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Lex orandi, lex credendi and the Church of England

York Central Hall

General Synod has, of course, begun in York. Unfortunately I can’t be there although I did get an invitation having been part of a small group who helped the soon to be Revved up (and ex-colleague at Ridley) Tim Lomax put together the worship for Sunday evening. I hope all you Synod-ers enjoy my hopefully visually stimulating but worshipfully unobtrusive Powerpoint tomorrow night! 🙂

No doubt over the next few days there will be even more hand wringing and comment, political maneuvering and argument on the Anglican Covenant proposals than there have been in the last few weeks. The Covenant forms a major discussion topic for this Group of Sessions. I’m afraid I am lacking stamina at the moment to keep up the pace with this ongoing debate that seems to have everyone thoroughly exercised. So I am not going to talk about that.

What I am interested in is Read more

Where does Ridley aim its worship?

A friend sent me yesterday a link to this interesting little article from a Stateside blogger about a session at Seabury, an Episcopal theological college in the US. I’ve not met Bishop Neil Alexander but I know various people in the USA who really rate him very highly and it sounds like a great session as he and faculty and ordained staff at Seabury considered models for worship within a theological college.

I am sure our principal, as a former Liturgical Commission member, shares such a deep concern to shape us as worshippers and to enable us to be future shapers of fellow worshippers in the Church of England. I’ve been kind of wondering about Neil Alexander’s models and which one might apply to Ridley. I don’t think any of them quite describe Ridley’s approach but I think we probably come closest to the ‘creative’ worship approach.

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… and a happy new year

New Year 2007 in London

Back in the day when I was a brand new Christian, my home church was an Anglican-Methodist Local Ecumenical Partnership. In the bigger scheme of things, I wasn’t a member of that church for long – 18 months or so – but in that time I attended two New Year’s Day services in which we used the Methodist’s covenant liturgy as is usual for the Methodist church on that day of the year.

It’s a chance to renew a covenant with God… to renew our sense of commitment to Him at the start of a new year. It’s a liturgy that has left a deep impression on me – so much so that I fully intend to make use of it on New Year’s Day when I get into a parish. Unfortunately, I can’t find it anywhere online (can anyone help?) but, trust me when I say that it is a deeply challenging liturgy and I think it’s really apt for the turn of the year. Consider just these few ‘fragments’…

“Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will…

Put me to doing, put me to suffering; let me be employed for you or laid aside for you…

Let me be full, let me be empty, let me have all things, let me have nothing…

I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your pleasure and disposal…”

Whether you will look back on 2006 positively or negatively, I wish you a very happy 2007 and I hope you will join me in taking some time to renew your focus on the Lord. As The Western Seminarian so aptly put it this morning – “a blessed new year to you. Do something new with it. Make it a blessing for others too.”