2001 General Ordination Examination

January 1, 2001

Please review the General Instructions before you begin work on this set of questions and again when you put your answers in final form.

SET 1. Thursday, January 4, 2001, 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Limited Resources: Bible, in any edition, Book of Common Prayer, and any
authorized hymnals

Set 1 addresses principally the canonical area of Liturgy and Church Music. Related canonical areas are Christian Theology and Holy Scripture.

The Book of Common Prayer 1979 makes significant reference to the Paschal mystery. It has been described as a central focus of Christian life and faith.

In an essay of three pages, respond to both A and B:

A. Develop the meaning of the Paschal mystery. Include in the essay the Old and New Testament foundations of the theology of the Paschal mystery. Give two examples of the ways the Paschal mystery found expression in the worship of the early Christian church.

B. Draw on part A to illustrate the ways in which the Paschal mystery is embraced in the Book of Common Prayer 1979. Include specific references to Baptism, Eucharist, and events of the church year. Also identify hymns and other resources you would use to celebrate the Paschal mystery in a parish context. Give reasons for your choices.

SET 2. Thursday, January 4, 2001, 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Open Book

Set 2 addresses principally the canonical area of Church History. Related canonical areas are Christian Theology and Contemporary Society.

In both pre- and post-Reformation church history, controversy of one sort or another has often been present. It has frequently led to questions of authority and to the call for division, or, indeed, to actual division in the church. Among many others, examples from early church history include the Donatist controversy, the Monophysite schism following the Council of Chalcedon, and, later, the split between Eastern and Western churches. In Anglican and Episcopal history, one could cite as examples the English Nonjuror movement,* the controversy in the Episcopal Church in the Civil War period, and the formation of the Reformed Episcopal Church.
(*Note that this example refers to the English, not the Scottish, Nonjurors.)

In an essay of three pages, respond to both A and B.

A. Give a brief account of one pre-Reformation and one post-Reformation controversy from the examples given above, emphasizing such doctrinal, political, social, cultural, or other dimensions as may be particularly relevant in each case.

B. How does the understanding of the problems of authority and division that emerges from
your account of these historic examples help you reflect on one or more of the controversies present in the Anglican Communion today?

SET 3. Friday, January 5, 2001, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Open Book

Set 3 addresses the canonical areas of Christian Theology and Christian Ethics and Moral Theology.

Part A. The major emphasis in this part is Christian Theology.

At the end of a service of Holy Baptism, the congregation welcomes the newly baptized with the following words: "We receive you into the household of God. Confess the faith of Christ crucified, proclaim his resurrection, and share with us in his eternal priesthood" (BCP, 308).
At the end of the Ordination services, the congregation prays: "We thank you for raising up among us faithful servants for the ministry of your Word and Sacraments. We pray that N. may be to us an effective example in word and action, in love and patience, and in holiness of life" (BCP, 523, 535, 547).

Write an essay of three pages on the Episcopal Church's current understanding of baptismal and ordained ministries and the relationship between them. How do all the baptized share in the priesthood of Christ? How do the ordained share in the priesthood of Christ? How are these ministries related, and how are they distinguished? Give at least five explicit points of comparison. State and support the theological rationale that undergirds your answer.

Part B. The major emphasis in this part is Christian Ethics and Moral Theology.

Christian ethics involves not only decision-making but the articulation of a moral vision. The theology of ministry suggests some elements of that vision.

A rector has served in a parish for six years. During that period, stewardship has improved, membership has grown in numbers and diversity, and programs have been developed for all ages. The parish is considered healthy, and its rector an effective leader. At its most recent annual meeting, the congregation has expressed a desire to work with the rector to expand the church's ministries in the larger community. The search committee of a parish in a different diocese has invited this priest to be considered as rector. The priest must now consider the
moral obligations entailed in deciding whether to stay in the present cure or move to another one.

Keep in mind that ethical questions often involve the weighing of two goods. In an essay of three pages, address the following:

1. What ethical question(s) arise(s) directly from the decision facing the rector? Base your answer on the information given in the case, not on unstated considerations.

2. Relate these questions to the theology of ministry developed in part A.

3. Provide moral theological arguments for remaining in the current position and for moving to another one.

SET 4. Monday, January 8, 2001, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Limited Resources: Bible, Concordance, and Book of Common Prayer

Set 4 addresses the canonical area of Holy Scripture.

The Collect for Peace in the Prayer Book addresses God with the words "whose service is perfect freedom" (page 57) and "to serve you is perfect freedom" (page 99). The Prayer Book's understanding of freedom is deeply rooted in Scripture. This question asks you to analyze two biblical passages relating to these words of the Collect, and to reflect on their
significance for Christian life today.

A. In an essay of two pages, address the following, with reference to Exodus 19-20:

1. The context of these two chapters within the book of Exodus
2. The significance of the context for understanding these two chapters
3. The themes of service and freedom as they are linked in these two chapters

B. In an essay of three pages, address the following, with reference to
Matthew 5:17-48:

1. The context of this passage within the Gospel according to Matthew
2. The significance of Exodus 19-20 for interpreting this passage
3. How does the distinctive character of discipleship in Matthew 5:17-48 reflect the themes of service and freedom?

C. Using your exegetical work, write a one-page essay on how service to God is perfect freedom for the contemporary Christian.

[The page limits are a guide to the expected length of each of the three essays. Print them as a consecutive whole. Do not begin each essay with a separate page. Allow three spaces between sections A and B and between sections B and C. Mark the sections and subsections
clearly.]

SET 5. Tuesday, January 9, 2001, 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Open Book

Set 5 addresses principally the canonical area of Contemporary Society. Related canonical areas are Christian Theology including Missiology, and Christian Ethics and Moral Theology.

The neighborhood in which your Episcopal church is located has seen a rise in teenage violence, drugs, children lacking parental supervision, and poor academic performance. This has led to community-wide concern to develop a drop-in center for after-school tutoring and life-enrichment programs. Since your congregation is a block from the high school and has
extensive facilities, it would like to respond to this need. The vestry has chosen to do so in partnership with other local faith communities which include Christian congregations, a synagogue, and a mosque. Several members of the congregation have asked why the church should be involved in an interfaith cooperative effort. Their concern is that this precludes certain elements of Christian evangelization.

In an essay of three pages, provide a rationale for the vestry's decision. What resources would you use to inform your rationale? Your essay should demonstrate familiarity with the theological/ethical reasons why the Episcopal Church engages in interfaith dialogue and cooperation in an emerging multicultural context. The essay might take note of the real or apparent tension between "making disciples" and "striving for justice and peace among all people."

SET 6. Tuesday, January 9, 2001, 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
CLOSED BOOK You may not use any outside references, printed, written, or electronic.

All questions test Theory and Practice of Ministry as well as the other canonical areas indicated. Unless it is otherwise indicated, assume that the questions are asked by adult members of the congregation. Responses should demonstrate pastoral sensitivity appropriate to the age or gender of the questioner. Respond to all 16 questions of Part A in a few
sentences each. Allow at least one hour to answer the two sections in Part B of this Set.

Part A

1. "I never hear sermons about sin anymore. What does the church teach about it?" Christian Theology

2. "What difference did not having local bishops make to the Church of England in colonial America?" Church History

3. The mother of a child who has just finished the Early Age Communion Class tells you, "We've just discovered that he is very allergic to wheat and might stop breathing if he eats it. What can we do about communion?" Liturgy and Church Music

4. An eight-year-old asks: "Why does the Episcopal Church use the Book of Common Prayer instead of the Bible?" Holy Scripture

5. "General Convention will require anti-racism training for all leaders, lay and ordained. We've had desegregation for many years. Why do we need to do this?" Contemporary Society

6. A widow and widower come to you saying, "Our grown children don't think we should marry as we are past child-bearing age. What does the church teach about this?" Christian Ethics and Moral Theology

7. "In the Creed we say that Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead. I no longer believe that. What should I do?" Christian Theology

8. "Who was Athanasius, and what did he do to merit inclusion in the calendar of the church year?" Church History

9. After a service of Compline, a college student says, "I really love this service. How long has it been around? Where does its language come from?" Liturgy and Church Music

10. "Why was Ruth considered to be important enough to merit having her book included in the Bible?" Holy Scripture

11. "I've heard some experts say that the seal of the confessional is absolute no matter what someone has done, and others say that priests must report certain things, such as child abuse, to the civil authorities. What are the practical and moral consequences for you, as a priest, of each course of action?" Contemporary Society

12. A member of the vestry approaches you (the rector) and begins whispering that the choir director (a female graduate student in her late twenties) is having an affair with a 17-year-old boy in the choir and then asks what you are going to do about it. How would you respond?
Christian Ethics and Moral Theology

13. How would you respond to a depressed teenager asking, "What is the 'dark night of the soul'"? Christian Theology

14. A member of the vestry asks: "Can you tell me, please, what impact the new agreement with the Lutherans will have on our parish church? How did this agreement come about?" Church History

15. An older parishioner approaches you at coffee hour to ask: "Is it true that our next Prayer Book will be a loose-leaf binder? What is happening to our sacred heritage?" Liturgy and Church Music

16. A member of the young adult group asks: "Do you believe Christ actually walked on the water? What does that mean to you?" Holy Scripture

Part B. 1
You have just assumed duties as vicar of a small city congregation. A woman you have not met before comes into the office and asks that you take communion to her husband, who is in a nursing home. In the course of the conversation you learn that she is an active member of a neighboring Episcopal parish where the rector has refused to serve communion to her husband on the grounds that he is so senile he can't possibly understand what he is doing. What do you understand to be the theological, ethical, and pastoral issues involved? In light of your reflections, how will you proceed?

Part B. 2
A member of your parish has been a widower for nearly a year. He comes to your office to appeal to you to help him come to terms with his grief, which is still strong. What do you understand to be the theological and pastoral issues involved? In light of your reflections, how will you proceed in your own pastoral relationship with this person?