Monday, September 15, 2014

Far East Daily Blog #2

September 14, 2014 This morning Cam and Paulette Fish, and Carolyn and I launched at 0900 in route the Ikego Navy Housing complex where I was scheduled to be the preacher for the Ikego Church. Ikego Church is a new concept Navy chapel community that meets in the combination cafeteria/auditorium of a Department of Defense School. The Navy chaplain-in-charge of the congregation is Saul Burleson. I call this a "new concept" worship service for several reasons. First of all, the service has only been in existence for 5 weeks, and this was the first Sunday that they held worship in the school. Also, the worship style is one with the form of a sacramental/liturgical polity combined with contemporary Christian music. In the service itself, I believe that most Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians and Episcopalians would find things that are familiar and to their liking. Perhaps the outstanding part of this community is that it consisted of almost 90 people, at least 30 of whom were probably under the age of 8. I know that about the children because I gathered them together for a kid-talk time just before the sermon. Thinking about what I experienced this morning, several questions come to mind for me. As priests of the church how do we maintain our Anglican sacramental identity when we engage in worship such as this? What is the validity of the sacrament when the presider at Eucharist is a clergy person who is neither “…Ordained by Bishops of Churches in Communion with This Church” nor by “…Bishops in Churches in the Historic Succession but Not in Communion with This Church.” (Quotes are taken from Title III, Canon 10 of the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church [2012]) Is the focus of our worship upon us or upon the people who we said we would serve? There are numerous other questions that could be asked, but these serve as a good starter for our contemplation. It is my intention to raise them with those of you who attend the annual Chaplain and Spouse/Partner Training Symposium that will be held this fall at San Damiano. The context and environment of our ministry is changing, and I believe we must do everything we can to stay ahead of the changes by engaging in honest and productive conversation. Tomorrow I’ll be making command calls at Naval Station Yokosuka with Chaplain Cam Fish and then having a conversation with a number of the chaplains who are assigned to commands based here. +Jay

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