Posted by Kendall Harmon


NTWrightOnline-Romans:Introduction from Dave Seemuth on Vimeo.


Watch and enjoy it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* TheologySeminary / Theological EducationTheology: Scripture

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Posted April 22, 2016 at 5:14 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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.”

Read it all.

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

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Posted April 16, 2016 at 9:18 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

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.

Read it all

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

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Posted April 15, 2016 at 8:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

From the Christian Post
Oxford University is deviating from its 800-year-old tradition to remain relevant to "the dramatic change" in the U.K., by allowing its undergraduate theology students to skip studying Christianity after the first year of their degree, and choose instead subjects like "Feminist Approaches to Theology and Religion" and "Buddhism in Space and Time."
.......
"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."

Read it all

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

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Posted April 12, 2016 at 12:08 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

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

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

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Posted April 12, 2016 at 11:34 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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 - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEaster* TheologyChristologyEschatologyTheology: Scripture

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEasterParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained

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Posted April 2, 2016 at 11:19 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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.

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEasterParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyChristologyEschatology

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Posted March 31, 2016 at 1:04 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* General InterestPhotos/Photography

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Posted March 31, 2016 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* TheologyEschatology

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Posted March 31, 2016 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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Posted March 31, 2016 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchPoetry & Literature

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Posted March 31, 2016 at 5:12 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEasterParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* TheologyChristologyEschatology

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Posted March 30, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEcclesiology

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Posted March 29, 2016 at 4:59 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

‘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.

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.
Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsHoly WeekParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* TheologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted March 25, 2016 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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)

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsHoly WeekParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchPoetry & Literature* TheologyChristologySoteriology

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Posted March 25, 2016 at 4:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

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Posted March 24, 2016 at 5:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsHoly Week* Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug Addiction* TheologyChristology

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Posted March 23, 2016 at 7:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

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..

Read it all

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

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Posted March 22, 2016 at 9:21 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

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Posted March 22, 2016 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The BBC's controversial documentary on Judas will not win souls for Christ

By Thomas Pascoe
This year the BBC will celebrate Good Friday by broadcasting a documentary called ‘In the Footsteps of Judas’. It will be presented by a female Anglican vicar who stars in ‘Gogglebox’ which is a show based on the questionable but apparently winning premise that it would be immensely entertaining to be able to watch a variety of pub bores as they themselves watch television.

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.

Read it all

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

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Posted March 21, 2016 at 9:43 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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.”

Read it all.

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

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Posted March 18, 2016 at 3:16 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the Laity* Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and IssuesYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted March 18, 2016 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureSexualityTeens / YouthViolence* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted March 18, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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.

Read it all and do not miss the fantastic pictures.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* General InterestPhotos/Photography* International News & CommentaryEuropeSpain

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Posted March 17, 2016 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureSexualityViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted March 16, 2016 at 3:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"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.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesSexualityViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted March 16, 2016 at 2:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted March 16, 2016 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...[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.

Read it all from Christian Today.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilySexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted March 16, 2016 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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.

Read it all.


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

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Posted March 16, 2016 at 5:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyChristologySoteriology

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Posted March 15, 2016 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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?

Read it all.

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

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Posted March 15, 2016 at 4:55 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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.

Read it all (subscription required).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchEducationHistoryReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UKEurope* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsJudaism* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted March 13, 2016 at 6:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPersonal FinanceThe Banking System/Sector* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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.

Read it all.

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

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Posted March 11, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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."

Read it all.

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

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Posted March 10, 2016 at 11:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Grace Church Muswell Hill is part of a group of churches journeying together as they seek to equip and commission 100,000 ambassadors representing Jesus Christ in daily life. Philip Sudell, the Vicar of St Mary’s, writes:

“Well it all sounded so clear and coherent in church on Sunday – I knew exactly why trusting in and seeking to follow Jesus was the best thing for me to be doing – but when it came to telling my work colleague on Monday morning somehow the words deserted me, I couldn’t put two sentences together and to cap it all my knees were almost audibly knocking at the thought of how they might react!”

If that rings any bells with you then you are amongst friends at least here at Grace Church in Muswell Hill. When the London Diocese shared its Capital Vision 2020 of being Confident, Compassionate and Creative, the aspect of being “..more confident in speaking and living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” was something that really resonated with us and tied into some thinking we had already been doing about how to better equip ourselves to share our faith with friends and family and colleagues.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Theology

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Posted March 5, 2016 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Archbishop Sentamu said: “When Jesus was telling his disciples to let the children come to him, he told them that whoever welcomes a child in his name welcomes him. It is both a great responsibility and a great privilege to be involved in the lives of young people. We owe them our very best because in them we encounter the face of Jesus Christ.

“I know this for myself, as my wife Margaret and I fostered two children who have now grown up and we continue to be immensely proud of them.”

The council is currently looking to recruit new foster carers, (who don’t necessarily have to live in the East Riding), particularly for children aged from five to 15.

Councillor Julie Abraham, the council’s portfolio holder for children, young people and education, said: “Our foster carers and their families are exceptional people and we were delighted to be able to talk about their work to the Archbishop, who has a personal understanding of the importance of their role...."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Archbishop of York John Sentamu

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Posted March 4, 2016 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Clergyman who was the new man in his parish when Harold Macmillan was the new man in No. 10 is looking forward to celebrating 60 years in post.

The Revd James Cocke, who, at 89, is still Vicar of All Saints’, Highfield, in Oxford, celebrated the 59th anniversary of his collation last week. He has ministered to the parish since 23 February 1957, which is thought to make him the longest-serving incumbent in the Church of England.

On Monday, he said that plans were already being prepared to mark the diamond jubilee of his ministry at All Saints’, next February.

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

These are lovely--look through them all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues* General InterestPhotos/Photography

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

Posted by The_Elves

The Right Reverend Dr Michael Ipgrave has been named as the new Bishop of Lichfield.

He assumes responsibility for one of the Church of England’s largest dioceses, leading an episcopal team with the Bishops of Wolverhampton, Stafford and Shrewsbury.

Bishop Michael (57), the current Bishop of Woolwich in the Diocese of Southwark, will be the ninety-ninth Bishop of Lichfield, in a line going back to St Chad in the seventh century. He succeeds the Right Reverend Jonathan Gledhill, who retired last year.

Today, Bishop Michael is visiting Wolverhampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Little Drayton and Lichfield on a tour meeting churches and communities across the Diocese.

In this personal welcome message to the Diocese, Bishop Michael says:

“I’ve had twelve wonderful years in London but I am so looking forward to coming back to the Midlands. Lichfield is the mother church of the Midlands, and the city of St Chad, a man of great humility and profound Christian faith.”

Read it all and the official announcement is here

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

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Posted March 2, 2016 at 9:10 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Supporting efforts to resettle vulnerable Syrian refugees is part of the Church of England's mission alongside its work with food banks, street pastors and debt advice services, one its leading bishops says today.

Writing in a blog, Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford, says church groups can provide the 'welcoming flesh on the bones' to efforts by local authorities and other agencies to resettle vulnerable Syrian refugees.

"We are talking about a careful, realistic, grown-up setting about the task of welcoming Syrian refugees, just people in extreme need with all the complexities and riches of any human being. This is not the church saying 'look at us being charitable', but the people of God letting their deeds speak for Him," he writes.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEuropeMiddle EastIraqSyria

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Posted February 29, 2016 at 3:11 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of England has been urged to fast-track Asian and black church leaders in the same way it has done for women bishops.

The call came at a meeting during General Synod last week at nearby Westminster Central Hall. The day before, Archbishop Welby had said to Synod that British colonial history makes the laying down of edicts by white, middle-class Christians from the Global North a process that is rightly deeply resented.

One former member of Synod, Vasantha Gnanadoss, pointed out that there had been no senior appointment from Black and Asian clergy to episcopal office since 2002.

“In their promotion of the Bill to get women bishops into the House of Lords immediately, the bishops were giving a very high priority to redressing unequal treatment of women clergy. Unequal treatment of black and Asian clergy has been allowed to continue.Read it all.

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

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Posted February 29, 2016 at 1:28 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O almighty Father, giver of every good and perfect gift, who hast made the light of thy truth to shine in our hearts: Make us to walk as children of light in all goodness and righteousness, that we may have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

--Bishop William Walsham How (1823-1897)

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 29, 2016 at 5:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The debate on Britain’s membership of the European Union reflects a loss of confidence, and is testing the goodwill of other members who are growing frustrated with it, the Bishop in Europe, Dr Robert Innes, said this week.

Speaking on Tuesday, after the Prime Minister’s announcement last Friday that the referendum on EU membership would take place on 23 June, Dr Innes said that he would be “very sad” if the vote favoured Brexit.

“We British inherit a huge stock of goodwill towards us but I am aware that that goodwill is being used up,” Dr Innes said on Wednesday. “At a time when Europe has some huge issues to deal with, people have been a little frustrated that Britain has actually used a huge amount of the time of its leadership in dealing with what seem to some rather small issues that only pertain to one country.”

He was “saddened”, he said, “that the debate seems to reflect a loss of confidence in Britain in dealing with our European compatriots and neighbours. We are a big player. . . I’d like to see us be a leader.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UKEurope* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted February 26, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The priest allegedly sent a report containing evidence of abuse he had discovered to Lord Carey and said that Bishop Ball had agreed to live quietly in a French convent.

Lord Carey has denied any knowledge of a Church- or Establishment-led attempt to cover up the crimes or intervene in the police’s investigation. Ultimately, Bishop Ball was given a caution for one charge of gross indecency and lived for years in a cottage rented from the Duchy of Cornwall, before a second investigation in 2012 revealed the full extent of his crimes.

Dame Moira, who was previously director of social services for the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and then chief executive of Camden Council until 2011, is expected to complete her review in approximately 12 months.

While her review does not have statutory powers to require anyone to give evidence, Dame Moira said that she expected everyone within the Church to co-operate fully. “Our remit is to independently set out for survivors and the public what actually happened,” she said on Wednesday.

Read it all.

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

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Posted February 25, 2016 at 6:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, consecrated the new Bishops of Sherborne and Dunwich today during a ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

The Ven Karen Gorham was consecrated as the Bishop of Sherborne and the Revd Canon Dr Mike Harrison was consecrated as the Bishop of Dunwich.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted February 24, 2016 at 3:08 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

David, 21, doesn’t do parties. The graduate from Reading University lip-reads because he lost his hearing when he had meningitis at the age of two. As it’s almost impossible to lip-read in a group, it makes parties a challenge. “If I’m in a group I tend to stay at the back because I can’t hear what’s going on at the centre. That makes me feel as though I’m on the outside looking in,” he says. “I told myself I didn’t mind not going to parties, but then I’d find I wasn’t invited and I’d think: ‘Why wasn’t I invited?’ It would be nice to feel that someone was inviting me.”

On his first day at Reading, David discovered the chaplaincy, a homely place where you could go to be quiet or chat or just chill. “The kind of people you find at the chaplaincy are people who also feel on the outside of groups,” says David. “People go there to find a connection with somebody and that’s what I would find there. It’s where I met Mark [the Anglican Chaplain] who became my confidant and counsellor.”

Read it all.

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

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Posted February 24, 2016 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury has announced the appointment of Dame Moira Gibb to be chair of the independent review into the way the Church of England responded to the case of Peter Ball, the former Bishop of Gloucester, who was jailed last year for sex offences.

Dame Moira has worked at a senior level in the statutory sector - she was Chief Executive of Camden Council until 2011 - and holds a range of non-executive roles. Most recently she was the chair of the Serious Case Review (published January 2016) into safeguarding at Southbank International School in the wake of the crimes committed by William Vahey.
She will be assisted in the review by Kevin Harrington JP, safeguarding consultant and lead reviewer on a range of Serious Case Reviews; James Reilly, former Chief Executive of Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust (until Feb 2016); Heather Schroeder MBE, currently vice chair of Action for Children and formerly held senior positions in social services and children's services in a number of local authorities.

The review will be published once Dame Moira and her team have completed their work which is expected to be within a year. The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) chaired by Justice Goddard will also be looking at the Peter Ball case but have made it clear that institutions should continue with their previous commitments on safeguarding and the Church is in ongoing touch with IICSA on this.

Read it all.

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

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Posted February 24, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Durham in the north of England is the diocese where Christians are least likely to go to a service of the Church of England, according to latest figures.

Church attendance data analysed by the Manchester Evening News shows just one in 81 Christians attended an Anglican church in Durham in 2014, a fall of nearly 10 per cent since 2009.

The figures indicate the continuing decline in church attendance over centuries but that has been particularly marked in the last few decades.

Read it all from Christian Today.

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

1 Comments
Posted February 23, 2016 at 4:09 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s opening address in which he told us what really happened at the Primates’ Gathering, behind all the spin. Remember that report that the Primates had had their phones taken away? Not true! In fact they delighted in waving them at the Archbishop to prove it. On the positive side, there were clearly moments when prayer and the presence of the Spirit changed everything, and made communion real. Alleluia!

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted February 23, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A former homeless addict has revealed how he would be dead if it was not for his faith in an interview to accompany the second teaser film released by the Church of England today for the justpray.uk website.

In a blog and podcast released to accompany the film, the 46-year-old admits he had to harden his heart to survive living rough and addiction before feeling resurrected through his faith and the love he found at the Saturday Gathering Place in Halifax, West Yorkshire. "If a human being can get resurrected after dying, He's done it to me. I haven't died but I feel like I've been resurrected away from a life of crime and trouble to peace, love, understanding, calmness."

Rob's story "I am poured out like water" is the second in a series of films based on Psalm 22 for Lent and Easter launched by the Church of England featuring men and women who all came to faith through a Homeless and Food Drop In Centre in Halifax and most have experienced crime, alcohol, drug addiction, homelessness or violence in their lives.

Read it all and follow the links.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthPastoral Care* TheologyChristologySoteriology

0 Comments
Posted February 22, 2016 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It's a rare insight into her religious beliefs – and a touching tribute to the beloved father she lost.

In a new book, the Queen writes of her enduring Christian faith and shares a treasured memory of the moment George VI prayed for the nation during the Second World War.

It comes in a forthcoming book from The Bible Society, published to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday later this year.

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted February 22, 2016 at 7:25 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Mr Sentamu said that the Church had no intention of moving away from traditional teaching on marriage and sexuality, however he confirmed it was trying to find a way to bridge the divide between conservatives and liberals.

Writing a letter to the Daily Telegraph, Most Revd Sentamu said: "The Archbishop of Canterbury and I have not 'signalled' that the Church of England is 'poised to rethink its centuries-old doctrine of marriage to accommodate same-sex couples', as you report.

"However it is true that discussions are taking place and will continue at next summer's meeting of the General Synod, not to overhaul Church doctrine, but to 'help forge better understanding between different groups over the issue of sexuality'."

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Archbishop of York John Sentamu* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 20, 2016 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The General Synod has called on the Government to initiate “a full independent review” of its “highly punitive” benefit sanctioning system.

The call came in a debate on a motion that originated in the Airedale Deanery Synod in the diocese of Leeds. During the debate, the Synod heard a catalogue of examples of how sanctions had been “inappropriate and disproportionately” applied to claimants of Jobseeker’s Allowance.

The Archdeacon of Sheffield, the Ven. Malcolm Chamberlain, said that these included the case of a lady who “had been sanctioned for attending a funeral; she had informed the authorities of this in advance,” and another who missed an appointment because they were “dealing with the police after a burglary in their home during the night”.

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted February 19, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

..Ed Shaw is an evangelical pastor in Bristol and is gay — or, as he puts it, he ‘experiences same-sex attraction’. It’s a less misleading term, he tells me. ‘If I say to people in conversation, “I’m gay,” they tend to presume that I’ll be delighted if they match me up with their gay friend Barry.’ Which isn’t what he’s looking for: ‘I’d love to meet any of their friends, but I don’t want to be match-made with people because I’m not interested in that sort of relationship.’

Shaw is one of the founders of Living Out, a website written by gay people who are also traditionally minded Christians. As he points out, this is quite a large constituency. The ‘horror stories’ about churches rejecting LGBT people dominate media coverage, he says: Living Out exists partly to record more positive experiences.

Shaw’s is one of them. ‘As a pastor,’ he says, ‘I thought being open about my sexuality would be a disqualification for the job, and would mean that people would stop coming to me.’ Instead, they started calling on him more than ever. ‘Because they think, this guy finds life tough, it’s not easy for him, he might be able to help me..

Read it all

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

0 Comments
Posted February 18, 2016 at 9:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

An historic agreement recognising the longstanding ecumenical partnership between the Church of Scotland and the Church of England and paving the way for future joint working between the two churches has been backed today by the General Synod.

Members voted to approve the Columba Declaration and welcome Growth in Communion, Partnership in Mission, a report by the Joint Study Group of the Church of England and the Church of Scotland, as a 'significant development' in the relationship between the two churches.

The General Synod also called on the Council for Christian Unity to oversee the implementation of the commitments in the Declaration and to set up a Contact Group to coordinate future work between the two churches.

The motion backed by the General Synod also notes the Church of England's valued relationship with the Scottish Episcopal Church within the Anglican Communion and requests that the Council for Christian Unity ensures that the Scottish Episcopal Church is invited to appoint a representative to attend meetings of the Contact Group.

Read it all - there is some informal background from Stephen Lynas here. The Moderator's address to General Synod may be watched here

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

0 Comments
Posted February 18, 2016 at 1:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves



Read and watch it all and there is a press release from the Church of Scotland here

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

0 Comments
Posted February 18, 2016 at 12:56 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

I watched the debate in which the Columba Declaration was approved by the Church of England with a sense of unreality. The Scottish Episcopal Church was like a ghost at the party – often referred to and talked about but not present. Concerns which have been voiced within the Scottish Episcopal Church about the Columba Declaration focus significantly on the Church of England. The Church of England and the Scottish Episcopal Church are partner-Provinces in the Anglican Communion. We are the presence of the Anglican Communion in Scotland and we expect the Church of England to respect that. The concerns are that the Columba Declaration places the Church of England in a compromised position in relation to the Scottish Episcopal Church.

Read it all and a previous statement from the SEC is here

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

2 Comments
Posted February 18, 2016 at 12:47 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Church of England is facing at least another 30 years of decline according to internal projections revealed for the first time.

Even if it sees an influx of young people to services, the sheer numbers of older worshippers dying in the next few decades mean it is unlikely to see any overall growth in attendances until the middle of this century, officials now believe.

The stark calculations were revealed during discussions at the Church’s decision-making General Synod, which has been meeting in London, about ambitious plans to tackle declining numbers.

It is preparing to pump £72 million into a “reform and renewal” drive which includes plans to ordain 6,000 more clergy in the 2020s to build a younger priesthood which is less male dominated and less white.
.........
Mr Spence, chairman of the Church’s finance committee, said that current attendance figures suggest that an 81-year-old is now eight times more likely to attend services than an 18-year-old.

Currently around 18 in every 1,000 people in England regularly attend Church of England services – a figure which includes mid-week and other special services.

But Mr Spence said that in 30 years time that proportion is likely to drop to 10 in every 1,000 – or one per cent.

That rate of decline suggests that attendance at Sunday services across the whole of England would dip to just 425,000.

Recent figures published by the Church showed that Sunday morning congregations stood at 764,700, with total weekly attendances – which include week-day services - just slipping below one million.

Mr Spence said that "on all likely measures of success" the demographic reality meant that the Church is unlikely to see net growth in the next 30 years.

Read it all

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

5 Comments
Posted February 18, 2016 at 8:25 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"The high points of the calling to serve God in His Church are the times when he works to draw people to himself. The times when hearts begin to thaw with his love, eyes open to his light, and shoulders lift as He comes alongside to bear burdens, as those who have carried around guilt, like in the Pilgrim's Progress, that has weighed down memory with regret and shame know a freedom and release they never dreamt possible, as those who assumed that they had no worth realise their inestimable and infinite worth to God.

"God works through his Spirit to draw people to open their hands to receive his love and transforming power - and we have the huge privilege of seeing this happen. For me some of the most memorable and grace-filled moments of the last three years have been seeing God at work in the lives of those who would not call themselves Christians, but who I have had the privilege of seeing gently and profoundly drawn to Jesus Christ.

"This is our duty, our privilege and our joy. There is nothing like it.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted February 17, 2016 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves


David Walker, Bishop of Manchester

A play that portrays Jesus as a transgender woman who refers to God as 'Mum' is to be performed in a Church of England church today.

To the fury of critics who say the play is deeply offensive, the Bishop of Manchester, David Walker, will not block the staging of The Gospel According To Jesus, Queen Of Heaven.

The one-woman play by Jo Clifford, an award-winning Scottish playwright who has herself changed gender, imagines Jesus returning to earth as a 'trans woman' and retelling the parables with a transsexual slant.

Read it all

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

0 Comments
Posted February 16, 2016 at 8:57 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

General Synod is now over until July.
See below for reports:

Wednesday February 17th
Report on Wednesday Morning Business
Report on Wednesday Afternoon Business
Wednesday Morning's timetable - Order Paper
Wednesday Afternoon's timetable - Order Paper
Topics: Impact of sanctions on benefit claimants; Renewal and Reform; Ministerial Education, Resourcing the Future

Tuesday February 16th
Report on Tuesday Business - [Audio of Sessions here]
Tuesday's timetable - Order Paper
Topics: Evangelism; Relations with the Presbyterian Church of Scotland while keeping the Scottish Episcopal Church onboard; Wedding and Funeral Fees; and Simplifying unbelievably cumbersome Church Legislative Procedures

Monday afternoon February 15th
Report on Monday PM Business - [Audio of Sessions here]
Monday's timetable - Order Paper

Presidential Address by the Archbishop of Canterbury on the Primates Gathering 2016

Update from Canon David Porter on the Shared Conversations on Sexual Immorality planned for General Synod in July [Listen here]

Questions

Press release about Agenda
■ Timetable [See order papers for each day above]
Full Daily Agenda and Timetable [pdf]
Brief Agenda and Papers
Live Video Feed when in session or perhaps listen here for prior recordings
■ Twitter: #synod and it may be worth following: CofE Official Synod tweets; and @C_of_E if interested.

Comment
Suggestions for prayer from Anglican Mainstream

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

0 Comments
Posted February 15, 2016 at 10:54 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

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

“We have not yet changed enough minds.”

Read it all (requires subscription)

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

You can listen directly here or download the mp3 there.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

Read it all.

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

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


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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

Read it all.

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

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


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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

Read it all (requires subscription).

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by The_Elves

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

Read it all

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

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

Posted by The_Elves

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

Read it all

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

Read it all from the Telegraph.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

Read it all.


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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The statement by Anglican leaders, thrashed out after four days of “painful” talks in the crypt of Canterbury cathedral, made no reference to LGBT Christians.

“To say I’m really disappointed would be an understatement,” Martyn Percy, the dean of Christ Church Oxford, told the Guardian. “The statement had nothing to say about LGBT Christians, and that’s a lost opportunity. By saying nothing, you are sending a signal.”

Jayne Ozanne, a prominent gay evangelical within the Church of England and a member of its general synod, said: “It claims that ‘there is neither victor nor vanquished’. This is false. Those whose lives will be most impacted are our LGBT brothers and sisters around the world, of which the statement makes no mention. It is as if we do not even exist.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesAnglican Church of AustraliaChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 15, 2016 at 6:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Take the time to watch and listen to it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

0 Comments
Posted January 14, 2016 at 9:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From here:
So, it is two hours after Evensong in Canterbury Cathedral finished. Last night it was electric - the Holy Spirit preaching to the Church through the lectionary - Amos 1's warning, 1 Corinthians 1 pleading for unity, practically all the Primates gathered. A real sense of God being present.
Tonight I sat in the Quire an hour before the service and just prayed for God to be glorified. Interspersed between my tongues I sang the hymn Holy, Holy, Holy which I realised afterward is to the tune Nicaea. Then the choir and Primates processed in. A third if not more of the Primates were missing and the atmosphere was totally different to Monday. Amos 2 moved from the warning of chapter 1 into judgement. Justin Welby spent large parts of the service knelt in prayer, almost oblivious to what was going on around him. I felt suddenly spiritually drained after the power of my hour of prayer. Afterwards a number of journalists wanted to ask me what I thought, but I needed a moment to myself. I was genuinely close to tears.
Clearly something is happening and it's probably happening right now - we need to pray for the Primates and we need to pray for Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury. And don't pray for what you want to happen, just pray for God to be glorified
.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

1 Comments
Posted January 12, 2016 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

New Church of England statistics for 2014 published today show that just under one million people attend services each week. The survey, carried out over four weeks in October 2014, found 980,000 people attending church each week, with 830,000 adults and 150,000 children.

The statistics also show that 2.4 million attended a Church of England Church at Christmas in 2014 and 1.3 million people attended a service at Easter. Additionally, 2.2 million people attended special Advent services for the congregation and local community whilst 2.6 million attended special Advent services for civic organisations and schools.

The statistics also highlight the other services carried out by the Church of England on a regular basis. In 2014 the Church carried out just under 1,000 weddings, 2,000 baptisms, and almost 3,000 funerals every week of the year. Some 12% of births during 2014 were marked by a Church of England infant baptism or thanksgiving service whilst 31% of deaths were marked by a Church of England funeral.

As a whole the figures represent a continuing trend which has shown a 12% decrease in attendance over the past decade with an average decline of just over 1% a year.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureSociology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted January 12, 2016 at 3:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Church often tries to distract from falling attendances and its apparently diminishing role in English society by pointing out how many people get married and attend carol services in its buildings, but it has to accept that those people don’t see any benefit in coming through church doors when it isn’t a high day or holiday. And that the rural church is in a terrible fix.

It may also have to accept that the bad news today may not show quite how bad things are for English church attendances. Not all Anglican churches are losing members. The ones that tend to grow and provide a good bulk of money for parish share are evangelical ones, and they may not linger for long in the CofE. Over the past year or so, an alternative Church of England has been growing in this country, with all the structures necessary for evangelical churches whose doctrine remains Anglican but who disagree with the Church hierarchy.

Read it all

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

0 Comments
Posted January 12, 2016 at 2:19 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Attendance at Church of England services has plunged to its lowest level ever as the Archbishop of Canterbury warned it was battling to maintain its place in an increasingly “anti-Christian” culture.
Official figures – based on an annual pew count – show that only 1.4 per cent of the population of England now attend Anglican services on a typical Sunday morning.
Even the Church’s preferred “weekly” attendance figures, which include those at mid-week or extra services, has slipped below one million for the first time ever.

Overall average attendances at Sunday services across England fell by 22,000 to 764,700 in 2014 - a fall of seven per cent in just five years.

Read it all.



Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted January 12, 2016 at 11:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Thirdly, I've signed because the church must be a place of compassion and love. The Quakers (who have often been a long way ahead of the C of E in matters of justice, including their acceptance of homosexual people) are known as the Society of Friends. This is how St John sees the church gathered in the upper room, where disciples are set fee to love one another in a way that echoes God's eternal love for them. Human pain and suffering have a particular claim on our compassion. And we shouldn't make any mistake about the suffering and pain many gay people around the world experience. I include in this gay clergy and other ministers in the Church of England who, in an ecclesiastical culture perceived to be hostile, live in real fear of being found out. The Primates have a special responsibility to make sure that our churches are communities of hospitality and friendship that do not collude with hypocrisy. They, we all, have that calling because this is how God himself is always reaching out towards each of us. It's a great deal harder to act hospitably than to uphold simple binaries that banish the non-approved from acceptance. This truly is 'tough love'.

I hope that this letter will not come across as trouble-stirring or polemical. It's meant to be firm but eirenic in tone. It would be great if it helped give the Primates confidence as they debate human sexuality, if it helped them to know that every step they take, however tentative, towards changing entrenched attitudes and welcoming gay Christians into their communities will be warmly and gratefully supported. The first step, maybe, is to recognise that just as with female ordination, there will be differences of view among the Primates and this needs to be respected. (I'm not sure that it altogether is, yet.) As Justin Welby has said, in grown-up communities there must always be room for 'deep disagreement'.

But our letter is looking for much more than this. We're looking for a deep change of hearts and minds. We use the word 'repentance'. That's undeniably a strong word, but nothing is less is called for in the face of any great wrong we have committed. I am pretty confident that in decades to come, we as churches shall be saying we are deeply sorry for the way we have mistreated and oppressed gay people in the past. So why not say it now? That would make the Anglican Communion a place of hope and sanctuary for LGBTI people across the world.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchPsychologyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 10, 2016 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When he was an undergraduate at Cambridge, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was cox of a Trinity College rowing eight. Perhaps coincidentally, rowing metaphors flowed in September when he announced that he had invited all 37 global Anglican primates to Canterbury for a conference starting on January 11th, in what some see as a last-ditch attempt to save the Anglican Communion. One aide suggested that bishops should not spend so much time “trying to placate people and keep them in the boat, without ever getting the oars out and starting to row”. Frustrated that bickering is keeping Anglicans from their primary mission, the archbishop will need all his powers as a cox to head off a collision, or even the sinking of the global Anglican boat.

The problem is a row between liberals, mainly North American, who want the church to allow same-sex marriage, and conservatives, who think it must not. Some leaders from each side are not on speaking terms. Archbishop Welby is said to want a looser affiliation, so that both groups can keep relations with Canterbury and continue to call themselves Anglican but not have to deal with each other. He has no “papal” powers to kick out any provinces; previous attempts to discipline those who defy traditional Anglican teaching have been stopped from below. The archbishop is “not so much trying to get closer unity”, says one informed cleric; “he is trying to prevent greater disunity.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPartial Primates Meeting in Dublin 2011Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchGlobalization* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted January 8, 2016 at 6:06 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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