Posted by Kendall Harmon

There’s a musical stramash going on within the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland.

In popular parlance it has been described as a battle between the “post-Vatican II hippies and the right-wing traditionalists”.

More seriously, it’s about the difference between respecting, protecting and reinterpreting the centuries’ old tradition of people-friendly Gregorian Chant within the context of congregational participation in the liturgical mass, and the banal sentimental dirges that have infested Sunday worship in most Catholic churches since the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s told its churches to open up to the modern world.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

4 Comments
Posted March 9, 2014 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

God whose strength bears us up as on mighty wings: We rejoice in remembering thy athlete and missionary, Eric Liddell, to whom thou didst bestow courage and resolution in contest and in captivity; and we pray that we also may run with endurance the race that is set before us and persevere in patient witness, until we wear that crown of victory won for us by Jesus our Savior; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryMissionsSpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

1 Comments
Posted February 22, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

William Crawley speaks to Father Jim Thomson, Chaplain to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in the aftermath of the Police Helicopter crash in Glasgow.

Reverend Andrew Symes, Executive Secretary of Anglican Mainstream and Savi Hensman, Vice Chair of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement discuss the Pilling Report recommendations on same sex blessings with William.

Bruce Douglas reports from Brazil on why the country is seeing a decline in Catholicism and Afro-Brazilian religions.

Consider listening to it all (click on the "Listen now" icon in the left middle of the picture.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

0 Comments
Posted December 2, 2013 at 3:55 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is preparing a “ten-year plan” to put payday lenders such as Wonga out of business.

A Church of England task force will, in collaboration with the Church of Scotland, make church buildings available to credit unions and recruit expert churchgoers as volunteers to help to run them. A leading financier is to meet the archbishop this week on whether he would lead the task force, which will include academics who, it is hoped, will produce a radical new theology of finance.

Read it all (subscription required).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingPersonal FinanceThe Banking System/Sector* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesPresbyterian* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 1, 2013 at 6:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almost a tenth of children are given a mobile phone before age five, new research shows.

A uSwitch.com report found the average child gets their first mobile aged 11 years and eight months – soon after starting secondary school. But more than a million received a phone before they started primary school.

Parents claim they need to give their child a phone as security in case of emergencies and to give themselves peace of mind. However a children’s organisation warned giving a child their own phone could encourage them to become sedentary, wasting time in front of screens browsing social networks, rather than being active at play.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

0 Comments
Posted August 23, 2013 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Breakfast with the Mickelsons isn't like ours.

What we say during Sunday breakfast: "Pass the flapjacks, will ya?"

What Phil Mickelson says during Sunday breakfast: "I'm gonna go out and get a Claret Jug today."

What his wife Amy is thinking as her husband says he's going to win the Open Championship: He's five back and it's soooooo hard.....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMenSports* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

1 Comments
Posted July 22, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Scottish funeral director has embraced eco-friendly burials - by offering woollen coffins as an alternative to the traditional casket.

Inverness-based John Fraser & Son have claimed there is a growing demand for the environmentally-friendly caskets, which can support a person weighing up to 42 stone.

Available in white or brown, the coffins feature a personalised name plate, and a biodegradable waterproof base.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

3 Comments
Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

More equality, less diversity and no justice – that’s where our bold, independent, socially-concerned Scotland is headed. No other conclusion can be drawn from the decision of the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) that the St Margaret’s Children and Family Care Society fails the charity test because it unlawfully discriminates against same-sex couples.

Not that any discrimination has taken place. No same-sex couple has been turned away for adoption for the simple reason that no homosexual couple has sought to make use of the society’s services. Sensibly, such couples recognise the society’s adherence to the traditional Catholic principles of marriage and seek advice from the many other organisations happy to deal with their inquiries. This is a hypothetical case arising from a complaint, not from the gay lobby, but from secularists pursing an agenda to remove any vestiges of religious belief from public life.

Does the raising of children by same-sex couples produce equal outcomes for the children as the traditional heterosexual environment is a question that has long been claimed as being settled in favour of those who see no distinction between the two. Tim Hopkins, of the Equality Network, who this week agreed that the interests of children must come first, went on to argue that “research evidence shows clearly that children do as well with same-sex parents as they do with mixed-sex parents”. He might like to update his reading. Recent work by social scientists, such as American Mark Regnerus, throws doubt on this conclusion.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

0 Comments
Posted June 14, 2013 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of Scotland was last night bracing itself for the departure of up to a dozen well-heeled congregations over the issue of the ordination of gay ministers.
Three new congregations have indicated that they will quit the Kirk in the first signs of division to emerge since the vote to allow gay ministers.
New Restalrig Parish Church, St Catherine’s Argyle Parish Church and Holyrood Abbey Church in Edinburgh are in the process of negotiating a depart

Read it all (subscription required).

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesPresbyterianSexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted June 13, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I am not looking for the Free Church to expand at the cost of another denomination. But I do hope that when that denomination forfeits the right to be known as a church of Christ, you will know that there is a brotherly love, concern and welcome for you in this denomination.”
--The Rev Iain D. Campbell, convenor of the Free Church of Scotland’s Ecumenical Relations Committee, in an article in the London Times [in reference to the Church of Scotland] (subscription required).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesPresbyterianSexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted June 7, 2013 at 11:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Yet, there is a dark and deeply troubling side to the web. The very unshackled freedom of expression and communication – the revolutionary, even noble, principles on which it was founded – has allowed a despicable underworld of sickening pornography and violent depravity to grow up virtually unregulated.

Those who take an extreme libertarian view would say that this downside of the web, while unpleasant, is a price worth paying for the enormous freedoms the internet brings all of us. However, such an argument cannot be sustained when viewed in the light of heinous murder cases, including, most recently, that of schoolgirl April Jones. Police officers found that Mark Bridger, who murdered five-year-old April, had numerous indecent images on his computer He had also views violent sexual scenes. There is a pattern here. Stuart Hazell, who killed 12-year-old Tia Sharp, regularly downloaded child abuse images on his mobile phone. And such cases do not only involve children. Jane Longhurst was 31 when she was murdered by extreme-pornography obsessive Graham Coutts.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetPornographySexualityViolence* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

1 Comments
Posted June 2, 2013 at 12:48 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Right Reverend Lorna Hood, said: "This is a massive vote for the peace and unity of the Church."

The Kirk said that after a "full but gracious debate" it affirmed its current doctrine and practice in relation to human sexuality but moved to permit sessions wishing to depart from the traditional position to do so.

Mrs Hood added: "This was a major breakthrough for the Church but we are conscious that some people remain pained, anxious, worried and hurt. We continue to pray for the peace and unity of the Church."

Read it all and make sure to read Robert Piggott's comments alongside also.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesPresbyterian* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Salvation (Soteriology)

3 Comments
Posted May 30, 2013 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

‘There is not going to be a great schism.” The Rev Lorna Hood is sitting on a sofa in the drawing room of an elegant town house in Rothesay Terrace, the official home of the Moderator of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh.

With one sharp sentence she has fired a tranquiliser dart into the pink elephant in the room.

Officially, there is still a moratorium on discussing whether the Church of Scotland should ordain practising gay ministers but next Monday’s debate and vote at the General Assembly is set to be the most divisive the Church has faced since the Disruption of 1843 when a predecessor as moderator, Dr David Welsh, walked out with 450 ministers and founded the Free Church of Scotland. There has been suggestions that, once again, ministers are strapping on their hiking boots.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesPresbyterian* TheologyAnthropologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

2 Comments
Posted May 17, 2013 at 4:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has urged evangelical congregations within the Church of Scotland not to “walk away” over the ordination of [noncelibate] gay ministers.

Speaking on the eve of a visit to Scotland as the new chairman of Christian Aid, Williams said he understood some congregations might threaten to break away if the Kirk’s ­General Assembly votes to allow the ordination of gay ministers later this month, but warned against such a divisive move.

“The impulse to walk away, while deeply understandable, is not a very constructive one,” he said. “The things which bind Christians together are almost always more profound and significant for themselves and the world than the things that divide them. When you do walk away from other Christians you are in effect saying well, either I can do without you or I’ve got nothing to learn from you. That can’t be good for us. You may disagree, you may think somebody else is tacitly perverse, but you might want to hang in there with them.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesPresbyterian* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

5 Comments
Posted May 7, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Church of England minister will make history this weekend when he becomes the head of a Free Church of Scotland congregation in St Andrews.

The Rev Paul Clarke has been appointed to a three-year placement with St Andrews Free Church, whose congregation has been without a minister since 2012.

Mr Clarke, widely regarded in Anglican circles as one of its most promising preachers, previously served at one of the biggest congregations in England – St Helen’s Bishopsgate in inner city London.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesPresbyterian

0 Comments
Posted April 26, 2013 at 3:29 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Scotland's first purpose-built Sikh temple is preparing to open in Glasgow this weekend.

The £4m Gurdwara includes a prayer hall, language school and kitchen, which aims to provide free vegetarian meals to thousands of people every week.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

0 Comments
Posted April 25, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“Last week’s article on falling patterns of membership and church attendance in Scotland’s churches gave the other side of other story. Secularisation is merciless in its effect on churches. It will erode to vanishing point churches which operate in traditional ways and cannot adapt. It challenges the mindset of ‘as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be.’ But I believe that secularisation also presents a positive challenge for churches. It encourages us to develop church communities of new quality - disciples who are deeply engaged with their faith and not just of members who belong. It will be good for churches and good for faith.

“Let me surprise you first by saying that I am a supporter of secular society. My family roots are in the beginnings of what has become the Irish Republic. In the early years of the last century, Ireland was what some have called a confessional or theocratic state. The Catholic Church exercised an undue influence on the way in which government approached matters of social and moral legislation. The modern secular state is a safer place - it allows space for a proper separation of legislature, judiciary and church. In my view, there is then room for a proper relationship between church and state. The state should be the guardian and protector of religious freedom but it should not defer to religion.

“Last week’s article treated secularisation as if it was a single phenomenon. But it’s much more subtle and complex than that. It is actually a sort of ‘double whammy’ - let me explain what I mean.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesScottish Episcopal Church* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsSecularism

3 Comments
Posted April 17, 2013 at 7:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Lord God Almighty, whose blessed Son our Saviour Jesus Christ did on the third day rise triumphant over death: Raise us, we beseech thee, from the death of sin unto the life of righteousness, that we may seek those things which are above, where he sitteth on thy right hand in glory; and this we beg for the sake of the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

--the Scottish Book of Common Prayer

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEasterSpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

0 Comments
Posted April 2, 2013 at 5:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

God whose strength bears us up as on mighty wings: We rejoice in remembering thy athlete and missionary, Eric Liddell, to whom thou didst bestow courage and resolution in contest and in captivity; and we pray that we also may run with endurance the race that is set before us and persevere in patient witness, until we wear that crown of victory won for us by Jesus our Savior; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchSports* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

0 Comments
Posted February 22, 2013 at 6:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A church in Aberdeen wants to break away from the Church of Scotland because of the institution's decision to lift its ban on appointing gay ministers.

Reverend Dominic Smart said elders at Gilcomston South Church in Aberdeen, pictured, disagreed with the General Assembly's resolution, feeling it had "marginalised" the Bible.

He insisted the assembly's May decision on same-sex partnerships represented a "clear and deliberate move away from the authority of scripture".

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesPresbyterianSexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

2 Comments
Posted February 11, 2013 at 11:14 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Glasgow congregation which is leaving the Church of Scotland because of the Kirk’s stance on [non-celibate] gay ministers held its last service in its building yesterday.

The pews of St George’s Tron in Buchanan Street were busy as 500 worshippers came to hear its minister, the Rev Dr Willie Philip, deliver the final sermon.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Philip said that church members had been frustrated by the way matter had been handled by the Kirk....

Read it all.

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted December 13, 2012 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who didst call thy servant Margaret to an earthly throne that she might advance thy heavenly kingdom, and didst give her zeal for thy church and love for thy people: Mercifully grant that we who commemorate her this day may be fruitful in good works, and attain to the glorious crown of thy saints; though Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

0 Comments
Posted November 16, 2012 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Scotland's Roman Catholic leader - Cardinal Keith O'Brien - has suspended direct communication with the Scottish government on gay marriage.

The move is in protest at the Scottish government's support for the introduction of same-sex marriages.

The cardinal has turned down an invitation to discuss the issue, leaving any talks to officials.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

1 Comments
Posted August 22, 2012 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Cardinal Keith O’Brien has written to Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warning her that she risks destroying religious liberty in Scotland by insisting upon legalising same-sex ‘marriage.’

The cardinal’s letter notes the bishops of Scotland are ‘deeply disappointed’ that the Scottish Government decided to proceed with its plans to re-define marriage two weeks ago ‘especially because the government simply ignored its own consultation.’

That consultation ‘returned a result of two to one against the redefinition of marriage, showing quite emphatically that there was little will for the legalisation of same-sex ‘marriage’ among those who responded to the consultation,” the cardinal writes.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

0 Comments
Posted August 15, 2012 at 5:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Scotland has announced it will allow same-sex weddings as early as 2015, becoming the first country in the United Kingdom to do so.

“We are committed to a Scotland that is fair and equal, and that is why we intend to proceed with plans to allow same sex marriage and religious ceremonies for civil partnerships,” said Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who made the announcement on Wednesday (July 25).

The Church of Scotland and the Roman Catholic Church were against the move, but gay-friendly Christian groups said they were “relieved” by the announcement.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

3 Comments
Posted July 30, 2012 at 6:04 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who by the preaching of thy blessed servant Columba didst cause the light of the Gospel to shine in Scotland: Grant, we beseech thee, that, having his life and labors in remembrance, we may show forth our thankfulness to thee by following the example of his zeal and patience; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

0 Comments
Posted June 9, 2012 at 8:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Richard] Holloway’s powerful account [in His book Leaving Alexandria] mirrors the progressive loss of belief which we see across Britain and Europe today, and it comes hard on the heels of Alain de Botton’s latest book Religion for Atheists, which advertises itself with the question “Even if religion isn’t true, can’t we enjoy the best bits?” It assumes that the supernatural claims of religion are false, but suggests that we hang on to the communal ritual and cultural elements. Holloway makes a similar plea when he says “I don’t any longer believe in religion but I want it around, less sure of itself and purged of everything except the miracle of pity”.

These books leave me with the question: Does this work? Can you have the gilt without the gingerbread? Isn’t there something fundamentally dishonest about those wistful atheists who have taken leave of God and who yet continue to use theological concepts and cling on to religious practices?

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesScottish Episcopal Church* Culture-WatchBooksReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsAtheismSecularism

5 Comments
Posted May 7, 2012 at 3:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Watch it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalGlobal South Churches & PrimatesFCA Meeting in London April 2012* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther Churches

0 Comments
Posted April 26, 2012 at 7:25 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Watch it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

2 Comments
Posted January 24, 2012 at 7:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Britain's most senior civil servant Sir Gus O’Donnell has publicly questioned whether the United Kingdom will still exist in a few years’ time.

Writing in The Telegraph, Sir Gus O’Donnell asks whether the Union can survive increasing pressure for Scottish independence.

Sir Gus, who is the head of more than 440,000 civil servants in England, Scotland and Wales, says the future of the Union is one of several “enormous challenges” facing the political establishment in the coming years.

Read it all and follow the link to the full op-ed piece also.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

18 Comments
Posted December 21, 2011 at 4:25 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of Scotland said it could not agree with a change in the law to allow same-sex weddings, arguing that it would fundamentally alter the understanding of marriage in Scotland as the union of one man with one woman....

“The Church of Scotland is concerned about the speed with which the Scottish Government is proceeding on this issue, and believes that the debate has so far been patchy, undeveloped and exclusive of both ordinary people and the religious community,” the church said.

“The government states that the purpose of this proposal to redefine marriage is to accommodate the wishes of some same-sex couples. The Church believes that much more measured consideration is required before the understanding of marriage, which is entrenched and valued within the culture of Scotland, both secular and religious, is surrendered to accommodate this wish.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesPresbyterian

1 Comments
Posted December 2, 2011 at 6:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

An Edinburgh church hall is to stage a “practical euthanasia workshop” hosted by the Australian physician who first helped a terminally ill patient to die legally by lethal injection.

Philip Nitschke, director of Exit International, will use his visit to publicise “newly developed, reliable, DIY end-of-life strategies that do not require travel to Switzerland”.

His event in Edinburgh has already attracted the condemnation of faith groups. The Rev Ian Galloway, convenor of the Church of Scotland’s church and society council, accused Exit of “demeaning our common humanity” by reducing the conversation about life and death to a workshop.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

2 Comments
Posted November 18, 2011 at 5:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who didst call thy servant Margaret to an earthly throne that she might advance thy heavenly kingdom, and didst give her zeal for thy church and love for thy people: Mercifully grant that we who commemorate her this day may be fruitful in good works, and attain to the glorious crown of thy saints; though Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

0 Comments
Posted November 16, 2011 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The four gospels stand magisterially at the head of the canon and the centre of early Christianity. They are remarkable documents. If they had been lost for centuries, and then dug up last year in the sands of Egypt, they would be hailed as among the most extraordinary writings from antiquity. Despite the occasional efforts to push them out of their central position and substitute other documents, whether actually existing (such as the wrongly named Gospel of Thomas) or reconstructed (such as the hypothetical document ‘Q’), the majority of scholars still believe, rightly in my view, that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John deserve their place. The fact that they are well known should not blind us to their remarkable blend of page-turning narrative, vivid portraiture (especially of their central figure), historical verisimilitude and sophisticated theology.

And yet. Reversing what St Paul says about himself, the gospels, though well known at one level, are unknown at another. An oversimplification, of course; but I refer to the overall drift of gospel studies, and to the perception of the gospels in the church community to which biblical studies remains tangentially, and sometimes uncomfortably, related. Huge strides have been made, not least by my predecessor but one, Professor Richard Bauckham, both in his work on the wide intended readership of the gospels and in his award-winning book on the gospels and the eyewitnesses. If he is even half right ­– and I think he is at least that – then all kinds of assumptions, including some of those blessed things they used to call ‘the assured results of criticism’, will need to be torn up. But we need to go further still. Despite generations now of redaction criticism and narrative criticism, I am not convinced that the main message of the gospels has been grasped, let alone reflected in the methods employed for further study. And since I shall contend in this lecture that the four gospels stand at the centre of the missionary and hence theological life of the early church, a failure to understand their central thrust is most likely an index of a failure to grasp several other things as well about the life and work of the first Christians.

I am not being alarmist. Fine work in many directions has been done on the gospels, a generation ago by another predecessor, Matthew Black of blessed memory. And of course Robin Wilson, of more recent memory, contributed much to our understanding of the early Christian hinterland within which the gospels and their early reception must be understood. But there comes a time in every discipline to take a deep breath, stand back, and say, ‘Well and good; but perhaps we’re still missing something.’ That’s when we need, not simply more attention to detail, vital and central though that remains, but precisely imagination: a willingness to think beyond the fence, to ask questions hitherto screened out. And, to complete the list of recent predecessors, Markus Bockmuehl in his short stay here published a remarkable book, Seeing the Word, offering an eloquent and wide-ranging plea for just such an imaginative leap, a reassessment of the tasks and methods of the whole discipline. That is the kind of exercise which I want to share with you this afternoon, with due gratitude both for the invitation to occupy this chair and for the warm welcome I have received in St Mary’s College and in the wider University community.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeMissions* Culture-WatchEducation* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* TheologyTheology: Scripture

3 Comments
Posted November 6, 2011 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The head of Scotland’s Episcopal Church has launched a veiled attack on the opposition from senior Catholics to same-sex marriage, claiming it raises “significant issues” about the “relationship between church and state”.

In an intervention that shows the deepening split in Scotland’s faith communities over the issue, the Most Rev David Chillingworth, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, defends the SNP government’s “right” to give full legal status to gay wedding ceremonies.

Writing in The Scotsman today, Rev Chillingworth, who is also the Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane, hints that his church may “consider changing our canonical definition of marriage”.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesScottish Episcopal Church* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted October 14, 2011 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the Scottish Episcopal Church, we’re thinking about our response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on same-sex marriage and other related issues. The definition of marriage set out in our Canons is that, “marriage is a physical, spiritual and mystical union of one man and one woman”. That is the position of our church. It’s a difficult issue for us – as it is for all churches and faith groups. We have among our membership people who feel passionately that change is needed – and those who feel equally strongly that we should resist any attempt to broaden society’s understanding of marriage. The consultation period is very short. Among the things we shall say will be that if – and it’s a big “if” – we were to consider changing our canonical definition of marriage, that would require a two-year process in our General Synod, the outcome of which could not be predicted with any certainty.

We haven’t got involved in public debate about this. We’ve been asked for our view and we shall give it in a considered manner – believing that the time for public debate comes later. However, it seems to me that some of the points being made – particularly comments from our ecumenical partners in the Catholic Church – raise significant issues about how we understand the relationship between church and state. They also raise important questions about the nature of the church itself.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesScottish Episcopal Church* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

1 Comments
Posted October 13, 2011 at 7:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A leading cleric has launched a withering attack on the Catholic leaders of a campaign against gay marriage, labelling them “out of touch, arrogant, conceited and rude” and warning that they risk damaging the reputation of the wider Christian community.

In a sermon that exposed the gap between liberal and traditional opinion, the Very Reverend Kelvin Holdsworth, Provost of the Episcopal Cathedral Church of St Mary the Virgin, Glasgow, called the views of senior Catholics on gay marriage “unpleasant and ill-judged”. They “embarrassed” him.

[The] Rev Holdsworth was preaching a month after the Scottish government launched its consultation on same-sex marriages. Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister, said that the Government tended towards the opinion that they should be introduced.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesScottish Episcopal Church* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

7 Comments
Posted October 11, 2011 at 7:25 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Kelvin Holdsworth is the Provost of the Episcopal Cathedral Church of St Mary the Virgin in Glasgow.

You can watch and listen to the sermon here under the date of 9 October 2011 (it lasts some 12 minutes). His text is "The Parable of the Wedding Banquet" which is in Matthew 22:1-14.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesScottish Episcopal Church* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

7 Comments
Posted October 11, 2011 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

An ideology that sees any structure or ethical system as "inimical to human freedom" is at the root of Scotland's move toward same-sex "marriage," according to the archbishop of Glasgow.

In a statement released Sunday, Archbishop Mario Conti explained the Church's opposition to same-sex "marriage." His statement is part of a national marriage-defense campaign launched across Scotland's 500 Catholic parishes.

The Scottish government is holding a consultation on whether same-sex "marriage" should be introduced.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

5 Comments
Posted October 11, 2011 at 6:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who by the preaching of thy blessed servant and bishop Ninian didst cause the light of the Gospel to shine in the land of Britain: Grant, we beseech thee, that, having his life and labors in remembrance, we may show forth our thankfulness by following the example of his zeal and patience; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

0 Comments
Posted September 16, 2011 at 4:38 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Glasgow-based company has installed its first commercial "alkaline hydrolysis" unit at a Florida funeral home.

The unit by Resomation Ltd is billed as a green alternative to cremation and works by dissolving the body in heated alkaline water.

The facility has been installed at the Anderson-McQueen funeral home in St Petersburg, and will be used for the first time in the coming weeks. It is hoped other units will follow in the US, Canada and Europe.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEnergy, Natural Resources* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

22 Comments
Posted August 31, 2011 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Leaders of rebel forces that deposed Col Muammar Gaddafi in Libya have said they do not intend to allow the extradition of the Lockerbie bomber.

Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi is the only person to have been convicted in connection with the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Scotland in 1988.

Megrahi was released from a Scottish prison two years ago on health grounds.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaEngland / UK--Scotland

8 Comments
Posted August 28, 2011 at 4:51 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Religious history has been made with the first ordination of a former Anglican clergyman in Scotland into the Catholic priesthood.

Father Len Black, 61 and a grandfather of two, was ordained into the priesthood this weekend, at a ceremony at St Mary's Church in Greenock performed by Bishop Philip Tartaglia of Paisley.

Father Black was an Episcopal minister for 30 years before converting to Catholicism. Until recently he was the minister at St Michael and All Angels in Inverness and was also the regional dean of Forward in Faith, the leading group of traditionalist Anglicans.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

2 Comments
Posted July 20, 2011 at 6:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who by the preaching of thy blessed servant Columba didst cause the light of the Gospel to shine in Scotland: Grant, we beseech thee, that, having his life and labors in remembrance, we may show forth our thankfulness to thee by following the example of his zeal and patience; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

0 Comments
Posted June 9, 2011 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Many people first see Jeremy Begbie at a distance, onstage with a grand piano. He sits on a piano stool, leans forward with a lover’s total attention, and plays four bars of anything from Chopin to Boulez. Then he leaps up, leaving the audience musically bereaved and longing for the piece to go on (unless it’s Boulez). From the half-finished music, Begbie carries the audience’s attention straight into theology. (Usually, later in the presentation, he will also play a piece all the way through.)

Begbie studied music and philosophy in his native Edinburgh, but after finding faith in Christ he shifted his energies into theology, which he studied at Aberdeen and Cambridge. He was ordained by the Church of England and served in a West London parish until he was appointed to teach systematic theology at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. His books focus on the interplay between theology and the arts, and especially music: Voicing Creation’s Praise: Towards a Theology of the Arts (2000), Theology, Music and Time (2000), and most recently Resounding Truth: Christian Wisdom in the World of Music (2007), which won the Christianity Today 2008 Book Award in the theology and ethics category. He has started arts and theology initiatives at both St. Andrews and at Duke (where he currently spends spring semesters). Nonetheless, he still sees himself as a systematic theologian rather than an “arts theologian.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchMusic* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Theology

0 Comments
Posted June 7, 2011 at 3:22 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There will be no mass break up of the CofE, they appreciate accommodation as a theological as well as social virtue. A few will go off to Rome, but not many, a few will go independent, but not many, and the church will have a new progressive face. The new centre will not be as tolerant as the old, they will demand obedience and the wings will be gradually squeezed to eccentric irrelevancy.

Not so in Scotland. Admittedly we have seen the anglification of the CofS due to increasing standardisation of viewpoint courtesy of the influence of the media, and a drastic weakening appreciation of and understanding of theology courtesy of our method of training ministers. However, there is a core difference in denominations.

As Malcolm [Duff] points out the centre no longer holds. That viewpoint which evangelicals could once deride as Auld Kirk, traditional, cautious and always seeing problems with anything new or enthusiastic, the view represented by the ex-Moderators in the play pen at the Assembly, has gone. Progressives, always more adroit politically and with greater access to and sympathy from the media have, as with the CofE, taken over the centre ground.

The big difference in denominations is that we have a centrifugal force at our core. In our history principle has usually come before compromise. At times this has been self destructive hair splitting, at other times it has meant awe inspiring faithfulness. The neo-Protestant progressive centre has little understanding of our history. They look south today and see that nothing terribly dreadful has happened or will happen, the CofE will continue under progressive management and a few trouble makers will have disappeared.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesPresbyterian* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted May 31, 2011 at 3:21 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The depth of the split between the progressive and traditionalists appeared during a debate over the section that would allow the induction of ministers and deacons "ordained before May 2009 who are in a same-sex relationship".

Traditionalists claimed that the section was a "Trojan horse" which could pull the church apart.

The Rev Andrew Coghill, of the Presbytery of Lewis, described the section as a "hand grenade". He said: "I believe it will be ruinous for unity of the church, potentially multiplying homosexual inductions the length and breadth of the country. The church almost pulled apart over one such induction."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesPresbyterianSexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

8 Comments
Posted May 24, 2011 at 6:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For those Kirk members who feel compelled to leave the Church following today's vote, the question of where they go is littered with potential problems, both theological and practical. If, as it would seem, it is more likely those in the traditionalist wing of the Church walk, then there are two options.

The first is to splinter entirely and form themselves into an entirely new presbyterian church. Such an outcome would be similar to that of the Disruption in 1843, when the Kirk split over the Church's relationship with the state, resulting in the formation of the Free Church of Scotland....

The second path would see members of the Kirk moving to the Free Church of Scotland, which holds a staunchly conservative view on homosexuality....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesPentecostalSexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral Theology

3 Comments
Posted May 24, 2011 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of Scotland has voted to allow the possible selection of gay and lesbian ministers in the future.

The controversial issue was being debated at the Kirk's General Assembly.

A theological commission will now be set up and will report in 2013 before a final decision on the issue of gay ordination is taken.

Read it all.

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesPresbyterianSexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

0 Comments
Posted May 23, 2011 at 4:55 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

What the Assembly agreed today was this:
Resolve to consider further the lifting of the moratorium on the acceptance for training and ordination of persons in a same-sex relationship, and to that end instruct the Theological Commission to prepare a report for the General Assembly of 2013 containing:
(i) a theological discussion of issues around same-sex relationships, civil partnerships and marriage;
(ii) an examination of whether, if the Church were to allow its ministers freedom of conscience in deciding whether to bless same-sex relationships involving life-long commitments, the recognition of such lifelong relationships should take the form of a blessing of a civil partnership or should involve a liturgy to recognise and celebrate commitments which the parties enter into in a Church service in addition to the civil partnership, and if so to recommend liturgy therefor;
(iii) an examination of whether persons, who have entered into a civil partnership and have made lifelong commitments in a Church ceremony, should be eligible for admission for training, ordination and induction as ministers of Word and Sacrament or deacons in the context that no member of Presbytery will be required to take part in such ordination or induction against his or her conscience; and to report to the General Assembly of 2013.
Read it all.

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesPresbyterianSexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

0 Comments
Posted May 23, 2011 at 4:48 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has voted to continue dialogue on same-sex relationships and the ministry following the Special Commission report today.

After several hours of debate, commissioners voted by 351 to 294 to adopt deliverance 7B, which means a move towards the acceptance for training, induction and ordination of those in same-sex relationships for the ministry.

The Assembly also voted to allow ministers and deacons in same-sex relationships ordained before 2009 to be inducted into pastoral charges by 393 to 252.

A theological commission will be set up to bring recommendations to the 2013 General Assembly, as well as considering whether ministers should have freedom of conscience to bless civil partnerships and possible liturgy for such occasions.

As nothing has been formally enacted, the proposals do not need to consult the Kirk’s 46 presbyteries under the Barrier Act, but it does mark a significant departure from the Church’s traditional teaching, as acknowledged by the Commission’s report.

Read it all.

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesPresbyterianSexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

1 Comments
Posted May 23, 2011 at 4:35 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesPresbyterianSexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

0 Comments
Posted May 23, 2011 at 4:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all (over 30 page pdf).

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesPresbyterianSexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

0 Comments
Posted May 23, 2011 at 4:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

'Aggressive secularism' is destroying Britain’s Christian heritage and culture, a leader of the Catholic Church has warned.

Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the head of the Catholic Church in Scotland, has urged members of the faith to unite against an assault on their values.

In a vehement attack on secularism during his Easter sermon he said Christians are being 'marginalised' in society and banned from acting on their beliefs.R

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

1 Comments
Posted April 25, 2011 at 6:33 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

God whose strength bears us up as on mighty wings: We rejoice in remembering thy athlete and missionary, Eric Liddell, to whom thou didst bestow courage and resolution in contest and in captivity; and we pray that we also may run with endurance the race that is set before us and persevere in patient witness, until we wear that crown of victory won for us by Jesus our Savior; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeMissionsSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchSports* International News & CommentaryAsiaChinaEngland / UK--Scotland

2 Comments
Posted February 22, 2011 at 6:10 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who didst call thy servant Margaret to an earthly throne that she might advance thy heavenly kingdom, and didst give her zeal for thy church and love for thy people: Mercifully grant that we who commemorate her this day may be fruitful in good works, and attain to the glorious crown of thy saints; though Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchWomen* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

0 Comments
Posted November 16, 2010 at 5:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Wonderful stuff-watch it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMusic* General Interest* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

3 Comments
Posted October 12, 2010 at 8:10 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"If you have a thing in your life which is quite obviously the biggest thing that's happening, you can't stop thinking about it," [Stuart Murdoch] tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "You really shouldn't stop talking about it. I want to talk about the things that I'm feeling, and if I have a force working inside of me, and it's something I think about on an hourly basis, then that's what I'm going to write about."

Faith took on a different appearance in Belle and Sebastian's earlier work. For example, in "If You're Feeling Sinister," from the 1996 album of the same name, Murdoch wrote from a more cynical perspective.

"I was writing from the perspective of someone who was trying to work things out," he says. "And I was kind of mopping up some of the attitudes I had encountered over the previous five or six years. I was a young and fairly hip 19- or 20-year-old punk ... knocking about Glasgow, but I went to church. And this was quite an unusual thing. I didn't see any other hipsters or punks at church."

Read or better stil listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMusicReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

0 Comments
Posted October 10, 2010 at 7:24 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As we reflect on the human frailty that these tragic events so starkly reveal, we are reminded that, if we are to be effective Christian leaders, we must live lives of the utmost integrity, humility and holiness. As Blessed John Henry Newman once wrote, “O that God would grant the clergy to feel their weakness as sinful men, and the people to sympathize with them and love them and pray for their increase in all good gifts of grace” (Sermon, 22 March 1829). I pray that among the graces of this visit will be a renewed dedication on the part of Christian leaders to the prophetic vocation they have received, and a new appreciation on the part of the people for the great gift of the ordained ministry. Prayer for vocations will then arise spontaneously, and we may be confident that the Lord will respond by sending labourers to bring in the plentiful harvest that he has prepared throughout the United Kingdom (cf. Mt 9:37-38).

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland--Wales* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

0 Comments
Posted September 19, 2010 at 2:43 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMusic* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

0 Comments
Posted September 17, 2010 at 7:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Pope Benedict XVI has celebrated an open-air Mass in the Scottish city of Glasgow, attended by tens of thousands of people.

About 65,000 people cheered and waved flags as the pope arrived to organ music and hymns at Bellahouston Park.

"There are some who now seek to exclude religious belief from public discourse, to privatize it, or even to paint it as a threat to equality and liberty," the pope said. "Yet religion is in fact a guarantee of authentic liberty and respect leading us to look upon every person as a brother or a sister."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

0 Comments
Posted September 16, 2010 at 4:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Check it out.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

3 Comments
Posted September 16, 2010 at 8:25 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From the Queen:

Your Holiness, your presence here today reminds us of our common Christian heritage, and of the Christian contribution to the encouragement of world peace, and to the economic and social development of the less prosperous countries of the world. We are all aware of the special contribution of the Roman Catholic Church particularly in its ministry to the poorest and most deprived members of society, its care for the homeless and for the education provided by its extensive network of schools.

Religion has always been a crucial element in national identity and historical self-consciousness. This has made the relationship between the different faiths a fundamental factor in the necessary cooperation within and between nation states. It is, therefore, vital to encourage a greater mutual, and respectful understanding. We know from experience that through committed dialogue, old suspicions can be transcended and a greater mutual trust established.

I know that reconciliation was a central theme in the life of Cardinal John Henry Newman, for whom you will be holding a Mass of Beatification on Sunday. A man who struggled with doubt and uncertainty, his contribution to the understanding of Christianity continues to influence many.


Read it all.

Update: The full text of the Pope's speech is here.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

3 Comments
Posted September 16, 2010 at 8:21 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who by the preaching of thy blessed servant and bishop Ninian didst cause the light of the Gospel to shine in the land of Britain: Grant, we beseech thee, that, having his life and labors in remembrance, we may show forth our thankfulness by following the example of his zeal and patience; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

0 Comments
Posted September 16, 2010 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The "compassionate release" of a convicted PanAm bomber in 2009 was an affront to justice and to the families of the 270 people who died in Lockerbie, Scotland, on Dec. 21, 1988. It looks even worse given the perspective that the following year has provided....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAmerica/U.S.A.England / UK--Scotland

3 Comments
Posted September 1, 2010 at 6:18 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Professor Harries lauded Pullman for writing with "moral clout" and said he had enjoyed the book.

And he agreed with Pullman about the humane qualities of Jesus.

However, he said the author had put a "great abyss between Jesus the Good man and what the church has done to him".

Prof Harries said this was not true to the New Testament.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsScottish Episcopal Church* Culture-WatchBooksReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

1 Comments
Posted August 15, 2010 at 6:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Simon Wiesenthal Center criticized Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Scotland’s Catholic leader, for condemning the U.S. system of justice as based on “vengeance and retribution” and a planned renewed investigation by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee of Scotland’s release of convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi. In defending the release of al-Megrahi, who allegedly had three months to live and who received a hero’s welcome when he arrived in Tripoli Libya last year, Cardinal O’ Brien praised Scotland’s “culture of compassion” where “justice is tempered with mercy.”

“It was misplaced compassion in the first place that led to this travesty of justice,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish Human rights NGO. “Now Cardinal O’Brien’s words only add to the suffering of the families of 270 innocent people blown out of the sky over Scotland.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicOther FaithsJudaism

2 Comments
Posted August 13, 2010 at 6:51 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland has attacked the US over the release of the Lockerbie bomber.

Cardinal Keith O'Brien said the Scottish government was right to free Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi last year on compassionate grounds.

US lawmakers want Scots politicians to explain their decision to a committee, but the cardinal said ministers should not go "crawling like lapdogs".

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentForeign RelationsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAmerica/U.S.A.England / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

8 Comments
Posted August 8, 2010 at 1:38 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The US government secretly advised Scottish ministers it would be "far preferable" to free the Lockerbie bomber than jail him in Libya.

Correspondence obtained by The Sunday Times reveals the Obama administration considered compassionate release more palatable than locking up Abdel Baset al-Megrahi in a Libyan prison.

The intervention, which has angered US relatives of those who died in the attack, was made by Richard LeBaron, deputy head of the US embassy in London, a week before Megrahi was freed in August last year on grounds that he had terminal cancer.

The document, acquired by a well-placed US source, threatens to undermine US President Barack Obama's claim last week that all Americans were "surprised, disappointed and angry" to learn of Megrahi's release.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.England / UK--Scotland

7 Comments
Posted July 25, 2010 at 6:27 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The General Synod of the Church of England will consider a report on its ecumenical relationship with the Church of Scotland (the CoE is established (entangled with the government) and observes an episcopal polity (government with bishops) whereas the CoS is a national church (largely disentangled from government) and observes presbyterian polity (government with councils of elders)). That is all to the good; the relationship of these two ecclesial bodies has long been vexed, and rapprochement would count as a very good thing.

On the other hand, the report in question minimises — almost ignores — the relation of these two dominant groups to the middle term, the Scottish Episcopal Church (and I suppose it ignores English Presbyterians, too).

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Scottish Episcopal Church* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther Churches

15 Comments
Posted June 22, 2010 at 12:36 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Catholic Church in Scotland last night accused the Foreign Office of a lack of respect and Vatican sources warned the papal visit to the UK could be cancelled after the publication of an internal memo mocking Pope Benedict.

The Foreign Office was forced to issue a public apology to the Vatican while Sir Peter Ricketts, the permanent under-secretary, contacted Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the head of the Catholic Church in Scotland, to apologise personally for any offence caused by the document.

The memo joked the Holy Father could open an abortion clinic, launch a range of condoms or sing a charity duet with the Queen. The document also suggested Benedict XVI could show his hard line on the sensitive issue of child abuse allegations against Roman Catholic priests by "sacking dodgy bishops" and launching a helpline for abused children.

And last night a senior Vatican source said the incident could threaten the papal visit in September, saying: "It's possible the trip could be cancelled as this matter is hugely offensive."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

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Posted April 26, 2010 at 4:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh the head of the Catholic Church in Scotland, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, apologised to abuse victims, saying: "Crimes against children have indeed been committed, and any Catholics who were aware of such crimes and did not act to report them brings shame on us all."

During his Easter sermon, Archbishop Nichols told worshippers at Westminster Cathedral that to appreciate the Easter message, "we have to begin with our own sin and shame".

He said: "In recent weeks the serious sins committed within the Catholic community have been much talked about.

"For our part, we have been reflecting on them deeply, acknowledging our guilt and our need for forgiveness."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

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Posted April 5, 2010 at 5:29 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Pope Benedict XVI will visit Scotland and England in September in a four-day visit combining preaching and diplomacy, Buckingham Palace announced Tuesday.

British officials described it as an unprecedented "papal visit with the status of a state visit," though some of the usual trappings laid on for a visiting head of state will not be offered to the pope. An earlier visit by Pope John Paul II in 1982 was a pastoral visit only.

During his visit Benedict plans to conduct a public mass in Glasgow's Bellahouston Park, where some 300,000 people swarmed a mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II during his pastoral visit in 1982. John Paul's visit was strictly to visit his flock — rather than as a head of a state. John Paul was not received by the queen.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

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Posted March 16, 2010 at 4:52 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Right Rev David Chillingworth accused the Scottish Secretary of doing a “grave disservice” to religion by suggesting it could be “shrink-wrapped” to fit the manifesto of a political party.

His comments came after the leader of Scotland’s Roman Catholics accused Labour of an “unrelenting attack on family values” and warned the Pope could give the party “hell” on his state visit later this year.

They were both responding to a speech last week in which Mr Murphy tried to woo religious voters by promising their concerns would be reflected in Labour’s policy agenda.

The Scottish Secretary argued Labour was founded on the principles of Christian socialism and had led the trade union struggle for working class rights.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesScottish Episcopal Church* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

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Posted March 1, 2010 at 7:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all from the BBC (about 2 3/4 minutes).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesScottish Episcopal Church* Culture-WatchWomen* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

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Posted January 16, 2010 at 10:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Britain might soon have its first female Anglican bishop, serving the 38,000-member Scottish Episcopal Church, part of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

The Rev. Alison Peden, 57, is one of three candidates for the post of bishop of Glasgow and Galloway. The election is scheduled for Jan. 16.

Observers say that if Peden is elected it is likely to increase pressure on the neighbouring (Anglican) Church of England to allow the appointment of women bishops.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsScottish Episcopal Church* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureWomen* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

3 Comments
Posted January 13, 2010 at 4:17 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

AKMA has a nice picture up--check it out.

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

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Posted January 8, 2010 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There used to be a time when churches could rely on being filled on a weekly basis, come rain or shine.

But dwindling congregations and ageing members have forced churches to look for ways to innovate and modernise in an attempt to get the Christian message out.

And so members of Greyfriars Parish Church in Lanark have decided to exchange pews for bar stools in an attempt to spread the festive message with a Christmas Eve carol-singing session at a local pub, the Clydesdale Inn.

Their minister, the Rev Bryan Kerr, said that the church had looked at ways of getting their message out beyond the church.

Read it all.



Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesPresbyterian

6 Comments
Posted December 23, 2009 at 4:16 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Traditionalist Anglicans in Scotland are setting up a new community in Edinburgh. This is being made possible because of a generous offer from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh to provide a place of worship for their first service this Christmas Eve.

Canon Len Black, Regional Dean of Forward in Faith Scotland, the organisation which represents orthodox Anglicans world-wide, said, “This move has come about because of the rapid drift of the Scottish Episcopal Church away from the traditional faith, morals and practices of the universal Church. We are most grateful to Cardinal Keith O’Brien for the generosity he has shown us in making a place of worship available, not just for Christmas but in the months ahead, as we seek to serve those Episcopalians who look to us for spiritual and sacramental support.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Latest NewsAnglican ProvincesScottish Episcopal Church* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

3 Comments
Posted December 19, 2009 at 7:19 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Oxford graduate Dr Alison Peden has been chosen as one of three candidates for the vacant episcopal see of Glasgow and Galloway in Scotland. If she is elected on 16 January, she will become the UK's first woman bishop. It would in many ways be fitting for Scotland to be the first UK province to have a woman bishop. The US had the first one in the world, Barbara Harris, who incidentally was nominated back in the 1970s by Mary Glasspool, now lesbian bishop-elect in Los Angeles. Scotland and the US church go back generations. After the American Revolution, the Bishop of London, who had previously ruled over the American church as if it was a far-away London parish of little importance, refused to give newly-independent US Episcopalians a bishop of their own. So they went to Scotland, which duly obliged. The surprising thing about Scotland is that it has taken this long to put a woman on a shortlist after their General Synod voted in favour back in 2003.

Read it all


Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Latest NewsAnglican ProvincesScottish Episcopal Church* Culture-WatchWomen* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

8 Comments
Posted December 14, 2009 at 7:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

An ecumenical church service was held before the march in St Leo the Great Roman Catholic Church in Beech Avenue, Bellahouston.

It was attended by the Right Reverend Bill Hewitt, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland and the Most Reverend David Chillingworth, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

Mr Hewitt said: "We need to be sure that the negotiators gathered in Copenhagen are aware of our support and our belief in the importance of their task."

Cardinal O'Brien added: "People from all faiths and none will suffer the effects of catastrophic climate change if world leaders fail to deal with the problem."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchClimate Change, WeatherReligion & CultureScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

7 Comments
Posted December 5, 2009 at 1:59 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A retired Church of Scotland minister is calling for assisted suicide to be legalised so that patients could end their lives "in an ethical and merciful manner".

Contradicting the Church's official stance on the issue, the Rev Dr John Cameron praised the work of Dignitas, the Swiss-based assisted suicide group, and accused Britain of "exporting" its ethical dilemma overseas.

Writing in the Kirk's official journal, he said Dignitas provided a much needed service for individuals who want to "die as they have lived". He also said NHS claims that palliative care was available for all in Britain's hospitals were an "outrageous untruth".

The Church of Scotland, however, opposes Independent MSP Margo MacDonald's controversial End of Life Choices Bill that seeks to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineLife Ethics* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

2 Comments
Posted November 30, 2009 at 12:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In 1952, Sir John was appointed chairman of the department of respiratory diseases and tuberculosis at the University of Edinburgh, amid a tuberculosis epidemic in Scotland. Three years earlier, researchers in Britain reported that combining streptomycin with a newer medicine, para-aminosalicylic acid, could reduce the development of drug resistance. To this mix, Sir John added isoniazid, a new drug that became available shortly after his arrival in Edinburgh.

The third drug was the charm. Through careful monitoring, he devised a regimen that called for starting patients on all three drugs and then stopping streptomycin, which can cause hearing loss, after several months. For more than a decade, until it was replaced by a cocktail of newer and more powerful drugs, Sir John’s three-drug regimen was the standard treatment for tuberculosis.

“The treatment principles he developed are the ones we are using today,” said Dr. Mario C. Raviglione, director of the World Health Organization’s Stop TB department. “They are the model for cancer and for H.I.V. His legacy is quite significant.”

I caught this one yesterday coming up to Boston on the plane--a terrific piece which illustrates well how medical research really works. Read it all--KSH.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineHistoryScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

3 Comments
Posted November 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow Mario Conti has commented on the Vatican’s recently announced proposal to welcome Anglican communities into full communion with the Catholic Church. Noting that the faith of individual believers is also important, he said he has long thought such an offer would be “a way forward” for some Anglicans.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

1 Comments
Posted October 29, 2009 at 9:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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