GAFCON Chairman’s Advent 2016 Letter
Posted by The_Elves

..I thank God that Archbishop Greg Venables will be re-joining the GAFCON Primates Council now that he has been elected to serve again as the Primate of the Anglican Province of South America in succession to our greatly esteemed colleague Presiding Bishop Tito Zavala. His ministry demonstrates that courage which is so central to the GAFCON story. In his previous term as Primate, despite much opposition, Archbishop Venables bravely supported orthodox Anglicans in North America and stood with the Diocese of Recife in Brazil after it had to withdraw from the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil.

We are now seeing similar courage in England as GAFCON UK, led by Canon Andy Lines, endures hostility simply for speaking the truth about the increasing breakdown of church discipline in the Church of England. There are now clergy and bishops who openly take pride in their rejection of biblical preaching and have even launched a website to encourage the violation of the 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution I.10 on human sexuality.

But more disturbing is the response of the Church of England at its highest level. The Secretary of the Archbishops’ Council has written an open letter to Canon Lines in which he describes the Lambeth resolution as merely ‘an important document in the history of the Anglican Communion’. But this is no ordinary resolution. It has been the standard appealed to again and again in Communion affairs and most recently in the Communiqué from the Sixth Global South Conference in Cairo which describes it as representing the ‘clear teaching of Scripture’.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalGlobal South Churches & PrimatesGAFCON II 2013

December 6, 2016 at 2:43 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

[GAFCON UK] An open letter to the Secretary General of the Archbishops’ Council
Posted by The_Elves

the doctrinal primacy of the Bishops’ 1987 motion was subsequently announced by the Archbishop of Canterbury who had signed off the 1991 document; and that was the legal advice. Of course, the 1991 Issues in Human Sexuality, while being uneven as many such statements are, contains most helpful material. For example, Section 2.29 is a brilliant summary of the biblical teaching on sexual relationships:
“There is … in Scripture an evolving convergence on the ideal of lifelong, monogamous, heterosexual union as the setting intended by God for the proper development of men and women as sexual beings. Sexual activity of any kind outside marriage comes to be seen as sinful, and homosexual practice as especially dishonourable.”
It is a fact that every bishop and priest/presbyter in the Church of England is bound “with all faithful diligence, to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrines contrary to God’s Word” (BCP Ordinal). Surely, therefore, Canon Andy Lines and the GAFCON UK Task Force should be thanked, rather than opposed, in all their efforts to help the Church at large be true to its apostolic faith, and its clergy true to their canonical duty.

Read it all

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

December 1, 2016 at 6:01 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

CROSSING THE RUBICON: Lambeth Resolution I.10, the Church of England, and the Anglican Communion
Posted by Kendall Harmon

This precise risk of divergence arose after Lambeth 1998 when the Episcopal Church consecrated Gene Robinson in 2003 as Bishop of New Hampshire. The churches did meet in a series of Primates’ meetings and made clear the incompatibility of Robinson’s consecration with Lambeth Resolution I.10; however, the failure of the Archbishop of Canterbury to carry out the disciplinary measures of the Primates led ultimately to the formation of the GAFCON movement, which has made Lambeth I.10 a touchstone of identity.

Mr. Nye’s position about the absence of formal discipline is legally correct but spiritually dangerous in that it appears to be clearing the way for the Church of England to work around Lambeth Resolution I.10. Mr. Nye goes on to cite a number of other actions and documents of the Church of England, which I leave to my English colleagues to handle. It certainly seems as if the end-point of these actions and the so-called “Listening Process” is the approval and blessing of same-sex civil partnerships. If this indeed is where the Church of England is heading, it is, in my opinion, crossing the Rubicon, or if I may adapt a North American metaphor, barreling over Niagara Falls.

I say this for three reasons. First, blessing homosexual practice in any form is contrary to Scripture and the Christian church’s continuous moral tradition, as expressed in Lambeth Resolution I.10. Secondly, the Church of England will be unable to hold the line at same-sex civil partnerships. The Episcopal Church USA and Anglican Church of Canada are bellwethers in this regard; both having begun with same-sex partnerships have moved on to mandate same-sex marriage. The UK Government will push this process along, as is seen in the number of legal same-sex marriages of clergy in the Church of England, as pointed out in the GAFCON briefing paper.

Thirdly, approval of same-sex civil partnerships will render irreparable what the Windsor Report called the tear in the fabric of the Communion.

Read it all from Stephen Noll.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Global South Churches & PrimatesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

November 28, 2016 at 9:59 am - 3 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

George Conger—The perversion of Lambeth 1.10
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Contrary to Bishop Holtam’s assertion, Lambeth 1.10 did not contemplate the blessing of Gay Pride parades or other activities that promoted as a moral good same-sex carnal relations. As it was explained to me by my episcopal masters, paragraph c of resolution 1.10 was crafted to make the following points: There were faithful Christians who experienced same-sex attractions. The church was called to assist these individuals and pray for their transformation. The insertion of the transforming work of the Holy Spirit was suggested by Ugandan bishops who wanted the conference to go on record as stating the power of the Holy Spirit could help transform the disordered relations of Christians who experienced same-sex attractions.

The Bishop of Dallas, seconded by Prof. Stephen Noll, (who bears the distinction of having been one of the minds behind Lambeth 1.10 and the Jerusalem Declaration) asked the condemnation of “homophobia” be removed, as in the American context those who opposed the “gay” agenda were tarred with the brush of homophobia. In its place was substituted the awkward circumlocution “irrational fear of homosexuals”.

The paragraph concluded with a statement the church would listen to those who were struggling with their desires, noting that temptation was not the same as sin, and that all faithful Christians were loved.

Paragraph c stated: [The Conference] recognises that there are among us persons who experience themselves as having a homosexual orientation. Many of these are members of the Church and are seeking the pastoral care, moral direction of the Church, and God's transforming power for the living of their lives and the ordering of relationships. We commit ourselves to listen to the experience of homosexual persons and we wish to assure them that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ;”

Bishop Holtam’s interpretation of paragraph d in his letter to the Church Times as permitting the moral normalization of homosexual acts is disingenuous....

Read it carefully and read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsGlobal South Churches & PrimatesFCA Meeting in London April 2012Instruments of UnitySexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

November 26, 2016 at 8:28 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Gafcon UK—Secretary-General’s letter shows why GAFCON UK is needed
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Secondly, “clergy and laity are entitled to argue for changes to teaching and practice”. Again, of course we have freedom of speech! But this seems to open the door to the widespread promotion of any view, even an irresponsible disregard for core doctrines, which include marriage. This provision was no doubt originally intended to allow for a free exchange of views during the ‘Shared Conversation’ process. Its effect now will be again to undermine any idea of clear universally agreed teaching in which we can have confidence.

Thirdly, the letter says “prayers of support on a pastoral basis for people in same-sex relationships” are permitted in churches. This is very misleading: in its original context (The Bishops’ Pastoral Guidance of 2014) such private prayers were clearly distinguished from public ‘prayers of blessing’ which are explicitly not permitted. Without this clear distinction, public services of celebration of same sex relationships could be carried out under the guidelines of ‘pastoral prayer’ - and indeed such services are being carried out as the GAFCON document on Lambeth I:10 violations shows.

On one hand, then, the Church of England has an official doctrine of sex and marriage based on the wonderful fruitful biblical vision of godly celibate singleness, man and woman sacrificially committed to each other exclusively for life, a family of mum, dad and kids; power for living it out, forgiveness for all (ie the 100%) who fall short. But in practice the Church is extremely diffident about explaining or commending this vision, not just because it knows that many in the ranks of its own leadership don’t believe in it, but because it is more afraid of unpopularity from the secular British establishment and Twitter mobs than it is concerned about fellowship with the worldwide church or doing what is right before God.

So rather than changing the doctrine, the Church puts it on the shelf, and allows other beliefs and practices to take hold. The church officially believes that marriage is between a man and a woman, but Bishops can argue for same sex marriage, and clergy can conduct a ceremony which looks to all intents and purposes like the blessing of a same sex relationship, and it’s ‘within the guidelines’.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsGlobal South Churches & PrimatesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyPsychologyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

November 25, 2016 at 2:10 pm - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Recent Key Entries 2016
Posted by The_Elves

+ GAFCON Chairman’s October 2016 Letter (October 31, 2016 at 11:31 pm)
+ Evangelicals write to CofE Bishops about their plans to depart from the faith (October 17, 2016 at 2:37 pm)
+ Communiqué from the 6th Global South Conferenc (October 8, 2016 at 8:15 am)

+ Scottish Anglican Network statement on amendment of Scottish Episcopal Church’s marriage canon (June 12, 2016 at 3:58 pm)
+ Diocese of Akure, Nigeria dissociates from the Diocese of Liverpool over TEC SSB Bishop appointment (June 6, 2016 at 12:47 pm)
+ Archbishop Okoh’s GAFCON Chairman’s June 2016 Pastoral Letter to the Anglican faithful (June 4, 2016 at 8:00 am)

Primates Gathering 2016 / ACC-16 in Lusaka
Key Posts
+ GAFCON Primates Nairobi Communiqué 2016 (April 22, 2016 at 3:54 am)
+ What did the Lusaka ACC-16 Meeting Decide? Some views (April 21, 2016 at 1:04 pm)
+ ACC-16 Resolutions (April 20, 2016 at 2:51 pm)
+ Kenya 6: [Anglican Ink] Interview: Kenya’s archbishop responds to forgery reports (April 12, 2016 at 3:17 pm )
+ CofE Synod: David Porter Plans July Facilitated Conversations on Sexual Immorality (February 16, 2016 at 8:19 pm


Filed under: * AdminFeatured (Sticky)

February 24, 2016 at 4:33 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(C of E) Role of communications recognised in new Lay Canon appointment
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Rachel Harden, Deputy Director of Communications for the Church of England, is to have her contribution to the church recognised as she is made a Lay Canon of Liverpool Cathedral during the Evensong Service on Friday (December 9).

Rachel has longstanding connections to the Diocese of Liverpool and the city. Rachel worked on a range of Liverpool media outlets having trained as a journalist on the South London News Group. She was a reporter for the Liverpool Post and Echo and also contributed to BBC Radio Merseyside and edited the diocesan magazine Livewire.

During that time her husband John Kiddle, now Archdeacon of Wandsworth, served as a curate in Ormskirk and a vicar in Huyton.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Laity* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

December 7, 2016 at 4:01 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

I can do no more. Such things have been revealed to me that all that I have written seems as..straw
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Brief and fragmentary as are the phrases that record it, we can gather that he came back with a sort of horror of that outer world, in which there blew such wild winds of doctrine, and a longing for the inner world which any Catholic can share, and in which the saint is not cut off from the simple men. He resumed the strict routine of religion, and for some time said nothing to anybody.

And then something happened (it is said while he was celebrating Mass), the nature of which will never be known among mortal men.

His friend Reginald asked him to return also to his equally regular habits of reading and writing, and following the controversies of the hour. He said with a singular emphasis, "I can write no more." There seems to have been a silence; after which Reginald again ventured to approach the subject; and Thomas answered him with even greater vigor, "I can write no more. I have seen things which make all my writings like straw."

Read all of what happened on this day in 1273 to Saint Thomas Aquinas.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* Theology

December 7, 2016 at 2:24 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Eleanor Roosevelt’s Remarks on Pearl Harbor Evening 75 years ago
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Seventy-five years ago today:

— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) December 7, 2016

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, I am speaking to you tonight at a very serious moment in our history. The Cabinet is convening and the leaders in Congress are meeting with the President. The State Department and Army and Navy officials have been with the President all afternoon. In fact, the Japanese ambassador was talking to the president at the very time that Japan's airships were bombing our citizens in Hawaii and the Phillippines and sinking one of our transports loaded with lumber on its way to Hawaii.

By tomorrow morning the members of Congress will have a full report and be ready for action.

In the meantime, we the people are already prepared for action. For months now the knowledge that something of this kind might happen has been hanging over our heads and yet it seemed impossible to believe, impossible to drop the everyday things of life and feel that there was only one thing which was important - preparation to meet an enemy no matter where he struck. That is all over now and there is no more uncertainty.

We know what we have to face and we know that we are ready to face it.

Read it all.

Update: Through the onders of the internet you hear it live there.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryMarriage & FamilyWomen* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaJapan* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

December 7, 2016 at 1:10 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Time Picks Donald Trump as its Person of the Year 2016
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Donald Trump is TIME's Person of the Year 2016 #TIMEPOY

— TIME (@TIME) December 7, 2016

Even for Donald Trump, the distance is still fun to think about, up here in his penthouse 600 ft. in the sky, where it’s hard to make out the regular people below. The ice skaters swarming Central Park’s Wollman Rink look like old-television static, and the Fifth Avenue holiday shoppers could be mites in a gutter. To even see this view, elevator operators, who spend their days standing in place, must push a button marked 66–68, announcing all three floors of Trump’s princely pad. Inside, staff members wear cloth slipcovers on their shoes, so as not to scuff the shiny marble or stain the plush cream carpets.

This is, in short, not a natural place to refine the common touch. It’s gilded and gaudy, a dreamscape of faded tapestry, antique clocks and fresco-style ceiling murals of gym-rat Greek gods. The throw pillows carry the Trump shield, and the paper napkins are monogrammed with the family name. His closest neighbors, at least at this altitude, are an international set of billionaire moguls who have decided to stash their money at One57 and 432 Park, the two newest skyscrapers to remake midtown Manhattan. There is no tight-knit community in the sky, no paperboy or postman, no bowling over brews after work.

And yet here Trump resides, under dripping crystal, with diamond cuff links, as the President-elect of the United States of America. The Secret Service agents milling about prove that it really happened, this election result few saw coming. Hulking and serious, they gingerly try to stay on the marble, avoiding the carpets with their uncovered shoes. On his wife Melania’s desk, next to books of Gianni Versace’s fashions and Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry, a new volume sits front and center: The White House: Its Historic Furnishings and First Families.

Read it all.

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

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December 7, 2016 at 11:56 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(NYT) A Bigger Economic Pie, but a Smaller Slice for Half of the U.S.
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Even with all the setbacks from recessions, burst bubbles and vanishing industries, the United States has still pumped out breathtaking riches over the last three and half decades.

The real economy more than doubled in size; the government now uses a substantial share of that bounty to hand over as much as $5 trillion to help working families, older people, disabled and unemployed people pay for a home, visit a doctor and put their children through school.

Yet for half of all Americans, their share of the total economic pie has shrunk significantly, new research has found.

This group — the approximately 117 million adults stuck on the lower half of the income ladder — “has been completely shut off from economic growth since the 1970s,” the team of economists found.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineHistoryMarriage & FamilyPsychology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyHousing/Real Estate MarketLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPersonal FinanceThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

December 7, 2016 at 11:12 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(NBC) Oldest Known Pearl Harbor Survivor, 104, Returns to Honor the Fallen
Posted by Kendall Harmon

USS California on fire after Pearl Harbor attack, 75 years ago today: #USN

— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) December 7, 2016

The word "survivor" seems especially fitting when describing Ray Chavez — a 104-year-old gym rat who defies his age. Chavez first became a survivor on Dec. 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor.

"I can't forget it. I never will," he says of the attack.

Chavez was stationed at the U.S. naval base when the bombing started.

"I got very emotional that day. There were so many, many innocent people that were lost," he said.

Read it all (and the video is highly recommended).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyHistory* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaJapan

December 7, 2016 at 10:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Unforgettable Photos From The Pearl Harbor Attack, 75 Years Ago Today
Posted by Kendall Harmon

75 years ago today the U.S. naval base at #PearlHarbor was attacked: #OnThisDay #OTD #PearlHarbor75

— David Nelson (@DavidNelsonNews) December 7, 2016

It is worth the time to look at them all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaJapan

December 7, 2016 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Remembering Pearl Harbor 75 years later today
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Watch it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* General InterestPhotos/Photography* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaJapan

December 7, 2016 at 6:15 am - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

‘This world wonders’: St Ambrose and a medieval Advent carol inspired by ‘Veni Redemptor Gentium’
Posted by Kendall Harmon

'This world wonders': St Ambrose and a medieval Advent carol inspired by 'Veni Redemptor Gentium'

— Eleanor Parker (@ClerkofOxford) December 7, 2016

This is a rather clever little carol. Like 'As I lay upon a night', which I posted the other day, it keeps to one rhyme throughout for the English lines, and it's properly macaronic; as I read it, the Latin refrain completes the meaning of each verse, so that for instance verse 1 presents a puzzle - 'how could a maiden conceive a king?' - and then asks for the solution: 'To show all us how this could be, come, Redeemer of the nations'. Such a strategy implies a certain comfort with the Latin and with this particular hymn, the ability to use the hymn as a starting point for a more general meditation. It begins by picking up on a line from the first verse of the hymn, miretur omne saeculum, which becomes (with a grammatical shift) this carol's first line: 'this world wonders above all things...' This carol is full of 'wonder', in both senses of the word: the wonder at which the world wonders is specifically the Virgin Birth, 'how a maid conceived a king', and where the hymn goes on to consider various other aspects and images of the Incarnation, this carol dwells, still wondering, on that one idea.

Read it all from Eleanor Parker.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsAdventLiturgy, Music, Worship* TheologyChristology

December 7, 2016 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Ambrose
Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who didst give to thy servant Ambrose grace eloquently to declare thy righteousness in the great congregation, and fearlessly to bear reproach for the honor of thy Name: Mercifully grant to all bishops and pastors such excellency in preaching, and fidelity in ministering thy Word, that thy people may be partakers with them of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

"In some causes silence is dangerous" Saint Ambrose

— Priorij Thabor (@PThabor) December 7, 2015

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer

December 7, 2016 at 5:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Geneva Bible
Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Gracious God and most merciful Father, who has vouchsafed us the rich and precious jewel of thy holy Word: Assist us with thy Spirit that it may be written in our hearts to our everlasting comfort, to reform us, to renew us according to thine own image, to build us up into the perfect building of thy Christ, and to increase us in all heavenly virtues. Grant this, O heavenly Father, for the same Jesus Christ’s sake.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

December 7, 2016 at 5:22 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Scripture Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Do not forsake me, O LORD! O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!

--Psalm 38:21-22

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

December 7, 2016 at 5:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(WSJ) The American Economy’s Hidden Problem: We’re Out of Big Ideas
Posted by Kendall Harmon

By all appearances, we’re in a golden age of innovation. Every month sees new advances in artificial intelligence, gene therapy, robotics and software apps. Research and development as a share of gross domestic product is near an all-time high. There are more scientists and engineers in the U.S. than ever before.

None of this has translated into meaningful advances in Americans’ standard of living.

Economies grow by equipping an expanding workforce with more capital such as equipment, software and buildings, then combining capital and labor more creatively. This last element, called “total factor productivity,” captures the contribution of innovation. Its growth peaked in the 1950s at 3.4% a year as prior breakthroughs such as electricity, aviation and antibiotics reached their maximum impact. It has steadily slowed since and averaged a pathetic 0.5% for the current decade.

Outside of personal technology, improvements in everyday life have been incremental, not revolutionary.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationHealth & MedicineScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

December 6, 2016 at 4:05 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

[Fr Dale Matson] Repentance And The Man In The Mirror
Posted by The_Elves

..To be a holy people we must realize that Christ who is our righteousness imparts our holiness. We fall short of being his holy priesthood every day and must confess that we cannot of ourselves even keep the basic two commandments of our Lord. We must confess that we have broken the two great commandments that sum all of the commandments. In Rite One we say, “Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against thee by thought word and deed, by what we have done, and what we have left undone. We have not loved thee with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.” (BCP p. 331)

This is both repentance and confession. Let us not look at the sin of our neighbor and look self-righteously to our self. May we repent of our sins, simply seek personal holiness and run the good race that our Lord and Savior has called us to run. May we not be a stumbling block in the lives of those who do not know Christ and may we never discredit the gospel message through scandalous lives ourselves. Take a look at yourself and then make a change Amen

Read it all

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPreaching / Homiletics

December 6, 2016 at 1:50 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

[AU 260] A Lambeth Resolution 1:10 Eye Witness Report
Posted by The_Elves

[With thanks to Kevin Kallsen and George Conger at Anglican TV]

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

December 6, 2016 at 11:02 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

[Church of Nigeria] Condolence visit to St Francis College of Theology, Wusasa
Posted by The_Elves

A ghastly motor accident that claimed three lives with others still lying critically ill in the hospital has thrown the entire St Francis College of Theology Community in Wusasa Kaduna State into mourning. As a result of this development, the Primate of all Nigeria Anglican Communion the Most Rev Nicholas D Okoh quickly arranged and dispatched a Primatial condolence visit to St Francis College of Theology Wusasa.
On hand to receive them was the Dean of the college the Rt Rev Praises Omole-Ekun, the members of the faculty and the entire college community. Bishop Praises appreciated Primate Okoh for sending the delegation and highlight their immediate need most importantly looking after the widows and the children the deceased has left behind, the loss of the college bus to the accident among other challenges of the college.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Nigeria

December 6, 2016 at 10:51 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

[Economist] No, grazie: Italian voters have rejected Matteo Renzi’s constitutional reforms
Posted by The_Elves

It was, said a hoarse, red-eyed Matteo Renzi, an “extraordinarily clear” result. His plan to reform Italy’s constitution was not rejected on December 4th by a margin of five or even ten percentage points, as the polls had suggested: the gap between No and Yes was a mortifying 20 points in Italy proper.

Official figures showed the rejectionist front winning by 60% to 40% in metropolitan Italy (and by 59% to 41% counting ballots cast by Italians abroad). And that was with a high turnout, which Mr Renzi’s advisers had believed would favour his cause. The humiliation came at the end of a 66-day campaign into which Mr Renzi threw himself with frenetic energy. He had little choice but to resign in the face of such an unexpectedly decisive outcome.

Mr Renzi had argued that that the reform was essential to make Italy more governable, and so more amenable to structural reforms. Anti-EU populists spearheaded the No campaign, though they were joined by establishment figures such as Mario Monti, a former prime minister, worried about the accretion of executive power sought by Mr Renzi through the combination of the constitutional reform (which would have emasculated the powerful Senate) with a lop-sided electoral law (which engineers a guaranteed majority for the largest party, even one with a small plurality, in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house).

Read it all

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryEuropeItaly

December 6, 2016 at 10:44 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

[Abp Mouneer Anis] Appointment of a New Area Bishop at North Africa
Posted by The_Elves

(Diocese of Egypt)

Dear Friends

I am happy to let you know that I have appointed The Very Reverend Dr Samy Fawzy Shehata, the Dean of St Mark Pro-Cathedral Alexandria, as the new Area Bishop of North Africa. We have received the approval of the majority of the Provincial Synod of Jerusalem and The Middle East for this appointment. Dean Samy will be the second Area Bishop of North Africa, after Bishop Bill Musk.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesThe Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

December 6, 2016 at 10:41 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Nepal: A Historic and Memorable Episcopal Visit by Bp Rennis Ponniah and Abp Foley Beach
Posted by The_Elves

by Revd Lewis Lew, Dean of Nepal
..It was heartwarming to see how the two Bishops, even though separated by hundreds of miles, were of one mind and were so ready to serve one another.

The Confirmation Service was held in Maranatha Church, which is situated in a slump area in Pokhara City (Western Nepal). A total of 317 confirmands packed the worship hall. This was a historic moment for the Anglican Church in Nepal as these confirmands were its first batch of Anglican members from the Western part of Nepal to be confirmed. As we obey the Lord's call for us to focus our work in the western part of the country, this group of newly confirmed members were reminded that they will be the ones sent to reach the lost, just as the Lord has commissioned us to go and make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:19-20).

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesThe Anglican Church in South East Asia

December 6, 2016 at 10:30 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Tues. Morning Mental Health Break—WONDERFUL Christmas Ad May starring Grandpa (+his dog)
Posted by Kendall Harmon

(Hat tip: Greg Kandra)

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas* Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyChildrenMarriage & FamilyMedia* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

December 6, 2016 at 8:45 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Commonweal) Understanding Henri Nouwen: Priest, Writer, Mentor, Misfit
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Nouwen's legacy as a writer includes scores of books and translations, and thousands of letters. He could be sentimental, cloying, and crushingly needy, as in his “letter” to journalist Fred Bratman, Life of the Beloved, where his penchant for labored expressions of affection is in abundant evidence (“Deep friendship is a calling forth of each other’s chosenness...our lives are unique stones in the mosaic of human existence”). But he could also be measured, penetratingly observant, and on occasion luminous, as in the epilogue to The Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey, reflecting on the seeming capriciousness of God’s grace: “It is dark agony. It is following Jesus to a completely unknown place. It is being emptied out on the cross and having to wait for new life in naked faith.”

One struggles to place Nouwen. Theologians have difficulty situating him within one of the organic spiritual traditions. Catholic intellectuals see him as a cult figure, the darling of suburban matrons. Psychologists have reservations about his methodology and academic pedigree. And pedagogues find his inspirational teaching style problematic. But his readers—and there are legions of them, including Hillary Clinton, who cites him as a chief spiritual influence—love him unconditionally. Some of his books, The Return of the Prodigal Son principal among them, will have lasting power; and for those who met him, listened to him preach, or became his disciples, the effect of his life and ministry has proved ineradicable.

In this twentieth anniversary of his death, it is instructive to see him in a new light, as postconciliar prophet of a reformed presbyteral model. Nouwen was a universal pastor, uninterested in the squabbles of ambitious clerical careerists, detached from the more toxic of ecclesiastical controversies, and committed to prayer as the only antidote to priestly irrelevance. His frankness around issues of sexuality and his willingness to disclose emotional fragility make him important at a time when many bishops promote a discredited neo-Tridentine model of formation. Nouwen was a loyal, integrated, and doctrinally conservative priest. With his openness and undisguised vulnerability, the model of formation he exemplifies will set a mature standard for contemporary ministry.

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer

December 6, 2016 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Oliver O’Donovan—Communicating the Good: The Politics and Ethics of ‘The Common Good’
Posted by Kendall Harmon

....there are two misunderstandings we have to be especially on guard against in deploying the elusive and self-transcending language of the common good. One is what we may perhaps be permitted to call "the Prussian doctrine of the state": the idea of a political organisation comprehensive of all actual and possible communications, which is in itself therefore the concrete universal, the achievement and interpretation of the purposes of God. The universal good may be represented in a form we can conceive synthetically, for practical purposes, by the state or some other established order. But this conceivable form does not anticipate all possible moral demands. Concrete moral demand can always outrun synthetic moral vision; it may call us to do what we do not wholly see. That is the truth of the experience of obligation, the experience of something as required of us which is not wholly, or not yet, self-explanatory and perspicuous.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

December 6, 2016 at 7:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Michael Schuermann—Luther’s Morning Prayer – A Model for the Christian’s Daily Life
Posted by Kendall Harmon

St. Paul’s exhortation to pray “without ceasing” highlights the importance of regular prayer in the life of the Christian. Luther’s years of monastic life modeled a regulated daily life of prayer. The various monastic daily prayer offices seem to have influenced Luther’s teaching of prayer in the Small Catechism. Not only is a prayer for morning provided, but Luther places that prayer within a simple liturgy: first, the name of the Triune God is spoken and the sign of the holy cross is made, then the Creed and Lord’s Prayer (two of the Chief Parts!) are spoken. Finally, Luther suggests his little prayer may be said “if you choose.” Humbly, Luther considers his own contribution optional and the handed-down texts of the Faith essential.

Luther’s modeling of prayer seems deliberately designed to avoid the type of praying that Jesus warns against: “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.” (Matthew 6:7) With many words comes much work; Luther aims at a simple liturgy of prayer that can be adopted in the daily lives of Christians both in his time and in our present day.

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesLutheran* TheologyTheology: Scripture

December 6, 2016 at 6:30 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Diocese of South Carolina) Dave Wright—Presence before presents: Can we have a Christmas revival?
Posted by Kendall Harmon

It was exactly 20 years ago that I experienced something as a believer and as a young father that changed the way I view and experience Christmas. It was our first Christmas in England and in the Anglican Church. Growing up in a different denomination and in America, I’d never experienced going to church on Christmas morning. We always attended Christmas Eve services. Once I became a believer, they were particularly powerful experiences. The only time after I was married that we attended church on Christmas day was the rarity of it falling on a Sunday. And to be honest, we only did so because I worked for the church and it was expected of me.

What we experienced in 1996 was nothing less than amazing. As a family we went to church together on Christmas morning, and it forever changed the way we want to experience Christmas. We got up that morning, had breakfast and allowed our three small children the luxury of opening their stockings before getting dressed for church. We headed to church that morning, opened the doors and were amazed at what we saw. The entire church family packed the place! By that I mean all the active members of the church were there and some had brought extended family or friends. There was hardly a spare seat in the place. The service was lively and full of a spirit of true celebration. We sang “Joy To The World” as if we had never sung it before. The service was all-ages-oriented, and the sermon proclaimed the good news in a way that every generation could appreciate. There was no question as to why Jesus came to the earth by the time we left the church. And leaving was no hasty matter either. People lingered after the service exchanging cards, gifts, and hugs. The joyful spirit in the air was nothing less than stunning. We probably stayed longer than we did most Sundays. I then took my wife and three small children back to our house to continue the celebration. We opened gifts and shared phone calls with grandparents and ate entirely too much food.

The focus of our day was simply Jesus. It was possibly the first truly Christ-centered Christmas we as a Christian family had experienced. Having taken the time to worship our Lord first set the stage for the entire day.

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsAdventChristmas* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & Family* South Carolina* TheologyChristology

December 6, 2016 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Nicholas
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almighty God, who in thy love didst give to thy servant Nicholas of Myra a perpetual name for deeds of kindness on land and sea: Grant, we pray thee, that thy Church may never cease to work for the happiness of children, the safety of sailors, the relief of the poor, and the help of those tossed by tempests of doubt or grief; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saint Nicholas’ Day

— Paul A. Carr (@revPACman) December 6, 2016

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer

December 6, 2016 at 5:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Gregory of Nazianzus
Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, by whose command the order of time runs its course: Forgive, we pray thee, the impatience of our hearts; make perfect that which is lacking in our faith; and, while we tarry the fulfillment of thy promises, grant us to have a good hope because of thy word; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsAdventSpirituality/Prayer

December 6, 2016 at 5:20 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Bible Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

O LORD, I love the habitation of thy house, and the place where thy glory dwells.

--Psalm 26:8

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

December 6, 2016 at 5:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Doctors of the World Christmas cards combine nativity scenes with images from war zones
Posted by Kendall Harmon

A UK charity is selling a series of Christmas cards featuring images that combine traditional Biblical imagery with contemporary pictures from conflict zones across the Middle East.

Doctors of the World UK is selling the cards, with names including ‘Not So Silent Night’ and ‘The Star of Bedlam’, to raise funds for its mission to provide medical aid to people who’ve been forced from their homes by war.

The cards were designed by ad agency McCann London, incorporating Press Association photographs taken over the last year.

Read it all from the Telegraph.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas* Culture-WatchCharities/Non-Profit OrganizationsReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryEngland / UKMiddle East

December 5, 2016 at 6:34 pm - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Globe and Mail) David Haskell—How to grow a church: some church leaders might not like the answer
Posted by Kendall Harmon

If you went to Sunday school, you heard the story of Jonah and chances are you remember that he was swallowed by a whale. But what often gets forgotten is the story’s larger theme. Jonah is given a divine message and is instructed to deliver it to a people on the verge of calamity but, for some specific reasons, he’s reluctant.

Minus hearing the voice of God, for the last couple of weeks, I’ve felt a little like Jonah.

The information I’m delivering relates to a study some colleagues and I conducted that explored mainline Protestant churches. Since the 1960s, churches in the Anglican, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and United denominations have been steadily losing members and we wanted to determine why.

Through statistical analysis of survey data from a near-even mix of growing and declining church attendees and their clergy, we found that conservative religious doctrine, known for emphasizing a more literal interpretation of scripture, is a key driver for church growth in mainline Protestant congregations. Liberal doctrine, which emphasizes a metaphorical interpretation, leads to decline.

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureSociology* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.Canada* Theology

December 5, 2016 at 5:00 pm - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

The Advertiser profiles New Australian Anglican Bishop Geoffrey Smith
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The first challenge he faces is the move to Adelaide, getting to know the city’s people and culture, which he expects will be quite different from the diocese of Brisbane.

Bishop Smith has worked with the Sudanese community in Brisbane and is pleased that Adelaide is becoming more multicultural.

Church attendances have risen and declined in cycles over the centuries but Bishop Smith says God has not given up on the church.

He says research indicates healthy churches tend to grow the number of people who are part of them, in terms of service to the community, and in faith and generosity.

“I’ve seen churches grow; I’ve been a part of growing churches,” Bishop Smith says. “I’m going to be very focused on helping our parishes to be healthy, as well as encouraging the Anglican schools.”

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia

December 5, 2016 at 4:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Mistrial declared in Michael Slager murder case; policeman still faces federal charges
Posted by Kendall Harmon

A mistrial was declared Monday after jurors could not agree on a verdict in the murder case against Michael Slager, the white North Charleston police officer who shot Walter Scott, a black man. The jury had been deliberating for about 22 hours.

It was not immediately clear whether state prosecutors would retry Slager. The 35-year-old former policeman still faces charges in federal court that carry a lifetime of imprisonment.

The jury had two options for a conviction: murder or voluntary manslaughter. To reach any verdict — guilty or not — all 12 jurors must have unanimously agreed on the decision.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireViolence* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

December 5, 2016 at 3:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

TEC’s Bishop Bruno blocks Newport Beach congregation from attending convention
Posted by Kendall Harmon

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: Los AngelesTEC Parishes* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

December 5, 2016 at 11:29 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Archbishop Cranmer Blog) Persecuted Middle East bishops banned from visiting UK
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Archbishops from Iraq were denied visas to enter the UK as they may have claimed asylum

— The Times of London (@thetimes) December 5, 2016

Why are suffering Syrian and Iraqi bishops banned from visiting the UK? They only wanted to attend the consecration of the country’s first Syriac Orthodox cathedral, dedicated to St Thomas. They might even have met the Prince of Wales for a cup of tea, but after that they’d have surely returned to serve their rapidly-diminishing flocks and lead them through their daily crucifixions, beheadings, enslavement, murder, rape… Surely the Sunday Express has got this story completely wrong. Bishops banned? Why on earth?

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UKMiddle East* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesOrthodox Church* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

December 5, 2016 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(CT Gleanings) British Government Affirms Christmas at Work
Posted by Kendall Harmon

British officials are encouraging the country to put Christ back in Christmas—even in their workplaces.
“There are a lot of myths out there when it comes to dealing with religion at work. I want to put the record straight: It is OK to hold a party and send Christmas cards,” said David Isaac, chairman of the national Equality and Human Rights Commission.
This week, Christians and politicians alike welcomed Isaac’s assurance following the growing prevalence of more generic terminology in public and office celebrations, such as “season’s greetings” and “Winterval.”

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas* Culture-WatchMulticulturalism, pluralismReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

December 5, 2016 at 7:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]