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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
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.
+ 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)
Tchakarmari, the village targeted early on Tuesday, lies north of Maroua, where dozens of people were killed in a series of suicide bombings by the Nigerian Islamist group last month.
"Residents said the attackers headed back to Nigeria where Cameroon is not allowed to pursue them," the local government source in the Far North region said.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Defense, National Security, Military Terrorism * International News & Commentary Africa Cameroon Nigeria * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Islam * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
During a hearing Wednesday conducted by the Senate Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) asked Koskinen whether the IRS would “not, in the absence of a directive by Congress or by the courts,” take action to remove religious schools’ tax exemption.
“I can make that commitment,” Koskinen said, explaining that “we see no basis for changing our examination criteria as a result of this Supreme Court case.”
Read it all from the Washington Post.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch History Law & Legal Issues Church/State Matters Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Taxes Politics in General * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
The leadership of the First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem voted on June 15 to enter the discernment process to leave Presbyterian Church (USA), or PC (USA), and seek affiliation with ECO: a Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians after spending years considering the move.
The 140-year-old church on Center Street in Bethlehem has 2,609 members and would be the largest congregation to leave the Lehigh Presbytery, the group of congregations covering seven counties in eastern Pennsylvania.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Presbyterian Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths) * Theology Anthropology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
In his book Your Brain at Work, author David Rock says that the average office worker is interrupted every three minutes, and recovering from this disconnect is costly. In fact, it takes us an average of 23 minutes to fully return to a task after an interruption. That said, discoveries in neuroscience also confirm what we’ve always known: our brains aren’t wired to concentrate intensely for eight hours straight. They get tired! Our minds work in cycles of activity and downtime designed to keep us alert and responsive to our surroundings. But harnessing those cycles to promote productivity proves challenging.
So how can we balance the onslaught of incoming information and the temptation to multitask with the reality of brain science? What can we do to maximize our productivity in the office?
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet --Social Networking Health & Medicine Psychology Science & Technology * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
“Our challenge,” Hartley said, “is to create a liturgical practice that honors and respects our LGBT brothers and sisters while not in any way alienating our brothers and sisters who are against same-sex marriage.”
“If that sounds difficult ... I mean, how do you do that? It sounds more impossible than it does difficult.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Parishes Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Pastoral Care * Culture-Watch Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
Workers are preparing to load another cargo ship of BMW vehicles, built at the German automaker's plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
While Michigan is still the heartbeat of America's auto industry, South Carolina is one of several southern states that have become a greater focal point for automakers scouting out locations for new plants.
"We really focus on foreign investment, on adding new jobs to our country [and] not just our state," South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley told CNBC.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch History Travel * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market Politics in General State Government * South Carolina
But not everyone at Gravity Payments agrees with his plans to share the wealth.
Two of his top employees quit in protest. His brother, a co-owner of Gravity Payments, filed suit. Other local companies complained that Price made them look stingy, according to The New York Times (NYT).
It’s as if Jesus’s parable about the workers in the vineyard—where latecomers got the same pay as those who worked all day—has come to life, the NYT points out.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Psychology * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market Politics in General * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
But now they have no building because the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno signed a deal in May to sell it for $15 million to a luxury housing developer. They feel betrayed, and they are fighting back.
In July church members filed a lengthy complaint, or presentment, against the bishop. It charges Bishop Bruno with 147 violations of church law, ranging from conduct unbecoming a bishop to reckless or intentional misrepresentation, under Title IV of church canons.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Parishes * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Housing/Real Estate Market * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
The epidemic, as Sam Quinones, an American journalist, outlines in “Dreamland”, a meticulously researched new book, has two root causes. One is a failure of regulation in the pharmaceutical industry; the other is retail innovation in the black market.
In 1995 Purdue Pharma, a drug company in Stamford, Connecticut, was given permission by the Food and Drug Administration to market a powerful new opioid called OxyContin for moderate pain. Doctors, wary about prescribing opioids because of their markedly addictive nature, had previously used it for severe pain only. Many patients duly became addicts and “pill mills”, pain clinics that handled millions of prescriptions, began to appear. But OxyContin and other strong opioid tablets were expensive and addicts began to turn to heroin, which was cheaper.
Where did the heroin come from? Much of the business belonged to the Xalisco Boys, a group of Mexicans from a small rural county in Nayarit state, who professionalised the business while semi-refining black-tar heroin in the early 1990s. They gave addicts phone numbers so that they could have heroin home-delivered, as if it were pizza.
Read it all.
First, the Resurrection of Christ attests to the Justice of God. God exalts those who humble themselves for his sake (see Luke 1.52). Christ has humbled himself on the Cross, out of love for God, and obedience to him; therefore, God has lifted him up to a glorious Resurrection.
Second, the Resurrection of Christ instructs us and confirms us in our faith. The Resurrection proves Christ's divinity (2 Corinthians 13.4) and it establishes the sure ground for our belief in him (1 Corinthians 15.14; Psalm 29.10).
Third, the Resurrection of Christ is the grounds for our hope, for where Christ our Head has gone, we too hope to follow (1 Corinthians 15.12; Job 19.25, 27.)
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Easter Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics * Theology Eschatology Theology: Scripture
This prayer creates in us an attitude of humility, helplessness, and dependency on God. We do not deserve to be here. We have no suitable garment of our own to wear to the feast. The contrast is repeatedly drawn between what we do not have and what God does, between what we are not and what God is: ‘not… trusting in our… but in thy… We are not… But thou art…’ Cranmer alludes to our Lord’s encounter with the Syro-Phoenician woman, who says, “Even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs” (Mark 7.28). This allusion is double-edged, for it expresses both great humility and great faith, as seen by our Lord’s commendation of the woman in the gospel accounts.
The Prayer of Humble Access has the same dynamic. It does not leave us in a state of hopelessness and despair. Although ‘we do not presume to come… trusting in our own righteousness’, God’s many, varied (‘manifold’) and great mercies combined with his unchanging essence (‘the same Lord’) mean that we do presume to come. Praying this prayer is an enactment of the gospel of God’s grace.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Liturgy, Music, Worship --Book of Common Prayer Spirituality/Prayer * Theology Anthropology Christology Sacramental Theology Eucharist Soteriology
Sing Hallelujah! is a video hymnal comprised of a five-volume DVD set. In each video, musicians perform well-known traditional and contemporary hymns while lyrics scroll in large letters along the bottom of the screen, allowing viewers to join in and sing along.
Ralph Milton, a retired former missionary and longtime member of First United Church in Kelowna, B.C., played the lead role in creating the video hymnal. Reflecting his ecumenical outlook, Sing Hallelujah! was designed for use by all denominations, though many selections are drawn from United Church hymn books.
“Having been a writer and penned more books than anybody would want to read, I did a lot of travelling around at one point to small, various congregations,” Milton said.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Music Religion & Culture Science & Technology * International News & Commentary Canada * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches * Theology
Earlier this week, the long-time Walmart employee celebrated his 103rd birthday with friends, family and coworkers at a party.
The Air Force and World War II veteran gave retirement a try during his 60's, but it didn't take long before he grew bored and opted to continue working, the centenarian told NBC's "Weekend TODAY" in a recent interview. After landing a job with Walmart back in 1983, he still works five day a week at a the location in his hometown of Winfield, Kansas.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Aging / the Elderly Military / Armed Forces * Economics, Politics Economy Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders which he has wrought.
He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children;
that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children,
so that they should set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments....
On Friday (31 July) a massive bomb exploded in the market in Maiduguri, north-eastern Nigeria – the traditional heartland of Boko Haram violence. At least six died, and 11 were injured.
The previous Saturday (25 July), 20 people were killed when a 12-year-old girl blew herself up in a crowded bar in Maroua, northern Cameroon. Seventy-nine others were injured.
However, on 2 August the Nigerian military said it had rescued 178 people – including 101 children and 67 women – taken captive by Boko Haram in the northern Nigerian state of Borno.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Defense, National Security, Military Politics in General Terrorism * International News & Commentary Africa Cameroon Nigeria * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Islam Muslim-Christian relations * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
It is easy to dismiss the Wells hecklers and Key as fundamentalist partisans whose messages appeal to a small number of like-minded followers. However, as my book Salvation with a Smile argues, their actions are part of a longer history of public castigation of popular preachers. And Molly Worthen’s insightful description of evangelicalism’s crisis of authority speaks powerfully to the rhetorical combat between Osteen and his critics, as does Todd Brenneman’s post for this blog.
Lakewood’s heckler episode this summer, while documenting one way to understand Osteen’s popularity, also prompts historical reflection about the summer of 2005 when Joel and his congregation moved into Houston’s Compaq Center, a sports-arena-turned-megachurch. The last decade encompassed Joel Osteen’s ascendancy to the peak of American evangelicalism.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Psychology Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Evangelicals * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Theology: Scripture
The Advocacy Board includes clergy from the United Church of Christ, Episcopal Church and American Baptist Churches as well as clergy from Reformed Jewish and Unitarian Universalist congregations.
Among the clergy listed are Episcopal Priest Susan Russell of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California, a prominent lesbian activist within the Episcopal Church who is listed as Vice Chair.
Read it all
Read it all
Read it all [note: distressing subject matter]
But this picture hides the highly profitable fertility industry’s dirty secrets. It ignores what is required to create these children: exploitation, health endangerment, and the commodification of human life. An honest look at the facts and circumstances surrounding third-party reproduction and ART should give any thinking person pause.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Children Health & Medicine Law & Legal Issues Life Ethics Marriage & Family Men Religion & Culture Science & Technology Women * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
Even with President Obama’s recent championing of “middle-class economics” and the Republican Party’s occasional concessions to belief in the social destructiveness of economic inequality, both parties cling to different branches of what Lasch called the ideology of progress, redistribution on the left and “a rising tide lifts all boats” on the right. By contrast, Lasch’s vision of the good life is truly radical yet profoundly conservative; it harkens back to traditions now largely dormant in American life where those who worked for a living wanted to build local communities, in the words of 19th-century labor leader Robert MacFarlane, based upon the now forgotten American ideal of “small but universal ownership” of property, which was the “true foundation of a stable and firm republic.” In other words, independence rooted in both liberty and equality.
This producerist ideology, according to Lasch, “deserves a more attentive hearing, on its own terms, than it has usually received.” It holds the answer to the questions critics like Charles Murray raise—and reveals that too many libertarians and conventional conservatives are confused apologists for a system that produces everything they despise: authoritarianism, centralization, and widespread dependence.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Books History Marriage & Family Sociology * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market Politics in General * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
The restrictions followed a ruling from India’s telecoms ministry ordering internet service providers, including international telecoms groups operating in the country such as the UK’s Vodafone, to block 857 such sites.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government provided no public justification for the unexpected ban when it came into effect at the weekend.
However, on Monday India’s telecoms ministry said that the order, issued under India’s Information Technology Act, had been prompted by comments made by a supreme court judge during a hearing in July.
Read it all (another link Read it all).
“I said we don’t do that, but we did offer him, and then carry out, a service,” Mr Newlands told the Lancaster Guardian. “He was originally baptised as a baby girl, and to him it was about God knowing him by name.”
Mr Newlands mobilised his Deanery and put a motion on the House of Bishops’ agenda for the General Synod of the Church of England: “That this Synod, recognising the need for transgender people to be welcomed and affirmed in their parish church, call on the House of Bishops to consider whether some nationally commended liturgical materials might be prepared to mark a person’s gender transition.”
That was earlier this year, but such services are already being performed.
Read it all from Christopher Howse at the Telegraph.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Pastoral Care * Culture-Watch Psychology Sexuality * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Sacramental Theology Baptism
In the fall of 2013, Ludeman, then 56, announced he would step down after 15 years as CEO of St. Louis–based Wells Fargo Advisors. In a subsequent interview with the local press, he mentioned that after leaving Wells, he wanted to spend 100% of his time “helping other people,” perhaps by running a nonprofit organization. As you might expect, his mailbox was flooded with offers. But one in particular caught his eye.
“I don’t know, there was something about the letter, the way it was written, and the case it made—it just called out to me,” he remembers.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Charities/Non-Profit Organizations Prison/Prison Ministry Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
The hardest moment during my tenure as Army chief of chaplains was receiving the news that one of our nation’s chaplains had been killed in action. Emails and phone calls began flooding in, attesting to the tremendous spiritual impact he’d had on members of the military and their families.
An airman reported that Chaplain Goetz had led him to a profession of faith. A couple said that his pastoral counseling had saved their marriage. Two young men entered the ministry as a result of his influence on their lives. A soldier who attended Chaplain Goetz’s last chapel service, inspired by his message that we should live with the same compassion we saw in Jesus Christ, said he had been moved to ask God’s forgiveness of those who were “setting the bombs on the road for us to die.”
Such influence on America’s military personnel has been a hallmark of the chaplain corps since the Revolutionary War.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch History Military / Armed Forces Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
First came the video showing a salad-nibbling, wine-sipping Planned Parenthood official explaining how “I’m going to basically crush below, I’m going to crush above” whatever organ (“heart, lung, liver”) is being harvested. Then the president of a Planned Parenthood chapter explained the happy side of harvesting: “For a lot of the women participating in the fetal tissue donation program, they’re having a procedure that may be a very difficult decision for them and this is a way for them to feel that something positive is coming from . . . a very difficult time.”
“Having a procedure” — stopping the beating of a human heart — can indeed be a difficult decision for the woman involved. But it never is difficult for Planned Parenthood’s abortionists administering the “procedure.” The abortion industry’s premise is: At no point in the gestation of a human infant does this living being have a trace of personhood that must be respected. Never does it have a moral standing superior to a tumor or a hamburger in the mother’s stomach.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Children Health & Medicine Law & Legal Issues Life Ethics Marriage & Family Science & Technology Sexuality * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
+ Services, Talks and Resources for August 2nd
+ God feeds us [John 6:1-21] - Bishop Abraham Nhial
+ Talk and Q&A with Bishop Abraham
+ Choral Evensong from Hereford Cathedral
1. As you know, calls for our Australian government to revisit the Marriage Act by granting full legal recognition to same-sex couples have intensified in recent months. Although our government has not signalled how decisions will be taken on this matter, changing public sentiment and international developments may set the conditions under which the Act is significantly revised.
2. Australian Christians have responded to this debate in a variety of ways. I note that some have attempted to mobilise their members to defend traditional values and prevent what is considered the redefinition of marriage, and some have advised they will stop performing all marriages. On the other hand, others believe that marriage should reflect equality for same-sex couples, and there are those who wait to have their relationships recognised in Christian communities. Most Christians I meet feel genuinely torn by the public debate and confused about what is an appropriate Christian response. Without exception, they desire to love and support their children and friends while being faithful to God and upholding the authority of Scripture.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Australia * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * Economics, Politics Politics in General * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
The Most Reverend Datuk Bolly Lapok, Anglican Province of South East Asia Archbishop, said at a time when the political situation in the country is tumultuous, the church needs to pray for the peace of the country.
“We want the journey of the church to be praying for the welfare of the nation and to be about what we as the church do at the national or international level,” he stressed during his keynote address at the Diocesan Missions and Evangelism Forum yesterday.
“All corners of the Diocese, from Brunei to Limbang to Kuching, have come together to focus on our mission together in evangelism and why the church is a church. A church is defined by mission – mission is not something that the church does, instead it is what the church exists for,” he said.
Read it all
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