Monday, 17 September 2007

Sydney: Move to empower laity raises church ire

THE Sydney Anglican Church has revived its radical push to let church elders preside over Holy Communion despite strident opposition from Australian Anglicans and the worldwide church and at the risk of antagonising international churches it has courted to stop the consecration of gay bishops.

A committee of church officials has urged the Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, to amend the licenses of senior lay people and deacons to enable them to preside over Holy Communion, a right at present restricted to ordained priests and bishops. Read more

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2 comments:

Daniel Roe, Croydon said...

Q
An interesting dilemma: Sydney is in favour of lay administration of the Lord's Supper and opposed to gay bishops; the anti-gay constituency is made up of conservative evangelicals, charismatics and catholics; to push ahead with the lay administration agenda is going to wind up the catholics and wreck the anti-gay alliance.
A
Is lay administration right? Is opposition to the appointment of gay bishops right? I mean does Sydney have a profound conviction that its views are in line with the Bible
Q
I suppose so, but there are the policitical realities
A
You mean that old Anglican chestnut 'Now is not the time'
Q
Something like that - I mean we are already up to our eyes in the gay controversy and we need all the help we can get. I mean it would be the height of folly to wind up people we depend on
A
Shall I for fear of feeble man
The Spirit's course in me restrain?
Or undismayed, in deed and word
Be a true witness for my Lord
--
Give me thy strength, O God of power;
Then, let winds blow or thunders roar,
Thy faithful witness will I be:
'Tis fixed; I can do all through thee
--
Q
Wow - did you write that?
A
No - it was John Wesley's version of 'Soll ich aus Furch vor Menschenkindern' - by J J Winkler
Q
Makes one think
A
Joshua 24:15 - 'As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD'
Q
No matter what anyone else thinks
A
Exactly

Daniel Roe, Croydon said...

Q
Of course people need to be recognised and licensed by the bishop in order to adminster the Lord's Supper. You can't have any Tom, Dick and Harry, as it would bring the Church into disrepute
A
And it isn't in disrepute already?
Q
S'ppose
A
I mean it wasn't any Tom, Dick and Harry that brought the Anglican Communion to the brink of schism
Q
Well, no, it was because the leadership of the various provinces couldn't agree
A
People who are not only recognised and licensed, but actually do the recognising and licensing
Q
Right
A
And anyway, would it really happen? I mean there's no need to recognise and licence youth workers, musicians, treasurers and other ministries - anyway would it really matter if any Tom, Dick and Harry did start administering the Lord's Supper? I mean, c'mon, think about it - what would really happen?
Q
But you would agree that any Tom, Dick and Harry just couldn't start preaching, for example, and especially those without theological training
A
But they frequently do
Q
Hey?
A
Just listen to the preaching in a lot of churches - including that delivered by bishops. What did these guys get up to in theological college? No - but to return - don't you think the expression 'any Tom, Dick and Harry' is a tad patronising - can't we credit the local parish leadership with a bit of commonsense and discernment