Many of us will likely say 2014 turned out to be another annus horribilis. Indeed, it seemed as if we were trapped in an endless cycle of violence and misery.
You could set your watch by how quickly my dad would come uncorked after my aunt’s Christmas newsletter arrived—about 3.5 seconds, if memory serves. Auntie M. was famous for her long legs, enviable year-round tan, and saccharine seasonal epistles.
Christian religion that aligns itself with societal trends runs the risk of becoming indistinguishable from our culture. William Hordern, a recently deceased Canadian theologian and a mentor of mine would say, “It fails to tell the world something the world is not already telling itself.”
To this day I can still picture myself climbing the stairs of Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall toward the balcony. It was in the highest heights of that concert hall that I encountered The Messiah for the first time. By the time I was seven or eight years old, it had become family tradition to yearly immerse ourselves in George Frideric Handel’s masterpiece.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby recently articulated his understanding of the status of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), formed in 2009 by a coalition of a dozen groups that chose to break communion with the Anglican Church of Canada and, in the United States, with The Episcopal Church.
Everyone of us has an interest in the future health of our church.
Among the glories of Canada’s great landscapes are its mountains.
I hate winter. I hate the cold and the grey and the snow. I hate having to wear boots and mitts and hats. I hate the way my glasses fog up and my shoulders ache from hunching against the wind. I hate that it takes longer to get anywhere on slippery sidewalks and crowded buses. As autumn draws to a close, the dread builds and builds until the first snowfall when I can finally slide into bitter resignation.
Years ago, we sat next to a father and his two young children—a boy and a girl, both probably between five and eight years old. As the food and beverage cart came by, each time the father would buy a beer; each time his children would beg for food. “We’re hungry, Daddy,” they cried. We were grieved that each time he responded, “We don’t have any money for food.”
On a Saturday morning in mid-September, I was seated with three other people, forming a panel at a meeting of the board of ATR (Anglican Theological Review), a quarterly publication well known for its articles, poetry and book reviews. We were invited to speak to the subject of “testing the bonds of affection” and to offer some reflections on the state of relations within and among the churches of the Anglican Communion.