Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New Jersey Deputation Responds to the Covenant

From here:

...At the outset, many of our Deputation members object strongly to the use of the word "covenant" to describe what is essentially a multilateral contract between earthly churches and their designated representative bodies (the so-called Instruments), rather than an agreement between God and Humankind. They say that mis-using a theological principle smacks of puffery...

...Many are worried about the negative consequences of endorsing the Covenant. Among these consequences are the establishment of a new unnecessary hierarchy, the loss of diversity within the Communion, the loss of connection to churches that may not endorse the Covenant, destruction of the Anglican ethos, the forced abandonment of GLBTQ Anglicans, attenuation of the voice of the laity in the life of the Communion, and by putting decision-making in the hands of the Standing Committee, the hierarchical structure will reduce the incentive for churches with differing views to communicate one-to-one, as they do now. And finally, to the extent that representatives from The Episcopal Church may end up on the Standing Committee acting under Covenant Section 4.2, we may participate in being an instrument of oppression of another church within the Communion.

Yet, others are concerned that having passed on the Windsor report, there is a need to be affirmatively responsive to the continuing challenge of TEC polity by much of the Anglican Communion.

On balance, we believe that The Episcopal Church should continue to be free to respond to its own discernment, through its own established polity, of God's will. There are those among us that feel the adoption of the proposed Anglican Covenant by General Convention would seriously hinder this freedom.

In our conversation, Deputation members repeatedly expressed our deep desire to remain in the Anglican Communion and strongly connected to its member churches in conversation and mission. To that end, we believe that any General Convention Resolution that declines to endorse the proposed Anglican Covenant should {re-)state this sincere desire of The Episcopal Church to remain in the Anglican Communion and strongly connected to its member churches in conversation and mission...
A solid statement, I'd say.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Roadster

This is my new 1997 SL 500 Mercedes Roadster.   The original owner only put 40,000 miles on it, so it is like new.

What's unique about it?  Well, let's start with the engine; a V-8, 5.0L, with 32 valves, four cams and variable valve timing.  It produces 315 horsepower and 347 ft-lbs of torque. 

The torque is the most unusual thing about this engine.  Torque is what accelerates a car, not horsepower.  As a comparison, the Ferrari 360 has only  275 ft-lbs  and the Porsche 911 Carrera has only 295 foot-pounds.

Add to this the 5 speed automatic electronic overdrive transmission.  Before 1996, the SL 500 had a four speed hydraulic transmission.  The new 5 speed is a much needed improvement, which, when combined with the high torque, keeps you plastered against the seat through all the gears when you punch it.

The high performance 4-valve quad-cam engine was made from 1990 - 1998. The 1999 - 2006 V8s have only the  three valve, single overhead cam  design, resulting in less power and torque.  So, if you want the best engine (not the watered down Daimler-Chrysler version), and the best transmission (not the boring 4 speed hydraulic, that hesitates before downshifting), the years to look for are the 1996, 1997 and 1998.  Did I mention the one I found was a 1997?

Ok, what else?  The hardtop comes off, and the convertible top comes up.  This particular car has a brand new rag top.  Oh, and the stereo is a Bose, designed to blast you out with the top down when cruising at 150 mph on the autobahn.

This particular car was the 40th anniversary version, of which I am told only 500 were made.  That really doesn't mean much, except for some fancy trim and decals, and little extras like a 6 disc cd changer. 

And the best feature, it was cheap.  Really cheap, as in less than a fifth of it's original $90,000 price tag when new.

Ok, time to go for a ride!


Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Anglicanism Remixed

Province II Presents:
"Anglicanism Remixed: Embracing the Other, Our Traditions and the Future"

May 5-6, 2011, Doubletree Hotel, East Syracuse
Sponsored by the Provincial Congregational Development Network

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.   Albert Einstein 

Everything we read and hear tells us that we need to do something different - after all, we're not insane!  Province II presents an opportunity to look at what we do as Anglicans and what the future might hold

Led by the Rev. Stephanie Spellers, assisted in workshops presented by provincial leaders, this will be an exciting opportunity to get tuned into a variety of new concepts designed to assist in strengthening one's skills in reaching out into our many communities to extend the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Registration is now available online - click here for more information and registration.  Read on to find out who the speakers are and what they will be doing.

Featured Speaker and Conference Leader
Stephanie Spellers

The Rev. Stephanie Spellers is the Cox Fellow and Minister for Radical Welcome at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston, where she founded The Crossing, an emergent worship gathering at the Cathedral by and for people usually held at the margins of mainline church life--especially young adults, seekers, the poor, gay and lesbian people and people of color. A consultant and workshop leader and a member of the Episcopal Church's Commission on Domestic Mission and Evangelism, she has traveled the country studying and supporting communities seeking to live into the radical welcome vision. Spellers earned her bachelor's degree in religious studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and holds master's degrees from Harvard Divinity School and the Episcopal Divinity School. Prior to her ordination, she served as a religion reporter at the Knoxville News-Sentinel in Tennessee.

Rev. Stephanie Spellers and a host of experienced leaders will guide us on a practical, inspiring journey that explores: 
  • Radical welcome and embracing the gifts of our changing cultural contexts
  • Anglican traditions that prepare us to be church in the 21st century
  • Emerging forms of Christian community that share the ancient gospel in fresh ways

Radical Welcome: Embracing God, The Other, and the Spirit of Transformation
Radical Welcome
Radical Welcome: Embracing God, The Other, and the Spirit of Transformation is at once a theological, inspirational, and practical guide for congregations that want to move beyond diversity and inclusion to present a vision for the church of the future: one where the transforming gifts, voices and power of marginalized cultures and groups bring new life to the mainline church.

The book is based on two years of work and over 200 interviews with people in congregations around the United States--in urban, suburban, and rural settings, in the Northeast, South, Midwest, West, and Pacific Northwest--asking the question, How do we face our fears and welcome transformation in order to become God's radically welcoming people? Each chapter introduces a particular congregation and the challenges it faced, and lays out the theological underpinnings of tackling fears head-on and embracing change as a welcome part of community life.

Bread for the Journey: An Online Companion to Radical Welcome: Download resources here! - Resources specifically designed to complement Radical Welcome, including downloadable 7-session book discussion study guides for leaders and participants, handouts, and resources to be used along with the book. Share with your congregation or ministry and travel even further along the road to radical welcome.

Leading the music and assisting with the worship will be Isaac Everett
Isaac Everett
Isaac Everett is a musician, songwriter, and audio designer, and a frequent performer on piano, keyboards, and didjeridu. He began studying music in the Yamaha method at age 3 and studied classical piano music through elementary school. Switching to jazz at the age of 12, he attended NYU as a music student where he studied with Arturo O'Farrill, Frank Kimbrough, Joel Weiskopf, Philip Johnston, and Justin DelloJoio. He also earned a second degree in mathematics.

Isaac is an artist-in-residence at the Church of the Epiphany, a company member of Storahtelling, and the co-founder of Transmission, an underground church in New York City. His two recent albums, Transmission and Rotation, weave pop, rock, acid jazz, and traditional liturgical melodies into a unique but familiar tapestry of urban spirituality. Both are available on Proost, iTunes, and Rhapsody.  He has just taken a position with The Crossing in Boston.  

Isaac Everett has published The Emergent Psalter
The Emergent Psalter

Many alternative and emerging church communities have begun exploring ancient music and liturgical traditions despite a lack of high-quality, published liturgical music which does not require (or even desire) an organ and a four-part choir. The Emergent Psalter provides that resource.

Sheet music, including piano accompaniments, is available for free download at Church Publishing.

Click here to go to Everett's web site and listen to some of this music.  You can also access a podcast of his featured work at www.isaaceverett.com/2009/06/29/emergent-psalter-podcast-episode-1/ 

Speakers from Anglimergent
Anglimergent logo
Click the image to go to the website

Never heard of Anglimergent?  It is a relational network of Anglicans engaging emerging church & mission. (Bishop Protector, The Rt. Rev.Gregory H. Rickel, Diocese of Olympia).

Anglimergent is a 'big tent' community of diverse Anglicans. "We are not a discussion forum 'about Anglicanism,' but 'an online community for Anglicans,'  learning from and with one another about the Anglican witness to the Christian Gospel, and our sharing in that witness."

Four of the conference speakers are members of Anglimergent - Stephanie Spellers, isaac Everett, Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows and Carrie Schofield-Broadbent.

"Social Media in the Church" Speakers
Carrie S-B
The Rev. Carrie Schofield-Broadbent

This workshop will look at different ways social media can be engaged in congregational life. From Facebook to Twitter, from Blogs to Podcasts - social media has a big place in our culture. What place does it have in our faith communities? We'll explore ways that individuals have benefited from using social
Jennifer B-B
The Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows
media and also discuss some of its limitations and challenges. In keeping with our social, interactive theme- there will be plenty of opportunities to share, ask and connect!  Both speakers are members of Anglimergent.

The Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows is the rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Syracuse and the Episcopal Chaplain at Syracuse University. Jennifer is an avid blogger and well connected with today's technology. The Rev. Carrie Schofield-Broadbent is the rector of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in
Liverpool, NY. Carrie is a devoted fan of Facebook but has yet to "tweet"!

"Believe Out Loud"

Believe Out Loud

Neil Houghton
Neil Houghton
Believe Out Loud is a national campaign to ident ify churches that are welcoming to LGBT people and willing to talk about it. Come to learn how Integrity is using this branding to establish Integrity / Believe Out Loud Episcopal Cong regations. The Episcopal Church, for all its progressive legislative movement at General Convention was the only mainline denomination without a LGBT welcoming congregation designation. Let's talk about how that can be rectified, some tools that may be useful to assess and progress, why it's important and how radical hospitality can help you grow your church.

Neil Houghton is a Deputy from the Diocese of Rochester. He volunteered for Integrity at 5 General Conventions. He serves as Vice President for Local Affairs of Integrity USA and has presented workshops on Believe Out Loud in the Episcopal Church in each of the 8 domestic provinces of the Episcopal Church. He also serves as Chair of Oasis Rochester and is a member of the New York State United Teachers Committee on Civil and Human Rights and the National Education Association Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee.

" How are They To Hear?"
The Rev. Dr. Raewynne J. Whiteley
The Rev. Dr. Raewynne J. Whiteley
Know the audience you are writing to. What are they hoping to hear from you? What would they find useful or informative? Find out what is important to them and address their needs in your newsletter each month. Include a photo or photos to make your newsletter even more appealing. Inserting a link in your article lets you track which topics attract the most interest.

The Rev. Dr. Raewynne J. Whiteley has been Rector of St James, St James in the Diocese of Long Island since Jauary 2007. Born and ordained in Australia, she came to the US in 1998 for further study and stayed! She loves preaching: it has been a passion since she took her first preaching class at the age of 19; other focuses in ministry are education (both adults and kids), liturgy, and pastoral care. Prior to St James, she served in the US as Vicar of Trinity Episcopal Old Swedes Church in Swedesboro NJ; Associate at Trinity Cathedral in Trenton NJ, Trinity Church, in Princeton NJ, and the Episcopal Church at Princeton University; and in Australia as Assistant at the Anglican Parish of Charlestown in Newcastle and the Anglican Parish of Hunters Hill in Sydney.

She completed a PhD in Homiletics from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2002; she also holds degrees from the University of Melbourne and the Australian College of Theology. She has published two books, Steeped in the Holy: Preaching as Spiritual Practice   and Get Up Off Your Knees: Preaching the U2 Catalog, edited with Beth Maynard, as well as numerous articles and papers.

Her workshop reflects the concern we have as angicans: how can we speak the gospel with words, both in the liturgical context and outside it? .At the core of our Anglican tradition is the dual emphasis on word and sacrament. Sharing meals is something that is easy to adapt to new contexts; sharing words seems to be more problematic for us.  In a world where postmodernism has reshaped the ways we understand truth, authority and authenticity, and technology has changed the ways we communicate, is there still room for speech? And how can we speak so that others can hear?

"Evangelism Beyond the Walls"
Terry L. Martin
The Rev. Terry L. Martin

The Rev. Terry Martin has served within the Diocese of New Jersey since 2003. Prior to that, he worked with congregations in California and Wisconsin. In 2008, he was called as Program Officer for Evangelism at the Episcopal Church Center. In 2010, he became the Rector of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Waretown, New Jersey. He continues to accept requests to speak on evangelism at Episcopal gatherings.

His personal history is unusual for an Episcopal priest. As a homeless teen, Martin was eventually placed in a reform school. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the Navy. After four years of service, Martin worked as a mechanic and a shipping clerk while pursuing his college education at night.  He graduated with honors from both the University of Wisconsin and Nashotah House and was ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church in 1990.  He is best known as "Father Jake," the pen name he used on his popular blog, "Father Jake Stops the World."

Martin believes that Episcopalians need to turn their attention toward those who are outside the Church. "In the recent Pew Forum survey, we learned that 92% of Americans believe in God. That is astounding! There are some great conversations just waiting to happen beyond the walls of the Church. It is time to end our preoccupation with internal squabbles and begin to look outward.

"How do we engage in spiritual conversations beyond the walls of the church? That is the question this workshop will attempt to address. We will review evangelism techniques used in previous generations, and explore why they don't work very well today. Through various group exercises, we will begin the development of new models for evangelism that might be more effective within your cultural setting.

Conference Schedule
Click the image to check the website
Thursday, May 5
10 - 11:30 Registration 11:30 -12:45 Luncheon 12:45 - 2:30 Plenary (Spellers) 2:30-3 Break 3-5 Workshops...Each registrant will be able to attend two of the four workshops 5 Hospitality 5:30-7 Dinner 7-8 Bishops' Presentation
The Crossing
Click the image to check the website
8:30 Worship
Friday, May 6
8:30 Eucharist 10-11:30 Plenary (Spellers) 11:30-12:45 Luncheon
12:45-1:30 Liturgics workshop, in plenary right after lunch 1:30-3 "Open Spaces"

Does this look interesting?  
Register here.