Saturday, November 24, 2012

A new look

“Bishop David’s Blog” has been re-named 
“Streams of the River”

If you go back through my blog you will see that while I publish original articles from time to time, I mostly share devotional, spiritual, theological, and historical insights from a wide range of writers and teachers, ancient and modern. You’ll also notice that the blog’s purpose is to build up readers in the Gospel of Jesus and the Faith of the Church, rather than to engage in rancorous argument. (Although I admit that very occasionally I pass on a controversial article - such as those over the last few days on women bishops - but usually as a last resort, when other media eliminate from public attention the vew that I think is the right one!)

I have long believed that the image in Psalm 46 of the river whose streams make glad God’s city can be applied to the various streams of spiritual life and heritage that refresh the Church.

These streams must flow together, each enriching the other, even as we pray and work towards real unity and the evangelisation of the world.

So I will continue to share with you items of interest from Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Charismatics, Evangelicals and many others as well . . . sometimes even from “the liberals” when they say helpful things! The sustained growth of the blog’s readership, together with emails received, vindicates this approach.

“Streams of the River making glad the City of God” says it all, really.

Changing the blog’s name will also help cut back the number of enquirers to whom I have to tell the sad story of Forward in Faith Australia’s failed attempt at securing episcopal ministry for Australian Anglicans unable in conscience to accept with certainty the ordination of women as priests and bishops. I and my dear parish were the main casualties of that; I and they have had to cope with quite slanderous distortions of our stand, the published findings of the Archbishop of Brisbane's Commissioners notwithstanding. 

In spite of everything, for five years, in the midst of heartbreak and under extremely difficult conditions, that episcopal ministry WAS exercised for the sake of scattered people “just inside” and “just outside” official Anglican structures, to the best of my ability. And it was exercised in a truly evangelistic and deeply pastoral way . . . not as a political stunt. Then, three years ago, it became clear that many for whom I cared would be joining the Ordinariate for former Anglicans set up by the Roman Catholic Church, some would join other apostolic churches, and others would permanently align themselves with one of the continuing Anglican churches, including – after considerable trauma – the regathered TAC.

Very dear friends who have gone in different directions remain in my daily prayers. I know only too well what they have suffered at the hands of the so-called “liberal” Church. I am not “against” anyone. I love them all and I respect them. They must follow their consciences. But I must follow mine, and I believe that in the time left to me the Lord would have me pray, work and minister for a recovery of the Gospel and the Catholic Faith among Anglicans. When I accepted nomination by Forward in Faith Australia for episcopal ordination while remaining at All Saints' Wickham Terrace, it was in order to help people STAY, not LEAVE. Indeed, that was the whole point of “blurring the boundaries” between those still in the Anglican Church of Australia and those in the TAC, something for which a number of us were viciously attacked by extremists on both sides.

But, I am glad to say that there are even now surprising signs of renewal – both evangelical and catholic renewal – around the Anglican Communion. Praise God!

So, while never for a moment denying the reality of my episcopal ordination, or the wonderful grace of God so evident during the difficult five years that followed, I have been content since then to exercise in different ways the priestly and evangelistic ministry that has, in fact, been the focus of my life since my teenage years. Please keep me in your prayers.

I hope that you will keep visiting "Streams of the River"!

- Father David


Anonymous said...

You are in my Prayers.Deacon Ray.

Post a Comment