A Place to Begin
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Hallo again to all.
Some of the resources linked in our 'Resources' section enumerate various lectionaries. The Revised Common Lectionary for today, the Eighth Sunday after the Epiphany, lists today's Gospel as Mark 2:13-22, though some churches read only 18-22. Mark 2:22 says 'And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins.' (NIV)
Jesus was probably not talking about the Internet and printing presses, but, as with so much of what Jesus said, the wisdom is so extraordinary that it can be applied again and again to things that didn't even exist when Jesus said them. We were reminded of Mark 2:22 and the need for our church to preserve itself when we read the news article (duly reported in the News Centre, of course) reporting that the Archbishop of Canterbury spoke out against the Internet. And last week we reported that ECUSA was advertising for a Director of Communications but listing familiarity with the Internet as the least important criterion. However our church is preserved for posterity, however the teaching of the apostles will be re-interpreted for each new generation, we know that it will involve the Internet--if for no other reason than that our children use the Internet to talk to each other. The Internet is new wine, and it cannot be put into the wineskins that contained television, radio, books, magazines, scrolls, and stone tablets. We did, however, manage to use the Internet to find a picture of a new wine skin; you can see it leaning against an old rock.
God is eternal, but the church is a human institution and must always work to perpetuate itself for the next generation, and the one after that. All of us must make sure that our great-grandchildren have a church that they can, if they wish, choose not to attend.
We welcome to the web this week the Diocese of St Helena. To our knowledge this is only the second of 244 diocesan web pages to have been personally produced by the bishop. There are new parishes listed in Wales, USA, New Zealand, and England. The Diocese of Blackburn is back on the air, but the Diocese of Oxford is still offline. Two new mailing lists are now in our listings, one for deacons and one for discussion of 'Common Worship'. And in the next few weeks we're going to add an entire new section to our resource listings, 'Essays', to hold the growing collection of writings about Anglicanism that are not sermons, arguments, or news. This week's essay is by an American, Donna Cornachio, who writes about just why she is becoming an Episcopalian. All the latest links are, as usual, in New This Week.
See you next week.
updated: 27 February 2000