Dear Brian, You are to be commended for speaking out about some of the Sydney Diocese's inappropriate decision making. However you seem to be a voice in the wilderness. A very noble lone wolf. There has been the occasional single Sydney voice but nothing collective. Is there any real concern amongst Sydney Anglicans regarding the economic and prejudicial decision making of the senior management? Are any Sydney Anglicans aware of the impact that these decisions are having domestically and internationally, particularly on GLBT people? I realise that a few groups exist such as Anglicans Together and MOW but they are rarely heard publicly. Are they more concerned about the image of the Sydney Diocese than the damage this diocese is doing to the marginalised? Are all Sydney Anglicans in favour of their church being affiliated with extreme right wing Evangelicals and of the decision to empower African bishops, who are involved politically in the persecution of gays? Do they realise that their policies re women's ministry translates into social injustice, particularly in 3rd world countries? Brian, have any of these Sydney Anglicans ever listen to how hurt GLBT people are as a result of church discrimination, or is their only contact the ex/post gay propaganda thing? (These post gay spruikers should be ashamed of themselves. They know the hurt they have endured and that's what forced them to turn their backs on their own sexuality/identity in order to stop the discrimination against them and gain acceptance from those who hurt them). Brian, I'm just interested to know if all Sydney Anglicans condone the prejudices that are laid out in the diocese's mission.
From a Sydney sider, who is concerned about the influence that this diocese wields within the broader community. Influence gained by masquerading as a very tolerant, compassionate moderate "old" church, when in reality its conservatism only reinforces stereotypes that breeds hatred. Thanks again Noble Wolf 17 October 2009 22:44
Thank you Anonymous although as I said, I wish you could use a nom de plume so that I can differentiate your comments from any other anon that might comment. I guess you are the person who has often commented on other posts by Revd Ivan Ackeroff relating to the Jensens and the Sydney Diocese.
He, Madpriest and Rev Fr Dr Christian Troll seem to know more about what is going on in this diocese than I do but then I do not want to regularly monitor the dribble that is produced by the Diocese.
MOW (Movement for the Ordination of Women) is still going strong. The Sydney branch use to meet at St Luke's Concord, the subject of my previous post. I guess there is only so much banging one's head against a brickwall that any group can do. Most capable women in Sydney who want to be ordained as a priest just move to another diocese. Those who remain are generally restricted in their ability to relocate by family considerations. Most of the other dioceses in Australia are happy to take advantage of the ministry of these women.
Anglicans Together seems to muddle along although I do find it frustrating at times.
While, from my observation, most if not all members are inclusive in their outlook, many are more concerned with the departure from prayer book practices that are carried out in so much of the diocese. They worship in the handful of Anglo-catholic parishes which are permitted to exist within the diocese and I often feel are not willing to raise their heads too high above the parapet. Eventually they will be searching for a new rector and the person they choose will need the approval of the Archbishop. The rule seems to now be that any new appointment within the diocese must be a person who has studied for at least one year at Moore College. I think many suitable men would need to really want work in Sydney to undergo that painful experience. The majority of active members of Anglicans Together both lay people and ordained seem to be older.
Young people are either brainwashed into the Moore agenda or have left the church especially if they are LGBT.
There are 2 MCC churches in Sydney. One meets at Petersham and the other at Granville. From looking at their webpages I gather they are fairly liturgical which I am told is not so common in other parts of the globe. This may be due to the large number of refugees from Sydney Anglicanism in their membership.
I have often considered attending the church at Granville but am Anglican and have a personal dislike of anything resembling a gay ghetto. But this is for me personally and I would encourage any LGBT Christian to attend if they find Sydney Anglicanism impossible to stomach.
However there are true Anglican churches operating within the diocese who openly welcome LGBT people. St Marks South Hurstville featured in last night's Compass program Anglicans - Sydney Style and I was pleased to see Rev Chris Albany display and explain the significance of the Rainbow that is placed on the pulpit. To quote him.
The kind of Anglicanism at St Marks is what I would call a broad inclusive Anglicanism that would be recognisable by Anglicans from most parts of the world.
By broad and inclusive I mean that we seek to welcome anybody and everybody without any qualification in terms of the normal discriminators that are sometimes used in terms of age or race or sexual identity or gender.
Yeah we have the rainbow sitting up on the pulpit there most Sundays. It’s there to remind us of God’s promise to Noah, of his covenant relationship with his people.
And it is also a little sign if any gay and lesbian people were to come into the life of this community and to worship here, a little sign to them to say we’re a friendly welcoming community.
This is a parish that supports very strongly women being involved in all aspects of the church’s life and ministry, including its leadership and so being able to be both priests and bishops. We believe that that’s in fact quite clear from Scripture, that there is no reason why that can’t happen.
If anonymous or anyone else in Sydney emails me (and I promise the utmost discretion) I can give them the location of Anglican churches within the diocese who are inclusive although this may not be widely advertised. Within the city St James, King Street and Christchurch St Laurence certainly have GLBT members who are welcomed and in some cases play leading roles in the life and worship of the church.
Back in the early 80's I was a member of a group called 'Angays' and they once met up here in my house. It was a small but active group largely based on St Luke's Enmore.
Even in those days the situation was made clear when we met with one assistant bishop who was willing to meet and consider our case. The leader of our group mentioned his friendly attitude to a reporter. It was widely believed that this report in the newspaper was the death knell for the ambitions of said bishop.
The well known case was Bishop Watson who, while an assistant in Sydney, spouted the hardline against the ordination of women but once elected as Archbishop of Melbourne had a sudden conversion.
So, Anonymous, there are Sydney Anglicans who are inclusive. However, if they are in a position of influence, they are well aware that any hint of deviation from the accepted homophobic stance will ruin any chance they have of preferment within the diocese.