Monday, September 21, 2020

Encouragements and Challenges

 Briefly, as travelling a bit through these days.

One way to sum up an interesting week of meetings, conversations and a number of church services, not only on the last two Sundays, is "encouragements and challenges."

I am grateful to God, you will be also, for encouragements - for those signs that God is at work among us.

I acknowledge to God, you will also, that challenges are opportunities - primarily for faith, for trusting that God knows best, over the long term, and is, according to the Word, working out all things for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28).

And today may be a larger encouragement: our Government will announce whether most of NZ (including our Diocesan area) goes to Level 1 ... or not.

Hopefully more depth and detail re being Anglican Down Under next week.


Father Ron said...

Thank you, Bishop Peter, for taking the time on Tuesday Evening 29 September ( to come and Preach the Sermon for us at Mass on our Patronal Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels. We are hoping for a goodly congregation now that we are down to Level 1. Thanks for your time with us in a busy schedule!

Anonymous said...

+ Peter... preaching Michaelmas... at SMAA... I will be very sorry to miss this. Those who can participate will be blessed.


Father Ron, amid some other writing yesterday, I wondered (1) whether you had noticed any outreach from ACANZP to queer folk since the adoption of SSB? and (2) whether New Zealand's aboriginal inhabitants were at home in ACANZP?


Here up yonder, I've found myself thinking that the disunity of the Body has brought much of this nation's distress. If American denominations had adopted the COCU recommendations-- Translation: if Protestants in the US had merged into a single denomination in the early 1970s as they had negotiated to do-- then blacks and whites, rich and laboring would have belonged to the same church. That church, by showing an integrated culture to the wider society, probably could have preempted the whole tragic cycle of escalating authoritarianism meeting seeming non-compliance that sets up white police to murder black men.

If not quite a second fall of man, that collective decision not to hang together has led to a more secularized America in which they all hang separately. We usually measure the cost of this in series of declining numbers, but the hidden cost is that the non-denominational churches that have supplanted them have become havens of 1950s white ethnicity, not the exemplars of Galatians 3:28 in Martin Luther King's dream.


It appears that when an evil clown is throwing bombs into a crowd, the hard thing is, not getting them to disapprove of that, but getting him offstage after they do.


Father Ron said...

Looking on the internet this morning, Bishop Peter, I encountered this message of Pope Francis for today - highlighting our raison d'etre as the Body of Christ:


“God always goes out, in search of us; he is not closed up — God goes out. He continually seeks out people, because he does not want anyone to be excluded from his loving plan…Our communities are also called to go out to the various types of “boundaries” that there might be, to offer everyone the word of salvation that Jesus came to bring. It means being open to horizons in life that offer hope to those stationed on the existential peripheries, who have not yet experienced, or have lost, the strength and the light that comes with meeting Christ… It is true that when someone goes out there is the danger of getting into an accident. But better a Church that gets into accidents because she goes out to proclaim the Gospel, than a Church that is sick because she stays in. God always goes out because he is a Father, because he loves.”

Pope Francis

Father Ron said...

Dear Bowman, re your questions of me, above:

1. As far as I know, there has been no active outreach from the Church towards the GBT+ Community since the introduction of S/S Blessings. I think those couples who are Church members have just quietly got on with their own local Church arrangements, but with very little comment - either from Church or Society. The world did not end with S/S Blessings - despite what detractors may have expected of the situation here in Aotearoa/NZ.

2. Local Maori People have their own constitutional arrangements in ACANZP, with their own Archbishop and Bishops, but some Maori still worship with the other ethnic strands, both Pakeha and Polynesian. Our 3-strand cultural set- up is still alive and well - with both separate and corporate Synods. I believe the same ethnic situation is being perpetuated in Canada.

I feel sorry for you in the so-called 'United' States of America, where your POTUS appears to separately court the loyalty of both Catholic and Protestant Churches - each with their own distinctive axes to grind. However, TEC seems to be fairly consistent in its opposition to Flamboyant Trumpery. Deo gratias

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, Father Ron, for your 12:37 above. Your (1) and (2) describe what I had expected, but as I am here rather than there, it seemed wise to consult a trusted observer on the spot.


For fun, imagine the following scenario unfolding here up yonder.

In October, the senate hastens to confirm the president's nominee for our supreme court. That court then has a hypothetical 6-3 majority in favour of whatever the Federalist Society favours.

Also in October, evangelicals who made a devil's bargain with Trump conclude that they have won the war for control of the court. Having gotten what they wanted, a few percent of them lack motivation for giving him any more votes.

In November, Trump thus loses by a landslide. Trump's allies litigate against this result wherever they think they can, but facts and judges being stubborn things, this enriches lawyers without changing the outcome.

In December, Trump threatens not to leave the White House. Under our constitution that means nothing.

In January, a joint session of the congress either finds that Joseph R Biden won the votes of a majority of electors, or in default of that, the house of representatives elects him president.

At noon on January 20, Donald J Trump's term of office expires. The chief justice meets Joseph R Biden on the steps of the US Capitol and swears him into the presidency.

Now, one could say that this scenario is speculative, and indeed it is. But it is more likely than most that I have read in the past week.


Father Ron said...

Thanks, Bowman, for your perceptive engagement with a possible outcome on the U.S. political front. All I can say in response is to quote from Scripture:

"I wish you good luck in the name of the Lord".