The Rev. Philip Wainwright will be our Guest Preacher at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Services this Sunday, September 19, and he will be introducing the Fall Adult Programs Series, "Exploring Our Anglican DNA," at the 10 a.m. Coffee and Conversation gathering in Brooks Hall.
Exploring Our Anglican DNA
In the late Winter and Spring of 2011 we of St. Andrew’s—along with Episcopalians all around the Diocese of Pittsburgh—will respond to the request of last year’s General Convention of the Episcopal Church and join in a process of reflection on the topic of the Anglican Covenant—a proposed reordering of community life within the wider Anglican Communion. The General Convention of 2012 will consider approval the Covenant, informed in part by the feedback received from those of us around the Church who have participated in these discussions.
In anticipation of and in preparation for our diocesan conversation, it would seem to make sense to ask some prior questions about who and what “Anglicans” in fact really are. Where do we come from? What are the “big ideas” and major historical and cultural forces that have shaped our present identity?
As one part of that preparation I have invited the Rev. Philip Wainwright, recently retired rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Brentwood, to lead a series of presentations and discussions on the theme, “Exploring Our Anglican DNA.” A scholar in the area of English Church History, Fr. Wainwright has a special interest in the theological ideas and historical events in the years during and immediately following the English Reformation. Later this fall he will defend his doctoral dissertation, An Examination of Published Works in Support of Comprehension of Puritans in the Church of England between 1656 and 1689, at the University of Kent, in Canterbury, England.
Fr. Wainwright’s intention is not to offer simply a historical view of Anglicanism, but to “connect the dots” between the formative issues and experiences of our tradition and the challenges that are before us Episcopalians as Anglicans and Christians in these early years of the 21st Century. He writes:
“We all know that if you really want to understand another person, you need to know something about the family they grew up in. It's the same with the Episcopal Church: you'll never understand the church of today until you understand the family it grew up in, and is still a part of today. The one thing I hear over and over on all sides of the issues under discussion today is, ‘it’s a mystery to me how they can think that’. Regardless of what 'that' is, when you look at the history of the church, the only mystery would be if there weren’t someone thinking it. This brief survey of the Episcopal Church's family background will take the mystery out of 'how they can think that', remind you of the noble ancestry of your own position, and help you understand what it might mean to enter into a more formal relationship with other Anglican churches.”
“Exploring Our Anglican DNA” will take place at St. Andrew’s as a series of Sunday programs. Fr. Wainwright will be our Guest Preacher on Sunday morning, September 19, and our speaker that morning at the 10 a.m. “Coffee and Conversation.” He will be with us as well on three Sunday afternoons—October 31, December 12, and January 9, 2011, for more extended presentations--gathering at 4 p.m., with presentation and discussion, and to be followed at 5:15 p.m. with a brief social reception. During the Fall as well we will have several additional Anglican-themed 10 a.m. Sunday morning “Coffee and Conversation” programs “in between” Fr. Wainwright’s presentations, to amplify and extend the discussion. As a diverse congregation, the people of St. Andrew's welcome speakers and perspectives reflecting a variety of backgrounds and points-of-view. Let’s all mark our calendars now and watch for additional announcements in coming weeks.