The Fire, Lord, Not the Junk Heap; An Ash Wednesday Reflection from Bishop Mark Lawrence
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The famous radio personality and early pioneer of television, Arthur Godfrey, grew up in an era very different from today. It was a time when a boy could wander down to the blacksmith shop on a lazy afternoon and watch the smithy work at his anvil and forge. It was a favorite past time of the young Godfrey. Sometimes he would watch the blacksmith sorting the scrap metal. The man would pick up a piece of metal from a holding bin, turn it this way and that in his large hands, then either toss it into the fire to be softened and hammered into some useful tool, or thrown into a junk heap to be discarded. From this experience Arthur forged a simple prayer which he used all his life. Whenever seized by his own sense of sin or some personal moral failure he would pray—“The fire, Lord, not the junk-heap.” It is a prayer that captures two essential dimensions of Ash Wednesday and Lent— a prayer for pardon and a prayer for purity.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* South Carolina* TheologyAnthropologyChristologySoteriology

February 10, 2016 at 7:13 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Recent Key Entries 2016
Posted by The_Elves

This post is in process of being updated
Primates Gathering 2016
Key Posts
+ Final Communiqué from the Primates 2016 Gathering (January 15, 2016 at 10:10 am)
+ Statement from the Anglican Primates Gathering of 2016 (January 14, 2016 at 11:16 am)
+ The Press Conference after the Primates Gathering (January 16, 2016 at 4:09 pm)
+ GAFCON statement on the 2016 Primates Gathering (January 14, 2016 at 10:00 am)
+ Archbishop Stanley Ntagali’s Update on the Primates Gathering in Canterbury (January 14, 2016 at 8:21 am)
+ CoU: Hundreds Show Support for Archbishop Stanley Ntagali’s Stand in Canterbury [Statement] (January 19, 2016 at 3:52 pm)

Responses and Comment
+ Statement of the Archbishop of Nigeria on the Canterbury primates gathering (February 10, 2016 at 1:37 pm)
+ [ACI - Canada] Response to the Meeting of Primates in Canterbury, January 2016 (January 26, 2016 at 11:26 am)
+ A Statement on ACNA Leader Foley Beach’s Participation at the 2016 Primates Gathering (January 25, 2016 at 10:29 am)
+ Reform Statement on the Primates Gathering (January 24, 2016 at 10:17 pm)
+ Anne Kennedy: Three Thoughts About the Anglican Primates Meeting (January 23, 2016 at 1:40 pm)
+ Church of Ireland begins facilitated conversations on sexual immorality (January 22, 2016 at 7:49 am)
+ Bp Mouneer Anis: A Personal Reflection on the 2016 Primates’ Meeting (January 22, 2016 at 7:38 am)
+ FIFNA’s Statement on the Primate’s Communique (January 22, 2016 at 7:36 am)
+ Archbishop Eliud Wabukala on the Canterbury primates communique (January 19, 2016 at 5:19 pm)

All posts for category Primates Gathering in Canterbury 2016

Prior key posts may be found here

Filed under: * AdminFeatured (Sticky)

February 4, 2016 at 4:34 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer to Begin the day from John Cosin
Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Lord our God, grant us, we beseech thee, patience in troubles, humility in comforts, constancy in temptations, and victory over all our spiritual foes. Grant us sorrow for our sins, thankfulness for thy benefits, fear of thy judgment, love of thy mercies, and mindfulness of thy presence; now and for evermore.

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

February 14, 2016 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Scripture Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Because thy steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise thee. So I will bless thee as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on thy name. My soul is feasted as with marrow and fat, and my mouth praises thee with joyful lips, when I think of thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the watches of the night; for thou hast been my help, and in the shadow of thy wings I sing for joy.

--Psalm 63:3-7

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February 14, 2016 at 5:44 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Church Times) Andrew Davison argues that science and faith are not strange bedfellows
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Parties aside, scientists belong to a community far larger than their research group. The scientific community is one of the world’s most profoundly global associations.

Science needs that community because no scientist working independently could verify even the tiniest part of the ideas that they depend on. Scientists have to trust the work that others have undertaken.

This brings us to faith. Science relies on trust, and whatever else faith may comprise, trust is central. Both theology and science proceed on the basis of trust, and in neither case is that a matter of blind trust. Scientists publish their findings, so that other scientists can verify them. Someone comes up with a promising thesis; it is scrutinised by peer review.

Christian faith follows a parallel form of communal knowing: it involves trust, and it is not blind. The ideas that make up the Christian faith are the communal work of hundreds of thousands of thinkers, put to the test by billions of Christian people. The community extends across time as well as place: the faith has been weighed and tested down the ages.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

February 13, 2016 at 4:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Local paper) Charleston churches take a hard look at their own racial divide
Posted by Kendall Harmon

"In certain circles, race in the church just isn’t talked about,” said Philip Pinckney, a pastoral intern at Sovereign Grace Church of the Lowcountry and organizer of 1Charleston. He said that after seeing beautiful symbolic gestures of racial unity in Charleston following the Emanuel AME shooting, his church wanted to keep working on substantive changes.

Loritts, a pastor at New York’s Trinity Grace Church and president of the Kainos Movement for multi-ethnic churches, brought some hard words to a local church body that in many cases remains segregated by default. He noted the irony of walking through CSU’s Strom Thurmond Center, named after a prominent segregationist, en route to talk about racial unity, and he called into question the salvation of Christians who “were sexually chaste yet hated people who did not look like them.”

“We are not giving you license to subscribe to a colorblind ethic. God made me black. God made you white,” Loritts said, addressing a diverse crowd of about 200 attendees that skewed mostly white. “I am a Christian before I am black, and yet being Christian does not mean that I abandon my blackness.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchRace/Race RelationsReligion & Culture* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

February 13, 2016 at 2:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A NYT article on the historic Meeting between the Pope and Russian Orthodox Leader
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Pope Francis on Friday became the first pontiff to ever meet a patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, as the two Christian leaders set aside centuries of division in a historic encounter that was held in an unlikely setting: a room at the Havana airport.

Having announced the meeting only a week ago, Francis landed in Havana about 2 p.m. for a stopover that lasted a few hours, before he continued to Mexico City for his six-day visit to Mexico. Awaiting him in Havana was Patriarch Kirill, who was making an official visit to Cuba at the invitation of President Raúl Castro.

As he approached the Russian patriarch amid the clicking of news cameras, Francis was overheard to say, “Brother.” A moment later, he added, “Finally.”

The two men embraced, kissing each other twice on the cheeks and clasping hands before taking seats. “Now things are easier,” Kirill said. Francis responded, “It is clear now that this is the will of God.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesOrthodox ChurchRoman CatholicPope Francis * TheologyEcclesiology

February 13, 2016 at 1:26 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Washington Post Magazine) The secret to a long-lasting marriage
Posted by Kendall Harmon

...what are the specific behaviors that get couples through the decades? For starters, long-lasting couples adopt a commitment to “marital permanency,” says W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project and associate professor of sociology at the University of Virginia. “They don’t see divorce as an option.” That’s vital given that even the happiest marriages aren’t always happy.

They also work hard to master effective communication — not just talking, but listening. And such couples make generosity and kindness habitual, committing small acts of service, like cleaning up without being asked. They’re willing to forgive their spouse’s faults and failings. They treat each other with respect.

There’s one other thing long-married couples devote effort to: keeping their marriage interesting. Even after decades together they carve out time as a couple, take an interest in each other’s passions and take steps to foster intimacy.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMarriage & Family

February 13, 2016 at 1:03 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(FT) Dmitry Medvedev warns of new cold war
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The world has entered a “new cold war,” Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Saturday, as he held out an olive branch to western powers, urging conciliation.

“Sometimes I think, are we in 2016 or 1962?” Mr Medvedev asked, in a speech that reeled off the long list of familiar Russian grievances — from Nato expansion to western regime change projects — but also included some of the firmest calls for rapprochement with Europe and the US since Moscow’s annexation of Crimea two years ago.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.England / UKEuropeRussia* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

February 13, 2016 at 12:01 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Open Thread: Lent Resources
Posted by The_Elves

Lent is upon us early this year, and The Elves have been caught without oil in their lamps. What are you doing this Lent? Have you come across any resources you would recommend to others or do you have any thoughts to encourage us during this season of Lent?

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent

February 13, 2016 at 11:38 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Wired) LIGO’s First-Ever Detection of Gravitational Waves Opens a New Window on the Universe
Posted by Kendall Harmon

In deep space, two black holes spiraled toward each other, their tremendous mass warping spacetime and propagating gravitational waves across the fabric of the universe at light-speed. The two black holes eventually crashed into one another and merged into one even bigger black hole, emitting a crescendo of waves.

That quiet tremolo on the catgut of reality made it to Earth, where the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory was listening. For 13 years LIGO heard, it seemed, every vibration but the one it was supposed to. But on September 14, 2015 it detected those black-hole-crashing swells as they washed over the planet. “Ladies and gentlemen, we have detected gravitational waves,” David Reitze, LIGO’s Executive Director, said today at a press conference. “We did it.”

This is big-deal physics, a long-awaited bit of evidence that vindicates the work of Albert Einstein, opens a new scientific field, and gives astronomers a peek at a side of the universe they’ve never seen. “We are not only going to be seeing the universe,” says Gabriela Gonzalez, an astrophysicist at Louisiana State University and spokesperson for the LIGO team. “We are going to be listening to it.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchScience & Technology

February 13, 2016 at 10:30 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

The TEC Bp of Hawaii writes in response to the 2016 Primates Gathering
Posted by Kendall Harmon

What does it mean? Frankly, I was not surprised by the outcome. It is in many ways better that I had feared. In practical terms of our mission and ministry, the Primates' statement will have very little impact.

In the early 1930s the Archbishop of York, later Archbishop of Canterbury, William Temple, proposed that we Christians apply four basic Christian principles when addressing any issues of the Christian life and morality, and social and economic justice. They are: (1) the sacredness of personality, (2) the fact of fellowship, (3) the duty of service, and (4) the power of self-sacrifice.

The sacredness of personality is the principle that affirms the value of each of us as individuals before God. The basis for this principle in our Christian life is the Incarnation of God in Jesus Christ. The Incarnational Principle affirms the sacredness of individual human persons as products of creation and the foci of redemption. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." (John 1:1, 14) These words from John's gospel graphically express the reality of a God who lived, laughed, suffered and died within our human lives. All humanity-each of us individually-is sanctified by the mere fact of the Incarnation. We each are a sacred personality.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

February 13, 2016 at 10:00 am - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Manchester United Play Poorly and Lose to Sunderland 2-1
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney felt his team "frankly didn't deserve anything" from Saturday's disappointing trip to the Stadium of Light.

The Reds missed a chance to close the gap on the top four as Lamine Kone's 82nd-minute header rebounded off David de Gea to condemn United to a 2-1 defeat and Rooney was clearly unhappy with United's display.

"We didn't create enough chances, we weren't aggressive enough and it has cost us not defending set pieces so it's a disappointing result," said Rooney after the game.

"We didn't play well today, we know that, we didn't win enough second balls and all that coming together has cost us and it is not good enough."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMenSports* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

February 13, 2016 at 9:09 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(NBC) This Calif. Lawyer is Vowing to Put 26 Kindergartners Through College
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Please take special note in this story about Marty Burbank's gift the reason He did it was because of his pastors sermon.

Watch it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / HomileticsStewardship* Culture-WatchChildrenEducationReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

February 13, 2016 at 8:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Touchstone) Andrew Peach—The Vanishing Point of Marriage
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Marriage is rooted in and arises from the natural complementarity of men and women, and this complementarity is ordered to, even if it does not always issue in, the procreation and rearing of children. Though couples make an intentional choice to marry, marriage is more than an intentional arrangement. Marrying couples enter into an institution that is naturally ordered to certain ends and that naturally provides certain goods. In the words of the Vatican II document Gaudium et Spes,
[B]y that human act whereby spouses mutually bestow and accept each other, a relationship arises which by divine will, and in the eyes of society too, is a lasting one. For the good of the spouses and their offspring as well as of society, the existence of the sacred bond no longer depends on human decisions alone. For God Himself is the author of matrimony, endowed as it is with various benefits and purposes.
Herein lies the principal danger to marriage in this court-imposed legislation. Post-Obergefell, marriage is no longer understood as ordered to the completion and fulfillment of our nature. Rather, it is merely the fulfillment of our desires—for now. And if all marital arrangements are merely intentional acts of will, there is no longer any principled reason to object to anyone's act of will, desire, or intention if he claims it is sincere: "It's natural to have desires," the argument goes, "so whatever you sincerely desire is 'natural.'" But a marriage entirely of our making is not a marriage at all. In short, Obergefell spells the end of a coherent understanding of marriage.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilySexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

February 13, 2016 at 8:30 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Absalom Jones
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Set us free, O heavenly Father, from every bond of prejudice and fear: that, honoring the steadfast courage of thy servants Absalom Jones and Richard Allen, we may show forth in our lives the reconciling love and true freedom of the children of God, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

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

February 13, 2016 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Coptic Liturgy of Saint Cyril
Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God of love, who hast given us a new commandment through thine only begotten Son, that we should love one another even as thou didst love us, the unworthy and the wandering, and gavest him for our life and salvation: We pray thee to give to us thy servants, in all time of our life on earth, a mind forgetful of past ill-will, a pure conscience, and a heart to love our brethren; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

February 13, 2016 at 7:35 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Scripture Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;
To the end that [my] glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

--Psalm 30:11-12 (KJV)

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

February 13, 2016 at 7:11 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

[Glen Scrivener] 40 Days and 40 Nights
Posted by The_Elves

...40 days seems to be a time of testing and transition. For those who pass the test there is a new world to enjoy:

A world washed clean.
Face to face with the LORD.
A land of milk and honey.
Victory over the enemy.
Salvation.
The defeat of the devil.
The new creation.

But the flood story tells us this – we can’t endure the test by ourselves. The salvation beyond judgement is for one person only. It is the ultimate Noah, the ultimate Moses, the ultimate David – Christ – who endures on our behalf. Those who trust Him are hidden with Him, the way the Ark’s passengers were hidden with Noah. But, on the other side, we benefit from His victory.

None of us can pass the ultimate test. We cannot transition to the ultimate destination. But Jesus Christ has. He has crushed the devil and defeated sin and death. He has made it to the throne of heaven and offers us new life if we simply hide ourselves in Him. For now there is testing: “Do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering” (1 Peter 4;12). But beyond these “40 days” our Saviour will bring us to rest.

Read it all

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent

February 12, 2016 at 4:53 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Howard Skempton: Ostende Nobis Domine
Posted by The_Elves


Alleluia. Show us thy mercy, O Lord and grant us thy salvation
Alleluia. Ostende nobis Domine misericordiam tuam et salutare tuum da nobis

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

February 12, 2016 at 2:19 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Herald Sun) St Paul’s Cathedral In Melbourne to introduce first girls’ choir
Posted by Kendall Harmon

A 125-year old male tradition will be turned on its head when girls are given their own choir at St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral.

In what’s been described as a win for gender equity, girls will eventually perform Sunday and Evensong services that until now have been the exclusive domain of boys and men.

Anglican Dean of Melbourne Dr Andreas Loewe said the city icon wanted to give girls the same opportunity that boys have enjoyed since 1888.

“If women can become archbishops in the Anglican Church of Australia then they should also be able to sing at St Paul’s Cathedral,” he said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchChildrenReligion & CultureWomen* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ

February 12, 2016 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(CEN) Peter Mullen—Getting to the roots of the Christian faith
Posted by Kendall Harmon

“It’s not possible to preach the whole gospel from the New Testament alone, but it is possible to preach it from the Old Testament alone.”

When a friend of mine, a learned priest, said this the other day, it would be more than an understatement to say I was startled... the Christian faith is inexplicable and even nonsensical apart from its Old Testament background and so to sever the link between the movable Jewish Feast of Passover and the correspondingly movable Christian Easter does not only render the Old Testament redundant: it rips the heart and significance out of the Christian witness found in the New.

So there is more at stake here than the convenience of schoolteachers and the prosperity of the retail trade. The whole historical unity and coherence of the Christian faith as prophecy and the fulfilment of prophecy is at stake.

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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Commentary

February 12, 2016 at 7:29 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Vancouver Courier) Dean Peter Elliott profile on his response to the 2016 Primates Meeting
Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the meeting of the 38 Anglican-aligned national churches worldwide at Canterbury Cathedral last month, the confab condemned the Episcopal Church — as it is called in the States — but also made explicit statements about respecting the rights of homosexuals worldwide.

“What we got actually was a classic Anglican compromise. Anglicans are good at that,” says Elliott. “There [are] very strong statements about the civil rights of homosexual people and I think there is a door opened now to say to, for example, Anglicans in Uganda: Listen, church support of government policies that criminalize homosexuality and make it punishable both by imprisonment and in some cases the death penalty, that’s offside. Similarly, to the Episcopal Church, marrying same-sex couples, that’s offside.”

Canadians need to understand, he says, that priorities for people in other places are very different and progress on gay rights has come with incredible speed to parts of the Western world.

“I never imagined in my lifetime that gay people would be allowed to marry in Canada and it’s now been over 10 years that we’ve been allowed to marry, nor that the church would be seriously talking about this,” he says. “It’s light years ahead.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchGlobalization* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

February 12, 2016 at 7:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Do not Take Yourself Too Seriously Dept—A Conference Call in Real Life
Posted by Kendall Harmon



Watch it all--so on target its painful!

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingPsychologyScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

February 12, 2016 at 6:15 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(WSJ) Bp Demetrios of Mokissos—ISIS Is Guilty of Anti-Christian Genocide
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The 21 [Coptic] men executed that day [in Libya] were itinerant tradesman working on a construction job. All were native Egyptians but one, a young African man whose identity is uncertain—reports of his name vary, and he was described as coming from Chad or Ghana. But the power of his example is unshakable. The executioners demanded that each hostage identify his religious allegiance. Given the opportunity to deny their faith, under threat of death, the Egyptians declared their faith in Jesus. Steadfast in their belief even in the face of evil, each was beheaded.

Their compatriot was not a Christian when captured, apparently, but when challenged by the terrorists to declare his faith, he reportedly replied: “Their God is my God.” In that moment, before his death, he became a Christian. The ISIS murderers seek to demoralize Christians with acts like the slaughter on a Libyan beach. Instead they stir our wonder at the courage and devotion inspired by God’s love.

While we remember these men’s extraordinary sacrifice, is there not more that we can do to stop this genocide against Christians in the Middle East?

Read it all.

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

February 12, 2016 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

TEC minister Charles Shackelford responds to the 2016 Anglican Primates Gathering
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Reflecting on the recent meeting of Anglican Primates in England, the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote, "Some have said unity is worthless if achieved at the expense of justice; others have urged unity is a false prize if it undermines truth. Both of the views misunderstand the nature of the Church...a body of people committed to each other because they are followers of Jesus Christ... We looked at each other across our deep and complex differences -- and we recognised those we saw as those with whom we are called to journey in hope towards the truth and love of Jesus Christ. It was our unanimous decision to walk together and to take responsibility for making that work."

So far, so good. Then, immediately following this solid portion of the statement, he recounts how the Episcopal Church is being punished for her belief in marriage equality. Canada, which is close by with us on the issue, was only threatened. We alone were singled out for exclusion from an active role in the Anglican Communion for three years. This decision results in part from the rapid growth of Christianity in the sub-Saharan world, most of whose bishops and archbishops exercise an autocratic model of church government, hold conservative opinions' and they have constituted a majority of the primates for several years. In my opinion, the imposition of punitive measures betrays a fundamental misunderstanding and disregard for both the nature of Anglicanism and the nature of our Communion.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Global South Churches & Primates* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

February 12, 2016 at 5:29 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

C of E Theological education Reform Plans provoke response from Seminary leaders
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Under the new scheme, from September 2017, the diocese would be able to choose whether candidates attended a residential or a regional course. Different amounts of funding would be made available from central funds, depending on the age of the candidate.

It is this last detail that has alarmed the theological college principals. The proposal is that £41,900 be given to train candidates under 30, enough to cover a three-year residential course. Those in their thirties would receive £28,000; those between 40 and 55, £18,400; and those over 55, £12,300.

This bias to the young will, the principals write, “enshrine an inbuilt and systemic bias against women and in favour of men in financial terms. This is because the existing pattern and profile of ordinands shows more men than women in that age bracket entering training.”

Read it all from the Church Times.

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February 12, 2016 at 5:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Gelasian Sacramentary
Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who by thy Son dost marvellously work out the salvation of mankind: Grant, we beseech thee, that, following the example of our blessed Lord, and observing such a fast as thou dost choose, we may both be subjected to thee with all our hearts, and united to each other in holy charity; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

February 12, 2016 at 4:22 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Scripture Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

“Yet you say, ‘Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?’ When the son has done what is lawful and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live. The soul that sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

Read more...

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

February 12, 2016 at 4:08 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Jayson Caspar: Strength in weakness: Egypt president’s apology spurs hope
Posted by The_Elves

Humble St George’s Church in Belhasa south of Cairo became a home for dogs and goats after its destruction by pro-Morsi supporters during Egypt’s 2011 revolution.

Now it’s been reopened better than ever – thanks to a surprise announcement by Egypt’s President.

‘This is a beautiful gesture for a new age’, said Bishop Biemen, Head of Crisis Management for the Coptic Orthodox Church. ‘We have been pampered’.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi visited the Coptic Cathedral in Cairo on 6 January - Coptic Christmas Eve - for the second year running. Amid raucous applause he did the most un-presidential thing: he apologized...

Read it all from Lapido Media

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryMiddle EastEgypt

February 11, 2016 at 8:57 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Same-Sex Marriage remains divisive issue in Episcopal Church in Middle Tennessee
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Nationally, the Episcopal Church authorized its clergy to perform same-sex marriages in July but gave bishops the right to refuse to allow the religious ceremonies to happen in their diocese. Clergy also can refuse. Bishop John Bauerschmidt of the Diocese of Tennessee did not grant permission for same-sex marriages in his region, which covers Nashville and much of Middle Tennessee.

The resolution [passed at the recnet diocesan Convention] did not change the bishop's ruling, nor did it ask him to. But it does explain that "many in our diocese believe that LGBTQ members are painfully excluded from the full sacramental ministry of the Episcopal Church in our diocese," while also urging unity.

Bauerschmidt said in a statement to The Tennessean that he appreciated the support.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

February 11, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Telegraph) Anthony Evans-Pritchard This is a global stock market rout worth celebrating
Posted by Kendall Harmon

We toiling workers can allow ourselves a wry smile. For most of the last eight years the owners of wealth and inflated assets have had things their own way, while the real economy has been left behind.

The tables are finally turning. The world may look absolutely ghastly if your metric is the stock market, but it is much the same or slightly better if you are at the coal face.

The MSCI index of world equities has fallen almost 20pc since its all-time high in May of 2015, implying a $14 trillion loss of paper wealth. Yet the world economy has carried on at more or less the same anemic pace, and the OECD's global leading indicators show no sign that it is suddenly rolling over now.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankHousing/Real Estate MarketLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPersonal FinanceStock MarketThe U.S. GovernmentFederal ReserveEnergy, Natural ResourcesForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaChinaEurope* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

February 11, 2016 at 5:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(CEN) Simon Butler—‘Stop blaming the bishops over Shared Conversations’
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Vicar of Battersea (Southwark) and Prolocutor of the Convocation of Canterbury in General Synod, Canon Simon Butler, an openly gay priest, told us he has not interpreted the actions of the Primates’ Meeting as primarily an attack on The Episcopal Church (TEC USA) or on LGBT people, but instead has come to see it as reaffirmation of the bonds of communion from the Primates.

He said it was a statement of love and fellowship that steadfastly refuses to exclude American Anglicans, including those who are LGBT, while at the same time reaffirming ‘what cannot be but obvious to most people’ – that the majority of the Communion’s member Churches have not reached the point where they can go along with TEC’s position.

“The Primates’ ‘consequences’ should not, I believe, be seen as punitive, but as a reflection of the current state of play in the Communion with respect to marriage equality,” he said.

Read more...

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilySexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

February 11, 2016 at 4:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(ARDA) David Briggs—Is there a point of no return for the resurgence of mainline Protestantism?
Posted by Kendall Harmon

New research suggests that not only is there no end in sight, but there are few signs of hope for revival in rapidly aging, shrinking groups such as the Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Consider these findings from two of the largest surveys of U.S. congregations:

• In just the last five years, the percentage of mainline Protestant congregations where more than one-fifth are ages 18 to 35 has decreased dramatically. In 2010, some 4.8 percent of mainline congregations reported having that large a proportion of young adults in the pews; by 2015, just 1.3 percent reported that high a percentage, according to initial findings from the 2015 Faith Communities Today (FACT) survey.
• Children made up just 16 percent of regular attenders in mainline Protestant congregations, compared to an average of 29 percent in other Christian traditions, according to a new analysis of the 2012 wave of the National Congregations Study (NCS).
• Mainline Protestants recorded a nearly 30 percent decline – from 24 percent in 1998 to 17 percent in 2012 – in the proportion of its members filling U.S. pews, the NCS study found.
• In the 2005 FACT survey, a little more than half of mainline churches said fewer than 100 people on average were at weekend worship; in 2015, nearly two-thirds attracted less than 100 worshippers. Sociologist David Roozen, a FACT study director, reported the findings at the annual meeting of the Religious Research Association.

How serious are the numbers?

“It might already be beyond that point” where a significant recovery is possible, said Duke University sociologist Mark Chaves, NCS director and author of “American Religion: Contemporary Trends.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSociology* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesMethodistPentecostal* Theology

February 11, 2016 at 12:48 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

An Episcopal Priest in Chehalis, Washington responds to the Primates Gathering
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Last month, the archbishops of the Anglican Communion voted to temporarily kick the American branch of the Communion, the Episcopal Church, out of its international association to a degree for its acceptance of gays and lesbians.
Two-thirds of the 37 leaders of the Communion voted for the censorship, suspending the Episcopal Church from voting and decision-making for the next three years.
While the decision is said to have derived from the Episcopal Church’s decision in July of last year to allow its priests to perform same-sex marriages, Father Joe Mikel, priest at St. Timothy Episcopal Church in Chehalis, agrees with the Episcopal Church’s acceptance.
“If you’re gay, a lesbian, transgender human being, do I throw you on the ash heap of life?” Mikel asked. “Are they human beings? Do they need love? Do they long for inclusion and forgiveness … just like me?”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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

(C of E Comm Blog) William Nye: Renewal and Reform – some thoughts
Posted by Kendall Harmon

First of all, what is R&R? I would describe it as a set of initiatives and activities intended to improve the support that the national church institutions can give to the Church proper (the Church in the dioceses, parishes, schools etc) in its work of mission. It’s coming from the National Church Institutions because it’s about things that those institutions (the Church Commissioners, the General Synod, the Archbishops’ Council etc) can do. But it comes from the national church institutions in response to what the dioceses said when members and staff from Church House asked what they wanted, to help the Church for the future. And because it’s a response, it’s not a national plan or a national strategy for the Church.

Secondly, what’s it for? This bit’s easy. For me, the purpose of R&R is to contribute to turning around the decades-long decline in the Church: a decline which we all know is there, on almost any measure we choose to look at – but also a decline which we know can be reversed, because in many places there are hopeful signs of how it can be done. R&R can only be a contribution, because the Church exists in the parishes, not in Synods or Councils. But Synods and Councils can contribute – and they can help work towards a hopeful future, in which we once again have a growing Church, with more people coming to faith, with more people deepening their faith and living Christian lives, and the Church doing more good for this country.

Thirdly, why now? If the question is “why not before now?”, I can’t answer that. If it’s “why do we have to do it now?”, that’s because our Church is shrinking fast, and it could start diminishing faster at any moment without action. Only the Church of England has a national mission to be a Church for everyone, in every community. Other denominations have shrunk and withdrawn from great swathes of the country.

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

February 11, 2016 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Achbp Justin Welby—‘The Generational Struggle’ - ending religiously justified violence
Posted by Kendall Harmon

We must overcome this upsurge in religiously justified violence, which by its nature, in all of the great world faith traditions, perverts and abandons its original host by exempting itself from ethical principles, and caring nothing for human life.

Theologically, we need to start by accepting first that we live out what we are facing in the world, in every area of our lives, as fallen human beings in a fallen world. As Christians, I believe profoundly we must recapture and rename the theology of the Fall. The effect of the Fall is that we are consumed by fear of the other, and we cannot name things well. In Genesis chapter 1, Adam and Eve, before the Fall, name everything. And they are not afraid of each other. By the time they fall, they are incapable of seeing each other transparently.

We need, therefore, to name and develop truth, as part of the theological narrative of reconciliation, not merely to condemn violence. I’m often asked, if there’s some terrible event, to say something in 140 characters on Twitter or a couple of sentences on Facebook that adequately and completely describes a bomb explosion that has killed 200 people. It’s absurd. How do we name truth? Condemning violence by itself is not good enough; there must be something positive that we can say.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

February 11, 2016 at 7:10 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(ABC Nightline) Unabomber Ted Kaczynski’s Brother, Sister-in-Law Recall Turning Him in to FBI
Posted by Kendall Harmon

"I'd thought about the families that were bombed. There was one in which the package arrived to the man's home and his little 2-year-old daughter was there. She was almost in the room when he opened the package. Luckily she left, and his wife left. And then he died," Patrik told ABC News' Byron Pitts. "And there were others. And so I spent those days thinking about those people."

Between 1978 and 1995, Kaczynski placed or mailed 16 bombs that killed three people and injured 23 others, according to authorities.

In 1995, before he was identified as the Unabomber, he demanded newspapers to publish a long manuscript he had written, saying the killings would continue otherwise. Both the New York Times and Washington Post published the 35,000-word manifesto later that year at the recommendation of the Attorney General and the Director of the FBI.

A professor of philosophy, Patrik recognized familiar sounding ideas in the manuscript from letters her husband David Kaczynski had received from his older brother Ted, including a 23-page essay in which he raged against the modern world. In the essay, Ted wrote phrases such as, "Technology has already made it impossible for us to live as physically independent beings."

Read it all (or watch the video which is recommended).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyPsychologyMental Illness* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyTheodicy

February 11, 2016 at 6:00 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Fanny Crosby
Posted by Kendall Harmon



O God, the blessed assurance of all who trust in thee: We give thee thanks for thy servant Fanny Crosby, who, though blind from infancy, beheld thy glory with great clarity of vision and spent her life giving voice to thy people’s heartfelt praise; and we pray that we, inspired by her words and example, may rejoice to sing of thy love, praising our Savior all the day long; who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God in perfect harmony, now and for ever. Amen

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryLiturgy, Music, WorshipSpirituality/Prayer

February 11, 2016 at 4:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Prayers for the Christian Year
Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Lord our God, who art of purer eyes than to behold iniquity: Have mercy upon us, we beseech thee, for our sins accuse us, and we are troubled by them and put to shame. We have done wrong to ourselves in ignorance, and to our brethren in willfulness, and by our selfish and faithless ways have grieved thy Holy Spirit. Forgive us, we humbly pray thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

February 11, 2016 at 4:20 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]