Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Protest in Myanmar

Life is extremely hectic right now. My to do list is a mile long. As a result, I really don't have time to blog. But this came through my e-mail from Amnesty International and I think it is very important. They ask that I send the message on but I make it a practice never to give out other peoples' e-mails unless I have their express permission. I figure I can use this blog as a way of at least getting the message out there.

Myanmar: Protect Buddhist Monks and Peaceful Protesters

Love and Prayers,
Ann Marie

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Lutheran Bishops for Anglican Dioceses

For those of us who went to Emmanuel while Jim was lecturing at LTS, here is an article on the national website.

Lutheran bishops for Anglican Dioceses

At the beginning of my ministry out here (which is also the beginning of my ordained ministry), Jim was interim for the local Lutheran church. It was a real blessing for me as I struggled to get through that first year with as few mistakes as possible. Being in the same diocese, I run into Jim frequently. I continue to be blessed by his support.

I also very much enjoy Cindy and have had her out here to preach. She spoke at our joint celebration of 30 years of women in the priesthood and the anniversary of the Waterloo Declaration.

At one point, the Anglican and Lutheran congregations here talked about sharing ministry. It didn't go through but it is still a possibility for the future. We still share worship on the 3rd Sunday of the month. The Presbyterians have also joined us in that worship. I am learning a fair amount - especially how not to get in a panic over not being familiar with everything - having all my i's dotted and my t's crossed before I go out to participate in the worship. The Lutheran pastor who is here now is quite laid back about the whole thing so I am also learning to function without always wearing my vestments. I haven't quite got the knack of drinking coffee while giving the sermon although I have learned to talk without a script. I'm not saying I always do it well, but I am learning.

Our hardest adjustment came in the first year. Easter fell on the third Sunday which opened the question of where do we celebrate Easter. I brought it to vestry. We agreed that we should continue the pattern of third Sunday worship. It was interesting celebrating in another tradition. We were somewhat disconnected by the differences but it was a good experience.

We worship in each other's churches. January, February, and March we worship at the Lutheran Church. April, May, and June we worship at the Presbyterian church. These are just one Sunday a month. And then the whole of July we worship at the Anglican Church and the whole of August we worship at the Lutheran Church. September, October, and November we worship together once a month at the Anglican Church. The Lutheran and Anglicans share the Lenten and Holy Week services. There are a couple of these latter services that are also ecumenical such as the Tenebrae (which is usually hosted by the Roman Catholics) and the Easter Sunrise service (which rotates between the participating services). The Anglicans and Lutherans co-sponsor Monday School which has developed into a community church school.

I've developed a system. If you drive by the church and see a red sign you know the service is at the Lutheran Church. If you drive by and see an orange sign you know the service is at the Presbyterian Church.

I usually try to do something a little different at each of the Anglican services. Last week we had the blessing of the school children. We used praise music that I've taught the children at Monday School. The children came up to lead the songs that had actions. We said special prayers. Then I had the children come into the middle of the congregation. We all laid hands on their backpacks (I had them bring their back packs to church) and we blessed the backpacks and the children wearing them. One young boy went back to his mom and said, "Mom, God is glowing in my backpack." It was a high energy service and somewhat chaotic but I came home feeling energized.

But a little more on topic. I firmly believe that if the Anglican Church wants to continue in rural Saskatchewan we are going to have to look at shared ministries. Our PAL (Presbyterian, Anglican, and Lutheran) group is struggling within their individual communities. It is astounding the amount of energy that is present when the three join together. The singing is awesome. The chatter and laughter before the service is life-giving. On top of that we are learning to accept other traditions and to value the communities to which those traditions belong. It's not always easy as shown by the joint worship that first Easter. We are so strongly nurtured and familiar with our own traditions. But, the good far outweighs the struggles.

I see by the watch on my wrist that it is time to go to the LTC service so I had best quit writing.

Love and Prayers,
Ann Marie

On the light side of things

For once in my life I'm being a very good girl. I am not speculating or getting excited about happenings ahead of time. I'm reading what is out there regarding the meetings in New Orleans but I'm refusing to react until there is something more concrete.

On the other hand, short of briefing people on my sermon today (which was not one of my better ones due to the fact that I was fine tuning it at 7:30 this morning and found a glaring inconsistency) I haven't got much to say.

I have been dieting (it's actually going through a life style change) since May. I have lost about 37 pounds. Actually, I don't pay much attention to the scale. I don't even own one. Everyonce in a while I step on my parent's scale. I follow weight loss by the way my clothes fit and the way I look. I hadn't realized that all this time I've been using the scale wrong. No wonder it had me weighing so much. Now thanks to my sister-in-law I have discovered the right way to use it and I'm feeling much better about my weight.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Archbishop Michael Peers

A few years ago, at the Spring Festival of Emmanuel and St. Chad, Michael Peers was the speaker. I was only able to make it to one of his talks but was fairly impressed. I had met him years ago, shortly after he was elected primate and was impressed with his easy manner then. He reminded me of the Friendly Giant (I know - I'm dating myself). It was kind of interesting because my own father reminded people of the Friendly Giant and I can see some similarities between Dad and ++Michael.

++Michael spoke about the last Lambeth Conference and about Primate's Meetings. Today, I have found several links to this on Episcopal Majority. I have a lot of respect for ++Michael, especially after hearing him speak.

Love and Prayers,
Ann Marie

Thursday, September 06, 2007


As the September 30th deadline approaches things are getting heated up. More bishops are being consecrated by African provinces, more talk is getting extreme. It’s getting to the point where I have slacked off following events and reading comments on blogs. However, I have been silently watching for too long – and anyone who knows me knows that it is unusual for me to be silent for long periods of time.

Some thoughts:

As much as I have respect for the episcopacy, why are bishops being consecrated. We hear of the bishops but what about the priests. It appears to me that the movement is starting in the wrong place – from the top down. Shouldn’t it be going from the ground up? Shouldn’t there be at least a solid group for the bishops to minister to? It has me very puzzled. Okay, the Africans are setting up missions in the states. From what I remember of my Canadian church history classes – the English did not send over bishops first but rather missionaries. When the need arose for a bishop on Canadian soil, one was consecrated. So why are bishops being consecrated for the States before the need for them arises? What does this say about the intent? What does this say about the motives driving this? In all honesty, to me it says nothing positive or Christian. I shall just leave it at that.

There are reports out of Africa – Nigeria to be specific – of horrible comments made by Bishop Orama of Nigeria. I think of the women and men I have the honour of knowing, especially through Integrity, and shake my head at the rhetoric. “Inhuman” – part of the irony is that not so many years ago people like the African bishop who calls gays and lesbians “inhuman” and not worthy of life were considered those very same things.

It is common that those who were oppressed take on the characteristics of the oppressors when they gain their freedom. We see this so often in the cycles of domestic abuse. We see it when nations gain their independence. And we see it in the very statements made by this African bishop. He has learned his lessons well.

But most astoundingly is the remarkable silence of certain factions of our church regarding the meaning of the statement. A fair amount has been said about the dangers of such a statement, but not much has been said about the wrongness in the meaning. This also puzzles me for I count many among my friends and colleagues who do not have the same understanding of full inclusion of my GLBT brothers and sisters and yet not one of them would ever consider calling GLBTs inhuman or not worthy of life. Why is there such a deafening silence as to the meaning of the statement from the more vocal?

I note that on Father Jake’s there have been some attempts to deflect by pointing out that nothing has ever been done to John Spong (I also note that he (John Spong) has sent a letter to Rowan Williams and I cringe.) What Spong has said or done has no bearing on what Bishop Orama of Nigeria has said. If one wants to question the lack of reining Spong in that is fine. There are times when I almost wish he could be silenced or at least that he would be far more diplomatic in his words and actions. But Bishop Spong has nothing to do with what Bishop Orama said. It is two separate issues and need to be dealt with as two separate issues. It is not okay for Bishop Orama to say what he did just because Bishop Spong has said and done what he has said and done. To try and deflect the words of the Nigerian bishop with such an issue does not address the issue. The issue is that some very damaging statements were made that could lead to bodily harm – painful death at its worst and shunning at the least and there is significant silence from the various leaders throughout the Anglican Communion on the issue. Where is Peter Akinola? Where is Rowan Williams? Where is Katharine (sp) Jefferts Schori? Where is Fred Hiltz? Where are statements made to counteract the statements by Orama to reassure our GLBT brothers and sisters that this statement does not reflect the mind of the Communion or the various provinces?

Of course, we don’t want to make a mountain out of what we perceive as mole hills and our leaders probably believe and hope that this will blow over. But each time something like this is said, another nail pierces the hearts and souls of those being spoken about. We realize that this bishop is not speaking the mind of the majority of the Communion but more noticeable than his words is the silence greeting them. There has to come a time when those in leadership positions stand up and say that this has gone to far. It has happened with TEC and New West. Why is it not happening with statements such as Orama’s?

Love and Prayers,
Ann Marie

Thoughts from blogland (Some of these are thanks to Father Jake's site):
Elizabeth Keaton
Mark Harris
Anglican Scotist
Susan Russell and this
Davis Mac-Iyalla
Scott Gunn