30 days

Not-yet bishop

In answer to the question ‘What do you consider the most important priorities for the Presiding Bishop?’ successful candidate Katharinee Jefferts Schori responded, ‘The church’s work is to recognize where we have not yet attained God’s dream, speak gospel to that reality, and equip and empower all the baptized to do the work of transforming those places of not-yet.’

Suggestions, please, on a postcard (preferably by email) as to precisely which ‘places of not-yet’ Mrs Schori had in mind. As usual, a bottle of Forward in Faith champagne to the best printable offering.

Not-ever bishop

In an outbreak of humility and self-effacement unprecedented among the clergy of the Church of England, the 30Days office has been inundated with emails from those who, like Vivienne Faull, the Dean of Leicester, would have found it impossible to accept preferment to the episcopate under the TEA arrangements as initially proposed. Few if any of them, we suspect, will have shared Mrs Faull’s precise reservations.

Not on this planet

30Days reported in April on the Ebenezer Lutheran Church in San Francisco, and its website <www.herchurch.org>. Many readers have been in touch claiming that the entire piece was a spoof. If only! Thanks to the eagle-eyed observation of Fr Robert Munday, Dean and President of Nashotah House in Wisconsin, 30Days brings you <http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4639219646887101318&q=church&pr=goog-sl> – not for the faint-hearted!

Not intact?

We are indebted to the Daily Record for news of three sisters from Inverness, who have reportedly insured their virginity for £1million each – in case they immaculately conceive the second coming. The policy was taken out by the women, who are all of what used to be called ‘mature years,’ in 2000 and is subject to an annual premium of just £100. These jewels of the Highlands are reported to have explained that, if the Lord does come again (and via one of their birth canals), they want to be able to afford to give him a ‘lifestyle commensurate with his status.’

A spokesman for BritishInsurance.com explained that the policy is apparently popular with girls called Mary and that the burden of proof would rest upon a woman that she had, in fact, conceived immaculately. Further research reveals that, during 1999, no less than 10,113 American virgins purchased similar cover; presumably, though, few of them were Episcopalians, given that virginity is no longer quite as prized as perhaps once it was in the thrusting, go-ahead TEC.

Meanwhile,
back in the real world…

With the World Cup reaching its climax as this issue of New Directions appears, 30Days is proud to present its last-minute World Cup Guide. [Members of FiF Scotland and FiF Wales need read no further; for members of FiF North America and FiF Oz, this information is simply too late]:

How should I show which team I’m supporting in the Final?

The best way to do this is by means of a tie. For example, at the National Pilgrimage to Walsingham, the Sacristans of Pusey House, the National Secretary of Forward in Faith and the Secretary of the Dioceses Commission, Liturgical Commission and Churches’ Funerals Group were all wearing the colours of host nation Germany.

How should I pray for the team I want to win?

Courtesy of Nick Baines, Bishop of Croydon, whose entry in Who’s Who includes the intelligence that he used to be a ‘linguist specialist’ at GCHQ, the CofE has this offering on its website: ‘God of all work and play, Lord of all the nations, guide, guard and protect all who work or play in the World Cup. May all who watch or engage find in this competition a source of celebration, and a recognition of what it means to be made in the image of the One who played the cosmos into being. Amen.’

And what if I can’t stand football?

In an outburst of stereotyping, Christians in Sport has the answer: ‘An evening of pampering for the ladies, especially for those who can’t abide the beautiful game!! This could be anything from beauty treatments, nail art, foot or head massages, footbaths or make-up tips. Mix this with some great food and a testimony from one of the ladies involved and you are on to a winner. Make sure the ladies doing the pampering know what they are doing – if you have professionals in the church even better!! Have some chilled music to enhance the ambience of the evening – we’d suggest avoiding Christian music – have music they are used to hearing. Make this a male-free zone so they don’t feel self-conscious. Make sure they leave feeling spoilt and special.’

I’m on General Synod – what will happen if England have made it to the final?

Faced with this prospect, a spokesman said the Synod’s discussions would not necessarily be brought to a halt but that the football could be recorded and shown to members when their debates were concluded. David Williams, Clerk to the Synod, drew attention to the similarities between England waiting 40 years to win the World Cup – the country’s only previous success coming in 1966 – and the Israelites spending 40 years wandering in the wilderness.

What are the inter-faith implications of the World Cup?

Well, if the recent headline on <www.middle-east-online.com> is anything to go by, interesting, to say the least. ‘Vicars face imams in match refereed by Jews,’ it trumpeted, before reporting on a planned seven-a-side pre-World Cup friendly, organized by the German Protestant Church, at which Christian ministers would tackle Muslim imams, under the whistle of a Jewish referee, as part of an initiative aimed at increasing understanding among religions. Whether it succeeded in its aim may be in doubt, though, in the light of the rather unchristian scoreline – Christians 13 : Muslims 1.

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