Last Man Standing

first_imgJames O’Connor’s side step would prove useful Ever imagined what these guys would be like if faced on the playground? The childhood favourite game of Last Man Standing [or Bulldogs] was played by the 2005 Great British Lions and New Zealand teams. Deep down these scary giants are just kids wishing they were back at the park. Watch both videos as the second has commentary from Martin Johnson and Jonah Lomu. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALSlast_img

Will Wales pick Hook at 10 after Priestland injury blow?

first_imgLLANELLI, WALES – DECEMBER 08: Rhys Priestland of Scarlets is taken off injured on a stretcher during the Heineken Cup match between Scarlets and Exeter Chiefs at Parc y Scarlets on December 8, 2012 in Llanelli, Wales. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images) Hook admits it was a “big disappointment” not to be involved in that game against the Pacific Islanders, and even though he got on against the All Blacks, there wasn’t much of a mark he could make in 12 minutes and with Wales already well beaten.So now comes the Six Nations and somehow Wales have got to brush themselves down  ready for the challenge of Ireland on the opening weekend. “We’ve got to look forward to the Six Nations and start afresh,” says Hook. “Let’s be honest, we can’t actually do any worse than we did last month so let’s regroup at the end of January and go into the Six Nations with confidence. I think the self-belief is still there. We know where we’ve got to get to; we know we’ve got the talent to get there, so let’s show it in the Six Nations.” LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS It’s startling to discover that in his 67-cap career, Hook has never played more than seven consecutive matches in one position, but perhaps he’s finally going to get a run at fly-half in this season’s Six Nations what with Priestland’s injury and Wales looking for inspiration after the misery of last month. “I haven’t heard anything from the selectors,” explains Hook. “But they don’t announce the Six Nations’ squad until mid-January so I’ll just keep playing for Perpignan, doing the best I can, and see what happens.”For Hook to be given the ten shirt in February, the selectors will have to be believe he can do a better job than either Dan Biggar or Rhys Patchell, the 19-year-old Blue who has been coming on leaps and bounds this season. Whoever gets the nod, they’ll have to be the creative catalyst able to transform the fortunes of the national side, for a year that began so wonderfully with a Grand Slam title, has ended woefully with four home defeats.Asked which of the November losses was the most disappointing, Hook gives a pained laugh and says they were all disappointing. “But I think losing to Argentina was the worst because after that everything just snowballed. The pressure was on and it showed against Samoa.” Out of favour: Hook has suffered mixed fortunes with Wales in recent years despite amassing 67 capsBy Gavin MortimerTHE CHANCES of a white Christmas in Perpignan would seem about as likely as Wales one day beating Australia. Down in the deep south of France, the winters are mild and usually sunny, which goes to explain why James Hook’s house has been receiving a steady stream of visitors in recent days. His parents have just returned to Wales after a mini-break in Catalan country, and now the Perpignan fly-half has the in-laws staying for Christmas.Not that Hook will be able to put his feet up much over the festive season. On Saturday evening Perpignan play Montpellier in the Mediterranean local derby and then on December 30 they travel to Toulon before hosting Bordeaux six days later. Still, they will be prime opportunities for Hook to remind the Welsh selectors that the loss of Rhys Priestland with a long-term Achilles injury need not be the disaster many people are predicting.Pain: Priestland faces a lay-off after snapping his AchilliesJonathan Davies certainly believes he should be given the No 10 jersey for the Six Nations, telling the BBC last week that “Hook deserves a chance now to play stand-off”. The former dual-code international went on to say that he couldn’t understand why the selectors had overlooked Hook for Wales’ quartet of autumn Tests. “Unless you are involved in that squad, it is difficult to say what their thinking is.”Hook did feature – sort of – in two of Wales’ four defeats last month, replacing the injured Jamie Roberts at centre midway during the first-half against Argentina, and coming on for Priestland 12 minutes from the end of the battering from the All Blacks. Though he was unavailable for the final Test against Australia because of club commitments, Hook was mysteriously omitted from the side that slumped to defeat against Samoa. “It is difficult,” he admits, when asked about his bit-part existence in the Welsh squad. “But I’m used to it, it’s been the story of my career. It can get frustrating at times but I don’t know any different.”last_img read more

Neighbours prepare to spill blood in 1872 Cup

first_imgNOT FOR FEATURED Something to shout about: which of the two Scottish sides will come out on top in the 1872 cup?By Alan DymockALTHOUGH STERN faces will be talking about the benefits the Scottish pro sides can gain from the next three rounds of the Heineken Cup, it is safe to say that these are now extra games for Edinburgh and Glasgow to build form for other competitions.For both sides their season will not be defined by the remaining European matches, but by the two 1872 Cup matches between the rivals in the RaboDirect Pro12.Inside Edinburgh there are the noises you would expect. Players gush about their setup, declaring the mood fantastic and the volume of losses perplexing, considering how harmonious the camp is.Ross Rennie in last year’s Heineken Cup semi-finalThere are some grumbles about the shape of their pack, with opensides Ross Rennie and Roddy Grant sporadically falling out of favour despite their defensive qualities, but nothing that can’t be sorted out over time.However, these noises can appear as positive spin because that pack and the collective defence are two whopping reasons why Edinburgh have struggled, particularly in Europe.Like dogs chasing cars the capital side ran and ran against Saracens and Munster, almost presupposing the Scotland national tactic against South Africa of running round the half-back to smack into beefy opponents. Defensively, against all of their European opponents, Edinburgh have gotten it wrong so far.They have let opponents ride tackles and they have left ruck-side gaps. They have flown too hard, trying to show their determination, and have forgot the basics of teamwork. They have ignored drift because they have been running too hard.When players run at them, Edinburgh can defend. Last year they tried to do this before pouring on scores of their own. This season, though, they have been nilled in Europe and have scored less than they have conceded in the Rabo, collecting only one try bonus so far.They face Racing Metro again this week, hoping that last season’s try bonanza can be repeated and they can kick start their season offensively. They will need to, because in the 1872 Cup they meet one of the Rabo’s best defence.According to sources at the Warriors, Matt Taylor has revolutionized the side’s defence. This may seem odd, considering how fierce the Glasgow team were in defence last season, but Taylor has brought in new ideas and a dedication to detail – particularly in terms of slowing down ruck ball – that has impressed his charges. TAGS: Edinburgh RugbyGlasgow Warriors LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS In fact all of the new personnel at Glasgow have bedded in well.Mane man: Josh Strauss in his Lions daysJosh Strauss has become a changing room hero, showing a light side and a sense of humour few expected from the rough-looking former Golden Lion. Sean Maitland has smashed all previous sprint records set on the Scotstoun track. Gregor Townsend has simply given the team something else to think about.The former Scotland attack coach came in with much to prove but he has settled in well. Some feel he still has much to learn about stewarding a whole team, with decisions to drag broken bodies in for Sunday sessions not going down well. Yet he has brought vibrancy and thought to the squad, with a few insiders remarking that he is not simply regurgitating coaching prose, like some bygone coaches.All of this makes for a fascinating 1872 series.Edinburgh have some players who can turn games, but they are holding on to bad habits and only won in Connacht by the skin of their teeth last time out in the RaboDirect Pro12. If they keep chasing games so hard they may be shocked by what they run into.Edinburgh’s head coach Michael Bradley will be hoping that the tweaks he must make will be enough to pull Edinburgh out of their funk. As for Townsend: there is no way to know which Glasgow he will send out.Nay bother, whichever one emerges against Edinburgh in the first match on December 21st will be expected to produce, and expect to be met with fire.Follow Alan Dymock on Twitter @AlanDymocklast_img read more

Fancy dress fever hits fans at Wellington Sevens

first_img DAY ONE of the Wellington Sevens kicked off in spectacular style, and we’re not just talking about what happened on the pitch. Fans in the stands put in the effort with their fancy dress costumes, and the guys in the gallery above are those we think deserve a prize! Plus check out the highlights of Day 1 below. – / 8Credits: Rugby WorldmoreShowing image 1 of 8 LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALSlast_img

Chill-out chat with David Denton

first_imgThis article appeared in the March 2013 issue of Rugby World Magazine.Find a newsagent that sells Rugby World in the UK. Or you may prefer the digital edition on your MAC, PC, or iPad. Nicknames: I also get called the Octopus because when I run I tend to be very loose, with limbs flying everywhere.The young Scotland No 8 talks sevens, socks and superstitionsRUGBY WORLD:  Who’s the best player to room with for away games?DAVID DENTON: Chunk (Allan Jacobsen) is a pretty good one. You learn an awful lot about life in a very short time.RW: And the worst room-mate?DD: Tim Visser is a nightmare. He watches some very strange TV, loves a long bath, and let’s just say he’s not shy.RW: Have you got any nicknames?DD: I’ve picked up a few nicknames while I’ve been at Edinburgh. A few of the guys started calling me Chewy, in honour of Chewbacca from Star Wars, after they heard me making a Wookiee-like noise. I also get called the Octopus because when I run I tend to be very loose, with limbs flying everywhere. There are plenty more but I’ll leave it at that I think!RW: Who’d play you in a film of your life?DD:  Will Smith?RW: Who are the jokers in the Edinburgh squad?DD: James King and Netani Talei love a practical joke. One of the better ones was when the Scotland squad was on the summer tour and, after a 30-hour journey home, Tim Visser returned to find his car covered bumper to bumper in cling film.RW: Do you have any phobias?DD: I don’t have any big phobias but I steer clear of any large spiders, snakes or dodgy airlines as much as the next guy.RW: Who would you like to be stuck in a lift with?DD: A comedian, someone like Michael McIntyre or Jimmy Carr. On second thoughts, Miranda Kerr and her friends at Victoria’s Secret would be better. I’m sure they’re mildly comical… RW: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?DD: I’d like to be able to teleport so I can take away all the time I waste through travel and walking to the bathroom at 4am.RW: You must spend a lot of time up and about in the middle of the night! Do you have any superstitions?DD: I’ve never had any, but at the start of the season I noticed that, more often than not, I had my socks on the wrong foot – each pair has an ‘L’ or an ‘R’ on them. So I’ve recently started making sure they were the right way round, though it has yet to start paying dividends! RW: Who would be your three dream dinner-party guests?DD: Without a doubt my first choice is Jamie Oliver and needless to say he’d be cooking. Second would probably be Gerard Butler and lastly Jennifer Aniston.RW: What’s your guilty pleasure?DD:  I watch a lot of reality TV, things like Jersey Shore, Geordie Shore and so on. RW: What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on the pitch?DD: I get a lot of stick from the boys about when I was playing for the Scotland Sevens side in George. From one of the kick-offs during the game against Wales, I managed to completely miss the ball and it bounced off my head 20 metres forward. Somehow – thankfully – the video hasn’t got around.RW: How would you like to be remembered?DD: As a player who is hard and aggressive and works as hard as he possibly can.———————————————————————————————————————————————– LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 02: David Denton of Scotland is tackled by Mike Brown of England during the RBS Six Nations match between England and Scotland at Twickenham Stadium on February 2, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by David Rogers – RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALSlast_img read more

Six Nations: Bet you never saw this!

first_imgSaw it all, did you? Well, Rugby World spotted these crackers from the latest round of the Six Nations! LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS PHOTO: Getty/Dave Rogers from Scotland 0-20 EnglandPHOTO: Getty/Dave Rogers from Scotland 0-20 EnglandPHOTO: Getty/Stu Forster from Ireland 26-3 WalesPHOTO: Inpho/Dan Sheridan from Ireland 26-3 WalesPHOTO: Getty/Thomas Samson from France 30-10 ItalyPHOTO: INPHO/Cathal Noonan from France 30-10 ItalyPHOTO: Getty/Paul Ellis from Scotland 0-20 Englandlast_img

Women’s World Cup fixtures

first_img Champions: New Zealand celebrate after beating England to win the 2010 Women’s World Cup The 2014 Women’s World Cup takes place in Paris from 1-17 August – here are the fixtures you need THIS YEAR’S Women’s World Cup kicks off in Paris on Friday 1 August. Here are all the pool fixtures for the tournament, with kick-offs in UK time.After the pool stages, teams are seeded one to 12 based on their finishing position in their pool and the number of competition points they have. The top seed will play the fourth seed (7.45pm) and the second seed the third (5pm) in the semi-finals at the Stade Jean Bouin in Paris on Wednesday 13 August. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS The final will be on Sunday 17 August, again at the Jean Bouin, kicking off at 5.45pm after the third-place play-off (3.30pm) and fifth-place play-off (1.15pm).For more details on the Women’s World Cup, see the official site, and to keep track of the women’s game see Rugby World.last_img read more

Five things we learnt about rugby – July

first_img The Six Nations must embrace reformJuly saw the Rugby Football Union dousing cold water on speculation that the Six Nations could be moved from its existing place in the calendar. The reasons for this are understandable, as existing broadcast deals favour a section of the sporting year where there is little competition. However, the short term commercial deals in place mustn’t be allowed to stall the long term interests of northern hemisphere rugby. There’s not a sport in the world which cannibalises its club and test game like northern hemisphere rugby. It is no coincidence that the Southern Hemisphere test teams have dominated union when you consider that their club and international seasons have so little overlap.Reigning champs: England won the Grand Slam in March but calendar changes have been mootedBarring a short break, when the Southern Hemisphere test teams host the northern hemisphere’s ‘summer tours’, they play Super Rugby, then they play test rugby – the players who don’t make the test grade then play in domestic competitions. Whereas the northern hemisphere players are forced to exist in an environment which is tantamount to sporting tapas – where players are constantly switching between club and country – doing neither justice long-term. Nudging the Six Nations to early April and bringing the club season forward into the gap left by the Six Nations, would revolutionise northern hemisphere rugby. Arguably the most important decision since Webb Ellis picked the ball up in the first place.Sam Cane has got a problem on his handsSam Cane is the heir apparent to Richie McCaw. New Zealand rugby had pencilled Sam Cane in for the All Blacks’ seven shirt many seasons ago. He was first selected in the All Blacks at the age of 20 and has already captained the greatest team in the sport. It’s almost as if Sam Cane was anointed to be the next Kiwi openside from the moment Mrs Cane asked Mr Cane if he fancied an early night. However, Sam Cane’s succession has recently reached a major bump in the road in the form of Ardie Savea.Runaway: Ardie Savea’s form for the Hurricanes has been world-classSavea’s performances in July, as they have been all season, were awesome. His 80 minutes in the Super Rugby semi-final was one of the top performances from any openside, anywhere in the world this year – Savea carried 80 metres and beat six defenders. But don’t let those numbers lead you to believing that Savea is a showpony – he’s every inch a mangled warhorse. Alongside his impressive attacking display against the Chiefs he also made 19 tackles and dominated the deck – a deck which also had the heir apparent, Sam Cane, scurrying around on hit. Sam Cane already has 34 test caps, but the next few won’t be the ‘walk-in’ that many expected.You DON’T need to earn the right to go wide‘Earning the right to go wide’ is one of the most common of rugby’s modern lexicon – so much so that it is rumoured to be the next of Melania Trump’s plagiarism targets. The problem is that the statement is no longer based on fact. That isn’t quite true. It is still true of the northern hemisphere where direct running, and an obsession with contact means that overlaps have to be earned at the end of multiple attritional phases; but not in the southern hemisphere. The Hurricanes, Lions, Chiefs and Highlanders go wide whenever they want, from wherever they want. Thrill seekers: Super Rugby speedsters haven’t had to ‘earn’ the right to go wide TAGS: Wasps It is no secret that the Pro 12 is the weakest of the major European Leagues. You don’t even need to dig into the Pro 12 teams’ recent records in European competition to see that. A mere perusal of this summer’s transfer market will show you that the Pro 12 is the ‘own brand’ league when compared to the Fortnum & Masons which are the Top 14 and Aviva Premiership. However, whilst the current situation in which the Pro 12 finds itself is not exactly ideal, the responses to any options which are aimed at improving the predicament have been equally depressing. July saw derision aimed at the bringing in of teams from the USA.Feelgood: Connacht winning the Pro12 was a wonderful story but negativity prevailsMany argued that the inability to travel to away fixtures, in the USA, is unacceptable. But supporters of the Pro 12 would be wise to leave this myopic view of the league behind. TV revenue is the most important income stream in rugby. A club can sell as many shirts, pasties, season tickets, beer and fill as many ‘away buses’ as it likes; but it won’t make a dent in the financial resources required to make the league competitive again. The Pro 12 are looking at radical solutions because radical solutions are required; an understanding of that is what’s required from Pro 12 supporters and its wider stakeholders. Wide man: Elton Jantjes is one of many players redefining offensive parametersThey have squads of players who don’t rely on straight running lines and instead have skillsets that can be launched equally as well during the first phase as during the 22nd phase. A rugby ethos where backs like Beauden Barratt, Damien McKenzie, Elton Jantjes, Ben Smith, Aaron Smith, Lima Sapoaga and Faf de Klerk fuse with skilful forwards like Ardie Savea and Daniel Pryor – the result is next gen rugby. The Chiefs made 18 line breaks in their Super Rugby quarter final against the Stormers – you simply can’t make 18 lines breaks by waiting for the ‘right’ to go wide.Wasps – the Fantasy backlineWe’re all partial to a rugby management simulation, or fantasy league, where we get to live out our rugby dream – the heady desire of assembling a backline of near impossible speed and skill. Well, as July showed, Dai Young is doing it for real. He doesn’t have to log into his account and download a fantasy rugby app, he merely walks into Wasps HQ.Great entertainers: Christian Wade will be joined by Messrs Beale, Cipriani and EastmondNext season Young will have Kurtley Beale, Danny Cipriani, Elliot Daly, Kyle Eastmond, Joe Simpson, Christian Wade, and Frank Halai. A backline with as much speed, lateral movement, and unpredictability as the name of the club would suggest. Some will point to the potential lack of prowess in the Wasps pack for next season; and they may be right. However, as a backline, to find more perfect wasps next season you’ll have to head to the National History Museum.The Pro 12 needs positivity. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS It maybe the off-season but there’s still plenty to debate including the Six Nations calendar, the maligned Pro12, Super Rugby and the irresistible rise of Ardie Savealast_img read more

The less trodden path: Should Billy Vunipola swap rugby for the NFL?

first_imgWith Billy Vunipola’s admission that he might try out for the NFL after the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the portents do not look encouraging if you look at previous attempts Just weeks after Twickenham played host to an historic NFL game, the influence and pull of the gridiron field looks to be exerting itself on the world of rugby.Speaking to Ben Kay for The Times, current England No 8 and one of the brightest prospects in Eddie Jones’ side, Billy Vunipola, expressed his interest in making the transition to the NFL after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.Vunipola certainly has a physical skill set which could serve him well but before he makes any bold decisions, there a number of cautionary tales he should harken to.His former Saracens teammate Hayden Smith tried to make it with the New York Jets in 2012 but returned to rugby after amassing a total of one reception for 16 yards during his time in the sport.Rugby League has also seen players attempt the transition, with Jarryd Hayne initially sticking with the San Francisco 49ers last year as a punt returner, but found himself cut due to an inability to keep hold of the ball when the big hits came in.The Hayne Train: Jarryd Hayne had a stint with the San Francisco 49ersEngland RL’s own Tom Burgess had trials with the New York Giants, Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks last year but nothing came of it and he is currently representing England in the Four Nations.The issue is not that Vunipola doesn’t have the physical skills that NFL teams would look for in a potential player, it’s that he would be attempting to learn an entirely new sport, alter his physical conditioning and play said sport at a professional level all at the age of 27.We have seen with players like Smith, Hayne and Burgess that NFL teams are not willing to commit to developmental projects unless those projects are in their early 20’s, such is the small window of peak physical performance that the NFL operates within.Even transitioning young is no guarantee of success, with British Olympian and rugby player Lawrence Okoye spending three years with the 49ers, Arizona Cardinals, Jets and Dallas Cowboys, but did not play in a regular season game or make a final 53-man roster over that period.Learning curve: Former rugby player Lawrence Okoye tried gridironBecause of his younger age – he was 21 when he first signed up with the 49ers – and undoubted potential, Okoye was able to stick around the league for a few years, playing and developing on teams’ practice squads. It may not have worked out for Okoye – yet – but the decision to move early was the right one and he gave himself the best opportunity possible to make a success of it. All these examples demonstrate just how difficult of a transition it is to make.Whilst rugby players are conditioned to play with intensity and power for 80 minutes, NFL players are conditioned to run faster and hit harder, in much smaller and even more intense bursts. Having that dynamic physical ability is rare, even in a game as physically-impressive as rugby.If you do have those rare physical traits, such as Okoye and Hayne clearly did, it’s then a case of learning entirely new techniques, many of which have no transferable properties from rugby. Blocking, coverages and the initiation of contact without the ball – and the ensuing hand battle – are unlike anything in rugby and these are areas where players, such as Vunipola, would be starting from scratch.Touchdown: American footballer, Nate Ebner, scores during the OlympicsAssuming a player achieves that, then comes the learning of the War and Peace-sized playbooks and extensive play-calling verbiage. It’s one thing to dominate physically and learn the requisite technique, it’s another to combine that with the ability to mentally scan the entire playbook, line-up in the right position and know your offensive play or defensive assignment all within the space of a split second.That said, for all the tales of pessimism, there is a very prominent success story in New England Patriot and recent Rugby 7s Olympian, Nate Ebner.The safety has transitioned between both sports with success and although he didn’t play the sport at high school level, he did play for two years at the collegiate level before being drafted. This, combined with his exposure to the sport as a youngster growing up in the United States and the physical abilities that playing Test rugby had given him, was enough for Ebner to make a success of the move.The ideal situation for any rugby player hoping to swap rucks and scrums for play action passes and safety blitzes is to go as early as possible and look to play the game at the college level and earn their stripes there. The quality of opposition will still be very high and the learning curve steep, but it’s a far more manageable way of learning the sport than being dropped straight into the pros.Runaway train: Tom Burgess playing with the Rabbitohs had an NFL trialThe message to Vunipola should be – to the likely dismay of England and Saracens fans – that, if he is serious about making the transition, he should go now, whilst he still has time on his side. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALScenter_img Stellar year: Billy Vunipola mooted that he could be interested in an NFL switch With the UK’s ever-increasing interest in the NFL – and vice versa – and the lure of a payday that rugby can’t even begin to match, Vunipola won’t be the last player to give this move some thought.The odds are stacked against him, but at least as an established player, he has the safety net that he can fall back into a rugby career should the move prove unsuccessful and he doesn’t have too much to lose by exploring the option.last_img read more

Ongoing revolutions and structural reform

first_img Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Rector Washington, DC Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Hopkinsville, KY Youth Minister Lorton, VA Associate Rector Columbus, GA Rector Albany, NY Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Press Release Service Ongoing revolutions and structural reform Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Rector Bath, NC [Episcopal News Service] A movement toward structural reform captivated the 77th General Convention. Scores of resolutions were proposed to reshape our means of governance, and some people went so far as to propose a constitutional convention at which we would simply start again, tabula rasa. The General Convention wisely resisted the temptation to rewrite our canons overnight, but the special task force on structural reform will also need to proceed carefully.There is no piece of legislation that will move the Episcopal Church into a new era of efficiency and responsiveness. There is no piece of legislation that will make us “nimble.” The Episcopal Church evolves organically, often ahead of its canons. The objective of the special task force should be creating a structure in which our evolution – our revolution! – can be ongoing.Consider three examples of reform in the last hundred years:• A century ago, presiding bishops continued to exercise diocesan jurisdiction. The General Convention began requiring their resignations in 1943, but did not assign any church-wide authority to the presiding bishop until 1967. For twenty-four years, the church lived in the ambiguity of having a de facto church-wide leader who lacked any de jure church-wide authority.• A century ago, the principal worship experience of most Episcopalians was Morning Prayer; it is now Holy Eucharist. The 1979 Prayer Book inaugurated this change by defining Holy Eucharist as “the principal act of Christian worship on the Lord’s Day and other major Feasts.” However, in many of our congregations, Holy Eucharist has become a semiweekly, if not daily, celebration. Canonical reform inaugurated this major transformation, but it has continued to evolve without canonical prompting.• A century ago, it was anathema to suggest that lay people would assist with the administration of Holy Communion. The General Convention rejected the idea of lay assistance nine times between 1931 and 1964. Male lay readers were not allowed to serve the chalice until 1967, women until 1969, and those who were not lay readers until 1976. The chalice-only requirement was not removed until 1988, and the requirement that there be an insufficient number of clergy present was not removed from the canons until 2003, although it remains to this day in the rubrics. For 36 years, the canons have tried to keep pace with an ongoing evolution in our customs, and the present variance between the canons and the rubrics reminds us that we have not succeeded.While the list of 20th century reforms could go on and on, these three case studies highlight three different approaches to reform. In the first case, the General Convention left room for the church to work out the question of centralized authority before writing its canons. In the second case, the General Convention set a transformation in motion and allowed the details to evolve naturally. In the third case, the General Convention tried to keep pace with an ongoing evolution in our customs, and has spent nearly four decades tinkering with the canons.Our 21st century interest in structural reform is no less significant than our 20th century interests in centralized authority, liturgical reform, and the ministry of the baptized. And, our present revolution is no less ongoing.We know that we want a structure that is more nimble and responsive, but we do not yet know what that structure looks like. The goal of the special task force must be creating space for the Episcopal Church to evolve organically.Perhaps the special task force will ask us to live in a season of ambiguity, as we did with matters of centralized authority. Perhaps the special task force will call for us to take one major step and then allow the details to evolve on their own, as we did with the prayer book.What the special task force must not do is attempt to legislate a new system of governance that it thinks will magically transform us into a more effective, more efficient, more nimble organization. Choosing that approach will mean spending the next half-century tinkering with our canons in a futile attempt to keep pace with an ongoing revolution.The 20th century has left in our care an Episcopal Church profoundly different from the one our grandparents knew, and our present conversations will have an equally transformative effect on the Episcopal Church that we leave to our grandchildren. The challenge for our special task force on structural reform is designing a structure that leaves room for organic growth. The challenge for the church will be finding the courage to live for a while in the ambiguity of an ongoing revolution.– The Rev. Alexander H. Webb II (“Sandy”) is associate to the rector at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Roanoke, Virginia. Prior to attending Virginia Theological Seminary, he worked as a lay professional in the General Convention Office at the Episcopal Church Center in New York and as an intern in the Office of Government Relations in Washington, D.C.(NB: Historical background on the case studies presented in this editorial is drawn from White and Dykman’s Annotated Constitution and Canons, 1981 revision, 1:201 and 2:937-942. See also General Convention Resolutions 1988-A123 and 2003-A111.)Statements and opinions expressed in the articles and communications herein, are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Episcopal News Service or the Episcopal Church. Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY John Schaffer says: Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Submit a Press Release In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Director of Music Morristown, NJ Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Featured Events Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Submit a Job Listing Rector Tampa, FL This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 center_img Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Comments (1) Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Curate Diocese of Nebraska Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Submit an Event Listing Rector Collierville, TN The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Comments are closed. Rector Martinsville, VA Rector Knoxville, TN Featured Jobs & Calls Rector Belleville, IL Rector Shreveport, LA By Sandy WebbPosted Sep 6, 2012 An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Rector Pittsburgh, PA Rector Smithfield, NC An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Course Director Jerusalem, Israel September 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm Sandy, I had hoped your comments would be more revealing about what is happening with structure. I am disappointed, but not surprised. TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab last_img read more