July 2017 Convocation Newsletter
Months before U.S. Army General Martin Dempsey became the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he approached business consultant Ori Brafman. The General wanted to know how the army could anticipate what the country’s next enemy might look like. To Dempsey’s surprise Brafman told him that, in order to figure that out, the General had to create more chaos in the army! Brafman’s point was that the army, like most organizations, has no system that allows unusual ideas to flow in order to encourage innovation. He said the army was like the medieval Church, “a massive bureaucracy with a powerful, entrenched, values-driven culture and a clear sense of purpose.” The danger is that these kinds of organizations become too structured, and no new ideas can grow.
Traditionally celebrated each year between 18 and 25 January (in the northern hemisphere) or at Pentecost (in the southern hemisphere), the week brings together in prayer Christians from diverse confessional backgrounds. Since 1968, the liturgical and biblical material for the annual week of prayer has been jointly coordinated by the World Council of Churches (WCC) Faith and Order Commission and by the Roman Catholic Church through the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. This year’s week of prayer materials were prepared by a group of writers led by the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism, Montréal...
[Episcopal News Service] The remains of the two most iconic symbols of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, — its murals and its bells — are entombed today on the cathedral grounds awaiting resurrection. Episcopalians have an opportunity on the fourth anniversary of the earthquake that devastated wide swaths of the country, to hasten that resurrection. Already, there is new life in other parts of the diocese’s ministries. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has called on the church to “pray and give” in a special 'anniversary' offering to help the Diocese of Haiti rebuild Holy Trinity Cathedral. ...Jefferts Schori said in her invitation that “rebuilding the cathedral offers hope not only to Episcopalians but to the nation as a whole – a sign that God is present, that God continues to create out of dust, and that God abides in the spirit of his people.”
The archbishop of Canterbury has urged people to adopt a New Year's resolution of tackling poverty in their own neighbourhoods. But the archbishop said in his first New Year's message as head of the Church of England that many people were struggling in spite of many signs of hope. He recommended taking up a pledge this year to try to "change the world a bit where we are" .
[Anglican Communion News Service] Isaiah looks forward to God rescuing His people, instantly recognisable, leading them in victory. Hebrews looks back at the great line of prophets and says this arrival is the climax to the whole of history. John starts with those words that send shudders up the spine, consciously echoing Genesis, “in the beginning ……. ”
[December 2013] Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, in her Christmas Message 2013 prays: “May you discover that humble authority born again on the edges of the world’s notice. May that royal inheritance and authority of the stable be born in you, enliven your heart, and rest on your shoulders.”
Today is a great Sunday: called “Stir-up Sunday” because we prayed earlier that God would stir up the power of the Spirit and come among us. What a powerful prayer — no pun intended. And God is answering that prayer today. It is also called “Gaudete Sunday” which is Latin for “rejoice”, quoting Paul’s injunction to the Philippians to “rejoice always and again I say rejoice!”
The really important part of Christmas is something immensely simple. Yet it eludes us, as well — perhaps because it is so simple. In his "Mass", Leonard Bernstein has a song, "A Simple Song", which says that "God loves all things/ For God is the simplest of all." The English theologian Charles Williams called Jesus Christ "The Divine Thing." A simple thing, namely, God one of us. The Reason for it all...
...After prayerfully listening to the Word read, we then hear the Word expounded in the sermon. Confronted once again with the question of faith that the Gospel puts to us, we respond with conviction, “We believe.” Only then are we ready to pray, ask for forgiveness, make peace with God and each other, and finally move to making the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. The Creed is therefore the hinge, so to speak, between the liturgy of the Word and the sacrament. As the Eucharist flows from our need...