It has begun

The Windsor Report was issued. Now, the Primates from all the Anglican provises are in consultation from Feb. 20-25 in Ireland to see what will become of our Anglican Communion. The Global South Primates (not all, however) who are opposed to the American Church are taking their stand, but we do not know what the outcome will be like.
A simple way forward, that would not be at all satisfactory to the Conservatives (bad term), is for the Archbishop of Canterbury to simply invite all Bishops to meet. Those who refused to attend refuse to be a part of the councils of this Church, those who do attend, are. The Communion is then self-selecting, which in reality is what it has always been, with regard to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Here is a news blurb from David Virtues website, VirtueOnline. The source needs to be considered and the article taken with a grain of salt, but none of it surprises me.
Day One of the Primates Meeting in Dromantine, Northern Ireland
By David W. Virtue
NEWRY, Northern Ireland (2/21/2005)–A winter chill that brought flurries of snow to Ireland yesterday also blew through the assembled archbishops of the Anglican Communion meeting at the Dromantine Center, a Roman Catholic monastic retreat where 35 Primates, leaders of 78 million Anglicans are gathered, to weigh their future together as a communion.
The chill turned icy when orthodox primates of the Global South refused to celebrate the Eucharist in the presence of ultra-liberal American Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold. As a result Irish Primate Robin Eames announced that his chaplain would offer Eucharist and be the celebrant to anyone who wanted it. None of the Global South bishops showed up.
“We would not celebrate the Eucharist at the same altar with Griswold,” a Primate told VirtueOnline.
The atmosphere is anything but positive, said a source. Camps are forming and it is going to be very difficult for Dr. Rowan Williams the Anglican Church’s titular head to find points of contact between the two groups.
Already the agenda for the occasion has been called into question.
The liberals, lead by US Presiding Bishop wanted to launch in on the “issues” – HIV/AIDS, Third World poverty and more – an agenda put together by the liberal Anglican Communion Office, but Nigerian Primate Peter Akinola interjected saying “how can we talk about the issues, we need to have reconciliation between brothers before anything else.”
The Africans won a victory on the agenda issues being controlled by Western liberals, VirtueOnline was told. It is being handled one day at a time. The agenda is evolving day by day only with the approval of the global South. The planned service at the cathedral on Tuesday for a photo op with journalists will be decided in the next 24 hours. The message is clear, do the orthodox primates want to be photographed with ECUSA Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold?
When an Anglican primate was asked if the photo op would take place, he said, “The agenda will be set in the morning by all of the Primates and not just by non-primates, specifically the Anglican Communion office who planned the meeting.”
The Global South primates will not participate in anything they do not agree with, VirtueOnline was told. The time for “listening” is over. They are very conscious of the way they were manipulated by the former head of the ACO Canon John Peterson and they have vowed not to let that happen again.
The Global South Primates have never been as strong and unified as this, said a source. “They are altogether.”
The meeting is no longer being controlled by the Anglican Consultative Council. It is the primates meeting and they are in control, said another source.
Three Primates are absent. Archbishop Peter Kwong (Hong Kong) has serious heart problems. The daughter of the Archbishop of Burundi Samuel Ndeysienga died recently and Northern India Zechariah James Terom also could not attend for unspecified reasons.

Dark Night & the Unknown

I spent Thursday and Friday traveling to Baltimore and meeting with the deployment officer, who is a great guy, and for a perspective job. The reality has set in. I just don’t know about all this.
It is very, very hard when someone close is truly going through a “dark night of the soul.” There is nothing I can say – nothing anyone can say. Only God’s grace and mercy will see him through until he comes out on the other side.
I had a strange dream about my best friend in high school last night. I think about my foolish attempts to deal with a best friend’s departure. It is truly a blessing when people maintain friendships throughout life. I’m not very good at that and it is to my detriment.
I am finding myself thinking about many people who where (and still are) significant people in my life. I am who I am today because of all of them – their involvement in my life, their contributions. I think it may be because of my approaching ordination (June 4th, Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland!), and the life I am giving myself over to. This is all more than a job to me and I am so hesitant to do this, even though I believe it to be God’s leading. The people of the Diocese of Ohio and this seminary (along with others) seem to confirm that belief. It is all are gargantuan unknown!

Suffering, Evil, and The Passion of the Christ

I am taking a class that deals with suffering, evil (really Theodicy), and how we respond to such things in liturgy.
One of our required texts is a thin volume entitle, simply, Evil, part of the Problems in Theology2 series. A segment from Elie Wiesel’s book Night is included. Wiesel retells an experience of his as a prisoner in Auschwitz. As he and other prisoners where coming back into the camp, they saw a gallows with three ropes. One of the three to be hanged was a young boy. As the prisoners walked by the gallows, they saw that the young boy squirming and struggling for breath the whole while, it took him half an hour to die. It seems he was too light to be effectively hanged.
Wiesel writes, “Behind me, I heard the same man asking: ‘Where is God now?’ And I heard a voice within me answer him: ‘Where is He? Here He is – He is hanging here on this gallows…'”
As I read this, the movie The Passion of the Christ came to mind. So many people have condemned Gibson and this movie for the incredibly gory depiction of the Passion. No man could withstand such torture, they say. It was gratuitous violence, blood, and gore by a sick-minded man, say others.
If we think of a single man enduring this torture until his death on the cross because of his radical message, then I agree. The movie was horrific. Yet, if we stop to think of God the Son/Jesus the Christ taking upon himself all the sin and suffering of the world – time past, present, and future, then the image depicted in Gibson’s movie is profoundly accurate. As Wiesel writes of Him hanging on the gallows with that little boy – present, there, simply and profoundly with and in and surrounding that boy – there we might see what was accomplished by the self-sacrifice of God for all of humanity.
Jesus took upon himself the Holocaust of the Jews. Jesus took upon himself the millions killed under Pol Pot. Jesus took upon himself the Tutsi and Hutu millions which were slaughtered. God was there hanging on the gallows of Auschwitz; God was there as the Tutsi was hacked to death by a machette; God was there as the poor Cambodian attempting to hold onto life was brutally murdered by someone half his age in the name of ideology. All the brutal, slaughterous, heinous, vile, and unspeakable actions humans have perpetuated upon other humans – if all this God took upon Himself during those final hours of the Christ’s Passion, then Gibson’s image of the suffering Christ was absolutely accurate.
In The Passion of the Christ, we see what we have done as all is taken by Jesus upon his body. Truly, if an accurate picture were to be portrayed, it would be far beyond what Mel Gibson displayed in his movie.
Now, we enter into Lent. It is a time when we are reminded that we are dust, and unto dust we shall return. A time to reflect on what we do that is not according to God’s desire and contrary to our best interests. We sin. We sin horrifically. Humanity does not deserve the love and compassion of a God who hangs with us on the gallows, a God who hangs on a tree, yet God so loved us that He took upon Himself all of human sin so that we might be reconciled, justified, made new.


I’m in the process of upgrading MovableType and have yet to get the anti-spam software to work properly. As a result, I can’t accept comments due to the extremely large amount of SPAM comments that would appear on my weblog.
Really, SPAMing is evil!
I don’t particularly like this format style, either. When I have a little more time I will be attempting to return to the old style.

Ordinations and Boards of Trustees

John Hamilton, priest, as of 12:00 noon yesterday. It was a great service, and Grace Church Newark is a beautiful church! Neil Alexander, Bishop of the Diocese of Atlanta, where John is Canonically resident, presided. Of course, this makes me think about what will be happening to me several months from now, LORD willing!
I participated in the GTS Board of Trustees meeting on Friday, as a Student Representative. I have only one more meeting before I rotate off the Board. During the Education and Formation Commission meeting, of which I am a member, I realized that much of what I bring to the commission is negative. Frankly, while most all of us are very glad we came to General, there is a lot of negative feelings among students concerning the way the place is run, etc. Now, I well know that part of the job of being a student is to complain, but many of the complaints are warranted.
I think I bring a lot of baggage from working at Kent State. We would often hear of what was presented to the Board of Trustees and think, “That isn’t right!” I believe that Board members, whether at KSU or GTS, often do not get an accurate picture of what is going on within the institution. How can they when most come to a campus for a couple of days a couple of times a year? I find myself wanting to make sure they know the down side, when during the plenary sessions of the meetings most of what we hear is positive, with exceptions. It is true that the institution is far from failing and things generally look good, but there are problems and the Trustees need to be aware of them so that they have a clear picture of the overall institution in order to make informed decisions.
The problem with being the bearer of “bad” news or negative comments is that you (I) end up looking like that bad guy or the malcontent. I don’t necessarily think my fellow Board members see me in this light, although they may, but I do fear I am on the edge of such a reputation. I suspect I need to exercise a little more restraint and balance!

Getting rid of SPAM

Can I tell you how much time it takes me to purge all the SPAM messages that pile up in this weblog every day? It is insidious. There have been times when literally hundreds of comments have been submitted to my posts and suddenly appeared all over my weblog.
Luckily, I use a MT-Blacklist to filter out a lot of the junk (there are over 1,500 URL’s that are blacklisted). I cannot imagine what this weblog would look like without it. Well, I simply couldn稚 use Movable Type. The SPAMers keep pumping out new URL’s advertising everything from porn, to Texas-hold-em gambling, to “male-enhancement” drugs.
SPAM is evil, just plain evil.