Sunday, June 26, 2011

Address of Bishop Marsh to Continuing Anglicans

The Right Reverend Brian Marsh, Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church in America and Ordinary of the Diocese of the Northeast, made an address at the Congress of Continuing Anglicans in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 1st June. The text of this address is available at this link.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Super Synod - from the Dunwoody Reporter

Anglican church leaders to gather in Dunwoody in July

Anglican clergy and leaders from across the country are scheduled gather in Dunwoody in July.

About 150 delegates will take part in the gathering, called a synod, scheduled for July 11 through 15, said Bishop Chandler Jones of St. Barnabas Anglican Church in Dunwoody. During the synod, clergy and church leaders conduct church business.

“A synod is basically the ecclesiastical legislative body of the church,” Jones said, “but it’s also a family reunion. This is really an opportunity for people to come together.”

Most of those attending will come from the eastern United States. But Anglican clergy and lay delegates from as far as Arizona and California are expected to take part because the gathering will include representatives from the Diocese of the Eastern United States, the Diocese of Mid-America and the Diocese of the West, the three dioceses that cover the U.S., Jones said. A delegation from the Philippines also may attend, he said.

“Our meetings are really devoid of any controversy,” the bishop said. “We’re looking at strengthening our ties with Anglicans worldwide.”

The group will meet at the Holiday Inn, Perimeter and at St. Barnabas, Jones said.

The meeting will be held in Dunwoody, Jones said, because St. Barnabas is one of the larger Anglican congregations in the country. Also, Jones was installed as a bishop, the Anglican church’s youngest, last year.

St. Barnabas hosted a similar synod in 2001. One reason for the return this summer, Jones said, is that the church sanctuary and nave have been renovated since that 2001 meeting.

The Dunwoody congregation, founded in 1979, calls itself “a traditional Anglican Church” that bases its services on the1928 Book of Common Prayer. Anglicans split from the larger Episcopal Church in the 1970s because they believed the American version of the denomination had become too liberal and strayed too far from its original teachings, members say.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Consecration of the new Bishops of Richborough and Ebbsfleet

The Catholic Tradition of the Church of England lives on...

Congratulations and blessings to Bishop Norman Banks (left) and Bishop Jonathan Baker (right).

The Rt Revd Jonathan Baker and The Rt Revd Norman Banks were Ordained and Consecrated Bishop of Ebbsfleet and Bishop of Richborough respectively
by The Most Revd Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury and other Bishops
at Southwark Cathedral on 16th June 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

Synod 2011

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who by thy Holy Spirit didst preside in the Council of the blessed Apostles, and hast promised, through thy Son Jesus Christ, to be with thy Church to the end of the world; We beseech thee to be with the Council of thy Church here assembled in thy Name and Presence. Save us from all error, ignorance, pride, and prejudice; and of thy great mercy vouchsafe, we beseech thee, so to direct, sanctify, and govern us in our work, by the mighty power of the Holy Ghost, that the comfortable Gospel of Christ may be truly preached, truly received, and truly followed, in all places, to the breaking down the kingdom of sin, Satan, and death; till at length the whole of thy dispersed sheep, being gathered into one fold, shall become partakers of everlasting life; through the merits and death of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

Saint Barnabas Church is wonderfully privileged and blessed to welcome the triennial Provincial Synod of the Anglican Province of America from Monday 11th July until Friday 15th July 2011. Additionally, the Diocesan Synods of the Eastern United States and Mid-America will also gather here concurrently in Dunwoody for their annual deliberations. It has been almost exactly ten years ago since Saint Barnabas last hosted our Diocesan Synod, and we are certainly honoured to be able to welcome the wider Church back to our parish and the metropolitan Atlanta area. Of your Christian charity, please pray earnestly for the impending Synods and for their ministry and work, as they seek to conduct the administrative business of the Church according to the mind of Christ and His Gospel and to advance the mission, governing, formation, preaching, teaching and evangelistic outreach of our unique branch of Christ’s Holy Catholic Church. We especially wish to thank our many volunteers who have made our sponsorship of the Synods possible; in particular, we thank the members of the Synod Planning Team: Rette Ledbetter, Al Duncan, Lynn Ledbetter, Barbara Shoaf, Elizabeth Raffa, Gordon Bigg, Cathey Eves, Oz Baptist, Ben Badejo, Bill Storey, DJ Fulton, Jack Wilson, Angie Patterson and Father Paul Rivard.

The word Synod, which term may be new or unfamiliar to many, is taken from the Greek word σύνοδος (sunodos) meaning ‘assembly’ or ‘meeting,’ and it is synonymous with the Latin word concilium, meaning ‘council.’ Synod literally means ‘to journey with’ or ‘the way together.’ No better description of the annual meeting of the Church’s authorised representatives, lay and clergy, could possibly be offered! Synod is not merely a business meeting, an ecclesiastical legislative body or a social event, although it is all of these things; it is the Church herself gathered, the Church at worship, in communion, in service and ministry, the Church in movement together. Synod powerfully and tangibly demonstrates the unity of the Body of Christ, the catholicity and universality of the Church, what is called in the Russian language sobornost, from the root word meaning ‘to gather,’ wholeness and inner completeness, wherein the many are brought together into free and organic unity by the power of love, a perceptible manifestation of the Holy and Undivided Trinity in Whom there is both unity and diversity in communion of love.

In short, Synod is the Church, one in heart, mind, and soul, on pilgrimage.

All of the Christian life is described in Apostolic Tradition as being a pilgrimage: we are on a pilgrimage through this mortal world to our true heavenly homeland. We are the Pilgrim People of God, the Church, making our way as God’s ecclesia, His ‘called-out ones’, through this world to the next. Everything we do, pray, say and think as Christians should orientate us towards the ultimate, final goal, the final reward and promise, which is eternal life in Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the heavenly Jerusalem.

If the vocation of the Christian in this life is pilgrimage, the wayfaring journey through this vale of tears to heaven, then the gathering of the Church in Synod, journeying together, should be seen as a microcosm of what the whole of the Christian life genuinely entails.

Pilgrimage is an essential part of life and living. Christians, filtering their existence through the data of the Holy Scriptures, see life itself in terms of a journey, coming from God and returning to God. In her earthly state, the Church needs places where her sacred society can gather together. Our visible churches, holy places, are images of the holy city, the heavenlyJerusalem, toward which we are making our way on pilgrimage. Ours is a daily pilgrimage in Word and Sacrament in the Church. Holy Mother Church is for us the Sign of the Kingdom and the Sacrament of our pilgrimage to Jesus Christ. He is the Mystery lived out at our Altars, Eucharistically, day by day. Synod is thus an intensification, a focus, of that Sign and Mystery which is Our Blessed Lord in His Church.

Let us therefore recognise in the Synod of the Church a kind of sanctuary, a holy place and time, in which is revealed anew the Family of God, the Household of Faith, and the journey of the Christian life from earth to heaven, a
foretaste and precursor of our future arrival in unity in the heavenly Jerusalem, the Kingdom of God, where we shall live and reign in Christ for ever and ever. Those of us who participate in Synod should sense in it the anticipation of the rest of our Christian lives and of our glorious fulfilment in the King of Glory! But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the Mother of us all (Galatians 4.26).

We encourage everyone at Saint Barnabas to take a decided interest in the meetings and events of Synod and to volunteer where possible to assist in the organisation of this intensely gratifying and important occasion in the life of our Church. Most critically, we invite everyone to enter into the spirit, significance and purpose of Synod by prayer. Thank you all so very much for your loving support and encouragement during this special time in our corporate life together.

God bless you!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Twin Brothers and Friars

A very moving story indeed, all the more personal since my brother, a priest of the Roman Rite, and I are identical twins...

From the moment of their birth in Buffalo 92 years ago, twin brothers Julian and Adrian Riester rarely left each other's side.

They played together, went to school together, as young men traveled cross-country together -- and, in their 20s, joined the Franciscan order together.

And on Wednesday, after 65 years as identical twins wearing the identical brown robes of the Franciscans -- mostly at St. Bonaventure University -- Brother Julian Riester and Brother Adrian Riester died together at St. Anthony Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla. Julian died Wednesday morning, followed by Adrian in the evening.

Those who knew the Riesters best say they are not surprised at all.

"If ever there is a confirmation that God favored them, this is it," said their cousin and close friend Michael Riester of Buffalo. "They weren't even separated for 12 hours."

The biological brothers were also religious brothers, committed to the monastic life of Franciscan friars, not as priests but in roles as physical laborers.

During two stints at St. Bonaventure, from 1951 to 1956 and from 1973 to 2009, "the twins" were a common sight strolling in lockstep across campus -- or, in later years after a few "incidents" resulted in loss of their driver's licenses, on identical bicycles wearing identical helmets.

They became known as accomplished artisans who expressed their talents as gardeners and woodworkers, turning out tables and cabinets from their workshop in the garage of St. Bonaventure's Franciscan Friary.

Yvonne Peace, former secretary to the university's Franciscan community, remembers them as handymen and "fixers" who repaired all sorts of items brought to them by many on campus.

"They were always busy," she said.

Brother Julian, whose given name was Jerome, and Brother Adrian, whose given name was Irving, were part of a family of seven children born to Dr. Julian Riester and his wife, Clara. Their father was a prominent obstetrician who as a medical student observed surgery on President William McKinley after he was fatally shot in Buffalo in 1901, according to Michael Riester, who is the historian of St. Louis Catholic Church.

The attended St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute in Buffalo (where they had a reputation for fooling teachers by their identical looks) and then a radio technology school in Los Angeles before applying to the Franciscans' Holy Name Province.

Toward the end of World War II, after mutually pledging to reply to whichever came first -- an acceptance from the Franciscans or an expected induction notice from the Army -- the morning mail brought an invitation to join the friars, and the afternoon mail "greetings" from the draft board.

God's call, they told interviewers in later years, took priority.

They were separated only twice, once from 1946 to 1951 when Brother Adrian was a sacristan at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Manhattan and Brother Julian was general manager of St. Anthony Shrine in Boston. Later they were not far apart in the 1950s when Brother Julian was assigned to St. Patrick's Parish in Buffalo and Brother Adrian to Bishop Timon High School in South Buffalo. But from 1956 on, the Riester brothers were together.

Michael Riester remembers them as family men who used the money given them by friends to travel to Buffalo on their day off to take their mother -- who lived to 103 -- to dinner at fine restaurants such as Salvatore's Italian Gardens or Romanello's. "They liked a good time," he said.

Indeed, in 2003 Brother Julian told the Bona Venture, the university's student newspaper, that they confounded the friars' seniority system by often claiming they "walked in the door together" and by never divulging which twin was born first.

"We don't tell," Brother Adrian told the newspaper. "We like to keep them guessing."

Michael Riester said his cousins will be remembered as "exemplary men and holy men," who lived their lives in a truly Franciscan spirit. When word came earlier this week that both were seriously ill in the Franciscans' retirement home in St. Petersburg, where they had lived for the last two years, Michael Riester and many in the St. Bonaventure community said they almost expected that the pair would leave together.

Now they will be buried together Monday in Olean.

"They had this intimate bond, in which neither was selfish at all," Michael Riester said. "And because they were so in tune to God and to each other, it's not surprising at all."

45th Anniversary of Saint Barnabas Atlanta

What a sheer joy to celebrate today the 45th Anniversary of   Saint Barnabas Anglican Cathedral, Atlanta, Georgia!