Thursday, March 8, 2012

Now for something completely different

Let's give the Covenant a rest for a few moments (though it is hard to resist a note when the No Anglican Covenant Coalition announces new patrons including NZ's own +Jim White and Australia's Muriel "I write against Sydney, lots" Porter ... I wonder if Sydney might contemplate supporting the Covenant! Some of us may not like being likened to toothpaste, but there you go, we cannot always have the metaphors we would wish on ourselves.) Instead, with H/T to Joshua Bovis, I draw your attention to Sydney Bishop Rob Forsyth satirising worship services in the Sydney Diocese. Here is the beginning:

"Here’s a Contemporary Sunday liturgy that has not been included in Common Prayer: Resources for gospel-shaped gatherings.


It is only in draft form and I am sure can be improved. I would welcome suggestions.

A Contemporary Sunday Service outline (aka An Agenda for Sunday Meetings)

Opening

1. Begin late with chatty longwinded opening. It’s best to mention current affairs, the latest cricket results or football, anything to take people’s minds away from any focus on God and particularly if anyone had been praying beforehand."

Read the rest here. It is good humour to an Adrian Plass standard!

My serious point here is not to join Bishop Forsyth in criticisng what happens in his own diocese but to note that a number of the things he draws attention to feature in Kiwi services (in my experience). To take the first item cited above as one instance: I find it seriously disturbing how often a service begins with acclamation of ourselves, who we are,  and what is happening in our lives without explicitly acclaiming our purpose in gathering, to worship the living God having drawn aside from our ordinary human living to engage in the extraordinary experience of communion with the angels and archangels and all the saints as we jointly acclaim God and the Lamb who was slain for us.

19 comments:

David Ould said...

At the beginning of a worship meeting I tend to talk about ME!

Father Ron Smith said...

Yes, I can certainly imagine that, David Ould. You are probably the most important thing in your small world.

The beauty of liturgical worship is that Christ is at the centre.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
The person naming himself in the comment above as "David Ould" is not the Rev David Ould, Deacon of Neutral Bay, Sydney, licensed for ministry by the Archbishop of Sydney.

It is not for me to make a judgment as to whether this commenter also goes by the name "David Ould" in real life or is an imposter, but looking up his Blogger Profile, I am inclined to the latter opinion.

Andrew Reid said...

A very witty article by Bishop Forsyth, and I hope Sydney's critics take note of their efforts to reinstate some liturgical meat and potatoes into their services.

Sorry to go back to the covenant again, but isn't it a bit surprising that a current NZ bishop has agreed to be a patron of the No Anglican Covenant coalition? Even if he publicly opposes the Covenant, wouldn't it usually be inappropriate for a bishop to join a partisan group when the issue is still being decided by diocesan synods?

Peter Carrell said...

You could be right, Andrew, but it would be worth noting that the Auckland Synod has come out against the Covenant, and that our bishops have not made a neutral position for the time being on the Covenant a matter of collegiality.

Father Ron Smith said...

"wouldn't it usually be inappropriate for a bishop to join a partisan group when the issue is still being decided by diocesan synods?" - Andrew Reid -

Well, Andrew,if its good enough for the Bishop of Oxford and the Archbishop of Canterbury - in the Church of England - to champion the YES to the Covenant crowd - while the Church of England dioceses are still discussing the issue; I'm sure it would be OK for Bishop Jim to do likewise for the opposition.
Fair's fair, after all!

David Ould said...

How dare you say I am not a David Ould!
To prove my point, one has recently written to the heretical Bishop of Gippsland to demand the sacking of a homo. He has flatly refused my interrogation.

http://davidould.net/?p=3534

Peter Carrell said...

My sympathies are with the Bishop of Gippsland. I have corresponded with the real David Ould in the past and found it difficult to escape the correspondence (short of rudely ending it) unless I agreed with the irrefutable logic of Ould. However you have added evidence to my assessment that you are not the real David Ould, licensed deacon of Neutral Bay as he is too gracious to use that four letter word beginning with "h" which you use to describe a fellow human being.

David Ould said...

My apologies for using the "h" word. It was meant ironically to convey the offensive attitude of the "Neutral Bay Ould" towards gay people. You are right in that correspondence with him is fruitless unless you agree with him. Otherwise he will delete your comments to prove himself right.

Father Ron Smith said...

Thank you, Peter, for the info on 'David Ould', who is not 'Deacon David Ould'. However, it chills the blood to think there may be 2 of 'em.

Roland Cartwright said...

Peter,

I can understand you wanting to avoid a never ending daisy chain of correspondence but I'm surprised that you have any sympathy for the Bishop of Gippsland, either in his email response or the point at issue. David Ould's early criticism of the Bishops actions on his blog here http://davidould.net/?p=3473 are well made. In essence the Bishop acknowledges that the priest's personal life is such that he could not ordain him. However, he has licensed him by being wilfully blind to the manner of his personal life, despite being fully aware of it and willing to advertise it in the Diocesan magazine. It is a disingenuous response by the Bishop that shows his actions to be unworthy as well as deliberate confrontation.

Roland Cartwright said...

Peter,

I can understand you wanting to avoid a never ending daisy chain of correspondence but I'm surprised that you have any sympathy for the Bishop of Gippsland, either in his email response or the point at issue. David Ould's earlier criticism of the Bishops actions on his blog at http://davidould.net/?p=3473 are well made. In essence the Bishop acknowledges that the priest's personal life is such that he could not ordain him. However, he has licensed him by being wilfully blind to the manner of his personal life, despite being fully aware of it and willing to advertise it in the Diocesan magazine. It is a disingenuous response by the Bishop that shows his actions to be unworthy as well as deliberate confrontation.

David Ould said...

There are many gay priests with partners throughout the Anglican Communion. By what right does my narrow-minded namesake have to interfere in another diocese by singling out the Bishop of Gippsland. A Bishop is not answerable to a mere Sydney deacon.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Roland
My sympathies are with the Bishop of Gippsland wanting to avoid a lengthy and public conversation via a blogger, with all the potential for that to run on and on and on. As a blogger I know something about that ...

I have no sympathy for the Bishop of Gippsland if (as seems to be the case, according to my cursory reading of the situation) he is involved in malarkey (i.e. mischievously provoking the settled state of the Australian Anglican church. (But if you want to discuss such things further head to those sites where they are being discussed).

Peter Carrell said...

Hi "David Ould"
While your latest comment offers a substantive point with potential for discussion, it is the last I will publish from you, whether laced with irony or filled with truth. I do not believe you are whom you purport to be which goes against the grain of this site expecting people to give an honest and true name for themselves. There are plenty of other sites for you to continue your deception.

Anonymous said...

The other remarkable thing about the Bishop of Gippsland is the imperious way he refuses to discuss his action which, prima facie, is certainly a serious violation of national polity. A medieval pope would have been proud of this self-confidence, speaking 'de haut en bas' to the inferior orders.
Perhaps His Grace should style Himself 'L'Eveque-Roi': 'L'Eglise, c'est moi.'

#Martin

Father Ron Smith said...

I take it, 'number' Martin, that you are not a cleric under the episcopal discipline of the Bishop of Gippsland - an habitue, perhaps,of French Polynesia? My guess, though, is that you are part of the hegemony of the Sydney Archbishop of GAFCON fame.
Am I correct? What's he up to these days?

Anonymous said...

To return to the ostensible subject; were you Peter to attend a service at a marae and as a preliminary be greeted according to local protocol, would you make the same complaint. Are you sure you are not merely expressing a fastidious distaste for common pakeha culture, ie the way we do things round here?
Best wishes, Rhys

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Rhys,
That is a good question.
I think my concern is not about the beginning per se but about the whole. Many services having begun at the level of the human never take off to the level of the divine (to put it somewhat crudely and spatially). I can certainly imagine a service which began in a chatty way but which subsequently changed register in a definite way. I haven't been to many marae services but that change of register does take place there (in my experience).

One way to ensure a worship service is a service of divine worship (and not something which never quite becomes a service of divine worship) is to nail the beginning.

There is much more to say but that will do for now!