Saturday, February 23, 2008

D.I.Y. drywall + the journey to manhood

My time in Mexico (May/June '07) building houses is bearing more fruit. First we installed a toilet, a week ago we fixed a 60x60cm whole in the wall. I have never done a drywall patch-job before, but after helping to install drywall from scratch into several new houses in Mexico, I was confident we could do a patch-job (a look at a D.I.Y. web tutorial and a call to Grandpa Clyde were also reassuring, that I was on the right track). I am amazed at how far a little know-how and experience can take you, not to mention save you $. This job cost us $12, including the cost of buying a new tool. Our hole appeared after we had to get a plumber to install a new faucet set into our bath/shower (on the other side of the wall), a job we could not do by ourselves.

Here's how we did it (click on the pics to see a bigger picture and read the info more clearly):

While I was in Mexico, I indulged in some replenishing reading, and turned my attention to John Eldredge's The Way of the Wild Heart. Eldredge quotes a guy who has followed the modern path and "ceded mastery of his world over to hired hands" by outsourcing every job around his home to tradesmen of every kind. The cost:benefit analysis reveals it doesn't always make sense to D.I.Y., but neither does reaching the point of not being able to do any simple job yourself. What are we going to outsource next... finding a partner? As Eldredge would probably ask, how can we impede our initiation into manhood anymore? Besides, there is something incredibly satisfying in using the tools well, testing yourself with the work and having a great D.I.Y. finished result (plus, I now enjoy going to hardware stores!).

Thursday, February 14, 2008

a fork in the (Anglican) road

In December, I wrote two posts on the 'Anglican crisis' that is affecting the church we attend and work at, St John's Shaughnessy Anglican Church:
Tonight, St John's held their annual vestry meeting. All of the usual (and fairly mundane) agenda items featured: financial reports, adoption of previous meeting minutes, ministry snapshots etc... but that wasn't why the church was as full as I have ever seen it. Rather, the members of St John's showed up to vote on a "motion to accept or reject the offer of temporary Alternative Episcopal Oversight" from the Diocese of the Southern Cone, an Anglican diocese based out of Argentina.

The reason to seek such oversight, in a nutshell, is that the Anglican Church of Canada and the Diocese of New Westminster, who oversees St John's, have been "walking apart from the Anglican Communion." The parting comes primarily in regards to different views of the authority of scripture, of which the "tip-of-the-iceberg issue" is the blessing of same-sex unions. Much of he Episcopal church in the United States is in the same boat as much of the Anglican Church of Canada in regard to these issues.

3 of 4 pics by kim y

So tonight, it was up to St John's members to decide. Voting "Yes" would go against the Bishop of New Westminster's sincere wishes for those in his diocese, a vote for schism as he saw it. Or in the word's of J.I. Packer to vote "Yes" was to choose "not schism but realignment" - a move back to the rest of the Anglican communion who has repeatedly stood against the Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal church for their trajectory of adopting a liberal approach to understanding the scriptures.

A letter (dated 6 February) by the current Bishop, Michael Ingham, was distributed to members of St John's as they entered the meeting describing the proceedings as "schismatic," threatening "immediate termination of license or removal from office" as well as the possibility of civil proceedings were directed at St John's clergy, wardens and trustees, and noting the diocese's "fiduciary responsibility to preserve and protect the assets of the Church for its future ministry", ie, take St John's financial and property assets out the church's control.

After 5 years of battling with the Bishop, having no episcopal oversight, not being able to hire new ordained staff, and having so much of the church's energy directed towards this crisis, St John's came together (for a 3 hour meeting) and voted on the motion, to either accept or reject the Southern Cone's offer of episcopal oversight and in doing so leave the Anglican Church of Canada, with the following outcome:
  • Vote "YES" = 475 (96% accepted the Southern Cone's offer)
  • Vote "NO" = 11 (2%)
  • "Abstain" from vote = 9 (2%)
A decisive result, which indicates a strong degree of unity and gives St John's the ability to move forward with the Southern Cone while being largely undivided. Rev. David Short, said the decision "closes the door on uncertainty, and opens the door to other uncertainties" as the possibilities of lengthy legal proceedings now await.

Being an Aussie and only in Vancouver for a limited time, in some ways I feel like an outsider at St John's (even though I work there). From that outside perspective, tonight I witnessed and joined-in to vote with a congregation who chose to define themselves as part of Christ's church, who together are desiring to honor God's word and seek the Lord first ahead of the possible legal, financial and leadership risks that lay ahead. It could be costly discipleship for St John's, but is there any other road to pick up a cross and follow Jesus down?