Book of Common Prayer, Evangelicalism, Monasticism/Neo-Monasticism, neo-monasticism, spiritual disciplines

What I’ve been reading…

Now that I’m back into the swing of things at work, after my P.O.T. residential last week, I’ve been trying to catch up with my reading. Most of it consists of other blog articles and a select list of books. In my reading, I’ve come across a site called Even from the blog title I could tell that I’d enjoy it. But one of the articles I most recently read is here. As I read, I felt like I should have been looking over my shoulder, so that no one would see me. At the same time, I felt a twinge in myself, which resonated with my own journey. One book I read a while back is Evangelical is Not Enough by Thomas Howard.  Both the article and book highlight what I’ve been feeling for quite some time. When are we as evangelicals (I can’t bring myself to capitalize it) going to see what is happening? Or have we, as Internet Monk notes, lost the plot? Are we too caught up in consumerism to separate the gospel from our inculturated, dare I say it, gospel idol? When are we going to pursue the disciplines needed to mature our own faith, let alone the faith of others?

I received an email today asking if I knew of any good confirmation courses. I could not recommend one. All the confirmation courses I’ve found are so watered down that I couldn’t recomend one. What I had to say was what about the Catechism? The previous times I’ve taught confirmation classes, which is not many, I’ve used the catechism as my basis.

When are we going to return to the disciplines which disciple and mature followers of the Way? For instance, I know that many of the evanglical anglican priests which I’ve spoken to do not hold to a literal praying of  Morning and Evening Prayer. Why not? Because, I’ve been told, it’s about spending time with God, a quiet time, rather than joining with the form and structure of Morning and Evening Prayer.

But if you read the canons about Morning and Evening Prayer, (C24 to be precise – Every priest having a cure of souls shall provide that, in the absence of reasonable hindrance, Morning and Evening Prayer daily and on appointed days the Litany shall be said in the church, or one of the churches, of which he is the minister or see C26 – Every clerk in Holy Orders is under obligation, not being let by sickness or some other urgent cause, to say daily the Morning and Evening Prayer, either privately or openly; and to celebrate the Holy Communion, or be present thereat, on all Sundays and other principal
Feast Days. He is also to be diligent in daily prayer and intercession, in examination of his conscience, and in the study of the Holy Scriptures and such other studies as pertain to his ministerial duties.
), it is to be publicly proclaimed. What ever happened to the process of saying the Office as a church? Isn’t this the reason Cranmer reduced and simplified the Office, so that we could all say it?

If we want to remove the shallow, consumer-driven, Christianity-lite, which evangelicalism has become, then a return to our heritage as Christians is needed. No matter your ‘brand’ or background this is what is needed.

Whoo…. I feel better. Read the article.


Anglican Communion, TEC Conflict

Stranger by the day…

The more I read on certain Anglican blogs, the stranger things seem to get. The latest is the ‘attempted’ deposition of Bishop Duncan of Pittsburg. 815 has already laid out their position in a letter to all the Bishops, along with their responses to objections! Rather arrogant, don’t you think?  Some of my friends are facing being evicted from their church buildings because they were unwilling to endure the liberalism of the ACoC. Where does it end?

I am struck by the fact that those on this side of the pond still do not recognise the urgency of the situation. To give an example, I forget where I read it, one blogger equated the idea of the pastoral forum from the WCG as a request to holocaust victims to re-enter concentration camps. While this may be a little tasteless, it is the situation that they find themselves in. When will they realise that we need a communion with a little teeth?

Anglicanism has worked for many years on the basis of common held beliefs. But just in case you didn’t know, those beliefs are no longer held in common! So how do we maintain communion? We need something structured to provide those safeties. The sooner we wake up to this, the sooner we can get on with the mission of God.

Anglican Communion, Ecclesial issues

Anglicans must choose…

Now the majority of my friends and family who would classify themselves as Anglican would have significant difficulty with what Cardinal Kasper has said. But before we jump too quickly to assumptions or we become defensive, it might be a good idea to listen to what the Cardinal says and then decide. I for one agree with many things that the Cardinal mentions. Call me crazy….

Anglicans must choose between Protestantism and tradition, says Vatican
By Anna Arco
6 May 2008

Cardinal Kasper delivers his Newman lecture in Oxford

Vatican has said that the time has come for the Anglican Church to
choose between Protestantism and the ancient churches of Rome and

Speaking on the day that the Archbishop of Canterbury met Benedict XVI
in Rome, Cardinal Walter Kasper, the president of the Pontifical
Council of Christian Unity, said it was time for Anglicanism to
“clarify its identity”.

He told the Catholic Herald: “Ultimately, it is a question of the identity of the Anglican Church. Where does it belong?

“Does it belong more to the churches of the first millennium -Catholic
and Orthodox – or does it belong more to the Protestant churches of the
16th century? At the moment it is somewhere in between, but it must
clarify its identity now and that will not be possible without certain
difficult decisions.”

He said he hoped that the Lambeth conference, an event which brings the
worldwide Anglican Communion together every 10 years, would be the
deciding moment for Anglicanism.

Cardinal Kasper, who has been asked to speak at the Lambeth Conference
by the Archbishop of Canterbury, said: “We hope that certain
fundamental questions will be clarified at the conference so that
dialogue will be possible.

“We shall work and pray that it is possible, but I think that it is not
sustainable to keep pushing decision-making back because it only
extends the crisis.”

His comments will be interpreted as an attempt by Rome to put pressure
on the Church of England not to proceed with the ordination women
bishops or to sanction gay partnerships, both serious obstacles to

They have come at an extremely sensitive time for the Anglican
Communion, as between different factions in the church are
beginning to show ahead of the conference in July.

Dr Rowan Williams faces rebellion from conservative and liberal Anglicans over homosexuality and women bishops.

The Rt Rev Gene Robinson, the Anglican bishop of New Hampshire, whose
attempts to enter into a civil union with his gay partner have angered
conservative Anglicans, plans to attend the public events of the
conference despite the fact that he has not been invited by Dr

On the other side of the spectrum, rebel conservative bishops, headed
by Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, dismayed by the Archbishop of
Canterbury’s refusal to condemn homosexuality outright, plan a rival
conference in the Holy Land in June.

Ecumenical dialogue between Rome and the Anglican Communion ground to a
halt in 2006. Cardinal Kasper said at the time that a decision by the
Church of England to consecrate women bishops would lead to “a serious
and long lasting chill”.

But last month the Church of England’s Legislative Drafting Group
published a report preparing the ground for women bishops, who are
already ordained in several Anglican provinces.