[ACI] The New Episcopal Church: What Hath General Convention 2015 Wrought?
Posted by The_Elves

The time ahead

All this points to a time ahead of stress and uncertainty for Anglicanism in the United States. ACI believes that the following elements, however, must be recognized and acted upon if this time ahead is to prove fruitful rather than simply destructive.

First, we must acknowledge that TEC as a national body is no longer recognizably “Anglican” in an Anglican-Communion sense. A broad range of commonly defining features of Anglican Communion churches – e.g. the Lambeth Quadrilateral, which makes Scripture the “rule and ultimate standard of faith”; the definition of Anglicanism specified in TEC’s own constitution and in 1930 Lambeth Conference Resolution 49 (i.e., “upholding and propagating the historic Faith and Order as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer”); other Lambeth resolutions including 1998 I.10; the Windsor Report and its moratoria that were subsequently adopted by all the Instruments of Communion; the framework of an Anglican Communion “Common Law” (as N. Doe and others have identified it), etc. — no longer exists in TEC.

Second, dioceses, bishops, priests, and laity who are currently members of TEC, but who do​ continue to hold their identity within the common Anglican elements noted above, need to set about, corporately and in a coordinated way, to work with the larger Anglican Communion for a way forward. That kind of work has, in the past, been subverted by a range of local and larger factors, including personal ones. Something different has to happen at this point, and both the American and Communion leadership concerned with this must work with a new consultative forthrightness and clarity.

Third, we believe that American Communion-minded Anglicans must formally call on Canterbury, and the Primates to respond to the need expressed above expeditiously and constructively. Past reticence, foot-dragging, deference to local politics, and simple failures to follow through are no longer viable ways forward.

Fourth, we urge friends and ecumenical partners to play a consultative, constructive and creative role in this process.

Insofar as TEC has claimed it has a life in the Anglican Communion it cares about, just to that degree it is necessary for the Anglican Communion to clarify what that might be, in the light of General Convention actions and the new self-understanding in NEC. General Convention has acted and declared its mind. What will the response of the Anglican Communion be?

Read it all, carefully

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Polity & Canons

July 27, 2015 at 8:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth: Judgment concludes trial-court phase
Posted by The_Elves

Bishop Iker and the people of the diocese of Fort Worth win case.
Today the Hon. John P. Chupp signed his Final Judgment concerning the Motions for Partial Summary Judgment filed last December by the TEC-loyal plaintiffs and the defendant Diocese, Parishes, and Corporation, as well as Motions for Partial Summary Judgment concerning the TEC-loyal All Saints’ Episcopal Church (Fort Worth) filed by these same parties on May 6. In doing so, the 141st District Court affirmed and combined its orders of March 2 and June 10 [see the entries below], which upheld the Diocese’s right to dissociate from TEC and for the Corporation to retain its property – including All Saints' parish property transferred from the Dallas Diocese – and elected leadership.

Today’s judgment brings to a close a process started on Aug. 30, 2013, when the Supreme Court of Texas ordered that the case, initially decided using a “deference” approach, return to the trial court and that the court reconsider the parties' claims, applying the Neutral Principles approach instead.

The trial court’s ruling now becomes appealable, and the TEC-affiliated plaintiffs have indicated their intention to ask the Second Court of Appeals for a review. In early August the court is expected to issue an order stating terms that will allow the TEC-affiliated congregation of All Saints’, Fort Worth, to remain in the property it now occupies during the duration of the appeal.

We give thanks for our many blessings, for God’s work among us, and for the Hope of Salvation that is within us. We are thankful, too, for the patient endurance of all those who have prayed and labored for this day, especially our legal team, their associates, and their families.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: Fort Worth

July 25, 2015 at 10:08 pm - 3 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A S Haley: Final Judgment in Fort Worth Case
Posted by The_Elves

Judge Chupp has entered a final judgment against TEC, its rump diocese of Fort Worth and its parishes, thereby ending the lawsuit in which they sought to claim the corporation, property and bank accounts owned and controlled by Bishop Jack L. Iker and his co-trustees. Judge Chupp ordered that the plaintiffs “take nothing” from their complaint. This leaves all real property, corporate control and diocesan bank accounts exactly as they were after Bishop Iker and his Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth voted to leave TEC in November 2008.

The TEC parties have said they plan to appeal the final judgment to the Second Circuit Court of Appeal. However, any such appeal will be guided by the “neutral principles of law” announced by the Texas Supreme Court when it reversed Judge Chupp’s original judgment in their favor, based upon his belief that he was required by Texas law to defer to the “hierarchical” Episcopal Church. Under neutral principles, the Texas courts look solely to the documents establishing a party’s title: whose name is on the deeds, what trusts have been recorded, and what (if anything) the Church’s governing documents say about a diocese’s ability to amend its own constitution so as to remove its affiliation with the Episcopal Church.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: Fort Worth

July 25, 2015 at 10:01 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Blog Open Thread—What Book(s) are you Reading this Summer?
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Remember the more specific you are, the more the rest of us can enjoy it--why you chose this book, what specifically you like/liked about it, etc.--KSH.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetBooks

July 23, 2015 at 6:00 am - 25 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Reply Brief Filed by Diocese of South Carolina in SC Supreme Court
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bishop William White of Pennsylvania, who first expressed the idea of a national association of state churches that later became TEC, outlined a plan "for organizing these Church of England congregations." White was "very sympathetic to the notion that the individual state organizations and dioceses should have the full and open control of their own property and of their own government" (p.27)

Take the time to read through it all (74 page pdf).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC ConflictsTEC Polity & Canons* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

July 6, 2015 at 3:16 pm - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Recent Key Entries
Posted by The_Elves

This post is 'STICKY' - new posts are below.

Please remember Bishop John Ellison in your prayers: [George Conger] Border-crossing charges filed against British Bishop

Here are the links to posts that have been recently featured at the top of the blog or on topical issues.

TEC Same Sex Marriage Rites
+ Bp Mouneer Anis’s statement regarding the US Supreme Court Ruling for same-sex marriage (July 10, 2015)
+ Church of Uganda’s response to TEC’s General Convention and USA Supreme Court decision (July 7, 2015)
+ Reform: Response to the US Episcopal Church Resolution on Marriage (July 7, 2015)
+ GAFCON Primates’ Council: TEC decision ‘a mistake with serious consequences’ (July 6, 2015)
+ Statement from the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas (July 5, 2015)
+ Statement by the Central American and Communion Partner Bishops (July 2, 2015)
+ Global South Statement on TEC marriage vote—“we are deeply grieved again” (July 2, 2015)
+ (Wash Post) TEC approves religious weddings for same-sex couples after controversial debate (July 2, 2015)
+ A.S. Haley—TEC Bishops Bless Blasphemy at General Convention (July 1, 2015)
+ AU 190 - Canterbury not happy with TEC Same-sex Marriage Actions (June 30, 2015)
+ Archbishop of Canterbury response to US Episcopal Church Resolution on Marriage (June 30, 2015)
+ Bp Dan Martins reports on the TEC HOB Marriage Decision (June 30, 2015)
+ [ACI] Mark McCall: Good Order And The Re-Definition of Marriage (June 22, 2015)

Top of the pile
+ Statement from the International Catholic Congress of Anglicans (July 17, 2015)
+ Talks from the International Catholic Congress of Anglicans - Fort Worth July 13th to 17th (July 14, 2015)
+ CofE General Synod 10th to 13th July 2015 Links (July 10, 2015)
+ Reform Statement on the Archbishop of York (July 9, 2015)
+ Reply Brief Filed by Diocese of South Carolina in SC Supreme Court (July 6, 2015)


Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* AdminFeatured (Sticky)

April 28, 2015 at 7:35 pm - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Beethoven: Emperor Piano Concerto
Posted by The_Elves

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMusic

July 27, 2015 at 8:56 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Sunday [London] Times) Unpublished writing from unsung Gothic great Shirley Jackson
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Jackson was an artist of unease. She wrote about identity, madness and the horror of ordinary life, in crisp, adroit prose. Her fiction recalls such various talents as Dorothy Parker, Flannery O’Connor, Daphne du Maurier, Roald Dahl and Jorge Luis Borges — which is a way of saying that she was a true original. Her best work has “the plausibility of myth”, as The New York Times put it. Rather surprisingly, for readers who came to her through human sacrifice, the occult etc, she also wrote two apparently charming memoirs which — I quote from the preface of the new book — “artfully chronicled the joys and difficulties of bringing up four garrulous, rambunctious children”.

After attending Syracuse University, Jackson married the critic Stanley Edgar Hyman and settled in North Bennington, Vermont, where Hyman taught at a liberal arts college. According to one autobiographical piece printed here, she wrote when she wasn’t “vacuuming the living-room rug or driving the children to school or trying to find something different to serve for dinner tonight”.

Let Me Tell You is one of several articles of Jacksoniana — including a new biography — that will be brought out this year, the 50th anniversary of her early death. It supplements the two main collections of her shorter work: The Lottery and Other Stories, and Come Along with Me, which was edited by Hyman. The book is an anthology of previously uncollected and unpublished pieces found among her papers. It represents not just the scraping of the barrel, but the second scraping of the barrel (after Just an Ordinary Day, published in 2009).

The surprise is not that it contains iffy and substandard pieces, which it does, but that several of the stories are so striking.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under:

July 27, 2015 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

David Skeel—Now Isn’t the Time for Christians to Flee the Public Square
Posted by Kendall Harmon

It isn’t clear what effect the Benedict Option would have on American political life. Even if one envisions the Benedict Option as “strategic attentiveness” to the cultivation of virtue, rather than “strategic retreat,” as Alan Jacobs, another prominent Christian writer has advocated, the Benedict Option implies a reduced engagement in the messy business of politics. At a time when religious freedom is viewed by many as expendable, and appears in scare quotes or their equivalent in major U.S. newspapers for the first time in American history, the practical consequences of reduced engagement could be considerable.

Yet even those of us who are skeptical of the Benedict Option can acknowledge the benefits of cultivating virtue, engaging more fully in our local communities and perhaps turning off the TV more often. Given the sometimes judgmental tendencies of theologically conservative Christians during the culture wars of the recent past, traditional Christians also might do well to focus a little more on showing what Christian morality looks like, and less on how others conduct their lives.

There may even be grounds for optimism for Christians who feel increasingly estranged from American culture. Being out of touch can be clarifying. After all, many of the greatest advances for Christianity have come during periods when Christians seemed most beleaguered. From the early Roman Empire to the Great Awakenings in 18th- and 19th-century America, and to China today, Christianity has tended to flourish anew when the distinctions are clearest between Christian faith and other conceptions of what it means to be human.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

July 27, 2015 at 7:21 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

William Reed Huntington for his Feast Day-‘Catholicity is what we are reaching after’
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Dissatisfaction is the one word that best expresses the state of mind in which Christendom finds itself today. There is a wide-spread misgiving that we are on the eve of momentous changes. Unrest is everywhere. We hear about Roman Councils, and Anglican Conferences, and Evangelical Alliances, about the question of the Temporal Power, the dissolution of Church and State, and many other such like things. They all have one meaning. The party of the Papacy and the party of the Reformation, the party of orthodoxy and the party of liberalism, are all alike agitated by the consciousness that a spirit of change is in the air.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchBooks* TheologyEcclesiology

July 27, 2015 at 7:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer for the Feast Day of William Reed Huntington
Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Lord our God, we thank thee for instilling in the heart of thy servant William Reed Huntington a fervent love for thy Church and its mission in the world; and we pray that, with unflagging faith in thy promises, we may make known to all peoples thy blessed gift of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

July 27, 2015 at 6:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer to start the Day from John Calvin
Posted by Kendall Harmon

My God, my Father and Preserver, who of thy goodness hast watched over me during the past night, and brought me to this day, grant also that I may spend it wholly in the worship and service of thy most holy deity. Let me not think, or say, or do a single thing which tends not to thy service and submission to thy will, that thus all my actions may aim at thy glory and the salvation of my brethren, while they are taught by my example to serve thee. And as thou art giving light to this world for the purposes of external life by the rays of the sun, so enlighten my mind by the effulgence of thy Spirit, that he may guide me in the way of thy righteousness. To whatever purpose I apply my mind, may the end which I ever propose to myself be thy honour and service. May I expect all happiness from thy grace and goodness only. Let me not attempt any thing whatever that is not pleasing to thee.

Grant also, that while I labour for the maintenance of this life, and care for the things which pertain to food and raiment, I may raise my mind above them to the blessed and heavenly life which thou hast promised to thy children. Be pleased also, in manifesting thyself to me as the protector of my soul as well as my body, to strengthen and fortify me against all the assaults of the devil, and deliver me from all the dangers which continually beset us in this life. But seeing it is a small thing to have begun, unless I also persevere, I therefore entreat of thee, O Lord, not only to be my guide and director for this day, but to keep me under thy protection to the very end of life, that thus my whole course may be performed under thy superintendence. As I ought to make progress, do thou add daily more and more to the gifts of thy grace until I wholly adhere to thy Son Jesus Christ, whom we justly regard as the true Sun, shining constantly in our minds. In order to my obtaining of thee these great and manifold blessings, forget, and out of thy infinite mercy, forgive my offences, as thou hast promised that thou wilt do to those who call upon thee in sincerity.

(Ps. 143:8.)—Grant that I may hear thy voice in the morning since I have hoped in thee. Show me the way in which I should walk, since I have lifted up my soul unto thee. Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord, I have fled unto thee. Teach me to do thy will, for thou art my God. Let thy good Spirit conduct me to the land of uprightness.

--John Calvin (1509-1564)

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

July 27, 2015 at 6:15 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Scripture Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

When I am afraid, I put my trust in thee. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust without a fear. What can flesh do to me?

--Psalm 56:3-4

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

July 27, 2015 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

George Gershwin Piano Concerto
Posted by The_Elves

Filed under: * General Interest

July 26, 2015 at 6:59 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Sunday Worship on T19
Posted by The_Elves


+ Services, Talks and Resources for July 26th
+ In the Fellowship of Elijah - Phil Ashey [1 Kings 17]
+ The father heart of God - Vaughan Roberts [Hosea 10:1-11:1]
+ Sunday Worship from the Keswick Convention
+ More talks from the Keswick Convention


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

July 26, 2015 at 5:29 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Henry Alford
Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who hast given us not the spirit of bondage, but the Spirit of adoption into thy family: Grant us the witness of thy Spirit within our hearts, testifying that we are thy children; and give us that fellowship with the sufferings of Christ which shall end in our being glorified with him; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

July 26, 2015 at 6:30 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Scripture Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The earth is the LORD's and the fulness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein; for he has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers.

--Psalm 24:1

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

July 26, 2015 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Boslife: Hundreds Killed In Nigeria Anti-Christian Violence
Posted by The_Elves

ABUJA, NIGERIA (BosNewsLife)-- Islamic militant group Boko Haram is stepping up attacks in heavily Christian towns and village in Nigeria's troubled northeast, killing more than 750 people since May 29, Christian rights activists say.

News of the violence came after Boko Haram militants were pushed back by Nigeria's military when they tried to to gain access to Maiduguri, Borno State's largest city.

"The increase in terrorist violence can be seen partly as Boko Haram's challenge to [Nigerian] President [Muhammadu] Buhari's campaign statement that he would end the insurgency within three months," said Voice Of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC), a Christian aid and advocacy group.

Now calling itself the 'West African Province of the Islamic State', this "terrorist group has also pledged allegiance" to Islamic State in March of 2015 -- "responding to the call to 'make Ramadan a month of disasters for the infidels',"VOMC told BosNewsLife in a statement.

Christian observers say that Boko Haram's strategy includes inciting fellow Muslims against Christians...

Read it all

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria

July 26, 2015 at 12:43 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Phil Ashey: Becoming a Church in the fellowship of Elijah
Posted by The_Elves

...Like Elijah, we’ve already taken a stand against ungodly leadership-in our case, within the Church itself. But now we are confronted with a culture whose highest courts have abandoned any objective moral standards at all, much less the bible, in favor of every individual being able to define their own reality as they please! In the face of this, God is taking us into his workshop where our faith, like Elijah’s, needs to be refined even further as we trust God for the future of our nation, our culture, our churches, and our families

So what can we learn from the life of Elijah about refining our faith in God?

First, just a reminder: God knew exactly where Elijah was when he sent him to Zarephath. God knew where he had been living, by faith, by the brook, by the grace of ravens feeding him. God knew exactly when that brook would dry up. He was not surprised! It was part of his plan and his judgment of drought upon the land. And so here’s a lesson for us:

God knows exactly where you and I are at this moment. He knows exactly where our culture is. He is not surprised. And he knows exactly where he needs to send us next as a church in these challenging times. It’s part of his plan.

And the first place he needs to send his church is to a place of humility. If we are going to have the kind of true and enduring faith necessary to meet the challenges that lie before us, we will need humility-for humility is the foundation of great faith.

Imagine you are in Elijah’s shoes for a moment:...

Read it all

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life

July 25, 2015 at 11:49 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

538 NY: Anti-Gay Feeling Is High In Many African Countries Amid Obama Visit
Posted by The_Elves

A large majority of adults in several Saharan and sub-Saharan countries polled say homosexuality should not be accepted.

In many countries around the world where a majority opposes homosexuality, young adults are far more likely than older ones to support acceptance. But that isn’t the case generally in African nations that have been polled, suggesting that generational replacement won’t change public opinion as it might elsewhere and has already in the U.S.

In 2013, just before Obama’s trip, the Pew Research Center polled nearly 38,000 people in 39 countries and territories, asking them, “Should society accept homosexuality?” Three in five Americans said “yes.” At least 80 percent of Spaniards, Germans, Czechs and Canadians agreed. Pew found very different results in the eight African countries where it polled: In seven of them — including Kenya and two Saharan countries, Egypt and Tunisia — 90 percent or more of respondents answered “no.” (Three of the 31 other places registered “no” support that high: Indonesia, Jordan and the Palestinian territories.)

South Africa was the lone African exception, but 61 percent of respondents there still answered “no.” (It is the only African country that recognizes same-sex marriage.) On average, “no” outpolled “yes” by 84 percentage points in African nations polled, compared to a near-tie (an edge of 2 percentage points) for “yes” to acceptance elsewhere.

Read it all

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMarriage & Family

July 25, 2015 at 11:43 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

The Standard Kenya: Presidents Barack Obama and Uhuru Kenyatta differ over gay rights
Posted by The_Elves

The delicate issue of gay and lesbian rights popped up Saturday during a press briefing at State House as US President Barack Obama differed sharply with his host, President Uhuru Kenyatta, over the handling of those involved.

Responding to a question from journalists after holding bilateral talks in the afternoon, Obama pleaded the case of those “with a different sexual orientation”, asking the Kenyatta administration not to discriminate against such individuals.

But Kenyatta flatly rejected the idea of promoting gay and lesbian rights.

“We need to speak frankly about some of these issues. Kenyans and Americans share ideals such as democracy, entrepreneurship and family values but some things are not part of our religion or culture – and we cannot impose something on people that they don’t like,” said Kenyatta.

Read it all

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMarriage & Family

July 25, 2015 at 11:30 pm - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Aaron Copland: Appalachian Spring
Posted by The_Elves

[There is a brief pause five and a half mins in]


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

July 25, 2015 at 8:52 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Vox) Edward Schlosser—I’m a liberal professor, and my liberal students terrify me
Posted by Kendall Harmon

I wrote about this fear on my blog, and while the response was mostly positive, some liberals called me paranoid, or expressed doubt about why any teacher would nix the particular texts I listed. I guarantee you that these people do not work in higher education, or if they do they are at least two decades removed from the job search. The academic job market is brutal. Teachers who are not tenured or tenure-track faculty members have no right to due process before being dismissed, and there's a mile-long line of applicants eager to take their place. And as writer and academic Freddie DeBoer writes, they don't even have to be formally fired — they can just not get rehired. In this type of environment, boat-rocking isn't just dangerous, it's suicidal, and so teachers limit their lessons to things they know won't upset anybody.

This shift in student-teacher dynamic placed many of the traditional goals of higher education — such as having students challenge their beliefs — off limits. While I used to pride myself on getting students to question themselves and engage with difficult concepts and texts, I now hesitate. What if this hurts my evaluations and I don't get tenure? How many complaints will it take before chairs and administrators begin to worry that I'm not giving our customers — er, students, pardon me — the positive experience they're paying for? Ten? Half a dozen? Two or three?

This phenomenon has been widely discussed as of late, mostly as a means of deriding political, economic, or cultural forces writers don't much care for. Commentators on the left and right have recently criticized the sensitivity and paranoia of today's college students. They worry about the stifling of free speech, the implementation of unenforceable conduct codes, and a general hostility against opinions and viewpoints that could cause students so much as a hint of discomfort.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationHistoryPsychologyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

July 25, 2015 at 10:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

An interview with the first homegrown leader of the Central Gulf Coast Episcopal diocese
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rev. J. Russell Kendrick strides through the construction area at Trinity Episcopal Church in Mobile, where only a few months ago, clergy and laity delegates from across the Central Gulf Coast elected him bishop. An architect before he answered God's call, Kendrick is dressed in a black clergy shirt, a priest's collar -- and blue jeans.

"I'll be the first homegrown bishop," says the Fort Walton Beach native who will be ordained and consecrated Saturday, July 25. "I think that's significant."

Kendrick, 54, has his own term for the solemn ceremony in which other bishops lay hands on him and current Bishop Philip Duncan gives him the crozier, a staff that signals the transition of office. "I'm ... saying I'm going to be 'bishopized,'" Kendrick says.

Years ago, Kendrick was working as an architect in the family business and volunteering with youth at his hometown parish, Saint Simons By-The-Sea, when he answered God's call to become a priest. Having earned a Bachelor of Architecture and a Bachelor of Science in business from Auburn University, he added a Master of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary. He was ordained in 1996. He has served as rector of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Cahaba Heights in Birmingham since 2007.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops

July 25, 2015 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

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

O gracious God, we remember before thee this day thy servant and apostle James, first among the Twelve to suffer martyrdom for the Name of Jesus Christ; and we pray that thou wilt pour out upon the leaders of thy Church that spirit of self-denying service by which alone they may have true authority among thy people; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

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

July 25, 2015 at 6:44 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer to begin the Day from the Pastor’s Prayer Book
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Fortify us, O God, with the courage which cometh only from thee; that in the midst of all our perils and perplexities we may find that peace which only thou canst give; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

July 25, 2015 at 6:22 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Scripture Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

He went away from there and came to his own country; and his disciples followed him. And on the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue; and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get all this? What is the wisdom given to him? What mighty works are wrought by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands upon a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief.

--Mark 6:1-6

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

July 25, 2015 at 6:01 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

[Christianity Today] Os Guinness: Welcome to the ‘Grand Age of Apologetics’
Posted by The_Elves

Tim Stafford spoke with Guinness about making the gospel appealing in a secularizing culture.
What made you decide to write about apologetics at this time?

Clearly we’re at a stage in Western history where we need the church to be persuasive. Public life has grown more secular. Private worlds have become more diverse, and we have a mounting hostility against us. If ever Christians at large and evangelicals in particular needed to be persuasive with people who are not open, it’s now. So I thought it was the time to write.

Fool’s Talk is the fruit of many decades of thinking. I owe a huge debt to C. S. Lewis, from whom I came to faith; to Francis Schaeffer, who introduced me to the discipline of apologetics; and to Peter Berger, the sociologist, who has probably shaped my mind more than any other living person. My approach is a mixture of the three of them.

At the beginning of your book you refer to this as “the grand age of apologetics.” That will surprise some people. What do you mean by it?

The phrase is not mine. I read it in a sociology article, and it surprised me at first. In the age of the Internet, everyone is presenting their daily me. Think of Facebook. People are selling themselves, defending themselves, presenting themselves, arguing for themselves, whatever. In that sense this is the age of apologetics. When I read that, I realized that we Christians have had this in our DNA for 2,000 years. But are we prepared for this extraordinary new age?

Read it all

Filed under: * TheologyApologetics

July 24, 2015 at 9:14 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

[Evangelical Focus] Interview: Mike Overd: “My desire is for all to know the Saviour”
Posted by The_Elves

“We are very quick to criticise street preachers”, says British street preacher who faces a retrial at the end of July.
After having been found guilty of violating Section 5 of the Public Order Act earlier this year, UK street preacher Mike Overd faces a retrial on Friday 31st July.

Cleared of all charges in his first court appearance in 2012, the Taunton-based ex-paratrooper and his legal representatives at Christian Concern are confident that they will get another not guilty verdict at the end of the month.

Section 5 of the British Public Order Act has to do with offences related to causing harassment, alarm or distress by using threatening, abusive or insulting words and/ or behaviour.

We took some time to catch up with Overd to find out more about his trial and his message.

Read it all

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July 24, 2015 at 8:34 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

CT: Street preacher guilty of using ‘threatening’ language by quoting Leviticus
Posted by The_Elves

By Lucinda Borkett-Jones Christian Today Features Editor Published 23 March 2015
A Christian street preacher was today found guilty of using "threatening" language by quoting the Bible when speaking about homosexuality on the streets of Taunton in June last year.

Former paratrooper Mike Overd was convicted under section 5 of the Public Order Act, which concerns causing harassment, alarm or distress by using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.

The judge at Bristol Crown Court told him that he should not have used the particular verse in the Bible – Leviticus 20:13 – because it uses the word "abomination". The judge suggested that there were other verses he could have chosen if he wanted to talk about what the Bible says about homosexuality.

Libby Towell, spokesperson for the Christian Legal Centre, who represented Overd, said: "The judge is effectively censoring the Bible and saying that certain verses aren't fit for public consumption."

Overd was given a fine of £200, and told to pay £1,200 in costs and compensation. This included a sum for the emotional harm caused to the homosexual man, who is also a Christian, to whom he was speaking when he quoted Leviticus.

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

July 24, 2015 at 8:27 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Smithsonian Mag: 1500 year old text has been digitally resurrected from a Hebrew scroll
Posted by The_Elves

...word about Seales' software reached the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). They already had the Ein Gedi scroll scanned with a micro-CT machine but couldn’t make sense of the information. Could Seales help? A meeting was arranged in the U.S., and over lunch, he was handed a hard drive containing terabytes of raw data. Though in much better condition than the Roman scrolls, the Hebrew parchment offered its own challenges. Made of animal skin instead of plant-based papyrus, it had bubbled and blistered over the years. New programming tricks that corrected for those imperfections in the data would be needed.

“This is probably a simpler problem than the Herculaneum scrolls, which are really the worst-case scenario in the field,” says Vito Mocella of the Italian National Research Council, who heads the Italian team that ultimately found a way to read letters on the Roman scrolls using an enhanced scanning technique and a powerful particle accelerator. “But even if it’s simpler, it’s still not so easy.”

Luckily for Seales, the Hebrews added metal to their inks, which showed up clearly as bright white spots in the CT data. As his software virtually unwound a single layer from the middle of the scroll, text revealed itself: “The LORD summoned Moses and spoke to him,” it began. Israeli translators identified the words as the first verse of Leviticus, the book of laws.

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Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

July 24, 2015 at 8:08 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

John Bingham: Police widen manhunt for rector on the run
Posted by The_Elves

A Church of England rector who went on the run as he was convicted of pocketing thousands of pounds of fees from funerals and weddings is now feared to have skipped the country, police have revealed.

Interpol is now assisting in the search for the Rev Simon Reynolds, the Rector of Farnham in Surrey amid signs that he has made his way to continental Europe.

South Yorkshire Police made the disclosure as the Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Rev Tony Robinson, made a personal plea to the cleric to hand himself in, amid fears for his safety.

“Never forget we are praying for you,” the bishop, who has known Mr Reynold for several years, told him.

The 49-year-old, who previously helped oversee music and worship at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, walked out of Sheffield Crown Court - where he was on trial for theft from his former Yorkshire parish - during the lunch break on Thursday and did not return.

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

July 24, 2015 at 5:50 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Herbert Howells: Evening Canticles (Collegium Regale)
Posted by The_Elves

Luke 1:46-55 and Luke 2:29-32

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

July 24, 2015 at 4:19 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Church Times: C of E voices opposition to latest Assisted Dying Bill
Posted by The_Elves

The latest attempt to change the law on assisted dying, which is to be debated by MPs in a Second Reading in September, has faced opposition from critics from the Church of England and elsewhere.

The Private Member’s Bill, if passed, would enable terminally ill adults who are “voluntary, clear, settled, and informed” to end their life with medically supervised assistance.

In a blog post, “Caring for the vulnerable in a compassionate society”, published on the Church of England website on Wednesday, the Revd Dr Brendan McCarthy, the Church’s national adviser on medical ethics, said that the Assisted Dying Bill “has the potential to damage both the well-being of individuals and the nature and shape of our society”.

“Every person’s life is of immeasurable value and ought to be affirmed, respected and cherished by society . . . even when some people no longer view their own lives as being of any further value. . .

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

July 24, 2015 at 3:29 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Trinidad Express: Anglican Church facing dwindling membership
Posted by The_Elves

The Anglican Church in Trinidad and Tobago continues to face declining numbers both in members and clergy, Rev Canon Steve West has said.

West was at the time addressing a packed congregation at the ordination ceremony of 15 persons to the Diaconate (the Holy Order of Deacon, at the Cathedral of the Trinity Cathedral, Abercromby Street, Port of Spain, on Wednesday.

“The Anglican Church and the dioceses of Trinidad and Tobago is facing a dwindling membership: we have many people who say they are Anglicans but on Sunday morning they are not worshipping in church with us, and we have a severe shortage of clergy. We have parishes without parish priests,” West said.

Some of the interventions in response to declining membership have included a supplementary ministry programme, a diocesan strategic plan and in more recent times the capacity building project and capacity building report. Other solutions include an annual bible convention, youths interacting with the bishop and Lenten and advent caravans and diocesan bible study.

“This is a memorable and historical day in the dioceses of Trinidad and Tobago. Never before have we had an ordination of 15 persons. Never before has the church given such a bold response to the crisis of the shortage of clergy. Never before has a Bishop taken such a bold step to accept the ministry of 15 persons of varied backgrounds who together have over 250 years of ministry in the church.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesWest Indies

July 24, 2015 at 3:09 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(W Post Op-ed) Charles Krauthammer—The price of fetal parts
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Abortion critics have long warned that the problem is not only the obvious — what abortion does to the fetus — but also what it does to us. It’s the same kind of desensitization that has occurred in the Netherlands with another mass exercise in life termination: assisted suicide. It began as a way to prevent the suffering of the terminally ill. It has now become so widespread and wanton that one-fifth of all Dutch assisted-suicide patients are euthanized without their explicit consent.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureScience & Technology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

July 24, 2015 at 7:11 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A keep things in Perspective Dept Entry—A 1966 futurists quote on online shopping
Posted by Kendall Harmon

1966 issue of Time — "remote shopping, while entirely feasible, will flop" http://t.co/qQNHYAXtSE $AMZN pic.twitter.com/Tmplu9KIdd

— The Art of LinkedIn (@ArtOfLinkedIn) July 23, 2015

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetHistory* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* General Interest

July 24, 2015 at 5:00 am - 3 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Thomas a Kempis
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Holy Father, who hast nourished and strengthened thy Church by the writings of thy servant Thomas a Kempis: Grant that we may learn from him to know what we ought to know, to love what we ought to love, to praise what highly pleaseth thee, and always to seek to know and follow thy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

July 24, 2015 at 4:38 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer to begin the Day from the Pastor’s Prayer Book
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Blot out, we humbly beseech Thee, O Lord, our past transgression; forgive our negligence and ignorance; help us to amend our mistakes and to repair our misunderstanding; and so uplift our hearts in new love and dedication, that we may be unburdened from the grief and shame of past faithlessness, and go forth to serve Thee with renewed courage and devotion; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

July 24, 2015 at 4:19 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Bible Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

And all the assembly kept silence; and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brethren, listen to me. Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, as it is written,

‘After this I will return,
and I will rebuild the dwelling of David, which has fallen;
I will rebuild its ruins,
and I will set it up,
that the rest of men may seek the Lord,
and all the Gentiles who are called by my name,
says the Lord, who has made these things known from of old.’

Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, but should write to them to abstain from the pollutions of idols and from unchastity and from what is strangled and from blood. For from early generations Moses has had in every city those who preach him, for he is read every sabbath in the synagogues.”

--Acts 15:12-21

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July 24, 2015 at 4:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]