Anglican clergy encounter the real world

For years I’ve been convinced than Anglican clergy live in a theological bubble, drifting aimlessly on an ocean of meaningless letters generally preceded by LGBT. Now, it seems Anglican deacons are awakening from their stupor and, much as Plato’s cave dwellers, wish to see what lies beyond the rainbow shadows that have hitherto been their only encounter with the cosmos and venture into the Real World.

To this end, they have sought inspiration not, as one might have hoped from the Bible, but from Elizabeth May and Leonard Cohen, the first of whom sees everything through a green mist and the second a sexual haze.

From Leonard they learned that “there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in” and from Elizabeth that “If you don’t have informed practice, you’re just flapping your arms in the wind”, rather like one of her beloved windmills.

After that blaze of illumination, who needs the Bible?

From here:

Hosted by the Chapter of Deacons of the Diocese of British Columbia, the conference brought together more than 70 deacons from almost every diocese in Canada, as well as representatives from U.S.-based The Episcopal Church, to talk about poverty, homelessness and reconciliation.

The conference kicked off July 27, in the evening, with an address by Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada.

Reflecting on a famous line from Leonard Cohen’s song “Anthem” (“There is a crack in everything/That’s how the light gets in”), May challenged the deacons to engage with the tension between the perfection of God’s creation and the pain and brokenness of the world.


Sharing from her own experience with tent city, she noted that good intentions are often not enough to make real and lasting changes in people’s lives, and that “lovely acts of kindness that don’t change anything” aren’t enough if they aren’t coupled with a wider analysis of the structural barriers marginalized people face.

“If you don’t have informed practice, you’re just flapping your arms in the wind,” she said.

St. John’s Anglican Church celebrating Valentine’s Day with Leonard Cohen concert

From here:

An Anglican parish in Squamish is arranging a special Leonard Cohen concert night in honour of Valentine’s Day.

A group of singers will perform a variety of Cohen’s love songs, along with offerings of wine and roses, on Saturday, Feb. 12, two day’s before Valentine’s Day.

Regular readers will understand my enthusiasm for such an event, given this review of Cohen’s recent concert in Vancouver, plus my advance article, headlined: “Leonard Cohen: The Theology of Love.”

David Dranchuk, the Anglican who is organizing the event at St. John’s Anglican Church puts his passion this way:

“Valentine’s just makes sense because Leonard Cohen was just so preoccupied with love… What a wonderful opportunity to give him some recognition for exploring the many facets of love.”

Although Cohen’s music is full of Biblical references from both the Old and New Testament, Dranchuk told the local newspaper the Canadian bard’s music is as much spiritual as it is religious, including as it explores the theme of erotic love.

No nonsense about how Saint Valentinus aided Christians persecuted by the Roman emperor Claudius and how he was killed for trying to convert Claudius: too religious. What the modern Anglican needs is not religion but spirituality with a spot of Eros on the side.

I’m sure they’ll perform “Hallelujah”. I could be wrong, but I don’t think the last three lines below are a reference to the immaculate conception; but they are very Anglican Church of Canada.

There was a time you let me know
What’s really going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah