Admiral of Morality: May 2007

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued his invitations to the decennial Lambeth Conference, with requests that reply slips be returned by July 31, once they are issued by the Lambeth Conference office. Recognizing that there is no General Convention this year, and that Episcopal churches tend to go on vacation beginning soon, Cantaur has graciously provided us with material to debate between now and September, when he visits the House of Bishops. He is a wise man.

Interestingly, the invites have gone out by email, and if bishops need further information or have questions, Cantaur invites them to send an email back, or visit the Lambeth conference website. That is fairly sophisticated for Lambeth.

Are they on one or two dedicated T1 lines, or do they use dial-up? Do they have tape backup? If Lambeth calls tech support, are they routed to India? Are they are on a mainframe or do they use blades? PC, or Mac? Did they elect the extended warranty for all this? We must discern prayerfully.

There are other questions, as well. The bishops of the Episcopal Church have been invited. Except for Gene Robinson, who has issued a statement at the Diocese of New Hampshire website saying his official exclusion is a "disappointment." Also not getting a reply slip--Martyn Minns, Akinola's deputy in the U.S.

According to the New York Times, Bishop Robinson may still be invited to attend the Lambeth Conference as a guest, but Rowan Cantaur is not contemplating inviting Minns in any capacity.

Why not? According to the BBC, "Canon Kearon said CANA did not have recognition as one of the bodies of the Anglican Church and Bishop Minns had not been invited on those grounds." He is not saying Minns is not a bishop, only that he is not a regular bishop of the Anglican Communion, and so not invited to the Lambeth Conference. Canon Kearon says Bishop Robinson is a regular bishop of the Anglican Communion, but one whose presence and ministry is so very controversial as understood by the Windsor Report, that his official presence might be disruptive. Minns is not going to be asked to attend at all, but Bishop Robinson might be asked to attend as a guest. Will CANA need to pay its Web elves overtime to strike all those "CANA is clearly and thoroughly 1000% Anglican and by the way the only TRUE Anglicans" statements from its web pages? Could be.

Canon Kearon speaks up for Cantaur by saying that there are substantial objections to Bishop Robinson's ministry. True enough, from certain quarters.

Those objections have led to many other objections and counter-objections, amongst them, objections to Rowan Williams' ministry as Archbishop of Canterbury. His discretionary, selective leadership has often been an embarrassment. His statements in affirmative defense of forms of discrimination are disgraceful. His silence on the concerted actions certain churches have directed to punish their own people is abominable. For a man who made his reputation on intellect and discernment there is nothing worse than stupidity, inaction, and wrong choices. He has weakened the office of Cantaur, of which he is simply steward. When he visits with our bishops in September, they should remind him in no uncertain terms, in the strongest language possible, that such failings do not go unnoticed. Apparently, no one else bothers to tell him.

The invitation notes that the Lambeth conference is not a Synod or council of the Church. It expressly notes that the gathering has this time been designed not to legislate or indoctrinate, but to strengthen the mission and community going forth in His name. This is forever a work in progress, to be sure.

Nonetheless, intentionally structuring the conference in this way is a welcome development. As we saw in Tanzania, there is nothing worse than Anglican bishops believing and acting as if they can legislate for the world. It will take more than the fine words of the invitation to keep this hope in place throughout the conference. It will take the concerted action of Rowan Cantaur and his staff. He will have to lead towards that goal.

Thankfully, we have the Lord Jesus Christ, the head of the Church, to look to as our model of discipleship, servant-hood, and ministry. Cantaur wisely invokes His name and life in his invitation, grounding his own call in the Lord's truth that in Him we are all one. If there is one thing that Rowan Cantaur may be praised for, it's for never passing up an opportunity to allude to this. Hopefully, he can find the strength and courage to live up to his own words.

It's something we can all pray for.

On the Web:

The Archbishop of Canterbury's invitation
The Lambeth Conference homepage
A story of one Episcopal summer chapel

Monday, May 07, 2007

The Great Commandment: "Want God with all your insides"

That is how the Great Commandment to love God with all your heart, is translated in Kriol, the language most widely spoken by the aboriginal people of Australia. More than 100 linguists recently finished nearly 30 years of work to translate the "Kriol Baibul." The event was dedicated by a ceremony attracting thousands to the Katherine Christian Convention in the Northern Territory.

The project was undertaken by a group of Aboriginal Christians and missionaries in the Northern Territory with support from many Christian organisations. The Archbishop of Melbourne, Phillip, called the work "a practical and lived response to the call to be one in Christ."

Here is the home site of the translation, where you can read (or at least look at!) passages; read more about the project and its supporters; and listen to the Lord's Prayer in Kriol.

Here is a story about it at The ABC Message Stick.

Blueberry Anglican Crumble Pie

Colorado Springs - A service at a schismatic Episcopal parish in Colorado Springs, a town where many gay evangelicals worship and preach but do not tell anyone they are gay, was disrupted Sunday when a man threw a pie at the pastor.

Police say Marcus Hyde was released for throwing the pie at at the Rev. Don Armstrong, who has come up with many reasons for why he is under presentment and inhibition except the most obvious one--that he has broken his priestly vows.

Witnesses told police Hyde entered a side door of Grace Church and St. Stephen's Parish during the service and tossed the pie at Armstrong, who ducked. Darn.

The suspect said he was passing judgment on Armstrong for his fellow parishioners, according to a police report, which failed to note the specific type of pie.

A lengthy and somewhat gurgly voicemail left for a reporter noted that the pie was Blueberry Anglican Crumble, which had been served regularly at functions of the Anglican Communion Institute, which was five guys, a leased computer, and the intermingled bank accounts of the church where the pie was thrown.

Blueberry Anglican Crumble Pie

Serving: Serves 8 to 10*

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup ice water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 pints blueberries
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest
1 freshly ground pepper
Unsalted butter and all-purpose flour, for pie tin


1. To make the crust: In a food processor, combine the flour, salt, and cold butter. Pulse until the mixture is the consistency of sand. Add the water while pulsing until the mixture comes together; being sure not to overwork it. (To mix the dough by hand, combine the flour, salt, and butter in a large bowl. Add the cold water and work by hand until the mixture comes together. You may take breaks to visit The Episcopal Cafe or Father Jake. ) Remove the dough from the food processor or bowl on a lightly floured work surface. Shape it into disk about 1/2 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling out.

2. To make the crumble: Combine the flour and sugar in a food processor until thoroughly combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture forms a crumble, being sure not to over mix. Refrigerate until ready to use. If George Carey is around, lock the fridge.

3. To make the filling: In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Using the back of a spoon, crush about 20 percent of the blueberries so the juice mixes with the cornstarch and thickens the filling.

4. To make the pie: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 10-inch pie tin; set aside on top of a picture of George Carey. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough. Place in pie tin, trim, and crimp the edges. Use a fork to poke holes around the sides and bottom of the crust. Chill until firm, about 20 minutes. Cover with a piece of parchment paper and fill it with dried beans. Bake until the crimped edges are firm, about 10 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and beans, and bake until the bottom is firm, about 10 minutes. Fill the crust with the berry mixture, spreading evenly, and top with the crumble. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and bake until the filling starts to bubble, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Remove, and cool on a wire rack.

5. To throw the pie: this is generally not done unless we are sure the person getting it really needs it, and this pie in particular is much too delicious to be wasted. Nonetheless. If the pie is indeed thrown, be mindful of your timing.

* But perhaps many more if brought to the Lord (see Luke 9:10 for this recipe)