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

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 - 5 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.;

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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

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.

Read it all

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

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.
....
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.

Read it all

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.
....
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.”
....
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.

Read it all

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.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Nigeria

August 27, 2015 at 7:24 am - 0 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.

Read it all.

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.

Read it all

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]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Lord, renew our spirits and draw our hearts to thyself, that our work may not be to us a burden but a delight; and give us such a mighty love to thee, who thyself didst work as a craftsman in wood, as may sweeten all our obedience. O let us not serve thee in a spirit of bondage, as slaves, but with cheerfulness and willingness, cooperating with thee in thy work of creation; for the glory of thy holy name.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

August 26, 2015 at 5:25 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, "Ask what I shall give you." And Solomon said, "Thou hast shown great and steadfast love to thy servant David my father, because he walked before thee in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward thee; and thou hast kept for him this great and steadfast love, and hast given him a son to sit on his throne this day. And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people whom thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered or counted for multitude. Give thy servant therefore an understanding mind to govern thy people, that I may discern between good and evil; for who is able to govern this thy great people?" It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this.

--1 Kings 3:5-10

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

August 26, 2015 at 5:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

August 25, 2015 at 6:19 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves


Filed under: * Culture-WatchMusic

August 25, 2015 at 12:48 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

..For the most part, segments of our life - often entire chunks of it - aren't going well and much of it we don't live well. Given that joy attaches to life going well and being led well, must joy be lost to us? It need not be. We can rejoice over the many small goods we experience, and for those of us who are religious, we can find joy in the One Good that is both the source and the goal of our existence.

Though fragmentary, all small joys celebrate goods in our lives that are and remain wonderful, at times no more than tender plants in the cracks of our otherwise heavily cemented and gray lives. And in all true joys we yearn for, and perhaps also faintly experience, a world in which all things and all manner of things shall be well.

Read it all

Filed under: * Religion News & Commentary

August 25, 2015 at 9:58 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Lincoln Six-Echo (played by Ewan McGregor) is a resident of a seemingly Utopian but totally enclosed, underground facility in the year 2019. Like all of the inhabitants of this carefully controlled environment, Lincoln hopes to be chosen to go to the "The Island" -- a paradise that is reportedly the only uncontaminated spot on the surface of the planet. But Lincoln soon discovers that everything about his existence is a lie. The earth's surface is not contaminated. It is, in fact, very much like the earth we know. He and all of the other inhabitants of the underground facility are actually human clones, being raised as "insurance policies" to provide organs and body parts for transplants to prolong the lives of their look-alikes on the surface--people who have no idea that the "tissue" and organs they receive are harvested from the clones. Those inhabitants of the facility chosen by "the lottery" to go to the Island are actually selected to be killed when their organs are needed.

Lincoln makes a daring escape with a beautiful fellow resident named Jordan Two-Delta (played by Scarlett Johansson). Relentlessly pursued by the forces of the sinister institute that once housed them, Lincoln and Jordan engage in a race for their lives to literally meet their makers and to let them know that their "insurance policies" are actually human beings who are being killed for their organs and body parts.

What compelled my attention was the similarity between this work of science fiction and the recent revelations of Planned Parenthood's involvement in harvesting fetal organs and body parts. As in The Island, Planned Parenthood perpetuates the myth that those from whom the tissue and organs are harvested aren't actual human beings.

Read it all [warning: graphic]

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildren

August 25, 2015 at 8:49 am - 4 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Six people protesting against the mandatory detention of asylum seeker children have been arrested for staging a sit-in at a Tasmanian senator's office.

The protesters, from Christian group Love Makes A Way, had been holding prayer vigils at Senator David Bushby's office since just after midday.

They called on the senator to withdraw his support for the mandatory detention of children and refused to leave when his office closed at 5:00pm.

They were then arrested and charged with trespass before being granted bail.

Among the protesters were leaders from Anglican, Baptist and Uniting Churches and the Salvation Army.
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In a statement released prior to the protest said the protesters included Reverend Richard Humphrey, who is Dean of St David's Anglican Cathedral, David Reeve, who is chairperson of Presbytery of Tasmania, Uniting Church, and Captain Craig Farrell, who is territorial youth secretary of The Salvation Army Southern Territory.

Last year, the group staged similar protests in Launceston and Perth, Western Australia, when they staged sit-ins at the offices of Andrew Nikolic and Julie Bishop respectively.

The eight ministers involved in the Perth sit-in were charged with trespass and given spent sentences.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia

August 25, 2015 at 8:03 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Maori Anglican Church leaders launched into a "spontaneous" and "thunderous" haka after voting to support the current New Zealand flag.

About 160 people met at the church's synod in Wellington this month, where the possibility of changing the flag was raised and discussed.

Options for a new flag have recently been narrowed down to a long list of 40 designs.
.......
...the church unanimously voted to support keeping the current flag, arguing it best reflected the country's journey and sense of history.

Wellington Bishop Muru Walters said that after the vote all delegates stood up and sung the national anthem before performing the haka.

"It was spontaneous and it was really thunderous. There was a passion for what was being passed."

The former Maori All Black said that he had never seen such a haka at a gathering of the governing council.

The reason the church voted against a flag change was about tradition, Muru said.

"Why change the flag after all these years? It has been part of our journey and our history and our understanding of ourselves. It's a huge change and an unnecessary one.

"When you watch the haka there are some who think it is outdated and England is trying to make the All Blacks get rid of it, but it is what the All Blacks have done for years. It's a tradition we need to keep."

If the country was going to fight to keep the haka, then keeping the flag was part of that struggle, he said.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia

August 25, 2015 at 7:55 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Religious freedom in America is under threat, and the battle is already in progress. For the most part, the burden of the struggle has been borne by Christians. America’s Jews, living safely behind the front lines, have paid little heed. But that safety is likely to be ephemeral. If freedom falls for those now fighting for their religious rights, it can fall for all, prominently including a community characterized by its attachment to an ancient and traditional moral code and defining ritual practices.

The threat emanates from a classic question: what is the proper relationship between church and state? The tension is as old as recorded history. It appears in the Epic of Gilgamesh and throughout Greek mythology. Some societies, from the pharaohs of ancient Egypt to Japan’s chrysanthemum throne, imbued their rulers with divinity. In Christendom, western kings answered to the pope while eastern churches supported the emperor. In Islam, the caliph held titles of both temporal and spiritual authority. England maintains an established church still today, while France severed its formal ties to Catholicism more than a century ago. In Jewish tradition, the Second Temple period was replete with conflicts between royals and priests—hence the rabbinic reluctance to embrace the Hasmoneans, priestly usurpers to the throne whose victories are celebrated annually by today’s Jews at Ḥanukkah. In modern-day Israel, selected areas of civil governance have been relegated entirely to religious authorities.

The U.S. Constitution, steeped in classical liberalism, attempted a novel—and ingenious—resolution. It combined the absence of an official, “established” religion with the individual’s freedom to choose and follow his faith.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchEducationHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsSecularism

August 25, 2015 at 6:15 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who didst call thy servant Louis of France to an earthly throne that he might advance thy heavenly kingdom, and didst give him zeal for thy Church and love for thy people: Mercifully grant that we who commemorate him this day may be fruitful in good works, and attain to the glorious crown of thy saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryEuropeFrance

August 25, 2015 at 6:00 am - 4 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O holy and ever-blessed Jesus, who being the eternal Son of God and most high in the glory of the Father, didst vouchsafe in love for us sinners to be born of a pure virgin, and didst humble thyself unto death, even the death of the cross : Deepen within us, we beseech thee, a due sense of thy infinite love; that adoring and believing in thee as our Lord and Saviour, we may trust in thy infinite merits, imitate thy holy example, obey thy commands, and finally enjoy thy promises; who with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest, one God, world without end.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

August 25, 2015 at 5:30 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When David’s time to die drew near, he charged Solomon his son, saying, “I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man, and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his ordinances, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn; that the Lord may establish his word which he spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons take heed to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail you a man on the throne of Israel.’

--1 Kings 2:1-4

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

August 25, 2015 at 5:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, has announced he has chosen the Rev Michael Stead to be the next Bishop of South Sydney.

He will replace Bishop Robert Forsyth, who retires in December after 15 years in the position.

Dr Stead holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of New South Wales, is an honours graduate of Moore College with a Bachelor of Divinity and a Diploma of Ministry, and was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy by the University of Gloucestershire in 2007. He is a part-time lecturer in Old Testament at Moore Theological College.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia

August 24, 2015 at 1:44 pm - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) militants have destroyed a historic monastery seized in their latest advance across central Syria.

Photographs appeared online of fighters from Isil with bulldozers at the Mar Elian monastery in Al-Qaryatain, in Homs province.

The monitoring group Syrian Observatory of Human Rights said the Catholic monastery was then destroyed "on the pretext that it was used for worshipping others than God".
.....
Isil took Al-Qaryatain and the monastery on August 5, kidnapping an estimated 230 people, including Christians. Some of the older captives have been released, but at least 100 people have been taken as hostages to the de facto Isil capital of Raqqa further to the north.

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Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsTerrorism

August 24, 2015 at 12:53 pm - 4 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Islamic State militants on Sunday blew up the temple of Baal Shamin, one of the most important sites in Syria's ancient city of Palmyra, said Maamoun Abdul Karim, the country's antiquities chief.

The temple bombing would be the first time the insurgents, who control swathes of Syria and Iraq and captured Palmyra in May, damaged monumental Roman-era ruins.

"We have said repeatedly the next phase would be one of terrorizing people and when they have time they will begin destroying temples," Abdul Karim told Reuters.

"I am seeing Palmyra being destroyed in front of my eyes," he added. "God help us in the days to come."

A week ago, the militants beheaded Khaled Asaad, an 82-year-old scholar who worked for more than 50 years as head of antiquities in Palmyra, after detaining and interrogating him for over a month.

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Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsTerrorism

August 24, 2015 at 12:37 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

French President Francois Hollande on Monday awarded France's highest honor, the Legion d'honneur, to three U.S. citizens and a Briton who helped disarm a machine gun-toting suspected Islamist militant on a train last week.

"Faced with the evil called terrorism there is a good, that's humanity. You are the incarnation of that," Hollande told the four men.

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Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsTerrorism

August 24, 2015 at 12:24 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Stone was cut by the attacker behind his neck, and his thumb was nearly sliced off as the man was wrestled to the ground by the Americans. Sadler said: "The gunman pulls out a box cutter and slices Spencer a few times." He added that the attacker "never said a word."

To Americans who remember Sept. 11, 2001, this kind of response — even down to the “let’s go” — echoes the story of Todd Beamer and the passengers of Flight 93. It’s the right response, of course, to terrorists who threaten innocents.

As Brad Todd wrote days after 9/11, it was the response of ordinary Americans on this flight that meant a repeat of the attacks was much less likely: “Just 109 minutes after a new form of terrorism — the most deadly yet invented — came into use, it was rendered, if not obsolete, at least decidedly less effective. ... United Flight 93 did not hit a building. It did not kill anyone on the ground. ... Why? Because it had informed Americans on board who'd had 109 minutes to come up with a counteraction. And the next time a hijacker full of hate pulls the same stunt with a single knife, he'll get the same treatment and meet the same result as those on United Flight 93. Dead, yes. Murderous, yes. But successful? No.”

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Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.EuropeFrance* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

August 24, 2015 at 10:50 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the annals of African-American history, and specifically of historically black colleges and universities, there is indeed a proper noun known as the Morehouse Man. These men have included not only Dr. Thurman and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but also Julian Bond, who died on Aug. 15; the director Spike Lee; the civil rights lawyer James Madison Nabrit Jr.; and innumerable politicians, scholars, scientists, ministers and executives.

With the fall of legal segregation and the emerging ethos of diversity, however, Morehouse has faced the challenge of supplying meaning and purpose to young black men who can choose any college in the country. The Parents’ Parting Ceremony, created in 1996, has answered the need with a mix of African music and dance, black Christian preaching and specific homage to Dr. Thurman’s liberation theology.

The elements add up to what the Rev. Dr. Peter G. Heltzel, a professor at New York Theological Seminary, has called “the Morehouse Gospel” — a belief system, as he put it in a recent essay, “characterized by a prophetic-mystical vision, a focus on racial justice and a commitment to nonviolent love.”

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyRace/Race RelationsReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Theology

August 24, 2015 at 6:45 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almighty and everlasting God, who didst give to thine apostle Bartholomew grace truly to believe and to preach thy Word: Grant that thy Church may love what he believed and preach what he taught; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God for ever and ever.

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

August 24, 2015 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

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