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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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The Global South of the Anglican Communion
21 August 2014
Announcement regarding the Diocese of South Carolina
My dear Brothers and Sisters,
Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
The Global South of the Anglican Communion welcomes the unanimous request of The Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence, XIV Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina, and the Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina to “accept the offer of the newly created Global South Primatial Oversight Council for pastoral oversight of our ministry as a diocese during the temporary period of our discernment of our final provincial affiliation.”
The decision of the Diocese of South Carolina was made in response to the meeting of the Global South Primates Steering Committee in Cairo, Egypt from 14-15 February 2014 . A recommendation from that meeting stated that, “we decided to establish a Primatial Oversight Council, in following-through the recommendations taken at Dar es Salam in 2007, to provide pastoral and primatial oversight to dissenting individuals, parishes, and dioceses in order to keep them within the Communion.”
Recognizing the faithfulness of Bishop Mark Lawrence and the Diocese of South Carolina, and in appreciation for their contending for the faith once for all delivered to the saints, the Global South welcomes them as an active and faithful member within the Global South of the Anglican Communion, until such time as a permanent primatial affiliation can be found.
Yours in Christ,
+ Mouneer Egypt
The Most Revd Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis
Primate of Jerusalem & the Middle East
Bishop of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa
Chairman, Global South Primates Steering Committee
+ Ian Mauritius
The Most Revd Ian Ernest
Primate of the Indian Ocean
Bishop of Mauritius Hon. General Secretary, Global South Primates Steering Committee
 The full statement of the Global South Primates Steering Committee held in Cairo, Egypt from 14-15 February 2014 may be found on the Global South Anglican website
You can see the original signed letter (a PDF file) here.
[received via email and posted with permission - the elves. Note this is also posted at the Diocese of South Carolina website, along with an accompanying note from Bishop Mark Lawrence.]
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Alternative Primatial Oversight (APO) Anglican Primates Anglican Provinces Anglican Province of the Indian Ocean The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina Global South Churches & Primates * South Carolina
In a first for the Anglican Diocese of Rockhampton, the consecration of new Bishop David Robinson will be held at St Paul's Cathedral tomorrow.
Previously, the new bishop was either already consecrated or the consecration took place in Brisbane.
People are travelling from all over the diocese to witness the historic occasion, including as far afield as Winton.
The diocese spreads from Agnes Water in the south, to the Northern Territory border in the west, and just south of Carmila in the north.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Analysis - Anglican: Commentary Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Polity & Canons * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues
Here's the link should the embedded video not play properly.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Analysis - Anglican: Primary Source -- Statements & Letters: Bishops * Religion News & Commentary Religious Freedom / Persecution * Resources & Links Resources: Audio-Visual
[...]There is nowhere in the Church where there is more vulnerability for the Gospel to be undermined than in the Anglican Communion. Certainly, there are other churches and denominations where the historic faith has been more fully and formally abandoned by the official decisions of institutional leadership, but the current vulnerability in the Anglican Communion is that the historic faith and Gospel commitment which has driven missionary zeal and Biblical fidelity for centuries is being de-emphasized in order to “get along.”
Right now, there are countless initiatives at the institutional level to attempt to convince people that the “cut-glass crystal punch bowl” is so beautiful that when it is polished, preserved, and appreciated the recipe of the punch it contains is unimportant. The challenge, however, is how much adulteration to the punch is acceptable. I addressed the House of Bishops in one of our Anglican Provinces and pointed out that the soup that was being made (to switch metaphors) has lovely carrots, beautiful potatoes, succulent chicken, and tasty broth. “How much manure can be added to the soup before you no longer can consume it and stay healthy?” I asked them. Not surprisingly, they did not want to have any manure added to the soup, and yet, quite a number of them were participating in conferences sponsored by liberal entities that completely undermined the Gospel, replacing it with institutional focus and uncritical acceptance of sin.
While I was tremendously excited at the selection of Justin Welby as the Archbishop of Canterbury, and had hoped and prayed for his selection believing that he was the best of the available candidates, I have been concerned at what appears to be a perspective that everything can be reconciled with everything else. While most relational disruptions can be reconciled, theological positions are another matter. It is impossible, for example, for the position “Jesus is Lord of all” to be reconciled with “Jesus is not Lord of all.” While theological disagreements may not seem to be that stark, it is precisely that revelation that is at stake in the Anglican Communion. The Lordship of Jesus Christ as revealed in Scripture, and how He viewed Scriptural authority is very much in play.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Analysis - Anglican: Commentary Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture
The trial between the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Diocese of South Carolina is complete, and the case is under the consideration of Her Honor Judge Diane Goodstein.
Ephesians 3:20-21 (ESV)
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Dear Father in heaven,
We acknowledge that all of these ecclesiastical legal disputes within the Episcopal Church are a poor witness and a sorry mess. However, with You nothing is impossible. So, even in the mess, we say, To You be the glory. Amen.
Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here
The Archbishop will be praying on the hour, every hour, from 6am to 6pm, from Sunday 24th August to Sunday 31st August, in the St John’s Chapel at York Minster.
In advance of his vigil of ‘Hope and Trust for the Peace of the World’ Dr Sentamu issued the following statement:
“Dearly beloved Disciples of Jesus Christ, wherever you are in the world, I beseech you, in the Name of our Lord, to join me in heart and mind for seven days of prayer and fasting for peace and justice in God's World.
Please join me in praying especially for those places in our global village devastated by militarism, idolatry (the worship of God wrongly conceived), dictatorships and abject poverty.
One way of making our solidarity and commitment together to be instruments and makers of peace is to place white linen in our windows. All people of good will may do this! Be the change you want to see”.
Read it all and note the prayers: Kyrie Eleison and The Lord's Prayer
ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach has called for special prayer this Sunday, August 24, for those suffering in Iraq and Syria, and the ACNA has put together a special prayer resource.
The short prayer service includes: A responsive reading from Psalm 83; An Opening Prayer; Time for personal or corporate prayer (with optional prayers provided) and a Closing Prayer.
The optional suggested prayers include prayers: For Our Enemies, For Muslims, Against Evil, Against Jihad, For Those Martyred, For the Church Catholic
You can find Archbishop Foley's exhortation here
The prayer resource is available as a PDF file or as Word Doc. Please pray and please share this widely! The elves
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Spirituality/Prayer * International News & Commentary Middle East Iraq Syria * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Islam Muslim-Christian relations Religious Freedom / Persecution * Resources & Links
Washington’s National Cathedral is for rent. The Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington announced this week that it was soliciting proposals for corporations and non-profit groups to lease its premises.
Read it all
The YouTube link is here.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained
Here is the YouTube link should you need it.
UPDATE: There is an excerpt of a letter from Archbishop Beach at the ACNA website which explains a bit more about these appointments.
Dear Prime Minister,
Iraq and IS
I am conscious of the speed at which events are moving in Iraq and Syria, and write recognising the complexity and interconnectedness of the challenges faced by the international community in responding to the crises in Syria and Iraq.
However, in common with many bishops and other correspondents here in the UK, I remain very concerned about the Government’s response to several issues. I write with the support of the Archbishop of Canterbury to put these questions to you.
1. It appears that, in common with the United States and other partners, the UK is responding to events in a reactive way, and it is difficult to discern the strategic intentions behind this approach. Please can you tell me what is the overall strategy that holds together the UK Government’s response to both the humanitarian situation and what IS is actually doing in Syria and Iraq? Behind this question is the serious concern that we do not seem to have a coherent or comprehensive approach to Islamist extremism as it is developing across the globe. Islamic State, Boko Haram and other groups represent particular manifestations of a global phenomenon, and it is not clear what our broader global strategy is – particularly insofar as the military, political, economic and humanitarian demands interconnect. The Church internationally must be a primary partner in addressing this complexity.
2. The focus by both politicians and media on the plight of the Yezidis has been notable and admirable. However, there has been increasing silence about the plight of tens of thousands of Christians who have been displaced, driven from cities and homelands, and who face a bleak future. Despite appalling persecution, they seem to have fallen from consciousness, and I wonder why. Does your Government have a coherent response to the plight of these huge numbers of Christians whose plight appears to be less regarded than that of others? Or are we simply reacting to the loudest media voice at any particular time?
Read it all
The Church of England has written to David Cameron accusing him of lacking ‘a coherent or comprehensive approach to Islamic extremism as it is developing across the globe’. The letter, signed by the Bishop of Leeds, Nick Baines, and approved by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, also reportedly accuses the PM of turning his back on Christians slaughtered or made homeless in northern Iraq – and wonders why Cameron has chosen to concentrate on the plight of the Yazidis instead.
These criticisms are spot on. But I’m surprised that the C of E has had the brass neck to make them.
Read it all
The Diocese of Truro is facing a shortfall of more than £1m in the next financial year, a bishop has said.
It comes as new figures revealed Anglican churchgoers in Cornwall currently donate 20% less than those in any other diocese in England.
People in the county give about £5.80 per week, compared with a national average of £8.40.
The Bishop of St Germans said unless urgent action was taken, such a level of debt was unsustainable.
Read it all
A call by the world's most senior Anglican bishop for Christchurch to stop clinging to the past has been criticised by those fighting to save the city's earthquake-damaged cathedral.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby made the comments during a visit to Auckland last week, saying the city should not "be boring" and should look to England's Coventry Cathedral as something to aspire to.
Coventry Cathedral had incorporated the ruins of the city's old cathedrals when they were destroyed by time and war.
Great Christchurch Buildings Trust member and retired reverend Graeme Brady said he was always moved by the old ruins, but the rest of the cathedral had dated very quickly.
It was a shame Coventry's authorities had "completely wiped out" all of the city's old buildings and replaced them with a "concrete mess".
Read it all
Psalm 35:24a Expanded Bible
Lord my God, ·defend [vindicate] me with your justice.
Our Father in heaven,
We are fallen creatures and see through a glass darkly. We lack understanding and are much to be pitied. Have mercy on us all.
Both the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Diocese of South Carolina believe their cause to be just.
Your justice is perfect in all its ways. Your justice is informed by knowledge that is too great for us. Your justice is true.
As Her Honor Judge Diane Goodstein considers the outcome of this trial, we humbly ask that You clothe her with a mantle of manifold understanding and wisdom, justice and mercy. May Your name be glorified. Amen.
Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here
So the life of discipleship is oscillating between rest in God, and fruitful action in the world; both undergirded by active, unhurried, worshipful, compassionate, sometimes agonized prayer. It constantly moves between the two poles of wonder at the sacrifice of Christ dealing with my sin and winning my forgiveness, and engaging sacrificially with others, enabled by the indwelling divine living presence. There is an enormous richness in teaching over the centuries, in different church traditions, on Christ-centred prayer, and on maintaining these two poles, sometimes paradoxical, of inward and outward life, rest and yoke, of abiding and being productive, of atonement and empowerment. Yes there might be imbalance in the teaching of different groups, just as each of us because of our personalities tend to prefer contemplation or activism. But that doesn’t mean we are at liberty to reject clear teachings of Scripture or go searching outside the Christian tradition when Jesus commands us to come to him.
But sadly this is exactly what Rowan Williams advocates in a recent interview:
The whole article is about Williams’ morning spiritual disciplines – what evangelicals might call his “quiet time”. He begins encouragingly by talking about the ‘Jesus Prayer’ (“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner”) – one would think that this could be a great opportunity to explain its meaning to the secular readers who clearly are interested in this detail of the personal life of a celebrity. But the phrase does not prompt reflection, in order to worship or pray to the living Christ – it is simply repeated as a mantra, as part of a Buddhist-inspired technique of focusing on one’s body living and breathing in the moment. The former Archbishop does not give any indication at the end of the interview that God might really exist out there, a divine person separate from us, calling on us to repent and come to him in Christ. Rather “God ‘happens’: a life lived in you”, and the uncomfortable meditative technique is apparently a way in which anyone who puts in the work can become aware of this “inner light”.
Is Rowan Williams embarrassed about embracing and articulating fully the Christian story and the wonderful resources that Christ offers his followers by grace? Does he feel that Jesus is not enough, and the insights and practices of others faiths are needed to get closer to God, to feel loved, to have strength to face the day and help others? Or perhaps he believes that in synthesizing aspects of different religions, he is modelling inclusivity and helping to promote community cohesion between the different faith groups in Britain? This is suggested by his recent appearance as a speaker at the Living Islam Festival at the Lincolnshire showground. But again, is modern Britishness best achieved by a synthesis of Christian, secular, Islamic and Buddhist – and if so how, given the radically different worldviews of these four faiths?
Christianity is in retreat, yet secularism and Islam are becoming more confident in demanding the hegemony of their values. Many orthodox Christian leaders are responding by self-ghettoisation: increasingly arguing that faith is a private matter and that Gospel values, the ethics which flow out of taking on the yoke of Christ and being fruitful in him and on which the best “British values” are based, are only applicable to the converted. We continue to thank God for groups like Christian Institute and Christian Concern who have resisted this route. Liberal thinkers such as Rowan Williams want to engage in the public square, but seem to do so with embarrassment about the apparent former dominance of Christianity: the result is the articulation of a more “generous and inclusive” faith which synthesizes, merges with and ultimately submits to other worldviews rather than confronting, challenging and transforming them.
Read the full entry at Anglican Mainstream
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Commentary Archbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams Anglican Identity Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch Multiculturalism, pluralism
[H/T to Pat Dague at Transfigurations]
Here's an excerpt:
Jacob: “How would you define the “Anglican identity”? What does ACNA distinctively have to offer both Christians and non-Christians in America? Should Anglicans have more of a “confessional” identity? Is the new catechism an attempt to develop a more confessional identity, especially given Dr. Packer’s recommendation to teach it in ACNA parishes at the Provincial Assembly?”
o Abp. Beach: “Let me answer that last question first. I think a lot of us get in trouble when we think we have the Anglican identity, because we’re a diverse lot. From our formation days back in the Reformation, we’ve been a diverse group. Currently – and this is something I think that’s very distinctive about who we are – we are a group that is Anglo-Catholic, Evangelical, and Charismatic. Some call that the ‘Three Streams,’ and that’s a simple way of explaining it. But, even some of our most Anglo-Catholic folks would be more charismatic than I am. All of us tend to have those three streams somewhere in our mix. I think that’s very unique for American Christianity today. All of us have our core; my core would be evangelical. Although I have the other two pieces, my core or default is evangelical. But, these streams enable us to bring the richness of the breadth of Christianity, and it’s truly powerful when these streams are together.
Jacob: “Should Anglicans have more of a “confessional” identity? Is the new catechism an attempt to develop a more confessional identity, especially given Dr. Packer’s recommendation to teach it in ACNA parishes at the Provincial Assembly?”
o Abp. Beach: “Anglicans are pretty confessional already. If you say Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer, we confess the Apostles’ Creed. On Sundays, we confess the Nicene Creed. The Anglican Church in North America is a product of the Jerusalem Declaration, which is a very confessional statement. I would say we’re already very confessional. The purpose of the catechism is to introduce Christianity to a culture that is no longer a Christian culture, and the intent is to bring the basic teaching of the faith this culture.”
Jacob: “Does this catechism represent a more ‘missional outlook,’ would you say?”
o Abp. Beach: “More than any other catechism we’ve had in history, our catechism very missional. All of the other catechisms were written for cultures that were already Christian. Ours begins by describing how you even become a Christian. And then, all throughout it, there are references to the faith and prayers to pray. With the online version, there will be links to deeper articles. Again, the intent is to be missional. But at the same time, we want Anglicans to be disciples. We want Anglicans who understand not only what we believe, but why we believe it.”
Read the full interview at Juicy Ecumenicism
The trial between the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Diocese of South Carolina has concluded. It is now under the consideration of the judge.
But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
Let justice roll down in this South Carolina litigation like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. Amen.
Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here
A man has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Kent Torrey Hinkson, a missing Anglican priest from Durham whose body was found late Saturday in a state park in Orange County.
Authorities said Sunday that Matthew Reed, 36, was being held at the Orange County jail. Reed has a first court appearance Monday. They did not say whether the suspect knew the victim.
Read it all.
Australian and British child sex victims have finally been vindicated after years of cover-up by the Anglican Church, with an official admission that one of its most senior clergymen was a pedophile who had been “allowed’’ to abuse children.
Archbishop of York John Sentamu has written to victims of the late Robert Waddington — a former Queensland headmaster who later ran hundreds of Anglican schools in Britain — saying he was “deeply ashamed’’ the church had not listened and acted on complaints of child sex abuse.
The extraordinary admission follows a year-long inquiry into Waddington, the former dean of Manchester who died in 2007, and the mishandling of abuse allegations in 1999, 2003 and 2005 against him from former choirboys and students in England and Australia.
Read it all.
Our politicians are at last speaking about the terror, torture, mass murder and genocide being meted out upon Christians and other minorities by the Islamic State in Iraq. Their assessment of the situation ranges from "completely unacceptable" to "barbaric". Cardinal Vincent Nichols astutely calls it "a persecution of immense proportions". The Archbishop of Canterbury calls it "evil". And not only is it evil, but "part of an evil pattern around the world where Christians and other minorities are being killed and persecuted for their faith". And he refers specifically to Northern Nigeria, Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
It doesn't take a genius to work out that his subject is radical Islam and the malignant Saudi-backed Salafist strain.
Archbishop Justin knows a thing or two about evil: he has stared it in the face down the barrel of a gun while trying to bring peace and reconciliation to the warlords, bandits and murderous thugs of Africa. When you expect to die and phone your wife to say goodbye, you may begin to grasp what it is to agonise, grieve and suffer because of evil.
Archbishop Justin says that this "evil pattern around the world" is brutally violating people's right to freedom of religion and belief. It is, in fact, killing them for their faith in Jesus Christ. It is persecuting them for heresy, apostasy and infidelity to the temporal objectives and literal truths revealed by Mohammed. The Salafi-Jihadists or Jihadi-Salafists who agitate for a caliphate may constitute less than 0.5 percent of the world's 1.9 billion Muslims, but that still numbers them around 10 million - sufficient to establish an evil pattern of hard-line Islamisation around the world.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Terrorism * International News & Commentary Middle East Iraq * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Islam * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
I started going at the the beginning of 2005, I had only gone to Pine Grove United Methodist a couple of Sundays, when I fell at work and broke my neck. I broke C-2. While I was laying in the floor, waiting for the ambulance to arrive, I felt a sense of warmth and peace, and a feeling that God would take care of me. I was very calm, even though I was in extreme pain.
I was told by my neurosurgeon that when people break C-2 they normally die instantly or become quadriplegics, I was neither! His remark was GOD is not finished with you yet!!!!! The people at church showered me and Jim with love, food, offers of rides to the dr, anything that they could do for us. It was amazing.
Read it all (page 9).
The Church of Ireland Bishop of Down and Dromore, Harold Miller, called for a united effort to help Christians in the war-torn country.
"It's really very important for the world at large to be supportive of Christians in Iraq," he said. "Christianity has been in Iraq for a very long time and what I have observed is that people are now being beheaded for their faith.
"The main Christian town has had most Christians expelled from it, like they did with Jewish people during the Nazi era.
"They are marking the houses of all the Christians with the letter 'N' because it comes from following Jesus of Nazareth. It's profoundly shocking."
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of Ireland * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Terrorism * International News & Commentary Middle East Iraq * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Other Faiths Islam
Most people spend their Saturdays relaxing, especially when the weather looks grim. However, people driving through Durham's Woodcroft Shopping Center saw a small group of dedicated volunteers handing out copies of a police missing person message.
The handbills have two pictures of Kent Torrey Hickson, the 71-year-old Anglican priest who's been missing since Monday.
Hickson's son-in-law Maurice Perry told ABC11, "We've searched around his house, searched around where the car was found. And now, looking between the bank where he was last seen and where the car was found."
Read it all.
Research shows that children are best brought up in families where a mum and dad are present. The role of fathers in the nurture of their children is unique and cannot be replaced by other so-called ‘male role-models’ or, indeed, an extra ‘mother’.
Research tells us that children relate to their fathers differently than to their mothers, and this is important in developing a sense of their own identity....
None of this should detract from the heroism of single parents. They should be provided with every support by the State and by local communities.
There is, however, a big difference between children growing up without fathers because of death or family breakdown, and actively planning to bring children into the world who will not know one of their biological parents and where such a parent will never be part of the nurture of these children.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Culture-Watch Children Health & Medicine Law & Legal Issues Life Ethics Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Science & Technology * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
The men in charge of Liverpool's two cathedrals have abseiled down the city's Anglican cathedral, to raise money for charity.
Cathedral Dean Rev Peter Wilcox and his Roman Catholic counterpart, Father Anthony O'Brien, joined an abseil down the cathedral on Saturday.
As part of a two-weekend event, the 150 ft (45m) leap has helped to raise about £48,000 for the cathedral,
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Charities/Non-Profit Organizations Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues * Religion News & Commentary Ecumenical Relations Other Churches Roman Catholic
The five-year-old son of a founding member of Baghdad’s Anglican church was cut in half during an attack by the Islamic State1 on the Christian town of Qaraqosh.
In an interview today, an emotional Canon Andrew White told ACNS that he christened the boy several years ago, and that the child’s parents had named the lad Andrew after him.
“I’m almost in tears because I’ve just had somebody in my room whose little child was cut in half,” he said. “I baptised his child in my church in Baghdad2. This little boy, they named him after me – he was called Andrew.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Terrorism * Religion News & Commentary Inter-Faith Relations Other Faiths Islam * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
My dear friends,
The Middle East is groaning. You hear about what is happening in Iraq and the many Christians who are being forced to leave their homes and also those who were killed by ISIS (Daash). Over 1,500 have been killed in Gaza and 8,000 were injured in the recent days because of the fighting between Israel and Hamas. Syria is suffering greatly, and we are receiving many Syrian refugees here in Egypt. Libya is struggling with tribal wars and conflicts, and Christ the King Anglican Church in Tripoli is in the midst of this. South Sudan is torn again by fighting and hundreds of thousands are fleeing to neighboring countries, including Ethiopia. Here in Egypt, every other day we hear about a violent and terrorist attack, especially in the Sinai where military and police officers are targeted. What a region, full of flames and blood.
In the midst of all this, many people are saying “Where are you, God? Why are you allowing this to happen to your people?” It reminds me with the cries of King David in Psalm 77 when he said, “Will the Lord cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more? Has His mercy ceased forever? Has His promise failed forevermore? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies?” We find the answer to all these questions in the same Psalm, “I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.”
Indeed, we need to think of how God was faithful to his church in this region in the last 2,000 years. Just as the blood of the martyrs became the seeds of many churches throughout this region, we trust that this current turmoil will turn into something good. We don’t understand now, but one day we or the next generation will.
We don’t have any way to heal the situation, except by prayer. One of the good outcomes of this very difficult time for Christians in the Middle East is that last week all churches in Egypt gathered together in the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral to pray. This was a very special time and we felt united in Christ through prayer. We prayed for our fellow Christians and Muslims throughout the region, and we remembered what King Jehoshaphat said in 2 Chronicles 20: “For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” We also remembered the words of St. Peter “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4).
Do pray for peace in our region and grace for us.
Read it all and more provincial news is linked below the message
The horrific events in Iraq rightly call our attention and sorrow yet again. Christians and other religious minorities are being killed and face terrible suffering.
“What we are seeing in Iraq violates brutally people’s right to freedom of religion and belief, as set out under Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is extremely important that aid efforts are supported and that those who have been displaced are able to find safety. I believe that, like France, the United Kingdom’s doors should be open to refugees, as they have been throughout history.
“The international community must document human rights abuses being committed in northern Iraq so that future prosecutions can take place. It is important and necessary for the international community to challenge the culture of impunity which has allowed these atrocities to take place.
Read it all.
The Most Revd Clarke said: “One of the most perplexing aspects of the intervention of a former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, into the debate in England on the side of assisted dying was that a fundamental Christian tenet – that our life on earth is not our property to do with as we choose – appeared to have eluded him entirely.
“Much therefore depends on how we understand the significance of earthly life.
“If life is simply a personal commodity...then life is disposable, entirely at the will of the individual ‘possessor’. This is clearly not the Christian perspective and, even for the non-believer, it is not an automatic understanding of the significance of life.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of Ireland * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Health & Medicine Law & Legal Issues Life Ethics * International News & Commentary England / UK --Ireland * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
Via Email from the Diocese of Fort Worth:
We have had the following message today from a member of our legal team:
“The U.S. Supreme Court has requested a response from the Diocese to TEC’s petition for writ of certiorari, filed on June 19. This is an unfortunate development due to the time and money it will take to respond. It does however give us a chance to set the record straight about the case, and I am still convinced that the odds are very small that the Court will want to review the case after reading our response.
“The response is due August 27th. After that TEC parties will have 14 days to reply.”
From the calls I got through the night, it's a revelation that people fear Ebola more than God....! Nobody calls me frantically for Godly things....(From his Facebook page)
Ebola brings death surely, but surely God gives life by grace through faith In Jesus!
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of Nigeria * Christian Life / Church Life Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch Health & Medicine Psychology * International News & Commentary Africa Gambia Liberia Nigeria Sierra Leone * Theology
An NHS Trust has withdrawn its offer of an appointment to an Anglican chaplain, after his bishop refused to grant him a licence on the grounds that he had defied the House of Bishops' pastoral guidance by marrying his same-sex partner.
The priest, Canon Jeremy Pemberton, is Deputy Senior Chaplain and Deputy Bereavement and Voluntary Services Manager in the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust. He married Laurence Cunnington in April, and the Acting Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham, the Rt Revd Richard Inwood, then withdrew his permission to officiate.
On 10 June, Canon Pemberton was offered a new job as Head of Chaplaincy and Bereavement Services in the Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. This was conditional on the Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham's issuing him with a licence....
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Culture-Watch Health & Medicine Law & Legal Issues Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * Economics, Politics Economy Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
Various news outlets are carrying a story that this is an investigation by the Metropolitan Police into allegations of indecent assault on a child aged under 18 years and indecent assault on a second female aged over 18 years. The police have confirmed that no arrest has been made. You will all realise that this is therefore a traumatic time for Bishop Michael, his family and for those who have made the allegations. Please hold them in your prayers.
I am sorry that we have not been able to say more until now. I know many people have found this frustrating but I hope you will understand our reasons for this and will appreciate that we have been liaising very closely with Lambeth Palace.
Yesterday the Archbishop of Canterbury signed an Instrument of Delegation that allows me to act as diocesan bishop.
Read it all.
The Anglican Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is breaking new ground by bringing help and hope to a Pygmy community living in the country’s forests.
Pygmy peoples live in several ethnic groups across the forests of central Africa. There are an estimated 250,000 to 600,000 living in the Congo rainforest alone.
These forest dwellers have lived by hunting and gathering for millennia. But in the past few decades their homelands have been devastated by logging, war and encroachment from farmers. Their appearance and lifestyle means they have also been marginalized by much of society
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church in Congo/Province de L'Eglise Anglicane Du Congo * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Pastoral Care * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Africa Republic of Congo
Clergy within the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh may now sign civil marriage certificates between same-sex couples, Bishop Dorsey McConnell confirmed in a recent open letter to the diocese.
The action builds on Bishop McConnell’s decision in November 2013 to allow clergy to conduct blessings of same-sex relationships.
At that time, same-sex marriage was not a legal option in Pennsylvania, but Bishop McConnell and diocesan chancellor Andy Roman reviewed civil and canon law after the May 20 federal court decision ruling that same-sex couples be allowed to marry in the state of Pennsylvania.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
Commemorations of the First World War have been years in the planning. No one could have foreseen when they began that this solemn anniversary would coincide with so many new wars. The Archbishop of Canterbury noted the grim paradox in his Radio 4 Thought for the Day on Monday morning, “We watch and feel for those suffering,” he said, “fear for those not born.” His final plea, to end war by making friends with our enemies, was heartfelt but, alas, unlikely to be widely translated into action.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Culture-Watch History Media Movies & Television * Economics, Politics Defense, National Security, Military * International News & Commentary England / UK
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and his wife Caroline arrived in the Philippine capital of Manila yesterday to begin a 10-day visit to Anglican provinces in the Philippines and Oceania.
Read it all.
Do you think spiritual ecstasy is dangerous?
It certainly can be. We have forgotten how dangerous religion can be. We think of it as a minority leisure pursuit – another cup of tea, Vicar. To remember how dangerous it can be, you have to go back to before religion became obstinately metaphysical, to the Civil War, when the streets around here were filled with Levellers and Fifth Monarchists and other fanatics, who had caused a social revolution.
St Paul’s cathedral is, in some ways, Christopher Wren’s answer to religious enthusiasm – God as a mathematician rather than the terrifying arbitrary God of the Civil War.
The great Bishop Butler says to John Wesley: ‘pretending to special revelations of the Holy Ghost Mr Wesley is a very horrid thing. It’s a very horrid thing indeed.’ And it is indeed a very horrid thing. Unless it’s held firmly within a community of interpretation, with a shared communal experience of discerning between evil spirits and good spirits, then it’s very dangerous.
Read it all.
The Diocese of Esan, Anglican Communion has condemned the ravaging activities of terrorists and insurgents in Nigeria while urging Nigerians, irrespective of party affiliation or religious inclinations to avoid making inflammatory statements capable of worsening the already bad security situation in the country.
The diocese in a communiqué issued at the end of the third session of the fourth synod held in Eguare, Ebelle, Esan South East Local Government Area of Edo State also noted the helplessness of Nigeria in curtailing the ravaging insurgency in the country, inspite of assistance from the international community.
This, the diocese noted “makes the resort to divine intervention both imperative and timely”,In the communiqué signed by the Archoishop of Bendel province and Bishop of the Diocese, Most Rev. F.J. Imaekhai and the synod clerical secretary of the diocese, Ven A.O. Isibor, the diocese noted that divine direction is underscored by the fact that any nation that fails to heed the call for divine direction is bound to experience the kind of problem the Nigeria nation is confronted with.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of Nigeria * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Terrorism * International News & Commentary Africa Nigeria
Latest news Diocese of SC and on Facebook and Twitter
July 6: A Pastoral Letter from Bishop Mark Lawrence Regarding the Upcoming Trial
Aug 1: Trial Ends: Highlights from the Trial of the Diocese of SC vs. TEC and TECSC
Aug 1: A. S. Haley—Making Sense of the Trial in South Carolina between TEC and the Diocese of SC
July 28: A Message from Bishop Mark Lawrence at the Close of the recent Diocese of SC Trial
July 26: South Carolina Diocesan Trial Day 14—Drama Ends with the Testimony of Bishop Mark Lawrence
More articles follow by clicking on the "read more" link below...
More entries from during the trial:
July 26: An AP Article on the South Carolina Episcopal Court Case as it Wound up this week
July 26: New TEC Diocese in SC offers More Reports from the trial in Dorchester County
July 25: Diocese of South Carolina Trial—Jeremy Bonner gives an account of Yesterday’s proceedings
July 24: Trial Day 13: Expert in Religious History Allen Guelzo Testifies TEC Holds No Control Over Dioceses
July 24: Diocese of SC Day 12: TEC Uses Bishop vonRosenberg to Claim Dioceses Can’t Leave
July 23: Diocese of SC Trial Day 11-TEC Spends Day Making Arguments Judge Rules Irrelevant
July 23: A.S. Haley—Diocese of South Carolina Trial Day 11: a Waste of Time
July 22: Diocese of SC Trial Day 10: TEC Attorney Admits Constitution Does Not Prevent Diocesan Withdrawal
July 22: A S Haley’s Comments on SC Trial Day 10—Witness again Barred from Rendering Undisclosed Opinions
July 19: Diocese of South Carolina Trial—A.S. Haley’s Important Analysis of this weeks events
July 18: SC Trial Day 9—TEC Bishop Testifies Nothing in Governing Documents Says a Diocese Can’t Withdraw
July 18: SC Trial day 8-Judge Scolds TEC for Trying to Sneak “Expert Witnesses” into Trial…
July 19: New TEC Diocese in SC offers Reports from the trial in Dorchester County
July 17: SC Trial Day Seven: TEC Witness Admits Diocesan Constitution Trumps TEC’s
July 16: Trial Day 6: Bishop Lawrence Tried to Keep Diocese of S.C. “Intact and in TEC”
July 15: Trial Day Five: Diocese of SC v. The Episcopal Church’s new diocese in SC
July 13: A Summerville, S.C. Journal Scene Article on the TEC Diocese in SC vs Diocese of SC trial
July 12: Day 4: Judge Asks Both Sides of Diocese of SC Case to Agree on Facts for Parish Witness Testimony
July 11: A.S. Haley—Falsehoods Being Spread in South Carolina
July 11: New TEC Diocese in SC offers Reports from the trial in the Circuit Court in Dorchester County
July 11: Day 3 Testimony of trial between new TEC diocese and Diocese of SC Explores Facts about Parishes
July 10: [Locusts and Wild Honey blog] Anglican conflict survival guide
July 10: Get Religion on recent stories on Anglican developments in South Carolina
July 10: Second Day of South Carolina Trial Includes Testimony from Treasurer
July 9: Local Paper Article on the New TEC Diocese’s Decision to Allow for Same-Sex Union Blessings
July 9: The Trial to Protect Diocese of South Carolina Assets Begins
During the trial, Lent & Beyond posted daily prayers for the Diocese of South Carolina during this litigation process. A.S. Haley was posting daily trial updates at StandFirm
You can find all T19 posts about the conflict in South Carolina using this link TEC Conflicts: South Carolina category. Two previous posts South Carolina Links and South Carolina Chronology provide a history of the conflict up until October 2013.
Other Recent Entries:
July 8: TEC Bishop grants permission for blessings of same-sex relationships in new Diocese
July 7: Local paper major article on Lawsuit New TEC Diocese is bringing against the Diocese of South Car.
July 7: For Those of you who are Twitterites, the Diocese of South Carolina is now on twitter
July 7: A.S. Haley—The Two-Faced Episcopal Church
July 6: The PR from the new Episcopal Church Diocese in South Carolina about the Lawsuit
July 6: Prayer Vigil for the Trial (at Camp St. Christopher Prayer Center) Starting Monday, July 7th, 2014
July 5: (A S Haley) South Carolina Court Reporters Will Be Busy on Monday
July 3: The Dio. of South Carolina’s Response to TEC’s Request for Continuance which was adjudicated today
July 3: TEC appeals Circuit judges’ order from earlier today to SC Court of Appeals; They are denied
July 3: Trial to Protect Diocese of SC Assets Begins Tuesday, July 8
June 29: (AP) Wasting more Time and Money, the Episcopal Church tries a 4th Time to add Parties to S.C Suit
June 27: AS Haley: South Carolina Rump Group Files Frivolous Appeal To Delay Trial
May 8: A.S. Haley Offers Thoughts on recent TEC Court Decisions in Calif. and South Carolina
April 8: A.S. Haley—South Carolina Supreme Court Takes Jurisdiction of Appeals
April 7: SC Supreme Court Takes Jurisdiction Over TEC Appeals
Articles from January - March 2014:
March 24: A.S. Haley on the recent legal Rulings in the Episcopal Church’s S.C. and Texas Legal Battles
March 19: Diocese of South Carolina Convention - Links Roundup
March 18: SC Court of Appeals Denies TEC Appeal
March 18: Court of Appeals dismisses new Diocese of TEC in SC’s appeal in case against Dio. of South Car.
March 16: The Diocese of South Carolina Formalizes Wordwide Anglican Ties at 2014 Convention
March 16: (Local paper) Diocese of South Carolina accepts provisional oversight from Global South primates
March 12: Proposed Resolutions for the Diocese of South Carolina Convention upcoming this Fri/Sat
March 7: Bishop Mark Lawrence’s Message Regarding Resolution R-3 for the Upcoming SC Convention
March 1: A Local Paper art. on the new TEC Diocese involved in multiple lawsuits against the Dio. of SC
Feb 7: SC Diocese Seeks to End TEC Stalling Tactics by Asking State Supreme Court to Hear Appeal
Jan 16: (Diocese of S.C.) TEC denied again by Judge in attempt to seize Diocese of SC identity
Jan 13: The Personal Testimony of Mr. Alan Runyan, Attorney for the Diocese of South Carolina
Jan 7: South Carolina Legal Developments (II)—Commentary from A.S. Haley on S.C. and San Joaquin
Jan 7: South Carolina Legal Developments (I)—Diocese of South Carolina Wins Again Against Episcopal Church
Articles from late 2013
Nov 29: (Christian Post) Episcopal Church Files New Motion Against Hisotoric South Carolina Diocese
Nov 26: A.S. Haley—Rump TEC Diocese Tries “Hail Mary” Pass in South Carolina
Nov 26: (Local Paper) New TEC Diocese in S.C. Claims Conspiracy, Other Charges Against Diocese of SC Leaders
Nov 25: (Anglican Ink) TEC seeks to add 4 Diocesan Leaders to Their Latest South Carolina Lawsuit
October 12: (Local Paper) Historic S.C. Diocese retains right to use names and seal, new TEC Diocese Can’t
October 11: Judge Rejects TEC’s Request to Remove Injunction Protecting S.C. Diocesan Names and Seal
October 3: Judge Denies TEC Request to Expand South Carolina Lawsuit
Sept 19: A.S. Haley on the Latest South Carolina TEC Legal Maneuver to Appeal Judge Houck’s Decision
Sept 19: The ENS Article on the legal request of the new S.C. TEC Bishop to reconsider dismissal
Sept 19: (AP) Bishop of the new TEC South Carolina Diocese asks the judge to reconsider in Episcopal case
Sept 14: ACI - Affidavit of Mark McCall on The Episcopal Church’s Polity
August 23: Federal Judge Dismisses Case Against Bishop Mark Lawrence
August 12: A.S. Haley—More Episcopal Church related Court Proceedings in South Carolina
For a prior roundup to articles about South Carolina lawsuits and related issues, see here.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: South Carolina TEC Polity & Canons * Admin Featured (Sticky) * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues * South Carolina
Killucan, Co Westmeath, Parish Registers (1696–1786)
Drogheda, Co Louth, St Peter’s Parish registers (1702–1900)
Taughboyne Union Registers, Co Donegal, (Taughboyne, All Saints’ Newtowncunningham, Killea & Craigdoonish)
(1820 – 1900)...
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The Primate of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), the Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, on Tuesday, advised Nigerians to be wary of clerics claiming to have spiritual healing for the deadly Ebola virus.
Okoh said this in Abuja on the sideline of the 2014 Conference of Chancellors, Registrars, and Legal Officers of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).
The primate advised persons infected with the virus not to waste time in seeking medical attention from...[in]appropriate authorities.
Read it all.
The Church of England faces fresh scrutiny over its handling of historic child abuse after the outgoing Bishop of Gloucester was placed at the centre of a police inquiry over allegations of indecent assault on a child more than 30 years ago.
The Rt Rev Michael Perham, 66, suddenly quit after nearly a decade as bishop on Friday citing “personal reasons” but it can be revealed that a police inquiry was launched centred on the parish in south London where the senior cleric started his career in the Church as an assistant curate in 1976.
The force confirmed today that officers from its sexual offences, exploitation and child abuse command are investigating “allegations of indecent assault on a child said to have occurred between 1980 and 1981”. Nobody has been arrested during the course of the continuing inquiry, the force said in a statement.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
The Anglican Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn, Stuart Robinson, has announced this Sunday will be a day of lamentation and a will feature a public apology “to those hurt by the Anglican Church”.
On behalf of my Episcopal colleagues and the leadership of the Anglican Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn, I wish to convey our deep and genuine sadness in relation to the pain and brokenness that people have experienced as a result of their engagement with our Church.
I take this opportunity to apologise for any abuse or mistreatment that those sharing in this event may have experienced by individuals or groups connected with our Church.
Read it all.
The President of Italy has formally signed a decree which recognizes seven years of preparation by the Church of England to have official status in the country and be recognised as a denomination. It was granted after careful and detailed examination of the Ministero dell’Interno (Italian Home Office) the Direzione Centrale degli Affari dei culti (central department for religious affairs) and Consiglio di Stato (advisory body of the Italian government on administrative matters and their legal implications, with the approval of the Consiglio dei Ministri (Italian Cabinet). It gives legal status to the association Chiesa d’Inghilterra and accepts its statutes.
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The Great War set its mark on the 20th century. Many people suggest that it was the beginning of a conflict that did not end until 1989. What an author called Philip Bobbitt called ‘The Long War’. Four empires collapsed as a direct result, and two more were so enfeebled that they began to decline, although they were unaware of the fact for some years.
The Great War unleashed forces that dominated most of the 20th century. It sowed the seeds of the Nazi regime in Germany and it opened the way to the horrors of Stalinism and the Communist regime of the Soviet Union, with its evil spread over Eastern Europe.
Everyone was conscripted in one way or another. Of course huge numbers of mainly men were conscripted into the armed services. There was a doctrine of attrition, meaning that if our army is bigger than their army, we can lose troops at the same rate but they will run out of troops first. Civilians were co-opted into famine and hunger, into refugee carts and dispersion and loss of families. Even in places where the war did not physically come, as in much of the United Kingdom, there was conscription into hatred and bitterness.
Even God was conscripted.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Culture-Watch History * Economics, Politics Defense, National Security, Military * International News & Commentary England / UK
A new Christian community has started up in Crewe. ‘Restore’ is part of the ‘Fresh Expressions’ movement. The Revd Tim Watson is the leader of ‘Restore’, which will have a focus on the arts and has an ambitious plan to open an arts centre in Crewe.
The group currently meets twice a week – 8pm on Tuesdays at 30 Oakhurst Drive, Wistaston; and 10am on Sundays in Costa Coffee in the town centre.
In the months ahead, Tim and the team have also set themselves the task of restoring the old Christ Church site in the town centre, to turn it into an arts centre and café.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Economics, Politics Energy, Natural Resources * International News & Commentary Europe Italy * Religion News & Commentary Ecumenical Relations Other Churches Roman Catholic * Theology
An ethics committee has been set up to tackle moral issues faced by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and the area's police and crime commissioner.
The independent committee is one of the first of its kind in the country and aims to make recommendations on moral and ethical dilemmas.
It will look at issues such as surveillance operations and the use of body cameras and water cannon.
Members of the public can make referrals to the committee.
The panel of 13 is chaired by the Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Rev David Walker.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Police/Fire Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General City Government * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology
The first priest to marry his same-sex partner is to issue a legal challenge to the Church of England after his offer of a job as an NHS chaplain was withdrawn when his bishop refused the necessary permission.
The Rev Jeremy Pemberton, who married Laurence Cunnington in April, was informed on Friday that Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS trust had withdrawn its offer of a job after Bishop Richard Inwood had refused him the official licence in the diocese of Southwell and Nottingham.
"It this is not challenged," Pemberton said on Sunday, "it will send a message to all chaplains of whom a considerable number are gay and lesbian. This is an area of law that has not been tested and needs to be."
Read it all from the Guardian.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
War must always represent the abject failure of humanity, the head of the Anglican church in Ireland has said. Archbishop of Armagh Dr Richard Clarke said commemoration of the first World War could not be spiritually separated from carnage in Gaza and other contemporary trouble spots.
He addressed a Belfast service marking Britain’s declaration of hostilities against Germany. The Duke of York read a lesson and lit a candle.
“War must always represent the abject failure of the human spirit and of humanity itself,” Dr Clarke said. “It can never be other and we should never pretend it is other.”
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In the Great War, we see heroism and cruelty standing side by side, we see cynical disillusionment and moral determination intertwining, and we see hope and despair in equal measure, and on every side. This was the first time that the weaponry of war could be fully industrialised and it was, also for the first time, that the phrase ‘total war’ was coined to indicate that civilians were to be regarded as being as much part of the war as the military.
But there are of course also the myths to be debunked. It was not only foot soldiers who died in battle. Indeed, if one was an officer, one’s chances of dying on the western front were fifty percent greater than for those in other ranks. The British generals were for the most part not the total incompetents they are presented as being in popular mythology. Many of them too died in battle; they were not relaxing in beautiful chateaus miles behind the front lines. And personally I can well remember as a child knowing a number of veterans of the First World War whose memories of the conflict were not uniformly terrible.
For all of this, however, the 1914–18 War undoubtedly changed the history of the twentieth century. Three European empires had disappeared by the end of the War in 1918, and we can also trace to this war the beginnings of the sunset on a fourth empire, the British Empire. Also emerging from the Great War are the seeds of the development of two ‘super–powers’ – the United States of America and Soviet Russia – that would come to dominate the world for almost half a century after the ending of the Second World War, that further titanic war that in many respects cannot be totally separated from the First. The course of history changed, brutally, dramatically and forever.
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The Archbishop joined Royal Family members and the Prime Minister at a solemn commemoration in Belgium tonight remembering Britain’s entry into WWI.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, joined members of the Royal Family and Britain’s Prime Minister at an event in Belgium this evening to remember the entry of British soldiers into World War One in August 1914.
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The Keep Me Posted campaign, which is pressing for the consumer’s right to choose how they are contacted by banks, utility companies and other service providers, has been joined by The Church In Wales.
In the face of an increasing trend for businesses to switch their customers to mainly digital communication, the campaign is calling for service providers to give customers the choice to retain paper bills without charge. Research from the campaign shows that it is often the poor and most vulnerable people in society who rely the most on traditional methods of communication.
The Church, which takes very seriously the economic, social and environmental needs of the communities of Wales, and works in areas of deprivation facing economic inactivity, poverty, debt and low skills, has recognised the barriers many people have to using the internet.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of Wales * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
St. John’s Church is changing – again. After services ended several years ago at the Episcopalian church on the Union City/North Bergen border, a group of local residents and former congregants repurposed the space to hold community functions and kids’ classes. Now a large part of the church is being sold to a developer to be turned into low-income housing for a special needs population.
On Monday, July 28 the Zoning Board of Adjustment of the City of Union City held a special public meeting at which they approved the application by Garden State Episcopal Community Development Association Corporation (GSECDC) to purchase all of the church property except the rectory and sanctuary, and build 13 condominium units within the space....
At the Zoning Board meeting and a community meeting with the developers one week earlier, residents raised concerns about whether the programs previously held within the church space will be allowed to continue. The answer to that question is still up in the air.
Read more: Hudson Reporter - Historic church to become special needs housing Questions asked about community programs who gets priority for units
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Parishes * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Housing/Real Estate Market
Wellspring Anglican Church was birthed during the pangs of dissension between the theologically liberal Episcopal Church and its dioceses and parishes whose members held more conservative views. The first and only local congregation to voluntarily leave its former property at the beginning of the conflict, the Wellspring group walked away from a multimillion-dollar campus at St. Paul’s on Oakdale Road in 2009 and has spent the past five years meeting in rented space in downtown Modesto.
Parking has been tight, trains rumbling next to the sanctuary have disrupted worship services, and having people in the area who were vagrants or addicted to drugs posed challenges, but the congregation persevered.
Members finally will have their own home again. The congregation bought a building near the Modesto Junior College West Campus in 2013 and is remodeling the former food-testing laboratory space to make it suitable for a church. Work is expected to be complete in early 2015.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin TEC Departing Parishes * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues * Theology
The warnings come amid concern that fraudsters are targeting Anglicans by creating false social media profiles and then using them to build up a following before asking for financial assistance or support.
Last month, the Anglican Church in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, reported that "several fraudulent Facebook accounts bearing the name and picture of [Primate] Paul Kwong who claimed to the Bishop of Anglican Diocese of Hong Kong Island" had been created.
The church said that its Archbishop, the Most Revd Dr Paul Kwong, "has no connection with the fraudulent website" and that members of the public should "be alert to internet scams and not to provide any personal information or conduct any financial transactions through the website concerned;" and it urged anybody who had given any personal information or conducted any financial transactions through the fake profiles to report it to the Police.
A similar warning has been issued by the Church of Nigeria.
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Up to one in 10 Catholic priests are former Church of England clergy, according to new figures.
Professor Linda Woodhead, a sociologist of religion at Lancaster University and organiser of the Westminster Faith Debates, worked with the Catholic bishops' vocations director Fr Christopher Jamison OSB to establish that 389 Catholic priests are former Anglican priests, including 87 priests in the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingam.
Currently it is estimated that in England and Wales there are 3,000 active diocesan priests, 800 retired priests, 1,000 religious priests and 700 deacons. Most of the Anglicans are believed to be working in parishes or chaplaincies.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Sociology * International News & Commentary England / UK * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic
The Rev. Jim Lewis, Canon to the Ordinary for the Diocese, told The Christian Post that he felt the 14-day trial went well
"Our legal counsel did an outstanding job of presenting our case (that our Diocese and parishes have a legal right to disassociate from TEC) and on the flip side, of discrediting all the arguments made by TEC," said Lewis.
"These points were made crystal clear not only in the testimony presented by our witnesses, but with equal force in their cross examination of those witnesses called by TEC..."
Holly Behre, director of Communications for TECSC, provided CP with a statement regarding the trial and its possible outcome.
"No matter how Judge Goodstein eventually decides, there will not be any winners in this as long as our church is divided. The Episcopal Church in South Carolina continues to pray for reconciliation," said Behre.
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The Church of England has demanded that the British government offers sanctuary to thousands of Christians fleeing jihadists in northern Iraq, warning that ignoring their plight would constitute a "betrayal of Britain's moral and historical obligations".
A number of bishops have revealed their frustration over David Cameron's intransigence on the issue, arguing the UK has a responsibility to grant immediate asylum to Iraqi Christian communities recently forced to flee the northern city of Mosul after militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) threatened them with execution, a religious tax or forced conversion.
On Monday, France responded to the so-called religious cleansing by publicly granting asylum to Christians driven from Mosul. The Anglican Church argues the UK has an even greater responsibility to intervene, citing its central role in the 2003 allied invasion, which experts say triggered the destabilisation and sectarian violence that shaped the context for Isis to seize control of much of northern Iraq.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Economics, Politics Foreign Relations Politics in General Terrorism * International News & Commentary England / UK * Religion News & Commentary Inter-Faith Relations Other Churches Other Faiths Islam Muslim-Christian relations * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
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The Bishop of Gloucester has stood down with immediate effect "for personal reasons".
The Right Reverend Michael Perham was due to retire in November after almost a decade in the role.
In a statement, The Diocese of Gloucester confirmed Bishop Michael had "stepped back" from his ministry.
Read it all.
The gentle probing in today’s debate, and the view that it is up to the CofE to address such issues, contrasts with the attitude of parliament towards the Church of England in the debates, PQs &c which followed the General Synod’s defeat on 20 November 2012 of the draft legislation to allow women to become bishops. Furthermore, the parliamentary record indicates that during this session of parliament, Sir Tony Baldry has not been required to respond or give a written answer on the marriage of clergy to their same-sex partners.
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The trial court in Quincy first handed a shock to TEC when it denied TEC’s summary judgment motion and ordering TEC to prove at trial that it was hierarchical....TEC was not prepared for this ruling coming out of the Adams County courthouse. Then, in a well-reasoned opinion after the trial, the trial court again disagreed with TEC, holding that: “There is no provision in TEC's Constitution or Canons which require prior approval (by TEC) of a diocesan constitution or its canons. There is no express prohibition against withdrawal of a diocese.”
In a unanimous opinion, the Appellate Court also rejected TEC’s claims and held that TEC failed to prove that it was hierarchical. More importantly, it ruled that even if TEC were hierarchical, this was irrelevant because deference by the court to the determination of the hierarchy was not necessary since the property dispute could be decided using neutral principals of law. As stated by the Appellate Court:
This approach (neutral principals of law) may be applied in resolving property disputes, even within a hierarchical church organization, so long as the court need not decide a religious matter involving church doctrine, polity or practice. Read it all.
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Read it all.
The three-week trial of the Diocese of South Carolina vs. The Episcopal Church (TEC) and The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) ended July 25, with Judge Diane S. Goodstein, who presided, telling the parties what she wanted from them to assist in her deliberations.
Attorneys representing the Diocese, the Trustees and the Diocesan churches were given 30 days to create a three-page document describing the testimony given in court which explained the procedures they followed to legally separate from TEC, (such as amending their by-laws, giving notice of meetings, properly taking votes, etc.) They were then to send those documents to the Court and to TEC and TECSC whose attorneys will have 30 days to respond in a similar fashion.
In essence, the judge’s last words reiterated what she said throughout the trial: The case will be decided on neutral principles of law, which means that the judge must apply the law to this case as it would any other – making no adjustments because it involves a religious organization. TEC and TECSC have opposed the application of neutral principles; essentially arguing that the judge should defer to their view on the issues since they are a religious organization.
Read it all.
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Court documents have revealed the Commonwealth Bank is looking for damages of more than $24m from the former Anglican bishop of Bathurst and five other defendants.
The Commonwealth Bank's court action includes a summons against the diocese's former bishop, Richard Hurford.
This action involves Bishop Hurford and eleven other defendants.
Another summons calls for a joint levy on all parishes, schools and other organisations to help repay the diocese's debts.
The summon documents also call for assets, including the All Saints College in Bathurst, to be "realised" or sold if enough money cannot be raised or the parishes do not cooperate with a demand to prioritises the sale of assets
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Grace Davie, the distinguished British sociologist of religion, has proposed an interesting idea: A strong establishment of a church is bad for both religion and the state–for the former because the association with state policies undermines the credibility of religion, and for the latter because the support of one religion over all others creates resentment and potential instability. But a weak establishment is good for both institutions, because a politically powerless yet still symbolically privileged church can be an influential voice in the public arena, often in defense of moral principles. Davie’s idea nicely fits the history of the Church of England. In earlier centuries it persecuted Roman Catholics and discriminated against Nonconformist Protestants and Jews. More recently it has used its “bully pulpit” for a number of good causes, not least being the rights of non-Christians. Thus very recently influential Jewish and Muslim figures have voiced strong support for the continuing establishment of the Church of England, among them Jonathan Sacks, the former Orthodox Chief Rabbi of Great Britain, and the Muslim Sayeeda Warsi, currently Minister of Faith and Communities in David Cameron’s cabinet.
Of course it would be foolish to recommend that the British version of state/church relations be accepted in other countries—as foolish as to expect other countries to adopt the very distinctive American form of the separation of church and state. However, as I have suggested in other posts on this blog, the British arrangement is worth pondering by other countries who wish to combine a specific religious identity with freedom for all those who do not share it. For starters, I’ll mention all countries who want legislation to be based on “Islamic principles” (not full-fledged sharia law); Russia, struggling to define the public role of the Orthodox Church; Israel trying to define the place of Judaism in its democracy; India, similarly seeking to fit hindutva into its constitutional description as a “secular republic”. In a globalizing world, cross-national comparisons can be surprisingly useful.
Read it all from the American Interest.
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On Day 7, ECUSA finally got to the meat of the matter by calling an acknowledged expert in South Carolina’s religious and non-profit corporations law, Professor Martin McWilliams of the University of South Carolina law school. He offered an elaborate theory as to why the diocese’s vote to secede from the national Church was invalid under South Carolina law: according to him, the diocese incorporated the national Church’s constitution and canons into its articles by reference, holus bolus, when it simply mentioned them in passing. Then, because the national governing documents (as amended from year to year) were part and parcel of the diocese’s corporate articles, it could not change those articles in any manner that was inconsistent with the Church’s governing documents.
This theory, however, had a hole in it so wide that one could drive a truck through it, and it was a simple matter for Bishop Lawrence’s counsel, on their cross-examination of Prof. McWilliams, to discredit it completely. First Prof. McWilliams conceded that there was no language in the national governing documents – even if they had been incorporated into the articles by the brief reference to them – which forbade a diocese from seceding, or from amending its articles in any manner whatsoever. And with that concession, any effect Prof. McWilliams might have had with his testimony was finished. For he next had to concede that the Diocese was wholly within its rights under South Carolina law when it amended its articles so as to remove its language of accession to the national Church.
After that major concession, the case for ECUSA and its rump group never regained its momentum, and their attorneys became ever more desperate in their tactics as they tried to recoup lost ground. On Day 8 they tried to call an expert witness they had not bothered to disclose by Judge Goodstein’s deadline, and she blocked the testimony after giving the hapless attorney trying to introduce it a good tongue-lashing for disregarding her rules.
Read it all.
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How, then, should Christians respond to Isis?
First of all, they need to respond with steadfast witness to Christ and the truth of the Gospel. The Book of Revelation is concerned with how the powers of evil that assault God’s people are defeated and what it tells us is that this is achieved through Christians remaining faithful to Christ to the point of death. ‘And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death’’ (Revelation 12:10-11).
Secondly, they need to pray. As Revelation also makes clear, it is ultimately God who sustains his Church and defeats its persecutors and so Christians need to take seriously Jesus’ injunction to ‘ask, seek and knock’ (Matthew 7:7-8) and pray hard for those who are suffering because of the activities of Isis. The charity Open Doors, for example, has asked for prayers:
for God to change the hearts of those who are persecuting Christians;
for God to uphold Christian refugees who are weary and exhausted through the support of the body of Christ;
for God to give wisdom and strength to the government in Baghdad to resolve this crisis.
Thirdly, they need to give to support those in need because of Isis’ activity, such as the Christians who have been forced to flee their homes in Mosul.
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Hope is one of the Theological virtues. This means that a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who seton foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth "thrown in": aim at earth and you will get neither.--C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, Book III, Chapter 10
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It is a rare person who possesses such an indomitable spirit and yet offends almost no one. But John Hughes was this rare person - without ambition, but able to assume with radiant humility any elevation; as innocent as a child and yet as wise as an ancient sage; full of fun and yet attuned to sorrow; able to polemicise, yet also to offer wise counsel. In debate, like no other, he knew how not to alienate while avoiding vacuity. In his sermons (several of which have or will be collected in print) he knew how to delight as well as to instruct. In his life as in his work, he managed to interweave gentleness with an optimum pitch of boldness and exactitude - and in such a way that these attributes combine as one.
As John Dryden described Henry Purcell, who died when he was just one year older and equally in the full flood of his creativity, John Hughes was a "matchless man." It is now up to those who knew him to ask him and all the saints to assist us in dealing with this new lack in our lives. We can envisage this lack as being like guilt, since John had a strong New Testament and Patristic sense that sin and death are bound up with one another - are indeed in the end but one abyss.
Therefore we can apply his words in his Lear essay on the recognition of guilt also to the recognition of lack: "Properly, the recognition that the judge may be as guilty as the thief can be understood, not as universal innocence, but as the universal need for forgiveness and transformation." We are all both lacking and guilty, but beyond this negative diagnosis of much secular existential and social critique, and consequent illusions as to either "natural" innocence or incurable anxiety and ferocity, lies the faith that alone allows us to build each other up once more.
This was the Christian Socialist vision of John Hughes. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
Read it all.
Calls for an immediate ceasefire have come from all over the world. Pope Francis last Sunday deviated from his script to make an impassioned plea, apparently choking back tears as he spoke: "Please stop, I ask you with all my heart, it's time to stop. Stop, please."
The Evangelical Episcopal Church's Bishop in Israel & the Palestinian territories, Dr Hani Shehadeh, and four other churchmen from the Holy Land wrote to the Church Times this week urging Christians to pray for peace.
They urge all Christians to stand up for the rights of the Christian family in the Middle East: "Lobby your parliament, speak up in your media, and pray for the well-being and safety of Christians facing persecution." The letter said that the latest conflict in Gaza meant that "the Christian community of this corner of the Holy Land faces extinction."
Read it all.
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Testimony in the ongoing lawsuit between the national Episcopal Church, the Episcopal Church in South Carolina, and the Diocese of South Carolina wrapped July 25.
The Diocese, which filed suit against the church in January 2013 and maintains that it legally broke away from the church in 2012, brought suit against the church in January 2013 over who is the rightful owner of the Diocese name, seals and symbols – and some $500 million in property and assets.
The Diocese has for some time disagreed with the national church on matters of theology, morality, and polity, which ultimately led to its decision to break away from the Episcopal Church in 2012, according to Diocese officials. While such issues as same-sex unions and ordination of gay clergy have caused some friction, Diocese officials say it left the church only after the church attempted to remove Lawrence from his post as Bishop of the Diocese -- some nine years after the church appointed its first openly gay Bishop – an action the Diocese believed to be outside of the church’s authority.
Read it all.
The government should consider intervening to stop the Church of England sacking gay vicars who marry, a former Conservative chairman has said.
Lord Fowler raised the case in the House of Lords of Jeremy Pemberton, who had his licence to preach revoked after marrying his partner.
He called on the government to "see if there is anything that could be done to help reconcile the difficulties".
Gay marriage is legal in the UK but the Church of England has not accepted it.
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The Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Nigeria Most Reverend Nicholas D. Okoh has urged the Boko Haram insurgents to lay down their arms and embrace dialogue to stop the bloodletting that has pervaded the country.
Addressing newsmen at the sidelines of its second synod organised by the Diocese of Kubwa in Lugbe at the weekend, Rev Okoh said the best way to have a comprehensive end to the insecurity in the country was for the gunmen to come forward and "discuss issues as is done in civilized environment".
He said the attempt on the life of former Head of State Retired General Muhammadu Buhari last Wednesday in Kaduna forebodes worse days ahead.
"It sends signal of insecurity. And again, its sends another signal that is let everybody, east, west, north, south, Christians, Muslims, African traditional religionists put hands together and stop this terrorism. Nobody is spared, nobody is free, and nobody is safe," said the Anglican Primate.
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“You can't look at the pictures coming from Gaza and Israel without your heart breaking. We must cry to God and beat down the doors of heaven and pray for peace and justice and security. Only a costly and open-hearted seeking of peace between Israeli and Palestinian can protect innocent people, their children and grand children, from ever worse violence.
“My utmost admiration is for all those involved in the humanitarian efforts on the ground, not least the medical team and staff at Al Ahli Arab Hospital. Providing relief and shelter for those displaced is a tangible expression of our care and concern, and I encourage Church of England parishes and dioceses, as well as the wider Communion, to pray for them and support the Diocese of Jerusalem's emergency appeal.
“While humanitarian relief for those civilians most affected is a priority, especially women and children, we must also recognise that this conflict underlines the importance of renewing a commitment to political dialogue in the wider search for peace and security for both Israeli and Palestinian. The destructive cycle of violence has caused untold suffering and threatens the security of all...."
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“I am very pleased that the United Kingdom Government is bringing forward legislation to combat a shameful and shadowy practice that deprives people of their freedom and their God-given dignity. I hope MPs and Peers will take this opportunity to agree to a series of robust measures, not least in the area of business supply chains, that set the standard for the rest of the world.
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Check it out on Youtube.
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Like the 1968 film “The Odd Couple,” a group of liberal Episcopalians, recently divorced from Anglican former parishioners, is looking to share space with some Korean Southern Baptists.
Currently this Episcopal congregation, a small remnant of a once robust congregation that joined the Anglican Church in North America and lost its building to the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, is subsidized by the Diocese to the tune of over $6,000 per church attender.
This past autumn I blogged about how two church properties formerly the home of Anglican churches and awarded to the Diocese of Virginia in court rulings were now, somewhat ironically, being rented or sold to evangelical congregations. The rebuilding of continuing Episcopal congregations is slow work, in some cases requiring substantial financial support from the diocese in order to maintain and operate facilities. The Diocese is once again leasing space to an evangelical group, this time at Epiphany Episcopal Church in Herndon.
In an announcement to church members this past Sunday, Epiphany Episcopal Church made public that an agreement has been reached with New Hope Washington Central Baptist Korean Congregation, which will move into the property off of Fairfax County Parkway in late July.
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That, in a nutshell, is prayer—letting Jesus pray in you and beginning that lengthy and often very tough process by which our selfish thoughts and ideals and hopes are gradually aligned with his eternal action, just as, in his own earthly life, his human fears and hopes and desires and emotions are put into the context of his love for the Father, woven into his eternal relation with the Father—even in that moment of supreme pain and mental agony that he endures the night before his death.
So it should not surprise us that Jesus begins his instructions on prayer by telling us to affirm that we stand where he stands: “Our Father.” Everything that follows is bathed in the light of that relationship. The Lord’s Prayer begins with a vision of a world that is transparent to God: “May your kingdom come, your will be done; may what you [God] want shine through in this world and shape the kind of world it is going to be.” And only when we have begun with that affirmation, that imagining of a world in which God’s light is coming through, do we start asking for what we need. And what do we need? We need sustenance, mercy, protection, daily bread, forgiveness; we need to be steered away from the tests that we are not strong enough to bear.
Origen is one of the early Christian writers who speak and write about prayer starting from this point. Origen (who died probably in 254) grew up in Alexandria and taught in various places around the eastern Mediterranean, especially in Alexandria and in Caesarea in Palestine. For a lot of his career he was a layman, but he was eventually ordained in Palestine (rather to the alarm of some people who thought he was very unsound); he was imprisoned in the great persecutions of the 250s and seems to have died as a result of the torture and injuries he endured in prison. He was not just an academic, then, but a witness who carried the cross in his own life and death.
Origen’s little book on prayer is the ﬁrst really systematic treatment of the subject by a Christian.
Read it all.
The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis, Bishop of the Episcopal / Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa and the President Bishop of the Episcopal / Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, stated that the suffering, persecution and displacement of Iraqi Christians, especially in the Mosul area, is a disgrace to the international community which is not doing enough to rescue the people of Iraq from the terrorist attacks carried out by ISIS.
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We also had witnesses in rebuttal to the case made by TEC attorneys. Our diocesan administrator, Nancy Armstrong, combed through centuries of diocesan records to contrast monies that have come into the diocese from TEC and its various related agencies with monies sent by the diocese to TEC. This was in rebuttal to the one-sided presentations given by witnesses from the National Church (including UTO grants which any woman from our DCW can tell you are from contributions from the pews in congregations around the country and not from some National Church budget). In summary the court learned that for every 81 cents given by The Episcopal Church and its various entities to us in South Carolina and our congregations for ministry; the diocese sent $100 to TEC ($100 to 81 cent ratio), therein undermining the defendants’ one-sided presentation of the “facts”. In fifteen minutes of testimony she undermined hours of tedium and an endless parade of documents from so-called experts for the National Church. When Mr. Runyan called to the stand the renowned professor and historian, Dr. Allen Guelzo, author of some 16 books and a foremost historian of the Civil War era and 18th and 19th centuries of American intellectual history we were treated to a breath-taking tour de force disputing the alleged hierarchical assumptions of the national Episcopal Church. Others in this rebuttal stage of the trial were Fr. Robert Lawrence from Camp St. Christopher, the Rev. Greg Kronz, who chaired the Bishop’s search committee and Chancellor Wade Logan who once again punctuated our case. On the last day, I was called finally to the stand.
But I need to say, and can hardly say it enough, undergirding it all—felt at times in palpable ways—the prayers and intercessions from tens of thousands of the saints within the diocese and around the world upholding us in prayer. Some of these intercessors came to the courtroom to pray while testimonies and cross-examinations were taking place. Others of you prayed from home, perhaps on a lunch break, or while driving to and from your work place. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Read it all.
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Being more cynical, one might buy into the famous Marx quotation: “religion is the opium of the people”. While it’s true that Marx was articulating his belief that religion was a way of “power” saying “don’t worry if you’re downtrodden in this life, you will find a reward in the next”, in the wider quotation from which those words are taken, he was actually being more sympathetic: acknowledging the potential of religion to give solace where there is distress.
That’s how I feel when I look on in bemused fascination at members of my own family’s religious devotion despite their never-ending series of trials in this life. As a callow, arrogant youth I would try the Marx line out on them, only to be dismissed. And rightly so, because back then I was merely trying to provoke them.
Today, the conversation is different. I respect their beliefs because I can see the solace they have brought them, whilst absolutely rejecting any attempts to continue to force those beliefs upon others, or to marry them to the state.
The need for complete dis-establishment of church and state not only in this country, but in all countries, appears so obvious in the face of the many inequalities that accompany “establishment” that it is mystifying that in the 21 Century that there can be any argument against it. But then, what do I know? Apparently, my heart is closed.
Read it all.
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The Sermon is based on Matthew 13:31-3:
He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”You may find the audio link here if you wish to suffer through it. Also note that there is an option to download it there (using the button which says "download" underneath the link which says "listen").
He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.”
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The Archbishop of Canterbury has written to Pope Francis in a plea to prevent the ordination of women bishops from derailing plans for the eventual reunification between the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches.
The Most Rev Justin Welby acknowledged that the vote at the General Synod earlier this month would be a “further difficulty” on the tortuous road towards eventual unity between the two churches which formally separated in the 16th Century.
But in a letter to the Pope and other global church leaders including leading orthodox patriarchs, he asked for prayers for the Church of England, telling them: “We need each other.”
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Listen to it allvia an MP3 file here, and or you listen directly via the link on the page there.
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“We are disappointed by the decision of the Court and believe that the decision is erroneous,” said Richard Hoskins, chancellor emeritus of the Diocese of Chicago. “We believe that the opinion misunderstands the polity of the Episcopal Church and misapplies the First Amendment. The attorneys representing us in the lawsuit are studying the opinion and will advise the Diocese whether to petition for leave to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court."
Read it all.
The congregation of a Hamilton church divided by a denominational debate on the proposed blessings of same sex relationships spent yesterday's services in separate buildings praying for one another.
Around 100 members of West Hamilton Anglican Parish left the Rifle Range Road church last week under the Rev Michael Hewat and his wife Kimberley Hewat's leadership. The departure came following months of discussion of a controversial motion passed in May by the General Synod of the Anglican Church in New Zealand and Polynesia.
The motion aimed to establish a working group to recommended a process and structure which included a "yet-to-be-developed liturgy for blessing right ordered same-gender relationships".
The Hewats, supported by 95 per cent of the congregation who attended a special meeting this month, opposed the motion on the grounds that it was contrary to the teachings of the Bible.
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1 Chronicles 28:9-10 (NIV)
And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.
Our Father in heaven,
We lift up the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Diocese of South Carolina–the parishes, the litigation teams, and the bishops. May they seek You and dedicate themselves to become households of faith, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord, a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Amen.
Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here. We are grateful to Lent and Beyond for these prayers which during this time will be weekly we understand.
An Illinois appeals court has ruled in favor of an Anglican Church in North America diocese and against the Episcopal Church in a case that highlights theological differences between the two sides.
The ruling over the ownership of money and endowments as well as the property of parishes and missions was handed down Thursday in Springfield by the Illinois 4th District Appellate Court.
Locally, members of the Trinity Anglican Church in Rock Island celebrated the decision.
Read it all.
Before the split, the diocese had 70 congregations with about 29,000 parishioners. It dates to the 1700s and is one of the original dioceses that joined to form the Episcopal Church. The national church contends that the departure of a diocese requires the consent of the church’s General Convention, which was not consulted.
[Bp Mark] Lawrence later told reporters “I’m hopeful and will continue to pray for Judge Goodstein and guidance as she rules on this.”
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The Right Rev. Mark J. Lawrence, 14th bishop of the Diocese of SC, whom TEC supporters have accused of plotting to lead the Diocese out of the denomination, was the only witness called during the final day of the trial. Diocesan attorneys asked him several questions about TEC’s authority and the process followed to punish him.
When asked if he had planned to lead the diocese out of TEC, he said, “Absolutely not.” He explained that no one had ever asked him to lead the diocese out and said it only decided to leave after TEC had taken steps to remove him as bishop – violating its own process for doing that.
The bishop also contradicted testimony from earlier in the week, in which TEC witnesses claimed that the denomination has supreme authority over its dioceses and congregations. The bishop said that he shared the opinion of 14 other bishops that TEC has no actual authority over its member dioceses.
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Key Excerpts follow below the "read more" link.
Read it all[pdf]. h/t Stand Firm
Note: An article with important background to today's decision is here.
UPDATE: Don't miss Allan Haley's analysis of this decision at Anglican Curmudgeon
 However, the deference approach is unavailable where the determination of a church's hierarchical structure is not easily discernible. See Maryland & Virginia Eldership of the Churches of God v. Church of God at Sharpsburg, Inc., 396 U.S. 367, 369-70 (1970) (deference approach is permissible only where the governing church body can be determined without extensive inquiry into religious policy). Here, the trial court declined to apply a deference approach, concluding it could not "constitutionally determine the highest judicatory authority or the locus of control regarding the property dispute to which it would be required to defer." The court's conclusion is not against the manifest weight of the evidence.
 A review of the evidence presented in this case, including testimony from Dr. Mullin, the Church's own witness, does not clearly demonstrate the existence of a hierarchical relationship between the Diocese and the Church. Indeed, the Church's authority is not readily ascertainable without an impermissible investigation into matters of polity. Moreover, the central matter underlying the parties' dispute is: "who owns the disputed property." Determining whether the Diocese could leave the Church or identifying the leaders of the continuing diocese is unnecessary for purposes of answering that question. Again, such determinations would necessarily involve an extensive inquiry into church polity. With regard to the issue of the disputed property, however, we agree with the trial court it can be resolved by applying neutral principles of law.
 An examination of the evidence reveals nothing to demonstrate an express trust, an implied trust, or any other interest vested in the Church. As stated, neither the deed nor the Discretionary Agency Agreement provides for an express trust in favor of the Church. Further, our review of the Diocese's constitution and canons does not suggest diocesan assets were ever impliedly held in trust for the Church. After Jones, the Church adopted a trust canon (Title I.7.4, referred to by the parties as the Dennis Canon). That canon provides parish property is held in trust for the Diocese and Church and restricts a parish's ability to dispose of its property. However, it appears undisputed the Church's canons do not contain similar language with respect to diocesan property being held in favor of the Church. In addition, Bonner testified the Dennis Canon does not apply to property owned by a diocese. Our review of the record reveals nothing to suggest the opposite conclusion. Accordingly, the trial court's findings in this regard are not against the manifest weight of the evidence.
 In sum, the evidence presented demonstrates title to the funds and real property lies with the Diocese. Following our review of the record, we cannot say the trial court's findings were arbitrary, unreasonable, or not otherwise based on the evidence. Nor can we say the opposite conclusion is clearly apparent in this case. As a result, the court did not err in finding in favor of the Diocese. We commend the trial court for its detailed order, which we found quite helpful in reviewing this matter.
 For the reasons stated, we affirm the trial court's judgment and deny the Church's motion to substitute party.
 Affirmed; motion denied.
With his waxed moustache and tattoos, Darren Wolf could be either the founder of a tech start-up or a cage fighter, depending on your view of London’s East End.
In fact he is a Cambridge graduate, a former director of the Terrence Higgins Trust and last month became one of the latest batch of vicars enlisted to revamp church services in the Diocese of London.
His first posting as an ordained minister is to Christ Church Spitalfields, the Nicholas Hawksmoor-designed masterpiece that sits at the border between the City’s banks, Brick Lane’s curry houses and the tech companies of Shoreditch.
Rev Wolf’s first assignment at this striking white temple is to launch an informal 5pm service.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues * International News & Commentary England / UK
Psalm 18:28 (ESV)
For it is you who light my lamp;
the Lord my God lightens my darkness.
Our Father in heaven,
We turn to You. Lighten the darkness in the courtroom where the trial between the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Diocese of South Carolina is taking place. Amen.
Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here. We are grateful to Lent and Beyond for these daily prayers.
Allegations in the so-called "Trojan horse" letter of an organised attempt by some governors and senior staff to impose a hardline, politicised Islamic agenda on a group of Birmingham schools were largely true, the report of a top-level investigation into the letter's claims, published on Tuesday, says.
Sent anonymously to Birmingham City Council last November, and leaked to the press earlier this year, the letter was originally dismissed by the council as a hoax designed to disturb community relations in the city. The allegations were comprehensively denied by those involved.
But, as further complaints surfaced, a former Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, commissioned Peter Clarke, a former head of counter-terrorism in the UK, to conduct an inquiry.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Culture-Watch Children Education Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Islam
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