Tuesday, March 4, 2008

March 4, 2008

March 4, 2008

I am grateful that there are some regular visitors to this blog who have noticed that I’ve not written for just over a week. Life rather took over, so here are some brief thoughts:

  • A number of you make comments to me about things I have written but do not comment on line. Part of my hope for this blog was that it would be a reason for regular visits to our parish website. Another was that it would generate discussion, not so much with me (you notice I don’t’ respond to the few brave comments that are made as I keep hoping that someone else will) as among members of our parish who usually do not exhibit such reticence with thoughtful opinion. Can anyone enlighten me?

  • I’ve been thinking about suicide. In conversations with seminarians at Candler (http://www.candler.emory.edu/) we have identified a few things that we think must be said at a funeral sermon. These usually include telling survivors that the death of the person they love is not their fault and that the person who chose to take his or her own life made a decision and choice, however misguided. It is important to find a way to address the truth that the person who died was made by Love for love and that God still loves that person. (Somewhere we all have this vague notion that suicide is an unforgivable sin, vague memories that people who made this choice could not be buried in the church yard and so on.) Third, it is usually important to acknowledge the real anger that is part of grieving the death of someone who takes his or her own life.

  • There have been some developments in property disputes between dioceses and schismatic churches in Canada. A judge in Ontario has ruled that a diocese cannot send people into a dissident parish to provide services and care to those who wish to remain Anglican. This is not as strange as it sounds (although unhelpful) because it is like a ‘stay’, a temporary ruling for two or three weeks until the court hears substantial argument on the issue.


Joshua said...

Suicide is a difficult think to deal with for anyone, and I would imagine especially for someone in the clergy having to comfort those who have lost. Funeral services at times are seen by some as an opportunity to "preach them into heaven" (whatever that should mean) and I think this proves difficult to accept for family members in that situation. It can be seen as playing God, deciding for yourself when it is your time to go, instead of trusting in God for that.

It's important to remember, however, as you have said, that not only does God still love them, despite what they have done to themselves (if it is a sin, and if it is, it would be the same as any other sin). I personally do not believe it to be a sinful action, simply because I refuse to believe that a loving God would judge his people based on decisions they have made when they are ill. One who would take his or her own life is not in their right mind. I think we can all agree upon that. Would a loving God really be so thoughtless as to punish that person for what they have done? I think not.

Jetteye said...

"If we cannot get around a table and talk, or at least eat, then what does communion mean? If we have to have something more than goodwill and a common identity in Christ, --if we have to have doctrinal clarity and even uniformity as the price of admission,-- then should we not be Roman Catholics?" <---

The above is a snippet from a different day's blog (Feb. 17), but it addresses a portion of this day's blog, The Anglican Covenant. Indeed, if I wanted a rigid rulebook, highly centralized authority and top-down management, I would have remained in the RC church, where I grew up. What will be, will be, right, but I hope that we will wrestle long and hard and ultimately not give in to the Anglican Covenant being a sort of statute book from which those in authority can issue sentences or citations for violations.

Gretchen R. Chateau