CofE Synod fails to take note of House of Bishops’ Marriage Report
Posted by The_Elves

In a vote by houses, a motion to take note of the House of Bishops Report on Marriage and Same Sex Relationships failed in the House of Clergy.

Synod had been asked to 'take note' of 'Marriage and Same Sex Relationships after the Shared Conversations: a report from the House of Bishops' [GS 2055]

The results by house were:
House of Bishops: For 43; Against 1; Abstained Nil
House of Clergy: For 93; Against 100; Abstained 2
House of Laity: For 106; Against 83; Abstained 4

The main motion having failed, all the subsequent motions based upon a positive result therefore become redundant.

Update A report from the CofE Media Office with an official version of what happened may be read here

Official tweets @Synod here and general tweets @GenSyn here

There is a useful report from David Pocklington of the Law and Religion weblog here

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

February 15, 2017 at 2:15 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

C of E Presentation from the Bp of Norwich+Bp of Willesden this morning
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of Willesden concluded by saying:

"We lack a consensus on what we mean by "good disagreement" - is it about process or is it about outcomes? I think that many who want change believe that it's possible, on the basis of good disagreement, to have pluriformity of practice in the Church. Others don't believe that it's possible to live in that way because of the canonical and legal constraints of uniformity that exist in our Church.

We will find this debate a continuing source of disagreement because we haven't coalesced around an end point. When we legislated for women to be bishops, even those opposed came to the view that the Church of England had to make it possible for women to be bishops in the Church of God according to our canons and formularies. In this debate, we haven't even begun to find a place where we can coalesce. The Bishops' Report acknowledges a place of starting. More conversation is needed. We don't yet know the next stage - nor yet when and whether we can bring any further report to Synod. Please make the fullest possible use of the groups and the debate to enable those deliberations."

Read it all and the presentations are below.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral Care* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyPsychologyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

February 15, 2017 at 6:50 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Recent Key Entries 2016
Posted by The_Elves

+ GAFCON Chairman’s October 2016 Letter (October 31, 2016 at 11:31 pm)
+ Evangelicals write to CofE Bishops about their plans to depart from the faith (October 17, 2016 at 2:37 pm)
+ Communiqué from the 6th Global South Conferenc (October 8, 2016 at 8:15 am)

+ 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 - 6 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Church Times) David Goodhew examines growth and decline in parts of the Anglican Communion
Posted by Kendall Harmon

...numerical growth and decline do matter. They matter theologically. Scripture, doctrine, and church tradition place a high value on growing congregations and starting new ones. They matter experientially: there is much evid¬ence that congregations enhance individual and community well-being.

And they matter also because churches, like individuals, live out of the narratives that they tell about themselves — and narratives of numerical growth or decline mould how churches understand themselves. Churches and provinces see themselves as “major” or “minor” players, are fearful or confident, because of whether they see themselves as growing or shrinking. Often, the stories that churches tell of themselves are not wholly based on reality, or they are based on past realities, ignoring what is happening now. So it matters that narratives of growth and decline tell the truth.

Besides, the Church of England (like many other Anglicans in the global North) has hardly been guilty of excessive concern for numerical growth in recent decades. There is much inverse snobbery about numerical growth, as something “just not done” in polite ecclesial circles. This feeds into a widespread “decline theology”. Decline theology sees church decline as unproblem¬atic, or even to be accepted as “inevitable”. Decline theology is an internalisation of the secularisation thesis. It creates an ecclesiology of fatalism. Perhaps God has other ideas.

Read it all from the long list of should-have-already-been-posted material.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchBooksGlobalizationReligion & Culture* Theology

February 23, 2017 at 9:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Emma Green Wrestles w/ Rod Dreher’s argument for communal religious life in The Benedict Option
Posted by Kendall Harmon

There was a time when Christian thinkers like Dreher, who writes for The American Conservative, might have prepared to fight for cultural and political control. Dreher, however, sees this as futile. “Could it be that the best way to fight the flood is to … stop fighting the flood?” he asks. “Rather than wasting energy and resources fighting unwinnable political battles, we should instead work on building communities, institutions, and networks of resistance that can outwit, outlast, and eventually overcome the occupation.” This strategic withdrawal from public life is what he calls the Benedict option.

Dreher’s proposal is as remarkable as his fear. It is a radical rejection of the ties between Christianity and typical forms of power, from Republican politics to market-driven wealth. Instead, Dreher says, Christians should embrace pluralism, choosing to fortify their own communities and faith as one sub-culture among many in the United States.

But it is a vision that will not be easily achieved. Conservative Christianity no longer sets the norms in American culture, and transitioning away from a position of dominance to a position of co-existence will require significant adjustment, especially for a people who believe so strongly in evangelism. Even if that happens, there are always challenges at the boundaries of sub-cultures. It’s not clear that Dreher has a clear vision of how Christians should engage with those they disagree with—especially the LGBT Americans they blame for pushing them out of mainstream culture.

Read it all from The Atlantic.

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

February 23, 2017 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(C of E) Hidden gems from Londons chapels uncovered
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Hidden gems from London's ecclesiastical past - and present - are uncovered through a new project exploring the capital's Anglican chapels through the eyes of a unique chronicler of church buildings.

London's Unseen Chapels: From the Notebooks of Canon Clarke, a Heritage Lottery Fund-supported project, will leaf through the pages of Canon Basil Fulford Clarke's (1907-78) notebooks.

The project uncovers the ways in which institutions such as Temple Church and Charterhouse Chapel provided spiritual care to those from all gradations of society, and continue to do so successfully today.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

February 23, 2017 at 7:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Great Kiskadee appears in Colleton County that has likely never visited South Carolina before
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Great Kiskadee appears in Colleton County that has likely never visited South Carolina before https://t.co/1vuidqgcie #birds #southcarolina

— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) February 23, 2017



Read it all.

Filed under: * General InterestAnimalsPhotos/Photography* South Carolina

February 23, 2017 at 6:30 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Portion of the Martyrdom of Saint Polycarp for his Feast Day
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Now, as Polycarp was entering into the stadium, there came to him a voice from heaven, saying, “Be strong, and show thyself a man, O Polycarp!” No one saw who it was that spoke to him; but those of our brethren who were present heard the voice. And as he was brought forward, the tumult became great when they heard that Polycarp was taken. And when he came near, the proconsul asked him whether he was Polycarp. On his confessing that he was, [the proconsul] sought to persuade him to deny [Christ], saying, “Have respect to thy old age,” and other similar things, according to their custom, [such as], “Swear by the fortune of Cæsar; repent, and say, Away with the Atheists.” But Polycarp, gazing with a stern countenance on all the multitude of the wicked heathen then in the stadium, and waving his hand towards them, while with groans he looked up to heaven, said, “Away with the Atheists.” Then, the proconsul urging him, and saying, “Swear, and I will set thee at liberty, reproach Christ;” Polycarp declared, “Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me any injury: how then can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour?”

--The Martyrdom of Saint Polycarp, Chapter IX.

The feast of Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, who was allegedly burned at the stake in 155/156, is celebrated #OnThisDay pic.twitter.com/WxaXBpfVez

— CANI (@ClassAssocNI) February 23, 2017


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals

February 23, 2017 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

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

O God, the maker of heaven and earth, who didst give to thy venerable servant, the holy and gentle Polycarp, boldness to confess Jesus Christ as King and Saviour, and steadfastness to die for his faith: Give us grace, after his example, to share the cup of Christ and rise to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Happy feast of St Polycarp. Here he is, second on the left, in a mosaic from St Appolinaris, Ravenna. pic.twitter.com/CjZNTB7GiJ

— St Hugh Knaphill (@StHughKnaphill) February 23, 2016


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsSpirituality/Prayer

February 23, 2017 at 5:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

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

O Lord Jesus Christ, in all the fullness of thy power so gentle, in thine exceeding greatness so humble: Bestow thy mind and spirit upon us, who have nothing whereof to boast; that clothed in true humility, we may be exalted to true greatness. Grant this, O Lord, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God for evermore.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

February 23, 2017 at 5:20 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Bible Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Song of Ascents. Of David. O LORD, my heart is not lifted up, my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a child quieted at its mother's breast; like a child that is quieted is my soul. O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.

--Psalm 131

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

February 23, 2017 at 5:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(NYTBR) Ibram Kendi—A History of Race and Racism in America, in 24 Chapters
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Many Americans might not know the more polemical side of race writing in our history. The canon of African-American literature is well established. Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, James Baldwin are familiar figures. Far less so is Samuel Morton (champion of the obsolete theory of polygenesis) or Thomas Dixon (author of novels romanticizing Klan violence). It is tempting to think that the influence of those dusty polemics ebbed as the dust accumulated. But their legacy persists, freshly shaping much of our racial discourse.

On the occasion of Black History Month, I’ve selected the most influential books on race and the black experience published in the United States for each decade of the nation’s existence — a history of race through ideas, arranged chronologically on the shelf. (In many cases, I’ve added a complementary work, noted with an asterisk.) Each of these books was either published first in the United States or widely read by Americans. They inspired — and sometimes ended — the fiercest debates of their times: debates over slavery, segregation, mass incarceration. They offered racist explanations for inequities, and antiracist correctives. Some — the poems of Phillis Wheatley, the memoir of Frederick Douglass — stand literature’s test of time. Others have been roundly debunked by science, by data, by human experience. No list can ever be comprehensive, and “most influential” by no means signifies “best.” But I would argue that together, these works tell the history of anti-black racism in the United States as painfully, as eloquently, as disturbingly as words can. In many ways, they also tell its present.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksHistoryRace/Race Relations* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

February 22, 2017 at 4:34 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

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



Read it all.

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

February 22, 2017 at 3:21 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(America) Ed Block—The transformational world of Jon Hassler
Posted by Kendall Harmon

In an interview for Image magazine in 1997, I asked Hassler about the origin of his Catholic worldview. He responded, “I’m indebted to those first few grades in parochial school for teaching me that everything in life is connected.” A bit later he added, “I guess maybe I see life as a whole.” It is part of Hassler’s gift, throughout his career, to see life as a whole, juxtaposing events and characters, thus yielding new meanings and interrelationships, making the entire work appear to fly. In a word, Hassler’s style is not “magic realism” but realism magically transformed.

Again and again Hassler transforms the banality of evil into Flannery O’Connor-type characters and events. A crazed woman kills a burnt-out teacher; a brilliant teacher stricken by multiple sclerosis turns psychotic in his despondency; an unloved juvenile delinquent is crushed beneath a walk-in cooler like the Wicked Witch beneath Dorothy’s Kansas cottage. But like St. Augustine, who speaks of God’s love treating “each of us as an only child,” Hassler (who includes many only children in his fiction) treats every character in that way. Jon Hassler discovers God’s presence in everyday life, as his novels throw a grace-filled light upon caring teachers, open-hearted wives and lovers, priests and spinsters—and a latchkey child who responds to an old man’s need for friendship and for love.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksEducationHistoryReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

February 22, 2017 at 11:26 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(BBC) Killed for Christ in the Amazon
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Five American Christian missionaries were killed by members of an Amazonian tribe. Valerie Shepard’s father, Jim Elliot, was one of the five men on the mission into the jungle.

Take the time to watch it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryMissionsParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.South AmericaEcuador

February 22, 2017 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

([London] Times) Muslim parents choose church schools because of the focus on faith
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Many Muslim parents send their children to church schools because they prepare young people for “life in modern Britain”, a senior figure in the Church of England has said.

The Rev Nigel Genders said that church schools offered a “deeply Christian” education yet were attractive to families of other religions because they took faith seriously.

Mr Genders, chief education officer at the Church of England, which has about 4,500 primary schools, said that they would never drop their religious character even though more children from non-Christian families were attending them.

Read it all (requires subscription)

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchChildrenEducationMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslam* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

February 22, 2017 at 7:30 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(ABC Aus) Coptic Christians flee an unwelcome Egypt, seek refuge in Australia
Posted by Kendall Harmon

A church in the middle of Cairo is bombed. A 70-year-old woman is stripped naked and paraded through a southern Egyptian village.

Military vehicles run over Coptic protesters, dismembering and mangling 27 people in the worst massacre of Christians in the country's history.

Firebrand preachers shout incensed anti-Christian messages from the pulpit and mobs attack Coptic churches, businesses and homes.

This is now a daily routine for Egypt's Coptic Christians, the largest Christian minority in the Middle East.

Read it all.

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

February 22, 2017 at 7:01 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Economist) Gene editing, clones and the science of making babies
Posted by Kendall Harmon

It used to be so simple. Girl met boy. Gametes were transferred through plumbing optimised by millions of years of evolution. Then, nine months later, part of that plumbing presented the finished product to the world. Now things are becoming a lot more complicated. A report published on February 14th by America’s National Academy of Sciences gives qualified support to research into gene-editing techniques so precise that genetic diseases like haemophilia and sickle-cell anaemia can be fixed before an embryo even starts to develop. The idea of human cloning triggered a furore when, 20 years ago this week, Dolly the sheep was revealed to the world (see article); much fuss about nothing, some would say, looking back. But other technological advances are making cloning humans steadily more feasible.

Some are horrified at the prospect of people “playing God” with reproduction. Others, whose lives are blighted by childlessness or genetic disease, argue passionately for the right to alleviate suffering. Either way, the science is coming and society will have to work out what it thinks.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsScience & TechnologySexuality* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

February 22, 2017 at 6:29 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

More for Eric Liddell’s Feast Day—The Second Life of the Man Who Wouldn’t Run on Sunday
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Liddell lived life to the hilt, but not in the modern “I am tenaciously dedicated to my own hedonic brand” kind of way. Liddell’s vision of an all-out life was to assess his options, count the cost, and then take the most risky step in the name of Jesus Christ. The calculation was a simple one: “Each one comes to the cross-roads at some period of his life,” Hamilton quotes Liddell as preaching, “and must make his decision for or against his Master.” This Christocentric logic made great sense to Liddell, even if it made little sense to the world. Liddell faced fierce skepticism for his attempts to live out his faith, whether in his famous decision not to run on Sundays or his withdrawal from competition in order to answer the missionary call.

This example can help inform contemporary engagement for believers. Much effort is made today by younger evangelicals to get the cultural backflip just right, to strenuously befriend unbelievers while never offending them with over-stressed Christianity. Liddell’s was a more straightforward approach. Drafting off of the Sermon on the Mount, his favorite section of Scripture, he stood for his convictions without flinching while loving his neighbor without hesitating. The resulting model of Christian witness is as simple as it is inspiring.

Liddell was not a perfect man, of course. Hamilton covers his lengthy separation from his family with a clear eye. Married in 1934 to the untiring Florence, Liddell fathered three children. He loved his wife and kids, but as Hamilton notes, his first priority was the work of missions. This meant lengthy periods of separation as Liddell worked in Siaochang and later Tientsin. The work was always grueling, and China in the 1930s and 1940s was a very fearsome place indeed. Liddell was often robbed, frequently hungry and dirty, and regularly accosted by officials seeking to impede his work.

Read it all from Christianity Today.

72 years ago today, Olympic runner and missionary to China Eric Liddell passed away from a brain tumor https://t.co/IJkElP1x9d

— Christianity Today (@CTmagazine) February 21, 2017


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryMissions* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureSports* International News & CommentaryAsiaChinaEngland / UK--Scotland

February 22, 2017 at 6:15 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Meir Soloveichik for Eric Liddell’s Feast Day—Finding God in the Olympic Footrace
Posted by Kendall Harmon

While Americans rightly exult in the achievements of U.S. medalists, “Chariots of Fire” also serves as a reminder that athletics and even patriotism only mean so much. When Liddell is informed that a qualifying heat takes place on Sunday, his Sabbath, he chooses not to compete in that race. The camera cuts from athletes at the Olympics to Liddell reading a passage in Isaiah: “Behold the nations are as a drop in the bucket . . . but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings, as eagles. They shall run, and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.” David Puttnam, a “Chariots of Fire” producer, wrote me that the verses were “specifically selected by the actor, the late Ian Charleson, who gave himself the task of reading the entire Bible whilst preparing for the film.”

The Isaiah passage is liturgically important for Jews: Parts of it are declaimed in synagogue on the Sabbath when we read God’s command to Abraham to leave the center of civilization and found a family, and a faith, in a new land. Isaiah reminds Jews that Abraham’s children have encountered much worse than what Harold Abrahams experienced. While most nations now rest on the ash heap of history, the biblical Abraham’s odyssey continues. The countries competing in today’s Olympics come and go, while those who “wait upon the Lord” endure.

“Chariots of Fire” also offers a message for people of faith who have grown troubled by the secularization of society and the realization that they are often scorned by elites. Like Liddell, we may be forced to choose religious principle over social success. Hopefully, however, we will be able to use our gifts to sanctify this world. As Liddell’s father told his son in the film: “Run in God’s name, and let the world stand back in wonder.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureSports* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsJudaism* TheologyTheology: Scripture

February 22, 2017 at 6:00 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Eric Liddell
Posted by Kendall Harmon

God whose strength bears us up as on mighty wings: We rejoice in remembering thy athlete and missionary, Eric Liddell, to whom thou didst bestow courage and resolution in contest and in captivity; and we pray that we also may run with endurance the race that is set before us and persevere in patient witness, until we wear that crown of victory won for us by Jesus our Savior; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

21 February 1945. Chariots of Fire legend Eric Liddell (aged 43) died. He won the 400 metres at 1924 Paris Olympics. pic.twitter.com/I0K4e7eF97

— Prof.Frank McDonough (@FXMC1957) February 21, 2017


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryMissionsSpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryAsiaChinaEngland / UK--Scotland

February 22, 2017 at 5:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer to Begin the Day from James Mountain
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Grant, O Lord, we beseech thee, that we who are called to the course of the Christian life may so run the race that is set before us as to obtain the incorruptible crown which thou hast promised to them that love thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

--The Rev. James Mountain (1844-1933)

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

February 22, 2017 at 5:20 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Scripture Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Now Na′omi had a kinsman of her husband’s, a man of wealth, of the family of Elim′elech, whose name was Bo′az. And Ruth the Moabitess said to Na′omi, “Let me go to the field, and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favor.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.” So she set forth and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers; and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Bo′az, who was of the family of Elim′elech. And behold, Bo′az came from Bethlehem; and he said to the reapers, “The Lord be with you!” And they answered, “The Lord bless you.” Then Bo′az said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, “Whose maiden is this?” And the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, “It is the Moabite maiden, who came back with Na′omi from the country of Moab. She said, ‘Pray, let me glean and gather among the sheaves after the reapers.’ So she came, and she has continued from early morning until now, without resting even for a moment.”

Read more...

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

February 22, 2017 at 5:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Bishop in Europe Robert Innes: Faith in Lyon
Posted by Kendall Harmon

It took three and three-quarter hours to travel by TGV from Brussels to Lyon, far enough to be in a different climate, where the crocuses, primroses and even some daffodils were in bloom. We checked in to a family-run hotel close to the magnificent Place Bellecour, in the heart of France’s second city.

There was just time to change before leaving for Mass, where chaplain Ben Harding and I were guests of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin. He gave me a gracious introduction and invited me to read the gospel. The temperature inside the splendid cathedral was icy, and we were glad of our coats.

Read it all and enjoy the pictures.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* International News & CommentaryEuropeFrance

February 21, 2017 at 5:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(NR) Kathryn Jean Lopez-Christians in the Middle East refuse hatred, even as they face the machete
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Two years ago this month Beshir Kamel went on television and thanked so-called Islamic State terrorists for not editing out the last words of his brother and the other Egyptian men they beheaded on a beach in Libya. “Lord, Jesus Christ,” were the last words of the Coptic Christians slaughtered because of their faith.

The courage and integrity of their witness strengthened Kamel’s faith. “We are proud to have this number of people from our village who have become martyrs,” he said after his brother’s murder. “Since the Roman era, Christians have been martyrs and have learned to handle everything that comes our way. This only makes us stronger in our faith, because the Bible told us to love our enemies and bless those who curse us.” He further explained that his mother is prepared to welcome any of the men involved in her son’s beheading into her house. If one of them were to visit her, she would “ask God to open his eyes, because he was the reason her son entered the kingdom of heaven.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryMiddle East* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesCoptic ChurchOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyChristology

February 21, 2017 at 4:01 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(ABC Aus) South Sudan famine declared as 100,000 people face starvation
Posted by Kendall Harmon

It takes a lot to declare a famine.

If a population can't find enough food it's not strictly a famine. Nor is it famine if one third of the population is severely malnourished.

The United Nations' definition of famine is when three conditions coincide: at least 20 per cent of a population faces extreme food shortages, 30 per cent of people experience acute malnutrition, and at least two people per 10,000 die every day.

This week both the UN and the World Food Program agreed with South Sudan's decision to declare a state of famine in parts of the country's south.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDieting/Food/NutritionPoverty* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaSudan--South Sudan* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

February 21, 2017 at 11:34 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(CT) Rod Dreher—The Benedict Option’s Vision for a Christian Village
Posted by Kendall Harmon

In my 2006 book, Crunchy Cons, which explored a countercultural, traditionalist conservative sensibility, I brought up the work of philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre, who said that Western civilization had lost its moorings. MacIntyre said that the time is coming when men and women of virtue will understand that continued full participation in mainstream society was not possible for those who want to live a life of traditional virtue. These people would find new ways to live in community, he said, just as St. Benedict, the sixth-century father of Western monasticism, responded to the collapse of Roman civilization by founding a monastic order.

I called the strategic withdrawal prophesied by MacIntyre “the Benedict Option.” The idea is that serious Christian conservatives could no longer live business-as-usual lives in America, that we have to develop creative, communal solutions to help us hold on to our faith and our values in a world growing ever more hostile to them. We would have to choose to make a decisive leap into a truly countercultural way of living Christianity, or we would doom our children and our children’s children to assimilation.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksChildrenHistoryMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsSecularism* Theology

February 21, 2017 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(WSJ) Wary of Modern Society, Some Christians Choose a Life Apart
Posted by Kendall Harmon

When the first few monks arrived in Hulbert, Okla., in 1999, there wasn’t much around but tough soil, a creek and an old cabin where they slept as they began to build a Benedictine monastery in the Ozark foothills.

Dozens of families from California, Texas and Kansas have since followed, drawn by the abbey’s traditional Latin Mass—conducted as it was more than 1,000 years ago—and by the desire to live in one of the few communities in the U.S. composed almost exclusively of traditional Catholics.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsSecularism* Theology

February 21, 2017 at 7:30 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Well keep fighting for civil partnerships for mixed-sex couples; were closer than ever
Posted by Kendall Harmon

"My overall conclusion: the appellants are right.” These were the words of Lady Justice Arden in the Court of Appeal today – and yet we lost our legal challenge to the government’s ongoing ban on mixed-sex civil partnerships.

Lady Justice Arden’s two fellow judges disagreed – and outvoted her. All of the judges were critical of the status quo, whereby civil partnerships are still only available to same-sex couples, despite 13 years passing since their introduction and clear demand for them among mixed-sex couples. But the other two judges concluded that the government should be allowed more time to make a decision on whether to extend civil partnerships to mixed-sex couples before its position becomes unlawful.

Naturally we are deeply disappointed by this ruling. The narrowness of the defeat makes it all the harder to swallow: we came so close to winning, yet lost on a technicality. Nevertheless, there is so much in the ruling that is positive.

Read it all from the Guardian.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyMenReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & PartnershipsWomen* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

February 21, 2017 at 6:59 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Food for Thought at the Beginning of the Day from Jon Hassler
Posted by Kendall Harmon

"You know why I'd never be a priest, Frank? Priests never know anything outside their field. They're all so spacey."
--Jon Hassler, North of Hope (Chicago: Loyola Press, 1990), p. 483

(Amazon)

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchBooksReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Theology

February 21, 2017 at 6:15 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon—How do we live into God’s call to mission (Matthew 9:35-38)?
Posted by Kendall Harmon

You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there.

(Christ/St. Paul's Church Yonges Island SC; photo by Jacob Borrett)

Filed under: * By KendallSermons & Teachings* Christian Life / Church LifeMissionsParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* Culture-WatchGlobalization* TheologyChristologySoteriologyTheology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)Theology: Scripture

February 21, 2017 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

George Weigel: (On his Feast Day) John Henry Newman’s Faith
Posted by Kendall Harmon

I once had the honor of spending time in Newman’s rooms at the Birmingham Oratory, which are much as the aged cardinal left them at his death in 1890. Over the altar, which occupies one side of the room, are tacked-up notes by which Cardinal Newman reminded himself of those for whom he had promised to pray. In the sitting room, a tattered newspaper map, also tacked to a wall, bears silent testimony to Newman’s interest in Kitchener’s efforts to lift the siege of Khartoum and rescue General Gordon from the Mahdi, a 19th century jihadist (Gordon died with Newman’s poem, “The Dream of Gerontius,” in his pocket). Perhaps most touching are Newman’s Latin breviaries, which he began to use as an Anglican, causing much controversy about such popish practices.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* Theology

February 21, 2017 at 5:51 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer for the Feast Day of John Henry Newman
Posted by Kendall Harmon

God of all wisdom, we offer thanks for John Henry Newman, whose eloquence bore witness that thy Church is one, holy, catholic and apostolic, and who didst make of his own life a pilgrimage towards thy truth. Grant that, inspired by his words and example, we may ever follow thy kindly light till we rest in thy bosom, with your dear Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, where heart speaks to heart eternally; for thou livest and reignest, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

(John Henry Newman by Sir John Everett Millais, NPG, Wilipedia)

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

February 21, 2017 at 5:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer to Begin the Day from New Every Morning
Posted by Kendall Harmon

O thou in whom we live and move and have our being, awaken us to thy presence that we may walk in thy world as thy children. Grant us reverence for all thy creation, that we may treat our fellow men with courtesy, and all living things with gentleness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

--New Every Morning (The Prayer Book Of The Daily Broadcast Service) [BBC, 1900]

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

February 21, 2017 at 5:20 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Scripture Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From whence does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved, he who keeps you will not slumber.

--Psalm 121:1-3

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

February 21, 2017 at 5:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Monday Mental Health Break-A Wonderful Visual Portrayal of Mont Saint-Michel
Posted by Kendall Harmon


Filed under: * General InterestPhotos/Photography* International News & CommentaryEuropeFrance

February 20, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

PBS—How well do you know presidential history?
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Are you an expert on the presidency?

Presidents Day is as good a time as any to test your knowledge of the 45 men who have held the highest elected office in the country. Take this 15-question quiz to see where you rank.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralOffice of the President* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

February 20, 2017 at 2:10 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Washington’s Birthday Documents (III)—His circular letter to the States, June 8, 1783
Posted by Kendall Harmon

I now make it my earnest prayer, that God would have you, and the State over which you preside, in his holy protection; that he would incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the field; and finally, that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind, which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation.

I have the honor to be, with much esteem and respect, Sir, your Excellency’s most obedient and most humble servant.

--George Washington
Head-Quarters, Newburg,
8 June, 1783.

Read it all.

National Engineers Week is always the week in February and encompasses George Washington's birthday, February 22. #EWeek2017 #ScienceMarch pic.twitter.com/Id5NGci4NI

— March for Science (@ScienceMarchDC) February 20, 2017


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralOffice of the President* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

February 20, 2017 at 1:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Washington’s Birthday Documents (II): George Washington’s First State of Union Address
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives:

I embrace with great satisfaction the opportunity which now presents itself of congratulating you on the present favorable prospects of our public affairs. The recent accession of the important state of North Carolina to the Constitution of the United States (of which official information has been received), the rising credit and respectability of our country, the general and increasing good will toward the government of the Union, and the concord, peace, and plenty with which we are blessed are circumstances auspicious in an eminent degree to our national prosperity.

In resuming your consultations for the general good you can not but derive encouragement from the reflection that the measures of the last session have been as satisfactory to your constituents as the novelty and difficulty of the work allowed you to hope. Still further to realize their expectations and to secure the blessings which a gracious Providence has placed within our reach will in the course of the present important session call for the cool and deliberate exertion of your patriotism, firmness, and wisdom.

Read it all.

We're celebrating George Washington's Birthday with FREE general admission on the 20th and 22nd: https://t.co/EY6Lhgz8Uy pic.twitter.com/aaV2ppi43h

— Mount Vernon (@MountVernon) February 19, 2017


Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralOffice of the President* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

February 20, 2017 at 11:01 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

History Buzz: a Washington’s Birthday Quiz : How well do you know our chief executives?
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Here are a few questions to whet your appetite:

What president and his wife were Stanford graduates?

Who is the only president to serve two terms that weren’t consecutive?

What president was born in Iowa but orphaned at age 9 and sent to live in Oregon?

What president died 10 months after his wife died of lung cancer? (He was out of office when he died.)

Read it all and see how you do.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralOffice of the President* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

February 20, 2017 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]