Sunday, 5 July 2009

5th July 2009, 14th of Ordinary Time and a Gafcon meeting

After the early Mass I went down to our scout hut where we had a Service of the Word for the beavers, cubs, scouts and their leaders in the scout outdoor chapel. It was a great treat to be with the St John’s Scout group for their annual week end camp. I was impressed at the dedication of the leaders who organised a wonderful camp. When I got there all present where finishing off a full English breakfast. Our reading was St Paul talking about the various members of the one body and we reflected that although we are all different we all have an important part to play in the Church, in the family, at school and at the scout group.

Back to church for a well attended Sung Mass. During the notices we wished Fr Martin Kelly the best of wishes as last Wednesday he celebrated the 25th of his priesthood.I also greeted two members visiting us from the United States.

In the afternoon, I took communion to the housebound and visited the hospital. Bobs (our Youth Club led by Amy and Michael) met at 4pm and they are excited about their beach day coming up on Saturday.

Just after 7.30pm Fr Mark and I went to St Nicholas here in Sevenoaks for a meeting in preparation for the Confessing Anglicans UK which will be launched tomorrow at Westminster.
The speaker here at Sevenoaks was David Virtue of Virtueonline (picture below).
I could only sit for a few minutes of his speech. He spoke of Forward in Faith and Anglo-Catholics as 'they' and 'them' and at one stage as 'ultra'. He said that 'their' main problem, unlike Evangelicals, is the ordination of women, but he quoted Bishop Iker as one ready to negotiate with women priests as long as they are not imposed on him. It seems that for him, and presumably, the Evangelicals the issue is all about sex and gender. He also mentioned that the establishment of the new “province” in America was a slap in the face of Mrs Schori, the Episcopal “Church” and even Lambeth Palace.
I am not in the business of slapping people or institutions in the face. I am for the consolidation, celebration and cherishing of family life and all life and not simply sexual matters. I am opposed to the ordination of women into Holy Orders out of obedience to Christ and so am not in a position to negotiate or support people who do so.
I do not want to be part of an ecclesiola, I want to be in communion with the Great Church something that the Anglican Communion and the rest of Christians have been praying for for years and years. David Virtue proclaimed that this is a new Reformation. Well the last Reformation brought divisions in the Church of Christ, what we need is to be in the Church that is always reforming herself (Ecclesia semper reformanda) in obeying Scriptures and celebrating the Sacraments, and since that already exists we do not need create another one, schism is sin.
Sorry to be negative about this, I went to the meeting with an open mind and within a few minutes I heard and realised the direction and what I feared most came true.
Anglo-Catholics brothers and sisters who will go to Westminster tomorrow will be supported by my prayers, but I will stand by this: the ecclesial solution we need will not be found in joining “Confessing Anglicans” but in the Church that confesses with Peter: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." To that Church only our Beloved says: "You are Peter,and upon this rock I will build my Church,and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it."

No comments: