Open Thread: What has changed in the last decade?
Posted by The_Elves

Thanks to commenters David Keller and David Handy for suggesting this topic:
David Keller writes:

"I was looking for something in an office cabinet yesterday and found a picture of the Vestry of Christ Church Greenville, SC in 2002. Of the 14 vestry members, 4 are left at CC. Five are at St. Paul’s Anglican, my church, including the Junior Warden in that picture and the next Junior Warden. The Senior Warden is at a PCA Church, but his daughter is on the vestry at St. Paul’s and he visits St Paul’s regularly. Two are at “mega” (very orthodox) independent churches. One is now a Methodist. One is deceased"

What has happened for you and those you know in the last decade or so? What general lessons are there from this time, and how has God used it?

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life

August 31, 2015 at 12:48 pm - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Open Thread: Is the day of the blog over?
Posted by The_Elves

Thanks to commenters Pageantmaster and profpk for this topic:
"With twitter, facebook and other social media providing instant albeit short interactions, are weblogs approaching their sell by date?"

"In response to Pageantmaster’s comment, yes I believe blogs are fading as a useful means of communication, even though I have been following TitusOneNine for years and have filched leads from it to post on my Facebook group, Anglican Evangelicals. No one reads my blog, An Anglican Witness, anymore, whereas we are approving new members of the Facebook group daily. I was very pleased when Kendall joined the group."

Is the day of the weblog over? Will it go the way of the VHS video recorder? Do weblogs still perform a useful function?

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social Networking

August 29, 2015 at 9:22 am - 13 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Open Thread: What resources may help renewal during spiritual slow downs?
Posted by The_Elves

With thanks to Underground Pewster for suggesting this topic
Losing your religion? What resources may help renewal during spiritual slow downs and do you have any experience of using them?

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life

August 28, 2015 at 9:04 am - 5 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Open Thread: What would you like to talk about?
Posted by The_Elves

It is late Summer, the living is easy, and the Elves are feeling lazy. Can you help them out with ideas for an open thread or post? Have you seen something you would like to draw others attention to?
Do you have any suggestions?

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet

August 26, 2015 at 4:36 pm - 9 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

***Reminder—For Yr awareness+Yr Prayers—-Dio. of South Carolina Supreme Court hearing is Sept. 23
Posted by Kendall Harmon

From here:
The Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina; The Trustees of The Protestant Episcopal Church in South Carolina, a South Carolina Corporate Body; All Saints Protestant Episcopal Church, Inc.; Christ St. Paul's Episcopal Church; Christ the King, Waccamaw; Church of The Cross, Inc. And Church of the Cross Declaration of Trust; Church of The Holy Comforter; Church of the Redeemer; Holy Trinity Episcopal Church; Saint Luke's Church, Hilton Head; St. Matthews Church; St. Andrews Church-Mt. Pleasant Land Trust; St. Bartholomews Episcopal Church; St. David's Church; St. James' Church, James Island, S.C.; St. John's Episcopal Church of Florence, S.C.; St. Matthias Episcopal Church, Inc.; St. Paul's Episcopal Church of Bennettsville, Inc.;

Read more...

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South CarolinaTEC ParishesTEC Polity & Canons* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryStewardshipSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* South Carolina* Theology

August 12, 2015 at 6:12 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Porter: Shared Conversations will lead to CofE Synod Same Sex Legislation Change in February 2017
Posted by The_Elves

Rev. Colin Coward, director of Changing Attitude reports on his conversations with David Porter - from 'A Conversation with Colin Coward 18th April 2015' at St Brides, Liverpool
OK, so that’s what we are stuck with, the Shared Conversations. And I have been arguing amongst the LGBTI Anglican coalition, that we should not simply tolerate what we are being offered, which effectively is a two year delay.

I know from the conversations that we had with David Porter at Lambeth Palace that there is, for him at least, a clear intention that there will be a proper, motioned, discussion at General Synod in February 2017, with the intention of legislating for some kind of change in Church of England practice towards LGBTI people. But it’s going to be what they think they can get away with without upsetting the conservatives too much. So my guess is that it is going to be approval for the blessing of relationships in church, it certainly won’t be for recognising marriage. It certainly will not be for changing the quadruple lock and moving towards allowing equal marriages to take place in Church of England buildings.

Read more...

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

July 28, 2015 at 3:13 pm - 9 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.

Top of the pile
+ GAFCON Chairman’s July - August Pastoral Letter (August 6, 2015)
+ CofE - Porter: Shared Conversations will lead to CofE Synod Same Sex Legislation Change in February 2017 (July 28, 2015)
+ TEC Same Sex Marriage Rites - [ACI] The New Episcopal Church: What Hath General Convention 2015 Wrought? (July 27, 2015)
+ TEC Conflicts - Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth: Judgment concludes trial-court phase (July 25, 2015)
+ TEC Conflicts - A S Haley: Final Judgment in Fort Worth Case (July 25, 2015)
+ 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)

Read more...

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

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

Statement from the Canadian Anglican Primate on the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The worldwide Anglican Communion’s fifth Mark of Mission calls us “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.” Canadian Anglicans are especially conscious of our obligations as caretakers of (in the words of one of our eucharistic prayers) “this fragile earth, our island home.” We are now reminded of it when we renew our baptismal vows. The recent meeting of the Sacred Circle further called to mind the special relationship Indigenous people have with the land, and the often damaging effect settlers continue to have.

I therefore invite all members of the Anglican Church of Canada to join with me on September 1 and pray in an especially intentional way for the integrity of God’s creation, and for the will and the means to confront and resolve the ecological crisis our planet is facing.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEnergy, Natural Resources* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 1, 2015 at 7:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

“I have conducted more burials than weddings, naming ceremonies” – Kwashi on Plateau killings
Posted by The_Elves

From the Daily Post Nigeria
Following ongoing killings in some communities in Plateau State, the Anglican Bishop of Jos, Rev Dr Benjamin Kwashi, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently address the lingering crisis bedeviling the North Central Region.

Kwashi made the appeal while speaking during a peaceful protest by Plateau citizens, who protested to the State House of Assembly to register their displeasure over renewed killings in the State.

The Cleric, while addressing the gathering, revealed that the Plateau State was losing citizens to attacks.

“As a pastor, I have conducted more burial-occasions by attacks than weddings and naming ceremonies since 2001.

“It’s sad to note that most victims of the attacks are armless children, some infants, women and youth; the present administration must end the killings, attention should not be concentrated only at the north east alone, people are being killed here in Plateau, Benue Nasarawa and Kaduna states.”

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Nigeria

September 1, 2015 at 6:13 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

John L Allen Jr: On Chibok anniversary, Christians are caught between hope and experience
Posted by The_Elves

ABUJA/JOS, Nigeria – On Thursday, Nigerians marked the 500th day since the kidnapping of almost 300 mostly Christian schoolgirls from the remote town of Chibok by Boko Haram, the radical Islamic terrorist group held responsible for more than 17,000 deaths here since 2009.

It’s long been frustrating for Nigerians that their armed forces, with 200,000 active duty troops, 300,000 paramilitary personnel, a budget of $3.25 billion, and a history of successful peacekeeping operations in neighboring countries, has been either unable or unwilling to get Boko Haram under control.

The fact that most of the Chibok girls remain missing 16 months into their abduction is the single most damning symbol of that failure.
.......
In Christian circles, the fact that Boko Haram is still operational despite the seeming mismatch with the army has bred suspicions that politicians may have encouraged inaction in order to gain votes or to terrorize their enemies, and that some military personnel may either be on the payroll of Boko Haram or sympathetic to its agenda.

In mid-August, Nigeria’s new no-nonsense president, a former army commander named Muhammadu Buhari, vowed all that would change.

Buhari promised to wipe out Boko Haram “within three months,” and especially for Christians, it’s tempting to want to believe it. Yet for many, the war that defines their attitude isn’t so much the one between the government and Boko Haram, but rather the one that pits hope against experience.

Often, that translates into skepticism vis-à-vis Buhari’s pledge.

“I think it’s just a typically empty political statement,” said Samson Tsok, who lives in the north central Nigerian state of Plateau that’s been an epicenter of Muslim/Christian clashes for the past 15 years...

Read it all

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria

September 1, 2015 at 6:05 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(PD) Salim Furth on “Our Kids” by Robert Putnam
Posted by Kendall Harmon

As a reader, I expected that Putnam would exhort me to tutor, attend a diverse church, babysit for a single mom, move to a poorer neighborhood—to take action. After all, his fond memories of Port Clinton emphasize its warm social cohesion. Perhaps Putnam assumed the exhortation to personal action was obvious, and omitted it. If so, he missed an opportunity to turn theoretical discussions of inequality into a non-political social movement toward renewed community.

Putnam’s proposals for government transfers, better-paid teachers, and free sports teams may represent helpful stepping stones to children who are socially secure and were raised in a stable, disciplined home, as his poor classmates were. But the children of Our Kids demonstrate painfully that outside influences are too little, too late for those from broken homes.

In 1959, eight out of eight poor parents in Our Kids had been present throughout their children's lives.* In 2015, that was true of two out of twelve. Putnam does not have a plan that will help the kids whose parents have fled.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationHistoryMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPersonal FinancePolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

September 1, 2015 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(SA) Michael Kellahan+the Freedom to have faith on the agenda
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rector of East Roseville, the Rev Michael Kellahan, has been appointed the executive director of Freedom for Faith – a legal think-tank that promotes and protects religious freedom in Australia.

Mr Kellahan will continue his work in the parish, combined with a part-time role at Freedom for Faith. “These are critical times for the future of religious freedom in Australia,” Mr Kellahan told Southern Cross. “Debates are happening and decisions are being taken now which could influence the cultural landscape for decades to come.”

Bishop Robert Forsyth and Professor Patrick Parkinson are among the leaders of the organisation, which also has advisers from Baptist, Presbyterian, Seventh-day Adventist and Pentecostal traditions, and from the legal profession. An office in North Sydney has been established as a base but the organisation will operate nationally as well as running a website, freedomforfaith.org.au.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 1, 2015 at 5:45 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(NYT) Murder Rates Rising Sharply in Many U.S. Cities
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Cities across the nation are seeing a startling rise in murders after years of declines, and few places have witnessed a shift as precipitous as this city. With the summer not yet over, 104 people have been killed this year — after 86 homicides in all of 2014.

More than 30 other cities have also reported increases in violence from a year ago. In New Orleans, 120 people had been killed by late August, compared with 98 during the same period a year earlier. In Baltimore, homicides had hit 215, up from 138 at the same point in 2014. In Washington, the toll was 105, compared with 73 people a year ago. And in St. Louis, 136 people had been killed this year, a 60 percent rise from the 85 murders the city had by the same time last year.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralCity Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 1, 2015 at 5:30 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(BBC) Nigeria’s Boko Haram ‘spreads to Lagos’
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Boko Haram is trying to expand its activities beyond Nigeria's mainly Muslim north, to include the commercial capital Lagos, as well as other parts of the country, officials say.

Nigeria's intelligence agency says 12 members of the Islamist militant group have been arrested in Lagos since July.

It is not possible to independently verify details of the statement.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 1, 2015 at 5:15 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Independent) Daily Marijuana use among US students at 35-year high
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The number of US university students who smoke cannabis on a near-daily basis is at its greatest for 35 years – and has even surpassed daily cigarette use, according to a recent study.

As part of the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future study, a series of national surveys showed use of the drug has been growing slowly on the nation’s campuses since 2006, with 5.9 per cent saying they smoke it almost every day – the highest number since 1980.

This figure is up considerably from 2007 when 3.5 per cent admitted to the same, meaning one in every 17 university students is now smoking marijuana on a daily or near-daily basis.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionEducationHealth & MedicineYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

September 1, 2015 at 5:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer for the Feast Day of David Pendleton Oakerhater
Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God of unsearchable wisdom and infinite mercy, who didst choose a captive warrior, David Oakerhater, to be thy servant, and didst send him to be a missionary to his own people and to execute the office of a deacon among them: Liberate us, who commemorate him today, from bondage to self, and empower us for service to thee and to the neighbors thou hast given us; through Jesus Christ, the captain of our salvation; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.

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

September 1, 2015 at 4:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer to Begin the Day from B. F. Westcott
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Blessed Lord, who wast tempted in all things like as we are, have mercy upon our frailty. Out of weakness give us strength; grant to us thy fear, that we may fear thee only; support us in time of temptation; embolden us in time of danger; help us to do thy work with good courage, and to continue thy faithful soldiers and servants unto our life’s end.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

September 1, 2015 at 4:20 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

September 1, 2015 at 4:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Barber: Adagio for Strings
Posted by The_Elves


Filed under: * Culture-WatchMusic

August 31, 2015 at 6:53 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Annalee Newitz’s Amazing Gizmodo Article detailing the Ashley Madison Website Fiasco
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Overall, the picture is grim indeed. Out of 5.5 million female accounts, roughly zero percent had ever shown any kind of activity at all, after the day they were created.

The men’s accounts tell a story of lively engagement with the site, with over 20 million men hopefully looking at their inboxes, and over 10 million of them initiating chats. The women’s accounts show so little activity that they might as well not be there....

Either way, we’re left with data that suggests Ashley Madison is a site where tens of millions of men write mail, chat, and spend money for women who aren’t there.

Read it all (used from the pulpit in yesterday's sermon by yours truly and yes, emphasis mine).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMarriage & FamilyMenPsychologySexualityWomen* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

August 31, 2015 at 4:08 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Interview with Bishop John Harrower
Posted by The_Elves

An interview with Bishop John the day after his 15th anniversary as the Bishop of Tasmania and the day after he announced his resignation

Listen to it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia

August 31, 2015 at 2:28 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Lent & Beyond: Prayer for South Carolina on Monday August 31st
Posted by The_Elves

The upcoming hearing of the appeal by TEC and its local agents against the first instance decision in favor of the Diocese of South Carolina is due to start on September 23rd. T19 will be posting prayers for the Diocese of South Carolina and its legal team as well as for the Court, judges and all involved as the hearing date approaches and encourages intercession for the people of God and His mission in South Carolina during this time.
1 Chronicles 27:25 (AMP)
Over the king’s treasuries was Azmaveth son of Adiel; and over the treasuries in the country, cities, villages, and towers or forts was Jonathan son of Uzziah;

Azmaveth–strong as death
Adiel–the witness of the Lord
Jonathan–Yahweh has given
Uzziah–Yahweh has helped


Our Father in heaven,
Your witness, Your help, Your gifts are the treasures of the Diocese of South Carolina.
We thank You for the bounty of Your treasuries.
You are the Lord of life, our Creator, and You overcome death.
Be present to the Diocese of South Carolina during the ongoing litigation, we pray.
Amen.

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for South Carolina here

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

August 31, 2015 at 12:35 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Andrew Symes: Mission strategy to middle England: doubt, diffidence and detachment?
Posted by The_Elves

..Most people in middle England seem to like the idea of God but can’t believe in the God of the Bible; they like peace and gentleness, prayer not preaching, concerts and carols in beautiful buildings but not dogma or worship; they like being in a club but not an army or a school. According to this churchwarden, catering for these needs, rather than preaching the Gospel so people encounter Christ, repent and believe, is what most churches should aim for in terms of mission strategy. This idea is similar to those of influential sociologist Linda Woodhead, who is often quoted as saying that the Church of England should reflect the religious and cultural views of the majority (for example here).

How many clergy and even Bishops share this idea of mission, proposed in a lead article in the Church Times, as creating communities of hurting doubters, attracted to a romanticized Jesus but distrustful of the Bible, and turned off by stories of healing, change and church growth? It might sound nice for a vicar’s message to be “I have doubts about God but I really care about you – let me sit with you and search with you”, but a) does that conform to ordination commitments? b) is it Christian? and c) will it reach the nation for Christ?

In response, a Confessing Church needs to say that authentic Christianity, and therefore the only hope for Church and nation, is the opposite of these sentiments. Instead of glorifying doubt about God and exalting our own ability to seek the truth, we should surely doubt ourselves, and trust in revealed Truth even if we can’t articulate immediate answers to the thorny theological problems? Instead of being embarrassed and diffident about what we believe, agreeing with those who say “how could God allow…?” and “our view of God is like that of the blind men touching an elephant”*, shouldn’t Christians be saying that the way we manage life with our own weaknesses and the world’s suffering is only through confident faith in Christ’s work in the past, present and future?

Read it all

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth

August 31, 2015 at 12:29 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Helen Costa: Want to blame social media? Think ISIS, not Virginia
Posted by The_Elves

..the case of 41-year-old Vester Flanagan, the former on-air reporter at WDBJ-7, who gunned down his one-time colleagues, the “dark side of instant sharing,” as Wired described the tragedy, appears to have as much to do with an old school desire to “make it” on mainstream media than it does the scourge of social that some have blamed in the hours since the tragedy. Overlooked in the disgust over the Virginia gunman’s video posts of the shooting is the fact that both Twitter and Facebook suspended Flanagan’s account soon after he shared his video. CBS Evening News, along with several mainstream news sites, however, broadcast the footage. While CBS was the only network that made the decision to show Flanagan’s video, CNN was one of several cable channels to broadcast the on-air footage taken by the slain cameraman most of the day — which was, in all likelihood, Flanagan’s intent.

Contrast this with members of the Islamic State and other terrorists who have used social media to distribute shocking materials of bloodthirsty acts in order to gain notoriety and followers. Supporters of Islamic State have as many as 90,000 accounts on Twitter. The group is so good at harnessing social media that the United States’ counter-strategy pales in comparison. In a June memo obtained by the New York Times, State Department official Richard Stengel described Islamic State’s social media dominance: “When it comes to the external message, our narrative is being trumped by ISIL’s.”

Yet for members of Islamic State, social media is the most meaningful outlet for building their base.

Read it all

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social Networking

August 31, 2015 at 12:23 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

The Church of England Pensions Board issues £100 million of bonds to fund clergy retirement housing
Posted by The_Elves

The Church of England Pensions Board ("the Board") today announced that it has issued £100 million of bonds, giving it access to long-term finance to purchase additional retirement properties, which will secure the future of clergy housing in retirement.

The bonds are repayable in tranches between 2038 and 2048 and were issued through a special purpose vehicle, CHARM Finance plc. £70 million of the bonds were placed immediately, and the remaining £30 million retained to provide quick access to the capital markets if required in the future.

Read it all

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

August 31, 2015 at 12:17 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

John Lloyd: Why $40 oil is killing Iraq, Venezuela and others, but not Russia
Posted by The_Elves

In Canada, now a major oil producer from Alberta’s tar sands, polls are jumping about nervously, as Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper seemed up in April, then down in July. Harper has been in power since 2006, so “regime fatigue” is judged to be a large factor in the public’s ambivalence toward him. The fall in the price of the commodity that accounts for a quarter of the country’s export revenue and nearly 10 percent of its GDP is not his fault — but it’s happened on his watch. This will only aggravate the fatigue. Elections are in October; a credible critique of Harper’s economic policy at a time of falling revenues could tip it for the opposition.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari doesn’t have to face an election soon — he just won one. But like other leaders from oil-producing nations, he does have to cope with a price slump in the commodity, which comprises 80 percent of the government’s revenue. It has meant civil servants in most states are owed months of pay; capital projects have been frozen; and an already restive and divided country shows more signs of revolt.

The turmoil is felt by countries throughout the Middle East — by those desperately reliant on oil revenue (Iraq, Syria and Libya) and those with vast riches (Saudi Arabia).

And yet the Russian Federation, and Scotland buck this trend. Their leaders are the Teflon Kids of the oil slump: Hit by sliding prices but not public scorn.

Read it all

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEnergy, Natural Resources

August 31, 2015 at 12:07 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(CT) A New School Year Starts, and Many Seminarians Are Staying Put
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Seminary students have a reputation for taking theology seriously. But would they relocate from, say, New York City to Mississippi for a better doctrinal fit?

“Seminarians are not relocating to go to seminary,” said Ligon Duncan, president of the Jackson, Mississippi–based Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS). “Many are choosing to attend regional institutions with which they have less theological affinity in order to stay in the same city.”

That’s one key reason why RTS has formed a new partnership with Redeemer City to City, a church-planting network founded in 2001 by Tim Keller. Now RTS students based in New York won’t have to choose between a local school and a Reformed one. (It also has six other extension campuses.)

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

August 31, 2015 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(GC) Tim Keller on the Disappearing Umbrella over Devout Christians
Posted by Kendall Harmon

What does this mean for conservative Christians? Keller uses the analogy of an umbrella:

So what’s happening is the roof has come off for the devout. The devout had a kind of a shelter, an umbrella. You couldn’t be all that caustic toward traditional classic Christian teaching and truth. I spoke on Friday morning to the American Bible Society’s board. American Bible Society does a lot of polling about the Bible. The use of the Bible, reading the Bible, attitudes toward the Bible. They said that actually the number of people who are devout Bible readers is not changing that much.

What is changing is for the first time in history a growing group of people who think the Bible is bad, it’s dangerous, it’s regressive, it’s a bad cultural force, that was just never there. It was very tiny. And that’s because the middle ground has shifted, so it is more identified with the more secular, the less religious, and it’s less identified now with the more devout.

Later, he explains what the loss of this umbrella means for the devout:

The roof came off. That is, you had the devout, you had the secular, and you had that middle ground that made it hard to speak disrespectfully of traditional values. That middle ground now has not so much gone secular, but they more identified with this side. They are identified with expressive individualism, and so they don’t want to tell anybody how to live their lives.

And so what that means now of course is that the devout suddenly realize that they are out there, that the umbrella is gone, and they are taking a lot of flak for their views, just public flak.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

August 31, 2015 at 7:00 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(WSJ) Fethullah Gulen—Muslims Must Combat the Extremist Cancer
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Terrorism is a multifaceted problem, so the solutions should address the political, economic, social and religious layers. Approaches that reduce the problem to religion do a disservice to at-risk youth and the world at large. The international community would do well to realize that Muslims are the primary victims of terrorism—both literally and symbolically—and they can help marginalize terrorists and prevent recruitment. That’s why governments should avoid statements and actions that result in the alienation of Muslims.

Violent extremism has no religion; there will always be people who manipulate faith texts. Just as Christians do not endorse Quran burnings or the actions of the Ku Klux Klan, and Buddhists do not endorse atrocities against Rohingya Muslims, mainstream Muslims do not endorse violence.

Muslims have historically added much to the flourishing of human civilization. Our greatest contributions were made in eras when the faith cherished mutual respect, freedom and justice. It may be immensely difficult to restore the blotted image of Islam, but Muslims can be beacons of peace and tranquility in their societies.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

August 31, 2015 at 6:26 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Barna) Scotland: Lessons for Effective Ministry in a Post-Christian Context
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Can the Christian community flourish in a post-Christian context? This is the main question behind a landmark study of the state of faith and effective ministry in Scotland—the first of its kind for Barna Group outside of North America.

Despite levels of secularization that are much higher than in the U.S., the research findings from Scotland will likely strike American readers as familiar: increasing numbers of non-religious adults, declining church attendance numbers and fewer people engaged with the Bible. What is happening? And how can the trends revealed by the research help church leaders in America and beyond do more effective ministry in their own post-Christian context?

The yearlong research effort, commissioned by the Maclellan Foundation, examines the current state of the Christian faith in Scotland and identifies ministry approaches that seem to be working in this particular post-Christian context. While some of the trends revealed in the new report, Transforming Scotland, may paint an uncomfortable picture for church leaders, the research also shows surprising “countertrends” that refute traditional expectations of secularization, including best practices among growing churches.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureSociology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

August 31, 2015 at 5:38 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

The Latest Edition of the Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMedia* South Carolina* TheologySacramental TheologyBaptism

August 31, 2015 at 5:20 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Chicago Cubs Ace Jake Arrieta pitchers no-hitter against the Dodgers last Night
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Even after pitching his first career no-hitter, Jake Arrieta wasn't too big to wear his PJs.

He threw the second no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 10 days, leading the Chicago Cubs to a 2-0 victory Sunday night.

Arrieta was lights-out on the mound, striking out a season-high 12. He was ready for lights out afterward, slipping into one-piece pajamas decorated with moustaches for the overnight flight home.

Fitting, since Arrieta had thought about throwing a no-hitter since he was a kid. His grandfather witnessed one of Nolan Ryan's no-hitters in Texas.

Read it all from ESPN.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMenSports

August 31, 2015 at 5:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Aidan and Cuthbert of Lindisfarne
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Everliving God, who didst call thy servants Aidan and Cuthbert to proclaim the Gospel in northern England and endued them with loving hearts and gentle spirits: Grant us grace to live as they did, in simplicity, humility and love for the poor; through Jesus Christ, who came among us as one who serves, and who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

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

August 31, 2015 at 4:39 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer to Begin 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.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

August 31, 2015 at 4:17 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Scripture Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

To thee, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in thee I trust,
let me not be put to shame;
let not my enemies exult over me.
Yea, let none that wait for thee be put to shame;
let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

Make me to know thy ways, O Lord;
teach me thy paths.
Lead me in thy truth, and teach me,
for thou art the God of my salvation;
for thee I wait all the day long.

--Psalm 25:1-4

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

August 31, 2015 at 4:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Sunday Worship on T19
Posted by The_Elves


River baptisms at Church of the Holy Cross, Blufton SC

AVAILABLE NOW:

+ Services, Talks and Resources for August 30th
+ Called to Embrace God’s Perspective and Power (Eph 6) - Andrew O'Dell
+ Running the way of God's commandments [Ephesians 5:15-20 and John 6:51-58] - Andrew Wingfield Digby
+ The Secrets of Long-Term Freshness: A Grace Colored Approach to Life and Ministry - Ajith Fernando

Read more...

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

August 30, 2015 at 5:27 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

[CT] What Kind of Faith Helped People Survive Hurricane Katrina?
Posted by The_Elves

As a researcher, I felt compelled to empirically test my observations about faith and disaster resilience. I began collecting data for my first Katrina study 2 months after the storm. Even now, on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, I’m still studying faith and disaster resilience among Katrina survivors. Following are some of the empirical lessons I’ve learned along the way with my colleagues and students...

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchHurricane Katrina

August 30, 2015 at 1:40 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Frank Colquhoun
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almighty God, who in Christ Jesus hast fulfilled to the sons of men thy ancient word of promise: Grant us grace to lay hold upon that promise by a living faith, that we may receive thy gift of righteousness, and at the last may enter upon our eternal inheritance; through the merits of the same thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

August 30, 2015 at 4:22 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Scripture Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Have nothing to do with godless and silly myths. Train yourself in godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.

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Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

August 30, 2015 at 4:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Why Emmett Till’s Life Matters 60 Years After His Brutal Slaying
Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Yesterday marked]... 60 years since Chicago teenager Emmett Till was killed at age 14 for apparently whistling at a white woman in Mississippi.

Civil rights activists, relatives of the black teen and other families "victimized by racial violence" -- including the family of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown -- have invited the public to unite for a commemorative weekend in Chicago to remember Till and to continue the legacy of Till's mother, Mamie Till Mobley.

"As I travel across the country supporting families who have lost their loved ones through hate crimes, I realized that Mamie lived her life fighting for our youth and fighting for Emmett’s legacy,” Till's cousin Airicka Gordon Taylor, said in a news release. "This is why we have decided to host the Commemoration. This moment is for Mamie and all that she sacrificed. This is for Emmett, the sacrificial lamb whose death changed the course of the Civil Rights Movement."

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryRace/Race Relations* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

August 29, 2015 at 4:15 pm - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]