Anglican Health Network establishes medical equipment supply system
A new Anglican Health Network (AHN) medical supply system is now open for business, with access to a wide range of surplus equipment in the United states in particular.
“We have the supply lines. We are aware of hospitals and health centres around the Anglican communion that urgently need life- saving equipment,” said Lee Hogan, Co-chair of AHN. “what we need now is collaborative support.”
Anglican health facilities in the developing world are often dependent on their relationships with multiple donors. These can be parishes, dioceses or individuals that have long- term links. The facilities rely on numerous modest financial contributions and volunteer visits.
It is well known that when people go to court over whatever dispute or alleged crime, they can very often be surprised at the verdict. Someone who feels sure it will be one thing finds out that it is another. Certainty over an issue can quickly evaporate in a courtroom. Indeed, it can be the stuff of much high drama, as tables are turned and the truth comes out, sometimes in one burst of fiery cross-examination. It is then like a moment of revelation, when all the evidence is pieced together, an argument arranged and an incisive analysis announced.
Lent, of course, is to be a time for self-examination, and yet, in examining ourselves, we might naturally be expected to be biased in our own favour. We instinctively tend to make allowances for ourselves, perhaps not being as demanding as another might, in fact, be with us. how rigorous, then, can internal, self-examination really be? How effective is it to examine ourselves? The answer is, surely, that we cannot do this Lenten exercise on our own. It must, rather, be done with prayer, in conversation with God. It will require time and perseverance and much spiritual energy. we will have to do it in session after session. we will need all the weeks of lent to do this, if, by God’s grace, we are to make anything of it.
There must be no mistake about the matter: Lent is a serious business – and we are, indeed, to take it seriously. A really good Lent will see us interrogating ourselves, however quietly, until the full truth about what is going on in our spirits is finally revealed to us. the result is, quite simply, a renewed spirit, a spirit invigorated by the truth and relieved of the burden of self-deception. we can travel more lightly in this life, the freer we are from the power of sin. lent, then, is a truth discovery exercise that will both disturb and refresh for, as the scriptural motto of the Anglican communion reminds us, it is the truth that really sets us free ( John 8: 32).
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Letters to the Editor
Clergy and bishops going wrong?
I AGREE wholeheartedly with Maureen Donnelly in her letter in the 27th January issue of the Gazette. Visiting parishioners is not an option, but a vital role of a rector.
Surely the pastoral role takes precedence over administration. It is now rare to hear of a parishioner being visited by his or her Rector.
In Maureen’s letter, she refers to the role of Bishops. I understand that nobody checks up on a Rector. Forgive me if i’m wrong, but I don’t know of any other job that applies to! I also understand that lack of pastoral care is not one of the grounds for having a Rector removed from a parish.
The parish provides Rectors with a home – on which, in many cases, thousands of euros were spent in painting them, etc., before an institution – yet the parish probably does not get them back in the same pristine condition when they leave and thousands more have to be spent.
Surely, a contract is seen to be in place when a Rector is instituted to a parish by his/her Bishop in the sight of God and the congregation to serve the parishioners. If this does not happen, the contract would seem to me to be null and void.
For those clergy who do visit their parishioners, I hope you are not the last of a dying breed, but continue to get to know your parishioners while they are still parishioners.
In the words of Martin Luther King Jr.: “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Lilian Webb Naas Co. Kildare
COULD ANYONE shed light on the renaming of the hospital at Tallaght?
The official title was that of ‘the Adelaide and Meath Hospital Dublin incorporating the National Children’s Hospital’. I now learn that its new title is to be ‘Tallaght Hospital – A Teaching Hospital Of Trinity College Dublin’.
Whilst cumbersome, the founding title highlighted a careful preservation of several diverse and important traditions. At least amongst these were the Adelaide’s Protestant ethos and its distinctive ethical stance in Irish healthcare. For this reason, the process in amalgamating the previously existing hospitals was a painstaking and controversial one.
It seems strange, therefore, that such an important change has taken place with such minimal awareness in the Church of Ireland or in the wider public forum.
This change also coincides with ongoing issues regarding the hospital’s governance and charter. These are surely matters of concern regarding the hospital’s future culture and identity.
Tom Gordon (The Very Revd) The Deanery Old Leighlin, Co. Carlow
Dean MacCarthy on the clergy
I DO not read The Irish Catholic and I probably fall into the ‘composted leftovers’ category rather than that of ‘scrapings’, but i do share the Revd Ted Wood’s passion for excellence in theological education and ministerial training in the Church of Ireland.
That said, during my time as an ordinand in training at the then Church of Ireland Theological College, I was fortunate to spend a month on placement at St Patrick’s Cathedral under the supervision of Dean MacCarthy and I found him to be gracious, supportive and generous.
His generosity, hospitality and unnerving honesty continued beyond my placement and was constant through some very dark and difficult days since. That is the measure of the man I am honoured to call a friend and I wish him well in retirement.
Paul Gilmore Belfast BT6
As a second-year, part- time ordinand, I might be considered by Dean Robert Maccarthy as a scraping of the barrel, although I am astonished that either I or those with whom I am studying should be classified as such.
If I look at my fellow- students, I see people bringing many gifts to ministry, in addition to their faith and spirituality, covering such areas as accountancy, law, general business management, project management and information technology.
These gifts will, no doubt, be valued in our Church.
Mr Dean, I trust you will enjoy a retirement without the pressure of leading the church into a challenging and hope-filled future. Kevin Conroy, Harbour View Wicklow
Nearer, my God, to Thee
As Part of its Titanic commemorations, BBC Radio Ulster is making a programme on the life and importance of the hymn, Nearer, My God, To Thee – the hymn so famously associated with the Titanic.
If Nearer, My God, To Thee has an importance in readers’ lives – perhaps right now or at a particularly dark moment – and they would be happy to share their story, they are invited to get in touch with me at BBC Broadcasting House, by email or telephone (see below).
Producer (Classical Music)
2nd Floor Music Department BBC Northern Ireland Ormeau Avenue Belfast BT2 8HQ
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. 028 9033 82895
DEAN STEPHEN White, in his ‘Generous ethics’ article in the Gazette Review supplement (20th January), seems to dismiss the Bible as an ethics-forming norm because, as he says, the arguments are “completely circular and entirely arbitrary”; i.e. “How do we know that the scriptures are authoritative? Because God says that they are. How do we know that God says that they are? Because it says so in the scriptures. How do we know that the scriptures are authoritative? and so on and so on and so on!”
Then, the Dean argues that scripture does not help us in finding right or wrong because we cannot conclude what God says.
However, then very soon the Dean is appealing to scripture to support a creation- and love-based theology for his new ‘Generous ethics’. He quotes “the original divine pronouncement – ‘and God saw that it was very good’”; he also finds and puts in quotation marks from scripture, “the image and likeness of God”.
I think that, in the light of the earlier part of his article, I need to ask my colleague how he knows these things about God to be true? is it because he finds them in the Bible? is the Dean not being circular here?
So, the resulting small God that the Dean is left with has lost his holy and moral character. Actions only have to be creative and loving to be moral is the conclusion.
However, I contend that we know very little about what is creative and loving if the wholeness of the God of scripture is not espoused. The same God who made “the original divine pronouncement – ‘and God saw that it was very good’” – has also made this pronouncement: “Be you holy because I am holy.”
This is the God who created humanity in his own image. Part of that image is, therefore, holiness. Holiness is seeking to live in the morality of God. The “very good” pronouncement was on the creation that included, and only provided, eve for Adam.
Jesus said: “what God has joined together let man not separate.” It seems to me that a morality that separates what God has joined together is very suspect.
John Hay (The Very Revd) The Deanery Raphoe Co. Donegal
AS THE March conference on human sexuality approaches, readers may like to know that most Bishops have declined to distribute the new book, Moving Forward Together: Homosexuality and the Church of Ireland, published by Changing Attitude Ireland, on the grounds that they do not wish to distribute literature from one side or the other.
Will the Bishops please tell us what resources they do recommend to delegates by way of advance preparation for the conference?
In the absence of episcopal guidance, it may be better to read one book – and to disagree with it – than to arrive at the conference unprepared.
Charles Kenny (Canon) Belfast BT9
IN HIS letter to the Gazette (13th January), Gerry lynch decries the silence of the majority in our church over the issue of sexuality.
As one of those who has stayed out of the debate, I can see how hurt he must be and I apologise if that is how it seems to him.
The first inkling I had of the rumblings on the issue was three years ago, when General Synod received the report of the Hard Gospel committee. The report was about inclusivity.
In the middle of a debate on the way immigrants should be treated and the importance of being a good neighbour, a section of synod insisted on focusing on gay issues.
The next General Synod was about cuts in education and the next was about ministering to Christians in the west of Ireland, but certain people insisted on turning the debate towards sexuality in modern Ireland.
Through the pages of the Gazette, we have witnessed some very painful and shocking opinions unfold. I have remained silent because I do not wish to give oxygen to a debate which, if allowed, will take over so many more important issues, such as sectarianism, education in church schools and the interpretation of the Bible in the 21st century.
I think the Bishops have made a brave decision in calling a conference to discuss this topic and I will be glad to attend so that we can, in humility, debate how best to live together in the love of Christ.
Margaret Ainsworth, Blackrock Co. Dublin
Westminster Government’s same-sex marriage plan
I HAVE just read Lord Carey’s article in a national newspaper on the importance of not changing the law on marriage. I hope every bishop, rector and curate, as well as every member of the Church of Ireland, will read it and take note, as it clearly shows what a monumental change is being planned, and the disastrous consequences this will have for society.
I hope Christians in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK are aware of this and will stand up and be counted when the Government’s so-called ‘consultation’ starts next month, by making their views against such a change clearly known to the Government.
Thank God for Lord Carey.
S. Wilson (Mrs) Tandragee Co. Armagh BT62
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