Posted by Kendall Harmon

The famous radio personality and early pioneer of television, Arthur Godfrey, grew up in an era very different from today. It was a time when a boy could wander down to the blacksmith shop on a lazy afternoon and watch the smithy work at his anvil and forge. It was a favorite past time of the young Godfrey. Sometimes he would watch the blacksmith sorting the scrap metal. The man would pick up a piece of metal from a holding bin, turn it this way and that in his large hands, then either toss it into the fire to be softened and hammered into some useful tool, or thrown into a junk heap to be discarded. From this experience Arthur forged a simple prayer which he used all his life. Whenever seized by his own sense of sin or some personal moral failure he would pray—“The fire, Lord, not the junk-heap.” It is a prayer that captures two essential dimensions of Ash Wednesday and Lent— a prayer for pardon and a prayer for purity.

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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* South Carolina* TheologyAnthropologyChristologySoteriology

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Posted February 10, 2016 at 7:13 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Nationally, the Episcopal Church authorized its clergy to perform same-sex marriages in July but gave bishops the right to refuse to allow the religious ceremonies to happen in their diocese. Clergy also can refuse. Bishop John Bauerschmidt of the Diocese of Tennessee did not grant permission for same-sex marriages in his region, which covers Nashville and much of Middle Tennessee.

The resolution [passed at the recnet diocesan Convention] did not change the bishop's ruling, nor did it ask him to. But it does explain that "many in our diocese believe that LGBTQ members are painfully excluded from the full sacramental ministry of the Episcopal Church in our diocese," while also urging unity.

Bauerschmidt said in a statement to The Tennessean that he appreciated the support.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 11, 2016 at 7:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Vicar of Battersea (Southwark) and Prolocutor of the Convocation of Canterbury in General Synod, Canon Simon Butler, an openly gay priest, told us he has not interpreted the actions of the Primates’ Meeting as primarily an attack on The Episcopal Church (TEC USA) or on LGBT people, but instead has come to see it as reaffirmation of the bonds of communion from the Primates.

He said it was a statement of love and fellowship that steadfastly refuses to exclude American Anglicans, including those who are LGBT, while at the same time reaffirming ‘what cannot be but obvious to most people’ – that the majority of the Communion’s member Churches have not reached the point where they can go along with TEC’s position.

“The Primates’ ‘consequences’ should not, I believe, be seen as punitive, but as a reflection of the current state of play in the Communion with respect to marriage equality,” he said.

“The same must be true of the current situation in the Church of England,” he said. “Like it or not, those who wish to see our Church change its position have to accept that we have not done so yet. That may be an offence to the Gospel for some of us – and an enormous mission challenge among the under-40s in most of our urban and graduate cultures – but it is the reality.

“We have not yet changed enough minds.”

Read it all (requires subscription)

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilySexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 11, 2016 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

New research suggests that not only is there no end in sight, but there are few signs of hope for revival in rapidly aging, shrinking groups such as the Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Consider these findings from two of the largest surveys of U.S. congregations:

• In just the last five years, the percentage of mainline Protestant congregations where more than one-fifth are ages 18 to 35 has decreased dramatically. In 2010, some 4.8 percent of mainline congregations reported having that large a proportion of young adults in the pews; by 2015, just 1.3 percent reported that high a percentage, according to initial findings from the 2015 Faith Communities Today (FACT) survey.
• Children made up just 16 percent of regular attenders in mainline Protestant congregations, compared to an average of 29 percent in other Christian traditions, according to a new analysis of the 2012 wave of the National Congregations Study (NCS).
• Mainline Protestants recorded a nearly 30 percent decline – from 24 percent in 1998 to 17 percent in 2012 – in the proportion of its members filling U.S. pews, the NCS study found.
• In the 2005 FACT survey, a little more than half of mainline churches said fewer than 100 people on average were at weekend worship; in 2015, nearly two-thirds attracted less than 100 worshippers. Sociologist David Roozen, a FACT study director, reported the findings at the annual meeting of the Religious Research Association.

How serious are the numbers?

“It might already be beyond that point” where a significant recovery is possible, said Duke University sociologist Mark Chaves, NCS director and author of “American Religion: Contemporary Trends.”

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSociology* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesMethodistPentecostal* Theology

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Posted February 11, 2016 at 12:48 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Last month, the archbishops of the Anglican Communion voted to temporarily kick the American branch of the Communion, the Episcopal Church, out of its international association to a degree for its acceptance of gays and lesbians.
Two-thirds of the 37 leaders of the Communion voted for the censorship, suspending the Episcopal Church from voting and decision-making for the next three years.
While the decision is said to have derived from the Episcopal Church’s decision in July of last year to allow its priests to perform same-sex marriages, Father Joe Mikel, priest at St. Timothy Episcopal Church in Chehalis, agrees with the Episcopal Church’s acceptance.
“If you’re gay, a lesbian, transgender human being, do I throw you on the ash heap of life?” Mikel asked. “Are they human beings? Do they need love? Do they long for inclusion and forgiveness … just like me?”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 11, 2016 at 11:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

First of all, what is R&R? I would describe it as a set of initiatives and activities intended to improve the support that the national church institutions can give to the Church proper (the Church in the dioceses, parishes, schools etc) in its work of mission. It’s coming from the National Church Institutions because it’s about things that those institutions (the Church Commissioners, the General Synod, the Archbishops’ Council etc) can do. But it comes from the national church institutions in response to what the dioceses said when members and staff from Church House asked what they wanted, to help the Church for the future. And because it’s a response, it’s not a national plan or a national strategy for the Church.

Secondly, what’s it for? This bit’s easy. For me, the purpose of R&R is to contribute to turning around the decades-long decline in the Church: a decline which we all know is there, on almost any measure we choose to look at – but also a decline which we know can be reversed, because in many places there are hopeful signs of how it can be done. R&R can only be a contribution, because the Church exists in the parishes, not in Synods or Councils. But Synods and Councils can contribute – and they can help work towards a hopeful future, in which we once again have a growing Church, with more people coming to faith, with more people deepening their faith and living Christian lives, and the Church doing more good for this country.

Thirdly, why now? If the question is “why not before now?”, I can’t answer that. If it’s “why do we have to do it now?”, that’s because our Church is shrinking fast, and it could start diminishing faster at any moment without action. Only the Church of England has a national mission to be a Church for everyone, in every community. Other denominations have shrunk and withdrawn from great swathes of the country.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted February 11, 2016 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We must overcome this upsurge in religiously justified violence, which by its nature, in all of the great world faith traditions, perverts and abandons its original host by exempting itself from ethical principles, and caring nothing for human life.

Theologically, we need to start by accepting first that we live out what we are facing in the world, in every area of our lives, as fallen human beings in a fallen world. As Christians, I believe profoundly we must recapture and rename the theology of the Fall. The effect of the Fall is that we are consumed by fear of the other, and we cannot name things well. In Genesis chapter 1, Adam and Eve, before the Fall, name everything. And they are not afraid of each other. By the time they fall, they are incapable of seeing each other transparently.

We need, therefore, to name and develop truth, as part of the theological narrative of reconciliation, not merely to condemn violence. I’m often asked, if there’s some terrible event, to say something in 140 characters on Twitter or a couple of sentences on Facebook that adequately and completely describes a bomb explosion that has killed 200 people. It’s absurd. How do we name truth? Condemning violence by itself is not good enough; there must be something positive that we can say.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted February 11, 2016 at 7:10 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

18 January 2016

Archbishops/Bishops.
Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)

My Beloved in the Lord,

MEETING OF PRIMATES OF THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION WITH THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY, THE MOST REV’D AND RT HON. JUSTIN WELBY, MONDAY 11 – FRIDAY 15 JANUARY, 2016

Grace and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We thank God for His inestimable grace that strengthens us in His service. To Him be the glory.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev’d and Rt Hon. Justin Welby, invited all the Primates of the Anglican Communion to a meeting in Canterbury to discuss issues affecting our Communion. After some regional and sub-regional consultations with the Global Anglican Futures Conference (GAFCON) and the Global South Groups, it was decided that we should accept the invitation for whatever it was worth, irrespective of the fact that some of our provinces are in impaired relationship with The Episcopal Church (TEC) and The Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) in particular, and other churches that are following their footsteps.

It has been the collective resolution of the GAFCON Group for several years that we shall not participate in any gathering in the Anglican Communion to which TEC and The Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) were invited, until they repented of their erroneous doctrinal and theological postures and practices. However, following the almost unanimous resolution of the GAFCON and the Global South Groups, we decided the invitation.

Attached is the statement of the meeting regarding TEC.

The Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) was not focused on because it claimed that it has not altered its Marriage Canon. However, we know that the Anglican Church of Canada, Scotland, Wales, Brazil and New Zealand are on the way to toeing the footsteps of TEC. We are yet to be convinced that the restrictions imposed on TEC will be implemented. The bottom line, therefore, is that nothing has changed.

As stated in the statement of the meeting attached herewith, ‘for a period of three years The Episcopal Church no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee and that while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or policy’.Furthermore, The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev’d and Rt Hon. Justin Welby was asked ‘to appoint a Task Group to maintain conversation among ourselves with the intention of restoration of relationship, the rebuilding of mutual trust, healing the legacy of hurt, recognizing the extent of our commonality and exploring our deep differences, ensuring they are held between us in the love and grace of Christ’.

In the meantime, the state of broken communion with TEC and Canada and those churches that are following their bad examples remains in place. Our decision to severe relations was based on their practice of ordaining and consecrating clergy in active homosexual relationship. This is what led to GAFCON, Jerusalem 2008. Reported reactions of some church leaders and members of TEC to the statement of the Primates’ meeting clearly suggest that they are not yet willing to repent of their unbiblical doctrine and practices.

We shall remain fervent in prayers and steadfast in upholding the word of God in the teachings and life of the Church. God’s grace is sufficient unto us.

Yours in His service.

The Most Rev’d Nicholas D. Okoh, MA, Fss, Mss, LLD

Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria

Read it all with thanks to Anglican Ink

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

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Posted February 10, 2016 at 12:37 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

..As I have been traveling to a whole list of Provinces over these last weeks, what I am hearing from them is pretty much the same. They are saying that they were shocked to find out what was going on in the Episcopal Church. Clearly, they have said, what TEC does needs to be judged according to Scripture. For those of us who have been under the artillery barrages of TEC for years, it is hard for us to believe that people could find TEC’s behavior surprising. TEC, Canada, Brazil, and others are pursuing the same course. The difference now is that a plumb line has been brought to bear. It has not yet been used to judge everything that is out of order, but the process has started. Some of the Bishops in other countries have said to me, “Now that the Episcopal Church has been disciplined, surely they will repent now.”

That is the kind of thing that is said by the youngest and least experienced. In fact, as I have said, TEC won’t repent. They are too far turned over to their reprobate thinking. Other leaders, usually the battle hardened older leaders who have seen how far things have gone are saying, “Of course they won’t repent, but now, in three years’ time, we will have a much larger and firmer coalition to hold the line as TEC has to walk apart.”

Many things are still unfolding from the Canterbury meeting. People will offer lots of spin, but I am convinced that something profound was offered to the future of the Anglican way, the chance for the institution to speak the truth.

The other positive thing is that the Archbishops of several Provinces that have not been in GAFCON have indicated that they want to join now. There will be a process for the Province to make that move, but there is no question in my mind that they will follow through. Even better, there will be others as well...

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

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Posted February 10, 2016 at 12:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

..“Thanks for not throwing us under the bus – the LGBT community as well as the Episcopal Church, we’re proud of you,” stated [Bishop Gene Robinson], who now serves as a fellow at the D.C.-based liberal think tank Center for American Progress.

During his planned comments, Curry elaborated on two mission priorities established at the church’s General Convention this past summer: evangelism and racial reconciliation.

“The Presiding Bishop needs to be the Chief Evangelism Officer,” Curry trumpeted, declaring a commitment “to what I call the Jesus Movement – the way of God’s love in this world.”

The bishop lamented that “extremism is happening in Judaism, Christianity and Islam” and that a religious center “is very quiet and intimidated.”
.......
Curry pointed to Pope Francis as an exemplar of the “Jesus Movement.”

“He wouldn’t use the world inclusion, but that’s what he’s doing,” Curry determined.

Stating of religion, “If it’s not about love, it’s not about God – period,” Curry elaborated that the “love of God is about self-sacrifice of self-interest for the good of others.” The Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop defined the way of evangelism as about “drawing towards the center – not about increasing Episcopal market share.”

“I’m in this business because we’re going to learn to live together – and the Episcopal Church will lead the way as part of the Jesus movement.”...

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

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Posted February 10, 2016 at 12:09 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Men and women who found faith at a homeless centre are to star in a series of short dramatic films for Lent and Easter launched by the Church of England today. The five film stars have all recently come to faith through the Saturday Gathering, a fresh expression of church in Halifax - and most have experienced crime, alcohol, drug addiction, homelessness or violence in their lives.

The "Psalm 22 project" follows on from the Church of England's "Lord's Prayer" campaign which was banned by cinemas before Christmas and promotes the justpray.uk website.

The new justpray.uk campaign will feature short teaser films over the next five weeks concluding with the launch of a two minute film on Easter Sunday which casts the five main characters in their own interpretation of a scene from the Passion of Christ. The film is based on Psalm 22 which includes the words "my God, my G

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistrySpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 10, 2016 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry is describing the recent censure of his church over allowing clergy to perform same-sex marriages as a “fair” move by the wider Anglican Communion.

Anglican primates voted last month in Canterbury, England, to remove the Episcopal Church from votes on doctrine and to ban it from representing the communion in ambassadorial relationships for three years.

In an appearance at the National Press Club on Monday (Feb. 8), Curry said the decision was a “very specific, almost surgical approach” that allowed both sides to express their differences and yet find a way to remain together.

“There was clarity on our part, both about who we are as a church and about our love and commitment to the communion and there was clarity on their part that they disagreed with us,” he said. “But they didn’t vote us off the island.”

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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted February 9, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“Recent media comment regarding Bishop George Bell has focused on my recent contributions made in the House of Lords in response to a question on the Church’s actions in this matter.
On reflection I believe my words were not as clear as they could have been and I welcome this opportunity to provide further clarity.
Almost three years ago a civil claim was made, raising allegations of abuse by George Bell, the former Bishop of Chichester.
In response to the claim independent legal and medical reports were commissioned and duly considered. The evidence available was interrogated and evaluated. This led to a decision to settle the claim and to offer a formal apology to the survivor. This decision was taken on the balance of probabilities - the legal test applicable in civil claims.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureSexualityViolence* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted February 9, 2016 at 5:44 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

You can listen directly here or download the mp3 there.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* South Carolina* Theology

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Posted February 9, 2016 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Parishioners at a west Ottawa church bid farewell to their house of worship Sunday as they prepare to merge with another Anglican congregation.

St. Matthias Anglican Church on Parkdale Avenue is closing as declining attendance numbers are forcing parishioners to join All Saints' Anglican Church in Westboro.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada

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Posted February 8, 2016 at 8:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There are a lot of empty pews in the Anglican Diocese of Quebec's churches, but the treasury is fuller than it has been in years.
As shrewd investing is replacing weekly parishioner offerings as a main revenue source, the diocese is looking to ethical investment to build its portfolio in a socially responsible way that better reflects its values.
In December, the diocese completed the process of selling off its $1.72 million in fossil fuel investments and the $525,000 it had invested in gold and copper mining. In doing so, it added its name to the growing list of organizations that have chosen to divest from oil and gas over climate change concerns.
Bishop Dennis Drainville says the next step for the Quebec Anglicans is an investing shift to renewable energy.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeStock MarketEnergy, Natural Resources* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted February 8, 2016 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* South Carolina* TheologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 8, 2016 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The new Anglican Dean of Sydney has made history. Kanishka Raffel, who was officially installed as Dean of Sydney last Thursday, is the first person from a non-European background to hold the role in the church's history in Australia.
"No, it probably doesn't cross my mind ... I just feel like me," the Dean said.
But his appointment heralds a bid by St Andrew's Cathedral to cater for the changing demographic of its congregation, with a rise in parishioners from Asian and sub-continent backgrounds.

It also presents a opportunity for the church to access and attract new followers, Dean Raffel said, pointing to census statistics that 56 per cent of the City of Sydney's population have both parents born overseas compared to the state average of 36 per cent.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ

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Posted February 8, 2016 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Wycliffe Hall is one of the Church of England’s most prestigious theological colleges, being one of Oxford University’s many colleges. Long respected as an evangelical institution, it has had a number of difficulties since the principalship of Alister McGrath and the current principal, Michael Lloyd, is seen by many as a safe pair of hands.

But he’s now facing a growing crisis over an inadvertent but controversial invitation to the dean of Christ Church, Martyn Percy, to preach at college chapel on 8 March 2016 at a service of Holy Communion. The text for that day is Col. 4:2-18.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologySeminary / Theological Education

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Posted February 6, 2016 at 10:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In his foreword, Archbishop Justin Welby says: “This book is about growing closer to God. That is at the heart of a good Lent. We come to a time of fasting, discipline and study, in order that we may renew our knowledge of His presence. That involves a stripping of those things that divide us from God, developing our obedience to His call and venturing deeper into the fire of His love.

“The themes of light and darkness, and the use of the pattern of the Offices, give contrast and stability to the unfolding chapters. Through the book we travel through day and night, the reality of human experience lived through our lives. At the end the dawn brightens with the hope and certainty of resurrection, the knowledge that in the grace and love of God we are called to eternal life with the one who smashes down the barriers of death.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent* Culture-WatchBooks* Theology

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Posted February 6, 2016 at 8:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...what I want you to notice is that when Paul tells the Colossians in verse 24 that ‘my suffering is for you’, he does not use the same word. He does not use the word eis. Because suffering is not directed towards anything. It has no constructive purpose. It has no positive teleology. It has no direct place in the economy and providence of God. Left to its own devices, suffering does nothing but inhibit, destroy, disintegrate and embitter – that is its only natural teleology.

We know that because, when Jesus comes across suffering, He does not urge people to accept it as God’s will for them. He does not refuse to heal them on the grounds that God is behind their suffering. He does not refuse to work healing miracles on the grounds that their suffering is doing them good. He assaults their suffering. He declares war on human suffering. He heals their illnesses. His compassion drives Him to undo whatever is holding them back from being the whole, healthy and thriving people He made them to be. (He’s at it again in the story of the ten lepers in Luke 17, which we had as our gospel reading this evening). And Jesus is our window on the person and purpose and providence of God. So we have no mandate to say that God approves what Jesus attacks. Jesus attacks suffering in His ministry, sin on the cross, and death in His resurrection – and God is against all three.

And yet. And yet, somehow, despite that, (v. 24) Paul rejoices in his suffering. Paul rejoices in the inhibiting, destructive, disintegrative and embittering suffering that happens to him in his own flesh. Paul rejoices in that which God hates. We need to feel the dissonance of that. We need to hear it grating. We need to be shocked into the acknowledgement that something unnatural, or, rather, supernatural is going on here. What we have here is the miracle of fruitful suffering.

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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* TheologySeminary / Theological EducationTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 5, 2016 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In summary, said Dr. Anis, Christians who witness to Muslims must depend entirely on the Holy Spirit, and should be authentic, humble and generous in all their dealings. Muslims who convert frequently must pay a heavy price in loss of family relationships and everything they had held dear; the Christian community must be prepared to do all that it can to mitigate those losses. He closed his talk with a short film that showed the various kinds of Christian outreach his own diocese is sponsoring, with an emphasis on providing the best possible loving care to Egyptians from all walks of life in Christian-run hospitals, and offering testimonies from those whose lives had changed in consequence. God's love, shown to Muslims and others through freely given medical and other care, brings results on God's timetable. "Our job is to witness to Christ's love, to pay the price when asked, and to involve the local community of believers."

Another perspective on witnessing to Muslims was offered by Fouad Masri, a Lebanese-born, third-generation pastor who trained in the United States, and then in 1993 founded the Crescent Project, based in Indianapolis, through which he has taught more than 21,000 Christians how to share their faith sensitively and caringly with Muslims. He stressed that Muslims generally do not know what Christians believe, that they never read the Bible for themselves, and have repeatedly been told that it is unreliable (its text is, e.g., hopelessly corrupt in comparison with the Qu'ran that was dictated directly from Allah).

"Because you have been at this conference," he predicted, "God will put a Muslim in your path. Be an ambassador for your faith: represent it truly, humbly, and without apology or evasion. Be friendly -- don't criticize Muslim beliefs; build bridges, biblical bridges, from your faith to theirs, with which you can reach them. Invite them to your home, and share what you have. Remember that God, not us, makes people Christians; we are God's humble servants, and our involvement is His involvement with the world."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* South Carolina* TheologyApologeticsChristologyThe Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

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Posted February 5, 2016 at 7:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury has told the House of Lords that there is no right not to be offended by frank assertions of faith.

He was speaking as the house discussed extremist interpretations of Islam.

Justin Welby insisted that some comments were unacceptable, however he added that others were part of general debate.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted February 5, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Same-sex marriage in churches, and full access to all three Holy Orders for those in such marriages, are among the goals of a new mission calling for “the full acceptance and affirmation of LGBTI people” in the Church of England.

The LGBTI Mission, launched on Thursday, has put together a programme of goals that it would like to achieve “over the next five years and beyond”. It includes demands for action from the hierarchy, alongside plans to press ahead independently, including the publication of liturgy to celebrate same-sex marriage.

A booklet outlining the programme, published yesterday, lists examples of “discrimination” and “injustice” faced by LGBTI people, and warns of a culture of “collusion and silence” in the Church. Some young LGBTI people do not feel “safe and welcomed”, it says.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 5, 2016 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It has been the collective resolution of the GAFCON Group for several years that we shall not participate in any gathering in the Anglican Communion to which TEC and The Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) were invited, until they repented of their erroneous doctrinal and theological postures and practices. However, following the almost unanimous resolution of the GAFCON and the Global South Groups, we decided the invitation.

Attached is the statement of the meeting regarding TEC.

The Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) was not focused on because it claimed that it has not altered its Marriage Canon. However, we know that the Anglican Church of Canada, Scotland, Wales, Brazil and New Zealand are on the way to toeing the footsteps of TEC. We are yet to be convinced that the restrictions imposed on TEC will be implemented. The bottom line, therefore, is that nothing has changed.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesChurch of NigeriaSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 4, 2016 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The theme of this year's Mere Anglicanism Conference in Charleston, South Carolina was "The Cross and the Crescent: the Gospel and the Challenge of Islam." Over the course of four sessions, seven speakers gave the sold-out audience a comprehensive view of Islamic ideology and history, along with the understanding and tools which Christians need in their personal dealings with Muslims.

The Conference was carefully balanced. Two of the speakers analyzed the tenets of Islam and their contrasts with those of Christianity; two of the speakers spoke to the historical and present-day conflicts between Islamic countries and Western ones; two offered insights and approaches to discussing religion with followers of Mohammed, garnered from their years of experience in dealing with Muslims from all walks of life; and the seventh speaker offered a moving personal testimony to his own conversion from Islam to Christianity -- a decision which cost him his closest ties to his own family. In order to keep my report easier to follow, I shall divide it into two parts. I will first discuss those speakers who gave analytical and historical critiques of Islam, and then cover those who offered pragmatic advice in the second part.

Dr. William Lane Craig, a Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology (La Mirada, California), and also a Professor of Philosophy at Houston Baptists University, opened the Conference on Thursday evening with a talk on "The Concept of God in Islam and Christianity." He explained that he had been interacting with Islam, both academically and in debates with leading Muslim advocates, for over thirty years. In that time, he learned how to address the issue of the God that each religion worships. We should not ask: "Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?", because that approach gets tied up in differences over terminology and semantics. A more useful inquiry is: "What is the concept of 'God' in Islam, and in Christianity? Are they the same? And if not, which one is true?"

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* South Carolina* TheologyChristologyEthics / Moral TheologyThe Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Melbourne's Anglican churches say they cannot offer sanctuary to asylum seekers facing immediate deportation to Nauru because they are not equipped to provide accommodation.

It puts the Melbourne Anglican diocese at great odds with its counterparts around the rest of the country, who are willing to face police raids and possible charges to shield asylum seekers.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsImmigration* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ* Religion News & CommentaryOther Churches* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted February 4, 2016 at 3:14 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Rachel Phillips writes]:...The challenges I’ve faced so far have been mostly self-doubt about not being ‘holy enough’, but I plod on, having made a personal promise to keep on walking through those doors if they keep on opening. I must trust the older and wiser people around me who are certain of my vocation, and to work hard on my prayer-life. The obvious external challenge has of course been financial, and also the possibilities of a certain kind of future that I have given up. I only need to consider what Christ gave for us to be renewed in my determination to see out this calling, wherever it may lead. Of course there’s huge risk in what I have done, considering I have not yet been to the Bishop’s Advisory Panel, but I felt I had to believe in myself before anyone else would, so it had to be this way.

God has provided me with a welcoming and endlessly supportive church community who encourage me on my journey and give me very useful feedback along the way. In particular, my husband has shaped my response to my calling. He has been patient and reassuring and never misses a Sunday service, despite not being a Christian. Without his support, this would not be possible.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)

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Posted February 4, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"Words of apology written in a letter can never be enough to express the Church's shame or our recognition of damage done. However, the apology that I made on behalf of the Diocese of Chichester is genuine and a sincere expression that lessons are being learnt about how we respond to accusations of abuse.

"In some responses to the George Bell case, and to the original statements from the Church nationally and locally in the diocese of Chichester, we have witnessed shocking ignorance of the suffering felt at many different levels by victims of abuse."

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureSexualityViolence* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology


Posted February 4, 2016 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Wednesday 3 February 2016]...for the first time, the victim of George Bell has spoken about the sexual abuse she suffered as a five-year-old child at the hands of the wartime Bishop of Chichester.

Speaking exclusively to The Argus, she described how he repeatedly molested her over a period of four years while telling her that God loved her.

Her testimony brings new clarity to a story which has changed the world’s perception of one of the most revered Anglicans of the 20th century since news of a church payout was announced last October.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureSexualityViolence* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology


Posted February 4, 2016 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Those of us writing here at Providence share a common conviction about politics, namely that we should take human beings and human communities as they are and not how we would wish them to be. Human beings are broken creatures who are often driven by fear and greed. In political community, these propensities only become magnified and more volatile. This realism means that when we face problems such as aggressive nations and terrorism, we do so with sobriety that in order to stop certain people or groups from carrying out their harmful designs we must sometimes use military force. No amount of rational discussion or incentives will deter them from seeking to harm the innocent. Christians however bring to this sober realism the commitment to love their neighbors. To protect the innocent from the aggressor and to punish the aggressor is an act of love, not purely national interest or strategic benefit. This is what separates those who are realists from Christian realists.

As of late, I reckon, this take on politics has fallen on hard times. It’s hard to hold Christianity and realism together. We have Ted Cruz and Donald Trump preaching indiscriminate bombing campaigns to the applause of many. Bernie Sanders thinks that the Middle East is not a problem for Americans and that we should just let Syria burn. Most Christian voices in America are focused on the immigration crisis, with remarkably few Christians talking about intervention in Syria to protect the Syrian people and stabilize the situation. Marco Rubio has been one of the more nuanced and realistic candidates, and still his discussion of issues tends toward a more thoroughgoing realism than a Christian realism.

Into this current vacuum steps the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, to deliver what might be one of the most rousing calls to a truly Christian realistic approach to the current civil war in Syria and the rise of Islamic radicalism in recent memory. The Archbishop delivered the brief speech at the General Synod of the Church of England at Westminster on November 24th. It should be noted that the Archbishop delivered this speech in a resolution that was unanimously approved by the Synod on the current immigration crisis in Europe, primarily calling for protecting immigrants and welcoming a portion to the UK.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchGlobalizationReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UKMiddle EastSyria* TheologyPastoral Theology

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I could quite imagine two adjacent dioceses within the Church of England permitting or prohibiting divorce, and recognizing or not recognizing the leadership of women. It wouldn't be comfortable, but it would be possible. It is simply impossible, however, to imagine one diocese celebrating same-sex sexual unions as equivalent to other-sex marriage, and a neighbouring one holding that this is outside of Christian moral teaching, and therefore (among its clergy) a cause of discipline. These two different views are simply incompatible; two such dioceses could not co-exist in the same Church.

That is why the question for the Church is not about polity alone, but about the Church's doctrine of marriage, and within that, its understanding of human sexuality. There is no middle ground to stand on.

Ritchie appears to share the view of Jayne Ozanne (former Director of Accepting Evangelicals, whom he cites) that change in the Church is "inevitable." To that end, Ozanne cites survey evidence showing that popular opinion is changing, and changing fast. That is one way for the Church to decide its doctrine - on the basis of popular opinion.

Historically, though, the Church of England has pursued a patient engagement with Scripture in order to shape its theology....

Read it all from ABC australia.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Commentary- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 3, 2016 at 12:48 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Dr. William Lane Craig of Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California, opened the conference speaking about the concept of God in Islam and Christianity. Noting that the question “do Muslims and Christians worship the same God?” had recently been in the news, Craig instead sought to examine what each faith understood about who God is. The God of Islam, Craig determined, was deficient in the Christian view because he lacked the ability to love those who did not love him in return. Effectively, a God who loves sinners and a God incapable of loving sinners – indeed, even declared their enemy in verses of the Qur’an – were at their core sharply different.

Speakers encouraged participants to be relational in their interactions with Muslims, seeing them not as adversaries in an argument, but as people who might consider Christ by witnessing genuine love in the church.

“We have our own opportunities but we stay in our own clubs,” observed Lebanese-born pastor Fouad Masri about how few Muslims in the U.S. are invited into Christian homes. “Our job is to share — God makes people Christians, not us.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyApologeticsChristologyThe Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

1 Comments
Posted February 3, 2016 at 11:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Underneath the argument about social cohesion is one assumption that needs questioning. It is the belief that what provides cohesion and coherence in any given society is ethnicity. If we can retain just enough ethnic uniformity, runs the argument, then we can hope that society can just about hold together. Threaten that ethnic cohesion with too much diversity, and the whole thing will come crashing down in the chaos of racial and tribal conflict. And there is evidence that if that is all we do — extend the ethnic mix — social conflict can and often does arise.
The reality is that ethnic diversity runs not just between ethnic groups, but within ourselves. Very few of us are ethnically monochrome. We are all basically migrants. My own mother came over from Ireland to England in the 1940s. Her ancestors were refugees fleeing 17th-century religious persecution in the Rhineland. Everyone, somewhere in their ancestral history, has a connection to someone who lived somewhere else. All of us are the beneficiaries of the generosity of this country or of others, at a time when our ancestors were in desperate need of shelter, safety or simply wanting a better life.
The evidence suggests that ethnic uniformity does not create social cohesion. Historically and politically, nations that strive towards ethnic uniformity have often proven to be unstable and unsustainable. The very Middle Eastern countries in so much turmoil at the moment are more ethnically and religiously uniform than ours, with much lower rates of immigration, yet are riven with far more internal conflict than diverse societies such as the UK.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsImmigration* International News & CommentaryEngland / UKEuropeMiddle EastSyria* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted February 3, 2016 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Shops will be allowed to open for longer on Sundays after the Government revealed it was pressing ahead with controversial plans to give local councils powers to relax trading laws.

A host of measures to shake-up shop opening hours will be put forward as amendments to the Enterprise Bill, Sajid Javid, the business secretary, announced today. It comes less than three months after David Cameron, the Prime Minister, was forced to scrap a vote on plans to relax trading laws after they sparked a revolt by 20 Conservative MPs.
However, despite opposition to the proposals from MPs and some retailers, Mr Javid has pushed ahead by unveiling measures to allow councils to introduce zones where shops can trade for longer.

Read it all.

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

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Posted February 3, 2016 at 7:25 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of Exeter, Robert Atwell, who chairs the Liturgical Commission which prepares liturgy for the Church said: "The Queen has steered Britain through some challenging and difficult times over the past seven decades, providing the country with stability and wisdom. She is an inspiration to many people, young and old. The Queen's 90th birthday gives an opportunity not only to thank God for her service, but to celebrate the gifts of all older people in our society."

Dr Matthew Salisbury, National Liturgy and Worship Adviser for the Church of England said, 'The prayers offer thanksgiving and praise for the long service of the Queen. They ask that through God's grace and inspired by her example of faith and service for others we may all receive strength and wisdom in our own lives.'

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted February 3, 2016 at 7:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

More than 300 eminent academics at Oxford and Cambridge have signed a joint statement calling on the institutions to pursue more “morally sound” investment policies that have no basis in fossil fuels.

The signatories, who include the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Williams and the Astronomer Royal Lord Rees, say that Oxford and Cambridge should put their multibillion-pound endowment funds to better use in the light of “looming social, environmental, and financial pressures”.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Culture-WatchEducationLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeStock MarketEnergy, Natural ResourcesPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rev. Mark Bailey has resigned as national director of the Church of England’s New Wine network of evangelical and charismatic parishes after proceedings under the Clergy Disciplinary Measure were initiated. Last week Mr. Bailey met with his bishop, the Rt. Rev. Rachel Treweek, and following the meeting he stepped down as Team Rector of Trinity Cheltenham -- one of the most successful parishes in the Church of England -- and as leader of New Wine.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted February 2, 2016 at 11:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesChurch of IrelandEpiscopal Church (TEC)Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 2, 2016 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When talking about the beginnings of the project, Sharon said:
“The management of chronic pain has been a challenge for health care providers and current evidence supports a multidisciplinary approach including the provision of exercise therapy, occupational therapy, psychological support and medical support. We offer an emphasis on the ability to take control and self-manage.”

“Treatment for this condition can be difficult to access on the NHS, and waiting lists are long which may result in a patient becoming isolated and not being able to work or to join in with normal day-to-day community life. This condition can be associated with depression, another factor that contributes to isolation. As a result of this great need, one of the more cost-effective ways to treat patients is with clinical pilates or through small group exercise classes, which is why we started the Pain Exchange.”
Mutually, they run the 12-week management plan which starts with a full assessment, to screen out people who might need further investigation, or who are not suitable for the programme. Where this is the case they write to the GP with the findings and suggestions, and as a result, two patients have had surgical interventions.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchHealth & Medicine* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted February 2, 2016 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almost two-thirds of those running England's Anglican cathedrals are concerned about their finances, a BBC survey suggests.

Of the 38 cathedrals who responded fully, 26 said they were "worried" or "very worried" about the future.

Last year, the Church of England gave £8.3m to the historic buildings but the cash does not cover all of their needs.

Some cathedrals are now looking to new ways of fundraising including hiring the buildings out as venues.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchArchitectureHistoryReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

3 Comments
Posted February 1, 2016 at 4:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I write this article after having completed the first week of the Institute. If possible, it has already exceeded my expectations. Several things have especially stood out to me this first week.

First, the Beauty of Christ’s Global Body. Upon meeting my fellow participants the first day, I was surprised to discover that we had many mutual friends from places like India, South Sudan, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, etc. This was especially surprising in light of the fact that as a young priest I haven’t lived very long, haven’t traveled very far, and haven’t had a whole lot of life experience. In short, this instant connectedness was not about me but was simply a beautiful testament to how Christ’s body has grown—from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth—and to how the spiritual unity we have in Christ is being made visible by advances in modern technology.
Stemming from this unity, the fellowship has been both rich and challenging. With regards to the richness, one cannot hear eyewitness stories of martyrdom and persecution without being touched in the deep places of one’s soul and inspired to follow Christ more faithfully in one’s own walk (Heb. 11). Many of the participants have tread the path of persecution, and as a Westerner, their stories put my own ministry challenges in healthy and humbling perspective.

On the other hand, the diversity of the fellowship has challenged us to wrestle honestly with the unique cultural lenses we bring to ministry. Whether we’re asking questions after a lecture, breaking down a passage of scripture in a small-group preaching exercise, or analyzing a case study from mission field, it has been eye-opening to see just how pervasively our cultures influence our perspectives. Fortunately, as we wrestle honestly with these issues, our blinders begin to fall away, and we are able to more clearly see the pure and undiluted Gospel, in all of its glory.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchGlobalizationReligion & Culture* South Carolina* TheologyChristologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

1 Comments
Posted February 1, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

it was Archbishop Josiah Fearon’s, the Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council and former Archbishop from Nigeria, response that got my attention. (the full transcript is below)
“…But generally on the continent of Africa our culture does not support the promotion of this type of life style. I know a lot of gays. But they won’t come out and start propagating it as a way of life.

“So the problem therefore on the continent of Africa generally is for strong groups from outside Africa coming to impose what is culturally unacceptable. Coming to impose it. That is where the difference is. If the West would just leave Africans within our various cultures, we know how to live together with our differences…”

Who are these “strong groups from outside Africa” Secretary General Fearon is referencing?

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

0 Comments
Posted January 31, 2016 at 12:42 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

In Nigeria, other parts of Africa, and in many other places in the Communion — including North America, let us be honest — Anglicans must go much further to enact both the spirit and letter of this part of Lambeth 1.10 and the 2005 Primates’ Meeting. TEC has stood up for the rights of gay and lesbian people here and around the world, and I am inspired. But changing the doctrine of marriage to include those same people has not inspired most of the Anglican family. Because they are in communion with you, and choose to walk with you even though they cannot agree with or receive the decision of the General Convention, they are perceived as being pro-gay churches. Being in communion with you threatens their witness to the same Lord Jesus, especially but not only in Muslim contexts, where the cultural sensibilities about human sexuality are so very different. In short, your decision puts many of us at risk.
................
While there were initial demands for the disciplining of churches who offer pastoral care of gay couples by liturgical rites of blessing, this was simply not mentioned in the communiqué; in the end, the issue is the unilateral change of the doctrine of marriage.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

0 Comments
Posted January 31, 2016 at 12:35 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

In this paper I provide an introduction to this debate by setting out and assessing the arguments for same-sex ‘marriage’ put forward in reports from the Scottish Episcopal Church, The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada. At the end of the paper I will give an overview of what I think we have learned about the key issues in the debate and the challenges facing the Church of England and the Anglican Communion.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

0 Comments
Posted January 31, 2016 at 12:27 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The bottom line is this – Jayne Ozanne’s questionnaire tells us absolutely nothing about the opinion of the Anglicans who sit in the pews week after week and actually make up the core membership of the Church of England, who support it financially and are worshipping and praying in their local parishes as a witnessing community. A staggering 95% of her “Anglicans” don’t actually attend church regularly, if at all. The opinion poll is just a puff piece to support a political agenda and it specifically avoids asking the one key question which might tell us something about what Church attenders actually think on the subject of same-sex marriage.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)

2 Comments
Posted January 30, 2016 at 10:07 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

More members of the Church of England now support same-sex marriage than oppose it, new polling suggests.

The finding, from a YouGov survey of more than 6,000 people, suggests the Church’s leadership, which led a high-profile campaign against a change in the law, is at odds with the majority of Anglicans in England for the first time.

It also points to a sharp fall in opposition to same-sex marriage among those who identify as members of the Church of England since the law changed, echoing a shift in wider society.

Read it all from the Telegraph.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & PartnershipsSociology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted January 30, 2016 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

..It was the GAFCON Primates’ goal and prayer that this meeting would focus on restoring good order and reviving the Anglican Communion in line with the clear teaching of the Bible. Evidence that order was being restored would require suspension of the US Episcopal Church (TEC) and the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) at least until there was repentance and evidence of a change.

What did happen was that the gathering addressed the very narrow issue of TEC and its change of liturgies and the marriage Canon at its most recent General Convention last summer. The decision to discipline TEC finally came to a vote on Thursday. Archbishop Foley has made it clear that, while he chose not to participate in that vote, it was passed by a very large majority. After that, with TEC and the ACoC Primates still fully participating, he and some of the GAFCON Primates absented themselves from the remaining day of the meeting. They felt they could only continue if there was evidence that the Communion was being brought back into Biblical order. The fact that the ACoC was undisciplined and TEC was disciplined in a minor way but was still at the table made it necessary for the GAFCON Primates to leave...

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

0 Comments
Posted January 30, 2016 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

In this post I am not going to add to the discussion about what took place at the meeting of the Anglican Primates a fortnight ago. This topic has already been extensively discussed by a large number of other commentators and I am not sure there is much more to say about it.

What I am going to do in this post is instead to outline what I think are the key issues facing orthodox Anglicans as we move on to the next stage of the life of the Anglican Communion.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

0 Comments
Posted January 30, 2016 at 6:17 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

W. B. Yeats’ 1919 poem, ‘The Second Coming’ , has the memorable line:

Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold.

The media, and many people around the world, thought there would be a split in the Anglican Communion during ‘Primates 2016 ’. This was the meeting of the senior bishops of the 38 provinces, joined by the Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America , from 11th to 15th January at Canterbury Cathedral .

Remarkably, through the grace of God, the humility of the Primates and prayers throughout the world across the traditions of God’s Church, the centre held.

Here we consider seven interweaving themes of the week.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

0 Comments
Posted January 30, 2016 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Most Rev. Justin Welby, the leader of the Anglican Communion, has asserted that the potential presidency of Republican candidate Donald Trump would be "very challenging" and problematic.

Welby made the comments on ITV's "Good Morning Britain" program, when he was asked about his thoughts on Trump's suitability as the next president of the United States and leader of the free world.

"It would certainly be very challenging, wouldn't it?" Welby said, with The Telegraph suggesting that he indicated possible doubts about Trump's presidential campaign.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralOffice of the President* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.England / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology


Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Senior Anglican clergy shared a secret understanding of each other’s attraction to young boys, a royal commission has been told.

The inquiry into the Church of England Boys’ Society being held in Hobart heard evidence on Thursday from the convicted child sexual offender Louis Daniels, 68, a former archdeacon who was one of Tasmania’s top-four church leaders in the early 1990s.

Daniels has since been jailed for pleading guilty to abusing 12 boys.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesViolence* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ


Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves


With thanks to Kevin Kallsen and George Conter at Anglican TV

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

0 Comments
Posted January 28, 2016 at 12:25 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Beards are fashionable again, but the subject of facial hair and the clergy stirs strong emotions. The bearded King Edward VII, in enjoining Archbishop Cosmo Gordon Lang to “stop curates wearing moustaches”, gave voice to the general hostility of the Christian tradition to hair confined to the upper lip; but there the consensus ends.

The discovery that two of the most energetic priests in east London had recently grown beards of an opulence that would not have disgraced a Victorian sage prompted me to look again at the barbate debate throughout Church history. The two priests work in parishes in Tower Hamlets. Most of the residents are Bangladeshi-Sylheti, for whom the wearing of a beard is one of the marks of a holy man. This view is shared among many Eastern cultures, but it was not so for much of the history of the West.

Alexander the Great was clean-shaven, and this was the fashion also in the Roman Republic and early empire, until the reign of the Emperor Hadrian in the second century. Early representations of Christ in Western European art, such as the Hinton St Mary mosaic on display in the British Museum, show the Saviour also clean-shaven, and portrayed as some Classical hero.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineHistoryMenPsychologyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 28, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The theme for this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is Don’t Stand by. It's a call not just to remember, but to act. But in order to act, we must remember. Remembering enables us to see that the Holocaust did not happen suddenly and it did not happen through the acts of a few. It happened through the silent collaboration of the many.

It's never been acceptable to claim that we don’t know because we can’t see. We cannot walk on by on the other side oblivious to the needs of our neighbours.

In the world we inhabit, the searchlight of an active media illuminates the dark recesses of the caricature, simplistic criticism and ridicule that leads inexorably to the dehumanising and degrading treatment of others. History shows clearly that, unopposed, this can lead to violent persecution and genocide.

But we're not called to be passive observers and silent accomplices to discrimination.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryEurope* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsJudaism* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 27, 2016 at 6:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Now, on the surface this might sound like a modest gesture. Not a bit of it. The programme is certainly down to earth and extremely practical, and rightly so. Yet it aims at the heart of some of the deepest, most painful and most intractable problems that families can face, and seeks to help put people on a new footing – a footing that Jesus would recognise as healed and renewed.

When I prayed with the children during their assembly yesterday, I prayed especially for those whose households have serious money problems. Where there are such difficulties, it may lead to a whole range of other problems tightening their grip on a family: substance abuse, domestic violence and marital breakdown, among others.

So the way that money is dealt with is about human flourishing at its deepest level – and it is absolutely right that the church is helping to try and break this cycle before it affects another generation. Meanwhile, on a practical level it makes perfect sense for the Church of England, which is involved in the education of a million children around the country, to be using our particular platform to make this contribution.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchChildrenReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPersonal Finance* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 27, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Happy Consecration Anniversary to you, Bishop Lawrence! January 26, 2008 was a great festival celebration as you became our 14th Bishop of South Carolina--Glory To God!

Posted by Diocese of South Carolina on Tuesday, January 26, 2016




Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchGlobalizationHistoryReligion & Culture* South Carolina* TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted January 26, 2016 at 5:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Same-sex marriage could be a reality within the Anglican Church of Canada by 2019, despite a recent vote by Anglican archbishops to suspend the church’s US branch for consecrating gay weddings.

Anglican priests in Canada took a significant step towards marrying same-sex couples in 2013, when the church’s highest governing body here (the triennial synod) voted to change canon law to allow for gay marriage.

The resolution still needs approval from two more synods in 2016 and 2019 before it can come into effect.

It also includes an opt-out clause for clergy members, bishops, congregations and dioceses opposed to blessing gay marriage.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 26, 2016 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Peers voted by a majority of 92 to amend the Welfare Reform and Work Bill to make ministers report annually on income levels in the poorest families.
The move was spearheaded by the Bishop of Durham, Rt Rev Paul Butler, who argued income-related statistics must be recorded so they could be assessed with other measurements of deprivation.
Ministers say life chances are a better measure of economic outcomes.
The defeat could be overturned when the bill returns to the Commons later this year.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchPovertyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 26, 2016 at 11:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Received by email:
Response to the Meeting of Primates in Canterbury, January 2016
The Anglican Communion Institute - Canada


The Rev’d Canon Dr. Murray Henderson
The Rev’d Canon Dr. Dean Mercer
The Rev’d Dr. Ephraim Radner (Senior Fellow, ACI)
The Rev’d Dr. Catherine Sider-Hamilton


If you drop a penny from your hand to the ground, no one notices. Drop it from the 18th floor, and everyone pays attention. If you shoot an arrow from a distance, and it leaves the bow off only by a fraction, no matter how smooth the shot feels, it will still land far from the target.

On first blush, the statement from the Primates has a minimal and precise character that we come to expect of such statements, but this one above all illustrates the importance of precision and modesty. Upon every reading one sees how hard this unexpected penny might land, with two responsibilities in mind as the Anglican Church of Canada enters its deliberations over a possible change to the marriage canon.

First, the statement marks a renewed commitment to the church as a communion and a family rather than a loose federation, merely “our historical cousin” as one advocate for a federation put it in reference to the Communion. The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada deserves heartfelt thanks for holding the course on this point. His reflection is moving:
“This meeting could have been marked by calls for exclusion of the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church and me. It was not. It could have been marked by walk-outs as some had anticipated. It was not. It could have been marked by ranting and raving. It was not. Instead it was marked by perseverance to remain in dialogue that was frank but respectful. It was marked by a generosity of grace and patience, with one another. It was marked too, by renewed commitments in the consideration of matters of doctrine that could be of a controversial nature, to consult broadly in the seeking of advice and counsel.”

This sense of the value that communion holds for us all, bound as we are by the ties forged in baptism, has protected the Communion from a moment of disintegration, an internal threat of which Canada is keenly aware. Many fear that disintegration already has come to The Episcopal Church in the wake of their divisions and may well be permanent. As the presence and participation of Archbishop Foley Beach made clear (he was invited to vote on the statement, though he abstained), the Anglican Communion in the United States is divided. Already The Episcopal Church no longer speaks alone for Anglicans in that country.

Nothing on this scale has happened yet in Canada, though a wealth of clergy and lay members have left for the Anglican Network In Canada churches. A spirit of cordiality among the Canadian Bishops (and, to be candid, a degree of stealth - it is stealth to declare doctrinal statements non-doctrinal; to bless and appoint as clergy same-sex couples who are civilly married) has kept the Canadian Church from a defining and divisive moment. As well, we are keenly aware of declining resources in the Canadian church as a whole. We can't afford division.

At last count, there are 40 ongoing legal disputes among Anglicans in the United States, with a price tag estimated at between $30 to $60 million. Reconciliation in Canada between ACoC and those churches that have already joined ACNA or ANIC would be hard, but nothing like what will required in the United States if reconciliation is taken up.

Secondly, the Primates aimed for the centre. The church’s tradition on life for the married and single was reaffirmed and therefore, an obligation to reckon with this tradition, for those who dissent. What happens if that obligation is ignored, if "unilateral actions" are taken "on a matter of doctrine without Catholic unity"? Nothing less than the current dysfunction of the church, the reason for which the Archbishop of Canterbury called the meeting.

Has anything been taken from the authority of the provinces? No, but central affirmations about the shared convictions and obligations of the family members remind everyone that this is not the cold competition between Rogers and Bell, but rather the personal and intimate relationship between Fred and Justin and Eliud, a bond which from that level extends to us all.

And from the centre, “consequences” were restated if provinces act independently. In a fashion that is typical of the Anglican church, infused with a spirit of generosity and charity that wins deep and profound loyalty, the statement was issued in terms of consequences, not in terms of discipline or punishment. Those who have raised this challenge have been treated with charityand respect.

There was an ugly alternative hovering over the Primates in that crypt, of party competition, factionalism and fragmentation, the spirit of this age to which we are all subject. This statement, by contrast, was cast in terms of family obligations and the obligations of old and precious ties. If a spirit of prophecy has come to The Episcopal Church, it is only fair for the rest of the Communion to state the truth: that spirit has not spoken to the rest. That spirit, in fact, is contested by the majority. Your arrow has hit and hurt people you are not taking into account.

That is the cost of TEC’s prophetic claims. That is the Scriptural obligation on us all - “let the spirits be tested.”

How will the penny land in Canada?

On the one hand, it’s hard to know what the impact will be or when it will be fully felt. But here are three consequences that immediately come to mind.

First, those who uphold and support the church’s formal teaching, and have done so at no small cost in Canada, have been encouraged and emboldened. They are not alone. However marginalised they may be in their own national church and scorned in their society, they have been encouraged once again to stand firm.

Secondly, the Anglican Church of Canada has before it the option of continuing this debate inside or outside of the boundaries for such a debate in the Communion.

There is a reason for restraint with regard to the marriage canon that all can understand. This question was rushed! The church moved, without reflection or preparation, from blessings to marriage. That is apart from the questionable merits of the Primate’s Commission report itself, “This Holy Estate”, which provided a rationale for the marriage canon to be changed.

In a thorough review, which draws in similar reviews of the formal statements of The Episcopal Church and the Scottish Episcopal Church, Martin Davie, (formerly the Theological Secretary of the Council for Christian Unity of the Church of England and Theological Consultant to the House of Bishops), identifies a clear independent streak. Even apparent allies of a rationale for change - TEC, SEC and the ACoC - are developing rationales on their own. The challenge to the marriage canon is not just the work of dissenters, but of sectarians, too. ("A Church of England perspective on Anglican arguments for same-sex marriage,” by Martin Davie,
www.anglicancommunioninstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Davie_ACI_report-1.pdf)

And should the Anglican Church of Canada proceed independently of the communion, they will have a hand in formalizing the division among Anglicans in Canada. Archbishop Foley Beach and ACNA now speak to Canterbury on behalf of Anglicans in the United States. The impact of this has not yet been measured.

Until now, TEC could claim that they represented American Anglicans to Canterbury. That is now past. And so who does TEC represent? Critics have every reason to say: a declining, self-styled progressive denomination who has taken up the questions around human nature and sexuality along lines that match perfectly current social mores. And standing beside and apart from them is a growing and invigorated body who have faced this same challenge from deep within the tradition of their church and communion and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Canada has, in large part, avoided this division and competition. How the ACoC could proceed with a marriage canon change and maintain their integrity - indeed, their existence - as a single broad church beggars the imagination.

Since Lambeth 1998 and Resolution 1.10 and over these last 18 years, this hard debate has been marked by division, enormous cost, and profound discouragement. But consider the hopeful task set out in the conclusion, this challenge for us all: the “restoration of relationship, the rebuilding of mutual trust, healing the legacy of hurt, recognising the extent of our commonality and exploring our deep differences, ensuring they are held between us in the love and grace ofChrist.”

As we approach General Synod 2016, the Primate’s statement asks us in Canada to be temperate, to be patient and to walk together with our brothers and sisters around the world, to find God's future--the truly prophetic way--in solidarity with the communion and the tradition, and not in the tempting boldness of departure from it.

How hard this penny lands! How deep and good its effects might be.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaEpiscopal Church (TEC)* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

1 Comments
Posted January 26, 2016 at 10:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Would people join? When the idea of a Church Credit Union was first mooted (some eight years ago), the feedback was positive, but would that general level of interest translate into real live members? The answer to that one is ‘yes it has’. It was with great excitement we watched our first applications come through. We operate an online system that sends us an email every time someone joins and it was marvellous to open the mailbox and see twenty new applicants just on the first day and it is rare a day goes by without at least one new member. And yes, we do have a lot of members who are ordained ministers but we also have PCC members, and Elders, and Office staff and a membership that is as diverse as our churches.

The second question was ‘will people save?’ On the 11th February 2015 the credit union had an empty balance sheet but since then 200 people have become Founder Members of the credit union, investing an amazing £910,000 to add to the £386,000 in deferred shares invested by our denominational partners big and small. We also gained 350 regular savers depositing an average of £40 a month into their accounts.

The next step was would people borrow? Not guaranteed in our perceived debt adverse client base. Again since May, credit union loans have purchased 83 cars, two caravans and a motorbike, we have improved seven homes and furnished two others and helped to pay for one wedding. We’ve also walked alongside 11 households in helping to turn unmanageable debt into affordable credit.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPersonal FinanceThe Banking System/Sector* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 26, 2016 at 7:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

We bless you, God of the Universe,
for this land,
for its contrasts of landscape and climate,
for its abundance of wealth and opportunity.
We bless you for our history,
with all its struggles in adversity,
its courage and hope.
Give us in our diversity
tolerance and respect for each other
and a passionate commitment to justice for all.
Bless us so that we might be a blessing to others.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

from Defence Anglicans

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia

0 Comments
Posted January 25, 2016 at 8:57 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

..consider some extremists: A couple of successful, capable, health professionals leaving all the comforts, prosperity, security, and career advancements in Australia to help the desperately sick in an isolated, dangerous, impoverished, dysfunctional society. They have not done it as a short-term stint to help the needy in a crisis but starting in 1972 have continued for over 40 years. Here is a surgeon still working in his 80’s, for there is no other to replace him, amongst the thousands of well remunerated, western surgeons. He is the only surgeon for a couple of million people, building a hospital from nothing. He and his wife have not worked for money or fame but for their ultimate aim “to show the love of God”.

These people are extremists. Their whole life is anything but normal, average, usual or mainstream. They are extremists: Christian extremists. They are not alone. All over the world there are Christian extremists like this: People who have voluntarily given up the great Australian secularist life for something higher, grander, better. Extremists who have sacrificed the materialist dream to serve Christ by serving the poor, marginalised, endangered and sick.

When Muslim extremists kidnapped them, their life came into the public domain...

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia

1 Comments
Posted January 25, 2016 at 8:48 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

A Huntley’s Point grandmother has been awarded an Australia Day OAM for a life of devotion to women and families – at home and abroad – through one of the Anglican Church’s oldest surviving charities.

Huntley’s Point’s Christine Jensen was the President of the Mothers’ Union of Australia (Anglican Diocese of Sydney) from 2008 until 2013 and Patron from 2001 until 2013.

The Mothers Union was founded in by Mary Sumner in 1876 in the Anglican parish of Old Alresford , near Winchester in England to bring mothers of all social classes together, to provide support for them and to train them in motherhood

Mrs Jensen’s Australia Day Award citation further notes she has served as a Council Member of Mothers’ Union Australia as well as a Lay Member, Women’s Ministry Team, Anglican Diocese of Sydney from 2002 until 2007.

She has worked to support the wives of students attending Moore College, Moore Theological College from 1985 until 2001 and the Sydney Diocese Ministry Wives from 2001 until 2013.

Some Anglicans may recognise her as the wife of Sydney Archbishop Peter Jensen (2001-2013) or know her as a powerful public speaker with a strong belief in strengthening families.

Read it all and there is a report from the diocese of Sydney here

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia

0 Comments
Posted January 25, 2016 at 7:35 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



One of the greatest challenges for Christians at the dawn of the 21st century is the power and influence of Islam. As the world’s two great missionary religions, Christianity and Islam are often at odds with one another, and the tension can at times feel palpable. How are we as Christians to respond to the threat and challenge of this growing and energetic religion? What should be the Church’s reaction in light of the Lord’s Great Commission to make disciples of all men? What does the Apostle Paul mean when he reminds believers that “the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds”? Join us this year at Mere Anglicanism as we explore “The Cross and the Crescent: The Gospel and the Challenge of Islam.”

You may find the schedule here and a list of speakers there.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* South Carolina* TheologyApologeticsChristologySeminary / Theological EducationThe Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

5 Comments
Posted January 25, 2016 at 5:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Despite the increasing tension, Bishop Lee is optimistic about the future of the Anglican Communion. "I think the current controversies might well prove to become a breakthrough moment in global understanding and regard for one another," he says.

Lee cites reports from primates who attended the Jan. 11-15 meeting, including a Facebook post from Archbishop Welby which emphasized unity during the tense discussions.

"Despite those differences," Lee says, "two bishops were regarding each other and realizing they were both followers of Jesus Christ. Above and beyond all the disagreements, each trying to work out the implications of their faith in their own context. I think that's extraordinary."

Bishop Lee says the main barrier to resolving this dispute -- and future disputes -- is the human habit of categorizing people according to gender, sexual orientation, race, etc. "As long as those things remain abstractions, it's very easy to speak about who may or may not be in this place or that place," he says. "When they become living realities, when those labels are transformed into living persons standing in front of me, and with whom I have a relationship, that's very, very different."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted January 25, 2016 at 3:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The march itself was barely over before snow began accumulating quickly on every surface in the Washington, DC area. All of the “happy warriors” for Life this year went above and beyond the usual sacrifices they make to come and march because of Snowstorm Jonas, a blizzard of historic proportions.

Among the warriors were dozens of Anglican church members led by the Anglicans for Life ministry along with the Archbishop and a number of other bishops of the Anglican Church in North America.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 25, 2016 at 12:36 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Anglican Church in North America has received numerous questions regarding whether or not Archbishop Beach was “a full voting member of the Primates Meeting.” Archbishop Beach did not consider himself a full voting member of the Primates Meeting, but with the exception of voting on the consequences for the Episcopal Church, Archbishop Beach participated fully in those parts of the meeting that he chose to attend.

Prior to Primates 2016 he was informed that there may be certain times when the Primates would move into a formal meeting, and, as the Anglican Church in North America is not an official member of the Communion’s instruments, he would be asked to step out of the room. However, he was never asked to leave the meeting.

While at the meeting, he addressed the gathering and participated in various balloting measures that set the agenda, ordered the agenda, and sought to discern the way those in the room wanted to proceed. He did not vote on the consequences for The Episcopal Church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 25, 2016 at 9:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon


You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Nigeria* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* South Carolina* TheologyChristologySoteriologyTheology: Scripture

2 Comments
Posted January 25, 2016 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Founded in 2004, in 2010 the diocese of Zonkwa had 81 congregations served by 31 priests and 12 catechists. Yesterday at Adult Sunday School I was able to ask Bishop Jacob Kwashi about the current numbers, which now are: 95 congregations served by 54 priests and 27 evangelists.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Nigeria* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* TheologyChristologySoteriology

0 Comments
Posted January 25, 2016 at 7:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Reform is grateful to God that the Primates have voted so overwhelmingly in favour of affirming two important principles: first, that Anglican doctrine is determined by Scripture and secondly, that marriage is between a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union.

We join with them, once again, in condemning homophobic prejudice and violence and their rejection of criminal sanctions against same-sex attracted people.

We affirm the Statement made by GAFCON yesterday and continue to pray that the Church of England will neither permit the blessing of same-sex unions nor ordain nor licence those in active homosexual relationships.

We continue to pray to our gracious Father for the whole church, “that all they who do confess thy holy Name may agree in the truth of thy holy Word, and live in unity, and godly love.” (Book of Common Prayer).

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

0 Comments
Posted January 24, 2016 at 9:17 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania, Clifton Daniel, echoed this sentiment, suggesting that perhaps it was the role of the Episcopal Church to forge ahead of its more conservative global relations: “Sometimes in family life, members grow and mature at difference paces. I believe this moment in our life is one such instance.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

3 Comments
Posted January 23, 2016 at 3:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Courage...is the indispensable requisite of any true ministry.... If you are afraid of men and a slave to their opinion, go and do something else. Go make shoes to fit them. Go even and paint pictures you know are bad but will suit their bad taste. But do not keep on all of your life preaching sermons which shall not say what God sent you to declare, but what they hire you to say. Be courageous. Be independent.
----Phillips Brooks, Lectures on Preaching, the 1877 Yale Lectures (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1969), p. 59


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryPreaching / Homiletics* TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 23, 2016 at 1:19 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O everlasting God, who didst reveal truth to thy servant Phillips Brooks, and didst so form and mold his mind and heart that he was able to mediate that truth with grace and power: Grant, we pray, that all whom thou dost call to preach the Gospel may steep themselves in thy word, and conform their lives to thy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer

0 Comments
Posted January 23, 2016 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

..observe with me who the winner is, if we want to get all crass about it. Does the Episcopal Church win, as they are in the habit of doing? Not entirely. They don’t lose, really, except some small status. They are functionally the same but now they can call the clarion cry of victimhood and solidarity for the LGBT community and all in the name of the gospel. So, then, does the ACNA win? Um, no. Somehow, after walking away from the damaging lie of heresy, we are now sort of, well, what are we doing? Sitting around with it? Having a voice and a vote? What is the word for that? If you had told me ten years ago that at the end of it all, my Archbishop would be invited to sit with the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church and then the Presiding Bishop would be so “disciplined” that he couldn’t sit on interfaith committees for three years, and that that would somehow constitute a triumph, I would have immediately walked away to become Presbyterian. Oh well, I guess, water on under the bridge. No one can know the future.

Which leads us to the obvious winner. And how masterfully the game was played. Well done, Welby. Observe his triumph. He has achieved ‘unity’. Everyone came and sat down to tea and prayer. He has preserved his own dubious embrace of Same Sex Civil Unions by Parliament in England. Doesn’t anyone remember? Lambeth 1.10 was all about SSBs, was about the unbiblical nature of the defiantly unrepentant embrace of the homosexual relationship and the acts that constitute it. That’s what we’ve all been roiling over for ten freakishly long years. But in four closed off, cell-phone free days, Welby moved the post. It’s not SSB’s, it’s the definition of Marriage. Which lets him out, and Canada. See, God doesn’t care about what people do, he cares what the church calls it.

Third, and, thank goodness, finally, I want to articulate a tiny kernel of hope–a weary hope, but hope none the less. The Anglican Way has never been one of those Christian options that lets the adherent feel any pride. Most people think that we were birthed into the world through a divorce. In reality, the theological richness of our common life was penned by a man who lost his courage. When it came to the point of dying, he said, ‘oh never mind’, but then! Observe God’s grace. He went back to his cell, he was stricken to the heart by the words of the scripture he so loved, and he recanted again. He went to the stake to be burned after all. Most reasonable Christians look at Anglicans and their quiet flirtations with Rome, their archaic use of vestments and language, and think, ‘really’? But for some of us, the Anglican Way has been the way of life. It has been the place where the richness of scripture, the beauty of the liturgy, the discipline and order of the church year, the theological depth of the formularies and prayer book have been that life saving tether described so beautifully by George McDonald. You think you’re lost in the dark, but then, between thumb and finger, you find the thread leading you to the Ancient of Days. In all the fits and starts and sin and loss of courage, of confusion and trouble, God has used his church to accomplish his will in the world, in the lives of ordinary people, to save them from the power of sin and darkness and bring them to the knowledge of his glorious Son.

As the bishops fly home and try to get ready for Sunday, I pray that God will yet have mercy, that he will forgive where forgiveness is needed, that he will strengthen where strength is lacking, and that he will make a way for the whole world, West and South, to proclaim his saving Word.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

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Posted January 23, 2016 at 12:40 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

According to the new legislation that is not yet implemented, Christian preachers in Kenya must hold theological certificates from accredited theological institutions. Religious organizations must also be registered and open to the registrar's inspection. The rules introduce umbrella bodies that will promote self-regulation and require a declaration of sources of income.

"It is with shock and surprise that the government has formulated new rules, that, if implemented, will have direct and negative impact on our evangelization mission," said Philip Anyolo, Chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops. "The constitution of the country draws a very clear line between state and religion and is explicitly clear on the freedom of worship. How then, we ask, does the government purport to regulate how Kenyans worship?"

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Kenya

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Posted January 23, 2016 at 12:24 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesSexualityViolence* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted January 22, 2016 at 4:04 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



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

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


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

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

Posted by The_Elves

..the Select Committee viewed its role in the broadest of terms, as having a remit to discuss a range of issues concerning human sexuality, and lead the Church in being a learning and listening body intent on increasing its understanding of Scripture and sharing the experience of others. Such breadth of vision is still maintained by the Select Committee.

However, within this broad attempt to encompass the sweep of issues that could naturally fall under such an umbrella, including human trafficking for example, the Committee recognised that the ‘presenting issue’ of same–sex attraction needed considerable time and effort at the outset. This is for two reasons. Firstly that the Select Committee would not have been formed but for this issue, and secondly and naturally flowing from that, it, arguably, beyond all others, is what is divisive for the Church and causing most hurt and uncertainty amongst its members.
................
There is another group of people to whom we owe a special degree of gratitude, which cannot be adequately repaid, even by the thankful words of those who heard them, namely, those whose experience of being same–sex attracted and being part of the Church of Ireland was generously and, in many cases, sacrificially opened to us. Their testimony was and is crucial to the production and use of this Guide.
.................
What has been produced in the end is a booklet containing three study sessions. It is my hope, and that of all members of the Select Committee, that should be widely used. They are entitled: ‘The God who Gives’, ‘The God who Guides’ and ‘The God of Grace’. Each session contains different elements and can be used in whole or part. They are consistently biblically based, reflective, engaging and, ultimately, personally challenging. They are both gently leading us to explore and listen, and at the same time to contemplate how we respond to who we are, to one another and to God. The Select Committee commends them for use throughout the Church of Ireland in whatever way seems best for the parish or diocese, youth or other group, individual or shared one–to–one conversation in which they are introduced.

Twelve diocesan representatives have been chosen by their bishops to facilitate their use throughout the Church during the course of the next twelve months. It is to be hoped that at the end of that period, in other words at this time next year, the Select Committee will receive feedback in order to be able to provide General Synod in 2017 with the fruits of the task with for which the Committee was formed and with which it has been entrusted.

Read it all and there is a press release here. The Guide to the Conversation and Executive Summary may be found here

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

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Posted January 22, 2016 at 6:49 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

I must confess that as the time neared for the Primates’ Meeting, I became worried and anxious. The reason for this is that I am convinced that the Anglican Communion is God’s gift and value very much the unity among provinces. And yet I was torn because the unity I value should not be at the expense of the truth. After a lot of prayer, and because of the prayer of many of our friends, I found an outstanding Peace. The Lord spoke to me and reminded me that He is the head of the Church, not me. He has promised that even the gates of Hades will not overcome His Church. I went to Canterbury with this Peace filling my heart, not knowing what was going to happen, but trusting the true head of the Church to enable us to continue to be faithful to Him.

As I reflect now on the Meeting, I have come to the following points...

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

1 Comments
Posted January 22, 2016 at 6:38 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

With all Christians who submit to Biblical authority within the historic Church, Forward in Faith North America rejoices in the recent statement by the Primates of the Anglican Communion in support of marriage defined as a covenant between one man and one woman. Our members within The Episcopal Church, often marginalized or treated as a tolerated minority, are encouraged to hear that our position is upheld by the vast majority of our international leaders. Our members within the Anglican Church in North America welcome both the statement itself, as well as the full inclusion at every level at the meeting of Archbishop Foley Beach. All of our members are heartened by the small step taken in Godly discipline towards those who have acted unilaterally in presuming to redefine Biblical marriage.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

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Posted January 22, 2016 at 6:36 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Members of St. Paul’s Episcopal and Anglican Cathedral on Fifth Avenue learned this week that the congregation’s former dean has been removed from the Episcopal Church’s clergy as discipline for at least one undisclosed offense.

Parishioners received a letter dated Wednesday from San Diego Bishop James R. Mathes informing them of the disciplinary actions against Scott Richardson, 60, who left the cathedral in 2012 to serve as rector at St. Mary the Virgin in San Francisco. He resigned from his position late last month.

Richardson’s wife, Mary Moreno Richardson, who is also a member of the Episcopal Church’s clergy, remains a priest in good standing, according to the church.

“Obviously, this is a grave matter with serious consequences,” Mathes wrote. “Because of Scott’s significant ministry among us, we are all wounded by this.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted January 22, 2016 at 6:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The challenge facing the task group, the body — not yet appointed — whose job it will be to mend the Anglican Communion after last week’s gathering of Primates, was manifest this week as people reacted to the final communiqué from Canterbury.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 22, 2016 at 5:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

You can read more about Jeff there and you can read about St Philip's there.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & Family* South Carolina

2 Comments
Posted January 21, 2016 at 5:56 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It is surprising, then, that the whimper [from the 2016 Primates Gathering] has occasioned such a hue and cry. On Thursday the Labour shadow cabinet minister and former Anglican priest, Chris Bryant, declared he had left the Church of England for good. The Church’s decision will one day ‘seem [as] wrong as supporting slavery’ he tweeted. On Saturday the Times published a full-blown invective. The Church has no right, the editorial claimed, to maintain its traditional doctrine of marriage.

The outcry is indicative of a profound shift. Institutions founded on certain precepts to which its members are expected to subscribe shouldn’t be allowed to act on them if those precepts don’t square with a prevailing agenda. Back in 2013 advocates for same-sex marriage argued that the church’s beliefs about sexuality shouldn’t be imposed on the rest of society. That makes sense. But now the church is being told it shouldn’t hold those beliefs at all.

It is easy to overlook how ominous this shift really is. The conviction that organisations and communities cannot determine their own distinct ethos, their own rules for membership and their own criteria for leadership imperils the very survival of a pluralistic society. What is the point of institutions if they don’t have the freedom to organise themselves in the way they see fit?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 21, 2016 at 3:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The positive part of the Primate’s declaration is that they unanimously expressed a desire to continue to walk in partnership, joined in Christ in mission and ministry. In my perspective, however, the Primate’s decision to censure The Episcopal Church compounds the pain of discrimination that LGBTQ people have suffered over the centuries and continue to suffer as a result of Church policy. For that pain I am deeply sorry, and as a Bishop of the Church I apologize to all LGBTQ people, especially those of this Diocese.

Discipleship can be costly and sometimes, although we do not want it to be so, relationships are strained as part of that cost. People who love God can honestly disagree on weighty matters, and it is my desire to respect and remain in relationship with those who disagree with me. It is my belief, however, that as I read Scripture, understand the teaching of Jesus, examine the history of the Church, and apply God’s gift of human reason seeking the Spirit’s direction, that the actions of The Episcopal Church moving toward full inclusion of LGBTQ people are of God. The Spirit is calling us to stand by our carefully and prayerfully made decisions.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops

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Posted January 21, 2016 at 10:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bishop Curry was asked directly whether he would contest these “consequences” at the next meeting of the ACC in April. On Wednesday, he would say only: “The ACC is the only formal constitutional body of the Anglican Communion and it will decide what it will do. Our representatives from the Episcopal Church look forward to being there.”

Earlier this week, a prominent canon lawyer, Professor Norman Doe, state that the Primates’ ruling was not binding.... He described it as “completely unacceptable interference with the autonomy of each of these bodies as they transact their own business”.

The ACC is due to meet in Zambia in April. Two US members, the Bishop of Connecticut, the Rt Revd Ian Douglas, and the Revd Gay Clark Jennings, have confirmed that they will attend. Bishop Douglas is also a member of the ACC’s standing committee, and would therefore have to stand down if the ACC chooses to comply with the Primates’ wishes.

In the past, members of the ACC have criticised the Primates for overstepping their remit. In 2006, after the Primates asked the US Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada to voluntarily withdraw their representatives from the ACC, the organisation’s then chairman, the Rt Revd John Paterson, criticised the move as “at least slightly premature, if not coercive and somewhat punitive”....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican Consultative CouncilAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)

9 Comments
Posted January 21, 2016 at 9:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Last week the Primates of the Anglican Communion gathered in Canterbury for a week of prayer and discussion. You might well have been following the events in the media. I want to share some thoughts of my own here about what took place last week – which was without doubt one of the most extraordinary weeks I have ever experienced.

The first thing to say is that the week was completely rooted in prayer. The Community of St Anselm – the international young Christian community based at Lambeth Palace – took up residence in Canterbury Cathedral and prayed all day every day for the Primates as we talked together. As Primates we joined with all who gathered for Morning Prayer, Eucharist and Evensong in the Cathedral each day. And meanwhile thousands – perhaps millions – of Anglicans and others in the Christian family around the world prayed in churches and posted prayers on social media. I want to thank everyone who prayed last week. We felt it and we appreciated it deeply.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Commentary- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* TheologyChristologyEcclesiology

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Posted January 21, 2016 at 6:17 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The most significant outcome of that first GAFCON meeting was the invitation extended to conservative Anglicans in North America to form an alternative province: the Anglican Church in North America. The rending of the Communion through the disobedience of Communion liberals had occurred, and the final steps envisioned in To Mend the Net--the suspension of communion and the establishment of a new, alternative province--had become a reality.

In retrospect, the tragedy of this history can more clearly be seen: the painful departure of thousands of North American Anglicans from their church homes, countless millions of dollars spent in litigation. All of this might have been avoided if the three Archbishops of Canterbury under whose watches all this has occurred had provided faithful, godly, unequivocal leadership.

But there is an even greater tragedy: "For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? (1 Corinthians 14:8). Of the three great streams of apostolic Christianity--Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Anglicanism--two stand unequivocally for historic Christian faith and morals. Only Anglicanism has equivocated at the highest level.

The churches of formerly mainline Protestantism have embraced the zeitgeist. Too many Anglican leaders have chosen the path of mainline Protestantism rather than biblical, apostolic, and catholic faithfulness. And damage has been done to countless souls through the ambiguous or downright immoral witness of these Anglican leaders and church bodies.

Many count it a sign of God's grace that, in this week's meeting of the primates in Canterbury, the GAFCON and Global South primates have finally taken an effective stand to restore godly order and discipline to the Anglican Communion. This is a first step--a baby step--that, though it goes in the right direction, does not go nearly far enough. Will this first step ultimately lead to the restoration of the Anglican Communion to historic Christian faith and morals? For that to happen a lot of hearts will have to be changed.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby--Rowan WilliamsAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Departing Parishes* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted January 21, 2016 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Last week in Canterbury, though many people were amazed that there were finally some consequences for the Episcopal Church, others were disappointed that the consequences were not more stringent. Certainly, after all the years of flouting Scripture, there is ample reason to be disgusted. Certainly, as more than a dozen Provinces recognized, there was ample reason to eject TEC from the Communion. Unable to win the day on the resolution for ejection, they moved to other expressions of discipline, focusing narrowly on last summer’s TEC General Convention decision to change the marriage canon and prayer book to embrace same-sex marriage. The focus turned to what was essentially described as a failure to consult and a decision to move outside institutional norms. There should not be, however, concern about institutional norms and practice. The greatest offense is that the Episcopal Church is engaging in activities that lead people away from Christ eternally. In other words, the Episcopal Church, rather than being the Ark of Salvation, is the instrument bringing spiritual destruction to people it is literally leading away from Christ and into Hell. Although they are more strident than some other Provinces, there are others doing the same thing. Soon, the focus of discipline needs to be on them as well. Canada is a great place to start the next round!

This Primates’ “Gathering” in Canterbury was the first one to gather a majority of the Primates in years. The reason is that since the Primates’ Meeting in Dar es Salaam in 2007, a deadline was put to the Episcopal Church to return to Anglican faith and practice or “walk apart.” Sadly, following the meeting, the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, unilaterally decided to overturn the hard-fought decision of the meeting and let the Episcopal Church completely off the hook. There is no way to describe gracefully what ABp Williams did. He simply unilaterally decided to declare that the deadline for conforming that had been given to TEC was “not a deadline.” Even worse, he invited errant TEC bishops to the 2008 Lambeth Bishops’ Conference, completely taking the teeth out of what the Primates had decided. From that point, it has not been possible to gather the majority of Primates because the Dar es Salaam decision had not been honored. Many Primates said that they would not attend until the Dar es Salaam decisions were implemented.

The new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, was able to get Primates to come by insuring them that they would have control of the agenda. That is an assurance that several of the Primates I spoke with believe was honored at this gathering. The Archbishops wanted to discuss TEC, and they got to. Sadly, the resolution to completely eject TEC from the Anglican Communion failed, but almost half the Provinces were willing to give them the boot. Though the ejection resolution failed to pass, it was obvious though that the vast majority of Provinces wanted to see TEC disciplined. After lively discussions, the sanctions that were put in place were overwhelmingly approved. I understand that the numbers were 27 voting for sanctions, 3 against, and 6 abstaining. ABp Foley Beach of the Anglican Church in North America refused a ballot on the TEC vote, saying that although he had been completely included in the meeting and all the other votes that took place while he was present, he did not think it was appropriate to vote on TEC, because the ACNA’s status has not yet been formalized.

Now the question is: Were the sanctions enough? The answer is another question: Enough for what? From a spiritual standpoint, both the Anglican Church of Canada and The Episcopal Church (as well as several others) having pursued unbiblical activity without repentance deserve to be ejected from the Communion—at least until they repent and demonstrate suitable fruits of repentance. Is it enough that they have been denied voice and vote in some areas? I believe that it is extremely significant and sets the stage for more to happen with TEC and other Provinces.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby--Rowan WilliamsAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Primates Mtg Dar es Salaam, Feb 2007Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Episcopal Church (TEC)* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologySoteriologyTheology: Scripture

1 Comments
Posted January 20, 2016 at 4:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Many media reports at the time of Archbishop Welby’s announcement suggested that his intention was to replace the communion relationship of the provinces with a much looser federal relationship in which member churches relate to Canterbury, but not necessarily to one another. The various provinces, these reports claimed, would keep the name “Anglican” but without any attempt to maintain common discipline or doctrine. Such a radical reorientation of Anglican ecclesiology would be a considerable blow to Anglican-Catholic ecumenical relations which have been predicated on the basis of a shared communion ecclesiology. However, Lambeth Palace has strongly rebutted such claims, insisting that no such abandonment of its Communion structures is intended, but rather the aim is to strengthen those structures by reappraising them and encouraging those who are currently disenfranchised to find their voice and be unafraid to offer critique.

At time of writing, the Primates’ Meeting has not yet concluded, however it is possible to make a few observations about the meeting. Firstly, Archbishop Welby has always maintained that he wants the Primates as a group to call the next Lambeth Conference, the ten-yearly meeting of all Anglican Bishops from around the world. All the indications are that the next Lambeth Conference will be announced, though mostly likely scheduled for 2020 rather than 2018, and this announcement in itself will be a strong signal of the primates’ continued desire to work for the unity of the Communion.

Secondly, while the Archbishop cannot sanction the North American provinces, he will be working strenuously to deepen the bonds of communion with those provinces which have been most scandalised by their recent decisions. The strongest protest to the North American provinces comes from those affiliated to GAFCon, a grouping that takes its name from the Global Anglican Future Conference held in Jerusalem immediately before the last Lambeth Conference in 2008. A number of the primates who will attend the January 2016 meeting are members of GAFCon, and claim to represent the majority of the world’s Anglicans. One GAFCon primate, Archbishop Stanley Ntagali of Uganda has already warned that he will not continue to participate in the meetings unless “godly order” is restored. GAFCon claims not to be in communion with the Anglican provinces of North America, supporting instead a breakaway group called the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA). In a strong indication of Archbishop Welby’s intention to reach out to GAFCon, he has invited ACNA’s Archbishop, the Rt Rev Foley Beach, to attend some of the Primates’ Meeting as an observer. Moreover, the Archbishop has worked hard at establishing strong personal relationships with many of these primates, which he hopes will help to avoid a rift.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyChristologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 20, 2016 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rev Canon John Cockerton, who has died aged 88, spent the final 17 years of his ministry as rector of two rural parishes in Yorkshire; earlier he had been a notable principal of St John’s College, Durham, and played a significant part in the training of the Church of England’s clergy.
Although firmly rooted in the evangelical tradition, he exemplified an older approach that emphasised its scholarly rather than its present charismatic element. His students were trained to face the intellectual challenges to faith in the modern world and to encourage their future parishioners and others to appreciate its truth.
At the same time they were encouraged to stimulate congregations to think about world problems and consider the importance of vocation in the workplace – all in the context of independent thought as well as commitment to the Christian position. It was a sound and valued preparation for effective ministry in an increasingly secularised society.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsMinistry of the Ordained* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

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Posted January 20, 2016 at 3:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

THE communiqué issued by the Primates in Canterbury last week does not bind anyone, because the Primates’ meeting has no jurisdiction, a canon lawyer said this week. It represented “completely unacceptable interference” with the autonomy of the bodies to whom it had issued requirements.

“I find it utterly extraordinary,” the director of the Centre for Law and Religion at Cardiff University, Professor Norman Doe, said on Tuesday. “No instrument exists conferring upon the Primates’ meeting the jurisdiction to ‘require’ these things. . . Whatever they require is unenforceable.”

The communiqué states that the Primates are “requiring that, for a period of three years, the Episcopal Church [in the United States] no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies; should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee; and that, while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision-making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity”.

Professor Doe confirmed: “The decision will not bind anyone — not the Episcopal Church. There is no question of that.” It was for the bodies referred to in the communiqué to determine what, if any, consequences the Episcopal Church should face, he said.

The communiqué constituted “completely unacceptable interference with the autonomy of each of these bodies as they transact their own business”. It was “absolute nonsense” to suggest that an ecumenical body such as the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), or an Anglican body such as the Anglican Consultative Council, be bound by a decision made by the Primates’ meeting.

The Anglican Consultative Council is the only instrument of the Communion with a written constitution. Professor Doe suggested, however, that, in the light of the communiqué, the Archbishop of Canterbury could feel “bound” not to invite the Episcopal Church to the Lambeth Conference.

The events of the past week highlighted the consequences of the Communion’s failure to adopt the Anglican Covenant, Professor Doe suggested. He spoke as a member of the Lambeth Commission, which had proposed the Covenant and helped to draft it.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

12 Comments
Posted January 20, 2016 at 9:19 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It is unfortunate that a majority of the Primates of the Anglican Communion have told The Episcopal Church to go “sit in the corner.” Regardless, we are still sisters and brothers in Christ with all people in the Anglican Communion, and more importantly sisters and brothers in Jesus. That will never change. Never.

We hope, pray, and trust that the leadership of the Anglican Communion, as well as the leadership of all of God’s people will now devote their resources, energy, and action to combat the true evils of injustice, poverty, suffering, degradation of creation, violence, and discrimination in our broken world.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops

5 Comments
Posted January 20, 2016 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted January 20, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture

0 Comments
Posted January 20, 2016 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The pain is palpable at St. Mary's Episcopal Church. The Rev. Ted Berktold doesn't need a tearful 75-year-old woman in his cluttered, book-filled office to tell him that. "This is not personal," she says, "but the Episcopal Church is no longer my church."

"My church is leaving me," another elderly congregant tells someone on the staff....

Other challenges will come first: The Anglican Communion's October 2004 Windsor Report calls on the Episcopal Church USA to halt the blessing of same-sex unions, block the potential consecration of openly gay clergy and express its regret for the pain caused by the Robinson consecration. The report is fueling rumors of an official split between the Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church USA.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Conflicts* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilySexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 20, 2016 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the end, the 80 journalists and 15 TV crews who gathered for the final press conference looked for winners and losers.
In reality, though, we were all losers – because we are still fractured, broken, still inclined to mistrust.
But we are committed to staying with each other.
We are committed to walking together, to trying to see through each other’s eyes, to stepping into each other’s worlds, and to keeping on keeping on until mutual understanding grows.
In simplest terms, I think we learned that we are all of us interdependent, and that we need each other. And when we put the needs of our most marginalised brothers and sisters first we can see this more clearly.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia

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Posted January 20, 2016 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I have read the communiqué from their weeklong meeting, and I believe it is important to hear what they have to say in its entirety. First of all, the Primates have voted to exclude the Episcopal Church from the councils of international Anglicanism for a three-year period, during which time there will be continued conversation. This results from the fact that the Primates do not perceive the introduction of same-sex marriage in TEC as a legitimate development of the faith. At the same time, it is important to bear in mind that the goal of the meeting was to maintain the unity of the communion to the extent possible in light of strong differences.

The Primates have also made a number of other important points: they all share a desire to ‘walk together’, as the Windsor Report put it. They have all decried homophobia and laws that discriminate against gay people. They have joined hands on other matters of concern to our world, such as political corruption and ecological degradation. On these matters we strongly applaud their commitments. At the same time, I think it is fair to say that the status of the ACNA was left aside. They were not recognized at this meeting, and their Archbishop wisely did not vote to discipline our church.

Someone called me today and asked ‘Are we still part of the Anglican Communion?’ Constitutionally, we define this in Dallas as communion with the see of Canterbury, and by this measure the answer is an unequivocal ‘Yes.’ However the decision of this past week is, while not surprising, saddening and disquieting. The wound in our communion is real.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Commentary- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops

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Posted January 20, 2016 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

An overwhelming majority of the Primates present voted that TEC should be excluded from all meetings which represent the Anglican Communion and that it should be suspended from internal decision-making bodies, initially for three years.

The GAFCON Primates, of whom I am chairman, worked hard with other orthodox Primates to achieve this result despite predictions by many that the meeting would be carefully managed to prevent any firm conclusions emerging.

TEC is not the only province to reject the bible’s teaching and there is still much work to do to heal the wounds that compromise and false teaching have inflicted upon the Anglican Communion, but a start has been made.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesAnglican Church of KenyaGlobal South Churches & Primates* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 19, 2016 at 4:19 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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