Anglican Ecumenism in France

An interview with Walter Raymond, Bishop Robert Innes, and Patrick Keppel. Have a listen!

“Anglicanisme et œcuménisme à Monaco. À l’occasion des 90 ans de l’église anglicane de Monaco, rencontre avec Walter Raymond, recteur de l’église, Robert Innes, évêque de Gibraltar en Europe et Patrick Keppel, délégué œcuménique du Diocèse Catholique.”

Link to Interview

Bishop’s Easter Message, 2015

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

“We are an Easter People and Hallelujah is our Song!”

The great St. Augustine of Hippo wrote these words 1600 years ago and they have spoken to people through the ages down to our own time. Being an Easter people means that resurrection is part of our life experience. Easter celebrates how Jesus dies and rises in each of us – in our personal lives and in the community of the church. Easter celebrates how Jesus is present in our daily work, our relationships, the joys and sorrows of the world.

We are an Easter people, in a Good Friday world. Within Europe, many countries continue to live with the grinding effects of austerity. In the South of the continent, we have a whole generation of young people growing up without work. Eastern Ukraine has faced the misery and devastation of armed struggle. This is in addition to the conflicts in the wider world – in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, Syria and Iraq – with their tragic humanitarian consequences.

In this kind of world, it could seem that the only God in whom we might believe, or refuse to believe, would be a deist god – that is, a god who may have created the world back in the mists of time but has since then left it alone to run down by itself. Whilst philosophers might find it interesting to debate whether or not such a god exists, the deist god would not make any practical difference to the way the world is.

By contrast, the Christian Easter insists that God is not a god who is far off, but one who in Jesus draws very near. In Jesus, God himself comes among us. As the Church Fathers insisted, “what God has created, only God can redeem”. In his bursting from the tomb on Easter Day, God releases new energy into the world. Far from allowing his world to decay, according to a relentless law of entropy, God in Christ initiates a programme of renewal. Beginning with the first disciples a new community is created that exhibits a remarkable degree of joy, hope, and love. 2000 years later, the Easter people is still growing rapidly in number, especially in Africa, in China and in some other Asian countries.

Unfortunately, in the old continent of Europe, the churches (or at least the traditional churches) are generally not enjoying numerical growth. Our own Church of England has been declining at the rate of about 1% per year for many years. On top of this, the average age of our church has increased so that it is now much higher than the average age of the UK population. This means that, even if we manage to replace all those who leave the church, we will still decline as a large proportion of our current membership comes to the end of their lives. Moreover, a bulge in the clergy age distribution means 40% of our clergy are due to retire in the next 10 years.

Faced with this reality, one approach would be to dig our heads in the sand and either pretend that decline wasn’t happening or that it doesn’t matter. If our God was a God who had simply left the world to decline in its own way, than that might be permissible. But as an Easter people we simply daren’t do this!

Aware of the great challenge facing the church, the General Synod at its meeting in February approved a range of reports that constitute an ambitious programme of ‘Reform and Renewal’. At the heart of these is a renewed commitment to personal discipleship across all dioceses. There are plans to alter the way in which central church funds are distributed so that the church particularly addresses areas of deprivation and possibilities for growth, plans to increase the number of candidates for ordained ministry by 50%, proposals to simplify the process of church planting, all backed by a significant investment programme from the Church Commissioners.

The February General Synod was a gathering of some historic significance, and it left me with a real sense of hope in the future of our church. But all of us are aware that ‘renewal’ is not something that can be programmed or managed centrally. Renewal happens personally and locally. It is in our local congregations that lives are touched by the love of Jesus. It is through personal friendship and invitation that people come to know and follow the Lord. It is in the gathering for worship of our local communities that minds are challenged and hearts transformed.

This Holy Week, I will be spending Palm Sunday in Naples and Easter Sunday in Florence. I am deeply thankful to all our clergy and lay people who will be involved in the preparation and conduct of worship for Holy Week and Easter. I pray especially for those who will be endeavouring to communicate the Easter message in ways that will connect with regular churchgoers and visitors alike. I hope there will be an expectancy that people will come to faith in Jesus through the welcome and worship we offer. We have a great story to tell and a wonderful song to sing!

I wish you a blessed and joyful Easter,

+Robert

Gibraltar in Europe

———————-

Diocese in Europe

Rue Capitaine Crespel 47 box 49, 1050 Brussels, Belgium

Tel: +3222137480;   E-Mail: bishop.europe@churchofengland.org,

Diocesan web site: www.europe.anglican.org/

Charity Commission registration number: 250186

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Evening of Song with Saint Alban’s

Saturday 21 March 2015, 19.00h, Münsterhof, rue des Juifs, Strasbourg.

On Saturday 21st March, the first day of spring, St. Alban’s Anglican Church will celebrate the many different musical talents of its community:

  • the youngest members of the church, the Sunday School, who demonstrate their enormous musical potential;
  • the Malgache and West African members of the community with their distinctive musical cultures;
  • our singing group which follows the Anglican tradition of anthems from Elizabethan to modern times;
  • very gifted soloists – and there are all those who love to sing and offer their praise to the Lord.

Combine all of that and you have – a very special musical experience, and at the same time a demonstration of what this church of St. Alban’s is all about: the bringing together here in Strasbourg of people from all over the world to hear God’s word and to worship together.

All are invited to St. Alban’s Evening of Song on Saturday 21st March in the Münsterhof, on the rue des Juifs here in Strasbourg. Please come, bring your friends, bring your neighbours, spread the word and be prepared to enjoy a wonderful musical experience.

Entrance is free but there will be a collection afterwards to support the work of our church. We hope that in this way we can make St. Alban’s and the Anglican community better known in Strasbourg and strengthen our contacts with other churches in this city.

We need help to organise this event. In the interval drinks and finger food will be available, so we need people to prepare the food and provide the drinks, to serve and generally to help prepare the hall and clear up afterwards.

If you can help, please sign up on the list on the notice board at the back of church and/or get in touch with

Sarah Palmer, email sarah.palmer@t-online.de

Catherine Emezie, email cathemezie@gmail.com

Andrew Wilson, email alarswilson@gmail.com

Soirée des Voix de Saint Alban

Samedi 21 mars 2015, 19h, au Munsterhof, 9 rue des Juifs, Strasbourg

Le samedi 21 mars, premier jour du printemps, l’église anglicane Saint Alban veut célébrer les nombreux et divers talents musicaux de sa communauté:

les plus jeunes, qui participent à l’école du dimanche, avec leur grand potentiel musical;

les membres d’origine malgache, pakistanaise et africaine, avec leurs cultures musicales distinctives;

le groupe vocal qui maintient la tradition chorale des motets Anglicans, de l’époque élisabéthaine à nos jours;

les solistes talentueux -et tous ceux qui, simplement, aiment chanter et louer le Seigneur en musique.

Combinez tout cela, et vous aurez une expérience musicale unique, et la manifestation de ce que représente vraiment Saint Alban : être le lieu de rencontre, à Strasbourg, où des personnes venues du monde entier, se réunissent pour entendre la parole de Dieu et le louer ensemble.

Un buffet sera ouvert à l’entracte.

Vous êtes tous invités à la soirée des Voix de Saint Alban le samedi 21 mars, à 19h, au Munsterhof, 9 rue des Juifs à Strasbourg. Venez nombreux, en famille et avec vos amis, parlez-en autour de vous, pour cette expérience musicale unique. Nous espérons aussi, de cette manière, mieux faire connaître la communauté anglicane à Strasbourg et renforcer les liens avec les autres communautés chrétiennes de cette ville.

L’entrée est libre et un plateau sera présenté à la fin pour soutenir les divers ministères de St Alban.

Children’s Music Rehearsal

Dear parents

Please note the rendezvous for this saturday 21 February at Ruche 35, no. 35 rue Vauban, near Place d’Island tram stop. At13h20 for 1 hour. please be on time as the choir will also rehearse immediately afterwards.

Please come with your song sheets (enclosed) as I have not been able to make more copies.

Maurice has kindly agreed to bring his keyboard and Vahè will play for us so I’m sure we will have fun practising the songs.

Thanks in advance for your collaboration.

I look forward to seeing everyone.

Catherine

Links to the Music:
My God is awesome
Today by Kirk Franklin