"The following paper was given to an Evangelical Society several years ago. It is, as such, somewhat polemical in its approach to the question it addresses. In spite of the author's anxieties that it may give a `BAS Society' impression, I have included it because it touches on the theological concerns of many Anglicans, not just about the BAS, but about the renewal of the liturgy in general. I found it most helpful. Perhaps another reader could write about Anglo-Catholic witness after the BAS. D.H.S."
"In the Anglican Church in our time, and in other denominations as well, we are facing multiple layers of crisis. We may choose to see these as opportunities or as threats, but even those of use who are resisting know that we are in a whirlwind and that everything is changing around us. I believe that this is a time of great potential. I believe that there is a polishing of the faith, in effect, and that we will see more clearly through the lens of Christianity when it is completed. I also believe that Christianity has a contribution to offer in the discussion of the meaning of life, but we need to formulate our conversation in ways that revisit some old ideas and take seriously the new knowledge that is unfolding in science and biblical research". -- Intro., p. 7.
"In the physical universe, there is intrinsic goodness; in change, wisdom; in suffering, wholeness; in error, compassion. Redemption lies not in resolving the paradoxes, but in engaging creatively with them in the spirit of Jesus Christ". -- back cover.
Contents: Introduction -- In All Things, Goodness -- In Change, Wisdom -- In Suffering, Wholeness -- In Repentance, Compassion -- The Paradox of the Eternal -- Spiritual Exercises.
The author responds to, and disagrees with, a comment by the Rev. James S. Cunningham in the September 1990 edition of the Prayer Book Society of Canada's Newsletter, in which Mr. Cunningham says: "But the most puzzling, and certainly the most demoralizing feature of the BAS in the making of penitence an option before the reception of the sacrament of Holy Communion".
The author describes her struggle with forgiveness and healing and how the memory of an old hurt can surprise and challenge us years later. "Forgiveness is untidy. If you want your life to be neat, logical and well regulated, may you never be given anything major to forgive. For forgiveness follows no black-and-white laws ... `Always forgive; can turn you into a well-pounded doormat; are we never supposed to resist or oppose real evil " That's how (for example) domestic violence flourishes, or the oppression of any group by any other group. `Always remember' gets you Kosovo and Northern Ireland. No I don't think so. `Beware cheap forgiveness' is closer to the mark ..." (p. 7). "But I do have a choice: to head deeper into anger or to turn away and at least to try to move Godward, and moving Godward is moving toward forgiving. I have to ask forgiveness too of those who I have wounded -- because I'm no virginal innocent here; no one can live half a century in this life without doing at least a little harm to others. I have to both walk steadily through my particular desert of hurt and anger and aim to come out the other side of it. If I can't manage full reconciliation, maybe I can manage acceptance. Maybe, in God's good time, I can simply put whatever-it-is down and walk away from it" (p. 9).
"From `Angels and Dragons: Of Sorrow, God and Healing; by Molly Wolf, copyright 2001 by Molly Wolf. Used by permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House Inc."
That this General Synod of the Church of England in Canada, conscious of the moral and spiritual nature of the sicknesses by which multitudes of people are distressed, and thankfully aware of the healing ministry with which Our Lord has endowed His Church: hereby stresses the great blessings which are made available through the Church's ministry of Absolution, as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer. It urges upon the clergy the importance of clear teaching on this subject, and the making of such provisions for the exercise of the function of their pastoral ministry, as will enable those who are troubled in mind, whose consciences are by sin accused, to seek and find the benefit of absolution, together with ghostly council and advice, to the quieting of their conscience and avoiding of all scruple and doubtfulness. CARRIED in both Houses.
Bishop Mark MacDonald reports on the medical response to what is called "breaking technique" i.e. becoming open to infection, non-sterile error in a medical situation. MacDonald's friend "used this illustration to describe the situation of the church in the modern world. The church has broken technique and must step back and begin the procedure of cleanup and hygiene that will allow it to proceed with its work. The pressure to resist this need is intense and almost irresistible. But the church must do it for the good of all". "We have hurt many people in the process: the victims of clergy abuse, Indigenous Peoples and others who are in marginalized ethnic groups or categories, as well as women and those who are members of sexual minorities -- to name just a few. It is clear we must begin again. Certainly, it is a call to treat 'the other' better, but it is also a thoroughgoing call to repentance. This is not just a call to try harder. It is, I think, a call to trust more deeply, listen to the gospel more simply and carefully, and to turn to Jesus with a child-like trust and with admittance of a child-like need".