This section contains the "hottest" issues in the worldwide Anglican church, as selected by the editors. Inclusion does not imply support of any particular position or group. If you have resources you would like to add, or would like to suggest a Hot Topic, e-mail the Page Editor:
Gail Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Future Is Now
Churches of England Launch Milennium Celebration Project
Sunday April 6th, 1997. Nothing special? Just the Sunday after Easter....? Actually, it's
exactly one thousand days before January 1st, 2000. And on this day, the Churches of England are asking everyone in the land to observe a "Millennium Moment" -- keep silence for a minute, light a candle, and say a prayer. And that's just the beginning! The English Churches suggest doing more -- much more, to prepare for the new century and to ensure there is "a Christian resonance to the civic plans" that inevitably will include all-night parties and fireworks on December 31, 1999. Their Web site offers a place for Christians throughout the world to share their Millennium plans.
All the World Sing Praise
Ever wish you could help the world to sing in perfect harmony? Here's your chance. This is a project designed to create an ecumenical world-wide "songs of praise event" in every capital city of the world for the first day of the next Millennium. It is under the auspices of the Catholic Youth Ministry Faith Alive in the UK who are members of the Association of Co-ordinators of Catholic Schools of Evangelisation, a branch of Evangelisation 2000.
The End Is Nigh ... Or the Dawning of the 'Age of Aquarius?'
With the approaching Millennium as a backdrop, the news media will inevitably get caught up in reporting on various interpretations of the Bible's apocalyptic passages, and it is likely that prognosticators of all stripes will put forth a variety of theories on the future of the world. Thus, it seems to be an appropriate time to introduce the topic of alternative forms of spiritual experience that are gaining in popularity throughout the world. Here are a few. Please let us know of others.
VERIDITAS the World-Wide Labyrinth Project
According to Dr. Lauren Artress, founder of the Labyrinth Project at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, "We are coming into the center of our spiritual hunger as we face the year 2000. Our social structures are changing.You can see it in every institution in our society. This is frightening people. That is why we see an increase in violence. Mainline churches have favored teaching religious content while neglecting spiritual processes and it is spiritual processes that help us deepen our spiritual journeys." She contends that people need to know how to quiet the mind, how to meditate and pray and sees the labyrinth as "a perfect spiritual tool for helping our global community to order chaos....You walk to the center of the labyrinth and there, you meet the Divine." VERITAS offers workshops on how to use the labyrinth and Ms. Artress will keynote a national women's conference on the subject at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., in July, 1997.
The New York Alpha Conference
The Alpha course is a ten-week practical introducation to the Christian faith. Designed
primarily for non-churchgoers and those who have recently become Christians, it is popular in the United Kingdom and throughout Europe but it is relatively new in the United States where it has its share of detractors. Alpha's proponents find it a simple and effective way of presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ in a clear and non-threatening manner to people from all walks of life. A two-day Alpha conference, to be held April 10-11, 1997, at St. Bartholomew's Church in New York City, offers a detailed look at all aspects of setting up and running an Alpha course. There will be opportunities to experience prayer ministry and to hear reports from those whose lives have been changed by the course.
The Taizé Community
For many people the name "Taizé" evokes a certain style of singing that has become popular in more and more churches, retreat centers, campus parishes and even seminaries. For some, the word also suggests gatherings which attract large numbers of young adults. Still others are aware that Taizé is, in fact, an ecumenical community of about 100 brothers located in a small village in eastern France. Tens of thousands of people, mainly between the ages of 17 and 30, come each year to spend a week returning to the roots of the Christian faith. Pope John Paul II visited Taizé in 1986, and in 1992, Dr. George Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, spent a week here with 1,000 young Anglicans from all the dioceses in England. Since then, other church leaders have followed his example in coming to Taizé with their young people. The Web site includes a daily Bible verse, a meditation and audio samples of the music from Taizé.
Should We Ordain Homosexuals?
Bishop Ingham: "For God So Loved the World..."
The complete transcript of Bishop Michael Ingham's (Diocese of New Westminster, Canada) controversial 1996 sermon on homosexual unions within the Anglican Church of Canada.
Canadian Bishops' Guidelines
Like most provinces in the Anglican communion, the Anglican Church of Canada has struggled with the issue of homosexuality for a number of
years. This is the official policy statement of the House of Bishops. No formal policy of the whole church is on the books.
Tod Maffin: "Selective Inclusiveness"
In support of the acceptance of gay priests, this is the text of a 1992 General Synod speech by the Anglicans Online! editor Tod Maffin.
Action for Gay and Lesbian Ordination
AGLO describes itself as "a single-issue pressure group"
which campaigns for lesbians, gay men and bisexuals to be equal with heterosexuals
in the Anglican priesthood. With members in 29 British dioceses, their
website has links to related news, and their newsletter, AGLOextra.
Bishop Righter Trial Information Centre
In the fall of 1990, Barry Stopfel was ordained a deacon in the Diocese of Newark. Stopfel is gay and, at the time of his ordination, was living, according to ECUSA papers, "in a sexual partnership" with another man. The assistant bishop of Newark, the Rt. Rev. Walter Righter, was absolved of church charges over his decision to ordain the gay man.
Mailing list: LUTI: Gay, Lesbian, and Bi-sexual Episcopalians
"You don't even have to speak or be known. If you need to, you may sit in the corner and lick your wounds. This is not a place for proselytization but a place to discuss our own journey and listen to others discuss theirs."
Should We Ordain Women to the Priesthood?
Brothers and Sisters In Christ
In Ireland, a campaign is underway for the ordination of women to the priesthood. While the BASIC web site is indeed quite basic, it provides a good overview of their organization.
Questioning Women's Ordination
The breakaway Anglican group Province of Christ the King joined forces with the American Church Union to produce this essay.
Women in Ministry (mailing list)
To join, send an e-mail to email@example.com. In the body of the message, type: subscribe
Will There Be a Future Church Without Youth?
Anglican Youth Sites
The Anglican Youth Association and the Anglican Kids Association are both run by young people in Anglican parishes. They'd set up these web sites which are kept updated regularly.
Gospel.com's "Youth Ministry Central" section has this listing of over 400 links to Web sites of interest to youth workers. Links point to valuable resources, such as clip art sites, drama sites (many with free scripts), and new conferences. The calendar, produced by Youth For Christ, is now automated.
Canadian Anglicans Youth Workers' Association
The Canadian Anglican Youth Workers' Association, born out of the Anglican Essentials conference, seeks to support and encourage
youth ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada, particularly providing opportunities for sharing resources, and providing training and development for those involved in youth ministry.
YANEL mailing list
For Anglican youth and young adults. To join, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
. In the body of the message, type: sub YANEL [your name]