Wednesday, February 25, 2009

From Ash Wednesday, by T S Eliot

Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man's gift and that man's scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the agèd eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?

Because I do not hope to know
The infirm glory of the positive hour
Because I do not think
Because I know I shall not know
The one veritable transitory power
Because I cannot drink
There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is nothing again

Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are and
I renounce the blessèd face
And renounce the voice
Because I cannot hope to turn again
Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
Upon which to rejoice

And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us

Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care Teach us to sit still.

Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death....

Blessèd sister, holy mother, spirit of the fountain, spirit of the garden,
Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still
Even among these rocks,
Our peace in His will
And even among these rocks
Sister, mother
And spirit of the river, spirit of the sea,
Suffer me not to be separated

And let my cry come unto Thee.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Prayer 578

Dear God, I thank You for being so much more than my Father in heaven, but that You are my protector here on Earth and friend in my heart. I thank You for the blessing of fellowship in the morning, for hands clasped in friendship, for bringing two or three together in your Name. We are here because of You. We are here because of each other.

In the beginning You called the world into being, a world that danced and swayed throughout space before stars and through light and dark, just as each of us in our lives dance through light and through dark. I thank You for the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ, to help remind us that Your light is never closer or brighter than when it is leading us. You have called each of us from before we were born, called us and known us and loved us.

Dear God, let us be willing to allow You to lead us, to hear that call that You have for all of us. We are truly called into being when we are still and listen to Your call, and open to your love, which is the root of all blessings we receive from you in the miracle of each day. Amen.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

How long to female British bishop?

... and how exactly will this deal work?
The Church of England has reached an historic agreement on the consecration of women bishops.

After years of struggle to avoid schism, bishops have agreed a formula that enshrines the principle of equality for male and female bishops while appeasing opponents of women’s ordination. The first women bishops could take their place in the Church of England within three years.

The deal, published in a new report yesterday, provides for a class of “complementary” traditionalist bishop for parishes that refuse to accept a woman diocesan bishop. Such “flying” bishops would have to abide by the authority of the woman bishop, according to the accompanying code of practice.

Supporters of women’s ordination welcomed the agreement to recognise male and female bishops as equal but many are unhappy about the guarantee of a place for parishes “unable” to accept the ministry of women bishops.

Traditionalists drew comfort from the report’s provision for the continuation of the Anglo-Catholic male-only priesthood in the Church of England. However, many remain bitterly opposed to the principle of women bishops. There is expected to be fierce fighting over the detail when the Church’s General Synod discusses the proposed legislation and code of practice in February.

The Church faces a potentially disastrous series of court battles. Because the code of practice will not be legally binding, a militantly liberal diocesan bishop could refuse to delegate his or her authority to a traditionalist as petitioned by an Anglo-Catholic parish. The parish will then be entitled to seek a judicial review, leading to costly legislation and damaging publicity.

The dilemma over women bishops is exponentially greater than that over women priests and has threatened to be more schismatic even than the debates over gays. Christina Rees, of Women and the Church, said that she was “very pleased” with the published draft measure, but the group warned that the very existence of complementary bishops could undermine the authority of women.

The Rev Rod Thomas, the chairman of the conservative evangelical group Reform, said: “The outlook is very sad. We now have the prospect of much wrangling in the General Synod.”

I love the use of the fear of Roman Catholic reaction. Since the Catholic Church has declared that all Anglican ordinations are invalid, it doesn't matter who we have as bishops, either, now does it?

This decision merely opens the way for female bishops. Since there aren't any in the pipeline, yet, it will probably be years before a woman is actually selected.