Posted by The_Elves

With thanks to Underground Pewster for suggesting this topic
Losing your religion? What resources may help renewal during spiritual slow downs and do you have any experience of using them?

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life

August 28, 2015 at 9:04 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

It is late Summer, the living is easy, and the Elves are feeling lazy. Can you help them out with ideas for an open thread or post? Have you seen something you would like to draw others attention to?
Do you have any suggestions?

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet

August 26, 2015 at 4:36 pm - 8 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From here:
The Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina; The Trustees of The Protestant Episcopal Church in South Carolina, a South Carolina Corporate Body; All Saints Protestant Episcopal Church, Inc.; Christ St. Paul's Episcopal Church; Christ the King, Waccamaw; Church of The Cross, Inc. And Church of the Cross Declaration of Trust; Church of The Holy Comforter; Church of the Redeemer; Holy Trinity Episcopal Church; Saint Luke's Church, Hilton Head; St. Matthews Church; St. Andrews Church-Mt. Pleasant Land Trust; St. Bartholomews Episcopal Church; St. David's Church; St. James' Church, James Island, S.C.; St. John's Episcopal Church of Florence, S.C.; St. Matthias Episcopal Church, Inc.; St. Paul's Episcopal Church of Bennettsville, Inc.;

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South CarolinaTEC ParishesTEC Polity & Canons* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryStewardshipSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* South Carolina* Theology

August 12, 2015 at 6:12 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Rev. Colin Coward, director of Changing Attitude reports on his conversations with David Porter - from 'A Conversation with Colin Coward 18th April 2015' at St Brides, Liverpool
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.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)

July 28, 2015 at 3:13 pm - 9 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

April 28, 2015 at 7:35 pm - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

This is a piece of driftwood that my family found on the beach in Cornwall where we used to go for our holidays. In our family, like every other family, sometimes we had rows and ructions with the kids as they were growing up. As a child growing up in Yorkshire, a word used in the playground was “Barlow”, said in order to take time out and call a truce.

So this is our family Barlow stick, and whenever there was a row in the family, someone would pick up the stick and say “Barlow” so we would all have to stop whatever we were doing and sit down and talk to each other.

In every house I’ve lived in, and I have moved quite a lot, our Barlow stick sits in front of the fire in the main room. The kids have all left home now and we haven’t had to use it for a long time but it serves as a reminder that you don’t always have to be locked or stuck in conflict. You can stop at any point and this free gift from the beach reminds us that you can live a life that’s marked by peace as long as there is some way you can stop, and that’s what our Barlow stick is for…

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life

August 29, 2015 at 7:16 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

..In a society which genuinely prizes freedom and equality, the chief principle of debate and argument must be persuasion rather than coercion. Just as I claim the right to put my point of view – respectfully and without interruption or abuse – so I must be willing to uphold the right of my opponent to the same courtesies. Shouting louder and hurling abuse is no substitute for careful argument and reasoned conclusions. Threatening those who disagree with you with legal or economic sanctions might eventually force them into silence but at what cost to democracy and free speech?

Across the world this debate has been accompanied by the application of a range of strategies to silence dissent. As one of the US Supreme Court justices remarked in the recent judgment on same-sex marriage, there is an emerging new orthodoxy which is relentless in its persecution of those who disagree. The idea of conscientious objection is dismissed with the cavalier suggestion that no one of good conscience or in their right mind could possibly object to what is being proposed.

So anti-discrimination legislation is applied – though only ever in one direction. No one complains when corporations declare they will only do business with those who support the gay agenda but there is a hue and cry when one of 10 bakers in a town refuses to bake a cake with a activist slogan on top. Worst of all, terms like "hateful", "intolerant", and "bigoted" are applied before an argument is even heard, and applied in the most aggressive, belligerent and intolerant manner. They are intended to shut down the argument before it even begins. Witness Q&A last week.

Is there a way of reframing the debate, even at this late stage, which abandons coercion for genuine persuasion? Is there any hope that those who dissent on this issue may freely continue to do so without fear of reprisal? Could we get to the point where we will do all in our power to protect the freedom of those with whom we disagree? Can we get beyond the slogans – and full marks to the person who came up with the slogan "marriage equality" – to a considered debate of the issues, the evidence and the consequences? This is the debate behind the debate and one which, for all our sakes, needs to come out into the open.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchMarriage & Family

August 29, 2015 at 7:11 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

..as part of a wider effort to reform a church led by an often corrupt and ignorant clergy, Cranmer had produced a book of twelve Homilies. Every parish in the land was required to own them, and every parish priest to preach them. The ninth of these homilies is entitled: An Exhortation Against The Fear Of Death. Cranmer outlines three reasons why men fear to die: a fear at losing worldly honours, a fear of the suffering and pain that attends dying, and the ‘chief cause’ of fear, namely, ‘the dread of the miserable state of damnation’. He then goes on,
“There is never a one of all these causes… that can make a true Christian man afraid to die, but plainly contrary, he conceives great and many causes undoubtedly grounded upon the infallible and everlasting truth of the Word of God, which moves him not only to put away the fear of bodily death, but also (for the manifold benefits and singular commodities which ensues to every faithful person by reason of the same) to wish, desire, and long heartily for it. For death shall be to him no death at all, but a very deliverance from death, from all pains, cares and sorrows, miseries, and wretchedness of this world, and the very entry into rest, and a beginning of everlasting joy… And we ought to believe that death being slain by Christ cannot keep any man that steadfastly trust in Christ under his perpetual tyranny and subjection…”
But there is a large difference between words written in the safety of an archbishop’s study, and words believed in the shadow of a looming stake! ...

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life

August 29, 2015 at 7:01 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Inklings lived in a society that became successively less Christian-a society that more and more resemble our own-but they offer some hope for us in our own fragmented culture.
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The Inklings were men who had seen the worst the world has to offer, but who wanted to offer, in contrast, something higher, a vision of a reality we only sometimes glimpse that is as real as any horror, and more eternal. Carol Zaleski summed up the great gift of The Inklings in this way:

We read, Lewis once said, because "we seek an enlargement of our being. We want to be more than ourselves. . . . . We want to see with other eyes, to imagine with other imaginations, to feel with other hearts, as well as with our own." All literature offers us this gift - it takes us out of ourselves - but mythopoeic literature has a particular power to make spiritual realities imaginatively plausible. That doesn't mean that religious people need or wish to live in a dream world, lulled by compensatory fantasies. Far from it! If the Inklings succeeded as writers it was because they wedded realism to hope and fantasy to reason.

The Inklings were involved in a great enterprise, and to a larger degree than they might have imagined possible, they created something lasting and important. As the book puts it, "their great hope was to restore Western culture to its religious roots, to unleash the powers of the imagination, to reenchant the world through Christian faith and pagan beauty." Because they worked largely in fantastic realms, in fantasy and science fiction and faerie, the Inklings were able to approach many real-world issues obliquely, without, as Lewis once put it, "waking the sleeping dragons of reason," to deal with faith, war, technology, and many other contemporary concerns. The Fellowship does an admirable job of capturing why the Inklings mattered--and of arguing for their ongoing relevance.

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life

August 29, 2015 at 6:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves


Filed under: * Culture-WatchMusic

August 28, 2015 at 9:24 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The love of God is revolutionary. It is not a careless, sentimental, “I love you.” The love of God transforms, it changes you completely! When Jesus died on the cross carrying our sins and our burdens, he literally took our hatred, our bitterness, our lies and our unforgiveness into the grave. When He rose on the third day, He left those unwanted commodities in the grave. He came out triumphant bursting out with love!. God is LOVE!

When you hate, you are walking back into the grave to take what Jesus has already deposited there. When you say you will not forgive, you are going back to the grave and taking something that is like contraband in heaven! You cannot take hatred or lies or unforgiveness to heaven. If it is useless to God and to you so why carry it around?

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeBiblical Commentary & Reflection

August 28, 2015 at 9:21 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Next year's census has a very subtle edit that may completely change the way Australia sees itself and have drastic consequences for the way government money is spent on welfare and education.

For the first time since the "no religion" option was introduced in 1991, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will place it first on a list of answers to the question "what is the person's religion", and move the "Catholic" option into second position.

As every politician knows, getting to top spot on the ballot paper has a big impact.

In the last census taken in 2011, 5.4 million people picked the "Catholic" box and a total of 13.1 million Australians (61.1 per cent) said their religion was some type of Christianity. Meanwhile 4.7 million (22.2 per cent) Australians picked "no religion", or wrote down agnosticism, atheism, humanism or rationalism. The "no religion" option was in a difficult-to-find location under the "other please specify" box.
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the ACL has previously reminded members about the importance of ticking the right box on the census form. Governments use the ABS data to "plan for services and infrastructure" and "we need to prove the size of the constituency who hold these values," the ACL told members in August 2011.

So is it possible Australia is no longer a Christian nation? When a similar change was introduced into the New Zealand census the country's Christians lost their position as the majority and the number of people recording no religion jumped from 35 per cent to 42 per cent.

And placing the 'no religion' box at the top of the list could swing the results significantly, according to associate professor Roger Wilkins at the University of Melbourne

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia

August 28, 2015 at 8:45 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Chinese security forces have launched a roundup of church activists who opposed a Communist party campaign to remove crosses.

“At least nine people I know have been taken away by the police and that figure is still rising,” a church leader in the eastern province of Zhejiang – the operation’s focus – told the Guardian on Thursday afternoon.

“We think it is a campaign targeting church leaders across the province. It can only be a co-ordinated action initiated by the provincial government.”

Among those understood to have been detained is Zhang Kai, a prominent Beijing human rights lawyer who had been offering legal support to a number of churches in the region.

Friction between the Communist party and the church has been building in in Zhejiang since late 2013 when authorities initiated a demolition campaign that they said targeted illegal buildings.

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Filed under: * International News & CommentaryAsiaChina

August 28, 2015 at 8:39 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

It wants videos with "reasonable messages, better messages" to drown out extremism, and is recruiting Muslims to make them. But will it work?
On a Thursday night late last fall, after leaving the Manhattan office where he works as a digital products specialist, Aman Ali -- a well-known comedian in American Muslim circles -- received an unusual email from YouTube.

“We need you,” read the note, which invited Ali to the company’s sprawling, 41,000-square-foot production facility in Los Angeles and promised a free flight and two nights in a hotel. “Muslim community leaders [are] struggling to have their voices heard against the overwhelming extremist and bigoted content currently surfacing the web.”

The words “Islamic State” appeared nowhere in the note asking Muslims like Ali to “change the discourse,” but the message was clear. The terrorist organization's vast media arm, with its slick recruitment videos, was winning the propaganda war. Muslims needed to figure out a way to fight back and “get your voices heard.”

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Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsTerrorism

August 28, 2015 at 8:07 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Aisha Yesufu is the chairwoman of the strategic committee of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign in Abuja.

"We keep on hoping that the girls will be found. We will keep up the fight, there will be no retreat, no surrender on the Chibok girls until each one of them is accounted for," she told DW.

Activists have organized numerous events this week to mark the 500 days of the disappearance of the more than 200 girls. They included Muslim and Christian prayer services, a tree planting ceremony and a march through Abuja.

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Filed under: * International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria

August 28, 2015 at 7:56 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

For years, the Rev. Philip Woo, the feisty leader of a small Protestant church here, has delighted in testing the limits of China’s restrictive laws on religion. From his perch in Hong Kong, he has delivered fiery sermons on human rights, led seminars on social problems for mainland students, and ordained pastors in the mainland without permission from the ruling Communist Party.

But Mr. Woo, a longtime Hong Kong resident, was startled when he was summoned across the border recently for a meeting with officials from the State Administration for Religious Affairs. Over tea, he said, the officials rattled off a list of laws they said he had violated, and they ordered him to stop...

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Filed under: * International News & CommentaryAsiaChina

August 28, 2015 at 7:45 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A new report suggesting that marriage is “alive and well” among the rich, but not the poor, is evidence that the “liberal elite” are hypocrites, a researcher said this week.

“It’s very striking that the liberal elite will happily tell everyone that it does not matter if you marry or not, yet nearly 90 per cent, even today, get married if they have children,” Harry Benson, research director at the Marriage Foundation, said on Tuesday.

“They talk a good liberal story, but act in very conservative ways for themselves. . . These modern-day Pharisees tell us how to live our lives, but live their own lives in a completely different way.”

The report from the Marriage Foundation, The Marriage Gap, looks at mothers with children under the age of five. In 2012, 87 per cent of mothers with an annual household income of above £45,000 were married.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSociology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPersonal Finance* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

August 28, 2015 at 7:31 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Iran appears to have built an extension to part of its Parchin military site since May, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said in a report on Thursday, as part of its inquiry into possible military dimensions of Tehran's past nuclear activity.

A resolution of the International Atomic Energy Agency's Parchin file, which includes a demand for fresh IAEA access to the site, is a symbolically important issue that could help make or break Tehran's July 14 nuclear deal with six world powers.

The confidential IAEA report, obtained by Reuters, said:

"Since (our) previous report (in May), at a particular location at the Parchin site, the agency has continued to observe, through satellite imagery, the presence of vehicles, equipment, and probable construction materials. In addition, a small extension to an existing building" appeared to have been built.

The changes were first observed last month, a senior diplomat familiar with the Iran file said.

The IAEA says any activities Iran has undertaken at Parchin since U.N. inspectors last visited in 2005 could jeopardize its ability to verify Western intelligence suggesting Tehran carried out tests there relevant to nuclear bomb detonations more than a decade ago. Iran has dismissed the intelligence as "fabricated".

Read it all and for the earlier Associated Press report see AP Exclusive: UN to let Iran inspect alleged nuke work site and follow up here

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIran

August 28, 2015 at 6:15 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Cardinal William Joseph Levada, once the highest-ranking American official at the Vatican, was arrested last Thursday in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, for drunken driving and is now set to respond to the charge in court next month.

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Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

August 28, 2015 at 6:10 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O, how wonderful is Thy goodness, for it is unlike all other good things. I desire to come to Thee; and all that I have need of on the way I desire from Thee, and chiefly that without which I can not come to Thee. If Thou forsake me, I perish; yet I know that Thou wilt not forsake me unless I forsake Thee; nor will I forsake Thee, for Thou art the highest good. There is none who rightly seeketh Thee that doth not find Thee. He alone seeketh Thee aright whom Thou teachest aright to seek Thee, and how he should seek Thee. O, good Father, free me entirely from the error in which I have hitherto wandered, and yet wander; and teach me the way in which no foe can encounter me before I come to Thee. If I love naught above Thee, I beseech Thee that I may find Thee; and if I desire any thing beyond measure and wrongly, deliver me from it. Make me worthy to behold Thee.
--Saint Augustine's Soliloquies, Book I

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Theology

August 28, 2015 at 6:00 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Lord God, who art the light of the minds that know thee, the life of the souls that love thee, and the strength of the hearts that serve thee: Help us, following the example of thy servant Augustine of Hippo, so to know thee that we may truly love thee, and so to love thee that we may fully serve thee, whom to serve is perfect freedom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* Theology

August 28, 2015 at 5:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Help us this day, O God, to serve thee devoutly, and the world busily. May we do our work wisely, give succour secretly, go to our meat appetitely, sit thereat discreetly, arise temperately, please our friend duly, go to our bed merrily, and sleep surely; for the joy of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

August 28, 2015 at 5:28 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved....Thou dost show me the path of life; in thy presence there is fulness of joy, in thy right hand are pleasures for evermore

Psalm 16:7-8;11

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

August 28, 2015 at 5:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Danish composer was inspired by watching the sun rise over the Aegean Sea. “My overture describes the movement of the sun through the heavens from morning to evening, but it is only called Helios and no explanation is necessary.”

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMusic

August 27, 2015 at 7:45 pm - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The British Library is to lend one of its greatest treasures, the world’s oldest bible, to the British Museum for an ambitious and groundbreaking exhibition exploring 1,200 years of Christian, Islamic and Jewish faith in Egypt after the pharaohs.

The Codex Sinaiticus is one of the most important books in the world and has only been lent once, in 1990 – also to the British Museum – when both collections shared the same building.

“It is quite phenomenal they they are able to lend it to us,” said Elisabeth O’Connell, assistant keeper in the British Museum’s department of ancient Egypt and Sudan. “We are absolutely thrilled.”


The codex dates back to the 4th century AD. Handwritten in Greek, not long after the reign of the Emperor Constantine the Great, it contains the earliest complete manuscript of the New Testament.

Read it all and there is more about the British Library New Testament here and the full reunited text can be seen here

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

August 27, 2015 at 6:46 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Father Abdel Massih Basit, pastor of the Church of the Virgin Mary in Mostorod, confirmed to Al-Monitor, “The terrorist operations did not affect the church festivities. On the contrary, the number of visitors was higher than any other year. Egyptians insist on pursuing their lives normally regardless of the intensification of terrorist incidents.”

Basit said he had expected the number of visitors to drop because of the hot weather, but he was wrong.

Asked about the security measures in the area around the church, Basit said that he is in constant contact with the security services and that there are always leaders from the Ministry of Interior in the church. “There is a security checkpoint in front of the church, and on Friday [Aug. 14], the celebrations were surrounded by major security measures, given the concurrence of the second anniversary of the raid on the two protests that were held in al-Nahda Square and Rabaa al-Adawiya Square,” he explained.

Basit said that the church relies on its own personnel to keep order inside the church and to inspect visitors at the electronic entrance gates.

He added that those most concerned with the safety of visitors during the Virgin Mary holiday are the area's Muslim residents, who financially benefit from the high turnout that brings business to local stores. Therefore, these people help security forces with the protection of the church. Security forces are deployed 24 hours a day during the festivities that last two weeks, said Basit.

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Filed under: * International News & CommentaryMiddle EastEgypt

August 27, 2015 at 12:55 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

This week, Archbishop Foley Beach, at the invitation of Patriarch Kirill of Russia, led a delegation from the Anglican Church in North America to Moscow for formal ecumenical meetings with the Russian Orthodox Church.

The delegation made a pilgrimage to the monastery of the Holy Trinity and St. Sergius on Monday, August 24th before beginning meetings with Metropolitan Hilarion, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations on Tuesday, August 25th. Later in the day, the conversations continued when the delegation was officially received by Patriarch Kirill at his residence.
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During the communist era, the Russian Orthodox Church suffered decades of severe persecution. This week the Anglican delegation saw a transformed religious landscape in which Christian symbols now dominate Red Square and Moscow, and new churches are being planted across the country (on average 1,000 per year for the last 27 years).

Both the Russian Orthodox Church and the Anglican Church in North America expressed a desire to see the growth and deepening of relationships between Orthodoxy and faithful, global Anglicanism. Archbishop Beach delivered a letter of greeting from Archbishop Wabukala, the Archbishop and Primate of Kenya, and Chairman of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GAFCON).

As the realignment of Anglicanism continues to unfold, Archbishop Beach gave thanks for the common ground that the faithful of both churches are finding on the practical moral issues that confront our societies:...

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Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesOrthodox Church

August 27, 2015 at 12:15 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

With thanks to commenter Knapsack for this:

My favorite childhood vacation was to Gettysburg. My dad was a Civil War buff, later a re-enactor, and it was the last trip we took my grandmother, his mother, with us. We visited family I’d never met before on the way there, I made a friend at the pool when we all went there evenings who was visiting from the strange and exotic land of New England, I ate shoo-fly pie. And from Jennie Wade to Armistead’s last ride, I learned something of the story and the sacrifice in why this place was meaningful and how all these monuments came to be there. I was barely Boy Scout age, burdened with three younger siblings and responsibility I barely fulfilled in watching out for them at Devil’s Den and on Little Round Top, but it became the beaux-ideal of what a real vacation feels like to me ever since. The summer of ‘73 gave me a taste of family and history and mystery that I first began to respond to in my own right, not simply as a child along for the ride.
What vacation experience gave you the model for what makes for getaway and renewal and enjoyment?

Filed under: * General Interest

August 27, 2015 at 7:29 am - 3 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

On 25 August 2015, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, met with members of the delegation of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), who had come to Russia on a pilgrimage visit. The meeting took place at the DECR premises.
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Metropolitan Hilarion told the guests about the activities of the Department for External Church Relations, paying special attention to inter-Christian contacts of the Russian Orthodox Church and her relationships with the Protestant world. As the DECR chairman noted, the process of liberalizing moral teaching is going in a number of Protestant Churches today. The Moscow Patriarchate breaks off communion with such Churches.

The participants in the meeting discussed the issues, pressing for the Anglican Communion today, including the issue of admitting women to ‘episcopal’ orders, which has become a topic of heated debate after the General Synod of the Church of England made the respective decision in 2014, as well as the problem, closely related to the previous one, of preserving the unity of the Anglican Communion, whose spiritual centre is the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The guests shared with Metropolitan Hilarion their vision of the abovementioned issues, reaffirming the ACNA’s commitment to the Gospel moral principles and doctrines, traditional for Anglicans.

The participants in the meeting expressed their satisfaction over the fruitful cooperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Anglican Church in North America in academic sphere.

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Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesOrthodox Church

August 27, 2015 at 7:26 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

On 25 August 2015, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with members of the delegation of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), who had come to Russia on pilgrimage, at the Patriarchal residence in St Daniel’s Monastery in Moscow.

The delegation included Archbishop Foley Beach, head of the Anglican Church in North America; Bishop Ray Sutton, chairman of ACNA’s Ecumenical Relations Committee; Bishops Kevin Allen and Keith Ackerman; and Rev. Canon Andrew Gross, head of ACNA’s Communications and Media Relations Service.
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Greeting the delegation of the Anglican Church in North America, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill noted the difficulty of the situation in which this denomination had been established six years ago. “At the time your Church was undergoing a very difficult period in her history, which required from believers fortitude and the ability to resist great temptations,” His Holiness said.

“It is my firm belief that in the course of her history, the Church faces challenges which she must overcome with all her courage,” he continued, “There are two models of behavior of the Church and Christians. The first one implies obedience to secular power and those mighty forces that influence the development of society. The second one implies the ability to tell the truth and show commitment to Christ’s glad tidings.”

As the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church noted, the second model always implies martyrdom. “There is nothing new in it. The Lord said that we should follow the narrow path leading to the Heavenly Kingdom. A wide and nice path will not lead us there,” he said, “Here, in Russia, we realized it in the hard times of persecutions of our Church. We also could choose one of the models of behavior, and I thank God for granting fortitude to our predecessors who followed the only right path and never fell away from the Apostolic faith and the Tradition we received through the Apostles and holy fathers.”

“For a moment it seemed that the Church had no future here, for the majority of people would not associate the future of our country with Christianity,” His Holiness Patriarch Kirill continued. “Yet, the Lord changed the course of history in several days, and those who had been regarded as outcasts and retrogrades, turned out to be heroes courageously defending their beliefs.”
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The participants in the meeting discussed the processes going on in the Anglican Communion in recent years, as well as prospects of Orthodox-Anglican dialogue. Archbishop Foley Beach told about a positive experience of bilateral dialogue between the Anglican Church in North America and the Orthodox Church in America.

Also discussed at the meeting were practical aspects of cooperation between the Anglican Church in North America and the Russian Orthodox Church.

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Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesOrthodox Church

August 27, 2015 at 7:25 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), the Most Rev’d Nicholas Okoh, has said that the continued stay of the Chibok girls in captivity has harmed the country.

He said, “The story of the Chibok girls is a bad story, bad story in the sense that the parents are not happy, the government is not happy and the public is baffled. From what the president is saying, you can sense that he is not happy about the inability of government to bring the girls back. But here we are, some have said that the Chibok girls have been married off, some said they have been distributed to various places, that they are not together as a group, or they have been used as suicide bombers. We don’t know exactly. It complicates the situation. We are hoping that the military will be able to do more. All those areas that they have captured and rescued people, where are the Chibok girls? We have not really solved the problem. We have not reached them”.

Appeal to government…

“We appeal to government to seek a more advanced way of doing it in terms of technology which can help us locate their whereabouts. As it is now, the soldiers have searched the Sambisa Forest and have not been able to see them. It will continue to be a festering sore in our lives if we are unable to find these girls. We plead with our government, the US, EU, UN and anybody who can help us to come out and help us find the girls”.

500 Days: It Is Sad That Abducted Girls’ Whereabouts Unknown – Hosea-Abana

In the words of the chairman, Chibok Community in Abuja, Tsambido Hosea-Abana, it is sad that abducted girls’ whereabouts are still unknown after 500 days.

He said, “We are feeling very bad. It is not only that the girls were abducted, the pitable thing is that we do not even know their whereabouts. We were accusing the past administration of not doing something visible. We were hoping that by now, we are under three months of the new administration, this administration would have established that these girls are in a particular place and they are working on ways to bring them out”.

The feelings of the Chibok girls…

We don’t know where they are, so we feel so sad. Even the parents at home, if you want to talk to them, some of them decide not to talk because of sadness and annoyance.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Nigeria

August 27, 2015 at 7:24 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

If we had glasses that we could wear that would allow us to see spiritual things, many of them would be very inspiring. Wouldn’t it thrill your heart to be able to see the ways that the Lord has gone before you and how He has provided a hedge of protection around you and your family? There is another dimension, too. It is the usually unseen realm of evil. If we had spiritual glasses that displayed those things, it would be sobering indeed.

When the King of Syria was making war against Israel, he sent a great army of horses and chariots against Elisha. His troops surrounded the city where the prophet was. The Prophet’s servant, seeing the surrounding enemy troops, was in despair and asked, “Alas, my master, what shall we do?” (2 Kings 6:15)

Elisha answered:

Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, and said, “Strike this people, I pray, with blindness.” And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.” (2 Kings 16:16-18)

In fact, the odds were not against the Prophet, Elisha, his servant, and the people of Israel. Though it certainly seemed so, it was not so. The forces of heaven far outweighed the approaching evil army. Though Elisha knew it, it was only when the servant’s eyes were opened that he was able to see it. Looking with temporal eyes he saw a hopeless situation. Looking with spiritual warfare eyes, we can see how God is in the midst of us, even when we are in trouble.

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

August 27, 2015 at 7:23 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The new rector looks forward to helping St. Paul’s, Summerville, press on toward a future that is “biblically-centered, Christ-centered and Holy Spirit driven.”

[Tripp] Jeffords has a passion for biblical discipleship.

“I want everything we do to be according to the Holy Scriptures and what they teach,” he said. “Scripture should be our guidebook for life; instruct the church and direct the faithful on how to live. I believe a lot of the troubles in the church have been because we haven’t been disciples of the scriptures and haven’t allowed them to direct our hearts and lives. When we do that, and listen to Jesus through the scriptures and through our prayer lives, everybody is blessed.”

Jeffords will be formally welcomed as rector during a Sept. 24 service of institution, officiated by the Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence, the 14th Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina.

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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & Family* South Carolina* TheologyChristologySoteriologyTheology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)Theology: Salvation (Soteriology)

August 27, 2015 at 7:22 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Next month a hilltop square in Rome is due to be named Piazza Martin Lutero, in memory of Luther’s achievements. The site chosen is the Oppian Hill, a park area that overlooks the Colosseum.

The move has been six years in a making, following a request made by the Seventh-day Adventists, a Protestant denomination, Italian daily La Repubblica said. The original plan was to inaugurate the square in time for the 500th anniversary of Luther’s historic trip to Rome in 2010. City officials were not able to discuss the process behind naming the square or the reason for the holdup.

Despite Luther being thrown out of the Catholic Church during his lifetime, the Vatican reacted positively to news of the square’s upcoming inauguration. “It’s a decision taken by Rome city hall which is favorable to Catholics in that it’s in line with the path of dialogue started with the ecumenical council,” said the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, deputy director of the Vatican press office, referring to a gathering of churchmen to rule on faith matters.

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Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

August 27, 2015 at 7:09 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O loving God, who willest that everyone should come to thee and be saved: We bless thy Holy Name for thy servants Thomas Gallaudet and Henry Winter Syle, whose labors with and for those who are deaf we commemorate today; and we pray that thou wouldst continually move thy Church to respond in love to the needs of all people; through Jesus Christ, who opened the ears of the deaf, and who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer

August 27, 2015 at 5:44 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, give me strength to live another day. Let me not turn coward before its difficulties or prove recreant to its duties. Let me not lose faith in my fellow men. Keep me sweet and sound of heart, in spite of ingratitude, treachery, or meanness. Preserve me from minding little stings or giving them. Help me to keep my heart clean, and to live so honestly and fearlessly that no outward failure can dishearten me or take away the joy of conscious integrity. Open wide the eyes of my soul that I may see good in all things. Grant me this day some new vision of thy truth, inspire me with the spirit of joy and gladness, and make me the cup of strength to suffering souls; in the name of the strong Deliverer, our only Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

August 27, 2015 at 5:19 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD, who addressed the words of this song to the LORD on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said: I love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

--Psalm 18:1-3

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

August 27, 2015 at 5:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

August 26, 2015 at 5:24 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

August 26, 2015 at 4:33 pm - 4 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon


"Yesterday, I spent an hour and half installing a new cat door so Philo the Cat could come and go as he pleases. This is his reaction."

Filed under: * General InterestAnimalsHumor / TriviaPhotos/Photography

August 26, 2015 at 7:50 am - 3 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

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