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
- Audio - A feast for the ears: Church Mission Society's (CMS) Audio Mission podcasts.
- Comment - Anglican Journal editor talks about the pain of downsizing at the Anglican Church of Canada.
- Publication of the Week – The Sea – the multilingual publication of The Mission to Seafarers
- Bookshelf – Andrew White – ‘The Vicar of Baghdad’ writes about his experiences.
- Obituary - The Reverend Canon Frederick Ernest Bedbrook
- The coming week's Anglican Cycle of Prayer.
Despite having a long and distinguished history CMS, the Church Mission Society, could hardly be more up-to-date when it comes to capturing the stories of those who are working as its partners overseas. By visiting the charity’s Audio Mission page you can listen to interviews on a range of subjects and with a range of mission partners including:
- Jill Ball who founded the charity Life in Abundance Trust that runs a special school for children with disabilities in Ecuador.
- A special report from CMS’s Jeremy Woodham about Izhod, a network of drug rehabilitation centres across Russia, which are helping hundreds of people break free from addiction every year.
- Paul and Sarah Tester who work with young people in the Diocese of Peru, providing playschemes and youth discipleship training.
- An anonymous worker who talks about life for Christians in a police state and what it means for him tlive and work alongside them.
- A documentary looking at the life and work of Samuel Ajayi Crowther, the slave boy who went on to become the first black Anglican bishop.
Survival in the age of uncertainty.
By Kristin Jenkins, Editor of the Anglican Journal
Have you ever been fired? I have. More than once. Oddly, it was never for the things I thought were just cause. Like the time, as a rookie staff reporter, I got an assignment to take portrait photos of four high-profile Toronto physicians. I cabbed it hither and yon, from one end of the city to the other, a fistful of cab chits at the ready. When I got back to the newsroom, my curious colleagues (all male) watched surreptiously as I opened the back of the 35 mm Nikkormat only to discover...dear Lord, let me fall through a hole in the floor right now...no film! Instead of firing me, the snickering news editor made me go right back out and do it all over again. Which meant, of course, it was also my job to explain to each
of the harried physicians that they had to stop everything (again) and sit for a photo (again). Fortunately, they seemed even more amused than the news editor, which was great, because they relaxed. So the photos were better.
Then there was the time I ran the same news story in two consecutive issues of a biweekly newspaper. With the kind of detachment one experiences when utterly mortified, I noticed that I had given the story the same prominent placement (page 2), but the headline was better. All was not lost, the optimist in me reasoned. My headline writing is improving! And in only two weeks!
No, I got fired for reasons other than incompetence. I got fired for money reasons...or lack thereof. Both times I was a freelance contributor, so the hit wasn’t as hard as if I had lost a staff position. Nevertheless, it came as a shock to learn that my services were no longer required. In one instance, I got the call on my birthday, just as I was leaving to meet friends for dinner.
Nowadays, it seems a lot of people are getting fired, most for no fault of their own. Even one generation ago, things were different. It used to be that you were hired to do a job and if you kept your head down and your nose clean, you could keep doing that job or be promoted within the same company right up until you retired. There is no such thing as job security anymore. In any industry. So why should the national office of the Anglican Church of Canada be any different? By the time you read this column, there is a good chance that more staff at Church House will be gone, the result of further downsizing. After two years of cuts to budget and staff, the biggest cut of all is waiting in the wings. In order to shave $1.1 million from the 2011 operating budget, the entire structure of Church House is changing. The goal is to create a sustainable budget and avoid further staff cuts. Perhaps some services will be amalgamated and others outsourced. One thing we know for sure: jobs will disappear and with them, members of the Church House family.
In 2011, I have no doubt the national office will look very different. How will this new structure support God’s work? We will have to wait and see. But I do have faith that things will work out, even if we don’t know all the details yet. When the going gets tough, effective communication becomes more important than ever. It keeps people connected, visible and heard. It is the way in which we can all continue to feel valued, part of the whole. The restructuring of Church House brings with it an opportunity to draw closer to people in the parishes across Canada, to share more stories about people living their faith. God willing, the Journal will continue to seek out and give voice to those stories.
One of the things I’ve learned from my own experience is that sometimes, job loss can correct the course of life, opening up entire new worlds. In my case, it brought me to a better place. In May 2008, I lost my job for the third time and the impact went far beyond anything I could have imagined. For one, it created a domino effect, progressing rapidly to a series of losses that touched every area of my life. I lost my home, my significant other, my car, my pride. There were days when the stress threatened to crush me. In moments of sheer panic, I would focus on the thought: “I am all right in this moment. I am all right in this moment.” The period of transition, in which I camped out at a friend’s house, all my clothes in hockey bags borrowed from another friend, was a real eye-opener. I learned a lot about myself and who I really am. I discovered I am stronger and more resilient than I thought. Things I had always assumed I could never cope with, such as the loss of independence, were actually no big deal. Out of my new vulnerability emerged closer connection. I didn’t feel so isolated and alone. Instead, I felt supported. I came to see that everything of real value was still present in my life: my health, my beautiful daughter, my family and friends. Every day I counted my blessings, and thanked God for each and every one. And then, life began to change again. Riding my bike became a passion and I got into the best shape of my life, shedding 15 pounds in the process. I felt healthier, more alive. I reconnected with old friends and forged new connections. Eventually, a new home found me, then a new relationship.
A year later, I accepted the editor’s job at the Journal. I showed up full of energy and ideas, with a 30-year track record in corporate publishing. Still, people wanted to know where I’d come from. I skipped the part about my trip to hell and back. I like to say God found me, but I think she’s pretty much been steering things every step of the way. All I know is that by losing “everything,” I came to appreciate how much I really have. I am truly grateful. As I look around at the various members of the Church House family, I see many who have survived much more profound losses than I. We are all struggling, every day, to make sense of shifting realities, to live with uncertainty. It’s difficult, no question. These are stressful, anxious times. Life is not always about dodging a bullet, although it’s a huge relief when one does. Actually, I think the real test is what you do with the wound. I will continue to count my blessings. Whatever’s ahead, I’m not afraid anymore.
PUBLICATION OF THE WEEK
Loneliness, danger and separation from loved ones are just some of the problems seafarers face. Around the world, night and day, The Mission to Seafarers provides help and support to those in need. As a Christian (and Anglican Communion) agency its works in more than 230 ports caring for the practical and spiritual welfare of seafarers of all nationalities and faiths.
Through its global network of chaplains, staff and volunteers it reaches out to seafarers by visiting them on their ships, offering them the hand of welcome and friendship, and caring for them in their hour of need.
In over 100 ports it also run centres which provide ‘a home away from home’. These are places where seafarers can contact their loved ones from whom they are separated for months on end, receive assistance with any problems they may be facing and get a break from their demanding way of life onboard ship. You can find out more about what The Mission to Seafarers does by visiting their website at http://www.missiontoseafarers.org/
Or you could read the latest copy of The Sea, the magazine that it produces every two months for seafarers and those in the maritime industry (http://www.missiontoseafarers.org/resources/the-sea). This includes articles in Spanish, Russia and Mandarin as well as English. There’s also The Flying Angel News newspaper (http://www.missiontoseafarers.org/resources/flying-angel-news) for supporters of the agency.
Suffer the Children - Dispatches To and From the Front Line by Andrew White – ‘The Vicar of Baghdad’
This is a very personal insight into the life and work of Andrew White – ‘The Vicar of Baghdad’ written by himself. He tells how the children in his life have an influence out of all proportion to their importance in the eyes of the world. His own two boys, the circle of children at St George’s Baghdad who take it upon themselves to surround him with their love and care at every opportunity and the children of All Nations Church, Charlotte, USA who do likewise when he visits there.
He has been able to build loving and lasting relationships between these children from such different backgrounds, widening their understanding of the situation beyond the thinking of their nation’s adults.
Andrew has made some pertinent comments on the various situations he finds himself in, but always comes back to the reliance he places on the support these children give so unstintingly. Thought provoking and informative, moving to read.
Published: June 2010
Review by Mary Bartholomew on http://www.thegoodbookstall.org.uk
From the office of The Office of the Archbishop, Anglican Diocese of Melbourne:
The Reverend Canon Frederick Ernest Bedbrook
The Reverend Canon Fred Bedbrook died on the evening of Friday 22 October 2010.
Canon Fred Bedbrook had a lifelong passion for mission. In 1966 he saw an advertisement for a chief accountant position in Zambia . While there the Archbishop encouraged him in vocation and he was ordained deacon in Central Africa in 1969. He served from 1969 to 1970 as curate in the cathedral of Lusaka Zambia . Upon returning to Melbourne he was ordained priest in 1970.
In Melbourne his ministries included being Assistant Curate at St Paul’s Cathedral from 1970 – 1972 and Priest in Charge of South Camberwell from 1976 – 1979.
Fred Bedbrook served in Papua New Guinea from 1972 – 1976, as General Secretary of the Anglican Church, and was later made a Canon of the Provincial Cathedral of PNG. He held key positions with ABM, with SPCKA, and with the National Home Mission Fund where he was Treasurer from 1979 – 1986 and Chair from 1985-1990.
From 1979 – 1986 Canon Bedbrook was Secretary/Manager of the Australian Clergy Provident Fund, later known as Anglican Superannuation Australia.
He retired from active ministry in 1986 but served as Honorary Assistant Curate at Torquay/Anglesea/Mt Duneed from 1986 – 1994. He also undertook locum positions in Carpentaria and in Papua New Guinea , where he maintained strong links.
A Thanksgiving Service will be held on Thursday 28 October, at 11 00 am at Christ Church Geelong, cnr Moorabool and McKillop Streets. Clergy attending are invited to robe with alb and white stole.
His daughter, Margaret Tembo, says that her father’s greatest commitment was to the love of spreading the gospel. He needed to show how Jesus could fulfil all people’s needs. The Gospel reading for the Thanksgiving Service, chosen by Fred, is John 12: 20-33.
We give thanks to God for the life of Frederick Ernest Bedbrook and for his long and faithful ministry in the service of our Lord.
We commend him to God and pray for his wife, Marjorie, and family
Charles A. Perry, former cathedral provost and seminary dean, dies at 81
By Episcopal News Service staff, October 27, 2010
The Rev. Dr. Charles A. Perry, former Washington National Cathedral provost and Church Divinity School of the Pacific seminary dean, died Oct. 23 of a heart attack while on a trip to Asheville, North Carolina. He was 81.
Perry served the cathedral as chief pastor, administrator, and fundraiser from 1978 to 1990. He was installed Oct. 26, 1990, as CDSP's dean and retired in 1995. He was dean while Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori earned a Master of Divinity from the Berkeley, California-based school in 1994.
He is credited with saving the cathedral from $10.5 million of debt during his tenure and additionally with raising the funds to complete the cathedral's construction, according to a press release from the cathedral.
His funeral will take place Oct. 31 at St. Paul's Memorial Church in Charlottesville, Virginia. Diocese of Virginia Bishop Shannon Johnston will preside and St. Paul's rector, the Rev. Jim Richardson, will preach. Perry will later be interred at the cathedral, at a service to be announced. His wife Joy, his son Russell Keith Perry, daughter Dana Leslie Smith, and five grandchildren survive him.
"The entire cathedral community mourns not only the loss of such a significant figure in the history of this cathedral, but also the loss of an extraordinarily faithful priest and leader," the Very Rev. Samuel T. Lloyd III, cathedral dean, wrote in a letter to the cathedral community. "We give thanks to God for the resolute leadership and devoted service of Charles Perry, one of the cathedral’s giants."
Perry was appointed cathedral provost by then-Bishop of Washington John T. Walker and had previously served the Diocese of Washington as executive officer for seven years. As provost, Perry was responsible for the cathedral's day-to-day operations. He also highlighted the cathedral's ministry as a national house of prayer, planning a "Service of Prayer for World Peace" in memory of assassinated Egyptian President Anwar El-Sadat in 1981. Perry also organized the cathedral's Vietnam War Vigil and Memorial Service, held Nov. 10-14, 1982, during which 57,939 names of dead or missing Americans were read aloud during a 56-hour vigil.
Richardson, a friend of Perry's, wrote on his blog that at CDSP Perry "presided over a difficult era of transition into a more inclusive and wider vision for theological education. Some very good priests came through CDSP in his time."
A native of White Plains, New York, Perry received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University and his Master of Divinity degree from Virginia Theological Seminary. He also held a master's degree in public administration from the University of Minnesota
ANGLICAN CYCLE OF PRAYER (click the link for the full details of the ACP)
- Friday 29 Oct – Jabalpur – (North India) The Rt Revd Dr Prem Chand Singh
- Saturday 30 Oct - Jaffna - (South India) The Rt Revd Dr Daniel Thiagarajah
- Sunday 31 Oct - Pray for the Church of Ceylon (Extra-Provincial to the Archbishop of Canterbury)
- Monday 1 Nov – Jalingo (Province of Jos, Nigeria) The Rt Rev Timothy Yahaya
- Tuesday 2 Nov - Jamaica & The Cayman Islands - (West Indies) The Rt Revd Alfred Charles Reid; Jamaica - Kingston - (West Indies) The Rt Revd Robert McLean Thompson; Jamaica - Mandeville - (West Indies) The Rt Revd Dr Harold Benjamin Daniel; Jamaica - Montego Bay - (West Indies) The Rt Revd Howard Kingsley Ainsworth Gregory.
- Wednesday 3 Nov - PRAY for the Anglican Legal Advisers' Network (ACLAN) as it examines shared legal problems and possible solutions in the Provinces of the Communion; Jebba - (Province of Ibadan, Nigeria) The Rt Revd Sunday Adewole.
- Thursday 4 Nov – Johannesburg – (South Africa) The Rt Revd Brian Charles Germond
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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.