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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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OK, so that’s what we are stuck with, the Shared Conversations. And I have been arguing amongst the LGBTI Anglican coalition, that we should not simply tolerate what we are being offered, which effectively is a two year delay.
I know from the conversations that we had with David Porter at Lambeth Palace that there is, for him at least, a clear intention that there will be a proper, motioned, discussion at General Synod in February 2017, with the intention of legislating for some kind of change in Church of England practice towards LGBTI people. But it’s going to be what they think they can get away with without upsetting the conservatives too much. So my guess is that it is going to be approval for the blessing of relationships in church, it certainly won’t be for recognising marriage. It certainly will not be for changing the quadruple lock and moving towards allowing equal marriages to take place in Church of England buildings.
Listen to it all below - quote is from 11 mins 20 seconds in.
The previous report from January 23rd, 2015 on a meeting with David Porter is here
All this points to a time ahead of stress and uncertainty for Anglicanism in the United States. ACI believes that the following elements, however, must be recognized and acted upon if this time ahead is to prove fruitful rather than simply destructive.
First, we must acknowledge that TEC as a national body is no longer recognizably “Anglican” in an Anglican-Communion sense. A broad range of commonly defining features of Anglican Communion churches – e.g. the Lambeth Quadrilateral, which makes Scripture the “rule and ultimate standard of faith”; the definition of Anglicanism specified in TEC’s own constitution and in 1930 Lambeth Conference Resolution 49 (i.e., “upholding and propagating the historic Faith and Order as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer”); other Lambeth resolutions including 1998 I.10; the Windsor Report and its moratoria that were subsequently adopted by all the Instruments of Communion; the framework of an Anglican Communion “Common Law” (as N. Doe and others have identified it), etc. — no longer exists in TEC.
Second, dioceses, bishops, priests, and laity who are currently members of TEC, but who do continue to hold their identity within the common Anglican elements noted above, need to set about, corporately and in a coordinated way, to work with the larger Anglican Communion for a way forward. That kind of work has, in the past, been subverted by a range of local and larger factors, including personal ones. Something different has to happen at this point, and both the American and Communion leadership concerned with this must work with a new consultative forthrightness and clarity.
Third, we believe that American Communion-minded Anglicans must formally call on Canterbury, and the Primates to respond to the need expressed above expeditiously and constructively. Past reticence, foot-dragging, deference to local politics, and simple failures to follow through are no longer viable ways forward.
Fourth, we urge friends and ecumenical partners to play a consultative, constructive and creative role in this process.
Insofar as TEC has claimed it has a life in the Anglican Communion it cares about, just to that degree it is necessary for the Anglican Communion to clarify what that might be, in the light of General Convention actions and the new self-understanding in NEC. General Convention has acted and declared its mind. What will the response of the Anglican Communion be?
Read it all, carefully
Today’s judgment brings to a close a process started on Aug. 30, 2013, when the Supreme Court of Texas ordered that the case, initially decided using a “deference” approach, return to the trial court and that the court reconsider the parties' claims, applying the Neutral Principles approach instead.
The trial court’s ruling now becomes appealable, and the TEC-affiliated plaintiffs have indicated their intention to ask the Second Court of Appeals for a review. In early August the court is expected to issue an order stating terms that will allow the TEC-affiliated congregation of All Saints’, Fort Worth, to remain in the property it now occupies during the duration of the appeal.
We give thanks for our many blessings, for God’s work among us, and for the Hope of Salvation that is within us. We are thankful, too, for the patient endurance of all those who have prayed and labored for this day, especially our legal team, their associates, and their families.
Read it all
The TEC parties have said they plan to appeal the final judgment to the Second Circuit Court of Appeal. However, any such appeal will be guided by the “neutral principles of law” announced by the Texas Supreme Court when it reversed Judge Chupp’s original judgment in their favor, based upon his belief that he was required by Texas law to defer to the “hierarchical” Episcopal Church. Under neutral principles, the Texas courts look solely to the documents establishing a party’s title: whose name is on the deeds, what trusts have been recorded, and what (if anything) the Church’s governing documents say about a diocese’s ability to amend its own constitution so as to remove its affiliation with the Episcopal Church.
Read it all
Take the time to read through it all (74 page pdf).
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori TEC Conflicts TEC Polity & Canons * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues * South Carolina * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Please remember Bishop John Ellison in your prayers: [George Conger] Border-crossing charges filed against British Bishop
Here are the links to posts that have been recently featured at the top of the blog or on topical issues.
+ Bp Mouneer Anis’s statement regarding the US Supreme Court Ruling for same-sex marriage (July 10, 2015)
+ Church of Uganda’s response to TEC’s General Convention and USA Supreme Court decision (July 7, 2015)
+ Reform: Response to the US Episcopal Church Resolution on Marriage (July 7, 2015)
+ GAFCON Primates’ Council: TEC decision ‘a mistake with serious consequences’ (July 6, 2015)
+ Statement from the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas (July 5, 2015)
+ Statement by the Central American and Communion Partner Bishops (July 2, 2015)
+ Global South Statement on TEC marriage vote—“we are deeply grieved again” (July 2, 2015)
+ (Wash Post) TEC approves religious weddings for same-sex couples after controversial debate (July 2, 2015)
+ A.S. Haley—TEC Bishops Bless Blasphemy at General Convention (July 1, 2015)
+ AU 190 - Canterbury not happy with TEC Same-sex Marriage Actions (June 30, 2015)
+ Archbishop of Canterbury response to US Episcopal Church Resolution on Marriage (June 30, 2015)
+ Bp Dan Martins reports on the TEC HOB Marriage Decision (June 30, 2015)
+ [ACI] Mark McCall: Good Order And The Re-Definition of Marriage (June 22, 2015)
Top of the pile
+ Statement from the International Catholic Congress of Anglicans (July 17, 2015)
+ Talks from the International Catholic Congress of Anglicans - Fort Worth July 13th to 17th (July 14, 2015)
+ CofE General Synod 10th to 13th July 2015 Links (July 10, 2015)
+ Reform Statement on the Archbishop of York (July 9, 2015)
+ Reply Brief Filed by Diocese of South Carolina in SC Supreme Court (July 6, 2015)
"I can spot an old Etonian a mile oﬀ ," I venture, "and your deﬁning characteristic is precisely that kind of phoney diﬃdence."
Read it all
Read it all
'St Peter’s is one of Brighton’s iconic buildings, so when it was due to close there was a huge public outcry and 6,500 people signed the petition to keep it open.
The building is incredible, but it’s also a nightmare because it’s crumbling. I remember giving sermons wearing hard hats. We didn’t have any heating for four winters, so people used to come to church in a hat carrying a hot-water bottle.
I think this is a visual aid for the wider work. The local churches all said that when the building looks like it’s closed and dying on its feet, that sends out the message to Brighton that that’s what God is like as well. But equally if you could do the opposite – open it up, fix it up – then that would send out the message: ‘Wow, the Church is alive and God is on the move.’
When we began, we were about 30, including children: our family and about three other families. If you’re going to attract other people to come, there needs to be a certain group for them to come into, and it’s quite hard to do that with less than 30.
Read it all
Our Province is discussing this matter – under the methodology of Indaba – in all instances of the Church. Our new Prayer Book already contemplates a change of language, stabilishing the gender neutrality that is a significant step of inclusivity. This change do not requires us to celebrate matrimony between people of same sex, but we’re open to the future and new pastoral requirements from our time.
We see with joy changing processes in the churches of Canada and Scotland. We see with joy advances in discussion of the theme in the churches of England, Wales, Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.
Read it all
On a 100-degree day in Salt Lake City, the crowd of 75 at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center got a taste of what a new network of theologians might produce.
Beyond making peace with persecutors, the Church also has a God-given mission to stand with those who suffer the brunt of unjust systems, both economic and political, said the Most Rev. Francisco De Assis da Silva, Primate of Brazil.
“The charisma is to be beside, aside, or on the side of the people who are suffering too much from unjust structures in politics and in economics,” Archbishop da Silva said. He said a theology of liberation has weakened over time in Latin America as a more conservative, confessional theology gained traction in recent decades. But the time is right for another shift in theological discourse, in his view.
“We have a unique opportunity to change from a confessional position to a more engaged, a more incarnational, theological reflection,” da Silva said.
For his part, Kings said the Anglican Communion’s calling “is to be Catholic, evangelical, and ecumenical.” In practice, that involves the disciplines of meeting together as Anglicans. It also involves remembering how the Church, like the Trinity, is inherently interconnected.
Bishop Kings quoted from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s foreword to Living Reconciliation: “I am eager to encourage each of us to take full account of the way in which decisions of one province echo around the world. The impact of their echoes is something to which we must listen in the course of our decision-making, if we are not to narrow our horizons and reject the breadth of our global family.”
Read it all
This neglect stands in striking contrast to the many scholarly and public events in Britain that marked the 2007 bicentennial of that country's banning of the slave trade. There were historical conferences, museum exhibits, even a high-budget film, "Amazing Grace," about William Wilberforce, the leader of the parliamentary crusade that resulted in abolition.
What explains this divergence? Throughout the 1780s, the horrors of the Middle Passage were widely publicized on both sides of the Atlantic, and by 1792 the British Parliament stood on the verge of banning the trade. But when war broke out with revolutionary France, the idea was shelved. Final prohibition came in 1807, and it proved a major step toward the abolition of slavery in the empire.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * Culture-Watch History Race/Race Relations Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Read it all
Simon Reynolds, 50, took more than £16,500 handed over to All Saints Church in Darton, Barnsley, for weddings, funerals and churchyard memorials.
Reynolds left Sheffield Crown Court on Thursday lunchtime after the jury went out to consider its verdicts on four counts of theft against him.
He never returned and a Europe-wide search began, with police involving Interpol and senior clergy appealing for the vicar to come back.
Alasdair Cambell, defending, told the judge that his client first went to his Sheffield hotel before travelling to Manchester Airport.
The barrister said Reynolds then meant to go Dublin but, in a state of stress, booked a flight to Dusseldorf instead, where he stayed with a friend.
Mr Campbell said this friend drove him back to his home in Farnham in Surrey, and the defendant then made his way to meet police in Sheffield.
Read it all
"It's visibly different from what it looked like in 2012. You can see all of those individual layers of iron. And that's something nobody has seen since the Monitor sank more than 150 years ago."
At 120 tons, the Monitor's famous revolving turret is the largest metal marine artifact ever recovered from the ocean, and the past decade of treatment at The Mariner's Museum in the world's biggest metal conservation lab is expected take another 15 years, Krop said.
During most of that time, the 9-foot-tall cylinder will be immersed in its tank and visible only through the clear treatment solution.
But over the next two weeks, museum visitors will be able to peer into the drained interior from an elevated observation platform as the conservation team inspects the turret and plans for an upcoming treatment campaign.
Read and watch it all
Filed under: * General Interest
The Communist party says the removals are for "the sake of safety and beauty," according to one government official.
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Forensic anthropologist Douglas Owsley, the division head of physical anthropology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, and his team worked with archaeologists from the Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation at Historic Jamestowne to piece together just who the four men were.
Built first of mud and wood, the original church structure had long since vanished. Archaeologists rediscovered the church’s original footprint five years ago.
Only about 30 percent of each skeleton was recovered, and the bones were poorly preserved, so finding out who the men were presented a challenge that required multiple paths of investigation.
The first clue to their identities came from the burial location in the chancel, a space at the front of the church around the altar reserved for the clergy. Only leading members of the community would have been buried there, so it was clear the men had a place of prominence among the colonists.
Eventually, the team identified the men as:
■Rev. Robert Hunt, the chaplain at Jamestown and the colony’s Anglican minister, who died at age 39 in 1608
■Capt. Gabriel Archer, who died at age 34 in 1609 or 1610 during the “starving time”
■Sir Ferdinando Wainman, who came to Jamestown with his first cousin, the governor of Virginia, and died at about age 34 in 1610
■Capt. William West, who died in 1610 during a skirmish with the Powhatan at age 24
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The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) has granted a request for a section 38 demolition notice on the historic Bishop's Residence, known as Bishopscourt, within the Bishopspark Retirement Village in Park Tce, opposite Hagley Park.
The authority has declined a request for a demolition order on the neighbouring chapel though.
Bishopscourt was designed by Wood and built in 1926 as the residence of the city's Anglican bishop. It is owned by Anglican Care - an arm of the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch. It has the highest heritage rating possible in New Zealand with both a Heritage New Zealand category one and a Christchurch City Council group one classification.
"It's a masterpiece of 1920s colonial Georgian style domestic architecture. It is considered to be Wood's most important work of domestic architecture and is thought by many to be one of New Zealand's finest colonial Georgian style domestic designs," Historic Places Canterbury (HPC) deputy chairman Ross Gray said.
It was shocking and disappointing that Cera had given the demolition order as it was not a dangerous building nor was it holding up the timely and expeditious recovery of the city.
Read it all and there is a video report here
Some think it is the inexorable progress of liberty and equality - which leaves the doubters on "the wrong side of history."
In this context supporters of classical marriage are presumed to have no real arguments to offer. So here I want to offer some reasons - not decrees from on high or from the past, not expressions of hatred or prejudice - but reasons I hope anyone can understand. I also hope these reasons prove persuasive and helpful in proclaiming and witnessing to true marriage among families, friends and colleagues.
Regardless, I hope this will help explain why Australian law has always held, and many people still hold, that marriage is for people of opposite sex.
I will examine five common slogans in this debate - that it is all about justice, that sexual differences do not matter, that it is all about love, that it is all about the numbers and that it does not affect me. Along the way, I will be offering some reasons for preserving the classical understanding of marriage rather than redefining it to include same-sex "marriage" (SSM).
Read it all
--John Calvin (1509-1564)
After attending Syracuse University, Jackson married the critic Stanley Edgar Hyman and settled in North Bennington, Vermont, where Hyman taught at a liberal arts college. According to one autobiographical piece printed here, she wrote when she wasn’t “vacuuming the living-room rug or driving the children to school or trying to find something different to serve for dinner tonight”.
Let Me Tell You is one of several articles of Jacksoniana — including a new biography — that will be brought out this year, the 50th anniversary of her early death. It supplements the two main collections of her shorter work: The Lottery and Other Stories, and Come Along with Me, which was edited by Hyman. The book is an anthology of previously uncollected and unpublished pieces found among her papers. It represents not just the scraping of the barrel, but the second scraping of the barrel (after Just an Ordinary Day, published in 2009).
The surprise is not that it contains iffy and substandard pieces, which it does, but that several of the stories are so striking.
Read it all (requires subscription).
Yet even those of us who are skeptical of the Benedict Option can acknowledge the benefits of cultivating virtue, engaging more fully in our local communities and perhaps turning off the TV more often. Given the sometimes judgmental tendencies of theologically conservative Christians during the culture wars of the recent past, traditional Christians also might do well to focus a little more on showing what Christian morality looks like, and less on how others conduct their lives.
There may even be grounds for optimism for Christians who feel increasingly estranged from American culture. Being out of touch can be clarifying. After all, many of the greatest advances for Christianity have come during periods when Christians seemed most beleaguered. From the early Roman Empire to the Great Awakenings in 18th- and 19th-century America, and to China today, Christianity has tended to flourish anew when the distinctions are clearest between Christian faith and other conceptions of what it means to be human.
Read it all.
Grant also, that while I labour for the maintenance of this life, and care for the things which pertain to food and raiment, I may raise my mind above them to the blessed and heavenly life which thou hast promised to thy children. Be pleased also, in manifesting thyself to me as the protector of my soul as well as my body, to strengthen and fortify me against all the assaults of the devil, and deliver me from all the dangers which continually beset us in this life. But seeing it is a small thing to have begun, unless I also persevere, I therefore entreat of thee, O Lord, not only to be my guide and director for this day, but to keep me under thy protection to the very end of life, that thus my whole course may be performed under thy superintendence. As I ought to make progress, do thou add daily more and more to the gifts of thy grace until I wholly adhere to thy Son Jesus Christ, whom we justly regard as the true Sun, shining constantly in our minds. In order to my obtaining of thee these great and manifold blessings, forget, and out of thy infinite mercy, forgive my offences, as thou hast promised that thou wilt do to those who call upon thee in sincerity.
(Ps. 143:8.)—Grant that I may hear thy voice in the morning since I have hoped in thee. Show me the way in which I should walk, since I have lifted up my soul unto thee. Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord, I have fled unto thee. Teach me to do thy will, for thou art my God. Let thy good Spirit conduct me to the land of uprightness.
--John Calvin (1509-1564)
Filed under: * General Interest
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