Are you bored with being boring? Want to be part of a church that is interesting? Do you want a life less ordinariate?
Then join the Extraordinariate.
You might have heard of the Ordinariate – being set up for the masses of Anglican clergy who want to ‘defect’ to Rome (around 50 last count.) But who in their right mind wants to join something called the ‘Ordinariate’? That’s why I’m setting up the Extraordinariate’. This is for all members of the Anglican church – or anyone else for that matter – who wants to be extraordinary as a Christian. I think we should give people something to aim for, after all.
The basic rule for signing up is that you want to be out of the ordinary. I would particularly like it if I could sign more than 50 Anglican Clergy. Then I feel we’ll warrant column inches in the Telegraph and Church Times.
I haven’t thought much about the rules yet. But here are a few suggested ‘Articles’ to start with:
1. No titles. Jesus said not to call anyone ‘Father or ‘But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father—the one in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant’ (Matt 23.8–12) Well, we could use ‘deacon’ which comes from the Greek word diakonos. But according to BDAG, diakonos means ‘one who is busy with something in a manner that is of assistance to someone.’ So I suggest we have one title: doers. (Apart from me, obviously. It’s my movement and clearly I need to make some money out of this and get a big posh car. However, in the spirit of Jesus’ teaching on leadership, I propose to take the title, ‘Lowest of the Low’.)
2. Should we have a choir, all choir members will have to wear hats from the selection of ultimate choir hats on Dave Walker’s blog.
3. We are certainly not anti-intellectual. But any academic who joins will have to explain one one side of A4 why what they’re doing matters. And any ‘Rev Dr.’ who wishes to transfer will have to who joins will have to explain the argument of their thesis in the form of a limerick.
4. All churches will have bouncy castles. Cathedrals will have trampolines.
5. No sermon will be allowed unless it is accompanied by some form of visual stimulus, Allowable stimuli include: PowerPoint, OHP, a clown costume, flannelgraph.
6. The organ is allowed if played well. Otherwise ocarinas will be the chosen instrument. Or possibly bassoons.
7. Communion will have PROPER BREAD AND PROPER WINE. I do not think that the tradition handed onto Paul in 1 Corinthians was ‘For as often as you eat this indigestible edible cardboard/tiny morsel of bread roll, and drink this grape juice cut with a dash of British cooking sherry, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.’ (1 Cor 11.26 NIV (Nick’s Invented version))
That’s enough rules to start with. I’d like to shoot for 40 articles. 39 is a silly number.
So there we go. The Extraordinariate. It’s for those who want to stay in the Anglican Church but in a much more exciting and fun way.
And the basic rule for joining up is that you have to show people the extraordinary love of Jesus. If you’re up for that, you’re in.