ACNA Assembly: “Mission on our Doorstep”

During the last week of June, the Anglican Church in North America (of which CTR is a member) held a provincial Council/Assembly in Wheaton, Illinois. The theme of the Assembly was  “Mission on our Doorstep”. This was explored through a vast array of talks, workshops, and networking events. I was privileged to be a delegate to the Council business meeting and then became part of the 1,400 visitors from North America and around the world attending the Assembly. Amid the plethora of  activities, two events stood out. The first was the welcoming of the former Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina and its Bishop into full fellowship with the ACNA. The second was the consecration of Andrew John Lines as a missionary bishop, focusing on Great Britain. The Archbishop of Nigeria and leader of GAFCON, the Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh, was preacher at this service. What are some of the benefits of attending event like this? We understand better the benefits that we enjoy because of our participation in the world-wide Anglican Communion. We become more aware and appreciate of the very high quality and commitment of both clerical and lay leadership in the ACNA. We learn more about the sheer volume and variety of its mission efforts. We experience the blessing and pleasure of getting to know our Anglican brothers and sisters from around the world, around one table. Perhaps attending the next Assembly should go on your “to do” list. Bill Harper Vestry   *Sign up to receive regular news updates from the ACNA and the worldwide Anglican communion....

Job Opportunity at CTR!

CTR is looking to fill the role of Communications Coordinator. This is a paid, part-time position, taking an estimated 20 hours per week. Some key responsibilities: Working with the Rector and the Director of Operations to develop a coherent communications strategy and managing the transition towards utilizing the new tools and channels that will necessitate. Serving as the hub for all internal and external communication among staff, church member and the public. Designing and overseeing the production of internal communications (especially worship leaflets, weekly Newsletter/Crossings, website and social media updates). Helping the ministries of the church to tell their stories creatively and well, and to spread the word about their events, internally and externally. Helping CTR learn how to ‘brand’ itself, and give thoughtful and careful attention to how we are presenting ourselves and to what narrative we are telling, both explicitly and implicitly. For more information and a full job description, contact Valine...

“All Truth is God’s Truth”

For the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about Human Spirituality—what it would mean to have a physically, emotionally, and intellectually-appropriate spirituality. (We might have called it “Incarnational” or “Sacramental” Spirituality, but I like “Human.” It’s more accessible, and better able to address anti-humanness.) Some ways of being “spiritual” are on a collision-course with Christian doctrines of Creation, Incarnation, and Sacrament (which, if you’re not familiar with the theological landscape, are biggies). And, I suspect, as we digest what God is after in “the redemption of humanity,” we’ll see the problem with those ways of being “spiritual.” In Eden and in the Incarnation, we see true humanity. Body, feelings, ideas, and soul not “cut off” from each other, but reconciled and whole. If we believe that this is God’s end-game, shouldn’t our spirituality work towards that and not against it?  By Dcn. Adam Salter Gosnell I went to college at Ouachita Baptist University and I loved it there. It was my first exposure to the Christian liberal arts tradition, and I came alive. At OBU they had this idea, almost a mantra, “All truth is God’s truth.” Because God is who God is, everything that’s God’s is true. (That’s the part Christians usually get right.) But, this part is key, everything that’s true is God’s. “All truth is God’s truth.” For them, it was like a door, and once it opened, the way was clear to explore. Biology, philosophy, chemistry, dancing, everything! By the time I arrived, they’d gotten in touch with a childlike curiosity about the world. They just loved to learn. (I think about Dr. Wink [that’s his...

“Fine Isn’t a Feeling. But You Should Try Again…”

For the next few weeks, we’ll be talking about Human Spirituality—what it would mean to have a physically, emotionally, and intellectually-appropriate spirituality. (We might have called it “Incarnational” or “Sacramental” Spirituality, but I like “Human.” It’s more accessible, and better able to address anti-humanness.) Some ways of being “spiritual” are on a collision-course with Christian doctrines of Creation, Incarnation, and Sacrament (which, if you’re not familiar with the theological landscape, are biggies). And, I suspect, as we digest what God is after in “the redemption of humanity,” we’ll see the problem with those ways of being “spiritual.” In Eden and in the Incarnation, we see true humanity. Body, feelings, ideas, and soul not “cut off” from each other, but reconciled and whole. If we believe that this is God’s end-game, shouldn’t our spirituality work towards that and not against it?  By Dcn. Adam Salter Gosnell I was at a men’s small-group. At the beginning of the meeting, before we got into the content itself, the leader asked us to “Check In.” A Check In turned out to be pretty simple: in 3-5 minutes, how are you doing physically, emotionally, spiritually? I happened to go first. So, I talk about “physical”: here’s how I’ve been sleeping, I’m not really exercising, etc. When I was done, next was “emotional,” so I said, “I’m doing fine.” And this leader, in a moment I will cherish for the rest of my life, smiled. And said, in the most loving way, “Fine is not a feeling. But you should try again…” You have to understand a bit about me to understand the crazy of...

“Buddy, I think they think I have a body…”

For the next few weeks, we’ll be talking about Human Spirituality—what it would mean to have a physically, emotionally, and intellectually-appropriate spirituality. (We might have called it “Incarnational” or “Sacramental” Spirituality, but I like “Human.” It’s more accessible, and better able to address anti-humanness.) Some ways of being “spiritual” are on a collision-course with Christian doctrines of Creation, Incarnation, and Sacrament (which, if you’re not familiar with the theological landscape, are biggies). And, I suspect, as we digest what God is after in “the redemption of humanity,” we’ll see the problem with those ways of being “spiritual.” In Eden and in the Incarnation, we see true humanity. Body, feelings, ideas, and soul not “cut off” from each other, but reconciled and whole. If we believe that this is God’s end-game, shouldn’t our spirituality work towards that and not against it? By Dcn. Adam Salter Gosnell I remember the first time I visited an Anglican church. It was here, actually, at CTR. Rebecca and I went to the 11 o’clock service and we spent nearly the whole time trying to figure out when we were supposed to do what. Afterward, I remember stepping off the curb into the parking lot and I said to Rebecca, “Buddy [don’t judge me, that’s what I call her], I think they think I have a body.” What an odd thing for a Christian to say, “Buddy, I think they think I have a body.” But it was the stained glass, the bowing, the incense, even the congregational responses. Some church services, I could be at home on my couch with my laptop. But at...

Rachel Weeping

By Fr. Ray Pendelton Whenever there is a loss of life or an event that leaves a significant void within us it is important to provide for a time for healing. The serºvice that has been entitled, “Rachel Weeping” is that kind of opportunity. Loss of life in the womb is a powerful and significant experience that leaves a mother with an ambiguous set of reactions. The expected joy of receiving a child has been lost and there is a grief reaction. The same set of complex reactions take place for many who have been through the experience of abortion. This latter is a choice that cannot be undone. Many find this a time of sadness coupled with guilt and a mixture of emotions. It is important to find a time and place to reflect on these losses and to experience God’s grace and healing: and where it is appropriate to experience God’s forgiveness for actions taken that are now regretted, as in the case of abortion. The “Rachel Weeping” service is such a place. This service includes a time of quiet reflection and a timely teaching on God’s special grace to meet the needs of grieving persons. Each person is given an opportunity to reflect, to write a note and perhaps even to give a name to an unborn child. Each person is given a white rose, representing the child. As each persons senses that they are ready, the notes and roses are brought to the altar and placed there as a memorial response. Sometimes it is a member of the extended family who joins this time of...