Posted by Kendall Harmon

"The Drop Box" - Documentary Trailer from Arbella Studios on Vimeo.



Worth every second of the three minutes of your time it takes to watch--touching, heart-rending, and encouraging--KSH.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyPsychologyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaSouth Korea* TheologyAnthropologyChristologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

2 Comments
Posted April 12, 2014 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Englewood runs counter to the church culture — and its own past — in some other ways. Where the church once focused primarily on evangelism, attractive programming and high membership growth, Englewood seems more interested in getting to know people.

"A lot of times churches just think it is about getting people to be baptized and saving their souls so they can go to heaven," said Benjamin, the church secretary. "We believe the picture is so much bigger than that. It is about what God intended life to be. He intended people to have good shelters. He intended people to have the basic needs of life. He intended people to live together in harmony and share together."

That philosophy is what Smith, the editor of the church's book review, describes in a new book he has co-authored called "Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus."

Borrowing some of the language of the Slow Food movement, it proposes to resist what some have called the "McDonald's-ization of the church."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral Care* TheologyChristologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 27, 2013 at 3:19 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

What about what some call the greatest mission field, which is our own secularizing or secularized culture? What do we need to do to reach this increasingly pagan society? I think we need to say to one another that it’s not so secular as it looks. I believe that these so-called secular people are engaged in a quest for at least three things. The first is transcendence. It’s interesting in a so-called secular culture how many people are looking for something beyond. I find that a great challenge to the quality of our Christian worship. Does it offer people what they are instinctively looking for, which is transcendence, the reality of God?

The second is significance. Almost everybody is looking for his or her own personal identity. Who am I, where do I come from, where am I going to, what is it all about? That is a challenge to the quality of our Christian teaching. We need to teach people who they are. They don’t know who they are. We do. They are human beings made in the image of God, although that image has been defaced.

And third is their quest for community. Everywhere, people are looking for community, for relationships of love. This is a challenge to our fellowship. I’m very fond of 1 John 4:12: “No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us, and his love is perfected in us.” The invisibility of God is a great problem to people. The question is how has God solved the problem of his own invisibility? First, Christ has made the invisible God visible. That’s John’s Gospel 1:18: “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.”

People say that’s wonderful, but it was 2,000 years ago. So in 1 John 4:12, he begins with exactly the same formula, nobody has ever seen God. But here John goes on, “If we love one another, God abides in us.” The same invisible God who once made himself visible in Jesus now makes himself visible in the Christian community, if we love one another. And all the verbal proclamation of the gospel is of little value unless it is made by a community of love.

These three things about our humanity are on our side in our evangelism, because people are looking for the very things we have to offer them.

You may find the whole article from which it comes there. I quoted this at the early morning service sermon this past Sunday--KSH.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthPastoral Care* Culture-WatchPsychologyReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologySoteriology

1 Comments
Posted November 27, 2013 at 4:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Next week, Prince George of Cambridge is to be christened into the Church of England in a 45-minute ceremony at the Chapel Royal of St James’s Palace. As well as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge: The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall and members of the Middleton family will be present.

Although godparents have yet to be announced, many have speculated over who the honour could be afforded to. Princess Beatrice, Prince Harry, Pippa Middleton and also some of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s friends from university have been picked out by analysts.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral Care* Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologySacramental TheologyBaptism

1 Comments
Posted October 18, 2013 at 4:39 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At some point in their lives, one of every three Americans will leave Christianity, according to a 2011 study in the Journal of Religion and Society. Called "leavers," "deconverts," or "ex-Christians," they are targets of fresh concern among church denominations watching their numbers shrink. Pollsters and bloggers tick off reasons why so many are leaving, such as intellectual hurdles to belief, immoral or intolerant church leaders, and profound suffering. But the leavers phenomenon is nothing new. It goes back at least to the parable of the Prodigal Son, told by Jesus and recorded in Luke 15:11–32.

What about the people whom the prodigals leave behind? The ones who love the leavers? The ones left to hold down the forts of remaining families and faith communities? Few theological and practical resources exist for the two out of every three Christians who remain with the Father while they watch their "younger brother" leave.

The biblical parable centers on the relationship between a father and his two sons. But the essence of the story remains the same, whether the prodigal is a child, sibling, spouse, parent, or friend. This is why P. C. Ennis Jr. argues in the Journal for Preachers that "it is crucial that periodically we preach on the Prodigal Son. . . . Like the Easter story and the Christmas story, it bears repeating, for the story of the Prodigal Son is the gospel in capsule."

Read it all.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureTeens / YouthYoung Adults* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologySoteriology

0 Comments
Posted September 14, 2013 at 12:18 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The American hospice movement is thriving. Forty-two percent of all Americans who died in 2010 were in hospice care—up from 22 percent in 2000. The number of organizations providing hospice care has grown steadily, up 13 percent from 2006—from 4,500 to over 5,000—as has the length of time that patients spend in hospice care. More people are spending their dying days experiencing the holistic medicine and dignified care that hospice seeks to provide.

But the growth in the hospice movement has tended to neglect African Americans. African Americans constitute 13 percent of the U.S. population, but only 8 percent of hospice patients are African American—even though blacks have the highest cancer rates of all ethnicities and are more likely to die from cancer than whites.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsPastoral Care* Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyHealth & MedicineRace/Race Relations* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 24, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When Gregory Morrison was 3, he laid his hands on the two-story home next door to his grandparents’ and prayed that his family could live there.

Over the next 10 years, the house filled up with five Morrison children, several exchange students and beloved pets who wore down a path between the two houses.

Gregory’s family walked into their house Saturday without their son and brother, who died July 12 from a rare immune disorder at age 13....[but while they were gone family members and friends from Gateway Family Church fixed up their house as a gesture of support].

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsPastoral Care* Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineMarriage & Family

0 Comments
Posted July 21, 2013 at 11:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A new approach to caring for young adults with developmental, cognitive and intellectual disabilities is quietly rooting and growing in a cozy mustard-colored house behind a West Ashley strip mall.

The dozen or so participants at Healing Farms Ministries recently graduated high school, and said good-bye to all of the structure and help that the school system provided them.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineMarriage & FamilyYoung Adults* South Carolina* TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 14, 2013 at 11:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The crown jewels of the Church of England are its parishes. Priests have the cure of souls—not just the churchgoers but of every resident of the neighborhood, where every blade of grass in the entire country has a church that seeks to make itself in some way a blessing to all, where the clergy know that “I can’t know everyone, but everyone can know me.” But this inheritance is under pressure. In the corners of clergy gatherings there are mutterings. Stories are told of spouses or friends in health care and education who see very few patients or students any more, but instead sit behind computers filling in forms about targets and thresholds. The same is said about priests—that a Prussian-style bureaucracy is infesting the poetry of the priest’s relationship to the parish.

In the Church of England, parish clergy are all paid the same; there are no “rich rectors” with well-endowed churches and sprawling expense accounts, so the conventional commercial appraisal—balance sheet healthy, 2 percent pay increase, MBA completed, another 2 percent increase—doesn’t apply. But now appraisal schemes for ministry review have been introduced by some dioceses, and this is the bureaucracy that is resented by clergy who see it, with its target goals, assessments, statistics and accountability, as another layer of control.

When I overhear the clergy grumbling, the elderly Welsh millworker comes to mind, and I find myself asking, “Shouldn’t we pause for a moment and ask ourselves why all these systems and controls have been introduced? Isn’t it because the glorious parish system puts the parish priest in a position of extraordinary trust, and because that trust has gone without honor rather more times than we’d care to admit?”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral Care* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyPastoral Theology

2 Comments
Posted July 14, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Can you lose a home? Yes. Can you lose a career? Yes. Can you lose a marriage? Yes. Can you lose your health? Yes. Can you lose your youthful beauty? Yes. Can you lose your relationship with God? No.

Christians get to approach tragedy differently than the rest of the world. We get to rely completely on Christ. We get to have hope. But how? By intentionally leaning on Christ for stability, listening to Christ for direction, and looking to Christ for salvation. He is our Rock, our Shelter, our Great Shepherd, our Hiding Place.

Suffering and tragedy are inevitable in a sinful world, but Jesus Christ makes all the difference. Decide that you will rely on Him even in the darkest of hours of your life.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral Care* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted April 21, 2013 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I would especially like to draw your attention to the article entitled "St. Christopher Celebrating 75th Diamond Anniversary on June 22-24--"read it all (pdf).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* Christian Life / Church LifeMissionsParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral CareYouth Ministry* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted April 20, 2013 at 12:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At our convention last March I stressed two dimensions of our diocesan calling: Our vocation to make Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age working in relationship with Anglican Provinces and dioceses around the world; and secondly our calling to make disciples by planting new congregations as well as growing and strengthening our existing parishes and missions in an era of sweeping institutional decline among almost all of the mainline denominations. These remain two constants for us today even while so much around us is in flux. You will be relieved to hear that it is not my intention in this address to retrace the road we have traveled in these intervening months since our Special Convention on November 17th. Suffice it to say that since these two dimensions of our common life and vocation remained unshaken when the tectonic plates of the diocese shifted, I remain convinced that they were God’s mandate for us then and they are God’s mandate for us now. The reason for this is two-fold: What is at stake in this theological and moral crisis that has swallowed up the Anglican Communion since the latter years of the 20th Century is first and foremost, “What is the Gospel of Jesus Christ as this Church has received it?” We did not create it and we cannot change what we have received. So what is the Gospel of Jesus Christ as Anglicans have received it? There is nothing in Anglicanism that cannot be found elsewhere among the churches of Christendom. What is unique is how we have blended certain aspects of what other churches hold together. But we have received a Gospel. What is it?

The second thing is “What will Anglicanism in the 21st Century look like?” While the former is the more important, the latter is the more complex. Put another way, proclaiming the Good News, “the whole counsel of God” as St. Paul declared in his parting address to the presbyters of Ephesus in Acts 20:27, that should be our first concern. Proclaiming the good news – the whole counsel of God. But the charge to “care for the Church of God, which he obtained with his blood” (Acts 20:28) or as our text last evening put it, “which he obtained with the blood of his son.” was also part of St. Paul’s charge to the bishop-presbyters. If we apply this second charge to take care of the church of God, which he obtained, with the blood of his son, if we apply this charge to ourselves – those of us whose leadership is in this vineyard where the Lord has placed us – I believe this means caring for emerging Anglicanism in the 21st Century. Frankly, this caring for Anglicanism in the 21st century gets wearisome at times, painful almost daily, exhausting, but it is a charge we cannot relinquish without abandoning our vocation. What does this mean specifically for us here in this Diocese of South Carolina? Let me take up three aspects of this charge as it I believe it applies to us.

Read it all and a pdf version is available top right of the page.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryAdult EducationEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral CareYouth Ministry* South Carolina* TheologyTheology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)

7 Comments
Posted March 11, 2013 at 4:36 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On Wednesday, Dec. 19, during morning rush hour, a small team of us from Grace Episcopal Church in Medford, including the church’s Rector, the Rev. Noah H. Evans, stood at the West Medford Commuter Rail Station with a “Blessing Station.”

In an attempt to help bring peace and comfort during this darkest week of the year, they offered blessings and prayers to anyone who walked by.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral CareSpirituality/Prayer

4 Comments
Posted December 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

That night, Weiss was called to the police station and was assigned to call at the homes of two victims, along with a state trooper and a grief counselor.

He knocked on one door at midnight — that of a husband whose wife had been killed in the shooting — and the next door at 1:30 a.m.

Weiss knew both families well. They belonged to his church.

In all those hours of counseling and comforting, no one asked the priest, “Why?” The question came later, starting on Sunday, and Weiss did not have an answer.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral Care* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureRural/Town Life* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 17, 2012 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Trinity Episcopal Church will hold its annual Blue Christmas service Sunday at 4 p.m. This is an observance that serves as a shelter and safe refuge for those in the community who are suffering from loss. Trinity's gift of reflection provides an hour to recognize the holy season of Christmas in a sacred space created especially for those people living through dark times.

The Blue Christmas service, held close to Dec. 21 - the longest night of the year - gives to those who are weighed down by these feelings an opportunity to offer up their pain, loneliness, and sad and dark memories as authentic rather than feeling the need to suppress them. At the same time the quiet hour allows for those suffering to renew their spirits with hope and peace. According to Father Michael Fincher, Associate Rector, "The service is designed to be non-denominational so as to be of comfort and meaning to anyone, regardless of church affiliation. We offer this service as a gift to the community, to those truly in need of the hope and promise that this season is meant to provide."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsAdventChristmasLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryPastoral Care* TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 14, 2012 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Volunteers from the Church of the Holy Cross barely had time to warm their feet after a relief trip to New Jersey last week before others from the church headed north to deliver 300 appliances to Hurricane Sandy victims.

What started with a simple desire to help blossomed into a huge response of giving.

“I feel like I’m holding on to a freight train,” said Chris Donavan, a church member who experienced Hurricane Hugo with three small children and wanted to assist Sandy’s victims. She put out a call for donations and was overwhelmed with response.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted December 9, 2012 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

KIM LAWTON, correspondent: Three years ago, Anne Stine was a busy mother with three young children and a husband who was on the road a lot. Then her 87-year-old father, a very independent World War II veteran who lived about an hour away, suffered a stroke.

ANNE STINE: And what I found was a man who was no longer independent. He was confused and worried and starting to bark orders. So it was a very emotional time for him, and it was a scary time for both of us.

LAWTON: Her dad, who lived alone, needed a lot of care, and the issues surrounding his care were overwhelming....

Read or watch it all.



Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyChildrenHealth & MedicineMarriage & Family* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted November 25, 2012 at 11:06 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Ottawa’s homeless community has a brand new “living room” in the revamped basement of St. Alban’s Anglican Church at 454 King Edward Ave.

Centre 454, which provides a safe space for people in Ottawa who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, started its life in that basement in 1976, but moved to 216 Murray St. in 2000.

Now, after 12 years and more than a million dollars in renovations, the centre — and all its services — will again be located in St. Alban’s Anglican Church, Ottawa’s oldest surviving church, which was built in 1867 and attended by Sir John A. Macdonald.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchPovertyUrban/City Life and Issues

0 Comments
Posted November 19, 2012 at 5:55 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The gray clapboard church with the red door had stood near the New Jersey coastline for more than 125 years, surviving floods and fires, hurricanes and northeasters. So when its senior warden left the church on the Sunday before Hurricane Sandy hit, he tucked the church records into a drawer for safekeeping and kept everything else in place.

That moment keeps replaying in his mind, said the warden, Dennis Bellars, because this time, luck ran out for St. Elisabeth’s Chapel-by-the-Sea, a tiny Episcopal chapel in storm-ravaged Ortley Beach, N.J. The church is marked now by nothing but a field of sand and broken pavement. The pews, the brass candlesticks; the 1885 stained glass windows, the needlepoint kneelers sewn by a parishioner; the wooden baptismal font — the sea or the sand took all of them.

Mr. Bellars, 70, said he had evacuated to the mainland that afternoon with the family Bible, a change of clothes, his dog and some dog food. Devastated, he found the destruction hard to talk about....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral Care* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.* Religion News & CommentaryOther Churches

2 Comments
Posted November 13, 2012 at 4:16 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral CareSpirituality/Prayer* South Carolina

2 Comments
Posted November 7, 2012 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

With the increasing occurrence of demonic possessions, there’s an increasing need for exorcists. Every bishop, by the nature of his office, is an exorcist. Some priests are delegated by their bishops to be exorcists, but many more are needed to engage rising spiritual combat. Currently, there are 195 dioceses in the United States, but only 51 exorcists. Those in need of an exorcist must petition their bishop via letter; the bishop then delegates an exorcist for the case.

Actual spiritual warfare is not to be taken lightly; it’s real, it’s dangerous, and it requires battle tactics laced with faith, hope and charity.

However, what most people refer to as spiritual warfare is the day-to-day opposition to our faith and ability to live good Christian lives.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchHealth & Medicine* TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

3 Comments
Posted November 5, 2012 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Anglicans who are struggling at the front line in the battle to turn back gender-based and family violence can take comfort.

As of this morning, they know they have absolute, unequivocal support from their leaders in the Anglican Communion.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Consultative CouncilAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyMenViolenceWomen* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted November 1, 2012 at 6:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Episcopal clergy along the Mississippi coast agreed that the devastation caused by Hurricane Isaac could have been much worse.

From Pascagoula to Bay St. Louis, a 50-mile stretch, the Diocese of Mississippi’s six coastal churches sustained little damage from the category-1 hurricane that drenched the Gulf Coast between Aug. 28 to 30.

“We are very happy to report that all our churches made it through Hurricane Isaac intact,” said Diocese of Mississippi Bishop Duncan Gray III.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

0 Comments
Posted September 7, 2012 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

After spending the past nine months debating questions of affiliation, members of Holy Trinity Anglican Church, a congregation in the northern suburbs of Colorado Springs, affirmed the recommendations of its pastor and leadership team, voting 82-6 to end their affiliation with the Anglican Mission in the Americas and to become part of PEAR USA (the North American Missionary District of Province de L’Eglise Anglicane au Rwanda).

The July 22 vote followed a lively, hour-long discussion involving dozens of parishioners. The discussion reflected the parishioners’ backgrounds in the Episcopal Church (about half), evangelical, and Protestant churches. One member supported his arguments with references to apostolic succession and the restoration of Charles I to the English throne, while another plainly said, “I didn’t grow up Episcopalian, or Anglican, so I don’t have a background in church hierarchy.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of RwandaEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: Colorado* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryAdult EducationMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral Care* TheologyEcclesiologyPastoral Theology

2 Comments
Posted August 20, 2012 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bikers revved up their engines at the National Convention of the Sons of God Motorcycle Club.

The event held at Trinity Episcopal Church runs through the weekend and is expected to host over 300 bikers and hundreds of Harleys. The national group gets together twice a year for conventions, and they have members stretching from the East to West Coast.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthPastoral Care* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted May 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...the mostly single professionals and students were brought here by Charlotte ONE, a collaboration of 40 or so area churches trying to reach this demographic. Such regular and extensive cooperation of mainline and evangelical Protestant churches from every major denomination is not a typical feature of American religious life. They are more likely to be competing for each other's members. But desperate times call for desperate measures.

Many of the more than 700 churches in this area (and all over the country, for that matter) have tried to run so-called young-adult ministries—but with little success. James Michael Smith, a co-founder of Charlotte ONE, tells me that a common problem is the return on investment: "Young adults are the least reliable, the most mobile and they don't give financially either." In order even to get them in the door, he adds, churches have to offer "the wow factor."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthPastoral Care* Culture-WatchYoung Adults

0 Comments
Posted May 4, 2012 at 11:25 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Safe places are designed so the people of God can share their struggles with others in the journey of life. We believe that there are real sin struggles in the lives of our people. The purpose is to create an environment where the beginning of accountability, sharing, and confession can occur.

As it says in the gospel of John, “The word of God [read Jesus] became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” The philosophy of our church recognizes that if Christ comes in the flesh we must be in the flesh with each other. Meaning that Christ initiated with us, identified with us, and invaded us with the gospel of truth. The Safe Places ministry creates a venue where the congregation of [this parish of] MRPC can take off our veneer and initiate with each other the truths of our lives.

Read it all and note especially the areas which it encompasses.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchGamblingPornographySexuality* South Carolina* TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 22, 2012 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Many of the frequent quotes on hears among Methodists these days] ...in some way, [are] responses to the question, “Can young people save the Church?”

Whether vocalized or not, this question permeates United Methodist dialogue about membership decline, denominational vitality and the state of young people in an ever-changing world. Many of our conversations about these topics are well-intentioned attempts to answer this question.

But the question of whether or not young people can save the Church is not effective, because it is based on inaccurate assumptions about young people and membership decline.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral Care* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureTeens / YouthYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesMethodist

0 Comments
Posted March 14, 2012 at 3:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

1 Corinthians 5 is perhaps the clearest place that the Bible speaks to the need of discipline. The Corinthian church is proud of the sexually immoral behaviour of someone who professed to know and follow Christ. The church is told that some form of discipline is necessary both for the sake of the rebellious person (1 Cor 5:5) and also to protect the whole church from accepting, and ultimately engaging in the same kind of sinful behaviour (1 Cor 5:6)....

Reflecting on this and other passages, I often ask myself the question: Have we gone soft on church discipline? Immorality and other sin is a reality in our churches. Sometimes there is repentance. Other times there is not. And yet, it seems that church discipline is rarely exercised, if at all. Here are 4 reasons why I suspect we don’t do well in this area....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted March 13, 2012 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all and check out all that is available.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureScience & Technology* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 22, 2012 at 6:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Four churchwardens have resigned from a small rural parish in Kent in a long-running saga in which the diocesan bishop was forced to intervene.

In their extraordinary joint letter of resignation the four churchwardens accuse their rector, Dr David Attwood, of “poor personal relationships with several leading parishioners” and of being “extremely verbally aggressive” on a visit to one former churchwarden.

The four — Penelope Bell, Trevor Champ, Roger Flint and Michael Moore — say that when he arrived in 2002, having overcome an original rejection, the three parishes of Sundridge, Ide Hill and Toys Hill near Sevenoaks were thriving, with growing congregations and healthy finances.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral Care* TheologyPastoral Theology

2 Comments
Posted January 21, 2012 at 9:44 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There's a reason that St. Martin Episcopal Church's Blue Christmass service comes on the shortest day of the year.

The annual service recognizes that holidays are a difficult time for some, especially those who have lost loved ones.

"It's the day with the least light," said the Rev. Murdock Smith, rector of St. Martin's. "It's not meant to be saccharine or 'feel good.' It's to recognize this is what life's about, and you don't have to face it alone."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care

0 Comments
Posted December 11, 2011 at 3:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“Churches are kind of in the dark about how to help, unfortunately,” said Peter Bauer, an ordained minister and clinical social worker with the Veterans Administration in San Antonio. “But they don’t have to stay there. There are some very easy things that churches can do to be proactive and help with this population.”

Bauer, a former Navy chaplain, recently convened workshops on PTSD and traumatic brain injury for pastors and seminarians at Andover Newton Theological School in Newton, Mass. His educational outreach builds on other small-scale initiatives that have gained momentum in recent years.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryIraq WarWar in Afghanistan* Religion News & CommentaryOther Churches

0 Comments
Posted November 15, 2011 at 11:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Please keep Mrs. Allison Lawrence, wife of Bishop Mark Lawrence, in your prayers. She has suffered a back injury and will be recuperating at home. Please, no visitors at this time. We encourage you to add her to your parish prayer list. Cards of encouragement are welcome!


Her address is:

Mrs. Allison Lawrence
Diocese of South Carolina
PO Box 20127
Charleston, SC 29413

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral CareSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineMarriage & Family* South Carolina

3 Comments
Posted November 8, 2011 at 10:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Dr Halapua acknowledges that Tuvalu's present plight has been brought on by drought.

It rained in Tuvalu last Thursday for about three minutes – and that's the first rain they've seen during their rainy season. There's no more forecast for the next three months, either.

There are, as far as Archbishop Halapua knows, very few – if any – Anglicans living on Tuvalu.

But that doesn't mean he didn't need to go there.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

1 Comments
Posted November 1, 2011 at 6:34 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[LUCKY] SEVERSON: In La Crosse, Wisconsin, 96 percent of the patients who die have gone through these advance directive discussions and designated how they would prefer to spend their last days.

[BERNARD] HAMMES (lecturing): This program is not trying to talk people out of treatment. This program is trying to help patients make informed decisions so that we know what they would want even in a crisis, and we can deliver the services that match their preferences.

SEVERSON: The program has been so successful representatives from around the country now attend seminars at Gundersen Lutheran. The success is due, in part, to the backing of the Catholic and Lutheran churches. A similar program is underway in Minneapolis-St. Paul, which is supported by the head of the National Association of Evangelicals, Pastor Leith Anderson of the Wooddale Church outside Minneapolis. He says he witnessed too many families going through emotional turmoil when their loved one was dying.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineLife EthicsReligion & Culture* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 24, 2011 at 5:17 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Ask the parishioners of Grace Episcopal Church about disappointment and they will tell you how it was turned on its head. They will tell you about small gestures and generous spirits. They will share a legend in the making, a story to be told generations from now, to grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

They will tell you about the day the Earth cracked, a building closed and the people of the church were forced to find sanctuary elsewhere, how a great disappointment turned into a reward that transcended church walls and breached religious and racial ideologies.

The Rev. Canon J. Michael A. Wright, rector of Grace, took note of the symbolism. "Our walls are in need of repair, and what we've discovered is that other walls have come down."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical Relations* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted October 23, 2011 at 12:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral appealed this week for cathedral life to “be allowed to operate as normally as possible”, after hundreds of activists, protesting against corporate greed and eco­nomic inequality, set up camp in St Paul’s Churchyard.

On Saturday, about 1000 protesters gathered outside the Cathedral, intending to occupy adjacent Paternoster Square, the site of the London Stock Exchange. The event was organised by the Occupy London movement, inspired by the Occupy Wall Street protests that have been taking place in New York over the past month.

After the protesters were prevented by police from entering Paternoster Square, they reconvened outside St Paul’s, where they were addressed from the cathedral steps by the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange.

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted October 21, 2011 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Diocese of Hyderabad has launched an appeal for funds to help its local flood-stricken community, and the ACT Alliance has issued an appeal for Pakistan – hit by severe flooding for the second time in just two years.

Over 5.4 million people have been affected by the floods that have hit Sindh province, southern Punjab and north-eastern Balochistan. Already 248 people have died, and communities that had barely recovered from the devastating floods of last year have seen their homes and livelihoods destroyed a second time.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchCharities/Non-Profit Organizations* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.* International News & CommentaryAsiaPakistan

0 Comments
Posted September 22, 2011 at 9:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Frank Shane, a professional dog therapist and CEO of the K-9 Disaster Relief Foundation, had to improvise when he brought his golden retriever, Nikie, down to Ground Zero. There was no protocol for anything—from the kind of footwear Nikie should wear to how Frank should deal with the unfathomable grief of 9/11. Yet from the moment Frank and his dog stepped onto the site, they both knew they had a job to do. As it turned out, a pair of soft ears and a wagging tail offered one of the best ways to connect to the people on the ground....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* General InterestAnimals

0 Comments
Posted September 15, 2011 at 5:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On Friday the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, visited St Christopher's Hospice in Sydenham, London.

St Christopher's, founded in 1967 by Dame Cicely Saunders, offers medical, nursing and support services for people coping with life-limiting illnesses, and their carers. It was, and is, a pioneer in the field of palliative medicine....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchHealth & Medicine

2 Comments
Posted September 14, 2011 at 11:04 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In some of the darkest moments of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center ten years ago, Nathan Brockman saw Christian hope embodied at the parish of Trinity Wall Street.

“One of the more remarkable things I’ve seen is how immediately people’s faith came into play. Right after the first tower came down, the South Tower, you can imagine the proximity — it got very dark, it got very loud, you could feel the church shaking,” said Brockman, Trinity Wall Street’s director of communications and editor of Trinity News. “There was a congregation gathered there, seeking comfort, solace. Once the cascade stopped, Stewart Hoke, who was a priest here at the time, stood up before the congregation and he recited the Beatitudes. It was one of the most powerful things I’ve ever encountered. That was the response of faith. It wasn’t the reaction to run, it wasn’t the reaction to react violently, or panic. It was very meaningful.”

Later, during the months of cleanup, people continued to help each other. “What I remember was the frozen zone. There was an area literally behind a chain-link fence for a number of months after the attack and if you weren’t certified personnel you weren’t to go beyond that perimeter,” Brockman said. “For a while the Trinity congregation worshiped at the Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. It was a very generous act of theirs. Trinity’s offices during that time were relocated uptown.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism

0 Comments
Posted September 9, 2011 at 4:32 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Six chaplains serve Creedmoor, a state hospital with 400 residents and 10,000 outpatients. The majority of those patients have received diagnoses of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. The chaplains represent Judaism, Islam, Catholicism and both mainline and evangelical Protestantism. They lead worship services, text study groups, spirituality discussions. They will soon hold a 9/11 memorial event. And up and down the corridors and through the wards they offer pastoral counseling.

A black spiritual, drawing on the prophet Jeremiah, has a refrain for this work: “There is a balm in Gilead, to make the wounded whole.” Rabbi Benjamin A. Samson, the chief chaplain at the hospital, has his own description: chicken soup.

“We provide a sense of almost refuge,” said the Rev. Jeff C. Williams, an evangelical Protestant minister. “It’s nonjudgmental, nonconfrontational. In all the other parts of their lives, there are limitations based on their diagnoses.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral Care* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicinePsychology

0 Comments
Posted August 27, 2011 at 12:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Visitors joined regular members of the congregation at St Edmund’s Anglican church in Oslo on Sunday 24 July as their 11am service focussed on the massacres two days ago in the city and at a youth camp on an island nearby

Canon Janet HeilParish Priest, Canon Janet Heil says that leading the prayers for relatives and friends of the many people affected (the death toll is currently 93 and may rise still further) was a very emotional time. The church was thronged with people after the service and clergy stayed there to welcome anyone who came seeking comfort and prayer help. Flowers and candles have been left on the steps of the church which is on the outer edge of the police cordon around the city centre.

Read it all


Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Latest NewsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsPastoral Care* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryEuropeNorway* TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 24, 2011 at 3:40 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[The] Rev. Nicholas Holtam has smoothed over many conflicts in his long career as an Anglican vicar. Before he leaves his central London parish this month [to become the Bishop of Salisbury], he wants to bring peace to one more group of warring factions: the Pearly Kings and Queens.

The "Pearlies" are no street gang. They are groups of mainly aged "Cockney" Londoners who sew mother-of-pearl buttons on their clothes in lavish designs and sing sentimental pub songs. Begun in the 1870s by an orphan London street sweeper, the Pearlies are mostly known for raising money for charity.

But all is not well in their world. Their ever-dwindling ranks have splintered into three factions. Years ago, a feud over finances caused several Pearly "families" to split off from the Original Pearly Kings and Queens Association to form a new group, the London Pearly Kings and Queens Society.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral Care* Culture-WatchPsychologyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyPastoral Theology

12 Comments
Posted July 21, 2011 at 7:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

During the first Sunday service since three tornadoes ravaged central and western Massachusetts, worshipers including volunteers and veteran congregation members packed the nave to hear a message of hope and community.

“Any time there is a disaster, even people of faith have questions,’’ [The Rev. Bob] Marrone said. “Why did this happen? Where was God?’’

Since Wednesday, volunteers have used the church as a relief hub, keeping it open round-the-clock to provide free food, clothing, and guidance. For two hours yesterday, the church also gave the weary a quiet place to relax, reflect, and be thankful.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.* Religion News & CommentaryOther Churches

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Christine Bell, Manager of Salisbury Services, says gambling counselling is a highly specialised field. “Gambling counselling is a relatively young industry, only 15 years old,” she said. “Drug and alcohol counselling is well established over many decades, with many therapeutic inter-ventions being well tested and researched.” Christine says many people in the community don’t see gam-bling as a social problem, as it has often been seen as part of our recreational history. For a large percentage of people in our com-munity this can be so, however others see the opportunity to win ‘large’ amounts of money which they believe can enhance their lives in many ways. “Gambling can become a problem for people, and this is usually seen around the time when it stops being fun,” Christine said.

“Many gamblers find it hard to control the time and money spent on gambling. “Part of the counselling is to find out what the client is look-ing for when they go into the gambling venue. Some go in with the expectation of losing a certain amount - problem gamblers go in expecting to win.” Once the motivation to gamble has been established the process of addressing the issues under-pinning the gambling activities and finding alternative activities begins. The problem is not just expecting to win on that occasion but also the need to win back or “chasing” prior losses.

Problem gamblers are often chasing losses to get their money back and when this does not happen they can feel desperate and guilty about it. Christine says only a small per-centage of people experiencing problems seek professional help. Many clients have to ‘hit rock bottom’ or come close to it before they will seek help. The main reasons why gam-blers do not seek professional help are the social stigma as-sociated with having a problem, denial of a problem and people believing they can handle the problem themselves.

Read it all (article on page 4 of the pdf).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchGamblingReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ

0 Comments
Posted May 18, 2011 at 4:37 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Just as she was preparing to mail out information to the first group of Anglican participants taking an online suicide prevention course, Cynthia Patterson received a letter from a parishioner in an indigenous community in Eastern James Bay, Ont. A 15-year-old girl had hanged herself in her grandparents’ basement.

To Patterson, appointed coordinator of the Council of the North’s suicide prevention program in 2009, this only served to underscore the urgency of addressing the high incidence of suicide among the country’s aboriginal people.

This spring, about 20 ordained and lay, aboriginal and non-aboriginal volunteers from the diocese of Moosonee took part in “River of Life,” an online suicide awareness and prevention course developed by the Calgary-based Center for Suicide Prevention. Volunteers from the diocese of Keewatin are to follow next.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchPsychologySuicide

0 Comments
Posted May 13, 2011 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Over 200 people have died throughout the South and Southeast, as severe storms and tornadoes continue to batter the region, causing widespread damage to homes and civic infrastructure. This new wave of storms comes shortly after an earlier cluster of storms that barreled through the Southeast over the weekend of April 16. Episcopal Relief & Development has been in contact with impacted dioceses, and is working with local churches to respond in a number of locations. As the area braces for future potential bouts of severe weather, the organization encourages prayers for people who are at risk or who have suffered losses, for the families of those who have died, and for the rescue and relief teams who are working to save lives and address immediate needs.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

0 Comments
Posted April 28, 2011 at 11:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Recovering addict Danny Mocibob loves race car driving and sometimes even smashes them up -- all in the name of doing church work.

"I lived on the streets when things got really bad for me, so I know what can happen if you get caught up in addiction," says the member of Brockville's Wall St. United Church.

Now he's part of the novel church outreach program called Racing Against Drugs, which he says is stopping rural kids from drinking, drugging and driving. His church sponsors cars at Brockville Ontario Speedway and in demolition derbies, and racers like Mocibob work with law enforcement to get the message out to young people and families at the events.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted April 16, 2011 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of Tohoku, the Rt Rev John Hiromichi Kato, said that the affected area was very wide and diocesan staff had not been able to visit all areas.

One member of St John’s Church, Isoyama, has been confirmed dead but there has still been no news of the tiny church’s other seven members.

“We pray that they are all safe in some temporary shelter,” said Bishop Kato.

The diocese’s main church, Christ Church Sendai, has still not been able to locate some of its members.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.* International News & CommentaryAsiaJapan

0 Comments
Posted March 18, 2011 at 6:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Churches across Japan are responding with prayers, donations, and relief operations to the impacts of the March 11 earthquake and its subsequent tsunamis and nuclear power plant accidents.

As of March 16, more than 3,700 people were confirmed dead, more than 7,800 missing, and about 2,000 injured, according to the National Police Agency. More than 400,000 people have been evacuated from the disaster zones in northeastern Japan. The earthquake also damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, where workers have been struggling to contain radiation leaks.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaJapan* Religion News & CommentaryOther Churches

0 Comments
Posted March 17, 2011 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Austin Ihiekwe knows firsthand just how deadly malaria can be. He grew up in Nigeria and watched as his baby brother died from the mosquito-borne disease even though his parents could afford medicine and were diligent in treating their children.

"In the rainy season, all kids had malaria, every month or every other month," said Ihiekwe, 67, of Cottage Grove. "But the availability of medicine is not universal. Some could afford it, some could not." And the medicines didn't always prevent the disease.

From Ash Wednesday through Easter Sunday, Ihiekwe and members of Christ Episcopal Church in Woodbury are raising money to buy 364 insecticide-treated mosquito nets to be sent to Africa. The 364 nets represent one for each member of the congregation. The effort is part of a larger mission project during Lent involving Episcopal churches statewide and their nearly 20,000 members, said Brian Prior, bishop of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchHealth & Medicine* International News & CommentaryAfrica

0 Comments
Posted March 15, 2011 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Marti Fritz has put her heart and soul into St. Luke’s Episcopal Church for 30 years.

She sings in the choir, served twice on the lay board, raised her children in the congregation. Her husband is the church archivist. The ashes of Fritz’s mother and sister are in the church’s memorial wall.

“It’s really my home,” Fritz said of the church.

Right now, it’s a home in turmoil.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral CareStewardship

7 Comments
Posted March 14, 2011 at 8:10 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Diocese of Lincoln failed to inform the Diocese of Massachusetts that one of its priests had been arrested for child abuse while serving as a vicar in Skegness.

The Rev. Franklin E. Huntress, Jr., relinquished his priestly orders rather than face a church trial last month after the Diocese of Massachusetts began an investigation into charges the 77 year old retired priest had molested a child in 1974.

During the course of its investigation, the diocese learned Mr. Huntress had been arrested by police for abusing a child in 1994 while service as vicar of St. Matthew’s Church in Skegness, Lincs. No charges were filed against the American vicar as the family did not want the child to testify in court. However, church investigators concluded the allegations were true after reading the police report and speaking to the officers involved, said Canon Mally Lloyd, the Bishop of Massachusetts’s assistant.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral Care* Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 11, 2011 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

According to a 2006 Today’s Christian Woman article,1.5 percent of Americans engage in self-harming behavior. This jumps dramatically to 12 percent among college students (most self-injury begins in the teen years). Most self-harmers are female (60-70 percent), and many, although not all, struggle with eating disorders, too. I’ve not seen research on the incidence of self-harm among Christians compared with the general population, but my experience shows that this problem is far from rare within the church....

I’m not surprised that self-punishing behaviors occur among Christians. And this is not to blame the church. For legalism — and I would argue that this is what these behaviors are at their core — comes in guises both religious and secular. The desire to control the destiny of a few moments, if not our lives, is a fact of the human condition. But it is a fact that directly opposes the gospel of grace. Indeed, our vain attempts to mete out our own justice and punishments and thus save ourselves merely reflect the universal human desire to be our own God. For those who self-harm, the gospel comes as an invitation to trust in the One who has enacted perfect and complete justice before God on our behalf, through his body, so we don't have to punish our own.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineViolenceWomen* TheologyPastoral Theology

1 Comments
Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:35 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

An annual conference of Anglican bishops in Newcastle has been told the church is even more relevant during times of natural disasters.

The past few months has been described as an 'onslaught of disaster' with the Queensland floods, West Australian fires and New Zealand's double tragedies of the Pike River mine disaster and Christchurch earthquake.

Newcastle Bishop, Brian Farran says in Brisbane, unaffected parishes were critical in providing support to those in the flood zone.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and PolynesiaAnglican Church of Australia* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchPsychologyStressReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ

0 Comments
Posted March 2, 2011 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Christchurch is broken and will never be the same, and people would need to offer strength and support to each other for ''many, many months'', a minister told his flock.

''We need to be kind to one another, and patient with one another,'' he said.

Reverend Mark Chamberlain, the vicar of St Barnabas Anglican Church in Fendalton Road, told about 250 people gathered in chilly morning shade outside the cracked and unsafe 1925 stone church yesterday that when he was appointed, ''I never dreamed of being called upon to lead you in your grief''.

''I'm just beginning to realise the depth of that grief.''

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryPastoral Care* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ* Religion News & CommentaryOther Churches

0 Comments
Posted February 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A candlelit Vigil is to be held in York Minster on Sunday 27th February to mark the 37th Birthday of Claudia Lawrence, the York chef who has been missing for nearly two years.

It will start with an informal procession from the Mansion House, St.Helen's Square at 2.30 pm, entering the West Doors of the Minster at 2.45 pm for the short Vigil at the High Altar where candles will be lit. Both the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu and the Dean of York, The Very Revd Keith Jones will officiate.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of York John Sentamu* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryPastoral Care

0 Comments
Posted February 27, 2011 at 4:14 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

What would you say to children who have aging parents?

When we're young we usually don't think much about growing old, or about our parents growing old either—not until something forces us to think about it. But it will happen, if they live long enough. So the first thing I'd say to those whose parents are growing older is to be prepared for it, and to accept whatever responsibilities it brings you.

Then be patient with them. They may not be able to do everything they once did, but that doesn't mean they're necessarily helpless or incompetent. And be alert to their needs—including their emotional and spiritual needs. Sometimes they just need to know that you're there, and that you care....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

1 Comments
Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:42 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Three years after a gunman opened fire and killed six people at a Kirkwood City Council meeting, the Rev. David Holyan recently found himself in Tucson, Ariz.

Holyan, 46, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood, has become an accidental expert in what the Presbyterian Church (USA) calls “human-caused disaster” response. More precisely, he is a member of the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance’s National Response Team.

His expertise comes from the victim side. Holyan’s church became a spiritual hub for the community in the wake of the shooting rampage on Feb. 7, 2008, that claimed the lives of six people—including two of Holyan’s parishioners—and the gunman.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral Care* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & CultureViolence

0 Comments
Posted January 27, 2011 at 11:39 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Via email:

The Christ Church community in Jerusalem is relieved at the capture of those who are alleged to have killed Kristine Luken and injured Kay Wilson. Today's arraignment doesn't end our grief, nor does it bring healing. We look for that consolation in God's presence amongst us and in the hope of the resurrection. This tragedy will not discourage us as we seek to live out the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth and support all those working towards a society which upholds justice and mercy. We will continue to remember and honor Kristine, our colleague and friend, and remain in prayer for the Luken family in their bereavement. With friends and family around the world we will support Kay Wilson as she struggles towards recovery. We are grateful to those from the communities here in Israel and abroad who have expressed their care and concern for our community during this tragic time.

David Pileggi, Rector
Christ Church Jerusalem

You may read more on this here and there.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesThe Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsPastoral Care* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIsrael

0 Comments
Posted January 26, 2011 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...now the once-private funerals and memorials of less-noted citizens are also going online.

Several software companies have created easy-to-use programs to help funeral homes cater to bereaved families. FuneralOne a one-stop shop for online memorials that is based in St. Clair, Mich., has seen the number of funeral homes offering Webcasts increase to 1,053 in 2010, from 126 in 2008 (it also sells digital tribute DVDs).

During that same period, Event by Wire, a competitor in Half Moon Bay, Calif., watched the number of funeral homes live-streaming services jump to 300 from 80. And this month, the Service Corporation International in Houston, which owns 2,000 funeral homes and cemeteries, including the venerable Frank E. Campbell funeral chapel on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, said it was conducting a pilot Webcasting program at 16 of its funeral homes.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsPastoral Care* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetChildrenMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureScience & Technology* TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A minister at Shelter Community Church of the Nazarene in Belmont as well as a realtor for Keller Williams, [Ryan] Riddell, 45, also owns a roofing business in Miamisburg.

"I have four reasons for doing this," he explains. "The first is for my own spiritual renewal. I'm trying to take 30 days to step back from the things I do in the business world and the church."

A second reason, he says, is that "Jesus became like us in order to reach us." Riddell says the more he gets into the world of the homeless, the more receptive people have been, allowing him to be of help....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral Care* Culture-WatchPoverty

0 Comments
Posted January 25, 2011 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At first it dispensed aid to hungry homeowners rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. Then the reconstruction volunteers came by the thousands. And so for the past five years, the volunteer ministry of Trinity Episcopal Church has dispensed nearly 100,000 meals, five and six days a week to the young men and women in kerchiefs and tool belts working in neighborhoods all over metro New Orleans.

"After five years, we're still serving volunteer groups -- and that's wonderful," said Claire DeBow, the ministry's only paid staffer. "After we've served them they say thank you. And we say, 'No, thank you. Thank you for being here.' "

While still serving volunteer work crews, the ministry has begun to shift focus -- showing up with food, coffee, warm clothing and odds and ends to help the homeless around New Orleans.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care

0 Comments
Posted January 19, 2011 at 11:54 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rt. Rev. Kirk Smith, Bishop of Arizona, wrote Jan. 10 that Christians “can go behind the rhetoric of blame and name the root cause of acts of violence like these — fear. Whether the young man was rational or not, he certainly was influenced by the escalating violent language which seems to characterize our political discourse these days, when anyone who disagrees with you is labeled as an ‘enemy’ or as ‘evil.’”

Bishop Smith added: “We fear others when we are afraid. There has to be someone or some group to blame for our anxiety about our economy, our social breakdown, our drug culture and our institutional collapse. And so we find a scapegoat — our problems are all the fault of ‘liberals’ or ‘tea-party members’ or ‘illegals.’”

The Rt. Rev. Dan Thomas Edwards, Bishop of Nevada, wrote that the weekend’s violence reflects wider societal problems.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchViolence* TheologyPastoral Theology

14 Comments
Posted January 14, 2011 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

ABC News has reported: Premier Anna Bligh says Queensland is facing a reconstruction effort of post-war proportions as the state battles possibly the worst natural disaster in the country's history.

The Brisbane River inundated more than 20,000 homes and businesses across the capital when it peaked this morning at 4.46 metres. More than 100,000 homes are without power across the city and to the west in Ipswich where floodwaters are receding rapidly after yesterday's peak. The search for missing people continues in earnest across the Lockyer Valley, where this morning the body of a man was found in a field near Grantham, bringing to 13 the number confirmed dead.

Read it all and continue to pray for those in Australian struggling valiantly to shine Christ's love in this challenging time.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral CareSpirituality/Prayer* General InterestWeather

1 Comments
Posted January 13, 2011 at 7:21 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Very Rev. Nicholas Knisely, dean of Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix, said during his sermon Jan. 9 that "if we are to stand against the flames of violence and hatred that even now are licking at the edges of our state, we are going to have to live into our vocation as members of the Body of Christ"

"We are going to have create humanizing relationships with each other that will make it impossible to objectify our sister and brother," he said. "We are going to have to make our city, our state and our country into our neighborhood. We must build walls of love with each one of us serving as a brick in that wall. And those walls will stand against the flames."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral CarePreaching / HomileticsSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence

39 Comments
Posted January 13, 2011 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As Tucsonans continued to reel from the Jan. 8 shooting spree at a shopping center that left six dead and another 14 wounded, religious leaders around the country looked to help heal the emotional pain through prayer and memorial services.

Tucson Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas planned to preside at a public commemoration and healing service Jan. 11 and expected to participate in the funerals later in the week for his friend, Judge John Roll, 63, and 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green, both Catholics.

He also was going to be part of an interfaith memorial service at Catalina United Methodist Church, also Jan. 11, which was organized by United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcano of Phoenix. She planned to attend a public Mass of commemoration at St. Odilia Catholic Church that evening.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsInter-Faith Relations

2 Comments
Posted January 12, 2011 at 7:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the Gospel of Luke, early Christians are urged to "invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind" (14:13) to their gatherings. But how far can — or should — modern religious congregations go to accommodate people with physical or intellectual disabilities?

With the Baby Boom generation about to age into infirmity, and wounded war veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan in growing numbers, the issue of worshippers with disabilities will very soon overwhelm ethical and theological abstraction....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care

2 Comments
Posted January 10, 2011 at 11:18 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rev. Mary Bredlau has officiated at 350 to 500 funerals a year for 15 years. That’s 4,500 to 7,500 souls.

The teenagers are the hardest, especially the murders and suicides.

“To see the pain in the parents’ eyes, the despair and the shock in the other children’s eyes. Those are the most emotional,” she says.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral Care

0 Comments
Posted January 10, 2011 at 5:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Lapsed Catholics will be wooed as never before later this year when the church in Australia launches Catholics Come Home, a media campaign credited with lifting mass attendances in the US by up to 17 per cent.

Archbishop of Sydney George Pell is sending a team to Chicago to study and replicate the program, which tells non-practising Catholics: "There is a big family that loves you and misses you. It's a wonderful adventure - you have nothing to lose and everything to gain - and we say welcome home."

The television advertisements, Facebook entries and tweets also discuss the church's role in schools, universities, health care and charitable works. "Progress has been good in turning around mass attendances so I'm sending over a small team to see what it might do for the church in Australia," Pell says.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthPastoral Care* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

0 Comments
Posted January 10, 2011 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Two decades after declaring victory in the war over biblical inerrancy, Southern Baptists are battling about booze.

Seeking to remain relevant in today's culture, many Baptists have abandoned former taboos against social activities like dancing and going to movies. Now some are questioning the denomination's historic position of abstaining from alcohol, prompting others to draw a line.

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina recently passed a motion to "study a policy of the social use of alcohol" related to funding of church plants, employment of personnel and nomination of persons to committees and boards of trustees.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchAlcohol/DrinkingReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesBaptists

4 Comments
Posted January 2, 2011 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Churches all over the Miss-Lou will be having their annual watch night services this evening to help kick off the New Year by looking back on the previous year, and looking ahead for what’s to come.

“We take the time to reflect over the year,” Zion Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church Pastor the Rev. Birdon Mitchell said. “It is a very spiritual atmosphere.”

Mitchell said the service at his church will include songs and a testimonial time where anyone who wants to speak can share.

“Any person who would like to speak and reflect over things that happened that the Lord brought them through over the year or what their desires and aspirations are can do so,” he said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Religion News & CommentaryOther Churches

0 Comments
Posted December 31, 2010 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The United Methodist church in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, is anything but united.

Two pastors preach from the same pulpit and live in the same parsonage next door, but they are barely on speaking terms and openly criticize each other’s approach to the faith.

In the church’s social hall, two camps eye each other suspiciously as one finishes its meal of rice and beans while the other prepares steaming pans of chicken lo mein.

Two very different congregations share the soaring brick building on Fourth Avenue: a small cadre of about 30 Spanish-speaking people who have worshiped there for decades and a fledgling throng of more than 1,000 Chinese immigrants that expands week by week — the fastest-growing Methodist congregation in New York City.

The Latinos say they feel steamrolled and under threat, while their tenants, the Chinese, say they feel stifled and unappreciated. Mediators have been sent in, to little effect. This holiday season, there are even two competing Christmas trees.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesMethodist

5 Comments
Posted December 29, 2010 at 11:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Grief, anxiety and depression don’t take a holiday at this time of year.

In fact, they can weigh even more heavily, according to the Rev. Bill Van Oss, rector at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Duluth, which hosted its third annual “Blue Christmas” service on Sunday.

“We want to acknowledge that, for some people, Christmas and the holidays are a difficult time,” Van Oss said. “Not everyone has positive memories of the season.”

He pointed out that many people still are haunted by childhood experiences related to alcoholism, abuse or poverty in their lives.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryPastoral Care* TheologyPastoral Theology

1 Comments
Posted December 23, 2010 at 6:34 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Healthy and growing churches pay close attention not only to their members but also to those who are not yet a part of the flock. New people are the lifeblood of a growing church. We want to ensure that nothing impairs or cuts off the flow of new people to the church.

[Parish clergy]... need to be aware of five significant facts about first-time guests looking for a church home....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral Care

8 Comments
Posted December 21, 2010 at 6:11 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The recession has finally caught up with churches.

After two years of treading water, more Protestant congregations have seen their Sunday collections drop this year.

Pastors blame high unemployment and a drop in per-capita giving by members. To make ends meet, churches have laid off staff and frozen salaries, put off major capital projects and cut back on programs. At the same time, more of their congregation members and neighbors are asking for help with basic needs such as paying the rent and buying groceries.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral CareStewardship* Economics, PoliticsEconomyHousing/Real Estate MarketLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPersonal FinanceThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesLutheranMethodistPresbyterian

0 Comments
Posted December 15, 2010 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Attending religious services regularly and having close friends in the congregation are key to having a happier, more satisfying life, a study finds.

Even attending services irregularly — just several times a year — increases a sense of well-being, so long as there is a circle of friendships within the community and a strong, shared religious identity.

That's the key finding of a study released today in the December issue of the American Sociological Review.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchPsychologyReligion & Culture

0 Comments
Posted December 10, 2010 at 5:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Even before he was officially installed as the Roman Catholic bishop of Cleveland in 2006, Richard G. Lennon was already talking about the need to close churches.

“As painful as a funeral is, it’s there that you commend your loved one to God,” Lennon told reporters just weeks before his installation.

Those words, coming from an auxiliary bishop who had just closed scores of churches in Boston, sounded a death knell for dozens more in Northeast Ohio—and unleashed a small but shrill backlash across Lennon’s new flock.

The extensive downsizing is essentially over, although some of the closings remain under appeal with the Vatican. In the end, 50 parishes were closed. Vacant churches are up for sale, merged parishes are moving forward.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral Care* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyPastoral Theology

6 Comments
Posted December 8, 2010 at 4:38 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The delegation included Melkite Bishop Elias Shacour, Latin Rite Vicar of Jerusalem Msgr. Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, and Anglican Bishop Emeritus Riah Abu al Assal, reported Vatican Radio. The group traveled to the city of Haifa Dec. 4 to receive an update on the damage from the Mount Carmel fire.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIsrael* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith Relations

0 Comments
Posted December 8, 2010 at 4:16 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all--pages 3 and 4 once you download the pdf.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthPastoral Care

8 Comments
Posted December 7, 2010 at 4:43 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Auckland service will be led by Anglican Church and Catholic Church leaders and will feature representatives from other faiths and the wider Auckland community.

“At times like this, it is important for the community to come together to remember those who have been lost and support those left behind,” says Anglican Bishop of Auckland, the Right Reverend Ross Bay.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsPastoral Care* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ

2 Comments
Posted December 1, 2010 at 8:12 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

To repeat the words of the Archbishop of Canterbury: “But again ‘pastoral response’ has been interpreted very differently and there are those […] who would say: ‘Well, pastoral response means rites of blessing’, and I’m not very happy about that.” The Archbishop is not alone in his feelings. But the bishops of the Diocese of Toronto have decided to pour more fuel upon the smoldering flames of that unhappiness.

Interestingly, the Toronto Guidelines tell us that parishes can go forward with requesting to be designated as places where same-sex blessings can be performed only when some kind of “consensus” within it has been found on the matter. This is further explained as follows: “Consensus is not total agreement; however, every effort should be made to reach a decision where everyone feels heard and is willing to live with the wider body’s decision.” This is explicitly qualified in this manner: “The way forward should not be achieved or prevented by a few taking an opposing view to the vast majority”.

An obvious question arises in the face of this definition of consensus and its requirements: is there in fact a “consensus” of this kind in the Diocese of Toronto around the motives, meaning, and substance of the new Guidelines? The process for putting the Guidelines together precluded such a consensus, and the implementation of the Guidelines moves forward without it. How should those within, but also those outside of the diocese interpret this failure to discern consensus? For we should also ask another and related question: where do the bishops of the Diocese of Toronto stand vis a vis the “consensus” of the Communion’s bishops and her “consultative organs”, a consensus that in fact is equivalent in this case to a unanimity? Do they stand with the “vast majority”? Or do they stand with “a very few taking an opposing view” that is thereby seeking to “prevent” a “way forward” towards the healing of the Communion? Does this matter to them?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury Anglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaInstruments of UnitySexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessingsWindsor Report / Process* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryPastoral Care* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyPastoral Theology

1 Comments
Posted November 13, 2010 at 6:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Diocesan Diversity – The Diocese of Toronto honours and appreciates the diversity represented in its parishes and clergy. This diversity will continue to be reflected in the selection and appointment of clergy, and in the membership of committees and councils of the diocese. We recognize there are theological and cultural differences across our diocese and within parishes which are strained by both the limits and permission represented in blessing same gender relationships.

--All congregations and individual Anglicans are called to exercise pastoral generosity one to another.
--Permission to participate in blessings of same gender commitments will be extended only to those parishes and clergy who fulfill the requirements noted above and are granted permission by the diocesan bishop.
--No clergy nor parishes will be required to participate in the blessing of same gender relationships.
--Clergy who object to blessing same gender relationships will be asked to exercise pastoral generosity by referring same gender couples seeking a blessing, if requested, to the Area Bishop.
--Clergy who support blessing same gender couples will be asked to exercise pastoral sensitivity to those in their parish who are not in agreement with the parish designation.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral Care* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesChurch/State MattersMarriage & FamilySexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyEcclesiologyPastoral Theology

9 Comments
Posted November 5, 2010 at 5:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A new book, “The State of Church Giving,” says congregations have waning influence among charitable causes because their focus now seems to be on institutional maintenance rather than spreading the gospel and healing the world.

The 20th annual study by Empty Tomb Inc. reaffirmed a “long-term turning inward of congregations” exhibited by a dwindling share of church donations spent on benevolence and evangelism. It also found a dip in money given to churches during the 2008 recession, even while donations to religious organizations overall increased.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthPastoral CareStewardship* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPersonal Finance* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther Churches

3 Comments
Posted October 29, 2010 at 9:03 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Wrestling with dramatic changes in how Americans practice their faith, many clergy members are willing to wait months to get guidance from Gallagher or someone like him. These consultants have become a small industry, roaming the country to challenge the definition of "church."

When they work with congregations, they put everything on the table ¿ including whether the pastor and the church building are even necessary. Perhaps worshippers could meet in a movie theater instead. Or consider sharing a pastor with some other church. Or ditch their Sunday morning services for a time more people would find convenient.

Consultants routinely press their clients to stop being so fixated on their real estate, routines and rules. They argue that there are plenty of people who don't have any interest in sitting in pews and listening to sermons. The challenge is to come up with a way to engage them.

"The role of the church and the clergy is dying, but I think it needs to," says Tom Brackett, another minister-consultant who works on church development for the Episcopal Church. "The church doesn't have a mission. We are part of God's mission."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthPastoral Care

9 Comments
Posted October 25, 2010 at 2:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The idea of an open conversation about death isn’t exactly trendy these days, not that it ever really was. Emily Dickinson once said, “Death is a dialogue between the spirit and the dust.” The famous American novelist William Somerset Maugham said, “Death doesn’t affect the living because it hasn’t happened yet.”

But maybe they were wrong. Maybe a conversation with one’s mortality, and with the people who will experience it alongside the dying, is exactly what people need to lessen the fear and the complicated burdens on those who are left behind.

Michael Barham, associate priest at St. Clement Episcopal Church, feels that death needs to be talked about openly. He and his colleagues believe that when a person doesn’t prepare for the inevitable, the experience becomes clinical and impersonal, leaving no room to grieve.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsPastoral Care* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther Churches* TheologyAnthropologyEschatologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 21, 2010 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A lot can happen in one year.

For the people of St. Luke's, 365 days has meant a lot of grieving. It has given the church new focus. And, most importantly, it has allowed for a lot of healing to take place. One year ago on Sunday, St. Luke's held its first service in a small chapel at Glendale Seventh-day Adventist Church, just across Valejo Drive from Glendale Adventist Medical Center, after losing its facilities in a lengthy lawsuit brought by the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. That Sunday's service was not unlike any other service I've been to at St. Luke's: While there was music, prayer, fellowship and the usual assortment of families with their kids in tow, everyone knew that an important milestone was taking place.

Today, they are still in that chapel. But one could say that St. Luke's — or by its newly incorporated name, Crescenta Valley Anglican Church — is spiritually wiser because of what members have gone through. This past weekend I had an opportunity to sit down with the Rev. Rob Holman, rector of St. Luke's Anglican Church....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: Los AngelesTEC Departing Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues

0 Comments
Posted October 21, 2010 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A group of young adults are living at Christ Church on Broadway but working in the city that surrounds it, extending the tradition of service on which the parish was founded in 1854.

The new program is called St. Hilda’s House, and Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will dedicate it at a High Mass at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The seven first-year interns are volunteering at St. Martin de Porres Academy, Christian Community Action, the Your Place youth center at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Chapel on the Green, Community Soup Kitchen and Christ Church, serving lunch, coordinating volunteers, leading after-school teen activities and holding Bible study.

Most, but not all, are considering becoming priests.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral Care* Culture-WatchYoung Adults

0 Comments
Posted October 12, 2010 at 7:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

With the London Olympics less than two years away, in Southwark Diocese work has begun to engage with the mission opportunities presented by the games.

A Diocesan Olympic coordinating group was formed in 2009, with local clergy from each of the four Olympic sites (Greenwich Peninsula, Greenwich Park, Woolwich and Wimbledon), plus representatives from the Board of Education, Youth & Children's Group, Mission Department, Southwark Cathedral, Communication and Resources - and two former Olympic athletes, Lorna Boothe from Mitcham and Shaun Lightman from Selsdon.

Read it all.

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

1 Comments
Posted September 9, 2010 at 7:08 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At first, the concept of "Undie Sunday" unsettled some members of St. Mary's Episcopal Church.

Tighty-whiteys and the Lord's house, after all, are not a natural fit.

"Some of the older people were saying, 'How can you talk about underwear in church?' -- but once they realized there was such a need, everyone got around it," church member and collection organizer Lelia Druzdis said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchPoverty

1 Comments
Posted September 5, 2010 at 1:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Five years after Hurricanes Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, survivors and those working on their behalf say work is far from finished.

Church World Service says that what progress has been made is in great part due to the support, funding and labour of the US faith community and of humanitarian agencies.

"If it weren't for the volunteers and agencies who assisted me, I don't know where I would be," said Gloria Mouton, 62, whose home in New Orleans East was among those repaired by volunteers from across the US during the 2009 CWS Neighborhood New Orleans ecumenical project.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchCharities/Non-Profit OrganizationsHurricane KatrinaPovertyReligion & Culture

1 Comments
Posted September 2, 2010 at 4:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Using a two-sides-of-the-coin approach — traditional liturgy and social outreach — St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Hollywood, has found success in a transitory neighborhood and an often anti-religious culture. In the process, it has become a model for catechetical training, new-member retention and fundraising.

“If you want snobby ‘privileged at prayer’ go to Beverly Hills,” said longtime parishioner Michael Ensign. “We’re a funny little outpost at Hollywood and Gardner; a real ship of fools. But we’re clear about who we are. We’re messy and very human, but in messiness is God.”

Ensign has been at the church for 22 years. He is a career actor and veteran of too many movies and television series to list (including Big Love, CSI, and Boston Legal).

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthPastoral Care

3 Comments
Posted August 31, 2010 at 4:33 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

KIM LAWTON, correspondent: About 20 minutes outside New Orleans, worshippers gather at First Baptist Church in Chalmette, the largest city in St. Bernard Parish. It’s a pretty typical Southern Baptist Sunday morning service.

REV JOHN DEE JEFFRIES (Preaching at First Baptist Church, Chalmette, Louisiana): Lord, what’s going on? Lord, why?

LAWTON: But that belies the incredible journey this congregation has made since Hurricane Katrina. More than half of the churches in St. Bernard Parish still haven’t come back, and most of them probably never will. First Baptist is not only back, but reinventing itself to help a community still struggling to recover.

Read it all

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchHurricane KatrinaReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesBaptists

0 Comments
Posted August 28, 2010 at 2:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Christ Church uses remarkably simple equipment to take prayer to the people in southeast Schenectady, New York.

I arrived at the church at 9 a.m. with Torre Bissell and we set up a 4-by-4 folding table with five chairs.

“Put it here,” Torre said, pointing to the crack in the sidewalk that must have been the property line. “That way no one can say we’re on the sidewalk. And point chairs this way, facing out. That way people don’t feel trapped.”

And that was it. A laminated sign reading “Prayer Table” flapped from the front. Torre pulled out a pen and paper and jotted down my name and his and the day’s date. Then he pulled out a bag of wooden crosses and laid out a few along with a thin paperback English Standard Version New Testament.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral CareSpirituality/Prayer

2 Comments
Posted August 28, 2010 at 11:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In today's world of instant access to news, mission agencies may feel compelled to "do something" when danger arises. Although the Bible gives examples of varying responses to danger, the mission agencies' "something," more often than not, may be to encourage or order an evacuation. What might have been a God-appointed time to embrace suffering and those who suffer may be prematurely aborted.

According to a United Nations study, "The World at War," increasing areas of the world are involved in "intrastate wars" where 75 percent of the victims are noncombatants. That figure represents a staggering story of human suffering and enormous needs.

I can remember two occasions when we and others stayed "in the same boat," as it were, with people caught in conflict and suffering. On one occasion we had to stay; it soon became too late to leave. On the other occasion we had a choice, and we chose to stay.

Read it carefully and read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeMissionsParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthPastoral Care* TheologyPastoral Theology

2 Comments
Posted August 23, 2010 at 6:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When I was in seminary, I wrote a killer essay on baptism. The assignment was to write a detailed parish newsletter column explaining baptism and the process for preparing infants, children and adults for the sacrament. I pulled out all the stops, wrote just what my liturgics professor wanted to read, and, had the essay actually been printed in the newsletter, I would've had to officiate at far more funerals than baptisms as a result of boring parishioners to death.

It's safe to say there's a difference between theory and practice, between seminary and ministry. I know this because the past few baptisms I've celebrated haven't exactly followed the outline I dazzled my professor with. They've been better.

Working as a chaplain for Hospice at Home has reminded me that at life's end, people think about tying up loose ends, and for some that loose end is baptism. I was working with a family and two of the daughters of a man who was dying said that he, his wife and another daughter hadn't been baptized and they thought that the three of them should receive the sacrament before their father died. One thing that's very important in providing spiritual care for the dying and their families is not to push any agenda or bias I (or the family) may have; rather it is to explore what's meaningful for the patient and assist him or her in finding it. So we talked about baptism for a few minutes, and they decided they wanted to be baptized; and with the patient in bed and his wife and their daughter at his bedside, I asked the other daughters to find the nicest bowl in the kitchen and fill it with water from the tap. Then we gathered in a circle, and I blessed the water and baptized them.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral Care* TheologyPastoral TheologySacramental TheologyBaptism

9 Comments
Posted August 21, 2010 at 10:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



Wonderfully inspiring--watch it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyMilitary / Armed ForcesPsychologyStress* TheologyPastoral Theology

1 Comments
Posted August 16, 2010 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

An attack on a Christian aid group in Afghanistan that left 10 medical workers dead a week ago underscores the perils of faith-based organizations that operate in Muslim nations and the perception that they are promoting a Western agenda.

Six Americans, two Afghans, a German and a Briton working for the International Assistance Mission were gunned down in northern Badakhshan province in what Afghan officials say is the worst such attack in the country's history. The Taliban claimed responsibility, saying the medical workers were trying to convert Muslims and were carrying Bibles written in Dari, one of the country's two main languages.

Read or listen to it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeMissionsParish MinistryPastoral Care* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations

1 Comments
Posted August 12, 2010 at 5:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




Return to blog homepage

Return to Mobile view (headlines)