Daily Archives: April 29, 2016
Bishop Stephen Andrews will lead Canada’s largest Anglican theological college
Stephen Andrews has announced that as of Aug. 1, he’ll be the new principal of Wycliffe College, the largest Anglican theological college in the country, located on the campus of the University of Toronto.
“I’m thrilled by it and I’m a little bit nervous about it,” said Andrews, who was the president of Thorneloe, a federated university on Laurentian University’s campus, for eight years before becoming bishop.
“It’s an important responsibility in the life of the church.”
Andrews is an American who was born in Colorado and grew up in Minnesota. He moved to Vancouver, B.C. in 1979 to study theology, and stayed in Canada after marrying his Canadian wife, Fawna.
He actually did some of his studies at Wycliffe after deciding to become an Anglican priest.
He normally advises people on spiritual matters. But after last month’s terror attacks in Brussels, airport chaplain Michel Gaillard is busy helping staff cope with the trauma as they return to their jobs.
Father Michel Gaillard runs his fingers over a wooden bench covered in a thin layer of dust – a remnant of the bomb blasts that hit Zaventem airport the morning of March 22, killing 16 people. The airport chapel is still closed to the public. It’s normally where passengers or staff would come to pray. But now, it functions as more of a counselling center, where Gaillard helps people deal with the trauma of recent events. The chaplain says he’ll never forget the day of the attacks.
For many people though, March 22 will remain the day their lives changed forever. Gaillard says he has listened to so many stories and painful testimonies of people who were injured by the blasts, in some cases losing their feet or hands. He has also been dealing with the grief of people who lost loved ones. “The question I am asked most is: Was God present at that moment? And my answer is: There is one hand launching the bombs. And there is another hand helping to save the lives, to heal the hearts. Actually, there were many people who came to try and save others. And that’s where you find God,” said Gaillard.
In the summer of 1825, young Ralph Waldo Emerson took a break from his theological studies to work on his Uncle Ladd’s farm near Newton, Mass. There he met a laborer known to history only as “a Methodist named Tarbox,” who told Emerson “that men were always praying, and that all prayers were granted.” The idea of constant prayer was not new to Emerson, writes his biographer, Robert D. Richardson Jr., but Emerson “first felt its force for real life” there in his uncle’s fields.
What is prayer? In its simplest form, prayer is an address to a deity. But in “Self-Reliance,” Emerson says that “prayer is in all action”: in the farmer kneeling to weed his field, for example. And clearly Emerson means mindful action: No farmer wakes at mid-morning and says, “Gee, I wonder what I should do today?”
Emerson’s sense of prayer as mindful action appeals to my students at Florida State University, especially as graduation nears and the world of work beckons. I teach English, and in this job market you can say of humanities classrooms what is said often of trenches: There are no atheists there. My students are prayerful, though in the Emersonian way, which is to say they pray by doing, because they know that before they find their place in the world, they have a journey ahead of them.
Perched on the Niger River, Timbuktu was once a major stop on trade routes across North Africa and a coveted destination for scholars nearly 600 years ago.
“Mali, in that era ”” the golden era of the 15th and 16th centuries ”” was the center of a great North African empire, and Timbuktu was the cultural, economic and intellectual capital of that empire,” says author Joshua Hammer.
Writing mostly in Arabic, the scholars that visited Timbuktu studied astronomy, medicine, poetry, and music and debated the details of Islamic law.
“Books were produced there ”” manuscripts ”” at a huge rate, and then over the centuries were scattered,” Hammer says. “The French colonial army invaded and conquered the north of Mali in the 19th century, and began seizing manuscripts where they could find them, taking them to museums in Paris and libraries in Paris.”
The people of Mali didn’t want to part with these precious treasures, so they hid away these prized manuscripts, and many were forgotten for decades.
But about 15 years ago, thanks to international funding from UNESCO and the efforts of Abdel Kader Haidara, a young man from the city, hundreds of thousands of these manuscripts were brought back to Timbuktu and preserved by teams of librarians in newly built facilities.
As a young man, Haidara scoured the country, traveling on camel and by boat to convince the owners of these manuscripts to entrust them to him in exchange for livestock and cash. The librarian wanted to ensure these invaluable volumes, some of which were buried in the desert, would last for hundreds more years.
But trouble was coming to Timbuktu…
Churches should take advantage of the opportunities presented by the shrinkage of the State by delivering “substantial public services”, says a report launched in the House of Lords on Monday.
Amid cuts in public spending, the Church needs to “re-imagine its role and to re-orientate itself more radically towards social action and the delivery of public services”, say the authors of Faith in Public Service, Ian Sansbury, Ben Cowdrey, and Lea Kauffmann-de Vries. The report is published by the Oasis Foundation, a non-denominational social-justice charity. The Revd Steve Chalke, a Baptist minister and the founder of Oasis, has written its introduction.
The report suggests that individual churches could “go further than the delivery of foodbanks and debt advice”, and move more into the provision of health-care and education. They might, however, need more “effective leadership, governance, finance and HR function” to do so.
In deciding how to vote it is important that we recognise that we are answering a different sort of question from that at general elections but, as there, we also need to keep front and centre the test of what it means to love our neighbours and how our vote can serve the common good. That means not deciding on the basis of what is best for me personally (usually understood in simple financial terms) or even for the UK alone but to look at our personal and national good in the context of international society and the importance of good relationships. It also means trying to step back and take in the bigger picture both historically but also in terms of the present nature and likely future development of the EU. At least three broad areas require serious Christian reflection and evaluation in discerning how to vote.
First, as regards its form, the EU is an international legal and political entity based on treaties between national governments. This means considering a Christian attitude to the role and limits of nations and national identity and the dangers of empire as well as consideration of the principle of the free movement of peoples and how it relates to our sense of belonging and place of national borders. Second, the EU also has motives and aims which shape its ethos. Here Christians must evaluate how it has assisted in moving Europe from war to peace, whether and how it has enabled solidarity both within Europe and between Europe and the poorer parts of the world, and whether, particularly in relation to economic life, it is driven by our contemporary idols in the Western world and, through the Euro and austerity, serving or undermining human flourishing. Finally, as the EU is best viewed as a political community it needs, from a Christian perspective, to be assessed in terms of how well it serves the pursuit of justice and whether its political structures are ”“ or can be – representative of its 500 million people and whether they uphold the principle of subsidiarity which seeks to respect local and national governing structures and non-governmental forms of social life.
In the light of all these issues a number of arguments on both sides need to be rejected by Christians but, after exploring each of these areas, I believe it is possible to sketch out potential Christian arguments for each side of the debate focussing on these issues, often neglected in the wider political debate.
Everlasting God, who didst so kindle the flame of holy love in the heart of blessed Catherine of Siena, as she meditated on the passion of thy Son our Savior, that she devoted her life to the poor and the sick, and to the peace and unity of the Church: Grant that we also may share in the mystery of Christ’s death, and rejoice in the revelation of His Glory, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
— Aleteia (@AleteiaEN) April 29, 2016
O Lord Jesus Christ, who didst say that in thee we may have peace, and hast bidden us to be of good cheer, since thou hast overcome the world: Give ears to hear and faith to receive thy word; that in all the confusions and tensions of this present time, with mind serene and steadfast purpose, we may continue to abide in thee, who livest and wast dead and art alive for evermore.
Praise the LORD! O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures for ever! Who can utter the mighty doings of the LORD, or show forth all his praise? Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times!
The 16th meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council ended this week in Lusaka, Zambia. I could tell you my interpretation of what the council did, which is quite different from Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s interpretation. However, I think it would serve you best if I focused on just the facts and let you draw your own conclusion.
* On January 15, 2016, the Primates of the Anglican Communion resolved as follows:“It is our unanimous desire to walk together. However given the seriousness of these matters we formally acknowledge this distance by requiring that for a period of three years The Episcopal Church no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee and that while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity.” Addendum A, paras. 7 and 8
* On April 19, at the conclusion of the Anglican Consultative Council, an internal body of the Anglican Communion, the delegates from The Episcopal Church wrote in “A Letter from Lusaka”: “We want to assure you that we participated fully in this meeting and that we were warmly welcomed and included by other ACC members.”
* According to the Anglican Communion Office, Bishop of Connecticut, Ian Douglas proposed or seconded several resolutions for ACC-16. These include but are not limited to resolutions on:
– Anglican inter-faith engagement
– Ensuring both continuity and turnover of the leadership of the Anglican Consultative Council
– An Anglican Congress
* On April 19, Rebecca Wilson, an Episcopal Church communications consultant who traveled to Lusaka, posted the following comment online:…
The following is an update from SAMS missionaries, Johann and Louise Vanderbijl in Gambella, Ethiopia:
We are calling for a week of prayer for Gambella, from Sunday, April 24 to Sunday May 1.
Last night, a “highlander” was bringing water to refugees in a nearby camp called Jewi when he accidentally hit and killed two Nuer. The driver and some innocent bystanders were immediately beaten to death and more were murdered later that night brining the total up to nine. This is not the only recent incident preceding and following the Jikwo, Lare, and Nininyang massacre. The hatred has to stop somewhere and we are asking the Lord to do what appears to be impossible for humans in spite of their best attempts.
Also, we had planned to bring in a Professor from Addis to teach all our students, both full-time and part-time, on the subject of Early African Church History. This is scheduled for May 2 ”“ 6. Our faculty believe that we must take a step of faith and proceed with this course even though at present fear still keeps our students apart. We believe that this fear is not from God as He clearly says He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, and of power, and of a sound mind and we believe we must take a public stand in faith. While we will not force anyone to attend, we are encouraging our Nuer brethren to allow us to bus them to and from the Anglican Centre.
And so we need your prayers for that week also. Satan is seeking to bring this College to its knees”¦and so to our knees we will go! Remember, St Frumentius is the only seminary in the area. It is no wonder that the forces of darkness rally against us in such a violent manner!
I include a poem I wrote after the most recent killing in Jewi…
The leader of the Church of Scientology, David Miscavige, is looking to stop the publication of a new tell-all memoir written by his father Ron Miscavige.
In a document first published by Tony Ortega, noted Scientology reporter, lawyers from Johnsons Solicitors, working on behalf of David Miscavige, contacted Silvertail Books, the publisher responsible for “Ruthless” in the U.K. and Ireland asking them to halt release of the book, scheduled to debut May 3.
Asserting that they were “putting them on notice,” the letter claimed the material contained in the memoir was “highly defamatory” and that “in the event that you proceed with the release of this book, in total disregard for the truth, our client will be left with no alternative but to seek the protection of UK/Irish defamation and other laws.”
The letter sent by David Miscavige’s counsel also suggests that a similar missive had been sent to St. Martin’s Press, the publisher in charge of the book’s U.S. release.