Thanksgiving and more Thanksgiving.

The day after Thanksgiving and I have a variety of particular thanksgivings to offer:

It’s important to realize that the greatest mechanisms for church growth and expansion have been (i) having babies, (ii) military and political conquest, (iii) and economic domination. We may not like it, and it says interesting things about how Christianity in general and the Anglican Communion in particular grew, but there it is.

Much is being made of the visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Bishop of Rome, and for good reason. But it is good to remember that the Bishop of Rome, in a previous job, was the one who conveyed the bad news that as far as he was concerned the Roman Catholic Church position was unchanged: Anglican Orders were still invalid as per the 19th Century Papal Bull, Apostolicae Curae. No doubt the niceties of tidy visits make it inconvenient to suggest that there is an elephant in the room, but there is.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Boys only.

  • For Bishop Katharine, Presiding Bishop and Oceanographer, for answering the following question with the following response: Q: You just took office as the first woman to head the Episcopal Church, and curiously enough, you come from a science background, having worked as an oceanographer for years. A. I worked on squids and octopuses. For Primatial brevity and its suggestiveness, I give thanks.

Squid and octopus are something to “work on” indeed. Scientific investigation is almost always local and specific. It is the reasons for focus on the specifics and the implications of the findings for the larger scheme that connects the hard matter of data collection and interpretation to the more general insights and wider disciplines of science.

When Bishop Katharine focuses on the Millennium Development Goals, I think it is like her focus on squid and octopus – it is a concrete, measurable, and defined activity – and the work on the MDG’s arises from certain implications of the Christian faith and in turn the work connects us to more general insights and understandings of the faith in the world. When she writes a letter to the Bishop of San Joaquin, it is a specific piece of work that grows from a wider framework of faith and feeds back into that same framework.

My sense is that we will be experiencing a more concrete and active pastoral style in this Presiding Bishop, which may or may not be difficult to adjust to, but it will be interesting.

  • For the creativity of Anne, aka “my sainted mother”, who at 88 is still on the case, creating wonderful computer art and in these last days has produced a wonderful tapestry / quilt of fish in an aquarium for Lily, her great granddaughter, I give thanks.

On the left is Lily (our grand daughter at the aquarium, checking out the fish. On the right is Lily’s tapestry aquarium, created from the imagination of Anne E. Harris, her great grandmother, whose books are for sale HERE.

  • For the wacko, the strange and the wonderful thanksgiving images that come from the creative use of video on the internet I give thanks.

In particular I offer the following:

The Gobble Song: being a turkey in a musical sort of way.

A Thanksgiving Prayer” by William Burroughs (a little heavy in a scratch your eyeballs out sort of way.

The Helsinki Complaint Choir” just what we need when Thanksgiving Day descends into the muttering over dead birds and used friends.

and then the truly strange, “The Turkey Song” by Tommee Profitt

For all these, and God’s many blessings, I give thanks.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, Father Jake's stuff on child production was o.k. I suppose - but, hey, wasn't his photo of the dog and cat in fancy dress REALLY GREAT. I say we need more stuff like that.


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