RECENT AND UPCOMING
Celebrating the 15th anniversary of their organization, our English counterparts released the following statement this week. Subsequently, the story was covered in the Church of England's Newspaper which may be found here.
June 13-21, 2006
Affirming Catholicism will host a booth at General Convention with a reception on June 16 See us at booths 188-189.;
Sept. 25-27, 2006
Planning meeting of the Board at the monastery of the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Affirming Catholicism/USA will participate in a symposium in the UK on Unity and the limits of diversity: discussing the Anglican Covenant’
December 2, 2006
Affirming Catholicism/USA will participate in the15th Anniversary Service and Commemoration of Affirming Catholicism, St Mary le Bow Church, London, England, UK
March 6-9, 2007
Annual Retreat of the Board will meet at Mount Calvary Retreat House, Santa Barbara, California
Affirming Catholicism will hold a regional conference, co-sponsored by the three dioceses in North Carolina.
The Rev. William Bennett, OHC will serve as chaplain and lead the retreat portion of the conference. Other speakers will be announced.
Affirming Catholicism will host its biennial national conference on “Generous Orthodoxy” in Seattle, Washington. Details will follow.
Affirming Catholicism PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE USE 9/06/05
LEADING CHRISTIAN THINKER CALLS AFFIRMING CATHOLICS 'ANGLICANISM'S MAINSTREAM'
The progressive Anglican organisation, Affirming Catholicism, which is 15 years old today, has been identified as 'the centre ground of authentic Anglicanism' by a leading commentator on religious affairs. In an article which is likely to cause controversy published in tomorrow's Church of England Newspaper, Jonathan Bartley, Director of the Christian Think-Tank Ekklesia assesses the impact of the organisation which includes the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, amongst its founder members. The article headed 'The positive message of Affirming Catholicism' is likely to raise eye-brows because one of the Church's most conservative groups styles itself 'Anglican Mainstream'.
Affirming Catholicism came into being fifteen years ago when progressive Christians from the Church of England's anglo-catholic wing rallied to affirm an open and engaged Christianity in the face of opposition to the then proposed ordination of women. The organisation's publications and conferences steer clear of polemic but they maintain a positive stance on issues like women's ordination and the inclusion of lesbian and gay Christians.
In the article Bartley points out that the constituency is much wider than the membership and that in recent rows about the ordination of gay Christians, Bishop's mail bags showed that most church-goers sided with Affirming Catholicism's reconciling approach. The organisation states that different approaches to homosexuality between Anglican provinces need not be communion-breaking as the Church already lives with diversity on other issues. The organisation will be present with other centre-ground Anglican organisations at the forthcoming Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Nottingham, England, where leading members of the Church will gather to discuss the Communion's future.
Quoted in the article, Affirming Catholicism's Chair of Trustees Canon Nerissa Jones, MBE, said:
Some Christians want to close down debate and retreat from the hard questions society poses to the Church. We welcome the challenge.
The organisation has recently appointed its first full-time Director and is about to begin a two year overhaul of the organisation by engaging more actively in Church debates and producing a new range of publications to resource people and parishes to grow in an open and enquiring catholic tradition.
STATIONS OF THE CROSS FOR THIS TIME OF AIDS
with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament following
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, University Heights, Buffalo
Friday, March 18th, 2005, at 7 p.m.
You are invited to walk Stations of the Cross as written by the Revd Jerald
Miner in Lent 1995. Fr. Miner, formerly rector of Christ Church, New Haven,
died from complications due to AIDs on All Saints Day, 1996. Your free
will offering for the evening will go in support of both AIDs Family Services
and Benedict House, Buffalo. St. Andrew's is at 3105 Main Street between
Lisbon and Highgate and near the La Salle Subway Station. Parking is in the lot
off Lisbon or any business lot on the street. Contact 834-9337 or
StAndrewBuffalo@aol.com for more information, or
log onto our "in process" web site www.StAndrewBuffalo.com.
Affirming Catholicism and the Archdeaconry of Brooklyn
On the Feast of the Epiphany 2005, Affirming Anglican Catholicism provided leadership for a a clergy day sponsored by the Archdeaconry of Brooklyn in the Diocese of Long Island to engage approximately thirty-five priests in a discussion of the Lambeth Commission's Windsor Report.
co-sponsor clergy day on the Windsor Report
The event was hosted by St. Mary's Episcopal Church on Classon Avenue in Brooklyn and consisted of presentations, small groups, and plenary discussions. Bishop Christopher Epting, Deputy for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations for the Episcopal Church and Co Patron of Affirming Catholicism in the U.S., presented the keynote address focusing on "Aff Cath's" initial submission to the Lambeth Commission and the Windsor Report's responses to those various concerns.
Small group discussions explored these matters further and, after a break for lunch, the Bishop Suffragan of Long Island, The Rt. Rev. Rodney Michel, shared his perspectives, assuring the participants that bishops were "taking the Windsor Report very seriously without obsessing over it." Both bishops then responded to the concerns and challenges raised by the report in an open and frank plenary session which followed
The day concluded with a simple Epiphany Eucharist in the Chapel of St. Mary's Church with the two bishops concelebrating and Canon Diane Porter of the diocesan staff delivering the homily.
"It is my impression," Bishop Epting said later, "that those gathered wish very much to be part of the Anglican Communion but also to be able to make the unique witness to this Communion that the polity and the context of the Episcopal Church in the United States leads us to make. I was impressed with the spirit of the conversation as well as the thoughtful way these priests have approached the Windsor Report."
If your chapter, parish or diocese is interested in sponsoring a similar mini-conference for clergy and/or lay, Affirming Catholicism would be pleased to provide a model for the program, including format, discussion topics and a roster of suggested speakers. For further information, please e-mail your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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A LETTER FROM BISHOP EPTING: "A Statement Regarding the 'Other' AAC"
FOR PHOTOGRAPHS OF EVENTS AT GENERAL CONVENTION!
PRESS RELEASE RE MONTREAL CONFERENCE
Anglo-Catholics enjoy 'pickles, pop tarts and cutting-edge
catholicism' at conference
May 23, 2003
by Christopher Epting (ENS)
"Catholic Evangelism" was the topic for the sixth biennial
conference of the movement known as Affirming Anglican Catholicism,
held May 19-22 at Christ Church Cathedral in Montreal, Quebec.
Described as "the new catholic movement with the Anglican and
Episcopal Churches ... call(ed) to a mature, living Christianity where
Scripture, Reason, the Sacraments and Catholic Tradition make sense of
our lives today," Affirming Catholicism is under the patronage of
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, and in the United States,
Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold.
Affirming Catholicism conferences in North America have
traditionally begun with a brief retreat, and this year's was led by
Bishop Geralyn Wolf of the Diocese of Rhode Island. Her dramatically
presented meditations were drawn from her recent experiences on
sabbatical, during which she lived with the homeless in an attempt to
re-discover what she called her "first love for Jesus, lived as an
inner-city parish priest in Philadelphia." Wolf reminded participants
that their Anglo-Catholic forebears in the late 19th and early 20th
centuries knew the lives of the poor and homeless because they lived
among them and engaged in radical social action to change their
conditions. "The people saw that and followed them. Maybe that's what
we ought to mean by 'Catholic Evangelism,'" Wolf commented.
Pickles versus pop tarts
Dr. Ellen Charry, a systematic theologian teaching at
Princeton and a convinced Anglo-Catholic Episcopalian, gave the major
keynote address of the conference. She contrasted what she described as
an "atonement" theology of salvation with a "participation" theology,
while acknowledging that both are biblical and part of the tradition.
Drawing a trajectory from Irenaeus through Richard Hooker, she
described this "participation soteriology" as fully Trinitarian,
drawing the one saved into the very life of God, while atonement
soteriology is more Christocentric and Cross-centered, often using the
language of substituting Christ's death for the one sinners "deserve."
Believing that "participation" theology is more compatible with
catholic teaching and "atonement" with the more Protestant, Charry
playfully entitled this section of her paper "Pickles or Pop Tarts." In
this case, "pickles" describe the process of the "slow God" who
transforms us over time in a process of sanctification. "Pop tarts"
illustrate the activity of a "fast God" who converts us instantly in
the experience of justification.
In her final section, Charry postulated that if the early
centuries of the church's life could be described as "the age of
bishops," and the medieval period as "the age of monks," then the
modern day is "the age of the laity." Since "all people are
theologians, the task of the church is to help them become more
sophisticated and theologically literate ones," she said.
A few practical suggestions for parish practice in this new
--Full immersion baptism in large fonts with running water;
--Processing the newly-baptized with their baptismal candles
around the church and outside to symbolize the new light kindled for
this darkened world;
--Celebration of baptismal (not birthday, or ordination)
anniversaries in church;
--Creation not only of a Book of Occasional Services, but a
"Book of Home Services" so that families and individuals can celebrate
liturgically events and ministry in daily life.
Cutting edge catholicism
Practical catholic evangelism was also the theme of a
presentation by Bishop Keith Whitmore of the diocese of Eau Claire
entitled "Cutting Edge Catholicism." Focusing particularly on the
"missing generation in our churches" (sometimes called Gen X), Whitmore
challenged participants to make connections between the Church's rich
tradition and the thought world of these young adults in their twenties
"For a generation raised on Star Wars and now captivated by
the two Matrix movies, an alternative reality is not such a stretch,"
Whitmore stated. "We need to remember that we 'Baby Boomers' are the
last vestiges of the Enlightenment. Gen Xers want an experience of God,
an experience of the numinous, which they will reflect on and
theologize about later. Our liturgy and worship can do that if we make
it accessible to them."
'Maternity ward' for new Christians
The conference concluded with a lecture by Canon Stephen
Cottrell from the Church of England and author of "Catholic
Evangelism," one in a series of books published by Affirming
Catholicism in the United Kingdom. Acknowledging the very low church
attendance and participation in the Church of England, Cottrell said
that it had caused his church to raise serious questions about just how
to be the church in a "post-Christian" society--one which will be seen
in North America as well. He encouraged participants to learn from
insights gleaned even in evangelical circles today that evangelization
does not occur in a straight line from contact to conversion to church
membership, but rather from contact through nurture into conversion and
membership."Does your parish have a 'maternity ward' for the birthing
of new Christians?" he asked. Programs like Alpha and the more catholic
Credo as well as catechumenate programs will be increasingly important
in the coming years, Cottrell believes.
Worship highlights at the conference included Solemn Evensong
and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at the Church of St. John the
Evangelist, Montreal, and a Solemn High Mass in Christ Church Cathedral
presided over by Archbishop of Montreal Andrew Hutchinson.
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