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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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[Kenneth] Woodward locates the Methodist Moment as having begun in modern U.S. politics back in 1972, but he notes that it passed quickly after the flop of Methodist George McGovern’s presidential campaign. Yet Woodward finds good reason to talk about a named “moment” because, as it slows or morphs, it leaves behind a changed landscape—think of a glacial moraine, which marks where a glacier once changed a mountainside, then lives on in stony and rocky residue. We live off that residue in the new landscape. Woodward lists many features of this Methodist influence in political movements, some of which he does not favor at all, and others which have to be reckoned with anew.
My interest in “episodes” and “moments” derives from my impulse to caution against utopian visions of causes, the belief that this time “we” have invented or devised or worked for a continually energetic movement or achievement. The concept of the “moment” is a reminder that nothing lasts, but that participants in efforts to change, though they do not win, may well be deserving of investment, renewal, revisitation. Only believers in inevitable and enduring progress, or who idolize their own efforts and causes, forget that episodes and moments come and go—for better and/or for worse.
Read it all.
Bryant has seen many familiar faces on the embalming table. He embalmed his mother, honoring one of her more difficult requests. “She didn’t want anybody else but me to do it. So my mother can say at least I minded her one time,” he says. He’s embalmed his father, brother, aunts, uncles, nephews, and classmates from grade school. When one heavy-drinking friend turned up at the funeral home, Bryant tsk-tsked at the body. “I told him, ‘Man, I tried to tell you this was going to catch up with you.’ ”
Bryant is a trim man who wears a Fitbit and works out at Life Time Fitness three or four times a week. It’s one way he copes with the challenges of the job: embalming a child, or someone who’s committed suicide. Once, he worked on a man who’d been shot 54 times. “Dealing with death every day is not for everybody,” he says. “It can be overwhelming.” He takes time off to visit Spain or Morocco with a group of funeral directors (his wife of 33 years is not keen on traveling; his four adult children are out of the house), but he always misses his work.
“I was born to be an embalmer,” Bryant says. “I’ve never been afraid of this. I never struggled with it in school. I picked it up”—he snaps his fingers—“like that. I don’t know what it’s like to have a job; I just get up every day and do something I love to do.”
Read it all (Hat tip:AJ).
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Health & Medicine * Economics, Politics Economy Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
The Church of England should not have a monopoly on Anglicanism in England, the priest set to plant a new church in Scarborough, outside diocesan structures...says.
“In the business world, monopolies are not encouraged; so I do not see why there should be one Anglican service provider in England,” the Revd Lee McMunn said on Wednesday. “Surely we can allow people the option to choose, whether that is future ministers or future members of congregations.”
His Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) church in Scarborough will be the first of hundreds, if the organisation’s church-planting plans are fulfilled. This month, AMiE announced plans to plant 25 churches by 2025, and 250 by 2050. It is seeking to draw up a map of “promising and needy places to plant new gospel churches”, and to recruit people to start AMiE churches and serve as “assistant ministers”. It is also hoping that Anglican churches will form partnerships with AMiE churches, providing money and “mutual training”.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) Global South Churches & Primates * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth * Theology Christology Ecclesiology Soteriology
This past summer, three elderly members of my summer parish in rural Québec received a diagnosis of cancer at the local hospital, a small-town facility an hour’s drive from cosmopolitan Ottawa and even farther from hyper-secular Montréal. Yet after the diagnosis had been delivered, the first question each of these people was asked was “Do you wish to be euthanized?” That is what the new Canadian euthanasia regime has accomplished in just a few months: It has put euthanasia at the top of the menu of options proposed to the gravely ill.
Then there is Belgium, where, as reported in NR’s October 10 print issue, a minor was recently euthanized by lethal injection. You might think that, with the suburbs of Brussels having become the de facto capital of the ISIS caliphate (Euro-subdivision) and a birth rate so far below replacement level that native Belgians will soon be a rare anthropological specimen, the good burghers of Flanders and Wallonia would have something better to do than hasten the deaths of teenagers, even when the teenagers in their distress request just that. But if you thought that, then, as Richard Nixon famously said, “That would be wrong.”
The more apt mot about all of this lethality masquerading as compassion, however, is from the quotable quotes of another Richard, Richard John Neuhaus, who famously said of the morally egregious and its relationship to law, “What is permitted will eventually become obligatory.” Canada isn’t quite there yet, nor is Belgium; but they’re well on their way, not least because their single-payer health-care systems will increasingly find euthanasia cost-effective — and because the arts of pain relief combined with human support will atrophy in those countries as the “easy way out” becomes, well, easier and easier.
Read it all (emphasis his).
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Aging / the Elderly Children Health & Medicine Marriage & Family Psychology Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. Canada * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Secularism * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
Today we remember Jerome, translator of the Scriptures. Rembrandt etching of Jerome & lion c.1633-35. [Prints 50/7] pic.twitter.com/jKAB8trIf7— LambethPalaceLibrary (@lampallib) September 30, 2016
O Lord, thou God of truth, whose Word is a lantern to our feet and a light upon our path: We give thee thanks for thy servant Jerome, and those who, following in his steps, have labored to render the Holy Scriptures in the language of the people; and we beseech thee that thy Holy Spirit may overshadow us as we read the written Word, and that Christ, the living Word, may transform us according to thy righteous will; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Today we remember Jerome, whose translations were crucial to the spread of Christianity and Christian study: https://t.co/3qB3w3N5ZD— Church of England (@c_of_e) September 30, 2016
O Almighty God, eternal, righteous, and merciful, give us poor sinners to do for thy sake all that we know of thy will, and to will always what pleases thee; so that inwardly purified, enlightened, and kindled by the fire of thy Holy Spirit, we may follow in the steps of thy well-beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
A new collection of resources to strengthen and support the use of the Bible in the life of the Church has been published by the Anglican Communion. Described as a tool-kit, the Deeper Engagement collection of educational resources has been prepared by the Communion’s Bible in the Life of the Church (Bilc) project “to encourage us, as churches, to engage more deeply with the Bible,” the co-ordinator Stephen Lyon said in a letter to Primates.
Deeper Engagement is a collection of around 120 different educational resources from different parts of the Communion. They have been gathered “to help us in our engagement with Scripture,” Mr Lydon said. “Most have been used to great effect already and those responsible for creating them are enthusiastic about sharing them with others in the Communion.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Adult Education Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * Theology Seminary / Theological Education Theology: Scripture
...do not imagine that indifference on these matters offers you an escape route. If you doubt that infant baptism or the Real Presence are issues worth dividing over, then you will find no real place at the Reformation table, either. As Lyndal Roper’s excellent new biography of Luther shows, the Real Presence was central to Luther’s thinking, and to say otherwise is to domesticate him beyond recognition. On this point, even Calvin and Zwingli could be categorized under the “S”-word as far as Luther was concerned. And perhaps we had better not mention what a serious deviation from the Nicene doctrine of the Trinity would have earned you. Michael Servetus could sadly testify to that.
The problem is that the Reformation is only really congenial to modern American evangelicalism if it is reduced to little more than the doctrine of justification by grace through faith. The sixteenth-century Reformation was about a whole lot more—and a whole lot that sits uncomfortably with the modern evangelical faith. So, like Bonhoeffer and C. S. Lewis, the Reformers and the Reformation must be bowdlerized, and by a strange domesticating metamorphosis, become modern American evangelicals. The truth is: The priorities and concerns of American evangelicalism have a highly tenuous and ambiguous relationship to those we find embodied in the confessions and catechisms of the Reformation and exemplified in the attitudes and actions of the Reformers.
Read it all.
Lo, we honour widely throughout the earth
the high-angel's tide in harvest,
Michael, as the multitude know,
five nights after the equinox day.
St Michael, dragon-slayer, guardian of humanity and weigher of souls, was immensely popular in the medieval period, and in this post are four pieces about St Michael by medieval English writers: a Latin sequence by the eighth-century Northumbrian scholar Alcuin; an English homily from c.990 by Ælfric; a prayer in verse by John Lydgate (c.1370–c.1451); and a homily by John Mirk (fl. c.1382–c.1414). Illustrations are from English manuscripts in the British Library and from some churches I've recently visited.
Read it all.
O everlasting God, who hast ordained and constituted the ministries of angels and men in a wonderful order: Mercifully grant that, as thy holy angels always serve and worship thee in heaven, so by thy appointment they may help and defend us on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
O Lord, take thou full possession of my heart, raise there thy throne, and command there as thou dost in heaven. Being created by thee, let me live to thee. Being created for thee, let me ever act for thy glory. Being redeemed by thee, let me render to thee what is thine, and let my spirit ever cleave to thee alone; for thy name’s sake.
It was the one-two punch of cellphones and email that first pulled clergy into the social-media age, followed by digital newsletters, Facebook pages and constantly changing congregational websites. Even in small churches, the work of the "church secretary" has evolved, from answering the office telephone and preparing an ink-on-paper newsletter to serving as an all-purpose online networker.
"The old boundaries are vanishing and, for pastors in some parts of the country, they're almost completely gone," said Vaters, reached by telephone. "That mobile phone is always with you. … Once your church passes 200 members you have to manage things in a different way. You just can't afford to be as accessible to all those church members all of the time."
So what happens today when a member of a congregation rings the pastor's cellphone? Vaters recently addressed that question in a post at Christianity Today's Pivot blog for small-church leaders. The blunt headline: "Why Most Pastors Aren't Answering Your Phone Calls."
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Pastoral Care * Culture-Watch Health & Medicine Psychology Religion & Culture Science & Technology * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
The fourth film in the series exploring the vision and narrative looks at how, in a world crying out for God's love, we can once again become a growing church for all people in all places. With Secretary General William Nye, Church Army's CEO Mark Russell, and the Revd Smitha Prasadam.
You may find more information here.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth * Culture-Watch Media Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK
Gracious God, we offer thanks for the lives and work of Richard Rolle, Walter Hilton, and Margery Kempe, hermits and mystics, who, passing through the cloud of unknowing, beheld thy glory. Help us, after their examples, to see thee more clearly and love thee more dearly, in the Name of Jesus Christ our Savior; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
O Living God, in whom is the fountain of life: So teach us to know thee through Jesus Christ that we may share the power of that eternal life which is in him, and that all our lives may be brought into obedience to thy holy will; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! By the grace of God and for the glory of Christ, we have been called to serve with you at Church of the Good Shepherd, and we could not be more excited....
Read it all.
You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there.
(Christ/St. Paul's Church Yonges Island SC; photo by Jacob Borrett)
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * By Kendall Sermons & Teachings * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics * Theology Theology: Scripture
My country’s parliament recently passed the first national assisted-suicide legislation in our history. Prompted by the Supreme Court of Canada’s unanimous decision last year to strike down the previous law as unconstitutionally restricting individual rights to life, liberty, and security, Parliament is now arguing over how widely or narrowly to involve Canadian citizens—both patients and health care providers—in assisted suicide.
In Culture of Death, first published in 2000, American lawyer and activist Wesley J. Smith warned that this debate was upon us. A new, updated revision of the book sharpens this warning, drawing on a wide range of cases in Belgium, the Netherlands, Canada, and the bellwether states of Oregon and Washington.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Aging / the Elderly Books Children Health & Medicine Law & Legal Issues Life Ethics Marriage & Family Psychology Religion & Culture * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Evangelicals * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
“Lewis was committed to classical liberalism in the tradition of John Locke and John Stuart Mill,” according to Professors Dyer and Watson, meaning he believed in the wisdom of limited government, equality under the law, and a robust private sphere. Lewis also presciently warned that Christians were tempted to abuse political power in ways that were bad for both Christianity and the state. He believed that theocracy was the worst form of government and detested the idea of a “Christian party,” which risked blaspheming the name of Christ.
“The danger of mistaking our merely natural, though perhaps legitimate, enthusiasms for holy zeal, is always great,” Lewis wrote. “The demon inherent in every party is at all times ready enough to disguise himself as the Holy Ghost; the formation of a Christian Party means handing over to him the most efficient makeup we can find.”
Lewis knew that a faith-informed conscience could advance justice and that Christianity played an enormous part in establishing the concept of natural rights and the dignity of the human person. But he also believed that legislation is not an exact science; that a Christian citizen does not, in the words of Professors Dyer and Watson, “have the authority to represent his or her prudential judgment as required by Christianity”; and that no political party can come close to approximating God’s ideal. Christianity is about ends, not means, according to Lewis, and so he spent a good deal of his life articulating what he believed was the telos, the ultimate purpose, of human beings. Lewis was convinced that partisan political engagement often undermined that effort.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
According to statistics and a recent pew sheet of my church; the Anglican Church has been in decline in the West for over 100 years. Numbers of Anglicans in Australia have also been in steady decline since 2001.
Being part of a traditional parish in the Diocese of Sydney, the challenge of growth and decline is more than just cyclical, it is generational. While the majority of the diocese has moved its worship form away from traditional setting, parishes like St Paul's Burwood has the challenge of protecting and using the liturgy regularly while still focusing on outreach.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Australia * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Australia / NZ
The Cross is the abyss of wonders, the centre of desires, the school of virtues, the house of wisdom, the throne of love, the theatre of joys, and the place of sorrows; It is the root of happiness, and the gate of Heaven.
Of all the things in Heaven and Earth it is the most peculiar. It is the most exalted of all objects. It is an Ensign lifted up for all nations, to it shall the Gentiles seek, His rest shall be glorious: the dispersed of Judah shall be gathered together to it, from the four corners of the earth. If Love be the weight of the Soul, and its object the centre, all eyes and hearts may convert and turn unto this Object: cleave unto this centre, and by it enter into rest. There we might see all nations assembled with their eyes and hearts upon it. There we may see God’s goodness, wisdom and power: yea His mercy and anger displayed. There we may see man’s sin and infinite value. His hope and fear, his misery and happiness. There we might see the Rock of Ages, and the Joys of Heaven. There we may see a Man loving all the world, and a God dying for mankind. There we may see all types and ceremonies, figures and prophecies. And all kingdoms adoring a malefactor: An innocent malefactor, yet the greatest in the world. There we may see the most distant things in Eternity united: all mysteries at once couched together and explained. The only reason why this Glorious Object is so publicly admired by Churches and Kingdoms, and so little thought of by particular men, is because it is truly the most glorious: It is the Rock of Comforts and the Fountain of Joys. It is the only supreme and sovereign spectacle in all Worlds. It is a Well of Life beneath in which we may see the face of Heaven above: and the only mirror, wherein all things appear in their proper colours: that is, sprinkled in the blood of our Lord and Saviour.
The Cross of Christ is the Jacob’s ladder by which we ascend into the highest heavens. There we see joyful Patriarchs, expecting Saints, Prophets ministering Apostles publishing, and Doctors teaching, all Nations concentering, and Angels praising. That Cross is a tree set on fire with invisible flame, that Illuminateth all the world. The flame is Love: the Love in His bosom who died on it. In the light of which we see how to possess all the things in Heaven and Earth after His similitude. For He that suffered on it was the Son of God as you are: tho’ He seemed only a mortal man. He had acquaintance and relations as you have, but He was a lover of Men and Angels. Was he not the Son of God; and Heir of the whole world? To this poor, bleeding, naked Man did all the corn and wine, and oil, and gold and silver in the world minister in an invisible manner, even as He was exposed lying and dying upon the Cross.
--Centuries of Meditations 1:58-60
Creator of wonder and majesty, who didst inspire thy poet Thomas Traherne with mystical insight to see thy glory in the natural world and in the faces of men and women around us: Help us to know thee in thy creation and in our neighbors, and to understand our obligations to both, that we may ever grow into the people thou hast created us to be; through our Savior Jesus Christ, who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, in everlasting light. Amen.
O Lord Christ, Son of David, born for us in lowly state at Bethlehem, and now exalted to the right hand of the Majesty on high: Grant us grace to think worthily of thee both in thy humility and in thy glory; that we may ascribe to thee the honour that is thy due, now and for evermore.
Culture has changed dramatically in the past century as Christendom has given way to secularism and pluralism. This new reality has now arrived in the urban south. We must ask if Christianity has anything to say in response. Join us for Listen & Speak as we discuss a Christian posture towards culture. Featuring pastor and author Scott Sauls and storyteller Andrew Peterson.
You can check out the website there and you can register here.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Adult Education Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Multiculturalism, pluralism Religion & Culture * South Carolina * Theology Apologetics Seminary / Theological Education
Now we have come full circle. It was widely reported on Saturday that a terminally ill 17-year-old became the first minor to be officially euthanized in Belgium since age restrictions on euthanasia were lifted in 2014. Jacqueline Herremans, a member of Belgium’s federal euthanasia commission (death panel?), said in a French media report, “The euthanasia has taken place.” She further announced that the euthanasia was done “in accordance with Belgian law.” Few details were provided other than the minor child had “a terminal illness.” Belgium is presently the only country in the world that allows terminally-ill children of any age to choose to end their life, but Belgian law requires that the minor be capable of making “rational decisions.” Further, any request for euthanasia must be made by the minor, be studied by a team of doctors, approved by an independent psychiatrist or psychologist, and have parental consent. The only thing missing is the 1,700 special courts and 27 higher courts to give their legal authorization . . . always within the law, of course. The Netherlands also allows mercy killings for children, but only for those aged over 12. Lord, have mercy!
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Children Health & Medicine Law & Legal Issues Life Ethics Marriage & Family Psychology Teens / Youth * International News & Commentary Europe Belgium * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
You can listen directly here or download it there.
(Photo: Travis Dew)
The Church of England has released two statistical reports, which sounds very dull, but stick with me. “Ministry Statistics in Focus: Stipendiary clergy projections” looks at how many stipendiary clergy there might be over the next 20 years, given different scenarios. “Ordained Vocations Statistics” sets out the number of those heading into training for ordained ministry over the past few decades and the profile by gender, age, etc. Both reports describe the patterns of the past. More than that, they illuminate the present and stimulate questions about the future.
I can find myself in these statistics. This may come as a surprise to those who know me, as I am lay. They don’t have any numbers about lay people, so how do I find myself in the documents? The report about stipendiary clergy projections doesn’t even have much about self-supporting ministers or those with PTO, because we can’t currently produce any accurate baseline numbers. Research and Stats are working on that, so expect better information next year. Surely the only reports I should be able to find myself in are the ones about church attendance?
But when I look at these reports, I can see in the retirement statistics the previous Bishop of Ely, +Anthony Russell, who confirmed me.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK
This sure is matter of love; but came there any good to us by it? There did. For our conception being the root as it were, the very groundsill of our nature; that He might go to the root and repair of our nature from the very foundation, thither He went; that what had been there defiled and decayed by the first Adam, might by the Second be cleansed and set right again. That had our conception been stained, by Him therefore, primum ante omnia,to be restored again. He was not idle all the time He was an embyro all the nine months He was in the womb; but then and there He even ate out the core of corruption that cleft to our nature and us, and made both us and it an unpleasing object in the sight of God.
And what came of this? We who were abhorred by God, filii irae was our title, were by this means made beloved in Him. He cannot, we may be sure, account evil of that nature, that is now become the nature of His own Son is now no less than ours. Nay farther, given this privilege to the children of such as are in Him, though but of one parent believing, that they are not as the seed of two infidels, but are in a degree holy, eo ipso; and have a farther right to the laver of regeneration, to sanctify them throughout by the renewing of the Holy Ghost. This honour is to us by the dishonour of Him; this the good by Christ an embyro.
--From a sermon preached before King James, at Whitehall, on Sunday, the Twenty-fifth of December, 1614
Almighty God, who gavest thy servant Lancelot Andrewes the gift of thy holy Spirit and made him a man of prayer and a faithful pastor of thy people: Perfect in us what is lacking of thy gifts, of faith, to increase it, of hope, to establish it, of love, to kindle it, that we may live in the life of thy grace and glory; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Today we remember Lancelot Andrewes Bishop of Winchester and Spiritual Writer who died in 1626 pic.twitter.com/FaDRJTM1Gf— Church of England (@c_of_e) September 25, 2015
O God our Father, let us find grace in thy sight so as to have grace to serve thee acceptably with reverence and godly fear; and further grace not to receive thy grace in vain, nor to neglect it and fall from it, but to stir it up and grow in it, and to persevere in it unto the end of our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Brinkley did attract many young clergy to Cloyne. During the winter of 1831–32 the area was badly affected by famine and disease. There was a cholera outbreak in Cork City. A number of these young men died – Thomas Walker, rector of Buttevant, died of Typhus; he was 29. Six weeks later his curate, Robert Disney died. Not far from here, the rector of Tallow, the 33 year old Henry Brougham died. On 7th July 1832 cholera reached Skibbereen on the same day as an anti–tithe meeting. There was cholera in Schull too, and Castletownshend.
In the wider polity of society and State, in this period, burning questions were: the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts (1828), tithes and the tithe war (1831–36), Catholic Emancipation (1829), the introduction of a system of national education in 1831 (Lord Stanley). In December 1834 at Bartlemy Cross near Rathcormac, for example, the Tithe Wars came to a head; up to 20 people were killed and many injured.
In Brinkley’s time, the very Diocese of which he was Bishop was under threat by the proposals of ecclesiastical reform. The Church Temporalities Act 1833 was seen by many, including such as John Keble, as imperiling the Church itself. It led to a highly symbolic confrontation between Church and State. After Brinkley’s death as current holder of the Bishopric, Cloyne would be united with Cork and Ross.
All these things happened during his time here.
Read it all.
All it took was for a KLOVE radio intern’s finger to slip, and a classic power ballad by Journey became an unlikely worship sensation overnight.
The incident reportedly occurred Tuesday evening, as new intern Kyle Criswell attempted to queue up Michael W. Smith’s song “Open Arms,” but mistakenly selected hit rock band Journey’s 1981 power ballad of the same name instead.
Criswell realized his mistake as the sappy love lyrics “Lying beside you, here in the dark / Feeling your heartbeat with mine / Softly you whisper, you’re so sincere / How could our love be so blind” began pumping into his headphones. Horrified, the young assistant immediately signaled the on-duty DJ to come over and help him figure out how to correct his mistake.
But then, something amazing happened, as thousands of new listeners began to tune into the station to hear the hit new worship song, calling in and demanding the station replay the track.
Read it all from The Babylon Bee.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * General Interest Humor / Trivia * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Evangelicals
“What is the bible like? Like a letter which a soldier wrote to his wife about the disposition of his affairs and the care of his children in case he should chance to be killed. And the next day he was shot, and died, and the letter was torn and stained with his blood. Her friends said to the woman: the letter is of no binding force; it is not a legal will, and it is so injured by the facts of the writers own death that you cannot ever prove what it means. But the lady said: I know the man, and I am satisfied I can see what he means. And I shall do it because it is what he wanted me to do, and because he died the next day.”
--quoted by yours truly in the sermon this morning
What is truly astonishing is the way that the Democrats’ planks on emerging culture-war issues echoed the (often more radical) stands adopted by the Methodists. Among the rights of children, for example, the Methodists included the right “to a full sex education, appropriate to their stage of development.” Affirming the rights of women, the Methodists supported full equality with men and demanded and end to “sex-role stereotypes.”
To counter overpopulation, the convention recommended the distribution of “reliable contraceptive information and devices.” Less than a year before Roe v. Wade, the convention urged “removal of abortion from the criminal code” but stopped short of approving abortion on demand. Finally, the Methodists embraced affirmative inclusion by reserving 30% of seats on all church boards and agencies for nonwhites, even though barely 6% of church members were African-American.
The events of 1972 also hastened the steady decline in membership and influence among the liberal mainline churches. Before the 1970s were out, the politically and socially conservative Southern Baptists superseded the United Methodists as the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. As one generation gave way to the next, more and more young Methodists, Presbyterians and the like grew up to become religiously something else or—especially among millennials—nothing at all.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * Culture-Watch History Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General Office of the President * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Give us grace, O God our Father, to keep this day and always the new commandment and the great commandment and all the commandments, by loving thee with all our mind and soul and strength, and one another for thy sake; in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
The ICBC also highlights that Māori and Pacific voices have been notably absent in public conversations over assisted suicide, raising questions whether the debate so far has accurately reflected this country’s cultural diversity on these issues.
The submission also flags:
1. The limits of claiming assisted dying as a personal ‘right’. The ICBC propose that an individual choice to die does not exist in a vacuum. The ICBC reminds Kiwis that no person is free of social responsibility for others who may suffer as a result of their choice to die.
2. Overseas experience indicates that assisted suicide promotes suicide by normalising it.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Aging / the Elderly Children Health & Medicine Law & Legal Issues Life Ethics Marriage & Family * International News & Commentary Australia / NZ * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
Blessed Lord, who wast tempted in all things like as we are, have mercy upon our frailty. Out of weakness give us strength; grant to us thy fear, that we may fear thee only; support us in time of temptation; embolden us in time of danger; help us to do thy work with good courage, and to continue thy faithful soldiers and servants unto our life’s end.
The Church of England has just released two related reports on numbers in ordained ministry. These are not related to annual ministry figures; the last figures (from 2015) were released in June, and caught the headlines for a number of reasons. These reports are related more to the aims of the Renewal and Reform process, and look back at the historical context as well as projecting forwards. Although there is no new research data included, the reports do contain some important observations which have implications for both national and diocesan approaches.
The first thing to say is that these reports are really helpful, with relevant information, well presented, and with interesting narratives to complement the information. This is a reflection of two important changes, one in strengthening the analysis of what is happening through the Research and Statistics team (they are very impressive—do go and visit them if you are passing through Church House) and the other in focussing more clearly on vocations at a national level within Ministry Division, not least through the appointment of Catherine Nancekievill as Head of Discipleship and Vocation. Is it too optimistic to think that the C of E is actually getting its act together in this area…?
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Young Adults * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
Turn around in your seat at the crematorium in the Berkshire town of Thatcham and you will see a web-cam, fixed to a beam, following the proceedings. It enables anyone who could not make it to the service to follow from afar. The valley of the shadow of death is now being live-streamed.
Demand is growing. The crematorium gets one live-streaming request a week. Obitus, the company that hooked up the system, currently has cameras in 25 locations, charging £2,500 ($3,245) to install and manage the technology.
Forty years ago, “virtually every funeral was the same,” says Paul Allcock, president of the national funeral directors’ society—from the cortege to the Church of England rites. Nothing like the outdoorsy family that inquired this week about using a camper van as a hearse—typical, says Mr Allcock, of a customer base that is less religious, more diverse, and keen to personalise their departure.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet Religion & Culture Science & Technology * International News & Commentary England / UK
Praying for our Presidential Election
Every Monday thru 11/7
5:30-6:30pm in the Church
Here is another opportunity to "Be the Church" and be intentional about prayer. Every Monday until the Presidential election, come gather in the church for concentrated intentional prayer for the upcoming election. Can't make it by 5:30? That's okay; just join as you can during this hour as we pray for our Heavenly Father to pour out His Spirit for wisdom and guidance in the coming election.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Adult Education Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained Pastoral Care Spirituality/Prayer * South Carolina
The great catechist of the Early Church, St. Augustine, knew better. L. Gregory Jones, in his valuable essay on baptism and catechesis in the patristic era, pointed out that for Augustine instruction of the mind and the conversion of the heart were not alternatives, but two sides of the same coin, as the human person is drawn by grace through an extended period of catechetical instruction to exchange error and sin for the knowledge and love of the true God.
This “instruction,” Jones writes, should be conceived of broadly; in the patristic era, it included “learning Scripture through study and hearing homilies … and the shaping of their affections … and being mentored in actual Christian living.” Augustine’s teaching immersed catechumens in the biblical narrative, not simply as “our story” to be expressed in this way or that, but in the intellectually rich mode of faith seeking understanding of the true God.
As a trained rhetor, Augustine was no dry pedant, but sought to “stir genuine delight in his listeners” so that they would come to love that which their minds were beginning to understand. Catechumens were assigned mentors to guide them relationally through the journey of conversion, for Augustine knew that “Christ is announced through Christian friends.” These sponsors were charged with keeping watch over the moral and spiritual formation of new believers, and in Lent would be asked whether their charges had kept from grievous sin and stuck to their Lenten disciplines.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Parish Ministry Adult Education Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Books * Theology Theology: Scripture
O Lord, whose way is perfect: Help us, we pray thee, always to trust in thy goodness; that walking with thee in faith, and following thee in all simplicity, we may possess quiet and contented minds, and cast all our care on thee, because thou carest for us; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.
An unusual miracle recorded in Eadmer of Canterbury's Life of St Dunstan, written in the early years of the twelfth century:
[Dunstan], while setting up his hospices at suitable intervals in his villages which were far afield from Canterbury, built a wooden church at Mayfield, just as he had in the locations of his other hospices. And while he was dedicating it and walking around it according to ritual he noticed that it was not aligned with the rising of the sun at the equinox; it is related that while passing near it he pushed it slightly with his shoulder and immediately changed it from its former orientation into direct alignment with the East where he wanted it. No one doubts that he could do this easily unless there exists someone who doubts the words of Christ our Lord in which he promises to those who have faith like a mustard seed that they can move even a mountain with their words.
Read it all and don't miss the diagram on the first day of Fall 2016.
Sermon from 1 Timothy 2:1-7 & Luke 16:1-13. QUESTIONS for Small Groups: (1) In 1 Timothy 2:1, Paul mentions various types of prayer (supplication, intercession, thanksgiving)...when you pray, what type of prayer do you typically default to? (2) What are some practical ways that you can grow in your prayer life? (3) Jesus is the Mediator for ALL people. Is there anyone you have considered beyond the reach of God's love? How can you pray for that person and reach out to them? (4) If a stranger asked you, "Is the Christian faith inclusive or exclusive, how would you answer?
You can listen directly there or download it here.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics Spirituality/Prayer * South Carolina * Theology Christology Theology: Scripture
Declines in Episcopal Church membership continue a downward spiral that began in the early 2000s. Updated statistics made available this week by the Episcopal Church Office of Research show a denomination continuing a gradual, uninterrupted decline in 2015. The U.S.-based denomination shed 37,669 members in 2015, a decline of -2.1 percent, while attendance declined -20,631, down -3.4 percent. A net 43 parishes closed, bringing the denominational total to 6,510 congregations.
The pattern is consistent with past years, in which dioceses in New England, the Rust Belt and predominantly rural areas post sharp declines, while dioceses in the South either retain their numbers or decline at a more gradual rate.
Episcopal Church officials, including former Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori — who completed a nine-year term in office in late 2015 — have predicted that decline would level off after years of internal dispute and the departure of dioceses, congregations and individual members. While there were no major congregational departures in 2015, the denomination still exceeded its baseline rate of decline of approximately 28,000 members a year by a substantial margin. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has struck an optimistic tone, encouraging the church to embrace its role in “the Jesus Movement” even as he seeks to address a workplace culture marked by “fear, mistrust and resentment” at the church’s national headquarters.
Read it all.
The Rev. Kevin Robertson was among three priests elected suffragan bishops at a synod of the diocese of Toronto, Saturday, September 17. Photo: Diocese of Toronto
A gay man living with a male partner is among three priests to have been elected suffragan bishops in the diocese of Toronto this weekend.
On Saturday, September 17, members of an electoral synod elected the Rev. Riscylla Walsh Shaw, Canon Kevin Robertson and Canon Jenny Andison as suffragan, or assistant, bishops. Each will be responsible for one of the diocese’s four episcopal areas: York-Scarborough, York-Credit Valley, Trent-Durham and York-Simcoe. Archbishop Colin Johnson, diocesan bishop, will decide which bishop will serve in each area. Bishop Peter Fenty is currently the bishop responsible for York-Simcoe.
Canon Kevin Robertson, incumbent at Christ Church, Deer Park in Toronto, was elected on the fourth ballot of the second election. According to an article on the diocese of Toronto website, Robertson, who lives with his male partner, said it was a “historic day.” He said he believed he was the first openly gay and partnered bishop-elect in the diocese and perhaps even in the entire Anglican Church of Canada.
His election, Robertson said, together with this summer’s provisional vote at General Synod to allow same-sex marriages, showed a growing acceptance of LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) people in the church.
Read it all. You can read more about the Suffragan Bishop-elect there.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * International News & Commentary Canada * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
On May 3, 1817, he conducted the first...[Episcopal] service in Columbus at the Buckeye House hotel.
Four days later, he preached again at the High Street home of storekeeper Lincoln Goodale. “Some of those who came were merely curious. Others believed that God’s inerrant providence brought them to that spot. All listened with reverence as Chase intoned the service from the Book of Common Prayer and preached to them,” Lisa M. Klein wrote in her 2003 history of Trinity Episcopal Church, Be It Remembered.
Read it all.
Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the pioneer and perfecter of our faith We give thee heartfelt thanks for the pioneering spirit of thy servant Philander Chase, and for his zeal in opening new frontiers for the ministry of thy Church. Grant us grace to minister in Christ's name in every place, led by bold witnesses to the Gospel of the Prince of Peace, even Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Blessed Lord, who putteth down the mighty from their seat and exaltest those of low degree: Save us, we beseech thee, from pride and vainglory, from self-seeking and false ambition. Give us a humble and contrite spirit, that we may think less of ourselves, more of others, and most of all of thee, who art our mighty God and Saviour; to whom with thee and the Holy Spirit we ascribe all praise and glory, now and for evermore.
You write that a lot of people are disappointed by their experience with the Bible, which creates guilt. Why the disappointment?
We’re not honest with people about the Bible. There’s this fear that if we admit it’s a difficult and challenging book, we’ll scare people off. We want to tell people, especially new Christians, about all the great things that will happen to them by reading it.
Since we’re not honest about what kind of book the Bible is, and how it’s supposed to work, when people start reading for themselves, they encounter all kinds of crazy material that doesn’t fit the paradigm that we’ve given them. They find stuff from ancient cultures, from different parts of the world, and they don’t understand it immediately. And it’s hard for them to get something they can apply to their lives every single day from just reading through the Bible. So it leads to cherry-picking verses. Because there are these gems, these verses that seem to contain important spiritual truths.
So you get all these cherry-picked passages, but everything else gets neglected or completely ignored. Certain passages are essentially de-canonized. We end up with a partial Bible. So people get discouraged. They try again with a read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year plan, but they’re just not making it.
We need to start equipping people to understand the Bible on its own terms. We have to go back into the Bible’s world, rather than demanding it be immediately relevant to ours. We need to give them pathways from the ancient world into today’s world.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Parish Ministry Adult Education Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Books * Theology Theology: Scripture
The Church of England will see the number of traditional clergy drop by 15 per cent in just 20 years unless it dramatically increases ordinations over the next decade, new figures show.
While falling numbers in the pews have attracted headlines in recent years, senior clerics are also concerned about a separate looming decline - in the pulpit.
Bishops fear a fall in the number of priests could make the task of reversing declining congregations by winning new converts more difficult than ever.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch History Men Psychology Religion & Culture Sociology Women Young Adults * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Seminary / Theological Education
We thank thee, heavenly Father, for the witness of thine apostle and evangelist Matthew to the Gospel of thy Son our Savior; and we pray that, after his example, we may with ready wills and hearts obey the calling of our Lord to follow him; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
O God, our true Life, in whom and by whom all things live, Thou commandest us to seek Thee, and art ready to be found; Thou biddest us knock, and openest when we do so. To know Thee is life, to serve Thee is freedom, to enjoy Thee is a kingdom, to praise Thee is the joy and happiness of the soul. I praise, and bless, and adore Thee, I worship Thee, I glorify Thee, I give thanks to Thee for Thy great glory. I humbly beseech Thee to abide with me, to reign in me, to make this heart of mine a holy temple, a fit habitation for Thy Divine majesty. O Thou Maker and Preserver of all things, visible and invisible! keep, I beseech Thee, the work of Thine own hands, who trusts in Thy mercy alone for safety and protection. Guard me with the power of Thy grace, here and in all places, now and at all times, forevermore. Amen.
--James Manning,ed., Prayers of the Early Church (Nashville: The Upper Room, 1953)
(Photo: Joy Hunter)
Prolific author and teacher Dr. Ken Boa spoke to a crowd at St. John’s, Johns Island, September 7, 2016 on “Rewriting Your Broken Story: Gaining an Eternal Perspective on your Christian Walk,” which is also the title of his most recent book.
“All of us have broken stories,” said Boa. “How is yours broken?”
He began retelling a story of Martin Laird’s which tells of a dog who when set free simply ran in circles, because it had lived most of its life in a cage. “We buy into a false narrative,” said Boa.
Read it all and note the link to his talk and to pictures.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Adult Education * South Carolina * Theology Anthropology Christology Ethics / Moral Theology Soteriology Theology: Scripture
Dioceses have responded to the call to work towards a 50% increase in candidates for ordination with new posts and new procedures. A review of numbers in ordained ministry over the last 67 years shows that the 50% increase in candidates for ministry by 2020 agreed by the General Synod in February, 2015, is needed to stabilise and increase the numbers ministering in parishes, chaplaincies and new forms of church.
The Church of England is seeking to increase by half the numbers training for ordained ministry and to sustain those numbers for a decade: an increase from about 500 to 750 by 2020. At the same time, the Church is also seeking greater diversity among those training for ministry. This will better reflect the communities where the Church is working, in terms of age, gender and ethnic and social background. The 50% increase is an aspiration and not a limit if more candidates come forward and dioceses require more new clergy.
The Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Rev Andrew Watson, chair of the Ordained Vocations Working Group said, "The aspiration to increase the number of new clergy by 50% is part of a wider vision to release and develop the gifts of the whole people of God.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Young Adults * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
Almighty God, who didst call thy faithful servants John Coleridge Patteson and his companions to be witnesses and martyrs in the islands of Melanesia, and by their labors and sufferings didst raise up a people for thine own possession: Pour forth thy Holy Spirit upon thy Church in every land, that by the service and sacrifice of many, thy holy Name may be glorified and thy kingdom enlarged; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Today we remember John Coleridge Patteson, First Bishop of Melanesia, and his Companions, Martyrs, 1871 pic.twitter.com/LSAcyMrsEM— Anglican Church SPB (@anglicanspb) September 20, 2015
Lord Jesus Christ, who by precept and example hast taught us that the greatest of all is the servant of all, and that the humble shall be exalted: Make us content to take the lowest place; and if it shall please thee to call us higher, do thou preserve within us a simple and lowly spirit; to thy great glory.
With children it is usually cancer: incurable sickness, unbearable pain, debilitating, degrading misery. What child wouldn’t prefer to go an be with Jesus? Belgium’s Federal Control and Evaluation Committee on Euthanasia (it’s a thing) agrees. Far better for children to be given a fatal injection than to cough up blood all night long, whether or not they go to be with Jesus. Indeed, Jesus doesn’t really come into it. Why should he? We’re talking about the exercise of free will for the alleviation of unbearable physical suffering. It is liberal, progressive and compassionate. A child could understand it, especially at the age of 17.
Belgium legalised euthanasia in 2002, and now injects people whether or not they are suffering a terminal illness. If you’re depressed and feeling suicidal for no particular reason at all, Belgium will provide a way out. They extended euthanasia to children in 2014. It is the only country in the world that has no age restriction. At least in the Netherlands you have to be 12 years of age before you can decide you’d prefer to be with Jesus than all those nasty doctors and nurses. In Belgium, the Federal Control and Evaluation Committee on Euthanasia can give their blessing to your death if you’re 10, eight, six… provided you’re in unbearable physical pain and know what you’re doing.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child… (1Cor 13:11).
One hesitates to use the word ‘evil’ of statutes promulgated by well-intentioned politicians in the context of a liberal democracy, with all the constitutional checks and balances afforded by reason and experience. But Belgium’s abolition of all age restrictions on “the right to die” must surely qualify as one of the most wicked and damnable decrees in the history of Christendom.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Children Health & Medicine Law & Legal Issues Life Ethics Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary Europe Belgium * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
We want to wish the Archbishop well in his retirement. We note the Archbishop’s final presidential address at Governing Body, and still struggle to understand how his approach to scripture is not just licence to disregard its authority. We believe that the inclusivity of Jesus, to which the Archbishop referred, was one not only of loving everyone, but also of calling everyone to a degree of repentance which would result in following him exclusively as Lord. We note Jesus gave an invitation to everyone, but warned repeatedly and frequently of consequences for those who rejected him. We are therefore delighted that one of the closing discussions at Governing Body got people talking about the need to engage in mission and evangelism. We hope and pray that these are the issues that occupy the time and energy of the Church in Wales in the years to come.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of Wales * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth * Culture-Watch Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * International News & Commentary England / UK --Wales * Theology Anthropology Christology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
Almighty God, who didst call thy servant Theodore of Tarsus from Rome to the see of Canterbury, and didst give him gifts of grace and wisdom to establish unity where there had been division, and order where there had been chaos: Create in thy Church, we pray, by the operation of the Holy Spirit, such godly union and concord that it may proclaim, both by word and example, the Gospel of the Prince of Peace; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Today we remember Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury from 668 - 690 pic.twitter.com/GJxRDfSXZT— Church of England (@c_of_e) September 19, 2016
Take from us, O Lord God, all pride and vanity, all boasting and self-assertion, and give us the true courage that shows itself in gentleness; the true wisdom that shows itself in simplicity; and the true power that shows itself in modesty; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
+ Repentance in Exile - Dean Peet Dickinson [Nehemiah 9] - next available part of the series on Nehemiah from the Cathedral Church of St Luke and St Paul, SC
+ Jesus' Prayer for Himself - Rev Vaughan Roberts [John17:1-5]
+ Choral Evensong from St Clement Danes Church, London sung by Genesis Sixteen
+ The End: Preaching Matters - Rev William Taylor
Listen live here at 10:15 am Eastern time [3:15 pm London time]
From September 11th, 2016
+ Sunday Sermon - Learning from the Potter and the Clay - Dr Kendall Harmon (Jeremiah 18:1-11)
+ Choral Evensong from the Charles Wood Summer School at St Patrick's Church of Ireland Cathedral, Armagh
From August 28th, 2016
+ Rejoicing in Exile - Dean Peet Dickinson [Nehemiah 6] - next available part of the series on Nehemiah from the Cathedral Church of St Luke and St Paul, SC
+ Death and the Life Heareafter - Dr Paul Williamson - Moore College lecture
+ Choral Evensong from Edington Priory, during the Edington Festival of Music within the Liturgy
From August 14th, 2016
+ Acts of Spiritual Power - Vaughan Roberts [Acts 19:1-22]
+ Rebuilding & Resistance in Exile - Jacob Graudin [Nehemiah 2:9-20, 3, 4] - part 2 of the new series from the Cathedral Church of St Luke and St Paul, SC
+ Choral Evening Prayer [RC] at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral with the Royal School of Church Music Millennium Youth Choir
From August 7th, 2016
+ How do you think to Yourself? The Rich Fool - Dr Kendall Harmon [Luke 12:13-21]
+ 'Stormy Weather' - Rev Jeffrey Miller [Matthew 14:22-33]
+ Introducing a new sermon series on Nehemiah - Dean Peet Dickinson
+ Looking for Leaders: God's Voice is Heard - Vaughan Roberts [1 Samuel 3]
+ Sunday Worship from the Keswick Convention with Emma Scrivener
+ Choral Evensong from Chichester Cathedral during the Southern Cathedrals Festival
From July 31st, 2016
+ Looking for a Leader: Those who honor me - Vaughan Roberts [1 Samuel 2:12-36]
+ The Holy Spirit - Archbishop Foley Beach
+ Choral Evensong from the Three Choirs Festival of Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester Cathedrals
+ Preaching Matters: Preaching 2 Timothy - Andy Gemmill
From July 24th, 2016
+ The Power of Priorities & the Danger of Distraction - Dr Kendall Harmon (Luke 10:38-42)
+ Looking for Leaders: A son is born - Vaughan Roberts [1 Samuel 1:1-2:11]
+ Choral Evensong from Derby Cathedral
+ The Church and the State: The Christian's Responsibility in the Public Square - Anglican Way Institute Summer Conference 2016 with Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali
[More on the AWI 2016 Summer Conference]
From July 17th, 2016
+ The Shape of the Christian Life - Dr Kendall Harmon (Luke 10:25-37)
+ Called to Freedom - Dr Peter Moore [Galatians, John]
+ More than Conquerors - Vaughan Roberts [Romans 8:31-38]
+ Choral Evensong from the Chapel of Eton College with the first 2016 Eton Choral Course
From July 10th, 2016
+ Sermon given at the Memorial Service for Bishop Salmon - Dr Kendall Harmon [See more here]
+ The Magna Carta of Christian Freedom - Dr Kendall Harmon (Galatians 5:1;13-25)
+ Choral Evensong from Durham Cathedral
+ Preaching 2 Peter - Rev William Taylor
From June 26th, 2016
+ Now that Faith has come - Dr Peter Moore [Luke 8:19-21, 2 Samuel],
+ The Spirit Helps Us In Our Weakness - James Fletcher [Romans 8:18-27]
+ Choral Evensong from from the Chapel of St John's School, Leatherhead, with the Guildford Cathedral Choir
From June 19th, 2016
+ Anointment and Forgiveness - Bishop Mark Lawrence [Luke 7:39-50]
+ God's New Creation 1 - Vaughan Roberts [Revelation 21]
+ Choral Evensong from Lichfield Cathedral
From June 12th, 2016
+ It's Not Man's Gospel - Dr Peter Moore at St Philip's Charleston SC [Galatians 1:11]
+ Matins [Morning Prayer] from St Mary Magdalene, Sandringham
+ Friday's Thanksgiving Service from St Paul's Cathedral for the 90th Birthday of the Queen [starts 15 mins in]
Order of Service
From June 5th, 2016
+ A Man’s Faith that Amazed Jesus - Dr Kendall Harmon (Luke 7:1-10)
+ The Fall of Babylon - Vaughan Roberts [Revelation 17:1-19:10 ]
+ Choral Evensong from the St Davids Cathedral Festival
From May 29th, 2016
+ Building the Church - Dr Russ Parker at the Cathedral Church of St Luke and St Paul, Charleston
+ Town Hall Service - Vaughan Roberts
+ The Loud Absence: Where is God Amidst Suffering and Evil? - Professor John Lennox
From May 22nd, 2016
+ Pentecost: Power, Surprises and Understanding - Dr Kendall Harmon (Acts 2:1-11)
+ Talks from JI Packer on 1 Timothy at Laity Lodge, Texas [h/t Prydain]
+ Praying - Vaughan Roberts [Matthew 6:5-13]
+ Choral Evensong from Tewkesbury Abbey with Schola Cantorum
From May 15th, 2016
+ The Church is on Fire - Dr Russ Parker at St Michael's Charleston
+ Jesus the Ascended King (Acts 1:1-11) - Dr Kendall Harmon
+ Choral Evensong from St John's College, Cambridge
+ Choral Evensong from St Pancras Church during the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music
or there is an updated version from Rend Collective here
From May 8th, 2016
+ The Ascension of Jesus - Bishop Mark Lawrence
+ Choral Evensong from Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford
From May 1st, 2016
+ God's Building - Vaughan Roberts [1 Peter 2:4-8]
+ Choral Evensong from St John's College, Cambridge
From April 24th, 2016
+ The Good News - Rev Paul Wasswa Ssembiro at Christ St Pauls [Romans 1]
+ The Gospel in those Seasons when we have no fish - Bishop Mark Lawrence (John 21)
+ Choral Evensong from Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, with the Choir and Orchestra of the Swan
From April 17th, 2016
Talks from New Wineskins
God at Work in South-East Asia - Bishop Rennis Ponniah [Luke 9:51 - 10:2 and Luke 24]
See: Mission Consultation South East Asia
From April 10th, 2016
+ A New Day for All Humanity - Bishop Rennis Ponniah
+The Bishop of London's Easter Day Address
From March 27th, 2016
+ Priestly Prayer: The Prayer of Jesus and Portrait of Prayer: Agony in the Garden - Dr Kendall Harmon [Parts 6 and 7 of a Lent series on Prayer from Christ St Pauls]
+ Easter Day Evensong live from Worcester Cathedral now
+ Good Friday Meditations from St Andrew's Cathedral Singapore
From March 20th, 2016
+ Palm Sunday Sermon - Rev Peter Cook at St Andrew's Singapore on Sunday [Philippians 2]
+ The Bridge Keeper - Rev C. Bradley Wilson at St Philip's Charleston on Sunday
+ The Slain Lamb - Rev Vaughan Roberts [Revelation 5] [MP3]
+ Strengthened by the Holy Spirit: The Prayer of St Paul - Rev Craige Borrett last week [Part 5 of a Lent series on Prayer from Christ St Pauls - Ephesians 3:14-21]
+ Sermon at SC Convention Eucharist - Bishop Thad Barnum
+ The Seven Last Plagues - Rev Vaughan Roberts [Revelation 15 & 16]
+ The Loud Absence: Where is God Amidst Suffering and Evil? - Professor John Lennox
+ Choral Evensong from Wells Cathedral
+ Open Thread: Lent Resources
Elgar: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me from the Choirs of the Cathedral Church of St Luke & St Paul, Charleston, SC [words from Isaiah 61:1-3,11]
"Recorded live at Choral Evensong on the Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist, October 18, 2015. The Cathedral Church of St. Luke & St. Paul, Charleston, SC. The Cathedral Choir (with members of the Compline Choir.) Paul Thomas, Organist and Choral Ministry Director"
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor:
He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted,
to preach deliv’rance to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,—
to preach the acceptable year of the Lord;
To give unto them that mourn a garland for ashes,
the oil of joy for mourning,
the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they might be called trees of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.
For as the earth bringeth forth her bud,
and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth;
So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel
From March 13th, 2016
+ The Freedom of Forgiveness - Bishop Rennis Ponniah [Genesis 45:3-15 and Mark 18:21-35]
+ Talking Jesus - Rev Rico Tice [more]
+ The Harvest - Rev Vaughan Roberts [Revelation 14]
+ The Bible: Quaint Relic or Bright Light - Dr Ken Bailey at Trinity School for Ministry
+ The Prayer of the Apostles - Let us speak boldly - Dr Kendall Harmon last week [Part 4 of a Lent series on Prayer from Christ St Pauls - Acts 4:1-31]
+ Choral Evensong from Westminster Abbey
[More from 'What is the Gospel?' - Rev William Taylor at St Helen's Training]
From March 6th, 2016
+ Feeding of the Five Thousand - Archbishop Stanley Ntagali at St Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore [John 6:1-15 and Mark 6:30-44]
+ What is Evangelicalism? - John Stott [from here where there is a summary]
+ I saw Heaven Open: the Two Beasts - Rev Vaughan Roberts [Revelation 13]
+ Choral Evensong from the Chapel of Magdalen College, Oxford
+ Hannah - Remember Me - Rev Craige Borrett last Sunday [Part 3 of a Lent series on Prayer from Christ St Pauls - 1 Samuel 1 to 2:10]
From February 28th, 2016
+ The Primacy of Religious Freedom - Bishop Mark Lawrence
+ Parting Thoughts - Rev. Jeffrey S. Miller [2 Timothy 3 & 4]
+ The Woman and the Dragon - Rev Vaughan Roberts [Revelation 12]
+ Solomon - Give me wisdom - Dr Kendall Harmon last week [Part 2 of a Lent series on Prayer from Christ St Pauls - 2 Chronicles 1:7-13 and 1 Kings 3]
+ Zechariah: When God Returns in Power - Bishop Rennis Ponniah Session 1, Session 2 and Session 3
+ Choral Evensong from King's College, Cambridge
From February 21st, 2016
+ God Knows - Kevin de Young at St Ebbes, Oxford [Exodus 2:11-25]
+ Preaching Christ in the Old Testament - Kevin de Young in Preaching Matters from St Helens, Bishopsgate, London [see below]
+ Following Jesus Wholeheartedly - Bishop John Tan at St Andrews Cathedral, Singapore [Philippians 3:17-4:1]
From February 14th, 2016
+ David: I have sinned - Rev Craige Borrett [Part 1 of a Lent series on Prayer from Christ St Pauls]
+ Renewed and Empowered by the Holy Spirit - Bishop Rennis Ponniah today [Ephesians 4:17-28]
+ The Transfiguration - Dr Kendall Harmon last week [Luke 9] - well recommended by The Elves
+ Big Issues: Transgender - Rev Vaughan Roberts
+ Choral Evensong for Ash Wednesday from the Temple Church in London
From February 7th, 2016
+ 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
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]
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]
The Cross at Camp St Christopher, SC
Previous posts are here
Religion is big bucks — worth $1.2 trillion annually to the American economy, according to the first comprehensive study to tabulate such a figure.
“In perspective, that would make religion the 15th largest national economy in the world, ahead of 180 other countries in terms of value,” said Georgetown University’s Brian Grim, the study’s author.
“That would also make American religion larger than the global revenues of the top 10 tech companies, including Apple, Amazon and Google,” he continued. “It would also make it 50 percent larger than the six largest American oil companies’ revenue on an annual basis.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Sociology * Economics, Politics Economy * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Other Faiths
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of Nigeria * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Preaching / Homiletics * Culture-Watch Women * South Carolina * Theology Christology Theology: Scripture
... there are at least three reasons why translations can never really be fixed. The first is that we might make discoveries in the ancient world which shed new light on the significance of ideas, terms or episodes. The second is that, there continue to be discoveries of new and earlier manuscripts of the NT which might affect translation. The primary reason why the KJV is not a good Bible to read and study (apart from its archaic language) is that, since it was fixed 150 years after the first version, we have discovered many more better, earlier manuscripts of both Old and New Testaments, the most significant being the Dead Sea Scrolls. But the third reason has to do with our world; contemporary language continues to change, and so translation to this changing ‘target language’ will need to be open to review.
Read it all
Beginning in the summer of 2016, the text of the ESV Bible will remain unchanged in all future editions printed and published by Crossway—in much the same way that the King James Version (KJV) has remained unchanged ever since the final KJV text was established almost 250 years ago (in 1769). This decision was made unanimously by the Crossway Board of Directors and the ESV Translation Oversight Committee. All future Crossway editions of the ESV, therefore, will contain the Permanent Text of the ESV Bible—unchanged throughout the life of the copyright, in perpetuity.
The creation of the ESV Permanent Text represents the culmination of more than seventeen years of comprehensive work by the Translation Oversight Committee, as authorized and initiated by the Crossway Board in 1998. (For additional information about the ESV Bible translation, read more about the translation philosophy). The decision now to create the Permanent Text of the ESV was made with equally great care—so that people who love the ESV Bible can have full confidence in the ESV, knowing that it will continue to be published as is, without being changed, for the rest of their lives, and for generations to come....
Read it all
O Lord Jesus Christ, who didst pray for thy disciples that they might be one, even as thou art one with the Father: Draw us to thyself, that in common love and obedience to thee we may be united to one another, in the fellowship of the one Spirit, that the world may believe that thou art Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
...to the typical observer, it’s the Francis position that looks more like the church’s real teaching (He is the pope, after all), even if it’s delivered off the cuff or in footnotes or through surrogates.
That position, more or less, seems to be that second marriages may be technically adulterous, but it’s unreasonable to expect modern people to realize that, and even more unreasonable to expect them to leave those marriages or practice celibacy within them. So the sin involved in a second marriage is often venial not mortal, and not serious enough to justify excluding people of good intentions from the sacraments.
Which brings us back to Tim Kaine’s vision, because it is very easy to apply this modified position on remarriage to same-sex unions. If relationships the church once condemned as adultery are no longer a major, soul-threatening sin, then why should a committed same-sex relationship be any different? If the church makes post-sexual revolution allowances for straight couples, shouldn’t it make the same ones for people who aren’t even attracted to the opposite sex?
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * Culture-Watch Marriage & Family Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic Pope Francis * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Sacramental Theology Theology: Scripture
"I don't know if it's any better with the Anglican Church in England, but the...[Episcopal] Church in America seems to have gone stark raving mad."
Read the background and the larger quote there.
(Carl Van Vechten)
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Liturgy, Music, Worship * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss one of the most remarkable figures of the Middle Ages, Hildegard of Bingen. The abbess of a Benedictine convent, Hildegard experienced a series of mystical visions which she documented in her writings. She was an influential person in the religious world and much of her extensive correspondence with popes, monarchs and other important figures survives. Hildegard was also celebrated for her wide-ranging scholarship, which as well as theology covered the natural world, science and medicine. Officially recognised as a saint by the Catholic Church in 2012, Hildegard is also one of the earliest known composers. Since their rediscovery in recent decades her compositions have been widely recorded and performed.
Check it out--you can listen directly or download.
O God, by whose grace thy servant Hildegard, enkindled with the fire of thy love, became a burning and shining light in thy Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and may ever walk before thee as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, liveth and reigneth, one God, now and for ever.
(Miniatur aus dem Rupertsberger Codex des Liber Scivias)
O Lord Jesus Christ, who when on earth wast ever about thy Father’s business: Grant that we may not grow weary in well-doing. Give us grace to do all in thy name. Be thou the beginning and the end of all: the pattern whom we follow, the redeemer in whom we trust, the master whom we serve, the friend to whom we look for sympathy. May we never shrink from our duty from any fear of man. Make us faithful unto death; and bring us at last into thy eternal presence, where with the Father and the Holy Ghost thou livest and reignest for ever.
In the years that I was the principal caregiver for my wife, I did things I never imagined I’d have to do: caring for her body, thinking for her, arranging her days. My shortcomings often humbled me. But what if it had gotten even harder before she died? I do not know for sure that I could have gone on. For all of us, there are always untested limits.
But not for Jesus. All the way down, he screamed from the cross something strange: a prayer. He no longer felt any intimacy with God, so he didn’t pray to his father. Instead, he questioned God as any human could. A human being can still pray to God, even in the absence of any sign that he has a divine father, even there at the bottom. Someone can still ask, if nothing else, why this God has forsaken him. God gives, and God takes away. But he is still there.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Pastoral Care * Culture-Watch Health & Medicine Marriage & Family * Theology Christology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theodicy Theology: Scripture
The longer I spent immersed in the study of classical antiquity, the more alien and unsettling I came to find it. The values of Leonidas, whose people had practised a peculiarly murderous form of eugenics, and trained their young to kill uppity Untermenschen by night, were nothing that I recognised as my own; nor were those of Caesar, who was reported to have killed a million Gauls and enslaved a million more. It was not just the extremes of callousness that I came to find shocking, but the lack of a sense that the poor or the weak might have any intrinsic value. As such, the founding conviction of the Enlightenment – that it owed nothing to the faith into which most of its greatest figures had been born – increasingly came to seem to me unsustainable.
“Every sensible man,” Voltaire wrote, “every honourable man, must hold the Christian sect in horror.” Rather than acknowledge that his ethical principles might owe anything to Christianity, he preferred to derive them from a range of other sources – not just classical literature, but Chinese philosophy and his own powers of reason. Yet Voltaire, in his concern for the weak and oppressed, was marked more enduringly by the stamp of biblical ethics than he cared to admit. His defiance of the Christian God, in a paradox that was certainly not unique to him, drew on motivations that were, in part at least, recognisably Christian.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * Culture-Watch History Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Christology Theology: Scripture
O God, who by the preaching of thy blessed servant and bishop Ninian didst cause the light of the Gospel to shine in the land of Britain: Grant, we beseech thee, that, having his life and labors in remembrance, we may show forth our thankfulness by following the example of his zeal and patience; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Lord Jesus, my Saviour, let me now come to thee:
My heart is cold; O Lord, warm it with thy selfless love.
My heart is sinful; cleanse it by thy precious blood.
My heart is weak; strengthen it by thy joyous Spirit.
My heart is empty; fill it with thy divine presence
Lord Jesus, my heart is thine; possess it always and only for thyself. Amen.
--The Rt. Rev. Maurice Arthur Ponsonby Wood (1916-2007)
Almighty God, who didst give to thy servant Cyprian boldness to confess the Name of our Savior Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world, and courage to die for this faith: Grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us, and to suffer gladly for the sake of the same our Lord Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
(Meister von Meßkirch)
Almighty God, the giver of all good things, without whose help all labour is ineffectual, and without whose grace all wisdom is folly: Grant, we beseech thee, that in our undertakings thy Holy Spirit may not be withheld from us, but that we may promote thy glory, and the coming of thy kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Bishop of the Diocese of Kaduna, Anglican Communion, Reverend Timothy Yahaya, has lamented the high cost of living Nigerians are presently going through.
He noted that the present hardship was biting hard on the masses, stressing that it was further made worse due to the sharp increase in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
Reverend Timothy observed that Nigerian economy was fuel driven; therefore any hike in fuel would have an immidiate effect on virtually every aspect of everyday life in the country.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of Nigeria * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Personal Finance * International News & Commentary Africa Nigeria
O heir of heaven, lift now thine eye, and behold the scenes of suffering through which thy Lord passed for thy sake! Come in the moonlight, and stand between those olives; see him sweat great drops of blood. Go from that garden, and follow him to Pilate's bar. See your Matter subjected to the grossest and filthiest insult; gaze upon the face of spotless beauty defiled with the spittle of soldiers; see his head pierced with thorns; mark his back, all rent, and torn, and scarred, and bruised, and bleeding beneath the terrible lash. And O Christian, see him die! Go and stand where his mother stood, and hear him say to thee, "Man, behold thy Saviour!" Come thou to-night, and stand where John stood; hear him cry, "I thirst," and find thyself unable either to assuage his griefs or to comprehend their bitterness. Then, when thou hast wept there, lift thine hand, and cry, "Revenge!" Bring out the traitors; where are they? And when your sins are brought forth as the murderers of Christ, let no death be too painful for them; though it should involve the cutting off of right arms, or the quenching of right eyes, and putting out their light for ever; do it! For if these murderers murdered Christ, then let them die. Die terribly they may, but die they must. Oh! that God the Holy Ghost would teach you that first lesson, my brethren, the boundless wickedness of sin, for Christ had to lay down his life before your sin could be wiped away.
Read it all.
Christians of every tradition, in whatever context, share many things in common. At the core of Thy Kingdom Come is one of the most important: a reliance on God to send the Holy Spirit to empower us as witnesses to the good news.
In Acts 1.8, shortly before his ascension, Jesus tells his disciples that they “will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”. Jesus links being a witness and the empowering work of the Spirit. We cannot be witnesses on our own.
When I spoke with Cardinal Vincent Nichols recently, he said that those days of prayer at Pentecost had had far deeper resonance in his own life and prayer than ever before. There was a real sense of new growth, he said. For me, it seemed to be a fresh sign of the Lord saying to us: “The Spirit is given to you to carry on and do the work.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Christian Life / Church Life Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology
O God, who by the passion of thy blessed Son didst make an instrument of shameful death to be unto us the means of life and peace: Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Blessed Lord, who for our sakes wast content to bear sorrow and want and death: Grant to us such a measure of thy Spirit that we may follow thee in all self-denial and tenderness of soul. Help us by thy great love to succour the afflicted, to relieve the needy, to share the burdens of the heavy laden, and ever to see thee in all that are poor and destitute; for thy great mercy’s sake.
McAllister is adamant that taking drugs to end her life would not be suicide. “In suicide,” she says, “you’re choosing between life and death. With the End of Life Option Act, you’re choosing the time and manner of your death, knowing that it is inevitably coming within a short period of time. The law allows you to have a little bit of control over when, where, and how.” She would rather die at home, with an opportunity to say goodbye to family and friends, than in a hospital.
Advocates of right-to-die laws say control, or at least the sense of it, is important to the terminally ill. What people seem to want is the comfort of knowing that they have a way out if pain becomes unbearable or their condition deteriorates too far....
Professor Robert George, who has written extensively on philosophy and ethics, argues that statutes such as California’s diminish respect for the sanctity of life. “Opposition to medicalized killing” is “grounded in a recognition of ... the idea that no one has ‘a life unworthy of life,’ or is ‘better off dead’ or a ‘useless eater,’ ” he writes in an email. “It reflects the belief that nothing should be done that gives credit to or encourages the adoption of these beliefs, even by those suffering pain and tempted to despair.” George rebuts those who argue that individuals should be free to determine their own fates, calling medical assistance in dying “a policy question that implicates many aspects of the common good of our civil society and legal order.” Many who end their lives, he says, are driven by fear and depression. He urges that people facing terminal illness be provided with palliative care and counseling to help make their last months comfortable and peaceful.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Children Health & Medicine History Law & Legal Issues Life Ethics Marriage & Family Psychology * Economics, Politics Politics in General State Government * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
James Hobby acknowledges that the first time he ministered in Western Pennsylvania, as a pastor in two Episcopal parishes in the Mon Valley in the late 1980s, things didn’t go very well.
“I was 29, so I was idealistic, zealous and pretty full of myself,” the new Anglican bishop of Pittsburgh recalled last week in an interview. His preaching reflected the scholarship that earned him good grades in seminary, but he laments failing to connect with the blue-collar culture of his parishioners.
“Folks are not really interested in how much I know,” he said. “If they don’t feel loved and respected and cared for, the bridge for the gospel is pretty shaky.”
Read it all.
A Church of England priest has won a national award for her outstanding contribution to work on helping make funerals more accessible for Deaf people.
Canon Gill Behenna, Chaplain with the Deaf Community in the Diocese of Bristol and the Church of England's Deaf Ministry Adviser, was named Funeral Minister of the Year at The Good Funeral Awards, with Rev Kate Bottley runner-up.
Canon Gill won the award in recognition of her outstanding and ground-breaking contribution to the funeral experience of Deaf people.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals Ministry of the Ordained Pastoral Care * Culture-Watch Health & Medicine Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Pastoral Theology
One week ago (on September 5) the second session of the month-long Anglican Leadership Institute began. This session's participants are pictured above with the Very Rev. Dr. Peter Moore, Director of the Anglican Leadership Institute (top right).
The institute is a leadership training initiative that brings future leaders in the Anglican Communion to South Carolina for periods of study, teaching, reflection and nurture.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Latest News * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Adult Education Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Media Religion & Culture * South Carolina
We could honestly and accurately describe it as a mystagogy of marriage. He wants us to move from the icon to the reality. Still, he insists that we must also learn to venerate the icon. “Learn the power of the type,” he says, “so that you may learn the strength of the truth.”
It is important for us to realize that John’s mature doctrine of marriage is almost unique in ancient Christianity. His contemporaries tended to look upon marriage as an institution that was passing away, as more and more Christians turned to celibacy. The best thing Jerome could say about marriage was that it produced future celibates. In Antioch in John’s day, there were 3,000 consecrated virgins and widows in a city of perhaps 250,000, and that number does not include the celibate men in brotherhoods or the hermits who filled the nearby mountains.
Yet John glorified marriage. It pained him that Christian couples continued to practice the old, obscene pagan wedding customs. So shameful were these practices that few couples dared to invite their parish priest to attend and give a blessing.
“Is the wedding then a theater?” he told them in a sermon. “It is a sacrament, a mystery, and a model of the Church of Christ. . . . They dance at pagan ceremonies; but at ours, silence and decorum should prevail, respect and modesty. Here a great mystery is accomplished.”
Read it all.
O God, who didst give to thy servant John Chrysostom grace eloquently to proclaim thy righteousness in the great congregation, and fearlessly to bear reproach for the honor of thy Name: Mercifully grant to all bishops and pastors such excellency in preaching, and fidelity in ministering thy Word, that thy people shall be partakers with them of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Grant, O God, that we who have been signed with the sign of the Cross in our baptism, may never be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified, but may manfully fight under his banner against sin, the world, and the devil, and continue Christ’s faithful soldiers and servants unto our lives’ end.
Put it on your list if you have not seen it. It should be required viewing for all High School Youth Groups--KSH.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Drugs/Drug Addiction Education Health & Medicine History Men Sports Young Adults * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
What compels a person to travel halfway across the world to care for refugees in the Kurdistan area of Iraq, or to take stuffed animals, candy and beads to kids in the last free village closest to ISIS-occupied territory? To be sure, Nancy has a global mindset and travel is not new to her. Her daughter, Ally, moved to China after graduating from college to teach English. Fortunately, sons Matt and Jacob and their families live in the U.S. But what’s interesting is that Nancy’s story could be your story, or the story of anyone who opens themselves to a God-driven chain of events and obeys God’s Word .I [Patti Wheat] interviewed Nancy after she returned from her recent trip with Jerry and Stacy Kramer, founders of Love for the Least (L4L).
Read it all (page 5).
Comes now Bishop Bruno, he of the forkèd tongue, and for a response to the charges files a motion to dismiss the Title IV proceedings against him in their entirety. His reasons stated are twofold:
(1) The complainants violated the confidentiality provisions of Title IV by disclosing the substance of their charges, and of ECUSA's responses to them; and
(2) [Now get this] The complainants violated Canon IV.19.2 by resorting to a proceeding in the secular civil courts before filing their charges against +Bruno under Title IV.
Note that while +Bruno is technically correct that the earlier stages of the Title IV proceedings against him were confidential, the violation of that confidentiality by the Complainant (i.e., the members of St. James the Great) does not furnish canonical grounds for a dismissal of the charges. Under the Canon he cites (IV.13.9[a]), it is only misconduct "that the Hearing Panel deems to be disruptive, dilatory or otherwise contrary to the integrity of the proceedings" on the part of the Respondent (i.e., Bishop Bruno) or the Church Attorney that can provide grounds for the imposition of sanctions -- which, by the way, do not include the dismissal of all charges, as +Bruno requests.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles TEC Polity & Canons * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Adult Education Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Marriage & Family Men * South Carolina * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
“I just bootleg the gospel,” Howard Butt Jr. told 1,500 Baptist men in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1954. Butt meant he had no license to preach, but that didn’t stop him from doing it. The 89-year-old well-known author and speaker, as well as creator of the Laity Lodge Retreat Center, passed away yesterday evening from complications related to Parkinson’s.
“Howard was a mentor, a motivator, and a model servant whose mind and heart were profoundly poured out on me at a most critical time,” said Christianity Today International president and CEO Harold Smith.
“His words of exhortation and encouragement to both my wife and me during a challenging first year of executive leadership offered us the assurances of God’s watchcare and direction—even in an industry experiencing such tumultuous change,” Smith stated. “Truly, the power of Howard’s presence in word and deed has left a God-anointed legacy that will inspire me and the entire CT team for years to come.”
Read it all.
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The letter writers are, however, unlikely to accept this conclusion. Their call for full inclusion asked for much more. They want the bishops to “enable those parishes that wish to do so to celebrate the love that we have found in our wives and husbands”. But this is to address a separate question from that of inclusion. It is a question not of including people but of deciding which of the many patterns of life found among LGBTI people the church can faithfully celebrate. Even their own proposal would not be fully inclusive of all LGBTI people once inclusion is to be understood beyond “full participation in ministry”. It would still exclude from the church’s liturgical celebrations those who, for whatever reason, do not choose to marry their same-sex partner but to structure their relationships in other ways.
Despite this, the appeal to inclusion continues in order to persuade people to go further and commend same-sex unions. But this is a quite distinct matter involving inclusion and approval of certain ways of life as morally acceptable rather than inclusion of people. The reason for this continued appeal to inclusion was caught by Justin Welby speaking at Greenbelt where he said:
We cannot pretend that – so I’m putting one case then I’m going to put the other – we cannot pretend or I can’t pretend myself that inclusion from the point of view of someone in a same sex relationship just to take a simple…that inclusion of someone in a same sex relationship that falls short of the blessing of the Church is going to feel like inclusion – it’s not going to be perceived as inclusion. I think we’re conning ourselves if we say that there is some clever solution out there that means you can do less than that and it will feel like inclusion.
Here – voicing the views of many – he has developed the language of inclusion in two important but flawed respects. It refers to a subjective experience – something must “feel like inclusion”– and then to inclusion in a specific form as being necessary if it is “to be perceived as inclusion” and meet that subjective test: the “blessing of the Church” on “a same sex relationship”. These two moves are what then lead to a number of problems.
Read it all from Fulcrum.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
The striking and appropriate terms in which the prophet Isaiah depicts the character and offices of the Messiah, have procured for him, by way of eminence, the title of the Evangelical Prophet. He exhibits a glowing but faithful picture of the character of Christ, and all the humiliating and all the triumphant events of his life. In the chapter which contains my text, the prophet has dipped his pencil in the softest colours, and draws a portrait of the Saviour, which, while it conveys to us the most exalted ideas of his character, is calculated to awaken our tenderest and liveliest sympathy.
Let us then contemplate the character of Christ, as delineated by the prophet under the emblem of "a lamb brought to the slaughter," that our penitence may be awakened, our gratitude enlivened, and our souls warmed with the ardent emotions of love and duty.
Under the character of a "lamb brought to the slaughter," we are led to consider,
The innocence of Christ;
His tenderness and compassion;
And, finally, to consider him as the victim for our sins.
Read it all.
Revive thy Church, Lord God of hosts, whensoever it doth fall into complacency and sloth, by raising up devoted leaders, like thy servant John Henry Hobart whom we remember this day; and grant that their faith and vigor of mind may awaken thy people to thy message and their mission; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
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