Hallo again to all.
New This Week brings you the usual complement of interesting parish web sites from England, the States, and Canada; a new web site devoted to English Handbell ringing; and a handful of articles in our Worth Noting section. Be sure to have a look at Timothy Nakayama's review of the role that the Anglican Church played in the elimination of Hansen's disease (leprosy) in Japan. New This Week also features a link to two important papers by Paul Avis and Geoffrey Rowell presented last year at the University of Exeter's conference 'Authority in the Church: Scripture, Reason and TraditionInterpreting the Legacy of Richard Hooker'. And in both New This Week and the News Centre you'll find references to the Election Synod of the Diocese of Sydney, which is taking place from 4 to 8 June, during which a new archbishop will be chosen.
Brian here: 'I offer my thanks to the Reverend Kevin Holsapple of St John's Episcopal Church in Bangor, Maine, for making himself available to bury my father this week. His cheery disposition, liturgical style, and sense of dignity helped me and my family a lot. Kevin gave me a whirlwind tour of his beautiful church; I'm not sure whether I was more impressed by the building or by his knowledge of the church history that was embodied in it.
'A funeral is always a difficult occasion. If you are thousands of miles from home, there is something marvellous about knowing that the liturgy and the prayers are familiar. How does a member of an unaffiliated church find someone to officiate a funeral far from home? The forces that keep us united in the Anglican Communion served me well this week. A distant rector's prayer book is like my prayer book, and he knows I know when to respond "Thanks be to God". We never compared our opinions about sex, sexuality, politics, or any of the other issues that are looming large in the church these days. Whatever it is that God thinks about sexuality, He was silent about it at my father's funeral, choosing instead to bring tears to my family's eyes as Fr Holsapple intoned "We commend to Almighty God our brother Walter; and we commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust."'
We at Anglicans Online find the strength to do this every week in part because of our fervent belief in the importance of the global church. We list parish web sites in 50 countries; we carry news from every continent. We have readers from 100 countries, and we enjoy immensely receiving, as we did recently, a personal note of thanks from a priest in Zimbabwe about an article we culled from a newspaper in Australia reporting on the good works of a Canadian priest educated in Britain.
We cannot imagine having all of the world's Anglicans agreeing on everything, but the value of the unity and global understanding seems to us to be so much more than the cost of the discord. We hope that we have succeeded in concealing from you, our readers, the details of our own beliefs about the major divisive issues, and we hope that with the international reach of our web presence we are helping contribute to global understanding. That's why we do this every week. And that's why we always close with...
See you next week.
Last updated: 3 June 2001