August 2016 Pastoral Letter from GAFCON Chairman Archbishop Nicholas Okoh
Posted by Kendall Harmon

But now what happened in North America is being repeated elsewhere. If not effectively challenged, false teaching is contagious, especially when it is well funded. At the recent meeting in Kigali of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA), the London based Anglican Communion Secretary General, Josiah Idowu-Fearon commended the relief and development work of the Anglican Alliance, but new research by the Institute for Religion and Democracy shows close links between this organisation and TEC. Even now the Anglican Church of Southern Africa is contemplating the overturning of Scripture by legitimising the blessing of same sex unions in breach of Lambeth Resolution I.10 of 1998, despite reaffirming it at the recent meeting of the Council of Anglican Churches of Africa in Rwanda.

However, the greatest cause for concern continues to be the British Isles. The Scottish Episcopal Church has already opened the door wide to conducting same sex ‘marriages’ while in England, Salisbury Cathedral has become the latest of a growing number of cathedrals which publicly support and even bless ‘Gay Pride’ marches. Chichester Diocese has issued a statement commending those of its churches ‘with open doors to celebrate all that the Pride Festival stands for’ while the website of the Church of England’s Diocese of Europe celebrates the ‘truly joyful occasion’ of the same sex ‘marriage’ of a member of one of its congregations conducted by the Lutheran Bishop of Copenhagen.

I am therefore encouraged that seventy two members of the Church of England’s General Synod have written an open letter to the English bishops ahead of meetings planned later this year calling on them not to compromise by adopting practices that are contrary to Lambeth Resolution I.10 and warning that to do so ‘could set the Church of England adrift from her apostolic inheritance.’

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of NigeriaGlobal South Churches & PrimatesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

August 31, 2016 at 4:30 am - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Recent Key Entries 2016
Posted by The_Elves

+ 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

Read more...

Filed under: * AdminFeatured (Sticky)

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

**CofE Synod: David Porter Plans July Facilitated Conversations on Sexual Immorality
Posted by The_Elves

[BUMPED for topical reasons]

Canon David Porter and his team are introduced by David Walker, Bishop of Manchester - he who thinks portraying Jesus as a transgendered woman is fine in his diocese.


Watch it all or listen here

See also related posts:
+ John Bingham: CofE’s teaching on marriage ‘up for discussion’ to accommodate same-sex couples (February 17, 2016 at 1:32 pm)
+ Archbishops of York and Canterbury: Reply to letter from Jayne Ozanne and co-signatories (February 17, 2016 at 1:14 pm)

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby

February 16, 2016 at 8:18 pm - 2 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

[BUMPED for topical reasons]

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 4:13 pm - 12 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Monday Mental Health Break—A Beautiful Portrait of Norway
Posted by Kendall Harmon


NORWAY Let the journey be your goal from Pasquale Baseotto on Vimeo.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchTravel* General InterestPhotos/Photography* International News & CommentaryEuropeNorway

September 26, 2016 at 5:39 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(1st Things) Peter Leithart—Macebth: Surprised by Evil
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Audiences recoil from Macbeth, but he recoils from himself too. After Macbeth murders King Duncan, a knocking at the gate startles him, and Macbeth wonders, “How is’t with me, when every noise appals me?” He stares at his bloody hands as if they belonged to someone else’s body: “What hands are here?” He knows that the “multitudinous seas” can’t wash away the stain of Duncan’s blood, and later he is haunted by the ghost of Banquo. Macbeth “murder[s] sleep” and so deprives himself of that nightly “balm of hurt minds.” Almost no one hears “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” and thinks, “Well, Macbeth, you deserve it.” He does deserve it, but Shakespeare has shown us enough of Macbeth’s shocked soul and tortured conscience to convince us that he’s human.

Shakespeare is no liberal sentimentalist. He knows that evil is evil, and knows that Macbeth chooses evil. A. C. Bradley saw the play as evidence of Shakespeare’s feel for the “incalculability of evil—that in meddling with it human beings do they know not what.” We don’t know where evil will lead; we can only be sure that the result “will not be what you expected.” Macbeth dramatizes what Colin McGinn has described as the surprising character of evil.

Shakespeare humanizes Macbeth to hold him up as a mirror to nature, our nature. We pity, and fear, because we recognize that the evil that surprises us in Macbeth is our own.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryTheatre/Drama/Plays* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheodicy

September 26, 2016 at 5:02 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Heads up Abt a Conference Next Month in Charleston SC-Listen+Speak: Conversations in Faith+Culture
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Culture has changed dramatically in the past century as Christendom has given way to secularism and pluralism. This new reality has now arrived in the urban south. We must ask if Christianity has anything to say in response. Join us for Listen & Speak as we discuss a Christian posture towards culture. Featuring pastor and author Scott Sauls and storyteller Andrew Peterson.

You can check out the website there and you can register here.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryAdult EducationMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMulticulturalism, pluralismReligion & Culture* South Carolina* TheologyApologeticsSeminary / Theological Education

September 26, 2016 at 4:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A very important Lionel Shriver Op-ed in the NYT—“Now the role of oppressor has passed to the left”
Posted by Kendall Harmon

When I was growing up in the ’60s and early ’70s, conservatives were the enforcers of conformity. It was the right that was suspicious, sniffing out Communists and scrutinizing public figures for signs of sedition.

Now the role of oppressor has passed to the left. In Australia, where I spoke, Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act makes it unlawful to do or say anything likely to “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate,” providing alarming latitude in the restriction of free speech. It is Australia’s conservatives arguing for the amendment of this law.

As a lifelong Democratic voter, I’m dismayed by the radical left’s ever-growing list of dos and don’ts — by its impulse to control, to instill self-censorship as well as to promote real censorship, and to deploy sensitivity as an excuse to be brutally insensitive to any perceived enemy. There are many people who see these frenzies about cultural appropriation, trigger warnings, micro-aggressions and safe spaces as overtly crazy. The shrill tyranny of the left helps to push them toward Donald Trump.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMulticulturalism, pluralismPhilosophyPsychology* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 26, 2016 at 3:18 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Michael Avramovich—With What Happened in Belgium recently, Modern Europe Died
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Now we have come full circle. It was widely reported on Saturday that a terminally ill 17-year-old became the first minor to be officially euthanized in Belgium since age restrictions on euthanasia were lifted in 2014. Jacqueline Herremans, a member of Belgium’s federal euthanasia commission (death panel?), said in a French media report, “The euthanasia has taken place.” She further announced that the euthanasia was done “in accordance with Belgian law.” Few details were provided other than the minor child had “a terminal illness.” Belgium is presently the only country in the world that allows terminally-ill children of any age to choose to end their life, but Belgian law requires that the minor be capable of making “rational decisions.” Further, any request for euthanasia must be made by the minor, be studied by a team of doctors, approved by an independent psychiatrist or psychologist, and have parental consent. The only thing missing is the 1,700 special courts and 27 higher courts to give their legal authorization . . . always within the law, of course. The Netherlands also allows mercy killings for children, but only for those aged over 12. Lord, have mercy!

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyPsychologyTeens / Youth* International News & CommentaryEuropeBelgium* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 26, 2016 at 11:30 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(PRRI) Exodus—Why Americans are Leaving Religion—and Why They’re Unlikely to Come Back
Posted by Kendall Harmon

TRENDLINE: Increasing religious disaffiliation in US:
14% in 2000
18% in 2010
25% in 2016#RNA2016https://t.co/z5LeUpPL4w pic.twitter.com/hvun1upmwM

— PRRI (@PRRIpoll) September 24, 2016



The American religious landscape has undergone substantial changes in recent years. However, one of the most consequential shifts in American religion has been the rise of religiously unaffiliated Americans. This trend emerged in the early 1990s. In 1991, only six percent of Americans identified their religious affiliation as “none,” and that number had not moved much since the early 1970s. By the end of the 1990s, 14% of the public claimed no religious affiliation. The rate of religious change accelerated further during the late 2000s and early 2010s, reaching 20% by 2012. Today, one-quarter (25%) of Americans claim no formal religious identity, making this group the single largest “religious group” in the U.S.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & CultureSociology* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

September 26, 2016 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Bishop of Glouchester campaigns to highlight issue of body image among children
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Rachel Treweek, the bishop of Gloucester, has said she is highlighting the issue of body image among children to challenge perceptions that physical appearance determines self-worth.

[Last week]...Treweek – the first female bishop to sit in the House of Lords – will visit All Saints Academy in Cheltenham to talk to a group of 13- to 16-year-olds in the first of a series of school visits in her constituency to discuss the issue.

It follows a report from the Children’s Society last month that found one out of three girls aged 10 to 15 was unhappy with her appearance and felt ugly or worthless.

Read it all from the Guardian.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchChildrenEducationHealth & MedicinePsychologyWomen* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

September 26, 2016 at 7:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

John Guest’s Sermon at Jeff Miller’s installation as new rector of Saint Philip’s Charleston, SC
Posted by Kendall Harmon

You can listen directly here or download it there.

(Photo: Travis Dew)

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* South Carolina* TheologyTheology: Scripture

September 26, 2016 at 6:48 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(C of E Comm Blog) Catherine Nancekievill—“I can find myself in these statistics”
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of England has released two statistical reports, which sounds very dull, but stick with me. “Ministry Statistics in Focus: Stipendiary clergy projections” looks at how many stipendiary clergy there might be over the next 20 years, given different scenarios. “Ordained Vocations Statistics” sets out the number of those heading into training for ordained ministry over the past few decades and the profile by gender, age, etc. Both reports describe the patterns of the past. More than that, they illuminate the present and stimulate questions about the future.

I can find myself in these statistics. This may come as a surprise to those who know me, as I am lay. They don’t have any numbers about lay people, so how do I find myself in the documents? The report about stipendiary clergy projections doesn’t even have much about self-supporting ministers or those with PTO, because we can’t currently produce any accurate baseline numbers. Research and Stats are working on that, so expect better information next year. Surely the only reports I should be able to find myself in are the ones about church attendance?

But when I look at these reports, I can see in the retirement statistics the previous Bishop of Ely, +Anthony Russell, who confirmed me.

Read it all.

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

September 26, 2016 at 6:29 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

For an Edisto Island, South Carolina, Woman,  slave cabin now on display is more than an artifact
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Decades before it was dismantled, renovated and placed in a prominent position on the National Mall, the house stood along a dirt road on the Point of Pines plantation near the middle of this island. Inside its walls, Isabell Meggett was born on Feb. 22, 1930, the first of her parents’ 10 children. Her parents and grandparents also lived here, and other family members came and went over the years until the last one moved out in 1981.

When she recently heard that her modest childhood home was being moved to become a main focal point in the new museum, she was both surprised and pleased.

“All kinds of things happen,” she said. “I was glad they could do that and be a part of history.”

Read it all.

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

September 26, 2016 at 6:15 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Lancelot Andrewes for his Feast Day—Defiled by the 1st Adam…by the 2nd cleansed and set right
Posted by Kendall Harmon

This sure is matter of love; but came there any good to us by it? There did. For our conception being the root as it were, the very groundsill of our nature; that He might go to the root and repair of our nature from the very foundation, thither He went; that what had been there defiled and decayed by the first Adam, might by the Second be cleansed and set right again. That had our conception been stained, by Him therefore, primum ante omnia,to be restored again. He was not idle all the time He was an embyro all the nine months He was in the womb; but then and there He even ate out the core of corruption that cleft to our nature and us, and made both us and it an unpleasing object in the sight of God.

And what came of this? We who were abhorred by God, filii irae was our title, were by this means made beloved in Him. He cannot, we may be sure, account evil of that nature, that is now become the nature of His own Son is now no less than ours. Nay farther, given this privilege to the children of such as are in Him, though but of one parent believing, that they are not as the seed of two infidels, but are in a degree holy, eo ipso; and have a farther right to the laver of regeneration, to sanctify them throughout by the renewing of the Holy Ghost. This honour is to us by the dishonour of Him; this the good by Christ an embyro.

--From a sermon preached before King James, at Whitehall, on Sunday, the Twenty-fifth of December, 1614

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* TheologyChristology

September 26, 2016 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Lancelot Andrewes
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almighty God, who gavest thy servant Lancelot Andrewes the gift of thy holy Spirit and made him a man of prayer and a faithful pastor of thy people: Perfect in us what is lacking of thy gifts, of faith, to increase it, of hope, to establish it, of love, to kindle it, that we may live in the life of thy grace and glory; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Today we remember Lancelot Andrewes Bishop of Winchester and Spiritual Writer who died in 1626 pic.twitter.com/FaDRJTM1Gf

— Church of England (@c_of_e) September 25, 2015


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

September 26, 2016 at 5:39 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Lancelot Andrewes
Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God our Father, let us find grace in thy sight so as to have grace to serve thee acceptably with reverence and godly fear; and further grace not to receive thy grace in vain, nor to neglect it and fall from it, but to stir it up and grow in it, and to persevere in it unto the end of our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

September 26, 2016 at 5:20 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Scripture Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

I will sing of thy steadfast love, O LORD, for ever; with my mouth I will proclaim thy faithfulness to all generations. For thy steadfast love was established for ever, thy faithfulness is firm as the heavens.

--Psalm 89:1-2

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

September 26, 2016 at 5:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Bishop Paul Colton’s Address on the 250th Birthday of Bishop John Brinkley
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Brinkley did attract many young clergy to Cloyne. During the winter of 1831–32 the area was badly affected by famine and disease. There was a cholera outbreak in Cork City. A number of these young men died – Thomas Walker, rector of Buttevant, died of Typhus; he was 29. Six weeks later his curate, Robert Disney died. Not far from here, the rector of Tallow, the 33 year old Henry Brougham died. On 7th July 1832 cholera reached Skibbereen on the same day as an anti–tithe meeting. There was cholera in Schull too, and Castletownshend.

In the wider polity of society and State, in this period, burning questions were: the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts (1828), tithes and the tithe war (1831–36), Catholic Emancipation (1829), the introduction of a system of national education in 1831 (Lord Stanley). In December 1834 at Bartlemy Cross near Rathcormac, for example, the Tithe Wars came to a head; up to 20 people were killed and many injured.

In Brinkley’s time, the very Diocese of which he was Bishop was under threat by the proposals of ecclesiastical reform. The Church Temporalities Act 1833 was seen by many, including such as John Keble, as imperiling the Church itself. It led to a highly symbolic confrontation between Church and State. After Brinkley’s death as current holder of the Bishopric, Cloyne would be united with Cork and Ross.

All these things happened during his time here.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Ireland* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History

September 25, 2016 at 4:29 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Journey Song Becomes Unlikely Worship Hit After Accidental Christian Radio Broadcast
Posted by Kendall Harmon

All it took was for a KLOVE radio intern’s finger to slip, and a classic power ballad by Journey became an unlikely worship sensation overnight.

The incident reportedly occurred Tuesday evening, as new intern Kyle Criswell attempted to queue up Michael W. Smith’s song “Open Arms,” but mistakenly selected hit rock band Journey’s 1981 power ballad of the same name instead.

Read more...

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* General InterestHumor / Trivia* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

September 25, 2016 at 4:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(NYT) Tulsa’s Prayers, and Past Scars, Softened Reaction to Police Shooting
Posted by Kendall Harmon

White rioters poured into the streets, burning and looting homes, businesses and churches in a black neighborhood and leaving this city deeply traumatized. That was 1921.

Last week, not far from where those haunting events took place, the streets of Tulsa were calm after a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed black motorist. The video of the shooting angered many Tulsa residents, but the subdued reaction was markedly different from the violent clashes that took place in Charlotte, N.C., in recent days, after the police killed a man there.

Why one place erupts and another does not is never easy to discern. Tulsa quickly released videos showing the facts. But some here trace part of the reason for Tulsa’s emphasis on prayer, and not protest, in recent days to the lingering scars of the 1921 riot, which is regarded as one of the deadliest race riots in the country’s history and still lingers in Tulsa’s consciousness.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireRace/Race RelationsReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralCity Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

September 25, 2016 at 2:28 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(NBC) How 2 South Carolina Communities Worked to Become Autism-Friendly places for Vacations
Posted by Kendall Harmon

For some families with an Autistic child, going on vacation isn't always easy, but now there's a place that's making it possible for them to enjoy their time together.

Watch it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineMarriage & FamilyTravel* South Carolina

September 25, 2016 at 1:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Food For Thought—Austin Farrer on how to think about the Bible
Posted by Kendall Harmon

“What is the bible like? Like a letter which a soldier wrote to his wife about the disposition of his affairs and the care of his children in case he should chance to be killed. And the next day he was shot, and died, and the letter was torn and stained with his blood. Her friends said to the woman: the letter is of no binding force; it is not a legal will, and it is so injured by the facts of the writers own death that you cannot ever prove what it means. But the lady said: I know the man, and I am satisfied I can see what he means. And I shall do it because it is what he wanted me to do, and because he died the next day.”

--quoted by yours truly in the sermon this morning

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* TheologyTheology: Scripture

September 25, 2016 at 12:01 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(WSJ) Kenneth Woodward—The Democrats’ Methodist Moment
Posted by Kendall Harmon

What is truly astonishing is the way that the Democrats’ planks on emerging culture-war issues echoed the (often more radical) stands adopted by the Methodists. Among the rights of children, for example, the Methodists included the right “to a full sex education, appropriate to their stage of development.” Affirming the rights of women, the Methodists supported full equality with men and demanded and end to “sex-role stereotypes.”

To counter overpopulation, the convention recommended the distribution of “reliable contraceptive information and devices.” Less than a year before Roe v. Wade, the convention urged “removal of abortion from the criminal code” but stopped short of approving abortion on demand. Finally, the Methodists embraced affirmative inclusion by reserving 30% of seats on all church boards and agencies for nonwhites, even though barely 6% of church members were African-American.

The events of 1972 also hastened the steady decline in membership and influence among the liberal mainline churches. Before the 1970s were out, the politically and socially conservative Southern Baptists superseded the United Methodists as the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. As one generation gave way to the next, more and more young Methodists, Presbyterians and the like grew up to become religiously something else or—especially among millennials—nothing at all.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralOffice of the President* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 25, 2016 at 6:21 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A neglected global scourge: the # of wd-be parents who have fewer children than they want—or none
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Reliable contraception is important, and will become even more so in countries like Nigeria where couples increasingly seek smaller families. But the assumption that family planning should be all about birth control is a 1960s relic. In a growing number of countries, the problem of getting hold of contraception is giving way to the problem of getting pregnant. As Mr Feng puts it, unmet need is being replaced by unmet demand.

As our poll shows, people in wealthy countries consistently want bigger families than they get. Couples start having children late and find it increasingly difficult. A 30-year-old woman has a roughly 20% chance of getting pregnant each month, falling to about 5% by the age of 40. The resulting baby shortfall is painful for couples and alarming for governments, which worry about the long-term solvency of old-age-pension systems.

Read it all from The Economist.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenGlobalizationMarriage & Family* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 25, 2016 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(DNA) Swedish Scientist Starts DNA Experiments On Healthy Human Embryos
Posted by Kendall Harmon

STEIN: But Lanner's experiments are hugely controversial. Some people have moral objections to doing any kind of research on human embryos. But editing the DNA in embryos is even freaking out people who think that's OK.

MARCY DARNOVSKY: The production of genetically modified human embryos is actually quite dangerous.

STEIN: Marcy Darnovsky heads a genetic watchdog group called the Center for Genetics and Society.

DARNOVSKY: It's a step toward attempts to produce genetically modified human beings. This would be reason for the already grave concern.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineLife EthicsScience & Technology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 25, 2016 at 5:42 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Daily Prayer
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Give us grace, O God our Father, to keep this day and always the new commandment and the great commandment and all the commandments, by loving thee with all our mind and soul and strength, and one another for thy sake; in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

September 25, 2016 at 5:21 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Bible Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bless our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept us among the living, and has not let our feet slip.

--Psalm 66: 8-9

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

September 25, 2016 at 5:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(AJ) Indigenous bishops criticize Canadian Anglican same-sex marriage vote
Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the wake of July’s vote on same-sex marriages at General Synod, Indigenous Anglicans intend to “proceed towards self-determination with urgency,” the Anglican Church of Canada’s three Indigenous bishops say.

General Synod voted this summer to provisionally approve changes to the marriage canon, which would allow same-sex marriages. The proposed changes must pass a second reading, slated for the next General Synod in 2019, before they can take effect.

On Thursday, September 22, National Indigenous Bishop Mark MacDonald; Bishop Lydia Mamakwa, of the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh; and Bishop Adam Halkett, of Missinipi, released ajoint statement they say was requested by an Indigenous circle that met after the results of July’s vote were revealed. The bishops begin by saying that they do not speak for all Indigenous peoples, although, they add, they have consulted “broadly and deeply” with many. The statement voices displeasure both with the decision and the process it was made, and expresses desire for a more self-determined Indigenous Anglican community in Canada.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

September 24, 2016 at 4:45 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Anglican Church in New Zealand—Assisted suicide is no answer
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The ICBC also highlights that Māori and Pacific voices have been notably absent in public conversations over assisted suicide, raising questions whether the debate so far has accurately reflected this country’s cultural diversity on these issues.

The submission also flags:

1. The limits of claiming assisted dying as a personal ‘right’. The ICBC propose that an individual choice to die does not exist in a vacuum. The ICBC reminds Kiwis that no person is free of social responsibility for others who may suffer as a result of their choice to die.

2. Overseas experience indicates that assisted suicide promotes suicide by normalising it.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyChildrenHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsMarriage & Family* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 24, 2016 at 3:02 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(CSM) Singing fish: Unraveling the secrets of mysterious humming at night
Posted by Kendall Harmon

In 1924, an academic called Charles Greene described how the “California singing fish” would hum at night. Just why the plainfin midshipman is so vocal at night remained a mystery for nearly a century, until now.

For much of the year, you won’t hear these fish singing at all. The plainfin midshipman, named after the bioluminescent organs on its underside, which reminded early observers of uniform buttons, resides in the depths of the ocean during the fall and winter. During the spring and early summer, they move to coastal waters between Alaska and Baja California. There, the male fish “sing” to attract mates, a sound that can be heard by humans onshore.

But these vocalizations aren’t spontaneous, say Cornell University researchers Andrew Bass and Ni Feng in a new study in Current Biology. Instead, they’re controlled by the fish’s internal clocks. That’s why they happen exclusively at night. And the hormone that controls these clocks is the same one that regulates bird activity and human sleep patterns.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchScience & Technology* General InterestAnimals

September 24, 2016 at 1:59 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Liturgy) Bosco Peters—My Submission on Same-Sex Couples
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The majority position of the Way Forward Working Group (composed of some of the best legal and theological minds of our church) agreed that blessing committed same-sex couples is not a departure from the Doctrine and Sacraments of Christ, and therefore not prohibited by Te Pouhere (our church’s constitution). Many places provide such blessings, and people in committed same-sex relationships hold a bishop’s licence. Under the 2016 revision of Te Pouhere, bishops can even authorise such blessings in places under their jurisdiction.

I propose that our doctrine of marriage be changed to being between a couple, with the intent that it be lifelong and monogamous. Such a change would enable the sort of diversity illustrated in my first paragraph. The change would remove the current hypocrisy around marrying divorcees, clarify practice in relation to committed same-sex relationships, and facilitate honesty and openness.

Read more...

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

September 24, 2016 at 12:31 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(NYT) Boko Haram Rages in Nigeria, but the World’s Eyes Are Elsewhere
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The crisis spawned by Boko Haram has drawn hundreds of thousands of people to a relatively little-known city in Nigeria that has finally become safe enough for them to wait out an end to the awful, deadly war.

With villagers from the countryside pouring in, it is almost as though the entire city, Maiduguri, has become a sprawling refugee camp.

Tented government encampments dot the exurbs where people wait for bags of food to arrive. Once-quaint neighborhoods overflow with cardboard hovels filled with young children who are lucky to eat three meals a day.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 24, 2016 at 11:08 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Saturday Mental Health Break—Hubble: Galaxies Across Space and Time
Posted by Kendall Harmon



Breathtaking--don't miss it.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryScience & Technology* General InterestPhotos/Photography

September 24, 2016 at 10:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Local Paper) Charleston area civil rights activist Esau Jenkins’ legacy on display at Smithsonian
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Messages of faith and progress echoed from the edge of Gadsden’s Wharf on Thursday as community leaders paid tribute to the legacy of social justice left by the late Esau Jenkins, one of Charleston’s most influential civil rights figures.

The city of Charleston helped host the event to send off Jenkins’ family on a trip to Washington, D.C., for Saturday’s grand opening of the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Dozens of members of the Jenkins family spanning three generations will travel together on a charter bus, symbolic of the countless bus trips that Jenkins organized for African-American communities across the Sea Islands and beyond during the Civil Rights Movement.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryRace/Race Relations* South Carolina

September 24, 2016 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(SHNS) Terry Mattingly—The gentle, evangelical insider religious satire of The Babylon Bee
Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Adam] Ford, who once yearned to be a pastor, stressed that he is trying to be critical and supportive at the same time.

"God can and does use goofy things like lasers and smoke machines to bring people to Christ, sure, but I believe church services that are reminiscent of WWE productions have peaked and will be less and less successful and prevalent moving forward," he said.

The key is that Ford is a modern man who is filling an ancient role, said media scholar Terry Lindvall, of Virginia Wesleyan College.

"The biblical satirist shares in the blame and shame of his defendants. He may be God's prosecutor, but he is also entwined with the people he ridicules," wrote Lindvall, in his book "God Mocks: A History of Religious Satire from the Hebrew Prophets to Stephen Colbert." A skilled satirist, he added, holds up a prophetic mirror that "offers a comic frame in which to look at and to look through the heart; the satirist finds that none are righteous, including himself."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetReligion & Culture* General InterestHumor / Trivia* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

September 24, 2016 at 6:25 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 24, 2016 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Scripture Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

On the holy mount stands the city he founded; the LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God.

--Psalm 87:1-3

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

September 24, 2016 at 5:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(WaPo) The Museum of African American History and Culture Opens—What you need to know before you go
Posted by Kendall Harmon

It’s with good reason that Lonnie Bunch, the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s founding director, has called this weekend a “mini-inauguration.” It’s jam-packed with things to do and places to be, not the least of which is inside the new museum.

If you’re determined to be on the Mall at the heart of it all as the museum prepares to open its doors Saturday, we have everything you need to know, including who you’ll see at the Freedom Sounds Festival, what to bring (and leave at home), how to get there and, if you’re fortunate enough to have a timed pass to the museum, how admission will work for this historic weekend.

For updates, photos and news through the weekend, go to wapo.st/museum.

Read it all and make sure to take the time to look at all 33 photos.

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

September 23, 2016 at 5:01 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Ian Paul—Do we in the Church of England need more vicars?
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of England has just released two related reports on numbers in ordained ministry. These are not related to annual ministry figures; the last figures (from 2015) were released in June, and caught the headlines for a number of reasons. These reports are related more to the aims of the Renewal and Reform process, and look back at the historical context as well as projecting forwards. Although there is no new research data included, the reports do contain some important observations which have implications for both national and diocesan approaches.

The first thing to say is that these reports are really helpful, with relevant information, well presented, and with interesting narratives to complement the information. This is a reflection of two important changes, one in strengthening the analysis of what is happening through the Research and Statistics team (they are very impressive—do go and visit them if you are passing through Church House) and the other in focussing more clearly on vocations at a national level within Ministry Division, not least through the appointment of Catherine Nancekievill as Head of Discipleship and Vocation. Is it too optimistic to think that the C of E is actually getting its act together in this area…?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureYoung Adults* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

September 23, 2016 at 4:08 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]