Commission asks input on Holy Women, Holy Men

From the Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs:

[July 1, 2010]  As mandated in General Convention 2009 Resolution A096, The Episcopal Church Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SCLM) is soliciting views, opinions and feedback on Holy Women, Holy Men, a major revision of Lesser Feasts and Fasts.

The Rev. Ruth Meyers, Ph.D., Hodges-Haynes Professor of Liturgics at Church Divinity School of the Pacific and SCLM Chair, explained that Holy Women, Holy Men is currently in trial use, and comments are welcome through the SCLM blog.  “We want to hear about people’s experiences with Holy Women, Holy Men,” she said. “It’s important that everyone have an opportunity to review and provide input on this major work. That includes individuals as well as congregations and dioceses.”

An online survey to assist in gathering feedback is available July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011: https://www.psychdata.com/s.asp?SID=139265.  More information about the survey is available here.

After compiling the data derived from the survey, SCLM will prepare a comprehensive report on the usage and people’s experiences with Holy Women, Holy Men for the 77th General Convention in 2012 in Indianapolis, IN.

As noted on the SCLM blog site: Holy Women, Holy Men…is the official worship book which includes biographies of saints who are commemorated in the calendar of the Episcopal Church, along with the collects (prayers) and scripture readings appointed for worship on these feasts. Over 100 new commemorations were approved at the 2009 General Convention…The General Convention called for trial use of these commemorations, giving opportunity to pray with this new material before a final decision about whether to add each commemoration to the calendar of the Book of Common Prayer.”

For more information on Holy Women, Holy Menhttp://www.churchpublishing.org/

Also available at Episcopal Books & Resources: www.episcopalbookstore.org

Communicating with SCLM

SCLM is committed to communicating with the wider church. To do so, a special email address has been established for all correspondence, to offer ideas, or to contact a SCLM member: sclm@episcopalchurch.org

The SCLM blog is here: https://liturgyandmusic.wordpress.com .

A Spanish-language Holy Women, Holy Men is in production.

The Episcopal Church welcomes all who worship Jesus Christ in 109 dioceses and three regional areas in 16 nations.  The Episcopal Church is a member province of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Episcopal Church Standing Committee on Liturgy and Music: http://generalconvention.org/ccab/mandate/2

The Episcopal Church: www.episcopalchurch.org

IamEpiscopalian: http://www.iamepiscopalian.org/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/episcopalian

Twitter: http://twitter.com/iamepiscopalian

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/TECtube

# # # #

The Nature of Blessing

The 2009 General Convention of the Episcopal Church directed the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to collect and develop theological and liturgical resources for blessing same-sex relationships (Resolution C056). The Commission is eager to engage the wider church in theological conversation as one among many sources that will inform our work.

The reflection below was submitted by the Rev. Jay Emerson Johnson, Ph.D., chair of the task group preparing theological resources.

Read more about this project.

# # #

Prior to teaching in a seminary, I served as a parish priest in the suburbs of Chicago, where a good deal of my time each spring and summer was spent on weddings. Regardless of how active a given couple may have been in church life, the theological and spiritual portions of the pre-marital counseling sessions were usually the most challenging.

I always began the first of those sessions with what turned out to be a deceptively simple question: Why do you want to get married in a church? I can recall only one out of more than a dozen couples responding with anything like a theological or spiritual answer to that question. Only a few of them had considered the difference between a legal contract and a liturgical blessing. And none of the couples had pondered what role their invited guests would play during the service or in their relationship. All of this offered a rich opportunity for theological reflection in those preparatory sessions, which certainly enhanced the liturgical experience for the couple; I often wished all of the participants in those liturgies could have engaged in those sessions as well.

In my view, the work now underway by the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music in gathering resources for the blessing of same-sex unions offers a similarly rich opportunity for theological reflection from which the whole church can benefit. Not least, it offers an opportunity to reflect on the nature of liturgical blessing itself, as well as the spiritual character of committed or “covenantal” relationships. Why, for example, would a faith community wish to “bless” a couple in a committed relationship? What does such a liturgical blessing mean and signify? How does a committed relationship in turn offer a “blessing” to the faith community in which they participate?

A good way to begin addressing those questions is by reflecting on one’s own relational commitments. Have you discerned any spiritual gifts emerging from your relationship that you may not have recognized apart from that commitment? As you observe and interact with covenanted couples, have you noticed particular gifts that their relationship contributes to the wider community? How does the presence of committed relationships, in all their various forms, shape the spiritual character of your own congregational life?

Most congregations would likely find their shared faith deepened by engaging in this kind of theological reflection. It suggests, for example, ways of thinking about committed relationships in terms of vocation and ministry, and in at least two respects. First, how might we think about entering into covenantal relationships as a divine calling, as part of our larger vocation as Christian people? And second, how can the spiritual gifts of such relationships contribute to the church’s ongoing ministry and Gospel witness in the world?

Jay Emerson Johnson, Ph.D.
Chair, SCLM task group on theological resources

# # #

We invite your participation in this dialogue about blessing same-sex relationships. Your responses and observations here will help inform the work of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music in our work of developing theological and liturgical resources for such blessings. We hope that this conversation will also be a way to renew and enliven a shared vision of the church’s mission in the world.

To post a comment, your first and last name and email address are required. Your name will be published; your email address will not. The first time you post, a moderator will need to approve your submission; after that, your comments will appear instantly.

Our rules for posting are fairly simple. Express yourself with courtesy, civility, and respect for others, whether or not you agree with them.

Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music announces task force group leaders

From the Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs:

[June 28, 2010] The Episcopal Church Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SCLM) is addressing its duties to collect and develop theological and liturgical resources for same-sex blessings, as charged in General Convention Resolution C056, through three main task forces and by establishing communication tools to solicit responses from the wider Episcopal Church.

The Rev. Ruth Meyers, Ph.D., SCLM Chair, pointed out, “We are following the direction outlined in C056: To share some of the ideas being considered as task groups develop theological and liturgical resources. To encourage a conversation about the theological, liturgical, and pastoral principles for blessing same-sex relationships. To offer and invite theological reflection about this work.”

To accomplish these tasks, SCLM has established three task groups to focus on particular areas: a liturgical resources group; a pastoral/teaching resources group; and a theological resources group.

Resources

Resources and important information posted on the SCLM website are:

– Member lists for the three task forces

– GC09 Resolution C056 Liturgies for Blessings.

– Response of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music

Resources available here: SC_L&M_2010_May_TFC056.pdf

Episcopal Church Standing Committee on Liturgy and Music: http://generalconvention.org/ccab/mandate/2

Meet the task group leaders

Liturgical resources task group: The Rev. Patrick Malloy, Ph.D., of the Diocese of Bethlehem.  He is the H. Boone Porter Chair in Liturgics at General Theological Seminary in New York City and is a former member of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music. The rector of Grace Church, Allentown, PA, he is the author of Celebrating the Eucharist (Church Publishing, 2007) and a forthcoming second volume, Celebrating the Pastoral Rites and the Daily Office.

Pastoral/teaching resources group co-chair: The Rev. Canon Thaddeus A. Bennett of the Diocese of Vermont. He is the part-time Canon for Transition Ministry and part-time rector of St. Mary’s-in-the-Mountains Church in Wilmington, VT. Previously, he was the Canon to the Ordinary in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. He is one of the authors of the Episcopal Church’s Fresh Start resource and serves as a vocational faculty for CREDO. He helped found three HIV/AIDS organizations, including the National Episcopal AIDS Coalition, and co-authored a number of resources for HIV/AIDS education and ministry.

Pastoral/teaching resources group co-chair: The Rev. Canon Susan Russell of the Diocese of Los Angeles. She is the Senior Associate at All Saints Church in Pasadena and is the Chair of the Program Group on LGBT Ministry for the Diocese of Los Angeles. In 2008 she convened the task force responsible for creating a diocesan pastoral response to both the May California Supreme Court decision on marriage equality and the November Proposition 8 ballot initiative.

Theological resources task group: The Rev. Jay Emerson Johnson, Ph.D., of the Diocese of California.  He is a member of the core doctoral faculty in theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA, and coordinates the Certificate in Sexuality and Religion program at Pacific School of Religion (PSR) where he serves as Senior Director of Academic Research and Resources at the school’s Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry.  Since 2006 he has been a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Theology and Sexuality and he is Book Review Editor of the Anglican Theological Review. His first book, published in 2005, was Dancing with God: Anglican Christianity and the Practice of Hope. He serves as associate clergy at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Berkeley.

Communicating with SCLM

Meyers, who served as a GC09 deputy from the Diocese of Chicago and is the Hodges-Haynes Professor of Liturgics at Church Divinity School of the Pacific, explained that a blog has been established for easy communication. She noted, “SCLM and the task force groups welcome comments, suggestions, and ideas.” The blog site is https://liturgyandmusic.wordpress.com .

SCLM is committed to communicating with the wider church, Meyers stressed. To do so, a special email address has been established for all correspondence, to offer ideas, or to contact a SCLM member: sclm@episcopalchurch.org

The Episcopal Church welcomes all who worship Jesus Christ in 109 dioceses and three regional areas in 16 nations.  The Episcopal Church is a member province of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Episcopal Church Standing Committee on Liturgy and Music: http://generalconvention.org/ccab/mandate/2

SCLM Mandate: http://generalconvention.org/ccab/mandate/2

The Episcopal Church: www.episcopalchurch.org

IamEpiscopalian: http://www.iamepiscopalian.org/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/episcopalian

Twitter: http://twitter.com/iamepiscopalian

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/TECtube

June 7: The Pioneers of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil 1890

Welcome to the Holy Women, Holy Men blog! We invite you to read about this commemoration, use the collect and lessons in prayer, whether individually or in corporate worship, then tell us what you think. For more information about this project, click here.

###

About this commemoration:

The presence of Anglicans in Brazil is first recorded in the early
nineteenth century and took the form of chaplaincies for English
expatriates. It was not, however, until 1890 when missionary efforts
among the Brazilian people began under the care of two Episcopal
Church missionaries, Lucien Lee Kinsolving and James Watson
Morris. They held the first service on Trinity Sunday 1890 in Porto
Alegre. Within a year, three additional missionaries—William Cabell
Brown, John Gaw Meem, and Mary Packard—arrived and joined
the work. These five missionaries are the pioneers and considered the
founders of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil.
In 1899, Kinsolving was made missionary bishop for the work in
Brazil by the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church, and in 1907
the missionary district of Brazil was established by The General
Convention. The number of parishes and institutions continued to
increase. The bishops were raised up from among Episcopal Church
missionaries who were serving in the missionary district. Fifty years
after the work first began, in 1940, the first native Brazilian was
elected to the episcopate, Athalício Theodoro Pithan.
By 1950, the work had increased to the point that the missionary
district was too large and it was divided into three dioceses. This set
the stage for the continued development of the church in Brazil, which
eventually led to the formation of the Episcopal Anglican Church of
Brazil as an autonomous Province of the Anglican Communion in
1965. Complete financial independence from the Episcopal Church
was completed by 1982, although the two churches continue to
have strong bonds of affection and united mission efforts through
companion diocese relationships and coordination at the church-wide
level.

Collects

I  O God, who didst send thy Son to preach peace to those
who are far off and to those who are near: we bless thee
for the missionaries from the Episcopal Church and those
who first responded to their message, joining together to
establish the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil; and we
pray that we, like them, may be ready to preach Christ
crucified and risen, and to encourage and support those
who pioneer new missions in him; who liveth and reigneth
with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

II O God, who sent your Son to preach peace to those who
are far off and to those who are near: we bless you for
the missionaries from the Episcopal Church and those
who first responded to their message, joining together to
establish the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil; and we
pray that we, like them, may be ready to preach Christ
crucified and risen, and to encourage and support those
who pioneer new missions in him; who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

Psalm 125

Lessons
2 Esdras 2:42–48
1 Peter 1:18–25
Luke 4:14–21

Preface of All Saints

From Holy, Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints © 2010 by The Church Pension Fund. Used by permission.

###

We invite your reflections about this commemoration and its suitability for the official calendar and worship of The Episcopal Church. How did this person’s life witness to the Gospel? How does this person inspire us in Christian life today?

To post a comment, your first and last name and email address are required. Your name will be published; your email address will not. The first time you post, a moderator will need to approve your submission; after that, your comments will appear instantly.