"The Preachers chiefly shall take heed that they teach nothing in their preaching, which they would have the people religiously to observe and believe, but that which is agreeable to the Doctrine of the Old Testament and the New, and that which the Catholick Fathers and Ancient Bishops have gathered out of that Doctrine." A proposed canon of Elizabeth I, 1571

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Location: Bedford, Texas, United States

I am a presbyter in the diocese of Fort Worth, Texas (Anglican Church in North America). I serve as Chaplain at St. Vincent's School and as a canon of St. Vincent's Cathedral Church in Bedford, Texas. In addition to my parish duties and teaching Religion classes in the school I am also the Middle School Social Studies teacher.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Ecumenical Service

This evening I participated in an ecumenical service to commemorate the end of the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity with the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. This ecumenical service was held at First Christian Church, Arlington, Texas, where my good friend the Rev. Andy Mangum is pastor. There were representatives from the Roman Catholic Church, the United Methodists, the Southern Baptists, the Christian Church--Disciples of Christ, and the Church of Christ (non-instrumental). I was the sole Anglican participant, a last minute lay minister replacement due to the fact that all our clergy in the diocese of Fort Worth are on retreat with Bishop Iker this week in Dallas. The service was nice, though there were some things about the liturgy that I would have amended if I had been in charge (such as our collective repentance tonight for having "tried to contain God in our doctrines and theologies"-- I agree this can be a problem, but I think the greater problem at present is a refusal to recognize that the doctrinal teachings of Holy Scripture and sacred Tradition are in fact TRUE!).

The preacher tonight was the new Roman Catholic Bishop of Fort Worth, the Most Rev. Kevin W. Vann. His sermon was fine, and he seems a very nice fellow. I was quite surprised to see the RC archbishop of San Antonio, Archbishop Gomez, also in attendance tonight. In fact, I was struck by how many Roman Catholic clergy participated in the service--a bishop, three priests and a deacon. That is certainly a positive reflection on the teachings of Vatican II and John Paul II's Ut Unum Sint. It was also remarkable to have Southern Baptist and Church of Christ pastors sharing the pulpit with a Roman Catholic bishop on very comfortable terms. You wouldn't have seen that forty years ago!


Anonymous Mimi said...

WE aren't that hostile! we still share in the same baptism! therefore children of God!

3:11 AM  
Blogger Ma Beck said...

I agree that it's a very positive step.
I would have had to laugh, seeing all the different folks together.
As for the other feel-good, pseudo-ecumenical garbage, God can't be contained, but human stupidity sure can. Let's try that. ;)

11:40 AM  
Blogger J. Gordon Anderson said...

The Roman Church in America is actually very good about taking part in ecumenical services I have found. They are always doing stuff like that here in Baltimore with the mainline churches. I wish they would do stuff with local evangelical congregations - they probably would, but those evangelical denominations still, in many cases, have a strong anti-Roman bias about them

3:57 PM  
Blogger Ma Beck said...

True. In many Evangelical circles, things that were long ago recognized as mere anti-Catholicism by Anglicans et al (such as 'Mary worship'), are still perpetuated and firmly believed.

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Mimi said...

btw drop by sometime... hahahaha
and have u read Deus Caritas Est, the encyclical by Benedict XVI!

2:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Randall, Jay here. I presume the Don't-try-to-jam-God-into-a-box petition was offered in solidarity with the Restorationists. I've been to one ecumenical service outside the University since I've been in Chicago (at the Episcopal Cathedral, actually) at which Cardinal George shared the rostrum with the usual range of Proddies, Muslims, Jews, and also with someone from something called the Zen Insititute. RCs appeared to have a plurality of attendees, perhaps a majority.

4:50 PM  

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