Wednesday, January 31, 2007

some information from my mom-request for prayer

Please pray for the families of these women and for the countless victims of violence in Nairobe. There was another carjacking the day these women died. The regional director of CARE was killed. The police tracked down and killed two of the jackers but for the most part, these kinds of violences go unprosecuted. Please pray for the safety both of expats and Kenyans.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Day is Passed

Matt is asleep in his chair so I need to shut down and continue this tomorrow.
Hope you enjoy the notes etc.

A Collect for Compline
Keep Watch, Dear Lord, with those who work or watch or weep this night, and give your angels charge of those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ, give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous, and all for your love’s sake. Amen.

Arch Bishop Nazir Ali's Talk

Church of the Household: the emphasis is on likeness. We know that women played a prominent role in supporting and building up the House Church.

Church of the Town: emphasis on unlikeness rather than likeness. Had to develop rules about mixed gatherings.

Churches in Clusters: groups in Asia, Macedonia, Judah etc who knew one another and supported one another. Churches that were mutually interdependent. “Ecclesiology of Anglicans, if it had one, would be Cyprianic.”

Universal Church: the Church described in Ephesians and Colossians. This is not just an assembly but a greater reality.

What happens to this model in the Anglican Dispensation?
The Local Church or church of the Town might be the Parish Church. The Parish gives the church a commitment to the local community. Anglicans have traditionally, in the parish model, been “incarnational” in a good way. Now it has become over emphasized. Then there is the Nation (the church in clusters). During the Reformation people were becoming conscious of the nation-state. Now in Europe they are moving beyond this model.

But what about the church in the home?
And what about the Universal Church?
1. Appeal to Scripture-Christians unite around it.
2. Constant appeal to Antiquity-don’t have to believe in anything the early church didn’t believe.
3. General Council

What now? In Britain we are thinking of ‘Fresh Expressions of Church’ (a new phrase that is becoming worn out). People are finding significance in networks, not locations. Can Church be expressed this way for Anglicans?
People usually come to faith in like groups.
The church in the home is a church of likeness. You have people like one another being in church provided this is not the only way they are in church. The like but also the unlike. The emergence of the Anglican Communion—need to learn again how o be a world wide church (painfully-as in the Reformation). We have four Instruments of Unity-the ABC, Lambeth, Primates, ACC. But I do wonder whether they are enough. As Anglicans realize the demands of Catholicity we will need more.

…..missed a section whispering to my neighbor in the pew….

Christianity is different from Islam which is Arabic Bound. Translatability is at the center of Anglicanism—every church orders its life according to the culture in which it is set. (Tyndale’s translation created the English we know). But there is also a dark side to translatability—Captivity. That it is so translated that they can do what they like with it. The gospel becomes captive to them and not available to others.

Why did the Reformation not produce world mission while the Counter Reformation did? Possible Answers: Mobility. Politics. Dispensationalism (The Apostles evangelized the world and if God wants any more Christians, he can make them himself). Eventually the churches of the reformation came to a sense of world mission. The tendency of Anglicans to capitulate to the culture is rooted here.

What is Christian and Ecclesial integrity? Nothing but recognizing, receiving and passing on the apostolic witness. Receiving: if you loose it, get it back. How do you settle what is apostolic? Appeal to the Scriptures by the Church. The Rule of Faith tells us what is Scripture and Vice Versa. Of course, this requires study.

Inculturation—how do we relate to people.
Contextualization—how do we relate to a people’s social, political situation.
Are there any limits?
1. The nature of the gospel itself. It cannot compromise its nature.
2. The need for fellowship between different kinds of Christians.
Talk about limits is too “negative” for some, they like to say “criteria” instead of “limits”. Make sure the mind of Christ is central, the trajectories of scripture.

Unity and Diversity
The Anglican came come into being different ways.
-coincidentally (along with the spread of English)
-Evangelical: in the 18th century a group decided that world mission was God’s will for them. They were also concerned with temporal needs. “The right spiritual relations” not the transmission of culture.
--Tractarian world missions: In Tanzania, for example, there were Bible Church and UMCA churches. Now they are all together in the same province.

Is there anything that holds it together?
Huntington’s Anglican System (worship, vestments) verses Anglican Principle (the duty of the local church to become the catholic church in that place. Chicago Lambeth Quadrilateral—very important ecumenically, but also to understand ourselves. If there is diversity there can also be unity. But it has to be real diversity. That is why the instruments are not enough. The primacy of scripture has to be combined with effective teaching. There isn’t now, that’s the problem.

Dialogue and Dissent
Dialogue: Anglicans learn more about themselves talking to other Christians.
Dissent: there are traditions of dissent in Anglicanism (Puritans, the Non Jurors, the Oxford Movement).

Mission and Movement
Real creativity comes from movements—the monastic movement, the missionary movement etc. Need movements in the church to keep it alive and not a replication of institutions.

Bishop Duncan's Address

Text: 1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

We will Begin at the End, the end of each of Paul’s addresses to the Church.

Anglicans, along with CS Lewis, have always held to a Mere Christianity—what, in looking at the whole, is most essential. We can push this even to Mere Paul—not so much looking at Paul’s teaching, but is instruction, his last instructions to ordinary people in each letter. At the end of each letter is a sort of summary of the exquisite gospel of Jesus Christ.

In 1 Corinthians 15:58 Paul has just outlined his glorious theology to resurrection—the resurrection of Jesus and our participation in it. Then he says, Therefore, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
This is for us, in our time.
1. Be steadfast: steady, rock solid in your believing.
2. Immovable in behavior, always confirmed to love in Christ. Example-Jenkins asked a recent gathering whether or when it was that there was an ABC worth killing. Not since 1645. But there are many Bishops in Africa worth killing. Are we?
3. Abounding-always doing the work knowing that it is not in vain. Abiding. Trusting. Knowing that nothing for him is in vain. (Trust Abide Know). Jenkins again-what is the language of Islam? Arabic. What is the language of Christianity? Translation. From the moment of Pentecost translation has been going on. So that the people can understand and then to abound in the works of the Lord.

So not just Mere Christianity. Mere Paul-forgiven, called to ministry in a very different day. After the Sublime Teaching there is a simple exhortation for ordinary Christians.

Therefore, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. Praise be now and forever. Amen.


Charleston is beautiful but I found it dark. It was amazing to walk several times a day past a low one story brick building with no windows to speak up of and many sections barred off. We eventually found a sign on it that said ‘Black Market’. I immediately and naively assumed that meant the sale of illicit and illegal goods. But of course, why would you put a sign on it. However, Matt looked dubiously at me when I asked what the market was for and I was shocked out of my ignorance. Now this long low market has a lot of little shops in it selling a variety of things from jewelry to baskets to, amazingly, a lot of African artifacts.

We stayed at the Holiday Inn down town and walked to St. Philip’s Church every morning past, among other things, a key shop in front of which there were a lot of keys and locks planted in the sidewalk cement. We ate both nights at an “Irish” pub which sold a lot of various fried fishes, sea food, burgers and the very good Salmon Spinach Salad. Other than that we saw nothing of Charleston except the airport (brown, horrible ceiling, more brown). I hope this won’t be my last visit to the real South.

Weak Pathetic Excuses

As usual, nothing ever turns out the way I plan. The first big unpleasantness that I hadn’t accounted for when signing up for Mere Anglicanism was that the conference was held in a place not wired for internet. Matt and I spent nearly two whole days off line which was probably good for the states of our souls (perhaps we became more holy) but was very frustrating. I took copious notes and shot video of Edith Humphrey and two panels—the Scholars Panel and the Common Cause Panel. The notes will be appearing shortly (as in this evening) here but the video you will have to wait for Greg to edit, fix all my mistakes, and post on Stand Firm.

It must be confessed that Matt and I missed Morning Prayer on Friday and then were unable to attend anything on Saturday, having to get home in time to prepare for church today. So hopefully others will relate their delights and experiences of that day. Let me also complain bitterly that I missed the first part of Nazir Ali’s first talk because there wasn’t terribly enough time between Evensong and the talk and Greg and Matt decided that their Shrimp and Grits were more important. So I bolted a very nice Salmon Spinach Salad and ran over on my own (hoping to tape but there was no particularly good place to set up) and took notes.

I’m going to post notes separately and also a shortish account of my overall impressions. I am so grateful that I got to go and delighted to have met so many interesting people.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Well, I lied, I thought I was going to be filming but instead I worshipped the Lord in the beauty of holiness and then took notes of the talk afterward. I will have them to post tomorrow.

Let me just say that Choral Evensong is one of the most beautiful things ever to experience. The choir--girls and boys--was ethereal and amazing, Bp. Duncan's talk was uplifting, the readings were beautiful and the hymns like the flowing of water. Evensong alone was reason enough to come.

You find here, above, a picture of my old shoes and my new sensible shoes.

And, hopefully, lots more to come tomorrow. I've met many famous people--the fabulous and amazing Greg Griffeth, Ashley Null, and Michael Howell. And of course I've seen lots of other famous people--Kendall Harmon, Bishop Duncan, Bishop Nazir Ali, Leander Harding, and Edith Humphrey to name just a few.
Charleston is beautiful and balmy. I brought entirely the wrong sort of shoes and so am going to be hobbling back and forth in agony for the next two days. However, it is the duty of every good Christian to suffer a little for the Lord, so I will bear up under my afflictions.

Haven't met anyone famous yet but expect to very shortly. Will be filming evening prayer and the talk after. Stay tuned

A Mere Anglican

We're off. In about an hour we will disentangle ourselves from our betrayed and screaming children, leave someone else to their mercy, board a variety of uncomfortable aircraft and arrive in Charleston, God willing and the creek don't rise, about 11am. Have carefully packed away some Anglican TV/Stand Firm paraphanalia-a camera, some sort of firewire thing, a tripod, a lot of little tapes, a lot of meaningless wire, and a thick user manual. We shall see what we shall see. Hope to see you there, or hear from you. Will keep regular posts throughout the conference.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Sing and Wail

I recently found this site (after searching a little bit). I attended boarding school at ICA (Internation Christian Academy-a boring name I always thought) in Bouake, Cote d'Ivoire, West Africa. We had to attend church twice every Sunday, once in the morning and once in the evening for "Singsperation". I always got a massive headache on Sundays due to the lack of liturgy, the amazingly long sermons and then the long Sunday lunch and siesta and letter home afterwards. I remember being appalled when someone told me that I would look with nostalgia on my boarding school days and miss them. Well, I don't miss them, but I do harbour a small amount of nostalgia, mostly for the friends I made and the amazing color of the sky when a storm would roll in. And I had one of these songs running through my head for several days and wanted to get all the words straight. The recordings are cheezy-80s synthesizer. And many of them don't have the music to go with. But they're all straight scripture and an excellent way to get some key passages stuck in your head. Enjoy.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

With Desire I have Desired

Everything in the son felt with him who said, I am not worthy that Thou shouldest come under my roof, and yet he said, O when wilt Thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart; for I know that Thy commandment is life everlasting. As his thoughts were occupied thus, he found himself on the shore of the sea. And he took a grain of sand from the miles of sand about him and he held it in his hand. Then he knew that his desire for the Presence of his Lord was like a little grain for smallness in comparision with his Lord's desire to come under his roof, for that was like the measure of the measureless sands. And as his thoughts followed this great thought, Jesus his Lord answered and said unto him, With desire have I desired.

His thoughts said...
His Father said...
Amy Carmichael

Friday, January 19, 2007


He Slept! All the way through. 10:30pm to 7:30 In The Morning!!!!! Can you believe it. This one enormous, well layered, almost 6 month old baby was still waking up at 2AM and 4AM for a little snack. Well, not little--2 full feedings in the middle of the night. But after 2 agonized nights of standing next to his crib repeatedly putting his plug into his mouth with each piercing scream, last night he appeared to have given up and just decided to sleep.

May the Lord be praised.
I had every hope of leaving him home so as to come to Mere Anglicanism childless, but if he refused to sleep I wasn't going to leave some nice person at his mercy for three days. So, we'll be there with bells on. And if you had hoped to meet our children, tough, we're not bringing them. :)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Another Agonized Thought

Well, the legal battles begin in earnest. As everyone is noting, its not a surprise. It was the obvious next step. However, knowing in advance that its going to happen doesn't mitigate against that horrible sick feeling in the pit of the stomach as each new step is taken, each new weapon is armed for war.

I remember seeing Bishop Lee driving around the seminary or meeting with various groups in the refectory (as I believe it is known)--black and purple, carefully quaffed hair, eyes always in the middle distance. Indeed, his face mirrored perfectly in expression the many portraits looming over us innocents as we ate our breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

As I consider my whole time in the Episcopal Church-from confirmation through the ordination process and seminary-I can't fix in my mind the face of one Godly bishop who has impacted me personally. All I see are seas distantly expressioned purple.

I hope for better things in the days to come. I hope to actually meet some Godly and trustworthy bishops face to face and work for them and be impacted and changed. I hope even more that in the days to come these Congregations in VA will stand and speak the truth and WIN. More than hope, I will even Pray.

In Memory of....

I'm into my fifth cold. I felt it come on unmistakably last night during a long and tedious discussion about how best to procure a memorial plaque. You guest it--Vestry for two hours. And you know I continue to feel awful because I got saddled with the job of finding, buying and otherwise organizing this plaque. 'Let Anne Do It' being the ringing cry of our church and vestry. If I had had my wits about me I would have protested loudly enough to shove the responsability onto someone else. Instead I only noticed when I read the notes later (which I had taken). To quote, 'actionable, Anne will look through catalogues and buy memorial plaque, coordinating with--about wooden base for plaque.' That's when I felt that dull hated soreness creep up into my throat and head, bringing more pressure and misery into my already cold laden mind. Came home and confessed everything I could think of again. And started reading Job.

So now I'm sitting on the couch in my bathrobe and slippers at 10:30 in the morning while my bored children run screaming laps around me. I know I've got to get up and solve all the world's problems, but I just don't have the will.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Merry Christmas

So I went and bought my Saw. I insisted that the whole family go, which was a mistake. I bought the makings of two or three tables (making tables is my new thing) and we let Emma and Aedan each carry a table leg, which was also a mistake. Someone was constantly getting hurt and running into things and getting in trouble. I bought a vast quantity of wood as well, so that I will be able to make Lots of things. Now the Saw is sitting on my dining room table, requiering assembly. Matt says if I keep it in the dining room he will move his game laden desktop into the living room and never surface for air again.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The home fire burns bright

"Wow, this morning I was only at 3120 and now I'm up to 3230."
Eyes wide, "You look great, Anne. You look so thin and beautiful."
"I was talking about hits on my blog."
"Oh...isn't this preacher great. He's preached 12 sermons on just Romans 7."

Let all the whole world praise the Lord

Its raining so not very many people came to church. Must confess that I didn't much feel like going either. Very gray and dreary day. Walking through the parish hall I heard my child yell, 'Its my turn to be dead!'
Paused to watch the drama unfold. The children were taking turns burying each other under pillows and blankets. Apparently not everyone had had a turn.

Later got into a fight about public education. "I'm not sending my four year old into a den of godless secular humanism," I said.
"Well, she's got to be in the world sometime."
"Not when she's four" I said. "And besides, its worked so well up till now. Look how righteous and Christian and believing this culture is. Its working so well."
"Well, they still say the pledge of allegiance."
"Oh, all right then. I must have misunderstood." Then I felt bad. "Sorry," I said.
"That's ok."
"Good" I said, "because you've been hiding the candle snuffers and its been driving everyone crazy."

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Matt finally got sick the beginning of this week. After avoiding it for nearly a month, he succumbed and was laid flat for three days-unable to breath, unable to exercise, unable to cope with life. I started five or six posts--ranging in topic from KJS's recent interview, to the fact that we're taking care of Micah's cat (bringing our total, for the week, to FOUR cats), to various conversations that I've had with the children, etc. But I was never able to finish a thought. Now I am jammed in between all three children, plus a cat, trying to do the bulletin and sort myself out to do the Flight into Egypt tomorrow. I have a donkey, a Mary that was to have a Sacred Heart of Mary on it, but the Heart got left off and now there's a gap, and a large infant Jesus. I'm trying to sucker Matt into making me a Mary, Joseph and Jesus. We'll see. So, you are all spared my sarcasm about the fact the KJS doesn't know who Al Mohler is, among other caustic remarks I had stored away.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Whose Name

I'm on my fourth cold and cannot think clearly in this fog. However, it doesn't require too terribly much thought to enjoy the consistency of those worthy lady reapprisers who are so unhappy about the recent Panel of Referene's thingummy saying that its ok about Dallas. If you're reading this and you don't know what I'm talking about, just please go to the side and link to Stand Firm. I don't have the energy to put in all the links and remember all the right words for everything, as it.

I don't have anything new to add, however, my reading for this morning was Genesis 11. In particular, "Come let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth." Of course, idolotry takes many forms, pride and selfisheness resides in every human heart. There is no one who escapes it. But it finally occured to me that this, this wanting to 'make a name for ourselves' is why the VGRs, Susan Russels, Elizabeth Kaetons of this world are fighting so hard for the soul of the church. They're refusing to go be unitarian or something else because this is where they are laying their bricks, this is where they have laid their foundation. And they will build and build until their tower reaches the sky and God says, 'excellent, good job everyone, if only I could be as wonderful as you'. Trouble is, He's not going to. Rather, their language is already being confused. The deconstruction of the creeds, the articles of religion, the Bible, heck, language itself doesn't unite them or anyone else around a common tower-it causes confusion and mayhem and eventually bitterness. Bitterness that is gradually emptying the pews of their people.

What especially saddens me is, in fact, the rotten name women are making for themselves. In homes across America families are out of wack because women are so busy making a name for themselves. In the church the halls resound with emptiness as men leave the church, driven by women making a name for themselves. And around the world, America continues to be seen as destrucitve, arrogant, thoughtlessly and "prophetically" making a name for itself. Well, the tower is crumbling already around us. Confusion abounds. Our only hope is in the only name by which we may be saved, Jesus. May he have mercy and come swiftly.

Monday, January 08, 2007


I never intend to get going on politics--avoiding the issue at all costs at church and just generally staying out of it--but boy, let me just tell you, after listening to NPR for a total of 15 minutes over two days I just want to shout at somebody.

The drum roll for more troops in Iraq has been steadily unrelenting for months and months and months. And all I've heard (although it could be that I have my head in a hole) is that more troops would be a good thing. And yet Suddenly, when it becomes apparent that more troops will be sent, its a Bad Idea. Well come on. Don't just be opposed to everything. Come up with some kind of plan. (obviously, I speak of the Democratic Party).

I'm convinced that Democrats today are like my two year old--if you repeat it often and loudly enough maybe it will become true, and, if something's not working out according to your plan, fall down and scream loudly.

I hope more troops go in, solve this complete mess-and quickly-and before the next election, or may God have mercy on us all. Well, of course, I hope God is having mercy on us now and in the future, but also a modicum of wisdom to go with it, because that also seems to be totally lacking.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Six Fings to do Today

1. Looking at the bird cage for a couple of hours.
2. Besuring the cookies are on the tray.
3. Making cookies and besuring the tea party is good.
4. Beranging the Christmas Cards
5. Besuring that the candles aren't dirty-that they're alwight.
6. Taking a bath after the tea party.

1, 2 and 4 have been checked off. The cage has been stared into. The Christmas cards have all be turned so that their pictures are facing the wall. And there are various trays of fake cookies scattered around the house. Now Emma and my mother are condescending back and forth to each other as they make cookies. We'll see how the cookies and tea party turn out. I refuse to be suckered in to these activities. Instead I will be lying on the couch, my ear carefully propped, reading The Light Fantastic, which I highly recommend if you're looking for something to read.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Plague, pestilence, mayhem and other general evils

Arrived home Tuesday at midnight after fully three plane rides, three airports, and hundreds of unhelpful airline people and tsa (is that what they're called) officials (Ma'am, you really should have told us you had a stroller before you got in line" O Really! Well, I'm telling you I have a stroller now! etc, etc.)--three completely exhausted children in tow. We descended from the horrible propeller plane, got our luggage, shoved ourselves into our car and then my ear was alit, as it were, by a fire within. As in a raging and horrible ear infection. I rocked back and forth in the fetal position all night until I could get to the walk in where the doctor, in a fit of brilliance, said, 'well, you probably have an infection. Hurts doesn't it.' Wanted to run screaming from the room and my own head but only said, 'Yes'. Am now taking horse like antibiotic pills and liberally souping up children with Motrin, Tylenol, Advil and chocolate. All their poor noses are bright red, cheeks burning, foreheads hot and aching. It seems that everyone we know, including ourselves, from one side of the continent to the other, is sick. And yet still, another day has gone back and Jesus has not returned. Will wait another day.

Bought new living room curtains in consolation for great suffering and agony-red with whispers of gold-and out of hope for the second coming. Am willing even to believe in the rapture if that will help.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Home again Home again

We're rushing around trying to get ready to go home again. The children have watched too much TV, eaten too much chocolate, and generally been spoiled rotten. So life will be difficult for a few days while we regain control of our lives.