Increase of 50 members during 1978, total now 400. Experience of monthly Communions reported on.
Volume 09, Number 01 May 1979
John W Fraser of Farnell examines different approaches to evangelism given in a book reflecting on a Billy Graham crusade in Belgium and that put forward by Pope Paul. The distinction between kerygma and didache is affirmed and it is noted, not only that Jesus proclaimed and then withdrew to teach his disciples, but that in NT sources a good proportion of teaching is directed to the general public. The paper emphasises the dimension of community and social justice that is embraced in the proclamation. The celebrations of the Christian Year, Baptism and the Eucharist are shown to be essential to evangelism, which cannot be simply a one-off crusade. The ecumenical dimension must also be recovered.
This is an interview between the editor and the Revd Stewart McGregor, chaplain to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, who shares his experience of visiting the wards, how best to make approaches to patients, sensitivity to the hospital’s rhythms, the length of a visit, about praying with patients, relating to dying patients. The importance of the care of the chaplain is underlined in a context where the medical profession have to concentrate on cure, the sensitivity not to break into patients’ ‘spiritual privacy’, the place of voluntary visitors from congregations, where there is conflict between clergy (or some of them) and the medical profession on ethical matters, the matter of confidentiality, relating to the staff of the ward, and the demeanour of the minister.
Luther’s ordination service was a radical departure from existing rites. The article reviews Western rites from the Apostolic Tradition onwards, Roman and Gallican. Luther’s view of ministry is outlined, that it derived from the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers and was distinguished by function. It brought order to the many ministries; its main task was the preaching of the Word. Deacons were to distribute aid to the poor. The oversight that was the bishop’s office is exercised by the elders. These three ministries were not seen as separate and were not given different rites of appointment. Ordination was not a sacrament; the church cannot promise grace, only God, and therefore cannot institute a sacrament. Luther is scathing about some of the secondary elements (tonsure, anointing, vestments) of the existing form and dismissed it entirely rather than edit and change. The ordination rite of 1539 is examined in detail and his use of the Lord’s Prayer as the ordination prayer is found to be curious but the rite itself is true to the theological argument, a single ministry of the Word which is a service and a commission, not an authority or office, and its task not the offering of sacrifice but continuation of the proclamation of the Gospel.
J C Thomas continues his dialogue with those who would defend the Series II Order as enabling use by those with widely differing theological views. The author refuses to agree that those who believe that the idea of Christ as sacrifice is central to its proper understanding can use the order with integrity. The wording cannot be made to mean anything more than a remembrance of Calvary and the sacrifice only of ourselves, our souls and bodies. The only way forward is to admit the differences and provide a variety of eucharistic rites.
Sermon delivered at Holy Communion at a conference of the Church Service Society in Dundee in September 1978 by the Society’s President, the Revd Professor J K S Reid. He attacks recent theology’s assault on the transcendent, which does not realise that the Bible never allows its cosmology to taint its theology. Modern theology in this is not traditor but traitor. Transcendence is the best symbol we have to name a God who slices through the self-suffiency of the world. Thus in the epiclesis we ‘send down’ the Holy Spirit.
A report is given of the 1978 Conference at Dundee when Dr Fraser of Farnell gave a paper on ‘Liturgy and Evangelism’. The Centenary Lecture (biennial, instituted 1970 to mark the centenary of the Society in 1965) was given this year by the Revd Dr A M Allchin, Canon of Canterbury on the subject of the materiality of creation as expressed in worship.