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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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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch Health & Medicine * South Carolina
He normally advises people on spiritual matters. But after last month’s terror attacks in Brussels, airport chaplain Michel Gaillard is busy helping staff cope with the trauma as they return to their jobs.
Father Michel Gaillard runs his fingers over a wooden bench covered in a thin layer of dust - a remnant of the bomb blasts that hit Zaventem airport the morning of March 22, killing 16 people. The airport chapel is still closed to the public. It's normally where passengers or staff would come to pray. But now, it functions as more of a counselling center, where Gaillard helps people deal with the trauma of recent events. The chaplain says he'll never forget the day of the attacks.
For many people though, March 22 will remain the day their lives changed forever. Gaillard says he has listened to so many stories and painful testimonies of people who were injured by the blasts, in some cases losing their feet or hands. He has also been dealing with the grief of people who lost loved ones. "The question I am asked most is: Was God present at that moment? And my answer is: There is one hand launching the bombs. And there is another hand helping to save the lives, to heal the hearts. Actually, there were many people who came to try and save others. And that's where you find God," said Gaillard.
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We have now had confirmed what many recognised to be true from the outset of this tragedy. Yet there remain unanswered questions and unresolved accountabilities. No judicial action can bring back the lives of those who were lost or undo the sorrow of those who continue to mourn them. And we cannot escape the reality that this verdict comes too late for some who did not live to see the consummation of their tireless quest.
At the heart of the Christian faith is a narrative of justice, and justice must be allowed to take its course. But our Christian message is also one of forgiveness, grace and mercy. It is only now that some of the wounds can begin to heal and that some of the hurts can begin to be released – truth and justice are crucial to that process, but grace and mercy must also play their part in the journey forward.
Now is the time for us to show our true dignity; we must not now become consumed by bitterness, recrimination and hate, as we allow justice to take its course. We continue to pray for the families of the 96 and everyone whose lives are affected and scarred by this tragedy.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch History Law & Legal Issues Sports * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Anthropology Eschatology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
‘To Your Credit’, the local churches’ grassroots movement and the Archbishop’s initiative to create a fairer financial system, has released the first of a series of four 10-minute films on ‘Money, Debt and Salvation.’ Six theologians will offer reflections on money and debt.
The Archbishop features in the first of the series, in a call to ‘challenge the sovereignty of money’.
“Credit and debt is one of the key issues that people face because it’s pervasive, it’s everywhere… The reason it’s so important is because the knock-on effect of credit and debt going wrong is so destructive. People’s lives are torn apart, their families are damaged.
“It’s a prophetic thing to get stuck into these issues because we have to challenge the sovereignty of money and finance over every aspect of our life. And to say in quite a revolutionary way, no you’re not in charge, human beings are the ultimate value.
Read it all (requires subscription).
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Movies & Television Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy The Banking System/Sector Politics in General * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
In the desert climate of Scottsdale, Arizona rest 147 brains and bodies, all frozen in liquid nitrogen with the goal of being revived one day.
It's not science fiction — to some it might not even be science — yet thousands of people around the world have put their trust, lives and fortunes into the promise of cryonics, the practice of preserving a body with antifreeze shortly after death in hopes future medicine might be able to bring the deceased back.
"If you think back half a century or so, if somebody stopped breathing and their heart stopped beating we would've checked them and said they're dead," said Max More, CEO of the Scottsdale-based Alcor. "Our view is that when we call someone dead it's a bit of an arbitrary line. In fact they are in need of a rescue."
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Science & Technology * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Secularism * Theology Eschatology
Justification and judgement
Be on the lookout for it.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Australia * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Health & Medicine Pornography Psychology Religion & Culture * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
The last two decades have seen an explosion of church planting and multiplication ministries and networks. Most church startups are planted by leaders in urban core or inner suburban neighborhoods—and this trend, among others, has financial implications for church planters and their families. But what other factors shape their financial reality?
In a study of 769 planters from across the nation, Barna assessed the general financial condition of church startups and their leaders; how different funding models hamper or facilitate various facets of ministry and family life; and what resources leaders need to effectively manage their personal and church finances. The findings from the full study release today in a new Barna report produced in partnership with Thrivent Financial, Church Startups and Money: The Myths and Realities of Church Planters and Finances.
Here are a few of the standout findings.
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Evangelicals * Theology
Follow it there.
Update Hillsborough inquests: Fans unlawfully killed, jury concludes:
Ninety-six football fans who died as a result of a crush in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster were unlawfully killed, the inquests have concluded.
The jury decided the match commander Ch Supt David Duckenfield's actions amounted to "gross negligence" due to a breach of his duty of care to fans.
Police errors also added to a dangerous situation at the FA Cup semi-final.
After a 27-year campaign by victims' families, the behaviour of Liverpool fans was exonerated.
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Children Law & Legal Issues Police/Fire Marriage & Family Sports * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
What is worship? Worship is to feel in your heart and express in some appropriate manner a humbling but delightful sense of admiring awe and astonished wonder and overpowering love in the presence of that most ancient Mystery, that Majesty which philosophers call the First Cause, but which we call Our Father Which Are in Heaven.--A. W. Tozer+James L. Snyder, The Purpose of Man: Designed to Worship (Ventura, California: Regal, 2009), p. 8, quoted by yours truly in this morning's Sunday School class
The Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh elected a Georgia pastor Saturday to be its next leader in a landmark election to succeed the retiring Bishop Robert Duncan, who led the diocese’s break with the Episcopal Church eight years ago.
Clergy and lay delegates elected the Rev. James Hobby, who got his start in ministry in Southwestern Pennsylvania a quarter century ago, on the fifth ballot. Six candidates were originally on the ballot at a special convention, held at St. Stephen Anglican Church in Sewickley.
If his election is ratified by other bishops in the Anglican Church in North America at their June meeting, Rev. Hobby would be consecrated as bishop in September.
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The entire congregation of Mechanicsville Baptist Church reportedly joined as one on Monday in intercessory prayer, begging God to keep their teaching pastor, Warren Blake, from seeing the upcoming slate of spring and summer blockbusters.
“We come today solemnly asking for a great miracle,” intoned Deacon Fritz Foster to the grim-visaged assembly. “We have suffered so much from Pastor Warren seeing popular films these many long years, and we ask that this great burden be taken from us, that we may have a sermon, just once, free of movie quotes and references.”
LOL--read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics * Culture-Watch Movies & Television Religion & Culture * General Interest Humor / Trivia
As the people of a missionary God, we are entrusted to participate in the world the same way He does—by committing to be His ambassadors. Missional is the perspective to see people as God does and to engage in the activity of reaching them. The church on mission is the church as God intended.
Instead, churches have become little more than suppliers of religious goods and services. They are more concerned with crafting a good service (music, preaching, ambience, etc) to keep their clients happy. And as a result, we have a disengaged and an uninvolved church.
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Missions Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Theology Christology Soteriology Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology) Theology: Scripture
You can listen directly there and and download the mp3 there. The sermon proper starts about 10 seconds in.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Easter Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics * Theology Christology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
Listen to it all here or you can find a download there.
The Bishop of Sheffield, Dr Steven Croft, is to become the 44th Bishop of Oxford in the summer, Downing Street announced on Tuesday morning. The see has been vacant for 18 months, since the Rt Revd John Pritchard retired in October 2014.
Dr Croft has been Bishop of Sheffield since 2009. He said that he was excited about his new position in one of the Church of England’s largest dioceses. “We have had seven really happy, fulfilling years in Sheffield. I will miss the people I work with the most. But I am looking forward to that new challenge.”
The three area bishops will free him to focus on strategy and a personal ministry of mission and evangelism, he says. “Initially, I will listen and discern what is happening locally, but I would hope to be engaged with adults and young people in places where they are — schools and workplaces.”
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In the ’90s we millennials heard stories about a time when kids performed plays at home and families gathered around their pianos, but we consumed our entertainment from TVs that kept growing in size and programming.
In following our individual channels, choices, and pursuits, we became more isolated. We became anxious, depressed, and exhausted and began to wonder if bigger was really better. Now something new is happening. Farmer’s markets are springing up. People are turning off their televisions and creating their own stories on social media through status updates, blogs, and vlogs. People upcycle, knit, and quilt.
Those who grew up with big-box stores and megachurches are longing for small, deep, and creative communities. These worshipers reject a worship service where paid professionals entertain those attending and instead are committed to making liturgy, art, music, and relationships.
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Ecclesiology Pastoral Theology
You can find the link at the page here or the MP3 there; listening to Gary Beson's sermon is recommended, it comes at about 31 minutes.
The day is done, and the darkness
Falls from the wings of Night,
As a feather is wafted downward
From an eagle in his flight.
I see the lights of the village
Gleam through the rain and the mist,
And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me
That my soul cannot resist:
A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
As the mist resembles the rain.
Come, read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
And banish the thoughts of day.
Not from the grand old masters,
Not from the bards sublime,
Whose distant footsteps echo
Through the corridors of Time,
For, like strains of martial music,
Their mighty thoughts suggest
Life's endless toil and endeavor;
And tonight I long for rest.
Read from some humbler poet,
Whose songs gushed from his heart,
As showers from the clouds of summer,
Or tears from the eyelids start;
Who, through long days of labor,
And nights devoid of ease,
Still heard in his soul the music
Of wonderful melodies.
Such songs have a power to quiet
The restless pulse of care,
And comes like the benediction
That follows after prayer.
Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
The beauty of thy voice.
And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.
--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882); this was one of Dad's favorite poems which he used to listen to on the radio before he went to bed when he was growing up--KSH.
Filed under: * By Kendall Harmon Family * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Poetry & Literature * General Interest Photos/Photography
("Stu" Harmon in 1954)
Francis Stuart Harmon Jr., affectionately known as “Stuart” or “Stu” by those closest to him, died at the Village at Summerville in South Carolina on April 2, 2016. He was 83.
Born in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1932 he was the son of the late Francis Stuart Harmon and Waverly (Harwood) Harmon. His sister, Virginia Jameson, passed away on March 14, 1988.
He was married to Mary Ann (French) Harmon for 46 years until her death on March 8, 2007.
Following an education at Horace Mann School and Princeton University, Mr. Harmon served in the Navy on the Air Craft Carrier U S Hancock in the Pacific from 1955-1957, and later as an instructor at the Naval Academy from 1957-1959. After marrying Mary Ann French in 1959, he earned a Masters in Science at the University of Illinois in 1960.
He then taught chemistry at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey from 1960-1981, and afterward at the Charlotte (NC) Latin school from 1981-1989. He also wrote test questions for the Education Testing Service for the College Board Chemistry Achievement test and Advanced Placement exam.
As a boy Stu fell in love with the Silver Bay Association in the Adirondack Mountains in upper New York State. He and his wife became permanent residents there in 1995 after spending many summers in the area with his own family. He served the association in many capacities including as a member of the Board of Trustees.
Stuart was a well-loved father, grandfather, community servant and outdoorsman. He will especially be remembered as a passionate chemistry teacher who combined wry humor with a desire to coax a great intellectual curiosity out of those under his care.
Survivors include two sons, Kendall S. Harmon of Summerville, SC and Randall H. Harmon of Gaithersburg, Md., a nephew, John Jameson of West Chester, Pa., and a niece, Ann Jameson of Alexandria, Va. He also has three grandchildren, Abigail Harmon, Nathaniel Harmon and Selimah Harmon.
A memorial service followed by a reception will take place on April 9, 2016 at 2 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Summerville, S.C. The Rev. Craige Borrett will officiate and the Rev. Gary Beson will preach. A further service to give thanks for Stu’s life will take place in the summer of 2016 at the Silver Bay Assn. Chapel in Silver Bay, NY, at a date to be announced.
In lieu of flowers the family is requesting that gifts be made to the Silver Bay Assn. Emp Alumni Fellowship Scholarship Fund.
A memorial message may be written to the family by visiting our website at http://www.jamesadyal.com.
ARRANGEMENTS BY JAMES A. DYAL FUNERAL HOME, 303 SOUTH MAIN STREET, SUMMERVILLE, SC 29483 (843) 873-4040.
Whether a lesson be mastered in obedience to conscience, or from a dread of punishment, from filial affection, or determination to beat a rival, is a question of little moment, I grant, in reference to the stock of knowledge acquired, but of incalculable consequence when asked in reference to the bearing upon moral character. The zeal to make scholars, should, in the minds of Christians at least, be tempered by the knowledge that it may repress a zeal for better things. The head should not be furnished at the expense of the heart. Surely, at most, it is exchanging fine gold for silver, when the culture of gracious affections and holy principle is neglected for any attainments of intellect, however brilliant or varied. What Christian parent, would wish his son to be a linguist or a mathematician, of the richest acquirements or the deepest science, if he must become so by a process, in which the improvement of his religious capabilities would be surrendered, or his mind accustomed to motives not recognised in the pure and self-denying discipline of the Gospel. Not that such discipline is unfriendly to intellectual superiority; on the contrary, the incentives to attain it, will be enduring, and consequently efficient, in proportion to their purity. The highest allurements to the cultivation of our rational nature, are peculiar to Christianity. Hence, literature and science have won their highest honors in the productions of minds most deeply imbued with its spirit. The effect, however, of exclusively Christian discipline in a seminary of learning, when fairly stated, is not so much to produce one or two prodigies, as to increase the average quantum of industry; to raise the standard of proficiency among the many of moderate abilities, rather than to multiply the opportunities of distinction for the gifted few.
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Spent the bulk of the weekend thinking of and remembering Dad. He was a great gift.
Now I am occupied with all the logistics involved in deaths-obituaries, memorial service arrangements, phone calls with family members, flowers, receptions, and on and on.
Pray that I may be Spirit led and keep the big picture. I would also value your prayers for my brother Randy and his wife Barb--KSH.
What difference does it make that Christ is risen? I’m not asking what difference we would like it to make: I guess we want resurrection to be the answer to our questions, the happy ending to all our doubts and fears. I’ve spoken about ‘before’ and ‘after’, but I don’t mean that Easter is closure. Far from it: it pulls us into new journeys whose end we can never predict. So how does Easter change everything?
What it doesn’t do is to wind back the clock, as if this wilting daffodil could somehow regain its freshness and vitality. It’s the opposite. Easter winds the clock forward to the time where there will be a new heaven and a new earth, where everything we know is transformed. The Easter garden where Jesus comes to Mary and calls her by name – this is the paradise that an ageing, hurting world has looked forward to since time began. She thinks he is the gardener, and of course he is, exactly that, the divine Gardener who by rising on the first day of the week has begun to re-make creation and bring beauty out of ashes. And this new Eden is our destiny as human beings caught up in the renewal of creation that is Easter. Our first reading said: ‘when Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory’. It is coming, yet it has already begun: with Mary in the garden, with the disciples Jesus greets, with those who have not seen yet believed, with all who worship and love and follow him on this Easter Day.
For Easter takes our fear away, and gives us back our lives.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Easter Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained
My father died suddenly on Saturday morning, April 2, 2016. He was 83. The family would be grateful for your prayers.
When Helga Kissel was 16, she fled Berlin as Soviets marched in. She met a U.S. soldier in Bavaria, who sent her care packages, and now, she does the same for a 16-year old Syrian girl.
Watch it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch History Marriage & Family * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. Europe Germany Russia Middle East Syria * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
In this tomb, also, you may see, A pledge to us...Yes, verily, it is a pledge,
Of Christ's power to raise us to a spiritual life — The resurrection of Christ is set forth in the Scriptures as a pattern of that which is to be accomplished in all his followers; and by the very same power too, that effected that. In the Epistle to the Ephesians, St. Paul draws the parallel with a minuteness and accuracy that are truly astonishing. He prays for them, that they may know what is the exceeding greatness of God's power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places." And then he says, concerning them, "God, who is rich in mercy, of his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, and hath raised us usi together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus^" Here, I say, you see Christ dead, quickened, raised, and seated in glory; and his believing people quickened from their death in sins, and raised with him, and seated too with him in the highest heavens. The same thing is stated also, and the same parallel is drawn in the Epistle to the Romans ; where it is said, "We are buried with Christ by baptism into death; that, like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." But can this be effected in us ? I answer, Behold the tomb ! Who raised the Lord Jesus? He himself said, " I have power to lay down my life, and power to take it up again...."
--"Horae homileticae, Sermon 1414
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Easter Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Evangelicals * Theology Christology Eschatology
In parallel, I got to know Kit’s parishioners who worship at St James’, as well as the group of people who support Kit - all full of faith, kindness, generosity of spirit, care and consideration for each other (and a knowledge of the Bible that puts me to shame!). I saw and experienced, first hand, the positive differences that the church can make in a local community, and the value of community that the church can offer to those that seek it.
And I found myself being steadily drawn back to God and my faith. There wasn’t any ‘sudden moment’, just a growing recognition that I wanted this to be part of my life again. I now attend Kit’s church every Sunday when I remind myself to be considerate, loving and helpful to others; to be kind; to be generous…and I find this weekly reminder a very helpful ‘pause’ in my busy life. And I have also experienced, first hand, the value and power of prayer.
I have enjoyed immersing myself in supporting Kit’s church, seeking to bring my business experience to bear to the PCC and our Finance and Buildings committees. We are currently wrestling with the usual realities of a roof that needs a major overhaul, and a need for funding!
Read it all and do not miss the photo and the further link for more.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * General Interest Photos/Photography
When all is done, the hell of hells, the torment of torments, is the everlasting absence of God, and the everlasting impossibility of returning to his presence...to fall out of the hands of the living God, is a horror beyond our expression, beyond our imagination.... What Tophet is not Paradise, what Brimstone is not Amber, what gnashing is not a comfort, what gnawing of the worme is not a tickling, what torment is not a marriage bed to this damnation, to be secluded eternally, eternally, eternally from the sight of God?--From a sermon to the Earl of Carlisle in 1622
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Theology Eschatology
I can bring it so neare; but onely the worthy hearer, and the worthy receiver, can call this Lord this Jesus, this Christ, Immanuel God with us; onely that virgin soule, devirginated in the blood of Adam but restored in the blood of the Lambe hath this Ecce, this testimony, this assurance, that God is with him; they that have this Ecce, this testimony, in a rectified conscience, are Godfathers to this child Jesus and may call him Immanuel God with us for as no man can deceive God, so God can deceive no man; God cannot live in the darke himself neither can he leave those who are his in the darke: If he be with thee he will make thee see that he is with thee and never goe out of thy sight, till he have brought thee, where thou canst never goe out of his.
--John Donne (1572-1631), Preached at St. Pauls, upon Christmas Day, in the Evening, 1624
And this is where the oddity of today’s celebration touches our lives in challenging ways. If I may speak personally, I find it increasingly difficult to resist the onslaught of information that is directed at me or required from me. My life feels as though it is regulated to the point of near extinction, by Government, by economic responsibility, by social and cultural suspicion, by commercial bureaucracy. And this is before I start on the day job! My space as a human being sometimes feels so thoroughly invaded and occupied that I just want to switch off, cut the wifi, abandon the mobile, stop the emails, and regain some quality of human and spiritual equilibrium.
It is no wonder that so high a percentage of young people in Britain today register anxiety as a dominant emotion. The tank of our potential for human flourishing is cluttered up with too much stuff. It’s as though we’ve filled the empty tomb so full with an unhappy blend of debt, regulation, kitsch memorabilia, and a craving for novelty, that there is no longer any expectation of room for glory, space for mystery, allowance for the confounding of limited expectation.
This is a situation that was recently described by Jonathan Sacks, in his masterly book, Not in God’s name, where he observes that we have attained “unprecedented achievements in knowledge, freedom, life expectancy and affluence….[and] the result is that the twenty-first century has left us with a maximum of choice and a minimum of meaning”.
Which is why the symbol of the empty tomb is so powerful and haunting. Here is the sign of our mortality and death. One day the frame of this body will come to resemble that tomb, when the breath stops and the agency of control and demand is lifted from us. Then, as now when we celebrate the dawn of Easter glory and the glory of life, the very breath of God will be able to fill the space within us, to satisfy our deepest longing, to give freedom to our best and greatest loves, to perfect our every thought and deed that has already expanded the meaning of goodness, truth and justice.
As Easter celebrations begin, those of you who gave up alcohol, sweets, cakes and biscuits, can look forward to your Easter gin and tonic, the glass of remarkable claret, and unbridled pleasure as you accept the offer of a chocolate after lunch. This is your enactment of the reception of divine love in the glory of resurrection; you have made an empty space in your appetites and desires, in order to rehearse what it will be like to receive, all over again, a perfect and eternal gift in the new creation that evokes something you have already known so well. The full to overflowing font is the symbol of that perfect gift and what resurrection means. It is the recovery of our total capacity to expand into the divine life of God, as in baptism we are united with Jesus Christ: “In him the whole fullness of divinity dwells in bodily form, and you have come to fullness in him” – is how St Paul describes it (Col. 2.9) So, happy Easter. Savour the gin, raise a toast to the CofE with the claret, enjoy the chocolate, and expand into the freedom of a bank holiday. But more than these transient celebrations, attend to the eternal fulfilment they betoken. Don’t run away from the empty tomb; it is your destiny. Let its haunting beauty inspire you. Make space for the glory of God to begin its transformative effect in your life now.
Read it all (emphasis mine).
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Easter Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics * Theology Christology Eschatology
Cigarette breaks between hymns, candlelit services in pubs and parties serving halal food to welcome Muslim neighbours are among unlikely new ideas helping revive the fortunes of once run-down inner city churches, highlighted in a new report.
The breach with traditional ecclesiastical style is singled out in the study into an at-times controversial plan by the Church of England to “plant” new congregations into historic parishes where numbers in the pews have dwindled for decades.
The policy, backed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and other senior clerics, involves asking a group of often young, enthusiastic members of successful, growing congregations to move to another church as “planters” to inject new energy and ideas.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ecclesiology
What is your vision for the global 21st-century church?
That we would be hungry for the presence of God in our midst and that we would be more united. When the Word says that when we’re united, there’s a blessing. There is a dying to self that happens when you want unity. A lot of people feel that that is too hard, so I would pray that we become better at that. I would pray that there is another great awakening and revival, and that we get passionate about people getting saved. It’s only Jesus that can do that.
As his representatives, I hope we have a great revelation of who we are in Christ. You don’t need a platform, and you don’t need a microphone. You just need to go and preach Jesus wherever you find yourself.
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Christ himself pointed out the benefit of his sufferings and resurrection when he said to the women in Mt 28, 10 - "Fear not: go tell my brethren that they depart into Galilee, and there shall they see me." These are the very first words they heard from Christ after his resurrection from the dead, by which he confirmed all the former utterances and loving deeds he showed them, namely, that his resurrection avails in our behalf who believe, so that he therefore anticipates and calls Christians his brethren, who believe it, and yet they do not, like the apostles, witness his resurrection.
The risen Christ waits not until we ask or call on him to become his brethren. Do we here speak of merit, by which we deserve anything? What did the apostles merit? Peter denied his Lord three times; the other disciples all fled from him; they tarried with him like a rabbit does with its young. He should have called them deserters, yea, betrayers, reprobates, anything but brethren. Therefore this word is sent to them through the women out of pure grace and mercy, as the apostles at the time keenly experienced, and we experience also, when we are mired fast in our sins, temptations and condemnation.
These are words full of all comfort that Christ receives desperate villains as you and I are and calls us his brethren. Is Christ really our brother, then I would like to know what we can be in need of? Just as it is among natural brothers, so is it also here. Brothers according to the flesh enjoy the same possessions, have the same father, the one inheritance, otherwise they would not be brothers: so we enjoy with Christ the same possessions, and have in common with him one Father and one inheritance, which never decreases by being distributed, as other inheritances do; but it ever grows larger and larger; for it is a spiritual inheritance. But an earthly inheritance decreases when distributed among many persons. He who has a part of this spiritual inheritance, has it all.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Easter Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics * Theology Christology
But reality is more powerful, deep and penetrating.
How much Jesus loves me is a better story than how much I'm trying to love myself.
The greatness of the creator is a better story than the reflected greatness of the creation.
Grace is a better story than success.
The cross is a better story than recovery.
The resurrection is a better story than anything.
And – one more thing – it's true.
Read it all.
Indian priest Tom Uzhunnalil was reportedly crucified by Islamic State (ISIS) on Good Friday. The gruesome act was committed by the Yemen unit of the dreaded terror outfit.
Father Uzhunnalil was abducted by ISIS on March 4 in the aftermath of an attack on a church in Aden. At least 16 people were killed in the Catholic prayer hall by the Islamic militants. Eyewitnesses reveal that Father Uzhunnalil was dragged out of his room and loaded into a van. The militants were not to be seen again in the region again following the attack.
Read it all.
Update: CNA is reporting the news is still unconfirmed.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Terrorism * International News & Commentary Asia India * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
“Who is this for?” The primary witnesses of Easter are those who are marginal in the culture, on the very edges of society of that day - women, the poor. Given the importance that we in society give to celebrity endorsements this is a little disconcerting. The resurrection of Jesus is for all people everywhere, most of all for the poor, the despairing, the forgotten and abandoned.
Resurrection life is springing up all over this world. In Burundi three weeks ago Caroline and I arrived at a smallish, fairly makeshift church in a poor area, packed to the doors. Inside we heard testimony of the suffering of the local people in the violence that had prevailed there - one who’d been shot, another beaten, many threatened. Each morning bodies were found in ditches.
I did what I have learned is the best thing to do when among followers of Jesus Christ, however bad their circumstances, whether in that church or in a refugee camp the next day, and spoke about Jesus Christ, alive.
Because it was Jesus Christ that was being spoken about and it was being translated. Quiet fell, broken later by rifle fire and grenades. At the end, we sang again, and the place lifted in worship, drums playing, people dancing. This was Christianity, living out Easter hope in the face of darkness, unquenched, unquenchable.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Easter Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics
This Holy Saturday we watch and wait.
What comes will surely be his surprise-
He’s working on it right now-
And we must wait for it,
There is nothing else to do.
On Holy Saturday we realize, as at no other time,
We simply have to wait.
And then it happens!
On Holy Saturday we enter into the mystery. Today we contemplate Jesus, there in the tomb, dead. In that tomb, he is dead, exactly the way each of us will be dead. We don't easily contemplate dying, but we rarely contemplate being dead. I have had the blessed experience of being with a number of people who have died, of arriving at a hospital shortly after someone has died, of attending an autopsy, and of praying with health sciences students over donated bodies in gross anatomy class. These were powerful experiences because they all brought me face-to-face with the mystery of death itself. With death, life ends. Breathing stops, and in an instant, the life of this person has ended. And, in a matter of hours, the body becomes quite cold and life-less - dramatic evidence, to our senses, that this person no longer exists. All that is left is this decaying shell that once held his or her life.
Death is our ultimate fear. Everything else we fear, every struggle we have, is some taste of, some chilling approach to, the experience of losing our life. This fear is responsible for so much of our lust and greed, so much of our denial and arrogance, so much of our silly clinging to power, so much of our hectic and anxiety-driven activity. It is the one, inevitable reality we all will face. There is not enough time, money, joy, fulfillment, success. Our physical beauty and strength, our mental competency and agility, all that we have and use to define ourselves, slip away from us with time. Our lives are limited. Our existence, in every way we can comprehand it, comes to an end. We will all die. In a matter of time, all that will be left of any of us is a decomposing body.
Today is a day to soberly put aside the blinders we have about the mystery of death and our fear of it. Death is very real and its approach holds great power in our lives. The "good news" we are about to celebrate has no real power in our lives unless we have faced the reality of death. To contemplate Jesus' body, there in that tomb, is to look our death in the face, and it is preparation for hearing the Gospel with incredible joy. That we are saved from the ultimate power of sin and of death itself comes to us as a great relief, as a tremendous liberation. If Jesus lives, you and I will live! The mystery of death, which we contemplate today, will be overcome - we will live forever!
The feathers of the birds made the air soft, softer
than the quiet in a cocoon waiting for wings,
stiller than the stare of a hooded falcon.
--Barbara Ras (1949-- ), "A Book Said Dream and I Do"
Jesus dies. His lifeless body is taken down from the cross. Painters and sculptors have strained their every nerve to portray the sorrow of Mary holding her lifeless son in her arms, as mothers today in Baghdad hold with the same anguish the bodies of their children. On Holy Saturday, or Easter Eve, God is dead, entering into the nothingness of human dying. The source of all being, the One who framed the vastness and the microscopic patterning of the Universe, the delicacy of petals and the scent of thyme, the musician’s melodies and the lover’s heart, is one with us in our mortality. In Jesus, God knows our dying from the inside.
--–The Rt. Rev. Dr. Geoffrey Rowell, (recently retired) Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe
HOW life and death in Thee
Thou hadst a virgin womb
A Joseph did betroth
–Richard Crashaw (1613-1649)
This ultimate solidarity is the final point and the goal of that first 'descent,' so clearly described in the Scriptures, into a 'lower world' which, with Augustine, can already be characterised, by way of contrast with heaven, as infernum. Thomas Aquinas will echo Augustine here. For him, the necessity whereby Christ had to go down to Hades lies not in some insufficiency of the suffering endured on the Cross but in the fact that Christ has assumed all the defectus of sinners...Now the penalty which the sin of man brought on was not only the death of the body. It was also a penalty affected the soul, for sinning was also the soul's work, and the soul paid the price in being deprived of the vision of God. As yet unexpiated, it followed that all human beings who lived before the coming of Christ, even the holy ancestors, descended into the infernum. And so, in order to assume the entire penalty imposed upon sinners, Christ willed not only to die, but to go down, in his soul, ad infernum. As early as the Fathers of the second century, this act of sharing constituted the term and aim of the Incarnation. The 'terrors of death' into which Jesus himself falls are only dispelled when the Father raises him again...He insists on his own grounding principle, namely, that only what has been endured is healed and saved.
That the Redeemer is solidarity with the dead, or, better, with this death which makes of the dead, for the first time, dead human beings in all reality- this is the final consequence of the redemptive mission he has received from the Father. His being with the dead is an existence at the utmost pitch of obedience, and because the One thus obedient is the dead Christ, it constitutes the 'obedience of a corpse' (the phrase is Francis of Assisi's) of a theologically unique kind. By it Christ takes the existential measure of everything that is sheerly contrary to God, of the entire object of the divine eschatological judgment, which here is grasped in that event in which it is 'cast down' (hormemati blethesetai, Apocalypse 18, 21; John 12; Matthew 22, 13). But at the same time, this happening gives the measure of the Father's mission in all its amplitude: the 'exploration' of Hell is an event of the (economic) Trinity...This vision of chaos by the God-man has become for us the condition of our vision of Divinity. His exploration of the ultimate depths has transformed what was a prison into a way.
--Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988), Mysterium Paschale: The Mystery of Easter [emphasis mine]
Holy Saturday is a neglected day in parish life. Few people attend the Services. Popular piety usually reduces Holy Week to one day — Holy Friday. This day is quickly replaced by another — Easter Sunday. Christ is dead and then suddenly alive. Great sorrow is suddenly replaced by great joy. In such a scheme Holy Saturday is lost.
In the understanding of the Church, sorrow is not replaced by joy; it is transformed into joy. This distinction indicates that it is precisely within death the Christ continues to effect triumph.
–Alexander Schmemann (1921-1983)
"By the grace of God" Jesus tasted death "for every one". In his plan of salvation, God ordained that his Son should not only "die for our sins" but should also "taste death", experience the condition of death, the separation of his soul from his body, between the time he expired on the cross and the time he was raised from the dead. The state of the dead Christ is the mystery of the tomb and the descent into hell. It is the mystery of Holy Saturday, when Christ, lying in the tomb, reveals God's great sabbath rest after the fulfillment of man's salvation, which brings peace to the whole universe.
--The Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church, para. 624
‘For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.’ Paul’s classic challenge to the wisdom of the world echoes down the centuries and confronts us once more as we come face to face once more with the great events which not only stand at the heart of our faith but are etched into our geography and architecture, as this great building makes clear. One of the paradoxical signs of the continuing and urgent relevance of the message and meaning of the cross is that it is once more under attack from several directions; and we who today declare that we will be true to our ordination vows, and who will this evening and tomorrow commemorate those high and holy, disturbing and decisive events in the story of Jesus himself, must take a deep breath, summon up our courage, and learn again what it means to discover the wisdom of God in what the world counts foolishness, the power of God in what the world counts weakness.Read it all.
The first challenge comes from within, in the temptation to water down the message of the cross so that it becomes less offensive, more palatable to the ordinary sensible mind. We must of course acknowledge that many, alas, have offered caricatures of the biblical theology of the cross. It is all too possible to take elements from the biblical witness and present them within a controlling narrative gleaned from somewhere else, like a child doing a follow-the-dots puzzle without paying attention to the numbers and producing a dog instead of a rabbit. This is what happens when people present over-simple stories, as the mediaeval church often did, followed by many since, with an angry God and a loving Jesus, with a God who demands blood and doesn’t much mind whose it is as long as it’s innocent. You’d have thought people would notice that this flies in the face of John’s and Paul’s deep-rooted theology of the love of the triune God: not ‘God was so angry with the world that he gave us his son’ but ‘God so loved the world that he gave us his son’. That’s why, when I sing that interesting recent song and we come to the line, ‘And on the cross, as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied’, I believe it’s more deeply true to sing ‘the love of God was satisfied’, and I commend that alteration to those of you who sing that song, which is in other respects one of the very few really solid recent additions to our repertoire.
But once we’ve got rid of the caricature, we are ready to face the reality, the reality of the foolishness and weakness, but in fact the wisdom and the power, of the cross of Jesus Christ.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Holy Week Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics * Theology Christology Theology: Scripture
Let man’s soul be a sphere, and then, in this,
Th’ intelligence that moves, devotion is ;
And as the other spheres, by being grown
Subject to foreign motion, lose their own,
And being by others hurried every day,
Scarce in a year their natural form obey ;
Pleasure or business, so, our souls admit
For their first mover, and are whirl’d by it.
Hence is’t, that I am carried towards the west,
This day, when my soul’s form bends to the East.
There I should see a Sun by rising set,
And by that setting endless day beget.
But that Christ on His cross did rise and fall,
Sin had eternally benighted all.
Yet dare I almost be glad, I do not see
That spectacle of too much weight for me.
Who sees Gods face, that is self-life, must die ;
What a death were it then to see God die ?
It made His own lieutenant, Nature, shrink,
It made His footstool crack, and the sun wink.
Could I behold those hands, which span the poles
And tune all spheres at once, pierced with those holes ?
Could I behold that endless height, which is
Zenith to us and our antipodes,
Humbled below us ? or that blood, which is
The seat of all our soul’s, if not of His,
Made dirt of dust, or that flesh which was worn
By God for His apparel, ragg’d and torn ?
If on these things I durst not look, durst I
On His distressed Mother cast mine eye,
Who was God’s partner here, and furnish’d thus
Half of that sacrifice which ransom’d us ?
Though these things as I ride be from mine eye,
They’re present yet unto my memory,
For that looks towards them ; and Thou look’st towards me,
O Saviour, as Thou hang’st upon the tree.
I turn my back to thee but to receive
Corrections till Thy mercies bid Thee leave.
O think me worth Thine anger, punish me,
Burn off my rust, and my deformity ;
Restore Thine image, so much, by Thy grace,
That Thou mayst know me, and I’ll turn my face.
–John Donne (1572-1631)
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Holy Week Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Poetry & Literature * Theology Christology Soteriology
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Because the newly public message which is the good news of Easter is at one and the same time so obvious – the message of new creation, which answers the deepest longings of the whole cosmos – and so utterly unexpected that if we are to announce God in public in these terms, as Paul did so spectacularly at Athens, we need the preceding private stillness to rinse our minds out of preconceived notions and make ready for God’s startling new world. Note, by the way, that it is the public truth of Easter – the dangerous, strikingly political truth that the living God is remaking the world and claiming full sovereignty over it – that has been for two hundred years the real objection, in western thinking, to the notion that Jesus rose bodily from the tomb. Western thought has wanted to keep Christianity as private truth only, to turn the Lion of Judah into a tame #####-cat, an elegant and inoffensive, if occasionally mysterious, addition to the family circle.
And part of the point of where we are today, culturally, socially, politically and religiously, is that we don’t have that option any more. We face a dangerous and deeply challenging future in the next few years, as the demons we’ve unleashed in the Middle East are not going to go back into their bag, as the ecological nightmares we’ve created take their toll, as the people who make money by looking after our money have now lost their own money and perhaps ours as well, as our cultural and artistic worlds flail around trying to catch the beauty and sorrow of the world and often turning them into ugliness and trivia. And we whose lives and thinking and praying and preaching are rooted in and shaped by these great four days – we who stand up dangerously before God and one another and say we are ready to hear and obey his call once more – we have to learn what it means to announce the public truth of Easter, consequent upon the public truth of Good Friday and itself shaped by it (as the mark of the nails bear witness), as the good news of God for all the world, not just for those who meet behind locked doors. Every eye shall see him, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn as they realise the public truth of his Easter victory. But we can only learn that in the quiet privacy around the Lord’s Table, and the humble stillness where we lay aside our own agendas, our own temperamental preferences, in the darkness of Holy Saturday. When we say Yes to the questions we shall be asked in a few minutes’ time, we are saying Yes to this rhythm, this shaping, of our private devotion to our Lord, our private waiting on him in the silence, in order to say Yes as well to this rhythm, this shaping, of our public ministry, our living out of the gospel before the principalities and powers, our working with the grain of the world where we can and against the grain of the world where we must.
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Holy Week Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics * Theology Christology Theology: Scripture
Containing over 70 million members in 38 national and regional churches (provinces), the Anglican Communion is the world’s third largest Christian community. Retired Bishop Colin Buchanan defines a province in the Anglican context as a “cluster of dioceses, with an organic (usually constitutional) relationship which forms a province. The minimum is typically four dioceses to constitute a province, thereby conforming visibly to the requirement that, when there is a vacancy in a bishop’s post, there will still be three bishops available to consecrate a new bishop for the vacancy.”1 With rare exceptions all dioceses belong to a province. Prior to its separation in 2012, the Diocese of South Carolina was affiliated with the province called The Episcopal Church (TEC).
In 2014, the Global South Primates Steering Committee announced the establishment of a Primatial Oversight Council. This council provides pastoral and primatial oversight to dissenting individuals, parishes, and dioceses in order to provide a meaningful connection to the wider Anglican Communion. The steering committee extended an offer for provisional primatial oversight to our diocese, which we accepted. At the diocesan convention later that year a Task Force for Provincial Affiliation was established by vote of a resolution. Bishop Lawrence appointed one clergy and one lay person from each of the six deaneries to serve. The task force began meeting to “design and initiate a process whose goal will be to enable the Diocese and this Convention, along with their parishes, to discern among the options available for provincial affiliation, and in Convention, decide our means of affiliation.”2
For the next several months the task force considered all options, one of which was to remain unaffiliated. While provincial oversight from the Global South Steering Committee is a solid temporary arrangement, to remain disconnected from a province is not a desirable state for a diocese. Lack of affiliation has disadvantages in terms of ecclesiastical fellowship and limits both our ability to shape the larger communion and provide a normal process for episcopal succession. Ultimately, the task force determined that remaining unaffiliated was not a realistic option.
Read it carefully and read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Global South Churches & Primates * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * South Carolina * Theology Ecclesiology
On Monday April 11 at 6 p.m. the Diocese will host an event at the Cathedral in Charleston where a number of honored guests from Africa and South America will speak about their work. A soup reception will follow. All are encouraged to join us for this unprecedented gathering.
• Bishop Rob Martin, Diocese of Marsabit, Anglican Church of Kenya
• Rose Kanyunyuzi, head of the Go Project in Uganda
• Bishop Joseph Abura, Diocese of Karamoja, Anglican Church of Uganda
• The Rev. Raymond Bukenya, the Diocese of Karamoja, Anglican Church of Uganda
• Bishop George Kasangaki, Diocese of Masindi-Kitara, Anglican Church of Uganda
• The Rev. Paul Ssembiro, recent past Provincial Coordinator for Mission and Evangelism in Uganda, and the present Country Team Leader of African Enterprises
• Bishop Elias Chakupewa, Diocese of Tabora, Anglican Church of Tanzania
• Bishop Raphael Samuel is the Bishop of Boliva
• The Rev. Geison Vasconcellos, Diocese of Recife, Brazil
Read it all.
The only path to the hope of Easter is through the struggle of Holy Week. Like the assurance offered in the 23rd Psalm, we’re not given a shortcut around the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
The only way out is through.
Read it all.
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A historic declaration from the Anglican Church of Canada regarding it’s part in the horrific cultural genocide and many abuses done to an estimated 150,000 Aboriginal children and their families in the name of Christ was delivered at North America’s oldest Anglican Church, Her Majesties Chapel of the Mohawks in Brantford, Saturday afternoon.
Canada’s top Anglican Bishops and leaders were on hand as Anglican Archbishop of Canada, Fred Hiltz and National Indigenous Bishop, Right Reverend Mark MacDonald delivered a humble and heartfelt apology to all Indigenous children forced to attend residential schools operated by the Church and their families.
The Chapel is only a short distance from the Mohawk Institute, Canada’s first and longest running residential school where atrocities were committed in the name of education and Christianity against Aboriginal children.
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The Anglican diocese of Bathurst is being forced to sell church property following a NSW Supreme Court order to settle an outstanding debt of up to $25 million to Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
The diocese, which covers one-third of the area of NSW, is likely next month to approve the first sale of properties at a synod, or governing council, after losing a lengthy battle in which it argued it did not have the authority to sell property it held under trust structures.
"We will be selling church trust property in order to satisfy what we owe," Ian Palmer, the bishop in charge of the Bathurst diocese, said.
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As we celebrate Palm Sunday, Andy Crouch looks at four snapshots from Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Through the stories of the king, the image, the pennies and the jar, we learn lessons about worship, power, and what it means to bear the image of God.
Listen to it all by podcast or download.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Holy Week Parish Ministry Preaching / Homiletics * Theology Christology Theology: Scripture
You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there. Please note that the sermon proper begins after an introduction and a reading from John 17 by parish members. Also, there reference to the "rise of the nones" is the "none" as is no religious affiliation in some recent American religious surveys.
Filed under: * By Kendall Sermons & Teachings * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Holy Week Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics Spirituality/Prayer * Theology Christology Theology: Scripture
Black Mountain Missionary Baptist Church absolutely gleams in the sunshine with a fresh coat of paint on the outer walls and brilliant yellow daffodils blooming on the manicured lawn.
The handiwork of an arsonist has been entirely erased. There are no signs of the flames that charred the insides of the historic church, which dates back to the days when this was a working coal camp. The soot and stain and odor of acrid smoke are long gone. So, too, are the water-logged furnishings, ruined in the mad dash by firefighters to extinguish the blaze.
Church members refused to leave Black Mountain in shambles.
“They never missed a worship service because of the fire,” said Bill Wallace, director of missions for the Upper Cumberland Baptist Association. “They never gave up. That says so much about their determination to serve the Lord and to reach this community with the gospel.”
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Denver’s business community took notice of [Karla] Nugent because of her philanthropy. As leader of sales, marketing, and human resources, she’s created a culture of generosity at Weifield. The company donates to more than 30 nonprofits in the city, including organizations that support women, veterans, at-risk youth, and the urban poor. Employees join in the generosity as well, taking bike rides to raise money for MS and building houses for Habitat for Humanity on company time.
In 2014, Nugent won the Denver Business Journal’s Corporate Citizen of the Year Award as well as the award for Outstanding Woman in Business for architects, engineers, and construction.
But light began to flood into Weifield when, several years ago, Nugent decided to bring the community’s needs into the company. After seeing growing income inequality in Denver, she created the Weifield Group apprenticeship program.
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They all filed past the open coffin, seeing familiar remnants of Ms. McDonald’s life: a favorite pink blouse and white suit, and her finest jewelry.
“Why did they cut off all her hair?” a son, Errol McDonald, 57, remembers thinking. “Maybe it’s the cancer.” He bent and kissed her.
But sometimes children see what adults cannot. Adults rationalize. Children call it like it is.
“My 10-year-old son said, ‘Daddy, that’s not Grandma,’” recalled Mr. McDonald, a school maintenance worker in Manhattan. “I said, ‘Yes, that’s what happens,’” he told the boy, explaining that people can look different in death....[but the 10 year old was right]...
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It is not the fact that the French Revolution attacked clerical celibacy that is revealing, then, but which arguments they deployed against it. Earlier opponents attacked the institution as a crime against innocent bastards and faithful concubines, or as unscriptural Roman overreach, or as an implicit denigration of family life. In the case of the French revolutionaries, their arguments were primarily either utilitarian or legalistic—which may be why they sound familiar today....
More modern-sounding still, in our age of "marriage equality," are the legalistic arguments. Insofar as clerical celibacy was a form of discrimination on the basis of profession, it was deemed a violation of egalité. The most rhetorically powerful ploy of all was to elevate parenthood to the status of a basic human right, which vows of celibacy infringed upon. One abbé Cournand, upon presenting a motion in favor of clerical marriage in a Paris suburb's local assembly in 1790, said that obligatory celibacy violated clerics' "inalienable right … to exist as father and spouse." A 1795 treatise by a married priest argued that becoming a père de famille was a basic right and any act prohibiting it was "fundamentally invalid [and] an attack on liberty."
The debate over clerical celibacy was at its liveliest during the period of ambiguity following the Civil Constitution of the Clergy of 1790, since the issue of clerical marriage is not actually mentioned in that document and would not be settled until the Constitution of 1791. One pamphleteer of the uncertain interim argued that the National Assembly did not even need to clarify its position on clerical marriage, since the right to marry was implicit in the egalitarian decrees already enacted. "Lay people can marry, therefore priests can marry as well." In his eyes, it was a constitutional fait accompli. Eulogius Schneider, a former Franciscan monk who would become a prosecutor of the Terror, echoed this line of argument in 1791: "Priests are men and citizens, and by consequence, they must enjoy the rights of man and of citizen." In the hands of such innovators, the Rights of Man and Citizen proved as accommodating as our Fourteenth Amendment in the search for a never-before-dreamed-of right to marry.
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Goodson Muleya originally hails from a village in the Mazabuka District in Zambia’s southern province. His parents died when he was seven and he was taken in by his uncle, but not treated well. Eventually, Mr Muleya ran away from home and spent time living on the streets while also trying to complete his studies and find work.
It was during his time on the streets that someone shared the gospel with him. Although like many in Zambia Mr Muleya had grown up going to church, he did not truly know and follow Jesus. It was after this chance encounter that he thought hard about whether he was truly a Christian and he decided he needed to change.
“After this confession my life was transformed,” he says. “I felt the need to forgive my uncle and everyone else who harmed me, as I was living in bitterness all these years after the death of my parents. Also, it dawned to me that not everyone who goes to church is Christian.”
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Tucked away in England’s magnificent landscape lies the small village of Peterchurch. At the annual crafts fair the Anglican church bustles with activity. But this kind of church could become an endangered species, in part because of changing demographics as people migrate to the city.
A Church of England report shows that more than half of its churches are in rural areas, although only 17 percent of the population lives there. This means smaller congregations, fewer resources, and a bleak future, given the average age of attendees hovers around 55.
“A lot of it is about the demographics,” said Anni Holden, Director of Communications for the Diocese of Hereford. “But also, you know, we have to be realistic, secularization amongst the indigenous population. There’s no two ways about that.”
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Eleanor is an actress and a theatre maker living in North London, trained in both musical theatre and pure acting. She has spent 2 years with a theatre company doing everything from acting training to devising and directing pieces. She has been a part of Euston church since it was planted from St Helen’s Bishopsgate 5 years ago, and one day she would like to create her own theatre company.
What does being an ambassador for Christ mean to you?
In the house I used to live in with my aunt and uncle I remember seeing a postcard from their church, and it said: If Jesus were born in your place, in your time, with your job and your circumstances, how would he live? That’s always stuck with me as a challenge to be as Christ-like as I can in every situation I’m in. I need to use my personality and my specific skills to attract people to him.
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The Church of England’s safeguarding procedures in cases of reported sexual abuse have been condemned as “fundamentally flawed” by an independent review, which was commissioned by the Church.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has promised to implement the changes that the review calls for, and to do so quickly.
The review, which was carried out by Ian Elliott, a safeguarding consultant with the Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service, considered the Church’s response to allegations of sexual abuse by the Revd Garth Moore, a former Chancellor of the dioceses of Southwark, Durham, and Gloucester, who died in 1990... It concerned an attempted rape by Chancellor Moore of “Joe” (not his real name), which took place while Joe, then aged 16, was staying as a house guest at Chancellor Moore’s rooms in Gray’s Inn.
Joe was then drawn into what he has described as an exploitative and emotionally abusive relationship by Brother Michael Fisher SSF, who later became Bishop of St Germans.
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For Christians the terror of physical death is abolished, though the unpleasantness of dying remains. Jesus, their risen Savior, has himself passed through a more traumatic death than any Christian will ever have to face, and he now lives to support his servants as they move out of this world to the place he has prepared for them in the next world (John 14:2-3). Christians should view their own forthcoming death as an appointment in Jesus' calendar; which he will faithfully keep. Paul could say, "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.... I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far"(Phil. 1:21, 23), since "away from the body"will mean "at home with the Lord"(2 Cor. 5:8).
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * General Interest Photos/Photography * South Carolina * Theology
Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, might have helped prevent a sex abuser bishop being brought to justice for more than 20 years, a public inquiry has been told.
He allegedly failed to pass on "very detailed" allegations made in the early 1990s against the former Bishop of Lewes Peter Ball - who was jailed last year for abusing a string of boys and young men - it was claimed.
It was one of the reasons a "proper" police investigation into Ball's abuse was delayed for more than two decades, the inquiry into historic sexual abuse in England and Wales being overseen by Justice Lowell Goddard was told.
Read it all from the Telegraph.
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"We welcome the plans outlined in today's preliminary hearing by Justice Goddard, for the Anglican Church, as it examines the extent to which institutions and organisations in England and Wales have taken seriously their responsibility to protect children.
As a church we will be offering full cooperation and are committed to working in an open and transparent way, with a survivor-informed response. We are already reviewing our 2008 Past Cases Review, referred to in today's hearing.
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The question then is what exactly Jeremy Pemberton is seeking and how it can be justified. If the argument is that the church’s doctrine is in error or that the bishops are in error in their statements and applications of that doctrine then there are means within the church to rectify those errors. To seek for the state to correct the church’s alleged errors – by judging that the bishops are mis-stating its own doctrine or that the substance of that doctrine must be abandoned - is a step which needs to be defended. Yet I have seen no serious defence of this approach. The decision of Canon Pemberton and his supporters to continue to press their case through the courts means they must address this issue of their chosen means to secure their desired end and clarify what they are wanting the court to decide in terms of directing the church in relation to its doctrine and requirements of ministers....
Finally, looking ahead as we draw near the end of the Shared Conversations, this case highlights the difficulty of implementing what some call for under the title of “good disagreement”. If the case is lost then it has been established that the church has a doctrine of marriage which bishops are right to uphold by refusing to issue a licence to someone in a same-sex marriage. The judgment is clear that canonical obedience is “a core part of the qualifying of a priest for ministry within the Church” (para 120) and that Canon Pemberton is obliged to undertake to pay true and Canonical Obedience to the Lord Bishop but that (given its conclusion as to church doctrine), “Self-evidently he is not going to be able to fulfil that obligation or has not done so….and therefore objectively he cannot be issued with his licence” (para 121). Any bishop who therefore issued a licence to someone in a same-sex marriage would therefore be open to legal challenge. Any attempt to allow clergy to enter same-sex marriages would, it appears, need first to redefine the church’s doctrine of marriage. If, however, Jeremy wins his case then, as noted above, no bishop could refuse a licence on the grounds of the priest being in a same-sex marriage.
In other words, if the church keeps it current doctrine of marriage then it will be very difficult to justify licensing clergy in same-sex marriages but if it changes it or somehow declares it has no fixed doctrine of marriage then it will be very difficult to justify refusing a licence to clergy in same-sex marriages given equality legislation. So, even if it were considered desirable, it is therefore hard to see how, given the law, the church could “agree to differ” on this subject in a way that both enabled same-sex married clergy to be licensed and also protected those unable in good conscience to license clergy in same-sex marriages.
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...[Church of England] clergyman Jeremy Pemberton has won the right to appeal against a ruling by an employment tribunal that he was not discriminated against.
Canon Pemberton took his case to the tribunal after he was refused a licence to work as a hospital chaplain because he had married his partner Laurence Cunnington.
Read it all from Christian Today.
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The Church of England is to make far-reaching changes to the way it deals with cases of sex abuse, following a highly critical independent report that details how senior church figures failed to act upon repeated disclosures of a sadistic assault by a cleric.
The first independent review commissioned by the church into its handling of a sex abuse case highlights the “deeply disturbing” failure of those in senior positions to record or take action on the survivor’s disclosures over a period of almost four decades.
The Guardian understands that among those told of the abuse were three bishops and a senior clergyman later ordained as a bishop. None of them are named in the report by Ian Elliott, a safeguarding expert, but the survivor identified them as Tim Thornton, now bishop of Truro; Richard Holloway, former bishop of Edinburgh in the Scottish Episcopal church, now retired; John Eastaugh, former bishop of Hereford, now dead; and Stephen Platten, former bishop of Wakefield and now honorary assistant bishop of London.
The church acknowledged the report was “embarrassing and uncomfortable” reading.
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Newcastle's Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson says having the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse come to Newcastle will be important for the community.
The Royal Commission will hold a two-week public hearing into Newcastle's Anglican diocese starting on June 20.
The ABC has previously reported that several alleged paedophile rings are being investigated by police and the Royal Commission.
Bishop Thompson said Newcastle needed to hear the stories of victims and come to terms with the abuse.
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The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will spend Holy Week visiting community projects, groups, schools and Christians in Canterbury diocese.
The Archbishop will be assisting the Sittingbourne deanery in its outreach, mission and evangelism from 20–26 March, encouraging Christians in sharing faith through worship, service and evangelism.
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A year of shared conversations on sexuality, held across the Church of England, and involving more than 700 people, concluded this week. The next conversations will take place at the York meeting of the General Synod in July. Madeleine Davies spoke to the last set of participants about their experience and expectations.
Andrew Cox, lay person (diocese of St Albans)
Coming from a conservative position it was helpful to be able to “look into the eyes”’ of those who held an opposing view and be able to see more of the person, experiences, and, often, pain that lay behind their view. I was also grateful to have the chance to present my views face to face, which helped those I disagreed with to recognise that the words I spoke, whilst hard to hear, were spoken from the heart and out of love.
My one regret, which I did express, was that none of the carefully designed programme was dedicated to opening the Bible together. As we are a church who believes in the authority of the scriptures I had hoped that listening to God’s Word would be a fundamental part of seeking to come to one mind on this issue. It really seems to me that this is key, as it is the truth of the scriptures that unites us. If we don’t wrestle to understand the truth together, what is it that will hold us together?
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...we are “To Make Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age.”’
That was the T-shirt version, and it has stuck! I am more convinced now than ever, however inadequately we have received, embodied and conveyed it, that this was a vision from the Lord. I have also come to accept that what takes a year or two for a new rector to establish in a parish takes five years for a bishop to achieve in a diocese. It is only in recent years have I noticed rectors reciting this statement in a way that rolls naturally off of their tongues.
Now in this ninth year as your bishop I remain unswervingly committed to our calling. I see also the need to doggedly keep it before us. Frankly, this vision is like a railroad track—that is, it has two rails. One rail is a local focus and the other is more global.
So let me elaborate afresh: To Make Biblical Anglicans will mean two things:
• To help every congregation to engage every generation with the Good News of Jesus Christ
• To help shape emerging Anglicanism in the 21st Century
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The 225th Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina, hosted by the Church of the Cross in Bluffton, SC, March 11-12, 2016 highlighted progress the Diocese made in recent years toward “Making Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age,” the vision cast by Bishop Mark Lawrence in 2009 during the first Convention after his election.
“I thought convention was fantastic,” said the Rev. Shay Gaillard, Rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Charleston. “We had such a sense of unity and excitement. Bishop Lawrence’s address really helped us see what we have accomplished and the things going on in the parishes were an incredible encouragement.”
Over 400 clergy, lay delegates and guests from 53 churches, representing 23,000 members across the southern and coastal part of the state came together for the Bluffton event.
In his address Bishop Mark Lawrence thanked the number of churches that have pursued active ministry relationships with provinces and dioceses that have stood with the Diocese. In the past year churches have strengthened ties with clergy and parishioners in the Diocese of Egypt, North Africa and the Horn of Africa; Northern Uganda; Marsabit in Kenya; Kilmore, Elfin and Ardagh in Ireland; Dar es Salaam in Tanzania among many others.
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The Diocese of South Carolina is considering affiliating with the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).
The Diocese’s Affiliation Task Force recommended the association during the 225th annual Diocesan Convention in Bluffton this weekend. Affiliation would require the Diocese to approve affiliation in two future conventions. More than 350 clergy and delegates representing 53 churches across the southern and coastal part of the state gathered for the convention.
Before affiliation the Task Force will host meetings throughout the Diocese to brief clergy and church members about the benefits of affiliation and ask questions about the possible move.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Episcopal Church (TEC) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * South Carolina * Theology Ecclesiology
Rico said: ‘If I open the Bible and teach it, God will speak through it. The power is in the Bible as the Spirit takes the word of God and transforms people’s hearts’. He highlighted that fear of being marginalised and rejected or being so busy at work and not having time to talk to others were some of the key reasons why Christians fail to share their faith
Using statistics from the website http://www.TakingJesus.org, Rico said that 67% of non-Christians said they liked their Christian friends and of these 20% would describe themselves as being spiritually hungry. Finishing off, he said that Christians do not often pass on the message of the gospel because ‘good things become god things’. He said God sent his Son into the world that people might come to know him and so God sends his people out for the same reason. He encouraged Christians to get involved in these events and pray that their non-Christian friends come and hear the good news.
Read it all and you can listen to Rico Tice's talk here
When Craig Ellis was growing up, he picked up the sort of adventure book meant for a boy looking to serve God. The book, “Shadow of the Almighty,” told the story of Jim Elliot, a young American evangelist killed while doing mission work in Ecuador.
The narrative of this Christian martyr did for Mr. Ellis what a superhero comic might have done for his peers: It got him pondering purpose, struggle and sacrifice. The book also provided a model for how a Christian should spread the news of salvation while working in treacherous territory, at great personal risk.
Very little in “Shadow of the Almighty,” however, prepared Mr. Ellis for where he stood on a recent Tuesday, in a room with industrial carpet and a dropped ceiling at Redeemer Presbyterian Church on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where people lined up on Sunday morning are more likely awaiting a table for brunch than taking communion.
Mr. Ellis, 39, welcomed the dozen men and women seated before him. “This is a space,” he said, “for people who consider themselves non-Christian and are coming in from the outside.”..
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..what's to be done? In 1952 Oxford Don and Christian apologist CS Lewis wrote to the Times calling for a 'Deep Church' – a rediscovery and return to the historic foundations laid by Christ and the Apostles, rather than the somewhat superficial religion he observed was characteristic of much modern Christianity. Two generations on, we still need to heed this prophetic call and return to the deep things of God.
We cannot soothe ourselves in misty-eyed nostalgia of former golden eras of revival and evangelical advance neither can we sit in self pity like Job scraping our wounds in the rubble of what once was, battening down the hatches and hanging on in there awaiting Jesus to rapture out the few elect that remain. There's work to be done; we need to return to first principles. We need to remember who we are and who God is. We need to put the Lord back at the centre. We need to learn to pray again, and witness to the cross and resurrection, and love one another and imitate Christ and drink deeply of the life giving, life transforming Spirit. It is time for Christians to believe and behave Christian again.
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You never know what you’ll discover when you don protective gloves and pore over documents dating back to the 1800s.
A future U.S. president who had a hand in destroying St. John’s Anglican Church in an 1813 fire set by invading American soldiers.
An early figure in the historic Sandwich church who fathered a son through an extramarital affair with a former nun.
For the first time at the University of Windsor, the history department offered a course called public history designed to help connect a community to its past. A handful of students in the course who delved into the records of St. John’s Anglican Church in Sandwich made some interesting discoveries as they researched and created an online exhibit at Public History 497.
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Plans to overhaul Sunday trading laws in England and Wales have been dropped after they were rejected by MPs.
The Commons opposed proposals to allow councils to extend opening hours by 317 votes to 286, as 27 Tories rebelled.
Ministers had sought to limit the rebellion by promising to trial the changes in 12 areas but said afterwards they would respect MPs' views.
Critics of the plans said they would "chip away" at Sunday's special status and put undue pressure on workers.
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After a second filing extension due to unavoidable caseload delays, the Diocese and Corporation filed two response briefs with the Second Court of Appeals, located in Fort Worth.Because the briefs filed in December made differing arguments, two response briefs were necessary. The TEC parties now have the opportunity to make a reply by March 24. These files are large and may require a few moments to load.
You may find the two (big) downloads here and there.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Pat Conroy was laid to rest Tuesday under the bright Lowcountry sun, which is exactly where he always wanted to be.
Although he was not South Carolina-born — he entered this world in Atlanta — the famous author chose the Lowcountry, chose Beaufort, as his home. He loved this state as much as any native, and he shared that love with the world.
And we loved him back.
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The Diocese of South Carolina will hold its 225th Diocesan convention at the Church of the Cross in Bluffton, March 11-12, 2016. More than 350 convention delegates and clergy members representing 23,000 baptized members from across the eastern and coastal part of the state will attend the annual gathering to be held at the historic church.
A mini-conference on Grandparenting kicks off the convention the morning of the 11th followed by a series of afternoon workshops aimed at strengthening and growing churches. All are open to the public.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * South Carolina * Theology
One of the great legacies of Jerry Bridges is that he combined—to borrow some titles from his books—the pursuit of holiness and godliness with an emphasis on transforming grace. He believed that trusting God not only involved believing what he had done for us in the past, but that the gospel empowers daily faith and is transformative for all of life.
In 2009 he explained to interviewer Becky Grosenbach the need for this emphasis within the culture of the ministry he had given his life to:
When I came on staff almost all the leaders had come out of the military and we had pretty much a military culture. We were pretty hard core. We were duty driven. The WWII generation. We believed in hard work. We were motivated by saying “this is what you ought to do.” That’s okay, but it doesn’t serve you over the long haul. And so 30 years ago there was the beginning of a change to emphasize transforming grace, a grace-motivated discipleship.
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The Worship Center Christian Church in Birmingham announced during services on Sunday morning that it will pay off the payday loans of 48 people struggling with debt.
Those whose loans are being paid off owe a combined total of more than $41,000 and are paying high interest rates of 36 percent and much higher. Payday loans are unsecured cash advances that people use to make it through to the next payday. Payday loan centers proliferate throughout Alabama.
"It's kind of a ticking time bomb with high interest rates," Senior Pastor Van Moody said in an interview after the service. "That's why many people never get out."
Those having their loans paid off will be required to undergo financial counseling and attend financial workshops so they don't get in the same fix again, Moody said.
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You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there. Please note that the sermon proper begins after an introduction and a reading from Acts 4 by three parish members.
Filed under: * By Kendall Sermons & Teachings * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics Spirituality/Prayer * Theology Theology: Scripture
Father Jonathan Kell knows he has big shoes to fill at St. Stephen’s Reformed Episcopal Church of Flowood. He’s replacing the late Father Fred Basil, the parish’s beloved pastor who died of cancer last year.
But Kell, a former schoolteacher, wanted the position badly enough to move his family from Pennsylvania — a family that includes Kell and his wife, Annie's, 15-month-old daughter and a son who was born last month. He’ll enter the pulpit focused not on growing membership but maintaining the overall health of the parish.
“It’s tough,” Kell said of relocating to a different part of the country. “We’re leaving behind our families and one of my best friends from college — a minister in a different denomination. But my wife, Annie, and I decided long ago that we were going to give our lives to the ministry and go where the Lord leads us.”
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Mr. Ellis, 39, welcomed the dozen men and women seated before him. “This is a space,” he said, “for people who consider themselves non-Christian and are coming in from the outside.”
His weekly sessions, called the WS Café in a reference to the neighborhood, are at a new frontier of evangelism, one that seeks converts among a fervent and growing number of atheists in this country. The sessions started in September as a push by Redeemer Presbyterian’s prominent pastor, the Rev. Tim Keller, to preach the gospel to skeptics.
Such efforts proceed amid a rare moment in both Christian and American history. At the origin of Christianity, its apostles sought to convert adherents of other faiths, whether Judaism or Roman paganism. Missionaries of the last few centuries journeyed to China or Africa or the Americas to encounter the followers of other faiths, whether Buddhist or Yoruba or Aztec. In every case, the Christian evangelist seeking converts was at least dealing with listeners who embraced the concept of a divine being involved in the world.
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This is all happening at a time, where across the Western world we are seeing the rise of a harder left and a harder right. This comes as a shock for since the fall of the Berlin Wall, with Bill Clinton and Tony Blair moving politics into the center, it seemed that such ideology had had its day. Yet ideology is back. What I find fascinating though is behind this move to further edges of the right and left is a common thread. Both espouse a kind of anti-institutional impulse which seeks to remove the restraints on the individual will. Both seek to either return to an idealized past or a utopian future through the hand of a kind of a benevolent, paternal entity be it government, tech companies, or the global financial market. Both end up ignoring, or bypassing the mediating institutions such as family, neighborhood, community organizations or church. Thus, creating the contemporary, atomized, and commitment phobic self, dizzy with choice. There is a significant and growing missional opportunity here for the church to inhabit and rehabilitate this ignored space....
Moore: What are a few goals you would like your readers to walk away with from having read Disappearing Church?
Sayers: There is no going back. We will most likely live the entirety of our lives in an increasingly diverse, contested, globalized, and divided world. As William Davidow and Moises Naim have shown, this world will also be a fragile one. Thus such a moment will be served by a church that is relevant by being resilient. With change and chaos as the norm, a nostalgic desire to return to halcyon days is deeply tempting. Instead of wanting to return to the past, we must learn from the past. Two thousand years of Church history have shown us that again and again, even as large portions of the Church compromise with the spirit of the day. Creative minorities, who engaged new landscapes with creativity alongside biblical orthodoxy and faithfulness, flourish, bring good news and live as ambassadors of the kingdom. This can and will again happen in our day. If in some tiny way Disappearing Church can contribute to that renaissance I will be deeply grateful to Him.
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Grace Church Muswell Hill is part of a group of churches journeying together as they seek to equip and commission 100,000 ambassadors representing Jesus Christ in daily life. Philip Sudell, the Vicar of St Mary’s, writes:
“Well it all sounded so clear and coherent in church on Sunday – I knew exactly why trusting in and seeking to follow Jesus was the best thing for me to be doing – but when it came to telling my work colleague on Monday morning somehow the words deserted me, I couldn’t put two sentences together and to cap it all my knees were almost audibly knocking at the thought of how they might react!”
If that rings any bells with you then you are amongst friends at least here at Grace Church in Muswell Hill. When the London Diocese shared its Capital Vision 2020 of being Confident, Compassionate and Creative, the aspect of being “..more confident in speaking and living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” was something that really resonated with us and tied into some thinking we had already been doing about how to better equip ourselves to share our faith with friends and family and colleagues.
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A Clergyman who was the new man in his parish when Harold Macmillan was the new man in No. 10 is looking forward to celebrating 60 years in post.
The Revd James Cocke, who, at 89, is still Vicar of All Saints’, Highfield, in Oxford, celebrated the 59th anniversary of his collation last week. He has ministered to the parish since 23 February 1957, which is thought to make him the longest-serving incumbent in the Church of England.
On Monday, he said that plans were already being prepared to mark the diamond jubilee of his ministry at All Saints’, next February.
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Under California law, a religious body or organization may create a unique form of corporation, called a corporation sole, whose principal purpose is to allow the parent organization (which may or may not itself be incorporated) to hold title to real property. A corporation sole is different from the usual variety of that entity: it has a single officer, director and shareholder, who are all one and the same person, called "the incumbent of the corp sole." The governing body makes the rules for who can be the incumbent. Typically it is that body's bishop or other spiritual leader.
Bishops may come and go, but corporations sole do not. Under law, their existence is perpetual -- and that is why they are a good vehicle for maintaining ownership of real property. And like any religious organization, they are not-for-profit, and pay no income taxes.
So it comes as a bit of a surprise to learn that Bishop J. Jon Bruno of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles is at odds with his own Diocese over the disclosure of financial information concerning the corporation sole of which he is the incumbent. (In order to avoid a vote on an outside audit of his corp sole at the diocesan convention last December, Bishop Bruno promised to disclose its financial statements.)
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Commentary Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Parishes * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues
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A police officer who was fatally shot on her first day on the job was remembered Tuesday as someone who helped in soup kitchens, at suicide prevention programs and at mortuary services for Marines killed overseas.
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Thousands of people came to the Hylton Memorial Chapel here to honor the officer, Ashley Guindon, 28. Officer Guindon died Saturday when she and two other Prince William County police officers were investigating a domestic disturbance at a home in Woodbridge, about 20 miles south of Washington.
As the officers approached the front door of the house, a gunman opened fire, hitting all three, the police said. Officer Guindon later died at a hospital; the other two officers were treated for their wounds. The suspect, Ronald W. Hamilton, 32, who the police said also fatally shot his wife before they arrived, was arrested on murder charges.
Read it all from the New York Times.
The Bishop of Los Angeles has reneged on his promise to the 2015 Diocesan Convention to make public the finances of the diocese’s corporation sole. In a statement released on 28 Feb 2016, the Save the St James the Great Coalition reported the diocese’s chief operating officer had responded to the group’s request for the audited records of the bishop’s finances by saying that disclosure would at this time would harm the bishop in his on-going litigation with the parish and donors of the land. The Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, who is facing ecclesiastical charges of conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy that include lying to members of the diocese, had faced a public censure at his diocesan convention over his handling of church property, but was able to postpone a showdown after he promised to make public his activities.
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