The Chaplaincy Council had a very positive and constructive meeting on Saturday, 19th September 2020. We had a discussion on what is our mission and outreach and came to conclusion that we must first define who we are ourselves.
We all come from many different backgrounds and with our own identities. We do not always agree but wish to be truthful to our calling to be an ‘inclusive community of word and sacrament’.
We also know that we could do better; to learn more about what it means to be a welcoming community. in order to help us explore what it means to extend the spirit of welcome to all the Council passed the following resolution:
“This Council adopts the Inclusive Church Vision as our view of the Church:
We believe in inclusive Church – a church which celebrates and affirms every person and does not discriminate. We will continue to challenge the church where it continues to discriminate against people on the grounds of disability, economic power, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, learning disability, mental health, neurodiversity, or sexuality. We believe in Church which welcomes and serves all people in the name of Jesus Christ; which is scripturally faithful; which seeks to proclaim the Gospel afresh for each generation; and which, in the power of the Holy Spirit, allows all people to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Jesus Christ.”
So this is a beginning of a journey when we hope and pray to learn how ‘wide and long and high and deep is the love of Jesus Christ’, to be faithful to the Christian faith as the Church of England has received it and, to continue our commitment to the ecumenical collaboration with our brothers and sisters in Christ, especially in the Porvoo Communion Churches.
Hmm. At this time of the year, the Gospel texts tend to be rather complicated. Today, we have a text which combines actually two very different stories. First, the speech about eating and defiling a person, and then the story about Canaanite women and crumbs on the floor.
Is there something in common in these two stories? Is there something which combines them? Or should I actually give two sermons? (No, I won’t.)
Jesus and disciples are active in both of the stories. Jesus speaks, and so do the disciples. In the first part of the text the disciples are worried about pharisees. “They took offense when they heard what you said”. And in the other part the shouting women distracted them. ”Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us”, they say.
So, at least this combines the two stories: The disciples are concerned about other people and their own comfort. First, they don’t want to be any harm to pharisees, they might be little bit worried about the situation. And then, they want to get rid of the screaming lady.
Disciples are quite human, aren’t they? Their acts are quite stupid, and they don’t understand what’s going on. Just like we people often are. Why do we act like this?
There is Jesus, speaking truth about eating rules and telling pharisees that it is your acts which defile you. That we must act with love and respect towards one another. And disciples are scared – “now you said too much, they didn’t like it, there might be consequences”. And then there is this woman, asking help for her daughter, and disciples are distracted, they don’t think about helping the woman, but they want to get rid of her, because her screaming is irritating them.
How often we act like this. We concentrate on ourselves, on our own comfort. We might see an unjust thing or something done wrong, but we are afraid to act. How difficult it is to say: “this is wrong, this can not be.”
How often we leave people in the middle of injustice and problems, just because we are too fond of our own state and privileges or too scared for the consequences? And how often we walk past someone who needs help and are just a little bit irritated. Can’t she or he just be silent and behave?
I think, this is something we should reflect today. Why are we so keen to our own comfort, or in what other people think about us, that we fail to do what is right.
The way Jesus calls us, is the way, the truth and life. In today’s Old testament reading, we heard: “Thus says the LORD: Maintain justice, and do what is right”. That is the way. When we look around us in this world, we see that there is work to do. Lot of work, actually. We must act when we see injustice. We must speak the truth. And we must help, when someone in need asks for it. That’s the way Jesus is, and that’s the way we are called. Not just to life in comfort, and not just to try not to be any harm to others. The call leads us to uncomfort-zone, it might lead us in the middle of suffering and pain.
There is also Jesus. In people’s lives, in their pains and sorrows. Walking beside, comforting and helping. And in His death, Jesus is in our deaths and losses. And in his resurrection, his is always with us, in eternal life.
So, let’s not be afraid when it’s time to act or speak. Let us maintain justice and do what is right.
I am excited to join you all and begin my musical work and development at the Anglican Church of Finland.
During the course of the summer, we are beginning to implement music back into the service in various forms after a significant and lengthy absence due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Music is worship. For many people, it is the most intimate and powerful expression of their faith.
It is in this spirit of faith and worship that I am collaborating with the broader musical and artistic community in Helsinki and inviting them to join in the services at the Anglican Church of Finland.
The presence of guest musicians at our services will serve two fundamental purposes: to assist the existing choral community to reach their highest individual and collective potential and for the professional musicians to share, through their skill and expertise, their own experience of faith and reality with our congregation through their various art forms.
This collaboration is not one-sided. The grand musical tradition of the Anglican Church will be made alive with each performance and many in this city and country will be exposed to its sublime beauty and subtle power for the first time.
It is this circular collaboration that I hope to foster to the highest level possible at the Anglican Church of Finland thereby creating a spiritual, cultural, and musical exchange in this community and country.
Jesus compares the kingdom of God to a person who sows seed on a field while he was asleep an enemy sows bad seed or weed in the field.
His disciples approached him and asked him to explain the meaning of the parable to them. He says that he who sows the good seed is the son of man and the field is the son of man. The field is the world, the good seed is the children of the kingdom and the weeds are the children of the devil.
In the explanation of the parable Christ declares that he is the sower, he spreads his redeemed seed through his believers in the field, through his grace they bear the fruit in their hearts, which produces good morals in the society.
The enemy in the parable is the Satan, in opposition to Christ, the devil tries to destroy the church. We have false teachers, deceivers, unbelievers in the society. They told the master can we remove the weed and the master said allow both to grow, because it would be difficult to separate until harvest time .
The enemy has a plan for sowing the bad seed, the signs can be visible when we experience violence, hatred, no love, corruption, deceit. We have counterfeit Christian and it is difficult to notice.
In Mat 13 Jesus said that by their fruits we shall know them. God allows the unbelievers to change before the harvest time. The church must allow the evil ones to change and we must not be quick to exclude or judge others. God will judge everyone after harvest.
The mission of the church is to sow the good seed to the world. We must help to make our society good and peaceful, by uprooting every bad seed in our lives through our action in our families, relationships and work places.
The disciples went to Jesus to interpret the parable. God is God and has solution to our problems. We must have time to study the bible and to pray to God for spiritual revelations. We have to observe when there is contamination and bad influence in our lives and love ones.
Who are you, good seed or bad, we must remember the harvest time of God is coming. We must say sorry to God and individuals we have offended. God is merciful and able to help us to bear good seed, Amen.
How are our leaders leading through uncharted territory, meeting moral obligations of loving our neighbors and ourselves, guiding and caring for our people in an unprecedented time of uncertainty, and holding out hope in the face of despair? Those were the questions the Anglican Church in Finland and the Dublin City Interfaith Forum wanted to find out and discuss together.
Webinar was co-organized 15th May to facilitate mutual sharing between Faith communities in Finland and Ireland. Webinar gave light to the diverse role and devotional and practical responses of Religion during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Revd Katri Kuusikallio (National Forum for Cooperation of Religions) emphasized the importance and power of interfaith dialogue and cooperation during time of crisis. She also shared practices and responses carried out by National Forum for Cooperation of Religions in Finland.
Hilary Abrahamson (Chair of Dublin City Interfaith Forum) raised a concern for children and young people and how they are being catered for. She also shared about the responses DCIF had made.
Revd Eeva-Kaisa Heikura (The Evangelical Church in Finland) shared the diverse ways Lutheran Church in Finland had contributed, and yet received feedback saying they are not doing enough. She raised a question about how faith communities could get their message more visible in today’s world.
Chaplain Tuomas Mäkipää (The Anglican Church in Finland) looked at the question from communications point of view. He reminded that religious communities are global communities. In online world, our audience is both national and global. Realizing that might make a significant impact.
Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin and Bishop of Glendalough, concluded the webinar stating that, Religious communities are inter fold fabric of the society. He also stressed a need for Theology of Pain, Compassion and Hope.
Words are important, but action really matters. Like ecumenical dialogue reports between churches are not completed until words in the paper have been fulfilled in the life of the churches. Like when the Word of Gospel becomes fulfilled and purifies the heart of Christians. So my words should become fulfilled in my heart and walk with the message. I need to take action and steps for love.
I am very concerned that Finland is one of the most racist countries in Europe. Especially for women, but for men and children too. What is wrong in our society? We need to openly declare and accept this and be prepared to denounce and change this, beginning with our own families, our communities and neighbors. We should all work against this racist harassment ecumenically in Finland.
Our church as well has committed to work against racism and violence and work for equality issues. Everyone’s experience matters. I wish you would like to tell me about your thoughts about these issues. It is important that we share our thoughts. We need to work together – to create a community where everyone has a voice and where we can be ourselves.
Probably you might know a tiny mustard seed. It is very little, but it grows to become a great tree which gives fruit for many when it is given care and comfort. We all are those little seeds and we need comfort and care for grow. I wish we all could live in a community where we can be safe and feel loved.
Saija Kainulainen is a member of the Section for Equality at the Finnish Ecumenical Council representing The Anglican Church in Finland; and also advocates for women’s issues at the Scandinavian ecumenical committee of women representing The Evangelical Lutheran church in Finland. She has almost completed her academic studies for a Master of Theology at University of Helsinki. Furthermore Saija is also a respected artisan and designed liturgical textiles for Suomenlinna Church in Helsinki.
Don’t hesitate to contact about any equality issues: email@example.com
Since Bishop David’s visit in the beginning of March to preside at a confirmation service much has happened. The following Sunday we still had a service, but soon after that, the government asked all religious communities to close their places of worship. We really did not have time to plan anything before we were all asked to stay at home as much as possible.
But now we are allowed to gather again! The Government has announced that public gathering of no more than 500 hundred persons are permitted if rules about social distancing and hygiene are observed.
The Diocese in Europe has published guidelines which each Chaplaincy must follow, alongside with local regulations, when opening churches again. I have discussed about our plans with the Dean of Helsinki also. The Chaplaincy Council met two weeks ago at Mikael Agricola Church to decide how we move forward.
Many of the new practices are actually familiar to those who have worshipped in a cathedral: vergers will greet you at the entrance and will guide you to your pew. They will give instructions when to move to receive Eucharist and so on. The most notable differences to the previous are that the eucharist is administered in one kind only (bread) and there is no singing in the service at the moment.
I look forward to seeing many of you soon! I am aware that not all of you are able to attend at the moment. Please do contact me if you wish to receive the communion at home (brought to you from the Communion celebrated at the Church).
Before entering the Church, please use the hand disinfectant provided or wash your hands in the vestibule bathrooms.
1. The Vergers are here to ensure your safety and those of other members of the congregation by overseeing the seating arrangements and providing guidance during the service.
2. The seating arrangements in the Church have been planned to ensure that a two-metre distance is maintained. Please respect the “keep free areas” signs. If you are here with your family or individuals who live with you in the same household, you are welcome to sit together.
3. Should you feel the need to cough or sneeze, please use a tissue or your sleeve. Used tissues can be disposed of in the bin at the entrance.
4. Please note that no singing will take place during the service.
5. At the point at which we are enjoined to share a sign of peace, please maintain a safe distance from other members of the congregation. The sign itself can take the form of a bow or a smile instead of shaking hands.
6. Holy Communion will be administered in the form of the wafer only. It is a clear principle of Anglican theology that the sacrament of Holy Communion is present and complete in either of the consecrated elements. The wafer will be administered by the Chaplain and you will be guided at this point in the service by the Vergers.
7. The Vergers will ensure that safe distancing is maintained when leaving the Church, please wait for their signal that it is safe to leave.
8. Offerings can be placed in a basket at the exit when leaving the service.
9. Please note that there is no post service gathering for tea and fellowship in the Crypt.
It is with great sadness that I have learnt the news about the death of Emmanuel Eneh. Emmanuel passed away on Thursday, 23rd April 2020.
Emmanuel was a long-standing member of the Anglican Church in Finland and had a significant lay ministry at the International Congregation of Christ the King in Tampere. He served many years as an Anglican Licensed Lay Reader, working together with the priests of the Lutheran Parishes in Tampere in providing pastoral and liturgical ministry to the international church community gathering in Vanha kirkko. His commitment to the implementation of Porvoo Agreement (between Anglican and Lutheran Churches), and his service to the wider community by participating in local politics in Tampere, were a source of inspiration for many.
Emmanuel remained as a member of the Diocesan Synod of the Diocese in Europe until his death. He was also a member of the Deanery Synod of the Nordic and Baltic states.
We remain grateful for Emmanuel’s ministry and pray for him and his family. He is survived by his wife and three children
Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace: your word has been fulfilled. My own eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared in the sight of every people; A light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of your people Israel. Luke 2.29-32
Chaplain Chair of the Diocesan House of Clergy
Dear people of the Anglican Church in Finland,
The outbreak of Corona virus (COVID-19) has caused some anxiety among people. The Chaplaincy is monitoring closely the instructions given by the Finnish authorities and the EU. Our practice of using common cup at the Eucharist is based on a long tradition of theology of the Church and this practice is maintained in the Canons Law of the church. This practice differs from what one could describe as a ‘norm’ in Finland. For this reason, the Anglican Church in Finland is following also the guidance from the Church of England concerning the corona virus. Please find below instructions from our Bishops.
Tuomas Mäkipää, Chahplain and Area Dean
The Church of England publishes guidance
to all clergy and congregations here:
Please find below a letter from our Bishops
to the congregations in the Diocese in Europe:
“We have decided to go somewhat beyond
this advice [described in the link above] in certain respects because of the
mobile and international nature of our congregations and in the light of
medical advice we have received. We preface this advice by re-iterating that
coronavirus appears to present a particular risk to elderly people and those
with reduced immunity or a pre-existing health condition. Our advice is given
out of a mutual concern for the wellbeing of all members of our
We encourage individuals and congregations to follow good hygiene
Carrying tissues and
using them to catch coughs and sneezes, and binning the tissue
Washing hands with
soap and water (for 20 seconds) or using sanitiser to kill germs.
If possible provide hand gel at entrances and ensure there is a
good supply of soap or hand gel in cloakrooms and kitchens. In addition,
priests presiding at the Eucharist, communion administrators and servers
should wash their hands, preferably with an alcohol-based sanitiser.
Sidespeople/welcomers and those serving refreshments should take similar
Try to clean hard surfaces such as door handles and communion rails
The exchange of a gesture of peace prior to sharing Communion is
for many, a much-loved moment in the service. However, we recommend that,
for the time being, this gesture is restricted to a smile and words
of peace to those in closest proximity rather than physical contact (kiss
or handshake) with everyone in the church.
We recommend that
communion is distributed in the form of bread/wafer only. Both
elements will be consecrated but the wine should not be distributed.
Congregations can be reassured that this does not diminish the nature of
the Eucharist. It is a clear principle of Anglican theology that the
sacrament of Holy Communion is present and complete in either of the
consecrated elements. (We are aware that distribution of the elements in
one kind only has already been adopted by some chaplaincies.)
Infectious diseases seem to cause higher
levels of public anxiety than other threats, perhaps because we can’t see them
or sense them. And although social media can satisfy our desire for information
they have the capacity to fuel anxiety. Avoiding panic is a key part of
responding to coronavirus for all of us in positions of leadership.
This guidance is intended as a prudent
response to an unusual challenge. It represents a set of sensible precautions
to promote health and wellbeing in the conditions of our diocese.
Meanwhile, we pray that our chaplaincies and congregations can be oases of peace, loving fellowship and hope in times of anxiety. We continue to pray for those infected by the coronavirus, for those who care for them, and for health specialists and authorities who are combatting the spread of infection.”