from 8 May to 14 May 2006
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the News Centre article of 4 May 2006: Presentment and inhibition
against Wisconsin priest
at a loss to understand what in the presentment's charges merits
a presentment in the first place and proceedings in an ecclesiastical
court. It appears the Bishop of Milwaukee has used an extremely
heavy hand in this matter. I must be missing something; I shall
follow this story with interest, as it has potentially dire consequences
for a parish and its rector. Surely an episcopal power play wouldn't
be set in motion at the expense of a parish community? In most
places, I would think these matters could be worked out through
some frank discussions. But a presentment for allegedly saying
some offensive things? I don't get it yet.
Church of the Ascension, Chicago
Chicago, Illinois, USA
8 May 2006
hope to hear from Bishop Miller what pastoral and dispute-reconciliation
efforts the Diocese of Milwaukee made to avoid this sorry situation.
My late father, +Frederick B. Wolf, Bishop of Maine, would never,
ever have permitted a parochial situation to degenerate to the
point where a presentment against an incumbent seemed like the
only option. He would have seen that as being a terrible failure
on his part as the pastor's pastor. I have never heard of presentments
being used in the Anglican Church of Canada, although I may have
missed hearing of a case.
is a terribly destructive weapon and should never be used until
all other efforts have failed. It is a last-ditch response to really
flagrant behavior, not a way of handling parochial turmoil or minor
clerical indiscipline. I believe that a presentment should meet
the same standards of evidence and argument as those that obtain
in a court of criminal law.
Wolf (member of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada,
St. James Anglican Church, Kingston
Kingston, Ontario, CANADA
8 May 2006
am deeply moved by
this Monday morning on churchyards. I love churchyards.
I was drawn to my first rectorate in part because the church
had a churchyard. It symbolized for me the charge to serve and
care for a people from birth to grave in a very concrete way.
I did not enjoy the administration of it. But there is nothing
for me like being able to process behind the cross and the casket
out the doors of the church and straight across the grass between
the graves among which the newly departed will take her or his
serve a displaced church in Boothwyn Pennsylvania. The congregation
was moved from Marcus Hook Pennsylvania forty years ago, their
land and church sold, and the churchyard, in the midst of which
stood the church, was given over to the local government.
forward to my first pilgrimage to the old original St. Martin's
Marcus Hook because of its churchyard. The congregation of St.
Martn's was founded by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel
in 1704 and I hoped for some old gravestones. When I got there,
my heart broke. The building now stands surrounded by the towering
holding tanks of oil refineries. But worse than that, the churchyard
was a shambles. All the old gravestones were in disrepair from
vandalism and the ravages of time, and none of the damage had been
seen to by the town which now owns it. It looks much like the photos
to which you linked in your article.
along the back property line at old St. Martin's stretches a long,
pristine, well kept line of markers to the military dead going
back to the American Revolutionary War and forward to the present,
thanks to the town. I guess it's all in what are one's priorities.
I haven't returned to that place. Although, now that St. Martin's
in Boothwyn is closing for the final time on the Feast of Pentecost,
as reported on Episcopal News Service and The Living Church, I
may make one more pilgrimage of mourning. Maybe.
Keen, Priest in Charge
St. Martin's Boothwyn
Boothwyn, Pennsylvania, USA
8 May 2006
week's opening essay on graveyards touched a chord in me. St. John's
Cathedral is surrounded by its graveyard (more rightly, I'm told,
referred to as a cemetery in the case of a Cathedral - such quaint
hierarchical notions as we Anglicans have!). The parish was founded
in 1820 by the Rev. John West, first Anglican missionary to Rupert's
Land, and is the oldest Anglican Parish in Canada west of the Great
Lakes. The graveyard, however, pre-dates the parish by some eight
years, having been established in 1812 by the Selkirk Settlers,
Scottish crofters who had been turned off their land in Scotland
and who were sponsored to a new life in the new world by Thomas
Douglas, fifth Earl of Selkirk, who was something of a philanthropist.
earlier graves were washed away in the great flood of 1826, and
the oldest marked grave extant is that of eight-month-old George
Simpson, son of Sir George Simpson, the Governor of the Hudson's
Bay Company. St. John's Cemetery is a history of Winnipeg in stone
(mostly marble and granite) with graves of the founding fathers
(and mothers) of Winnipeg, soldiers and statesmen, Hudson's Bay
officials, and ordinary folks, and it is frequently visited by
genealogists compiling their family trees, historians, students,
etc. It is also a favourite 'morning stroll' site for residents
in the neighbourhood. It is also home to birds, squirrels, the
occasional raccoon, and other assorted wildlife.
moment one enters the graveyard one is surrounded by a sense of
peace. It is well-treed, grassy, and beautifully maintained - even
though it has been subjected to the worst kind of vandalism - the
latest perpetrated by two youngsters aged nine and 11, who seemed
to think that overturning gravestones was no big deal. The graveyard
typifies for me a visual understanding of the 'Cloud of Witnesses'
referred to in the letter to the Hebrews.
year, at the end of May (by then, the winter frost is out of the
soil) a team of Cathedral parishioners volunteers to plant annuals
like petunias and patience on many of the graves. The Cathedral
eventually plans to build an outdoor labyrinth in one corner of
the graveyard - along with an outdoor Columbarium, and until that
day comes, we have set up a Prayer Path that winds along the paths
between the rows of graves, which is used for meditative prayer.
unrelated subject - newsletters - ours is called the Cathedral
Chronicle and is issued weekly, along with the pew leaflet. Once
a month, a collection of the Chronicles for that month is mailed
out to homebound parishioners.
you for your thoughts on graveyards - and everything else. I love
St. John's Cathedral
Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA
8 May 2006
sisters and I are trying to trace our family tree. We have been
given the information that our grandfather was drowned in the river
Douglas in 1928 and that he was buried in Parbold. We wondered
if it was your church he is in. His name was William Evans.
you for your time and hope you can shed some light on this for
Swales (neé Evans)
Pontefract, West Yorkshire, UNITED KINGDOM
12 May 2006
In general we refer people to the excellent GENUKI site
for genealogical inquiries. But we know that Parbold is in the
diocese of Blackburn. The parish has a
website where you will find the vicar's email address. We suggest
that you contact him.)
article about graveyards was important. My family, all those descended
from a John Redman Clark, master mariner, have just been brought
by searching for him. We found what happened to him, held an interstate
and a smaller number of us arranged for a plaque for his grave. Since
I live closest to the grave I'm the one who cleans it. Some would
call this onerous, but
I've two other family graves in the cemetery. Your point about the
communion of saints was good news to me.
of the family graves has my ancestress who was a drunkard, infanticide &
suicide. Everytime I go to the cemetery I check on her grave. No
marker, no headstone, and she shares it with an executed felon. I
wrote a prayer for her and trust she shares the peace which passes
all understanding. We found her grave
after 140 years of family ignorance. Cemeteries provide pause for
thought, but I would argue a chance for bringing folk together, relatives
or not. Communion for all.
Jews call the graveyard the "House of the World" I've found it
so. G-d bless you for Anglicans Online—you are appreciated!!!
Reservoir, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
13 May 2006
stories about resurrection and burial
essay about Anglican burial practices reminds me about a Resurrection
story in this Easter Season 2006!
pilot from Okinawa survived WW II, discarded his tribal religious
orientation which had compelled him to offer his life for the Imperial
Majesty of heaven when he was introduced to and embraced the universal
God of all Creation, who sent Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as
the Savior of the whole World! He was Paul Saneaki Nakamura who
was to return to Okinawa to become a Priest and Bishop of the Nippon
Sei Ko Kai (literally translated, “Japan Holy Catholic Church” – the
name of the Japanese Anglican-Episcopal Church).
retired, Bishop Nakamura tells of his return to Okinawa by saying
that because he had recruited numerous fellow high school students
as recruits for the elite corps who died giving their lives, while
he survived because there were no longer any more planes, no human
torpedoes, and the war ended before he could give his life by carrying
explosives on his back to blow up landing tanks. Because he couldn't
face the families of those who had died, he felt he could never
return to Okinawa, but my father, a Priest from Canada, while making
an evangelistic tour of Japan in the immediate post-war years,
met Paul Nakamura when he was a seminary student. Discovering he
was an Okinawan, he said to him, “You must go to Okinawa
to share the message of the Good News!” Paul replied he
could not return because he could not face the families of all
who had died when he had survived. My father responded, “You
have been Baptized, haven't you? If you have been Baptized,
you have died with Christ, and have a new life because you have
been raised with Christ in his Resurrection! You must go back to
Okinawa, in the power of the Resurrection!” Paul Saneaki
Nakamura returned, eventually succeeding the first Bishop of Okinawa,
Edmond Lee Browning, to become the first native Bishop of Okinawa.
other stories – about the significance of Christian burial
being in Okinawa as American Missionaries and coordinating the
building of the new All Souls’ Church in 1991, we were privileged
to build the Diocesan Columbarium on the All Souls’ church
property on a hill overlooking Chatan beach. The purpose of this
columbarium was to provide a place for those desiring a respectful
burial. In particular, it was built as a place of burial for those
who had been the victims of Hansen’s disease. Heretofore,
the ashes, (actually the bones) of people who died were buried
within the Sanatorium grounds. The members of the House of Prayer
Church within the Sanatorium expressed the desire to be released
after their deaths into the outside world! Their desires were accomplished
by building the Diocesan Columbarium where the cremated remains
could be placed in the niches of the columbarium in the outside
world. In the last year of the 20th century the Japanese government
finally declared that Hansen’s disease was no longer the
dreaded incurable communicable disease, so that legislatively the
discrimination against them was being erased at last. In the USA
this disease had been declared cured back in the 1960’s!
I went to the Diocese of Tohoku in NE Japan from 1998-2000, it
was my honor and privilege to serve as Priest of St. Michael’s
Church within the Sanatorium for those who had been victims of
Hansen’s Disease. This close knit community of devout Christians
were an aging congregation. It was important to be careful, respectful,
and provide so far as possible the same rites and ceremonies for
each person who died. The Nippon Sei Ko Kai Book of Common Prayer
provides many Services for the Burial of the Dead, such as receiving
the body into the church, sending the body for cremation, receiving
the cremated remains, burying them, and subsequently to observe
various memorials at appointed intervals of time.
our American practices are relatively simple… but each in
their own order! “Blessed
are the dead who died in the Lord….” “Alleluia!
The Lord is risen indeed!”
Revd Timothy Makoto Nakayama
St. Mark's Cathedral, Seattle - Diocese of Olympia
Seattle, Washington, USA
11 May 2006
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