Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Reflecting on AMO Clericus - Day One

The military loves its acronyms.  Anglicans do too. And so the AMO - Anglican Military Ordinariate - is a natural product of that intersection.  This week I have the privilege, during the course of our annual CF Chaplain Retreat, of meeting with the AMO to share our stories, pains, joys and vision together.  Those present make up a comparatively large group - 35 priests, with over half of our number (mostly reservists) unable to attend. Over the course of two 'denominational days' within the larger CF Chaplain retreat, we each have the opportunity to touch base with the foundation of our faith which makes Chaplaincy possible - our specific faith communities and traditions. 
This is always a significant teaching-point for those inside and outside the military.  We are not non-denominational chaplains.  There is no such thing as a non-denominational chaplain.  We are chaplains.  Our role - serving those who serve - may be universal, but our individual faith traditions are vital to our identities.  In the same spirit that we seek to defend and facilitate the rights of each and every CF member to live their own spirituality to the fullest, we are each called to be who we are to the fullest, whether that be Anglican, Jewish, or Humanist. 
So today and tomorrow I am meeting with my Anglican colleagues, my Ordinariate Bishop, The Right Reverend Peter Coffin and invited guests to reflect, recharge and stand together as those who recognize that 'being Anglican' is a part of our identity.  We are a varied group, from many parts of Canada and the world, bearing 'subtitles' like 'High Church,' 'Low Church,' 'Liberal' and 'Conservative.'  We form a unity out of our great diversity - a sign of God's grace, in my humble opinion.

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