Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fitting worship to the worshippers' lifestyle

Maple Leaf Gardens is filled with an SRO audience – but not for a hockey game. Toronto’s legendary sports palace is jammed for an Anglican church service.

A long, long procession of bishops and clergy makes its stately way across the rink – with the ice safely removed – to take their place of honour in front of a massed choir numbering over 500 voices. It is religion on the grand scale.

“This is magnificent,” an American visitor whispers to his Toronto host. Then adds, “Of course, this is an Anglican town.”

Was he hallucinating? No. In 1963, it was. Then there were enough Anglicans in Toronto to host the largest world conference that denomination ever held – with delegates from five continents.

Why in 2010 is all that unthinkable? Instead of sponsoring that kind of mega-event, why do Anglican leaders in Toronto have to cope with a report recommending the closing of 15 once thriving parish churches.

To read more, click here.

Please note that the author of this article is NOT advocating any changes in the core message, only the tailoring of worship to changing circumstances.


Reformation said...

As an ex-Canadian reared in the Toronto area, many thanks.

Also, Wycliffe Hall, Un. of Toronto, exercised considerable influence in years past. Roland Harrison, a thoughtful OT scholar, laboured there. W.H. Griffith Thomas also spent time there.

Also, 30 miles to the east, Oshawa, ONT, mother's side. St. George's Anglican Church. St. George's was REC, from 1874-ish to 1921ish, when the American REC's were demanding "black gowns." The Chicago Synod, REC, disagreed. The Canadian churches, long on the surplice and cassock, the old Anglican tradition, said to the American REC, "Enough is enough on this matter." The Canadian REC reapplied to the Canadian, Evangelical Church of Canada in the 1920's. My forbears were in that REC Church in Oshawa, ONT. It still stands.

Wycliffe exercised influence in ONT, but liberalism has emasculated the once virile and manful Anglican Church of Canada.

Robin, quite a discovery in the 1990's by me, to wit, that my forbears were Reformed Episcopalians in Canada from 1874ish till 1924ish. Then the AC of Canada. Granddad and the Great Uncles were long and insistence up Anglican Prayer Book Churchmanship. That's one side of the family.

The other side--thankfully and Confessionally--were Presbyterians. The Presboes "think" and have an "High Theology" unlike the low churchmen in the broad and tractated traditions.

Reformation said...

Robin, as soon as you say "Bloor Street," Toronto, old "synapses" in this dinosaur are activity.

The history of the Canadian Anglicans is a story worth researching.

I would suspect that my Canadian forbears used an adjusted REC Prayer Book, one that accomodated the Royals? (Mum and Dad sang "God Save the King" every morning in public schools in Canada. Also, recitation of the Creed and Lord's Prayer. Ditto for Dad when serving His Majesty's Canadian Navy in WW2, an Anglican Chaplain--whom Dad really loved, although Dad was Presbyterian. Dad said this Anglican was "thoroughly saved" and loved the Bible. )