abandonment of his ways, and so he makes himself an offering to take away our sin.  'Whoever comes in by me will be saved', says the Lord in today's gospel (Jn 10.9-10);'they will come in and go out and find pasture...I have come in order that you might have life – life in all its fullness'.  All this is possible because Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection has opened the door, the door that no-one can shut (Rev.3.7); through him we may pass into the Father's presence, into the fullness of joy that is the vision of his glory.

God in Christ steps into our world because he wants no-one to be lost, and so he gives to each and all the possibility of changing their lives and being recreated through the Spirit.  The heart of our gospel proclamation is always to say, pointing at the cross, 'See how he loves you!' and to say, pointing at the work of the Spirit in the Body of Christ, 'See what you might become!'  So that when we seek to share the good news, we always begin with these two moments – gratitude for the work of redemption and hope for our transformation.

But now we must go a step further.  This is the hope, this is the responsibility, this is why we give our energies to these great goals of justice and healing that we shall be discussing in the days to come.  But if Christ gives us such responsibility, what he is doing is to give us the grace to be drawn into what he is doing.  And when we are drawn into what he is doing, we are drawn into walking his way of the cross.  He is the Good Shepherd because he is prepared to give his life for the flock; and we who are called into the life of his Body live in the same readiness to give everything for the sake of the precious life of those God loves.

And for us who are called not only into the life of the Body but into that ministry of shepherding that seeks to preserve the Body in unity and love – those of us who are called to be bishops and pastors – this summons to walk in Christ's way is one that should sober us, perhaps it should even frighten us.  When I ordain a new bishop, one of the most deeply moving and significant moments in the service for me is when, after I have asked the new bishop to declare his commitment to scriptural faith and holiness of life, I then say to him that all this is too much for him to bear in his own strength and summon him and the whole congregation to silent prayer for the gift of the Spirit.  Only in that moment can we lay aside our fears as we open ourselves to what Jesus calls the promise of the Father (Acts 1.4).

So before we begin our reflections together about how we pursue God's justice and peace and healing in this continent and this world, we pause here in worship to think about the kind of life we must be living as pastors and leaders of this community where the new creation is coming to birth.  And if we listen carefully to what the Lord is saying in this gospel reading, we have some essential clues.  I want to underline two in particular.

The first is in the words Jesus speaks about the sheep following him because they know his voice.  They recognise that he speaks to what is most real and profound in them – to that level of their human existence where the divine image still lives, hidden by sin and forgetfulness and confusion, yet still alive, waiting to be called back to fullness of life.  So the challenge to us who are pastors is, 'Do we speak at that level? Do we speak in such a way that people recognise that we are addressing what is most real and alive in them?'  Sometimes it is said that Christian pastors spend their time constructing perfect answers to questions that nobody is asking!  I suspect that may be more of a problem in the European churches than it is here.  Yet the temptation is real for all of us to ignore the deepest and sometimes the most difficult questions in people's hearts and minds.

When Jesus speaks, people know that they are recognised for what they are and that he speaks their language.  It certainly doesn't mean that he never challenges or changes them; far from it.  But he begins by speaking in such a way that we know he understands us from the inside.  So for us who are pastors, what we must learn is first to listen to Jesus ourselves, to recognise how he speaks to our own sin and sometimes confusion.  Bishops cannot be allowed to forget that they are human and so in need of repentance and renewal like all others; and that will only come for us when we make room to listen in the quite of our hearts to the Lord, so that we can hear his words – 'You too are precious to me; you too must be converted and renewed; you too can carry my word of life to others.'

We listen to Jesus and then we must learn to listen to those we lead and serve, to find out what their own hopes and needs and confusions are.  We must love and attend to their humanity in all its diversity, so that we become better able to address words of hope and challenge to them.  We cannot assume we always know better, that we always have the right answer to any specific question.  What we have is the ultimate true answer to every need of human beings, Jesus himself – but this doesn't mean that we are always going to be right on this or that practical question just because we are pastors or bishops – or Archbishops of Canterbury!  We need to learn the language of those we serve.  The best and greatest of the missionaries who carried the Christian faith to new territories made a priority of leaning the language.  But this is never just a matter of learning the words, learning how to say what you want to say in new ways – it is also about learning to listen and respect.  So much of our work this week is going to be about this respectful listening to see if we really understand the needs of our people.  And if and when we learn that, we are some way towards that Christ-like ministry where our speaking and serving reflect a bit better the service of the one great Shepherd whose voice is recognised because he truly understands who we are as human beings made in his image.

That leads on to the second aspect of the Good Shepherd's service that we shepherds must seek to grow into.  The Good Shepherd does not abandon his flock when they are at risk; he shares their danger.  It is only the hired man who will run away – because he does not have the passionate attachment to the flock that the Good Shepherd has.  In theological terms, we could say that the Good Shepherd can never abandon his own Body – these are his own people, purchased with his blood, and his life and theirs are utterly bound up together.  He does indeed understand them from the inside: truly human and truly divine, he knows – as the letter to the Hebrews so wonderfully spells out – all the temptations and troubles we know.  And in his incarnate life, he exposes himself to the full weight of human sin, to violence and rejection, to the cost and the effect of all that is done wrong in the world.   He is a Good Shepherd because he will not separate himself from those he serves.  He takes the consequence of their sin and failure and he takes the risk of living alongside them.

So for us who have been called to Christian leadership, the message is clear.  We cannot refuse to take risks alongside our people and to take risks for them – to put ourselves and our safety or comfort at risk for the sake of the community's life.  Our authority comes not from being at a safe distance but from being there with those who need our ministry.  And we may well think of all those in this continent who in the past and the present have so bravely stayed with their people, who have not sought safety or comfort but have stood alongside God's precious children and risked so much so as to be able to go on speaking the word of life.  In this country, as we have already been reminded this morning, we cannot fail to remember Janani Luwum; but in our own times, there have been many who have courageously continued in this tradition – and here we think specially today with celebration and thanksgiving of our brothers in Sudan, in DRC and Zimbabwe whose authority as pastors in the church of God rests so deeply on their willingness to take risks alongside their flock and for them – while witnesses, in St Peter's words, witnesses to both suffering and glory.

One of the focal points of this Conference is the renewal of leadership in Africa.  And all of us know that, here as elsewhere in the world, there can be no lasting justice without sacrificial and selfless political leadership.  We who are called to lead in the Christian community will seldom if ever be ourselves in a position to make the great political decisions; but we can and we must go on seeking to model a leadership that is self-giving, humble and yet clear and authoritative, rooted in our identification with our people and never looking for private advantage.  The clarity of Christian and especially Anglican witness against corruption in political leadership in so many contexts in this continent has been a great beacon for many elsewhere, and our prayer is that it will continue with the same force and integrity, always underpinned by this personal integrity in Christian leadership, by the way we seek to show the face of the Good Shepherd who stands with his flock and never seeks safety or ease at their expense.  God knows, all our churches throughout the world need this witness, and we are all – myself included – painfully aware of how often we can try and step aside from the risks that our responsibilities bring.  But God who has called us is faithful; and we are assured again and again that he gives the grace to overcome.

So as we begin this deeply significant meeting, let us hold firmly before us the vision of the gospel we have heard.  We are called to open the door that is Jesus – the door into fullness of life in a world full of selfishness and insensitivity to pain and poverty.  We are called to do this, not for some purely humanitarian reason but because of God's passionate longing for mercy, joy and reconciliation in the world he has made.  We are called, we who are pastors and leaders, to follow this imperative by the transformation of our own lives – by recognising our own humanity and seeking grace every hour of every day; by labouring without interruption to find ways of speaking to the depths and the true heart of all those we seek to serve so that our voice can be recognised as a voice of hope and renewal; by standing alongside our people in life and death, as so many of the saints and heroes of this continent have done.

It has been said that this is going to be the African century of the Christian Church in terms of energy and growth and vision. Archbishop Mouneer has already reminded us of this and of its deep roots in Christian history. God raises up different countries and cultures in different seasons to bear witness to his purpose in a specially marked way, and it may be that this is indeed his will for Africa in the years ahead.  And if the churches of Africa are going to be for this time a city set on a hill, how very important it will be for the health and growth of all God's churches throughout the world that this witness continues at its best and highest.  In this meeting, God has given us the grace to come together for just this end, to reflect on how the bishop's ministry can best serve and show the new creation, the one great hope for men and women to be truly free and joyful as they work against all the terrible things that wound the image of God in us and hold back the potential of those whom God loves so passionately.  We in the Church worldwide pray with you, with all our hearts, that your hopes and goals in this meeting will be wonderfully realised and that you will be able to speak a word not only for this continent but for all God's people, a word that all will hear and recognise as the calling of the eternal Word to the world he loves, the calling into fullness of life.

And to that life eternal and joyful, a life in vision of the father, in fellowship with Jesus Christ, in the joy and communion of the Holy Spirit may God through his Grace bring us all. Amen.

Today at the Cafe: C.S. Lewis, in his own words

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Anglican Bishops gather in Uganda with the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams


Again, another fascinating photo of Anglican bishops gathering in Uganda this week. Official photo includes both the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Coming Oct. 19th: Bob Dylan to release ninth Bootleg Series album and Original Mono Recordings album

From here:

Bob Dylan's The Bootleg Series Volume 9 – The Witmark Demos will be released on Tuesday, October 19th, in conjunction with the re-release of the artist's first eight long-playing albums in a box set titled Bob Dylan – The Original Mono Recordings. Both sets have been long sought-after by collectors and fans worldwide, with The Witmark Demos seeing their first commercial release nearly five decades after they were first recorded, and The Original Mono Recordings returning to the marketplace for the first time ever on CD as well as on fully analogue 180-gram vinyl. Both are now available for pre-sale with an exclusive t-shirt and limited edition 18x24" Bob Dylan poster at SonyMusicDigital.com/bobdylan. You can also pre-order the CD or vinyl sets at Amazon.
The Witmark Demos features 47 Bob Dylan songs recorded by the artist accompanied only by his acoustic guitar, harmonica and occasionally piano on 2 CD or 4 LP 180-gram vinyl. All of these songs were written – and their subsequent demos recorded – before Bob Dylan turned 24 years old.

Among the many gems are 15 Bob Dylan songs that were recorded by the artist only for these sessions, and which have never been officially released to the public until now. These include the plaintive "Ballad For A Friend," the civil rights era-inspired "Long Ago, Far Away" and "The Death Of Emmett Till," and the poignant "Guess I'm Doing Fine."

The Original Mono Recordings is comprised of Bob Dylan's first eight long-playing albums, painstakingly reproduced from their first generation monaural mixes as the artist intended them to be heard. These eight albums – spanning the artist's self-titled debut in March 1962, through John Wesley Harding released on December 27, 1967 – are universally regarded as some of the most important works in the history of recorded music.

Together with The Witmark Demos, they provide the public with a wide-ranging view of Bob Dylan's work during the 1960s, and chronicle his amazing evolution from fledgling songwriter to one of the world's most inventive and singular recording artists.

Here is a list of tunes that are reported to be included:

Leeds Music Demos
New York City, New York
February 1962
1. Hard Times In New York Town
2. Poor Boy Blues
3. Ballad For A Friend
4. Rambling, Gambling Willie
5. Man On The Street
6. Talking Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues
7. Standing On The Highway

Witmark & Sons Demos
New York City, New York
December 1962
1. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
2. Tomorrow Is A Long Time
3.The Death Of Emmett Till
4.Let Me Die In My Footsteps
5. Ballad Of Hollis Brown
6.Quit Your Low Down Ways
7.Baby, I'm In The Mood For You

Witmark Studio
New York City, New York
Winter 1963
1. Bound To Lose, Bound To Win
2. All Over You
3. I'd Hate To Be You On That Dreadful Day
4. Talking John Birch Paranoid Blues

Witmark Studio
New York City, New York
March 1963
1. Long Time Gone
2. Masters Of War
3. Farewell
4. Oxford Town
5. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
6. Walkin' Down The Line

Witmark Studio
New York City, New York
April 1963
1. I Shall Be Free
2.Bob Dylan's Blues
3.Bob Dylan's Dream
4. Boots Of Spanish Leather

Witmark Studio
New York City, New York
May 1963
1. Girl From The North Country
2.Seven Curses
3.Hero Blues

Witmark Studio
New York City, New York
August 1963
1. Whatcha Gonna Do
2. Gypsy Lou
3. Ain't Gonna Grieve
4.John Brown
5.Only A Hobo
6.When The Ship Comes In

Witmark Studio
New York City, New York
October 1963
1. The Times They Are A-Changin'
Witmark Studio

New York City, New York
December 1963
1. Paths Of Victory

Witmark Studio,
New York City, New York
January 1964
1. Guess I'm Doing Fine
2.Baby Let Me Follow You Down (Eric von Schmidt)

Unidentified Recording Studio
New York City, New York
Mid to late June 1964
1. Mr. Tambourine Man
2.Mama, You Been On My Mind
3. I'll Keep It With Mine

CAPA Conference opens in Entebee

 A picture paints a thousand words.  Photo from today's CAPA meeting, with the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams on one side of Uganda Archbishop Henry Orombi and CAPA Chair Ian Ernest of the Indian Ocean and the Archbishop of the ACNA Bob Duncan  on the other.


UPDATE: New report via e-mail and now online:
The Anglican church in the West no longer adheres to the word of God, African bishops said Tuesday at a continental conference attended by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Rowan Williams, the head of the world-wide Anglican Communion, has been criticised by some African church leaders for his tolerant stance on homosexuality.
"Today, the West is lacking obedience to the word of God," Reverend Ian Ernest of Mauritius, the head of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa, told journalists.
"It is for us (Africans) to redress the situation," he said, adding that he has severed all ties to the Episcopalian churches in Canada and the US that have allowed gays to enter the clergy.
The conference host, the Archbishop of Uganda Henry Luke Orombi, said African leaders would use the six-day meeting to voice the concerns about the "ailing church" to Williams.
"Homosexuality is incompatible with the word of God," Orombi said. "It is good (that) Archbishop Rowan is here. We are going to express to him where we stand. We are going to explain where our pains are."
Orombi also said that disputes over homosexuality had already divided the global Anglican community.
"There is already a break. It doesn't need to be announced. It is in the way people act," he said.
Williams delivered a sermon Tuesday during the opening of the meeting, the first of its kind since 2004.
While he did not mention homosexuality, he said it was the duty of all bishops to be open minded on contentious issues.
"We must learn to listen to those we lead and serve to find out what their hopes and needs and confusions are. We must love them and attend to their humanity in all its diversity," he said.
"We cannot assume we always know better and that we always have the right answer to any specific question."
Uh oh.

*

Word out is that the President of Uganda had some interesting things to say to Rowan Williams in his opening address of the Council for Anglican Provinces of Africa conference in Entebee, Uganda. The Archbishop of Canterbury has all ready addressed the convention this morning.

400 African bishops (and western lobbyists) will gather at the Imperial Resort Beach Hotel for the second major gathering of the Anglican bishops of Africa.  The first gathering was held in Nigeria in 2004.

“It is interesting that we are having the second African bishops conference in Uganda just after the African Union summit," said CAPA general secretary, the Rev. Canon Grace Kaiso in early reports.  "Those of us who believe in God think this is a message in terms of the privileged place Uganda occupies on the continent,” he said.

“We cannot have a prosperous future when the greater part of our population is under war, disease and our population is merely surviving. We are saying as the church who believe in the fullness of life, things must be done differently. We are here to reflect together on how we can tackle some of these bottlenecks of perpetual conflict, poverty and disease,” Kaiso told the press.

Of note, The Episcopal Church has shown up in full force this time.

Here is the rundown of today's events:

DAY 1 – TUESDAY 24 AUGUST (MC: REV CANON GRACE KAISO)

6:30am Breakfast at Hotels

8:00am Pickup from Hotels to Conference Hall

8:30am Delegates assemble at Conference Hall for opening Service

9:00am OPENING SERVICE

Welcome Remarks Archbishop of Uganda Henry Orombi

Welcome Remarks Archbishop Ian Ernest CAPA Chairman (Journey from Lagos to Entebbe)

Greetings from CAPA Provinces

Burundi, Central Africa, Congo, Egypt, Indian Ocean, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Southern Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, West Africa

Sermon - Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams

Group Photo

1:00pm Lunch

2:30pm Assemble at Conference Hall

2:45pm PRESENTATION OF THE CONFERENCE THEME - (MC: RT. REV YONA KATONEENE)

Conference Overview

+ Chairman LOC - Mr. Edward Gaamuwa
+ Chairman CAPA - Archbishop Ian Ernest

Presentation of the Theme by Prof. Jesse Mugambi

Good will messages from Partners and Friends

6:00pm CAPA Primates Meeting

7:30pm Cultural Evening/Dinner
AnglicanTV is present at the conference and we'll be bringing updates - stay tuned!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

U2: Back on the Road!

From here:

U2 opened the first show of their European summer tour, at Olympic Stadium in Turin, Italy, with the unknown and the familiar.

The first song was a brand new, unfinished number, "Return of the Sting Ray Guitar." It was so new it didn't have a real ending — the band just stopped playing after four minutes of a hard pneumatic groove, driven by the Edge's crunching-fuzz guitar.

But that riff and power came with a reassuring sight: Bono, on stage for the first time since he underwent spinal surgery nine weeks earlier, strutting along the whole outer rim of U2's giant stage. He often stopped to do boxing-dance moves, throwing punches like a fighter happy to be back in the ring.


Bono's restored energy was dramatic confirmation that U2's world tour, now set to run into next year, was only interrupted, not derailed. But the band took that extra time to change the show in profound ways. U2 are still travelling with the most extravagant hi-tech spectacle in stadium-rock history. But they have made the set list less about their last album, No Line On the Horizon, and more about continuing history. Of the 24 songs in the set, three were revived from deep in the catalog: "In A Little While," from All That You Can't Leave Behind; "Miss Sarajevo," from The Passengers album; and the Batman Forever movie theme "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me."

Bono and the Edge also debuted an acoustic ballad "North Star" in complete darkness, illuminated only by the cell phone lights of the crowd. "Let's see if we can turn this place into the Milky Way," Bono said. The crowd came close. And U2 finally got to play the song they had written especially for their aborted June show at the Glastonbury festival. Simply called "Glastonbury," it was another furious package of Bono's wailing, the Edge's rudely distorted guitar and the stern forward drive of drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. and bassist Adam Clayton.

The third running theme throughout the night — with liftoff and rebirth — was gratitude. For every leap in the air and bout of shadowboxing, Bono expressed relief and thanks. The blessings and wonder in "Beautiful Day" were repeated again and again in his voice and lyrics, in "Magnificent," "Get On Your Boots," "City of Blinding Lights" and the final encore, "Moment of Surrender."
Early in the set, after "Mysterious Ways," Bono stopped to introduce his bandmates and thank them for "their strength and patience." He also told the crowd how much he appreciated the letters and best wishes from fans during his recovery. But he added, "that time is past. We're very much for the future."

Then Bono led U2 into a stirring charge through the Joshua Tree song, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." He sang it like he's ready to go the distance.

Read it all here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The National Gallery of Denmark to exhibit new works by Bob Dylan Sept 2010 - Jan 2011: The Brazil Series

From here:
Bob Dylan has been a prolific painter and draughtsman since the 1960s. The multi-talented artist has, however, long kept this lesser-known aspect of his work to himself; only over the course of the last three years has he appeared in public as a painter, exhibiting watercolours and drawings. The National Gallery of Denmark’s major autumn exhibition sees Bob Dylan presenting large-scale paintings for the first time ever: The Brazil Series, which consists of all-new, never-before-seen works.

Images arising out of necessity
While Bob Dylan’s paintings and songs can be said to complement each other on certain points, his visual art should nevertheless be regarded as a fully rounded universe in its own right. If you search the paintings for visual assistance for your interpretations of Dylan’s songs and music, you would seek in vain. Rather, the works seem to spring from a deeply felt need on the artist’s part to express himself in solely visual terms. Or, as Dylan himself emphasised in his dialogue with the Gallery while working on his new paintings: ”If I could have expressed the same in a song, I would have written a song instead”.

New direction, new works
Bob Dylan’s visual art is infused with the same constant urge for renewal and innovation that characterises his music. He seems to find no satisfaction in settling on a specific mode of expression once he has followed it through to its logical conclusion; rather, he is constantly experimenting, trying out new artistic devices, approaches, and modes of expression. When the National Gallery of Denmark approached him in the autumn of 2008 he regarded the watercolours and drawings executed by him so far as a closed chapter. The upcoming exhibition at the Gallery thus became the concrete catalyst behind an artistic change of direction and a period of intense work for Bob Dylan. In a new departure, he began working with acrylics and larger formats, and his visual idiom has also taken a new turn. The final result is The Brazil Series, which comprises around 50 paintings.

”I've been to the National Gallery of Denmark and it definitely is an impressive art museum. It was more than a little surprising when I was asked to create works specifically for this museum. It was an honor to be asked and a thrilling challenge. I chose Brazil as a subject, because I have been there many times and I like the atmosphere,” Bob Dylan states.

Snapshots from Brazil
Bob Dylan’s new series reflects the settings and people he came across in Brazil. Here, we find depictions of everyday scenes in cities and in the country. Wine growers, gypsies, politicians, gamblers, and gangsters. A motley collection of motifs and subject matter that accentuates the artist’s fascination with the diversity of Brazil. The works appear almost like anthropological records, shorn of any romantic sentiments, preconceptions, or social commentary. The motif itself, its compositional potential, and the underlying narrative would appear to be the features that most interest the artist.

From paper bags to canvases
Bob Dylan the visual artist demonstrates phenomenal powers of observation. Effortlessly removing himself from the limelight, he depicts everyday life in its mundane and extreme incarnations – soberly and with a superior sense for the potential offered by painting as a medium. Most of the motifs were first hastily sketched in pencils on whatever piece of paper happened to be at hand, whether a paper bag, a napkin, or a sketchpad. Back in his studio Dylan would then continue work on the chosen motifs on canvases. The process adds a strong narrative element to the paintings, another feature which marks a radical departure from the frozen instants typically seen in his earlier watercolours. With this new development Dylan establishes a link to a figurative tradition that has stayed alive, particularly within US art, up through the 20th century despite the attempts made by avantgarde art at putting it to rest. This tradition has roots that go back to painters such as George Bellows and Thomas Hart Benton. A total of 40 paintings and 8 drawings from The Brazil Series are featured at the exhibition.
Read it all here.  More is at the Denmark National Gallery website as well. Tip of the Tinfoil to RWB!

Pope prepares to visit Great Britain; will meet with the Archbishop of Canterbury Sept. 17 at Lambeth Palace

From here:
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican has billed Pope Benedict XVI's four-day visit to Great Britain as a trip to beatify the 19th-century intellectual and theologian Cardinal John Henry Newman.

But the pope's schedule for the September visit is filled with other appointments as well, including a meeting with Queen Elizabeth II, with the British prime minister and members of the government's opposition parties and with Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury, spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

The beatification Mass on the last day of the pope's Sept. 16-19 visit to Scotland and England will be the first beatification liturgy Pope Benedict has presided over; since his election in 2005, he has delegated that role to cardinals to highlight the difference between beatification and canonization.

Here is the schedule for the pope's trip as released by the Vatican Aug. 18. Times listed are local, with Eastern Daylight Time in parentheses.

Thursday, Sept. 16 (Rome; Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland; London)

-- 8:10 a.m. (2:10 a.m.) Departure from Rome's Ciampino airport.

-- 10:30 a.m. (5:30 a.m.) Arrival at Edinburgh Airport. Official welcome.

-- 11 a.m. (6 a.m.) Welcoming ceremony at the Royal Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. Visit with Queen Elizabeth II.

-- 11:40 a.m. (6:40 a.m.) Meeting with authorities in the park of Holyroodhouse. Speech by pope.

-- 1 p.m. (8 a.m.) Lunch with members of the papal entourage in the archbishop's residence in Edinburgh.

-- 5:15 p.m. (12:15 p.m.) Mass in Bellahouston Park in Glasgow. Homily by pope.

-- 8 p.m. (3 p.m.) Departure from Glasgow Airport for London.

-- 9:25 p.m. (4:25 p.m.) Arrival at London's Heathrow Airport.

Friday, Sept. 17 (London)

-- 8 a.m. (3 a.m.) Private Mass in the chapel of the apostolic nunciature in Wimbledon.

-- 10 a.m. (5 a.m.) Meeting with staff and students of Catholic schools in the chapel and on the sports field of St. Mary's University College in Twickenham. Greeting and speech by pope.

-- 11:30 a.m. (6:30 a.m.) Meeting with leaders of other religions in the Waldegrave Drawing Room of St. Mary's University College. Speech by pope.

-- 4 p.m. (11 a.m.) Courtesy visit with the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace. Speech by pope.

-- 5:10 p.m. (12:10 p.m.) Meeting with representatives of British society, the academic, cultural and business spheres, members of the diplomatic corps and religious leaders in Westminster Hall. Speech by pope.

-- 6:15 p.m. (1:15 p.m.) Ecumenical celebration in Westminster Abbey. Speech by pope.

Saturday, Sept. 18 (London)

-- 9 a.m. (4 a.m.) Meeting with the prime minister in the residence of the archbishop of Westminster.

-- 9:20 a.m. (4:20 a.m.) Meeting with the deputy prime minister in the archbishop's residence.

-- 9:30 a.m. (4:30 a.m.) Meeting with leaders of the opposition in the archbishop's residence.

-- 10 a.m. (5 a.m.) Mass in Westminster Cathedral. Homily by pope.

-- 5 p.m. (Noon) Visit to St. Peter's Residence, a home for the elderly. Speech by pope.

-- 6:15 p.m. (1:15 p.m.) Prayer vigil for the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman in Hyde Park. Speech by pope.

Sunday, Sept. 19 (London, Birmingham, Rome)

-- 8 a.m. (3 a.m.) Departure from the apostolic nunciature in Wimbledon.

-- 8:45 a.m. (3:45 am.) Departure by helicopter from Wimbledon Park to Birmingham.

-- 9:30 a.m. (4:30 a.m.) Arrival at the heliport near Cofton Park in Birmingham.

-- 10 a.m. (5 a.m.) Mass and the beatification of Cardinal Newman in Cofton Park. Homily by pope. Recitation of the Angelus prayer. Remarks by pope.

-- 1:10 p.m. (8:10 a.m.) Private visit to the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Birmingham.

-- 1:45 p.m. (8:45 a.m.) Lunch with the bishops of England, Wales and Scotland and with members of the papal entourage in the refectory of Francis Martyn House at Oscott College in Birmingham.

-- 4:45 p.m. (11:45 a.m.) Meeting with the bishops of England, Wales and Scotland in the chapel of Francis Martyn House.

-- 6:15 p.m. (1:15 p.m.) Farewell ceremony at Birmingham International Airport. Speech by pope.

-- 6:45 p.m. (1:45 p.m.) Departure from Birmingham International Airport.

-- 10:30 p.m. (4:30 p.m.) Arrival at Rome's Ciampino airport.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dear Mr. President ...

And now what does appear to be satire in the current edition of Ebony Magazine (yes, Ebony!) by Eric Easter - at least we think it's satire this time.  The HoB/HoD list is taking it seriously, but over here at the Cafe we think it's a grand spoof - but perhaps hitting closer to the target - too bad they don't mention the Cosmic Mass. 
Dear Mr. President:

Now that you've become President and an official resident of Washington,D.C., you'll be looking for another place to call your church home. It won't be easy, wherever you go it's going to be tough on the pastor and the congregation. Anything said from the pulpit will be scrutinized, and every utterance the pastor has made on video or in print will be gone through with a fine-tooth comb.

You don't need that kind of hassle. No, my friend, you need to just go a whole other route. No more shouting, no more histrionics, no more politicking from the pulpit.

May I suggest a lovely solution? The Episcopal Church. And no, I don't mean A.M.E. they're still a little loud. I mean the full-on candles, incense, altar boys and stained glass Anglican experience. It's been the default solution for "quietly political" Black folk for nearly two centuries now. The list of powerful and influential Episcopalians is miles long. You won't have to worry about militants,  that just wouldn't be polite. Episcopalians don't agitate, they negotiate.

Here are a few more reasons:

1. Plenty of time for reflection. Unwarranted noises like hand-clapping and "Amen" are pretty much frowned upon. Episcopalians run things during the week; we want a nice nap, not a show. And anyway, if we wanted a show we'd
go see "Jersey Boys."

2. None of that pesky theology stuff. "Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again. Allelulia." That about sums it up. You can fake the rest.

3. Real wine. Nothing says communion like a tawny port.

4. Catholicism without the guilt. All the pomp and circumstance and none of the confession.

5. Good exercise. Kneel. Get up. Kneel. Get up. Kneel. Get back up again. Great training for basketball.

6. Ambiguity. Half the church wants gay priests, the other half doesn't. But people are way too polite to say which side they're on. You'll never have to decide. Perfect!

7. Nobody questions your faith. Most of us Episcopalians are borderline atheists hedging our bets just in case all that God stuff turns out to be true. Who are we to cast stones?

8. Flattery. The congregations are so old, you'll feel wonderful when the Senior Warden asks you to head up the new Youth Fellowship group - even though you're 46.

9. Fast services. 90 minutes -2 hours tops. You can hit the 8am mass and be back in time to pick up croissants, The New York Times and watch Meet the Press. Or better, get in 9 holes, hit the 10:30 service and still have friends over for brunch.

10. It's press-friendly. Juan Williams. Bernie Shaw. Clarence Page. Jack White. Carol Randolph. William Raspberry - and that s just at one church in DC.

11. History. 26.2% of all former presidents have been Episcopalian, despite only being 15% of the population. That's great company.

12. No fancy preachers. Father David wants to get paid how much? Fire him!

13. Only four required days of attendance. Show up more if you want, but remember these dates: Palm Sunday. Easter, Christmas Eve, Golf Outing. Other than that, send a check and you're good.

The Episcopal Church welcomes you.

Rather interesting that this satire is coming from Ebony Magazine.  Read it all here.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Episcopal Church "Cosmic Techno Mass" Profiled

Popping by StandFirm this morning and couldn't believe it - thought at first it was a brilliant parody.  Not so.  In fact, it's a picture of what is a major influence in Episcopal Church leadership thinking.  The central theological grounding is that "creation spirituality begins with the theology of original blessing instead of original sin."  Note carefully the word blessing - this view is even all over the 1979 Prayer Book where the theological of original sin is downplayed to such an extent if you don't believe it to be true, it does not bar you from entering into prayer book worship as Kendall Harmon has outlined in his writings on the Episcopal Church's 1979 Book of Common Prayer revision.

Now one can make fun of this view (I did think it was a parody at first), but this is at the heart of Christian Science as well.  It's not new, but this view, this theological grounding is very much at the heart of so much of the Episcopal Church teaching and justifications for its actions on matters that affect the worldwide Anglican Communion.  It was all over every General Convention I have attended.

Here is a profile on the "Cosmic Techno Mass" in the Episcopal Church:





Tip of the Tinfoil to Matt Kennedy and StandFirmRead more here.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Christ Church appeals to the Georgia Supreme Court

via e-mail
Christ Church, The Mother Church of Georgia in Savannah, has asked the Georgia Supreme Court to review a recent ruling of the Court of Appeals upholding Judge Michael Karpf’s October, 2009 decision that Christ Church holds its property in trust for the Diocese of Georgia and The Episcopal Church.  The decision is based on a 1979 national church “canon”, or bylaw, which Christ Church claims (i.) cannot override its legal title to the property, and (ii) was improperly adopted. Should the ruling stand after all appeals are exhausted, then the congregation will be forced to move to other facilities.  Georgia churches in similar situations could be in danger of losing their property as well.
The Rector, the Rev'd Marc Robertson, writes:
Historic Christ Church, The Mother Church of Georgia in Savannah, has lost an initial round of court decisions that stem from theological differences which triggered a debate over ownership of the church’s real estate.  Although doctrinal issues are our main concern, we must address property issues as well.  The Episcopal Church has claimed that because we no longer are members of that denomination, the denomination can take over all our assets.  Judge Michael Karpf agrees with them. 

We disagree.

A little background will explain our position:   In 1758 an act of the (British) Royal Council granted Christ Church (already in existence twenty-two years) ownership of its church building and cemetery.  After the Revolution, the Georgia legislature granted a charter of incorporation to Christ Church and confirmed its ownership of all its property.  Thus, since 1789 Christ Church has been a legal entity, a corporation defined, bound and protected by Georgia law whose assets cannot be unilaterally expropriated by any other group or entity (or so we thought).  Christ Church has never conveyed title to its property to any other party, has never agreed to hold its property in trust for any other party, and has never received any financial help from The Episcopal Church, the Diocese of Georgia, or any other church agency.

Over the last several years The Episcopal Church moved further and further away from the doctrines it traditionally shared with other Christian denominations.  This has been well documented by the media, including Time  Magazine, National Public Radio, New York Times, Atlanta Journal and Constitution and many others.  More importantly, the actions of The Episcopal Church have fractured the 77 million member Worldwide Anglican Communion of which it is a member and elicited rebukes from other mainline denominations.  Christ Church repeatedly presented its theological concerns to the leadership of our Diocese.  The response given was focused primarily of the Diocese’ concern about the real estate.  Diocesan leaders did not discuss with us our spiritual concerns or our desire to affirm God’s truth in the midst of the tumultuous issues before us.

Christ Church disaffiliated from The Episcopal Church on September 30, 2007 by a unanimous vote of its vestry (governing board).  Two weeks later this vote was affirmed by an 87% vote of the congregation.  We continue to believe that we must stand firm for the Gospel and oppose the anti-biblical claims of The Episcopal Church.

It is important to emphasize that this disagreement is not about real estate.  It is about the basic tenets of the historic faith, proclaiming Jesus as the way, the truth and the life.  Also, it is about freedom:  freedom of religion, freedom to practice our religion as and where we have for over 275 years, freedom to choose to follow the Jesus of Holy Scripture and not a culturally-manufactured Jesus.

We are grieved that as a result of continuing to proclaim the historic faith, Christ Church, along with over 55 churches and 4 dioceses, is being sued by a well-funded, national organization, The Episcopal Church.  This organization is trying to seize the assets and church buildings in order to preach a false gospel, a way that does not proclaim Jesus as The Way, The Truth, and The Life.  Instead, it twists the creeds to conform to personal needs and culls elements of Holy Scripture in support of cultural shifts that have moved far away from the true faith.

Denominational churches that for any reason come into disagreement or otherwise fall out of favor with their national church organizations should be concerned about whether they can keep title to their property if this decision is allowed to stand as Georgia law.  Christ Church petitioned the state Supreme Court to protect itself and stand firm against heresy.  Also, we hope to alert other congregations to these issues.

Again, Christ Church’s struggle with The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Georgia has never been primarily about the property.  If we had wanted to preserve the property above all else, we would have simply capitulated to the “new gospel” offered by The Episcopal Church.  If we had remained quiet there would have been no threat to our building, and there would have been no media coverage, no strife, and no stress.

The building that houses Christ Church is a beautiful structure and an historic icon, but it is far more than that to our congregation.  It is the site where, before the founding of The Episcopal Church or the Diocese of Georgia, our forefathers proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Today it continues as a community where the broken and lost find their hope in God, where Christians are loved, nurtured, and developed into faithful disciples, and where the Kingdom of God, His forgiveness and redemption are extended to Savannah, the southeast and the world.

We have placed our feet in the path the Lord set before us, and we have the privilege of walking together as brothers and sisters in Christ Church, trusting the Lord to work out His plan for us.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Former Bishop of Virginia named interim dean of General Theological Seminary in New York City

Last year Bishop Lee was Interim Dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco for the Diocese of Los Angeles.  New he switches coasts.  From here:

New York City -- The Rev. Lang Lowrey, Interim President of the General Theological Seminary (GTS) announced today the appointment of the Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee, as Interim Dean of GTS, the Episcopal Church’s oldest theological seminary.  The former Bishop of Virginia and one of the Church’s longest-serving bishops, Bishop Lee currently serves San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral as Interim Dean.


After the Seminary’s 12th Dean and President, the Very Rev. Ward B. Ewing, announced in December of 2009 his intention to retire, Trustees of the Seminary formed a search committee under the leadership of trustee Dr. Michael Gilligan. Upon recommendation from the committee and in light of serious financial challenges faced by the school, Trustees decided in June 2010 to divide the post of Dean and President into separate positions. On June 9, 2010 the Rev. Lang Lowrey was selected as Interim President and charged with financial and administrative oversight of the school and was vested with all the constitutional powers previously lodged with the Dean and President. Meanwhile the search continued for a new Interim Dean to be responsible for day-to-day operations of the Seminary including oversight of its academic programs.

Bishop Peter Lee led the Diocese of Virginia for a quarter of a century, beginning his tenure as diocesan bishop in May of 1985. With 81,000 members and 181 congregations the diocese is the Episcopal Church’s largest in the continental US and also one of its oldest, having been founded in 1785. Retiring from the Diocese of Virginia in October of 2009 after 25 years as Bishop, he subsequently became Interim Dean at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, the Episcopal Church’s third largest cathedral.  “We are extremely fortunate to have Bishop Lee’s notable gifts and proven abilities. He has a unique ability to shepherd others during these challenging times of change,” said President Lowrey following the appointment. “Bishop Lee has an in-depth knowledge of the Episcopal Church, its ministry, and its current needs and trends in theological education, which he has gained over a lifetime of distinguished leadership.”

Raised in Florida, Peter Lee was awarded his undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Washington and Lee University in 1960. He served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Army and was decorated for his service in Seoul, Korea. He also had a brief career as a newspaper reporter and editor and studied law at Duke University before entering the Virginia Theological Seminary where he received his Master of Divinity cum laude in 1967. Ordained to the diaconate in 1967 and the priesthood in 1968, Bishop Lee served parishes in Florida and in Washington, D.C.  For the thirteen years prior to his consecration as a Bishop in 1984, he was Rector of the Chapel of the Cross in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a ministry which served both the local community and the University of North Carolina.

Bishop Lee’s leadership abilities rose to national prominence when he was Bishop of Virginia. He is currently chair of the Board of Trustees of the Church Pension Fund and was co-chair of the Joint Nominating for the current Presiding Bishop.  He previously served as a Member of the Board of Directors of the Presiding Bishop's Fund for World Relief and was chairman of its grants committee. He also served as a member of the Cathedral Chapter of the Washington National Cathedral.  As diocesan bishop he served as chair of the governing body which owns Roslyn, the diocesan conference and retreat center, and as chair of the Trustees of the Funds of the Diocese of Virginia, an investment vehicle used by several diocesan institutions.  He has served on the Advisory Committee to the Anglican Observer at the United Nations and the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Bishop Lee has received numerous honors including the 1997 Jessie Ball duPont Fund Award for "courageous and bold commitment to community leadership and social ministry.ot; He is the recipient of three honorary doctorates, from the Virginia Theological Seminary in 1984, from the University of the South in 1993, and from Washington and Lee University in 1998.

A central aspect of Bishop Lee’s lifelong ministry has been his service to a variety of educational institutions. He has served on the Board of Trustees of two Episcopal seminaries, as chairman of the Virginia Theological Seminary’s board of trustees and also as a member of the board of the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. As Bishop of Virginia he also presided at the annual meetings of the Church Schools of the Diocese and served as Rector of the Board of the Episcopal High School, a nationally-known institution set on 130 acres in Alexandria with a faculty of 83 and students from 30 states and 20 countries. Bishop Lee and his wife, Kristy, who have been married for 45 years, have two grown children and five grandchildren.

In recent meetings with GTS faculty members and staff, Bishop Lee spoke enthusiastically of the chance to work collaboratively with President Lowrey and the Seminary’s leadership to realize fully the many opportunities currently before General. He emphasized his commitment to the Seminary’s strong sense of community and to the centrality of daily worship, both longstanding hallmarks of life at General, and also to utilizing more fully the seminary’s urban location in training the church’s future leaders. “I believe the Episcopal Church needs to have a seminary in this most international of cities,” he told staff members. “General has always been a grand flagship in theological education and my plan is to do everything possible to see that this important ministry to the Church continues and flourishes.” Bishop Lee will end his Interim Dean responsibilities at Grace Cathedral on September 26, 2010 and will join General immediately thereafter. He will also be on the campus during Orientation Week to meet and greet students.

Read it all here.

Monday at the Cafe: A Series of Dreams

Friday, August 06, 2010

Anglican Consultative Council faces questions about the legality of its new constitution

Not good.  George Conger reports:
Mr. Butter told CEN that ACC chairman Bishop John Patterson reported the approval of the new constitution “to members in the first session” of ACC-14.  However, he said he did not believe the announcement of the approval “was minuted” in the proceedings of ACC-14, while audio recordings of the May 2 session do not record this announcement.
There is no evidence that the new constitution has been approved - note that in 1969 The Episcopal Church held a special session of General Convention to approve the original constitution while no such thing happened following ACC-13.  Thank goodness for Anglican TV that was there to record what actually happened at the ACC-14 meeting in Jamaica.  

From the Church of England Newspaper:

The Anglican Consultative Council failed to follow its rules in soliciting approval for its new constitution, critics of the London-based ‘instrument of communion’ tell The Church of England Newspaper.

Some provinces were never asked to approve the ACC’s new constitution, while others were asked to approve “in principle” a draft version that differed from the final document lodged with the Registrar of Companies for England and Wales on July 10, 2010, while a third group reported that the draft it approved was substantially similar to the one adopted.

The resulting uncertainty has likely resulted in two Anglican Consultative Councils under law: a limited corporation created under English law on July 12, 2010, and an English charitable trust registered in 1978.

The ACNS reported that ACC legal adviser John Rees told the Standing Committee at its London meeting on July 24 the new Articles of Association had been drawn up between 2002 and 2005, before submission to the Provinces between 2005 and 2009. “In all essentials the content of the new Constitution is as circulated to the provinces between 2005 and 2009,” ACC spokesman Jan Butter said.

However, Global South leaders tell CEN the claim of inconsequential revisions advanced by the ACC was misleading.  Citing the Anglican Communion Institute’s analysis, they note the new constitution engages in a power grab that makes the delegates subordinate to the Standing Committee, while also encroaching upon the authority and prerogatives of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates Meeting.  It is also unclear if all of the provinces were consulted about the changes introduced by the new constitution, including the subordination of the ACC to the European Union’s equality laws.

The Archbishops’ Council and the House of Bishops Standing Committee endorsed the revised articles of association in early 2009, a spokesman for the Church of England said, adding that “we do not consider there to be any significant differences between the drafts considered by the Archbishops’ Council and House of Bishops Standing Committee in 2009, and the articles adopted this year.”

A spokesman for the Church of Uganda told CEN that in 2008 a letter asking for comments on the draft bylaws was sent to Archbishop Henry Orombi, which stated that unless an answer was received, this would be interpreted as the church’s consent for the revisions, which were described as inconsequential changes to facilitate the ACC’s metamorphosis into a limited liability corporation.

However, “we were never sent an actual copy of the new by-laws to review,” the Church of Uganda spokesman said.

In 1969 the special session of the Episcopal Church’s General Convention “acceded and subscribed to the Proposed Constitution of the said Anglican Consultative Council,” but spokesman Neva Rae Fox stated “the General Convention did not act on the revisions to the ACC constitution proposed by ACC-13.”

On July 27, the Primate of the Southern Cone, Bishop Gregory Venables of Argentina stated he had “no recollection of this province having been consulted on these changes.”

Mr. Butter told CEN that ACC chairman Bishop John Patterson reported the approval of the new constitution “to members in the first session” of ACC-14.  However, he said he did not believe the announcement of the approval “was minuted” in the proceedings of ACC-14, while audio recordings of the May 2 session do not record this announcement.

Formed in 1969 in response to 1968 Lambeth Conference Resolution 69, the ACC began as a voluntary association to advance the interests of the churches of the Anglican Communion.  In 1973 ACC-2 approved the creation of a trust under British law to hold title to property in England on behalf of the ACC’s members. Further refinements were taken at ACC-11, which adopted resolution 11.6 calling for the formation of a limited legal company to manage the ACC’s assets while keeping the structure “so far as possible in all other respects in accordance with the existing constitutional arrangements.”

In 2005, ACC-13 Resolution 3 approved the draft articles reconstituting “the work of the Council within the framework of a limited liability company,” authorized the Standing Committee to make final amendments to the proposed constitution, and asked that the Standing Committee establish “such a body with charitable status in accordance with the such approved draft Memorandum and Articles as amended” following consultation with the Primates and legal counsel.

In response to questions about the status of the new constitution, in January 2010, ACC Secretary General Kenneth Kearon told the website Episcopal Café the change to its constitution “required approval in principle from a majority of the provinces, and the Standing Committee just before ACC 14 in Jamaica in 2009 noted that the requisite number of approvals had been received.”

The new articles were “available at the ACC meeting in Jamaica in 2009 and were discussed at the [December] Standing Committee meeting,” Canon Kearon that month told Pittsburgh blogger Dr. Lionel Deimel, adding that “these were sent to the Charity Commissioners for final approval immediately after ACC in 2009, but we have not yet received a response.

Last month Canon Kearon further clarified the chronology stating the “text was finalised at the Standing Committee meeting” held before the start of ACC-14.  The “approval by the Charity Commissioners was received just before the [July 2010] Standing Committee meeting, at which point it became operative.”

Approval by the Standing Committee alone was insufficient to ratify a new constitution, canon lawyers tell CEN, as Article 8 of the former bylaws limited the Standing Committee’s power.  It could not act on behalf of the full council in matters “by this Constitution required to be done specifically by the Council” including the adoption of new bylaws, they argue.

The final text of the constitution approved by the Standing Committee before the start of ACC-14 had to be “submitted by the Council to the constitutional bodies” or Provinces for ratification, under Article 10 of the former bylaws.

Read it all here.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Thursday Night at the Cafe: Turn, Turn, Turn

LIVE from the Willow Creek Leadership Summit

Yes, we are LIVE at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit at the satellite site at Fairfax Community Church.  It's conducted in a very "Boomer Style" with men (so far) in suits at a podium giving motivational speeches while the people sit in chairs in the dark and listen.  Well, there are a few Millennials sitting in the back rows scrunched down in their seats with the glow of their iPhones and laptops illuminating their faces as they text each other about where to go for lunch.

My view in recent years is to read Seven Habits of Highly Successful People and when one gets discouraged, just read it again.  It's a bit cheaper, but not as much fun because we have a big group here from Truro and there are other friends here as well and that's quite fun.  The real learning seems to happen in between sessions when we stand around clutching the coffee from the church Coffee Bar and chat up the talks.

Bill Hybels kicked off the morning with his four C's - Character, Competency, Chemistry, and now Culture.  These are the qualities leaders should look for in building a team, he said.  That seems pretty much good advice.  The question running through my mind is whether this what what Jesus did when he called his disciples?  They did not exactly - as a group or individually - exhume these four qualities in abundance.  Frankly, it wasn't until after the resurrection that we even began to see the those qualities shine through, though it's clear Jesus must have seen something even in the beginning.  But I am not sure in their "initial interview" any of the disciples had an abundance of these characteristics - some by a long shot.  Of course, Jesus did have an advantage - He got to be Jesus.


Another thing Bill Hybels said is that if you want to lead people somewhere, you need them to know how bad it is right where they are right now.  You can't just put out the vision of how wonderful things will be on where you are going, you have to tell them that it's not good where we are right now.  He gave as his illustration the founder of Compassion International taking major donors to a food line in a poverty stricken country where children were waiting for food, only to have the food run out even as they were all still standing in line.  They all watched as the children fainted, turned away in despair, or cried when they could not be fed and Everett Swanson, the founder, turned to his donors pointing and said emphatically that this must not continue, that they must do something to change this.

Being comfortable in where we are - even as a brighter future is painted - is a great challenge for individuals and for the church, isn't it?  What would cause people to risk much to make a change?  There must be a deep sense of dissatisfaction and rather than just shrugging one's shoulders ambivalently, to have a vision that change must be made.  Hybels said that long before Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his I Have a Dream speech, he spent years, sacrificial years, spelling out the problem of racism and racial inequality, found most especially in his Letters from Birmingham Jail.  Once people grasped and accepted that things were indeed not good, in fact, they were terrible they were ready to hear the vision, the hope that he spelled out so eloquently at the Lincoln Memorial when he said "I have a dream."

It seems to me the first step for leaders is to come out of denial.  The admit, it's not good where we are.  So many excuses can be made to look away or to paint a happier place then truly exists.  And we wonder why the vision might seem to fall on deaf ears - perhaps because we are not willing to call things as they are.  That does take courage.  It also needs to be correct.

A group is heading to Brion's Grill for lunch - Bryon has been a major supporter of Love the World Fellowship and so we are heading over to show him our support!  There are several leaders from within the Love the World Fellowship community here with us today as well.  It will be interesting to hear what they are hearing in these talks.  After all, they are indeed fantastic people.