Saturday, March 24, 2012

We Long To Inhabit Worship

“I didn’t get anything out of this morning’s meeting . . . that song . . . her sermon” is not a refrain that I have heard often in the Orthodox context.

There is, of course, a just retort to such complaints: “The question is—what did you put into it?” The corrective is all very well and good. After all, one of the definitions of liturgy is that it refers to people’s (laos) work (ergon)—laosurgy. However, this counterresponse (“What did you put into the worship?”), though a helpful corrective, leaves us trapped in the same world of thought: worship, we assume, is something that people perform, and so it asks to be evaluated. We are to judge its success, according to aesthetics, or theology, or relevance, or utility, or arnestness, or effort. But there is something in our heart that yearns for more than this evaluative approach to worship. Prompted by God’s own Spirit, we long to be taken out of ourselves, even out of our role as judge. We long to inhabit worship instead of treating it as an object. We long to meet with the One who is the lover of each one of us and of the whole Church, his bride. We look to rejoice as God’s glory fills the temple. Such a meeting surely takes place only at God’s initiative, and not because of our creative, emotive, or practical interventions.

By Edith Humphrey, Grand Entrance: Worship on Earth as in Heaven,

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Pedagogy of Daily Prayer

I came across this absolutely wonderful video by Bishop Anthony Burton, former bishop in Canada, now rector of a parish in the United States. In it he speaks of the benefits of the spiritual system (pedagogy) of daily prayer as found in the Book of Common Prayer. It is Part 1. I'll post part 2 as soon as it comes out. If you are interested in developing your spiritual discipleship, this video is almost a must for you to watch and pray about.

Found Here

Blessings, Brian+

PS Of course, here in Canada, our BCP is the 1962 version.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Pedagogy and the Anglican Way

When I was studying for an Education Degree I was required to take several methodology courses. These courses were designed to help the teacher understand and use methods for teaching specific courses. Drawing on understandings of the cognitive development of the students, and moving from the concrete to the abstract, the teacher would lead and help students discover ‘new’ knowledge. The use of a methodology, or a pedagogy, is evident in sports. A good coach devises the practice routine to develop and improve the individual skills and the team skills. The coach sets the pedagogy for the team, and those teams that rise to their best are those in which the individual members understand their part in being the best that they can be as a player, and their role within the framework of the team.
It should be self-evident that those coaches or teachers that do not have a strong pedagogy, or have a confused pedagogy, will not bring out the best in their ‘disciples.’ This I believe is part of what has happened to the Anglican Way. It has been forgotten among many of us clergy and bishops, and thus the people of the church that the Anglican Way is a pedagogy for the development of the individual Christian and corporate body towards holiness. This individual and corporate holiness is the hallmark of a healthy fellowship in Christ.
One brief example should help make this point clear. Part of the Anglican Way that develops a strong koinoni, united fellowship in Christ, is the use of a deliberate daily lectionary. This lectionary exists in both the BCP and the BAS (Book of Alternative Services) though they are different (koinonia Konfusion). The deliberate use of a daily lectionary helps the individual have a focused and systematic approach to reading the Bible, and that systematic reading is well incorporated within the seasons and worship of the Church, thus developing a strong koinonia.
Many of us clergy and laity have taken a very protestant and individualistic approach to private prayer as if it does not have an impact on the koinonia of the Church. I believe we Anglicans need to garner a deeper understanding of the pedagogy of the Anglican Way, for I feel it would help strengthen our faith and unity.

I shall write at a later time on other aspects of the pedagogy of the Anglican Way as I understand it.

Comments are welcomed.

Blessings, Brian+