Reflections on Contemporary Anglican Worship
- Written by: Peter Smith
Peter Smith challenges some aspects of contemporary worship and commends Cranmer’s way of encouraging the faithful.
The Anglican Church of Australia has undergone a profound liturgical revolution since the turbulent days of the 1960s.1 Whole dioceses and local churches right across Australia have been working towards more meaningful forms of corporate worship. For most, the innovations are driven by a desire to make the experience of church more engaging.2
Sadly, much of what passes for vitalAnglican worship today would be described by our Reformed Anglican forebears as Arian or Pelagian. Rather than helping people to feel good, the effect of many of the new service forms undermines Christian assurance. What is more disturbing is that churches once proud of their Anglican heritage have swept away the Reformed Anglican liturgical heritage. A style of worship that reflects the doctrines of the medieval church period is flourishing today, including dioceses that pride themselves as orthodox.3
Five Challenges for Local Churches
- Written by: Stephen Hale
Stephen Hale explains some challenges and opportunities facing the church he leads.
As the Lead Minister of a larger Anglican church, we’re seeking to work through a number of major challenges. Chances are if we’re facing these challenges others might be as well.
These are five big challenges/opportunities we’re wrestling with:
We’re a classic gathered church where people come to us from all over the place. We have a great reputation and offer a full range of ministries for families, youth and young adults. We don’t have to work hard to get people, they just come to us. While we rejoice in this unique opportunity, we’re seeking to work out what it means to be a local church. We recently visit-ed our neighbours in Kew and they told us:
• we’ve heard you’re a great church
• we don’t know what you do
• you should advertise more
• no one is creating community around here
Jerusalem to Nairobi
- Written by: Richard Condie
Richard Condie reflects on two GAFCON meetings and the contrasts between them.
A lot has changed in the five years since the first GAFCON was held in Jerusalem in 2008. The contrast between it and the second conference held on October 21-26 in Nairobi, Kenya this year was quite marked. Both conferences were inspirational, but in different ways: one to draw a “line in the sand” to deal with a crisis, and the other to mature a movement that is full of hope and forward facing mission.
Opening sessions of large conferences like this often set the background and tone for what follows. GAFCON 1 in Jerusalem opened with a recounting of the unhappy history of the Anglican communion since 1998. The story was one of a slide into liberalism, especially in North America, the dislocation of orthodox believers, civil action in the courts, and the failure of the Instruments of Communion to deal with the situation. It was a sombre stage for the work that needed to be done in defining Anglican identity, making a stand for truth and in charting a new course for the future.
The Big Issue
- Written by: Kanishka Raffel
Kanishka Raffel reports on the second Global Anglican Future Conference held in Nairobi, Kenya in October 2013.
What was the "big issue" of the second Global Anglican Future Conference held in Nairobi, Kenya in October 2013? Making disciples. GAFCON II took as its theme, "Making Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ". As a gathering of more than 1300 Anglican Christians from 40 nations and 27 Anglican Provinces, GAFCON provided a rare and wonderful opportunity for fellowship among those engaged in the same mission around the world. We gathered as Anglican Christians who proclaim the same Lord by the power of the same Spirit in accordance with the truth of the same biblical gospel, yet in many different contexts.
In the majority world, gospel proclamation takes place in the face of increasing opposition from militant religionists, Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist. Meeting in Kenya so soon after the attack on the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi provided a sobering reminder that for many of those present at the conference, discipleship and evangelism are pursued in the face of daily threat and violence.
New Archbishop of Sydney
- Written by: Dale Appleby
A former chair of EFAC Australia has been elected as the twelfth Archbishop of Sydney.
The Most Reverend Doctor Glenn Davies was born in 1950. He grew up on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and was educated at Sydney Church of England Grammar School. With a BSc from Sydney University, he worked as a mathematics teacher. Since coming to faith during his high school years, he was actively involved in Christian ministry, including youth and campus ministry, before deciding to enter the ministry full time.
He studied at Moore Theological College (DipA) and West-minster Theological Seminary (MDiv, ThM) and was ordained by the then Archbishop of Sydney, Sir Marcus Loane, in 1981. He gained a PhD from Sheffield University in 1988.