Posted by Kendall Harmon

A 125-year old male tradition will be turned on its head when girls are given their own choir at St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral.

In what’s been described as a win for gender equity, girls will eventually perform Sunday and Evensong services that until now have been the exclusive domain of boys and men.

Anglican Dean of Melbourne Dr Andreas Loewe said the city icon wanted to give girls the same opportunity that boys have enjoyed since 1888.

“If women can become archbishops in the Anglican Church of Australia then they should also be able to sing at St Paul’s Cathedral,” he said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchChildrenReligion & CultureWomen* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ

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Posted February 12, 2016 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



O God, the blessed assurance of all who trust in thee: We give thee thanks for thy servant Fanny Crosby, who, though blind from infancy, beheld thy glory with great clarity of vision and spent her life giving voice to thy people’s heartfelt praise; and we pray that we, inspired by her words and example, may rejoice to sing of thy love, praising our Savior all the day long; who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God in perfect harmony, now and for ever. Amen

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryLiturgy, Music, WorshipSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 11, 2016 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves


Revelation 3:19-22

AVAILABLE NOW:

UPDATE: + The Transfiguration - Today's Sermon from Dr Kendall Harmon [Luke 9]

+ Who is 'God's Servant'? - Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali at St Helena's, Beaufort SC [John 12]
+ Rector's Forum with Bishop Nazir-Ali
+ Facing up to the Truth - Rev Justin Terry at St John's, John's Island SC [Luke 4:14-28]
+ What do you see? - Rev Chris Royer at St Michael's, Charleston SC [Ministry in the Middle East, John/Joel]
+ Pornography - Rev Vaughan Roberts [Matthew 5:27-30]
+ Sunday Worship from Down Cathedral in the Diocese of Down and Dromore [CofI]
+ Choral Evensong from Truro Cathedral

Available next Sunday:: Sunday Worship live from St Helena's Beaufort, SC
Listen here at 10:15 am Eastern time [3:15 pm London time]
Worship Bulletin [awaited]

From January 31st, 2016
+ Do You Have Faith in Jesus? - Archbishop Mouneer Anis at Christ St Paul's Today [Luke 4]
+ Sunday Worship from Long Lartin Prison, Worcestershire
+ Assisted Suicide - Vaughan Roberts

From January 24th, 2016
+ Fix Your Eyes on Jesus - Bishop Jacob W. Kwashi at Christ St Paul's[Luke 4:14-21]
+ Finding Hope in the Baptism of Jesus - Dr Kendall Harmon
+ When the Evil Day Comes - Bishop Jacob W. Kwashi at St Philip's Charleston [Ephesians 6:10-20]
+ Something to Aim for - The Beauty of Total Commitment - Bishop Rennis Ponniah [Luke 2:21-40; Philippians 1:1-6]

Previous posts are here

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

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Posted February 7, 2016 at 5:35 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As many as six in 10 British adults visited a church, chapel or religious meeting house in the last 12 months, according to a new survey. The survey results counter the more usual narrative of perpetual decline that has dominated surveys in recent years.

Although too soon to give certainty, the survey is one of the first to give affirmation that the more confident, outward-looking evangelistic strategies of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and Pope Francis in Rome could be yielding tangible results.

Adults in the North East of Engand were the most likely to visit a church or chapel, with 64 per cent saying they had done so. Those in Wales were the least likely, but even there nearly half, 45 per cent, had done so.

Read it all from, Ruth Gledhill at Christian Today.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & CultureSociology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted February 1, 2016 at 1:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves


[h/t Peter Ould]

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

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Posted January 31, 2016 at 12:46 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves


Source: Luke 1:68-79 [AV] Lyrics from the Book of Common Prayer of 1662]

68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;

70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:
71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;
72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,
74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,
75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

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Posted January 29, 2016 at 8:43 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



This Sunday we welcome The Right Rev. Jacob W. Kwashi, Bishop of the Diocese of Zonkwa, Abuja Province, Kaduna State, Nigeria and brother to Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi, who has visited CSP on many occasions. He is also the uncle of Archdeacon Mark Mukan who visited CSP back in October.

You can find the Christ St. Pauls parish website here and directions there.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Nigeria* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryAdult EducationMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* South Carolina

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Posted January 22, 2016 at 11:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As the nation observes the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, correspondent Kim Lawton catches up with the Grammy-nominated a capella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock, which has been singing about racial inequality, social justice, and inspiring spiritual themes for more than 40 years. The women discuss the group’s music video tribute to King, “Give Love,” and the principles taught by King that are still important in race relations today. They also talk about the group’s new CD, “#LoveinEvolution,” which will be released on January 22nd.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship* Culture-WatchHistoryMusicRace/Race RelationsReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Theology

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Posted January 18, 2016 at 6:21 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves


Revelation 3:19-22

Sunday Worship live from St Helena's Beaufort, SC
Listen live each Sunday here at 10:15 am Eastern time [3:15 pm London time]

From January 24th, 2016
+ Finding Hope in the Baptism of Jesus - Dr Kendall Harmon
+ When the Evil Day Comes - Bishop Jacob W. Kwashi at St Philip's Charleston [Ephesians 6:10-20]
+ Something to Aim for - The Beauty of Total Commitment - Bishop Rennis Ponniah [Philippians 1:1-6]

From December 20th
+ Lessons and Carols from St Philip's Church, Charleston - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
+ Called to Be The Body Together - Lewis Webber [1 Corinthians 12:1-11]
+ What has Bethlehem got to say to the Bataclan? - Vaughan Roberts [John 1:14]
+ Community of Love - Marc Boutan [John 1]
+ Choral Evensong from Chester Cathedral
+ Advent Devotional from Trinity School for Ministry
+ Advent Posts at Lent and Beyond

From December 13th
+ That we may without Shame or Fear Rejoice to Behold his Appearing - Dr Kendall Harmon
+ Bear Much Fruit - Vaughan Roberts at the Pear USA Assembly thanks to Kevin Kallsen
+ More of Vaughan Roberts' talks

From December 6th
+ Stand On Your Guard - Bishop Raphael Samuel of Bolivia
+ On with the New - Vaughan Roberts [Colossians 3:12-4:1]
+ Church Planting: Fresh Expressions - Bishop Graham Cray at Trinity School for Ministry
+ Advent Carol Service from Trinity College, Cambridge
+ Choral Evensong with the mixed choir of Peterborough Cathedral

From September 27th
+ Choral Evensong from Portsmouth Cathedral
+ Jesus - our older brother - Dr Kendall Harmon [Hebrews 2:5-18]
+ Love each other - Vaughan Roberts [John 15:9-17]

From September 20th
+ Prayers Requested for South Carolina Supreme Court Hearing, September 23, 2015
+ Services, Talks and Resources for September 20th
+ Remain in me - Vaughan Roberts [John 15:1-8]
+ The Christian Life: Purity - Canon Terry Wong, the new Dean of St Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore [Ephesians 5:1-21] [Frank content]
+ Faure's Requiem recorded in 1967 in King's College, Cambridge

Migration: World on the Move - Archbishop Mouneer Anis speaking at All Souls, Langham Place:
+ Talk 1 [Matthew 2:1-15]
+ Talk 2 [Deuteronomy 10:12-22]

Talks on Nehemiah – Ajith Fernando
+ Passion for Our People [Nehemiah: 1:1-11]
+ Preparing for the Challenge [Nehemiah: 1:11b-2:18]
+ Responding to Opposition [Nehemiah 2:19-4:23]
+ Grappling with Inequality [Nehemiah 5:1-19]

From September 13th
+ Services, Talks and Resources for September 13th
+ Questions in the storm – Simon Manchester [Mark 4:35-41]
+ Filled with the fullness of God - Bishop Rennis Ponniah [Ephesians 3:14-21]
+ Ruth: Lessons for Marriage, Love & Sex - 3 talks by Bishop Rennis Ponniah [Ruth 1-4]

From September 6th
+ Services, Talks and Resources for September 6th
+ What Is a Christian perspective on sin and Freedom? (Mark 7) - Dr Kendall Harmon
+ The Heart of the Matter (Mark 7:1-23) - Rev Matthew Rusch
+ Choral Evensong from St Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh, Northern Ireland during the Charles Wood Festival and Summer School

From August 30th
+ Services, Talks and Resources for August 30th
+ Called to Embrace God’s Perspective and Power (Eph 6) - Andrew O'Dell
+ Running the way of God's commandments [Ephesians 5:15-20 and John 6:51-58] - Andrew Wingfield Digby
+ The Secrets of Long-Term Freshness: A Grace Colored Approach to Life and Ministry - Ajith Fernando



From August 23rd
+ Services, Talks and Resources for August 23rd
+ Finding Grace on Highway 174 - Alfred T. K. Zadig, Jr (Ephesians 4:25-5:2
and John 6:35, 41-51)
+ Praying the Psalms - Series of 5 talks from the Cathedral Church of St Luke and St Paul SC

From August 16th
+ Services, Talks and Resources for August 16th
+ Our national life matters to God [Isaiah 6:1-8] - Bishop Rennis Ponniah
+ Choral Evensong from Cheltenham College Chapel with the Eton Choral Course Choir

From August 9th
+ Services, Talks and Resources for August 9th
+ Paul and Silas at Philippi [Acts 16:6-34] – Vaughan Roberts at Moore Theological College Chapel
+ Interview and Q&A with Vaughan Roberts
+ Choral Evensong from the Southern Cathedrals Festival

From August 2nd
+ 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

From July 26th
+ Services, Talks and Resources for July 26th
+ In the Fellowship of Elijah - Phil Ashey [1 Kings 17]
+ The father heart of God - Vaughan Roberts [Hosea 10:1-11:1]
+ Sunday Worship from the Keswick Convention
+ More talks from the Keswick Convention

From July 19th
+ Services, Talks and Resources for July 19th
+ Do we know the greatness of God? - Dr Kendall Harmon [Psalm 48]
+ A New Humanity - Bishop Rennis Ponniah [Ephesians 2:11-22]



Blessed be the Lord God of Israel : for he hath visited, and redeemed his people;
And hath raised up a mighty salvation for us : in the house of his servant David;
As he spoke by the mouth of his holy Prophets : which have been since the world began;
That we should be saved from our enemies : and from the hands of all that hate us;
To perform the mercy promised to our forefathers : and to remember his holy Covenant;
To perform the oath which he sware to our forefather Abraham : that he would give us;
That we being delivered out of the hands of our enemies : might serve him without fear;
In holiness and righteousness before him : all the days of our life.
And thou, Child, shalt be called the Prophet of the Highest : for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
To give knowledge of salvation unto his people : for the remission of their sins,
Through the tender mercy of our God : whereby the day-spring from on high hath visited us;
To give light to them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death : and to guide our feet into the way of peace. [Luke 1:68-79 the prophesy of Zacharias]


From July 12th
+ Services, Talks and Resources for July 12th
+ Choral Evensong with the combined choirs of King's and St John's Colleges, Cambridge
+ A marriage made in heaven – Vaughan Roberts [Hosea 1:1-2:1 and Revelation 21:1-4]
+ Christian Worship – Paul Perkin [Hebrews 12:14-29]


If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
For the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
Whosoever shall call on the Name of the Lord shall be saved. [Romans 10:9-10]


From July 5th
+ Services, Talks and Resources for July 5th
+ What does it Mean to Live Faithfully to Christ in our Time? - Dr Kendall Harmon
+ “Peace I leave with you” – Vaughan Roberts [John 14:25-3]
+ Strengthened for Work – William Taylor [Romans 1:1-17]

From June 28th
+ Services, Talks and Resources for June 28th
+ The Premier Lecture 2015 - Against the Flow - Professor John Lennox [Do you sometimes feel like you need to be encouraged in your faith, especially with the challenges you face in an increasingly secular culture?]
+ 2015 Trinity School for Ministry Graduation Commencement Address - Bishop Grant LeMarquand

From June 21st
+ Services, Talks and Resources for June 21st
+ Sunday's Sermon from Emanuel AME Church in Charleston SC - Psalm 46 - Rev Norvel Goff
+ Do not be overcome by Evil, but Overcome Evil with Good [Mark 4] - Brian McGreevy today at St Philip's Charleston
+ Jesus Who'll Satisfy You - Vaughan Roberts [John 4:1-42]

From June 14th
+ Services, Talks and Resources for June 15th
+ Are We Ignorant of Satan’s Designs (Genesis 3:1-15) - Dr Kendall Harmon
+ Choral Evensong from Wells Cathedral

From June 7th
+ Sunday Services, Talks and Resources for June 7th
+ The Re-Evangelisation of Europe - Vaughan Roberts [Acts 16:11-34]
+ Church Planting in a Continent Experiencing Rapid Change - Martin Robinson
+ Choral Evensong from Truro Cathedral



From May 31st
+ Sunday Services, Talks and Resources for May 31st
+ Kendall Harmon’s Sermon for Pentecost 2015
+ When the Holy Spirit Comes - Bishop Rennis Ponniah [Acts 2]
+ The Most Important Question of All - Bishop Ken Clarke [Matthew 27]

From May 24th
+ Sunday Services, Talks and Resources for May 24th
+ The Nature of Christian Service – Bishop Rennis Ponniah



From May 17th
+ Sunday Services, Talks and Resources for May 17th
+ A Bishop Mark Lawrence Sermon on the Ascension of Jesus
+ Sermons from St Helena's Beaufort

From May 10th
+ Sunday Services, Talks and Resources for May 10th
+ Defending the Reconciling Gospel – Bishop Michael Baughen [2 Corinthians 2:1 – 6:18]
+ Do you have to lose your mind to become a Christian? – William Taylor [Acts 26:24-32]
+ The Anglican Book of Common Prayer: What Relevance Does It Have to Today’s Contemporary Worship? John Yates II and John Yates III

From May 3rd
+ Sunday Services, Talks and Resources for May 3rd
+ The Uniqueness of Christ - Andrew Wingfield Digby [Acts 4:5-12 & John 10:11-18]
+ The Place of Unity - Dr Peter Walker
+ Choral Evensong from Exeter Cathedral
+ 3rd Sunday in Easter Confirmation Sermon at Christ St Paul's - Bishop Mark Lawrence
+ My Lord and My God [John 20] - Archbishop Glenn Davies at St Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore on April 13th

The previous post, Sunday on T19 is here

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

0 Comments
Posted January 17, 2016 at 3:25 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon


Folks are still taking about how beautiful the service was at Christ Saint Paul's Yonges Island, SC, as we gathered for a special and moving feast of lights in the darkened sanctuary, then from the Christ Candle, brought light to the church, people, and world as we burned our Christmas greenery. Many thanks to those who helped make the festivities afterward fun with the Kings cake, Oysters, and Chili.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEpiphanyLiturgy, Music, WorshipSpirituality/Prayer* South Carolina

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Posted January 16, 2016 at 3:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Listen to it all and ponder well the words.

Heal us, Emmanuel, here we are
We long to feel Thy touch
Deep wounded souls to Thee we fly
O Savior hear our cry

1. Our faith is feeble, we confess
We faintly trust Thy word
But will You pity us the less?
Be that far from You Lord!

2. Remember him who once applied
With trembling for relief
“Lord, I believe,” with tears he cried
“O help my unbelief!"

3. She, too, who touched you in the press
And healing virtue stole
Was answered, “Daughter, go in peace
Thy faith has made thee whole.”

4. Like her, with hopes and fears we come
To touch You if we may
O send us not despairing home
Send none unhealed away

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship* TheologyChristology

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Posted January 15, 2016 at 7:14 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon


Blessed is the man
Who walks in Your Favor
Who loves all Your Words
And hides them like Treasure
In the darkest place
Of his desperate Heart,
They are a LIGHT
A strong, sure Light.

Sometimes I call out Your Name
But I cannot find You.
I look for Your Face,
But You are not there.
By my sorrows, LORD,
Lift me to You,
Lift me up to Your Side.

Lord of Eternity,
Father of Mercy,
Look on my fainting Soul.
Keeper of all the stars,
Friend of the poorest Heart
Touch me and make me whole...

If YOU are my Defender,
Who is against me?
NO ONE can trouble or harm me
If YOU are my Strength.
All I ask, all I desire
Is to live in Your House ALL MY DAYS.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

0 Comments
Posted January 14, 2016 at 4:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From here:
If Monday's Evensong was the Spirit led Perfect Storm of Scripture and Tuesday's was the despondent depths, tonight's was the subdued but significant. With barely a minute to go there were the same number of Primates as yesterday and then suddenly Foley Beach joined them and sat down. The number of Primates in the Quire then doubled as in the remaining leaders processed in full choir robes, liberals and conservatives alike.
Clearly unity has been achieved for the moment and the Cathedral listened to Amos 3 teach us of punishment for sin and the saving of a remnant, and 1 Corinthians 2 speak of the power of proclaiming Christ crucified.
From conversation and prayer afterwards I discerned that the conservative Primates have neither caved in nor achieved their goals. I'm sure many will be frustrated by this, but we are not in the room and we do not know the dynamics at play.
Continue to pray for God to be glorified. There are two more days to go and tonight's full house is clear evidence that our LORD is in the business of miracles. Pray also for the Archbishop of Canterbury and his wife (who is here supporting him) - the emotional and spiritual strain must be enormous.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry

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Posted January 13, 2016 at 2:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves


Receive, O Lord, all my liberty. Take my memory, my understanding, and my entire will. Whatsoever I have or possess Thou hast bestowed upon me; I give it all back to Thee and surrender it wholly to be governed by Thy Will. Give me love for Thee alone along with Thy grace, and I am rich enough and ask for nothing more.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

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Posted January 12, 2016 at 8:04 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From here:
So, it is two hours after Evensong in Canterbury Cathedral finished. Last night it was electric - the Holy Spirit preaching to the Church through the lectionary - Amos 1's warning, 1 Corinthians 1 pleading for unity, practically all the Primates gathered. A real sense of God being present.
Tonight I sat in the Quire an hour before the service and just prayed for God to be glorified. Interspersed between my tongues I sang the hymn Holy, Holy, Holy which I realised afterward is to the tune Nicaea. Then the choir and Primates processed in. A third if not more of the Primates were missing and the atmosphere was totally different to Monday. Amos 2 moved from the warning of chapter 1 into judgement. Justin Welby spent large parts of the service knelt in prayer, almost oblivious to what was going on around him. I felt suddenly spiritually drained after the power of my hour of prayer. Afterwards a number of journalists wanted to ask me what I thought, but I needed a moment to myself. I was genuinely close to tears.
Clearly something is happening and it's probably happening right now - we need to pray for the Primates and we need to pray for Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury. And don't pray for what you want to happen, just pray for God to be glorified
.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted January 12, 2016 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Via email:
Bishop Donald James Parsons, Thirteenth Dean and President and Professor of New Testament at Nashotah House Theological Seminary, died on January 4, 2016. He was born on March 28, 1922 in Philadelphia, PA. He attended Temple University before matriculating at Philadelphia Divinity School, where he earned a ThB, a ThM, and a ThD in New Testament. He was ordained as a deacon in 1946 in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, and ordained as a priest later that same year in the Episcopal Diocese of Delaware. He served as Tutor of Greek and New Testament at Philadelphia Divinity School while also serving as Curate at Church of the Holy Trinity at Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, PA. He subsequently served as Assistant Rector of Immanuel Episcopal Church in Wilmington, DE, and as Rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Smyrna, DE. In 1950 he moved to Wisconsin to begin serving at Nashotah House, where he was Professor New Testament and Ascetical Theology; his tenure as the Thirteenth Dean and President of Nashotah House ran from 1963 to 1973. He was elected as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy and was consecrated on September 8, 1973; he served as Bishop until his retirement in 1987, and thereafter continued to provide episcopal oversight for a number of congregations. He was the author of The Holy Eucharist Rite Two: a Devotional Commentary (1976) and A Lifetime Road to God (1977). In 1955 he married Mary Russell, who predeceased him; he is survived by his three children, Mary, Rebecca, and Brad.

A Requiem Mass for Bishop Parsons will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (343 Buena Vista Ave., Pekin, IL) on Saturday, January 9, 2016. Visitation will be from 1:00 PM until 3:00 PM and Holy Eucharist will be celebrated at 3:00 PM.

Nashotah House will celebrate the life and ministry of Bishop Parsons with a Requiem Mass in the Chapel of St. Mary the Virgin at 1:00 PM. on Thursday, January 14, 2016, followed by a Committal service at the Nashotah House cemetery. The Right Reverend Daniel H. Martins, Eleventh Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Springfield and Chair of the Board of Directors of Nashotah House, will preside; The Very Reverend Steven A. Peay, Twentieth Dean and President of Nashotah House, will celebrate; The Right Reverend Keith L. Ackerman, Bishop Vicar of the Diocese of Quincy of the Anglican Church in North America and Member of the Board of Directors of Nashotah House, will serve as preacher. A reception will immediiately follow in Breck Refectory, located in DeKoven Commons.



Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

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Posted January 7, 2016 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Interesting fodder for the season here.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmasLiturgy, Music, Worship* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyChristology

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Posted January 5, 2016 at 3:35 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Just oh so uplifting--KSH.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmasLiturgy, Music, Worship

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Posted January 4, 2016 at 3:51 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Berliner and longtime member of St. Mary's church choir, Christian Beier attempts to explain the mystique and tradition behind this piece of music....

"It makes Christmas Christmas," he adds with a chuckle.

But as gorgeous as the music is for Beier, the core of this yearly event is something deeper.

"It is getting into some dialogue with God. It is being moved by whatever is around us," he says.

Read or listen to it all (audio for this highly encouraged).

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmasLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchMusic* TheologyChristology

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Posted January 4, 2016 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

One Sunday, having waded through a call for volunteers, I said, “You know, I should probably say this every Sunday, but if you’ve come here this morning feeling brokenhearted or anxious about something, don’t leave without talking to one of the pastors about it. That’s why we have coffee hour—to get to know each other well enough so that when things fall apart we can share what we’re going through. Talking to you is what we’re here for.”

So I had no one to blame but myself when the first person out the door skipped the pleasantries and came straight out with it. “I get the God part,” he said; “I just can’t get the Jesus part.” That was it. No worries about a husband showing signs of dementia, a brother’s divorce, or a whistle-blowing scenario at work. He was saying that the biggest issue in his life—something he was desperate to talk to someone about—was . . . God. So I said the first thing that came into my head. “I think Jesus is God saying, ‘I’m not far away and long ago and theoretical; I’m here and now and in your face.’ Do you want a God who’s a nice idea, or a God who’s about everything now and forever?” He said, “The everything God.” I said, “Well then I think you do get the Jesus part.” Then he left. Maybe I’ll never know if he wanted my answer or would have preferred a listening ear.

More worshipers came through the line. Then the last person out the door, who’d clearly made sure he was the last person, said (and I’m not making this up), “I get the Jesus part. I just can’t get the God part.” I was even more dumbfounded than the first time. To meet one person in the heart searchings of faith might be a wonder; to get two made me think that they had a bet and were pulling my leg. But this man was genuine. He had hung back for a real sit-down conversation.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* TheologyChristologyThe Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

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Posted January 4, 2016 at 11:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Watch and listen to it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmasLiturgy, Music, Worship

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Posted January 3, 2016 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The same thing happens to Father Kendall Harmon every year during the 12 days after the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

It happens with newcomers at his home parish, Christ-St. Paul's in Yonges Island, South Carolina, near Charleston. It often happens when, as Canon Theologian, he visits other parishes in the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.

"I greet people and say 'Merry Christmas!' all the way through the 12 days" of the season, he said, laughing. "They look at me like I'm a Martian or I'm someone who is lost. ... So many people just don't know there's more Christmas after Christmas Day."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmasEpiphanyLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistrySpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

1 Comments
Posted January 1, 2016 at 10:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Watch and listen to it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmasLiturgy, Music, Worship

0 Comments
Posted December 31, 2015 at 2:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmasLiturgy, Music, Worship

0 Comments
Posted December 31, 2015 at 11:49 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Listen to it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmasLiturgy, Music, Worship

1 Comments
Posted December 29, 2015 at 3:28 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

(A new carol written for the Choir of King's College, Cambridge in 2012)


Enjoy it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmasLiturgy, Music, Worship

0 Comments
Posted December 26, 2015 at 10:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Ever since I first heard it, my favorite Christmas song--KSH.

Watch and listen to it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmasLiturgy, Music, Worship

0 Comments
Posted December 25, 2015 at 11:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



O magnum mysterium, et admirabile sacramentum, ut animalia viderent Dominum natum, jacentem in praesepio! Beata Virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt portare Dominum Christum. Alleluia
O great mystery, and wonderful sacrament, that animals should see the new-born Lord, lying in a manger! Blessed is the Virgin whose womb was worthy to bear Christ the Lord. Alleluia!

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmasLiturgy, Music, Worship

0 Comments
Posted December 24, 2015 at 10:09 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Hark, how all the welkin rings,
“Glory to the King of kings;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”

Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
Universal nature say,
“Christ the Lord is born to-day!”

Hail, the heavenly Prince of Peace!
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings.

Mild He lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth;
Born to give them second birth.

ome, Desire of nations, come,
Fix in us thy humble home;
Rise, the woman’s conquering seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.

Now display thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to thine.

Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface;
Stamp Thy image in its place.
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in thy love.

Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the life, the inner Man:
O! to all thyself impart,
Form’d in each believing heart.

--You can find the 1940 Episcopal Hymnal version here (the 5th stanza is missing). The 1982 Episcopal Hymnal only includes the first three verses (with modified language)--KSH

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmasLiturgy, Music, Worship

1 Comments
Posted December 24, 2015 at 7:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Listen to it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmasLiturgy, Music, Worship

0 Comments
Posted December 24, 2015 at 5:24 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves


If ye love me, keep my commandments, and I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may bide with you for ever, ev’n the spirit of truth. John 14: 15-17

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

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Posted December 3, 2015 at 5:52 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It is Advent once again – that wonderful season of the Church year full of joyful hope and anticipation as we prepare for the coming of our Savior. Please do give some thought to your Advent devotions between now and Christmas. One helpful practice would be to arrive at church a little early each Sunday and prayerfully meditate on the words of one of the Advent hymns as you prepare your heart for worship.

Though there is a definite penitential theme of preparation in Advent, nonetheless, this is not a “little Lent.” Rather it is a time of joyful anticipation and making ready for the One Who Is To Come to save us. You will notice that alleluias are not omitted in Advent as they are in Lent. However, the Gloria in Excelsis is not to be used during Advent and is replaced by either the Trisagion or the Kyrie. Many churches will begin the service each Sunday with the Penitential Order and perhaps use the Decalogue. However, the opening acclamation is not changed – it remains “Blessed be God…” instead of the one designated for Lent.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsAdventLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry

0 Comments
Posted December 3, 2015 at 6:10 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves



Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

0 Comments
Posted December 2, 2015 at 8:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Lyrics:Now thank we all our God,
with heart and hands and voices,
who wondrous things has done,
in whom this world rejoices;
who from our mothers' arms
has blessed us on our way
with countless gifts of love,
and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God
through all our life be near us,
with ever joyful hearts
and blessed peace to cheer us;
and keep us still in grace,
and guide us when perplexed;
and free us from all ills,
in this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God
the Father now be given;
the Son, and him who reigns
with them in highest heaven;
the one eternal God,
whom earth and heaven adore;
for thus it was, is now,
and shall be evermore.

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

0 Comments
Posted November 26, 2015 at 2:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At the beginning of 1637, the year of the Great Pestilence, there were four ministers in Eilenburg. But one abandoned his post for healthier areas and could not be persuaded to return. Pastor Rinkhart officiated at the funerals of the other two.

As the only pastor left, he often conducted services for as many as 40 to 50 persons a day–some 4,480 in all. In May of that year, his own wife died. By the end of the year, the refugees had to be buried in trenches without services.

I think of Martin Rinkart every thanksgiving; his gift of this hymn is simply stunning given the circumstances in which it was written. We sang it at the worship service we attended in New York City this monring. Read it all--KSH.

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

0 Comments
Posted November 26, 2015 at 1:25 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God most glorious, whose praises art sung night and day by thy saints and angels in heaven: We offer thanks for William Byrd, John Merbecke and Thomas Tallis, whose music hath enriched the praise that thy Church offers thee here on earth. Grant, we pray thee, to all who are touched by the power of music such glimpses of eternity that we may be made ready to join thy saints in heaven and behold thy glory unveiled for evermore; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryLiturgy, Music, WorshipSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchMusic

0 Comments
Posted November 21, 2015 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For the Beauty of the Earth - John Rutter from Music@belpres on Vimeo.



Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship* General Interest

0 Comments
Posted November 20, 2015 at 7:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

‘Go forth into the world in peace; be of good courage; hold fast that which is good; render to no one evil for evil; strengthen the fainthearted; support the weak; help the afflicted; honour everyone; love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.’ (from the service for Remembrance Sunday SPCK)


Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsSpirituality/Prayer* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* Theology

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Posted November 18, 2015 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

t’s one of the most famous hymns in Christendom: “Eternal Father Strong to Save.” It’s often called “the Navy hymn” because it’s sung at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. But how many of us know the story behind this moving hymn?

The hymn’s author was an Anglican churchman named William Whiting, who was born in England in 1825. As a child, Whiting dodged in and out of the waves as they crashed along England’s shoreline. But years later, on a journey by sea, Whiting learned the true and terrifying power of those waves. A powerful storm blew in, so violent that the crew lost control of the vessel. During these desperate hours, as the waves roared over the decks, Whiting’s faith in God helped him to stay calm. When the storm subsided, the ship, badly damaged, limped back to port.

The experience had a galvanizing effect on Whiting. As one hymn historian put it, “Whiting was changed by this experience. He respected the power of the ocean nearly as much as he respected the God who made it and controls it.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryLiturgy, Music, Worship* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military

0 Comments
Posted November 12, 2015 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Check it out.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

3 Comments
Posted November 4, 2015 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Blessing and honour, and thanksgiving and praise,
more than we can utter,
more than we can conceive,
be unto thee, O holy and glorious Trinity,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
by all angels, all men, all creatures,
for ever and ever.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipSpirituality/Prayer

0 Comments
Posted October 29, 2015 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Church leaders have expressed their anger at the government for denying them a say over new Sunday trading laws, in a major clash between ministers and bishops.
Senior aides to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, protested to ministers that the Church was not properly consulted before George Osborne announced plans to allow shops to open for longer on Sundays.

The Church of England now fears the government will attempt this week to sneak the new law through Parliament without it being scrutinised properly by the Anglican bishops who sit in the House of Lords.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifePolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all and the composer's website is there [Hat tip: Preston Trombly].

Thanks be to Thee, Lord Jesus Christ
For all the benefits Thou hast given me,
For all the pains and insults
Which thou has borne for me.
O most merciful Redeemer, friend and brother,
May we know Thee more clearly,
Love Thee more dearly,
And follow Thee more nearly
Day by day.
Amen.

--St Richard of Chichester (1197-1253)

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryLiturgy, Music, Worship* Culture-WatchMusicReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyChristology

0 Comments
Posted October 15, 2015 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The bishop-elect of Dallas, George Sumner, observes that comprehensiveness, while often a point of pride for Anglicans, is in fact a difficult achievement, not to be taken for granted (“After Comprehensiveness,” Anglican Theological Review, Fall 2004). He writes:
We see that Episcopalians are fighting over same-sex relationships, and we assume that Anglicanism is comprehensive, and so we ask, what is the intellectual superstructure that allows us now to remain comprehensive? This is surely a mistake; we assume what needs to be shown. Comprehensiveness assumes that common and more central doctrines form a framework, an encompassing context into which lesser disagreements may be placed and so relativized. Such larger, often tacit, agreements keep a tradition in contention from descending into sheer incoherence. Anglicanism shows comprehensiveness when it achieves these goals of showing the more basic agreement, and so of putting disputes in context. Only pride would assume that such success is the essential quality of our tradition.
If what we mean by comprehension is some kind of embrace of a “larger truth” on this issue, Sumner writes, that is the kind of muddled nonsense we must avoid.
Even for Anglicans up is not down, and black is not white; we too should make our yes a yes. We are not exempt from the law of noncontradiction. Either same-sex relationships are a blessing from God, or they are contrary to God’s will. While our tradition may prove comprehensive in many respects, if there is such a disagreement we cannot be comprehensive with respect to it. To deny this is to make of comprehensiveness a kind of transitional object by which we lull ourselves to sleep.Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)General Convention TEC ConflictsTEC Polity & Canons* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilySexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted October 14, 2015 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Florida congregation has successfully won the right to build a church in a Jacksonville Beach neighborhood despite objections from local residents and an attempt by the city to prevent construction.

Church of Our Savior, a congregation affiliated with the Anglican Church in North America, will soon build a church in Jacksonville Beach, thanks to a settlement reached earlier this week with city officials.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyHousing/Real Estate MarketPolitics in GeneralCity Government

0 Comments
Posted October 11, 2015 at 1:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“Mommy, can I get some candy?”

“Yes,” I replied, undaunted in my attempt to preach the Word. My almost four year-old daughter had recently discovered two things: 1)There is a bowl of hard candy in the church office and 2) Mommy isn’t really interested in teaching a lesson about nutrition or risking a meltdown in the middle of a sermon.

This was not the first time I received such a request, but when I saw a usually placid face on the front row contort with shock and fear, I knew something was terribly wrong.

I whipped around to find my little girl balancing on tip-toe at the communion table. One hand gripped the table cloth laden with lit votives, while her brown curls and pudgy fingers trembled as she attempted to set her own candle aflame.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & Family

0 Comments
Posted October 8, 2015 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Enjoy it all (hat tip: SH).

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryPreaching / Homiletics* Culture-WatchScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEnergy, Natural Resources* General InterestAnimals* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyTheology: Scripture

1 Comments
Posted October 7, 2015 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon


Our Father, Our King

Our father our king, hear our voice
Our father our king, we have sinned before you
Our father our king, Have compassion upon us
and upon our children

Our father our king
Bring an end to pestilence,
war, and famine around us
Our father our king,
Bring an end to all trouble
and oppression around us

Our father our king,
Our father our king,
Inscribe us in the book of (good) life
Our father our king, renew upon us
Renew upon us a good year

Hear our voice
Hear our voice
Hear our voice

Our father our king,

Our father our king,
Renew upon us a good year

Our father our king,
Hear our voice
Hear our voice
Hear our voice
Hear our voice

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsJudaism

0 Comments
Posted October 6, 2015 at 4:16 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The synod of the Anglican Church's Sydney diocese will next month consider a report from a senior bishop which argues that wedding service providers should have the "religious freedom" to refuse to cater for gay couples.

While some believe that such laws would set a dangerous precedent, Australia's Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson argues the rights of both groups can be protected.

The Anglican Bishop of South Sydney Robert Forsyth heads up the Religious Freedom Reference Group within the church's conservative Sydney diocese.

He is personally opposed to gay marriage and wants any new laws to offer an opt-out for those opposed to [same-sex marriage].

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted September 30, 2015 at 4:18 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The daily spiritual exercises Dietrich Bonhoeffer expected of all members of Finkenwalde created some controversy at the time.

Bonhoeffer required silence before the morning service, which consisted of Bible reading, prayers and hymns. He also required a time of silent meditation and intercession after breakfast before lectures began. The community had a similar evening service, and at times readings during lunch.

Though these exercises were balanced by study, lectures and recreation, many objected to such "Catholic" practices. Others considered them evidences of legalism at Finkenwalde. Why did Bonhoeffer require these aspects of the community's day together and its day alone?

He did so because he believed that students were members of Christ's body preparing to be shepherds of the body of Christ.

Read it all from ABC Australia.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryLiturgy, Music, WorshipSpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryEuropeGermany* TheologyChristology

0 Comments
Posted September 29, 2015 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I’ve been screening churches in my new city of Vancouver, and I guess you could say they’ve been “screening” me. Almost every church I’ve visited uses a screen in its sanctuary during worship. In the 1980s or ’90s this might have been a signal that a congregation had taken a side in the worship wars. Now it’s just a sign that a church is open and functioning.

One congregation showed a funny video of Canadians singing an ode to Canada Day (replete with a poke at American politics). Another screen featured a long clip from the movie Frozen. What all this had to do with Jesus was not clear. The video clips were pleasant distractions, brief entertainment in the context of worship.

But other uses of screens struck me as more theologically intentional. One congregation featured background images of the city of Vancouver. These appeared before and after worship and during announcements. The images were not just beautiful. They announced that this was a church not only in but for a city. God’s kingdom always comes in particular settings, and the church is called to love its neighborhood, as God does in Christ’s incarnation. This same church asked its preachers to say, “You can follow along as I read in your pew Bibles, or the words will be on the screen . . .” I noticed nary a Bible opening. All heads were up.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & CultureScience & Technology* TheologyAnthropologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted September 28, 2015 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves



Love divine, all loves excelling,
joy of heaven, to earth come down;
fix in us thy humble dwelling;
all thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus thou art all compassion,
pure, unbounded love thou art;
visit us with thy salvation;
enter every trembling heart.

Breathe, O breathe thy loving Spirit
into every troubled breast!
Let us all in thee inherit;
let us find that second rest.
Take away our bent to sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
end of faith, as its beginning,
set our hearts at liberty.

Come, Almighty to deliver,
let us all thy life receive;
suddenly return and never,
nevermore thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
serve thee as thy hosts above,
pray and praise thee without ceasing,
glory in thy perfect love.

Finish, then, thy new creation;
pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see thy great salvation
perfectly restored in thee;
changed from glory into glory,
till in heaven we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee,
lost in wonder, love, and praise.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

0 Comments
Posted September 24, 2015 at 8:40 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves



O Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou forever near me, my master and my friend;
I shall not fear the battle if Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway if Thou wilt be my guide.

O let me feel Thee near me! The world is ever near;
I see the sights that dazzle, the tempting sounds I hear;
My foes are ever near me, around me and within;
But Jesus, draw Thou nearer, and shield my soul from sin

O let me hear Thee speaking in accents clear and still,
Above the storms of passion, the murmurs of self will.
O speak to reassure me, to hasten or control;
O speak, and make me listen, Thou guardian of my soul.

O Jesus, Thou hast promised to all who follow Thee
That where Thou art in glory there shall Thy servant be.
And Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end;
O give me grace to follow, my master and my friend.

O let me see Thy footprints, and in them plant mine own;
My hope to follow duly is in Thy strength alone.
O guide me, call me, draw me, uphold me to the end;
And then in Heaven receive me, my Savior and my friend.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

0 Comments
Posted September 21, 2015 at 7:24 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

If the church is the body of Christ, then the megachurch is like an athlete on steroids.

Every major city has a bevy of churches drawing between 5k-25k people. To get a body to grow that big leaders have to use some sort of performance enhancer. These things—typically models, strategies, and techniques gleaned not from the gospel or the Christian narrative, but from the world of business and the narrative of consumer capitalism—serve as performance enhancers that help create enormous congregations with huge facilities and hundreds of programs.

The impact of these practices is akin to using performance-enhancing drugs. They actually alter the form and function of the body, causing real and serious long-term consequences for the church universal.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchMovies & TelevisionReligion & CultureSports* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* Theology

2 Comments
Posted September 21, 2015 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The discussion, which will be condensed into an hourlong broadcast, touched on a wide range of issues, including racial disparities in education, health care, wealth, the judicial system and politics.

Former North Carolina state Sen. Malcolm Graham, whose sister Cynthia Hurd was killed in the shooting, rebuffed what he described as generalizations of forgiveness made about the families of the victims that suggested that forgiveness was something they had all expressed.

“The attack was an attack on a race of people. It was an attack on humanity. ... I have a forgiving spirit,” Graham said, pausing for a beat before landing his point. “I do not forgive.”\

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistrySpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchHistoryRace/Race RelationsReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsEconomy* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted September 20, 2015 at 6:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rector of Faughanvale Parish has condemned those responsible for a break-in at the home of an elderly parishioner, which took place while she was attending a religious service in her local church.
The incident happened on Friday evening, while the victim was in St Canice’s Church in Eglinton, attending the institution of the parish’s new Rector, Rev Paul Hoey. Thieves broke into the woman’s home in the village and ransacked every room.
The break-in was discovered when the woman returned home after the service. She was extremely shaken by the incident and was comforted by parishioners.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Ireland* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/Fire* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted September 19, 2015 at 12:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A South Carolina judge says he will release some police documents and other evidence in connection with the Charleston church shooting that claimed the lives of nine African-American worshippers.

Judge J.C. Nicholson said he first wanted to sit down with attorneys for the victims and the news media to review some of the more graphic evidence – including photographs of the crime scene – before deciding specifically what will be released.

During a hearing in Charleston on Wednesday, Nicholson also indicated the 911 calls would be released but that there had been no decision whether the tapes themselves or just simply transcripts would be released.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesRace/Race RelationsReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralCity GovernmentState Government* South Carolina* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

1 Comments
Posted September 16, 2015 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

More than 500 people flocked to worship Sunday at the first new church campus to open downtown in more than half a century.

Located near the corner of Peace and Blount streets, Holy Trinity Anglican Church drew such a multitude that ushers scrambled to assemble rows of brand-new folding chairs for overflow seating in the foyer.

The crowds arrived early, and the building buzzed as members took the opportunity to explore every inch of the new facility. That energy soon filled the sanctuary, where the voice of Rev. John Yates III voice boomed out over a powerful speaker system.

“The first thing I want to say this morning is: ‘Welcome home,’” he said, before asking those gathered to address God individually in prayer.

Read it all and the the church website is there.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues* TheologyChristologySoteriologyTheology: Scripture

2 Comments
Posted September 14, 2015 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At a country funeral this week, amid the heavy foliage of a late English summer, we sang the hymn “O God of earth and altar”. It is not directly socialist, but it is consistent with socialism.
That was the context in which it was sung when newly written – after a meeting of the Church Socialist League in 1912, for example, when civil war was suggested as a solution for the nation’s ills. There was a miners’ strike on, and the meeting marched with a petition to the Archbishop of Canterbury, singing (perhaps to the tune of “The Church’s One Foundation”):

O God of earth and altar
Bow down and hear our cry,
Our earthly rulers falter,
Our people drift and die.
There is resonance between the next stanza and the feeling of the world now, 100 years later:
From all that terror teaches,
From lies of tongue and pen,
From all the easy speeches
That comfort cruel men,
From sale and profanation
Of honour and the sword,
From sleep and from damnation,
Deliver us, good Lord.

Read it all from the Telegraph.

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

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Posted September 13, 2015 at 4:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

They are the people with whom Roof was associating in the weeks before the shooting, and this is the place he drifted into with little resistance, an American void where little is sacred and little is profane and the dominant reaction to life is what Joey does now, looking at Lindsey. He shrugs.

For several weeks, Dylann Roof slept on the floor here. He played video games. According to the Meeks, he showed off his new Glock .45-caliber handgun, drank heavily and retreated to his car to listen to opera. And sometimes he confided in his childhood friend Joey, who wasn’t the type to ask questions.

When Roof showed up asking Joey for a place to stay, Joey says, he invited him in without hesitation. When Roof told him that he believed in segregation, Joey didn’t ask why. When Roof mentioned driving two hours to Charleston and visiting a church called Emanuel AME, he didn’t ask anything about it. When Roof said that he was going to “do something crazy,” as Joey remembers it, he and Lindsey hid Roof’s gun but then gave it back, blowing it all off as a drunken episode.

“I didn’t take him seriously,” is what Joey says again and again....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistrySpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyPovertyRace/Race RelationsTeens / YouthViolenceYoung Adults* South Carolina* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted September 13, 2015 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon


Listen to it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship* TheologyChristology

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Posted September 13, 2015 at 8:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

(You may find the names of all 343 firefighters here--KSH).

On Monday this week, the last of the 343 firefighters who died on September 11th was buried. Because no remains of Michael Ragusa, age 29, of Engine Company 279, were found and identified, his family placed in his coffin a very small vial of his blood, donated years ago to a bone-marrow clinic. At the funeral service Michael’s mother Dee read an excerpt from her son’s diary on the occasion of the death of a colleague. “It is always sad and tragic when a fellow firefighter dies,” Michael Ragusa wrote, “especially when he is young and had everything to live for.” Indeed. And what a sobering reminder of how many died and the awful circumstances in which they perished that it took until this week to bury the last one.

So here is to the clergy, the ministers, rabbis, imams and others, who have done all these burials and sought to help all these grieving families. And here is to the families who lost loved ones and had to cope with burials in which sometimes they didn’t even have remains of the one who died. And here, too, is to the remarkable ministry of the Emerald Society Pipes and Drums, who played every single service for all 343 firefighters who lost their lives. The Society chose not to end any service at which they played with an up-tempo march until the last firefighter was buried.

On Monday, in Bergen Beach, Brooklyn, the Society therefore played “Garry Owen” and “Atholl Highlander,” for the first time since 9/11 as the last firefighter killed on that day was laid in the earth. On the two year anniversary here is to New York, wounded and more sober, but ever hopeful and still marching.

--First published on this blog September 11, 2003

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireMusicUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* TheologyEschatologyPastoral Theology

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Posted September 11, 2015 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

President and Mrs. Bush, I want to say a personal word on behalf of many people. Thank you, Mr. President, for calling this day of prayer and remembrance. We needed it at this time.

We come together today to affirm our conviction that God cares for us, whatever our ethnic, religious, or political background may be. The Bible says that He’s the God of all comfort, who comforts us in our troubles. No matter how hard we try, words simply cannot express the horror, the shock, and the revulsion we all feel over what took place in this nation on Tuesday morning. September eleven will go down in our history as a day to remember.

Today we say to those who masterminded this cruel plot, and to those who carried it out, that the spirit of this nation will not be defeated by their twisted and diabolical schemes. Someday, those responsible will be brought to justice, as President Bush and our Congress have so forcefully stated. But today we especially come together in this service to confess our need of God.

Today we say to those who masterminded this cruel plot, and to those who carried it out, that the spirit of this nation will not be defeated by their twisted and diabolical schemes. Someday, those responsible will be brought to justice, as President Bush and our Congress have so forcefully stated. But today we especially come together in this service to confess our need of God.

We’ve always needed God from the very beginning of this nation, but today we need Him especially. We’re facing a new kind of enemy. We’re involved in a new kind of warfare. And we need the help of the Spirit of God. The Bible words are our hope: God is our refuge and strength; an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way, and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.

But how do we understand something like this? Why does God allow evil like this to take place? Perhaps that is what you are asking now. You may even be angry at God. I want to assure you that God understands these feelings that you may have. We’ve seen so much on our television, on our — heard on our radio, stories that bring tears to our eyes and make us all feel a sense of anger. But God can be trusted, even when life seems at its darkest.

But what are some of the lessons we can learn? First, we are reminded of the mystery and reality of evil. I’ve been asked hundreds of times in my life why God allows tragedy and suffering. I have to confess that I really do not know the answer totally, even to my own satisfaction. I have to accept by faith that God is sovereign, and He’s a God of love and mercy and compassion in the midst of suffering. The Bible says that God is not the author of evil. It speaks of evil as a mystery. In 1st Thessalonians 2:7 it talks about the mystery of iniquity. The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah said “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.” Who can understand it?” He asked that question, ‘Who can understand it?’ And that’s one reason we each need God in our lives.

The lesson of this event is not only about the mystery of iniquity and evil, but secondly it’s a lesson about our need for each other. What an example New York and Washington have been to the world these past few days. None of us will ever forget the pictures of our courageous firefighters and police, many of whom have lost friends and colleagues; or the hundreds of people attending or standing patiently in line to donate blood. A tragedy like this could have torn our country apart. But instead it has united us, and we’ve become a family. So those perpetrators who took this on to tear us apart, it has worked the other way — it’s back lashed. It’s backfired. We are more united than ever before. I think this was exemplified in a very moving way when the members of our Congress stood shoulder to shoulder the other day and sang “God Bless America.”

Finally, difficult as it may be for us to see right now, this event can give a message of hope — hope for the present, and hope for the future. Yes, there is hope. There’s hope for the present, because I believe the stage has already been set for a new spirit in our nation. One of the things we desperately need is a spiritual renewal in this country. We need a spiritual revival in America. And God has told us in His word, time after time, that we are to repent of our sins and return to Him, and He will bless us in a new way. But there’s also hope for the future because of God’s promises. As a Christian, I hope not for just this life, but for heaven and the life to come. And many of those people who died this past week are in heaven right now. And they wouldn’t want to come back. It’s so glorious and so wonderful. And that’s the hope for all of us who put our faith in God. I pray that you will have this hope in your heart.

This event reminds us of the brevity and the uncertainty of life. We never know when we too will be called into eternity. I doubt if even one those people who got on those planes, or walked into the World Trade Center or the Pentagon last Tuesday morning thought it would be the last day of their lives. It didn’t occur to them. And that’s why each of us needs to face our own spiritual need and commit ourselves to God and His will now.

Here in this majestic National Cathedral we see all around us symbols of the cross. For the Christian — I’m speaking for the Christian now — the cross tells us that God understands our sin and our suffering. For He took upon himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, our sins and our suffering. And from the cross, God declares “I love you. I know the heart aches, and the sorrows, and the pains that you feel, but I love you.” The story does not end with the cross, for Easter points us beyond the tragedy of the cross to the empty tomb. It tells us that there is hope for eternal life, for Christ has conquered evil, and death, and hell. Yes, there’s hope.

I’ve become an old man now. And I’ve preached all over the world. And the older I get, the more I cling to that hope that I started with many years ago, and proclaimed it in many languages to many parts of the world. Several years ago at the National Prayer Breakfast here in Washington, Ambassador Andrew Young, who had just gone through the tragic death of his wife, closed his talk with a quote from the old hymn, “How Firm A Foundation.” We all watched in horror as planes crashed into the steel and glass of the World Trade Center. Those majestic towers, built on solid foundations, were examples of the prosperity and creativity of America. When damaged, those buildings eventually plummeted to the ground, imploding in upon themselves. Yet underneath the debris is a foundation that was not destroyed. Therein lies the truth of that old hymn that Andrew Young quoted: “How firm a foundation.”

Yes, our nation has been attacked. Buildings destroyed. Lives lost. But now we have a choice: Whether to implode and disintegrate emotionally and spiritually as a people, and a nation, or, whether we choose to become stronger through all of the struggle to rebuild on a solid foundation. And I believe that we’re in the process of starting to rebuild on that foundation. That foundation is our trust in God. That’s what this service is all about. And in that faith we have the strength to endure something as difficult and horrendous as what we’ve experienced this week.

This has been a terrible week with many tears. But also it’s been a week of great faith. Churches all across the country have called prayer meetings. And today is a day that they’re celebrating not only in this country, but in many parts of the world. And the words of that familiar hymn that Andrew Young quoted, it says, “Fear not, I am with thee. Oh be not dismayed for I am thy God and will give thee aid. I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand upon” my righteous — on “thy righteous, omnipotent hand.”

My prayer today is that we will feel the loving arms of God wrapped around us and will know in our hearts that He will never forsake us as we trust in Him. We also know that God is going to give wisdom, and courage, and strength to the President, and those around him. And this is going to be a day that we will remember as a day of victory. May God bless you all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyChristologyTheodicy

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Posted September 11, 2015 at 6:55 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

While New York City’s principals, assistant principals and district supervisors rinse off the sand and sunblock to get their schools student-ready this week, the head of their union, Ernest A. Logan, is on call. A former Brooklyn principal, Mr. Logan, 64, has led the 6,500-member Council of School Supervisors and Administrators for the past 10 years. He lives in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights North Historic District with his wife, Beatrice Logan, 68, a retired guidance counselor. For them, Sunday is all about church, a daylong event filled with prayer, song and service. “I encounter a lot of crazy stuff on this job,” Mr. Logan said. “I have to stop and pause.”

Predawn Prayer--I’m up almost every morning at 5:30, even on Sunday. I basically have time to pray before I start the day. I do this every day. I grew up on public assistance, one of 13 kids. I was the first one in my family to complete college, so I know the struggle my mother had raising us. The first time my mother went to the principal’s office, I was the principal. We understood that we’d succeed if we prayed and followed the rules. That’s why every day is centered on prayer.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchChildrenEducationReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted September 6, 2015 at 1:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The idea of a cloistered life strikes some as one of severity and silence, of running away from a broken heart or a broken life. But as Toni Greaves discovered when she visited a community of cloistered nuns in New Jersey, it was a joyful embrace of a life that is in many ways countercultural given the me-first society that lurks beyond the convent’s walls.

At the Dominican Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary, the subject of her book “Radical Love,” she found women who despite having other chances for work, love and life in the secular world had embraced a simpler existence of prayer, study and meditation. A good number of them were young and learned about the religious life online, choosing to join a community of some 20 nuns at the Summit, N.J., cloister.

“We think of monasteries as these quiet places, and they are quiet, but I was surprised by the happiness, joy and love I saw there,” Ms. Greaves said. “We tend to think of these young nuns as having given something up, but what I saw was the opposite. It’s like being around a bunch of young women who were in love.”

Read it all and please do not miss the pictures.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* General InterestPhotos/Photography

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Posted September 4, 2015 at 8:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves



Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

4 Comments
Posted August 26, 2015 at 5:33 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves



Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

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Posted August 18, 2015 at 8:49 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Brother Roger’s life ended tragically ten years ago when he was stabbed during a worship service by a young woman who was mentally ill. I was convinced this violent incident would change the character of Taizé, that the brothers would put up bulletproof glass between themselves and the visitors or that people would have to run their bags through x-ray machines upon arrival.

But this was not the case. The community of brothers continued to welcome pilgrims with openness and care.

In a world that is hyper-militarized, the brothers modeled a different response – one of trust, prayerfulness and compassion in a desperately wounded world. Taizé continues to organize what is called a “Pilgrimage of Trust” in different cities around the world each year where thousands of pilgrims are welcomed into people’s homes and churches.

Why is this place so special? Why does it continue to attract so many pilgrims? I believe Taizé is what the Celts referred to as a “thin place” where the veil between this reality and God is permeable.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryLiturgy, Music, WorshipSpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryEuropeFrance

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Posted August 16, 2015 at 1:14 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Daily Express and the Sun both carried critical front pages of the BBC programme’s decision to film in the church, which they claimed was a waste of licence fee money and a highly politicised gesture.

Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, made it clear in a tweet that he fully supported the programme, as well as retweeting a positive piece from the influential Anglican blog, Archbishop Cranmer.

“What do they think the church is for? It is for the poor and the vulnerable, it is to voice things that others cannot voice,” [Bishop] Baines told the Guardian. “Everyone else seems to be allowed to be political apart from the church.”

Read it all.

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Posted August 13, 2015 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

11. Considerable time was given to reviewing and strengthening the role of the Consultation as a network of the Anglican Communion. Revised guidelines for governance were adopted articulating the purpose of the Consultation:

to promote the deepening of communion between the Churches of the Anglican Communion by renewing its life of liturgy and prayer as integral to the mission of the Church;
to advise the Provinces and the Instruments of Communion on questions of liturgy and common prayer and to encourage and support conversation between the Provinces on questions touching on Anglican liturgical theology and practice;
to review developments in liturgical formation and practice in the Anglican Communion and among ecumenical partners, and to give advice upon them to the Provinces and the Instruments of Communion, with the intention to promote common understanding, consistency and coherence, both within the Anglican Communion and in ecumenical engagement;
to assist any Province with new proposals in the areas of liturgical formation, development and practice; and
to report the scope and results of its work to the Anglican Consultative Council.
This process was much assisted by the presence and contribution of the Director of Unity, Faith and Order for the Anglican Communion, the Revd Canon Dr John Gibaut.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Reports & Communiques* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

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Posted August 12, 2015 at 4:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The latest publication from the Church of England brings an ancient tradition of following the Psalms to mobile devices and e-readers.

Adding to the popular 'Reflections' series, Reflections on the Psalms is a standalone book, ebook and mobile app written for anyone wishing to follow the ancient practice of the Psalter, reading the Psalms of the Bible each morning and evening. The mobile app is available to buy on the iOS App Store, with an Android version coming soon.

Produced by Church House Publishing, the new publication provides short meditations on each of the Psalms written by Bishops, well-known writers, experienced ministers, biblical scholars and theologians. The book also contains an introduction to the Psalms by theologian Paula Gooder, and a guide to the Psalms in the life of the Church by the Bishop of Sheffield, Steven Croft. With the mobile app, users can save their favourite Psalms and share them via social media.

Read it all and follow the links.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetReligion & CultureScience & Technology* TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted August 11, 2015 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Much like New York City’s World Trade Center site that was destroyed in the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the church has become a destination and a ground zero for modern racial strife. It could mark a historic turning pointing in how Americans view race.

Tourism officials hesitated to estimate how many people have inquired about visiting Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, but the building has risen nearly to the top of Charleston’s tourist attractions.

The interim pastor, the Rev. Norvel Goff, said members of his congregation were energized by a public sentiment that the church has “an open door to all visitors, regardless of color.”

“It’s become a touchstone for Charleston,” he said. “People from around the world are coming to share their thoughts and how their communities have come together in their own way because of how this community came together.”

Read it all from the local paper.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistrySpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* South Carolina

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Posted August 9, 2015 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There is a natural link between evangelism and worship. Yes, at Redeemer we talk about sharing the hope of Jesus out of our gratitude for his love and rescue. Worship and gratitude is a natural motivator for evangelism but there’s another link that comes to mind. When I talk to Christians and pastors who have a natural bent towards evangelism, I notice they live their faith very publicly because evangelism is an act of worship. They get to see a glimpse of God’s sovereignty, his unrelentless love and pursuit of someone and they get to see the Holy Spirit do beautiful things in their midst. Lyn Cook, a Community Group Director with Redeemer’s East Side Congregation, told me one time, evangelism is one way God reaches into her heart and reminds her of his grace and goodness. He reveals himself to her by giving her hope and compassion as she prays, listens and talks with non-believing friends. God’s sovereignty and relentless love are the foundation for evangelism and the way that many Christians, like Lyn, experience God as they live out their faith publicly.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

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Posted August 8, 2015 at 2:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Alternative chrism masses for those who cannot accept women bishops are a consequence rather than a cause of division in the Church, and do not breach the principles in the House of Bishops’ Declaration on women bishops, an independent review has concluded.

The adjudication by Sir Philip Mawer, who was appointed by the Archbishops to consider grievances from those who are concerned that the principles are not being adhered to, was published last Friday. It followed a letter to him from Hilary Cotton, who chairs Women and the Church (WATCH), in April.

She argued that there was “no sacramental need” for the masses, which are presided over by bishops of the Society under the patronage of St Wilfrid and St Hilda, since chrism masses were already held in each diocese. Alternative masses were “a cause of much pain to clergy women and their supportive male colleagues, and an expression of division within the dioceses”.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

3 Comments
Posted August 7, 2015 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In May, authorities in eastern China’s Zhejiang province unveiled rules severely limiting the size and placement of crosses on churches — the codification of a sometimes-violent 2014 campaign that saw crosses torn from more than 300 churches in and around the city of Wenzhou, home to a large Christian community.

The local government now appears to be enforcing the new regulations.

As shown in the Associated Press..authorities last week dispatched demolition crews to shear off the cross that sat atop Lower Dafei Catholic Church outside Wenzhou as parishioners sang hymns in protest.

“They say we have religious freedom. Is this freedom?” one congregation member, surnamed Chen, told the AP. “Have we violated any national laws? We are also good Chinese citizens.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistrySpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaChina* Religion News & CommentaryChurch-State Issues* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted August 5, 2015 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

During interviews Monday, leaders at Anniston’s two Episcopal churches expressed openness to the LGBT community. Lee Shafer, rector at Grace Episcopal, and Chris Hartley, rector at St. Michael and All Angels, explained the solemnization of same-sex marriages within their respective congregations would depend on discussions between the vestry — the congregational governing body — and the pastor.

“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.”

He paused.

“If that sounds difficult ... I mean, how do you do that? It sounds more impossible than it does difficult.”

Read it all.



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Posted August 4, 2015 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Early in the prayer, we are reminded that what we are coming to is a meal. We are invited as guests to a table where God is the generous host, not an altar where we make an offering to appease God’s wrath. The rubric refers to the piece of furniture as ‘the Lord’s Table’ or, in earlier versions, ‘Gods borde’. We shall explore below what it is that we receive at this meal.

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 - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryLiturgy, Music, Worship--Book of Common PrayerSpirituality/Prayer* TheologyAnthropologyChristologySacramental TheologyEucharistSoteriology

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Posted August 4, 2015 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A new ecumenical resource is offering an alternative way for small groups and congregations to lead worshippers in the singing of hymns and spiritual songs.

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 - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchMusicReligion & CultureScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryCanada* Religion News & CommentaryOther Churches* Theology

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Should a “transgender” person be allowed a ceremony of “re-baptism” at their local church? That is what a parishioner requested from the Rev Chris Newlands, Vicar of Lancaster.

“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 - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral Care* Culture-WatchPsychologySexuality* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologySacramental TheologyBaptism

2 Comments
Posted August 3, 2015 at 6:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



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

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Posted August 3, 2015 at 5:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almighty God, beautiful in majesty and majestic in holiness, who dost teach us in Holy Scripture to sing thy praises and who gavest thy musicians Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frederick Handel and Henry Purcell grace to show forth thy glory in their music: Be with all those who write or make music for thy people, that we on earth may glimpse thy beauty and know the inexhaustible riches of thy new creation in Jesus Christ our Savior; who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted July 28, 2015 at 9:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

[There is a brief pause five and a half mins in]

More

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

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Posted July 25, 2015 at 9:52 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Luke 1:46-55 and Luke 2:29-32


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

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Posted July 24, 2015 at 5:19 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Tallis theme is 'Why fum'th in fight' which is the fourth piece played here; words based on Psalm 2 in 'Nine Psalm Tunes for Archbishop Parker's Psalter by Thomas Tallis'.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

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Posted July 23, 2015 at 3:49 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Performed by The Cardinall's Musick, directed by Andrew Carwood at the BBC Proms 2015


Listen to it all from the full Thomas Tallis concert

I have never put my hope in any other
but in You, O God of Israel

who can show both anger and graciousness,
and who absolves all the sins
of suffering man
Lord God,
Creator of Heaven and Earth
be mindful of our lowliness

Spem in alium nunquam habui
Praeter in te, Deus Israel
Qui irasceris et propitius eris
et omnia peccata hominum
in tribulatione dimittis
Domine Deus
Creator caeli et terrae
respice humilitatem nostram

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

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Posted July 21, 2015 at 10:16 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Episcopal Church earlier this month took a leap forward in its evolving approach to gay rights, voting to allow priests to marry same-sex couples. But that won’t mean a rush to the altar at Louisiana churches.

No churches in the state have permission to marry gay couples until Nov. 29, the first Sunday of the Advent season. That’s when two new marriage rites using gender-neutral language become available for church services.

Meanwhile, priests who are opposed to same-sex marriage can, as a matter of conscience, refuse to officiate at such ceremonies. In Louisiana, that’s the norm.

Only a handful of the 97 Episcopal churches in the state have indicated they are planning to start holding same-sex weddings when the new rites take effect. These also are the only Louisiana churches that have presided over same-sex unions through a special “blessing” the Episcopal Church approved in 2012.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)General Convention Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEschatologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted July 20, 2015 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Great is the Lord. How great Jehovah is essentially none can conceive; but we can all see that he is great in the deliverance of his people, great in their esteem who are delivered, and great in the hearts of those enemies whom he scatters by their own fears. Instead of the mad cry of Ephesus, "Great is Diana, "we bear the reasonable, demonstrable, self evident testimony, "Great is Jehovah." There is none great in the church but the Lord. Jesus is "the great Shepherd, "he is "a Saviour, and a great one, "our great God and Saviour, our great High Priest; his Father has divided him a portion with the great, and his name shall be great unto the ends of the earth.

And greatly to be praised. According to his nature should his worship be; it cannot be too constant, too laudatory, too earnest, too reverential, too sublime. In the city of our God. He is great there, and should be greatly praised there. If all the world beside renounced Jehovah's worship, the chosen people in his favoured city should continue to adore him, for in their midst and on their behalf his glorious power has been so manifestly revealed. In the church the Lord is to be extolled though all the nations rage against him. Jerusalem was the peculiar abode of the God of Israel, the seat of the theocratic government, and the centre of prescribed worship, and even thus is the church the place of divine manifestation. In the mountain of his holiness. Where his holy temple, his holy priests, and his holy sacrifices might continually be seen. Zion was a mount, and as it was the most renowned part of the city, it is mentioned as a synonym for the city itself. The church of God is a mount for elevation and for conspicuousness, and it should be adorned with holiness, her sons being partakers of the holiness of God. Only by holy men can the Lord be fittingly praised, and they should be incessantly occupied with his worship.

--The Treasury of David on Psalm 48



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

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Posted July 19, 2015 at 3:40 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Glory in the highest - Chris Tomlin from citrail on Vimeo.



Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

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Posted July 19, 2015 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Bishop Ed] Konieczky said he voted against a related measure that calls for a change in the the denomination’s canonical definition of marriage as a “union of a man and a woman.”

He said the resolution, which was eventually approved, calls for altering the current canon language to “gender-neutral language,” replacing “a man and a woman” with “both parties.”

In his letter to the Oklahoma diocese on the Sunday after the denomination’s vote on gay marriage, Konieczky said he voted against this language alteration because it places the denomination’s canon in conflict with language used in their Book of Common Prayer and the denomination’s constitution....

Konieczky said he did not think the denomination had done the necessary theological work to make the switch to gender-neutral language.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)General Convention TEC BishopsTEC Polity & Canons* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted July 16, 2015 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In spite of our many modern conveniences, it’s still possible to get in difficulty while driving. Perhaps we hit a deer on a lonely road, and the car can’t be driven. We belong to an auto club that promised to give us a tow. But when we try to use our cell phone to call for help, we discover we’re in a spot where the phone won’t work. The only solution seems to be a long wait–or a long walk!

That’s just one example of the difficulties and problems that can arise, not only in travel, but all through the journey of life. For some things there seems to be a ready remedy, but what about the rest? Even here believers can look to the Lord with confidence. No testing or trial entering our lives is beyond His infinite wisdom and power.

There’s an insurance company whose slogan used to tell those who purchased a policy that they were “in good hands.” Far more fully and reliably is that true of all who put themselves in God’s hands. In every circumstance of life, from the womb to the tomb–and for eternity beyond, God’s loving care is abundantly sufficient.

Read it all and enjoy the wonderful lyrics.

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

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Posted July 16, 2015 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Early on the morning of Easter 387, just after dawn, the man whom history would come to know as "Augustine of Hippo" was baptized, along with a small group of fellow catechumens, in the large, octagonal baptistery behind Milan's imposing Basilica Nova. The baptism itself, as well as the extensive instruction preceding and following it, was performed by another memorable historical figure: the tenacious and formidable bishop "Ambrose of Milan." The relationship between these two towering figures of church history is the subject of Garry Wills' Font of Life. Curiously, the relationship he describes was not based on personal affinity or compatibility of belief. Rather, according to Wills, the story of Ambrose and Augustine was "a tangled one, full of surprises," a strange admixture of mystagogical initiation and retrospective invocation, deeply rooted in the nuances of early Christian liturgical practice and the conflicts of ecclesiastical politics. In this truly foreign context, Wills masterfully steers his historical reconstruction, artfully avoiding the twin shoals of reductive simplicity and overwhelming complexity by anchoring his narrative in the "sacred drama" of 4th-century baptism. In this, Wills does his readers a great service, bringing to life much of the ritual and symbolism surrounding the practice of late antique Christian initiation.

James J. O'Donnell has noted—at the outset of his three-volume commentary on Augustine's Confessions—the lamentable tendency of most modern readers to anachronistically undervalue the "visceral reverence for cult that all late antique men and women felt."[1] We undervalue cult, liturgy, and ritual, O'Donnell argues, both because of the prejudice of our time, which tends to purge these foreign elements from the beliefs of our spiritual forebears, and because of the paucity of remaining evidence for the specifics of these highly guarded practices. In the late 4th century, it was customary for the central liturgical act of Christian worship (the Eucharist) as well as for key pieces of Christian teaching (the Apostle's Creed, the Lord's Prayer) to be withheld from both non-Christians and catechumens, through a practice known as the disciplina arcani, the "discipline of the secret." Even Augustine, recounting his own baptismal experience in the 9th book of his Confessions, avoids describing the rite itself, preferring instead to comment on how he was moved by the singing of hymns. As there is clear attestation that much of late antique Christian teaching and practice relied heavily upon these "oral" and "performative" traditions of liturgy and sacrament, all too often veiled in silence, the church historian is faced with the dilemma of trying to reconstruct the Christianity of this period while missing key pieces of the puzzle.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchBooksReligion & Culture* TheologySacramental TheologyBaptism

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Posted July 14, 2015 at 8:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In a more ethereal sense, singing is an influence for a lifetime. Sometimes it has been derided as not cool but the real truth is that it is something beyond and altogether different; a gift from nowhere.

Well rehearsed, like all the best things in life, it becomes time to appreciate something deep and far more than oneself. It is an ultimate in sustained concentration, a skill too often denied at times by multitasking emptiness, in a rushed existence of stressed over-communication.

The last generation has witnessed the switch to an existence where pace of life is often overwhelming.

Music, whatever genre, is timeless in what it means. Recent reflections on British values are seldom encapsulated in the great Anglican tradition of making time in the present.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineHistoryMusicPsychology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted July 14, 2015 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Every Sunday my regular front row at church is filled with little girls (and Sawyer). I’m not really sure why these sweet little gals like sitting on the front row during worship, but I’m glad they do. They all bring their little notebooks and pens, and they draw during the sermon.

No one is playing on iPads or cell phones. No one is sleeping. No one is eating or drinking. There isn’t a single entertaining thing happening (except for my husband’s brilliant and lively sermons), but still they come to me week after week and sit there.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyPsychologyReligion & Culture* Theology

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Posted July 11, 2015 at 12:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

O Lord, you have searched me out and known me; you know my sitting down and my rising up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You mark out my journeys and my resting place and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but you, O Lord, know it altogether. You encompass me behind and before and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, so high that I cannot attain it.

Where can I go then from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?

If I climb up to heaven, you are there; if I make the grave my bed, you are there also. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there your hand shall lead me, your right hand hold me fast.

If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will cover me and the light around me turn to night,’ Even darkness is no darkness with you, the night is as clear as the day; darkness and light to you are both alike.

For you yourself created my inmost parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I thank you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvellous are your works, my soul knows well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was made in secret and woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes beheld my form, as yet unfinished; already in your book were all my members written, As day by day they were fashioned when as yet there was none of them.

How deep are your counsels to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I count them, they are more in number than the sand, and at the end, I am still in your presence.

O that you would slay the wicked, O God, that the bloodthirsty might depart from me! They speak against you with wicked intent; your enemies take up your name for evil.

Do I not oppose those, O Lord, who oppose you?
Do I not abhor those who rise up against you?
I hate them with a perfect hatred; they have become my own enemies also.
Search me out, O God, and know my heart; try me and examine my thoughts.
See if there is any way of wickedness in me and lead me in the way everlasting.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

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Posted July 10, 2015 at 8:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Church leaders, trade unionists, and politicians have expressed concern over government plans to relax the Sunday-trading laws.

Currently, large stores can open for up to six hours on Sundays, but the Chancellor, George Osborne, used his Budget speech on Wednesday afternoon to announce his plans to devolve responsibility for Sunday-trading laws to directly elected mayors and local authorities.

The move has come in for sharp criticism. The Labour leadership contender Andy Burnham tweeted: “Sundays are only day people who work in shops can bank on some time with their kids. I will oppose this all the way.”

The leader of the shop workers’ union USDAW, John Hannett, said that the Government should “honour the promise of a full consultation and parliamentary process for any proposed changes to the Sunday Trading Act....'

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted July 10, 2015 at 6:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Over the past three years, a major church scandal has unfolded in the island state of Singa­pore (literally, the “Lion City”). The target of investigation is the mighty City Harvest mega­church, which claims more than 20,000 adherents. Found­ing pastor Kong Hee has been accused of diverting at least $20 million to support his wife’s pop music career. Several other church leaders have been implicated in alleged cover-ups.

At first sight such a scandal might seem unremarkable. Sadly, clergy on all continents sometimes fail to live up to their principles, and churches often lack accountability.

What is astonishing is the existence of megachurches in Singapore, and their enormous popularity. This fact challenges much of what we commonly think we know about the nature of Chris­tianity outside its traditional Euro-American heartlands. It also raises basic questions about the process of secularization....

Most of the usual explanations for Christian expansion in Asia fall flat in the case of Singapore.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryAsiaSingapore* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* Theology

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Posted July 8, 2015 at 5:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Around 9:30 a.m. Monday morning, as state Senators filed briskly into chambers and protestors waved their red rebel banners outside, about 100 people congregated amidst the chaos in the South Carolina Statehouse rotunda and sang “Amazing Grace.”

But first, Hal Stevenson closed his eyes and led them in prayer.

“We pray for our state. We pray for our nation. We pray for our world that the grace that’s been displayed in our state will catch on, that your holy spirit will direct each of us to love our neighbors as ourselves and do your will.”

They’re not activists, Stevenson said. They don’t represent any formal organization, either. But they are Christians — from multiple denominations, races and political ideologies — moved by the showing of grace from the families of the nine people murdered at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston last month.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship* Culture-WatchHistoryMusicRace/Race RelationsReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralState Government* South Carolina* TheologyChristology

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Posted July 7, 2015 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...in the wake of the 5-4 Obergefell decision by Justice Anthony Kennedy and the U.S. Supreme Court, the Chicago Tribune has followed up with a news report about Reardon that does a good job of describing his decision, yet does little to dig into the thoughts and beliefs of those who either oppose or dismiss his strategy. Consider, for example, this passage in which an Orthodox bishop seems to echo, in reverse, some of Reardon's thinking:

Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, said he doesn’t foresee such a boycott in Chicago. He even questions whether it’s legal.

“I can’t imagine any of our priests doing that,” he said. “It hasn’t happened yet and I don’t anticipate it happening to make a political statement,” he said.

That's a really important quote.

I would stress that this statement by a Greek Orthodox bishop in no way represents an endorsement of Obergefell, but it clear indicates that there will be theological and legal debates ahead – inside Eastern Orthodoxy in this land and in other sanctuaries – about how priests should handle this clash between state and church.

In other words, this quote should have been near the top of the Tribune report and backed with more material explaining, on the record when possible, the views of those – in Orthodoxy and elsewhere – who have rejected Reardon's strategy.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralState Government* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesOrthodox Church* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted July 6, 2015 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Senior Anglican leaders have responded to a move by the Presbyterian Church in NSW to consider ministers handing back their marriage licences if marriage is redefined to include same-sex couples.

Kevin Murray, the moderator of the NSW Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, wrote to churches about debate at the annual assembly in Sydney last week.

“The Assembly considered what the church should do if marriage is redefined in Australia. It decided to ask the General Assembly of Australia to withdraw the whole church from the Marriage Act, so that our ministers could no longer solemnise marriages under the Marriage Act.” Mr Murray said. “The report which recommended this decision argued that if the Federal Government were to redefine marriage to include same-sex marriage then it would corrupt a good gift of God into a wrong. That would mean that ministers would then be acting for the government in a system which did not reflect the biblical view of marriage. In this case the positive reason for our co-operation with the Marriage Act would have been removed, and we would be better to avoid association with evil by no longer acting as celebrants.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesPresbyterian* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted July 6, 2015 at 8:34 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

A great article by Scott Ward of the ACNA Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic. Here’s an excerpt (bold added):
..Daniel and his friends had unwavering clarity about their priorities, even in the face of the idols of their age and no matter the cost. As Daniel’s three friends eloquently explained, “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Dan. 3:17-18).

Most of all, Daniel had great faith in a great God – and he prayed like it. Daniel was wholeheartedly devoted to prayer. He prayed and gave thanks regularly throughout every day and he did so without regard to what others might think or do. Indeed, his primary response to hostile legal changes – changes specifically designed to use his faithfulness to God as a weapon against him – was simply to pray to God, just as he had always done.
“Now when Daniel knew that the document [requiring that all people, on penalty of death, worship an idol of the present ruler] was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously.” (Daniel 6:10) (italics added).
But Daniel not only prayed regularly, he engaged in deep, prolonged, fervent, humble intercessory prayer, repenting of his people’s sins and imploring God’s grace and mercy upon them..

Read it all

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

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Posted July 3, 2015 at 7:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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