Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Good Response?


I was recently asked my opinion on the Anglican Church’s response to the current problems we are facing.

I’ve been reading with interest the recent communiques from Anglican Church of Canada in response to the events of Donald Harvey’s departure from the Anglican Church of Canada and the Essentials Network meeting in Burlington to create an alternative ‘conservative’ Anglican Church in Canada under the authority of the Province of the Southern Cone.

Here are some points I’d like to repeat and see reaffirmed:

∙ The Church has made every effort to accommodate those who have differing theological views within the current structures of the Anglican Church of Canada, including alternative pastoral care and episcopal oversight where necessary.
∙ The Church has been actively seeking to build the community of believers through open and honest dialogue, maintaining a healthy commitment to the theological diversity which makes up the Anglican mosaic.
∙ Through the use of the St. Michael’s Report, General Synod was able to affirm that differences of opinion concerning the blessing of same-sex unions need not be communion breaking.
∙ The Church has tried to respect the opinions of every member while continually calling us to affirm the ‘essential’ unity of the body of Christ, despite our differences.
∙ The events/actions/decisions of the Essentials meeting in Burlington were therefore, not necessary, inappropriate, unwelcome, and invalid.
∙ In this case, it is clear that this group has split itself from the Anglican Church of Canada, unlawfully claiming jurisdiction in Canada. No one aligned with this group has any authority in the Anglican Church of Canada.
∙ The call for the Church today is to:
∙ Pray for unity.
∙ Continue to show respect for differing opinions.
∙ Move forward in ministry.

Communiques Researched:
Diocese of Toronto - Bishop Colin R. Johnson - November 30, 2007
Diocese of Western Newfoundland - Bishop Percy Coffin - November 20, 2007
Diocese of Niagara - Bishops Ralph Spence and Michael Bird - November 2007
Diocese of New Westminister - Bishop Michael Ingham - November 22, 2007
Council of General Synod - November 17, 2007
Primate and Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Canada - Nov 29, 2007

Any thoughts?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Golden Compass

Advent Greetings!

I guess it’s time I threw my hat in the ring over the whole “The Golden Compass” (Philip Pullman) controversy.

((Watch out, there are SPOILERS in this post......))

Where to start....

I don’t believe in censorship. That even goes so far as to condemn Chapters/Indigo for pulling Mein Kampf (Adolf Hitler) from its shelves. I read “Mein Kampf” while in high school. (Yes, in a high school library!) I thought it to be the radical ranting of a madman. The point was, I got the chance to read it and make that judgement. I don’t believe in censorship.

I DO believe in monitoring what our children read and being a part of the reading as well as the reflection afterwards. My oldest boy, William, still often needs to debrief after watching the animated movie “Cars.” “Why is the town sad?” he usually asks.

Will I allow my children to watch overt violence on TV? No, they are too young right now. But the time will come when they will have to learn to interpret the violence of our media culture and put it in a proper perspective. We will do this together and talk about it together.

I believe in monitoring the age-appropriateness of our children’s media and reading materials, but beyond that, we will have to deal with specific content as it arises.

So now, what about “The Golden Compass?” I took the time to read it this past week and found it to be a very enjoyable book with a lot of great twists and imaginative story-telling.

That’s all it is. A story. A fantasy about people who never existed in a world that doesn’t exist, except in telling of the tale.

The critic leading the charge against the book is a crack-pot by the name of William Donahue. For more on his background and radical comments, please feel free to check THIS out.

Some of the criticism has been about Pullman’s atheistic and anti-Catholic sentiments. If we were to pull every book (or movie), children’s or otherwise, which shared these sentiments, there’s be little left to read. In the end, I find Pullman’s attacks on the Church (Catholic or otherwise) well thought out and refreshing.

Another criticism is that at the end of the third book of this series, the main character kills “God.” I put “God” in quotes because I’m not sure if the entity killed is really God or an “idea of God” which even I might find repugnant. (Please note, I haven’t had the chance to read the whole series yet, but have done my research into the ending.)

In either case. The criteria being used so far to suggest this book be banned would wipe out the entire science-fiction and fantasy sections of any library and whittle general fiction to a shelf or two.

I quote Pullman himself,

"To regard it as this Donohue man has said—that I'm a militant atheist, and my intention is to convert people—how the hell does he know that? Why don't we trust readers? Why don't we trust filmgoers?" Pullman sighed. "Oh, it causes me to shake my head with sorrow that such nitwits could be loose in the world."
From a Newsweek Interview

One thing is certain. If it were not for the grumblings of William Donahue, I never would have had the itch to read “The Golden Compass.”

Thanks Bill!

Every Blessing.

Memories: Growing Up in Newfoundland

Hi all!

I just finished reading the book, Memories: Growing Up in Newfoundland by Joyce Templeton-Gillett. (ISBN 978-0-9688209-2-6)

Joyce is the youngest daughter of Rev’d Gordon Templeton, Rector of Bay of Islands Parish from 1934 to 1949 - my predecessor 55 by years!

The book contains a semi-continuous collection of memories of Joyce’s ranging from childhood to early adulthood in the Curling and Corner Brook area roughly spanning the period of Rev’d Templeton’s ministry here.

This is a wonderful little book, filled with memorable stories revealing the genuine innocence of the author in her youth, as well as a wonderful mischievous streak.

In addition to offering vignettes into the lives of past residents, her stories gave me some wonderful images of some of my current parishioners in their youth.

A good book any Newfoundlander (especially a Western Newfoundlander) would be delighted to read.

Thank you Joyce.