Anglican Covenant Forum

Posted March 10, 2010 by anglicaninsights
Categories: Event Video, Events, Faculty Post

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On February 25, CDSP sponsored a forum on the proposed Anglican Covenant. The panelists, drawn from the Bay Area, provided a lively discussion on this controversial document. The three panelists present were two lay deputies from the Diocese of California for the 2009 General Convention, Ms. Sarah Lawton (member of the Standing Commission on Public Policy and Social Justice) and Dr. Rod Dugliss (Dean of the School for Deacons), and the Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers of CDSP, clerical deputy from the Diocese of Chicago and former chair of the Chicago Consultation.

The lively panel of the Anglican Covenant Forum

Sarah Lawton began the evening emphasizing the importance of lay perspectives on the proposed covenant. Lawton affirmed much contained in the document, especially sections 1 and 2 on the inheritance of faith and the common life of the Anglican Communion. Turning to section 3, titled “Our Unity and Common Life,” Lawton noted the significant role given to bishops and the lack of mention of the role of laity in calling the church to mission. Lawton also raised the issue of whether the four Instruments of Communion articulated in the covenant are the only means by which the Episcopal Church can be in relation with other members of the communion. Lawton concluded by noting that TEC desires relationship with other churches in a shared commitment to mission.

Rod Dugliss offered a close reading of the proposed covenant, beginning with a categorization of this document as an “ecclesial-political covenant” rather than as a confessional document. To Dugliss, this is a document concerned primarily about order, not belief. This makes sections 1-3 of this text a preface to the disciplinary mechanisms of section 4. The end result is the proposed creation of a “supra-provincial” governing structure designed to create greater conformity and uniformity across the Anglican Communion. Building on this, Dugliss suggested that the best analogous model for the governance model for the Anglican Communion presented in the proposed covenant is the British Commonwealth of Nations, both of which grew out of the British Empire. The caution then with adopting this covenant for TEC is that it would endorse the creation of a more tightly controlled communion of churches than currently exists.

The cozy crowd of forum participants.

Ruth Meyers initiated her reflections by building on Dugliss’ observations by noting that it was not clear in section 4 of the proposed covenant at what stage this moved from a proposed document to an official document. Meyers then moved on to commend the Covenant Design Group for clearly listening to feedback at every stage of the drafting process; significant revisions occurred because of feedback from all corners of the communion. In Meyers’ opinion that led to significant strengths in sections 1 and 2 with their respective emphases on the ideas of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral and the importance of mission for the member churches of the Anglican Communion. But like Lawton, Meyers expressed concern over the insufficient attention to the role of the laity in this document. With its emphasis on the roles of bishops and synods, the proposed covenant does not attend to the emerging baptismal ecclesiology of TEC and other member churches of the communion. Meyers also expressed concern over the power in section 4 given to the newly constructed Standing Commission of the Anglican Communion. It remains unclear exactly what type of authority this body, composed of members from the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates Meeting, holds. Meyers concluded by affirming Lawton’s prior assessment of the importance of mission for TEC, declaring a trust in the Holy Spirit to guide the church into mission.

The evening concluded with questions from the audience and further thoughts on the proposed Anglican Covenant from the panelists.

A full video of the panel is on CDSP’s Vimeo Channel

Anglican Communion Covenant Forum from CDSP on Vimeo.

Want Liturgical Innovation? Take a hike…

Posted December 1, 2009 by anglicaninsights
Categories: Alum Post, Events

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“In wilderness is the salvation of the world.”  Henry David Thoreau

 

CDSP Alum Jon Anderson ('02) founded Worship in the Widerness in 2008

 

Some of my earliest and most fond memories are of being outdoors, and I have had many a grand adventure exploring beyond the realms of civilization, whether that be my own backyard growing up or in the wilderness of the back country in Yellowstone National Park. These foundational experiences cause me to consider myself a naturalist, a conservationist, an ecologist, an environmentalist, an outdoorsman. At the same time I have had a growing sense of and call to the Holy over the course of my life that has been nurtured – mostly – in the Church.  One of the places that I am most consistently aware of the continual presence of the Holy is when I spend time outdoors in the natural world, especially in wilderness.  And so it was that two major pieces of my life, a love of the outdoors and a budding sense of the presence of the Holy, lived together quite well.  Along the way, that growing sense of the Holy led me to discern a call to the priesthood and later still to CDSP to continue that discernment and to drink deeply from one of the great springs of Holy knowledge and of “priest craft.”

Still, much of the ministry with which I have been engaged and the time that I have spent doing it has been indoors. While those indoor spaces have been beautiful and inspiring in their own ways, I couldn’t help but wonder what a nature-loving, outdoors-oriented priest like me was to do with these two, often separated, pieces of my life and work. I found the answer slowly by freeing myself to think outside the box—a gift I like to think I possessed before coming to CDSP but which was certainly nurtured during my time as a student at and since as an alumnus.

Many WitW hikes take place in the Sangre de Cristos range

 

The concept of Worship in the Wilderness (WitW) began to take shape in my mind when I had a blinding flash of the obvious: that I was far from alone in my sense of the Holy in nature, in wilderness. Why not stretch the understanding of the physical space that some consider to be “church” to include the great outdoors in a variety of places in and around my current home base of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Now, the idea of “doing church” outdoors is nothing new, but the idea of founding a ministry, maybe in time even a congregation, that is always outdoors might be.  As spring 2008 unfolded in Santa Fe—precisely where the high deserts of the Southwest meet the southern end of the Rocky Mountains at the Sangre de Cristos (“Blood of Christ”) range—the idea of crafting a Eucharistic liturgy for use while hiking took shape. In May 2008 WitW formally began with a small band of sojourners. We have hiked liturgically every month since then, rain, snow or shine, and we have continued to grow and explore both the wilderness around Santa Fe and our awareness of and our worship of the Holy in those places.

WitW has developed a small, but faithful congregation that meets once a month, no matter the weather.

 

It’s really quite simple on the one hand, and yet there are elements of complexity during every hiking liturgy, especially if the group is large and/or there is a degree of difference in hikers’ physical abilities, if the weather is challenging, or if any number of other variables comes into play. Currently we meet on the first Saturday afternoon of the month, and plans are under way to expand to some kind of outdoor worship experience weekly come spring.

I am grateful for my long relationship with CDSP as a student and now as an alumnus and for the ways in which CDSP goes beyond “training” one for ministry in all its various forms to educating, forming and challenging us to see beyond that which has been to what can be, all while remaining true to the foundations of our Christian faith and heritage.

Blessings, and I’ll see you on the trail!

The Rev. Jon Anderson is a 2002 graduate of CDSP, a member of the CDSP Board of Trustees, and president of the CDSP Alumni Council. To see and read more about Worship in the Wilderness, visit the WitW weblog at http://WorshipintheWilderness.org. Jon will be leading a liturgical hike in Tilden Park in the Berkeley Hills during Epiphany West 2010. For more information and registration, visit the CDSP website.

Epiphany West 2010 Highlights Faith & Sustainability

Posted November 17, 2009 by anglicaninsights
Categories: Events, Uncategorized

 

EW2010; Sacred Elements--Creating Sustainable Earth Communities

© Cari Ferraro. All rights reserved. Used by permission of the artist. http://www.proseandletters.com

Now in it’s second decade, CDSP’s annual, ecumenical and interfaith conference, Epiphany West, is known for gathering a diverse community of scholars, writers, practitioners, and artists into vibrant conversation on the CDSP campus in Berkeley. The upcoming conference, which will be held from January 25-29, 2010, continues this tradition with an engaging rosters of speakers and conference workshop leaders who will facilitate engagement with issues of economic and environmental sustainability as they are influenced by religious belief and action. Sacred Elements: Creating Sustainable Earth Communities, coordinated thematically by CDSP Associate Professor of Theology Marion Grau and directed by Elizabeth Drescher, director of the Center for Anglican Learning & Leadership, offers an interreligious and interdisciplinary exploration of approaches to sustainability in the context of religious faith.

Conference details and green, online registration is available on the CDSP website.

 

 

Reflections on the Pickle of Parish Ministry for the New Associate Rector

Posted October 28, 2009 by anglicaninsights
Categories: Alum Post

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From my first day in the office, the rector and the rest of my colleagues on the staff teased me about my growing list of “things I didn’t learn in seminary.” The list mostly included small practicalities—how to fix a paper jam, how to lock the big Narthex doors, and why one should never schedule a parish event on a Nebraska Cornhuskers game day (turns out, nobody will show up). Truthfully, however, I don’t think that any seminary could have ever fully prepared me for the day-to-day life of parish ministry.

~ The Rev. Elizabeth Easton, CDSP 2009

 

Liz Easton

The Rev. Elizabeth Easton

When I graduated from CDSP in May 2009, I joked that the commencement ceremony was just long enough for me to experience all five stages of grief in one sitting. There was the denial, of course (I don’t believe this is really over…), the anger (this is getting really, really long…), the bargaining (maybe I’ll come back soon for a DMin…), the sadness (I am going to miss these people so much!), and finally, the acceptance (my time here is really finished…). By the time that the dismissal was pronounced, hugs were shared, and bubbles were blown in St. Margaret’s Courtyard, I was emotionally on my way to Nebraska, where I was to begin my first ordained position at a large Episcopal parish in Omaha.

 

I began my ministry as Associate Rector at All Saints Episcopal Church on August 1st. From my first day in the office, the rector and the rest of my colleagues on the staff teased me about my growing list of “things I didn’t learn in seminary.” The list mostly included small practicalities—how to fix a paper jam, how to lock the big Narthex doors, and why one should never schedule a parish event on a Nebraska Cornhuskers game day (turns out, nobody will show up). Truthfully, however, I don’t think that any seminary could have ever fully prepared me for the day-to-day life of parish ministry. Long gone are the days of the simple country parson who sits in his office and reads theological journals while tinkering on his sermon (I’m not sure that day ever existed, actually). And in case you didn’t know, the whole Mitford series is a complete fantasy. Parish ministry is way faster paced than I ever imagined—a surprising reality that delights me with its challenges and small celebrations every single day.

 

All Saints Episcopal Church, Omaha, NE

All Saints Episcopal Church, Omaha, NE

While I struggled to remember the code to the office door and to locate the funky smell that greeted me in my office each morning (no seminary class could prepare me for that), I realized more and more every day how CDSP did prepare me for the big picture of my ministry.

 

A friend of mine once said that seminary is like the pickling process: When it’s all over, you can never be a cucumber again. I think that this is actually a good metaphor for what some theologians might call ontological change (bear with me here). We begin seminary because our communities have called us to explore a particular ministry. Like a cucumber that it is selected because it might make a good pickle, we begin a process of transformation where we are immersed in our tradition—in the life of prayer and discipleship—and where we submit to the Holy Spirit as She works through the Church. In a sense, we live for three years in the “brine” of Anglicanism, absorbing—sometimes subconsciously—that which is all around us. When we are finished, we are still ourselves, but we are also distinctly different. The things that we learned and experienced have changed us, and the lessons of our formation have pickled us through and through. Even though I never learned the first thing about fixing paper jams in seminary, I did learn what it means—deep in my bones—to minister professionally in God’s Church.

Perhaps the thing that I learned most—the strongest spice in the brine, to continue the metaphor—was the importance of the pastor as constant catechist. Every class that I took at CDSP pushed the idea that as professional ministers (whether lay or ordained), we must help those in our communities through the process of creating a theology that takes them beyond the church doors and into their everyday lives. The priest/minister does not tell, she shows—shows the community how to think theologically about their jobs, their relationships, and their faiths. With every conversation that I have in my parish—at coffee hour and in committee meetings—I hear the voices of my professors and feel their hands on my shoulder, urging and directing me to teach in every moment. The positive pressure to be a teacher in my community brings with it a drive to learn. Again, I hear the voices of my professors: Never stop being a student; Continuing education is a lifelong vocation and a daily commitment that must never go away.

Having arrived at the fifth and final stage of grieving the end of my seminary career, I realize that acceptance is not an end in itself. Although my time at seminary is most certainly over, I travel with the voices of my professors and mentors constantly whispering in my ears. I hope that they never go away. I could not have picked a better pickling operation than CDSP, where my transition to a different kind of cucumber felt gentle but complete, spicy and delicious. Okay, maybe the metaphor only extends so far…

Jumping in with Both Feet: A View from the Middle

Posted October 17, 2009 by anglicaninsights
Categories: R Student Post

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“Before the workday starts, before any phone calls were made or email was checked, we started the day surrendering ourselves to God in prayer. Whoever showed up was the right group; whenever you got there was the right time.”         ~ CDSP Middler Ernest Morrow

This past winter the vestry of St. Philip’s Anglican church in my diocese (British Columbia) asked me to fill in for their rector, who was going to be on sabbatical for the summer. The understanding was that I would be able to help with everything but the Eucharistic consecration. Bishop James Cowan gave a thumbs up, Nancy Eswein, the field education supervisor at CDSP encouraged me, and I jumped with both feet!

It is actually only in hindsight that some sense of the jumping has emerged. At the time it felt good and right and in the flow, and this sense was with me all summer. I am so tremendously grateful to St. Philip’s for allowing me the space to preach and teach and lead and learn, as well as to CDSP for being so supportive of this slightly out-of-the-box opportunity for an MDiv student now in his “middler” year.

A few things struck me in particular during this my middler summer at St. Phillips. First, the parish itself has a wonderful model of implicit Christian formation. Each weekday morning at 8:30 people who work at the church, a few parishioners and a few people not from the church at all gather for twenty minutes of silent prayer. Before the workday, before any phone calls were made or email was checked, we started the day surrendering ourselves to God in prayer. Whoever showed up was the right group; whenever you got there was the right time. The bell rang at 8:30 and again at 8:50, and we all greeted each other and went off to our days. It is so simple and so easy and so profound to have this rhythm each day, each week, each month, each year.  It is hard to imagine this practice having anything but positive effects on the life of a parish.

This atmosphere of ministry flowing out of right relationship with God really inspired my work. Much of what I did revolved around trying to empower the baptismal ministry of the congregation. One of the richest developments was a spiritual formation group intentionally comprised of lay people who met to explore different ways of making Christianity a way of life rather than just a system of belief. The group was formed with the explicit intention of the participants themselves facilitating future groups in the parish. I really felt that it was very helpful that I was able to relate to this group as a fellow lay person. It brought up a lot of questions about how we think of priesthood and our roles in community.

CDSP Middler Ernest Morrow and his wife Jeannie surrounded by the love of the St. Philip's community

CDSP Middler Ernest Morrow and his wife Jeannie surrounded by the love of the St. Philip's community

Adding to the fullness of the summer was the fact that I got engaged to my wife Jeannie on May 29th and married on August 16th. We were married during a Sunday morning Eucharis service at St. Philip’s. It felt for us like the real fullness of the sacrament of marriage. It was such an moving thing to have the congregation with whom we worshiped and whom we loved hold us in prayer and sacred space as we made our vows. It seemed to us fitting that the part of the Body of Christ that was our home would be witnesses and creators of the day along with us and that, like a baptism, the sacrament would be part of the regular, full weekly celebration of Christ’s resurrection.

I will certainly remember this past summer as the summer I truly jumped in with both feet. And I am so grateful.

Notes from a Roving Professor: Hodges-Haynes Professor of Liturgy Ruth Meyers on the Road to CDSP

Posted October 7, 2009 by anglicaninsights
Categories: Faculty Post, News, Uncategorized

Prof. Meyers enjoy a few moments of casual collegial bonding with Sue Singer, Asst. Prof. of Ministry Development, during the annual faculty retreat.

Prof. Meyers enjoy a few moments of casual collegial bonding with Sue Singer, Asst. Prof. of Ministry Development, during the annual faculty retreat.

What a joy to be at CDSP! It’s been about as smooth a transition as I could have imagined. The timing of my move was dictated by two major summer commitments: teaching my last course at Seabury – a weeklong intensive in the joint Doctor of Ministry program with CDSP in congregational development – and General Convention. The D.Min. course, “Missional Liturgy,” is one I taught regularly in the Seabury program. Since I spent my 2008-2009 sabbatical working on a book about liturgy and mission, the course was a good opportunity to develop my thinking in conversation with students who are church leaders from around the U.S. and Canada.

In a nutshell, “missional liturgy” means understanding worship as an essential aspect of the church’s participation in the mission of God. By the end of my sabbatical, I had completed an article entitled “Missional Church, Missional Liturgy,” to be published in Theology Today next spring, and an article for Anglican Theological Review on leadership for missional liturgy. Eventually, that book will be complete! Soon after the course concluded, I travelled to Anaheim as a Deputy to General Convention from the Diocese of Chicago. As secretary to the Prayer Book, Liturgy, and Church Music Committee, I spent many hours in committee meetings, typing furiously to keep up with debate on the 63 resolutions assigned to our committee.

Prayer Book, Liturgy, and Church Music Committee leadership: me; Sam Candler, Dean of the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta, and chair of the deputy committee; Wayne Smith, Bishop of Missouri, and chair of the bishop committee. Episcopal Life General Convention Daily, July 14, 2009

Prayer Book, Liturgy, and Church Music Committee leadership: me; Sam Candler, Dean of the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta, and chair of the deputy committee; Wayne Smith, Bishop of Missouri, and chair of the bishop committee. Episcopal Life General Convention Daily, July 14, 2009

The Convention approved some very interesting new liturgical materials – Holy Women, Holy Men (a much expanded calendar of saints, to replace Lesser Feasts and Fasts, at least on a trial basis), and Rachel’s Tears, Hannah’s Hopes (prayers and liturgies for healing from loss related to childbearing and childbirth). Since I served on the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music last year, it was good to see this work to its completion. Most gratifying for me at Convention, though, were the steps we took toward more fully including gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in the life and ministry of the church, while also reaffirming our commitment to full participation in the Anglican Communion. Over the past triennium, I have worked on these issues with a network of theologians, bishops, and other church leaders called the Chicago Consultation. I was particularly impressed with the generous and respectful conversations over the course of the convention. And it was a special joy to host events with guests from overseas.

After the excitement – and grueling pace – of General Convention, I had about 2 weeks with my husband Dan Prechtel to finish packing our home in Evanston, Illinois, and prepare for the move west. Somehow, it all got done – sorting, organizing, multiple trips to various recyclers, and countless trips to the dumpsters.

Dan Prectel checks out petroglyphs on the way to CDSP

Dan Prectel checks out petroglyphs on the way to CDSP

Our drive west was a good opportunity to recover. Though I’ve spent a little time in the mountain West, I saw parts of the country I’ve only flown over. The desert landscapes were amazing, and the petroglyphs at Grimes Point in Nevada were awesome.

And then, we arrived! I have been warmly welcomed by faculty, staff, and students, and we are learning our way around the East Bay, and around CDSP.

Editor’s Note: Professor Meyers hardly took a breather once she got to Berkeley. You can see her in action in the MDiv classroom in two short video clips on the origins of confirmation below or by clicking here to visit CDSP’s new YouTube channel.

Summer reflections from a busy seminarian…

Posted September 29, 2009 by anglicaninsights
Categories: R Student Post

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“More than anything this summer, I was gifted with a deeper understanding of holiness such as I have never experienced before. Meeting someone as they are about to go into surgery, or as they are lying in a hospital bed dying of cancer is a remarkable event in itself. But the fact that these people would also honor me with their story and share prayer with me is a privilege beyond what I can articulate. God is surely present in all things, and one way in which we can experience God most directly is through coming to a place where we can share our true selves with one another.”

~ Michelle Meech, CDSP 3rd year MDiv Student

Michelle MeechBefore I get into the details, I am pleased to report that I took full advantage of alternative transportation options this summer.  Starting with my trip to Olympia from Berkeley on the train, to the award-winning bus system of Olympia, to the paved multi-use trails on which I biked to and from the hospital and then back on the train for my return trip to CDSP… I was rarely in a car all summer.  On goes the effort to reduce my carbon footprint!  Although, there was one plane trip… to Philadelphia.

In early June, the Episcopal Preaching Foundation sponsored the Preaching Excellence Program at Villanova University outside of Philadelphia. There were eight students representing CDSP who braved the hot, humid weather of the East Coast to join with other Episcopal seminarians from across the country for a week of fellowship and learning.  The Beatitudes was the passage of choice and I heard so many wonderful sermons from my fellow students that listening to eight to ten sermons in a day really was a joy (although a bit draining). We were even given the gift of a rather powerful thunderstorm one night – not a big deal for people who live in other parts of the country but for those of us on the West Coast, it was a rare treat.

After leaving Philadelphia, I jumped right into CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) at Providence St. Peter Hospital in beautiful Olympia, WA. This was my first unit of CPE and while there are many adjectives that could describe my experience, I will simply say that it was profound. I knew that a great deal of the success of a CPE program rests on the skill of the supervisor and I was not disappointed with mine. Beverly Hartz is compassionate, intuitive and bold in her approach with her students and is creative with the structure of the program. In addition, being a part of the Palliative Care team gave me an opportunity to learn more about and be with and advocate for people who cope with difficult and debilitating health issues.

More than anything this summer, I was gifted with a deeper understanding of holiness such as I have never experienced before.  Meeting someone as they are about to go into surgery, or as they are lying in a hospital bed dying of cancer is a remarkable event in itself.  But that these people would also honor me with their story and share prayer with me is a privilege beyond what I can articulate. God is surely present in all things and one way in which we can experience God most directly is through coming to a place where we can share our true selves with one another.

While it was a full summer with little down time, this past summer was also the most formative three months of my life. I give great thanks to God for all and I look forward to my final year at CDSP.