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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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The Archbishop of Canterbury has summoned the bosses of the ‘Big Six’ energy companies to a private meeting on Wednesday to discuss fuel poverty and rising energy prices.
The meeting comes after the Most Rev Justin Welby said he understood why people felt above-inflation price rises were “inexplicable” and called on the companies to act with “generosity”.
Four of the Big Six supliers are believed to be sending their most senior UK executives, in contrast to a recent Commons select committee hearing where just one, E.On chief executive Tony Cocker, attended to face MPs.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Culture-Watch Poverty Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Personal Finance Energy, Natural Resources * International News & Commentary England / UK
The Archbishop of Canterbury paid tribute to Nelson Mandela on Sunday at a special thanksgiving service for the life of the South African leader.
"Great injustice is overcome only by great courage. Evil can never be placated, it must be defeated. That means struggle, and struggles demand courage," Archbishop Justin said in a sermon at St-Martin-in-the-Fields church in Trafalgar Square.
The service, which was led by the Vicar of St-Martin-in-the-Fields, the Revd Dr Sam Wells, featured a live link to Christ the King church in Sophiatown in Johannesburg.
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Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * International News & Commentary Africa South Africa
The Archbishop of Canterbury has turned down an invitation to become part of an “army of Good Samaritans” checking on elderly people at Christmas because of Church of England policy.
Organisers of the NHS “Winter friends” campaign, under which people sign a pledge to help isolated elderly people in practical ways, have recruited a series of well-known figures including Joanna Lumley, the actress, and Stephen Fry, the broadcaster, to support them.
But their hopes of signing the Most Rev Justin Welby up as a key supporter were dashed because of a policy which prevents the Archbishop joining campaigns.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Culture-Watch Aging / the Elderly Health & Medicine Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Recently I had the privilege of discussing the issue of HIV/AIDS with the Archbishops of Southern Africa and Burundi, and the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé. It was encouraging hearing how much has been achieved in the global response to HIV/AIDS, yet sobering to see what challenges remain.
Last year there were 35 million people living with HIV, according to UNAIDS. New infections are down by 33% since 2001 and new infections in children down by 52%. Millions more people can now access treatment so they can live full and active lives. As a result, AIDS-related deaths have reduced by 29% since 2005. This is a hugely significant advance. It makes clear that we have the means and must maintain the commitment, as a global community, to ensure that no one is left behind in the progress on prevention and treatment.
It was also inspiring hearing how churches in Burundi and Southern Africa are responding to HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence.
Read it all.
...it is also important to recognise how much the themes of the Narnia books are interwoven with what he was thinking and writing in other contexts around the same time, and with material he had already published in the 1940s — as well as the fact that the first seeds of the actual Narnia narrative seem to have been sown as early as 1939. For example: his 1946 book, The Great Divorce, foreshadows many of the ideas in the Narnia stories — most particularly a theme that Lewis insists on more and more as his work develops, the impossibility of forcing any person to accept love and the monumental and excruciating difficulty of receiving love when you are wedded to a certain picture of yourself. It is this theme that emerges most clearly in his last (and greatest) imaginative work, the 1956 novel, Till We Have Faces. These issues are very much the issues that Lewis is trying to work out in a variety of imaginative idioms from the early 1940s onwards — the problems of self-deception above all, the lure of self-dramatising, the pain and challenge of encounter with divine truthfulness. What Narnia seeks to do, very ambitiously, is to translate these into terms that children can understand. And as to why Lewis decided to address such an audience, there is probably no very decisive answer except that he had a high view of children’s literature, a passion for myth and fantasy and a plain desire to communicate as widely as possible.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * Culture-Watch Books Children Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology
Some of the rarest and most fragile religious texts in the Vatican and Bodleian libraries, including ancient bibles and some of the oldest Hebrew manuscript and printed books, are being placed online in a joint project by the two great libraries, which will eventually create an online archive of 1.5m pages.
The website launched on Tuesday with funding from the Polonsky Foundation includes the first results of the four-year project, including the Bodleian's 1455 Gutenberg Bible, one of only 50 surviving copies of the first major book printed in the west with metal type.
The site will also host a growing collection of scholarly essays, and interviews with the Oxford and Vatican librarians, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who said the digitisation was of huge international significance.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet Books Education History Religion & Culture Science & Technology * International News & Commentary England / UK Europe Italy
The full text of the Archbishop of Canterbury and York's statement on the report follows below:
'Earlier this month, the Review Group established in 2011 by the House of Bishops under the chairmanship of Sir Joseph Pilling delivered to us its Report.
'This is a substantial document proposing a process of facilitated conversations in the Church of England over a period of perhaps two years. The document offers findings and recommendations to form part of that process of facilitated conversations. It is not a new policy statement from the Church of England.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Archbishop of York John Sentamu Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Theology: Scripture
1. Let us appreciate the church but let us reimagine it. So I want each of you now to think of your church and mentally describe it to yourself. What is it like? I am sure it is full of good and earnest people. The work goes on faithfully week after week. And I have a pretty good idea of your church because most churches are the same; similar things go on in them. It is recognizable.. as the hymn puts it: ‘In heavenly love abiding, no change my heart shall fear, for safe in such confiding, for nothing changes here!’
So, if you and I want to start on a process of re-imagining the church perhaps we have to go back to basics and, for me, the starting point would be the Great Commission: ‘Go and preach the gospel’. What I notice from my study of the bible is that both the Hebrew word for congregation, qahal, and the Greek word for church, ecclesia, are not static words but active words....
My second affirmation is that: Our task is to nurture fellow Christians but also to grow authentic disciples. And this affirmation is about moving from encouraging fellow believers to moving them on into discipleship. Consider in your mind now, some people who come along to church but as far as you know are rather passive Christians. They are faithful in attendance but that is the extent of their involvement in church life. We might long to see them developing as a public Christian. How might that happen?
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The Archbishop of Canterbury isn’t exactly struggling to get the press to notice him at the moment. Of course it always helps to have a royal christening to preside over to gain a decent amount of media exposure. There’s nothing though to indicate that Justin Welby is deliberately trying to court journalists in the fashion of a D list celebrity, it’s more that he is doing what he believes he is called to and people are sitting up and taking notice. In the space of a week along with Prince George’s baptism, Justin Welby has repeatedly been in the papers, taking on the energy companies and bankers (again) as well as flagging up a concern over the proliferation of foodbanks. He also managed to squeeze in trips to Iceland and Kenya for the Global Anglican Future (GAFCON) Conference. Not bad for a week’s work.
The honeymoon period that Welby is enjoying shows little sign of fading any time soon. Even his opposition to the legalisation of gay marriage, which unsurprisingly failed to go down well in some quarters, appears not to have been held against him. Where his predecessor, Rowan Williams continually had the shadow of the Church of England’s attitude to gay relationships and women bishops clinging to him, Justin Welby has been able to avoid getting bogged down in the politics of the church so far.
Read it all (another from the long line of should have already been posted material).
The Archbishop of Canterbury has denied that he wants Church of England schools to stop using children's faith as a criterion for admission.
The Times reported on Thursday that Archbishop Welby had told them that church schools were moving away from selecting pupils on the grounds of their religion. But the Church quickly issued a statement that insisted that there had been no change in policy, and that church schools were free to continue to admit children based on their faith, if they wished.
Archbishop Welby said in the statement: "I fully support the current policy for schools to set their own admissions criteria, including the criterion of faith. Nothing in my wider comments to The Times on this subject should be seen as dissenting from this policy."Read it all.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has sent a message of prayer and solidarity to all those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
'We are deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the loss of thousands of lives and of the suffering of millions' caused by the storm, Archbishop Justin Welby said today.
'Our prayers are with all those who are traumatised by the disaster and in desperate need of food, water, shelter and medical attention.'
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Christian Life / Church Life Spirituality/Prayer * General Interest Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc. * International News & Commentary Asia Philippines
The Archbishop of Canterbury has become president of Livability, the national Christian disability charity which works with churches to help thousands of disabled people in the UK and overseas.
Archbishop Justin Welby’s presidency will help continue the close and historic relationship between the Church of England and Livability, which was formed after two older Christian charities, John Grooms and the Shaftesbury Society, merged in 2007.
In his inaugural letter to the charity, the Archbishop said that “disabled people have much to offer to our local communities, workplaces and to society in general” but that they face “real financial hardship and unacceptable barriers when trying to access education, training, housing, transport and the care they require.”
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Culture-Watch Charities/Non-Profit Organizations Health & Medicine * International News & Commentary England / UK
Working with his Rugby contemporary R. H. Tawney, the seminal Labour thinker, and William Beveridge, the architect of the welfare reforms which sought to banish the five giants of want, idleness, squalor, ignorance and disease, Temple’s book Christianity and Social Order, published in 1942, provided a challenging theological gloss to this vision: “. . . there is no hope of establishing a more Christian social order except through the labour and sacrifice of those in whom the Spirit of Christ is active, and that the first necessity for progress is more and better Christians taking full responsibility as citizens for the political, social and economic system under which they and their fellows live.”
After Temple’s death at the age of 63 after being Archbishop of Canterbury for only 30 months, Bishop Barry of Southwell asked angrily in The Spectator: “Is the Church so rich in prophets that it can afford to squander the gifts of God?” A contrasting view, expressed by Hensley Henson, was that he died just in time “for he had passed away while the streams of opinion in Church and State, of which he became the outstanding symbol and exponent, were at flood, and escaped the experience of their inevitable ebb”.
Although a much different world than that of 60 years ago, the weight of Temple’s greatness is still felt. Once described as “a man so broad, to some he seem’d to be Not one, but all Mankind in Effigy”, his wide informed vision checks our growing narrowness and self-obsession, his realism our Utopian perfectionism, his generosity of heart a worthy riposte to the mood of cynicism and anger epitomising the age and his statesmanship a powerful reminder of what it is to serve as the national church.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
O God of light and love, who illumined thy Church through the witness of thy servant William Temple: Inspire us, we pray, by his teaching and example, that we may rejoice with courage, confidence and faith in the Word made flesh, and may be led to establish that city which has justice for its foundation and love for its law; through Jesus Christ, the light of the world, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Q.: You said recently that most of our disagreements are about power and prestige rather than dogma or doctrine. What exactly do you mean?
Archbishop Welby: …We exist in different church communities, different ecclesial communities around the world and the longer that goes on, the more our different communities embed their own institutions and put down roots. Some of them have been putting down roots for centuries and that makes it harder and harder for us to say, well, actually, perhaps we need to reimagine what it means to look like the church and to surrender some of the things that give us our sense of identity in the cause of Christ. There are very fundamental and extremely important doctrinal and dogmatic differences that we have between us and they have to be worked on, as they are with Rome and the Anglicans with ARCIC, and we take those extremely seriously. It’s absolutely essential that those are worked on. But we need to make sure we’re working on them in the context of churches and ecclesial communities that say no sacrifice is too great to be obedient to the call of Christ that we may be one.
Q.: … Neither you nor Pope Francis seem remotely interested in power and prestige. Does this mean therefore that we can expect some kind of surprising healing or reconciliation in the near future?
Archbishop Welby: God has given you, and given us all, a great Pope. And he’s a great Pope of surprises… and I think people are inspired and uplifted by what they see in Pope Francis, as I am. I think he’s a wonderful person. Surprises? Yes, I think there’ll be one or two surprises. We’re hoping to produce a few surprises.
Read or listen to it all (just slightly under 9 1/3 minutes).
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Religion News & Commentary Ecumenical Relations Other Churches * Theology Ecclesiology Theology: Scripture
To friends and co-workers for peace in the Hindu communities,
On this, my first Diwali since becoming Archbishop of Canterbury, I wish you great peace and joy as you celebrate with your families and friends both here and across the world. Having moved back to London I am aware that every year the fireworks of ‘Diwali on the Square’ draw great crowds from all over the capital.
My prayer for you is that in all the busyness of hospitality - of sharing food, flowers and gifts, you would find some moments of quietness and peace.
The lights of Diwali symbolise the renewal of life and hope in the midst of darkness so often prevalent in our world. The spiritual heart is found in the ancient prayer, ‘lead me from darkness to light.’ This is something that as Christians we share with you, as we focus our faith on Jesus, the light of the world in the coming Advent and Christmas season.
Read it all.
Campaigners praised Mr [David] Cameron for taking a lead. Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury and chairman of Christian Aid, said it was a “brave decision” that involved facing down vested interests.
Global Witness, an anti-corruption group, said it was a “historic rollback of corporate secrecy”. Gavin Hayman, director, said: “Life is about to get much more difficult for corrupt politicians, arms traders, drug traffickers and tax evaders. Other countries, including the British tax havens, the EU and the US, now need to follow the UK’s leadership.”
ActionAid, a campaign group, said it would welcome a public registry but said other transparency measures were needed, including country-by-country reporting of tax payments. Read it all (if neceesary another link there.)
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Taxes Politics in General * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Did you grow up reading C.S. Lewis?
I've had a fascination with Lewis since my teens, (but) I didn't grow up reading Narnia. I came rather late to Narnia, but I read quite a bit of Lewis as a teenager—Mere Christianity and The Great Divorce and some of the other books. As a schoolboy in the final year of high school, I read his book on Paradise Lost, which was very important for my English studies.
What was your introduction to the world of Narnia? What captivated you about it?
I suppose I read the Narnia books mostly as a student, and I enjoyed the wit of the books. Humor is very visible in them. I enjoyed the energy of the characterization.
And I just found myself very, very deeply moved by some passages, and I identify a lot with those moments of encounter—where you discover the truth about yourself in the face of God. Those are some of the most moving passages, because Lewis is particularly good at giving you a sense of joy in the presence of God.
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This is my first Assembly. I am enjoying sense of wonder at my smallness, my tiny place among God’s great Church, which draws together women and men, young and not so young, lay and ordained, from different continents and cultures and different ecclesial traditions. Being here together a fresh vision of that to which we are called. It is an opportunity for genuine encounter, an opportunity to learn about one another and to learn from one another. We must learn to hear Christ through one another. We renew our commitment to the ecumenical journey and the ecumenical task. We need one another.
We have travelled to this place praying –‘God of Life: Lead us to justice and peace.’ Peace and justice begin with us and God. When we are not at peace with God through Jesus Christ we cannot be peacemakers in the world. God calls us to be reconciled reconcilers, reconciled ourselves to God and to each other. Peace and justice become in us a cause for which any sacrifice is worthwhile when they are given birth in each of us and in the church by the Holy Spirit. For that reason we need to be seen again to be a people of prayer; faced with the God of peace and justice our hunger for unity grows, we are able to forgive and love one another with the love that God puts in our lives.
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So what can we do about this? One idea would be to look for – and then exploit – shale gas in Europe. We may have quite a lot of it – for instance in France, Germany and the UK. But to produce it we need a public consensus – and there is still a lot of opposition in western Europe. Of course, the opposition is understandable – fracking is loud and invasive, and the continent is densely populated. But if Europe is serious about creating wealth and jobs, it is an option worth exploring.
The country that is furthest along the road to consensus-building is the UK, which can count on political will, tax incentives and even a blessing from the Archbishop of Canterbury. If it does manage to create a healthy shale gas industry, it could pave the way for continental Europe to follow.
Other potential components of the solution for Europe are nuclear power, energy efficiency, better use of conventional hydrocarbons – in short, anything that can make energy cheaper and more readily available.
Read it all (if necessary another link Read it all.)
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life Energy, Natural Resources * International News & Commentary England / UK Europe * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
...the first thing that God’s people are meant to be, day to day, week to week, month to month, year to year, is we are meant to be a people who know our own failure, and who come to God with nothing in our hands, with no strength of our own, simply seeking his forgiveness, admitting our weakness. One of the great failures of the church in European history is that too often it is taken in by the appearance of strength and forgets its need of God. Over recent years we’ve done that over issues of the abuse of children in Europe. We’ve failed to say where we’ve gone wrong. We are to be a repentant church.
It is very easy to be confident in your own resources. When I was at university, which was sadly a very long time ago, two friends and I decided to walk across Scotland. It was about 230 miles, so it took about two weeks. We were good walkers but bad map readers. So we probably did 300 miles because we kept going one way and having to come back another. And on one occasion we were walking in western Scotland, and we came to a valley that split into two bits, and after a little while we realised that the valley we’d taken after about four miles ended in a cliff, and the other one had the main road. So we went back, and as we were going back we met some other people coming along the same bad route. And so being nice people we said to them, ‘This is the wrong way, there’s just a cliff at the end.’ And they said, ‘No there isn’t. We know this is the right way.’ So we smiled politely and we went on, and when we got back to where we should have gone from, we sat down and made a cup of tea and waited for them to appear, looking embarrassed.
Repentance is when you know you’re going the wrong way and, rather than going on, you turn round and go back and take the way that God has shown you. We are to be a repentant church. That is part of the culture of Christian faith.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics * Culture-Watch Urban/City Life and Issues * Theology Anthropology
...the Communique reaffirms the understanding from 2008 that GAFCON is “not a moment in time but a movement of the Spirit.” This phrase is not flight of rhetoric but a claim that GFCA is among other things a God-ordained “ecclesial” entity. Secondly, the Conference identifies itself as an “instrument of Communion” called into being because of the failure of other Instruments of Communion. I suppose some will take this claim as an open rebuke of the existing organs of the Lambeth bureaucracy. It is that, and my essays on Communion governance stand as testimony as to why such a rebuke is justified. But it is more than that: it is a positive declaration that the GFCA plans to be a vehicle of God’s grace to reform and revitalize the Anglican Communion.
Some may ask by what right the GFCA appoints itself an instrument. In an early draft, the Statement Committee proposed saying that “we are conscious that we have become an instrument of Communion.” I think that wording is revealing, even if the final form moves consciousness into conviction. What I mean is that the GAFCON movement did not start out intentionally to overturn existing authorities but rather over a period of fifteen years came to realize that no other option was workable and that God had indeed formed new bonds of affection among its members during the times of trial.
So is the GFCA laying the groundwork for a separate Communion? Absolutely not! At the first GAFCON virtually all the delegates were adamant that they were not leaving the Anglican Communion, because “we are the Anglican Communion!” Some may think this is verbal trickery. It is not. There is nothing sacrosanct about the so-called Instruments of Communion. To be sure, the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lambeth Conference carry the weight of almost 150 years’ continuance. However, for good or ill, Archbishop Longley refused to grant the first Lambeth Conference ecclesial authority as a council and by so doing he built in a weakness that has been a major reason for the recent crisis. During the past decade, whenever the Primates proposed more authoritative action – e.g., “To Mend the Net” proposal or the Dar es Salaam Communique – Canterbury squelched the attempt.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Analysis Archbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams Anglican Primates Primates Mtg Dar es Salaam, Feb 2007 Global South Churches & Primates GACON II 2013 Instruments of Unity Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings
Religious faith is a “powerful and increasingly influential global reality” which must be taken seriously, especially in the City of London, according to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Most Rev Justin Welby said God and mammon – material wealth or greed – are not mixable, but this did not mean there was no place for faith in the City.
“That’s on the authority of Jesus Christ who said you can’t serve God and mammon. God and the City, by contrast I think, are eminently mixable.”
He was speaking at a Mansion House dinner hosted by Roger Gifford, a senior banker and Lord...
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Credit Markets Currency Markets Stock Market The Banking System/Sector * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Archbishop Justin Welby hailed the church’s ‘pioneering’ work with refugees and migrants, which he said offered ‘leadership to the whole Anglican Communion’.
He was spending two days in Hong Kong at the start of a 10-day visit to Anglican Primates in the region, which will also include Japan and Korea.
The Archbishop is visiting every Primate in the Anglican Communion during his first 18 months in office, so that he can get to know each of them in their local context, personally and professionally, in order to foster friendship and mutual understanding.
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A few months ago, in late July, an interview was published in England, in which I’d been interviewed and had among many other things talked about what are called credit unions in England. These are small, local, community financial organisations. Over the last 40 of 50 years they have more or less disappeared. And if, in England, you are in a poorer part of the country, and in much of the rest of the United Kingdom, and you need some money quickly, you can get it very easily. There are many organisations. The interest varies between 2500 percent a year and 5500 percent a year. So it costs you. You borrow 200 pounds for five days. You roll it over cause you can’t pay it back. You roll it over again. Before you know it you owe two, three, four thousand.
I made what seemed to me the fairly obvious comment that I considered this to be usury and usury had been a sin since Moses. Well, it was a quiet day in the press. And they had nothing important to report, so we found that they reported it rather large scale. It was a casual comment. I wish I could say that I had a grand strategy, but I didn’t. It was an accident. But it was an accident in which God was involved. Because it has created such momentum that there is a great new movement to change the way we do community finance. And it is such a powerful movement that we’re even working with the Scots about it. And there is a miracle. It takes a lot to make the Scots willing to work with the English. Understandably, we’ve spent about 800 years ill treating them. But, what was interesting to me, was a comment by the head of our mission and public affairs department, who said he’s had to rewrite part of a book he’s writing on social action of the church, to say that it is not only about grand statements and about prayer, but in today’s society we are called to action. That in the postmodern society people look for a story of change, of engagement, of commitment, that brings testimony and witness to words and prayers.
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The village sign at Minster in Thanet, Kent, says “AD 670”. But the settlement is far older, for Roman bricks are built into the tower of St Mary’s Church....
Autumn suits Minster. Seagulls sat on the steep-pitched roof the church and pigeons cooed round its tower last week as the leaves began to fall – though not those of the mature olive trees near the churchyard, which clement winters have allowed to flourish. Even so, the blazing log fire at the Bell public house was welcome once sunset approached.
Minster once stood on the shore of the Isle of Thanet when it was a true island separated from Kent by the sea. That was a source of prosperity from trade, but also a fatal weakness, for the Vikings repeatedly plundered and destroyed Minster.
The name is from the Latin for monastery (as in “Westminster”), and the year 670 was when the Archbishop of Canterbury, Theodore of Tarsus, consecrated the monastery of nuns here.
St Mary’s is a fine, large church, with a stone-vaulted chancel. “The beauties of the east end are fully revealed inside,” says Pevsner’s Buildings of England volume. But it was locked when I arrived, so I crossed Church Street and looked at an even more intriguing old building – Minster Abbey.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK
Those who make this journey must look in two directions, the Archbishop said.
'First, they look at the world. Jesus tells his disciples to let people come to him. To do that they have to be outward looking, in touch with the world, welcoming, generous-spirited, alive with the life of the Christ to whom they will introduce all who come.'
He added that as a Christian, Prince George 'is to share the life of Christ which is in him, regardless of whom he meets, their faith or nature or habits, so that others find life. That sharing may be in words, or generous actions - most likely both - but it will be both very costly and infinitely rewarding.'
The second direction in which Christians must look is towards Christ, the Archbishop said....
Read it all and note the video link at the bottom for those interested.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Culture-Watch Children Marriage & Family Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Sacramental Theology Baptism
The christening of Prince George has taken place in the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace in London.
The prince, third in line to the throne, was baptised by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The christening was private, with only senior royals, four members of the Middleton family, the seven godparents and their spouses among the 22 guests.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Children Marriage & Family Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Sacramental Theology Baptism
To carry out the task of telling people about Jesus Christ, we need to be a Church that is holy. And for us as individuals and for us as churches right round the world that is always a massive challenge. We all live in different contexts and the challenge overlaps but is slightly different wherever we live. We are dealing with very rapid changes of culture in the Global North and the issue of sexuality is a very important one. How we respond rightly to that – in a way that is holy, truthful and gracious – is absolutely critical to our proclamation of the gospel.
Some churches are responding to challenges in their own context that are very very different. We have churches that are caught up in the midst of wars and violence and have to learn to proclaim the gospel in the midst of that. That’s really incredibly hard, and I’ve much experience of seeing it. There are other churches that are in countries where there are governments that are corrupt and it can be very hard to proclaim the gospel truly in those situations. Wherever we are, there’s a different context; but wherever we are, in our own context, in the right way, we have to live as a Church that is holy.
In addition, the gospel has to be proclaimed by a Church that is in unity....
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After morning tea we turned to the opening plenary session and the chairman’s address. Archbishop Wabakula of Kenya is a softly-spoken man but even his gentle voice could not disguise the power of what he had to say. We reported yesterday that Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, had been challenged by the Primates in their meeting and Wabukala had equally firm words to say. Here’s the key paragraph,
Five years on, the paralysis of which we spoke has intensified. And it has become clear that the Communion now needs new wineskins, a new way of ordering its affairs to fulfil the world wide scope of the Great Commission. Even the Archbishop of Canterbury has now come to this conclusion and I am grateful forOr, put in simpler terms, it’s not enough for Welby to visit GAFCON and tell them that he recognises that the current structures are failing. If he will not deal with the real issues (the apostasy of the American and Canadian churches) then GAFCON will continue on without him. He no longer commands any leadership amongst them.
His Grace’s honesty in acknowledging that the Anglican Communion’s neo- colonial leadership structures need to be replaced when he preached here at All Saints Cathedral last Sunday. However, it is difficult to see how stable and effective leadership can be developed unless the depth of the spiritual crisis we face is acknowledged. Organisational change on its own will not be enough. Even the very weak theological discipline of the Anglican Covenant has failed to win consent despite years of negotiation and the Archbishop of Canterbury is no longer able to gather the Communion.
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Archbishop Welby's whirlwind visit to Nairobi on Sunday provided an opportunity for him to take the measure of six Primates and half-a-dozen other key leaders, including the General Secretary of GAFCON, Dr Peter Jensen, and the retired Nigerian Archbishop, the Most Revd Peter Akinola, in a private meeting at All Saints' Cathedral.
The conservatives also had an opportunity to size up Archbishop Welby. All of those questioned after the meetings expressed a personal regard for the man, but were sceptical that his office could provide a solution to the divisions within the Church if it sought to take a neutral stance.
"Archbishop Welby's statement 'The old ways are no longer appropriate, the old structures no longer work,' given on the eve of GAFCON, give us hope," Dr Jensen said. Nevertheless, the future envisioned by Archbishop Welby "began with GAFCON 2008", Dr Jensen said. "It's time for him to catch up."
Read it all (scroll to the bottom of the page).
The Archbishop was visiting Kenya to offer condolence and solidarity following the attack, while encouraging Archbishop Eliud and other bishops and clergy ministering around the Nairobi area.
Following his sermon Archbishop Justin had lunch with Archbishop Eliud, five Kenyan bishops and those Anglican primates who had arrived early in Nairobi for the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), which starts today.
The Archbishop was unable to attend the conference due to a prior engagement in Iceland and the baptism of Prince George in London, but has sent a video greeting.
Read it all.
Amid deep division in the worldwide Anglican Communion, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby on Sunday emphasized the need for mission and evangelism.
“The more seriously we take the Bible, the more effectively we will be able to deal with our divisions,” Welby said.
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The Archbishop of Canterbury has made a detour of more than 8,000 miles to visit Kenya - on his way to Iceland.
Archbishop Justin Welby, who arrived on Saturday night, gave sermons at All Saints Cathedral on Sunday morning.
He made the "last-minute" 24-hour trip to offer condolences after the Westgate centre attack, Lambeth Palace said.
He is also meeting conservative Church leaders who are in Nairobi for this week's conference of the traditionalist Anglican group, Gafcon.
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You may find the video here.
Watch it all and form your own conclusions and make your own prayerful evaluations (a little over 27 minutes).
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The Archbishop of Canterbury offered his qualified personal endorsement to Gafcon today, telling the congregation of All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi his vision for the future of the Anglican Communion was of a Bible-based church dedicated to mission and evangelism – goals shared by the Gafcon movement of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA).
While Archbishop Justin Welby stopped short of giving Gafcon his formal imprimatur, he conceded the existing instruments of communion were no longer fit for purpose in ordering the life of the Anglican world.
The archbishop also hinted the Communion may not be able to count upon the Church of England to hold the line on issues close to the heart of the Gafcon movement.
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The Archbishop of Canterbury has criticised energy companies for imposing huge price rises that will hammer struggling families.
Justin Welby said power giants had a ‘massive’ moral duty beyond squeezing customers for maximum profit, and challenged the firms to justify their huge increases in bills.
The Archbishop, himself a former oil executive, said he understood the anger over apparently ‘inexplicable’ rises and called on the companies ‘to behave with generosity and not merely to maximise opportunity’.
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Please read this carefully and follow the directions so as not to be confused. You can find the links to the lectures here, BUT, and this is a very important but, the top lecture is not yet available and so what you see when you go immediately to the page is a big black screen with white writing saying "Lost Signal." DO NOT LET THIS DISCOURAGE YOU. Look at the black bar directly underneath the words "Thomas Cranmer and Contemporary Anglican Worship with Ashley Null." On the lefthand side of this bar you will see the word "Livestream," and on the right you will see "login" and then further right you will see the word "join." Immediately to the right of the word "join" you will see an arrow up sign with a toggle bar underneath. If you move this togglebar down the page you will begin to see links to six of Dr. Null's lectures which are available as of this time. Below this description I will also post a link to the first of his lectures--KSH.
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The ledgers of the country's credit unions enjoyed a boost this week, as dioceses and bishops deposited money, backing up warm words.
In a personal letter that is being sent out to 8000 members of the clergy in mid-November, the Archbishop of Canterbury urges them to support their local credit union: "Our faith in Christ calls us to love the poor and vulnerable with our actions. That is why the Church must be actively involved in supporting the development of real lending alternatives, such as credit unions."
More than 40 bishops are taking up the call immediately, and at least 11 of them planned to mark International Credit Union Day yesterday by opening accounts.
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It has long been a favourite among publicity-seeking celebrities wanting to post “selfies” online but now the Archbishop of Canterbury has joined the photo sharing site Instagram in his drive to spread the Christian message.
In a first for the Church of England, Justin Welby has joined the app’s 150 million users worldwide with an opening message urging churches and communities to support their local credit union.
His statement came as bishops across England and Scotland prepared to mark International Credit Union Day today.
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The Church of England is investigating the reasons for the dramatic spread of food banks, and will examine the impact of benefits cuts on their use.
The move emerged as David Cameron was questioned in the Commons over the soaring numbers of families requesting emergency help from the banks.
The Independent reported this week that food bank use had more than tripled over the last year. Shrinking pay packets, as well as the benefits squeeze and the rising cost of basic groceries, have been cited as reasons for the increase.
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The Church of England and ++Welby are culture bound. They formerly sent missionaries to the far corners of the earth. Much of the pushback against Canterbury is from lands Canterbury missioned through the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. The prophetic voice for Anglicanism is from the Global South not Canterbury. It should be Canterbury speaking truth to power not cowering and renting her garments because she is ashamed of her guiding documents and Lord. Does accommodating the cultural change make the church more relevant; more genuine; more truthful; more liked? Does ++Justin Welby actually speak the mind of the WWAC any more than the former ABC ++Rowan Williams? His collaboration, while cloaked is progressivism not true reconciliation or repentance.
The bitter irony is that Canterbury in an attempt to be more relevant and responsive to her immediate culture has made herself less relevant to the Christian church in general and the WWAC in particular. Since when does taking the majority side make the church right or more liked? Does Canterbury even understand that lukewarm Christianity is no match for Islam which will ascend to power by demographics alone? England is in danger of having a new and less tolerant established religion.
The title of my article is “A Way Forward For Anglicanism”. It is different than two years ago. We are further down the road. There is more clarity. GAFCON II will be meeting in Kenya in October. I am hopeful.
Read it all and part two is there.
On the issue of homosexuality and gay marriage, do you consider your own views and those of the church as being out of touch with the views of your students at Cambridge, and do you think that’s a problem?
I think it is quite a problem. This is the one area where there is the deepest sense of the church being out of step with what the rest of the culture take for granted. I think it’s quite difficult for some people outside of the church to recognise that there is something in the matter of several thousand years of assumption, reflection and ethical practice here which isn’t likely to be overturned in a moment. But, all that being said, I think the church has to put its hands up and say our attitude towards gay people has at times been appallingly violent. Even now it can be unconsciously patronising and demeaning, and that really doesn’t help. We have to face the fact that we’ve deeply failed a lot of gay and lesbian people, not only historically but more recently as well. I think that there is a very strong, again theological, case for thinking again about our attitudes towards homosexuality: but I’m a bit hesitant about whether marriage is the right category to talk about same sex relation, and I think there is a debate we haven’t quite had about that. But in a sense that’s water under the bridge, the decision has been taken, things move on. Looking back over my time as Archbishop I think that’s what most people will remember about the last ten years: ‘oh, he was that bloke who was so bogged down in issues about sexuality’.Read it all.
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Using an overdraft at a high street bank can cost more than taking out a payday loan, research has shown.
Which?, the consumer group which conducted the study, said that the mainstream credit industry was in as much need of regulation as the much-criticised fringe players.
The research shows authorised overdrafts with a leading bank can be as costly as a payday loan with companies such as Wonga. For example, borrowing £100 for 31 days will cost £30 with a Halifax authorised overdraft or £20 with some Santander accounts.
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When the Archbishop of Canterbury was embarrassed by the revelation earlier this year that the Church had invested indirectly in Wonga – after he had announced plans to take on the payday lender – it served as a bleak reminder that even the best-intentioned investor can be let down by their so-called ethical investments.
If you are looking to put your spare cash to good use by investing "ethically", be warned that you could face similar nasty surprises unless you keep a keen eye on the investment criteria. A close examination of the ethical fund sector shows investments in some unexpected areas. They include oil companies operating in tar sand fields, deemed harmful by some environmentalists; arms manufacturers; and businesses that have exposure to fur and animal testing.
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The Most Rev Justin Welby advised churchgoers that it could be an “enormously powerful” experience to unburden themselves to a confessor, even if it was not always a “bunch of laughs”.
His comments came as he addressed the heads of other churches – including the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England Wales, the Most Rev Vincent Nichols – about divisions between Christians.
Although Archbishop Welby comes from the evangelical wing of Anglicanism, his personal spiritual director is a Swiss Roman Catholic priest, Fr Nicolas Buttet, and he is a strong advocate of Catholic worship styles.
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After the news broke last week (on Anglican Ink) that Archbishop Welby was not going to Gafcon, a torrent of negative comments from the right and rejoicing from the left washed through the Anglican blogosphere. Others gave the archbishop the benefit of the doubt. And the vast majority paid it no mind at all.
On Anglican Unscripted I said that the excuse of having to baptize Prince George was the best get-out-of-a-social-obligation-free card I had ever heard. I gave the archbishop high praise for finding a way to finesse a sticky situation. And now we have this extraordinary volte face -- and this pitiable explanation.
So, what is going on? Wheels within wheels? Or incompetence? From what I have been able to divine, Archbishop Welby is breaking free from the shackles of the Church of England’s bureaucracy. His predecessor, Rowan Williams, was Anglicanism’s Jimmy Carter (or for our English readers its Harold Wilson). The smartest man in the room -- but clueless as to how to use his authority and office. Justin Welby started off well as archbishop, but has also fired some distress rockets that worry the Global South. While they like him and are encouraged by his sincere faith – will the office overwhelm the man as it had Rowan Williams?
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Exactly one month after the terrorist attack on the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi (News, 27 September), 1200 people are expected to gather in the city to attend GAFCON II.
The Archbishop of Canterbury will preach at a eucharist at All Saints' Cathedral in the Kenyan capital, the day before the conference opens there. He will not attend the conference, owing to "long-standing commitments", a statement from Lambeth Palace said, but will record a video greeting.
The Archbishop will be the guest of the Primate of Kenya, Dr Eliud Wabukala, who chairs the GAFCON Primates Council, from 19 to 20 October. The "flying visit" to Nairobi was "to be in close solidarity following the recent terrorist attack".
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The Archbishop of Canterbury called for Christians in deep disagreement to choose ‘to be gracious’.
Archbishop Justin was addressing Churches Together in England’s Annual National Church Leaders Meeting at Lambeth Palace on Monday evening, where he spoke on ‘graciousness and respect in disagreement’.
Acknowledging the ‘reality’ of divisions between Christians, Archbishop Justin said that ‘genuine reconciliation’ was not ‘agreement’ but ‘learning to love one another in deep disagreement. . . The miracle of the church is not that we agree and love one another; it’s that we disagree and, despite that, we love one another.’
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The Archbishop of Canterbury has urged the Egyptian Government to do more to prevent mob attacks on the country’s Coptic Christian minority.
The Most Rev Justin Welby said the circumstances for Egypt’s Christian minority, which makes up about about 10 per cent of the nation’s population, were “life-threatening”.
More than 200 Christian-owned properties have been attacked and 43 churches seriously damaged across the country, according to an Amnesty International report out...[this week].
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It is the first time that a royal christening has been marked with coins.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's son will be christened on 23 October, just over three months after his birth.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, will perform the christening at the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace.
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The Archbishop of Canterbury will visit Nairobi on 19 and 20 October as a guest of the Archbishop of Kenya, the Most Revd Eliud Wabukala.
The purpose of the visit, which has been arranged at short notice, is to be in solidarity with the Kenyan people following the attack on the Westgate shopping mall last month.
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Please bow your heads and let us begin as we should always begin, in prayer.
Heavenly Father and Gracious God remind us of who you are and of whose we are and of the message that you have entrusted to us. We are gathered for such a time as this and we need to be recentered, we need to be refocused, we need to have our call furthered clarified, and so Lord we need a word from you. Gracious God take my lips and speak through them, take our minds and think through them, take our wills and mold them and shape them according to your purposes. And take our hearts and set them on fire with love for your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
In the stories General Eisenhower used to tell about his associates in the military and the government, he had one favorite above all the others. He indulged in it frequently at the expense of one of his chief aides, whose name was named George Allen. George Allen had the distinct misfortune, the dubious distinction of having played in the record-setting football game with the most lopsided score of all time. The score was 222 to 0. It was a game between Georgia Tech and Cumberland played in the 1916 season. And, yes you guessed it; George Allen played quarter back on the losing side. After about three quarters of the game, when the score had begun to mount into the hundreds and the team was dramatically demoralized, there came an amazing moment, in one of the few plays where Cumberland actually had the ball, when the ball was snapped back to Allen and he missed it and fumbled the ball. The opposing linemen came charging in, and suddenly the ball was trickling around the backfield and B. F. “Bird’ Paty, who later became a prominent attorney, was looking at the ball and he looked up past the ball and there was Allen, who was shouting, “Pick it up! Pick it up!” And Paty looked at the ball, and looked at Allen and then he looked at the charging linemen and he looked back at Allen and said, “You pick it up! You dropped it!”
My dear brothers and sisters I want to begin this afternoon by being so bold as to say that we have dropped the ball. I believe as passionately as I know how to state that we live in a time and a church under judgment. The book you need to center yourself on brothers and sisters is the book of Jeremiah, and the theme of judgment hardly ever mentioned in the contemporary western church when it is unfolded in the midst of God’s working with his people you see it quickly doing three things: It does cutting, it hurts and we heard abundant evidence of that today. Secondly it sets out confusion, tremendous confusion. Read and think about the book of Jeremiah sometime and think about how confusing it was for the people on the ground. Do I listen to Jeremiah or do I listen to Hananiah? Do I stay in Jerusalem or do I go to Babylon. Maybe I ought to think about going to Egypt. It becomes so confusing for Jeremiah himself at one point in Jeremiah 20 that he doesn’t even know to his own instincts and he almost internally self-destructs. But my dear brothers and sisters, a time of judgment is not only a time of cutting, though it is that, it is not only a time of confusion, though it is that, it is also a time of clarification.
And so the purpose of this talk this afternoon for just a few moments is to center us in our common faith and mission as we begin this 48-hour journey together. One of the things I delight in saying about my hero CS Lewis is that he had an instinct for the center. He knew how to distinguish between penultimate things and ultimate things and I need to say something to us as orthodox Anglicans. My dear brothers and sisters, we’ve not always done as well in making that distinction as we need to. We’ve got to learn to give those things that, even if they are precious to us, if they are not the ultimate things. We’ve got to recover an instinct for the center of whom we are, and the center of the message we are called to proclaim. Are you all with me?
So let’s think about Anglican essentials this afternoon. What is the center of who we are?
Number 1. All my points begin with the letter C, that is to help me in case I lose my place.
The first C is catholic; we are catholic, small C. What, Kendall Harmon was forced to think very deeply, what in its essence does it mean to be a catholic Christian, because that, I believe, is what we are.
It means first of all that we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. It means there is such a thing, to use Thomas Oden’s wonderful phrase, as a history of the Holy Spirit. So that when I did my doctorate at Oxford in the early 1990s and I studied the whole history of western Christian eschatology there came a moment when I confronted Augustine for the first time in earnest since college and I read the whole City of God and I sat there at Latimer House in Oxford with my pitiful little heater in the freezing cold temperatures, and I wept. Because I realized the Augustine had simply leveled every single book I had read in the last ten years, in the first three chapters. No wonder CS Lewis said he read three old books for every new one. At the end of City of God Augustine says, speaking of heaven, these wonderful words:
“There we shall rest and see, see and love, love and praise. This is what shall be in the end without end.” Did you get that? “There we shall rest and see, see and love, love and praise.” Do you know that is the finest summary in the smallest amount of words of heaven I have found anywhere? We have to drink deeply from the tradition that has been handed on to us, and unapologetically.
Sunday is the 300th anniversary of the birthday of Jonathan Edwards so permit a word about the man who is called America’s theologian.
George Marsden, who is the finest church historian in my estimation writing right now, has just released a brand new book on Jonathan Edwards called Jonathan Edwards: A Life (Yale University Press).
And writing about Edwards and his theology he says this:
“It is precisely because of the 20th century’s experience of human horror that Jonathan Edwards’ thinking on hell (yes you heard me use that word) cannot be so easily dismissed. Marsden goes on, Edwards believed (listen carefully to these words) that each person is “by nature incredibly short-sighted, self-absorbed, and blinded by pride.” Only a traumatic jolt could burst the bonds of self-absorption. Therefore the verbal violence of hellfire and damnation “was a gift of God to awaken people who were blindly sleepwalking to their doom.”
Interesting themes, heaven and hell, Augustine and Jonathan Edwards, we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. That is part of what it means to be a catholic. But there is more.
Second part of being catholic, it seems to me, is to believe in order. I found myself thinking about that simple gesture that happens in so many courtrooms. Order in court.
It seems to me what catholics are constantly saying to the church is “Order in the church, order in our worship, for crying out loud.” You ought to be able to follow the service. CS Lewis has a wonderful essay were he describes how the priests are always messing with the service and there is no structure that is predictable so that the liturgy can be vehicle instead of an obstacle to worship. Order in worship is important. It is amazing to me, thinking particularly about General Convention but also the general life of the Episcopal Church that since Thomas Cranmer gave us the Book of Common Prayer we have almost gone completely full circle and we are back to the very liturgical situation that he set out to reform namely there were too many liturgies running around and there wasn’t any order so he wrote a bookof COMMON PRAYER.
And yes order in the church so there is a certain way that we go about our business: bishops, priests, deacons, vestries, canons, there is a way that God set up the church.
And most importantly in our time order in the way we make decisions. Which means that to be a catholic Christian means that the more important the decision the more widely you consult, more people need to be involved, themore important the international leadership is involved. Hello, that is what is means to be a catholic Christian.
Finally to be a catholic doesn’t just mean those seven sacraments or seven sacramental acts or however you want to delineate them. It means more than that. To be a catholic means to think sacramentally. I found myself going back to that wonderful minor classic of Harry Blamires The Christian Mind. Listen to this summary that he gives of what it means to be Christian.
“The Christian mind thinks sacramentally. The Christian Faith presents a sacramental view of life. It shows life’s positive richness as derivative from the supernatural. It teaches us that to create beauty or to experience beauty, to recognize truth or to discover truth, to receive love or to give love, is to come in contact with realities that express the Divine Nature. At a time when Christianity is so widely misrepresented as life rejecting rather than life affirming [does that sound familiar to anyone?], it is urgently necessary to right the balance. In denouncing excesses of sensuality, Christians are apt to give the impression that their religion rejects the physical and would tame the enterprising pursuit of vital experience.”
And we don’t do it. There I was watching the opening sequence of The West Wing where President of the United States, Jeb Bartlett, has his daughter gone and kidnapped. He is in massive crisis. And what does this secular program do with a country and a president in crisis but it ends the first show of this season with the President of the United States with his hands open and a priest placing a wafer in those hands. Because he needed to have a sense of contact with the supernatural.
That is part of what it means to be a catholic Christian. Ya’ll with me? Stand on the shoulders of those who came before, a sense of order in the church and to think sacramentally.
I want everybody here who defines themselves as an Anglo-Catholic to please stand up. God bless you all.
That’s right, you heard it hear first, charismatic.
I had the distinct fortune of having my roommate in college be a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Darien Conn. And believe it or not, we used to drive from Bowdoin College five hours one way and go to two Sunday morning worship services and the Sunday night worship service and then drive all the way back to Maine. And the one thing about that parish that I remember above all others was that when you walked in people were there to worship God for whom He was in the beauty of holiness and it was astounding to see people do that. And that is my image of what the church should be.
Worth-ship is what the word means. To give God the worth He is due for the glory of who He is. I find myself thinking of that interesting play “Equus.” That interesting play “Equus where Anthony Perkins played Martin Dysart the doctor in the Broadway version when it first came out. The story of a boy who has a bizarre form of mental disturbance where he is obsessed with horses and this secular psychologist named Martin Dysart who is working like crazy with the boy who does nothing but talk about and dream about horses reaches this amazing moment in his life where he actually begins to envy the boy even though he is profoundly aware that the boy is deeply disturbed. Because Martin Dysart the secular psychologist, realizes that the boy has something outside of himself that is beckoning him and that he has to bow down to and Martin Dysart the secular psychologist has nothing.
In an amazing moment he says in a soliloquy on the stage, “Without worship we shrink!”
And that is part of the message of the charismatic movement to the contemporary church. Worship, brothers and sisters, is a priority. To meet God for who He is.
More than just worship from the charismatic movement. Power.
If I learned anything from three-hundred-plus Terry Fullum tapes in the early 1980s I learned that Holy Spirit was the power of God to be unleashed on His people and in His world. So that in the early 1980’s when Mount St. Helens in the Cascade Range of Washington exploded with what is probably the most visible indication of something called natural power that many of us in the modern world has ever seen. At 8.32 a.m. the explosion ripped 1,300 feet off the mountain, with a force of ten million tons of TNT, or roughly equal to five hundred Hiroshimas. Sixty people were killed, most by a blast of 300-degree heat traveling at two hundred miles an hour. Some were killed as far as sixteen miles away from the original blast. The blast also leveled those incredible 150-foot Douglas firs, as far as seventeen miles away. A total of 3.2 billion board feet of lumber were destroyed in that explosion, enough lumber to build 200,000 three-bedroom homes. That’s natural power. And what the charismatic movement importantly reminds us that we need to center ourselves in this afternoon is that the power of God that resurrected His Son Jesus Christ which is far more potent than Mount St. Helens and far more powerful is the power that rests in each one of us and in His church. Do you believe that with me?
Just one quick story about the power of the Holy Spirit of all places at General Convention. Thank you for praying for us, thank you for praying for me. It was the case that the Spirit was working and certainly one of the low points was the night of August 5th when the vote came down and I was a complete mess in many many ways and very upset not least because the bishops went overtime and so the bishops were in session after the House of Deputies were no longer in session and I was commissioned to read a speech in the House of Deputies as Bob Duncan was going to read a speech in the House of Bishops repudiating the action but since the bishops went overtime the bishops made their statement but in deputies I didn’t make my statement and I was not pleased about this. I said, “Lord, what are you doing? We worked on the statement, this isn’t working out.” And I had to make the statement the next day. You know what Jesus says in John 3 about the Holy Spirit. He says the Holy Spirit blows where He wills.
And so we were trying to figure out when Gene Robinson on Wednesday was going to be introduced. And John Guernsey and I are standing there at the computer and Jim Simons calls and says he is going to be introduced right as the session begins. So we work like crazy on the statement. Then Jim Simons calls right back and says no he isn’t going to be introduced so we slow down our pace and then he calls back and says yes he is going to be introduced. And we start changing our pace again. And then he calls back and says no he’s not and then finally one more change and yes he is! And so Guernsey changes it for the 400 thousandth time in the computer and I literally rip the page off the printer and I run across the street to get in there and sure enough Gene Robinson is introduced, and I have to read the statement. The whole time this has been happening I have been praying the night before and that morning and I had one overriding impression that was bothering my spirit very deeply. The overriding impression, brothers and sisters, was this, when we had the debate in deputies on same-sex unions and on the confirmation of Gene Robinson, and you need to hear this, no one, not a single person who argued for the change and the innovation brought into the debate a perspective of those beyond our shores.
And so there I was with my prepared text and I thought, what the hay, the Spirit blows where He wills, and so I spoke from the heart and I inserted a section in the speech that wasn’t in the text. I could just imagine Guernsey’s response in the back. The Enforcer [nickname for John Guernsey] was not happy. But the Holy Spirit had other plans. I spoke this point into the microphone and then sat down. And one person from Texas stood up and then the next thing that happened was one of the really amazing moments in Minneapolis for me personally. We had a deputy stand up from Honduras and he stood up with a translator and very slowly, because each phrase had to be translated, with this wonderful cadence he said, “I am a servant of God, in Honduras, and I am charge of 52 missions, and because of what this convention has done my entire ministry has been [and I quote him directly] has been washed down the drain.” And it was as if he confirmed exactly the point I made, only it wasn’t in my speech. The Holy Spirit did one of those things that the Holy Spirit is so good at doing. Do you believe that the Holy Spirit blows where He wills in your lives right now? That’s what it means to be a charismatic Christian.
First, catholic. Second, charismatic. Third, canonical.
All right, I should have said evangelical but it had to start with a “c”. You knew it was going to come to the Bible eventually.
I do need to say a few things about the Bible although I know that John Yates is going to say a whole lot more. My dear brothers and sisters, I am so proud this afternoon to say to you that we are people who be lieve in theauthority of the Bible.
I can do no better this afternoon than to quote to you the 1958 Lambeth Conference statement which I believe every Anglican needs to memorize, that’s how important I think it is. Listen to what the 1958 Lambeth Conferencesaid about the Holy Scriptures:
“The Church [they wrote] is not ‘over’ the Holy Scriptures, but ‘under’ them, in the sense that the process of canonization was not one whereby the Church conferred authority on the books but one whereby the Church acknowledged them to possess authority. And why? The books were recognized as giving the witness of the Apostles to the life, teaching, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and the interpretation by the Apostles of these events.” [Listen to this last phrase.] “To that apostolic authority the Church must ever bow.”
Now I need to say to you that the authority of the Bible needs to be understood by us a Christians as personal authority. It is a certain kind of authority. It is an authority that is personal, and I can’t do better than one of my heroes, Austin Farrer, who was the warden of Keble College in Oxford where I had a chance to study. He’s given the perfect illustration of what it means for every Christian every day to pick up the Bible. What’s supposed to be in my mind when I hear a sermon from this document, when I hear an adult education class on this document or when I read this document? What am I supposed to think that I’m doing? Listen to what Austin Farrer says:
“What is the bible like? Like a letter which a soldier wrote to his wife about the disposition of his affairs and the care of his children in case he should chance to be killed. And the next day he was shot, and died, and the letter was torn and stained with his blood. Her friends said to the woman: the letter is of no binding force; it is not a legal will, and it is so injured by the facts of the writers own death that you cannot ever prove what it means. But the lady said: I know the man, and I am satisfied I can see what he means. And I shall do it because it is what he wanted me to do, and because he died the next day.”
That’s what it means to read the Bible. It means to read a personal letter from God stained with his own blood. Is that your perspective, when you preach from it?
Something else about the Bible, not just the Bibles authority and not just that its personal authority, but that we as Anglican Christians actually believe not only in the authority of the Bible, but the importance of loving the Bible. I like this first psalm; it says something really amazing about the godly person. It says that the man of God and the woman of God is blessed who not only meditates on God’s law but delights in it. And the word that is used in Hebrew haphats means to have emotional delight in. It’s the word of a wife delighting in her husband, or a husband delighting in his wife. We’re to have a delight of scripture. We’re to love it, not simply to read it although we should and not simply to be under its authority although we should, we need to love it, to care about it, and to steward it.
My own hero Charles Simeon (1759-1836) preached his way through the Bible and taught his congregation of Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Cambridge, England not only that the Bible was authoritative but it was something to be loved. He once said this: “I love the simplicity of the Scriptures, I wish to receive and inculcate every truth precisely in the way and to the extent that it is set forth in the inspired Volume. Were this the habit of alldivines, there would soon be an end of most of the controversies that have agitated and divided the Church of Christ.”
Do we love the Bible, brothers and sisters? Love the Bible.
So what have I said so far? I said we’re catholics, I said we’re
charismatics, and I said we’re canonical. And I said we are under judgment. And I find myself gravitating to that fascinating verse, in Jeremiah: “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, [in Jeremiah 29] plans for welfare and not for evil to give you a future and a hope.” With these bases what is to be our focus as Anglicans as we go forward into the unknown future that God has for us. What is to keep the main thing the main thing mean for us in this time.
It means three more C’s.
First of all Christ. I’ve got to say that, I’m sorry! But it is about
Jesus. It is about the unsearchable riches of Christ and since we are in year B can I just remind you in passing of the sheer power for a moment of Mark’ Gospel. He is trying to portray a Jesus Christ who comes into people’s lives in power and who makes an authoritative claim. You remember the way that Mark unfolds the story at the end of chapter 4. That amazing scene where he stills the storm. They say who is this that at peace be still he says. And they say who is this of ye of little faith and so Mark wants to convey to his readers that the Jesus whom he is portraying has authority over the natural world. And then chapter 5 begins and you have that amazing scene with the Gerasene demoniac who is out there gashing himself among the tombs. And he suddenly because of the power of Christ is placed in his right mind. Jesus who has power not only over the natural world but over evil. And then the story goes on and Mark has that wonderful scene where Jairus has this sick daughter and Jesus is supposed to go and on his way, you remember what happens, the woman with the issue of blood comes up and touches the hem of Jesus’ garment and she is healed. Mark gives us a Jesus who has power over sickness. And now we have Jesus who has power over the natural world, and over the demonic world and over the evil world and over sickness. What is the last story in Mark Chapter 5? He goes to Jairus’ daughter’s house and she is dead, forget it, it’s over. He says it is not over that she is just sleeping and he gets everyone out of the room except the family and he says to the little girl, “Talitha cumi, “I say to you little girl arise,” and it’s the Jesus who has power over death.
This is the Jesus, brothers and sisters, that we need to unapologetically proclaim. The Jesus who makes a powerful claim, power over nature, power over the demonic, power over sickness and power the last great enemy of all, death itself.
We will be people who unapologetically will be about the Christ, proclaiming the unsearchable riches of Christ. We will also be people, next C, of the cross.
I’m not giving up on the Rite I language of the prayer book. “By His one oblation of Himself once offered, the full perfect and sufficient sacrifice oblation and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world. By the merits and death of Thy Son, Jesus Christ and through faith in His blood.” What is it that Paul says in Galatians 6? “Far be in from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ by which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.” It’s got to be centered on the cross, brothers and sisters; the cross is the center of it all.
To be a Christian means not to think from the world or from one’s self to the cross but to place one’s self as Luther did every single morning at the foot of the Cross and to think and to pray out from there to one’s self and the world.
Two quick comments by way of reminder about the cross. The cross is the final statement of God about the depth of the problem. To think from the cross out is to be reminded of the horror of sin. In his wonderful book Compassion Henri Nouwen tells the moving story of a family whose name are Joel and Nida Theartiga that he knew in Paraguay. And this family in the course of their life and ministry the father who was a physician becomes increasingly critical of the government in Paraguay. The military is becoming increasingly abusive and the father can’t take it anymore and he speaks out more and more boldly. Finally the government acts and they take their revenge on this physician and his wife by arresting his teenage son and torturing him to death. The enraged townsfolk wanted to turn the boy’s funeral into a huge protest march, but as Nouwen tells the story, as they said their prayers and thought about it, they chose another protest, a more cross-like, biblical lament. And as Nouwen describes the funeral, what they chose to do was to take their son and to take his body exactly the way they had found it in the jail: naked, scarred by electric shocks and cigarette burns and beatings. All the villagers filed past the corpse, which lay not in a coffin but on the blood-soaked mattress that it was on in prison when they found it. It was the strongest protest imaginable, because it put the injustice of human sin on total display.
My dear brothers and sisters, that’s what happened on Good Friday. The Cross in all it’s ugliness, exposed the world and exposed our hearts for what they are breeding grounds for violence and injustice; for arrogance and pride; yes, for sexual sin and immorality; for moral cowardice, personal greed, and self-interest, and all else. The cross of Christ is offensive because it exposes and condemns our rebellion and rebelliousness.
But the other thing about the cross, the great thing about the cross if we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before, is that in the mystery of God’s working on the cross, God at that moment in history, the judge of history, comes into history and absorbs the judgment upon himself. PT Forsyth put it this way: “The cross of Christ is God’s only self-justification in a world such as ours.” Karl Barth put it this way: “God, by the decree He made in the beginning of all his works and ways, has taken upon himself the rejection merited by the man isolated in relation to him.” Total exposure of human sin, total absorption of human rebellion, he himself has born our sins. God made him who knew no sin to be sin, brothers and sisters, so that in him we may be the righteousness of God. Do you believe that?
My last C. Not only the Christ, and not only the cross, but finally, and here I think I get to my most heartfelt cri de coeur about the situation in which we find ourselves. It’s about conversion for crying out loud. A funny thing happened on the way to the 21st century in the Episcopal Church: The 1979 prayer book! The full theological measure of its ethos has yet to be completely felt but we are now at a place of enough distance from it to begin to reflect with each other about its real impact on our common life and if we do that, and very few people are doing it, the results are deeply disconcerting.
Think with me just for a second. A prayer book that has an underemphasis on God’s transcendence and holiness and judgment, combined with a very weak sense of sin, combined with a liturgical practice that actually makes confession of sin optional, combined with a strong emphasis on baptism, combined with a baptismal covenant which is decoupled from its trinitarian and scriptural mooring so that apparently the nearly everything I read in the Episcopal church what it actually means to be baptized ONLY is revealed the last two questions in the baptismal covenant: namely, loving your neighbor as yourself, and to striving for justice and peace among all people, and respecting the dignity of every human being, combined with the predominant ethos of the American Episcopal Church which is liberal catholicism combined with the predominant ethos of America which is this weird post modern miasma of malnourished pluralism masking as real community, it leads to this, and I need to say this as clearly as I can: we have a theology in practice which moves straight from creation to redemption! A nearly universalistic or in fact completely universalistic worldview in which the fall and sin have in essence disappeared!! To be created in the Episcopal Church is apparently to be redeemed (at the most you need to be baptized) and so, think about this for just a second - what are the two most recent trends worthy of mention since Convention? Some people are arguing Gene Robinson was baptized, therefore he should be consecrated a bishop. It apparently trumps everything else. If you are baptized everything else follows, and then the even more important one which really flew under almost everybody’s radar screen, the huge growing practice in the Episcopal Church of open communion. So that at All Saints Pasadena the Rector gets up and says “who ever you are, where ever you are in your spiritual journey, I invite you to come forward for grace and consolation along the way.” Any reference to God the Father? Uh-uh. Any reference to God the Son? Gone. Any reference to the Holy Spirit? Nada. Now think about this for just a second.
Over against this barely Christian ethos, if you actually place what it means to have a biblical world view, you find yourself shocked, shocked because when you read the scriptures, Luke 19:10, the reason that the son of man came was to seek and to save the lost. God comes to Abraham and says, “Go to a lost world so that through you they will be blessed because they are not blessed now.” Jesus tells in Luke chapter 15 not one, not two, but three parables. The lost coin, and the lost sheep, and then–just incase we missed it–the lost son. And Paul can cry out in 2 Corinthians 5 “I beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” The overwhelming conviction of historic Christianity is: If you don’t have Christ you’re lost! Which is why number one on your sheet is to declare the great commission the first priority of our life and work. I don’t want to know when you come to see me whether you’re a good Episopalian, I want to know how many people in your parish have met Jesus Christ and are being transformed by His love.
One more Simeon story just about the lostness of the lost. I need to say this so strongly because it just is so rare in the Episcopal Church to see people that believe the way Simeon believed. I love this story. This is a first hand description of one of his sermons and the text on this particular day when Charles Simeon, a vicar at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Cambridge England, who lived from 1759-1836. Simeon is preaching and his text is “All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people,” that is his text. Listen to this eyewitness description. “And after having urged all his hearer to accept God’s offer of mercy, he reminded them that there were those present to whom he had preached Christ for more than thirty years, but they continued indifferent to a Savior’s love; and pursuing this train of expostulation for some time, he at length became quite overpowered by his feelings, and sank down in the pulpit and burst into a flood of tears, and few who were present could refrain from weeping with him” When was the last time anyone of us really cried for the lostness of the lost who are all over our parishes and our lives. God cries. The gospel calls. Do we?
So what have I said? What I have said is that what it means to be an Anglican is to be a catholic, to be a charismatic, to canonical. What it means to be centered in the Anglican essentials is that we are about Christ and his cross and yes the call to conversion. And now I draw my remarks to a close. Because this word this afternoon brothers and sisters has to touch us where we really live and breathe.
You remember I started by talking about the fact that I believe that we are a church that is under judgment. Did you catch the word that I used? I didn’t say they are under judgment, I said we. It’s a real downer to hear what happened as our panel well described to us about what happened in Minneapolis. And there is a danger that we face as we begin our journey together and the danger is this.
Any sense that it is the re-appraisers, that’s the way that I like to
describe them, who are responsible primarily or even nearly exclusively for the pathetic state of affairs in which we find ourselves and our church has to be abandoned. All of Israel I remind you all this afternoon was under judgment in Jeremiah’s day and the whole Episcopal Church is under judgment including us.
The so-called orthodox, that’s us, have an enormous amount to answer for in this time. Our sins of compromise, timidity, denial, ignorance, careerism, self-interest, party spirit, the list is very long. So hear this afternoon, my brothers and sisters, the gospel for all of us. Hear it well, B. F. “Bird’ Paty in that football game, in a losing game, looked at the football dribbling around on the ground and he didn’t want to pick it up. And God’s message to us in recentering us is: We have dropped the ball!! We have lost our center as gospel people, as catholic, charismatic, canonical Anglican people. Not only have we lost our center, but hear this well; we do not even have the power to pick the ball back up left to ourselves. But dear sisters and brothers hear the good news of the Gospel this afternoon. The God who gave us the ball, who has watched us drop the ball, through the cross forgives us for dropping the ball and by the power of the Holy Spirit gives us back the ball.
Will you take the ball back up with me?
And finally you’ve heard that word used by David Roseberry, realignment. You are going to hear a lot about it. It is in our preliminary draft of the statement. And I need to say a clearly as I know how this afternoon why a realignment within Anglicanism is indispensably necessary. There has to be a new realignment, there has to be a new and different future.
At Minneapolis the Episcopal church decided to risk the whole future of the Anglican communion on this one vote, all four instruments of Anglican unity said don’t do it, many prominent Anglicans leaders worldwide pleaded for us not to do it, and we not only did it but we did it without consulting them. This is not catholic it will not stand.
At Minneapolis the Holy Spirit was grieved and a way of life which is in contradiction to holiness was celebrated and blessed, this is not charismatic it will not stand.
At Minneapolis, the Scriptures were either quickly dismissed or incredible and deliberately twisted, this decision is not canonical it will not stand.
Most importantly and finally, at Minneapolis, the will of the Father to draw all people to himself through the cross of his Son, get this now, was replaced with a new and different gospel where a therapeutic Jesus embraces people where they are. It is a gospel of affirmation rather than the gospel of salvation. We have moved from sinners in the hands of an angry God to clients in the palm of a satisfied therapist.
So the Episcopal Church is now a church where people are officially led away from Christ. And this is why we need a realignment. You’ve got to understand this. Because with the new gospel you and I who believe the traditional gospel are the embodiment of a call to holiness and believers in a gospel which those who believe the new teaching see as unjust and unchristian. We are enemies of the new gospel. Beware underneath the call to participate in the Episcopal Church from now on there is lurking a passionate desire among some to persecute many of those who disagree with this new teaching.
I was on the committee that put out C-051. I remember it well there were 45 of us. Guess what the vote was? 44 to 1. I remember it because I was the one. And there was an incredible moment at the end of Minneapolis which is the future in the Episcopal Church if we don’t have intervention. And to my utter amazement, having written a one-person minority report, which is my prerogative as a member of the committee, I watched person after person after person come to the microphone and insist that my one-person minority report be expunged from the record of the Episcopal Church. It was astounding. It was like being in a family that has an Uncle Steve and they are pretending that he doesn’t exist and they go through all the family albums and pull out his picture and go through all the family history and erase those sections where Steve is mentioned. That’s our future brothers and sisters if we don’t have help. We’ve got to have outside intervention. We haven’t moved anywhere. The church has moved from us.
Our hope is in asking for a realignment in a church were are increasing under attack with a total sense of our own powerlessness to shape the nature of our coming intervention, and that’s really good news because Jesus said “Blessed are the poor in spirit.”
Are you re-centered with me brothers and sisters? Catholic, Charismatic, Canonical. We are going to be about Christ, and the cross, and conversion.
As we are seated, let us pray.
Lord, you are a great God and you have given us a great and astounding message. Re-center us, and enable us to be people who preach the unsearchable riches of Christ, and his cross, and who call others to conversion in His name by the power of the Holy Spirit. Forgive us Lord, for the ways that we have dropped the ball. We confess that we have dropped the ball Lord; we confess that we don’t have the power to pick the ball back up. Lord in your mercy, you, the God who gave us the ball in the first place and who watched us drop the ball. Give us back the ball Lord, by the power of your Holy Spirit, and bring us into the new and exciting and hopeful future that only you can give us. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.
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Lambeth Palace said last week that, although he had been invited, the Most Rev Justin Welby, could not attend the meeting, organised by the powerful Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA), who claim to represent around 40 million churchgoers around the world, in person but would address them by video link.
He is due to be in Iceland for an international church leaders’ gathering which had long been planned.
But, in a move seen as an olive branch to the traditionalists, it has now emerged that he is to make a detour to Kenya on his way to Iceland to meet the group’s leaders before the summit begins – adding more than 8,400 miles to his journey.
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The Archbishop of Canterbury has said that he was ‘moved to tears’ to welcome recently-released Nigerian archbishop Ignatius Kattey and his wife, Mrs Beatrice Kattey, to Lambeth Palace yesterday.
The Most Revd Ignatius Kattey, who is Dean and Archbishop of the Niger Delta Province, and Mrs Kattey were kidnapped on 6 September near their residence in the southern city of Port Harcourt. Mrs Kattey was released a few hours later, but Archbishop Kattey was held for more than a week.
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The Archbishop of Canterbury called for a change in “culture” at financial institutions during a meeting in the House of Lords on Wednesday of last week.
Archbishop Justin gave the keynote address at a roundtable meeting organised by the Islamic Finance Council UK and supported by the Arab Finance Forum and the Cambridge Interfaith Programme.
Archbishop Justin said: ‘The big area that has to change in our financial services structures is not around leverage and levels of debt in financial institutions – although they are crucial and they must change – but more fundamentally, even than that, is the issue of culture. Culture is an area that cannot be legislated, it can only be changed by a transformation in the spirit of society which leads to a sense of what is right and wrong.”
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On church affairs, the Bishops agreed to an assistant bishop in the Diocese of Niassa in northern Mozambique in response to strong church growth, and took decisions on problematic issues within the Dioceses of Pretoria and Umzimvubu.
Provisional accreditation of courses at the church’s seminary, the College of the Transfiguration in Grahamstown was welcomed.
They also warmly welcomed the announcement that the new Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, with his wife, will attend their second ‘Anglicans Ablaze’ conference in July 2014.
Speaking after the meeting, the Archbishop of Cape Town, Dr Thabo Makgoba, said ‘this was a very encouraging time. Within a deeply prayerful context, we tackled a very broad agenda, from church governance through to global faith and political issues. In a short time we made significant progress on a number of matters. God is God of the whole world – and he will guide us in our calling to lead his people in every walk of life, and follow the example of all the saints who have gone before us.’
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'Capitalism With A Human Face' was the title of a well-known book written by Sir Samuel Brittan, a leading economic commentator, shortly before the year 2000.
Sadly, the financial calamities of the first decade of the 21st century have revealed that – sometimes at least – capitalism has a very far from human face. Indeed, more than occasionally it has seemed to have the countenance of a monster.
But now, under the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury, it looks as though the Church of England is attempting to give capitalism the opportunity to develop a new appearance – even a Christ-like face.
The start of this month has seen the news that Justin Welby is hoping to draw up a ten-year action plan with the aim of forcing payday lenders such as Wonga out of business.
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The Archbishop of Canterbury has sent a message of support to an anti-human trafficking conference organised by the Christian organisation Hope for Justice.
In a message sent to the Hope Conference 2013, which took place last Friday and Saturday in Leicester, Archbishop Justin said that trafficking was 'one of the greatest scandals and tragedies of our age'. He prayed that the conference 'might help to transform awareness, as the world urgently needs to wake up to the scale of human trafficking that is modern day slavery’.
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A new Christian discipleship course for church congregations and groups of all traditions was launched yesterday at Lambeth Palace.
‘Pilgrim: A course for the Christian journey’ is part of the Church of England’s focus on spiritual and numerical growth. It is the first national discipleship course to be commissioned by the House of Bishops.
The programme – which promises ‘participation, not persuasion’ – seeks to reach parishes that have never run courses of this kind, as well as to offer additional approaches to churches to already running programmes such as Alpha.
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A spokesman from the Lambeth Press Office said the Archbishop had been invited to address the 21-26 October 2013 meeting of centrist and conservative Anglican leaders set for All Saints' Cathedral in Nairobi. However, he "is unable to attend because of a long-standing commitment on the same date. He will be sending a pre-recorded video greeting," the spokesman said. - See more at: http://anglicanink.com/article/justin-welby-not-going-gafcon-ii#sthash.onkEpX4M.dpuf
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The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is preparing a “ten-year plan” to put payday lenders such as Wonga out of business.
A Church of England task force will, in collaboration with the Church of Scotland, make church buildings available to credit unions and recruit expert churchgoers as volunteers to help to run them. A leading financier is to meet the archbishop this week on whether he would lead the task force, which will include academics who, it is hoped, will produce a radical new theology of finance.
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Here we go again. The consortium that has just bought 314 branches from the Royal Bank of Scotland is pledging to launch an “ethical” bank. Now, where have we heard that before?
Of course, it was Co-op. The one that claimed its mutual ownership was more righteous than those banks with nasty shareholders and which said it would not get into the sort of mess that brought down the big banks. Well, not until it did get into the same sort of mess, which cast doubt over its entire banking operations.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Personal Finance The Banking System/Sector * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Archbishop Justin said today: “David Gitari was an Archbishop of great courage who preached the Word of God steadfastly, both in season and out of season. He was a gifted and committed servant of the church who served our Lord Jesus Christ faithfully. He had an enormous vision for development and for social justice and was not afraid to promote change, always reminding the church to retain a critical distance from political power. His concern for prayer and promoting love and harmony has continued to the end of his life through his welcoming of so many to the Philadelphia Guesthouse near Mount Kenya. He will be remembered with much affection and admiration around the Anglican Communion. His family and the whole Anglican Church of Kenya are in our prayers.” - See more at: http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/articles.php/5146/archbishop-justins-tribute-to-archbishop-david-gitari-1937-2013#sthash.YOCA3vdC.dpuf
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Africa Kenya
We welcome all support for family life and we’re pleased that this initiative includes both married couples and those in civil partnerships.” - See more at: http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/articles.php/5144/archbishops-statement-on-marriage-tax-breaks#sthash.qFxb8bCl.dpuf
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Culture-Watch Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * Economics, Politics Economy Taxes Politics in General * International News & Commentary England / UK
The Archbishop of Canterbury has said that the Church Commissioners should invest some of their funds in housing associations and other social enterprises that work to tackle financial inequality.
He made his comments during a question-and-answer session at the National Housing Federation's annual conference in Birmingham last Friday, where he had delivered a speech calling for a greater partnership between housing associations and the Church of England.
Tess Pendle, the head of My Home Finance, a non-profit organisation that provides low-cost credit and banking facilities to financially excluded people, as an alternative to payday lenders, asked whether "such a partnership might involve financial investment from the Church".Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Housing/Real Estate Market Politics in General * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
The Most Rev Justin Welby said that there had been more than 80 Christian “martyrs” in the last few days alone.
He was speaking about the bombing of All Saints Anglican church in Peshawar, Pakistan, in which 85 were killed and more than 200 injured.
But he said that Christians were also being singled out for violence in a string of other countries.
Read it all.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has drawn attention to the fact that Christians in Peshawar were talking of forgiveness immediately after suicide bombers attacked All Saints Church on Sunday.
But he added that Christians in Peshawar are also ‘crying out vigorously’ for justice and protection following the worst attack on Christians in Pakistan’s history.
The attack, which was launched as people were leaving Sunday Mass, killed 85 people and injured more than 120.
Speaking on Radio 4’s World at One today, the Archbishop described the bombing as ‘an absolutely appalling attack’ and called on Pakistan’s government to ensure that minority citizens are given proper protection and that all people are treated equally under its law.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Foreign Relations Politics in General * International News & Commentary Asia India * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Islam Muslim-Christian relations * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
(Please note: you can see basic information about this conference there)--KSH.
Toronto: The Archbishop of Canterbury has laid out his vision for a reformed and renewed Anglican Communion during an address delivered last week at Wycliffe College of the University of Toronto.
The Anglican way forward was through a church whose mission and message had a concrete impact on the real world of modern men and women. But this church was not merely a vehicle for good works, but one that took a wholly Christ-centered approach to theology and was grounded entirely in the New Testament.
In an unscripted address via Skype to the “Back to the Anglican Future: The Toronto Congress 1963 and the Future of Global Communion” Conference held on 18 September 2013 Archbishop Welby acknowledged the impact of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s ideal of the Church as “Christ existing as community” as his guide.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
Writing to the Church of Pakistan last night, the Archbishop said his heart 'goes out to all those bereaved and injured by this terrible attack....'I pray for the peace of Pakistan and the protection of Christ's people. With the people of Peshawar I join in calling for the Pakistan Government and all people of good will to ensure that communities may go about their daily lives in safety, and that the perpetrators are brought to justice. Please be assured of my prayers and fullest support as you provide leadership and care for your people at this difficult time.'
Read it all.
Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori announced to the House of Bishops that the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will be visiting The Episcopal Church in April 2014 for personal visit with her.
“The Archbishop of Canterbury has contacted me and we are planning a private discussion next April,” Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori told the House of Bishops currently conducting its fall meeting in Nashville, TN (Diocese of TN).
Read it all.
Marking the International Day of Peace, the Archbishop of Canterbury has sent greetings to Peace One Day founder Jeremy Gilley...
Having made reconciliation one of the priorities of my ministry as Archbishop of Canterbury I am delighted to send my greetings and support for Peace One Day.
Over the last ten years you have given a fresh focus and energy to the United Nations International day for Peace, enabling the vision to be shared by a new generation in a world where conflict destroys the lives of many of our global citizens.
Read it all.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is delighted to announce the appointment of Ailsa Anderson LVO as Director of Communications at Lambeth Palace. Mrs Anderson is currently the Communications and Press Secretary to the Queen.
Mrs Anderson will be the primary spokesperson for the Archbishop, and a member of his senior team at Lambeth Palace. She will manage the Lambeth Palace communications team, overseeing day to day contact with the media as well as driving and developing strategic communications.
Read it all.
In a vivid new biography of Becket, the Tudor historian John Guy clearly and concisely traces the steps of the long and complicated controversy, as well as its role in international politics. Guy sets out to draw a balanced portrait of Becket, sifting the hagiographers’ accounts and the post-Reformation biases of English historians. A confessional divide overshadowed interpretations of Becket ever since another King Henry VIII declared Becket a traitor to king and country. Henry VIII destroyed Becket’s shrine and attempted to erase all images and mention of him in England. Even in the 20th century, English historians concluded that Becket was the cause of his own troubles, picking fights and remaining obstinate when compromise was needed. Becket’s speedy rise from commoner to chancellor had made him arrogant and proud, these critics say; he was no saint, but brought on his own martyrdom through his self-righteousness. Guy does not play the blame-the-victim game. He balances the duplicitous and untrustworthy behavior of Henry II with attention to Becket’s missteps and failures.
Guy tries to show that Becket was “far from saintly or infallible.” He avoids “the trap” Becket’s hagiographers’ fell into—of “writing the history of the saint without his shadow.”
Read it all.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said in July that Wonga took advantage of poor households struggling to get by in austerity conditions, and pledged to drive the "morally wrong" company out of existence by launching the church's own not-for-profit credit unions as an alternative for Wonga's customers.
On Tuesday Errol Damelin, chief executive and founder of Wonga, described the challenge as "complimentary" and said he doubted it would have an impact on Wonga's business.
"In the UK on the consumer side, we reject about two thirds of applicants we get. The market that the Church would be looking at, we think, is mostly the market for people who don't get accepted for Wonga loans," Damelin said.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Personal Finance * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
One of the highlights of the Rosh Hashanah service for me is the thanksgiving song of Hannah, which speaks of God’s power to change, to give all that is needed and more. It is with this song as inspiration that I wish you every blessing. May we be able to say with Hannah, ‘There is no Holy One like the LORD, no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God!’
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK * Religion News & Commentary Inter-Faith Relations Other Faiths Judaism
I don’t intend to repeat the powerful points that have been made on international law which is itself based on the Christian theory of Just War, and that has been said very eloquently. But I want to pick up a couple of points - first is, it has been said, quite rightly, that there is as much risk in inaction as there is in action. But as in a conflict in another part of the world, a civil conflict in which I was mediating some years ago, a general said to me “we have to learn that there are intermediate steps between being in barracks and opening fire”. And the reality is that until we are sure that all those intermediate steps have been pursued, Just War theory says that the step of opening fire is one that must only be taken when there is no possible alternative whatsoever, under any circumstances. Because, as the noble Lord Lord Alli just said very clearly and very eloquently, the consequences are totally out of our hands once it has started. And some consequences we can predict – we’ve heard already about the Lebanon and about Iran, particularly the effect that an intervention would cause on the new government in Iran as it is humiliated by such an intervention.
But there is a further point, talking to a very senior Christian leader in the region yesterday, he said “intervention from abroad will declare open season on the Christian communities”. They have already been devastated, 2 million Christians in Iraq 12 years ago, less than half a million today. These are churches that don’t just go back to St Paul but, in the case of Damascus and Antioch, predate him. They will surely suffer terribly (as they already are) if action goes ahead.
Read it all.
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The Archbishop of Canterbury said on Wednesday that the Church must not become like a marriage in which a couple have drifted apart and are content with their independent lives.
Speaking at the opening of the Evangelical Alliance's (EA) new headquarters in King's Cross, London, Archbishop Welby said: "It is too easy for the Church to be comfortable in separation, like a bad marriage where the couple has drifted apart, but not to the point where they'll divorce. They just sort of somehow live separate lives in the same house; they don't talk much except what's necessary to keep things running along. And they may not even notice that the separation is growing and deepening, but they live with it. And the Church can fall into that trap - in fact, over many years, has fallen into that trap."
Read it all.
The Most Rev Justin Welby told an audience of traditional born-again Christians that they must “repent” over the way gay and lesbian people have been treated in the past and said most young people viewed Christians as no better than racists on the issue.
Archbishop Welby, who as a young priest once opposed allowing gay couples to adopt children, said the church now had to face up to what amounted to one of the most rapid changes in public attitudes ever.
While insisting that he did not regret voting against same-sex marriage in the House of Lords, he admitted that his own mind was not yet “clear” on the wider issues which he was continuing to think about.
Read it all. Also, there is an article in The Independent on this there.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Culture-Watch Psychology Religion & Culture Sexuality * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
It seems that strange and dramatic events of this kind happen year after year in the global Anglican Communion — truly one of God's gifts to headline writers.
It appears unlikely this trend will change anytime soon. Recently, in a burst of candor in Mexico, the current Archbishop of Canterbury harkened back to the English Civil War and quoted sobering advice from Bishop Jeremy Taylor, who was executed in 1645 by the Puritan parliament.
The Most Rev. Justin Welby noted that Taylor warned: "It is unnatural and unreasonable to persecute disagreeing opinions. ... Force in matters of opinion can do no good, but is very apt to do hurt."
These are hard words in an era in which England's shrinking flock of Anglicans is still fighting over female bishops and, across the Atlantic, the shrinking flock of Episcopalians continues to fight over non-celibate gay bishops. Meanwhile, leaders in the growing Global South churches of Africa and Asia are calling for repentance and doctrinal discipline.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Episcopal Church (TEC) Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori Global South Churches & Primates Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Theology: Scripture
Opposition in the Church to military action in Syria is growing after the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey warned it could lead to a regional war.
He said that despite a sense of "moral outrage" at the use of chemical weapons by the regime, armed intervention would drag the UK into a war which could engulf the whole of the Middle East.
And he voiced surprise that David Cameron is even contemplating a military response after slashing the armed forces to a "pitiful degree".
Read it all.
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The Most Rev Justin Welby insisted that MPs must ask themselves whether they are “sure” about the facts on the ground before acting amid a “really delicate and dangerous situation”.
Archbishop Welby, who spent several years promoting reconciliation in war zones in Africa and the Middle East, insisted that there were “numerous intermediate steps” between doing nothing and full regime change in Syria which could be considered.
But speaking to The Daily Telegraph, he acknowledged that there was no “good answer” to the crisis in Syria and that a simple solution “just doesn’t exist”.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Culture-Watch Health & Medicine Science & Technology Violence * Economics, Politics Defense, National Security, Military Foreign Relations Politics in General * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. Middle East Syria * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
It is deeply unhelpful of the Archbishop to use language which appears to suggest that the risk that those who wish to affirm gay people present is one of a lack or loss of core beliefs. That just isn’t true and is a nasty slur against fellow Anglicans. The US and Canadian churches are not places where God is absent and if the Archbishop needs to find that out, he needs to go there and meet them, something that his predecessor seemed to find impossible to do.
People will read the sermon in the US and Canadian churches and take immediate offence. (I find it offensive here in Scotland, but there it will appear to be a judgement on their national churches). Those who wish to affirm the place of LGBT people do so because of their core beliefs as Christians and as Anglicans, not because of any lack of belief or loss of God.
Does the Archbishop of Canterbury not have anyone on staff from the US or Canada or someone who knows those churches who could look at this kind of stuff and say, “hang on a minute, Father, that might not go down too well?”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada Scottish Episcopal Church Episcopal Church (TEC) Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Culture-Watch Globalization Religion & Culture * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Theology: Scripture
...It is our vocation as Communion Partners to navigate this narrow path between two dangerous extremes as we pursue the mission of the Church “to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.”To that end, six Communion Partner bishops (Greg Brewer, Paul Lambert, Ed Little, Dan Martins, Ed Salmon and Michael Smith) made a visit to Archbishop Justin Welby at his residence in Canterbury, England last week.
There we prayed together and discussed a range of issues concerning the Anglican Communion and The Episcopal Church. Also present was the Archbishop’s Director of Reconciliation, Canon David Porter.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops Global South Churches & Primates Instruments of Unity Lambeth 2008 Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Theology: Scripture
In his most stark comments yet about divisions over issues such as homosexuality, the Most Rev Justin Welby said the Church is coming perilously close to plunging into a “ravine of intolerance”.
He even drew parallels between the crisis afflicting the 77 million-strong network of Anglican churches and the atmosphere during the English Civil War.
And he likened the collective behaviour of the church to a “drunk man” staggering ever closer to edge of a cliff.
Read it all and the sermon text being cited is there.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Global South Churches & Primates Instruments of Unity Lambeth 2008 Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings Windsor Report / Process * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
Lord Williams said religious believers should be wary of complaining about their treatment in the Western world, with those claiming they are "persecuted" making him "very uneasy".
He added the level of "not being taken very seriously" or "being made fun of" in Britain and the United States is not comparable to the "murderous hostility" faced by others in different parts of the world.
Speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, he urged those who complain of ill-treatment for their beliefs in Britain to "grow up".
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK
A friend of mine was recently preparing to leave the army, and began a training course for a debt recovery agency. He was horrified that the trainees were taught not to waste too much time on people who could stick up for themselves, but to concentrate on the vulnerable who could easily be intimidated, such as the elderly or single mums, from whom far more money could easily be found. He left the course, disgusted.
But the gap which the payday lenders exploit isn’t just a gap in the market. It’s a gap in our collective self discipline. We’re still a society hopelessly hooked on a spendthrift lifestyle. We see something glitzy, we want it, and we want it now, really not paying close enough attention to how on earth we’re going to pay the borrowed money back. The financial crisis that is crushing us at the moment wasn’t simply caused by the banks being feckless lenders: we were all too happy to be feckless borrowers. The banks are now being more careful – perhaps overly so with business ventures – but payday lending still lets people get stuff they can’t afford. Even if one has paid back a loan, there remains the constant text pestering for another: “There is £££ ready for you, just call 0800 XXX XXX and it will be in your account in 15 minutes.” As another friend told me, if you’re struggling, it can be just too hard to resist.
So, Justin Welby, the recently appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, has decided to do something about it....
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Personal Finance The Banking System/Sector * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
In an area of much killing where I was supporting reconciliation some years ago, I spent time with a group of Anglican priests. Several thousand people had been killed in heavy fighting during the previous week. It was the second outburst of fighting in less than ten years. The priests were bitter, mourning families, friends and church members. One gave up preaching and used the time for the sermon explaining how to strip, clean and reassemble an automatic rifle. Over a few months we worked together, thinking and praying about the situation, about the very real threats they faced, about the history of battle, and about the teaching of scripture, especially in Jonah. Slowly they learned afresh that they were loved, and learned to love and began to reach out to their enemies. The reconciliation remains fragile, but continues to this day.
We change our conflicted communities when we rediscover reconciliation in Christ for ourselves. Paul reminds the divided Ephesians that God breaks down all barriers. They are reconciled through the cross to God and are to be reconciled to others. It is costly. Reconciliation is cross-shaped. Justice is cross shaped. Churches that seek justice will find a cross, and will need to bear it. So many of you have done that. So many not only here in Guatemala, but elsewhere in the Province, know the pain of conflict. And yet we have the answer – and that answer is us, says Paul. It is extraordinary, because again he was speaking to a small church in a very pagan society, and yet he was right, and history proved it over the centuries.
Read it all.
During a trip which will also include visits to Guatemala and Mexico, he praised the Anglican church in the West Indies for its "imaginative" contributions to the "unity and well-being" of the Anglican Communion.
Archbishop Justin and his wife, Caroline, arrived yesterday in Bardados for a two-day visit at the invitation of the Most Revd Dr John Holder, Archbishop of the Church of the Province of the West Indies and Bishop of Barbados.
The trip is part of a series of visits to Anglican Primates which the Archbishop is making during his first eighteen months in post.
Read it all.
A consortium backed by the Church of England to bid for 315 Royal Bank of Scotland branches has lined up the ex-United Utilities boss Philip Green to front its bid.
Green is to replace John Tiner, the former Financial Services Authority chief executive who stepped down as chairman in the wake of the controversy caused by the parliamentary commission on banking standards investigation into HBOS.
Green is to chair the bid vehicle – one of three that have submitted bids for the RBS branches this week – working alongside former Lloyds Banking Group banker John Maltby who has been lined up as chief executive.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Personal Finance The Banking System/Sector * International News & Commentary England / UK
The Archbishop of Canterbury said this week that he felt "encouraged and uplifted by all traditions" in the Church. He was speaking after a week-long tour of the country, during which he spoke to Pentecostal, Evangelical, and Anglo-Catholic gatherings.
Archbishop Welby spoke at Hillsong, a Pentecostal Church, at the O2 Arena, in London; HTB Focus, a week away for members of Holy Trinity, Brompton, and its plants, in Lincolnshire; New Wine, a Charismatic Evangelical festival in Somerset...and the Youth Pilgrimage to the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.
Writing on his blog on Sunday, Archbishop Welby admitted that, during mass and Benediction at Walsingham, on Wednesday of last week, "My first thought was 'What a contrast with the past few days.' But my next thought was: 'What's the problem?'"
Read it all.
Archbishop Justin has spoken of the "joyful" work of building Christian-Muslim relationships in his first annual message to Muslims on Eid Al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan.
He encouraged the “hard” but also “joyful” work of building "deep and long-lasting relationships" between the two faith communities, which he said he had experienced during his time working in Nigeria.
- See more at: http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/articles.php/5117/archbishop-on-eid-al-fitr-let-us-build-deep-and-lasting-ties-with-each-other#sthash.NfFu4T7M.dpuf
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Africa Nigeria England / UK * Religion News & Commentary Inter-Faith Relations Other Faiths Islam Muslim-Christian relations
Anglicans and Catholics alike, said Pope Francis, should give "a voice to the cry of the poor, so that they are not abandoned to the laws of an economy that seems at times to treat people as mere consumers."
This well-intentioned statement could have also come from his counterpart, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, since March the head of the Church of England and supreme spiritual leader of about 80 million Anglicans worldwide. Welby, 57, has addressed issues of justice in capitalism ever since he was a theology student, and he rewrote his doctoral thesis into a treatise that poses the question: "Can Companies Sin?"
Of course they can. Unlike his predecessors, Welby can draw on his own experience to answer such questions. Before beginning his church career, Welby worked for 11 years as a financial manager in the oil industry: five years at Elf Aquitaine in France, followed by six years in London and, most recently, with Enterprise Oil, a production company that is now part of the Shell conglomerate.
Read it all.
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There is something endearingly audacious about Justin Welby’s expressed desire to compete the titans of Britain’s payday loan industry out of existence. But the Archbishop of Canterbury’s remarks raise two connected questions. Can he do it, and should he want to?
The first point is easier to deal with....
There are better ways for the archbishop to help the poor than for the church to dish Wonga. Those on the margins of society will always need occasional access to loans to help tide them over unscheduled expenses or interruptions in income. That these should be appropriately priced goes without saying.
The real challenge, however, is not simply to shave the interest rate by a few points, but to ensure that those who take out loans do so in the full knowledge of the risks and with a realistic plan for managing them. This means two things: first, offering genuine advice to potential borrowers; and second, real assistance should things go wrong....
Read it all (or if necessary another link is there).
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Personal Finance The Banking System/Sector * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
The Church should be a "movement of prayer" which creates "collateral blessing", the Archbishop of Canterbury (above) said on Monday night. He was speaking at New Wine, a Charismatic Evangelical festival in Somerset, which he and his family attended for 12 years when he was a parish priest.
"The US Army gave us the expression 'collateral damage', which means killing people you did not mean to target," he said. "People seeking Christ create collateral blessing. That means changing the world for the better, in ways you could not have predicted."
Archbishop Welby continued: "There has never been a renewal of the Church in Western Europe without a renewal of prayer and the life of religious communities. Never. And if we want to see things changed, it starts with prayer."
Read it all.
A credit unions expert has praised the Church of England for its plan to out-compete payday lending company Wonga.
Dr Peter Davis, of the University of Leicester's School of Management, has worked as a consultant on credit unions and other forms of co-operative around the world - including for the United Nations Anti-Poverty Unit.
He welcomed the Archbishop of Canterbury Rev Justin Welby’s plan to build up credit unions as an alternative to payday loans that charge astronomical interest rates.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Personal Finance The Banking System/Sector * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Justin Welby, the 57-year old former oil executive who quit the world of high finance in 1992 to become a priest, was enthroned in March as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury. And now the spiritual leader of the world's 77 million Anglicans, has revealed that he speaks "in tongues".
During an interview with Charles Moore of The Daily Telegraph at Lambeth Palace, London, he was asked by Moore that since he was an evangelical, could he speak "in tongues" which the journalist said is the "charismatic" spiritual gift recorded in the New Testament.
Moore said that Welby answered "Oh yes", as if he had been asked if he plays tennis.
"It's just a routine part of spiritual discipline - you choose to speak and you speak a language that you don't know. It just comes," the Archbishop said.
Read it all.
It was not the ideal start to the Archbishop of Canterbury's grand initiative to bring a new morality to Britain's banking sector....
But despite the stumble out of the gate, Welby appears committed to taking on payday loans – small, high-interest, short-term loans to those who can't get credit elsewhere – as a means of "speaking for the poor." And his plan raises questions about just how much clout the Church of England wields through its portfolio of investments and through the influence the church has over its flock – how it ought to wield it.
Read it all.
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