Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Biblically Faithful and Classically Anglican: An Alternative to the New ACNA Ordinal – Part 2


By Robin G. Jordan

In this two article series I offer an alternative to the new ACNA Ordinal—a conservative modern language revision of the classical Anglican Ordinal annexed to The Book of Common Prayer of 1662. This article, the second in the series, contains the Form of Ordering Presbyters and the Form of Consecrating Bishops. The General Notes, the Preface, and the Form of Making of Deacons may be found in the first article.

Among the most important of the significant changes that the classical Anglican Ordinal makes in the ordination rite is the redefinition of the function of the priest. This redefinition of the priest’s function is implied by the solemn address to those about to be ordained and by the giving of the Bible to the new priest. All sacerdotal language is removed from the ordination rite. So are all the ceremonies and ornaments that suggested a priest is one whose chief function is to offer the sacrifice of the Mass for the living and the dead, or in the words of the Book of Common Prayer 2011 “to make visible Jesus Christ the High Priest, making intercession and offerings on our behalf.” They include giving the new priest a chalice and bread, vesting the new priest in a stole and a chasuble, and anointing the new priest’s hands with oil of chrism. “The Anglican priest is a presbyter, not a sacrificing priest,” D. E. W. Harrison and Michael C. Sansom draw to our attention in Worship in the Church of England. They go on to say:

All the emphasis in the solemn address falls on the pastoral and prophetic aspects of the work of ministry. The space given to this address, itself a new element in the service, is due to the anxiety of the Reformers to make clear the sense in which they understood the function of the priesthood. But their primary intention is made clear by the language of the ordination prayer itself. The bishop prays that those to be ordained may be endued with the grace for ‘the same office and ministry appointed for the salvation of mankind’, which our Lord instituted by sending into the world his apostles, prophets, evangelists, doctors, and pastors.

The Anglican Church, they stress, “ordains to the ministry of the Church of God, and goes back to the New Testament for the understanding of its nature.”

The English Reformers did not find in Scripture a binding pattern of church order. They understood that the gospel establishes and creates the church, not a particular form of church government. They did not align themselves with the error of the Roman Catholic Church, as would the nineteenth century Tractarians and Ritualists. Apostolic succession came from faithfulness to the teaching of the apostles, not an unbroken succession of bishops. John Jewel, Bishop of Salisbury, and author of An Apology for the Church of England, put it this way, “Succession, you say, is the chief way, for any Christian man to avoid antichrist. I grant you, if you mean the succession of doctrine.” Jewel’s Apology, published in 1562, would serve the reformed Church of England as a confession of faith until the adoption of the Thirty-Nine Articles in 1571.

Like the Examination, Exhortation, and Prayers in the Form of Ordering Priests in the classical Anglican Ordinal, the Examination, Exhortation, and Prayers in the Form of Consecrating Bishops emphasizes that the chief function of a bishop is the ministry of God’s Word. For this reason the classical Anglican Ordinal does away with such ceremonies and ornaments as giving a pastoral staff to the new bishop, giving a pectoral cross, ring, and miter to him, and anointing his head with the oil of chrism. Instead the new bishop is given a Bible as the symbol of his new office. He is to pass on the teaching of the apostles as it is set down in the Bible, guarding the good deposit that is entrusted to him. Only the bishop who is faithful in carrying out this task is truly a successor to the apostles.

THE ORDINATION OF PRESBYTERS (COMMONLY KNOWN AS PRIESTS)

On the day appointed by the bishop there shall be a sermon or exhortation on the duties and character of presbyters, the necessity of this office in Christ’s Church, and how the people ought to esteem those who hold the office.

THE PRESENTATION

When the sermon is ended, the minister duly appointed to do so presents to the bishop sitting in his chair near the Holy Table those who are to be ordained presbyters, saying

Reverend father in God, I present to you these persons to be ordained to the office of presbyter.

The bishop says

Take care that the persons you present, by their learning and godly way of life, are suitable to exercise their ministry to the honor of God and the building up of his church.

The minister

I have enquired concerning them; and I have examined them [or and they have been examined.] I believe them fit for this office.

The bishop addresses the people

Good people, we purpose, God willing, to receive today these persons into the holy office of the presbyterate; for after examination I find that they are lawfully called to this function and ministry, and they are persons fit for this office. But if any of you knows any impediment or crime worthy of note in any of these persons, for which he should not be received into this holy ministry, come forward in the name of God and reveal what the crime or impediment is.

If any great crime or impediment is alleged against a candidate, the bishop shall postpone that candidate's ordination until he has satisfied himself that the allegation is without substance or may be properly disregarded.

THE PRAYERS

The bishop then commends the candidates to the prayers of the people and silence is kept. The Litany is sung or said, as is appointed in the Form of Ordering Deacons, save only that the proper Suffrage is said in this form.

Bless your servants now to be ordained to the ministry of presbyter; and to pour your grace upon them, that they may fulfil their ministry for the building up of your Church and the glory of your holy name.
Hear us, good Lord.

Then shall be sung or said the service for the Holy Communion with the Collect as follows.

Almighty God, giver of all good things, by your Holy Spirit you have appointed various orders of ministry in your church. Look in mercy on these your servants now called to the office of presbyter; so fill them with the truth of your doctrine and clothe them with holiness of life, that by word and good example they may faithfully serve you in this office to the glory of your name and for the building up of your church; through the merits of our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. AMEN.

THE READINGS

The Readings are selected from those printed below.

The Old Testament Reading: Genesis 14:18-20; Numbers 11:16-17,24-25; Isaiah 6:1-8; Isaiah 61:1-3a; Jeremiah 1:4-9; or Malachi 2:5-7

The Psalm: 23; 84:1-7; 96:1-5; 96:6-13; 100; or 117

The Epistle: Acts 10:36-43; Acts 20:28-35; Romans 10:9-15; Romans 12:4-12; 2 Corinthians 4:1-2,5-7; 2 Corinthians 5:14-20; Ephesians 3:7-13; Ephesians 4:7-13; or 1 Peter 4:7b-ll

The Gospel: Matthew 9.36-38; Matthew 20:25-28; Matthew 28: 18-20; Mark 10:35-45; Luke 10:1-9; Luke 12:25-40; Luke 22: 14-[20,24-]30; John 10:1-16; John 12:24-26; John 15: 9-17 [or 15b-20]; or John 20:19-23


THE EXAMINATION

After the Gospel the bishop, sitting in his chair, says to the candidates

You have heard, brothers, beforehand in your private examination and now in the sermon and Scripture readings, the high dignity and great important of the office to which you are called. And now again we exhort you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to be ever mindful of the dignity and importance of this office and responsibility that is to be yours. You are called to be messengers, watchmen and stewards of the Lord. You are to teach and to warn; to feed and to nurture the Lord's family; and to seek for Christ's scattered sheep and children in the midst of this disobedient world so that they may be saved through Christ for all eternity.

Remember always just how great a treasure is committed to your charge. They are Christ’s sheep. He purchased them with his death and shed his blood for them. The church and congregation whom you must serve is his bride and his body. If the church or any of its members is hurt or hindered as a result of your negligence, you know the greatness of the fault and the judgment that will follow. Therefore remember what God has called you to do. See that you never cease your labor, your care, and diligence until you have done all that you possibly can, according to your duty, to bring all those who are committed to your care, to that understanding in faith and knowledge of God and to that maturity in Christ, which leaves no place among you for error in doctrine or wrong conduct in life.

Since your office and ministry is both of such great excellence and such great difficulty, you can see how much care and study you need, to show yourself dutiful and thankful to the Lord, who has entrusted you with so great a dignity and so great a responsibility. Take care therefore that you do not offend or cause others to offend. You cannot have such a mind and will by yourselves, for only God can give you that will and ability. You should therefore pray earnestly for his Holy Spirit. And because you cannot perform the difficult task of leading men and women to salvation without the doctrine and guidance of the Holy Scriptures, you should read and study them well, shaping your life and the lives of those for whom you are responsible, according their teaching. And for the same reason, you should put away, as much as possible, all worldly preoccupations and pursuits.

We have good reason to believe that you have given careful consideration to all these matters and that you are clearly determined by God's grace to give yourself wholeheartedly to this office and ministry to which God has been pleased to call you: so that as much as you can, you will devote yourself completely to this one thing; and that you will continually pray to God the Father, by the mediation of our only Savior Jesus Christ, for the heavenly assistance of the Holy Spirit, that through daily reading and meditation on the Scriptures, you will grow in your ministry; and that you may so strive to sanctify the lives of you and yours and shape them according to the rule and teaching of Christ, that you may be godly examples and patterns for the people to follow.

And now, in order that the congregation of Christ's people gathered here may be assured of your intentions to do these things, and in order that your public profession may strengthen your resolve to do your duties, you shall plainly answer these questions which I, in the name of God and his church, now put to you.

Do you believe that you are truly called, according to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ and the order of this Church, to the order and ministry of presbyter?

Answer I do.

The bishop
Are you persuaded that the holy Scriptures contain all doctrine that is necessary for eternal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ? And are you determined to teach the people committed to your care from those Scriptures, and to teach nothing (as required of necessity for eternal salvation) except that which you are persuaded may be proved by the Scriptures?

Answer I am persuaded, and will do so, by God's grace.

The bishop
Will you faithfully minister the doctrine and sacraments, and the discipline of Christ, as the Lord has commanded, and as this Church has received them, according to the commandments of God? And will you teach the people committed to your care to keep and observe them diligently?

Answer I will do so, by the help of the Lord.

The bishop

Will you be ready to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrines that are contrary to God's Word; and to this end will you both publicly and privately warn and encourage all within your care, both the sick and the well, as need requires, and occasion is given?

Answer I will, the Lord being my helper.

The bishop
Will you be diligent in prayer, in the reading of the holy Scriptures, and in those studies that help you to a fuller knowledge of them, and lay aside all pursuits unworthy of your calling as a minister of the Gospel?

Answer I will do so, the Lord being my helper.

The bishop
Will you strive to shape your own lives, and the lives of your families, according to the teaching of Christ; and to make both yourselves and them, as much as you can, good examples to the flock of Christ?

Answer I will, the Lord being my helper.

The bishop
Will you maintain and promote, to the best of your ability, quietness, peace and love among all Christian people, but especially among those are or will be committed to your care?

Answer I will, with the Lord being my helper.

The bishop

Will you reverently obey your Ordinary, and other chief ministers set over you in the church, gladly and willingly following their godly admonitions, and submitting yourself to their godly judgments?

Answer I will, with the Lord being my helper.

The bishop stands and says

Almighty God, who has given you the will to do all these things, grant you strength and power to perform them so that he may complete the work which he has begun in you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.

A short period of silence is kept during which the congregation is asked to pray silently for those to be ordained that they may perform faithfully what they have promised.

THE ORDINATION

The candidates kneel, and the hymn Veni Creator Spiritus, (or a similar hymn to the Holy Spirit) is said or sung.

Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,
and lighten with celestial fire;
thou the anointing Spirit art,
who dost thy sevenfold gifts impart.

Thy blessed unction from above
is comfort, life, and fire of love;
enable with perpetual light
the dullness of our blinded sight.

Anoint and cheer our soiled face
with the abundance of thy grace;
keep far our foes, give peace at home
where thou art guide no ill can come.

Teach us to know the Father, Son,
and thee, of both, to be but One;
that through the ages all along
this may be our endless song:

Praise to thy eternal merit,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


Then the bishop says
Let us pray.

Almighty God and heavenly Father, by your infinite love and goodness you have given us your only and most dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ to be our redeemer and the author of everlasting life. After he had secured our redemption by his death, he ascended into heaven and sent into the world his apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers and pastors, by whose ministry he gathered a great flock in all parts of the world to proclaim the praise of your holy name.

For these great benefits, and because you have called these your servants to the same office and ministry appointed for the salvation of mankind, we give you heartfelt thanks; we praise and worship you; and we humbly implore you, by your blessed Son, to grant that we and all who call upon your name may be continually thankful for these and all your benefits; and that we may daily increase and advance in the knowledge and faith of you and your Son, by the Holy Spirit. So that through these yourministers and those whom they serve, your holy name may be for ever glorified and your blessed kingdom enlarged; through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. AMEN.

The bishops and other ministers present lay their hands on the head of each candidate, kneeling, and the bishop says

[N,] Receive the Holy Spirit [for the office and work of a presbyter in the Church of God, now committed to you by the laying on of our hands.] Whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; whose sins you retain, they are retained. And be a faithful dispenser of the word of God, and of his holy sacraments; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. AMEN.

or

[N] Take authority to execute the office of presbyter in the church of God, now committed to you by the laying on of our hands. And be a faithful dispenser of the word of God, and of his holy sacraments; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. AMEN.

THE GIVING OF THE BIBLE

The bishop, giving to each candidate a Bible, says

Take authority to preach the word of God, and to minister the holy sacraments in the congregation to which you shall be lawfully appointed.

THE COMMUNION

After this, the Nicene Creed is said or sung; and the bishop proceeds with the service of Holy Communion, and those who have been ordained receive the communion together.

After Post-Communion Collects and before the Blessing the following Collects are said.


Most merciful Father, we ask you to send upon these your servants your heavenly blessing; that they be clothed with righteousness and your word spoken by them may have success, that it may be never spoken in vain. Grant also that we may have grace to hear and receive the proclamation of your holy Word and that in all our words and deeds we may seek your glory and the increase of your kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.

Go before us, O Lord, with your most gracious favor and further us with your continual help so that in all our works, begun, continued and ended in you, we may glorify your holy name and at the end by your mercy obtain eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN

The bishop pronounces this Blessing.

The peace of God which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and mind in the knowledge and love of God and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always. AMEN.

If on the same day some are to be made deacons and others to be ordained presbyters, the deacons shall be presented first and then the presbyters. It is sufficient that the Litany be said once for both. The following Collect shall be used.

Almighty God, giver of all good things, by your Holy Spirit you have appointed various orders of ministry in your church. Look in mercy on these your servants now called to the office of deacons and of presbyters; so fill them with the truth of your doctrine and clothe them with holiness of life, that by word and good example they may faithfully serve you in this office to the glory of your name and for the building up of your church; through the merits of our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. AMEN.

Immediately after the Epistle the candidates for the diaconate shall be examined and ordained, as prescribed above.

One of the newly ordained deacons shall read the Gospel.

Then those who are to be ordained presbyters shall likewise be examined and ordained.

After the Post-Communion Prayer(s) and immediately before the Blessing the Collects
‘Almighty God, giver of all good things…’, ‘Most merciful Father, we ask…’, and ‘Go before us, O Lord…’ are said.

THE CONSECRATION OF AN ARCHBISHOP OR BISHOP

After Morning Prayer is ended, the archbishop (or some other bishop appointed), begins the service of Holy Communion with the collect as follows

Almighty God, by your Son Jesus Christ you gave to your apostles many excellent gifts and commanded them to feed your flock. Give grace, we pray, to all bishops, the pastors of your church, that they may diligently preach your Word and rightly teach your people from the same; and grant that your people may obediently follow your Word so that all may receive the crown of everlasting glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.

THE READINGS

The readings are selected from those listed below, and are read by at least two bishops.

The Old Testament Reading: Genesis 14:18-20; Isaiah 52:7-10; or Isaiah 61:1-30

The Psalm: 23, 84:1-7; 96:1-5; Ps. 96:6-13; 100; or 117

The Epistle: Acts 20.17-35; 2 Corinthians 4:1-2,5,7; 2 Corinthians 5:14-20; Ephesians 4:1-13; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; 1 Peter 4:7b-11;or 1 Peter 5:1-4

The Gospel: Matthew 10:1-7; Matthew 28.18-20; Luke 22:14-[20,24-]30; John 10:11-16; Jon 15:9-17 [or15b-20]; John 20.19-23; or John 21.15-17


THE PRESENTATION

After the Nicene Creed and the sermon, the bishop-elect wearing his rochet is presented by two other bishops to the archbishop of the province (or some other bishop appointed by his commission) who is seated in his chair near the holy table. These bishops say

Most reverend father in God, we present to you this godly and learned man to be ordained and consecrated bishop.

The authority for the consecration shall be read, and the bishop elect shall take this oath of conformity to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Anglican Church in North America.

In the name of God. Amen. I N., chosen bishop of the Anglican Church in North America in the diocese of N. do promise conformity and obedience to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Anglican Church in North America: So help me God, through Jesus Christ.

THE PRAYERS

Then the archbishop says

Brothers and sisters, it is written in the Gospel of Luke that our Savior Christ spent a whole night in prayer before he chose and sent out his twelve apostles. It is written also in the Acts of Acts that the disciples who were at Antioch fasted and prayed before they laid hands on Paul and Barnabas and sent them out. Let us therefore, following the example of our Savior Christ and His apostles, give ourselves to prayer before we admit and send out this person presented to us to the work to which we trust the Holy Spirit has called him.

The Litany is sung or said, as is appointed in the Form of Ordering Deacons, save only that the proper Suffrage is said in this form.

Bless this our brother elected to the office of bishop (or archbishop); and pour your grace upon him that he may fulfil his ministry for the building up of your church and the glory of your holy name.
Hear us, good Lord.

The archbishop says this Prayer.

Almighty God, giver of all good things, by your Holy Spirit you have appointed various orders of ministry in your church. Look in mercy on this your servant now called to the work and ministry of a bishop. Fill him with the truth of your word and clothe him with holiness of life so that, both by word and deed, he may faithfully serve you in this office, to the glory of your name, and the building up and well-governing of your church; through the merits of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. AMEN.

THE EXAMINATION

The archbishop, sitting in his chair, says to the bishop-elect

Brother, the holy Scripture and ancient canons command that we should not to be hasty in laying on hands, and admitting anyone to government in the church of Christ, which he has purchased at no less price than the shedding of his blood. Therefore, before I admit you to this ministry, I must examine you in certain matters so that the congregation present may hear how you intend to conduct yourself in the Church of God.

Are you persuaded that you are truly called to this ministry, according to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the order of this Church?

Answer I am.

The archbishop
Are you persuaded that the holy Scriptures contain all doctrine that is necessary for eternal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ? And are you determined to instruct the people committed to your care from those holy Scriptures, and to teach or maintain nothing (as required of necessity for eternal salvation) except that which you are persuaded may be proved by the Scriptures?

Answer I am persuaded and determined, by God's grace.

The archbishop
Will you faithfully study the holy Scriptures and call on God in prayer for the true understanding of them, so that you will be able by them to teach and exhort with wholesome doctrine, and withstand and convince those who deny and contradict them?

Answer I will do so, with the Lord's help.

The archbishop
Are you ready to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrines that are contrary to God's Word; and both privately and publicly call upon and encourage others to do likewise?

Answer I will ready, the Lord being my helper.

The archbishop
Will you deny all ungodliness and worldly desires, and live moderately, righteously and in a godly manner, in this present world; that you may show yourself in all things an example of good works to others, that the adversary may be ashamed, having nothing to say against you?

Answer I will do so, the Lord being my helper.

The archbishop
Will you maintain and promote (as much as lies in your power) quietness, peace and love among all people; and will you correct and discipline, according to the authority you have by God's Word, the disorderly and disobedient and those guilty of offence within your jurisdiction?

Answer I will do so, by the help of God.

The archbishop
Will you be faithful in ordaining, commissioning, and laying hands upon others?

Answer I will be so, by the help of God.

The archbishop
Will you be gentle and merciful for Christ's sake to the poor and the needy, and to all strangers devoid of help?

Answer I will be so, by God’s help.

The archbishop, standing up, says

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who has given you the will to do all these things, grant you strength and power to perform them so that he may complete the work which he has begun in you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.

THE CONSECRATION

Then the bishop-elect puts on the rest of the episcopal vesture; he kneels down, and the hymn Veni Creator Spiritus (or another hymn to the Holy Spirit) is sung or said.

Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,
and lighten with celestial fire;
thou the anointing Spirit art,
who dost thy sevenfold gifts impart.

Thy blessed unction from above
is comfort, life, and fire of love;
enable with perpetual light
the dullness of our blinded sight.

Anoint and cheer our soiled face
with the abundance of thy grace;
keep far our foes, give peace at home
where thou art guide no ill can come.

Teach us to know the Father, Son,
and thee, of both, to be but One;
that through the ages all along
this may be our endless song:

Praise to thy eternal merit,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


The archbishop then says

Lord, hear our prayer.
and let our cry come to you.

Let us pray.

Almighty God and heavenly Father, by your infinite love and goodness you gave your only and most dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ to be our redeemer and the author of everlasting life. After he had secured our redemption by his death and ascended into heaven, he poured down his gifts abundantly on men, making some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some teachers and pastors, to the building up and perfecting of his Church; Grant, O Lord, we implore you, to this your servant such grace, that he may be always ready to spread abroad your Gospel, the good news of reconciliation with you; and to use the authority given him, not for destruction, but for salvation; not to hurt, but to help: so that as a faithful and wise servant set over your household, giving his fellow servants their food at the proper time, he may at the last be received into your everlasting joy through Jesus Christ our Lord who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. AMEN.

Then the archbishop and other bishops present lay their hands on the head of the bishop-elect, as he kneels before them, the archbishop saying

Receive the Holy Spirit [for the office and work of a bishop in the Church of God, now committed to you by the laying on of our hands, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.] And remember to stir up the grace of God given you, by this laying on of our hands, for God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control.

THE GIVING OF THE BIBLE

The archbishop gives the new bishop a Bible saying

Give your attention to reading, exhortation and teaching. Think on the things contained in this Book. Practice them, that the growth which comes by doing so is clearly evident to everyone. Apply these things to yourself, teach them to others, and be diligent in their practice for by so doing you shall both save yourself and those who hear you. Be to the flock of Christ a shepherd, not a wolf; feed them, do not devour them. Support the weak, heal the sick, bind up the broken, restore the outcasts, and seek the lost. Be merciful, without being careless of duty or negligent, and administer discipline with mercy; that when the Chief Shepherd appears you may receive the never-fading crown of glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.

THE COMMUNION

Then the archbishop proceeds with the service of Holy Communion. The newly-consecrated bishop receives the communion with him and the others present.

After Post-Communion Prayer (s), and before the Blessing, these Collects are said:


Most merciful Father, we ask you to send upon this your servant your heavenly blessing. So clothe him with your Holy Spirit that he, preaching your Word, may not only be zealous to admonish, entreat, and rebuke with all patience and sound teaching; but also may to those who believe be a wholesome example, in word, in behavior, in love, in faith, in chastity, and in purity; that faithfully fulfilling his ministry, he may at the last receive the crown of righteousness laid up by the Lord the righteous Judge, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. AMEN.

Go before us, Lord, with your most gracious favor and further us with your continual help so that in all our works, begun, continued and ended in you, we may glorify your holy name and at the end by your mercy obtain eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.

The archbishop pronounces this Blessing.

The peace of God which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always. AMEN.


The Introverted Leader


Even if you struggle to be a "people person," you have much to offer the church.

I am an introvert, and my personality type has fueled a meandering and bumpy journey that has led me in and out of Christian community, both as a layperson and as a pastor. This has been a journey of both self-discovery—as I have been learning how to make peace with my personality and to work out of it instead of against it—and of God-discovery—as I have been growing in my ability to see God's hand in my introverted life and ministry. On this journey I have been regularly accompanied by disappointment and hope, two companions that have worked together to push me onward.

Temperament and Calling

I stand at a mailbox on a street corner in Princeton, New Jersey. As I stare at its familiar blue color, I wear only one winter glove, because the other ungloved hand clutches an envelope. It is a brisk afternoon, with the late winter winds gusting, negating the effects of the sun. New Jersey commuters, hoping to find a nonexistent shortcut through the married-seminary-student neighborhood, pass by me with puzzled glances at this scene.

It is the day that my potential for leadership in the Christian community has come to an end, without ever truly beginning. What I hold in my reddening hand is my resignation letter from the ordination process of my denomination. I have wrestled mightily with this process for four years, and just an hour earlier, I had resolved that I am not called to ordained ministry.

Eight years later, I have come to realize that my death matches in those days were not vocational per se but were primarily temperamental. Even before I began pastoral ministry, I was convinced that my personality excluded me from it. There was no room in ministry for someone of my disposition—or so I thought. In my mind at the time, ideal pastors were gregarious, able to move through crowds effortlessly, and able to quickly turn strangers into friends. They could navigate diverse social circles and chat about any number of topics. They thrived in the presence of people and were energized by conversation and social interaction. Though they could work alone, their pulses quickened when they mingled among the people of their communities. They were charismatic and magnetic, capable of drawing all kinds of people to themselves by virtue of their likeability and able to persuade people to follow them based on charm alone. I saw them surrounded by eager church members, percolating with warmth, streaked with the admiration of their community.

I, by contrast, relished times of solitude, reflection and personal study. I enjoyed people, and I found satisfaction in depth of relationship and conversation, but even when I spent time with people I liked, I looked forward to moments of privacy. I found crowds draining. I could stand up in front of hundreds of people and preach a sermon without nervousness, but I often stumbled through the greeting time afterward because my energy reserves were dry.

Though I did not know this eight years ago, there is a label for this personality feature that I once thought crippled my potential for ministry: introversion. But more than my introverted temperament was involved in producing such agonizing doubts. Partly to blame was the one-dimensional image of leadership that I had constructed. There was an irresolvable conflict between that artificial image and the temperamental characteristics of introverts. I subconsciously believed that ministers and other Christian leaders needed a certain set of personality traits in order to thrive in ministry. I tried to beat and squeeze myself into a mold of leadership instead of becoming the kind of leader that God designed me to be. To read more, click here.

Adam and Eve: Clarifying Again What Is at Stake


Recent evangelical discussion concerning Adam and Eve has served at least one good purpose - it has helped to clarify what is theologically at stake in the debate. The recent report by National Public Radio [NPR] alerted the larger secular culture to the debate, but the debate is hardly new.

What is new, however, is the candid admission on the part of some that the denial of a historical Adam requires a new understanding of the Bible’s basic story - and thus of the Gospel as well.

One of my recent articles, “False Start? The Controversy Over Adam and Eve Heats Up,” made this point clearly. As I argued there, the denial of a historical Adam means not only the rejection of a clear biblical teaching, but also the denial of the biblical doctrine of the Fall, leading to a very different way of telling the story of the Bible and the meaning of the Gospel.

By the way, those who try to deny that Genesis requires the affirmation of a historic Adam as a real and singular human individual (arguing, for example, that the Hebrew word translated “Adam” means only “the man”) must face the fact that the Genesis narrative clearly presents Adam as a singular individual who acts, speaks, marries, reproduces, and is listed even in the genealogy of Jesus. Hebrew vocabulary offers no escape hatch from historicity.

The main point of my “False Start” article, however, was that the denial of a historical Adam severs the essential point made by Paul in Romans 5:

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned-for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. To read more, click here.

Small is the Kingdom big


Americans are obsessed with big things. If something is big, it must be better. It has strength. It has legitimacy. Yet, that's an American value, not a biblical one.

Jesus confused a lot of people when He showed up and announced that the Kingdom of God had come near. Then, he confused even more people when He described it in terms of small things.

The Kingdom of God broke into the world with the birth of Jesus Christ. The Son of God came into the world in an unexpected way, showing up in the form of a baby. In the smallest of packages, the full authority of heaven resided. It happened in the middle of nowhere. The Roman Empire was vast, and the city of Rome was an exquisite crown jewel. Israel was a little province in the middle of nowhere on the eastern side of the Mediterranean, and the little town called Bethlehem was virtually unnoticed by the rest of the world. In the most obscure of places, in the most unlikely of circumstances, the King of kings was born. So when Jesus talked about small things, we ought not to be surprised, because He modeled that in His incarnation. To read more, click here.

Why aren’t we growing?


Tim Sims is a successful businessman and corporate strategist. He has advised many of Australia’s leading companies, was chairman for Australasia/Africa of a major corporate strategy firm, and is the founder and managing director of a high-performing private equity firm. Over the past 30 years he has developed the distinctive ability to burrow down into the facts and details of a company, decipher the brute reality that the data represents, chart a path to improvement and growth, and work with the organization to implement change.

Tim is also an evangelical Christian, and a long-standing member of Christ Church St Ives in Sydney’s north. Over the past two years or so, he has been turning his analytical skills to a different sort of ‘business’—the Anglican Diocese of Sydney. Tim has been driving a research project seeking to understand the current state of Anglican churches in Sydney. Why, he wanted to know, were Sydney Anglican churches (on average) growing no better than the population as a whole? And were there any particular variables or factors that might be the clue to improvement?

Tim’s work, which for convenience I will refer to as ‘the Research Project’, was based on a wide range of sources, including data from the National Church Life Survey and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. He has also conducted extensive interviews and case studies with churches across the Sydney Diocese, and surveyed a large volume of reference literature. (Tim particularly credits the unique depth and longevity of the NCLS data and the support of experts in this field as being important in shaping the findings of the study.)

The Research Project findings have been presented to various groups and meetings around Sydney over the past several months. My aim in this article is to summarize the key points and recommendations, and then to interact with them briefly and foreshadow further thinking that needs to be done. It will by no means be a complete representation of all the research—there is simply not space for that here. And as I present and interact with the analysis, I will be doing so as a Sydney Anglican myself, and thus as anything but an impartial observer.

As I do so, my hope and prayer is that evangelical churches in other parts of Australia and the world will benefit, and derive whatever lessons might be most relevant to their particular situations. To read more. click here.

Seven Things That Leaders Should Never Apologize for


#1 – Never Apologize For Dreaming Big!

We have a HUGE GOD who can do things that are absolutely MIND BLOWING…and if we focus on HIS POWER rather than our limitations we will always be willing to hear what He says and then do it…even though we don’t have all of our questions answered.

He’s God…He wants more for the church than we want for it…ask big!

#2 – Never Apologize For Your Passion!

I once had a guy tell me, “Dude, I think you would be more effective as a leader/communicator if you would just calm down a little.”

Here’s the problem…I can’t! Jeremiah 20:9 is my verse…Jesus began a fire inside of me on May 27, 1990…and it’s only gotten hotter. To read more, click here.

Mark Noll on the Foundation of the Evangelical Mind


Christian scholarship must be rooted in the person and work of Christ, says the Notre Dame historian.

In 1994, Wheaton College historian Mark Noll published The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind—"an epistle from a wounded lover" that decried the anti-intellectualism of evangelical religious culture. Noll's newest book, Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind (Eerdmans, released in August), devotes far less space to criticism and offers instead a foundational vision: The basic truths of Christian faith are the key to Christian scholarship. Christianity Today editor in chief David Neff recently spoke with Noll (now teaching at the University of Notre Dame) about the book.

Although it's not the main subject of Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind, most people will want to know: Are you more optimistic today about the state of the evangelical mind than you were 17 years ago?

I am more optimistic, though not overwhelmingly so. The problems endemic to modern Western culture undercut Christian thinking the same way they undercut every other kind of serious intellectual life. The tendencies among evangelicals that undercut serious reflection are also still pretty strong—for example, the populism and the immediatism, the idea that if there is a problem, we have to solve it right away. To read more, click here.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Society of St. Athanasius announces new web site


Semel Traditae Sanctis Fidei

By Robin G. Jordan

Over the weekend a friend sent me the link to the new web site of the Society of St. Athanasius, an Anglo-Catholic organization in the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA). The Society of St. Athanasius gives the appearance of having been organized to promote Anglo-Catholicism in CANA, the ACNA, and the larger Anglican community.

I was not impressed with the web site. There was no way to skip the Introduction, which was slow to open, initially colorless—monochrome, various shades of gray, and not particularly eye-catching. The site itself was difficult to negotiate. Like the Introduction, the pages were also slow to open. Rather than offering its content in an easily accessible form, the “About Us” page require the visitor to repeatedly press a “down” icon. After a delay two or three more lines of information would appear. The website clearly needs some work.

I persisted. I eventually was able to read the entire page. The page contained this description of members of CANA.

CANA’s members…embody a healthy balance of the Catholic, Evangelical and Charismatic streams of orthodox Anglican Christianity. In CANA, we do not artificially separate the 'three streams' of orthodox Anglicanism into divergent channels or currents, rather we firmly believe in the New Testament principle of synthesis and mutual support within the Body of Christ. A cord woven of intertwined strengths cannot unravel or be broken.

This description of CANA members shows the influence of “three streams” theology. “Three streams” theology holds that in the twentieth century and now the twenty-first century the Holy Spirit is bringing together three theological streams - Catholicism, Pentecostalism, and evangelicalism - and causing a new synthesis of these three disparate theologies. This convergence is taking place in what Archbishop Robert Duncan describes as “American Anglicanism,” in the Anglican Church in North America and its ministry partners.

“Three streams” theology emphasizes Catholic, Pentecostal (or Charismatic) and evangelical piety and practice and does not press doctrine. Like popular North American evangelicalism its theology tends to be shallow and like the Emergent Church movement it is inclined to espouse a "generous orthodoxy" that attempts to combine in a single theology often conflicting Catholic, Pentecostal, and evangelical beliefs.

A leading “three streams” theologian was the late Robert Webber. He wrote a number of books that shaped its thinking.

Other influences include the Third Wave movement in popular evangelicalism and the Emergent Church movement. Those who subscribe to “three streams” theology tend to be very naive in their view of pre-Reformation Christianity and overlook, downplay, and even reject the Protestant Reformation and its English counterpart, the English Reformation and the Elizabethan Settlement.

“Three streams” theology is a form of revisionism. It represents as much a threat to authentic historic Anglicanism as Anglo-Catholicism and liberalism.

The divisions that separate genuine Anglican evangelicalism from Wesleyan Pentecostalism and unreformed Catholicism are not artificial. The supposedly New Testament principle of synthesis to which this description of CANA members refers comes from Hegelian philosophy, not the Bible.

The willingness of an Anglo-Catholic organization to endorse “three-streams” theology is not surprising since those who subscribe to this theology are tolerant and even accepting of unreformed Catholic beliefs and practices. “Three-streams” theology has a tendency to serve as a doorway for Anglo-Catholic doctrines and usages.

The page goes on to claim:

For anyone seeking the 'Faith once delivered to the Saints' (Jude 3) once they come through the door of a CANA community of Christians – whether it is in an historic church building in New England or Virginia or a school building in a growing suburb in the Midwest or South, they are truly ‘home.’

The phrase ‘Faith once delivered to the Saints’ meant on thing to the reformed Church of England and another to the unreformed Roman Catholic Church in the sixteenth century. It means different things to different people to this day. In Anglo-Catholic circles it has become a buzz phrase for Anglo-Catholic beliefs and practices.

The page characterizes Anglo-Catholicism as a “gift.”

The Society of St. Athanasius is the association of CANA parishes, clergy and laity that share the gift of the Catholic Tradition within Anglicanism with our fellow CANA-ites and those interested in our Tradition.

This is an obvious attempt to portray in a positive light what has been since the nineteenth century a concerted effort to undermine the Protestant, Reformed, and evangelical character of the Anglican Church. What is presented as the “Catholic Tradition within Anglicanism” is actually the corrupt unreformed Catholicism of the pre-Reformation Medieval Catholic Church and innovations in doctrine and worship of the post-Tridentian Roman Catholic Church. Anglicanism is a reform movement with its roots in the Protestant Reformation. Anglicanism is catholic in the sense that it “retains the ancient common heritage of Christendom, in a biblical form.” The English Reformers, while valuing this heritage, “used the standard of Scripture, applied by reason, to correct what needed correcting in the church’s inherited forms.” The Anglo-Catholic movement is an offshoot of the nineteenth century Tractarian and Ritualist movements that sought to undo the reforms of the English Reformation, to restore the corrupt unreformed Catholicism of the pre-Reformation Medieval Catholic Church, and to introduce the innovations in doctrine and worship of the post-Tridentian Roman Catholic Church. Rather being a tradition in Anglicanism it is a movement in the Anglican Church opposed to just about everything that authentic historic Anglicanism stands for.

Restoring the corrupt unreformed Catholicism of the pre-Reformation Medieval Catholic Church and introducing the doctrinal and worship innovations of the post-Tridentian Roman Catholic Church is not reform. It is returning to past errors and ushering in new ones. It is an example of a fool repeating his folly (Proverbs 26:11), and of a washed sow returning to wallow in the mire (2 Peter 2:22).

The "About Us" page next describes the mission of CANA.

The Mission of CANA is to provide orthodox clergy and congregations in North America with (a) an episcopate based in North America that has an authentic connection to the Anglican Communion, and (b) an ecclesiastical structure with representative leadership by member clergy and congregations.

Historically orthodoxy in Anglicanism has been defined in terms of adherence to doctrine of the historic Anglican formularies interpreted in accordance with the received opinions of the reformed Church of England. It is evident from the web site’s description of CANA members that some may be orthodox in this sense while others are not. Its description lumps together those who adhere to the doctrine of the formularies with those who do not or who reinterpret their doctrine in the direction of Rome. It affirms theological pluralism.

The page concludes with a description of CANA’s vision.
The Vision of CANA is to be a building block and an incubator that works to build up biblical, orthodox Anglicanism in North America within the next several years.

It is difficult to see how CANA can actually achieve this vision when what it is really promoting is theological pluralism.

The existence of the Society of Athanasius and other organizations like it prompts me to ask: What group is working to advance the cause of authentic historic Anglicanism in North America? Who is championing the historic Anglican formularies? Who is continuing the work of reform that the English Reformers began? Who is seeking to ensure that the church having been reformed stays reformed?

Irene Death Toll Jumps to 40; Flood Warnings Still in Effect


The death toll from Hurricane Irene has jumped to 40 as more people were pulled out of floodwaters, according to new reports.

The latest number is nearly double what was reported on Sunday, according to ABC News.

Millions of residents in 11 states were affected by Irene as it roared across the East Coast after making landfall in North Carolina Saturday morning. Though it arrived on the U.S. coast as a Category 1 storm, Irene still left billions of dollars in damage and dozens of people dead.

According to the National Weather Service, flooding continues in New England, New York and New Jersey due to heavy rainfall from Irene and most rivers have either crested or are expected to crest Tuesday.

Flash flood watches and warnings are still in effect.

For Vermont, Irene caused the state's worst flooding since the Great Flood of 1927. To read more, click here.

Related article: Irene's toll jumps to 38; Vt. towns battle floods

As a former Louisianian who experienced the fury of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, I do not have to imagine what those whose communities have been devastated by Hurricane Irene are going through. They need our prayers and our help.

Six Years After Katrina: Hurricane Lessons Shared With Irene's Victims


Sixth Anniversary of Katrina Brings to Mind Slow Response

As the East Coast copes with the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, many southerners somberly remember Hurricane Katrina. It's hard to believe, but six years ago on Aug. 29, the relentless power of Katrina washed up from the Gulf of Mexico wiping out entire communities and cities.

Today marks the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the most costly disaster in United States history, costing more than $81 billion in damages. There are few residents that do not remember that Katrina devastated multiple states with 135 mph winds and an unyielding 30-foot storm surge killing at least 1,836 people.

The actual hurricane and in the subsequent floods, made Katrina the deadliest U.S. hurricane since the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane. Estimated damages from Irene are already at $8 to $15 billion in six states.

There are many reasons why Katrina still brings a mixed bag of emotions to the Gulf Coast region. Some remember the day as a time to begin building bigger and better, while others believe the areas hit by Katrina will never fully recover. Whatever the memory, most will agree that the lessons learned after Katrina can be shared with those recovering from Irene today.

Today, the recovery and rebuilding process continues, but constant reminders remain scattered throughout the region in the form of cement slabs, vacant buildings, and empty neighborhoods.

Katrina memorials stand tall along the Gulf Coast marking the tragedy felt by so many. It is with God's strength, good neighbors, and the memorials that locals find their way through life these days. Christian recovery groups continue to flock to the Gulf Coast region to help families rebuild their homes. To read more, click here.

Catching Up with the Twenty-First Century


Trail church taps into the Internet

A Trail church is embracing technology and going live with its message.

St. Andrew’s Anglican Church has adopted a range of Internet technology – such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter – along with a revamped website and a new landing pad site that gives people a taste of what the church has to offer.

“There is this impression that the church is just stuck in the past so we decided it was time to make an effort to show that’s not the case,” said Canon Neil Elliot, a self-descried technology geek. “The case is it isn’t boring and it’s fun and meaningful.” To read more, click here.

Anglican churches could make better use of the Internet at all levels.

Anti-Anglican Attack on Sydney Diocese


Dr Muriel Porter's attack on Sydney Diocese is fundamentally anti-Anglican. That is manifest from her complaint about the Ministry Training Strategy which the Very Reverend Phillip Jensen, now Dean of St Andrew's Cathedral in Sydney, set up in the late 1970s when he was a parochial incumbent.

In her book about the threat Sydney Diocese allegedly poses to world Anglicanism, an extract from which has just been published by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Dr Porter complains that 'MTS has been the primary recruiting ground for all Sydney clergy, a pathway strengthened by Phillip Jensen's 2003 appointment as director of Ministry, Training and Development, the diocese's department for the training of clergy'.

In essence, Dr Porter is complaining that God has blessed a ministry training programme within an Anglican diocese that has sought to identify men and women with Bible teaching gifts, to support and nurture those individuals in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, and then to encourage them into full-time Christian service. To read more, click here.

'Suitcase' Nuclear Reactors to Power Mars Colonies


Nuclear power is an emotive subject -- particularly in the wake of the Fukushima power plant disaster after Japan's March earthquake and tsunami -- but in space, it may be an essential component of spreading mankind beyond terrestrial shores.

On Monday, at the 242nd National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Denver, Colo., the future face of space nuclear power was described. You can forget the huge reactor buildings, cooling towers and hundreds of workers, the first nuclear reactors to be landed on alien worlds to support human settlement will be tiny.

Think less "building sized" and more "suitcase sized." To read more, click here.


Ordinariate Watch: Episcopal Church: Declining Numbers and the Anglican Ordinariate


David Virtue of Virtue Online has been crunching numbers, trying to confirm claims of The Episcopal Church to having 2.3 million members. Virtue believes that many on the rolls are dead, have left the church or attend only a couple of times a year.

While membership is a valid statistic, the real question focuses upon how many people are actually attending services. What is the "average Sunday attendance (ASA)?"

The Episcopal Church (TEC) claims to have 6,825 parishes active in the United States. Of that number, Virtue's staff discovered that over 2, 000 of those parishes have a demographic with the majority at age 60 plus. In addition, more than 2,200 parishes (around one third) have an average Sunday attendance (ASA) of 40 people of less. Another 2,300 parishes are between 41 and 100 people. To read more, click here.

An evangelical awakening?! Sounds like wishful thinking.

Why Are We Surprised With the Push for 'Pedophile Rights'


Many Americans have been shocked by reports about a recent pro-pedophilia conference in Baltimore in which psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, representing institutions like Harvard and Johns Hopkins, sought to present pedophilia in a sympathetic and even positive light. But why should this surprise us?

Academic articles in scholarly journals have been presenting pedophilia in a sympathetic light for years, and, as Matthew Cullinan Hoffman noted, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) released a report in 1998 “claiming that the ‘negative potential’ of adult sex with children was ‘overstated’ and that ‘the vast majority of both men and women reported no negative sexual effects from their child sexual abuse experiences.’ It even claimed that large numbers of the victims reported that their experiences were ‘positive,’ and suggested that the phrase ‘child sex abuse’ be replaced with ‘adult-child sex.’” Others have coined the more disgusting term “intergenerational intimacy.”

The APA’s report was so disturbing that it drew an official rebuke from Congress, yet the pro-pedophile (or, pro-pederast) push continues. In fact, some psychiatric leaders, like Dr. Richard Green, who were instrumental in removing homosexuality from the APA’s list of mental disorders in 1973, have been fighting to remove pedophilia as well. To read more, click here.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Biblically Faithful and Classically Anglican: An Alternative to the New ACNA Ordinal – Part 1


By Robin G. Jordan

In a recent series of articles I have drawn attention to a number of defects of the new ACNA Ordinal and to its questionable legality. In this two article series I offer an alternative to the new ACNA Ordinal—a conservative modern language revision of the classical Anglican Ordinal annexed to The Book of Common Prayer of 1662. The rendering of Tudor English into contemporary idiom does necessitate some changes in the texts of the Ordinal. Consequently it is more accurate to describe the result as a revision rather than a translation. Other changes include the substitution of the addition of an alternative formula for use at the imposition of hands in the ordination of priests and the elimination of the reference to “inferior office” from the collect “Almighty God, giver of all good things…” in the ordination of deacons. The 1552 supplication for “all bishops, pastors, and ministers” has been restored to the Litany in recognition that in today’s church Christian ministry is not confined to the offices of bishop, priest, and deacon. The 1662 additions to the formulae at the imposition of hands at the ordination of priests and the consecration of bishops may be omitted, and the 1552 formulae may be used. Otherwise, this edition of the Ordinal sticks closely to the language, doctrine, structure, and liturgical usages of the classical Anglican Ordinal. It is an edition of the Ordinal that is entirely in line with the historic Anglican formularies as the long-recognized doctrinal standard of Anglicanism and with the Jerusalem Declaration and its affirmation of these formularies.

THE ORDINAL

The primary source for this edition of the Ordinal is the classical Anglican Ordinal that is annexed to The Book of Common Prayer of 1662. The alternative formula for use at the imposition of hands in the ordination of a priest comes from the 1792 American Ordinal. A number of the modern language versions of the texts were adapted or taken from An Australian Prayer Book (1978) and An English Prayer Book (1994).

The structure of this edition is modeled upon that of the classical Anglican Ordinal. The essential rite of the ordination service is the public laying on of hands and prayer as in the New Testament and the early Church. To this rite is added a solemn address defining the function of the office to which the candidates are to be ordained and a detailed examination and instruction of the candidates for each office. After their ordination the candidates are given the symbol of their office, the New Testament to deacons and the Bible to priests and bishops.

For the Old Testament Reading, the Psalm, the Epistle, and the Gospel Reading this edition consulted An Australian Prayer Book (1978). The Epistle and Gospel Readings listed include the traditional readings from the classical Anglican Ordinal.

Words in square brackets may be omitted.

Words in bold type are said or sung by the congregation except where otherwise indicated.

Italics are used in places where plural words or expressions may be substituted for singular or vice versa.

THE PREFACE

It is evident to all diligently reading holy Scripture and ancient Authors, that from the Apostles' time there have been these Orders of Ministers in Christ's Church: Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. These offices were lways had in such reverend estimation, that no one might presume to execute any of them, except they were first called, tried, examined, and known to have such qualities as are requisite for the same; and also by public Prayer, with Imposition of Hands, were approved and admitted thereto by lawful authority. And therefore, to the intent that these Orders may be continued, and reverently used and esteemed, in this Church; no one shall be accounted or taken to be a lawful Bishop, Priest, or Deacon in this Church, or permitted to execute any of the said functions, except they be called, tried, examined, and admitted thereto, according to the Form hereafter following, or otherwise has been properly consecrated or ordained.

And none shall be admitted a Deacon, Priest, or Bishop, except they be of the age which the Canon in that case provided may require.

And the Bishop, knowing either by himself, or by sufficient testimony, any person to be of virtuous behavior, and without crime; and after examination and trial finding him sufficiently instructed in the Holy Scripture, and otherwise learned as the Canons require, may in the Ember Seasons, or upon some other day, in the presence of the Church, admit that person a Deacon, in such manner and form as hereafter follows.


THE MAKING OF DEACONS

On the day appointed by the bishop there shall be a sermon or exhortation on the duties and character of deacons, the necessity of this office in Christ’s Church, and how the people ought to esteem those who hold the office.

THE PRESENTATION

When the sermon is ended, the minister duly appointed to do so presents to the bishop sitting in his chair near the Holy Table those who are to be made deacons that day, saying

Reverend father in God, I present to you these persons to be admitted as deacons.

The bishop says

Have you made sure that the persons you present are suited by their knowledge of Scripture and godly way of life to exercise their ministry to the honor of God and the building up of his church?

The minister

I have enquired concerning them, and I have examined them [or and they have been examined.] I believe them fit for this office.

Then the bishop addresses the people

Brothers and sisters, if any of you knows any impediment or crime worthy of note in any of these persons to be made deacons, for which he should not be admitted to that office, come forward in the name of God and reveal what the crime or impediment is.

If any great crime or impediment is alleged against a candidate, the bishop shall postpone that candidate's ordination until he has satisfied himself that the allegation is without substance or may be properly disregarded.

THE PRAYERS

The bishop then commends the candidates to the prayers of the people and silence is kept. The Litany is sung or said, as follows.

God the Father, Creator of heaven and earth,
have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit, Giver of life,
have mercy on us.

Holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, three Persons and one God,
have mercy on us.

Remember not, Lord, our offences or the offences of our forebears; spare us, good Lord; spare your people, whom you have redeemed with your most precious blood.
Spare us, good Lord.

From all evil and harm; from sin; from the craft and assaults of the devil; from your wrath, and from everlasting damnation,
Good Lord, deliver us.

From all spiritual blindness; from pride, vainglory, and hypocrisy; from envy, hatred, and malice, and all uncharitableness,
Good Lord, deliver us.

From fornication, and all other deadly sin; and from all the deceits of the world, the flesh, and the devil,
Good Lord, deliver us.

From lightning and tempest; from earthquake, fire, and flood; from plague, pestilence, and famine; from war and murder, and from sudden death,
Good Lord, deliver us.

From all sedition, secret conspiracy, and rebellion; from all false doctrine, heresy, and schism; from hardness of heart, and contempt for your Word and Commandments,
Good Lord, deliver us.

By the mystery of your holy Incarnation; by your holy Birth; by your Circumcision and obedience to the Law; by your Baptism, Fasting, and Temptation,
Good Lord, deliver us.

By your Agony and bloody Sweat; by your Cross and Passion; by your precious Death and Burial; by your glorious Resurrection and Ascension; and by the coming of the Holy Spirit,
Good Lord, deliver us.

In times of trouble and in times of our prosperity; in the hour of death, and on the day of judgement,
Good Lord, deliver us.

Hear our prayers, O Lord our God.
Hear us good Lord.

Guide and govern your holy Church, fill it with love and truth, and grant it the unity that is your will, binding it together with your Spirit.
Hear us, good Lord.

Give your Church boldness to preach the gospel in all the world, and to make disciples of all the nations.
Hear us, good Lord.

Enlighten the minds of all bishops, pastors, and ministers with true knowledge and understanding of your holy Word; that in their teaching and their lives they may declare it clearly and show its truth.
Hear us, good Lord.

Bless your servants now to be ordained to the ministry of deacon; and to pour your grace upon them, that they may fulfil their ministry for the building up of your Church and the glory of your holy name.
Hear us, good Lord.

Bless and keep all your people, that all may find and follow their true vocation and ministry.
Hear us, good Lord.

Give us a heart to love and reverence you, that we may diligently live according to your commandments;
Hear us, good Lord.

Give to all your people grace to hear and receive your Word, and to bring forth the fruit of the Spirit.
Hear us, good Lord.

Bring into the way of truth all who have erred and are deceived.
Hear us, good Lord.

Strengthen those who stand, and comfort and encourage the faint-hearted, raise up those who fall; and finally beat down Satan under our feet.
Hear us, good Lord.

Give to all nations unity, peace, and concord; and give to everyone in your world dignity, food, and shelter.
Hear us, good Lord.

Bless and protect your servant, the President of the United States, and rule his heart in your faith, reverence, and love; that above all things he may have trust in you, and seek your honour and glory.
Hear us, good Lord.

Endue with grace, wisdom and understanding the members of the Cabinet, the Congress of the United States, the Supreme Court, the Governor of this State (or Commonwealth), and all in authority.
Hear us, good Lord.

Bless and keep all judges and magistrates, giving them grace to administer justice with fairness and mercy and to maintain integrity and truth.
Hear us, good Lord.

Bless and defend all who strive for our safety and protection, and shield them in all dangers and adversities.
Hear us, good Lord.

Grant us abundant harvests of the earth and the sea; strength and skill to conserve the resources of our planet; and wisdom to use them well and for the benefit of all.
Hear us, good Lord.

Enlighten with your Spirit all places of education and learning.
Hear us, good Lord.

Protect all who travel by land, water, or air, all women in labour, all sick persons and young children.
Hear us, good Lord.

Help and comfort the bereaved, the aged, and the lonely, and show your pity on all prisoners, captives, and detainees.
Hear us, good Lord.

Defend and provide for the widowed and the fatherless, the refugees and the homeless, and all who are desolate and oppressed.
Hear us, good Lord.

Heal those who are sick in body, mind or spirit; and give skill and compassion to all who care for them.
Hear us, good Lord.

Come to the help all who are in danger, need or trouble.
Hear us, good Lord.

Have mercy on all people.
Hear us, good Lord.

Forgive our enemies, persecutors, and slanderers, and turn their hearts.
Hear us, good Lord.

Grant us true repentance; forgive our sins, negligences, and ignorances; and strengthen us by your Holy Spirit to amend our lives according to your holy Word.
Hear us, good Lord.

Son of God, we implore you to hear us.
Son of God, we implore you to hear us.

Jesus, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world;
have mercy on us.

Jesus, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world;
grant us your peace.

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. AMEN.

or

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. AMEN.

Then shall be sung or said the service for the Holy Communion with the Collect as follows.

Almighty God, by your divine providence you have appointed various orders of ministry in your church, and did inspire your apostles to choose for the order of deacons the first martyr Saint Stephen, with others. Look in mercy on these your servants called to this office and responsibility, so fill them with the truth of your doctrine and clothe them with holiness of life, that by word and good example they may faithfully serve you in this office to the glory of your name and building up of your church through the merits of our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit now and for ever. AMEN.

THE READINGS

The Readings are selected from those printed below.

The Old Testament Reading: Numbers 11:16-17,24-25; Isaiah 6:1-8; Isaiah 61:1-3a; or Jeremiah 1:4-9

The Psalm: 23; 84:1-7; 96:1-5; 96:6-13; 100; or 117

The Epistle: Acts 6:1-7a; Acts 6:8-15; Acts 8:26-40; Romans 12:1-8; or Romans 12:4-12; or 1 Timothy 3:8-13

The Gospel: Matthew 20:25-28; Mark 10:35-45; or Luke 22:14-[20,24-] 30; or Luke 12:35-40.


THE EXAMINATION

Before the Gospel the bishop, sitting in his chair, examines in the presence of the people each one of those to be ordained.

Do you believe that you are inwardly moved by the Holy Spirit to take upon you this office and ministry, to serve God for the promoting of his glory, and the building up of his people?

Answer I believe so.

The bishop
Do you think that you are truly called according to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the order of this Church, to the ministry of the Church?

Answer I think so.

The bishop
Do you sincerely believe all the canonical scriptures of the Old and New Testament?

Answer I do believe them.

The bishop
Will you diligently read them to the people assembled in the church where you will be appointed to serve?

Answer I will.

The bishop

It pertains to the office of deacon in the church where he is appointed to serve to assist the priest in Divine Service, and especially when he administers the Holy Communion, and to help him in the distribution of the Holy Communion; to read the holy Scriptures in the church; to give instruction to young people in the Christian faith as contained in the Church Catechism; in the absence of the priest to baptize infants; and to preach, if licensed to do so by the bishop. In addition it is the office of deacon, where provision is so made, to seek out the sick and needy of the parish and to inform the priest so that they may be assisted by the parishioners and others. Will you do this gladly and willingly?

Answer I will do so, by the help of God.

The bishop
Will you strive to shape your own lives, and the lives of your families, according to the teaching of Christ; and to make both yourselves and them, as much as you can, good examples to the flock of Christ?

Answer I will do so, the Lord being my helper.

The bishop

Will you reverently obey your Ordinary, and other chief ministers of the Church, and those set over you in the church, gladly and willingly following their godly admonitions?

Answer I will endeavor to do so, the Lord being my helper.

THE ORDINATION

Then the bishop lays his hands on the head of each one who is to be ordained, the candidates kneeling and the bishop saying

[N,] Take authority to execute the office of a deacon in the church of God, now committed to you; in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. AMEN.

THE GIVING OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

Then the bishop gives to everyone of them the New Testament saying

Take authority to read the Gospel in the Church of God, and to preach the same, if you are so licensed by the bishop.

THE GOSPEL

Then one of the newly ordained deacons, appointed by the bishop, reads the Gospel.

THE COMMUNION

The bishop proceeds with the Holy Communion, and those who have been ordained shall receive the communion with him.

After the Post-Communion Prayer(s), and immediately before the Blessing, these Collects are said.


Almighty God, giver of all good things, in your goodness you have been pleased to accept these your servants into the office of deacons in your church. Make them, we pray, O Lord, modest, humble and faithful in their ministry, ready to observe every spiritual discipline. Give them the testimony of a good conscience and enable them to continue stable and strong in this ministry; through your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, to whom be glory and honor now and for ever. AMEN.

Go before us, O Lord, with your most gracious favor and further us with your continual help so that in all our works begun, continued and ended in you, we may glorify your holy name and at the end by your mercy obtain eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.

The bishop pronounces this Blessing.

The peace of God which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and mind in the knowledge and love of God and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be upon you and remain with you always. AMEN.

To read "Biblically Faithful and Classically Anglican: An Alternative to the New ACNA Ordinal – Part 2," click here.

Nigerian Army Said to Help in Slaughter of Christians


Plateau state governor fears alleged involvement of soldiers sets dangerous precedent

Muslim extremists with the alleged help of Nigerian army personnel killed 24 Christians this month in central Nigeria’s Plateau state, area sources said.

The attacks started Aug. 11 in Ratsa Foron village, where assaults that day and on Aug. 15 left six Christians dead; also on Aug. 15 in Heipang village, Muslim extremists killed nine members of one Christian family along with another Christian, the sources said.

“They were in army uniform. I even know some of them; they came along with the Muslims to attack us,” said a tearful Nnaji John, who lost her family in the attack. “I can swear to God Almighty that the attack was carried out with the support of the soldiers; I saw them.”

Attacks on Aug. 21 in Kwi, Loton, and Jwol villages killed six more Christians, said the sources, who added that Nigerian army soldiers participated in the assaults or at least accompanied the assailants.

In the community of Chwelnyap in Jos on Aug. 14, Muslim extremists killed two Christians and injured one woman, the area sources said.

Chollom Gyangof Chwelnyap confirmed that the Aug. 14 attack on his neighborhood was carried out with the support or tacit approval of Muslims in the army’s Special Task Force (STF), a unit designed to stop sectarian attacks. To read more, click here.

Free cafe in Seaton inspired by loaves and fishes story


Inside the FREEdom cafe in the Devon seaside town of Seaton is a poster which reads: "Two thousand years ago a friend of mine fed a crowd of people he cared for lunch.

"The loaves and fishes went down a treat. He's doing the same today only its called FREEdom café."

Mary Casey, who started the cafe nearly two years ago, said: "That to me is exactly what sums it up, that's what I am, a Christian trying to live out God's message of love for everyone in today's world."

Mrs Casey runs the community cafe on the third Saturday morning of each month at St Gregory's Church in Seaton.

In a part of the UK not short of tea shops and country pubs, the cafe has a USP - everything on offer is completely free of charge. To read more, click here.

Related article: FREEdom café

To visit the fresh expressions web site, click here.

12 Unconventional Church Planting Principles From … North Korea?


An American pastor has set forth 12 unconventional – even seemingly counterproductive – church planting principles that he learned from a highly unlikely source – North Korea, where the Christian community is completely underground.

Pastor Eric Foley, who has worked for ten years with North Korean underground Christians, says the way church is done in America would get a believer in North Korea immediately killed or imprisoned. Yet despite having to hide their faith, North Korean Christians have a lot to teach American Christians when it comes to church life.

“The major difference that we note between the development of discipleship practices in the free world, in the West or countries like South Korea, is that discipleship practices really do rely on a freedom of religion that takes the form of being able to develop people in a specially purposed building, with a specifically full-time trained pastor, and an abundance of resources,” said Foley, who is pastor of .W Evangelical Church of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Seoul, South Korea, to The Christian Post.

“Those things are absent in the persecuted church mostly, but certainly specifically in North Korea.”

In North Korea, citizens discovered to be Christians are thrown indefinitely into hard labor camps without trial, and some have been even publicly executed for their faith.

Last May, North Korea reportedly executed three leaders of the underground church and jailed 20 other Christians, according to AsiaNews. North Korean police raided a house in Kuwal-dong in Pyungsung county, Pyongan province, and arrested all 23 believers who were gathered there for religious activity.To read more, click here.

Moves to keep church


All Saints Church at Upper Orara should be the focus of a heritage conservation area, Bob Bray-Ferguson has told Coffs Harbour City councillors.

Mr Bray-Ferguson addressed the councillors at Thursday’s meeting, saying a committee had been established at Upper Orara to save the historic church and to keep it in situ.

He said the committee wanted the church to be part of a heritage conservation area which included the adjacent Upper Orara Hall and Upper Orara Cenotaph.

“It is a heritage-listed building alongside other heritage listed sites,” Mr Bray-Ferguson said.

“Upper Orara is a friendly place and the people are very supportive ... it’s a little piece of paradise.

"If (the church) is removed it will be like a smile with the front tooth missing,” Mr Bray-Ferguson said. To read more, click here.