October 28, 2004

Gimme that "Old Time (Pagan) Religion"

We gather around a low table, covered with a woven cloth or shawl. A candle, a bowl or vase of flowers, a large shallow bowl filled with salted water, a chalice of sweet red wine, a cup of milk mixed with honey, and a plate of raisin cakes are placed on the table . . . The plate of raisin cakes is raised and a woman says, "Mother God, our ancient sisters called you Queen of Heaven and baked these cakes in your honor in defiance of their brothers and husbands who would not see your feminine face.
Sound like an ancient Canaanite fertility liturgy? Not so much. It's actually a "Women's Eucharist" being promoted by the Episcopal Church USA's Office of Women's Ministries. It's written by Glyn Ruppe-Melnyk, rector of St. Francis-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church in Malvern, Pennsylvania, who apparently moonlights* as the druid priestess "Glispa" and who, along with her husband, ordained Episcopal priest and druid priest Bill Melnyk ("Oakwyse"), also authored a wiccan lunar ritual (warning: extremely sexually graphic) for their druidic clan, Tuatha de Brighid.

Since the Christianity Today Weblog broke the story yesterday, the official ECUSA website where it was (in their words) a "worship resource" "available to be downloaded and used by all" has been taken down, but the Office of Women's Ministries' formal response leaves something to be desired:
The material questioned in Olsen's article, "A Women's Eucharist: A Celebration of the Divine Feminine" was sent to us in good faith in response to our recent call for resources. We regret we did not realize that the material was copyright protected. Proper notifications were not included by mistake and so the page has been withdrawn from our website.
In other words, the problem with the "Women's Eucharist" isn't that it encourages worship of an ancient Canaanite diety expressly condemned in Scripture, then blasphemes the body and blood of Christ by calling that idolatry a "eucharist." The problem is that the Office of Women's Ministries didn't properly document their sources. Shame on them.

CT Weblog's continuing coverage includes this truth-telling by CT blogger Ted Olsen:
We're no longer talking about whether the Episcopal Church is truly Anglican. We're talking about whether it is Christian. It is time to choose a cup . . . The brazen defiance of God that has come to light in the past few days should bring all Christians to their knees. One simply cannot be shocked that ordained priests can sacrifice to deities specifically condemned in Scripture without wondering what idols literal and figurative we're worshiping in our own lives. This is a time for repentance and to plead for deliverance from evil. The last thing is it time for is spiritual pride. (Linking mine.)
Amen, Ted. Kyrie, eleison. Christe, eleison. Kyrie, eleison.**

*Ha! I made a funny! "Moonlights...druid priestess..." Get it? Ah, nevermind...
**Yes, I know I'm linking to a Roman Catholic liturgy. It's called irony. Go read the thing.


At 8:56 AM, Blogger Rick said...

It is amazing. What the hell were these people thinking?I am an Episcopalian and I scratch my head. This is like Jerry Falwell speaking for the emerging church.


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