Lay Anglicana, the unofficial voice of the laity throughout the Anglican Communion.
This is the place to share news and views from the pews.

Get involved ...

Posts Tagged "The Episcopal Church":

‘Unabashedly Episcopalian – Proclaiming the Good News of the Episcopal Church’, by Andrew Doyle: Wendy Dackson



C. Andrew Doyle is the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.  In this short book, he takes the reader through the Baptismal Covenant found in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer  in use in most Episcopal congregations in the United States.  The book’s intended audience appears to be those seeking baptism (for themselves or for a child) or confirmation in this denomination, and one of the endorsements on the back jacket of the book claims it is a ‘love letter to a church that could use one right this minute!” And yes, Doyle does hold up the beauty of Episcopal liturgy and practice as attractive reasons to enter into a life journey of Christian faith within this particular expression of Christianity.  It may also help those who have been long time members to “see our church again for the first time” (ix), as he says in the acknowledgements which start the book.


The book is a good introduction to the Episcopal Church for those who have never been part of a Christian community.  It tells clearly, accurately, and passionately about the life of  Christian faith in the contemporary world.  Mostly, it avoids what I consider to be a too-heavy and wrongheaded emphasis on ‘salvation’ as individualistic and about getting to heaven after death.  Indeed, one of the things Bishop Doyle emphasizes early on is that the point of faith is this worldly:


“We do believe in the kingdom of heaven, but we believe that we participate in bringing it to life today.  We do not spend a lot of time concerned with life after death; we spend most of our time working to make haven real in this world.” (p.11)


This has been the direction my own spiritual journey has taken in the last few years, and I was happy to see it as part of what a bishop promotes as appropriate instruction for new Christians in the Episcopal tradition. He also emphasized that in the Episcopal Church, our life is lived in connection with the gospel sacraments of baptism and eucharist, with the understanding that they are to strengthen and equip us for mission in the world.  That mission includes care of and responsibility for others (although I found that in his discussion of this toward the end of the book, it was a little more individualistic, one-to-one care than might really be transformative of the unjust social structures we are meant to transform). He is clear throughout that the baptismal covenant is not only about belief, but about “the kind of people we wish to become, and the type of world we wish to live in” (p.12)


All of this is encouraging, especially as people of all ages (not only the young on whom so much energy is lavished) seek to connect what they believe with how they live, and at a time when one of the biggest reasons for leaving church is that people fail to find that connection.  About midway through the book (pp.48-51), there is an excellent reflection on the meaning of each clause of the Lord’s Prayer.  This is one of the high points of the book, and worth reading the whole for these three pages alone.


What troubles me (and I am admittedly not the target readership for this book) is that Doyle makes many claims for what is uniquely Episcopalian, and I often found myself asking questions such as “What deonmination does not hold the Lord’s prayer as central to their common life of worship?” Or “What denomination does not believe that it was their responsibility to walk with God in faith in the world?” And “What Christian church does not proclaim the stories of scripture?”  Claims such as these are not, in my view, not only wrong (these things are shared by a variety of Christian denominations, and the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral recognizes more commonality than Doyle does in this book), but they are indeed contrary to the ecumenical leadership that the Episcopal Church and the wider Anglican Communion have provided in the search for greater Christian unity.  Interestingly, he cites only one theologian from the Anglican tradition (N.T. Wright), and holds up examples of Episcopal missionaries, but makes no mention of American Episcopalians who have contributed to the life and belief of the church through their ideas.


I am a firm believer that Christianity is best practiced within the framework of particular communities, and my chosen one is the Episcopal Church (and has also been the Church of England).  I think that people should be very aware of their denomination’s commitments and emphases, and for the neophyte Episcopalian, Doyle’s book is a start.  But there is something of an inappropriately triumphalist tone in statements such as the following:

“Our world is hungry and starving for the Word of God proclaimed by our kind of church—the Episcopal Church’: (p. 104).  This is especially jarring as, in several places within the text, Doyle claims that we are a hospitable church, and it is not our mission to make people be or believe “like us”.


I think Unabashedly Episcopalian is an excellent book for those inquiring about membership in this denomination, and there is much that I agree with theologically.  But for the ecumenically minded Episcopalian, or one who has studied other works on the history of Anglicanism, it does not have much to offer.




Unabashedly Episcopalian: Proclaiming the Good News of the Episcopal Church, by Andrew Doyle.  Harrisburg, PA:  Morehouse, 2012. Paperback, 114 pp.

The image of Bishop Doyle is via the Episcopal News Service.

‘Like The Wideness Of The Sea’ by Maggi Dawn

I looked forward to reading this book as I knew that the author of ‘The Accidental Pilgrim‘ would have written more than a moaning diatribe against the treatment of women in the Church of England. And indeed it is so –   Maggi Dawn’s prose is a sheer delight for anyone with an ear for language, and I can well understand why liturgy and new liturgical forms are a major part of her ministry. She draws you in with the (unconscious?*) Celtic spirituality of her first paragraph:

The beach is like a liminal space between daily life and the mystery of the deep; the ebb and flow of the tide measureing time in a powerful, dignified way. Like the repeating pattern of the Daily Offices, it seems the same and yet is never exactly the same as the day before; although it is changing constantly, those changes are almost imperceptible to the human eye…Here, then, I find a picture of God that is at once constant yet not static, dependably predictable while my own life unfolds year by year. Summer or winter, the water’s edge is a cathedral in the open spaces, a place…where I can think clearly and catch the whispers of God’s voice.

The book is divided into a brief history of the Movement for the Ordination of Women, and the recent attempts to consecrate women bishops; some thoughts on the spirituality of waiting (“I wanted to explore the idea that we are mistakenly urging each other to wait for God while the possibility hangs in the air that God is waiting for us“); and lastly, an account of her own unfolding vocation.

Woven throughout the book are the threads of Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner and Faber’s hymn ‘There’s a wideness in God’s mercy‘ (see below), with metaphorical insights into the life of the Church which lift this book way above mere political polemic:

Waiting for a moment when the Church will move forward with one mind is, like the Mariner’s ship, an idea removed from reality; the truth is that as long as we wait for complete unity on one issue, we will remain immobilised and parched on the silent sea. We need, rather, to allow ourselves to look for some signs of life, even if they initially seem threatening, to lead us out of paralysis.

A dream deferred and the ‘process of reception
In a curious incidence of synchronicity, Maggi Dawn suggests the Church draw inspiration from the wisdom of Gamaliel to: move forward…[by] allowing for a provisional decision to be moved and acted upon (p.18).  Meanwhile on 8 February the Church of England announced that eight senior women clergy would be allowed observer status in the House of Bishops. This sounds very much like an attempt to emulate Gamaliel. So either Maggi or her publishers had a quiet word with the powers that be at Church House or the Church is on occasion capable of swift action when it sees the need. Either way, we must hope that this step leads to a concrete outcome.

Her personal story
For reasons of space, I won’t explore here (which the book does) the call to ministry. Instead, we must look at some of the pain that was inflicted on her by the institutional church. There are numerous examples, starting with the leaflet pushed under her  door in the first week of theological college: ‘A woman’s place is not at the altar but in the kitchen. Put on an apron, get back to where you belong’. This was 1993. She gives many examples of similar difficulties. You might be forgiven for thinking she must be exaggerating, but sadly I have only to point you to the 207 comments of the (favourable) review of this book on Archbishop Cranmer’s blog to show that nastiness of that kind is alive and well, twenty years later.

Reader, I wept. Much of what she said resonated only too clearly with me, although I did not even seek ordained ministry. I wondered why she used the word ‘disenable’, which my dictionary says is ‘very rare’, rather than ‘disabled.’ But she is right. The Church first of all enabled women’s ministry and then in some quarters has set about disabling those whom it previously enabled.  I hope and pray that the chink of light offered by the admittance of “the eight” may grow and illumine the hearts of us all.

Meanwhile, ‘Like the Wideness of the Sea’ also offers us hope and remains a delight to read, you could not wish for a more stimulating companion on the voyage.

* I think it perfectly likely that this echo is entirely conscious and deliberate, but I shall never know. Her book on pilgrimage is full of such teasing invitations to take diversionary paths and the reader is unable to decide whether the author is nudging us or not…

Do Anglican Churches Really Want to Survive?: Wendy Dackson


Lay Anglicana is delighted to welcome the distinguished Dr Wendy Dackson as a regular contributor to this blog. She says:

I’m an ethnically Jewish American Episcopalian lay woman who was first baptised and confirmed in the Reformed Church of America, and holds a doctorate in theology from the very Jesuit Marquette University.   I’ve written on a variety of topics in Anglican theology and presented at conferences in the US, UK and Belgium.  I’ve taught theology, religious studies, and writing in various institutions of higher education in the US and UK, and am actively seeking my next post.

For a fuller version of her background, please see the end of this post.



A few years ago (2009, to be precise), I contributed an essay to a book on the enduring value of the work of Reinhold Niebuhr  My essay is chapter 6, on Niebuhr’s ‘outsider ecclesiology’.  Others have argued that Niebuhr’s vision of the Church is the weakest point In his theology.  My essay argues that the importance is that the surprising thing is that a person with Niebuhr’s privilege and influence within an institutional church is his effort to critique the church from the viewpoint of those who have little use for it.

Niebuhr held, as did 98th Archbishop of Canterbury William Temple (also an arguably privileged churchman) that people who declined to profess faith in Christ and his Church did not usually do so out of ignorance, stubbornness, or hardness of heart.  It was the fault of the Church if, in Temple’s great quip, the Church professed to be a foretaste of heaven, and people said, ‘well, then, I don’t care to go to heaven.’  It was because the Church was presenting the Christian message in ways that were unacceptable to non-Christians (Niebuhr even acknowledged that there might be historic reasons that it would never be acceptable to some groups), or perhaps non-Christians were not terribly impressed with the clash between professed belief and manner of living.

Taken together, the writing careers of Temple and Niebuhr covered roughly the first three-quarters of the 20th century, a time of unprecedented change.  But in the decades since Niebuhr’s death in 1971, categories of ‘church-rejectors’ (to coin a phrase) emerged that neither of these theologians could have imagined:  the ‘spiritual but not religious’, as Diana Butler Bass describes in her new book Christianity after Religion.  Citing both the famous departure of author Anne Rice from the Roman Catholic Church in 2010, and listening to the story of a woman she calls ‘Ellen’ (p. 22 et seq), it is clear that something important is happening.  These are not the stories of people who would rather sleep late on Sunday, or whose children’s sport activities conflict with church attendance.  Rather, these are thoughtful, serious women who have tried to carry out a meaningful spiritual quest within the framework of institutional religion, and for various reasons, their churches have failed them.  With regret, they have decided to leave, and proceed as best they can on their own.

I am sure these women are not alone—I have, on more than one occasion, found myself wondering why I stay in an institution that rarely meets my needs and routinely discourages me in a variety of ways.  All I can say by way of explanation is that I believe that institutional religions can meet many deep human needs, and that I hope I can help at least one to do that.

Bass’s focus, however, I think, unduly negative concerning religious institutions, drawing sharp lines between ‘religion’ and ‘spirituality’, and often arguing that ‘religion’ and its institutions are unhelpful in supporting either the individual’s journey towards a fuller life in God, and the formation of vibrant communities of faith.  As an ecclesiologist, I have reservations concerning this stance.  Institutions are the bearers of traditions of the ‘practices’ which Bass praises for their ability to assist spiritual formation and transformation.  Furthermore, properly functioning institutions have structures of accountability which help prevent ‘personality cults’ from developing around charismatic, but questionable, ‘leaders’, providing some measure of protection to people trying to deepen their relationship with their fellow human beings, the natural world, and the divine.  Finally, institutions can acquire and deploy resources on a scale usually unavailable to individuals and small groups, thereby assisting in philanthropic aims that are often the fruit of spiritual growth.  In terms of growth in spirituality, the institutional church still has much to offer.

For almost 20 years, I have been a relatively serious student of my chosen Christian tradition, the worldwide Anglican Communion.    I have recently completed an article in Anglican social theology (it will appear in the Autumn 2012 issue of Anglican Theological Review), and I have reason to believe that the ‘big questions’ I’ve outlined in it are things thoughtfully spiritual people seek to answer.  But they are not individually focused questions; rather they involve institutions and their place in society.  I explore the historic development of questions of ‘what is the nature and purpose of society in light of God’s intention for human beings?’; ‘what is the place of the Christian Church in an increasingly plural society?’; ‘what benefits does a distinctively Christian presence contribute to a society that acknowledges many spiritual and religious traditions?’  I dig up the pre-Reformation foundations of the tradition, examining how our notions of justice and good government are formed by Christian belief and history.

I am sure I am not the only lay person who wants to explore how belief has formed so many cherished ideas, so that we can revisit and question their appropriateness for the lives we live today, and the lives that will be lived by those who come after us.  However, the institutional Churches have not served particularly well for this.  They have too long been embroiled in discussing side issues, such as who can serve as an ordained minister, and nosing into the most private aspects of domestic arrangements.

There is, however, cause for hope.  Both the Episcopal Church in the USA, and the Church in Wales, have chosen to look carefully at their structures, to see if they can become more effective in deploying resources—financial, material, and human—in the interest of becoming more effective environments for people to explore ways to live lives of justice, wisdom, integrity and compassion in a contemporary world which too often lacks these qualities.  The Church in Wales, notably, has said that they cannot continue on as they have been doing.  There has been too much decline, too many people not attending services, and they have come up with excellent recommendations as to how to address some of this.  I have not seen the same clarity in the Episcopal Church, but there is a similar direction that has come out of the recent triennial General Convention.

My hope, however, is guarded.  An entirely new mode of pastoral provision is described in the Church in Wales Review—but those who train new ministers will be doing so from the viewpoint of people with ‘many long years’ experience in ministry.’   Which means, for the most part, people (still primarily men) who have been ordained for decades, and have learned to blame those who do not come to church for the church’s failure to provide spiritual sustenance.  It will mean that new clergy will be trained by people who are ‘successful’ at keeping the laity quiet and submissive—no matter how much lip-service is paid to ‘ministry of all the baptized’.

What other institution does this?  When a retailer or manufacturer does not reach its intended market, does it say, ‘We’ve got a tremendous product, how silly are they to reject it?  We’ll just keep it on the shelf, gathering dust, not bringing anyone through our doors, because we know how good it is.’  Of course not.  A smart, entrepreneurial business venture asks questions, and adapts.  It brings in new people on staff, it welcomes new points of view—even uncomfortable ones.  Hearing hard truths about why something is not working, and acting on what one hears, is the fastest way to get things working again.  And yet, this is exactly what the churches refuse to do.

I am not saying that there should not be experienced ordained people training people for ministry in the churches.  I am saying that alongside those experienced ordained people, future ministers need to hear—on a regular, frequent basis—from those who have not always been served well by the church.   I am one of the people who lives at the edge of the church, often with one foot out the door.  I am that rare creature:  a dissatisfied spiritual seeker, a lover of God, with a wide knowledge of theology.  I could help articulate the needs of many, and help the Church find ways back to being a vibrant community for spiritual growth and community service.  The Church doesn’t want that.

I am saddened that the Church has not seen fit to listen to my voice, because that indicates to me a basic institutional dishonesty.  The Church says it wants to grow and thrive.  It says it is concerned that the attendance numbers are significantly down in the last few decades.  It claims to be concerned that people are leaving—but blames it on the plethora of the other choices that our ‘consumerist’ society offers as alternatives to Sunday worship.

That last is patently false.  If the Church was meeting the deepest needs and yearnings of spiritual people, it would be a priority in their lives.  But it is not, and it chooses to ignore everything except the obvious.  Evelyn Underhill, the great Anglican mystic of the early 20th century, said that the ‘only really interesting thing about religion is God.’  People aren’t staying away from the Church to play football or shop—they’re staying away because they aren’t finding God.

The Church in Wales Review says that things have to change, that things cannot be done the same way as they have been.  The Review team spoke to a large number of people, and are happy to report that there are still a lot of people who feel deep affection and high regard for the Church, the local vicars, and the bishops.  Of course, they also report an overly deferential attitude toward the bishop and local clergy, so it would be very surprising if they heard from very many people who felt they could speak freely about their dissatisfactions and disappointment with the Church.  If the Review’s recommendations are to be implemented effectively, that needs to change.




Ph.D. in Theology                                                                    December, 2000

Marquette University,Milwaukee,Wisconsin

Dissertation:  The Church, For and Against the Nations, in the Thought of William Temple.  Develops a political ecclesiology from the writings of William Temple (1881-1944).  Director:  D. Thomas Hughson, S.J.  Defended 25 August 2000.

Comprehensive examinations: Church-State Relations; Sacraments and Moral Formation; Authority and Community; Hebrew Prophecy; 19th Century Theological Liberalism.


M.T.S. in Theology                                                                   June 1995

Seabury-Western Theological Seminary,Evanston,Illinois

Thesis:  Eucharist as a Model of Economic Justice.

Director:  Timothy F. Sedgwick.


Master of Business Administration                                            May 1987

Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York


B.F.A. (Honours) in Music                                                        June 1984






The Ecclesiology of Archbishop William Temple (1881-1944).  2004, Edwin Mellen Press.


Articles &Essays:

‘Reinhold Niebuhr’s Outsider Ecclesiology’ in Reinhold Niebuhr & Contemporary Politics:  God and Power, ed. Richard Harries & Stephen Platten.  OUP, 2010.

‘Integrity, Alternative Aggressions, and Impaired Communion’ in Ecumenical Ecclesiology:  Unity, Diversity and Otherness in a Fragmented World, ed. Gesa Elsbeth Thiessen, T&T Clark, 2009.

“Archbishop William Temple And Public Theology in a Post-Christian Context.”  Journal of Anglican Studies.  December 2006.

“A Bridge to the New World:  William Temple’s American Ecumenism.” Anglican and Episcopal History, Spring 2005.

“William Stringfellow’s Sacramental Theology”, Journal of Anglican Studies, Winter 2004.

But Was it Meant to be a Joke Legacy?  Ronald Preston as Heir to William Temple,” Studies in Christian Ethics, August 2004.

“Richard Hooker and American Religious Liberty,” Journal of Church and State, Winter 1999.

“William Temple:  Champion of the Jews,” Anglican and Episcopal History, April 1997.




Our Own Others:  Natures, Purposes and Futures of Anglican Dioceses.  Receptive Ecumenism and Ecclesial Learning Symposium,UshawCollege,DurhamUK 14 January 2009.

Integrity, Alternative Aggressions, and Impaired Communion.  Ecclesiological Investigations Programme Unit, American Academy of Religions. San Diego,California,USA. 17 November, 2007

Toward a Theology of Laity.  Leuven Encounters in Systematic Theology,Leuven,Belgium. 9 November 2007.

IntegrityAlternative Aggressions and Impaired Communion. San Diego,AmericanAcademy of Religions Ecclesiological Investigations Program Unit, November 2007.

A Conversation in Implications for Public Theology in the Windsor Report.  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:  Society for the Study of Anglicanism (additional meeting of the American Academy of Religions), November, 2005.  Joint presentation with Revd. Dr. Malcolm Brown, East Anglian Ministerial Training Course.

William Temple and the Challenge of the Post-Christian.  San Antonio, Texas:  Society for the Study of Anglicanism (additional meeting of the American Academy of Religions), November 2004. 

A Bridge to the Old World:  William Temple’s American Ecumenism. Chicago,Illinois:  Anglican-Lutheran Historical Conference,21 June 2004.

But Was it Meant to be a Joke Legacy?  Ronald Preston as Heir to William Temple.  Short paper presented as part of a Colloquium on “Ronald Preston and the Future of Christian Social Ethics”, the 2003 Samuel Ferguson Lectures in Social and Pastoral Theology, University of Manchester (UK), 14-15 March, 2003.

Tradition Constituted Inquiry:  A Proposal for Theological Method.  Upper Midwest Regional AAR. 28 April 2000. St. Paul,MN.


Book Reviews:


The Anglican Covenant.  Mark Chapman, Editor.  Practical Theology, Spring 2009.

Light in a Burning Glass:  A Systematic Presentation of Austin Farrer’s Theology.  By Robert Boak Slocum.  Theological Studies, June 2008.

Through the Eye of a Needle:  Theological Conversations over Political Economy  Edited by John Atherton and Hannah Skinner.  Journal of Church and State, Autumn 2007.

God vs. the GavelReligion and the Rule of Law.  By Marci A. Hamilton.  Journal of Church and State, Spring 2006

Melting the Venusberg: A Feminist Theology of Music.  By Heidi Epstein.  Anglican Theological Review, Winter 2006

Bonds of Imperfection:  Christian Politics, Past and Present.  By Oliver O’Donovan and Joan Lockwood O’Donovan.  Journal of Anglican Studies, December 2005.

Political Worship:  Ethics for Christian Citizens.  By Bernd Wannenwetsch.  Anglican Theological Review.  Fall 2005.

Sacred and Secular:  Religion and Politics Worldwide.  By Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart.  Journal of Church and State, Summer 2005.

Is the Market Moral?  A Dialogue on Religion, Economics, and Justice.  By Rebecca M. Blank and William McGurn.  Anglican Theological Review, Summer 2005.

A Passionate Pilgrim:  A Biography of Bishop James A.Pike.  By David Robertson.  Journal of Church and State, Spring 2005.

Creation through Wisdom:  Theology and the New Biology.  By Celia Deane-Drummond.  Anglican Theological Review, Spring 2005.

Themes in Religion and American Culture.  Goff, Philip and Paul Harvey, eds.  Journal of Church and State, Autumn 2005.

Being Reconciled:  Ontology and Pardon.  By John Milbank.  Journal of Church and State, Winter 2005.

Secularisation.  By Edward Norman.  Anglican Theological Review, Autumn 2004.

Living Spirit, Living Practice:  Poetics, Politics, Epistemology.  By Ruth Frankenberg.  Journal of Church and State, Autumn 2004.

New Religious Movements in the 21st Century:  Legal, Political and Social Challenges in Global Perspective.  Edited by Philip Charles Lucas and Thomas Robbins. Journal of Church and State, Summer 2004.

Modernity and the Dilemma of North American Anglican Identities, 1880-1950.  By William H. Katerberg.  Journal of Church and State, Spring 2004.

Marginalization.  By John Atherton.  Journal of Church and State, Winter 2004.

September 11:  Religious Perspectives on the Causes and Consequences.  Ian S. Markham and Ibrahim Abu-Rabi, eds.  Journal of Church and State, Spring 2003.

Liberalism and Crime:  The British Experience.  By Robert R. Sullivan.  Journal of Church and State, Winter 2003.

The Social Gospel Today.  Christopher H. Evans, ed.  Journal of Church and State, Winter, 2002.

The Middle Way:  Theology, Politics and Economics in the Later Thought of R.H. Preston.  John R. Elford and Ian S. Markham, eds.  Journal of Church and State, Winter, 2002.

Politics, Theology, and History.  By Raymond Plant.  Journal of Church and State, Autumn 2001.

Reflections on the Theology of Richard Hooker:  An Elizabethan Addresses Modern Anglicanism.  By John Booty.  Journal of Church and State, Spring 2001

Public Theology for Changing Times.  By John Atherton.  Journal of Church and State, Spring 2001.

God, Britain, and Hitler in World War II:  The View of the British Clergy, 1939-1945.  By A.J. Hoover.  Journal of Church and State, Autumn 2000.

Revolutionary Anglicanism:  The Colonial Church of England During the American Revolution, by Nancy L. Roden.  Journal of Church and State, Spring 2000.

God, Faith and the New Millennium:  Christian Belief in an Age of Science, by Keith Ward.  Anglican Theological Review, Spring 2002.

Christian Thinking and Social Order:  Conviction Politics from the 1930s to the Present Day, edited by Marjorie Reeves.  Journal of Church and State, Winter 2000.

American Evangelicalism:  Embattled and Thriving, by Christian Smith.  Journal of Church and State, Fall 1999.

The Churches and Social Questions in Twentieth-Century Britain, by G.I.T Machin.  Journal of Church and State, Summer 1999.

Plurality and Christian Ethics, by Ian Markham.  Journal of Church and State, Summer 1999.

Heretics: The Other Side of Early Christianity, by Gerd Ludemann.  Anglican Theological Review, Summer 1998.

The Desire of the Nations: Recovering the Roots of Political Theology, by Oliver O’Donovan.  Journal of Church and State, Fall 1997.




Diocese ofCanterbury,Canterbury,United KingdomAugust 2008—December 2010

Director of Studies, Licenced Ministries Training Scheme

Subject tutor:  Anglican Theology in Context, Introduction to Christian Theology, Church in Contemporary Culture, parish placements.

Also responsible for the preaching programme (not assessed), annual retreat, instruction on journaling and theological reflection, programmes for training incumbents and local group facilitators.

Design team, Kent Continuing Ministerial Education,Canterbury,United Kingdom, October 2008-July 2009

Project managed design and revalidation of the joint programme for curates inCanterburyand Rochester Dioceses, including design of several modules, leading to BA and MA awards in Ordained Theology throughCanterburyChristChurchUniversity.

RiponCollegeCuddesdon,Oxford, United Kingdom  June 2006 – April 2008

Research Fellow, Derby Diocesan ‘Clergy in Ministerial Context Project’

Designed and executed commissioned research in practical theology involving roles and identities of clergy across a single Church of England diocese.

Occasional Lecturer:


Toward a Theology of Laity, November 2006 and 2007

Insiders/Outsiders, November 2006 and 2007

Impaired Communion November 2007

Anglican Theology

Archbishop William Temple, March 2007 and February 2008

Richard Hooker,13 March 2007

Eastern Region Ministry Course,Cambridge,United Kingdom

Guest lecturer, MA programme,3 November 2006

Toward a Theology of Laity


Southern Theological Education & Training Scheme,Salisbury

Guest Lecturer, MA Programme June 2007

Congregational Studies

Oxford Ministry Course,Oxford,United Kingdom

Guest speaker, February 2007

Researching Congregations

January and February 2008


Toward a Theology of Lay Ministry

Regent’sParkCollege,Oxford University, United Kingdom  October 2006 to Present

Fellow,OxfordCentre for Christianity and Contemporary Culture

Research Series in Practical Theology

Lecture:  Towards a Theology of Laity,23 February 2007

NiagaraUniversity,Niagara Falls,New York                 January to May 2004

Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Thinking and Writing

CanisiusCollege,Buffalo,New York                             January to May 2004

Adjunct Professor, Introduction to Religious Studies

RockValleyCollege,Rockford,Illinois                          Fall 2002

Adjunct Professor, Philosophy and Religion

Introduction to Philosophy, World Religions

Southwestern College, Winfield, Kansas                                    2001-2002

Visiting Assistant Professor, Religious Studies

Fall term:  Science and Religion, Responsibilities for the Future (practical ethics), Pastoral Writing (on-line professional studies course)

Spring term:  Introduction to Christian Religion, Comparative Religions, History of Christianity in the US andCanada; Renaissance through Enlightenment (on-line professional studies course); Theological Issues:  Ecclesiology (on-line professional studies course)

Seabury-Western Theological Seminary,Evanston,Illinois        Spring Quarter, 2001

Adjunct Faculty: Anglican Theology Since the Oxford Movement

CarthageCollege,Kenosha,Wisconsin                                      Fall 2000

Adjunct Instructor, Heritage I (an interdisciplinary first-semester freshman course aimed at improving academic skills in reading, writing, and critical thinking)

MarquetteUniversity,Milwaukee,Wisconsin                            1999-2000

Teaching Fellow in Theology.  Taught one section per semester of the required undergraduate Introduction to Theology.

MarquetteUniversity,Milwaukee, Wisconsin                            1997

Instructional Assistant in the College of Professional Studies.  Assisted with grading written assignments, and acted as substitute lecturer, for required theological ethics course in the weekend/evening degree program for working adults.

MarquetteUniversity,Milwaukee, Wisconsin                            1996

Teaching Assistant, Department of Theology.

Seabury-Western Theological Seminary,Evanston,Illinois        1994-1995

Student Editorial Assistant, Crossroads

Victory Theatre Association,Dayton,OH                                  1988-89

Marketing and Public Relations Director


BrazosValleySymphony Society,Bryan,TX                            1987-88

Executive Director



What Do We Mean When We Say “Church”?  St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, Wilmette, IL.  25 March, 2001.   

Science and Religion in Contemporary Anglican Theology.  St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, Wilmette, IL.  October-November 1999.  Four-week series.

St. Augustine of Hippo.  St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, Wilmette, IL.  April 18 and 25, 1999.  Two-week series.

William Temple.  St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, Wilmette, IL. May 17, 1998.

Faith and Public Life.  St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, River Hills, WI.  February 1997.

We Believe:  The Nicene Creed.  St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, River Hills, WI. October-November 1996. Four-week series.  Repeated as a two-week series at St. Augustine’s, April 1997.

Anglican Luminaries:  Richard Hooker, Jeremy Taylor, William Temple. St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, River Hills, WI.  January-February 1996. Three-week series.

Prayer and Scripture. St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, Wilmette, IL.  April 1995.  Four-week series.




AmericanAcademyof Religions

International Society for the Study of Anglicanism:  Advisory Committee

Journal of Anglican Studies:  Review Associate forNorth America

Association for Practical Theology (USA)




MarquetteUniversity,Milwaukee,Wisconsin                            1999-2000

Teaching Fellow, Department of Theology

MarquetteUniversity,Milwaukee,Wisconsin                            1998-1999

Smith Family Fellow (Travel fellowship for dissertation research)

Charles M. Ross Trust Fellow                                                    1997-1999

Fellowship for Christian Leadership

Episcopal Diocese ofPennsylvania                                            1996-1999

Church Training and Deaconness House Scholarship

Order of the Daughters of the King                                           1996-1997

Masters’ Fund Scholarship

MarquetteUniversity,Milwaukee,Wisconsin                            1996-1999

Tuition Scholarship

Seabury-Western Theological Seminary                                     1995

Mercer Scholarship

‘How Hard Is It To Say No?’

This is the question my friend Susan Gage wants to put to the assembled General Convention of The Episcopal Church, which met in Indianapolis from 5-12 July (neatly and annoyingly overlapping with the General Synod of the Church of England). In her latest blog post,

‘The Episcopal Church Says, “Ummmm” To Anglican Covenant’,

Susan describes the Convention from the point of view of a frustrated fellow-member of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition. Other good blog posts describing the Convention are by Jim BeyerDoug Blanchard,  June Butler,  Lionel Deimel, the Revd Malcolm French, the Revd Lauren A Gough, the Revd Dr Elizabeth Keaton,  the Ven. Alan T Perry and The Revd Canon Susan Russell.

I recommend that, if you are a member of the Anglican Communion, you read at least some of these blog posts. After all, it was a Church of England priest who said ‘No man is an island entire of itself‘. Another, more down-to-earth, way of saying the same thing is “We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”


The Dog That Did Not Bark In The Night

Did anyone else notice that at the General Synod in York no mention at all was made of the fact that the Covenant, promoted so fervently by the Archbishop of Canterbury and most of his fellow bishops, was rejected by diocesan synods? In the Church of England, it seems, ‘if it is not pleasant, it does not exist‘. Or if it is awkward. Or contentious. Or embarrassing. Or all four.

Better To Call A Spade A Spade?

I expect you know this: “What is the difference between a lady and a diplomat?”

When a diplomat says “yes”, he means “perhaps”.
When a diplomat says “perhaps”, he means “no”.
But when a diplomat says “no”, he is no diplomat at all
When a lady says “no”, she means “perhaps”.
When a  lady says “perhaps”, she means “yes”.
But when a lady says “yes”, she is no lady at all.


The Dangers Of Not Learning To Say ‘No’

Flanders and Swann have a very short ditty, which I knew off by heart at about the age of eight, certainly long before I understood what it meant:

Oh it’s hard to say “Hoolima-Kittiluca-Cheecheechee” , but in Tonga, that means “No”.
If I ever have the money,’tis to Tonga I shall go.
For each lovely Tongan maiden there will gladly make a date.
And by the time she’s said “Hoolima-Kittiluca-Cheecheechee”, it is usually too late!



‘If It’s Not Pleasant, It Doesn’t Exist’

My grandmother never actually said this to me. But it was the leitmotiv of her life, thanks to which she lived to be 99 years old. I know half a dozen other nonagenarians, and they all have this in common: they do not dwell on the global economic downturn, global warming, or why that Mrs Jones down the road is such a bitch has a less than sunny disposition. They pour themselves another gin, play another rubber of bridge or go for a walk. They live without passion of any sort (well, they are in their nineties) but this includes love and hate. They are not passionately for or passionately against anything. They do not discuss politics, religion or sex, or indeed any other topic about which anyone might feel strongly. They do not show feelings in public (the mantra of this class is ‘No PDA’ – no Public Display of Affection).  To do so would be bad form. They do not weep in public, or ever evince any pain or self-pity. They offer no sympathy (beyond the most formal expression), and they shudder at the thought of sympathy being shown to them. By definition, they are not needy.

Of course, by the time my grandmother and her kind are in their nineties, they probably are needy, if only physically. For them this is the hardest part of old age, that they have to accept help from others and allow chinks to appear in their armour.

I sometimes think my kind of Anglican is like this. I have just learned that I am technically a liberal Anglo-Catholic – I have always thought of myself as plain old CofE but now see that there are many strands of worshippers who all self-identify as Church of England but whose worshipping style – and beliefs- are very different. Yesterday I attended (and will post about separately) a communion service led by a Charismatic Evangelical. My knee-jerk reaction was to wince at the emotional incontinence, but a part of me – normally severely repressed- also responded.

I think I could happily make the transition to The Episcopal Church (TEC) and feel at home. I was brought up to think that good manners are all-important, and TEC is above all the home of good manners: ‘After you’; ‘No, after you’. ‘No cake until you have had the bread and butter’. And so on.

But word reaches me that these good manners may stand in the way of common sense at the TEC General Convention to be held from July 5-12 in Indianapolis: agreeing with me that the current ‘sorry state of things entire’ of the Anglican Covenant is such that it definitely counts as unpleasant, and being unwilling to intrude on private grief,  some say it might be best not to discuss it all, and simply sweep it under the carpet.

Siren voices! Please, fellow Anglicans, do not listen to them! We have managed in the Church of England, diocesan synod by painful diocesan synod, to reject it. But the Secretary-General of the Anglican Communion regards this as merely a little local difficulty. Is he burying his head in the sand like the man in the YouTube video which illustrates this post? That is a matter of opinion.

But my fellow members of the Church of England and I are looking for a lead on this from The Episcopal Church. Please do not let us down!







We rely on donations to keep this website running.