Newsstand 21 - 27 May
St Paul's Cathedral in London launches a virtual book of remembrance for UK coronavirus victims; N.T. Wright points to Psalm 72 as setting the priorities for the Church in a post-pandemic world; prayers for Pentecost; and more
May 27 2020
The May edition of The Melbourne Anglican (TMA) – a special digital edition – is available in various formats for reading online and printing. Please click here. The Prayer Diary has not been included within the pages of TMA this month, but can be found here.
There is huge potential in our human family, and it must be realised more fully as we confront together both the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis, writes Bishop Philip Huggins.
Melbourne Grammar School chaplain Hans Christiansen reflects that while school students have coped as well as possible with social distancing and online learning over the past few months, human beings are “made for relationships”. He writes: “We thrive when we are together and we crave human connection. We are not made to be alone. We need each other.”
The Anglican Board of Mission (ABM) has prepared resources for National Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June). You're invited to listen to interviews with leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander figures from the Anglican Church of Australia, pray using a selection of prayers written by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christians, reflect on the words of the Statement from the Heart using an eight-part study, and act by participating in a National Reconciliation Week event, or hosting your own. The resources include daily reflections and information sheets written by Melbourne priest the Revd Glenn Loughrey.
The tradition of praying for Christian unity at Pentecost takes on new significance as physical prayer gatherings have been suspended in many places in an effort to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. Join an ecumenical hour of prayer via Zoom on the eve of Pentecost and during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. And read more about the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity here.
“In the weeks of isolation, gyms, pools, tennis courts, skate parks and bowling greens have all been closed. So many of us have been out walking. I have found a few extra minutes to notice and enjoy the trees in our neighbourhood. As I have stretched my legs each day, they have become a bit like friends, waiting patiently for my visit, standing quietly while the rest of us keep moving. They have drawn me a little deeper into the mystery of life and into prayer.”
Read this Church Times interview with Australian writer Christos Tsiolkas about his book, Damascus. "Tsiolkas’s work is generally known for its uncomfortable exposure of the underbelly of contemporary society, and his ability to spark strong reaction. (The swiftest glance at the Amazon reviews shows just how far he divides readers.) So why turn his attention to St Paul?" the paper asks.
St Paul's Cathedral in London has launched a virtual book of remembrance for coronavirus victims in the UK. People of all faiths and beliefs have been invited to contribute to the project, which is called Remember Me and is expected to eventually manifest as a physical memorial at the cathedral. The idea for the memorial project stemmed from a conversation the Dean, the Very Revd David Ison, had with the Bishop of London Dame Sarah Mullally, a former Chief Nursing Officer for England, when she mentioned an online book she had come across, and he decided to create a virtual book of remembrance.
US President Donald Trump has unveiled new guidance classifying houses of worship as “essential services” and insisting that state governors allow faith groups to worship despite the risk of furthering the spread of the novel coronavirus. Some conservative Christian leaders in Louisiana and Florida have been arrested for refusing to close their doors during the pandemic in defiance of local recommendations or regulations. Meanwhile, progressive-leaning religious activists, such as the Revd William Barber of the Poor People’s Campaign, have openly opposed reopening of churches and businesses, arguing that “these plans to reopen show no regard for human life”.
Biblical scholar and former Bishop of Durham N.T. Wright points to Psalm 72 as setting the priorities for the Church in a post-pandemic world.
In recovering from catastrophic events we need to look beyond the simple defining of problems, finding solutions that match them and naming agencies responsible to fix them, writes Jesuit priest Andrew Hamilton. "We need to be curious about the persons involved, their interlocking relationships which have contributed to the trauma and the possibilities for healing within those relationships. This may prove to be more effective and even less economically costly."