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World Report - September 6


ACNS photo
Exterior views of a new theological college in Kigali, Rwanda.   (ACNS photo)

[Episcopal News Service] 
  • CANADA: Churches pray for peace in Caledonia
  • ENGLAND: Back-a-Book initiative to help Lambeth Palace Library
  • LAMBETH PALACE: Archbishop of Canterbury and Chief Rabbis sign historic agreement
  • RWANDA: New Theological College nears completion
  • SWITZERLAND: Old Catholics and Anglicans mark 75 years of Bonn agreement

CANADA: Churches pray for peace in Caledonia

[Source: Anglican Journal] Canadian Church leaders, including Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, joined native and non-native Caledonia and Six Nations residents on the banks of Ontario's historic Grand River August 30 to pray for a peaceful resolution to the disputed aboriginal land claim in Caledonia.

"After all the hurt and the offence over the disputed land, there is a need for healing and reconciliation," said Hutchison at an interfaith healing gathering attended by about 200 people at Chiefswood Park.

At the same time, he said, healing and reconciliation cannot happen until there's an acknowledgement of fault. "Let us pray that as the days ahead unfold, we may be prepared to own the faults that are ours and to forgive the faults of others."

Everyone "must strive to really give to the cause of justice for all and the dignity of all human beings," he added.

Bishops Ralph Spence of Niagara, Bruce Howe and Bob Bennett of Huron and the Rev. Christine McMaster, parish priest of St. Paul's Anglican Church in Caledonia, also attended the gathering, which was organized by Anglican native elder and prominent Six Nations activist Nina Burnham and Rev. Norman Casey, rector of the Parish of Six Nations.

"Let us come together as one people to pray for each other and for healing the hurt we have caused each other," said a written invitation to the gathering, dubbed A:Se Tyotahsawen (A New Start).

Full story by Marites N. Sison:

ENGLAND: Back-a-Book initiative to help Lambeth Palace Library

[Source: Church of England] Lambeth Palace Library, the historic library of the Archbishops of Canterbury and the principal reference point for the history of the Church of England, has launched a project to help safeguard the future of thousands of priceless books -- while offering a unique gift idea at the same time.

The Back-a-Book initiative invites members of the public to mark a special event or anniversary by donating money to help repair one of the library's volumes and, in return, dedicate an acid-free bookplate as a lasting memorial inside the cover of the book that they help to save. As the bookplates are created with a choice of words agreed with the sponsor, the scheme could even help in the search for an ideal gift for a friend or family member.

Library staff will select the exact volume to be restored, based on those most in need within the subject range specified by the sponsor.

Lambeth Palace Library's collection of printed books currently runs to more than 200,000 works, including a Gutenberg Bible printed in 1455, and 30,000 other works dating from the invention of printing to 1700.

The Library labored for fifty years to repair around 10,000 books damaged by fire and water during the wartime bombing of Lambeth, with the work being brought to a triumphant conclusion in 1995. During that time, many significant works were discovered among the bomb-damaged books, returned to use in the library and made available to all for research purposes.

Further information on the Back-a-Book scheme is available from Lambeth Palace Library's website.

LAMBETH PALACE: Archbishop of Canterbury and Chief Rabbis sign historic agreement

[Source: Lambeth Palace]  The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, and the Chief Rabbis of Israel, Shlomo Amar and Yonah Metzger, signed a joint declaration September 5 which sets out a framework for continuing dialogue. Williams described the agreement as historic.

"This is a most significant step in developing better mutual understanding and trust between the Anglican Communion and the Chief Rabbinate and worldwide Judaism," he said.

Williams was supported in the meeting by the Coadjutor Bishop in Jerusalem, the Rt. Rev. Suheil Dawani, and by Bishops Michael Jackson of Clogher, Ireland, and John Stroyan of Warwick, England. The Chief Rabbis were supported by Rabbi David Rosen and Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations. The Archbishop paid tribute to Sacks and Suheil for their constructive roles in the discussions leading to the meeting.

The agreement adds to the growing network of bilateral and multilateral dialogues between religious leaders in the Middle East and in the wider world.

Williams said that the agreement would help to advance inter faith relations. "This is a potentially fruitful development for relations between Christians and Jews in general and for the peoples of the Holy Land in particular," he said. "What we've agreed today will provide a framework within which both practical and sometimes challenging issues can be discussed on the basis of mutual trust and respect."

Full story and text of agreement

RWANDA: New Theological College nears completion

[Source: L'Eglise Episcopal au Rwanda]  The Anglican Church of Rwanda, one of the 12 African Anglican provinces, is completing a new theological college in the rural area of Kabuga, located on the outskirts of the capital city, Kigali.

The college will begin educational courses in the near future that will focus primarily on theology and reconciliation.

Full story and photographs

SWITZERLAND: Old Catholics and Anglicans mark 75 years of Bonn agreement

[Source: Ecumenical News International] The Anglican and Old-Catholic churches in Switzerland have celebrated in the Swiss capital the 75th anniversary of an agreement on full communion that is seen as foreshadowing later accords between other churches.

"You have achieved so much together," Archdeacon Colin Williams, an Anglican priest who is general secretary of the Conference of European Churches, told the congregation at a September 2 service in the Anglican Church of St. Ursula's in Berne.

The Old Catholic Church in Switzerland traces its history to a movement of some Swiss Roman Catholics against the declaration of papal infallibility in 1870. They joined with similar movements in other countries to form the Union of Utrecht in 1889 as a grouping of Old Catholic churches. Contacts with other denominations led to the 1931 Bonn Agreement which established intercommunion between Anglican and Old-Catholic churches.

"We rejoice that for 75 years in all sorts of ways and in all sorts of places throughout Europe, you have lived out a life of full communion with each other," said Williams. "So many churches and families of churches are striving to stand where together you stand, in full communion with their sisters and brothers in Christ."

The celebrations to mark the anniversary started with a common Eucharist in the Old Catholic church of St. Peter and Paul's Old-Catholic church in Berne, at which the sermon was given by Suffragan Bishop David Hamid of the Church of England's Diocese in Europe.

An international celebration of the Bonn Agreement took place in Freiburg, Germany, on August 9 with the participation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and the Old-Catholic Archbishop of Utrecht, Joris Verkammen.