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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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As the flooding progresses through our state we ask you to continue to keep those affected in your prayers. Two of our clergy are serving as chaplains on the front lines. The Rev. Donald Hayes, Vicar of Christ Church, Florence, is Chief Chaplain for the South Carolina Guard. He is overseeing 50 Chaplains deployed throughout our state. The Rev. Nathan Bistis, Associate Rector at St. Luke’s, Hilton Head, is serving as a Chaplain with the National Guard. Both are ministering to flood victims as well as to those involved in search and rescue efforts. While reports are still coming in about churches and individual parish families, we do know that Holy Cross, Stateburg and Holy Comforter, Sumter and St. Paul's, Conway appear to be among the most significantly impacted so far.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Pastoral Care Stewardship * General Interest Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc. Weather * South Carolina
The meeting, to be held in January 2016, would be an opportunity for Primates to discuss key issues face to face, including a review of the structures of the Anglican Communion and to decide together their approach to the next Lambeth Conference.
The agenda will be set by common agreement with all Primates encouraged to send in contributions. It is likely to include the issues of religiously-motivated violence, the protection of children and vulnerable adults, the environment and human sexuality.
Read it all.
Other posts on this subject - newest first:
+ (Get Religion) The Atlantic goes halfway in reporting on Anglican primates meeting (September 21, 2015)
+ Gavin Ashenden responds to the London Times Editorial on the Anglican Primates Meeting (September 21, 2015)
+ GAFCON Chairman’s September Pastoral Letter on Saint Matthew’s Day (September 21, 2015)
+ (Daily Nation) Kenyan Anglican Primate Downplays Split Call Ahead of Proposed 2016 Primates Meeting (September 20, 2015)
+ Archbishop Mouneer at All Souls Church in London (September 19, 2015)
+ Canon Phil Ashey: What Brings Us Together (September 18, 2015)
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.
+ GAFCON Chairman’s July - August Pastoral Letter (August 6, 2015)
+ CofE - Porter: Shared Conversations will lead to CofE Synod Same Sex Legislation Change in February 2017 (July 28, 2015)
+ TEC Same Sex Marriage Rites - [ACI] The New Episcopal Church: What Hath General Convention 2015 Wrought? (July 27, 2015)
+ TEC Conflicts - Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth: Judgment concludes trial-court phase (July 25, 2015)
+ TEC Conflicts - A S Haley: Final Judgment in Fort Worth Case (July 25, 2015)
+ 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)
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Global South Churches & Primates * Christian Life / Church Life Missions * Culture-Watch Globalization * International News & Commentary Africa Tunisia
I recently had the pleasure of hosting the Revd Ted Wood from ACNA at Holy Trinity, Woodburn, and welcomed the opportunity to fellowship with him and to listen to him preach at our morning service.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Anglican Provinces Church of Ireland Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Conflicts TEC Departing Parishes * South Carolina
He demonstrates inconsistency in that, as a cleric from another province (assuming from the address supplied), he is commenting negatively upon what he suggests is tantamount to a pattern of supposed incursion by another party into another province’s ministry, notwithstanding his having once been in this province. In my view, his actions capture what he criticises another for doing.
He also demonstrates ignorance in that the Diocese of South Carolina is not part of the Anglican Church in North America, as he states. In fact, were Mr Moreton to acquaint himself with the most basic of facts relating to the Diocese of South Carolina, he might understand that that diocese pre-existed the formation of The Episcopal Church (TEC) by a number of years, a point well made during the unsuccessful litigation brought against them by TEC.
Might it be argued, therefore, that the Diocese of South Carolina remains in fellowship with other Anglican Christians across the Communion, whilst not being part of The Episcopal Church – the latter being a later creation?
Read it all.
The manner of this event’s reporting on the Church of Ireland’s webpages might lead one to suppose that this was an entirely normal event. It was not.
Read it all.
THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT by the Church of Ireland was issued to the Gazette following our enquiry as to whether or not the Church of Ireland is in communion with ACNA:
“As a Province of the Anglican Communion, the Church of Ireland is in communion with the other Churches or Provinces in the Communion. There has not been a definitive position taken by the Church of Ireland in respect of any Church that has emerged from structural changes or divisions in another Church or Province in the Communion – as in the case of the Anglican Church in north America and The Episcopal Church.
“Following the Archbishop of Canterbury’s call for a gathering of Primates in January 2016, it seems likely that a period of discernment will ensue to determine the ways in which Churches within the Anglican Communion and other Churches in an Anglican tradition relate to one another and that this is likely to take considerable time.”
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Primates Anglican Provinces Church of Ireland * Theology Ecclesiology
In our post-Christian context, public life has become markedly more secular and private life infinitely more diverse. Yet many Christians still rely on cookie-cutter approaches to evangelism and apologetics. Most of these methods assume that people are open, interested and needy for spiritual insight when increasingly most people are not. Our urgent need, then, is the capacity to persuade―to make a convincing case for the gospel to people who are not interested in it. In his magnum opus, Os Guinness offers a comprehensive presentation of the art and power of creative persuasion. Christians have often relied on proclaiming and preaching, protesting and picketing. But we are strikingly weak in persuasion―the ability to talk to people who are closed to what we are saying. Actual persuasion requires more than a one-size-fits-all approach. Guinness notes, "Jesus never spoke to two people the same way, and neither should we." Following the tradition of Erasmus, Pascal, G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, Malcolm Muggeridge and Peter Berger, Guinness demonstrates how apologetic persuasion requires both the rational and the imaginative. Persuasion is subversive, turning the tables on listeners' assumptions to surprise them with signals of transcendence and the credibility of the gospel. This book is the fruit of forty years of thinking, honed in countless talks and discussions at many of the leading universities and intellectual centers of the world. Discover afresh the persuasive power of Christian witness from one of the leading apologists and thinkers of our era.
After a decade of repayments, Aguirre still diverts $512 a month to loans and owes $20,000.
The expense requires his family to rent an apartment in Campbell, Calif., because buying a home in a decent school district would cost too much. His daughter has excelled in high school, but Aguirre has urged her to attend community college to avoid the debt that ensnared him.
“I didn’t get the warmest reception on that,” he said. “But she understands the choice.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Children Education Marriage & Family Young Adults * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Housing/Real Estate Market Personal Finance * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
For the past few weeks I’ve been discussing this question with my high school theology class. Although most of my students have been brought up in the church, I know they’re going to face challenges to their faith when they go off to college. Many will hear jarring claims from classmates and professors about the “real” Jesus—claims contradictory to the church’s confession of Jesus as the risen Son of God.
So I want my students to be prepared. I want them to know these claims have been around for a long time, as have Christian responses. Despite what many critical scholars claim, there is no contradiction between the “Jesus of history” and the “Christ of faith.” In fact, studying Jesus as a historical figure can often strengthen faith. But that requires honestly engaging the critics and evaluating their claims.
Here I will briefly examine five popular alternative theories about Jesus, concluding with some general guidelines for how Christians can respond to them.
Read it all.
“In the same chapter of John’s Gospel, Jesus told his disciples that he had spoken these words so that his joy might be in them—in us—and that our joy may be full (John 15:11). This is an incredible promise and one that perhaps we do not appreciate, let alone assimilate, in our daily lives.
How is your joy? Is it real or feigned in the face of opposition to the gospel from your friends or family, workmates of fellow travellers?” the Archbishop said.
“The antagonism of the world to the Word of God is perhaps seen nowhere more acutely than in the virulent challenge to the definition of marriage which pervades conversations in the media, the workplace and even in our places of leisure.” Dr Davies said. “It is time that all Christians, especially Anglicans, should enter the discussion and graciously and sensitively explain the reasons why our good Creator has made marriage the way he has. We need to be courageous in our discussions both in private and in public, yet we also need to be sensitive and loving in our defence of biblical truth.”
Read it all and note the link to the full text of the Archbishop's address.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Australia * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Australia / NZ * Theology Anthropology Christology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Soteriology
No group has said it carried out the attack, but the government believes that two male suicide bombers caused the explosions, hitting a peace rally.
The official death toll is 97, but one of the main groups at the march put the number of dead at 128.
The funerals of more of the victims are taking place on Monday.
Read it all.
Everything from litter to unseen poisons are out there. As the waters creep back below rivers’ banks, residents and officials are starting to assess the damage and clean up the debris. Here’s at least part of what you could find....
Read it all from the local paper.
Take the time to read through it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Departing Parishes TEC Data TEC Parishes * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
My parents said they loved my sister and me very much, that this wasn’t our fault. Later, when I grilled them separately, asking why, they each told me they never gave enough time to their relationship, that it was always all about the family.
“So it is our fault,” I said.
“No, no,” they assured me. They loved my sister and me and loved being parents.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Children Law & Legal Issues Marriage & Family Psychology * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
Our staff and volunteers are safe, but we do worry about the implications if this violence does not end soon. We at Christ Church ask that you pray for the following:
* That God will pour out his peace and the bloodshed will come to an end.
* For God’s protection of human life - in every community.
* For the Palestinian press that has been inciting the public with wildly exaggerated reports and untruthful stories.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Violence * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Islam * Theology
Two girls between the ages of 13 and 17 carried out suicide bombings in the northern Cameroon village of Kangeleri near Mora town on Sunday, killing at least 9 and wounding 29 others, said Cameroon's Minister of Communications Issa Tchiroma Bakary.
The Cameroon explosions come after five coordinated suicide bombings in neighboring Chad on Saturday killed at least 36 people and wounded some 50 others in a village near Lake Chad that is home to thousands of Nigerians who have fled the extremists' violence. The government said a man, two women and two children carried out the attacks.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Defense, National Security, Military Terrorism * International News & Commentary Africa Cameroon Chad Nigeria * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Islam
Tapping into reserves set aside for bad loans has become a reliable source of income for the banks in the post-crisis environment, allowing them to offset the effects of weak demand and ultra-low interest rates. Regulators let lenders dip into reserves in this way if they can argue that an improving outlook makes losses less likely.
But the practice is expected to have a limited impact on the banks’ third-quarter profits, which begin to be presented this week, because reserves have been run down about as far as they can go.
While some banks with plump cushions of reserves could still make net reductions, others are at an “inflection point,” said Jennifer Thompson, an analyst at Portales Partners in New York. Lenders with big exposures to energy could see “dramatic” increases in reserves, she said, while related sectors such as materials, commodities and industrials also look vulnerable to rises.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Globalization History * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life Housing/Real Estate Market Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market Personal Finance The Banking System/Sector * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
In the past ten years, prices have soared by 80 per cent. The average cost of a funeral in the UK is now £8427.
Last year alone, the cost of dying rose seven times faster than the cost of living, and funeral services were the top transaction on credit cards in 2013.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals Stewardship * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Personal Finance * Theology Eschatology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
Kirsten Powers, USA Today columnist and contributor to Fox News, announced her decision on a live broadcast of “The Five.”
“Tomorrow night at 7 o’clock, I'm becoming Catholic!” she told viewers.
Powers, who grew up in the Episcopal Church, became an evangelical about 9 years ago, after attending Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York. Listening to Tim Keller preach opened the door for her to believe in God.
“I came to realize that even if Christianity wasn't the real thing, neither was atheism,” she wrote in a 2013 testimony for CT. “I began to read the Bible. My boyfriend would pray with me for God to reveal himself to me.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) * Culture-Watch Media Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Evangelicals Roman Catholic * Theology
However, because training is not as much of a priority within many settings, denominations also need to ensure appropriate incentives are provided for those who engage in training. In many cases, theological institutions across Australia provide vocational training in basic chaplaincy skills that may complement a more rigorous theological training - and the incentive of adding a Certificate IV or Diploma to one's resume may be attractive. But when such courses are not logistically possible due to time restraints or location, shorter programs like Mental Health First Aid can also be beneficial, as they can work with the schedule of pastors, while still providing some recognition for training undertaken.
Still, there is a long way to go. While mental health training is readily available, much needs to be done to address the unbalanced theological underpinnings within congregations that may shape unhelpful attitudes and responses to those with mental illness. What is needed is a well-rounded understanding that God works through both the spiritual and the medical and psychological.
Read it all from Greta Wells at ABC Australia.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Health & Medicine Psychology Mental Illness Religion & Culture * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Evangelicals * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
I am not denigrating visual arts in general. But this simple article about reading to children supports an ancient Protestant understanding about the power of the Word to capture our hearts with the truth in a way nothing else can. 2 Corinthians 3:18 and 4:6 says, remarkably, that right now by faith we can “behold the glory” of Christ. And this beholding is linked to the Spirit’s work in our hearts as the Word of God is read and heard (2 Corinthians 3:12-16).
For years I thought that God could be active in my life through the Spirit and that the Bible was a book I had to obey if God was going to come in. I now realize that Bible is the way that, through the Spirit, God is active in my life.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Parish Ministry Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch Books Religion & Culture * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
including a satellite building and a large courtyard. But this isn’t any kind of government, school or office building — it’s Raleigh’s Providence Baptist Church, one of many megachurches in the Triangle. Findings from the Hartford Institute for Religion Research show these churches attract younger participants to their congregations — more so than many other, smaller churches. That includes college students, who tend to drop out of church for at least part of their college careers, research says.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Young Adults * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Evangelicals
Church of Our Savior, a congregation affiliated with the Anglican Church in North America, will soon build a church in Jacksonville Beach, thanks to a settlement reached earlier this week with city officials.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Housing/Real Estate Market Politics in General City Government
The wedding of Tara Long, 26, from Kileely in Limerick, and Timmy Doona, from Killorglin in Kerry, who are both deaf, left the congregation in tears of joy in St John’s Cathedral in Limerick on Saturday last.
A video of part of the ceremony – where the bride surprised her husband-to-be with a special song performed in sign language – has been posted online by Tara’s brother and has now counted more than 6,000 views to date on YouTube.
Read it all and follow the link to the video.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet Globalization Marriage & Family * General Interest Photos/Photography * International News & Commentary England / UK --Ireland * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
The second challenge to overcome is inertia. A whole-of-community approach may require changes in how we work together, how we communicate, how we allocate finite resources - and change is rarely easy. Bureaucratic processes, political turf wars, over stretched personnel, and the time worn "that's not how we've done things in the past" can all contribute to a fairly difficult barrier of inertia. Asking the right questions and having a strong leader can ease some of these strains, but at the core of the implementation, things will have to change in order to address the challenges facing our communities.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Children Education Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary Australia / NZ * Religion News & Commentary Inter-Faith Relations Other Faiths Islam * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Alas, that is too often a true reflection of how many Episcopalians actually relate to Holy Scripture.
It is such a fabulous book, but we only experience it when we learn to be Scripture students and spiritually attentive Bible readers.
Consider the story of when Simon the Pharisee has the preacher over for dinner (Luke 7:36-50). As for many a good Episcopalian, having the rector over is a big deal for Simon. Etiquette must be properly followed. Invitations must be carefully issued. Everything must be done in correct Anglican fashion, decently and in order.
Then a woman from the wrong side of the tracks crashes the party....
Read it all from 2007 (brought to mind by the Bible readings this morning).
--The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: Services of Praise and Prayer for Occasional Use in Churches (New York: Oxford University Press, 1933), p.73
In fact, it was not until 1957 that Parliament first officially set the permanent date we now observe, with Prime Minister John Diefenbaker declaring it “A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed.”
Before that, the celebration was decidedly, in Hemingway’s words, “a movable feast.” Often wrongly disparaged as lacking the deep historical roots of American Thanksgiving, English Canada’s first celebration occurred 43 years before the Pilgrim Fathers touched American shores. It’s linked to 1578, when British North West Passage explorer Sir Martin Frobisher declared a day of thanksgiving for cross-Atlantic and Arctic tribulations survived. An Anglican service was held near Baffin Island by the Rev. Robert Wolfall, expedition chaplain.
Read it all.
A local heritage proponent and some former parishioners of the now-shuttered Brantford church are worried about the fate of the one-of-a-kind murals that have graced St. Jude's walls for 80 years.
"There is no protection" for the paintings despite a two-decade-old federal designation declaring the site as having national architectural significance, says Cindy MacDonald, chair of the city's heritage committee.
Multiple hand-painted murals depicting the life of Christ within St. Jude's on Peel Street were designated as significant in 1996 by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Art History Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK
Thursday was back to school for more than 60 children at Conway's St. Paul's Anglican Church Day School, but not everything was back to normal.
The floodwaters damaged the classrooms on the lower level of the historic Conway building.
It soaked carpets and damaged drywall.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Pastoral Care Stewardship * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * General Interest Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc. Weather * South Carolina
See what you make of it.
Yet the frequency and volume of the proclamations from these sources—and from those who share and retweet them—suggest that some Christians don’t understand the significance of right doctrine, or the gravity of heresy charges. Worse, these disputes lead some to believe that doctrine isn’t worth the effort, since it seems only to breed division rather than promote Christlikeness.
Given our volatile online atmosphere, Christians in general and evangelicals in particular need a clearer definition of heresy. We need to know how to spot the difference between essential truths of the Christian faith and doctrines over which we can disagree and still remain faithful to Christian teaching. Even with a good definition, doctrinal assessment requires wisdom and discernment. It often involves two different ends: first, avoiding overuse of the heresy charge, which strips the word of its usefulness; and second, correcting Christians with beliefs that are false and that can undermine the integrity of the church.
Read it all.
Read it all.
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