The Ordinariate, the Episcopal Church, and the Future

A great question by canon lawyer Mark Jakubik:

Given the shrinking numbers of the Episcopal Church and, and the news reports, almost daily, of new ordinations and the like in the American Ordinariate, I got to thinking: when will the average Sunday attendance (in my view the best barometer on a week-to-week basis of the health of a church) for Ordinariate parishes exceed the Episcopal Church’s? I’ll put the over/under at 3 years.

Which side would you take?


Bible Archaeology

Possible Bar Kochba Revolt Hoard Found

From the Israel Antiquities Authority:

A spectacular 2,000 Year Old Gold and Silver Hoard was Uncovered in an Archaeological Excavation the Israel Antiquities Authority Conducted in the Qiryat Gat Region

The treasure trove comprising c. 140 gold and silver coins together with gold jewelry was probably hidden by a wealthy lady at a time of impending danger during the Bar Kokhba Revolt

A rich and extraordinary hoard that includes jewelry and silver and gold coins from the Roman period was recently exposed in a salvage excavation in the vicinity of Qiryat Gat. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was funded by Y. S. Gat Ltd., the Economic Development Corporation for the Management of the Qiryat Gat Industrial Park.

The rooms of a building dating to the Roman and Byzantine period were exposed during the course of the excavation. A pit that was dug in the earth and refilled was discerned in the building’s courtyard. To the archaeologist’s surprise, a spectacular treasure trove of exquisite quality was discovered in the pit wrapped in a cloth fabric, of which only several pieces remained on the artifacts.

According to archaeologist, Emil Aladjem, the excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “The magnificent hoard includes gold jewelry, among them an earring crafted by a jeweler in the shape of a flower and a ring with a precious stone on which there is a seal of a winged-goddess, two sticks of silver that were probably kohl sticks, as well as some 140 gold and silver coins. The coins that were discovered date to the reigns of the Roman emperors Nero, Nerva and Trajan who ruled the Roman Empire from 54-117 CE. The coins are adorned with the images of the emperors and on their reverse are cultic portrayals of the emperor, symbols of the brotherhood of warriors and mythological gods such as Jupiter seated on a throne or Jupiter grasping a lightning bolt in his hand”.

Saʽar Ganor, District Archaeologist of Ashkelon and the Western Negev for the Israel Antiquities Authority, adds “the composition of the numismatic artifacts and their quality are consistent with treasure troves that were previously attributed to the time of the Bar Kokhba Revolt. During the uprising, between 132-135 CE, the Jews under Roman rule would re-strike coins of the emperor Trajan with symbols of the revolt. This hoard includes silver and gold coins of different denominations, most of which date to the reign of the emperor Trajan. This is probably an emergency cache that was concealed at the time of impending danger by a wealthy woman who wrapped her jewelry and money in a cloth and hid them deep in the ground prior to or during the Bar Kokhba Revolt. It is now clear that the owner of the hoard never returned to claim it.

The treasure trove was removed from the field and transferred for treatment to the laboratories of the Artifacts Treatment Department of the Israel Antiquities Authority in Jerusalem.

Now this is a most interesting ring amongst the artefacts found:

I wonder what the image symbolises. Any ideas?



No iPads in New Zealand Liturgies

On The Deacon’s Bench:


The New Zealand Bishops have told their priests that only the official printed copy of the Roman Missal may be used at Mass and at the Church’s other liturgies. They say that the Roman Missal apps for iPad and the use of other tablets, mobile phones and e-readers are excellent for study purposes, but their use in the Church’s litugry is inappropriate.

A letter sent to priests and signed by all the Bishops of New Zealand says that that all religions have books which are reserved which are reserved for the rituals and activities at the heart of the faith, and the Roman Missal is one such book.

“The Missal is reserved for use during the Church’s liturgy. iPads and other electronic devices have a variety of uses, e.g. for the playing of games, using the internet, watching videos and checking mail. This alone makes their use in the liturgy inappropriate,” they say.

Read more.

And read the complete statement on the iPad missal here.

We mentioned a New Zealand priest who suggested the use of an iPad in the Mass as a Missal here.



The Anglican Mission: Officially Going it Alone?

Stand Firm:

There’s no mention of Rwanda, no mention of Congo, no mention of any bona fide Anglican Communion oversight:

SPECIAL NEWS June 4, 2012

The Anglican Mission Society for Mission and Apostolic Works Commits to a Vision for the Future

The Anglican Mission passed a milestone today and is now only one step away from finalizing the Society for Mission and Apostolic Works. Clergy and lay leaders gathered for a Convocation held in Chicago and committed to four “Rs” designed to expand mission and ministry in North America. The group embraced a modified purpose statement geared toward recognizing, recruiting, resourcing, and releasing leaders for planting and serving churches in the Anglican tradition for the next generation of Kingdom leadership in the Americas. The day was marked by a strong sense of vision designed to reach, ever more effectively, those outside the faith in an often hostile, post-Christian culture.

Research indicates that adaptive change is necessary for evangelism in today’s world, and while evangelism through church planting is highly effective, the need for adaptive shift in model and method is essential for success. Twelve years ago, the Anglican Mission embarked on a pioneering and risk-taking journey with a vision for a new way of “being Anglican” in North America. Over the last decade, that vision has been embraced by a number of entities on both sides of the ocean, which has affirmed theAM’s original call. It has been said that “today’s challenges are based on yesterday’s successes.” With the formation of a Society for Mission and Apostolic Works, the Anglican Mission is adopting a model rooted in history that also represents an adaptive shift geared toward expanding Kingdom ministry for current and successive generations. Our adaptive challenge now is to continue to reflect theologically, strategize and work collaboratively within our Mission Society to effectively evangelize in local contexts through church planting.

The primary and most significant shift is systemic as the Anglican Mission adopts a vocational model of mission reflecting the Celtic approach of St. Patrick. History has demonstrated, and the experience of many mainline denominations has confirmed, that a system encumbered, rather than served by, institutional “machinery” undermines missional endeavors. As a Mission Society, theAM can focus all of its energy and resources on preparing leaders and planting churches for Kingdom mission and ministry.

Operating as a Mission Society ensures consistency balanced and enriched by new components (the Constitution reflects that approximately 75% of what we have been and done remains unchanged while 25% will be adapted or added). The Mission will retain and continue to celebrate a pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit, a passionate and unapologetic embrace of the three streams, creativity and collaboration – missionally, theologically and strategically. Changes include oversight by a College of Consultors, rethinking networks and their role, developing specific episcopal portfolios for bishops and a vision for “hub churches” that will drive our commitment to equipping leaders and planting churches. TheAM will be streamlined for efficiency and effectiveness, and we are committed to improving the nature of our coaching and support for new church plants as well as existing congregations who may be experiencing a plateau.

Adoption of a provisional Constitution today allows for the Anglican Mission to operate until leaders meet for an Inaugural Assembly in Atlanta later this summer. The Assembly will begin with opening worship on the evening of July 31 and continue the next day with its business. At this time, we will formally adopt the Constitution and Statutes for the Anglican Mission as a Society of Mission and Apostolic Works. This will complete a long process that began in May 2011 and included a eight collaborative and evaluative meetings of leaders to discuss, assess and plan specifics of the Mission Society, with an end result that reflects the best thinking of our lay and ordained members.

No mention of Anglican Communion oversight in this draft of its new Constitution and Canons, either.

And as one fellow well comments over there:

Toxic. Deadly. Cult-like. Run for your lives!  This will not end well.