A weekly roundup of Anglican Communion news plus opinion, reviews, photos, profiles and other things of interest from across the Anglican/Episcopal world.
This edition includes...
Cherish religious space Singapore provides: bishop
From the Christian Post, Singapore edition
Singapore is secular in the sense that it does not favour any particular religious group in regard to public funding or use of the public square for religious festivities.
But Singapore is not secular in the sense that up to 85 per cent of people belong to one religion or another.
And so Singaporeans need to cherish the religious space that the Government is willing to provide, urged the Anglican Bishop.
There is no need for religious adherents to assert their right. "You don't need to, it's well recognised, it's accorded and we have some of the most number of so-called religious festivals in town in the world and all that," said the Right Reverend Dr. John Chew, the Bishop of Singapore.
Similarly, Christians need not shy away from rising to the occasion when it comes. "It's up to us as Christians, when it comes to your turn what do you do?" he asked. "If you're going to bury it and put yourself under the stand, so to speak, the lamp stand under the bushel with your light, no one will fight for you, but it's up to you."
To read the full article visit http://bit.ly/I6LT1N
War-zone areas need Pastoral care
From Frontier News, the newsletter of the Diocese of Peshawar
Peshawar Diocese has its out-stations and Sub-Parishes in the war zone areas, like Timaragara, Wana, Miramshah, Mir Ali, Landikotal and Parachinar, although these are the hubs of Jihadi organizations.
Nevertheless, a good number of Christian families reside there and that’s there “Home Towns”. The Diocese keeps sending its representatives to these areas but, the clergy is over-stretched, and some how short visits of a day or two fail to satisfy spiritual quest of the masses.
The Diocese of Peshawar is doing whatever it can within its limited resources. However, these areas and its inhabitants need pastoral care on permanent basis as this is where strong faith of believers is a great witness. Kindly keep this in your special prayers.
Learn more about the life and work of this diocese at www.peshawardiocese.org
Narnia or Neverland? Christians choose their favourite fantasy land
By Daniel Burke - Religion News Service
Evangelicals prefer Narnia, Catholics have a wanderlust for Wonderland, and mainline Protestants are split between hitching a ride to Hogwarts, Narnia or Neverland.
Those are the results from a unique poll by the television show “60 Minutes” and Vanity Fair magazine. The survey asked 1,000 Americans what fantasy land they’d most like to visit (Washington, D.C., excluded).
Evangelicals showed a clear preference for Narnia, the fantastical world of talking beasts entered through a enchanted wardrobe in C.S. Lewis’ series “The Chronicles of Narnia.”
Lewis, an Anglican, topped the list for 28 percent of evangelicals. Both his fiction — commonly interpreted as Christian allegories — and also his nonfiction have become touchstones in contemporary evangelicalism.
For more visit http://bit.ly/IWKUBK
Art treasures found in church
From the Taranaki Daily News
The keen eyes and hands of the clergy were the key to uncovering lost and forgotten Taranaki church art thought to be more than 100 years old.
Five large sections of painted tin and wood were discovered, well preserved, beneath leatherboard panels at the Holy Trinity Church in Fitzroy.
Assistant priest Oliver Roberts found the artwork after looking at an old photo of the church with Archdeacon of Parininihi and priest in charge Tricia Carter, who suggested they look under the wall panels in the nave.
"I said to Oliver over a cup of tea, I wonder why they put those panels there, and then, when he had a moment, he had a look," Mrs Carter said.
Mr Roberts said he used a fine nail punch and a hammer to lift the corner of one of the panels.
"It's thin board and I didn't want to split the wood in case they had to go back, but I saw the pattern and thought I had to keep going," Mr Roberts said.
Two wooden panels and three tin panels which can be seen in a photo of the church from 1910 were uncovered, still brightly painted, and Mr Roberts said he thought concealing the art may have been an attempt to modernise the church during early renovations.
To read the rest of the article visit http://bit.ly/Idlznm
Give thanks for a Queen who 'does' God - Archbishop
From the Church in Wales
The Queen reminds us of the importance of faith in our national life, the Archbishop of Wales said today.
In an address at Llandaff Cathedral at the start of Her Majesty’s two-day visit to Wales, Dr Barry Morgan praised The Queen for 'doing God' in public and refusing to airbrush faith out of our national life.
He also praised Her Majesty's commitment to serving the nation.
More than 600 people attended the national service of thanksgiving at the Cathedral for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The service was led by the Dean, John Lewis, and lessons were read by First Minister Carwyn Jones and the Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Professor Delme Bowen. Prayers were read by representatives from the different faith communities in Wales.
Addressing The Queen the Archbishop said, “Over the last 60 years, amidst all the shifting sands of public opinion and different viewpoints, you have regarded the Christian faith as the rock on which you have been able to draw strength and comfort. It is a reminder to the rest of us that this country has been shaped by the Christian faith and that that faith is still important in our national life.
“There has been a tendency in our society in recent years to believe that we, as a country, ‘don’t do God in public life’ and as one Government Minister recently put it ‘Faith has been neglected, undermined and yes even attacked by governments. Religion has tended to be air brushed out of our national life and world view.
“You, your Majesty, have never been ashamed to confess your personal allegiance to Jesus Christ, whatever the prevailing political climate.”
Committed to serving the nation, The Queen made an exhausting job look easy, said the Archbishop, thanks to her “sheer stamina and determination”.
He said, “With the advent of modern communications, the demand has been to be more visible and available than ever at all kinds of events and places. By so doing, individuals from every stratum of society have felt that they mattered, for the Monarch, in the words of one person ‘gives a human face to the operations of Government”’. She reminds all of us that the ideal of public service is timeless.”
Housing stress on the rise
From the Diocese of Adelaide
Anglicare SA’s Rental Affordability Snapshot has revealed that for most South Australians on low incomes and government allowances the basic necessity of affordable housing is more and more becoming an unobtainable dream.
The annual Anglicare report that surveyed available rental properties in South Australia on Saturday 14 April 2012 showed less than 2 per cent of available housing was both affordable and appropriate for most low income households.
With so few affordable housing options available to meet the needs of people on low incomes more South Australians are facing homelessness and housing stress.
Anglicare CEO Dr Lynn Arnold said the rising rate of unaffordable housing was impacting all areas of Anglicare’s work in the community. “As the threat of homelessness and housing stress looms for an increasing number of people the need for us to provide services and supports necessary to create sustainable change in people’s lives grows significantly,” Dr Arnold said.
“Social housing is more than just putting a roof over people’s heads. We need Adelaide to be the kind of city that meets people’s needs and allows them to thrive but this means prosperity that is spread throughout the city with everyone having the opportunity to live well.
“Affordable and secure housing enables individuals and families to be independent and participate in their community through social engagement, education and employment.
“Finding a way to grow the amount of social housing available in South Australia will require new thinking and strong partnerships between not-for-profit organisations and state and federal governments,” Dr Arnold said.
Anglicare SA tenant Lidia Inarukundo has benefited from one such partnership. Lidia and her four children arrived in Australia five years ago and were assisted by Anglicare’s Refugee Housing Program before moving into an Anglicare SA Housing Association property in October 2007. When Lidia was asked to foster three additional children her three bedroom home was considered inappropriate so an arrangement was made with Families SA for a transportable addition to be located at her Anglicare property. Lidia and her family will soon be appropriately housed in a five bedroom home.
“That will make a big difference to the way the children and I live,” Lidia said. “Anglicare has helped me to not move all the time. I have had an Anglicare home and look after it but without the extra rooms no one had any privacy.”
For the purposes of this survey, an affordable property was one which cost less than 30 per cent of the household’s income (including their basic Centrelink payment, Rent Assistance and Family Tax Benefit if applicable). If the household would pay more than 30 per cent of its income in rent, then it would be considered to be in ‘housing stress’, rendering the property unaffordable. The survey assumes that a room in a share house or bedsit is only appropriate for a single person, a property with at least one bedroom is appropriate for a single person or couple, and a property with two or more bedrooms is appropriate for parents with children (as long as it allows a separate bedroom for each child). Properties were assessed for affordability and appropriateness for a number of different household types deriving their income from government allowances and pensions.
? Of the 341 private properties for rent across metropolitan South Australia 189 properties (6%) were affordable for a couple with two children. Only 53 (2%) were affordable and appropriate.
? For a single person with two children, only 80 properties (2%) were affordable, and from this 10 (less than 1%) were affordable and appropriate.
? There were 80 properties (2%) affordable and appropriate for a couple on an aged pension with no children.
? For a single person with one child, on the Single Parenting Payment, 43 properties in the metropolitan area were affordable; however, only 2 of these were appropriate.
? A single person on the Age Pension or the Disability Support Pension had the choice of 9 properties.
? Single people on Newstart or Youth allowances could not afford any advertised private housing.
National assembly of churches begins with political statements
By Anto Akkara, Ecumenical News International - Bangalore, India
The quadrennial general assembly of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) began on April 25 with an opening worship that contained unusually strong expressions of opinion on current issues such as the Koodankulam nuclear power plant.
Opening worship at the assembly, which ends on 28 April, featured statements opposed to the nuclear plant (in southern Tamil Nadu state), to what is seen as the undemocratic acquisition of land in Orissa state for a steel plant and to what was called abuse of special army powers in Kashmir and northeast India.
Three delegates from the affected regions read the statements. They were followed by Bible readings relating to the issues.
Referring to the assembly’s theme, “The Gospel in a Groaning World,” the Rev. Christopher Rajkumar said “all these issues symbolize the groans of the people.” Rajkumar is in charge of worship and media at the assembly.
Founded in 1914, the NCCI is composed of 30 Orthodox and Protestant churches in India, 17 regional Christian councils and more than two dozen national organizations, representing more than 14 million Christians.
The massive anti-nuclear protest by the fishing community that began in September 2011 was centerd on Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic church at Idinthakarai.
The protest was called off in March after police registered dozens of criminal cases against secular social activists, Catholic bishop Yvon Ambrose of Tuticorin and his priests apart from freezing the bank accounts of the church and social action groups.
“It is easy to preach the Gospel in a groaning world. But our duty is to be sensitive to the groaning world,” urged Methodist bishop Tharanath Sagar, NCCI president, in his sermon at the opening worship. About 500 delegates are attending, including the Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches.
Church Gift: Primate Cautions Nigerians Against Uncomplimentary Remarks
Most Rev Nicholas Okoh, the Primate of Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), has urged Nigerians to desist from making “uncomplimentary remarks” about the renovation of a church in President Goodluck Jonathan’s home town, Otuoke, Bayelsa.
He gave the advice while fielding questions from Journalists in Abuja.
Okoh, who is also the Arch Bishop Abuja Metropolitan, cautioned those criticising the president over the renovation of the church to “first of all search themselves”.
``Those pointing to the renovation of the church, let them search their minds, there are logs in their eyes, not the speck in somebody’s eyes.”
The primate said there was nothing wrong in anyone coming up to contribute to the spread of the gospel by helping to renovate the house of God.
For more click here http://bit.ly/HRf5qF
Vicar in Zimbabwe announces he is HIV-positive
The Revd Maxwell Kapachawo had already been asked to leave two churches after announcing he was HIV-positive. But it didn't stop him sharing his status with his new congregation
Nearly 4.5 million adults in Zimbabwe are living with HIV. Yet few people feel comfortable talking about it. The stigma surrounding HIV means lives are being lost because people are reluctant to ask questions or come forward for testing and treatment.
Churches are also affected by the stigma. The Revd Maxwell Kapachawo tried to break the taboo by sharing his HIV-positive status with congregations, but was twice asked to leave as a result.
With his vocation and livelihood at risk, he was undeterred. At his next church he, once again, took the brave step of informing his congregation about his HIV status. This time, he was not rejected.
Read more here http://www.uspg.org.uk/article.php?article_id=1099
Quiet gardens: time to sit and stare
Today is the 20th anniversary of the Quiet Garden Movement, founded to offer oases of calm in a noisy world. Three cheers, whispers Christopher Middleton in the Daily Telegraph
When Michael and Janet Chapman sit in their country garden, they look out over nothing but rolling Essex fields. The only sounds they hear are cheeping birds, and the occasional distant tractor.
It’s the perfect, peaceful hideaway; theirs is arguably the last house in London, five miles from the last stop on the Central Line and at the end of a long, dusty rural track. Rather than using their three-acre garden to get away from people, however, the Chapmans make a point of sharing it whenever they can.
They belong to an organisation called the Quiet Garden Movement, which today celebrates its 20th anniversary. Like the owners of the 300 other gardens in the movement, Michael and Janet frequently make their green space available, to all seekers of tranquillity and contemplation.
“In the winter, we open up less often, but in spring and summer, it can be once a week,” says Michael, who works as a solicitor in the nearby town of Dunmow. “We are lucky enough to have this lovely garden. To hog it all to ourselves would be like keeping an Old Master tucked away in the basement.”
This is precisely the spirit in which the Quiet Garden Movement was set up in 1992. Its founder was an Anglican priest, the Reverend Philip Roderick, and the first garden to be enrolled into the organisation belonged to Geoffrey Cooper, who at the time was the Daily Telegraph’s aviation correspondent, living in Stoke Poges, Bucks.
Read more at http://tgr.ph/JvmMWi
Parishes Jubilee celebrations highlighted on new website
A new website launched today (23rd April) offers Church of England churches, the opportunity to highlight the wide range of community and parish events being organised for the Queen’s Jubilee.
www.jubileenearyou.com will showcase the diversity of events planned for the Diamond Jubilee weekend at the beginning of June.
Building on the success of a similar website the Church of England ran at Christmas, any one of its 16,000 churches can add details of celebration events to the existing website www.achurchnearyou.org. Suitable tagged these entries are automatically migrated to the jubilee site.
“Jubilee near you dot org builds on the popularity of a similar Christmas site which received 21,000 visits during December,” says Nick Clarke, from the Church House Communications Office. “The new site offers anyone details of the nearest Jubilee celebrations to them.”
Parishes throughout England will either be running their own events or supporting other community events including the Big Lunch celebrations.
The extended Jubilee holiday culminates with the National Service of Thanksgiving to Celebrate Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee at St Paul’s Cathedral on the morning of Tuesday 5th June. The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, and Members of The Royal Family, will attend service will be conducted by the Dean of St Paul’s, The Very Reverend Dr David Ison, and the Archbishop of Canterbury will preach. A special prayer for the Diamond Jubilee will be included in the service.
The Church Urban Fund
From its website:
"We are Christians tackling poverty together in England.
We bring the Church together to support Christians called to work with the poorest and most marginalised in England, transforming lives.
We are the Church of England's response to poverty in this country, working in partnership with Christians who feel called to put their faith into action.
Our vision is for every church, in every community, tackling poverty together by giving time, money, action and prayer. We need people to join us now.
Our aim is to increase the passion within the Church for the poor and marginalised in this country and to make the Church's response more effective.
Each year we support over 300 church and Christian projects tackling poverty."
Speakers at the conference included Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York and Revd John Bell of the Iona Community.
John Bell contacted us after the conference to thank us for the opportunity to speak at the event:
"My big regret was that I came midway and left so soon, but in speaking to people during the breaks, it was clear that those who came found the conference very valuable. It is so good that those who work on the edges have an organisation like CUF to encourage and resource them. And the fact that you are not just another committee of the C of E, but have a degree of autonomy must help people to drop their guard and engage in honest and open discourse."
See more here: http://www.cuf.org.uk/tackling-poverty-2012
ANGLICAN CYCLE OF PRAYER Click here for the full ACP
Psalm: 78:56-64 Num. 12:10-16
Cashel & Ossory - (Dublin, Ireland) The Rt Revd Michael Andrew James Burrows
Psalm: 75 Num. 13:1-20
Central Buganda - (Uganda) The Rt Revd Jackson Matovu
Sunday 29-Apr-2012 Easter 4
Psalm: 78:65-72 Num. 13:21-31
PRAY for The Anglican Church of Kenya The Most Revd Dr Eliud Wabukala Primate and Archbishop of All Kenya
Monday 30-Apr-2012 St James The Great
Psalm: 45:1-4,6-7 Rev. 2:1-7
Central Ecuador - (IX, The Episcopal Church) The Rt Revd Luis Ruiz Restrepo
Psalm: 101 Rev. 3:1-6
Central Florida - (IV, The Episcopal Church) The Rt Revd John Howe
Psalm: 18:1-6 Rev. 3:7-13
The Most Revd and Rt Hon Dr Rowan Douglas Williams Archbishop of Canterbury
Canterbury - Dover - (Canterbury, England) The Rt Revd Trevor Willmott
Canterbury - Ebbsfleet - (Canterbury, England) The Rt Revd Jonathan Mark Richard Baker
Canterbury - Richborough - (Canterbury, England) The Rt Revd Norman Banks
Psalm: 18:7-12 Rev. 4:1-11
Central Gulf Coast - (IV, The Episcopal Church) The Rt Revd Philip Duncan
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Disclaimer: The Weekly Review is a summary of news, information and resources gathered from around the Anglican Communion over the past week. The views expressed in Weekly Review do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the Anglican Communion Office.