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...
- This week's Anglican Communion news
- Anglican Life
- Former lawyer appointed new General Secretary of Papua New Guinea Church Partnership
- UK Queen’s chaplain Revd. Canon Prof. Paul Avis, guest speaker at Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui’s 2010 Peter Kwong Theological Lecture Series
- Video - Welcome to Papua New Guinea! Watch a great documentary on Anglican life in PNG here
- Comment - Adrian Blenkinsop: How and why do young people engage with the Bible?
- Publication of the Week – The Voice of the Gospel. The quarterly magazine of the Episcopal Church of Sudan. See it here.
- Bookshelf – A House Divided – The Quest for Unity within Anglicanism by Tom Frame
- The coming week's Anglican Cycle of Prayer.
THE WEEK'S NEWS
New PNGCP General Secretary
The new General Secretary of Papua New Guinea Church Partnership has now been appointed. Louise Ewington was brought up in Papua New Guinea, where she lived in Arawa on Bougainville Island, with her parents John and Sarah Ewington.
Before accepting this position she was a financial services litigator for an international law firm. However, she was also one of their Community Investment Managers. Louise helped to develop and implement Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives for the firm, and it was her interest in that work which prompted the decision to transfer permanently into the third sector.
"As many of you will know, once you have spent time in PNG it gets into your system. So, when I heard about this vacancy I knew that it would be the ideal job for me. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all those who have sent greetings and good wishes, particularly to those who have been such a support during this transition period."
It has not taken Louise long to get to grips with the job. She has already made one visit there and this week issued her first newsletter Bung Wantaim.
"The premise on which PNGCP was founded is that of support, friendship, and togetherness between the UK and the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea (ACPNG). That is the reason why I chose Bung Wantaim (everyone together) as the title for our newsletter, and I think it is important for us to keep that objective in our sights.
One of the reports contained in it describes the Installation of the new Anglican Archbishop of Papua New Guinea, Joe Kopapa. It was a joyous manifestation of the new phase that ACPNG is also moving into, and I was hugely encouraged and excited by the atmosphere of togetherness that the House of Bishops, the Diocesan Secretaries, and the National Office staff exuded during my time with them. By working within an environment of open communication and transparent reporting both we and ACPNG can operate as organisations which are recognised for their integrity and efficiency."
You can contact Louise for more information at email@example.com or +44 (0)207 313 3918. Or you can write to her at PNGCP, Anglican Communion Office, St Andrew’s House, 16 Tavistock Crescent, London, W11 1AP.
UK Queen's chaplain to lead Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Lectures
The Chaplain to the Queen Elizabeth II, Canon Paul Avis is the guest speaker at Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui's 2010 Peter K K Kwong Theological Lecture Series in November. The purpose of the series is to enable Christians to deepend their understanding and exploration of Anglican theology and tradition.
A statement by Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui said: "We have now entered the second decade of our life together as a province, and the dioceses of Eastern Kowloon and Western Kowloon have established their own cathedrals. As the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui moves into the future, and as the churches of the Anglican Communion move in different directions, the theme of our lecture series in an occasion to deepen our theological reflection around common concerns."
Lecture titles include 'Contextual and Universal: The Witness of the Cathedral - Rooting, Relating and Renewing', 'The Future of the Anglican Communion' and 'Incarnation and Anglican Theology'.
Paul Avis is an Anglican priest, theologian and ecumenist. He is General Secretary of the Church of England's Council for Christian Unity and honorary Professor of Theology and Director of the Centre for the Study of the Christian Church at the University of Exeter, UK. He also serves as Canon Theologian of Exeter Cathedral and Convening Editor of the journal Ecclesiology.
Anglican life in Papua New Guinea
Don't miss this chance to watch Steve Ramsden's comprehensive and interesting 40-minute documentary about the work of Anglicans in Papua New Guinea. It was shot in May/June 2010 and produced by the Papua New Guinea Church Partnership UK. Click here to visit the YouTube site.
How and why do young people engage with the Bible?
By Adrian Blenkinsop (in the Guardian - the Newspaper of the Anglican Diocese of Adelaide)
We know the Bible is a vital part of living as a follower of Christ, and that God speaks to us through his word. There is no doubt that the Bible is integral to leadership, discipleship and simply making sense of this world, yet amongst young people who regularly attend a youth group, less than 4% are regularly reading it.
To address this crisis, the Bible Society in South Australia has initiated the most comprehensive national research ever undertaken into how and why young people engage with the Bible. With partner organisations Anglican Youthworks, The Salvation Army, Scripture Union Australia, and the Lutheran Church of Australia, Bible Society SA has commissioned Philip Hughes (Christian Research Australia) to research a number of critical issues regarding youth culture and Bible engagement in Australia.
So who is reading the Bible?
We know that amongst Australia people (aged 13-24) about 70 per cent never read the Bible. Of those youth who read the Bible daily or weekly, most do so in the context of community. They read and interact with the Bible as a part of a small group, generally with their peers and a leader or mentor. Those who read it frequently are mostly involved in Protestant Evangelical or Charismatic denominations, such as the Pentecostals, Baptists, Lutherans, and Seventh-day Adventists.
Attitudes to reading the Bible
Most of those who read the Bible frequently have made a personal commitment to God and expect God to give definite answers to their prayers and specific guidance for their life. They are reading the Bible as a means of communication, expecting God to speak to speak to them through the Bible. There are many young people who turn tto the Bible when life is not going well, and look for comfort and hope within the text when they are 'hurting deep inside'.
For the majority of young Australians, however, the Bible is simply not 'on their radar'. It is not something they think about. Many of these young people feel the stories in the Bible are 'unbelievable'. They are not sure that God exists, let alone the likelihood that he acts within our world. Therefore they find the Bible difficult to understand, and sometimes contradictory. So most young people experience the Bible as not able to engage with the questions of life that are important to them.
What are the barriers to reading the Bible?
When asked about the barriers to reading the Bible, the are there key issues that emerge. Young people have questions about the meaning of the text that remain unanswered; they would like more involvement and group discussion to express their own thoughts and hear other opinions; and young people respond more positively when the emphasis is on topics which affect their lives and contemporary society.
So where from here?
In the next stage of the research, focus group interviews will be conducted with young people across the country - in every state, in both city and country areas, and covering most major denomination. One of the aims of this new research is to explore what young people think the purpose of the Bible is. Are they approaching it as a book of history, a book of morals, a source of personal encouragement, a set of narratives to shape a worldview, or the record of salvation history?
The research will also reveal what resources, youth events, media and practises ARE effective in engaging youth with the Bible, and the ways youth leaders and denominations are supporting - or not supporting - youth Bible engagement. This research is now underway, with the final results due in November this year. We believe that this body of research will provide denominations and mission organisations in Australia with a clear picture of Australian youth culture and the bible, so we can respond to this crisis in effective and culture-shifting ways.
If you would like more information on this research as its is undertaken, or a full copy of the stage 1 research, please contact me at Bible Society SA at firstname.lastname@example.org
PUBLICATION OF THE WEEK
(Each week ACNS features a publication from a Communion Network, group, society, Province, diocese or parish)
This week we feature The Voice of the Gospel, the quarterly magazine of the Episcopal Church of Sudan http://issuu.com/sudanlink/docs/votg_5 as much for its presentation as content. One reason to take a second glance at this publication is that it can be found as an e-magazine on the online publishing site http://issuu.com where visitors can flick through the magazine on the screen as if it were a paper copy in front of them.
Articles that appear in this quarter's edition include UK Prime Minister's letter to Archbishop Deng, Archbishop's keynote address in Lakes State, ECS Standing Committee Meeting, and House of Bishops, Clergy and Laity Issue Statement on Sudan in Rumbek.
Review: A house divided? The quest for unity within Anglicanism, by Tom Frame, (Acorn Press $39.99)
by Ian Breward in The Melbourne Anglican
This is an important book, which should be read by all Anglicans concerned about the future of their church in Australia. Bishop Frame has made a number of well-argued proposals, for he believes that there are corrosive changes taking place in Australia, which will seriously undermine the place of the Anglican Church. Unless it alters its priorities and ethos, he believes that it will only have a future in the major cities. It must re-assess its heritage, develop a new dynamic and frankly recognise that increasing numbers of Australians are quite unattracted by current Christianity.
For the whole review click here
ANGLICAN CYCLE OF PRAYER (click the link to access the full ACP)
- Friday 22 Oct - Iowa - (Province VI, USA) The Rt Revd Alan Scarfe
- Saturday 23 Oct - Iran - (Middle East) The Rt Revd Azad Marshall
- Sunday 24 Oct - Pray for the office of the Anglican Observer at the United Nations, New York, and the Anglican UN Advisory team in Geneva,
- Monday 25 Oct - Irele - Eseodo - (Nigeria) The Rt Revd Felix O Akinbuluma
- Tuesday 26 Oct - Isial-Ngwa South - (Province of Niger Delta, Nigeria) The Rt Revd Isaac Nwaobia
- Wednesday 27 Oct - Isiala - Ngwa - (Province of Niger Delta, Nigeria) The Rt Revd Owen Nwankujuobi Azubuike
- Thursday 28 October - Isikwuato - (Province of Niger Delta, Nigeria) The Rt Revd Samuel Chukuka
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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.