RECENT COMMENTS

By Archer_of_the_Forest on March 30, 2015 at 6:24 am [comment link]
From the entry: (Charisma News) 34,000 Black Churches Break Ties With Presbyterian Church USA

So, is this some sort of “this denomination being in communion with that denomination” thing? I’ve read this report in different places, and it appears that most of these churches are not even Presbyterian at all. So how exactly did this group have ties to PCUSA? What did that mean exactly? In fact, most of the articles I have read lead one to believe that there are 34000 black Presbyterian churches breaking ties, and that is patently not true.



By Katherine on March 29, 2015 at 2:54 pm [comment link]
From the entry: (Telegraph) Christopher Howse--Mozarabic chant in deepest Suffolk

I can’t identify this chant by the clues given here.  Is it in the 1940 or 1982 hymnals (US)?



By Marie Blocher on March 28, 2015 at 10:58 am [comment link]
From the entry: The Economist on Robert Putnam's new book--Class and family in America: Minding the nurture gap

Current Income tax credit and welfare payment structures encourage people to HAVE kids. They do nothing to encourage them to RAISE kids.



By Pb on March 28, 2015 at 10:37 am [comment link]
From the entry: Bishop Mike Hill--"The Church of England"... stands "at a critical moment in history"

Christianity at its heart is counter cultural i. e. the world. It is a new kingdom. I do not see why this message would not resonate in a world that is coming apart. There are churches who teach this and they are growing. I do not believe our culture brings fulfillment. Our culture is not that different from the first century with regard to Christianity.



By Kendall Harmon on March 28, 2015 at 9:09 am [comment link]
From the entry: Bishop Mike Hill--"The Church of England"... stands "at a critical moment in history"

Good comments, Terry.

It sure was nice to read “a sense of urgency and purpose.” I confess to longing to see more of that in the C of E.



By Terry Tee on March 28, 2015 at 8:32 am [comment link]
From the entry: Bishop Mike Hill--"The Church of England"... stands "at a critical moment in history"

A sense of urgency and purpose here.  Yet I found myself hesitating at this: the assumptions of Christendom must be re-imagined for a post Christian society.  First of all, assumptions rather undermines our sense of having truth to share.  But that may be no more than an unfortunate choice of word.  The more serious question around this is one that I struggle with myself and have no clear answer: 
Do we speak to the new generation by seeking fresh ways to convey the gospel that will make sense in terms of their culture?
Or do we accept that to be a Christian will always require, in this present age, that we are counter-cultural?
The first choice seems to me to imply a larger, more fluid church, open to the culture around it, but thin in Christian teaching.  The second choice is a smaller, more focussed discipleship, hoping to be leaven in the dough.
Do young people want something different, something that cuts across their world?  Or do they need to hear the words of faith spoken in images and ideas and words that come from within their own cultural framework?
I struggle with this question in my own ministry, as I feel more and more the cultural gulf that separates me from young people.  I do not even know what they are thinking, let alone understand it.



By David Keller on March 27, 2015 at 3:11 pm [comment link]
From the entry: (Church Times) Richard III goes to his grave watched by thousands

He’s always seemed a bit of an infamous figure to me. There has always been a cloud over how he became king resulting a pretty big bash over the head at Bosworth Field and the ensuing Tudor dynasty.  The personal depiction in Shakespeare isn’t totally accurate, but at least he gave us a nice play.



By Katherine on March 27, 2015 at 1:54 pm [comment link]
From the entry: (Church Times) Richard III goes to his grave watched by thousands

How interesting!  I had not seen detailed reports of the ceremonies or of the numbers of people who attended the services or watched the procession through the streets.  I suppose, from the British point of view, it is not often they can see the burial rites of a king.  Richard’s reputation will necessarily have been shaped by the Tudors who defeated him and succeeded to the throne.

I see there is now an effort to find and exhume King Stephen, a grandson of the Conqueror.



By Adam 12 on March 27, 2015 at 11:57 am [comment link]
From the entry: (Church Times) Richard III goes to his grave watched by thousands

For us across the pond, Richard III lives on forever in the pages of Shakespeare, however fair the portrayal. I suppose I expected it to stir the British sould but looked to more of a royal presence, and perhaps a bit more pageantry. On the other hand, I can understand how folk like the Queen might want to soft-pedal it. I am sorry to see the all men-and-boys choir tradition go by the boards because it is so thoroughly English and there is no sound like it. I am glad the ABC was on hand.



By Terry Tee on March 27, 2015 at 9:00 am [comment link]
From the entry: (Church Times) Richard III goes to his grave watched by thousands

I wonder how this sounds across the pond?  I mean that as a genuine question, because of a sense of my own limitations.  I am a Brit by birth, but for the crucial first two decades of my life lived abroad as we followed my father’s employment.  Now at (nearly) 68 I still find myself misjudging English responses.  The whole Richard III thing has baffled me. I could never have anticipated this level of public response.  Yet reading this report from the Church Times I realised how wrong I had been.  I also thought, respect to Leicester Cathedral, who estimated rightly the public interest and emotion.  The cathedral has also shown an admirable and creative ministry at work through this event, drawing in the wider community of the city, enlisting the arts and crafts, and showing also great ecumenical sensitivity.  A model of cathedral ministry, I would say.



By Archer_of_the_Forest on March 26, 2015 at 9:24 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Episcopal Clergy: Is This Any Longer a Church One Wants To Join?

As a former Episcopal priest, I can say definitively, “No, it is no longer a church I wanted to be a part of.”



By Pb on March 26, 2015 at 10:48 am [comment link]
From the entry: (Christian Today) New Bishop of Gloucester Rachel Treweek: 'The Church is in a very exciting time'

The narrative is more important than the reality.  Where have we heard this before?



By David Keller on March 26, 2015 at 9:05 am [comment link]
From the entry: Episcopal Church Takes Fight With Historic Diocese Over $500M Property to SC Supreme Court

I am surprised TECSC has asked the Supreme Court to hear the appeal directly. From my vantage, that is a good thing.  It will speed up the process and bring finality.



By Capt. Father Warren on March 26, 2015 at 8:52 am [comment link]
From the entry: Unsurprisingly and depressingly, the new TEC Diocese in South Carolina files an appeal

I would imagine that the attorney’s definition of “mediation” is similar to the +ABC’s definition of “reconciliation”. 

All you “haters” give in, and then everything is reconciled.



By Katherine on March 25, 2015 at 7:29 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Unsurprisingly and depressingly, the new TEC Diocese in South Carolina files an appeal

The attorney for TECSC says he’s wanted “mediation” from day one and still is open to it.  He doesn’t say what that means, however.  I don’t see, either.  The Diocese has already allowed any parish in dissent to leave.



By MichaelA on March 25, 2015 at 7:24 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Unsurprisingly and depressingly, the new TEC Diocese in South Carolina files an appeal

Definitely unsurprising. 

As for depressing, yes I can understand that for those who have to keep going through it all.

But one consolation is that this very article illustrates how the controversy is bringing gospel issues out into the mainstream media:

“About two-thirds of parishes in the Diocese of South Carolina and Bishop Mark Lawrence left the national church in 2012 after years of bitter discord over everything from gay marriage and clergy to the nature of salvation to the hierarchical powers of the national church.”

Ordinary people are being reminded over their morning coffee that “the nature of salvation” is something that Christians care about.  That is no bad thing.



By MichaelA on March 25, 2015 at 6:39 pm [comment link]
From the entry: (Guardian) Climate Change denial is immoral, says head of US Episcopal church

K J Schori is the epitome of incompetence, hence not worth commenting on I guess.



By MichaelA on March 25, 2015 at 6:36 pm [comment link]
From the entry: (Time) 75% of Americans garages are so full, homeowners cant park their cars inside

Ha!  In the olden days one just stuck things out in the ol’ shed or the yard.  Two techniques to find them if needed - rummaging in the shed, and mowing the lawn in the yard.



By MichaelA on March 25, 2015 at 6:33 pm [comment link]
From the entry: (CNN) Atheists: Inside the World of Non-Believers

What a sad story.  Its patently obvious that these people just aren’t happy.

May the Lord guide them into his loving arms.



By Brian Vander Wel on March 25, 2015 at 3:18 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Episcopal Clergy: Is This Any Longer a Church One Wants To Join?

“sign” should have been “sigh”, sorry.



By Brian Vander Wel on March 25, 2015 at 3:18 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Episcopal Clergy: Is This Any Longer a Church One Wants To Join?

I breath a sign of great relief when I read such documents. Thank you, ACI, et al!



By Terry Tee on March 25, 2015 at 2:47 pm [comment link]
From the entry: (BBC) Cheshire West and Chester Council to discuss large funeral plans after traveller row

Gal, yup, there certainly is:  see:

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2002-09-25-irish-travelers_x.htm

In my experience as pastor I have dealt with quite a few Travellers over the years.  Quite a different culture - strongly family centred, much more out front with emotions, very communal - a traveller funeral is full of keening and breast-beating and collapsing over the coffin.  Makes the rest of us look rather repressed.  But there is something refreshing about stuff being out front.  And oh yes:  they do not like their young adults co-habiting, so there tends to be early marriage.  BTW I was surprised in this report that the funerals seemed to involve the C of E and a crematorium (in American language:  crematory, I think).  (But then Americans also use the appalling neologism cremains.)  However, as I was saying, surprised, because most Travellers in UK are Catholic, although at one point Pentecostals had made quite a few converts.  In some ways Pentecostal worship and Traveller exuberance would be a good fit.



By BlueOntario on March 25, 2015 at 12:03 pm [comment link]
From the entry: A.S. Haley on TEC Bishops redefining Marriage--Tyranny in Vestments

I note Mr. Haley’s fine weaving in this piece of the assumption of de facto legislative powers upon our judicial branch.
I differ with him on one thing: if the court supports the plaintiff’s arguments, the “logic” of this decision will not even exist let alone require wire or adhesive to hold it together. Such are our laws and our Constitution today.



By Saltmarsh Gal on March 25, 2015 at 11:57 am [comment link]
From the entry: (BBC) Cheshire West and Chester Council to discuss large funeral plans after traveller row

That really is a different world (spoken from the US)...do we have an equivalent community to the traveler community in Europe?



By BlueOntario on March 25, 2015 at 11:46 am [comment link]
From the entry: (Barna) The 2015 State of Atheism in America report

They are more educated. Today’s skeptics tend to be better educated than in the past. Two decades ago, one-third of skeptics were college graduates, but today half of the group has a college degree.


I can recall several liberal arts graduate classes where there was emphasis placed that there can be no objective truth. Period. This was across two disciplines of study and in two different institutions.



By Pb on March 25, 2015 at 11:03 am [comment link]
From the entry: (Guardian) Climate Change denial is immoral, says head of US Episcopal church

I think it is worth noting that there are no comments here. This is so predictable.



By profpk on March 25, 2015 at 8:32 am [comment link]
From the entry: Episcopal Clergy: Is This Any Longer a Church One Wants To Join?

As General Convention nears, the issue of millions spent on fruitless litigation may lead to a wholesale change in TEC strategy.



By William P. Sulik on March 25, 2015 at 8:12 am [comment link]
From the entry: A Prayer for the Feast of the Annunciation

As genealogists are aware and I am fond of pointing out, March 25 - the conception of Our Lord - was the historic start of the new year in England, Wales, Ireland, and what would become the United States until the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1752. (The year 1751 began on 25 March; the year 1752 began on 1 January.) 

This coincides with the legal notion that life begins at conception and can also be seen in the “Rule against Perpetuities” which ran for not just 21 years, but 21 years and nine months.



By Katherine on March 24, 2015 at 9:52 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Church of Scientology to refute damning accusations before debut of a new HBO documentary

The headline should probably say “Scientology to attempt to refute damning accusations.”



By David Keller on March 24, 2015 at 9:34 pm [comment link]
From the entry: David Brooks--How to Fight Anti-Semitism

Thanks, Br. M. We are all , apparently, confused.



By David Keller on March 24, 2015 at 9:31 pm [comment link]
From the entry: (NBC) Veterans Remember the Battle of Iwo Jima 70 Years Later

While I do not have the honor or the valor of,those men I consider myself blessed to be able to claim a small part of that legacy. Being a Marine is the best thing that ever happened to me.



By Jim the Puritan on March 24, 2015 at 8:06 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Church of Scientology to refute damning accusations before debut of a new HBO documentary

As the result of a drinking bet with a couple of friends.



By Jim the Puritan on March 24, 2015 at 7:57 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Episcopal Clergy: Is This Any Longer a Church One Wants To Join?

The Episcopal Church needs to focus on more important things, like “climate change.”  In fact, not to focus on it would be immoral.  All thinking people know this.



By MichaelA on March 24, 2015 at 6:16 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Episcopal Clergy: Is This Any Longer a Church One Wants To Join?

I don’t see what the problem is.  Every Christian is called to witness in the place where they are.  Sure, TEC is a tough gig.  So are a few other places in the world, Afghanistan, Iran etc, but Christians still witness in them.

The points made by the Communion Partners are cogent and sensible.  They aren’t stated in a strident or offensive manner, but respectfully and soberly.  There are still a great many people in TEC and it is right that they should be given the opportunity to hear these things. 

As for prospects of seeing any practical result in the foreseeable future, sure they look low, but here is a reading from non-holy scripture, Murphy’s 15th Law of Combat:

“When both sides are convinced they are about to lose, they are both right.”

So carry on the good fight, ladies and gents.



By CSeitz-ACI on March 24, 2015 at 5:03 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Episcopal Clergy: Is This Any Longer a Church One Wants To Join?

The point of these exercises is not predicated on ‘success’ (however one would measure that) but to have in the record that TEC wants to create a new version of TEC but doesn’t want to do the work necessary to do that properly.

The expert testimony who appeared in all cases up to and including Quincy was not even put on the stand in SC, because he really had no case to make any longer that could persuade anybody. He was trying to describe a TEC that was not consistent with history or polity.



By Br. Michael on March 24, 2015 at 4:32 pm [comment link]
From the entry: David Brooks--How to Fight Anti-Semitism

In fact Obama appears to be embarking on a policy aimed at the destruction of Israel.  David, given Obama naked hostitlty to Israel, I am also surprised and saddened by the continued support Jews are giving Obama.



By Br. Michael on March 24, 2015 at 4:28 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Church of Scientology to refute damning accusations before debut of a new HBO documentary

It’s a fraud invented by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard.



By Br. Michael on March 24, 2015 at 4:26 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Episcopal Clergy: Is This Any Longer a Church One Wants To Join?

Oh it’s more than reasonable, but it would be a waste of time.  TEC is not going to deviate from its path away from Christianity.



By Undergroundpewster on March 24, 2015 at 2:22 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Episcopal Clergy: Is This Any Longer a Church One Wants To Join?

Oh fig, call me a pessimist, but they are barking up the wrong tree. This one is particularly unfruitful, and barking at it all day long won’t produce any results.



By Karen B. on March 24, 2015 at 12:16 pm [comment link]
From the entry: A Breath of Fresh Air; 224th South Carolina Diocesan Convention Emphasizes Moving Forward

Michael A., I’m assuming a tree church is a church that meets outdoors under a tree.  Marsabit is a rural area of Kenya…  It is quite common for many churches in rural Africa to meet out of doors.



By St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse on March 24, 2015 at 12:00 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Robert Oscar Lopez--Synthetic Children: Why Elton John Is Wrong About Dolce & Gabbana

Children are the fruit of marital love, and thrive best in the environment of that complementary love. Children are not an accoutrement for validation.



By David Keller on March 24, 2015 at 11:53 am [comment link]
From the entry: David Brooks--How to Fight Anti-Semitism

Everything Brooks says is true.  But one of the reasons I have very little use for Brooks is because he is still a closet leftie and he will never say the truth when it might hurt Obama.  Obama, though his condemnation of Netanyahu and his cozying up to the mullahs, has given permission to the world to go back to the anti-Semitism of the 1930s.  Obama couldn’t even bring himself to condemn the killing of Jews in Paris, much less show up there as the entire rest of the civilized world did.  The State Department and Ministry of Propaganda (Josh Earnest) wouldn’t even initially admit that the attacks on Jewish people in a Jewish grocery store in a Jewish neighborhood had anything to do with their being Jewish. Earnest repeatedly said it was a random attack. Why they react to overt anti-Semitism as they do is anybody’s guess—I have my opinion—but nonetheless the world is getting very bad signals from this administration. The thing that continues to confuse me is why liberal and moderate Jews in America continue to support these people.  I am willing to be educated on the point, but remain at a loss.



By Adam 12 on March 24, 2015 at 10:29 am [comment link]
From the entry: (CNN) Atheists: Inside the World of Non-Believers

I have friends with no religion and they often find religion amusing, but then when hard times come or there is death they have no resources to draw on and face depression. Also not being part of a group isolates them.



By David Keller on March 24, 2015 at 8:17 am [comment link]
From the entry: (Time) 75% of Americans garages are so full, homeowners cant park their cars inside

And this is news because…



By MichaelA on March 23, 2015 at 5:55 pm [comment link]
From the entry: (AP) Teachers in Rhode Island City Sue to Observe Good Friday

It seems to be pretty blatant discrimination against persons on the basis of their religion.



By MichaelA on March 23, 2015 at 5:54 pm [comment link]
From the entry: (CT) Kevin Emmert--The Lost World of Adam and Eve

i haven’t looked into this and I am willing to consider anything on its merits. 

But I do wonder about anything which may be aimed at some sort of a compact with the theory of evolution.  Leaving aside all theological issues, evolution simply doesn’t make sense.  It doesn’t fit the available evidence.  Even if the Bible did not exist, mankind would still have to candidly admit that there really isn’t any “theory” for origins, just a number of hypotheses that might or might not be true.



By MichaelA on March 23, 2015 at 5:50 pm [comment link]
From the entry: A Breath of Fresh Air; 224th South Carolina Diocesan Convention Emphasizes Moving Forward

“The Convention also updated the canons regarding the bonding of Treasurers and rescinded a standing resolution regarding the University of the South since Sewanee no longer affords us the privilege of the election of Trustees.”

That must be a relief.  Is this an issue that has been put on hold pending the court decision, or is it just that it has come up for decision now?



By MichaelA on March 23, 2015 at 5:48 pm [comment link]
From the entry: A Breath of Fresh Air; 224th South Carolina Diocesan Convention Emphasizes Moving Forward

“Two new sanctuaries have been built in Marsabit so far for former “tree churches” with more expected this year.”

Exposing my ignorance, what is a “tree church”?



By Ross Gill on March 23, 2015 at 1:50 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Dio. of South Carolina Conference Center's B.I. Environmental Education Ministry

Outstanding.  It brings back wonderful memories of when I taught outdoor education during the off season at Ontario Pioneer Camps.



By MichaelA on March 22, 2015 at 11:09 pm [comment link]
From the entry: (FT) Church of England accused of asset raid to pay for recruitment

An interesting article from the Secular Society in Britain: http://www.secularism.org.uk/blog/2015/03/should-taxpayers-be-paying-for-the-churchs-leaking-roofs

I suggest this is a useful demonstration of how secular Britain is starting to come to terms with how much the secularisation of Britain is going to cost them.  The full impact hasn’t hit them yet, but it will.

Lord Avebury of the Liberal Democrat party bemoans how much the government is already spending to prop up the Church of England:

“He has also noted the state already contributes hugely to the upkeep of churches through gift aid worth some £84 million; the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme worth £42 million; the National Heritage Memorial Fund, currently funding repairs to Winchester Cathedral costing £14 million and of York Minster at £18.3 million; further grants to cathedrals recently announced worth £8 million; Heritage Lottery Fund grants to churches of £300 million in the 10 years to 2004, the lion’s share to the Church of England; and the £15 million already announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer for repairs to church roofs and rainwater pipes under the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund.”

Where is this leading?  Well, the secular society tells us in the next sentence: 

“By making these payments, the Chancellor adds to the hardship caused by the huge cuts to public services already made and being contemplated, which is inexcusable given the Church has a surplus of £4bn in the kitty.”

[The last figure is a reference to the amount of assets which exceeds that required to support the CofE clergy pension fund]
On its face this sounds fair enough - why should the government spend so much money propping up an organisation with a spare £4bn?  But Lord Avebury and Keith Porteous Wood of the National Secular Society need some basic lessons in logic and applied intelligence - £4bn worth of assets does not necessarily translate into any form of income.  In fact it can (and does) have the reverse effect - i.e. acts as a drain on income.

Mr Wood acknowledges the problem: “Few would feel that our finest architectural heritage should fall into terminal disrepair. An inevitable consequence of the continuing decline in church attendance is that there are far fewer in the congregations to shoulder the repair burden. When they are unable to do so, who else should pay and under what circumstances?”

His solution (and Lord Avebury’s) is that the Church Commissioners should do so.  But from where are they to get this money?  Having statutory responsibility for “£4bn worth of assets” is not much use when it is those very assets that are generating the need for maintenance!

The Church of England is responsible for 10,000 - 12,000 listed buildings which are vital to the heritage of Britain and indeed also to the lucrative British tourism industry.  If it can’t maintain them all (and it is increasingly becoming obvious to even the most brain-dead British politicians that it can’t) then the public purse is going to have to find the funds.


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