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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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It is not often that the Church of Ireland has a best seller but such was the demand for Bishop Harold Miller’s guide to the Book of Common Prayer, The Desire of Our Soul, that it sold out. And such has been the continuing demand for it that a reprint has been necessary. The reprint, with an attractive new cover, has just been released and is available from The Book Well online Christian bookshop.
The book is a companion to the Book of Common Prayer 2004. In this guide, Bishop Miller leads the reader through the different services in the Prayer Book, especially the ones newly introduced in 2004. He enables the reader to understand something of the meaning of the liturgies, the reason why they are as they are, and the way in which they can provide the people of God with words which can deepen both public and personal devotion.
The publication also includes a series of charts laying out the structure of many of the services, and a set of questions at the end of each chapter which m
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of Ireland * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship --Book of Common Prayer Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch Books * Theology
The Archbishop is to celebrate Ascension Day at St John the Baptist & All Saints Easingwold on Thursday 5 May at 7.30pm – all welcome. He is visiting Strensall Barracks to meet with soldiers and their families at Hurst Hall on Saturday 7 May at 10.15am and following this, is to join in the fundraising paper-chain event with Kidz Club – linking St Mary’s Church to the Methodist Church. An ‘Ask the Archbishop’ question and answer is taking place at The Ship Inn, Strensall at 11.45am on Saturday– all welcome. Join the Archbishop at St Helen and the Holy Cross Church, Sheriff Hutton for a 10.30am Eucharist on Sunday 8th May– all welcome.
In a busy week which includes a community soup lunch at Oulston on Tuesday and meeting with USA/UK Youth interns on Wednesday, the Archbishop will also be leading Pilgrimage Prayers at 11 local churches and calling in at eight schools at Husthwaite, Crayke, Shipton, Brafferton, Alne, Easingwold, Sutton on the Forest and Huby. The Archbishop will also be meeting the community at Easingwold Market Place on Friday morning.
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“I'm thrilled by it and I'm a little bit nervous about it,” said Andrews, who was the president of Thorneloe, a federated university on Laurentian University's campus, for eight years before becoming bishop.
“It's an important responsibility in the life of the church.”
Andrews is an American who was born in Colorado and grew up in Minnesota. He moved to Vancouver, B.C. in 1979 to study theology, and stayed in Canada after marrying his Canadian wife, Fawna.
He actually did some of his studies at Wycliffe after deciding to become an Anglican priest.
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The following is an update from SAMS missionaries, Johann and Louise Vanderbijl in Gambella, Ethiopia:
We are calling for a week of prayer for Gambella, from Sunday, April 24 to Sunday May 1.
Last night, a “highlander” was bringing water to refugees in a nearby camp called Jewi when he accidentally hit and killed two Nuer. The driver and some innocent bystanders were immediately beaten to death and more were murdered later that night brining the total up to nine. This is not the only recent incident preceding and following the Jikwo, Lare, and Nininyang massacre. The hatred has to stop somewhere and we are asking the Lord to do what appears to be impossible for humans in spite of their best attempts.
Also, we had planned to bring in a Professor from Addis to teach all our students, both full-time and part-time, on the subject of Early African Church History. This is scheduled for May 2 – 6. Our faculty believe that we must take a step of faith and proceed with this course even though at present fear still keeps our students apart. We believe that this fear is not from God as He clearly says He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, and of power, and of a sound mind and we believe we must take a public stand in faith. While we will not force anyone to attend, we are encouraging our Nuer brethren to allow us to bus them to and from the Anglican Centre.
And so we need your prayers for that week also. Satan is seeking to bring this College to its knees…and so to our knees we will go! Remember, St Frumentius is the only seminary in the area. It is no wonder that the forces of darkness rally against us in such a violent manner!
I include a poem I wrote after the most recent killing in Jewi...
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We have now had confirmed what many recognised to be true from the outset of this tragedy. Yet there remain unanswered questions and unresolved accountabilities. No judicial action can bring back the lives of those who were lost or undo the sorrow of those who continue to mourn them. And we cannot escape the reality that this verdict comes too late for some who did not live to see the consummation of their tireless quest.
At the heart of the Christian faith is a narrative of justice, and justice must be allowed to take its course. But our Christian message is also one of forgiveness, grace and mercy. It is only now that some of the wounds can begin to heal and that some of the hurts can begin to be released – truth and justice are crucial to that process, but grace and mercy must also play their part in the journey forward.
Now is the time for us to show our true dignity; we must not now become consumed by bitterness, recrimination and hate, as we allow justice to take its course. We continue to pray for the families of the 96 and everyone whose lives are affected and scarred by this tragedy.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch History Law & Legal Issues Sports * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Anthropology Eschatology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
New Zealand has become the latest country to launch a branch of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans(FCA).
Australia launched a branch of the GAFCON-affiliated movement in 2015 and this week in Auckland and Christchurch nearly 500 Anglicans from around New Zealand met to launch the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans NZ (FCANZ).
One of the first decisions of the new branch was to recognise West Hamilton Community Church as 'authentically Anglican'.
The church's Rev. Michael and Kimberley Hewat spoke of their experiences of being excluded from existing Anglican structures due to their stand against doctrinal change.
Mr Behan commended the Hewats and the church for their stand for the truth.
“We rejoice in our fellowship with you, we stand shoulder to shoulder with you in gospel ministry, and we recognise you as authentically Anglican.” he said.
Mr Behan stressed that FCANZ is not advocating splitting from the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, and will promote faithfulness to the gospel with grace and truth, and provide fellowship to all orthodox Anglicans both in and outside of existing Anglican structures.
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The Anglican Bishop of the Enugu Ecclesiastical Province, Dr. Emmanuel Chukwuma, on Wednesday led a peaceful protest against the recent killings by herdsmen in the South East.
Joined by other clergymen and concerned Enugu State residents, the group marched through the major streets of Enugu to protest Monday’s attack of Nimbo in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State.
The group urged security agencies in the state to live up to their duty of protecting people’s lives and property.
Speaking with newsmen, Chukwuma encouraged Christians to intensify their prayers to conquer the challenge as “the Igbo cannot stay in their land and become strangers”.
He added: “The people of South East should stop patronising, empowering and engaging strangers in menial jobs so that they will stop killing our people.
“The state Governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, said that we should pray and fast but prayer without action is nothing.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of Nigeria * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Politics in General Terrorism * International News & Commentary Africa Nigeria * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Islam * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
[Tunde] Adeleye who is also the Archbishop of the Church of Nigeria, Calabar Archdiocese of the Anglican Communion, said: "Continued silence by the president over this violence and deadly attacks by Fulani herdsmen could be seen as if he is supporting his tribe's men. He needs to speak now to calm frayed nerves in the country.
"The Fulani herdsmen are now everywhere in the country, not only with their cows but with sophisticated arms. Where or how did they come about such weapons without the knowledge of the security agencies?"
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of Nigeria * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Politics in General Terrorism * International News & Commentary Africa Nigeria * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Islam * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Justification and judgement
Be on the lookout for it.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Australia * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Health & Medicine Pornography Psychology Religion & Culture * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
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Thousands gathered at the Provincial Cathedral of Saint Barnabas on Sunday morning to witness the installation and enthronement of the new Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Melanesia the Most Reverend George Takeli.
Archbishop Takeli, from Ulawa in Makira Province is the sixth Archbishop of Melanesia and Bishop of the Diocese of Central Melanesia.
Speaking to the congregation after the enthronement service Archbishop Takeli said yesterday’s gathering gave him peace, a swell of encouragement and confidence to take leadership as Archbishop.
“Your attendance at this service also indicated to me of your willingness to working together with me to carry out my vision and plans for mission work of the Anglican Church in the Province of Melanesia as I take charge of this church beginning from today,” he said.
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Nearly 500 Anglicans from around New Zealand, including the Vicars of many larger churches, have met together this week at two conferences in Auckland and Christchurch to launch the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans NZ (FCANZ). FCANZ is a local expression of the Gafcon movement, and a message of support was read out at the conferences from Most Rev Dr Eliud Wabukala, Chair of the Gafcon Primates. Video greetings were also received from Most Rev Foley Beach (Primate of ACNA) and the Rt Rev Richard Condie (Bishop of Tasmania and Chair of FCA Australia). Rev Canon Vaughan Roberts (St Ebbe’s, Oxford) gave 4 talks on True Gospel, True Sex, True Love and True Unity, and was joined by Rev Canon David Short (Vancouver), Dr Peter Adam (Melbourne), Rev. Dr. Sarah Harris (Auckland) and others.
The formation of FCANZ has been in response to the passing of Motion 30 in 2014 and the subsequent release of the A Way Forward Report, due to be presented to the General Synod of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia next month. The report proposes the blessing of same-sex civil marriages thereby rendering them as “rightly- ordered” relationships opening up the possibility for those in them to be accepted as candidates for ordination.
Rev Jay Behan, Chair of FCANZ, said ‘This week has been a hugely significant moment for orthodox Anglicans in New Zealand. FCANZ is committed to promoting faithfulness and providing fellowship, and orthodox Anglicans now know that through the FCANZ there is a place for all orthodox Anglicans in New Zealand, whether they are inside or outside the current Anglican structures. We continue to pray that General Synod will pull back from making a decision which will tear the fabric of the communion, undermining the allegiance to General Synod for many Anglicans in New Zealand.'
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In South Sudan a combination of new fighting in previously peaceful areas, food insecurity in Northern Bahr El Ghazal and Warrap States, and severe humanitarian funding shortages continues to cause a sharp worsening of the situation for many civilians. Recent fighting between government and opposition forces in Western Bahr al Ghazal has displaced more than 96,000 people to Wau town, in the north-west of the country. All neighbouring countries are now reporting rising refugee inflows.
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This morning I woke up to the news that over 160 people had been slaughtered in the area of Gambella, Ethiopia within our Diocese. Many children were abducted, and cattle and food stolen. This news came from Rev Dr Johann W H van der Bijl, Dean of our St Frumentius’ Anglican Theological College, Gambella, Ethiopia. The fear is that this conflict may escalate and spread.
Please pray for safety and wisdom for Bishop Grant and Rev Johann and all staff in the Anglican center and the churches of that area. Pray also for the people of this very inflamed region.
You can read more about these events in the article at this link.
Read it all and you can watch Bishop Grant talking about Gambella here
Some 360 participants turned out for the first of two Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (NZ) conferences, held at La Vida, Christchurch (and the second begins tomorrow at St Chad's Meadowbank). I estimate that 330 of the 360 were from the Diocese of Christchurch and 30 were from Dunedin, Nelson and Wellington Dioceses. By my count 30 Christchurch clergy were there, including vicars or priests-in-charge of 19 parishes, with 7 clergy from other dioceses. That is probably the largest Anglican conference held in NZ in a long decade. (I do not know how many are registered for the Auckland conference).
For readers here anxious about how the future of our church will unfold then the conference was a clear reminder that there are matters to be anxious about, all of which turn on whether General Synod comes to a decision or decisions which we can live with. The conference was a frank and robust reminder that synodical government can make decisions which cannot be lived with by the whole of an Anglican church. This was so especially when we heard from David Short (whose church, then St John's Shaunessy Vancouver, tried to stay within the Diocese of New Westminster in the Anglican Church of Canada when that Diocese first agreed to and then implemented blessings of same sex relationships, and found that, in the end, and to great personal cost to David as well as to his congregation, this was not possible).
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President Mugabe yesterday met Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby at State House in Harare. Archbishop Welby applauded relations between the Church and the State in Zimbabwe which he said were improving...
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The Bishop of Sheffield, Dr Steven Croft, is to become the 44th Bishop of Oxford in the summer, Downing Street announced on Tuesday morning. The see has been vacant for 18 months, since the Rt Revd John Pritchard retired in October 2014.
Dr Croft has been Bishop of Sheffield since 2009. He said that he was excited about his new position in one of the Church of England’s largest dioceses. “We have had seven really happy, fulfilling years in Sheffield. I will miss the people I work with the most. But I am looking forward to that new challenge.”
The three area bishops will free him to focus on strategy and a personal ministry of mission and evangelism, he says. “Initially, I will listen and discern what is happening locally, but I would hope to be engaged with adults and young people in places where they are — schools and workplaces.”
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Because of the vast distances involved in servicing the central-west, the Anglican Church says it is physically impossible for one ordained person to minister to the whole region.
The church says it can also be difficult to attract people to serve in more isolated locations.
As a result a different approach is being trialled...
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One of Liverpool’s historic churches is set to be sold to the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox church.
St Paul’s in Old Swan has become too expensive to be retained by the Church of England - but locals are angry at the plans which would also see the graveyard moved.
The last service was held in St Paul’s Stoneycroft on Easter Sunday and services have now been joined with the neighbouring St Anne’s parish.
A note on the St Anne’s website from vicar Emma Williams said they now hope the Egyptian Coptic Church (ECC) will take over the St Paul’s site.
The church was designed by Giles Gilbert Scott, who at the time St Paul’s was built had been appointed to design Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral.
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..the report ignores entirely the teaching of the Anglican Communion about marriage and human sexuality as set out in Lambeth 1.10 and what impact any change in the doctrine and practice of the Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia would have on its relations with other churches in the Communion. It also ignores entirely the question of what effect such a change would have on wider ecumenical relationships. Just as it ignores the witness of the Church down the ages the report also ignores the wider Church today.
Eighthly, the final problem about the report is about what it might portend for the future. If the only criteria for marriage is love, union, covenant, gift and household it is difficult to see on what grounds polygamous marriages (which already get a favourable mention in the report as examples of marital constancy ), or incestuous marriages would be ruled out as candidates for blessing if they meet the criteria laid down in the report of being permitted by state law. On what theological grounds would the report rule them out?
IV. The significance of the report for the wider Anglican debate about same-sex relationships
The significance of this report for the wider Anglican debate about same-sex relationships is that it shows that no church can have it both ways when it comes to the doctrine of marriage. It is impossible for a church to consistently uphold a traditional Christian view of marriage while at the same time being willing to bless same-sex relationships as an alternative form of marriage. The path taken by the Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia is therefore one that other Anglican churches (including the Church of England) should not go down.
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It is clear that in coming years in a number of Anglican provinces, including the Church of England, there will be pressure to seek to find a way that authorizes practices (especially in relation to ordination and public rites) that embody the belief that same-sex sexual unions are consonant with Scripture, while maintaining unimpaired communion under Scripture and doctrine with those who believe such unions are contrary to Scripture. The report’s ultimate lack of consistency speaks eloquently, if unknowingly, to this problem: it gives strong supporting evidence that it is simply impossible to reconcile these two positions with any theological or ecclesiological coherence, especially if one is also committed to uphold the Christian doctrine of marriage in a society that rejects it and accepts same-sex marriage.
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It is my privilege to have received recently two Kiwi critiques of A Way Forward and I have the permission of the authors to publish their critiques to Scribd and link you to their papers. I have also discovered a third critique, UK based, to which I want to link readers here.
Note, these are not all from the same perspective, and certainly not all from "my" perspective!
Les Brighton (NZ) writes here.
Peter Lineham and Mark Henrickson (NZ) write here.
Martin Davie (UK) writes here.
What do you think?
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In the context of Motion 30 the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia is facing an uncertain future. The issues of human sexuality have proven to be theologically contentious and pastorally sensitive. The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (New Zealand) invites you to its 2016 Anglican Future Conferences. We desire to gather as brothers and sisters in Christ seeking the best way to honour God and love people.
Vaughan Roberts, Dr Sarah Harris, Dr Rhys Bezzant, and other international and local speakers will teach from God’s Word and share their experiences. We will also examine our Anglican roots to help us look towards the future. Together we will explore how best to contend for the gospel once for all entrusted to the saints.
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This is something only our sovereign God can do…
Read it all and there is background here and here
ALL Saints’ College is to be sold to help the Anglican Diocese of Bathurst repay a multi-million dollar debt to the Commonwealth Bank.
Plans to sell the school were confirmed on Saturday during the first day of a local synod meeting. Nine other unidentified church properties across the diocese have also been earmarked for sale to repay the debt.
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"If you have a very rigid curriculum, there will be an increasing mismatch between what lecturers are doing in their research time and what they're having to teach," Zachhuber seeks to explain.
"The major driver for change for theology and religion is the dramatic change in the way religion is seen and practiced in the UK," Zachhuber continues. "The dominance of the Church of England has been receding but at the same time religion hasn't disappeared. We want to offer to potential students what is interesting for them and that has changed a lot in the last 30 years."
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The new Bishop of Oxford is to be the Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, Downing Street announced today. Bishop Steven succeeds the Rt Revd John Pritchard, who retired in October 2014 after seven years in post.
Bishop Steven, who is 58, is currently Bishop of Sheffield, a role he has held since 2009. He serves on the Archbishop’s Council and Chairs the Ministry Council of the Church of England. He has been a member of the House of Lords since 2013.
He has a passion for mission and evangelism and for finding creative ways of sharing the Gospel. He is the co-author of the Emmaus and Pilgrim courses, both of which are resources to help people engage with the Christian faith.
Read it all and the official announcement is here and there are more links and background from David Pocklington here
The Archbishop of Uganda, the Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali, has urged the government of President Yoweri Museveni to release opposition leader Kizza Besigye from house arrest. In a homily given at All Saints Cathedral in Kampala on Easter Sunday, Archbishop Ntagali asked for the government to begin talks with the opposition FDC party (Forum for Democratic Change) to ease tensions in the wake of February’s general elections and to release Dr. Besigye, an Anglican, from confinement.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of Uganda * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary Africa Uganda * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Six clerics have been nominated to vie for the position of Anglican Archbishop to succeed Eliud Wabukala who will retire this year.
The candidates include bishops Moses Nthuka (Mbeere Diocese), James Ochiel (Southern Nyanza) and Joel Waweru (Nairobi Diocese).
Others are Lawrence Dena (Malindi Diocese), Jackson Sapit (Kericho Diocese) and Julius Wanyoike (Thika Diocese).
Maseno West Bishop Joseph Wasonga said in a statement that the candidates were validly nominated. He noted that the candidate who becomes the sixth Anglican head will also serve as Bishop of All Saints' Cathedral Diocese.
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The following letter from Bishop Anis is released with his permission--KSH. [pdf]
My dear brother archbishops,
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am writing to let you know that I have decided not to attend the ACC-16 in Lusaka. My decision has come after a long period of prayer and conversations. As many of you know, it is not easy for me to withdraw from meetings, but this time I felt that if I were to attend, I would be betraying my conscience, my people, and the Primates who worked hard last January to reach a temporary solution in order to keep walking together until such time as we can reach a permanent solution.
I thought that the decision of the Primates’ Meeting in January would be followed through and TEC would not be represented in the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion but sadly this is not the case.
I don’t mind the participation of TEC in the General Meeting of the ACC, but the decision of the Primates was very clear that they should not be nominated or elected in internal standing committees.
Although I was disturbed by the statements made by the chairman of the ACC while he was in the USA, I had still intended to attend the meeting. However, as it became clear that the decision of the Primates’ Meeting about the participation of TEC in the Standing Committee would be disregarded, it was then that I decided not to attend.
I see that there is a lot of confusion about the role of the Primates’ Meeting and the ACC. Neither have jurisdiction within provinces, but both have roles in regulating the relationship between provinces. The Primates’ Meeting has “enhanced responsibility in offering guidance on doctrinal, moral and pastoral matters” (Lambeth 1988) and to make “intervention in cases of exceptional emergency which are incapable of internal resolution within provinces, and giving guidelines on the limits of Anglican diversity” (Lambeth 1998). Some think that because the ACC is the most representative of the instruments (including bishops, clergy, and laity), it is more authoritative. This is not true. It’s very name, “consultative”, reminds us that it is not an “Anglican Synod” but merely an advisory group. The Instruments of Unity, in order to have good relationships, need to support each others’ decisions in those areas of responsibility given to them by Lambeth Councils.
I will be praying for the members of the ACC-16 so that they may affirm and respect the decisions of the Primates’ Meeting. If this happens, it will bring hope back and we will be able to think of the future together.
The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis
Archbishop of Episcopal / Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa
Read it all [pdf]
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Primary Source -- Statements & Letters: Primates Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Consultative Council Anglican Primates Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016 Anglican Provinces The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East * Theology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology
The Christian claim from the beginning was that the question of Jesus's resurrection was a question, not of the internal mental and spiritual states of his followers a few days after his crucifixion, but about something that had happened in the real, public world.
This "something" left, not just an empty tomb, but a broken loaf at Emmaus and footprints in the sand by the lake among its physical mementoes. It also left his followers with a lot of explaining to do, but with a transformed worldview which is only explicable on the assumption that something really did happen, even though it stretched their existing worldviews to breaking point.
What I want to do here is to examine this early Christian claim, to ask what can be said about it historically, and to enquire, more particularly, what sort of "believing" we are talking about when we ask whether we - whether "we" be scientists or historians or mathematicians or theologians - can "believe" that which "the resurrection" actually refers to.
Read it all from ABC Australia.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Easter * Theology Christology Eschatology Theology: Scripture
What difference does it make that Christ is risen? I’m not asking what difference we would like it to make: I guess we want resurrection to be the answer to our questions, the happy ending to all our doubts and fears. I’ve spoken about ‘before’ and ‘after’, but I don’t mean that Easter is closure. Far from it: it pulls us into new journeys whose end we can never predict. So how does Easter change everything?
What it doesn’t do is to wind back the clock, as if this wilting daffodil could somehow regain its freshness and vitality. It’s the opposite. Easter winds the clock forward to the time where there will be a new heaven and a new earth, where everything we know is transformed. The Easter garden where Jesus comes to Mary and calls her by name – this is the paradise that an ageing, hurting world has looked forward to since time began. She thinks he is the gardener, and of course he is, exactly that, the divine Gardener who by rising on the first day of the week has begun to re-make creation and bring beauty out of ashes. And this new Eden is our destiny as human beings caught up in the renewal of creation that is Easter. Our first reading said: ‘when Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory’. It is coming, yet it has already begun: with Mary in the garden, with the disciples Jesus greets, with those who have not seen yet believed, with all who worship and love and follow him on this Easter Day.
For Easter takes our fear away, and gives us back our lives.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Easter Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained
Archbishop Michael Jackson has issued a Pastoral Letter which will be read out on Low Sunday, April 3, in every church in the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough.
The letter concerns the proposals being brought to the General Synod of the Church of Ireland in May by the Commission on Episcopal Ministry and Structures which, if agreed, would see six parishes from Glendalough being transferred to the Diocese of Meath and Kildare.
All clergy in Dublin and Glendalough have been sent the letter and they have been asked to read it in their churches and make it available to interested parties. They have also been asked, particularly in the parishes affected, to facilitate discussion on the proposal.
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Bishops and other prominent Christian figures have called on the new Work and Pensions Secretary, Stephen Crabb, to reverse cuts to welfare for the disabled.
Mr Crabb, a former Welsh Secretary, and a Christian, was promoted to the post after the departure of Iain Duncan Smith, who resigned saying that further planned cuts to disability benefit were a step too far. Mr Crabb reversed those cuts, which had been announced in the Budget by the Chancellor, George Osborne....
An open letter, signed by four bishops — including the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan; and the leader of the Iona Community, the Revd Peter MacDonald; and the directors of the think tank Ekklesia and the Centre for Welfare Reform — welcomes the reversal of cuts to Personal Independence Payments. Mr Crabb is urged, however, to go “even further”, and to reverse earlier changes to the payments, which are said to have left thousands of people housebound.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Politics in General * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has today called for a “tsunami of truth telling” about corrupt influence-peddling on government by business interests.
Makgoba made these comments while delivering an address to a graduation at the Witwatersrand University where he received an honorary degree.
He was responding to the Constitutional Court's judgment on Nkandla.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Southern Africa * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Politics in General * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
In this tomb, also, you may see, A pledge to us...Yes, verily, it is a pledge,
Of Christ's power to raise us to a spiritual life — The resurrection of Christ is set forth in the Scriptures as a pattern of that which is to be accomplished in all his followers; and by the very same power too, that effected that. In the Epistle to the Ephesians, St. Paul draws the parallel with a minuteness and accuracy that are truly astonishing. He prays for them, that they may know what is the exceeding greatness of God's power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places." And then he says, concerning them, "God, who is rich in mercy, of his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, and hath raised us usi together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus^" Here, I say, you see Christ dead, quickened, raised, and seated in glory; and his believing people quickened from their death in sins, and raised with him, and seated too with him in the highest heavens. The same thing is stated also, and the same parallel is drawn in the Epistle to the Romans ; where it is said, "We are buried with Christ by baptism into death; that, like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." But can this be effected in us ? I answer, Behold the tomb ! Who raised the Lord Jesus? He himself said, " I have power to lay down my life, and power to take it up again...."
--"Horae homileticae, Sermon 1414
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In parallel, I got to know Kit’s parishioners who worship at St James’, as well as the group of people who support Kit - all full of faith, kindness, generosity of spirit, care and consideration for each other (and a knowledge of the Bible that puts me to shame!). I saw and experienced, first hand, the positive differences that the church can make in a local community, and the value of community that the church can offer to those that seek it.
And I found myself being steadily drawn back to God and my faith. There wasn’t any ‘sudden moment’, just a growing recognition that I wanted this to be part of my life again. I now attend Kit’s church every Sunday when I remind myself to be considerate, loving and helpful to others; to be kind; to be generous…and I find this weekly reminder a very helpful ‘pause’ in my busy life. And I have also experienced, first hand, the value and power of prayer.
I have enjoyed immersing myself in supporting Kit’s church, seeking to bring my business experience to bear to the PCC and our Finance and Buildings committees. We are currently wrestling with the usual realities of a roof that needs a major overhaul, and a need for funding!
Read it all and do not miss the photo and the further link for more.
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When all is done, the hell of hells, the torment of torments, is the everlasting absence of God, and the everlasting impossibility of returning to his presence...to fall out of the hands of the living God, is a horror beyond our expression, beyond our imagination.... What Tophet is not Paradise, what Brimstone is not Amber, what gnashing is not a comfort, what gnawing of the worme is not a tickling, what torment is not a marriage bed to this damnation, to be secluded eternally, eternally, eternally from the sight of God?--From a sermon to the Earl of Carlisle in 1622
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I can bring it so neare; but onely the worthy hearer, and the worthy receiver, can call this Lord this Jesus, this Christ, Immanuel God with us; onely that virgin soule, devirginated in the blood of Adam but restored in the blood of the Lambe hath this Ecce, this testimony, this assurance, that God is with him; they that have this Ecce, this testimony, in a rectified conscience, are Godfathers to this child Jesus and may call him Immanuel God with us for as no man can deceive God, so God can deceive no man; God cannot live in the darke himself neither can he leave those who are his in the darke: If he be with thee he will make thee see that he is with thee and never goe out of thy sight, till he have brought thee, where thou canst never goe out of his.
--John Donne (1572-1631), Preached at St. Pauls, upon Christmas Day, in the Evening, 1624
Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town to'another due,
Labor to'admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly'I love you, and would be lov'd fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy;
Divorce me,'untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you'enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.
--Holy Sonnet XIV
And this is where the oddity of today’s celebration touches our lives in challenging ways. If I may speak personally, I find it increasingly difficult to resist the onslaught of information that is directed at me or required from me. My life feels as though it is regulated to the point of near extinction, by Government, by economic responsibility, by social and cultural suspicion, by commercial bureaucracy. And this is before I start on the day job! My space as a human being sometimes feels so thoroughly invaded and occupied that I just want to switch off, cut the wifi, abandon the mobile, stop the emails, and regain some quality of human and spiritual equilibrium.
It is no wonder that so high a percentage of young people in Britain today register anxiety as a dominant emotion. The tank of our potential for human flourishing is cluttered up with too much stuff. It’s as though we’ve filled the empty tomb so full with an unhappy blend of debt, regulation, kitsch memorabilia, and a craving for novelty, that there is no longer any expectation of room for glory, space for mystery, allowance for the confounding of limited expectation.
This is a situation that was recently described by Jonathan Sacks, in his masterly book, Not in God’s name, where he observes that we have attained “unprecedented achievements in knowledge, freedom, life expectancy and affluence….[and] the result is that the twenty-first century has left us with a maximum of choice and a minimum of meaning”.
Which is why the symbol of the empty tomb is so powerful and haunting. Here is the sign of our mortality and death. One day the frame of this body will come to resemble that tomb, when the breath stops and the agency of control and demand is lifted from us. Then, as now when we celebrate the dawn of Easter glory and the glory of life, the very breath of God will be able to fill the space within us, to satisfy our deepest longing, to give freedom to our best and greatest loves, to perfect our every thought and deed that has already expanded the meaning of goodness, truth and justice.
As Easter celebrations begin, those of you who gave up alcohol, sweets, cakes and biscuits, can look forward to your Easter gin and tonic, the glass of remarkable claret, and unbridled pleasure as you accept the offer of a chocolate after lunch. This is your enactment of the reception of divine love in the glory of resurrection; you have made an empty space in your appetites and desires, in order to rehearse what it will be like to receive, all over again, a perfect and eternal gift in the new creation that evokes something you have already known so well. The full to overflowing font is the symbol of that perfect gift and what resurrection means. It is the recovery of our total capacity to expand into the divine life of God, as in baptism we are united with Jesus Christ: “In him the whole fullness of divinity dwells in bodily form, and you have come to fullness in him” – is how St Paul describes it (Col. 2.9) So, happy Easter. Savour the gin, raise a toast to the CofE with the claret, enjoy the chocolate, and expand into the freedom of a bank holiday. But more than these transient celebrations, attend to the eternal fulfilment they betoken. Don’t run away from the empty tomb; it is your destiny. Let its haunting beauty inspire you. Make space for the glory of God to begin its transformative effect in your life now.
Read it all (emphasis mine).
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Cigarette breaks between hymns, candlelit services in pubs and parties serving halal food to welcome Muslim neighbours are among unlikely new ideas helping revive the fortunes of once run-down inner city churches, highlighted in a new report.
The breach with traditional ecclesiastical style is singled out in the study into an at-times controversial plan by the Church of England to “plant” new congregations into historic parishes where numbers in the pews have dwindled for decades.
The policy, backed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and other senior clerics, involves asking a group of often young, enthusiastic members of successful, growing congregations to move to another church as “planters” to inject new energy and ideas.
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Bishop Samuel Azariah, Bishop Irfan Jamil (Bishop of Lahore) and Bishop Mano Rumalshah (Bishop Emeritus of Peshawar) expressed their deepest condolences to the bereaved families and prayed for peace and speedy recovery to those who were injured in the blast.
The Lahore blast has taken lives of over 72 people and left over 300 injured, many of them children and women, when a suicide bomber blew himself up at Gulshan Iqbal Park on Easter evening.
Following the blast, the President Bishop of Church of Pakistan visited the hospitals to console pray for the injured and analyze the situation.
Bishop Azariah, who actively participates in promoting interfaith activities, stated that such acts weaken and damage the struggle and effort toward bringing a relation of peace and harmony between Christians and Muslims.
It is unfortunate that these inhuman terrorists identify themselves as Muslims and by performing such barbaric acts damage the image of their faith community. In a context of this nature, it is the primary responsibility of our majority brothers and sisters from the Muslim community to identify, silence and eliminate this minority. This minority claims to be the real Muslims, and primarily acts against the teaching of Islam and this should be resolved.
Mere statements of condemnation and quotes from The Holy Scriptures are not enough. We as a nation have reached a breaking point that ‘enough is enough.’ How many more soft targets have to be sacrificed?
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The Anglican Archbishops of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia have condemned an Easter Sunday suicide bombing in Lahore, Pakistan which killed at least 70 people.
"The targeting of the innocent, in this case Christians celebrating Easter, is the hallmark of terrorism and such cowardice should be condemned," the Archbishops said.
They said people of peace from all faiths should stand in solidarity to condemn the bombing.
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‘For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.’ Paul’s classic challenge to the wisdom of the world echoes down the centuries and confronts us once more as we come face to face once more with the great events which not only stand at the heart of our faith but are etched into our geography and architecture, as this great building makes clear. One of the paradoxical signs of the continuing and urgent relevance of the message and meaning of the cross is that it is once more under attack from several directions; and we who today declare that we will be true to our ordination vows, and who will this evening and tomorrow commemorate those high and holy, disturbing and decisive events in the story of Jesus himself, must take a deep breath, summon up our courage, and learn again what it means to discover the wisdom of God in what the world counts foolishness, the power of God in what the world counts weakness.Read it all.
The first challenge comes from within, in the temptation to water down the message of the cross so that it becomes less offensive, more palatable to the ordinary sensible mind. We must of course acknowledge that many, alas, have offered caricatures of the biblical theology of the cross. It is all too possible to take elements from the biblical witness and present them within a controlling narrative gleaned from somewhere else, like a child doing a follow-the-dots puzzle without paying attention to the numbers and producing a dog instead of a rabbit. This is what happens when people present over-simple stories, as the mediaeval church often did, followed by many since, with an angry God and a loving Jesus, with a God who demands blood and doesn’t much mind whose it is as long as it’s innocent. You’d have thought people would notice that this flies in the face of John’s and Paul’s deep-rooted theology of the love of the triune God: not ‘God was so angry with the world that he gave us his son’ but ‘God so loved the world that he gave us his son’. That’s why, when I sing that interesting recent song and we come to the line, ‘And on the cross, as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied’, I believe it’s more deeply true to sing ‘the love of God was satisfied’, and I commend that alteration to those of you who sing that song, which is in other respects one of the very few really solid recent additions to our repertoire.
But once we’ve got rid of the caricature, we are ready to face the reality, the reality of the foolishness and weakness, but in fact the wisdom and the power, of the cross of Jesus Christ.
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Let man’s soul be a sphere, and then, in this,
Th’ intelligence that moves, devotion is ;
And as the other spheres, by being grown
Subject to foreign motion, lose their own,
And being by others hurried every day,
Scarce in a year their natural form obey ;
Pleasure or business, so, our souls admit
For their first mover, and are whirl’d by it.
Hence is’t, that I am carried towards the west,
This day, when my soul’s form bends to the East.
There I should see a Sun by rising set,
And by that setting endless day beget.
But that Christ on His cross did rise and fall,
Sin had eternally benighted all.
Yet dare I almost be glad, I do not see
That spectacle of too much weight for me.
Who sees Gods face, that is self-life, must die ;
What a death were it then to see God die ?
It made His own lieutenant, Nature, shrink,
It made His footstool crack, and the sun wink.
Could I behold those hands, which span the poles
And tune all spheres at once, pierced with those holes ?
Could I behold that endless height, which is
Zenith to us and our antipodes,
Humbled below us ? or that blood, which is
The seat of all our soul’s, if not of His,
Made dirt of dust, or that flesh which was worn
By God for His apparel, ragg’d and torn ?
If on these things I durst not look, durst I
On His distressed Mother cast mine eye,
Who was God’s partner here, and furnish’d thus
Half of that sacrifice which ransom’d us ?
Though these things as I ride be from mine eye,
They’re present yet unto my memory,
For that looks towards them ; and Thou look’st towards me,
O Saviour, as Thou hang’st upon the tree.
I turn my back to thee but to receive
Corrections till Thy mercies bid Thee leave.
O think me worth Thine anger, punish me,
Burn off my rust, and my deformity ;
Restore Thine image, so much, by Thy grace,
That Thou mayst know me, and I’ll turn my face.
–John Donne (1572-1631)
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Think of Jesus. His words are few. He is exhausted and in pain. Two words however remain: a word of mercy to the criminal who repents; a word of fidelity, handing himself to his Father, his mission completed.
Lord we live in a world filled with words. Perhaps never in history have there been so many words: spoken, printed, electronically stored or moving invisibly. Help us to realise that few words are necessary. Empty words foster empty hearts. There are realities which do not need words. Give us Lord the words to ask for forgiveness, the words which touch those things in our hearts we would not want anyone to hear, but things that keep us entrapped in sinfulness and isolation. Give us words to forgive, to be generous and loving.Open our heart in mercy to those who long for freedom. Keep us faithful like Jesus to what we are called to, to what is most noble and good in our lives.
In a world where everything has a shelf-life and what we dislike can be quickly discarded, help us to learn that singular characteristic of God: being faithful. The events of Good Friday realise something that has been spoken of throughout the history of God’s encounter with his people. God remains faithful to his people, even when his people generation after generation fail him and fail him and betray him and betray him[.]
True goodness is not a passing emotion. It is not about feeling good. It is about being faithful to goodness when it is easy, when it is challenging, and even when it leads to our annihilation in the eyes of those who seek their only own interest.
Jesus dies. He breathes his last and that last is the same as the first words recorded about Jesus: “I must be about my Father’s business”; “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”.
Jesus humbles himself, he empties himself, and his love is so great that he empties himself even unto death, death on the Cross. But the Cross triumphs. His self-giving love is so complete that it brings new life, true live.
Lord help us to reject everything that is trivial and superficial. Give us the love that Jesus showed on the Cross: love that endures and that saves.
Read it all.
A historic declaration from the Anglican Church of Canada regarding it’s part in the horrific cultural genocide and many abuses done to an estimated 150,000 Aboriginal children and their families in the name of Christ was delivered at North America’s oldest Anglican Church, Her Majesties Chapel of the Mohawks in Brantford, Saturday afternoon.
Canada’s top Anglican Bishops and leaders were on hand as Anglican Archbishop of Canada, Fred Hiltz and National Indigenous Bishop, Right Reverend Mark MacDonald delivered a humble and heartfelt apology to all Indigenous children forced to attend residential schools operated by the Church and their families.
The Chapel is only a short distance from the Mohawk Institute, Canada’s first and longest running residential school where atrocities were committed in the name of education and Christianity against Aboriginal children.
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Fifty years ago, on March 22nd 1966, a new centre was set up in the heart of Rome dedicated to the building up of Anglican-Catholic dialogue. The Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey presided at the dedication ceremony in the ancient Doria Pamphilj palace, the day before his first historic encounter with Pope Paul VI that took place in the Sistine Chapel.
Exactly half a century on, Christians of many different denominations gathered in the Anglican Centre chapel on Tuesday to give thanks for those events and to commit themselves anew to the task of reconciling their divided Churches.
Read and listen to it all.
The Anglican diocese of Bathurst is being forced to sell church property following a NSW Supreme Court order to settle an outstanding debt of up to $25 million to Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
The diocese, which covers one-third of the area of NSW, is likely next month to approve the first sale of properties at a synod, or governing council, after losing a lengthy battle in which it argued it did not have the authority to sell property it held under trust structures.
"We will be selling church trust property in order to satisfy what we owe," Ian Palmer, the bishop in charge of the Bathurst diocese, said.
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This is my annual Easter message to the people of Uganda, and, today, I want to talk mostly about Jesus. Because Easter is first and foremost about Jesus.
We have been through a lot recently as a country. Since Christmas, I have tried to remind all of us that “politics is not our salvation – only Jesus is our salvation.”
During the wonderful commemoration of Archbishop Janani Luwum’s life and martyrdom in Mucwini on 16th February, I stressed that “Politics will change, but the Word of God does not change.”
Now, during this Holy Week, I want to call all of us, once again, to “turn our eyes upon Jesus.”
Read it all
Your Graces, dear brothers in Christ
As we enter Passiontide, with less than two weeks until Easter, I wanted to write to wish you all a celebration of Holy Week and the day of Resurrection that is all-consuming in its joy and power. Uniquely, we proclaim a saviour who has overcome death, having lived fully through every experience and temptation of life, and having himself died.
Our great enemy, who tells us that all things end in pointlessness, is defeated by the empty tomb, and with all Christians around the world, we should celebrate without limit.
On Easter day, at Canterbury Cathedral, full of the memories of our Meeting in January, I shall be praying for you and rejoicing in your fellowship in the proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ.
Since that Meeting, there have been numerous developments. First, we should be aware of the great rejoicing and thankfulness that the outcome of the Meeting gave to many Christians around the world. We have all received numerous comments of thankfulness that the Anglican Communion, deeply divided in many areas, managed in the part of its leadership which is the Primates’ Meeting, to vote unanimously, amongst those present, to walk together. As you will remember, at that crucial moment, we undertook to seek personally to ensure that what we voted, was put into practise.
Since that time, as I undertook to you, I have followed through by changing the representation of those bodies where I have the ability to make a decision, so as to put into effect the agreement we reached amongst ourselves.
We must, of course, remember that as in the early Church, as we read in the Acts of the Apostles, there is never an end to these issues. So long as the Church is made up of human beings, it will be made up of sinners. In consequence, we will take decisions and say things that are inappropriate or wrong. The strength of the East African revival was not that it produced sinless people but that it taught sinners to walk in the light. That meant that they were to confess their sins, repent and acknowledge them.
At Lambeth 1998, Resolution III point 6, as well as affirming “the enhanced responsibility here in offering guidance on doctrinal, moral and pastoral matters” of the Primates’ Meeting, also said that the responsibility of the Primates’ Meeting “should be exercised in sensitive consultation with the relevant provinces and with the ACC or in cases of emergency the Executive of the ACC, and that while not interfering with the juridical authority of the provinces, the exercise of these responsibilities by the Primates’ Meeting should carry moral authority calling for ready acceptance through the Communion”.
There are numerous other examples indicating that we should work closely together.
In all cases, back as far as 1857, it is well recognised that there is no single body within the Anglican Communion that has juridical authority over individual provinces. We are autonomous but interdependent.
For these reasons, I hope and pray that every province that is able will be present in Lusaka. The decisions we took in January can only have effect if they gain general ownership amongst the Communion, taking in laity, priests and bishops. Even if a province is not able to be present, I urge you to pray fervently for the outcome of the ACC. We will need to elect a new Chairman, and such a position should be someone, who, speaking the truth in love, seeks to unite the Communion in truth-filled service to Jesus Christ, and not to uphold any particular group at the expense of the Common Good, so long as we are within acceptable limits of diversity.
The ACC is the only body in which laity and clergy, other than bishops, are represented, and is thus of a special importance. It will discuss many matters, including those that we raised in January at Canterbury. These will include our evangelism and witness, the impact of climate change, our response to the great global refugee crisis, our support for those caught in conflict, and above all persecution.
Only those who are present will be able to make their voice heard and their votes effective. I therefore urge you to make every effort to join us in Lusaka, so that, in the presence of the risen Christ, we may continue our often painful, but ever hopeful journey in his service.
This brings my love, respect and commitment to service in the name of Christ our peace, Christ our saviour and Christ our truth.
+ Justin Cantaur
The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby
Archbishop of Canterbury
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The Church of England has today released its film marking Easter 2016 featuring a passion play which features individuals who have struggled with drug addiction, crime and homelessness on their journey to faith.
The film is based on Psalm 22 and contains the lines "My God, My God why have you forsaken me?" words spoken by Jesus on the Cross.
The striking imagery in the film includes a re-enactment of a passion play with Christ's Crown of Thorns being replaced with a crown of syringes to reflect the struggles of addiction faced by those who have recently come to faith in a Halifax Church called "The Saturday Gathering".
Read it all and follow the links.
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At the Bloxham Festival for Faith and Literature, 19-21 February 2016, the short list of six books for the Michael Ramsey Prize 2016 was announced.
I was asked to present:
- Francis Spufford, Unapologetic: Why, despite everything, Christianity can still make surprising emotional sense (London: Faber and Faber, 2012) and
- Frances Young, God’s Presence: A Contemporary Recapitulation of Early Christianity (Cambridge: CUP, 2013)
Alison Barr, Senior Commissioning Editor at SPCK, gave an overview of the prize and the books.
The following is a development of my comments at the Bloxham Festival on the two books by Frances and Francis.
1. Unapologetic by Francis Spufford
This could win a prize for the longest sub title. The publishers, Faber and Faber, have even managed to squeeze it onto the spine of the book.
Spufford explains that he wrote the book ‘to try to extricate for people, from the misleading ruins of half memory, what Christianity feels like from the inside.’ (p.22)
(a) What kind of a book is this?
Well, unapologetically, it is a popular defense of the Christian faith from emotional sense and a presentation of the good news of Jesus Christ in the face of New Atheism..
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A bishop has to be a teacher of the faith. That is, he or she has to be someone who is animated by theology and eager to share it — animated by theology in the sense of longing to inhabit the language and world of faith with greater and greater intelligence, insight, and joy. So, yes, bishops need that animation and desire to help others make sense of their commitment....
This means that I would plead with the Church to take seriously the need for investing in theological education at all levels — to recognise that there is a huge appetite for theology among so many laypeople, and thus a need for clergy who can respond and engage intelligently. The middle-term future may need to be one where there are more independent centres of theological study outside universities, given the erosion of resources in higher education, and I think it’s time more people started thinking about what that might entail in terms of funding.
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The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, today announces, on the third anniversary of his installation, a new set of non-academic Lambeth Awards to recognise outstanding service in various fields.
The Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation
...Sir Andrew Pocock KCMG..
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The former British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr Andrew Pocock, has disclosed that the United States and the United Kingdom knew the whereabouts of about 80 of abducted Chibok girls by Boko Haram but failed to launch a rescue mission.
Pocock further claimed that a large group of the missing girls were spotted by the UK and the US surveillance officials shortly after their disappearance but experts felt nothing could be done.
The former UK envoy, who stated this during an interview with The Sunday Times of London, added that Western governments felt “powerless” to help as any rescue attempt would have been too risky with Boko Haram terrorists using the girls as human shields.
Pocock said: “A couple of months after the kidnapping, fly-bys and an American eye in the sky spotted a group of up to 80 girls in a particular spot in the Sambisa forest, around a very large tree, called locally the Tree of Life, along with evidence of vehicular movement and a large encampment.”
Read it all and there is an article in the International Business Times here
Cue the Lahore Metro -- an ambitious project that is the first such mass transit system in Pakistan. The Orange Line is the first leg of the project, scheduled to be completed in October 2017. It is also beset with a host of problems and challenges.
For one, the line runs dangerously close to several of Pakistan’s historically important architecture. According to reports, the line involves the destruction of the Anglican Cathedral..
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Archbishop Wabukala expressed confidence that the church’s neutral stance on politics will not change even after he leaves office.
“There should be no cause for alarm. A competent transition team is firmly in charge,” he said.
Those said to have expressed interest in the position are Dr Christopher Ruto (Diocese of Eldoret), Bishop Moses Masaba (Mbeere), Bishop Julius Wanyoike (Thika), Bishop Joseph ole Sapit (Kericho), Bishop Joel Waweru (Nairobi), Bishop James Ochiel (South Nyanza), and Lawrence Dena of Malindi.
However, it is only after April 1 that the official list will be known.
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Bishop Richard Condie was consecrated on Saturday and is now the highest clergy member in Tasmania.
The Anglican Church reached out to abuse survivor and long-time campaigner Steven Fisher to invite him to meet with the Bishop.
It was an invitation Mr Fisher was pleased to receive.
"I believe it's a huge step for them to reach out and ask a victim to come down and actually talk to them," he said.
"It's something we've been campaigning for for 15 years."
Read it all and there is a report in the Tasmanian Examiner
By Thomas Pascoe
It is worth quoting the Reverend Kate Bottley at some length on what the programme seeks to do. The Telegraph reports her as saying: “I don’t think any of the other disciples were whiter than white – we just probably didn’t hear about it – because they were all human and we are all a bit messed up. Up until that moment of betrayal, Judas seems no better or worse than any of the other disciples. But he has been defined by the worst thing he did. What Judas did is not OK but I think he holds up a very important mirror to our own human condition.
“Jesus forgave people as they were putting the nails in to his hands and there is no reason why he would not have forgiven Judas but he just didn’t hear that.”
There are a number of things which strike me as worrying about this summary. They are worthy of debate because of the deep theological ignorance of modern Britain, the fact that its national broadcaster has chosen to use one of its few headline religious programmes in Holy Week to propagate this message, and because the Anglican communion, which abounds with clerics making statements such as the one above, is still the main conduit in this country through which the layman with no particular religious instruction encounters Christ.
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As we again ponder, and ‘pray with’, the events of the first Holy Week and Easter, we once more become aware of the enormity of God’s mercy to humankind. In the darkness of Calvary on Good Friday and in the celebration of Our Lord’s resurrection on Easter Day, we see both sides of Divine mercy. God is with us in the darkness of all human suffering and bewilderment, but God also holds out the hope of a new and wonderful dimension to human existence, both in this life and beyond this life. Herein is the miracle of that great mercy held out for us.
This year is a particular ‘year of mercy’ in the Roman Catholic tradition, but for all Christian disciples – of whatever tradition – the heartbeat of the Beatitudes echoes through all true spiritual endeavour with its central message, ‘Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy.’ (Matthew 5.7)
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Goodson Muleya originally hails from a village in the Mazabuka District in Zambia’s southern province. His parents died when he was seven and he was taken in by his uncle, but not treated well. Eventually, Mr Muleya ran away from home and spent time living on the streets while also trying to complete his studies and find work.
It was during his time on the streets that someone shared the gospel with him. Although like many in Zambia Mr Muleya had grown up going to church, he did not truly know and follow Jesus. It was after this chance encounter that he thought hard about whether he was truly a Christian and he decided he needed to change.
“After this confession my life was transformed,” he says. “I felt the need to forgive my uncle and everyone else who harmed me, as I was living in bitterness all these years after the death of my parents. Also, it dawned to me that not everyone who goes to church is Christian.”
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Australia * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth * International News & Commentary Africa Zambia * Theology Christology Soteriology
Bishop Richard Condie is sworn in by Anglican Primate Philip Freier
A healthy church...transforming life
The Tasmanian Church and community has celebrated the Installation and Ordination today of The Right Reverend Dr Richard Condie as the 12th Bishop of Tasmania.
The Installation service took place at St David's Cathedral, Hobart, with the Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, Archbishop Dr Philip Freier conducting the Installation. Local, State and Federal Tasmanian political leaders, and Aboriginal elders were there representing the Tasmanian community. There were also heads of a significant number of other Tasmanian church denominations in attendance, as well as representatives from the 45 Tasmanian parishes, Anglican Schools and agencies. You can read the full Media Release here. The Revd Dr Peter Adam preached the sermon. The text is available here.
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The head of the Anglican Church of Kenya Eliud Wabukala has called on Christians to be on the forefront in the fight against corruption.
Speaking in Nakuru on Saturday during the commissioning of an ultra-modern shopping mall, Wabukala urged Christians to desist from taking part in corruption so that they can be emulated by others.
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Tucked away in England’s magnificent landscape lies the small village of Peterchurch. At the annual crafts fair the Anglican church bustles with activity. But this kind of church could become an endangered species, in part because of changing demographics as people migrate to the city.
A Church of England report shows that more than half of its churches are in rural areas, although only 17 percent of the population lives there. This means smaller congregations, fewer resources, and a bleak future, given the average age of attendees hovers around 55.
“A lot of it is about the demographics,” said Anni Holden, Director of Communications for the Diocese of Hereford. “But also, you know, we have to be realistic, secularization amongst the indigenous population. There’s no two ways about that.”
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Church leaders have spoken out against the growth of “gang culture” in the West Indies, urging Anglicans to take the lead in combatting the moral causes of the region’s crime wave.
In an interview published on 27 February, the new dean of Barbados, Dr Jeffrey Gibson, told Barbados Today the church was “not only concerned about the level of violence” but was “prepared to do something to change people’s outlook, to provide care for people who have been affected by violence and to serve in some position where we can rehabilitate those who might have been affected by violence.”
He argued the church should seek to address the moral and social causes of crime.
“We denounce all forms of violent behaviour but we should also seek to uncover what might be the underlying causes of the violence and to see how one can move persons from that sort of spiral of violence, where they perpetuate violence and experience violence to adopting a new form of harmonious living,” the senior cleric said.
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When one’s neighbors have a sacred book which they believe and claim is literally ‘the words of Allah,’ it can be very tempting to make similar claims for one’s own sacred book. Once that kind of claim is made, it can be very difficult to concede that every faithful person, every faith community, picks and chooses which passages to emphasize, and which to set aside….The BOOK, which is THE GOSPEL, cannot be compromised.
South Sudan is surrounded by other nations with very strong laws concerning homosexuals. They are under tremendous pressure to conform to prevailing norms and taboos, especially since the Bible seems to them to be clear on the topic. Our scholarship is not something they can embrace without putting themselves at odds with both religious and secular beliefs (both traditional and legal) and seeming to be ‘unfaithful’ to the Book, while their Muslim neighbors are clearly being faithful to their Koran.
It has taken many years and some degree of effort for many of our brothers and sisters to realize that the Gospel is far more than a book – it is the living, continuing presence of Christ, it is the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit, working to make sure that all people know God’s redeeming love. They are beginning to learn the value of Tradition – which is never static – and Reason – through which we learn about God in very many ways. But many of the leaders have still not been able to study as clergy have in the West, and it will be many more years, I’m sure, before we come to anything like a common understanding and interpretation of sacred Scripture – and in that process we will undoubtedly learn a great deal from them!
Finally, we must remind ourselves that even though we interpret the Bible in different ways, even though we live in a very different society, it has taken us until the 21st century to come to a place of acceptance regarding members of the GLBTQ community. We didn’t begin talking openly about the topic of sexuality until the 1960s, and we live in a culture which prizes free speech and relatively open discussion.
It is unreasonable for us to expect that people who live in very different circumstances, where women do not yet have the same legal rights as men, where harsh treatment of children is deemed acceptable, where addictions, STDs, and mental illness are not understood, and where people cannot bear to have open conversations about such things, to accept our position on human sexuality without struggle and questioning..
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Documents that traditionally have been made available to Anglican Journal staff were withheld from them at the March 10-13 meeting of Council of General Synod (CoGS), the church’s governing body between General Synods.
The documents, made available online to CoGS members in advance of their meetings, include reports from various officers and committees of General Synod and updates on developments affecting the church, as well as background information, to help members prepare for discussions.
Archdeacon Michael Thompson, the church’s general secretary, decided not to make the documents available, saying, “The docket is not public. It’s a docket to help CoGS members prepare for the meeting.” Thompson said that Meghan Kilty, General Synod director of communication, had brought it to his attention that, “We have not developed a policy about how a not-public document becomes accessible to the press.”
In the absence of policy, he said in an interview, “The default is, the documents are not public.”
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Eleanor is an actress and a theatre maker living in North London, trained in both musical theatre and pure acting. She has spent 2 years with a theatre company doing everything from acting training to devising and directing pieces. She has been a part of Euston church since it was planted from St Helen’s Bishopsgate 5 years ago, and one day she would like to create her own theatre company.
What does being an ambassador for Christ mean to you?
In the house I used to live in with my aunt and uncle I remember seeing a postcard from their church, and it said: If Jesus were born in your place, in your time, with your job and your circumstances, how would he live? That’s always stuck with me as a challenge to be as Christ-like as I can in every situation I’m in. I need to use my personality and my specific skills to attract people to him.
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The Church of England’s safeguarding procedures in cases of reported sexual abuse have been condemned as “fundamentally flawed” by an independent review, which was commissioned by the Church.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has promised to implement the changes that the review calls for, and to do so quickly.
The review, which was carried out by Ian Elliott, a safeguarding consultant with the Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service, considered the Church’s response to allegations of sexual abuse by the Revd Garth Moore, a former Chancellor of the dioceses of Southwark, Durham, and Gloucester, who died in 1990... It concerned an attempted rape by Chancellor Moore of “Joe” (not his real name), which took place while Joe, then aged 16, was staying as a house guest at Chancellor Moore’s rooms in Gray’s Inn.
Joe was then drawn into what he has described as an exploitative and emotionally abusive relationship by Brother Michael Fisher SSF, who later became Bishop of St Germans.
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Members and visitors at All Saints, Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife celebrated 125 years of worship in the lovely Church on the north of the island on Sunday 13 March.
The parish has a fascinating history. When the Church was opened for worship in 1891 it was under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Sierra Leone, who also looked after the Gold Coast, the Yoruba District of modern Nigeria and other territories in West Africa! Today it is very much part of the Diocese in Europe, but aware of its history in the Canary Islands, once a crossroad of the world in the 19th century.
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Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, might have helped prevent a sex abuser bishop being brought to justice for more than 20 years, a public inquiry has been told.
He allegedly failed to pass on "very detailed" allegations made in the early 1990s against the former Bishop of Lewes Peter Ball - who was jailed last year for abusing a string of boys and young men - it was claimed.
It was one of the reasons a "proper" police investigation into Ball's abuse was delayed for more than two decades, the inquiry into historic sexual abuse in England and Wales being overseen by Justice Lowell Goddard was told.
Read it all from the Telegraph.
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"We welcome the plans outlined in today's preliminary hearing by Justice Goddard, for the Anglican Church, as it examines the extent to which institutions and organisations in England and Wales have taken seriously their responsibility to protect children.
As a church we will be offering full cooperation and are committed to working in an open and transparent way, with a survivor-informed response. We are already reviewing our 2008 Past Cases Review, referred to in today's hearing.
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The strength of the Church of Nigeria (CON) is not just from its massive size, though massive it is at more than twenty million active members! This statement demonstrates their ability to think clearly, and communicate articulately. It also demonstrates the lie of Jack Spong’s assertion at the 1998 Lambeth Bishop’s Conference that the African Bishops were operating out of ignorance. Besides the fact that the Nigerian arguments are rock solid, anyone who correctly uses “ palaver” gets a tip of the hat! Besides that, an overwhelming percentage of Nigerian (and other African Provinces’) Bishops have earned advanced degrees. Far more than in the US, Canada, or England.
Notice that in response to the inability of the Communion to deal with the theological crisis adequately, the CON had the vision to modify their constitution to limit their relations to those Provinces and Dioceses that maintain historic, Biblical faith.
Here they rightly put the focus on The Word of God instead of on institutional decisions and/or loyalties.
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The question then is what exactly Jeremy Pemberton is seeking and how it can be justified. If the argument is that the church’s doctrine is in error or that the bishops are in error in their statements and applications of that doctrine then there are means within the church to rectify those errors. To seek for the state to correct the church’s alleged errors – by judging that the bishops are mis-stating its own doctrine or that the substance of that doctrine must be abandoned - is a step which needs to be defended. Yet I have seen no serious defence of this approach. The decision of Canon Pemberton and his supporters to continue to press their case through the courts means they must address this issue of their chosen means to secure their desired end and clarify what they are wanting the court to decide in terms of directing the church in relation to its doctrine and requirements of ministers....
Finally, looking ahead as we draw near the end of the Shared Conversations, this case highlights the difficulty of implementing what some call for under the title of “good disagreement”. If the case is lost then it has been established that the church has a doctrine of marriage which bishops are right to uphold by refusing to issue a licence to someone in a same-sex marriage. The judgment is clear that canonical obedience is “a core part of the qualifying of a priest for ministry within the Church” (para 120) and that Canon Pemberton is obliged to undertake to pay true and Canonical Obedience to the Lord Bishop but that (given its conclusion as to church doctrine), “Self-evidently he is not going to be able to fulfil that obligation or has not done so….and therefore objectively he cannot be issued with his licence” (para 121). Any bishop who therefore issued a licence to someone in a same-sex marriage would therefore be open to legal challenge. Any attempt to allow clergy to enter same-sex marriages would, it appears, need first to redefine the church’s doctrine of marriage. If, however, Jeremy wins his case then, as noted above, no bishop could refuse a licence on the grounds of the priest being in a same-sex marriage.
In other words, if the church keeps it current doctrine of marriage then it will be very difficult to justify licensing clergy in same-sex marriages but if it changes it or somehow declares it has no fixed doctrine of marriage then it will be very difficult to justify refusing a licence to clergy in same-sex marriages given equality legislation. So, even if it were considered desirable, it is therefore hard to see how, given the law, the church could “agree to differ” on this subject in a way that both enabled same-sex married clergy to be licensed and also protected those unable in good conscience to license clergy in same-sex marriages.
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...[Church of England] clergyman Jeremy Pemberton has won the right to appeal against a ruling by an employment tribunal that he was not discriminated against.
Canon Pemberton took his case to the tribunal after he was refused a licence to work as a hospital chaplain because he had married his partner Laurence Cunnington.
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The Church of England is to make far-reaching changes to the way it deals with cases of sex abuse, following a highly critical independent report that details how senior church figures failed to act upon repeated disclosures of a sadistic assault by a cleric.
The first independent review commissioned by the church into its handling of a sex abuse case highlights the “deeply disturbing” failure of those in senior positions to record or take action on the survivor’s disclosures over a period of almost four decades.
The Guardian understands that among those told of the abuse were three bishops and a senior clergyman later ordained as a bishop. None of them are named in the report by Ian Elliott, a safeguarding expert, but the survivor identified them as Tim Thornton, now bishop of Truro; Richard Holloway, former bishop of Edinburgh in the Scottish Episcopal church, now retired; John Eastaugh, former bishop of Hereford, now dead; and Stephen Platten, former bishop of Wakefield and now honorary assistant bishop of London.
The church acknowledged the report was “embarrassing and uncomfortable” reading.
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Newcastle's Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson says having the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse come to Newcastle will be important for the community.
The Royal Commission will hold a two-week public hearing into Newcastle's Anglican diocese starting on June 20.
The ABC has previously reported that several alleged paedophile rings are being investigated by police and the Royal Commission.
Bishop Thompson said Newcastle needed to hear the stories of victims and come to terms with the abuse.
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The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will spend Holy Week visiting community projects, groups, schools and Christians in Canterbury diocese.
The Archbishop will be assisting the Sittingbourne deanery in its outreach, mission and evangelism from 20–26 March, encouraging Christians in sharing faith through worship, service and evangelism.
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The Anglican Archdiocese of Enugu has officially banned wearing of sleeveless dresses to church weddings, reception and services.
The Archbishop of the Archdiocese, Most Reverend Emmanuel Chukwuma, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu, on Monday.
Chukwuma said the ban was to return moral chastity on persons, especially women, who attend such functions in the church.
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A year of shared conversations on sexuality, held across the Church of England, and involving more than 700 people, concluded this week. The next conversations will take place at the York meeting of the General Synod in July. Madeleine Davies spoke to the last set of participants about their experience and expectations.
Andrew Cox, lay person (diocese of St Albans)
Coming from a conservative position it was helpful to be able to “look into the eyes”’ of those who held an opposing view and be able to see more of the person, experiences, and, often, pain that lay behind their view. I was also grateful to have the chance to present my views face to face, which helped those I disagreed with to recognise that the words I spoke, whilst hard to hear, were spoken from the heart and out of love.
My one regret, which I did express, was that none of the carefully designed programme was dedicated to opening the Bible together. As we are a church who believes in the authority of the scriptures I had hoped that listening to God’s Word would be a fundamental part of seeking to come to one mind on this issue. It really seems to me that this is key, as it is the truth of the scriptures that unites us. If we don’t wrestle to understand the truth together, what is it that will hold us together?
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..despite his concerns over how much energy was going into discussions over same-sex marriage, Hiltz applauded the care and respect he felt CoGS had shown in its nearly two days of closed-door discussions about the proposed change to the church’s marriage canon to allow for same-sex marriage.
“I think…we were really working hard here at this meeting at trying to make room for one another,” he said. “There’s a place for everyone in the Anglican Church of Canada, so how do we work hard at making room for one another—that’s going to be the challenge, in part, at General Synod, too.”
At the end of its discussions, CoGS had unanimously agreed March 12 to send to the upcoming General Synod a draft resolution prepared by the Commission on the Marriage Canon changing the Anglican Church of Canada’s law to pave the way for same-sex marriage.
At the same time, however, CoGS said that while it is legally obliged by General Synod 2013's Resolution C003 to send the same-sex marriage motion to General Synod 2016, it has also considered “the possibility of other options.”
In a message to the church, CoGS said, “The General Synod may discern a legislative option is not the most helpful, and if so, we faithfully hope that through dialogue at General Synod an alternate way will emerge.”
CoGS did not indicate what these “other options” might be, but the message was clearly a response to an earlier statement it received from the House of Bishops that a vote to allow same-sex marriage was “not likely to pass in the Order of Bishops.” In their statement to CoGS, the bishops had also questioned whether “a legislative procedure is the most helpful way” of dealing with the issue of gay marriage. In a written response to the House of Bishops, CoGS asked “for some concrete examples of other options” to a legislative process.
Hiltz also spoke to the CoGS at length about his experiences at the January meeting of the primates of the Anglican Communion, and the status of relations within the global Anglican Communion following their decision to censure The Episcopal Church (TEC) for its 2015 decision to perform same-sex marriages. The primates asked that the American Church’s participation in Anglican Communion bodies be temporarily limited.
He noted that despite this call from the primates, TEC has indicated that it will send representatives to the upcoming Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) meeting in Lusaka, Zambia in April, and Hiltz said he expects they will participate as “full members.”..
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Rowan Wlliams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has urged the government to intervene to halt the rise of “poisonous” anti-semitism on British campuses.
In a letter to a student victim of anti-semitic comments, Lord Williams, now master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, disclosed that he had written to Jo Johnson, the universities minister, because of the “muted” official response so far to rising anti-semitic behaviour.
It follows complaints by Jewish students that they feel isolated or silenced after incidents at a growing number of universities that include Oxford, Cambridge, the London School of Economics and York.
In a letter to Zachary Confino, a Jewish law student at York University who received anonymous anti-semitic comments on social media — including the remark “Hitler was onto something” — Williams said he had been “very shocked” by what he had seen. “It is truly appalling stuff but sadly seems not to be that unusual at the moment,” he writes.
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The Archbishop of Congo, the Most Revd Henri Isingoma, has stepped down, the Province de L'Eglise Anglicane Du Congo (Anglican Church of Congo) announced today. Archbishop Henri, who is also Bishop of Kinshasa, has taken the decision to have a health improvement break and return to theological academia.
His resignation comes three years before the completion of his second five-year term of office; and seven years before the usual retirement age of 65 in the Anglican Church of Congo.
The Archbishop has served Katanga, Boga and Kinshasa dioceses as bishop.
“He has worked hard and contributed so much to the Christian unity, transparent and apolitical management of the Anglican Church of Congo,” the provincial secretary, the Venerable Anthonio Kibwela, said.
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The scale of destruction from cyclone Winston in Fiji is hard to comprehend. The pictures are just devastating. The death toll stands at 42 - which is just shocking - but many are saying it may still rise as communications improve. We pray it will not.
The tiny village of Maniava, where a Youthworks Year 13 mission team spend time each July was literally blown away. Of the 32 houses, only 4 remain. We praise God no one was killed! You can read here about the extraordinary efforts our dear brother Claude (Dean of Suva) to get some food and basic first aid to Maniava (with rations on horseback!) thanks to the generous donations of Sydney Anglicans and other supporters of Anglican Aid.
This story of destruction of homes and livelihood is very close to home for me as I remember very fondly my time in Maniava and the wonderful welcome I received when last there..
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Justin Welby captured the attention of the nation in 2013 when he declared war on Wonga and pledged the support of the church in the fight for financial inclusion. And yet, alongside the positive headlines, a common question emerged in response: what does the church really have to offer to people struggling on low incomes and preyed on by exploitative lenders, except perhaps a some spiritual support and comfort?
The answer has come in the form of the Church Credit Champions Network, a project funded by Lloyds Banking Group that has been piloting in London and Liverpool since the spring of 2014. It helps equip local churches to engage with money and debt issues, and has formed a key part of the task group set up by the archbishop of Canterbury and chaired by former City regulator Sir Hector Sants.
The church has both an unmatched “branch network”, with a presence in every community in the country, and a range of different resources, such as people, money, skills and buildings, which are all potentially of value to credit unions and others seeking to increase access to savings and affordable credit in their communities. The network helps churches to listen and reflect on what is happening within their local community in terms of money and debt, and then trains up clergy and church members as ”credit champions”, ready to take practical action.
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The House of Commons has defeated the Government’s attempt to relax Sunday trading restrictions. On Wednesday evening, MPs voted 317 to 286 to maintain the current rules.
Twenty-seven Conservative MPs defied the Government to vote against a proposal to give local authorities the power to extend Sunday trading hours.
They were joined by Labour and the Scottish National Party (SNP), who announced their opposition to the changes on Tuesday, after press reports had earlier suggested they would abstain or vote in favour. Although there are no Sunday trading restrictions in Scotland, and the Government’s plans affect only England and Wales, the SNP argued that allowing seven-day shopping across the UK would lower the premium pay-rates that Scottish workers currently receive for working on Sundays.
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Citing the Anglican Consultative Council's Five Marks of Mission the Bishop stated "the church exists by evangelism as a fire exists by burning. Evangelism is not a department. Evangelism is not an option." He added "I do not seek the growth of the church for reasons of power and fear. I seek from a place of humility and simplicity and compassion for the poor to call forth love and to share the news of the beautiful shepherd who has saved us and who casts out all our fear."
The Bishop added: "In the snarling, angry, frightened culture of the West, which closes the door on the poor and which seeks to hold on to and make a fortress of wealth and privilege, we say that we want to share. We will share our goods, as far as we can. We will share our lives, as far as we can. And as far as we can we will share our news – the good news of the beautiful one who loves us."
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You never know what you’ll discover when you don protective gloves and pore over documents dating back to the 1800s.
A future U.S. president who had a hand in destroying St. John’s Anglican Church in an 1813 fire set by invading American soldiers.
An early figure in the historic Sandwich church who fathered a son through an extramarital affair with a former nun.
For the first time at the University of Windsor, the history department offered a course called public history designed to help connect a community to its past. A handful of students in the course who delved into the records of St. John’s Anglican Church in Sandwich made some interesting discoveries as they researched and created an online exhibit at Public History 497.
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Last Saturday, March 5th, was the funeral of Bishop Ghais Malik (1930–2016). The event was a wonderful celebration of his life. It was a joyful celebration of someone leaving their earthly life and going to the City of God to enjoy eternal life. His daughter Claire intentionally wore white dress, unlike many who wore black. His son Awny played the piano. “I love to sing for my father,” Awny said. White flowers filled the sanctuary.
The service was an amazing ecumenical gathering with five senior Coptic Orthodox Bishops who came to represent Pope Tawadros II. Two Catholic Bishops came to represent the Catholic church and many others from the Presbyterian and other evangelical denominations attended. The cathedral was packed with people from all churches. President Sisi also sent a delegation to give his condolences.
The theme of my tribute was: “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21, NIV). Indeed if we want to summarise Bishop Ghais and his life, the best word to describe him is “faithful”. He was faithful in his service to God, faithful as a bishop serving ministers, and faithful as a husband and a father. Bishop Ghais will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him.
Read it all
from the Most Rev’d Dr Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya and Bishop, All Saints Cathedral Diocese Nairobi
Greetings in the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
I am deeply committed to the unity and restoration of our beloved Anglican Communion. It was for this reason that I and brother Primates from GAFCON and other orthodox provinces were willing to accept the Archbishop of Canterbury’s invitation to a meeting of Primates in Canterbury earlier this year, despite the representation of Provinces with which the Anglican Church of Kenya is in a state of broken communion.
It seemed that this might be an opportunity to restore godly faith and order and, although the resolution agreed by an overwhelming majority of those present was not all we hoped for, it sent a powerful message around the world that the collective mind of the Communion was to remain faithful to the Scriptures and God’s purpose for man and woman in marriage.
In particular, the Episcopal Church in the United States (TEC) was required to withdraw its representatives from groups representing the Anglican Communion ecumenically and it was agreed that TEC should not participate in votes on doctrine and polity in the Communion’s institutions.
However, the Presiding Bishop of TEC has made it clear that his Church will not think again about same sex ‘marriage’ and he expects his Church to play a full part in next month’s Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) meeting in Lusaka. This defiance of the Primates’ moral and spiritual authority has been supported by the Chairman of the ACC, Bishop Tengatenga, who has confirmed that TEC will participate fully.
There can be no true walking together with those who persistently refuse to walk in accordance with God’s Word and the Anglican Church of Kenya will not therefore be participating in the forthcoming meeting of the ACC in Lusaka.
An opportunity has been missed to use the ACC for good and it is increasingly clear that the GAFCON movement must continue to provide a focus for that godly unity so many of us desire.
Read it all from the Anglican Church of Kenya (pdf) and a web copy is available here. Note the prior decision of the Church of Uganda here
The Anglican Primate, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, has commended the Governor of Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode and the Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni for the rescue of the three girls abducted from Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary.
Archbishop Okoh, who led a delegation from the Anglican Church, praised the promptness of the rescue efforts for the abducted schoolgirls.
Describing his visit as a “thank you visit”, he told Channels TV that the Church was grateful for “what the Police has done under the leadership of the Governor of the state”.
“We believe that they have performed exceptionally well,” he said.
Speaking about the kidnap of the girls, he said, “I was very devastated because (they were) young women out in the cold day and night. We couldn’t sleep.
“So when we got the news that they have been rescued, we bounced back.”..
Read it all
..The letter from our bishops proposes to encourage mutual respect and attentiveness, but it communicates something quite different. It demonstrates two disturbing characteristics of our House of Bishops: (A) they make the Church of Ireland its own primary authority and source of unity and (B) they assume that our church’s teaching on the issue of human sexuality is liable, even certain, to change.
The Church as its Own Authority.
Our bishops make the Church of Ireland’s canons, rites, ceremonies and liturgies the primary and ultimate authority for our doctrinal and moral teaching. If this is true, the only barrier to a Church of Ireland minister conducting same-sex marriages is the canons and liturgy of the Church of Ireland. Their letter defends this approach by suggesting this matter is of ‘expressly legal function’. The letter itself cannot sustain this tactic as it later calls us to ‘offer service and leadership in the things of God.’
Our bishops propose the following arguments against the practice of same sex marriage in the Church of Ireland: the status of the current canons, the absence of liturgical resources, and restraint for the sake of other’s consciences. The primary authority of Anglican tradition is notably absent – the letter neglects Scripture or any appeal to its’ authority.
Our bishops’ neglect of Scripture departs from the Church of Ireland’s stated principles in the preamble & declaration to our constitution and our historic reformed protestant doctrine contained in the BCP, articles, ordinal and homilies. The benefit of these Anglican documents is in their agreement with Scripture. Apart from their agreement with Scripture they have no Christian authority and cease to be identifiably Anglican.
The impediment to our support of, conducting of, or entry into so-called “same-sex marriage” is not our canons, liturgical resources, or others’ consciences, as our bishops propose. Our impediment is the clear and present word of God in Scripture from which our doctrine is derived. If Holy Scripture is not our bishops’ ultimate authority, then they have departed from the reformed Christian faith of which Anglicanism is a wonderful expression.
Rather than a call to canonical conformity and liturgical observance, we long for a call from our House of Bishops to proper Christian restraint that is obedience to our Lord’s word. To act without such restraint in this matter is not merely inviting division, it is open rebellion against Christ and a withdrawal from Christian life and doctrine, a wilful sinfulness that Scripture and our scriptural Anglican traditions meet with rebuke and discipline..
Read it all [with the cross references to the Bishops' letter]
It is sometimes said that people have been discussing this issue for so long that everybody has made up their minds and have dug the trenches to defend their positions. In my experience this is not true. I know any number of laity and clergy who have shifted from being opposed or ambivalent about same-sex marriage to being in favour of it (I don’t know anyone who’s gone the other way). They say a week is an eternity in politics, and five months is likewise a long time in church.
For these reasons, I do not see it as a forgone conclusion that the motion will fail. The odds may still be against those of us who want to see it passed, but they are not insurmountable odds.
God takes risks with us. Creation was a great risk, but one with a beautiful result. That we humans turn against the will of God was part of that risk, but God considered that and found it acceptable. And so God took another risk when the Word became flesh and dwelled among us. And even though we turned against Jesus, God’s love was as strong as death and against any reasonable expectation we have a Christ whom we proclaim as risen from the dead. From a small group in Jerusalem the followers of Jesus who were “nothing” (to use Paul’s phrase) spread the gospel over the centuries to places unknown. So let us go forward, trusting that God’s purposes for us will be done.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Culture-Watch Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * International News & Commentary Canada * Theology Anthropology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
The three girls kidnapped from Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary (BMJS) Ikorodu, have regained freedom.
Oluwatimehin Olusa, Tofunmi Popoolaniyan and Deborah Akinayo were abducted from their classroom on Monday night by suspected pipeline vandals.
It was gathered that the girls were rescued at about 9:45am on Sunday by a team led by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni.
Read it all and give thanks
While the House of Bishops has said that the upcoming vote to allow same-sex marriage in the Anglican Church of Canada is unlikely to get the number of votes it needs from their order, Archbishop Fred Hiltz said it is not a clear-cut division.
When it comes to allowing same-sex marriage, the bishops seem to be thinking “yes,” “no” and “maybe” in roughly equal proportions, Hiltz said. A number of bishops in the Canadian church also have a “holy desire” to consider alternatives to a simple yes-no vote on same-sex marriages, he said. Some have given considerable thought to other alternatives, and these are likely to be the main topic of conversation when the House of Bishops next meets in April, he added.
“The reality in our House [of Bishops]—and I think it’s a reflection of what’s in the church at large—is that, I think, we’ve got about a third of the bishops that would clearly love to see us move, and we’ve got a third that would say no…and I think we’ve got a third that are really wrestling. That’s my sense,” Hiltz said. “So clearly you haven’t got a two-thirds either way.” Since a change to the marriage canon is considered a matter of doctrine, it will need the approval of at least two-thirds of three orders—laity, clergy and bishops—at two consecutive General Synods to be passed. The first such vote is slated for this July.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Culture-Watch Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * International News & Commentary Canada * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
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