Praying for the Anglican Communion (Bishop Scott-Joynt & Dr. Peter Toon)

January 8, 2007

I just came across this tonight while checking to see if Dr. Toon had posted any materials re: praying for the Primates meeting. This was written back in October but it is very relevant and excellent material to help us pray.

Praying for The Anglican Communion of Churches: an introduction and a Prayer

In October 2006, the Bishop of Winchester in the Church of England, addressed his Diocesan Synod on the topic of the Anglican Communion. What he says has particular relevance since (a) he had been to Texas to meet with those bishops of the Episcopal Church who intended to abide by the advice of The Windsor Report in terms of sexuality issues, and (b) he had had long conversations with the Archbishop of Canterbury and others on this matter of the identity and future of The Anglican Communion. He said:

It’s clear to me that Gospel issues, fundamental to Christian identity, underlie the choices that now face the Anglican Communion and every Province of it – ultimately, each one of us:

• Will we use Scripture expectantly, humbly and obediently as formative of our discipleship and witness?
• Do we intend to be orthodox in creedal and ethical belief and in our ecclesiology?
• Will we persevere in behaving “as one Body” (see 1 Corinthians 12) across the Communion?
• Are we determined to treat each other, within a family of Christians of every ethnicity and language, with care, graciousness and respect – to cherish each other (see 1 Corinthians 13. 4-7 in contrast to 13.1-3, Galatians 5.22-3 in contrast to 5.19-21)?

Then he went on to offer five topics for fervent and informed prayer:

1. For a new will on every side, at every level and in every Province to return faithfully, humbly, expectantly and obediently to the four Gospel fundamentals that I outlined a few moments ago – denial, refusal of which I take to be the basic issue at stake among us.

2. For the Communion’s leaders, its Primates, its Bishops, its Consultative Council, and particularly for Archbishop Rowan – for faithfulness, courage, patience, perseverance through what will be decades of difficult, often controverted decisions if our Churches are to be renewed.

3. For whatever “conversion”, whatever changes in mind and heart and behaviour, our Lord will want to give to us ; and in this regard, as we pray for people of every Province and for each of us we should pray especially for the leadership, and the majority, of The Episcopal Church USA.

4. That we learn how to offer an appropriate care for, understanding of and witness to people who understand themselves to be homosexual – within learning to offer within our present culture a renewed, attractive witness to marriage and to continence outside it.

5. That God will renew our own Church of England, The Episcopal Church USA, and every other Province in a confident, joyful, attractive orthodoxy – and for each of us that our own faithfulness will be among God’s means of bringing this to a reality.

As you hold these themes in your heart, offer this Prayer as a start (which is provided first in modern and then in the classic English language of prayer):

Almighty Father, who have chosen us in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world and who have called us by the Gospel to be your faithful, holy and obedient people, give us eyes to see, minds to understand and hearts to love You and your purposes in Jesus our Lord, we implore You, so that our motivations and actions in the service of your Church may be pure and holy, and under your blessing and by your Spirit bring true fellowship and genuine unity of faith into the Anglican Family; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Almighty Father, who hast chosen us in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world and who hast called us by the Gospel to be thy faithful and obedient people, give us eyes to see, minds to understand and hearts to love Thee and thy purposes in Jesus our Lord, we beseech thee, so that our motivations and actions in the service of thy Church may be pure and holy, and under thy blessing and by thy Spirit bring true fellowship and genuine unity of faith into the Anglican Family; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

From Dr. Toon’s Anglicans at Prayer website.

Promoting the Primates Prayer Campaign

January 8, 2007

Friend of this blog and Anglican blogger extraordinaire, Peter Ould, kindly designed a banner for us to use for the Primates Prayer campaign.

Here is the code for other bloggers if you would like to post this banner on your website. It will be clickable and send readers to the Lent & Beyond Primates Prayer Campaign Overview post.

Obviously you can change the size as needed. The banner just below the lent & beyond header is width=360, height=80.

If I can help in any way with promotion of this campaign, just holler. And likewise, PLEASE shout out your ideas and suggestions for prayers, resources, links to post here, etc. This is very much intended to be a broad collaborative effort.


Primates Prayer Campaign: Day 1, January 8, 2007

January 8, 2007

Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan WilliamsPrimate to pray for today: Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury. Please, if at all possible (and if you are not already doing so) commit to praying daily for Archbishop Rowan Williams every day between now and the end of the Primates’ meeting. Dr. Peter Toon has written a bidding prayer for Rowan Williams that you may find helpful.

Today’s (ECUSA ’79) lectionary readings:
AM Psalm 1, 2, 3; PM Psalm 4, 7
Isa. 40:12-23; Eph. 1:1-14; Mark 1:1-13

From this morning’s lectionary:

Psalm 1:1-3
1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

Almighty Father, we pray that You would work in our hearts, that our delight would be in Your law, Your Word, that we would meditate on it day and night and allow You to transform and renew our lives through it. We pray this as well for the Primates and leaders of the Anglican Communion. May they take counsel from Your Word rather than from the world. May their delight be in You, Lord Jesus, rather than in power or position, or the approval of men. Lord, we long for Your renewing in the Anglican Communion, that through the work of the Holy Spirit and through the Primates and their leadership, that the Anglican Communion will be restored to fruitfulness, that it will prosper for Christ’s name and His glory, we pray. Amen.

[Note: I chose the passage from Psalm 1 from the lectionary and wrote the above prayer totally independently of my blogging colleague, Torre Bissell, who chose the identical passage for his lectionary prayer post today. I was quite startled when I saw that!]

A Prayer to be used for Meetings of Convention.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who by thy Holy Spirit didst preside in the Council of the blessed Apostles, and hast promised, through thy Son Jesus Christ, to be with thy Church to the end of the world; We beseech thee to be with the Council of thy Church about to assemble in thy Name and Presence. Save them from all error, ignorance, pride, and prejudice; and of thy great mercy vouchsafe, we beseech thee, so to direct, sanctify, and govern them in their work, by the mighty power of the Holy Ghost, that the comfortable Gospel of Christ may be truly preached, truly received, and truly followed, in all places, to the breaking down the kingdom of sin, Satan, and death; till at length the whole of thy dispersed sheep, being gathered into one fold, shall become partakers of everlasting life; through the merits and death of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

Primate profile–Hong Kong

January 8, 2007

Formerly a diocese, the Province of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui has been in place since October 25, 1998. The Most Revd Peter Kwong was installed as the first primate and the first Chinese Archbishop of the Anglican Church. Hong Kong and Macau have gone through political and sovereign changes in the past and Hong Kong has, since 1st July, 1997, rejoined while Macau will in the near future rejoin and become part of China, in the form of Special Administrative Regions.
Much of Archbishop Kwong’s education took place in the United States, where he graduated from Bexley Hall Divinity School. He is Advisor to the Amity Foundation of China, Vice-President of the Church Missionary Society, and a member of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC).
Despite the fact that Archbishop Kwong was the chairman of the Windsor Report “Reception Reference Group,” I have been unable to find quotations as to his personal views on the Windsor Report.

Our Father in heaven,
You are faithful. All Your promises are made “Yes” in Your Son Jesus Christ. We say “Amen” to Your glory.
Your Son anointed Peter, set His seal of ownership on him, and put His Spirit in his heart as a deposit. Help Peter attend to Your words and stand firm in Christ by faith. Guard his heart and keep Your words in his sight. Keep corrupt talk far from his lips. May Your Spirit overflow in thankfulness.
Say “Yes” to the building of the Kingdom of God in Hong Kong and Macau. Magnify the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit in this province and in China. Amen.
Proverbs 4:20-27, Colossians 2:5-8, 2 Corinthians 1:18-24

Psalm 1:1-3

January 8, 2007

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; (Psalm 1:1)

Holy Spirit, please help us walk as Jesus walked, and as we look at the sin in the Episcopal Church, please help us repent of holding anyone in scorn.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in his law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:2)

Father, please help us delight in your righteousness and your righteous commandments; help us find our freedom in doing your will.

He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. (Psalm 1:3)

Jesus, plant us by rivers of living water so that the fruit of your Spirit may grow and be evident in our lives. Lord, much has withered in your church, please refresh it by your Spirit and help us put our hand to doing those things that will prosper with your blessing. Thank you.

Albany Intercessor

Primate Profile–Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia

January 8, 2007

This was originally posted in late November 2006 as the first of the new series of primate prayer profiles. It’s been revised to correct an error in the original text.

With the upcoming primates’ meeting in 2007, we’ll be posting primate profiles for prayer, starting with the new primates.

Little is known about the current primate of Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia, Rev’d. William Brown Turei, 82-years-old. There are no recorded quotations by the primate on the Windsor Report or sexuality despite considerable activity on these issues under his jurisdiction.
More is known about the province. There are three ethnic streams within the province: Tikanga Pakeha (European), Tikanga Maori (Maori), and Tikanga Pasefika (Polynesian). I haven’t seen a numerical comparison between the three groups. I did find one study of religion in Greater Auckland; the Anglican Sunday attendance is 0.6% of the population and is declining.
My research is based solely on the Internet and seems a bit patchy.

1992—The constitution provides for the three cultural streams to order their affairs within their own cultural context.

1998—Rt. Rev. John Paterson becomes Presiding Bishop of the province.
The Tkanga Pakeha issued its long-awaited report on sexuality. The report recommended that ordination decision continue to rest with individual bishops, who would deal with application on a case by case basis, regardless of the candidates marital status, gender, sexual orientation or sexual preference. The report includes the statement “We cannot simply apply the biblical writers’ conclusions about human sexuality (often given in very specific contexts) into our 20th-century Christian cultures as we wrestle with issues of sexual behaviour.” The report was sent to the Maori and Polynesia sectors of the church (which had not been involved in the report) for information and consideration.

May 2004–Elected for a six-year term, Rt. Rev. Whakahuihui Vercoe succeeds Paterson. He is the first Maori to be Archbishop and primate. He is forthright in his opposition to same sex marriage.

Oct 2004–In a pastoral letter in response to the Windsor Report, the House of Bishops said, ” We note that discussions following our General Synod have heard a clear call from Tikanga Maori and Tikanga Pacifika for more time to work separately in addressing issues of sexuality, both culturally and theologically. We also note that this report does not address the issue of new ordinations of gay and lesbian people, any more than it addresses the question of homosexuality in general. Those matters were outside its mandate. But the work on the same issues that we have called for in our General Synod still remains to be done.”

Feb 2005–The primates’ meeting at Dromantine is attended by Abp. Vercoe and Bishop Paterson (as chair of the ACC).

Mar 2005—Bishop Brown Turei elected leader of the Tikanga Maori. At his installation, he is described as “a humble man and a good listener.” The vacancy was created on Bishop Vercoe’s elevation.

May 2006—The province announced that they were moving into a new model of shared leadership that would honor their three-tikanga structure. The constitution would be amended to comprise three senior bishops, each carrying the title of archbishop and co-presiding bishop. Bishop Turei will share the new role jointly with fellow Bishops Jabez Bryce (Pasefika) and David Moxon (Pakeha). Bishop Turei holds the formal title of Primate until the necessary legislative changes could be made. The new archbishops will each retain their present Episcopal roles, but will be supported in their primatial duties by the other bishops and the General Synod Standing Committee.
During the debate, Bishop John Paterson (Auckland), a former Primate, acknowledged that there had been a growing-apart since the new constitution was put in place in the early 90s. “It has been part of our growing pains,” he said. “We had to be separate in order to grow… Now we’re at the point of realising the consequences of growing further apart… a point where we can say we all need each other.”
No confirmation as to which Archbishop will attend the primates’ meeting in February has been published.

Jun 2006—After GC2006, in response to Canterbury’s reflection The Challenge and Hope of Being an Anglican Today, the Archbishops of the province welcomed the prospect of contributing to the shaping of a worldwide Anglican Communion covenant on doctrine. Only Archbishop Moxon (Pakeha) is quoted, promoting a slow approach, “unity in diversity,” and saying, “I believe we will always be in communion with [the Archbishop of Canterbury].”

Sep 2006—All three Archbishops attend the diocese of Auckland General Synod. Invited to speak to a motion encouraging the Archbishop of Canterbury to invite all bishops to Lambeth 2008, Archbishop Moxon spoke of the transformative nature of common life, the need to be respectful of one another, and the need to explore biblical texts in a scholarly way before thought is given to schism. The motion was adopted even though some expressed difficulty at a clause of the motion encouraging pastoral care of GLBT persons, in that imprecise wording could lead to a de facto endorsement of clergy becoming involved in civil unions or the public blessings of civil unions in church.

Nov 4, 2006—Dunedin Bishop George Connor knowingly ordained a man in a committed same-sex relationship. When he asked the question, “Are you willing that [the individuals] should be ordained deacon?” three members of the congregation were denied an opportunity to lodge their objection.

Nov 6, 2006—Auckland Bishop John Paterson, current General Secretary of the Anglican Consultative Council and former member of the Lambeth Commission which produced the Windsor Report and of the primates’ meeting in Dromantine, licenses a former priest of the diocese who is not only a celebrant for same-sex civil unions, but who is also about to be “married” in a civil union himself.

Dear Heavenly Father,
You are our lamp, O Lord. You lighten our darkness. Turn all darkness within Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia into light and bless this province.
We ask You to pierce the hearts of Archbishops Turei, Bryce, and Moxon, the other bishops that support them, and the General Synod Standing Committee. Bring conviction from Your Holy Spirit upon them and reveal to them any ways in which they have displeased You and blocked Your blessings upon this province.
We pray that they renounce any hidden things of dishonesty,underhandedness, trickery, cunning, and deceitful handling of the Word of God.
Empower the representative of this province at the primates’ meeting in February to live as a child of the light, seeking all that is good and righteous and true and pleasing to You. Amen.

2 Samuel 22:29, 2 Corinthians 4:1-2, Ephesians 5:8-10

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