Posted by The_Elves

An open letter to Bishop Jonathan Baker from a concerned Anglo-Catholic priest.

20 October 2014
Dear Bishop Jonathan,

The Roman Catholic Church has, at its recent Extraordinary Synod on the Family, shown its determination to uphold its traditional understanding of the sanctity of marriage. In the light of recent events it is far from clear where the leadership of Forward in Faith stands on this key matter of Christian faith and practice.

With the proposals for provision for those unable to receive the ministry of women bishops, Anglican Catholics have, it seems, a chance to remain in the Church of England with integrity. But Catholic integrity is not separable from Catholic moral teaching and discipline, and the question of the viability of a continued Catholic presence within the Church of England affiliated to Forward in Faith and the College of Bishops of The Society under the patronage of St Wilfrid and St Hilda is now very acute.

I am deeply disappointed that, as Acting Editor of Forward in Faith’s journal New Directions, you have not allowed me to respond, in time for next month’s National Assembly, to Canon Nicholas Turner’s criticisms of my article ‘Stewards of Mysteries’ in his ‘Pro-gay and Pro-matrimony’ (New Directions June). This was subtitled ‘Nicholas Turner was disturbed by Stephen Keeble’s article and continues to support the Bishops of The Society’. A right of reply is a recognised courtesy. As you know, the text of a response to Nicholas Turner had, after some discussion, been agreed for the July issue between myself and the then Editor Fr Philip Corbett. I was both surprised and puzzled when, without explanation, this did not appear.

Moreover, in July, when the General Synod was passing the legislation introducing women bishops, photographs of Forward in Faith’s Vice-Chairman Dr Lindsay Newcombe at this year’s LGBT ‘Pride’ festival in London, sporting a ‘Pride’ sticker, were circulating on the internet with predictably adverse reactions from orthodox Anglicans around the world. This, together with Nicholas Turner’s apparent free rein in New Directions and your unexplained endorsement of the Pilling Report – albeit not in your capacity as Chairman of Forward in Faith – appears to have given rise to the opening words of Forward in Faith, North America’s statement of 18 July: ‘In the light of recent events in the Church of England and reports regarding Forward in Faith (UK) …’.
.......................
Forward in Faith, North America, however, maintains an intelligible, biblical and Catholic position:

Under the authority of holy scripture and tradition of the church, we affirm that sexual activity can only properly take place within the context of holy matrimony between a man and woman. We affirm that any other type of sexual relationship is sinful regardless of context or degree of fidelity, and that the church cannot bless any type of sexual relationship outside of holy matrimony between a man and woman.

I have twice asked you to publish unabridged in New Directions the important statement from Forward in Faith, North America. It comes from faithful Anglo-Catholics who have been willing to suffer for their faith – to the extent of exclusion from their former churches in the United States and Canada. My requests to make the statement available to New Directions readers have been ignored even though the stance of our sister organisation is fully in accord with the Agreed Statement on Communion of 1994, which has a key constitutional role in defining the Objects of Forward in Faith (UK).

The Preamble of the Agreed Statement on Communion says:

We want a Catholic understanding of faith and morals, and the practice of Catholic sacramental discipline to flourish in our Church, for we are convinced that they are essential features in the presentation of the gospel to our nation. Remove these elements and our Church’s witness will be greatly impoverished and weakened.

These elements, following the eclipse of classical Anglican theology which sustained them, are disappearing in the Church of England. But it is the duty of orthodox Anglo-Catholics, and a constitutional duty of the leadership of Forward in Faith, to maintain their combined sanctifying grace. Without both, the substantive legacy of the Oxford Movement in the Church of England will be gone. Would readers of New Directions be allowed to notice?

Read it all and for the background to this see here and here

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

October 22, 2014 at 8:45 pm - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

He says his four suitemates, hailing from Connecticut, Hawaii and spots in between, have helped him adjust to Boston life. But he is still trying to figure out an American culture that is more frenetic and obstreperous than in his homeland.

“People work hard for everything,” he said. “They do things fast, and they move fast. They tell you the truth; they tell you their experiences and their reservations. In Rwanda, we have a different way of talking to adults. We don’t shout. We don’t be rowdy. But here, you think independently.”

Born in rural eastern Rwanda, Mr. Uwayesu was only 3 when his parents, both illiterate farmers, died in a politically driven slaughter that killed some 800,000 people in 100 days. Red Cross workers rescued him with a brother and two sisters — four other children survived elsewhere — and cared for them until 1998, when the growing tide of parentless children forced workers to return them to their village.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationPovertyYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAfricaRwandaAmerica/U.S.A.

October 24, 2014 at 4:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God our Father, let us find grace in thy sight so as to have grace to serve thee acceptably with reverence and godly fear; and further grace not to receive thy grace in vain, nor to neglect it and fall from it, but to stir it up and grow in it, and to persevere in it unto the end of our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

October 24, 2014 at 4:21 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Now as they went on their way, he entered a village; and a woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she went to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her.”

--Luke 10:38-42

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

October 24, 2014 at 4:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

October 23, 2014 at 5:20 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bogus classes and automatic A's and B's are at the heart of a cheating scandal at the University of North Carolina that lasted nearly two decades, encompassing about 3,100 students — nearly half of them athletes.

At least nine university employees were fired or under disciplinary review, and the question now becomes what, if anything, the NCAA will do next. Penalties could range from fewer scholarships to vacated wins.

Most of the athletes were football players or members of the school's cherished basketball program, which won three of its five national titles during the scandal (1993, 2005, 2009).

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationSportsYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

October 23, 2014 at 5:00 pm - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

October 23, 2014 at 4:25 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Episcopal Church in Connecticut (ECCT) sold its property at 35 Harris Road, Avon, former home to Christ Episcopal Church, to the Farmington Valley American Muslim Center, Inc. (FVAMC).

The sale, for $1.1 million, was completed on October 21, 2014.

The building was vacated after the congregation voted in 2012 to dissolve as a parish and close by the end of that year.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship

October 23, 2014 at 11:26 am - 3 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Perched on a hill overlooking the countryside, a little historic church is going green in a unique way.

The cemetery at St. James Anglican Church is poised to offer green burials in the community thanks to the efforts of parishioner Gerald Beavan, 78. Mr. Beavan, who came to Canada from England in 1974, said his grandparents were buried in simple pine boxes without all the additions of modern funerals. He wants to offer that simple, environmentally friendly type of burial to a community he has called home since 1978. He came up with the idea to create a place in the church’s cemetery for green burials about five years ago, he said.

“The idea is you go back to the old way of burial,” said Mr. Beavan.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEnergy, Natural Resources* International News & CommentaryCanada

October 23, 2014 at 11:01 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Awaiting the results of litigation–
Jeremiah 39:3 Amp
[When Jerusalem was taken] all the princes of the king of Babylon came in and sat in the Middle Gate: Nergal-sharezer, Samgar-nebo, Sarsechim [the Rabsaris] a chief of the eunuchs, and Nergal-sharezer [II, the Rabmag] a chief of the magicians, with all the rest of the officials of the king of Babylon.

Nergal-sharezer–“prince of fire”

This is the only place in Holy Scripture that the ‘Middle Gate’ is mentioned. The names of the Jerusalem gates in Nehemiah are the valley gate, the gates of the fountain, the sheep gate, the fish gate, the old gate, the dung gate, the water gate, the horse gate, the east gate, the gate of Miphkad, the gate of Ephraim, and the prison gate.

O Father,
We pray that violence shall no more be heard in the Diocese of South Carolina, nor destruction within its borders. Help them to build walls of salvation and gates of praise.
Guard them from compromising Your Truth. No Middle Gate, Lord! Protect the Diocese of South Carolina from the “prince of fire.” Amen.
Isaiah 60:18

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for South Carolina here

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

October 23, 2014 at 9:15 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Canadian authorities identified the gunman in the deadly shooting Wednesday of a soldier guarding the National War Memorial in Ottawa as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Canadian born in 1982. Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau, who had a criminal record, recently converted to Islam, senior American law enforcement officials said. He was shot and killed in the attack.

The episode was the second deadly assault on a uniformed member of Canada’s armed forces in three days, and the latest in a growing list of attacks in the West against soldiers, and in some cases civilians, by individuals who have professed their affinity for radical Islam or sympathy to militant ideology.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

October 23, 2014 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Google just announced a new app called “Inbox” that has the potential to transform the way we email. But it also looks like it’s going to seriously annoy advertisers as a result.

One of the key features of the Google Now-like app is “Bundles.” Basically, Inbox automatically bundles together certain kinds of messages like bank statements and purchase receipts so it’s easy to scan through them quickly.

Another feature likely to catch the eye of advertisers is “Highlights” which helps you find key information like flight itineraries and event info, but it also pulls in information from the web that wasn’t in the original email like the real-time status of your flight.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetMediaScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyAnthropology

October 23, 2014 at 7:48 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby Head of the Anglican Communion and his spouse Mrs Welby, would pay a three- day visit to Ghana, spanning Wednesday, October 29 to Friday, October 31.

The visit would be his first to West Africa, since his enthronement as head of the church in 2012.

Archbishop Welby and his entourage would be met at Kotoka International Airport by Right Reverend Dr Daniel Sylvanus Mensah Torto, Anglican Bishop of Accra and Mr Jon Benjamin, British High Commissioner.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* International News & CommentaryAfricaGhana

October 23, 2014 at 7:19 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

China's newly announced switch to a two-child population control policy does not resolve the coercive nature of the program, pro-life leaders say.

The disclosure of the change came even as the communist government imposes the most severe oppression in four decades, according to a leading advocate for the Chinese church.

Christians face the "worst persecution in China since the Cultural Revolution," Bob Fu, president of ChinaAid, said in an article by Christian Today on Oct. 9.

That description is justified, Fu explained to BP in written comments in an email interview...[yesterday] (Oct. 22), due to "both the large scale and the severe degree of [the] violent crackdown" against not only the unregistered house churches but against the government-approved Three-Self Patriotic Movement congregations. About 300 churches have either been destroyed or had crosses forcibly removed recently in an ongoing campaign, and various believers have been arrested, Fu said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaChina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

October 23, 2014 at 7:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In 1999, after receiving allegations of sexual abuse by a priest in his province, Lord Hope, then Archbishop of York, wrote a letter of apology, aware that "this whole business will have caused you deep disquiet and distress and a considerable degree of sadness and pain."

The letter was sent not to the survivor, but to the abusive priest. On Wednesday, it was published as part of a strongly critical report on the Church's response to allegations of abuse against the priest, the former Dean of Manchester, the late Robert Waddington. It details how the failure to implement policies meant that victims were denied an opportunity to see their abuser brought to justice.

The report is the result of an inquiry commissioned last year by the present Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, after a joint investigation by The Times in London and The Australian newspaper in Sydney had revealed allegations against Waddington dating back decades.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Archbishop of York John Sentamu* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

October 23, 2014 at 6:15 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu has apologised to victims of sexual abuse by a former cathedral dean.

Dr Sentamu was responding to a report into how abuse allegations against the Very Rev Robert Waddington, formerly dean of Manchester, were handled.

His predecessor was criticised for not acting on allegations in the report, which found "systemic failures" within the Church of England.

At least two men made claims of abuse in 1999 and at sometime in 2003-04.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Archbishop of York John Sentamu* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

October 23, 2014 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Fellow Canadians, we’ve also been reminded today of the compassionate and courageous nature of so many Canadians like those private citizens and first responders who came to provide aid to Corporal Cirillo as he fought for his life, and of course the members of our security forces in the RCMP, the City of Ottawa Police and in Parliament who came quickly and at great risk to themselves to assist those of us who were close to the attack.

Fellow Canadians, in the days to come, we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had, but this week’s events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world.

We are also reminded that attacks on our security personnel and on our institutions of governance are by their very nature attacks on our country, on our values, on our society, on us Canadians as a free and democratic people who embrace human dignity for all. But let there be no misunderstanding: we will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryCanada

October 23, 2014 at 5:35 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The stone halls of Parliament Hill echoed with gunfire and were stained with blood Wednesday as a terrorist struck at the heart of the federal government after gunning down a sentry at the National War Memorial.

The gunman was shot and killed near the Library of Parliament, according to Ottawa police sources, by House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, a former RCMP officer and the man responsible for security on the Hill.

A witness said the gunman, carrying the rifle at his hip, walked deliberately up the west ramp of Centre Block and through the main doors of Parliament as bystanders cowered. It was just before 10 a.m.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryCanada

October 23, 2014 at 5:15 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Terror reached Canada this week when a “radicalized” convert to Islam on Monday ran down and killed a soldier with a car and a gunman yesterday invaded the capital. He murdered a soldier at a war memorial before entering Ottawa’s parliament building where he was shot to death.

Canada had until now dodged a terror attack even as Prime Minister Stephen Harper and others had warned that the nation, whether from Islamist extremists or lone wolves looking to settle some real or imagined grudge, was vulnerable.

“It’s hard to see how this won’t change things,” said Andrew MacDougall, a former director of communications for Harper who’s now a consultant in London at MSLGroup. “To see my former place of work lit up in a blaze of gunfire is shocking, disheartening and worrying.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

October 23, 2014 at 5:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Grant, we beseech thee, O God, that after the example of thy servant James the Just, brother of our Lord, thy Church may give itself continually to prayer and to the reconciliation of all who are at variance and enmity; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsSpirituality/Prayer* TheologyTheology: Scripture

October 23, 2014 at 4:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Eternal God, the fountain of all wisdom and the giver of all grace, who didst send thy Spirit to dwell with our fathers and to lead them into the way of truth: Grant to us that in all our difficulties and dangers we also may be enabled, by the light and power of the same Spirit, to know thy mind and to do thy will, for the glory of thy name and the benefit of thy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

October 23, 2014 at 4:20 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
so you will dwell in the land, and enjoy security.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.

--Psalm 37:3-5

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

October 23, 2014 at 4:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Awaiting the outcome of the South Carolina litigation–
Exodus 12:13 (KJV)
And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

Joshua 2:12, 13, 17, 18 (KJV)
Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father’s house, and give me a true token: And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death. . . . And the men said unto her, We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear. Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father’s household, home unto thee.

God of our Lord Jesus Christ, Father of glory,

We thank You for Your great plan of redemption and for the Blood of the Lamb that washed us clean from our sins. Thank You for the delight in drawing near and knowing You.

May the Diocese of South Carolina ever continue in Your presence that their spiritual understanding may open and unfold and that they will not fail to recognize the hope of Your calling, the riches of Your inheritance, and the greatness of Your power.
You raised Christ Jesus from the dead and set him at Your right hand in heaven, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, in every dimension and throughout time. You have put all things under his feet and made Him the head of the church.

By faith, Moses kept the passover and the sprinkling of the blood. By faith, Rahab delivered the spies and redeemed her family and their possessions with the scarlet cord. By faith, the people of the Diocese of South Carolina receive the Blood of the Lamb at the altar rail.

By faith, we apply the Blood of the Lamb over the doorposts and lintels, the windows in the wall, and every spiritual portal of this Diocese. By faith, we claim the Blood of the Lamb over her bishop, clergy, and laity.

The Blood of the Lamb says to the angel of death, You must pass over. The Blood of Jesus, our Mediator of a new covenant, speaks a better, nobler, and more gracious message than the blood of Abel, Mercy, not vengeance.

Speak, O precious Blood, speak. Speak the way, the truth, and the life for this Diocese. Speak that they may receive God’s kingdom, a kingdom that is firm and stable and cannot be shaken. Amen.

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for South Carolina here

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

October 22, 2014 at 8:43 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

With all Canadians my heart is very heavy with the news of the killing of a Canadian soldier, Corporal Nathan Cirillo, while on honour guard duty at the National War Memorial in Ottawa today.

This follows all too soon on the killing of another member of the Canadian Armed Forces in Quebec, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, just days ago.

I ask your prayers for these men, for their loved ones stricken with grief, and for the Canadian Armed Forces chaplains who are ministering to them.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryCanada

October 22, 2014 at 5:20 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Federal sources have identified the suspected shooter as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a man in his early 30s who was known to Canadian authorities.

Sources told The Globe and Mail that he was recently designated a “high-risk traveller” by the Canadian government and that his passport had been seized – the same circumstances surrounding the case of Martin Rouleau-Couture, the Quebecker who was shot Monday after running down two Canadian Forces soldiers with his car.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* International News & CommentaryCanada* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsJudaism

October 22, 2014 at 4:56 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Presented October 1 to the Episcopal Business Administrators Conference (EBAC) at the group’s annual gathering in New York, Bishop Sauls details the many ways that the Missionary Society can partner with and support mission and ministry at the local level.

“The fundamental mission of the church is to remember about God,” said Bishop Sauls, who serves as the Chief Operating Officer of The Episcopal Church. “That’s why the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society exists. To help you remind the church about God. That’s why we’re in business – to support the work you do.”

Read it all and note the link to the video presentation.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

October 22, 2014 at 4:06 pm - 4 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Beginning just over a century ago, all this changed. Catholics and Protestants alike have now embraced a new ecclesiology based on the consumer model. Adam Graber tells us that this huge shift was sparked by the invention of the automobile: “How Cars Created the Megachurch and put churchgoers in the driver’s seat.” As recently as the turn of the last century my great-grandparents, who lived in rural southeast Michigan, attended a Friends Church. Not because they were Quakers, but because it was near their farm and thus easily accessible. In their world, a megachurch would have been an impossibility. If you couldn’t walk or ride a horse or horse-drawn vehicle over unpaved country roads, you simply couldn’t get there at all.

Now virtually every family has at least one automobile, and this reality has transformed not only our cities, but also our churches. Here’s Graber:
Cars have made distance less of a factor in our lives. For this reason, church goers can choose from a marketplace of churches. But in order to decide, they have to narrow down the options, and when they do, they (naturally) consider their personal preferences first. They’ll try on different churches and see what “fits.”

Pastors, in reaction, are today forced to account for these new dynamics of affinity. Because church shoppers are exploring their options, area pastors often respond by targeting “felt needs.” For pastors, attracting and retaining church goers often means preaching on the topics people are looking for.
The most important consequence of this trend is that the gathered church—as distinct from the church as corpus Christi, which is all-encompassing—has been reduced to a mere voluntary association of like-minded individuals who can join and quit, or come and go at their discretion. The church, like any other commodity in the marketplace, exists only to serve the needs of its individual members.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureTravel* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

October 22, 2014 at 3:30 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Parliament Hill came under attack today after a man with a rifle shot a soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa, before seizing a car and driving to the doors of Parliament Hill's Centre Block nearby.

MPs and other witnesses reported several shots fired inside Parliament, and a gunman has been confirmed dead inside the building, shot by the House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms, according to MPs' eyewitness accounts.

The soldier's condition has not been confirmed.

MP John Williamson tweeted that the Conservative has been told "one CAF soldier was killed," adding "a moment of silence followed." CBC News has confirmed the soldier is a reservist from Hamilton

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* International News & CommentaryCanada

October 22, 2014 at 11:35 am - 3 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A week after a Washington rabbi was charged with videotaping women disrobing for ritual baths as they converted to Judaism, the national association of modern Orthodox rabbis said Monday that it would require the appointment of ombudswomen to handle any concerns from women about the conversion process.

The association, the Rabbinical Council of America, is eager to contain the damage from the arrest of Rabbi Barry Freundel, a prominent modern Orthodox rabbi who served on the council’s executive committee and, from 2006 to 2013, presided over its committee on conversions. Rabbi Freundel had been considered an advocate for women’s rights in Orthodox Judaism. The local United States attorney’s office has charged him with using a camera concealed in a clock radio to film women as they showered or changed for immersion in the ritual bath, called a mikvah.

The council said Monday that it would not only require the appointment of an ombudswoman for each regional tribunal of rabbis overseeing conversions, but would also name a commission, which would include women as members, to recommend ways to prevent conversion abuses.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMenReligion & CultureSexualityWomen* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsJudaism

October 22, 2014 at 11:08 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

If the true identity of Christ our Lord, his inner Person begotten of the Father, remains a mystery concealed from the world (John 14:22), something similar is also said rightly of those who put their hope in Christ, because they too are defined by their communion with the Father in Christ. They are known by God (John 10:14 ; 1 Corinthians 8:3 ; 13:12 ).

To be sure, the world is able to look at Christians and label them for social and demographic purposes (Acts 11:26), but it does not really know them.

“You died,” wrote Paul to the Colossians, “and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (3:3).

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical Seasons* TheologyTheology: Scripture

October 22, 2014 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Packer came from a lower middle-class background and a nominal Anglican family that went to St Catharine’s Church in Gloucester but never talked about the things of God or even prayed at meals. As a teenager Packer had read a couple of the new books coming out by C. S. Lewis (fellow and tutor in English literature at Oxford’s Magdalen College), including The Screwtape Letters (1942) and the three BBC talks turned pamphlets that would later become Mere Christianity (1942-44). During chess matches with a high school classmate—the son of a Unitarian minister—he had defended Christianity.

Packer thought of himself as a Christian. But the events of that evening would convince him otherwise.

On this cool autumn evening, he made his way west across Oxford, past Pembroke College, and into St Aldate’s Church, where the Christian Union occasionally held services. The lights in the building were dimmed so that the light emanating from the building would be no brighter than moonlight—a recent relaxation of England’s “blackout” regulations to avoid air-raid attacks in World War II.

He entered the doors of the church a dead man walking and was to leave later that night as a resurrected man, knowing himself to belong to Christ.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchEducationGlobalizationYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.CanadaEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* Theology

October 22, 2014 at 7:45 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

United Methodist Church leaders recently announced they are closing the Wilderness Retreat and Development Center, as well as three other camps the denomination operated in Missouri. Together, the camps served about 2,000 children this summer.

“I’ve wanted to get married at Wilderness since I was 11,” Dyer said. “I have a boyfriend I want to marry, and now they’re taking away my camp.”

The announcement by the church’s Camping and Retreat Board sparked an instant social media campaign — complete with hashtags, blogs, online petitions and more than 2,000 Facebook likes — in an effort to roll back the decision.

The discussion in the Kansas City area has been particularly lively because of its proximity to Wilderness, which hosted more than 600 children at summer camp this year, said D. Garrett Drake, a clergyman and conference staff member who advises the camping board.

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardshipYouth Ministry* Culture-WatchChildrenReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesMethodist

October 22, 2014 at 7:29 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Pope Francis will travel to Turkey next month, the Vatican said on Tuesday, his first visit to the predominantly Muslim country which has become a refuge for Christians fleeing persecution by Islamic State militants in neighboring Syria and in Iraq.

During his three-day visit, the pope will meet with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. He will also meet Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the Istanbul-based spiritual leader of the Orthodox churches that make up the second-largest Christian church family after Roman Catholicism.

"The Holy Father will visit Ankara and Istanbul from Nov. 28 to 30," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said in a statement.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryEuropeTurkey* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis Other FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* Theology

October 22, 2014 at 7:00 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Talk to Katie Meyler for 30 seconds and you understand why children love her. The 32-year-old from Bernardsville, New Jersey, is as effervescent as a shaken bottle of soda, with an infectious laugh and boundless energy.

Then consider where she works: Monrovia, the capital of Liberia and the capital of the Ebola epidemic devastating West Africa. For nine years, Katie has used her skills and passion to try to improve the lives of kids in this impoverished nation of 4 million people. Last year, she opened the More Than Me girls academy, the first tuition-free school in West Point, one of Monrovia’s poorest neighborhoods.

Ebola has forced the government to close the academy and all other schools to try to stop the epidemic. Undaunted, Meyler is now using her building and resources to help those children victimized twice by the disease, the children who are now orphans and outcasts within their own community.

Read it all and watch the whole video report.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicinePovertyWomenYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAfricaLiberia

October 22, 2014 at 6:29 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

October 22, 2014 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

God understands the problems cities face–that “the dying groan in the city, and the souls of the wounded cry out” (Job 24:12). And “by the blessing of the upright the city is exalted, but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked” (Prov. 11:11). “Woe to him who builds a town with bloodshed, who establishes a city by iniquity!” (Hab. 2:12). And the Lord sees and knows when promiscuous women standing “by the highest [most conspicuous] places of the city,” seek to lure foolish men to their destruction (Prov. 9:13-18).

Mentioned over seven hundred times in Scripture, the earthly city of Jerusalem, was given by God to His people Israel, as the seat of her kings and the centre of her worship. As such, its welfare is of special concern to Him. Jesus wept over the city, knowing the unbelief of the people, and of the judgment to come upon them (Matt. 23:37-39). It is still a troubled place, and we ought to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Ps. 122:6).

But, like Abraham of old, the saints today should be looking forward to dwelling in the city “whose builder and maker is God,” where the Lord is preparing a wonderful place for us to live with Him forever (Jn. 14:2-3). It is called, “[the heavenly] Mount Zion…the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb. 13:22), and “the holy city, New Jerusalem” (Rev. 21:2).

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryLiturgy, Music, Worship* TheologyEschatology

October 22, 2014 at 5:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Serum made from the blood of recovered Ebola patients could be available within weeks in Liberia, one of the countries worst hit by the virus, says the World Health Organization.

Speaking in Geneva, Dr Marie Paule Kieny said work was also advancing quickly to get drugs and a vaccine ready for January 2015.

The Ebola outbreak has already killed more than 4,500 people.

Most of the deaths have been in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & MedicineScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* International News & CommentaryAfricaGuineaLiberiaSierra Leone

October 22, 2014 at 4:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, fountain of love, pour thy love into our souls, that we may love those whom thou lovest with the love thou givest us, and think and speak of them tenderly, meekly, lovingly; and so loving our brethren and sisters for thy sake, may grow in thy love, and dwelling in love may dwell in thee; for Jesus Christ’s sake.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

October 22, 2014 at 4:20 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

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Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

October 22, 2014 at 4:01 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five from the Punjab province, was accused and convicted of “defiling the name of the Prophet Mohammed” in 2009 and sentenced to death. Bibi asserted after her death sentence in 2010 that the allegations against her were fabricated by a group of women who did not like her.

Two prominent politicians who called for her release were both murdered and another forced into hiding. Haroon Barkat Masih, director of the Masihi Foundation, stated that many interests are at stake behind Bibi’s case. Too many vested interests and too much pressure that, in the end, cover up the truth of the facts, he said in an interview with Fides News Agency.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaPakistan

October 21, 2014 at 5:49 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

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