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Hallo again to all.

We are in the midst of the great 50 days of Easter, the time of Christ's ministry as risen on earth, his Ascension into heaven, followed by the birth of our church on Pentecost. Though we know that Christ's death and resurrection grants us eternal life in His kingdom, it does not in fact, grant us eternal life here. Indeed, if one is to believe in the doctrine of original sin, after the fall of Adam in the garden we are not created from the ground nor made of a spare rib, but in fact are born, grow old, and die. We change, we mature, we evolve. As the church is made of us, and we are made in the image of God, the church, too, changes and evolves. One must suppose that in his death and resurrection, God could have made us immortal, but in fact the 12 disciples who birthed the church were born, lived, and died in much the same way (though often more dramatically) as we do, or will now. Every two seconds, two people die and four are born. In that same way, it may be that the church is constantly dying and being reborn as are the people of whom it is made up. And yet, we find the church, especially our corner of it, to be remarkably and comfortably consistent and full of life.

In much of the Anglican Communion there has been the birth of new dioceses. In the last year or so we have seen established: the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh* (Canada), the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales (England), the Diocese of Asante Mampong (West Africa), the Diocese of Athooch (Sudan), The Dioceses of Makueni and Malindi (both in Kenya), the Diocese of Davao (Philippines). The Diocese of Barisal (Bangladesh) is forthcoming.  We have seen renewed enthusiasm for the Anglican Communion – ranging from GAFCON’s recent commitment to remaining within the Communion to the rush of Millennials discovering our church while looking for something deeper, historical, and meaningful. Rachel Held Evans, a 33 year old, recently-turned-Episcopalian American writer and blogger has been making headlines with her new book Searching for Sunday. Much of her focus is on the deeper meaning and worship found in the Anglican worship that had been missing from her nondenominational upbringing.

'If you try to woo [Millienials] back with skinny jeans and coffee shops, it may actually backfire. Millennials have finely tuned B.S. meters that can detect when someone’s just trying to sell us something. We’re not looking for a hipper Christianity. We’re looking for a truer Christianity… Sharing Communion. Baptizing sinners. Preaching the Word. Anointing the sick. Practicing confession.  The stuff the church has been doing for the last 2,000 years. We need to creatively re-articulate the significance of the traditional teachings and sacraments of the church in a modern context. That’s what I see happening in churches, big and small, that are making multigenerational disciples of Jesus.'

The Society of Archbishop Justus, which hosts Anglicans Online and numerous other Anglican-world related sites‡ has, in the last year and a half, lowered the average age of its Directors, from 60 years old to about 51 years old, with enthusiastic and committed Anglican volunteers†.

Over the last thirty (or 200, or 400) years we have been warned of the imminent demise of Anglicanism – the most recent being the delayed scheduling of the next Lambeth Conference. Warnings clanged over celebration of the Eucharist, civil war, the permanent deaconate, the ordination of women, inclusion of those of different sexual orientations, stodginess, and ageing, and rampant secularism as well as a distrust of those who call themselves Christians in parts of the world and violence against those who call themselves Christians in others, being among the reasons. And yet we persist as we have for almost 500 years – 80 million of us. In worship and study, fellowship, and service, it is a good time to be an Anglican.

See you next week.

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All of us at Anglicans Online

3 May 2015

*Which comes with the imminent death of the Diocese of Keewatin
‡ A Very limited number of which are listed here.
† A mixture of committed zealots – both techies and those whose sites we host.

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