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Friday, October 22, 2004

Get More at Moore

Just catching up on this incident (it happened in May!)
This post is all about the demise of the Evensong choir at Sydney's St Andrews cathedral. and it being replaced with students from Moore Theological College:

Parents in tears as choir's 130 years of tradition wiped out

A group of young Bible scholars being groomed by Dean Jensen would take over the cathedral on Sunday nights in the coming months, Mr Moroney said. The group would be bringing in its own ministry and contemporary music. The new
congregation, called The Bible Talks, had outgrown its Sunday night venue at
Sydney Boys High School and the cathedral was eager to make "a change of
direction in style".

From a letter writer to the SMH:

I am a member of the second (all-adult) choir at St Andrew's Cathedral. We are an ecumenical group, a few, like me, being Catholics. Since the installation of fundamentalist clergy, we have been subjected to preaching which is anti-gay, anti-Catholic, in fact anti- most other hues of Anglicanism.

There has even been verbal abuse of choir members by a minister. Now we, like the 130-year-old boys' choir, are being largely dumped from singing at services. Evensong will be replaced by guitars and clones of the incumbent Calvinist-style clerical gentlemen. I wonder how long rank-and-file Anglicans will tolerate what is being done to their beautiful cathedral.

From Ann Ramsay, radio annoucer at Sydney's 2MBS-FM who hosts a show called Evensong:

And also I have to say, please, could these students that come from
Moore College tell us something really important when they give us the
sermon... Well I think you want 10 minutes of something that you can grasp
and come away with and think about. I don't think you have to go through the
various verses of the Old Testament, taking 1-6 one week, and 6-13 the next. Anybody can read a Bible.... I think they're taught at
Moore College that they've got to talk for 20 minutes. I have to say I think
it's rather boring, and it shouldn't be boring, it should be inspiring.

I finally found a website covering just exactly what is going on at St Andrews. BTW, I was just there maybe a month ago now on a Wednesday night and heard one of Phil Jensen's sermons, which IMHO was excellent, and quite a treat when on holidays. The Bible Talks website is here:

The Bible Talks is a bible believing, evangelical, christian church that is committed to teaching the good news of Jesus as found in God's word, the Bible, and to encouraging each other to live our lives according to what we have learned. Free parking is available under St Andrew's House. Enter via Kent St.
Sad but true too many people who feel they are committed christians lose sight of Christ and focus on the customs and traditions of their religion. While it is nice to have cathedral choirs and such these must not be allowed to get in the way of the gospel. Christianity is not abpout singing nice songs or performing religious rituals. For example, I read about a description of a Year 12 student artwork depicting two siblings washing dishes painted like a religious icon. "The ritual of washing the dishes was a religious experience for me". Get the point?

I find it even more interesting to see Phil Jensen using his Two Ways To Live series as a springboard for a 6 week sermon set. I have used this resource and found it very helpful, however, I always begin with, "Ladies and Gentlemen . . . there are Two Ways to Live". This inevitably builds up the excitement of the moment (LOL).

On and on go the ABC and the SMH about the Jensen brothers and the cathedral - it seems that what these media outlets love to do is take a little cup of controversial tea stirred up into a storm. Maybe the media would prefer a tame church that bit its tongue, sat on its haunches and bided its time while the world went to ruin, so they could then turn to it and demand why it isn't doing anything or why it doesn't have any answers.

Christiany: Boring, untrue, irrelavant? Hardly.

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