Tuesday, September 21, 2010

SCLM Addresses US House of Bishops

I send you this message as an update of the ongoing work being down by the Episcopal Church’s (TEC) Standing Committee on Liturgy and Music (SCLM) on the matter of blessing “same-sex couples.”

The Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers, associate member of APLM Council chair of SCLM, and other members of the Commission met with TEC’s House of Bishops (HOB) this past weekend. She spoke of General Convention’s motion C056, which directs SCLM to consult with the HOB as it collects and develops resources for same-sex blessings. A report on resources gathered will be presented at General Convention in 2012. SCLM’s work addresses four areas: liturgical resources; theological resources, pastoral and teaching resources; and canonical/legal considerations.

The Rev. Patrick Malloy, another associate member of Council, outlined the principles adopted by the Liturgical Resources Task Group to guide its work: rites developed should be consistent with the Book of Common Prayer and the Baptismal covenant, and liturgical principles that express Anglican liturgical qualities (literary, formal, holy, meaningful, metaphorical, performative). The work must have contemporary speech, liturgical prayer, and expressions of the Church, not simply of the couple.

The Rev. Jay Emerson Johnson outlined the theological principles being addressed by the Theological Resources Task Group: vocation, spiritual discipline, covenant, household, faithfulness.

The Rev. Canon Thaddeus A. Bennett and the Rev. Canon Susan Russell of the Pastoral and Teaching Resources Task Group are focusing on the pastoral resources to prepare couples for ceremonies and teaching resources to prepare congregations to better understand the parameters of the resources.

Susan Russell has a blog post about their time with the HOB, and the follow up to that meeting. It's a long piece, but well worth taking the time to read:


I remind you, too, to continue checking SCLM’s blog for their postings about this and other work:



Jay Koyle, APLM President

Monday, July 12, 2010

3rd Annual Colloquium Announced

This is just a quick note to inform you well ahead of time about the third annual “Associated Parishes Colloquium” at Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP) in Berkeley, California, Thursday, November 11, 2010.

This year’s presenter is Dr. Jeremy Begbie. His topic: “Music and Emotion in Worship: Have We Anything to Fear?”

The emotional power of music is proverbial. Yet, it is this power that, even when valued, often fuels suspicion among many within the church. This year’s lecture will consider the nature of emotion, how music might achieve its emotional effect, and whether any of our anxieties about music in worship are well grounded. The presentation will be illustrated extensively with music, both recorded and performed at the piano.

Specializing in the interface between theology and the arts, Jeremy Begbie’s particular research interest is the interplay between music and theology. He is the inaugural holder of the Thomas A. Langford Research Professorship in Theology at Duke Divinity School, North Carolina, and Founding Director of “Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts.” He is also Senior Member at Wolfson College, Cambridge, and an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculties of Divinity and Music at the University of Cambridge. Previously he has been Associate Principal at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, and Honorary Professor at the University of St Andrews where he directed the research project, “Theology Through the Arts” at the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts. In short, he has taught widely in the UK, North America and South Africa, specializing in multimedia performance-lectures.

Begbie is author of a number of books, including “Voicing Creation’s Praise: Towards a Theology of the Arts” (T & T Clark); “Theology, Music and Time” (CUP), and most recently, “Resounding Truth: Christian Wisdom in the World of Music” (Baker/SPCK) which won the Christianity Today 2008 Book Award in the Theology/Ethics Category.

If you will or can be in the Berkeley area in mid-November this year, mark your calendar now and plan to be at CDSP for APLM’s 3rd annual colloquium. Please share this information, too, with anyone you think might benefit from this event.

Scroll down to see the videos of the first 1st and 2nd APLM Colloquium posted at this blog.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Liturgy and Music Blog

The Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SCLM) has established a new blog and is looking for your input on their current projects.

The first is major revision of "Lesser Feasts and Fasts," the official worship book which includes biographies of saints who are commemorated in the calendar of The Episcopal Church, along with the collects and scripture readings appointed for these observances. "Holy Women, Holy Men" will contain over one hundred new commemorations approved at General Convention 2009.

The second project also arises from GC 2009. Resolution C056 directs SCLM to collect and develop theological, liturgical and pastoral resources for blessing same-sex relationships. The Commission has formed several task groups to fulfill this mandate.

Please bookmark SCLM’s blog, follow their progress, and offer your responses and reflections.

The blog can be found at http://liturgyandmusic.wordpress.com/

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Statement from APLM Council on the Archbishop of Canterbury's Pentecost Letter

The Convent Station Statement on the changing ethos of the Anglican Communion
Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Council of The Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission (APLM), meeting in New Jersey, expresses its grave concern at the distressing news of the dismissal of the Episcopal Church´s members of Anglican international ecumenical dialogues on the basis of the Archbishop of Canterbury´s Pentecost letter. Our alarm, however, goes much deeper than the presenting issues.

It should now be clear to all that the result of the proposed “Covenant” is not only to control those Churches that ordain openly gay and lesbian persons.  Rather, the Archbishop has finally come out about the ramifications of the proposed “Covenant:” reshaping the structure of the Anglican Communion into a hierarchically-centralized Communion.

As an association historically dedicated to renewing the liturgy and mission of the Church, APLM is amazed by the Archbishop´s lack of respect for the Constitution and worship of the Episcopal Church, a duly constituted member province of the Communion.  Other member Churches should take note.

The Episcopal Church’s Constitution and Book of Common Prayer (which is itself part of the Constitution) are founded upon a baptismal theology of the Church more Orthodox than Roman and certainly more Anglican than the vision of the Church which seems to guide the Archbishop.  For we understand ourselves as a community of the baptized, governing ourselves by the consent of the governed not by the will of any hierarch. The punitive actions referenced are more to be expected from a Church with unitary hierarchical control, such as the Church of Rome.

Additionally we lament this disregard for the tradition of English law, penalizing persons who are not the perpetrators of the alleged offense and scapegoating the innocent.  The dismissal has also betrayed our shared tradition of equal protection under the law by targeting the Episcopal Church first, without punishing simultaneously those member Churches of the Communion which have failed to engage in the promised listening process and have further fractured the Communion. 

We applaud the response of the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church and join her in decrying this latest assault upon its polity and the Baptismal theology of the Book of Common Prayer.

Convent Station, NJ, June 13 2010

Saturday, June 12, 2010

An Update from Council

Your APLM Council's annual meeting continues to be rich and productive. On Friday, we heard from a number of doctoral students from Drew and GTS. Their research demonstrated APLM's important contribution to liturgical renewal in the past. Their presentations also added to our current conversation and work as an organization. Some of their material will appear as online videos or articles in our online journal, OPEN. When these are posted, you will be notified where to find them.

We also heard presentations from Melissa Hartley and John Hill addressing the theological and ecclesiological issues that must be addressed in considering the practice of "Open Communion." John's brief talk will be posted online and his article is planned for a future issue of Liturgy Canada. We will post this, too, when a final copy is available.

Today, Council is outlining a schedule of meetings and conferences leading to, and following up on the upcoming meeting of General Convention (TEC, 2012) and General Synod (Anglican Church of Canada, 2013).

We appreciate your continued interest, and your emails, postings, and other forms of feedback.

Please check your APLM group page and respond to the question posted about Open Communion.

Many thanks,

Friday, June 11, 2010

Robust Baptismal Theology

When the recent economic crisis struck North America, having an extra impact on the already struggling people of Allentown, The Rev Dr. Patrick Malloy and the congregation of Grace Church decided to renovate their building’s liturgical space. This was not the action of a parish out of touch with the surrounding community. Rather, it flowed from Grace’s normal pattern of worship doing justice doing worship.

Grace, AllentownAs APLM Council devoted its first day of the 2010 meeting to exploring the implications of a robust baptismal theology in worship and in the overall Missional life of the church, Patrick Malloy, Professor of Liturgics at General Theological Seminary in New York, spoke from his rich experience as Rector of Grace Church, Allentown, PA. Throughout the afternoon session, he offered a series of talks, video and slideshow presentations, and times of discussion which demonstrated how liturgy can do and spark justice.

For a number of years, Grace has navigated the treacherous waters of economic downturn and social instability which have been characteristic of Allentown since long before the recent crisis. At one time on the verge of closing, the congregation decided not to follow in the footsteps of other churches and flee the core of the city. Instead, it found renewed vitality by engaging in ministry in/with/to the area in which its building stood. Over time, this congregation of only 55 people has developed an active food bank, a Montessori school, an AIDS services center, an employment agency, free legal counseling service, a rehab program for young offenders and a shelter for chronically homeless people.

What is telling is that all of this missional activity fuels and is fueled by the liturgical life of the church. As one member of the congregation put the matter, “In liturgy, we don’t just sit around here and watch somebody do something; we do it. So during the week we do it, too.” It’s not so much the words of the liturgy that form the parish, then, but enacted rites. The Christian life is not something passive; it’s about doing something. The congregation finds that there is no need to import texts focused on an economic-justice agenda to form people in and for God’s Reign. Instead, Grace has discovered that the 1979 Prayer Book liturgy has the capacity to “sustain and compel a Church as it confronts an inequitable economy…the layering upon them of justice-themed texts from outside the BCP tradition is, at best, unnecessary and, at worst, a distraction from the real business of enacting in ritual form life in God’s Reign.”

One key element in all of this was the liturgical renovation of the church building. Not only has this proved formative to the congregation through liturgical enactment, it has also provided purpose, economic stimulus and a show of stability to the surrounding area.

APLM plans to post further reflections and video clips of Patrick’s inspiring and enlightening presentation on our website and Facebook pages over the coming weeks and months. Please stay tuned…

We also encourage you to visit Grace Church’s website: www.graceallentown.org

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Council Meeting

Your APLM Council meets this week, June 9-13, at Convent Station, NJ. The bulk of our work will focus on the recent Baptismal Consultation held in Shreveport, LA, and administered by APLM. We are excited about the excellent work accomplished by that gathering and look forward to building on its efforts.

During our time together this week, in addition to hearing from Consultation participants and following up on its reports and recommendations, Council will welcome a number of speakers.

Patrick Malloy of General Theological Seminary (GTS) will draw on his experience in Allentown, PA as he leads Council's ongoing reflection on the dynamic relationship that exists between vital sacramental worship and the baptismal call to do justice.

John Hill will speak to us on the relation of Baptism and Eucharist, the grammar of the sacraments and our changing experience of these celebrations.

Doctoral students from GTS and Drew University will share their research with us on topics such as the recent history of Holy Week in the Episcopal Church, the development and current state of catechumenal practice in the church, changing perspectives and patterns of funeral practice over the last 100 years, and the ongoing question of “Open Table" and the sharing in Communion by those who are not baptized.

And, as stated above, participants in the recent Baptismal Consultation will make presentations and lead us in discussion as we set about our work of supporting and following up on their efforts in anticipation of General Convention 2012.

Most of these talks will be recorded for later posting on web and Facebook pages.

You will receive regular updates on these sessions and other items of our Council agenda. We invite you to post comments on the listserv or on our Facebook group page. We ask for your prayers during the coming days.


Jay Koyle,

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Baptismal Consultation

APLM continues to play a leading role promoting and strengthening baptismal ministry in the church. The 2009 General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Anaheim unanimously passed a resolution mandating a second baptismal consultation to produce a wide variety of resources that will be brought to the 2012 General Convention for action. The first consultation was co-convened by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and APLM in 2007 to shape the agenda that was subsequently endorsed by General Convention. The following outcomes will be offered in 2012:

  • Theological reflection on the vision of baptismal community and ministry expressed in the Book of Common Prayer (TEC) and the Book of Alternative Services (Canada)
  • Strategies and resources supportive of Christian formation in light of this vision
  • Educational resources to foster Episcopal identity and the development of rites to celebrate "becoming Episcopalian"
  • Training programs and rites for certifying leadership positions in the Episcopal Church
  • Proposed revisions to canon law (TEC) to conform the canons to the baptismal theology of The Book of Common Prayer, removing obstacles to full baptismal ministry.

The members of the baptismal consultation were appointed in 2007 by the Presiding Bishop and APLM. They represent the diverse voices needed at the table for this project to succeed. These include bishops, theologians, liturgists, Christian educators, parish clergy, canon lawyers and justice advocates:

Neil Alexander, Henry Parsley, Joe Burnett, Wayne Smith, Wilfrido Ramos-Orench, Joe Doss, Ruth Meyers, Louis Weil, Jim Turrell, Lee Mitchell, Bill Petersen, Byron Rushing (co-convenor), Linda Grenz, John Westerhoff, Sharon Pearson, Ruth-Ann Collins, Marilyn Haskell, Ginger Paul, Hisako Beasley, Sally Johnson, Devon Anderson, Clay Morris, Georgia Beardsley, Michael Merriman, Stephanie Spellers, John Johnson, and Robert Brooks.

The baptismal consultation will meet in April, 2010, at Holy Cross Parish in Shreveport, LA, to prepare its materials for the church and its report to General Convention.

APLM welcomes and appreciates further donations in support of the Consultation and our ongoing efforts.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

APLM Colloquium 2008

At the inaugural APLM Colloquium in November 2008, the Rev. Dr. Paul Bradshaw spoke on the topic “The Liturgical Movement: Gains and Losses.” Dr. Bradshaw has taught at the University of Notre Dame since 1985 and is acknowledged as one of the foremost liturgical scholars not only in the Anglican Communion, but throughout the Christian world. He has also published extensively on the subject of Christian liturgy, having written or edited more than 20 books and over 90 essays or articles. His major books include Daily Prayer in the Early Church, The Search for the Origins of Christian Worship, and Eucharistic Origins.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Priestly Offering: Intercessory Prayer in Christian Worship

Above is the video of the Associated Parishes Colloquium at Church Divinity School of the Pacific. The second Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission Colloquium took place on November 12, 2009, at Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, CA. Featured speaker the Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers spoke on the topic “A Priestly Offering: Intercessory Prayer in Christian Worship.” After a formal response by Dr. John Klentos, lively Q-and-A and conversation ensued. A video of the talk will be linked at this website when it becomes available.

In July 2009, Dr. Meyers began serving as Hodges-Haynes Professor of Liturgics at Church Divinity School of the Pacific, after 14 years on the faculty of Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois. Her publications include Continuing the Reformation: Re-Visioning Baptism in the Episcopal Church, Gleanings: Essays on Expansive Language with Prayers for Various Occasions (edited with Phoebe Pettingell), and numerous articles and book reviews. She was recently elected chair of the Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music. A past president of North American Academy of Liturgy, Dr. Meyers has also served on the Steering Committee of the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation, in which she continues to be an active participant. Her current research focuses on the relationship of liturgy and mission.

Respondent John Klentos is Associate Professor of Eastern Orthodox Christian Studies, Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California. Dr. Klentos, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, has published several articles on Orthodox worship and theology. His research interests include the history of Byzantine liturgy and Orthodox Christian theology.

At the inaugural APLM Colloquium in November 2008, the Rev. Dr. Paul Bradshaw spoke on the topic “The Liturgical Movement: Gains and Losses.” Dr. Bradshaw has taught at the University of Notre Dame since 1985 and is acknowledged as one of the foremost liturgical scholars not only in the Anglican Communion, but throughout the Christian world. He has also published extensively on the subject of Christian liturgy, having written or edited more than 20 books and over 90 essays or articles. His major books include Daily Prayer in the Early Church, The Search for the Origins of Christian Worship, and Eucharistic Origins.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Recently on the Associated Parishes email list for the council list we got into a discussion of Confirmation that began because Ruth Meyers discovered an Executive Council Resolution calling for the development of competancies for Confirmation. 

The idea that Confirmation is in any way required for full inclusion in the life of the church is antithetical to what we stand for, and "competancies" seem to imply that one is not a full member until the confirmation box is checked.  Yet, some of us wondered if the best way to attack that implication might not include a recognition that the drive for "competancies" may come from a valuable goal of ensuring the quality of Christian Formation programs in local churches - which logically flows from taking the Baptismal vows seriously.  

How can "Confirmation" be understood and practiced in such a way that Baptismal theology is not undermined?  Though the BCP seems clear to us, Confirmation is misunderstood on the ground in many places.  Is it too misunderstood to be salvaged as a practice or should the practice of "Confirmation" as it is now, be ended so that it will be clear to all that the chrismation at the end of the baptism seals the individual and completes the Baptism? Our long discussion has  included varying viewpoints on whether teens can be thought of as "mature" enough to be expected to make the commitment of Confirmation, among other things. 

Ruth rightly noted yesterday that as we had moved into a general conversation about Confirmation we ought to move the conversation over to the ap members list and the APLM blog. So I'm attempting to do that and offer the things that are beginning to crystalize for me... (sorry this is long but...)  

Remembering an earlier conversation on this listserv I pondered the various reasons and meanings that others had given to the presence of the bishop at Confirmation.  The presence of the bishop seems to be a key issue/problem in this whole debate. I began to connect that with my current situation in my parish.  

I am currently involved in leading a YAC group (the final portion of the Journey to Adulthood program in which Confirmation is often expected to occur) and so the question of Confirmation,  - its rationale, its theology, etc, are hitting me where I live.   I do not think that the group I am working with has recieved all that they should have formationally and educationally for me to believe it is appropriate to present them for Confirmation and am doubtful that we can accomplish this by the scheduled date for our "Durham area" Confirmation (note this is not a parish event) in April. 

Particularly, while they have learned many good things through J2A about getting along and serving the less fortunate, they do not demonstrate the slightest ability to connect the tradition (liturgy or scripture or any theolgical concept or any spiritual practice) with their lives or their ethical views about helping others. 

While I realize that many adults also can not do this, I have seen 10 and 11 year olds demonstrate better theological and liturgical literacy.  The parish I was in from 1996 until a year ago has led me to believe that a pretty high level of theological competance can be developed by the teenage years in many children if we aim high. I suggested that perhaps the competancies for confirmation, if developed and carefully worded, could actually reflect more on the parish and its program of formation, and thus be used to reinforce Baptismal theology and the liturgical "We will" that is part of the rite. 

If I decide to refuse to present the youth for Confirmation my reason will be that "WE are not ready" - we, the parish, have not completed what we ought to have formed in these kids by this point in their lives. I am beginning to form the following position:  Whether the parish is marking a period of preparation that coincides with the time when a child is entering the wider world (indicated by things that teens are usually doing: driving, working, preparing for college or the military) or marking a moment when an adult who was baptised as an infant, has come formward expressing a desire to make an adult commitment to the baptismal vows, it seems to me that the bishop's presence can be understood in a way that some have recently expressed. 

The bishop signifies the connection to the wider church and the world - appropriate for times when a person is either about to venture out, is currently in a typically more transient time of life or has settled into a parish after a time of normal transience (college, etc).  And the bishop's presence, if understood in this way, could also signify his or her validation of the parish's work in preparing individuals for a mature (though admittedly varying levels of "mature") profession of faith, which, in my view, includes the understanding that the baptismal call is not limited to life between the parish walls.  In other words, the parish has attended to the "we will" of the baptism. 

In the case of  teens, they send the youth out knowing they have done what was in their power to support the child in their life in Christ. OR in the case of adults they are owning the "we will" that others made in an earlier time and usually in a different space.  In no way would Confirmation be confused as a requirement for life in the church; it would merely mark a time of intentional preparation and reflection on one's baptismal call that is the result of participation in the church.  Whew - that's a lot, but there was a LOT more over the last few days... we should have moved this over sooner!   

I'm sure the other council members will now summarize what they feel is at the fore of this issue... and I'm excited about hearing many voices on these issues- especially those who will disagree with me! 


Friday, September 4, 2009

Speaking the Call to Ministry to One Another

Click here to view a PDF file of the article

Speaking the Call to Ministry to One Another: A re-visioning of the Chrism Mass Holy Week liturgy, with bishop, clergy, and laypeople. Where might we go with the Maundy Thursday Chrism Mass and Reaffirmation of Ordination Vows? Donald Schell writes of twenty-five years experience of the ‘Chrism Mass’ and Renewal of Ordination Vows in Holy Week, valuing the experience for its collegiality and but also wondering how diocesan and cathedral liturgies for this event, shaped when the 1979 Prayer Book was new, could be reframed to give clergy and laity in Holy Week opportunity to celebrate and nurture their shared call to service and the servanthood in friendship that Christ commands in John’s Gospel.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Starting from Scratch

Click here to read the article as a PDF
Starting from Scratch: What Church Panting Looked Like for St. Lydia's
is a new Open article now online. Click the image above to read the article by Emily Scott.

Emily Scott tells of the first months of founding St. Lydia’s, her new effort at liturgical evangelism and community building with young adults in New York City. The congregation that she began and that’s now taking steps to shape its own life is still, as she says, ‘hot off the press,’ and she tells the beginning of a story that invites us to ask for more.

Here as St. Lydia’s is just begun and while the thinking and experience are in formative stages she writes about what prompted this beginning, how she made initial choices, what church and organizational thinking she drew on to shape a new start-up. With the unguarded voice of those moments of beginnings, she’s asking what the work of starting something really is. That question of how to begin something new can speak to any church leader and any congregation. It’s always going to be specific and local, anyone risking the spiritual and practical work of first steps will welcome hear not just of the progress St. Lydia’s has made, but how that progress was made, and what they learned along the way.

Anticipated Returns: The Advent Project

Click to read the article as a PDF
Anticipated Returns: The Advent Project
is a new Open article. Click the image above to read the article by William Peterson.

We publish Bill Petersen’s article on the North American Academy of Liturgy’s “Advent Project Seminar” in time to challenge any of us who plan liturgy to restore Advent to its ancient seven week length, sidestep the ‘Christmas culture,’ and find our way to much-needed preaching, teaching and reflection on what Christian eschatology actually looks like, how it’s different from ‘End Times’ speculations of the Religious Right, and how the end which has come to us in Christ invites us to live differently NOW. The North American Academy of Liturgy’s ecumenical conversations took this renewed approach to practical ideas including the observation that the Revised Common Lectionary anticipates such a change, or at least supplies suitable readings for a seven week Advent. The seminar also suggested experimental use of the “O” Antiphons one by one for this longer seven week Advent, and invited making new sources (or adapting existing ones) such as hymnody and psalm antiphons to give the extended season character and life. This article was invited by APLM Council member John Hill and is also published in Liturgy Canada.

Read it and see what your congregation can do to linger in reflection on the coming and presence of God’s kingdom. The seminar is particularly interested in hearing of experiments this advent – what you tried and how it worked. Read, ponder, and join this ecumenical and international effort to renew and enlarge our Advent in practice.

Pews, Mission, and Worship

Click to read the article as a PDF
Pews, Mission, and Worship: A Pastoral Letter to a Parish
is a new Open article now online in PDF format. Click the image here to read Philip Carr-Janes article.

Writing a pastoral letter to his congregation about the history of church furniture (particularly the seating) and what it can do to serve or hinder or worship, Phil Carr-Jones gives broad Biblical background, a solid sketch of the history and evolution (or decay) or Christian practice and proposes a full seasonal cycle for reordering the church space with a rationale for the seating of each season.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Baptismal Theology Resolution

The following Resoltion B013 was passed by The General Convention of The Episcopal Church to continue the work APLM is leading on Baptismal Theology:

Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That the 76th General Convention of The Episcopal Church commend the Presiding Bishop for convening, with Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission, a national consultation on baptismal theology in October 2007, representative of bishops, theologians, liturgists, Christian educators, parish priests and justice advocates and inclusive of the diversity of this Church; and be it further

Resolved, That the 76th General Convention further commend the national baptismal theology consultation for identifying areas and resources needed to implement fully the baptismal theology of the Book of Common Prayer in the life of the Church; and be it further

Resolved, That the 76th General Convention commend the Theology Committee of the House of Bishops and the Colloquium of North American Anglican Liturgists for their meeting in January 2008, for identifying together the needs of the Church in ongoing baptismal formation and ministry and formation in Episcopal identity; and be it further

Resolved, That the 76th General Convention urge the national consultation on baptismal theology to continue its work in the next triennium and provide to the next General Convention educational resources for formation in Episcopal identity and rites to celebrate that identity, educational resources for training the baptized for leadership positions in the Church and rites for entering leadership positions, and any proposed revisions to the canons to conform them to the baptismal theology of the Book of Common Prayer.

The 75th General Convention in 2006 considered resolutions from the Dioceses of Connecticut, Northern Michigan, and California which called for conforming the Canons to the baptismal theology of the Book of Common Prayer. The cognate Committees on Liturgy and Music of the respective houses expanded the original diocesan resolutions to call for a national consultation on baptismal theology representative of bishops, theologians, liturgists, Christian educators, parish priests and justice advocates and inclusive of the diversity of the Church. The consultation was to prepare educational resources for formation in Episcopal identity, training programs for certification for leadership positions in the Church, and any revisions to the Canons to conform them to the theology of the Prayer Book. While Convention did not complete action on that resolution, the Presiding Bishop, working with Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission, convened a national consultation on baptismal theology in October 2007 that met the composition of the resolution. An agenda was identified to accomplish the work and task forces created to accomplish it. In January 2008, Bishop Henry Parsley and other members of the Theology Committee of the House of Bishops met with the Colloquium of North American Anglican Liturgists to identify the needs of the Church to implement the Prayer Book's baptismal theology. The national consultation on baptismal theology needs to continue its work in the next Triennium and bring its resources and recommendations to the 77th General Convention in 2012.

Prayers for The General Convention

Prayers for the Daily Offices and Occasions of General Convention 2009
Jennifer Phillips (Clergy- Alt.1, RI)

From West and North and East and South
we gather to do you honor, Blessed God.
We thank you for one another,
for the gracious earth that sustains us,
for the vision of your coming reign,
and for the love of the Savior, Jesus Christ,
through whom you have stooped to lift us
and the whole world heavenward,
and who with you and the Holy Spirit
is one God, to the ages of ages. Amen.

Vigilant God, whose ears are always open to your people’s cry:
hear the plea of those who are poor and in distress;
attend to those whose clamor is for justice
and whose lament seeks comfort and reconciliation.
May your Spirit shape us into people of long listening
and patient understanding toward one another,
generous of heart, leavened by humor, truthful in speech
and kindly in intent;
and grant us a share of that mind which was in Christ our Savior
who called us friends,
and in whose name we ask it. Amen.

God whose cresting hand
has quilted us into one fabric,
one pattern of beauty and right proportion for you pleasure:
teach us so to rejoice in one another
and to blend our wills in common purpose
that together we may warm the world with love,
serving your whole creation well
in the name of Jesus Christ
and by the energy of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Wisdom cries out at the gates:
let those who seek to discern wisely
sit and reason together in my presence!
And so, Holy One, we join in council here.
In the urgent concerns and in the clutter of our agendas,
may your Wisdom be our guide,
that we may love kindness, do justice,
and in humility desire only you;
we pray in the name and through the Spirit
of Jesus, the Beloved. Amen.

Praise to you, Holy One!
You shower us with blessing
like grain poured out into our lap in full measure,
shaken down, running over.
Stir up in us such joy and goodness
that all whom we encounter
may see and know by our lives
that your reign has come near them;
this we pray through Jesus Christ our Savior,
who with you and the Holy Spirit
lives and reigns one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Bountiful God,
before whom we stand in the poverty of our being,
which by your plentiful redemption becomes rich and full of blessing;
so draw us into habits of generosity and mercy
that, filled with thankfulness,
we may be mindful of all those who live in need or distress
and may love these others as you first loved us,
that we may walk in the footsteps of our Savior Jesus Christ
who with you and the Holy Spirit,
is one God living and true, to the ages of ages. Amen.

All-Holy and Life-Giving God,
whose Spirit summoned the prophets into brave witness,
and dwelt in your Son Jesus, fully human and divine;
you poured out that same Spirit on the disciples
in Penetcost wind and fire, to flow into all your Church.
By the power of that Spirit given to us in Baptism,
send us continually into all your world
as glad messengers of the Gospel,
so that always and everywhere
we may honor you and give you praise,
Holy and undivided Trinity for ever and ever. Amen.

God, our rock and refuge,
who for our restless hearts
are the only true rest and home:
teach us to be clement and welcoming
toward all who are strangers and sojourners,
all who travel for work or for safety,
all who migrate in fear and danger,
and all those who have no homes.
We pray in the name of your child Jesus
who saw the foxes in their dens and the birds on their nests
and yet had no place safely to lay his head,
but who welcomed us as heirs
and fellow-citizens of the reign of heaven,
where with you the Father, and the Holy Spirit,
risen and ascended he now dwells
with all the saints in light to the ages of ages. Amen.

Invisible, almighty and eternal God
whose energy and order guides the atomic particles
and the planets in their dance:
deepen in us appreciation for our cosmos,
renew our joy in your goodness,
move us to respect and wonder at the mystery of your work
and grant us to be
prudent in conserving, temperate in using,
brave in self-restraining, generous in sharing,
and just in honoring every creature of yours in its own right
and for your sake,
that in all things we may honor you and give you praise. Amen.

God whose desire for us will not be thwarted
when we lock ourselves away in fear:
your Christ comes to us through the walls we build,
filling us with peace and courage;
when we hide ourselves in the abyss,
even there your right hand holds us fast;
and when we wander in the greyfields of our sin,
you call us back
and your untiring love harrows hell to save us!
Give us grace, that even lying in the graves of our own devising,
we may stretch out our hands to be grasped by the strong arm
of our Savior, Jesus Christ,
and be raised with him by the power of the Holy Spirit
into eternal union with one another and with you,
who live and reign, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Let this be our green season,
God of the turning world and wheeling stars;
Fill us with the sweet fruitfulness of your love,
the urgency of the season to bring forth justice and joy.
Let the children play in the streets of the world safely,
and all the homes have open doors;
let the elders converse in peace on the porches
and the workers come home singing
over all your earth.
Let praise rise to you
like steam from the cooking fires
where all may be fed.
And let your Holy Spirit
and the life-bringing path of your Son Jesus,
draw the whole cosmos into perfect unity in you. Amen.

Occasional prayers for moments of stress, distress, particular thanksgiving, or special need:

Author of Life, whose Spirit comes to us
with the energy of wind and flame:
set us ablaze with passion to see your kingdom come;
fill us with your creative breath to help renew the face of the earth;
show us the brightness of your radiance in the faces
of all those whom you bring into being;
and by that same Spirit, move us always to say,
Thank you! Glory to you! Alleluia! and Amen!
Thank you! Glory to you! Alleluia! and Amen!

In the morning, Blessed God, our cry comes to you,
and at the noon hour we send our voice
seeking your mercy and forgiveness.
Again and again we wound one another
and step from the path of what is just and right;
Again and again in our narrow vision and self-preoccupation
we pass by and disregard our neighbor in need;
And still you love us and draw us back
with the nail-imprinted hands of your mercy
and wiping the soil of sin off us
call us your own beloved children:
sisters and brothers of Jesus and heirs with him
of your eternal promises.
All thanks and praise to you,
holy and undivided Trinity, one God
for ever and ever. Amen.

How is it that you could make and love me
even as you have made and love my enemy?
How is it that your creation contains such a wild diversity
of life and form and climate?
What were you thinking, mysterious God…
and what are you thinking now?
Surely, that divine delight has endless iterations,
that your work is many-splendored, your goodness ever-new,
and your love playful, fierce and inexhaustible!
And surpassing all -- your love poured out for the world
in the mortal life and death of Jesus the Messiah!
You come so near us, Blessed and Blessing One,
small as we are,
and so we praise and thank you through that same Jesus Christ
who, with you and the Holy Spirit, live and reigns
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Source of all being, Sustainer of all that lives:
the sound of your reverberant creating word
travels still through the universe making your love manifest.
How wonderful and beyond our knowing, most holy God,
is your grace and goodness toward us and all that you have made!
The whole cosmos cries Glory!
and we, your people, give our thanks and praise.
From continent to continent we stretch our hands toward one another
and send our voices to you in the hymn of all creation
acknowledging you alone as the Holy One.
In the power of your Spirit,
in the name of our Redeemer Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

We are listening.
God known to us through the hubbub and buzz of business,
known to us in the voice of friend and stranger,
known to us in grief and in laughter,
known to us in the still center of our heart,
when the mind turns and returns and sees more clearly:
speak now, that all may hear. Amen.

Not a sparrow falls without your knowledge,
Even the hairs of our head are numbered;
You have said it, gracious God.
In our grief in trouble and in [the fear of] loss
we lift to you our prayers for ________
and remembering that you have engraved us,
every one, on the palms of your hands,
and that in life and death your right hand holds us fast
and we dwell in the light of your Holy Spirit
through the self-giving of our Savior Jesus Christ,
with you, one God, Lord of time and memory,
now and for ever. Amen.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


A Buddhist list serve sent this to me today, I think it speaks well to Juan's post:

We live in the same world, but in different worlds. The differences come partly from our living in different places. If you live to the east of a mountain and I to the west, my world will have a mountain blocking its sunrises, and yours its sunsets. But—depending on what we want out of the world—our worlds can also differ even when we stand in he same place. A painter, a skier, and a miner looking at a mountain from the same side will see different mountains.

–Thanissaro Bhikkhu, The Paradox of Becoming

Saturday, November 8, 2008

APLM Colloquium

The inaugural Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission Colloquium took place on November 6 at Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, CA. The Rev. Dr. Paul Bradshaw was the featured speaker. Dr. Bradshaw has taught at the University of Notre Dame since 1985 and is acknowledged as one of the foremost liturgical scholars not only in the Anglican Communion, but throughout the Christian world. He has also published extensively on the subject of Christian liturgy, having written or edited more than 20 books and over 90 essays or articles. His major books include Daily Prayer in the Early Church, The Search for the Origins of Christian Worship, and Eucharistic Origins.

His topic for the address was "The Liturgical Movement: Gains and Losses." Dr. Bradshaw also sat in with students at a seminar for liturgical specialists, preached on William Temple on the latter's feast day, and delivered his address relating some of the history of the liturgical movement, with its successes and shortcomings, and finally answered many questions in both the closing part of the proceedings, and an informal questions thereafter.

A video of the talk will be linked at this website when it becomes available.

Monday, September 29, 2008

La Sacra Vida

San Fernando Cathedral, San Antonio, Texas
The APLM Council will meet May 7-11, 2009 at the Mexican American Cultural Center in San Antonio. One major focus of this meeting will be inculturation. The Rev. James "Jake" Empereur, S.J. will be a presenter.

Jake is vicar and liturgist at the San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio, Texas. He was for many years a professor of systematic and liturgical theology at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley and the Graduate Theological Union. Reading his book La Sacra Vida: Contemporary Hispanic Sacramental Theology in advance will help participants to engage in the conversation at the meeting.

Look for more information to come at this website as we continue to plan for this meeting.