Sunday Worship on T19
Posted by The_Elves



AVAILABLE NOW:
+ Services, Talks and Resources for August 2nd
+ God feeds us [John 6:1-21] - Bishop Abraham Nhial
+ Talk and Q&A with Bishop Abraham
+ Choral Evensong from Hereford Cathedral

Read more...

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

August 2, 2015 at 5:29 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.

Listen to it all below - quote is from 11 mins 20 seconds in.

The previous report from January 23rd, 2015 on a meeting with David Porter is here


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

July 28, 2015 at 3:13 pm - 8 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

[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 - 8 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 - 32 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.

Top of the pile
+ 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]

(Australian) Bishop Stuart Robinson—A Pastoral letter concerning the redefinition of marriage
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Beloved in Christ,

Greetings!

1. As you know, calls for our Australian government to revisit the Marriage Act by granting full legal recognition to same-sex couples have intensified in recent months. Although our government has not signalled how decisions will be taken on this matter, changing public sentiment and international developments may set the conditions under which the Act is significantly revised.

2. Australian Christians have responded to this debate in a variety of ways. I note that some have attempted to mobilise their members to defend traditional values and prevent what is considered the redefinition of marriage, and some have advised they will stop performing all marriages. On the other hand, others believe that marriage should reflect equality for same-sex couples, and there are those who wait to have their relationships recognised in Christian communities. Most Christians I meet feel genuinely torn by the public debate and confused about what is an appropriate Christian response. Without exception, they desire to love and support their children and friends while being faithful to God and upholding the authority of Scripture.

Read more...

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

August 2, 2015 at 2:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Church Planting in New Zealand
Posted by The_Elves


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

August 2, 2015 at 1:10 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

[Borneo Post] Anglican churches urged to pray for Malaysia’s welfare
Posted by The_Elves

KUCHING: The Anglican Church in Sarawak and Brunei, which is known as the Diocese of Kuching, has been asked to pray for Malaysia’s welfare.

The Most Reverend Datuk Bolly Lapok, Anglican Province of South East Asia Archbishop, said at a time when the political situation in the country is tumultuous, the church needs to pray for the peace of the country.

“We want the journey of the church to be praying for the welfare of the nation and to be about what we as the church do at the national or international level,” he stressed during his keynote address at the Diocesan Missions and Evangelism Forum yesterday.

“All corners of the Diocese, from Brunei to Limbang to Kuching, have come together to focus on our mission together in evangelism and why the church is a church. A church is defined by mission – mission is not something that the church does, instead it is what the church exists for,” he said.

Read it all

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

August 2, 2015 at 1:06 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer to Begin the Day from C. J. Vaughan
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Make us tender and compassionate towards those who are an overtaken by temptation, considering ourselves, how we have fallen in times past and may fall yet again. Make us watchful and sober-minded, looking ever unto thee for grace to stand upright, and to persevere unto the end; through thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

August 2, 2015 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Scripture Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the LORD on high is mighty! Thy decrees are very sure; holiness befits thy house, O LORD, for evermore.

--Psalm 93:4-5

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

August 2, 2015 at 5:45 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

[Washington Post] Syrian Christians and the English Jew
Posted by The_Elves

...the scale of the initial rescue is tragically small. The objective is to rescue 2,000 families. Compared to the carnage in Syria wrought by the pitiless combatants — 230,000 dead, half the 22 million population driven from their homes — it’s a paltry sum. But these are real people who will be saved. And for Weidenfeld, that counts.

Yet he has been criticized for rescuing just Christians. In fact, the U.S. government will not participate because the rescue doesn’t extend to Yazidis, Druze or Shiites.

This comes under the heading of no good deed going unpunished. It’s a rather odd view that because he cannot do everything, he should be admonished for trying to do something. If Weidenfeld were a man of infinite means, the criticism might be valid. As it is, he says rather sensibly, “I can’t save the world.” The Arab states, particularly the Gulf monarchies, are surely not without resources. With so few doing so little for so many, he’s doing what he can.

And for him, it’s personal. In 1938, still a teenager, he was brought from Vienna to London where the Plymouth Brethren took him in and provided for him. He never forgot. He is trying to return the kindness, he explains, to repay the good that Christians did for him 77 years ago. In doing so, he is not just giving hope and a new life to 150 souls, soon to be thousands. He has struck a blow for something exceedingly rare: simple, willful righteousness.

Read it all

Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryReligious Freedom / Persecution

August 1, 2015 at 9:05 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

[The Tablet] Christ Blackhurst: Adjust your moral compass
Posted by The_Elves

He is the economist credited with having the most influence on the Archbishop of Canterbury. And Paul Dembinski is clear that regulation is not enough to improve banking - a fundamental cultural shift is needed

Paul Dembinski and I are shaking our heads at the craziness of the response to the “greed is good” speech delivered by Michael Douglas in the film Wall Street.

Except we are not really finding it amusing at all. It is the sheer nuttiness of folk we struggle to comprehend. What was intended as a piece of satire by Douglas and director Oliver Stone was seized upon by a generation as a justifying mantra for appalling deeds where banking and the financial markets are concerned. It is proof, agrees Dembinski, of the scale of the task that confronts him as he seeks to emphasise the place of ethics in the financial services industry.

Listening to him and meeting him, it is not difficult to see why Dembinski is so often name-checked by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, as an economist he closely follows...

Read it all

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

August 1, 2015 at 8:56 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Joseph of Arimathaea
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Merciful God, whose servant Joseph of Arimathaea with reverence and godly fear did prepare the body of our Lord and Savior for burial, and did lay it in his own tomb: Grant, we beseech thee, to us thy faithful people grace and courage to love and serve Jesus with sincere devotion all the days of our life; through the same 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

August 1, 2015 at 6:49 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer to begin the Day from Benjamin Jenks
Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Lord, renew our spirits and draw our hearts to thyself, that our work may not be to us a burden but a delight; and give us such a mighty love to thee, who thyself didst work as a craftsman in wood, as may sweeten all our obedience. O let us not serve thee in a spirit of bondage, as slaves, but with cheerfulness and willingness, cooperating with thee in thy work of creation; for the glory of thy holy name.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

August 1, 2015 at 6:19 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Scripture Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

At the set time which I appoint I will judge with equity. When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants, it is I who keep steady its pillars....

For not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up; but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another.

--Psalm 75: 2-3; 6-7

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

August 1, 2015 at 5:50 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

[Economist] Ebola vaccine proves successful in clinical trial
Posted by The_Elves

The current outbreak of Ebola fever, in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, which has killed more than 11,000 people, has dropped out of the news as it has been brought under control. But, though new cases are now measured in dozens, rather than hundreds, a week, the disease has not been stamped out—and a new epidemic could flare up somewhere else at any time. A vaccine against the virus responsible would be of enormous value. And a paper just published in the Lancet suggests one is now available.

This vaccine, developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada, and called rVSV-ZEBOV, smuggles one of the Ebola virus’s coat proteins into a person’s body in a Trojan horse called a vesicular stomatitis virus. This is a horse and cattle virus, and does not cause human illness, but its presence is enough to activate the immune system. This then learns to recognise and react to the Ebola coat protein—and thus, the vaccine’s inventors hope, to clobber Ebola, should it arrive in the vaccinated person’s body.

Read it all

Filed under: * Culture-WatchScience & Technology

July 31, 2015 at 1:03 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Debussy: Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
Posted by The_Elves


Filed under: * Culture-WatchMusic

July 31, 2015 at 11:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Al Mohler: The dangerous calling of Christian missions
Posted by The_Elves

In the life of Paul, we find that following Christ means being exposed to dangers. Also like Paul, we must not shirk or avoid these dangers — we must embrace them. We embrace them because we know that gaining the world but losing our soul is a futile transaction. We embrace them because we know whatever dangers and trials we may face, Christ is worth them all. We embrace them because we have a resurrection hope which places our hopes for comfort, security, and peace not in this life but in the life to come.

This world is indeed a dangerous place — Jesus told us that it would be so. With the rise of both militant Islam and the velocity of secularization in the West, Christians cannot afford to remain silent and cease proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. In times like this we must follow the example of men and women like William Carey, John Paton, Bill Wallace, Lottie Moon, and Hudson Taylor. We must remember the words of Jim Elliot: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

This is, as the late Carl F.H. Henry advised, a time for evangelical demonstration. Our words of support for the missionary cause are meaningless if we do not produce a new generation of bold, courageous, and committed Christian missionaries. Let us make our convictions clear and commitments firm, even in the face of hostility and danger. Evangelical Christians must take our stand for the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, who alone has made atonement for our sins. In a day of hostility and danger, we must point to the only gospel that offers salvation.

Read it all

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeMissions

July 31, 2015 at 11:34 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

[Premier] Nicky Gumbel and the evangelisation of the nation
Posted by The_Elves

One of our archdeacons said that: ‘An empty church is like the empty palace of a long-forgotten king and people walk past and say, “The king is dead.”’ That’s why when, for example, St Peter’s, Brighton, which was known as the unofficial cathedral of Brighton, was going to close, we said: ‘Please don’t close it. Please allow us to go there.’ And thankfully the Bishop of Chichester invited us to send a team there.

What is it that allows these church plants to fly?

I think a lot of people are unchurched, but there are also a lot of people who are ‘de-churched’. They’ve got a faith of some kind, but they’re looking for a church where they feel at home...There are quite a few people who like to have a relaxed, informal style. They like contemporary worship, a message that hopefully is practical for their life, and somewhere they can receive prayer and community. And it seems that those people are coming back to church.

Read it all

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

July 31, 2015 at 11:23 am - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Bp Graham Kings: Owing A Debt to Owen Chadwick (1916-2015)
Posted by The_Elves

On learning of the death of Owen Chadwick, I was moved to tears. Immediately, I jotted down how much we were in his debt as a friend of scholars, mentor to many, pithy and witty writer, faithful priest, brilliant preacher, diligent professor, supervisor and administrator, with a vast hinterland of history and culture.

He was Master of Selwyn College, Cambridge for 27 years from 1956. When I read New Testament studies as a postgraduate there in 1979-1980, he gave me a small, inspiring grant to study the Catholic, Orthodox, and Reformed churches in Yugoslavia during the summer vacation.

I begin by considering his obituaries and his writing of history, and then will remember his own words on secularization and on the role of friendship in scholarship

Read it all

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

July 31, 2015 at 11:15 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

[BBC] Does the government really want to ban WhatsApp, iMessage and Skype?
Posted by The_Elves

Eight hundred million people around the world use WhatsApp to communicate, we learned this week from its owners, Facebook.

Yet this is the messaging service which could soon be banned by the British government because its use of encryption makes it too private for the security services to access. That at least was the story repeated in several newspapers in recent weeks, and frequently denied by Downing Street.

But this morning even the Financial Times seemed to back it up. In an article about the battle between governments and corporations over access to encrypted messages it says this: "David Cameron, UK prime minister, has proposed a complete ban on strong encryption 'to ensure that terrorists do not have a safe space in which to communicate'."

WhatsApp is just one of the services that uses strong encryption for their messages, along with Apple's iMessage and Skype's internet calls. Both the US and UK governments have expressed growing concerns that criminals and terrorists are making use of such services to communicate, knowing that they are completely private.

So does the prime minister really want to ban them?

Read it all

Filed under: * Culture-WatchScience & Technology

July 31, 2015 at 10:30 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Carey Nieuwhof: The Problem With Incremental Change
Posted by The_Elves

So you want to bring about change but you’re afraid of the pushback that you know the change will create?

Totally understand that.

So you’re tempted to do what many leaders have done. Instead of bringing about the deep or radical change you know needs to happen, you decide to introduce change incrementally.

Rather than remove the furniture you know needs to go, you move it an inch a week, hoping nobody will notice.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Analysis

July 31, 2015 at 9:08 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

CofE: Finance Statistics for 2013 released
Posted by The_Elves

Introduction
Finance Statistics 2013 contains information provided by parishes in their annual finance returns.

In the autumn of 2008 the recession hit the economy. For the charitable sector as a whole there was a noticeable decline in income [1]. Parishes were protected during 2009-13 by the dedicated giving of donors, and donor income has increased at the same rate since 2007. However, the increase in donations has not matched the rate of inflation (Tables 3 and 4).

Financial Overview
The past ten years saw income exceed expenditure every year until 2008, with a maximum surplus of £60 million in 2007. This was followed by three years where expenditure was greater than income, with a maximum deficit of £21 million in 2010. Parishes have responded well in curtailing expenditure, with the result that in 2013 there was a surplus of £33 million (Table 1).

Read it all [pdf] and the ever optimistic blurb from the CofE Press Office is here and here [pdf]. CofE Statistics for Mission in 2013 may be found here [pdf]

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

July 31, 2015 at 8:42 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Sydney: Two ways to launch
Posted by The_Elves

In a double launch at Moore College in June, Phillip Jensen began a new ministry venture and his friends and colleagues launched a book in his honour.

It is no surprise that Two Ways Ministries, named after the internationally successful gospel tract Two Ways to Live that Mr Jensen authored in 1978, has a dual purpose.

“Its aim is to raise up a new generation of gospel-centred preachers through training ministry workers, and to model preaching in churches and conferences, both local and international,” Mr Jensen said.

The former bishop of Wollongong, Al Stewart, is a preaching consultant in the new ministry.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia

July 31, 2015 at 8:37 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Diocese of Egypt: Residential Course for Training Lay Ministers at All Saints Cathedral Begins
Posted by The_Elves

On Monday, the 13th of July, a training course for the lay ministers of the various churches of the Diocese started at All Saints Cathedral-Zamalek, and will be running for the next four days. This course comes as a part of our dedication to the training and preparing of leaders in the church.

The four-day training includes the following topics:

Ministry, The Call, History of the Anglican Church, Structure of the Church, Nature of the Church: Catholic and Reformed, Anglican Way of Theology, Anglican Worship, and The Church and Contemporary Issues.

Read it all

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

July 31, 2015 at 8:33 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

[Guardian] Dying for Christianity: millions at risk amid rise in persecution across the globe
Posted by The_Elves

According to David Alton, a crossbench peer who campaigns on religious freedom, “some assessments claim that as many as 200 million Christians in over 60 countries around the world face some degree of restriction, discrimination or outright persecution”. That is about one in 10 of the 2.2 billion Christians in the world. Christianity remains the faith with the most adherents.

“Whatever the real figures the scale is enormous. From Syria, Iraq, Iran and Egypt to North Korea, China, Vietnam and Laos, from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma, from Cuba, Colombia and Mexico to Eritrea, Nigeria and Sudan, Christians face serious violations of religious freedom,” Alton said. Persecution ranged from murder, rape and torture to repressive laws, discrimination and social exclusion.

One consequence was “a form of religio-ethnic cleansing of Christian communities”, said John Pontifex of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), a Catholic campaign group that monitors persecution. “The persecution of Christians is at a level we’ve not seen for many, many years and the main impact is the migration of Christian people. There are huge swaths of the world which are now experiencing a very sharp decline in the number of Christians.”

In the past 15 months, a number of egregious attacks have highlighted the targeting of Christians by Islamic extremists in the Middle East and Africa. They include:

Read it all and there is more information linked here

Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryReligious Freedom / Persecution

July 31, 2015 at 8:12 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Update from the Dean of Nepal
Posted by The_Elves

Dear brothers and sisters-in-Christ,

Thank you so much for mobilising prayers and strong financial support towards the relief work in Nepal over the last 3 months. You have given the people in one of the worse hit areas a sense of hope in the midst of this very trying time.

I am pleased to inform you that through ACROSS, our partners, and the Deanery of Nepal we have, over the last 3 months, sent 7 medical teams (from ACROSS & St John's St Margaret's Church) to Kathmandu and the district of Dhading (Tawal, Choke & Laba village); as well as contributed 2,000 tarpaulins and 1,700 bundles of zinc sheets for temporary shelters for 3,700 families; 500 blankets; 1.5 tonnes of used clothing; water filtration devices and 20 tonnes of rice and food supplies. I wish to also highlight that in the midst of this crisis and relief work, Bishop Rennis travelled to Nepal to ordain 3 local pastors to the Diaconate in Kathmandu.

While it was reported that "Nepal is on the mend" (Straits Times, 25 July 2015), many are in fact still living in temporary shelters and children are attending classes in make shift shelters. This state of living conditions is made even more difficult with the current monsoons which has already caused multiple landslides and flooding. With 530,000 homes and 4,300 schools destroyed in the country, the rebuilding work ahead of us is mammoth. But with God nothing is impossible.

Read it all

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

July 31, 2015 at 7:59 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

[Church Times] NSKK supports Security Bills protests
Posted by The_Elves

Two new Bills that undermine the specifically pacifist constitution in Japan have been passed by the lower house of its parliament, despite huge public protests. If they become law, they could mean that Japanese troops would be sent overseas to fight for the first time since 1945.

The Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, backed the two Bills, saying that it was necessary to expand the part played by the military. A doctrine of “collective self-defence” was used — even though opinion polls showed that more than half the Japanese public opposed them.

The Anglican Church in Japan, Nippon Sei Ko Kai (NSKK), added its support to the protests in a public letter to Mr Abe, calling for the immediate withdrawal of the new Bills, which have still to pass through the upper house of Japan’s parliament.

In the letter, bishops and other church leaders wrote:...

Read it all

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryAsiaJapan

July 31, 2015 at 6:57 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Ignatius of Loyola
Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, by whose grace thy servant Ignatius, enkindled with the fire of thy love, became a burning and a shining light in thy Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and may ever walk before thee as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, liveth and reigneth, one God, now and for ever.

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

July 31, 2015 at 6:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer to Begin the Day from John Wesley
Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Lord, take thou full possession of my heart, raise there thy throne, and command there as thou dost in heaven. Being created by thee, let me live to thee. Being created for thee, let me ever act for thy glory. Being redeemed by thee, let me render to thee what is thine, and let my spirit ever cleave to thee alone; for thy name’s sake.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

July 31, 2015 at 6:20 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Bible Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Now when they had passed through Amphip'olis and Apollo'nia, they came to Thessaloni'ca, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul went in, as was his custom, and for three weeks he argued with them from the scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ." And some of them were persuaded, and joined Paul and Silas; as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women.

--Acts 17:1-4

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

July 31, 2015 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Bishop Abraham Nhial’s keynote talk at Christ St Paul’s SC
Posted by The_Elves

Bishop Abraham Nhiel is Bishop of Awiel in the Episcopal Church of the Sudan and one of the former 'lost boys' of South Sudan. There is more of his story here
Listen to it all or download it here

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesEpiscopal Church of the Sudan

July 30, 2015 at 9:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Newsweek: Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby Interview: ‘I Have No Right to Be Here’
Posted by The_Elves

Welby has a reputation as a guy who enjoys a good laugh and discourages formality. His manner when I meet him is affable but circumspect. This is a man who once observed that he didn't want the top job and was "one of the thicker bishops" in the Church of England.

"I can spot an old Etonian a mile off ," I venture, "and your defining characteristic is precisely that kind of phoney diffidence."

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

July 30, 2015 at 8:27 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

AAC Announces Director of Church Revitalization
Posted by The_Elves

Canon Saul will direct the AAC’s Church Revitalization and Lay Leadership Institute as well as coordinate clergy coaching. He attended the AAC’s inaugural Clergy Leadership Training Institute (CLTI) and was a leader in the AAC’s church revitalization program from 2011-2013. “During the last four years,” says Canon Saul, “I’ve seen the importance of equipping the clergy, lay leadership and the local church for the call we have to ‘live out’ the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20). I’m looking forward to personally working with Anglicans as we do that together.”

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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Latest News

July 30, 2015 at 8:23 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

[Premier] Not Dead Yet: How two Anglican churches came back to life
Posted by The_Elves

Rev Archie Coates, vicar of St Peter’s, Brighton, describes how a team from HTB rescued the city’s ‘unofficial cathedral’ in 2005. They now welcome over 1000 people into the church for weekend worship services.

'St Peter’s is one of Brighton’s iconic buildings, so when it was due to close there was a huge public outcry and 6,500 people signed the petition to keep it open.

The building is incredible, but it’s also a nightmare because it’s crumbling. I remember giving sermons wearing hard hats. We didn’t have any heating for four winters, so people used to come to church in a hat carrying a hot-water bottle.

I think this is a visual aid for the wider work. The local churches all said that when the building looks like it’s closed and dying on its feet, that sends out the message to Brighton that that’s what God is like as well. But equally if you could do the opposite – open it up, fix it up – then that would send out the message: ‘Wow, the Church is alive and God is on the move.’

When we began, we were about 30, including children: our family and about three other families. If you’re going to attract other people to come, there needs to be a certain group for them to come into, and it’s quite hard to do that with less than 30.

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

July 30, 2015 at 8:16 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A message from Primate of Brazil related to decisions taken by TEC on Marriage understanding
Posted by The_Elves

From The Most Reverend Francisco de Assis da Silva
The Church of Brazil feels strengthened by the fact that here we are also living a broad process of reflection on the search for consensus on this issue. In our country, since 2011, the Supreme Court already recognizes the legality of civil marriage between people of same sex.

Our Province is discussing this matter – under the methodology of Indaba – in all instances of the Church. Our new Prayer Book already contemplates a change of language, stabilishing the gender neutrality that is a significant step of inclusivity. This change do not requires us to celebrate matrimony between people of same sex, but we’re open to the future and new pastoral requirements from our time.

We see with joy changing processes in the churches of Canada and Scotland. We see with joy advances in discussion of the theme in the churches of England, Wales, Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Episcopal Church of Brazil

July 30, 2015 at 8:05 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

[Living Church] G. Jeffrey MacDonald: Bishop Sprints at Convention
Posted by The_Elves

Kings said he aims to serve rising theologians, including some in the Global South whom God might use as the Augustines of their time, much like the great fifth-century bishop and theologian, Augustine of Hippo.

On a 100-degree day in Salt Lake City, the crowd of 75 at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center got a taste of what a new network of theologians might produce.
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Beyond making peace with persecutors, the Church also has a God-given mission to stand with those who suffer the brunt of unjust systems, both economic and political, said the Most Rev. Francisco De Assis da Silva, Primate of Brazil.

“The charisma is to be beside, aside, or on the side of the people who are suffering too much from unjust structures in politics and in economics,” Archbishop da Silva said. He said a theology of liberation has weakened over time in Latin America as a more conservative, confessional theology gained traction in recent decades. But the time is right for another shift in theological discourse, in his view.

“We have a unique opportunity to change from a confessional position to a more engaged, a more incarnational, theological reflection,” da Silva said.

For his part, Kings said the Anglican Communion’s calling “is to be Catholic, evangelical, and ecumenical.” In practice, that involves the disciplines of meeting together as Anglicans. It also involves remembering how the Church, like the Trinity, is inherently interconnected.

Bishop Kings quoted from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s foreword to Living Reconciliation: “I am eager to encourage each of us to take full account of the way in which decisions of one province echo around the world. The impact of their echoes is something to which we must listen in the course of our decision-making, if we are not to narrow our horizons and reject the breadth of our global family.”

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

July 30, 2015 at 7:59 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Eric Foner (from 2007) for William Wilberforce’s Feast Day—A forgotten step toward freedom
Posted by Kendall Harmon

We Americans live in a society awash in historical celebrations. The last few years have witnessed commemorations of the bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase (2003) and the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II (2005). But one significant milestone has gone strangely unnoticed: the 200th anniversary of Jan. 1, 1808, when the importation of slaves into the United States was prohibited.

This neglect stands in striking contrast to the many scholarly and public events in Britain that marked the 2007 bicentennial of that country's banning of the slave trade. There were historical conferences, museum exhibits, even a high-budget film, "Amazing Grace," about William Wilberforce, the leader of the parliamentary crusade that resulted in abolition.

What explains this divergence? Throughout the 1780s, the horrors of the Middle Passage were widely publicized on both sides of the Atlantic, and by 1792 the British Parliament stood on the verge of banning the trade. But when war broke out with revolutionary France, the idea was shelved. Final prohibition came in 1807, and it proved a major step toward the abolition of slavery in the empire.

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchHistoryRace/Race RelationsReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.England / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

July 30, 2015 at 7:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer for the Feast Day of William Wilberforce and Anthony Ashley-Cooper
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Just and eternal God, we offer thanks for the stalwart faith and persistence of thy servants William Wilberforce and Anthony Ashley-Cooper, who, undeterred by opposition and failure, held fast to a vision of justice in which no child of yours might suffer in enforced servitude and misery. Grant that we, drawn by that same Gospel vision, may persevere in serving the common good and caring for those who have been cast down, that they may be raised up through Jesus Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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

July 30, 2015 at 6:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]