Letters from 5 February
to 11 February 2007
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To share the joy
Still on a high from attending a wonderful ordination service on
Saturday, I thought I'd write to you so others may share the joy!
No less than 45 men and women were made deacons at St Andrew's Cathedral in Sydney last Saturday 3 February. What an encouragement!
Some have just finished their studies at Moore Theological College and others had been working as lay stipendiary workers for
a number of years.
Our Diocese is working towards the establishment of an authentic
permanent diaconate which I'm certain will prove a great blessing.
You can read a report on the ordination here and
see some photos here.
Please join us in prayer for the Lord's great blessing on the ministies
of these men and women.
St Andrew's Roseville
5 February 2007
Cantate Domino canticum novum
We hear arguments that 'In the past we did it this way' ...We've
found that if we dive into a discussion with someone who wants 'to do things as they've always been done', and press for
details about what they really mean, that 'always been' refers to that person's childhood, or memories of childhood...We
suspect that this is why someone pushing to return to the past in church is rarely interested in winding time backwards past
his own childhood. Pushing for 'the old hymns' never means 'the really really old hymns', it means 'the hymns I sang when
I was a child'.
Yeah, yeah--patronize and dismiss us. I jolly well do mean the old
hymns, like Prudentius' and Fortunatus'. I didn't sing these hymns or any others as a child because I was brought up as an
atheist. I joined the Church in part because I liked singing these hymns, because I liked singing church music in Latin, and
because I liked the old Prayer Book. I don't like this stuff because it conjures up some "reptilian memory" or because I think
it's somehow more theologically correct that what the church is currently offering or because I think the Church should do
what it has done in the past. I just LIKE this stuff. And, yeah, I do think disagreement about these matters is worth losing
friends and alienating others about. Silly me: I think getting a window into the other world, getting some sense of transcendence
is important but I'm not sufficiently diligent, patient or clever to get it through meditation, which bores me and makes me
angry. The only way I can get a window into that other world is through those old hymns, Latin liturgical music, Anglican chant
and THE OLD PRAYER BOOK dammit!!! That's worth fighting for though I realized a few years ago that it was hopeless. Okey doke.
I give up. I and others who feel as I do aren't gonna get the liturgy that speaks to our souls no way no how. At least don't
dismiss and patronize us.
H. E. Baber
University of San Diego
6 February 2007
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