Thursday, April 26, 2018

I like pieces that are gently provocative. So I read and really enjoyed the article by the Rev. Dr. Ross Kane in The Christian Century (probably the best known mainline magazine) on ancestor veneration. In an article that appeared on-line on April 5, 2018 called "The wisdom of the African Christian practice of reverencing the dead", Ross makes the argument that honoring the ancestors can be appropriate expression of the Communion of Saints. The argument is well made. It even concludes with the suggestion that perhaps we should encourage congregations on All Saints Sunday to bring photographs of their ancestors and include them around the altar. He commends both the theory of inclusion and suggests a practice to embody that inclusion.

It is an achievement to have an article in The Christian Century. So I congratulate Dr. Kane. But it is, perhaps, more of an achievement to write something so compelling and important for the Church. Anglicans are a global family. If we can start attracting just 10% of those immigrants coming to the United States from Anglican strong countries, then the entire narrative of decline would disappear. I marveled at this contribution. This is important work.

Ross holds a busy administrative Faculty position. It is good to see him writing at every level. So thank you Ross as you combine your many roles.

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President

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