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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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CHARLESTON, SC, February 6, 2014 – The Diocese of South Carolina today asked the South Carolina Supreme Court to intervene in an appeal filed “primarily for the purpose of delay” by The Episcopal Church (TEC) and its local subsidiary, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC).
TEC’s appeal challenges a lower court ruling on the process both sides may use in discovery leading up to a trial that will decide whether the denomination may seize South Carolina property, including churches and the diocesan symbols. The diocese argues that TEC is appealing a court order that is “unappealable”.
“[TEC and TECSC] are misusing the judicial system to delay resolution of this case,” says the diocese’s request for Supreme Court action. “Their strategy of appealing an interlocutory order is evidence of that intent. This is the same strategy that caused eight months to be wasted at the start of this case in federal court where they asked the federal court to override the state court injunction.”
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Conflicts * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues * South Carolina * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
If you EVER get a chance to get near New York and see this play DO NOT MISS IT! We saw it last year and rolled in the aisles--KSH
Jefferson Mays, leading man of "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder", has died 1,000 times on stage -- faster than any lead actor in Broadway history. His fellow actors marked that deadly landmark outside the stage door at the Walter Kerr Theatre on West 48th Street.
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The legislation of assisted suicide has moved a significant step closer after the Government made clear that it would not stand in the way of a change in the law.
Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs and peers – including Coalition ministers – will be given a free vote on a Bill that would enable doctors to help terminally ill patients to die, The Telegraph can disclose.
The proposed legislation will come before Parliament in the next few months.
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Health & Medicine Law & Legal Issues Life Ethics * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
SDR: What is your main concern as a member of the clergy?
FB: The enormous shift in our culture away from religion as a part of everyday life. There is a sort of — I won’t say it’s a science — but a certain quasi-intellectual scientism that assumes anything to do with the spiritual realm or religion is inherently irrational and that what one does when one chooses to believe is to close one’s mind. But I am of the conviction — and one of our great witnesses, a woman named Flannery O’Connor, who was a fiction writer for the most part back in the ’50s and ’60s made it clear — that it’s the fullness of the Catholic faith that keeps the mind open to mystery. Anything else that limits our understanding to what we can see and measure through the tools we have, it is that kind of thing which narrows the mind because there is so much more going on than meets the eye.
SDR: Why Anglican?
FB: Being a Catholic represents and embodies continuity with the church from the very first centuries, and Anglicanism expressed its Catholicity by endorsing fundamentals about which everyone was expected to agree, but everything after that, we could disagree. They centered on the decisions of the church in the first millennium before the first split between East and West. So, what all Christians believed in the first millennium — that’s what I mean by Catholicism…. I don’t believe Catholicity is limited to Anglicanism by any means. It is certainly embedded in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches as well.
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"God is here, God is here," croons Singapore church official Sun Ho as she struts across a neon-lit stage and thousands of people in the congregation pump their hands and sing along.
Kong Hee, the church's founding pastor and Sun Ho's husband, then takes the stage. In keeping with the electrifying mood, he invites his followers to speak "in tongues" and a pulsing murmur echoes through the auditorium of 8,000 people.
During the service, ushers hand out envelopes for donations, which consume at least a tenth of the salaries of most church members, going to fund different ministries, mission trips and special events.
Welcome to one of Asia's most profitable churches: Singapore's City Harvest.
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Lots of good stuff here--take a look.
Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde, leader of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, and members of St. Paul’s Parish in Washington, D.C., imposed ashes on commuters and other passers-by on Ash Wednesday (March 5) near the Foggy Bottom Metro station in the nation’s capital. Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent, the period of penance and fasting preceding Easter.
Enjoy all the photos.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Lent Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture
Glorious God, we give thanks not merely for high and holy things, but for the common things of earth which thou hast created: Wake us to love and work, that Jesus, the Lord of life, may set our hearts ablaze and that we, like Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy, may recognize thee in thy people and in thy creation, serving the holy and undivided Trinity; who livest and reignest throughout all ages of ages. Amen.
O God, our Judge and Saviour, set before us the vision of thy purity, and let us see our sins in the light of thy holiness. Pierce our self-contentment with the shafts of thy burning love, and let that love consume in us all that hinders us from perfect service of thy cause; for as thy holiness is our judgment, so are thy wounds our salvation.
Despite — or perhaps because of — their long, shared and often tortured history, there is a curious fondness between some Britons and some South Africans. Two events this week, far-flung and disparate, illustrated some of the ambiguities, too.
Indeed, it almost seemed as if South Africa’s Jekyll-and-Hyde soul was weaving itself anew into the relationship, offering the conflicting visages that make any definition of Africa’s 20-year-old “rainbow nation” so elusive, particularly in a land that has, in turn, been its invader, its overlord and its champion.
Here, in the soaring, august confines of Westminster Abbey, 2,000 congregants, including Prince Harry and Prime Minster David Cameron, assembled Tuesday for a memorial service to Nelson Mandela, who died in December. It fused liturgical solemnity and Anglican pomp with the light and sound of a Soweto gospel choir, feting the inclusive Mandela legacy in rousing renditions of both nations’ anthems, “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” and “God Save the Queen.”
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They call themselves the Rectors of Rock. The Fathers of Funk. The Collar Studs.
It's all cheeky fun, but believe it or not, these four Episcopal priests live up to the billing.
Fathers Drew Bunting, Andrew Jones, David Simmons and Don Fleischman are the fab four of Monstrance, a rock, blues and country band more interested in fun than fame, whose members lend their considerable talents to worthy causes throughout the Milwaukee diocese.
"We're not in this to make money. We know we're never going on tour," said Bunting, priest-in-charge at St. James Episcopal Church in Milwaukee, who sings lead vocals and plays bass in the band. "We just want to have a good time. We know we have these gifts, and we want to use them in service of the greater good."
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O God the King of saints, who didst strengthen thy servants Perpetua and Felicitas and their companions to make a good confession, staunchly resisting, for the cause of Christ, the claims of human affection, and encouraging one another in their time of trial: Grant that we who cherish their blessed memory may share their pure and steadfast faith, and win with them the palm of victory; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
O God, who by thy Son dost marvellously work out the salvation of mankind: Grant, we beseech thee, that, following the example of our blessed Lord, and observing such a fast as thou dost choose, we may both be subjected to thee with all our hearts, and united to each other in holy charity; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
A Brunswick Episcopal priest is exploring a new way to reach busy people at the start of the Lenten season.
On Ash Wednesday, the Rev. Lisa O’Rear-Lassen conducted an “Ashes to go” drive-through in front of St. Patrick Episcopal Church on Center Road.
The drive-through was open to anyone of any religion.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Parishes * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Lent * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Theology
Film critics have spoken: Son of God is a dud.
Just don’t tell that to the film’s producers, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett. They found evidence of divine favor in the film’s release, citing the “truly miraculous” support they received as Catholic and evangelical leaders from Charlotte to Los Angeles threw their influence behind the movie. Clearly, their efforts were successful—a film that was a re-packaged version of scenes that aired during last year’s Bible miniseries brought in $26.5 million in ticket sales for its first weekend.
Burnett and Downey attribute the wave of support to a grassroots movement and the “quiet commitment of people of faith to spread the word about the life-changing love of Jesus to their friends and neighbors.”
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Media Movies & Television Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Evangelicals * Theology Christology Theology: Scripture
As the political situation in Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula heats up and Ukrainians are still reeling from three months of determined occupation protests in Kiev that culminated in dozens of deaths and injuries, churches and religious officials have taken an active role.
“Our own Church stayed with the people as the struggle widened from a political one over integration with Europe into a larger one for basic human rights and dignity,” said Bishop Hlib Lonchyna, from Ukraine’s Greek Catholic Church, which combines the Eastern Rite with loyalty to Rome. “It supported the people’s just aspirations throughout, while our priests led prayers and administered sacraments. It’s important we now look at things in a Christian way — seeking justice without revenge.”
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Foreign Relations Politics in General * International News & Commentary Europe Russia Ukraine * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
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Tsarist power is long gone, and the Soviet regime that succeeded it had no time for mystical visions. Yet, as that Soviet idea perished in its turn, Russians have turned once more to the religious roots of national ideology. Post-Soviet regimes have worked intimately with the Orthodox Church, which has been happy to support strong government and to consecrate national occasions. In return, the state has helped the church rebuild Orthodox cathedrals and monasteries aplenty. For 20 years now, both state and church have even labored to reconstruct the once potent Russian presence in the holy places themselves, now of course under Israeli political control.
Why are we surprised to see this new holy Russia extend its protecting arm over the Christian-backed Ba'athist regime in Syria? Russian regimes have been staking a claim to guard that region's Christians for 250 years.
It would be pleasant to think that the U.S. and Europe are taking these religious factors into full account as they calculate their response to the present crisis in Crimea and Ukraine. Pleasant, but unlikely.
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Thank you so much for the outpouring of love and prayers today for our community. Our prayers are with the family of Deacon Terry Star. Deacon Terry left this earth for the glories of heaven on March 4. His death was unexpected, caused by a heart attack that likely happened suddenly and peacefully in the night or early morning hours of March 4.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) Executive Council * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
The thing we need to remember as we try to get at this problem of sin is that it is very hard to get at it at all. There is so much that protects it from our inner eyes. The axiom of the Reformers is apropos here: “What the heart desires, the will chooses, and the mind justifies.” When we try to get at the motives of the heart, the mind and will are forever getting in the way justifying ourselves. These are like layers of garments swirling around the heart of our sin. But in Christ we can pray that through the work of the Holy Spirit, who convicts our hearts of sin; the liturgy’s use of Psalm 51 and the Litany of Penitence’s brutal naming of sins; and with the Scripture’s constant entreating us to turn to God’s mercy and forgiveness; these will rend or tear through the layers and layers of these garments eventually leaving the sinful heart revealed that we might by grace turn and look to Jesus Christ—to his cross and death. St. Paul’s letter assigned for today reminds us of this. “For our sake he [God] made him [Christ] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor 5:21) He reminds us that the heart of our need is nothing less than the Cross; God’s forgiving love, his reconciling work and grace. Nothing else will do. For once the sin in the heart is revealed and his forgiveness received, the transforming work of God’s Spirit begins to tune our lives. And from here, through Divine-human cooperation, even the disciplines of the Spiritual life (as enumerated in the Ash Wednesday liturgy, see BCP, p. 264) may be of service. But we must get the order correct. Begin with the Lenten disciplines and we will go awry every time—going from infestation of mice to cats to dogs to lions to elephants and back to mice again. Begin and remain in a grace-filled repentance that yields a torn and contrite heart and God’s grace shall abound. Then we may seek God’s guidance about self-denials and devotionals and whatever else we find to mark our mortal nature in grace. Yet we dare not side step the word of apostolic proclamation—“We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20)
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Divine Physician, your Name is blessed for the work and witness of the Mayos and the Menningers, and the revolutionary developments that they brought to the practice of medicine. As Jesus went about healing the sick as a sign of the reign of God come near, bless and guide all those inspired to the work of healing by thy Holy Spirit, that they may follow his example for the sake of thy kingdom and the health of thy people; through the same Jesus Christ, who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, now and for ever. Ame
Almighty God, spirit of peace and of grace, whose salvation is never far from penitent hearts: We confess the sins that have estranged us from thee, dimmed our vision of heavenly things, and brought upon us many troubles and sorrows. O merciful Father, grant unto us who humble ourselves before thee the remission of all our sins, and the assurance of thy pardon and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Introit: Hear my prayer (Purcell)
Psalm 51: Miserere mei, Deus (Allegri)
First Lesson: Isaiah 1 vv10-18
Canticles: Short Service (Causton)
Second Lesson: Luke 15 vv11-32
Anthem: Cast me not away from thy presence (S.S. Wesley)
Hymn: Praise to the holiest in the height (Somervell)
Organ Voluntary: Fantasia in four parts (Gibbons)
Prayers for the Church of England
“Rend your hearts and not your garments” (Joel 2:13).
With these insightful words of the prophet Joel, the liturgy introduces us into Lent today, indicating the conversion of the heart characteristic of this time of grace. The prophetic call is a challenge for all of us, without exception, and reminds us that conversion is not a matter reducible to outward forms or vague intentions, but engages and transforms one’s entire existence from the center of the person, from the conscience. We are invited to embark on a journey in which, in defiance of the routine, we strive to open our eyes and ears, but especially the heart, to go beyond our “little garden.”
To open oneself to God and to others: we live in an increasingly artificial world, in a culture of “doing”, [a culture] of the “useful”, in which we exclude God from our horizon without even realizing it. Lent calls us to “give ourselves a ‘shake-up’”, to remember that we are creatures, that we are not God.
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O God, who by thy care and counsel for mankind hast moved thy Church to appoint this holy season wherein the hearts of those who seek thee may receive thy help and healing: We beseech thee so to purify us by thy discipline, that, abiding in thee and thou in us, we may grow in grace and in the faith and knowledge of thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
I have become more and more suspicious of the concept of the nominal Christian. Our parish churches are supposed to be full of nominal Christians who are just going through the motions, of half-believers who are relying on their good works and who have not really surrendered to Christ and accepted the Gospel. In any parish church there are a few real apostates, and a few real scoffers and perhaps a few who genuinely hate God. Their numbers are routinely exaggerated. Most of the people who come to the church Sunday by Sunday know they are dying and are placing their hope in Christ. It may be an inarticulate hope, it may be a confused hope. Often there are huge brambles of misunderstanding that must be cleared away before the whole power of the good news can come in upon them. Often there is real darkness into which the light of Christ has not yet come and which cries out for a light-bearer. Yet, they come. When Jesus saw such as these gathered in their multitudes on the hill side, the sight provoked in him not contempt for the nominal but compassion, “for they were like sheep without a shepherd.”
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"Confess your faults one to another" (Jas. 5:16). He who is alone with his sin is utterly alone. It may be that Christians, notwithstanding corporate worship, common prayer, and all their fellowship in service, may still be left to their loneliness. The final break-through to fellowship does not occur, because, though they have fellowship with one another as believers and devout people, they do not have fellowship as the undevout, as sinners. This pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner. So everybody must conceal his sin from himself and the fellowship. We dare not be sinners. Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous. so we remain alone with our sin, living in lies and hypocrisy. The fact is that we are sinners!
But it is the grace of the Gospel, which is so hard for the pious to understand, that it confronts us with the truth and says: You are a sinner, a great, desperate sinner; now come as the sinner that you are, to God who loves you. He wants you as you are; He does not want anything from you, a sacrifice, a work; He wants you alone. "My son, give me thine heart" (Prov. 23:26). God has come to you to save the sinner. Be glad! This message is liberation through truth. You can hide nothing from God. The mask you wear before men will do you no good before Him. He wants to see you as you are, He wants to be gracious to you. You do not have to on lying to yourself and your brothers, as if you were without sin; you can dare to be a sinner. Thank God for that; He loves the sinner but He hates sin.
--Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
...We are all over stimulated. Blessed Lent, the sad springtime of the Church's year is the time when we support each other as believers in simplifying our lives; removing fuel from the fires of rage and fear; facing a little more of the shadow world within by laying aside some of our usual comforters...
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Lent * Theology Anthropology Christology
Are human beings born good or born with a volcanic anti-God allergy in their hearts? Answering this theological question is one of THE great challenges for Christians as we stand on the brink of a new millennium.
On one side of the divide stands Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778). Men and women “are born free,” he famously said in his Social Contract, yet “everywhere” they are “in chains.” Rousseau believed that we are born good. His explanation for the deep problems in the world? They came to us from outside us. Error and prejudice, murder and treason, were the products of corrupt environments: educational, familial, societal, political, and, yes, ecclesiastical.
Note carefully that the FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM is located outside men and women, and the MEANS of evil developing comes from the outside in. The NATURE of the problem is one of environment and knowledge.
Augustine (354-430) saw things very differently. Describing the decision by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, Augustine writes in The City of God: “Our parents fell into open disobedience because they were secretly corrupted; for the evil act had never been done had not an evil will preceded it.” The motive for this evil will was pride. “This is undue exaltation, when the soul abandons Him to whom it ought to cleave as its end, and becomes a kind of end to itself … By craving to be more” we “became less;” and “by aspiring to be self-sufficing,” we “fell away from him who truly suffices” us.
For Augustine, men and women as we find them today are creatures curved in on themselves. We are rebels who, rather than curving up and out in worship to God, instead curved in and down into what Malcolm Muggeridge once termed “the dark little dungeon of our own” egos.
In this view the FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM is located inside men and women, and the means of evil developing comes from the inside out (note Jesus’ reasoning in Mark 7:18-23). The NATURE of the problem is one of the will.
The difference between Augustine and Rousseau could not be more stark. In a Western world permeated by Rousseau, we need the courage to return to the challenge and depth of Augustine’s insight.
To do so makes the good news of the gospel even better. Think of Easter. What is the image which Paul uses to describe what occurs when a man or woman turns to Christ? New Creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)! Jesus rose to transform the entire created order from the inside out, beginning with our evil wills which he replaces with “a new heart…and a new spirit” (Ezekiel 36:26).
--Kendall S. Harmon from a piece in 2007
Principally focusing on John 12:32, "And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself" (ESV), Bp. Lawrence related how this verse addresses why suffering so often draws people in varying ways to the foot of the cross. He also shared his own personal experience of seeking the Truth as a young man.
Our first parents fell into open disobedience because already they were secretly corrupted; for the evil act had never been done had not an evil will preceded it. And what is the origin of our evil will but pride? For "pride is the beginning of sin." And what is pride but the craving for undue exaltation? And this is undue exaltation, when the soul abandons Him to whom it ought to cleave as its end, and becomes a kind of end to itself. This happens when it becomes its own satisfaction....The devil, then, would not have ensnared man in the open and manifest sin of doing what God had forbidden, had man not already begun to live for himself....By craving to be more, man became less; and by aspiring to be self-sufficing, he fell away from him who truly suffices him.
--Augustine, The City of God 14.13
The idea of national repentance seems at first sight to provide such an edifying contrast to that national self-righteousness of which England is so often accused and with which she entered (or is said to have entered) the last war, that a Christian naturally turns to it with hope. Young Christians especially-last-year undergraduates and first-year curates- are turning to it in large numbers. They are ready to believe that England bears part of the guilt for the present war, and ready to admit their own share in the guilt of England. What that share is, I do not find it easy to determine. Most of these young men were children, and none of them had a vote or the experience which would enable them to use a vote wisely, when England made many of those decisions to which the present disorders could plausibly be traced. Are they, perhaps, repenting what they have in no sense done?
If they are, it might be supposed that their error is very harmless: men fail so often to repent their real sins that the occasional repentance of an imaginary sin might appear almost desirable. But what actually happens (I have watched it happening) to the youthful national penitent is a little more complicated than that. England is not a natural agent, but a civil society. When we speak of England's actions we mean the actions of the British government. The young man who is called upon to repent of England's foreign policy is really being called upon to repent the acts of his neighbor; for a foreign secretary or a cabinet minister is certainly a neighbor. And repentance presupposes condemnation. The first and fatal charm of national repentance is, therefore, the encouragement it gives us to turn from the bitter task of repenting our own sins to the congenial one of bewailing-but, first, of denouncing-the conduct of others.
--C.S. Lewis, "Dangers of national repentance"
O Heavenly Father, whose blessed Son hast taught us that whosoever will be his disciple must take up his cross and follow him: Help us with willing heart to mortify our sinful affections, and depart from every selfish indulgence by which we sin against thee. Strengthen us to resist temptation, and to walk in the narrow way that leadeth unto life; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
Channel Islands churches could stop paying money to the Diocese of Winchester and instead pay it into a shared fund.
Lay members of the Anglican Church in Jersey have brought forward the plan.
Bruce Willing, a lay member, says paying the money into a shared fund will help if they decide to become a separate diocese.
The Channel Islands split from Winchester in January after a dispute over how abuse complaints were handled.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
The Church of England is ramping up the exposure of its £6bn endowment to alternative investments such as hedge funds and private equity in a move that will cement its position as one of the UK’s largest single investors in these types of assets.
The Church Commissioners who manage the endowment will meet next month to decide on the fund’s allocations and are set to increase its exposure to alternative investments, which also include residential property and farm land, according to a Church spokesman. Alternatives already account for almost a third of the fund.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Credit Markets Currency Markets Stock Market * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Ashes to Go is a national movement that aims to allow as many people as possible to participate in the start of Lent.
Canon Paul Rattigan, Liverpool Cathedral’s Canon for Discipleship said:“Ashes to Go provides the opportunity for people to take part in the Lent tradition even if they can’t get to a service. You can call in to the cathedral in your lunch hour or whenever you can during the day.”
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In a surprise move Monday, North Korean officials freed a Christian missionary from Australia who was arrested for handing out Bibles in Pyongyang.
John Short, 75, allegedly apologized for his behavior and begged for his freedom.
“I now realize the seriousness of my insult to the Korean people on Feb. 16 because I made the Korean people angry, and for this I truly apologize,” Short said, according to a report on the state news agency. “I am willing to bow down on my knees to request this tolerance of (North Korea) and the Korean people.”
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While we pray today for the people of Ukraine we might also examine our own consciences about the ways in which we have lived a double-standard and the consequences for others of our own sins. Repentance isn’t just about saying sorry to God and having a firm purpose of amendment.
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God our Father, who hast created us in thine own image, with a mind to understand thy works, a heart to love thee, and a will to serve thee: Increase in us that knowledge, that love and that obedience, that we may grow daily in thy likeness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Hamish Ogston pledged the money to the Anglican Church shortly after the February 2011 quake and, after seeing nothing had been done with the building, has reiterated his offer.
Mr Ogston says there is only a $15 million shortfall after his pledge, other offers and insurance money.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Urban/City Life and Issues * Economics, Politics Economy Housing/Real Estate Market * General Interest Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.
1. Is new life downtown becoming an Anglican Church?
No. New Life Downtown is a parish of New Life Church. Your giving goes 100% to New Life Church. I am “sent” as an Anglican priest to serve New Life Church. As such, I continue to be under Pastor Brady’s covering and authority, along with the elders of New Life Church. While New Life Downtown does not come under any Anglican authority, I personally hold a “dual citizenship” of sorts, with Bishop Ken Ross as my covering in the Anglican world.
2. What do Anglicans believe?
Anglican theology is, to put it simply, Protestant theology. Their central document is the Bible -- they are committed to the Bible as the Word of God -- it is God breathed and it is the truth by which we order our lives. They also believe that Jesus is the unique Son of God -- that salvation is found only in His sacrificial death and resurrection. This faith in what the Bible reveals is summed up in the historic statements of belief such as the 39 Articles and the Nicene Creed.
Because Anglicanism is not a denomination with a solitary authority figure—it is a communion of bishops—the diversity within Anglicanism worldwide is rich and varied. The majority of Anglicans are in the global south—in Africa and Asia— where Christian orthodoxy and missionary zeal are combined in ways reminiscent of the early church. The majority of them are Evangelicals who affirm the authority of Scripture and embrace the work of the Holy Spirit.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of Rwanda * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Evangelicals
If you study any philosophical treatise of our present era you will with almost absolute certainty not encounter the concept, and much less the expression, “the truth of all things.” This is no mere accident. The generally prevailing philosophical thinking of our time has no room at all for this concept; it is, as it were, “not provided for.” It makes sense to speak of truth with regard to thoughts, ideas, statements, opinions—but not with regard to things. Our judgments regarding reality may be true (or false); but to label as “true” reality itself, the “things,” appears to be rather meaningless, mere nonsense. Things are real, not “true”!--Josef Pieper: An Anthology (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1989 E.T. of the 1981 original), pp. 95-96
Looking at the historical development of this situation, we find that there is much more to it than the simple fact of a certain concept or expression not being used; we find not merely the “neutral” absence, as it were, of a certain way of thinking. No, the nonuse and absence of the concept, “the truth of all things,” is rather the result of a long process of biased discrimination and suppression or, to use a less aggressive term: of elimination.
A writer named Cheryl Forbes once said people who live imaginative lives are what if? people. They respond to ideas and events with a what if? attitude. They behave in what if? ways.
What if? is a big idea, as big as God, for it is the practice of God. That's our God. Our God thinks, "What if I make a universe? What if I make people in my own image? What if, when they sin, I don't give up on them?..."
You guys all know next week we're going to walk together through a really important vote, and we're asking every member of our church to pray, because we're seeking together to discern God's leading for our church. We're asking all of you who are members to come back next weekend. Come early. Come at 8:30. We have to get registered. We have a 9:30 service. We're asking everybody to come early....
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After an extended, mediated negotiation, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, which has over 3,300 members, including former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Stanford University academia, and those in the Silicon Valley...[voted by 93% to]... move forward with the recommendation by their elders and pastors.
In a sermon delivered on Feb. 2, MPPC's senior pastor John Ortberg explained how the $8.89 million was arrived and explained why the elders still voted unanimously against the option of simply staying in PCUSA.
"As you all know, we have a vision. We have a mission. We want to reach thousands of people for Jesus Christ around this Bay Area that needs him so much," he said. "We want to launch new sites to help us do that."
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Presbyterian * Theology
In 1955 Bishop Benitez enrolled in St Luke's School of Theology at the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee to study for Holy Orders in the Episcopal Church. He was ordained in the Diocese of Florida in 1958 and assigned to St James Episcopal Church, Lake City, Florida. For two years (1961-62) he served as Canon Pastor of St John's Cathedral, Jacksonville, Florida, before being called as Rector of Grace Church, Ocala, Florida.
His years in Ocala were challenging ones in the life of the Church. The tensions of the civil rights movement caused Bishop Benitez to receive threats and hate messages as he stood up boldly against segregation. His parish school was the first in the area to be integrated, a step taken well before the public school system did the same. Still, he was held in such wide respect that when the public system's teachers later went on strike, he was asked by both sides to act as mediator of the dispute.
In 1968 he was called as Rector to Christ Church, San Antonio. There he introduced the exciting renewal program "Faith Alive!", which soon spread successfully throughout Texas and beyond. During his time there, he was elected to serve first on the Board of Trustees and then the Board of Regents of The University of the South, Sewanee, TN. He was called to the Church of St John the Divine in Houston in 1974, where he continued to implement popular forms of Christian renewal and evangelism. He served as chair of the diocesan programs of Christian Stewardship in both the Diocese of Texas and West Texas. Both dioceses elected him several terms as clerical deputy (representative) to the Episcopal Church's General Convention.
He was elected sixth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, and was consecrated on September 13, 1980 in Houston. For fifteen years he loved the privilege and responsibility of leading one of the strongest dioceses in the nation. One of his greatest joys was to continue the long example by which Texas presented more people of all ages for confirmation than any other diocese in the Episcopal Church. His first years as bishop coincided with the massive national capital campaign known as Venture in Mission in which the Episcopal Church raised funds for missionary efforts at home and abroad. The Diocese of Texas led all dioceses in total funds raised.
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The Rt. Rev. Maurice M. "Ben" Benitez, 6th Bishop of Texas, died Thursday, February 27 in Austin, TX. Please keep Bishop Benitez's daughters, Jennifer Shand, Leslie Benitez, and Deborah Smith, and their families in your prayers.
Two funeral services for Bishop Benitez will be held on Monday, March 3 at 3 p.m. at St. Luke's on the Lake, Austin (5600 Ranch Road 620 North), and on Thursday, March 6 at 12 p.m. at St. John the Divine, Houston (2450 River Oaks Blvd).
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O holy and ever-blessed Jesus, who being the eternal Son of God and most high in the glory of the Father, didst vouchsafe in love for us sinners to be born of a pure virgin, and didst humble thyself unto death, even the death of the cross : Deepen within us, we beseech thee, a due sense of thy infinite love; that adoring and believing in thee as our Lord and Saviour, we may trust in thy infinite merits, imitate thy holy example, obey thy commands, and finally enjoy thy promises; who with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest, one God, world without end.
Hark, how all the welkin rings,
“Glory to the King of kings;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
Universal nature say,
“Christ the Lord is born to-day!”
Hail, the heavenly Prince of Peace!
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings.
Mild He lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth;
Born to give them second birth.
Come, Desire of nations, come,
Fix in us thy humble home;
Rise, the woman’s conquering seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.
Now display thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to thine.
Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface;
Stamp Thy image in its place.
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in thy love.
Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the life, the inner Man:
O! to all thyself impart,
Form’d in each believing heart.
--You can find the 1940 Episcopal Hymnal version here (the 5th stanza is missing). The 1982 Episcopal Hymnal only includes the first three verses (with modified language)--KSH
Lord God, who didst inspire thy servants John and Charles Wesley with burning zeal for the sanctification of souls, and didst endow them with eloquence in speech and song: Kindle in thy Church, we beseech thee, such fervor, that those whose faith has cooled may be warmed, and those who have not known thy Christ may turn to him and be saved; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Grant us, we beseech thee, Almighty God, a steadfast faith in Jesus Christ, a cheerful hope in thy mercy, and a sincere love to thee and to all our fellow men and women; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
Sudanese authorities arrested a pastor in Omdurman as he was preaching on Sunday (Feb. 23) and threatened that he would “face justice” unless he resigned his position, sources said.
Personnel from the Criminal Investigation Department entered the compound of Omdurman Evangelical Church and arrested the Rev. Yahya Abdelrahim Nalu as part of a government plan to take over properties of the church’s denomination, the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC), the sources said. Omdurman is opposite Khartoum on the River Nile.
The Federal Ministry of Guidance and Religious Endowments seeks to replace Nalu, senior leader at the church and moderator of the SPEC Synod, with a government-appointed committee that favors turning SPEC properties over to the government, they said.
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Police/Fire Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Foreign Relations Politics in General * International News & Commentary Africa Sudan * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Adult Education Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * Theology
It was early in the spring about 15 years ago—a day of pale sunlight and trees just beginning to bud. I was a young police reporter, driving to a scene I didn’t want to see. A man, the police dispatcher’s broadcast said, had accidentally backed his pickup truck over his baby granddaughter in the driveway of the family home. It was a fatality.
As I parked among police cars and TV news cruisers, I saw a stocky, white-haired man in cotton work clothes standing near a pickup. Cameras were trained on him, and reporters were sticking microphones in his face. Looking totally bewildered,he was trying to answer their questions. Mostly he was only moving his lips, blinking, and choking up.
After a while, the reporters gave up and followed the police into the small white house. I can still picture that devastated old man looking down at the place in the driveway where the child had been. Beside the house was a freshly spaded flower bed and nearby a pile of dark, rich earth.
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On New Year's, [Carrie] Davis picked up a book by Christian writer Jen Hatmaker, "7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess."
The book tells Hatmaker's story as the wife of a pastor to a big church in Austin, Texas, where they were busy loving their fellow well-to-do neighbors as themselves.
Then Hurricane Ike tore through town, and they opened their home to displaced strangers. A 10-year-old boy walked in and yelled, "Dad! This white dude is RICH!" Hatmaker writes.
She hadn't thought they were.
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While passages from the Psalms appeared in all 10 of the most populous countries' top five searches, they account for three of the top five searches in Pakistan, Nigeria, and Bangladesh. The Old Testament rounded out all five of the top spots in Nigeria and Pakistan, while 1 Cor. 13 was the only New Testament passage to reach the top five in Bangladesh.
Pakistan, Nigeria, and Bangladesh rank No. 8, No. 14, and No. 48 respectively on Open Doors' World Watch List. The Pew Research Center also ranked the most populous countries and their levels of religious hostility.
Bible Gateway and GMI also reported on specific words people in the most populous countries are seeking: "guidance," "God," "comfort," "the word," "hope," "strength," "identity," "the beginning," "refuge," "mercy," and "love."
Just three search words—love, hope and strength—overlapped with the list of top 10 topical keywords searched last year.
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet Globalization Religion & Culture Science & Technology * Theology Theology: Scripture
O God, heavenly Father, whose every motion towards us springs from thine inexhaustible love: Enable us, we humbly beseech thee, cheerfully to sacrifice ourselves for the well-being of those with whom we have to do, and also to love them with the tender love which thou hast for the world; that so though now we see thee darkly through the veil of our blindness, we with them may presently see thee in the fullness of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Bishop FitzSimons Allison: The god within versus the God of our fathers
Dr Kendall Harmon's Sermon: Psalms of the Savior [Ps 69]
Dr Peter C. Moore: “They Changed Their World – Thomas Cranmer”
More Sunday Services, Talks and Resources
The live broadcast of Holy Eucharist from St Helena's, Beaufort, SC [pictured] today has ended but the service will be available to listen to each Sunday at 10:15 am Eastern Time [3:15 pm London Time] here and there are more sermons from St Helena's here
On the eve of [Melissa] Skelton’s consecration, I caught up with her for some questions:
Q. How do you explain your strong showing in the vote for bishop?
A. I’ve wondered a lot about this very thing. All that I can imagine is this: it had to do with the fact that I’m a woman and that I’ve had significant experience in developing congregations and assisting them to grow spiritually and numerically.
Q. Since Bishop Ingham was a controversial figure in the 70-million member global Anglican communion, how will you handle his legacy?
A. I intend to listen and learn a lot about what this experience has been like for the diocese — the positive parts of this and the more difficult parts. I’m trying to come to this with a real beginner’s mind, not making assumptions about people’s experience. By the way, I’m fully supportive of offering blessings of covenantal relationships between same-sex couples in the Anglican Church.
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For Anglicans considering how to observe Lent this year, the Anglican Church of Canada is offering two online resources—one, a study of the Gospel of John and the other, a study of baptismal identity.
Love life: Living the gospel of love is a Lenten video series produced by the brothers of the Society of St. John the Evangelist (SSJE) for the Anglican Church of Canada. Those who subscribe will begin receiving daily emails starting on Ash Wednesday, March 5, which will include short videos and a thought-provoking question to ponder during the day.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Lent Spirituality/Prayer * Theology Theology: Scripture
Divorce is not God's will or desire for us. Even where divorce is allowed, it is not commanded, and then it is still a tragedy. Divorce leaves behind devastation and victims in its wake.
That God himself is a divorcee, despite his faultless covenant faithfulness, calls us to a more nuanced understanding of marriage and divorce. In our own marriages, God calls us to follow his example of covenant faithfulness, and has demonstrated how much grace and forgiveness is needed to maintain a relationship in the face of human sinfulness. God's example give us a framework to talk meaningfully about commitment and grace, and yet also to say that in situations of hard-hearted and deliberate covenant violation, divorce was allowed as God's way of officially declaring a broken covenant "broken."
We find wisdom when we view hot topics within the larger framework of Scripture. A discussion on purity should not just be about whether a person is a virgin when they marry (even if they've done "everything but"), but about how they steward their sexuality throughout their lives. Similarly, the litmus test for covenant faithfulness in marriage should not just be about whether or not someone got divorced (even if they did "everything but"), but about how we steward our marriages and make daily attempts to model God's faithfulness to our spouses.
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Marriage & Family Psychology Religion & Culture * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
Episcopalians are obliged to violate earthly laws in order to advance the higher law established by God, the dean of Washington National Cathedral said on February 24. During a panel on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” the Very Rev. Gary R. Hall cited the actions of Episcopalians in the 1960s to desegregate the racially divided church.
Hall said every faith community has to decide whether it is prepared to engage in “disturbing the peace.” Otherwise, he asked, “Are we protectors of the status quo?”
“The church sometimes has to break the law,” he said, “in the service of a higher law.”
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Parishes * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch History Law & Legal Issues Race/Race Relations Religion & Culture * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Almighty God, who didst call thy servant David to be a faithful and wise steward of thy mysteries for the people of Wales: Mercifully grant that, following his purity of life and zeal for the gospel of Christ, we may with him receive the crown of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever.
O God, who art peace everlasting, whose chosen reward is the gift of peace, and who hast taught us that the peacemakers are thy children: Pour thy peace into our hearts, that everything discordant may utterly vanish, and all that makes for peace be loved and sought by us always; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
O God, our heavenly Father, who so loved the world that thou didst give thine only Son to die upon the cross: Pour thy love into our hearts, we humbly beseech thee; that we loving thee above all things, may give up ourselves, our time, our money, our talents, to thy service; for the sake of him who loved us and gave himself for us, Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord.
--J. R. W. Stott
The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster have launched a joint initiative this Lent to encourage people to pray for the work churches do to support people in need in their parishes and beyond.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Holy Week Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK * Religion News & Commentary Ecumenical Relations Other Churches Roman Catholic
The Bishop's Palace at Wells was discussed by the Board of Governors of the Church Commissioners at its meeting last Tuesday (25th February). This was the first meeting of the Board since it made its decision at the end of November last year.
At the meeting the Commissioners were given an opportunity to read the correspondence received and examine the petition recently presented to the Secretary to the Commissioners. They were also provided with a report of the public meeting attended by Sir Tony Baldry MP.
During their discussion the Commissioners discussed the views of those opposed to their decision and acknowledged the strong feelings that the decision had aroused within the diocese. It was noted that there were also voices of support for the decision.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Housing/Real Estate Market * International News & Commentary England / UK
Warren, founder of Saddleback Church and a best-selling author, will team with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange and the National Alliance on Mental Illness to host a daylong event next month focused on helping church leaders reach parishioners who are struggling with mental illness.
The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church grew out of private conversations Warren had with the local Catholic bishop, Bishop Kevin Vann, after his son's death and his own writings in his journal as he processed his grief. Matthew Warren, 27, committed suicide last April after struggling with severe depression and suicidal thoughts for years.
"I'm certainly not going to waste this pain. One of the things I believe is that God never wastes a hurt and that oftentimes your greatest ministry comes out of your deepest pain," Warren said Monday as he met with Vann to discuss the March 28 event. "I remember writing in my journal that in God's garden of grace even broken trees bear fruit."
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Psychology Mental Illness Suicide Religion & Culture * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Evangelicals
Leaders of the Episcopal Church in Alabama were vocal in their belief that slavery was a benign institution. "Its members tended to be disproportionaately slaveowners," Vaughn said. "They believed there wasn't any discrepancy between the Christian message and slave ownership. They didn't see any conflict at all. They were blinded by their financial self-interests."
One of the towering but controversial figures in Alabama's church history was Bishop C.C.J. Carpenter, who was scolded by both the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in "Letter from Birmingham Jail" and by Episcopal seminarian Jonathan Myrick Daniels, who took part in marches in Selma in 1965 and was killed in Hayneville protecting a black girl from a shotgun blast. Daniels defied Carpenter, coming to Alabama in spite of Carpenter's warning to outside agitators. Daniels and other Episcopal seminarians picketed Carpenter House, the diocesan headquarters in Birmingham, and wrote that "The Carpenter of Birmingham must not be allowed to forever deny the Carpenter of Nazareth," in a harsh letter to Carpenter.
"I think Carpenter was a great bishop in many ways," Vaughn said. "He's remembered as a kindly, warm grandfatherly figure. He increased membership; he increased the budget. He just didn't get it though when it came to the civil rights movement."
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori TEC Bishops * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Parish Ministry Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Books Race/Race Relations Religion & Culture * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
The elements of Benedict's "hermeneutic of reform" are nothing new in the life of the Church. Both Yves Congar in the 1960s and John Henry Newman in the late 1800s made exactly the same arguments for genuine reform: the application of a principle of internal ressourcement is the only way to a true expression of catholicity. Here I quote from Congar and Newman respectively:
"There are only two possible ways of bringing about renewal or updating. You can either make the new element that you want to put forward normative, or you can take as normative the existing reality that needs to be updated or renewed ... You will end up with either a mechanical updating in danger of becoming both a novelty and a schismatic reform, on the one hand, or a genuine renewal (a true development) that is a reform in and of the Church, on the other hand."It is no mere coincidence that both Newman and Congar are universally recognised as being two of the great "prophets" who shaped the reforming agenda taken up by the Second Vatican Council.
"Those [developments] which do but contradict and reverse the course of doctrine which has been developed before them, and out of which they spring, are certainly corrupt; for a corruption is a development in that very stage in which it ceases to illustrate, and begins to disturb, the acquisitions gained in its previous history."
Any analysis of the reception of the Council in the life of the Church today, any contemporary call for reform in the life of the Church precipitated by current events and times, and any reform proposed by Pope Francis, would do well to keep in mind the elements by which genuine ecclesial reform will happen. As a theological friend from outside of the Catholic tradition has recently put it, "No one who has not learned to be traditional can dare to innovate."
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Parish Ministry Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * Theology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
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Our God and King, who didst call thy servant George Herbert from the pursuit of worldly honors to be a pastor of souls, a poet, and a priest in thy temple: Give unto us the grace, we beseech thee, joyfully to perform the tasks thou givest us to do, knowing that nothing is menial or common that is done for thy sake; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
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.
--Francis of Assisi
In his first major interview as senior pastor in Costa Mesa, Brodersen says his relationship with Smith goes back to the early days of the Calvary Chapel movement, when Brodersen was a new disciple and manager of a surf shop. That's when Smith invited him to minister as an intern, and within a few years Brodersen became pastor of Calvary Chapel in San Diego.
In the last half century, Calvary Chapel has grown from a single Bible study to a worldwide fellowship of more than 1,500 churches and ministries, yet not without its problems. In a 2007 CT interview, one pastor said of Calvary Chapel, "The Titanic has hit the iceberg. But the music is still playing." Calvary Chapel is, however, still afloat, and has survived not just growing pains, but also allegations of pastoral misconduct, lawsuits, and scandals.
In a historic transition in 2012, Calvary Chapel officially established an association with a 21-member leadership council, which now guides the worldwide organization Chuck Smith fostered. In December, CT's senior editor, global journalism, Timothy C. Morgan interviewed pastor Brodersen.
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Solidarity with the persecuted Church is an obligation of Christian faith. Reflecting on how well each of us has lived that obligation is a worthy point on which to examine one’s conscience during Lent. And that brings me to a suggestion: Revive the ancient tradition of daily readings from the Roman Martyrology this coming Lent by spending 10 minutes a day reading John Allen’s new book, The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution (Image).
The longtime Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and CNN’s senior Vatican analyst, Allen has recently moved to the Boston Globe as associate editor, where he (and we) will see if talent and resources can combine to deepen a mainstream media outlet’s coverage of all things Catholic, both in print and on the Web. Meanwhile, Allen will continue the Roman work that has made him the best Anglophone Vatican reporter ever—work that has given him a unique perspective on the world Church, and indeed on world Christianity. His extensive experience across the globe, and his contacts with everyone who’s anyone in the field of international religious freedom issues, makes him an ideal witness to what he calls, without exaggeration, a global war on Christian believers.
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Books Globalization Religion & Culture Violence * International News & Commentary Middle East * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches * Theology Christology Ecclesiology Eschatology
O God, the Father of lights, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift: We beseech thee to grant us such health of body as thou knowest to be needful for us; that both in our bodies and our souls we may evermore serve thee with all our strength and might; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Chris Young will become a pioneer in the Diocese of Davenport this summer when he is ordained to the Catholic priesthood by Bishop Martin J. Amos.
Young, 53, is a married, former Episcopal priest, and Pope Francis has given Bishop Amos permission to ordain for the diocese him under a 1980 pastoral provision admitting former Episcopal priests who have become Catholic into the Catholic priesthood.
Under the provision, more than 100 men have been ordained to the Catholic priesthood in U.S. dioceses since 1983.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Marriage & Family * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic Pope Francis * Theology Ecclesiology Pastoral Theology
New statistics for 2013 show that the number of young people (under 30s) accepted for training for the Church of England ministry continue to be the highest number in the past 20 years. Young people now represent 23% of those entering training.
The Ministry Division of the Archbishops' Council is continuing to be proactive in recruiting young ordinands through providing conferences and training opportunities such as the Ministry Experience Scheme being piloted in 2013/14, which is looking to be extended from four Diocese for the academic year 2014/15.
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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
Travelling by public transport can be enough to tempt even the most mild-mannered commuter into calling down curses on their fellow passengers.
But now the Church of England hopes to help soothe frayed nerves on the nation’s trains and buses by encouraging rush hour travellers to pray on their way to work.
It has created a new app to enable workers to follow its centuries-old tradition of morning and evening prayers on their smartphones or tablet devices such as iPads.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Science & Technology * International News & Commentary England / UK
In 2004, The New Yorker magazine quoted the screenwriter Dennis Klein as saying that Mr. Ramis rescued comedies from “their smooth, polite perfection” by offering a new, rough-hewn originality. The writer of the article, Tad Friend, compared Mr. Ramis’s impact on comedy to that of Elvis Presley on rock and Eminem on rap.
“More than anyone else,” Paul Weingarten wrote in The Chicago Tribune Magazine in 1983, “Harold Ramis has shaped this generation’s ideas of what is funny.”
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Two homemade bombs exploded on Monday on the popular Indian Ocean tourist island of Zanzibar, but with no casualties, police said, in the latest in a series of attacks.
"Investigations are ongoing to find out details of the blasts and the motive behind them," assistant police commissioner Mkadam Khamis told reporters.
One blast took place at the Anglican cathedral, a historic building in the heart of the narrow and winding ancient streets of Stone Town, the UNESCO-listed historical centre of the capital of the semi-autonomous Tanzanian archipelago.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Tanzania * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Violence * International News & Commentary Africa Tanzania * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Listen to it all should you wish to and also note that there is an option to download it there (using the button which says "download" underneath the link which says "listen").
Roman Catholics in Ottawa are no longer permitted to deliver eulogies during funeral Masses, the local archbishop has decreed.
The Feb. 2 decree from Archbishop Terrence Prendergast reminds the faithful that Catholics gather at funerals “not to praise the deceased, but to pray for them.”
Contrary to popular belief, eulogies “are not part of the Catholic funeral rites, particularly in the context of a funeral liturgy within Mass,” the decree stated. Many Catholics, it pointed out, do not know this.
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Canada * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic
Jiří Unger, president of the European Evangelical Alliance and general secretary of the Czech Evangelical Alliance, said: "Church-planting initiatives across Europe – particularly in the last two decades – have become major sources of innovation in a lifestyle of mission. It has also helped people identify new and effective ways of reaching neighbours with the gospel.
"In UK, Germany, France, Ukraine, Baltic states and in many other countries church-planting has been instrumental in bringing back denominational vitality, in recruiting new leaders and making churches more visionary.
"There is a long way to go but we can be encouraged that it's possible. We can reinvent ourselves and get a better understanding of how to relate to the people and communities around us in a fresh and authentic way."
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Europe * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Evangelicals
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Theology
O Almighty God, who into the place of Judas didst choose thy faithful servant Matthias to be of the number of the Twelve: Grant that thy Church, being delivered from false apostles, may always be ordered and guided by faithful and true pastors; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
O God, who in the beginning didst create the heavens and the earth, and didst appoint unto men their work: Grant to us that whatsoever our hand findeth to do, we may do it with our might; that when thou shalt call thy labourers to give them their reward, we may so have run that we may obtain the crown of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
-- Henry Alford
O thou in whom we live and move and have our being, awaken us to thy presence that we may walk in thy world as thy children. Grant us reverence for all thy creation, that we may treat our fellow men with courtesy, and all living things with gentleness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Rev Julian Henderson, said the event was a different way of engaging young people.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Youth Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Teens / Youth * International News & Commentary England / UK
Last year, one of the worst songs in the entire Eurovision contest was the entry from Belgium. It was called "Love Kills." The refrain of the song was:
Waiting for the bitter pill
Give me something I can feel
'Cause love kills over and over
Love kills over and over
Whatever this means exactly, it's a radical inversion of the normal juxtaposition of love with life and generativity. Other countries offered the usual assortment of Eurovision styles - some heavy metal, some punk, a few soft ballads - but the Belgian entry stood out as something very dark and creepy, a culture of death pop song.
Poor King Philippe is now in a position of having to decide what to do about the fact that his government has voted in favour of euthanasia for children. Many hope that he will follow the precedent of his saintly uncle, King Baudouin, who in 1990 abdicated for a day rather than have his name on pro-abortion legislation. At the time, King Baudouin rhetorically asked: Is it right that I am the only Belgian citizen to be forced to act against his conscience in such a crucial area? Is the freedom of conscience sacred for everyone except for the king?
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Children Health & Medicine History Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary Europe Belgium * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic
God whose strength bears us up as on mighty wings: We rejoice in remembering thy athlete and missionary, Eric Liddell, to whom thou didst bestow courage and resolution in contest and in captivity; and we pray that we also may run with endurance the race that is set before us and persevere in patient witness, until we wear that crown of victory won for us by Jesus our Savior; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to thee, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly thine, utterly dedicated unto thee; and then use us, we pray thee, as thou wilt, but always to thy glory and the welfare of thy people; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Peter Randolph, a slave in Prince George County, Virginia, until he was freed in 1847, described the secret prayer meetings he had attended as a slave. "Not being allowed to hold meetings on the plantation," he wrote, "the slaves assemble in the swamp, out of reach of the patrols. They have an understanding among themselves as to the time and place. … This is often done by the first one arriving breaking boughs from the trees and bending them in the direction of the selected spot.
"After arriving and greeting one another, men and women sat in groups together. Then there was "preaching … by the brethren, then praying and singing all around until they generally feel quite happy...."
It is a remarkable event not merely because of the risks incurred (200 lashes of the whip often awaited those caught at such a meeting) but because of the hurdles overcome merely to arrive at this moment. For decades all manner of people and circumstances conspired against African Americans even hearing the gospel, let alone responding to it in freedom and joy.
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We think the groups complaining about the Koch Foundation gift are suggesting a litmus test that neither we nor they would want to apply to other cases. We welcome constructive criticism, but we believe it would be a mistake to stifle debate by pretending that genuinely controversial positions are official church teaching.
We're grateful for the $1 million, and we're keeping it, because it would be an unhealthy precedent for a university to refuse support for valuable research because the money, somewhere back up the line, once belonged to a donor whose views on other subjects were unpopular within the academic community.
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Education Religion & Culture Young Adults * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
An interesting resource--check out the oodles of ideas and links.
The University Times is the student newspaper of Trinity College, Dublin--KSH.
Being an active member of the Sea of Faith network has not made [David] Paterson’s life any easier. He has come up against hostility within the Church of England: “Various bishops have tried to get me out at various stages. Well… To be honest… Two bishops. Once it was for appearing on the BBC programme The Heart of the Matter to discuss reading the resurrection stories as metaphor. The bishop sort of worked on me for a year to see if he could manage to get me out but he didn’t succeed.” As shocking as it was to hear that not believing in the existence of God is insufficient grounds to get a priest expelled from the Church of England, Paterson confirmed this: “Well, the Church of England is funny that way. It likes to think that it can tell people what they should believe. But as a matter of fact, the process of expelling someone is so complicated and so expensive that it is hardly ever used.” Despite this though, two Sea of Faith members who were clergymen have been successfully dismissed from their posts: Church of England priest Anthony Freeman and Andrew Furlong of the Church of Ireland.
Paterson claims that his unorthodox views do not cause problems with his parishioners: “I didn’t ever have much trouble with my congregation. But then even course I was not shoving it down their throats. I wasn’t trying to tell anyone else what to believe any more than I would want other people to tell me what to believe.” I asked him what he do if a member of his congregation came to him having doubts about the existence of God. I was under the impression that this would have been a tricky situation. Paterson is surprisingly laid back about it: “Well of course there is a surprisingly large number of people like that. This is why Sea of Faith was set up. There were loads and loads of people who were anxious because they thought that they were losing their faith. Some of them were ordained and some of them were not. What we wanted to do was reassure them that there weren’t losing their faith. They were actually finding a real faith which was not based on false premises.”
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More than a quarter of students graduating in 2011 with a Master of Divinity degree had more than $40,000 in theological debt and 5 percent were more than $80,000 in the red, a new study found.
Many of these students discovered that not only they or their spouses had to moonlight to make ends meet, but some had to choose another job besides the ministry to pay the bills, according to the study by the Center for the Study of Theological Education at Auburn Theological Seminary.
Several seminaries already realize the days of balancing budgets by raising tuition may be coming to an end.
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Economics, Politics Economy Personal Finance * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Seminary / Theological Education
God of all wisdom, we offer thanks for John Henry Newman, whose eloquence bore witness that thy Church is one, holy, catholic and apostolic, and who didst make of his own life a pilgrimage towards thy truth. Grant that, inspired by his words and example, we may ever follow thy kindly light till we rest in thy bosom, with your dear Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, where heart speaks to heart eternally; for thou livest and reignest, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
O thou who sendest forth the light, createst the morning, and makest the sun to rise on the good and the evil: Enlighten the blindness of our minds with the knowledge of the truth; lift up the light of thy countenance upon us, that in thy light we may see light, and, at the last, in the light of grace the light of glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Seen here as well as provided via email through multiple sources:
"BISHOP IKER HAS RESIGNED AS A TRUSTEE on the Nashotah House Board, where he has served for the past 21 years. This action was taken in protest of the Dean's invitation to the Presiding Bishop of TEC to be a guest preacher in the seminary's chapel. Citing the lawsuits initiated by her against this Diocese, Bishop Iker notified the Board that he "could not be associated with an institution that honors her." Similarly, Bishop Wantland has sent notification that he "will not take part in any functions at Nashotah" nor continue "to give financial support to the House as long as the present administration remains." He is an honorary member of the Board (without vote) and a life member of the Alumni Association."
I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Seminary / Theological Education
In the Orthodox tradition to which Lewis is so obviously indebted, Jesus Christ is the face of God, and thus the ultimate sacrament and icon of God. He is the image and likeness of the invisible God who remains at least partially invisible even in him. This in turn accounts for the utter centrality of icons for the life of Orthodoxy. An icon is not an image that one looks at in order to order to glimpse the meaning of things as depicted by an artist. It is, instead, an image that looks at us. It is meant to reveal, to our mundane sight, a vision of the invisible and eternal world that everywhere envelops and transcends us. An icon is image that we are not meant to master, but that instead is meant to master us.
This desire to divinize the human world means that realistic proportions and perspectives are abandoned. The size of a person in an icon is usually determined by their importance and significance. A figure standing in the background can thus be larger than one in the foreground. Heads and haloes often overlap, for depth is of no real importance. The Incarnation has overthrown all ordinary dimensions and perspectives. Indeed, everything in the icon takes place in the forefront. In an Eastern icon, the vanishing point it is situated in front of the icon in an inverse perspective. The focus point thus moves out away from the icon toward the beholder, as the iconic figure comes forth to meet the viewer. "The result is an opening," declares Michel Quenot, "a radiating forth, while the vanishing point in an ordinary painting results in a convergence that closes up"
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