Monday, August 31, 2009

Back at home

I am back after being away for most of the last month. Now I need to focus and get work stuff happening, and get my dissertation written. I have been plodding away at it, now I need to pick up the pace a lot.


Before I went to Australia I was at the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation 2009 in Auckland. Here is the official Communiqué.

International Anglican Liturgical Consultation 2009
Communiqué, 8 August 2009, Auckland

The International Anglican Liturgical Consultation met August 3-8 at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Auckland, in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia. We are grateful to the Local Arrangements Committee, the Right Reverend Winston Halapua and the Right Reverend Kito Pikaahu, the Right Reverend George Connor, Mrs. Heather Skilling and the Very Reverend Ross Bay who shaped the conference and tended to our travel and practical needs with care.

The gathering comprised Anglicans from fourteen of the Provinces of the Anglican Communion. Particular welcome was given to the first representatives from the Anglican Church in Korea and the Church of North India. Due to unforeseen difficulties regarding travel and visa matters, several of our members were unable to be with us. We upheld them in our prayers, as we prayed for the Churches of the Communion and for our ecumenical friends.

We are deeply grateful to those from the three Tikanga of the Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia who shared with us wonderful gifts in prayer, song, food, dance, story and insight. We were welcomed graciously on three separate occasions by each of the Tikanga. Thrice blessed in Maori, Tonga, and English, we were invited to feast, to pray and to celebrate the Eucharist with the peoples of these Islands. We were humbled by the generosity of our hosts. Together with them we were grieved by the Tonga ferry sinking and the loss of life of so many, and uphold in prayer all affected by this tragedy.

We offer special thanks to the Right Reverend George Connor, Bishop of Dunedin, who has served his term as Chair of IALC with wisdom and hospitality of spirit. We welcome with gratitude the Reverend Cynthia Botha, from the Province of Southern Africa, who now serves as Liaison Officer for the Anglican Communion and Secretary to the IALC (non stipendiary). A new Steering Committee has been named, with Dr. Eileen Scully of Canada as incoming Chair.

The primary focus of our work this week was on rites relating to marriage, the theology of marriage, and cultural and pastoral contexts of marriage. Papers were presented by the Reverend Dr. Charles Sherlock (Australia), the Right Reverend Dr. Winston Halapua (Aotearoa) and the Reverend Dr. Richard Leggett (Canada). We were encouraged in our work by Societas Liturgica President the Reverend Dr. James Puglisi, OFSA, our ecumenical partner.

We are conscious that relational realities undergird our discussions, drafting and business. Along with the personal friendships that develop across these meetings, we treasure the growth in relationships amongst Churches of the Communion as we listen to each other and learn from each other. This was particularly true this week when we worshipped together, led in the Eucharistic and office rites and with hymns and prayers from different Churches of the Communion. This IALC is committed to find further ways to enhance communications amongst the Churches’ Liturgical Commissions and their parallels, to share resources across the Communion, and to continue IALC-related work between meetings.

An interim document has emerged from our work on Marriage this week. We also commended the work of the Palermo 2007 IALC on Rites Surrounding Death. These two provisional documents, along with the papers presented to the conferences, will be shared with those responsible for liturgy in the Churches of the Anglican Communion, seeking comment from them in preparation for the next gathering of the IALC in 2011.

The International Anglican Liturgical Consultation is a gathering normally meeting every two years. It is open to Anglican members of Societas Liturgica, members of liturgical commissions or equivalent of the member Churches of the Anglican Communion, and to those named by their Provincial structures as official representatives of their Churches. The IALC’s aim is to foster conversation amongst the Churches of the Anglican Communion on matters concerning worship and liturgy. Statements produced by the IALC have been helpful in guiding liturgical renewal and development of rites across the Provinces of the Communion.

The next meeting of the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation will take place in July or August 2011, location to be announced.

For further information about the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation, and to access its Statements and other resources, see

Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia: +George Connor (Chair), Ross Bay, Monty Black, Feremi Cama, Tricia Carter, Mark Chamberlain, Brian Dawson, John Hebenton, Carole Hughes, Nick Mountfort, +Te Kitohi Pikaahu, John Tamahori, Australia: Dane Courtney, Paul Monash, Charles Sherlock, Elizabeth Smith, Canada: Alyson Barnett-Cowan, Richard Leggett, Eileen Scully, England: +Colin Buchanan, Dana Delap, Simon Jones, +Stephen Platten, Paul Thomas, Phillip Tovey, India: +Vijay Sathe, Ireland: Gerald Field, Alan Rufli, Japan: Shintaro Ichihara, Kenya: Joyce Karuri, Korea: Nak-Hyon Joseph Joo, Philippines, Tomas Maddela, Southern Africa: Ian Darby, Keith Griffiths, Bruce Jenneker, Scotland: Darren McFarland, USA, Richard Fabian, Clayton L Morris, Juan Quevedo-Bosch, Ecumenical Observer: James Puglisi, Liturgy Liaison officer, ACC and Secretary IALC: Cynthia Botha

Ministers meeting in Australia

I have been away a lot lately, mostly doing Franciscan Stuff.
One of the meetings I was at was a Ministers meeting in Perth. One of the other attendees has written this dairy, so I thought I would just post this.
You can see the original if you follow the link.

Perth Diary

The purpose of the visit to Perth was for a meeting of the Ministers Provincial of the Third Order in the Society of St Francis, which is an Anglican order. There are five provinces in the world, and we have a Minister General who leads the whole order. Meetings take place every two years, and I was blessed to attend the previous one in the USA.

Friday 14 – At Perth airport, Jeremy James met me. He is the Regional Minister (or Guardian) of the Third Order in Western Australia. He had already collected Anita Catron (USA) and Dorothy Brooker (Minister General from New Zealand). We went to the home where Joanna Coney (UK) was staying. Julie-Ann was our driver. We stopped in Safety Bay to collect John Hebenton (NZ). The journey took several hours. At Dardenup we met our host, Ted Witham, the Australian Minister Provincial, and his wife, Rae, who acted as our secretary.

Dardenup village is a crossroads with a post office, petrol station, tavern and some businesses – even smaller than Hoedspruit. There is a very small Anglican church, and a larger Catholic church with a school. We stayed at the House of Prayer, owned by the Catholic Church. It is a retreat house, run by the priest, Fr Michael Leek OSB, and a housekeeper, Trish Broderick, who is also a spiritual director. The weather was cold and wet. Dardenup is flat country with green fields for dairy cattle and sheep. The birds are outstandingly beautiful. In between our times of business, we went for walks around Dardenup. This part of Australia has a similar climate to the Western Cape, with winter rain, and similar vegetation flourishes here.

Saturday 15 – After breakfast, the day began with the brief service of Lauds in the chapel, led by Fr Michael. Archbishop Roger Herft is the Anglican archbishop of Western Australia, and the Bishop Protector of the Society of St Francis. He came from Perth to lead us in a study from Luke's Gospel on the birth of Christ. After morning tea our business began with reports from the five provinces of the Third Order.

Sunday 16 – After lunch we went to Bunbury which is on the coast and met George Harvey, a member of the Third Order who is an expert in local church history. He showed us some historic Anglican churches, St Boniface Cathedral, the OSEH church built for a community of religious sisters, and St Mark's, the oldest church in Bunbury. We had tea with him in his home like a museum, with aviaries in the garden. This diary gives the impression that we spent all our time gallivanting around. But the purpose of meeting together was to discuss and make important decisions for the Third Order throughout the world, and we did that. By working hard in spite of jet-lag, we got through the business quite quickly.

Monday 17 – After completing some of our business, we went to the Crooked Brook Forest for a barbeque: we didn't need wood, we actually used a built-in gas cooker. We took a short walk through the forest, a very interesting combination of eucalyptus trees, yuccas and fynbos.

Bishop David McCall the Bishop of Bunbury and Marion his wife joined us for supper. She is a light aircraft pilot and has won numerous awards. She was preparing for a flight in her single-engined Cessna emulating the first flight in Australia.

Tuesday 18 – After lunch we took a trip to the hilly country of the Ferguson Valley. It is a beautiful area of stock farming, horses, cheese-making and vineyards. In the forest, we stopped at the enormous King Jarrah tree. Then we found the Kingtree Wines cellars, but they were closed. However there were wild kangaroos grazing on the hillside. One of the interesting landmarks is Gnomeville where hundreds of plaster garden gnomes are on display. It puts you off garden gnomes for ever!

Wednesday 19 – I went for several walks, alone and with the others. A group of SFO (Secular Franciscan Order, the Franciscan Third Order of the Roman Catholic Church) members joined us for afternoon tea. Their chaplain Dick Scanlen was from the former Rhodesia. That evening we had a delicious meal at the Bull and Bush Tavern in the neighbouring village of Boyanup.

Thursday 20 – We wound up our business meeting with time to spare. In the afternoon, we went to Busselton, and toured the famous jetty and St Mary's Church. Then we went to Bunbury and parted with Anita. She caught the bus to the airport at Perth on her way back to Utah. We returned to the House of Prayer, and Father Michael and Trish Broderick had supper with us.

Friday 21 - John, Dorothy, Joanna and I said our farewells to the others and returned to Perth. We arrived at Fremantle and had fish and chips on the wharf. Then we found the Farmers Market, which is a fascinating flea-market. We spent a short time at Cottesloe on the coast north of the river. We stopped at Kings Park on the hill overlooking the Swan river and the Perth CBD. Then we drove to the depot to hand in the hired car, but we wanted to fill it with fuel first. There are no petrol stations in the CBD, and it took us some time to find one. At the Avis depot we were met by Jeremy James, who was taking John and Dorothy to the airport.and another member of the Third Order, who was taking Joanna home with her.
Our Ministers' Meeting went well. It is not a rubber stamp: we had to work things out carefully, and we had to overcome differences due to the areas we represented. Every day began with prayer in the chapel with the Catholic priest. Our meetings began with the Daily Obedience of the Third Order, in which we prayed for Third Order members in every province. At noon we had our own Eucharist, and took it in turns to preside. Ted Witham had provided sheets of hymns, some of which were written by him. We tried to go for walks together, depending on the weather. The House of Prayer was an ideal venue, as if purpose-built for us, though it caters mainly for retreats. I greatly enjoyed seeing the countryside. Getting to know the other ministers better was a great privilege.

I am very grateful to all the good people who made it such a memorable experience, and very grateful to the Third Order for sending me.

David Bertram

Monday, August 17, 2009

Slava's Snow Show

I have just spent two days with my sister in Melbourne. I love Melbourne; I love the range of ethnic food that is available. I love the city, and the range of entertainment available. It was great spending time with my sister and it was grand experiencing Melbourne again.
Last night (when I wrote this) I went to Slava’s snow show. It is publicised as what Circe de Sole is to circus, so this is to clowning. And it was great. The theatre was old, small (although it had the three layers of seats, but the stage was small) and covered in paper snow from previous shows. It was fun sitting there watching little flurries of snow erupting from the seats in front as people threw it on those around them, and listening to the little girl behind us giggling with delight as she threw it on her grandmother, and once on us (we exacted our revenge, twice, to her squeals of laugher). And then the show began. The costumes, the facial expressions, the plot and script (well what else would you call it) were stunning. I was pulled in, engrossed, as we journeyed through so many emotions. I was sitting downstairs in the stalls, at the lip of the floors above, so to speak. Intermission began with us being buried under this vast sheet of cobwebs that had wrapped itself around the lead clown, (Slava I guess) and then was carried out over us. I was still wiping it off my bald head when intermission ended, which happened when the clowns came out one by one and clambered over us, sprayed water over us (one clown looked sadly on me and wiped my head dry). The show ended with 3 large balls (like earth balls) being rolled out in the audience, along with a number of smaller balls which we then spent the next 20 minutes flinging high up and occasionally into the top floor of seats, at the stage and back, with more snow gently falling on to us. What I enjoyed was seeing Slava sitting on the edge of that stage, having his photo taking, enjoying watching all these adults playing with these balls and having such fun.
What a great night. Worth every cent if you get the chance. That was clowning at its very best. Exploring issues like male female relationships, belonging, going too far with our fun. Grand!

Salvador Dali

Today (when writing) I went to see the Salvador Dali, Liquid Desire show in Melbourne. I have long liked his worked, both for its range of subjects, including the religious ones and the surrealist and yet detailed portrayal of his subjects. We were there for about 2 hours, and I could have spent much longer there. I had no idea of the range of art forms he engaged in: film, sculpture, set design for ballets and film, jewellery, photography and of course painting.
I was fascinated to find out a bit about some of the influences, from being named after his dead brother and being treated as a reincarnation of that brother (who had died at the age of two) and his struggle to create his own identity. He was always “out there” and was always amazingly talented. He was greatly influenced by Freud, and the surrealist movement, but carved his own path. He scandalised his father by hooking up with the wife of another surrealist who was 10 years older. They were together for over 50 years and she was profoundly influential on his art, mainly through managing him. He was also influenced by the splitting of the atom and the works of Einstein. He created “nuclear mysticism” exploring how we are made up of atoms flying apart. In his youth he denounced his catholic faith as decadent, but re-imbraced it later on, which can be seen in his work at exploring the miracles using these theories.
I look forward to looking at his art with a greater depth of understanding of what he was exploring how it helps he explore my own faith, and my own subconscious and how that shapes my own creativity.

Description of The Anglican Liturgical Tradition

The following comes from my work for my masters, and is offered as descriptive rather than prescriptive. It is an understanding of the Anglican Liturgical Tradition based on the literature reviewed and my experience as an Anglican priest. The key elements of this tradition include the following -

The Anglican Liturgical (ALT) is based on an understanding of worship that is much more than singing praise songs to God. It is about the whole of life, rather than just what happens on Sunday morning. It is an encounter between the living God and God’s church, which changes those who participate, and draws who participate into God’s mission. While there is some debate about who worship is for, it is true that those who engage in worship are to participate in it, rather than observe it as an audience. It invites everyone to take part however they are able. As such Anglican liturgical tradition at its best is accessible to those who attend.

The Anglican Liturgical Tradition has as a cornerstone the prayer books of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer. But its genesis goes back beyond these to the earliest liturgies of the Christian church, both from the Eastern and Western streams.

It invites people to worship in common, with those who use the same texts as we use, to worship in common with all who claim use of this liturgical tradition, which all who have and will worship in common with the ancient liturgies on which the Anglican tradition is based. This is expressed in the use of plural language. The act of worship is not about “me”, but about us and God and God’s world. For Anglicans, identity is shaped or found in this worship in common compared with adherence to confessional faith or a particular theology.

However, the Anglican Liturgical Tradition is imbedded within a certain theological framework. Part of this framework is Trinitarian in scope – we’re encouraged to participate with the Son in the power of the Spirit in the worship that is already taking place within the inner life of the Trinity. Part of this framework is Incarnational, that is it understands God to be at work in the world and inviting us into that missional activity.

The Anglican Liturgical Tradition is formational, it shapes both the individuals and the community of faith to be people of mission. It is also transformational, it changes people especially over the long term. It is not primarily missional in itself, but can have a transformational effect on non-Christians who may attend.

The Anglican Liturgical Tradition places high store on the use of scripture. This includes ensuring that large pieces are read out at each service so that those participating can hear it for themselves. It is normal that a lectionary is used for regular services, to ensure that that as much of the scriptures are read as possible over a two or three year cycle, rather than just the preachers favourite passages. At its best the preaching places the story we are hearing within the larger story of scripture – creation, fall, redemption, new creation.

Anglican Liturgical Tradition is much more than words. It includes the use of symbols and actions that enhance and/or interprets liturgy’s words. At its best it uses colour and drama and is multi-sensory.

The ALT has a flow and structure that includes: gathering with others and God; confession –acknowledging our failure to live as we and God desires; hearing God’s word in scripture and sermon; responding to Gods word in prayer (and sermon?) or other activities; gathering around the table for communion; being sent out to live in God’s world. In the Anglican Church in New Zealand this is simplified to this basic structure: GATHER – We gather with God and with each other; STORY: This is where we hear from the Bible and other readings if you want; GO:

As such, the Anglican Liturgical Tradition is outward focusing. At its best it reflects the five fold mission over time: To proclaim the good news of the Kingdom , to teach, baptise and nurture new believers, to respond to human needs by loving service, to seek to transform the unjust structures of society. to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and to sustain and renew the life of the earth.

The Anglican Liturgical Tradition engages with culture in four distinct ways. It is transcultural, contextual, counter-cultural and cross-cultural.