Anglican Samizdat

March 13, 2010

Diocese of Niagara: Michael Bird’s charge to synod

Filed under: Diocese of Niagara — David Jenkins @ 12:22 pm
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Bishop Michael Bird thinks the old way of doing things in the church – those boring old beliefs that have been the cornerstone of Christianity for 2 millennia – don’t work any more. The bright new future for the Diocese of Niagara lies in its pursuit of social justice. What a surprise.

Harvey Cox’s new book: “The Future of Faith” divides the Church’s history into three distinct periods: the age of faith, the age of belief and the age of the spirit. He states that “Christianity, which began as a movement of Spirit guided by faith, soon clotted into a catalog of beliefs administered by a clerical class. But now due to a number of different factors, the process is being reversed. Faith is resurgent, while dogma is dying. The spiritual, communal, and justice-seeking dimensions of Christianity are now its leading edge as the twenty-first century hurtles forward, and this change is taking place along with similar reformations in other world religions.”

[I]f it is true that faith is resurgent and that the spiritual, communal, and justice-seeking dimensions of Christianity are now its leading edge …. then we have a choice to make as we continue to be the people of God in this moment in our life as a diocese and as a church: to live in denial and just spend more money and work harder and harder doing what we have been doing … or we can begin to ride the wave that is emerging and moving across our diocese; an exciting and inspiring movement of the spirit that is calling for us to tap into this resurgence of faith and to find new and innovative ways to be the bearers of God’s transforming love in the world and to participate fully in the missionary initiative that comes from God alone.

Bird is ready to ride the wave as he hurtles forward in anticipation of the Great Emergence of a new reformation:

I want to say to you, having travelled around the Diocese and talking very personally to the people of Niagara for the last several months, that the signs of this “Great Emergence” and this next reformation are beginning to appear!

And to demonstrate he means business, Bird has even learned to use an iPod – there aren’t many people who can do that – and listened to a 1993 song by Sting from whom he has drawn inspiration:

You could say I lost my faith in science and progress
You could say I lost my belief in the holy church
You could say I lost my sense of direction
You could say all of this and worse

Bird is one hip bishop.


March 3, 2010

Diocese of BC: building ambivalence

Filed under: Diocese of BC — David Jenkins @ 4:28 pm
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Mary Ruth Snyder, the editor of the Diocese of BC’s newspaper, the Diocesan Post is all for sloughing off church buildings in the interest of following Jesus:

Jesus never had a building, that is about as outside as you can get and he is our example, is he not? Let’s show God and Jesus that we have actually been paying attention to their words and their actions and follow the example set by the Son of God.

Let go … and let God.
Let go of the buildings
Let go of the books
Let go of our fears
Let go of our comfort
Let go of our humanistic expectations
Just let go, get outside the lines and see what happens!

Perhaps she didn’t consult the diocese’s bishop, James Cowan before expressing such enthusiasm for a cavalier abandoning of buildings. He seems pretty determined to hang on to them:

Victoria – The Anglican Diocese of British Columbia (Vancouver Island & the Gulf Islands) has asserted its ownership of buildings at 4125 Metchosin Road, in the District of Metchosin, by securing the property with a change of locks and the installation of a monitored alarm system. The property is known as St. Mary of the Incarnation Anglican Church.

The Bishop’s need to “protect and preserve” people and property is a result of the Episcopal and the synodical make-up of Anglicanism in Canada.

The truth of the matter is, when the diocese wants to close down a church in order to sell it, parishioners are reminded that “Jesus never had a building”; when a parish joins ANiC, Cowan feels a sudden need to preserve the “property of the institution in my care”.

At least one thing is consistent in the ACoC: the application of the ethics of self-interest.

February 19, 2010

Bridging divisions the Anglican way

John Chapman, Bishop of Ottawa is going to quell the strife in his church by training his priests:

The Anglican Church in Canada is updating how it trains priests so they can minister to everyone from Bay Street stockbrokers to Baffin Island Inuit.

Up until now priests have only been trained to seek out and hunt down candidates for same-sex unions; now that demographic has been exhausted, they are going after stockbrokers.

Ottawa Bishop John Chapman, who is leading the initiative, believes a savvier clergy would help bridge the church’s current bitter divisions over issues such as gay priests.

I can’t think why no-one has come up with this before. If only the clergy were more “savvy” we’d all start agreeing with same-sex blessings. It’s so obvious.

“The genius of the Anglican Church has been its capacity to live in difference,” Chapman said in an interview.

Or, as is now the case, disintegrate in difference.

As much as the church is badly divided these days, at least people care, “and that’s not what I remember as a child. I don’t remember people working up that kind of energy about anything. It was still the club; it was the social life. You found yourself there every Sunday and you weren’t even sure why some times.

Now, at least, people know why they do not belong to the Anglican Church of Canada

“I can’t imagine my childhood church getting worked about human sexuality,” said Chapman. “These are one of the most exciting times; there is a passion for faith.”

It’s true, of course: the creeping heresy of the ACoC has created passion among Anglican Christians; so much passion that a new Anglican province has been formed. Thanks for the nudge, John.

But pastors need new skills in calming congregations at war over sexuality or steering communities through traumatic change like closing a church. “There is quite a variety of need … that has exploded in last 25 years and we have not, in terms of a common standard … kept pace with that.”

It’s hard to keep pace with dealing with the havoc you have created when you are expending so much energy in creating more, John.

In order to calm congregations, training in doping incense with teargas, crippling but non-lethal wielding of thuribles and the use of taser tipped bishops crooks has begun.

Those working with immigrants, in urban areas, or remote First Nations communities, all need unique skills if they are to keep the church vibrant.

“The Anglican Church is not … white Anglo-Saxon,” says Chapman.

“It’s very much a global church, represented in this country.”

The global Anglican church is the one thing that bishops like Chapman are ignoring; every request from the bulk of the Anglican Communion to stop same sex blessings and homosexual ordinations has only served to create perversely contorted justifications for continuing to do what it has been asked not to do. Chapman himself coined the phrase “experiential discernment” to explain why he was continuing to do what he ought not to; I understand that the Ottawa branch of the Hell’s Angels now tattoos that on every member’s arm as part of his initiation.

Recommendations will go to the national church’s faith, worship and ministry committee, which will develop a proposal for common standards. Chapman is hoping that Primate George Hiltz, head of the Anglican Church in Canada, will create a commission to address the problems.

“create a commission to address the problems” . In other words, nothing will be done.

February 17, 2010

An iPodless Lent

Filed under: bishops gone wild — David Jenkins @ 10:19 am

Anglican bishops suggest we turn off our iPods for Lent. I didn’t think the average bishop knew what an iPod was:

The bishops of Liverpool and London have called on us to give up our iPods for Lent, which starts today, Ash Wednesday. That’s a sacrifice of which most of us, of a certain age, can heartily approve, since we don’t actually own iPods. But we might wonder what the point of it all is.

It’s appears to be one of the Church of England’s seasonal flurries of post-modern rubrics, like being told which carols are politically incorrect at the start of Advent. When it comes to Lent, we’re cutomarily told that it’s about a whole lot more than giving up booze and chocolate, that we should take up worthwhile activities too and, in the techno age, that some central Church Deep Thought will text us a daily scriptural bon mot if we just ask for it.

And where could that glimpse lead? One destination could be a church like mine, where this evening the choir will sing Allegri’s Miserere, its repeated soprano refrain like an angel’s wail from heaven and the transcendental beauty and spiritual re-assurance of which moves the undistracted listener to tears. It’s certainly worth turning your iPod off for.

Unless, like me, you have Allegri’s Miserere on your iPod; presumably that is worth turning your iPod on for.

Turning off your iPod during Lent is all part of the CofE’s batty bishops contingent Carbon Fast plan. It includes not flushing the toilet – something that fits nicely with no iPod since you won’t be tempted to sit listening to Allegri’s Miserere while sitting on a pile of yesterday’s unflushed poop.

Another suggestion from our technically astute bishops is to:

Eat by candlelight. How many rooms do you light in the evenings? Turn out the lights and have a meal by candlelight.

which will fill the air with benzene, styrene, toluene, acetone and particulate matter. At least it will take everyone’s mind off the unflushed toilets.

I do like the idea of the carbon averse bishops being as disconnected from the Internet as they are from reality, though; perhaps they should also switch their microphones off while delivering sermons.

January 9, 2010

The Anglican Church of Canada: please make it go away

From the Anglican Journal:

”We just wish it would all go away’

There is “general pessimism” among bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada about the potential for “any clear resolution” of the divisive issue of sexuality at the church’s upcoming General Synod in Halifax this June.

It will be a remarkable day when the ACoC makes a clear resolution on anything at all.

This is one of the many observations recently made by two pastoral visitors from the U.K. who were deputized by the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. They were invited to attend the four-day meeting of the House of Bishops last November in Niagara, Ont., at the request of Archbishop Williams. Archbishop Williams is seeking ways to heal divisions among member provinces of the Anglican Communion.

No matter what decisions may be reached at the 2010 General Synod, however, the gathering is bound to be “a watershed both for the (Anglican Church of Canada) and for its wider relations with the Anglican Communion,” said Bishop Chad Gandiya of Harare, Zimbabwe, and Bishop Colin Bennetts, the retired bishop of Coventry, in their report.  “At its worst it could lead to internal anarchy. At its best it could help us all to appreciate and practice a properly Christian style of inclusiveness.”

Internal anarchy is unlikely at this stage since just about anyone who has the will to resist the ACoC diabolarchy has already fled. Although the Anglican Communion Alliance (née Federation) has promised to make a stand, it’s hard to see how anything they could do will have any teeth, committed as they are to staying in the ACoC come what may. At least when it’s all over, the ACoC will be truly inclusive and, as we all know, the number of members varies inversely as the degree of inclusiveness.

Bishops Gandiya and Bennetts said that the last General Synod left the issue of same-sex blessings “unclear,” noting that while it did not approve same-sex blessings “nor did it rule against them.” Such uncertainty has resulted in a situation that is “complex, not to say confusing,” they said, with some dioceses independently approving same-sex blessings.

It’s neither complex nor confusing. The ACoC has been committed to proceeding with same-sex blessings for a number of years. The ambiguous synod resolutions are simply a reflection of a degree of doubt about how quickly to proceed, not whether to proceed.

The visitors also noted “a widespread sense of weariness with the whole business of same-sex blessings,” as well as a “palpable desire to get on with the business of mission. One bishop said, ‘We have no heart for any more arguing and certainly have no more energy left; we just wish it would all go away!”

The bishops who are weary and wish it would all go away only wish so because they assume, when it does, they will have won and same-sex blessings will be a firmly established part of the ACoC’s ministry. Speaking of ministry, the only other ministry that the ACoC has is social justice and as the ACoC has lost more people and money, even this has devolved into their being an ineffective, whining political pressure group.

The visitors noted that many bishops they met had “an infectious enthusiasm for the Gospel and the Kingdom, such that we could not but feel that their dioceses also must reflect that same spiritual vitality.” They said they were “very encouraged” by the general desire that the church be more mission-focused. “The acknowledgment of numerical decline was matched by a very positive approach to church growth, a strong commitment to ministry among indigenous people and a determination to deliver better, more integrated forms of theological education both for ordinands and for laity.”

Obviously neither of the Visitors is a mathematician, since they are under the impression that Fewer People = Church Growth. The Diocese of Quebec is a perfect example of this principle in action. As an aside, in one of those delightful moments of synchronicity, the bishop of Quebec is called Rev. Drainville; he predicts, “There will be many other dioceses that will fail.” I might set up a facebook group to cheer on the next diocese for demise: “Diocese of Niagara for Drainville.”

If Canadian Anglicans can find a way to break through the impasse over sexuality “it could well become a vibrant model of the kind of renewed Christian community that has much to teach the wider church,” they said.

There is no impasse; either the ACoC has to repent of its heresy or it will eventually proceed with same-sex blessings. Does anyone seriously think the ACoC will repent?

The visitors said they were also reminded frequently by bishops that “Canada is not the USA.” While the United States is seen as a melting pot culture where religious and ethnic groups are synthesized into “Americans,” Canadians “genuinely value and seek to live with diversity.”  Differences between the Anglican Church of Canada and The Episcopal Church were underscored, including the area of Christology. “We sensed that in Canada there was a general consensus on the nature of orthodoxy, with fewer extreme views of the kind that have led to some of the aberrations south of the border,” the report said. “Even the bishops who were strongly progressive in the matter of same-sex blessings insisted that they stood firmly within the creedal mainstream.” This, the report said, is “an encouraging sign that it allows for a more obviously Christ-centred approach to issues that currently divide the Communion, to say nothing of the wider church.”

I can only assume the Visitors were drunk when they wrote that.

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, described the report as “good,” and said it “accurately reflected what they’d see and heard.”

The report also said:

* the Anglican Church of Canada “punches way above its numerical weight when it comes to involvement in affairs of the Communion… They really do want to play their full part and play it well.” Its commitment to the Communion “is much more than an exercise of duty” but is “accompanied by, and springs from, a genuine sense of affection which the visitors found deeply moving.”

The full part the ACoC has played in the affairs of the communion hitherto has been to assist in unravelling it; in this endeavour, the ACoC has indeed punched above its numerical weight.

* Reiterated an earlier observation made by the visitors that the meeting of bishops was “relaxed and relational,” and that while this has merits, “one casualty of this user-friendly meeting was perhaps a certain lack of theological depth.” It noted that “very few of the items discussed were approached via theological first principles, the stress being much more on pragmatic outcomes.”  While this may be “unduly critical,” the visitors said, “we do not believe that the House is not without its theological heavyweights.” Rather, they simply question “whether their expertise is made as widely available as it might be…”

Theological depth could lead to disagreement which would never do since it would not be relational.

* the primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, is one of the church’s “greatest assets.” The visitors said they were “amazed” at the similarities between Archbishop Hiltz and Archbishop Williams, noting that the primate presided over the bishops’ meeting “with humility, sensitivity and passion.”

After I finished laughing about that last paragraph, I wrote this.

December 18, 2009

Black and White Archbishop Show

Filed under: bishops gone wild,Climate — David Jenkins @ 4:36 pm

When I was growing up, the BBC used to broadcast the Black and White Minstrel Show:

Add an Image

My aesthetic sensibilities were insufficiently developed to recognise it for the rubbish it truly was. Today, of course, its violation of the aesthetic would pale in comparison to its strident political incorrectness; the producers would count their blessings if they were merely lynched. So I find it quite strange that it has been resuscitated for the Copenhagen Climate Conference:

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December 1, 2009

The Gay Anglican Church of Canada has arrived

It has its own Wiki: Homosexuality and the Anglican Church of Canada.

In 2006, same-sex couples represented 0.6% of all couples in Canada. This is comparable to data from New Zealand (0.7%) and Australia (0.6%). Over half (53.7%) of same-sex married spouses were men in 2006, compared with 46.3% who were women. About 9.0% of persons in same-sex couples had children aged 24 years and under living in the home in 2006. This was more common for females (16.3%) than for males (2.9%) in same-sex couples.

So, just in case no-one has noticed, the Anglican Church of Canada has ripped the Anglican Communion to shreds, promoted heresy and become the laughing-stock of rational Christians throughout the world for the sake of pandering to 0.6% of Canadian couples. Most of them must be Anglican priests.

November 17, 2009

Rowan Williams: salvation through taxation

Filed under: Anglican,Anglican Angst,bishops gone wild — David Jenkins @ 12:00 pm
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Rowan Williams, in a last ditch effort to attract people back to the Anglican Church, has suggested that they should pay more taxes:

Higher levels of tax would be good for society, according to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Dr Rowan Williams said that taxation should not be seen as a way of stifling business or redistributing wealth but helping to make the world a better place in which to live.

He called for new levies to be introduced on financial transactions and carbon emissions, and an end to the idea that unlimited economic growth is desirable.

Dr Williams claimed that the “fantasies of unlimited growth” had led to a “vicious cycle” in which consumers are encouraged to buy more goods, which also uses up limited energy and raw materials.

Instead, he said the economy should be geared towards creating a secure and sustainable environment for families.

As part of this, the archbishop said: “We have to ask about ‘green taxes’ (including ‘green’ tax breaks) that will check environmental irresponsibility and build up resources to address the ecological crises that menace us.

For the Pope picking off disenchanted Anglicans, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

August 7, 2009

Foisting fake Christianity on the young

Filed under: Anglican,bishops gone wild — David Jenkins @ 11:48 am
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The Bishop of Wales, Barry Morgan wants compulsory worship to continue in British schools:

A law allowing 16-year-olds to opt out of prayers in assembly devalues and marginalises religion in schools, Dr Barry Morgan, the Archbishop of Wales, has warned.

Dr Morgan warned that by degrading the status of faith, schools risked becoming obsessed with “personal attainment”.

He said that group prayer offered pupils a rare opportunity for “recognition, affirmation and celebration of shared values” and should be encouraged.

“Collective worship has been branded as something that young people grow out of by the age of 16, at precisely the time when it might be the best way of feeding both their minds and their hearts as they start to explore the responsibilities and consequences of adult life,” Dr Morgan said.

“I am concerned that this is the thin end of the wedge and could be just the start of a process that devalues and ultimately marginalises the provision of collective worship in schools”.

His warning came after Wales joined England by passing a law allowing pupils aged 16 and over to withdraw from collective worship without parental consent.

This comes from the same Barry Morgan who was all for compelling those in his church who disagree with women’s ordination to submit to the authority of a woman bishop – even if it went against their consciences. Liberal Anglican bishops peddle diversity to all and sundry, employing compulsion when necessary.

Barry Morgan is also in favour of gay bishops: when Gene Robinson was not invited to Lambeth, Barry- in a fit of pique –hosted his own meeting of liberal Anglicans with Gene as a guest.

Given this context, what does he mean by rare opportunity for “recognition, affirmation and celebration of shared values”? He means what any pseudo-Christian Anglican bishop would mean: we must indoctrinate the young with the western liberal elitist dogma of diversity, inclusion and relativism so that they grow up like us.

I went through high school in Wales when attending “morning assembly” was compulsory. The predominant effect of watching bored teachers, who evidently did not believe in what they were doing, go through the motions every day was to engender in me a revulsion to Christianity: as far as I was concerned Christianity was an exercise in hypocrisy and tedium. Interestingly, a couple of teachers who partially reversed this effect were a chemistry teacher who was an evangelical Christian – and a prim fusspot – and a math teacher who quietly subverted the establishment efforts to Christianise the school population. The former was not afraid to engage in debates with students about his faith and the latter – who called himself a “seeker” – tried to make us think about the consequences our beliefs.

I wonder whether Barry Morgan would object to students absenting themselves from his form of bogus Christian worship to attend a Bible study run by Evangelical Christians.

August 5, 2009

The Church of England, putting its money where its mouth isn’t

Filed under: Anglican Angst,bishops gone wild — David Jenkins @ 11:17 pm
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The refined art of Anglican hypocrisy:

After what it must have deemed a decent interval since triggering a furore over its attack on traders and bankers as “robbers and assassins” last year, the Church of England is shamelessly seeking more yield.

Just to refresh your memory, Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Anglican Church, last September said it was right to ban short selling, while John Sentamu, archbishop of York, called traders who cashed in on falling prices “bank robbers and asset strippers“.

But the Church Commissioners had a tough year in 2008, as the Church’s total assets dropped from £5.7bn to £4.4bn, a 23 per cent fall over the period. Clearly, faith alone was not enough.

As the FT’s People column reports on Wednesday in an appropriately headlined piece “God meets Joy”, the Church of England has appointed fund manager Tom Joy to run its £4.4bn investment portfolio from a “very strong field of more than 70 applicants”.

Tom Joy of RMB Asset Management manages hedge funds which – you guessed it – employ as one of its techniques, asset stripping short selling.

In commenting upon the appointment of Joy a spokesman noted:

The spokesman added that belief in God wasn’t a necessary requirement for someone to take up the job.

This is entirely understandable,  since one does not have to believe in God to take up the job of Anglican bishop either.

July 31, 2009

Michael Bird is starting to make sense

Filed under: bishops gone wild — David Jenkins @ 10:58 am

h/t: Warren

May 22, 2009

An agnostic bishop in the Anglican Church

Filed under: Anglican,bishops gone wild — David Jenkins @ 12:20 am
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Only one, I expect you are thinking; well, only one that has come out:

Richard Holloway says the worldwide Anglican Church has made room for “happy clapping” evangelicals, bells-and-smells Catholics, women priests and, in the United States, openly gay clergy and even practitioners of other faiths. So surely, he argues, it can find room for people like him – Christians who don’t believe in God.

Holloway, contrary to popular belief, has not left the Episcopal Church, as Scottish Anglicanism is known. He may have taken early retirement as Bishop of Edinburgh but the writer remains an ordained priest and consecrated bishop, who still preaches from the pulpit, performs baptisms and weddings and even presides at communion.

“I had a crisis in 1998 and I was in a kind of internal exile for a bit,” he told the Herald yesterday, while en route to Sydney, where he is a speaker at the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

“I am in a slightly mellower place with the church right now. I’ve still got my pilot’s licence, so to speak. They didn’t take it away from me.”

But Holloway has abandoned his belief in – or at least certainty about – God and the afterlife, and is now known as a “Christian agnostic”.

“I am not trying to persuade people in the church to adopt my angle,” he insists. “I just want space enough to be honest about my own convictions. The congregation I belong to in Edinburgh knows my position and is hospitable enough to include me.”

And inclusion is what it’s all about, after all.

The resonance with prevailing cultural conceits is evident: Richard wants space to be honest, the honesty is simply an angle and he has no interest in proselytising his particular angle. There is, of course, plenty of space in the Anglican church – mainly because there are plenty of other places other than churches where agnostics can congregate on Sunday; the question is, why doesn’t the retired bishop join them?

I have to give the man full marks for honesty, though: he admits he doesn’t believe in God, an afterlife, Jesus’ divinity, thinks the Eucharist is art and the church a social club. The average Canadian bishop believes as much but doesn’t have the guts to openly admit it.

May 11, 2009


Filed under: Anglican,bishops gone wild — David Jenkins @ 10:06 pm
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10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (Season Opener)
Terrorists known cryptically as TEC-ACoC take hostages in Jamaica.

12:00 a.m. -1:00 a.m.
Hostages are identified: Truth; Gospel; Honesty; Integrity (the original one).

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Terrorists assail hostages with a newly developed mind-numbing bio-weapon: the Indaba. Civilians all over the Island are wailing and clutching at their heads.

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Counter-terrorists are dispatched from far flung reaches of Christendom with a single purpose: rescue the hostages.

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Terrorists and Counter-terrorists do battle; Indabas are wielded to dreadful effect. The carnage is terrible.

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Counter-terrorists wheel in the big gun: the Fourth Moratorium.

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
The Fourth Moratorium suffers defeat through trickery and sleight of hand. One of the counter-terrorists, although he speaks 5 languages, didn’t know what “litigation” means and no-one bothered to explain it.

6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Counter-terrorists wheel in the other big gun: Section 4 of “The Covenant”.

7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Battle rages around Section 4; the Indabas go at it hammer and tongs decimating all in their path.

8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Section 4 falls.

9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Terrorists counter attack with Resolution A.

10:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. (Mid-Season Cliffhanger)
Resolution A suffers apparent defeat but is actually smuggled out of the room and secreted in Resolution C which has disguised itself as Resolution B.

1:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
Resolution C calls for the hostages to remain in terrorist custody until they die from too much conversation.

2:00 a.m. – 3:00 a.m.
Arch-terrorist Rowan the Enforcer deploys the ultimate weapon: he speaks.

3:00 a.m. – 4:00 a.m.
It is all too much after the Indaba attack: terrorists and counter-terrorists alike writhe on the floor in agony. Some bite off their own tongues. Rowan the enforcer smiles benignly

4:00 a.m. – 5:00 a.m.
A temporary truce is called while all descend on the local population to pillage their food supplies.

5:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m.
Back at it. Stunned journalists try to make sense of the carnage.

6:00 a.m. – 7:00 a.m.
Truth; Gospel; Honesty; Integrity are battered and still hostage.

7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.
The terrorists have won: the hostages will be subject to extreme interrogation techniques to break down their resistance – dialogue, group discernment and if all else fails, the Listening Process, said to be capable of boring the balls off a buffalo in 30 seconds.

8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. (Season Finale)
The terrorists begin to write accounts of the battle that make them appear like the good-guys. Everyone goes home wondering what just happened.

Did anyone understand that? It doesn’t matter: what is important is the violence, blood, gore, torture, screaming and the fact that 24 will be returning for another season next year.

May 6, 2009

Allow me to introduce my Church, the Entity

The  ACoC house of bishops loves, with gracious restraint, to take a dig at ANiC. Here is the first one, wherein ANiC is not only an Entity, but an Entity that is given to Self Identification. The intent of using the word entity is to emphasise that the ACoC views ANiC as separate from the Anglican Communion, even though it isn’t; and self identify implies an identity that is not recognised by others – whereas ANiC is recognised by the majority of the world’s Anglicans.

In response to a call for clarification of the status of entities who self identify as being Anglican, it was noted that the Archbishop of Canterbury has stated in writing that his office and the Anglican Communion Office recognize one ecclesial body in Canada as a constitutive member of the Communion, The Anglican Church of Canada. We affirm this statement. We cherish our Communion with the See of Canterbury and remain committed to the life and witness of the Anglican Communion in the service of the Gospel.

Dig number two is:

The House, responding to a question from the National Cursillo Secretariat, discussed the relationship with the Anglican Network in Canada, particularly as it related to leadership in Cursillo. It was noted that diocesan bishops have the authority to decide who may serve on Cursillo leadership teams. The House, with regret, is of the opinion that clergy and laity who are members of the Anglican Network in Canada (ANIC) should not be given permission to exercise a leadership role in the Cursillo Movement of the Anglican Church of Canada.

An act of pettiness odd in its particular singling out of Cursillo.  Although I am not too familiar with Cursillo, my understanding is that other denominations are routinely allowed lead Cursillo groups.

These messages brought to you by the Ministry of Inclusion at the Anglican Church of Canada.

April 28, 2009

Doing the Indaba in the Diocese of Toronto

In January 2009, Colin Johnson, bishop of Toronto decided to go ahead with same-sex blessings in some of the parishes in his diocese.

On the face of it, this seemed like an odd decision since the Toronto synod is coming up in May: why not wait for a decision on this from synod?

It seems that the May synod will be using the same contention-defusing technique that Rowan Williams pioneered at Lambeth: the Indaba group:

For the first time, synod will use the indaba process for its discussions. Indaba is a Zulu word meaning “one agenda meeting” or gathering for purposeful discussion. Groups of 35 to 40 people discuss a single issue. Everyone is given a chance to speak. There is an attempt to find a common mind or common story that everyone is able to tell when they leave.

Colin Johnson is not in the least ashamed of the fact that he has no intention of allowing a vote on the issue that is on everyone’s mind; he boasts:

My expectation for the May synod is that, except for a few formalities, there will be no motions. We’ll deal with legislative matters when synod meets again in November. This does not mean that the May synod will be insignificant!

So we’re not avoiding decisions at the May synod; rather, we’re expanding opportunities for people to participate in shaping the way we live together in the church.

True enough, Johnson is not avoiding decisions: they’ve already been made.

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