Monday, February 25, 2013

Lenten Video Series

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of General Synod's new video series, God among us: Lenten videos on the Stations of the Cross. Produced by the Rev. Scott McLeod, the videos weave together art, music, and powerful narratives that show how we can seek the face of God in other people.

The videos are designed to be simple meditations, especially for those who chose to reflect at their computers or smartphones. They will be released approximately twice a week over the season of Lent.

The videos God among us: Lenten videos on the Stations of the Cross continues General Synod's tradition of producing seasonal series to support personal or corporate devotional practices. Most recently, an Advent podcast series featured meditations by the Rev. Dr. Arthur Boers, professor and author.

The videos Each video in this Lenten series is unique. Some are slideshows and stories about finding God on overseas trips. Others include music and video footage, often of street scenes. All feature a central piece of art—a painting or collage—that depicts a Station of the Cross.

The videos "I have shared a number of my experiences in these videos—ones that stay with me," said Mr. McLeod, who serves as coordinator of online ministries for the Diocese of British Columbia.

The videos "[These experiences] challenge me to live out the Gospel, to continue to seek the face of God in other people, to follow in Jesus' footsteps in trying to live out the Gospel, and participate in the building up of the kingdom of God."

The videos Born and raised in Victoria, B.C., Mr. McLeod was ordained Anglican priest in 2005 and has served several parish communities. He has degrees from the University of Toronto and the Vancouver School of Theology, and has a particular passion for jazz and motorcycles.

The videos Mr. McLeod hopes this series will deepen the season for all who watch:

The videos "I hope that in this season of Lent, it helps give you the opportunity to think about the ways in which God is being revealed in your own life, through the common and everyday experiences that you might overlook.

The videos "I hope that in sharing the challenges, that you see the challenges in your own life as opportunities to learn and grow in your faith and love. I pray all the blessings of contemplation in Lent for you."

Click below to access any of the released videos in the series God among us: Lenten videos on the Stations of the Cross:

Station of the Cross #4: Jesus meets his mother
Station of the Cross #3: Jesus falls the first time
Station of the Cross #2: Jesus carries his cross
Station of the Cross #1: Jesus is condemned to die

Source: Anglican Church of Canada

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lent Madness

Usual Lenten disciplines involve giving something up, and being a bit somber. But Lent can be fun. Lent Madness (www.lentmadness.org) is a daily Lenten devotional that teaches about the men and women commemorated in the calendar of saints. Readers vote for their favourites each day, and a field of 32 is pared down to one popular champion.

For more information click here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Meaning of Love for Christian Communities

If you have been to a wedding recently, more likely than not you heard 1 Corinthians 13 read. It is chosen by the couple in about three-quarters of weddings. And it is a wonderful hymn of praise of love. Couples see it as both inspirational and aspirational – what they want their love and their relationship to be.

But Paul isn’t talking about marriage, or about the love between husband and wife, or even about families. He wasn’t writing some abstract musings about love, because he had a good idea that he thought would be valuable to others. Paul is talking about the church, and addressing a specific situation.

The congregation at Corinth could be described as the very first dysfunctional church. And it was very dysfunctional. Paul got word of this, from letters from the leaders of the congregation, from gossip on the missionary grapevine, and wrote a long letter back to set them straight.

What were the problems? They were legion. There were some deep factions in the church. Some members proclaimed their allegiance to Paul, some to Apollos, some to Cephas. They all looked to the leader or spiritual father of their group, rather than to Christ, and argued about which group was right. They were spiritually immature: since their conversion to Christianity, they hadn’t changed their behaviour one bit, and disputes arose among them as to which foods were proper to eat, and about sexual mores (Nothing has changed in 2000 years). They were suing one another in court, rather than working out their differences like brothers. They were refusing to share. They came together for a common meal before worship. Each person brought his or her own food, and they didn’t share. So the rich would bring a full feast for themselves, and the poor would have their little bowl of rice. When someone suggested that wasn’t right, the rich began coming early, so that they had eaten everything before the poor arrived. They boasted about status: who was more important, and whose role in the church was foremost. They even jockeyed for positions in worship. Since they didn’t yet have the Book of Common Prayer, worship was a bit more free-form than we are used to, and people would jump up as the Spirit moved them to offer a prayer, a reading or commentary, or to speak in tongues. What resulted was probably similar to what Thomas Merton describes of his experience of Quaker worship when he was seeking a spiritual home: a woman felt moved by the Spirit to talk about her recent trip to Italy and to share the pictures with her captive audience.

So Paul writes to the Corinthians to try to get them back on track as a healthy Christian community. Last week, in chapter 12, he talked about the church as the body of Christ. Just as, in the human body, each member or part of the body has a specific function, and the body does not function as intended unless all the individual members are functioning well and together, the church, the body of Christ, does not function well unless all the individual members, with their different gifts and roles, use their abilities for the common good. Paul catalogues the various gifts of the Spirit: teaching, leadership, healing, prophesying, speaking in tongues, deeds of power, interpreting. But, Paul says, there is a gift greater than any of these, and everyone should strive toward it.

That gift is LOVE. Love is patient, kind, not boastful or arrogant or rude; it rejoices in the truth; it hopes and believes and endures.

The lack of love is the source of all the divisions, the boasting, the fighting, the uncharitableness. It’s not just a matter of recognizing the gifts that others have, because, without love, all those gifts are worthless.

The touchstone is not whether we preach well, whether we are skilled teachers, whether we have a very visible leadership role or toil quietly in the background, but whether we fulfill our roles with love toward one another. If we have love toward one another, if we are patient, if we are kind, if we are not boastful or arrogant or rude, if we forgive and hope, then the church will function as a healthy body.

Throughout history, there have been dysfunctional churches, because we have failed to heed Paul’s advice, or have relegated it to weddings.

May we seek the greatest gift of the Spirit – love – and be a body built on love, in all our doings as a community.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Meet the Community: Part Two of a Video Interview with Nancy D

video

Here is another installment of the “Meet The Community” interview series. Through this series we invite you to get to know the people that comprise our community at St. Philip's Church. As part of this series we will be interviewing different people in the church in a mixed media format which will include text interviews and videos. 

Here is part two of a video interview with Nancy D. She is a widely respected church elder who has been a member of St. Philip's for more than half a century. Nancy reviews the early history of the church and her own experiences. She recounts a time when the church was full to capacity and offers her thoughts as to why church memberships are declining. She also shares some suggestions as to how we can increase membership. When asked what St. Philip's has meant to her Nancy said, "I don't know what I would have done without it, it is a part of my life...like coming home."

To see part one of the video interview with Nancy D click here

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Meet the Community: Part One of a Video Interview with Nancy D



video
Here is another installment of the “Meet The Community” interview series. Through this series we invite you to get to know the people that comprise our community at St. Philip's Church. As part of this series we will be interviewing different people in the church in a mixed media format which will include text interviews and videos.

Here is part one of a video interview with Nancy D. She is a widely respected church elder who has been a member of St. Philip's for more than half a century. Nancy reviews the early history of the church and her own experiences. She recounts a time when the church was full to capacity and offers her thoughts as to why church memberships are declining. She also shares some suggestions as to how we can increase membership. When asked what St. Philip's has meant to her Nancy said, "I don't know what I would have done without it, it is a part of my life...like coming home."

To see part two of the video interview with Nancy D click here

Monday, February 4, 2013

Justin Welby confirmed as Archbishop of Canterbury at St Paul's Cathedral

February 4, 2013 - The Bishop of Durham, the Right Reverend Justin Welby, has officially become the Archbishop of Canterbury at a ceremony, known as the 'Confirmation of Election', which took place in the context of an act of worship in St Paul's Cathedral today.

The ceremony forms part of the legal process by which the appointment of the new Archbishop of Canterbury is put into effect. It was presided over by the Archbishop of York with the assistance of the Bishops of London, Winchester, Salisbury, Worcester, Rochester, Lincoln, Leicester and Norwich. All were commissioned for this purpose by Her Majesty The Queen—who is the 'Supreme Governor' of the Church of England.

Bishop Justin's name was put forward to The Queen some months ago by the Church's 'Crown Nominations Commission' in accordance with constitutional arrangements that have been in place for many years. The appointment is formalized by legal steps taken in accordance with the Appointment of Bishops Act 1533. First, his election was undertaken in January by the Dean and Canons of Canterbury Cathedral. Next, their election of him has to be confirmed by the wider Church, which is what happened today.

The appointment is significant not only for the diocese of Canterbury (where he will be the diocesan bishop, though much of the day-to-day oversight of the diocese is carried out on his behalf by the Bishop of Dover), but also for the wider 'Province' of Canterbury—the 29 dioceses in the South of England, and the Diocese of Europe, which all fall under his general oversight.

In addition, it is to the bishop of the See of Canterbury, with which Anglicans have historically been in communion, that Anglicans worldwide give a primacy of honour and respect among the college of bishops in the Anglican Communion—as 'first among equals' (primus inter pares). In that role, as a focus and means of unity within the Communion, the Archbishop convenes and works with the Lambeth Conference and Primates' Meeting, and presides in the Anglican Consultative Council.

Since at least the fourth century it has been a fundamental principle in the Christian Church that the election of a new bishop must be confirmed by the wider Church, especially by the bishops of the region. The legal significance of the act of confirmation cannot be overstated: it confers upon the new Archbishop 'the care, government and administration of the spirituals' of the archbishopric. It is the confirmation of his election which makes the Archbishop-elect into the Bishop of the diocese of Canterbury and Archbishop of the Province.

The wording used in the course of the confirmation ceremony has a long history. Before the eighteenth century it was in Latin, but in about 1733 an English translation was introduced. At the service today, a somewhat modernised version was used. It involved recital of the Mandate from the Queen, authorizing the appointment; introduction of the new Archbishop; certification of the steps taken in his election by the dean and canons of Canterbury; his Declaration of Assent to the historic doctrines and worship of the Church of England; a 'Charge' by the Archbishop of York, based on the needs of the diocese and province perceived by those involved in his appointment; and finally a 'Sentence' conferring on him spiritual jurisdiction over the diocese and province.

Enthronement on 21 March

After this step has been taken, there remain other formal stages before he begins his public ministry in Church and State, in particular his act of 'Homage' to The Queen. The public inauguration of his ministry—'the Enthronement'—will take place at Canterbury Cathedral on 21 March, and will be broadcast live on the BBC.

Meanwhile, the new Archbishop will be familiarizing himself with the tasks he will be called upon to perform over the coming years, meeting those he will be working with most closely, and preparing himself generally for all that lies ahead. He invites your prayers, for himself, his family, the Church and the nation, during this period of preparation—and beyond.

Source: Anglican Church of Canada